The Jury Talks Back

10/30/2009

Comparing Ridiculous Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Leviticus @ 1:55 pm

This is something that’s been pissing me off, lately:

People are complaining about the costs of healthcare reform – the estimate I’ve read is $900 billion over ten years, to provide healthcare to 36 million uninsured Americans.

The Defense budget for 2009 is $518 billion.

I know that the estimates of the cost of the health care bill proposed by the Democrats are widely disputed – some say it’s going to cost a hell of a lot more than $900 billion if it’s passed. But is it going to cost us, oh, I dunno, $5.2 trillion? I doubt it – even in a worst case scenario.

So – is this a legitimate time to talk about reigning in the Defense budget? And if not, is there ever a legitimate time to talk about reigning in the Defense budget? Or is that the one exception to the principal of fiscal conservativism in America?

10/28/2009

Profanity hidden in governor’s veto letter

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 4:36 am

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a letter apparently sent by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the legislature announcing his veto of Assembly bill 1176.  In the letter, taking the first letter of several lines spells out the profanity F— Y–.  You can see the letter here.  It appears to be a valid letter, as it’s linked near the bottom of the governor’s press release page.

Ace of Spades points out that Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, the bill’s author, recently heckled Schwarzenegger at a speech in San Francisco, telling the Governor to “Kiss my gay ass!”

10/26/2009

Project Valour-IT

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 7:54 am

Time to man-up and put out some cash for one of my favorite charities.  The story behind this awesome idea can be found here, and to put it in perspective, if ever I become amazingly, obscenely wealthy and have the occasion to leave a large portion of my wealth to charity upon my passing, I will name this one first.

I have, without consulting anyone else (sorry about that), opted to throw The Jury’s support behind the US Army team (headed by Blackfive himself).  I do this not because I value the other branches less (I will always love the USMC, and a dear dear friend graduates from Great Lakes Recruit Training Command on the 20th of November), but because I still intend to get my ass into the US Army, and also because I hope to lessen slightly the Bride Price our friend Adjective Dana has set for his lovely and wonderful daughter, PFC Pico.

Hey, I gotta do what I gotta do, eh?  Don’t you judge me.

So give what you can, as you are able.  If you wanna give in the name of one of the other, equally awesome branches of service, you may do so here (simply go to that link, and pick your favorite branch, I promise to think only slightly less of you for not supporting Team Army :) ), or you may give to the general, non-team specific fund here.

They gave so much for us, this is the least we can do.

Edit: Wiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.  Son of a…  See, this is why we can’t have nice things, Patrick.  I can’t even get the java/flash/whatever link/image to post right.

Click here to give in the name of Team Army.

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What’s Capitalism Done For You?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 5:46 am

The above title is a direct quote of a question asked of me by a co-worker, after it was mentioned by him about how the new Moore movie was ‘awesome’.  I forget his exact wording, but it was praising the hack at any rate.

I commented that Moore was highly dishonest and played fast and loose with both facts, time lines, and enjoyed using clever editing tricks to build support for his arguments.

There was no real response to my claim, for the simple reason that there cannot be – it is a provable fact that Moore’s talent lies not so much in “hunting up the truth” as it does in “baffling them with bullshit”.

Bowling for Columbine alone is a wealth of factual errors and editing tricks to make things sound worse than they were (the Heston segments highlight this wonderfully).

Anyways, after a couple of short moments, he asked me – with all apparent seriousness – “Yeah, well what’s capitalism done for you lately?”

You mean besides provide me a job and a paycheck?

It astounds me that people don’t seem to understand that business in this country runs on capitalism and free-market – you provide a good or service at a price the people buying from you can afford, and which pays your costs to produce that good/service plus a little something extra for you  to put in the bank.  That is how the system works.  If you’re lucky, you have something people want to buy, and you make a bunch of money off of it, and are even able to hire other people to do the real work for you.

I suspect this guy wasn’t actually so stupid as to not realize what utter stupidity came out of his idiot-hole, because he immediately said “I don’t wanna talk about this”, which is code for “I am utterly unable to defend my position, so we’re going to walk away from any further potentially embarrassing discussion.

I remained, however, floored.  Seriously, dude who has a paying job bitching about “what’s capitalism done for you?”  What, do he think that the C word is supposed to make money magically appear in your account?  That it is supposed to GIVE you stuff you want without effort?

I suppose that if that was what he thought/been taught about The C Word, then I would understand why he held such disdain for it.

He’s still a complete moron, however, and the fact that he votes frightens me.

“The best argument against democracy is five minutes with the average voter.”

10/14/2009

This was brought up

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 6:27 pm

I’ll admit that I’m not entirely aware of what’s led to this, but apparently twitter is abuzz with BS tonight.  Apparently, Meghan McCain posted a pic that showed a lot of bewb (hard for her not to, honestly, the gal is “gifted”), and folks started talking mean.  You know, like the Internet is wont to do.  Allahpundit got drawn into this, and she insults him flat out, and has in the past attacked his employer.  This guy, who’s about the only right-leaning person who staunchly defends her and tries to think well of her.

Her, who has done her best to make a name for herself by attacking her vastly better betters, using derogatory terms and plenty of vulgarity.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  Hell, I do it all the time – it’s kinda my thing.  The difference is, I expect the backlash.  I don’t shy from it, and I sure as hell don’t bitch and whine when it comes.  Unlike Meggie Mac.

Now, Jake Tapper (one of the few real journalists left, and one of the VERY few people who report on Washington that I respect) is taking people to task for attacks on Meghan McCain.  One of the things he’s on about – maybe rightly, maybe not – is the cowardly nature of talking shit to people over the Internet.  Even saying “I’d say it to her face” is pretty empty usually, because most don’t use their real names.

Now, if there have been threats made, then I’d be the first person to step up and put down the jack-ass making those threats.  I don’t stand for that.  Hate someone all you want, but baring REALLY serious stuff, threats are not acceptable.  Flat out not cool.  Just like I’d kill with my bare hands anyone who tried to kill or injure the President.  There are limits.

That said…

I’m Scott Jacobs.  This is my real first and last name.  I don’t hide.  I’m right here, take it or leave it.  And I’m saying right now what I wish I could say to her face:  Miss McCain, you have no class.  You make your name by attacking people who have been established for years in the hopes that the controversy elevates you.  You insult, you mock, you demean and you profane.  You slap away a hand that has done nothing but  do it’s best to try and shield you from your own ignorance by holding back those who would display their displeasure with you.  You wouldn’t know about that because you care not one whit for anyone or anything besides yourself.

You have done nothing to help your supposed Party.  I’m not even a member of the Republican party, and I’m embarrassed that you’re a Republican.  You go after anyone with “street cred” in the hopes that being a raging, ignorant bitch gets you some of that respectability.  It has not, it does not, it will not.  You will forever remain in the eyes of many as nothing more than a spoiled, stuck up, rude, ungrateful bitch that has no idea just how big of a joke she is.

I am Scott Jacobs, and I would stand five foot back, hands behind me, and look you in the eyes (you know, that thing most guys don’t do, and which you count on to keep us XY’ers mollified) and say exactly that.

And then I would walk away, having wasted far more time on you than you were worth.

You used to be someone I thought was attractive.  A shame that you had to prove  the old saying “beauty is only skin deep”.

Water suppliers won’t get that pension increase

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 10:55 am

What a shame.

Instead, General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger sent employees a memo acknowledging that “in today’s uncertain global economic climate, this proposal does not enjoy broad enough support.

Translation: “Shit. This story got out, so we’re gonna have to ditch this.”

No thanks to those idiots at the LAT.

H/T to Glenn Reynolds

Holy crap, Captain Lou died

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 8:14 am

Resquiescat in pace, Captain Lou.

Today, not only has wrestling lost one of it more colorful characters (I remember all those rubber bands in his beard), but geekdom has lost an icon.

If you don’t know why, then watch this, and be humbled.

Shit like that got me through part of my childhood…

What else the “official” numbers don’t tell you

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 7:14 am

Ignoring the “phantom jobs” that the Labor Department has been adding (over 700,000 this year alone), there are cases like this.

He is now in the co-pilot’s seat in the 50-seat commuter jets he flies, not for any failure in skill. He wears his captain’s stripes, he explains, to make that point. But with air travel down, his employer cut costs by downgrading 130 captains, those with the lowest seniority, to first officers, automatically cutting the wage of each by roughly 50 percent — to $34,000 in Mr. Lawlor’s case.

After my previous employer got bought out by Bosch, there were many changes.  Some people were let go (but given many months notice, so they had a paycheck and time, so that was nice), but everyone took a pay-cut.  Everyone.  The President on down (frankly, the Pres should have been fired for being an idiot and having a direct hand in the need to sell in the first place, but what do you expect from a with just a GED – seriously, when I have a better education than the guy running the place, we have problems) took a cut.  I don’t know how much salaried people took in cuts, and it was likely different from person to person – you cut less from the people you need most, I would assume – but yeah…  Cuts…

While it is good to get to keep a job, when you have your pay cut drastically, or your hours slashed, it has an unseen impact.  When your earning power is decimated, you fall behind on things and/or your standard of living takes a massive blow.

The roughly 17% unemployment (if you calculate it like we did back in the 70′s) does not take into account the people who experience this.  If it did, I suspect we’re be looking at one fifth of the population.

Also, I loved this gem from the article:

He still thinks he will return to being the family’s principal breadwinner, although as the months pass he worries more. “I don’t want to be a 50-year-old pilot earning $40,000 a year,” he said, adding that his wife does not want to be married to a pilot with so little earning power.

If that is accurate, and not just what he thinks his wife believes, I have something to say to her…

“Fuck you, bitch.”

I swear to God, if my wife were to say something like that, I’d have divorce papers on her night stand the following evening.  My above words can not begin to accurately portray my anger and disgust towards her (and any spouse like that).  It isn’t like it was his fault – he didn’t ask for it.

It’s good to know she really took the whole “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer” thing seriously.

10/4/2009

Constitutional Convention

Filed under: Uncategorized — Leviticus @ 11:09 am

Article V of the Constitution states that Congress, “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which… shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

To my knowledge, such a mechanism was included to prevent the potential tyranny of a detached national Legislative Branch; that is, it provides an external means of regulating Congress – their selection, their tenure, and their powers. It’s a contingency designed to facilitate an end-run around an institution (hypothetically) too corrupt to reform itself. At least that’s my take on it.

My question, then, is this: given the current state of American politics – whatever your take on that rather weighty antecedent may be – would you support or oppose an application for a Constitutional Convention by your own state legislature?

I got some polling software, and I hope it works smoothly, but one way or another I’d appreciate it if you elaborated on your reasons in the comments section. I’m going to be doing some organizing around this issue with disaffected conservatives and liberals in my own state, and I would value the insights of this community as a contextual lens through which to view some of that work.


NOTE: This is the first of an extended series of posts I’m going to be doing at The Jury Talks Back, dealing mainly with big-picture solutions to the major problems of American politics – the first of which I deem to be a lack of true accountability in the American Congress. I’m going to be addressing a number of different ideas I’ve heard proposed as to how to fix that particular problem (as well as others), and I look forward to the sort of philosophical input you all can provide as people whose perspective on these matters (potentially) differs vastly from my own.


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