The Jury Talks Back

3/31/2010

Unexpected!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 5:01 pm

In what is rapidly becoming high comedy, once again Important People were shocked that the number of people employed in the private sector decreased for the month of March.

I’m going to quote exactly what was in the article this morning, which has since been edited (without comment, natch):

“Private payrolls unexpectedly fell in March, according to data released Wednesday. Private-sector jobs in the U.S. dropped by 23,000 this month, according to a national employment report published Wednesday by payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc. and consultancy firm Macroeconomic Advisers.”

I mean, come on people.  Are the people who predict these things shocked to find the sun rising in the east each morning?  That it rises at all?  That water is wet, or fire hot?  That the sun is often quite bright or that ice is cold?

Who the Holy Hell are these people, and how the Good God Damn do they get to be in a position where they are asked their opinion on anything?  I could flip a coin and have better odds at predicting employment than these numb-skulls.

“Heads, more unemployment…  Tails, more jobs…”

I’ve seen a better grasp of cause-and-effect relationships from people who stay with an alcoholic, abusive spouse.  Hell, I have a better grasp of it, and I’m an idiot.

Look, employment hasn’t risen for many months now, and the one month it did increase it was almost nothing, and due solely to season help for the Christmas holiday.  Businesses have no certainty about coming costs, and now have millions and millions in dollars in costs they never expected (the costs of the new taxation on health care under Obamacare).  Energy costs are increasing, and not only is there no sign of impending improvement, but every indication they will increase even more (Cap and Trade is not your economic friend).

And yet we’re supposed to be shocked that things aren’t getting better?  You mean that Jobs Summit didn’t do anything to create jobs?  You mean uncertainty and unwanted cost increases don’t leave businesses free to expand?

Truly, we are amongst the very dumbest of intellectuals.  I suspect that they really ARE shocked.  That they really DO think that things are magically supposed to get better, simply because The Anointed One wills it to be so.

All I have to say to them is this:

picard-facepalm

3/29/2010

I did what?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 6:08 am

I’m sorry, JeffyG, but fuck you.

No.  I’m sorry, that isn’t quite accurate…

Fuck you, you lying mother fucker.

As I noted elsewhere, Marc’s references to my having told a few people over the years that if I ever met we’d not spend time talking suggests to me that Marc’s read more ABOUT those instances than he is familiar with how they came about. And that’s fine: if he wants to make judgments second hand, that’s his right. The only problem is, to do so is to risk getting the facts wrong, and so publicly condemning someone over something you know little about.

Or, he could be absolutely right.  Trust me, asshole, if one knows you in even the most minute way, condemning you is where the safe money is, if they have even the barest trace of integrity.

Over the years, I’ve had people threaten my son, wish me and my family death from cancer, or in airplane crashes, etc. I have made it clear — first by attempting to use the legal system — that attacks on my family are off limits. I have, on rare occasion, responded to what I considered the most egregious of those types of comments by letting the persons writing them know that, should I meet them in person, I wouldn’t hesitate to snap their forearm or break their ankle.

First, let me say clearly, and without equivocation: threats against someone’s family are not merely “not ok”, but utterly and completely wrong, and can not be forgiven.  While I loath certain people, threatening their family is not something I would ever do, nor would I ever condone it.

That being said, for this fuck-stick – this seeping anal-wound that attempts to pass himself off as an actual and worthwhile human being – to try and claim he only threatens people who have made threats first is an utter and complete fucking lie.

I welcome anyone who can find a single instance where I have threatened JeffyG’s family, let alone JeffG at any point prior to 1:18am on December 14th, 2009.

As a reminder, he said “Scott Jacobs is one of those guys I mentioned that if I ever met him in person, I’d leave him in a heap, mewling like a baby pussy.”

I don’t apologize for that. I don’t go looking for these people, and to date — having run a blog for close to 9 years — I haven’t yet had a single altercation.

I know you haven’t.  There is a reason I wasn’t fearful when I accepted your challenge, JeffyG.  People like you are only brave when you have the safety of distance to rely upon.  “Internet courage” is hardly something I am unfamiliar with – If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been threatened by some moronic pile of shit would wouldn’t even bring himself to look me in the eye (let alone take a swing at me) were we to meet in person, I would be a wealthy man.

To be sure: JeffyG’s modus operandi is to first attempt to gain his opponent’s submission by outing their identity.  He’s done it to Fritz, and he’s outed nk’s first name in the hopes of causing them at least some sort of harm – whether merely societal/professional, or in the hopes of physical harm coming to them I do not know and will not further speculate upon.  In my case, that wasn’t exactly an option – it is hard to out someone’s identity when they publicly operate under their real name.

And thus, he went to Plan B – threats of violence.  I’m sure he was at the least a bit perplexed when I accepted his kind offer.  I’m more than aware that there are people alive – a great many people, in fact – that could easily kick my ass.  I am not, however, about to back down when threatened – if my ass gets kicked, then so be it…

I just don’t think that JeffyG is one of those people, even if I thought he had the balls to follow through.

So, in closing, JeffyG is a lying fuckwad, a dishonest asshat, and a waste of air.

Fuck you, JeffyG.

3/26/2010

Needed Constitutional Amendment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 11:42 am

In the spirit of Art I, Section 9:

“Congress may not compel any state or individual to engage in economic activity, nor may Congress regulate activity that is merely incidental to interstate commerce. No tax may be laid to regulate activity that Congress cannot directly regulate.”

Not that Congress would ever pass this, but if 34 states were to call a Convention for the express purpose….

See Randy Barnett at Volokh for the original idea.

3/25/2010

Commerce Clause?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 8:22 pm

I heard race-baiter (and-all around idiot), Congresswoman Shiela Jackson-Lee, mention today that the Interstate Commerce Clause gives the government the authority to regulate insurance, and to force us to go get insurance.  When I heard this, I virtually exploded with invectives.  I was like a Profane Loom, weaving a tapestry of vulgarity.

I did so, because while the ICC gives the Government broad – overly broad in my opinion – powers to regulate anything that comes within 100 feet of interstate commerce, I’m pretty sure that it can’t touch something that is actually forbidden from being sold outside of a state.  Congress had the chance to make insurance an interstate thing, but it chose not to.  Health insurance remains a solely intrastate commodity.

So if something in Illinois can only be sold in Illinois, how the flying monkey-fuck can the ICC be used to justify it’s regulation??

The answer, I suspect, has something to do Congressional understanding of the Constitution.

3/17/2010

The streets of Paris are still lined with trees

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 10:56 pm

Were I a government official in France, that is the one fact I would remind myself of each and every morning – if only to keep myself from such stupidity:

Christine Lagarde said Berlin should consider boosting domestic demand to help deficit countries regain competitiveness and sort out their public finances.Her comments break a long-standing taboo between the French and German governments about macroeconomic imbalances inside the 16-country bloc which have been dramatically exposed by the Greek debt crisis.

“[Could] those with surpluses do a little something? It takes two to tango,” she said in an interview with the Financial Times. “It cannot just be about enforcing deficit principles.”

“Clearly Germany has done an awfully good job in the last 10 years or so, improving competitiveness, putting very high pressure on its labour costs. When you look at unit labour costs to Germany, they have done a tremendous job in that respect. I’m not sure it is a sustainable model for the long term and for the whole of the group. Clearly we need better convergence.”

You hear that, Germany?  You are doing too well, and need to tone it down so that you are more like France (and Greece).

While not ruling out an EMF, she said it was not a priority for the eurozone. The bloc should first focus on ensuring that debt-laden Greece followed through on promised austerity measures and then show “a bit of creativity and innovation” to find scope within the existing EU treaty for beefing up budgetary surveillance and discipline.

You’re kidding me, right?  The idea that Germany has any sort of responsibility regarding Greece flies in the face of even the most basic of common sense – Greece is where it is because of California-like systems that have bloated the unproductive at the expense of the productive.

Even with around 9% unemployment, Germany thrives because – if for no other reason – when they make something they usually get it right.

Fuck you, China.

Germany has, on average, 5 weeks vacation for employees, and better pay than probably the rest of the EU.  That France would even open it’s cock-holster and talk about how Germany needs to make thing more equal simply re-enforces my belief that French women run that country, and miss the sensation of being fucked by a winner.

h/t QandO.net

I might just be in love…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 10:30 pm

Dana, you might want to inform Pfc Pico…

She has competition.

3/16/2010

Health care procedural recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 9:32 am

Let’s recap:

Originally, the Democrats — with huge majorities in each House — set out to pass a health care reform bill. It only took them a year and after much huffing and puffing and pork, the House managed to pass a bill by 5 votes. The Senate passed a rather different bill (with different pork) by the bare 60-vote majority needed to get past a united Republican filibuster.

The usual way to proceed would be to send both versions to a Conference Committee. The Conference result goes back to each House for final passage. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they can’t do that because they lost the Massachusetts Senate seat (largely over this bill) and now they don’t have the 60 votes to avoid a filibuster.

After having said, in the wake of that defeat that they would not use reconciliation, they are now saying they WILL use reconciliation. Mainly because nothing else will work.

(“Reconciliation” for those that don’t know, or want to lie about it, is normally used for adjusting a previously passed budget in light of new information or needs. Like “Add $1 billion to unemployment insurance payouts” or “Move $1 billion from the F-22 program to Food Stamps.”)

There are well defined limits on what the reconciliation process allows, which has limited abuse. Among other things, it can only change spending and taxes, and it has to amend a previously enacted law.

Anyway, they are going to try to pass ALL the health care changes they want (and no doubt a goodly portion of new pork) through the reconciliation process. This would normally go like this:

1. The House passes the Senate bill without change and the enrolled bill goes to the President.
2. Presumably the President signs it, enacting it into law.
3. The House then passes a Reconciliation bill, adjusting amounts, taxes, and financial requirements for qualifying for same.
4. The Senate then votes on the bill with debate already limited to 20 hours by rule — no filibuster possible.
5. Presumably that also passes and is sent to the President.
6. Presumably the President signs it, enacting it into law.

Unfortunately, this will also not work, failing at point #1. So what Pelosi wants to do is combine Steps 1,2 & 3 into one vote, and condition the result on Step 4 happening, too. If the Senate does not agree to the reconciliation package, the Senate bill isn’t deemed to have passed.

obama-finger Now, you may say “But how can they include the Presidential signature step in their machinery?” Indeed you might, and others have. Some even consider this a bit, well, unconstitutional, if you know what I mean. Something about a bill needing to be signed by the President before it is law. Another something about separation of powers.

You might also ask “How can the House condition their vote on the actions of the Senate?” And here, too, there is no good answer other than “they probably can’t.” There are two Houses of Congress and they are to do things independently. This is called bicameralism, and the Supreme Court has insisted on it in the past. Also, a bill is to pass both House identically (although typos are not invalidating). The Supreme Court has insisted on this, too. The Senate and House can make up their own Rules, but they cannot make up their own Constitution.

Note how far we have come from the normal process. Note how certain this is to end up in the Supreme Court’s lap, dragging the Court even further into the political arena. Note how unremarkable past “Nuclear Options” seem in comparison. Proving once again that no one’s Life, Liberty or Property is safe while Congress is in session.

All so that the President does not lose face and he can say to the American People that “We won.” Worked so well last time.

3/11/2010

Senator Reid’s Wife and Daughter in Serious Car Wreck

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 5:42 pm

The NY Times reports that Senator Reid’s wife and daughter were in a multi-car accident in which they were rear-ended by a speeding semi truck and slammed into other cars.

Senator Reid’s wife of 51 years is in hospital with a broken back and neck. Luckily, the spinal cord appears intact. His daughter appears to have suffered only minor injuries. I wish Senator Reid and his family the best and hope for a speedy recovery.

3/2/2010

The line is so thin I can’t even see it.

Filed under: California Politics — aphrael @ 2:55 pm

The California Assembly is considering a bill to make it a crime for registered sex offenders to use any social networking site. It’s almost certain to pass; no legislator is going to stand up for the rights of sex offenders, particularly when children might be involved.

The law defines “social network Web site” as “any Internet Web site designed with the intent of allowing users to build networks or connect with other people and that provides means for users to interact over the Internet.”

This definition is, unfortunately, completely unworkable.

The intent of the legislature is clear to anyone who is familiar with the politics: keep sex offenders away from sites like Facebook where children might unwittingly be exposed to them. The fact that it would also prohibit sex offenders from using professional networking sites like LinkedIn is just collateral damage, and not something that we need to worry about too much, both because sex offenders are bad people and because most of them can’t get jobs that would use professional networking, anyhow.

But a literal reading of the words would seem to ban any form of web-based email (webmail being displayed on an internet web site, and being designed to allow users to connect with other people and providing a means for users to interact, via email, over the Internet). In an increasingly email-dependant culture, that’s a highly problematic restriction. It’s so problematic, and so clearly not the intent of the legislature, that the California courts are likely to read the definition more narrowly, allowing email but excluding actual social networking sites, which will end up in practice being defined by something other than the definition in the law.

So the first problem with the bill is that poor drafting creates a result so obviously absurd that it invites courts to step in and redefine the terms in the law.

But the second, bigger problem is that there is no sensible way to draft such a definition.

I mean, it’s one thing to say that Facebook is clearly verboten, but that the web-based interface to Outlook (used in many corporate environments) is ok. But what of gmail? I mean, gmail is email, as long as you don’t enable buzz, so it should be ok … but buzz is self-consciously a facebook lite, and the intent of the legislature is probably to ban it. So are sex offenders allowed to use gmail but required to turn buzz off? How are they supposed to know that? (And if they can’t, does the law really give them fair notice of what conduct is prohibited?)

This problem will only get worse as the technology evolves: google seems to be betting that the future of online conversation is in a blurring of the distinction between social networking, email, and text messaging – and they’ve lost very few such bets in the past. In that world, with the distinction between email and social networking elided, how does a court decide which websites are allowed and which aren’t? I suppose they could develop a “predominent purpose test” which looked to whether the site was predominantly email (like outlook web access) or predominantly social networking, and just draw arbitrary lines in the tough cases. But that will create a brittle, unpredictable system.

On the one hand, the legislature could fix this problem by narrowing its definition. But fundamentally the entire approach seems doomed.


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