Archive for the ‘Just Thoughts’ Category

You can have my textbook when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Oct 20 2006

No, seriously. Check this out, but hold onto your jaw so it doesn’t crash through your desk.

Quite possibly the most ridiculous idea ever conceived (sean incognito):

Good grief [Boston Globe article linked]:

OKLAHOMA CITY — A candidate for state superintendent of schools said Thursday he wants thick used textbooks placed under every student’s desk so they can use them for self-defense during school shootings.

“People might think it’s kind of weird, crazy,” said Republican Bill Crozier of Union City, a teacher and former Air Force security officer. “It is a practical thing; it’s something you can do. It might be a way to deflect those bullets until police go there.”

Crozier and a group of aides produced a 10-minute video Tuesday in which they shoot math, language and telephone books with a variety of weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9mm pistol. The rifle bullet penetrated two books, including a calculus textbook, but the pistol bullet was stopped by a single book.

Crozier said the demonstration shows that a student could effectively use a textbook as protection in a school shooting.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman was skeptical.

“He probably needs to take a look at some ballistics tests,” Lt. Pete Norwood said. “There are some rifles not even Webster’s Dictionary will stop.”

Sean, a Canadian, has returned to blogging in the Great White North after a long hiatus. He paid a visit to Yowling yesterday and left a comment. Since he has returned, I thought it would be a good idea to see what topics he was following. Little did I know he had this story just waiting to pounce.

I don’t know what’s funnier (or scarier), that Crozier suggested the idea in the first place or made a video to demonstrate his point.

If I have learned one thing from his post, it’s not to accept a teaching position in Oklahoma, especially if the above story represents the level of political debate for candidates for state superintendent of schools.

Don’t drink and blog.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Oct 20 2006

Maybe that’s too harsh. Let’s amend that title to read, “Don’t kill a whole bottle of whatever hard liquor you’re drinking and blog.” Why? Well, if you are not careful, you might write stuff such as this sterling example of fell-off-the-wing wingnuttery:

Why Do Polls Sound Like Dems? (The Strata-Sphere):

Mac Ranger has been questioning the polls and the news meme about disgruntled Reps sitting home (if they do, they better not come back expecting a voice at the table – we conservatives will not listen to people who sat and let the Dems take over and destroy all that was accomplished in the last 6 years). Mac is rightfully questioning polls which don’t seem to be measuring reality on the ground. Both he and I herald from blue climates, and neiothr [sic] of us is seeing this blue wave (of course Herndon, VA is a big immigration-issue town).

But I was pondering something that really is a bit of a crazy idea. What if the pollsters have Reps sounding like Dems because a lot of Dems are pretending to be Reps? Sounds stupid – doesn’t it? Except we see Dems pretending to be reps on all sorts of internet polls, call in lines on C-SPAN, call-ins on talk radio, as sock puppets on websites, in push polling, etc. The liberals have a long broad history of trying to trick people by pretending to be Reps. Wouldn’t it be funny if the Liberals are setting themselves up for a huge emotional let down because their idea of influencing an election is trying to trick pollsters! Sadly, this idea doesn’t seem too far fetched.

It’s time to put the cap on the bottle and call it the night, there, AJ.

Let me see if I have this right… Dems are trying to sound llke Reps because Reps are actually going to win but pollsters, sounding like Dems, are painting a picture of a win for Dems but it’s actually going to be a Rep win because Dem pollsters and da Librul Media think Reps will stay home because they are disgruntled but they actually aren’t because AJ and Mac aren’t seeing a blue wave.

Whoa. On second thought, maybe it’s not liquor, but hallucinogens.

Anyone have an aspirin? My head hurts.

Posing the important questions.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Sep 18 2006

Are there really fourteen thousand people today who are so dangerous that the United States needs to keep them in secret prisons with no charges, much less due process, and subject them to torture for the purpose of interrogation until we figure out months or years later that they were no threat when they were swept up and we just dump them back out on the street without so much as a “beg your pardon?”

Now, seriously, can’t we agree that the actions (by our president and his administration) and the inactions (by his lapdogs in Congress) of our current political leaders are worthy of intense questioning and scrutiny, for which the president and his party need to make a much fuller accounting than they have in recent years?

(Brodkorb, I’ll bet you wish you had something other than old traffic tickets and college papers to blog about. Well, welcome to the election year where the issues of the day will most certainly matter. Sorry, but I don’t think you will be able to sling enough mud to distract voters from the Republican party’s years-long record of big-time screw-ups this time around.)

Radioactive green rivers, all around.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Aug 10 2006

Remember those nuclear Republican talking points on nuclear energy, on how it is “clean energy?” Yeah, right, keep thinking that…

Spillages cost nuclear firms £2m fines (Guardian UK):

The operators of two nuclear power plants have each been fined £2m over radioactive spillages, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority revealed today.

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) was penalised over an incident at Dounreay in Caithness, last September.

And BNG Sellafield was fined for a radioactive leak at its Thorp reprocessing plant in Cumbria, in April last year.

The penalties will be imposed in the form of £2m deductions from money that the authority pays the operators.

Hmmm… if it was “clean” energy, I would think that we could recycle those control rods into playground equipment or something. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking by some people who think that such things as the disasters at Chernobyl or Three Mile Island were isolated incidents and that we could have survived a global thermonuclear war had one occurred during the Cold War years.

The truth of the matter is that nuclear energy is “clean” as long as the radioactive fuel remains contained. When it is released — in the water as it was in the UK, or in the air as it happened when Reactor #4’s roof blew off in Chernobyl — nuclear energy loses that “clean” label rather quickly. In fact, Chernobyl, the nearby town of Pripyat, and an area tens of miles in diameter remain off-limits twenty years since the disaster because of radioactive contamination.

Onward Christofascist soldiers?

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Aug 05 2006

Although I have greatly hesitated in relishing the thought that the GOP’s political chickens will come home to roost this November, its candidates this year sure don’t make it easy for me to hold back.

Take Duncan Bremer, one of the GOP’s candidates for Congress in Colorado, who has an idea on how the US should conduct its war on terror in the Middle East:

All 6 in GOP back Iraq efforts (Denver Post):

… Bremer, a former El Paso County commissioner, said the war against fanatical fundamentalist Islam should be fought on two fronts: militarily and religiously.

“There’s an aspect of it that people are not willing to talk about, and I am – its religious basis. … Our best hope is that we actually convert them away from their religious fanatical basis,” Bremer said.

He said that would best be accomplished by missionaries of various faiths.

“I’d prefer that they get converted to evangelical Christianity, but my point is that there is a religious battleground and our government is disabled from fighting on that battleground,” Bremer said. …

Such a statement deserves a serious and thoughtful critique. Too bad it won’t come from me, because all I can muster is this: Yeek!

Okay, seriously now: What gets me is that I have heard or read of many commentators on the Right who constantly talk of people who practice the Muslim faith as fanatical, and then without skipping a beat, they make bone-headed statements similar to Bremer’s without noting the irony. I wonder Bremer can spare a moment to explain the difference between his evangelical “religious battleground” and the “religious fanatical basis” al Qaida’s version of Islam? That might help assuage concerns some of us share of a militant form of Christianity developing here in America.

If candidates like Bremer are that out of touch with foreign affairs, I can only imagine that their domestic policy ideas are orbiting some minor moon of Saturn. Case in point: Michele Bachmann was on AM1280 today touting the glories of Bush’s deficit-producing, fiscal reality denying, inflationary tax cuts as some stroke of genius that has given us the economy we enjoy today. It makes you wonder if she noticed the price of gasoline here in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, hovering around $3.00 to $3.20 per gallon.

Yes, indeed, I think it may be a very interesting election season this year. (Dangit… My left foot has started doing a happy dance. I didn’t know that was an involuntary act. Stop that, foot. Wait until the election results come in. Come on, now. Be patient.)

With Negroponte, you get Death Squad

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Jul 12 2006

Spotty dissects the barbarous mind of a local attorney. What is frightening about Death Squad John’s thinking is that he and his sort have never made much of a distinction between those we fight and those who question the fighting. Death Squad John talks of the battlefield, but it’s been clear for some time that to him, the battlefield continues into the streets here at home. His cohorts in the right wing continue to call for the execution of Americans, including Supreme Court Justices, New York Times employees, politicians who disagree with them, virtually all liberals, and whoever else is the next target du jour in a manner that lays bare any claims they might have to loving America.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Via the delicious and sexy TBogg, we see that Ann Althouse is on a bit of a roll as to Title IX, with a few commenters outlining precisely what doom we face if we don’t keep women’s admissions to higher education open. I guess with the burden of equal opportunity, we are deprived of the chance to have wills and estate plans drawn up in the exacting style of commenter Fitz.

– – – – – – – – – – –

When conservatives write their own obituaries, the living surely suffer. Here’s what a French-hating fellow from Virginia wrote recently when he knew the end was near and that he could get the last word in:

He died at MCV Hospital and sadly was deprived of his final wish which was to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store to buy booze for a double date to include his wife, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to crash an ACLU cocktail party. In lieu of flowers, Fred asks that you make a sizable purchase at your local ABC store or Virginia winery (please, nothing French – the *censored*) and get rip roaring drunk at home with someone you love or hope to make love to. Word of caution though, don’t go out in public to drink because of the alcohol related laws our elected officials have passed due to their inexplicable terror at the sight of a MADD lobbyist and overwhelming compulsion to meddle in our lives.

Our condolences to the family.

Crazy talk redux.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Jun 10 2006

Hmmm… Where have we heard this before:

Bush says Iran has “weeks not months” to respond (Reuters):

President George W. Bush said on Friday that Iran has “weeks not months” to respond to a U.S.-backed offer aimed at containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and said Tehran needs to suspend uranium enrichment.

Bush said if Iran does not suspend enrichment, “there must be a consequence” and that it would be action taken in the U.N. Security Council.

“We have given the Iranians a limited period of time, weeks not months,” to respond to an offer for an incentives package for Iran to ensure it does not pursue nuclear weapons, said Bush.

Is Bush laying the groundwork for another war?

Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s just crazy talk on my part. Bush couldn’t possibly be thinking of invading yet another country, not with his hands full over Iraq and Afghanistan… which just happen to be on either side of…

Okay, hold on here. How about this: The administration knows that the costs of an additional war will be astronomical compared to what we are paying for in Iraq… except that the warmongers of 2003 promised us that the war could be paid for using Iraq’s oil revenues…

Drat.

Ummmm… Okay, okay, I have it now. Bush wouldn’t dare invade a nation of eighty million who are suspecting such a move… or would he?

Texas sucks… more of our nation’s fuel supply.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
May 28 2006

Ever wonder why one of the simplest ways to reduce gas consumption isn’t considered by our states’ legislatures or by Congress? Why haven’t they brought up the idea of lowering the speed limit on many highways from those gas-guzzling speeds of 70 or 75 miles per hour to something around 55 to 65 mph, which is the easiest, quickest way to conserve our nation’s fuel supply? I sure have and I think I have found the answer: There’s a counter-intuitive vortex stuck above the state of Texas (and the White House, also, but we already knew of that one) that must be sapping the intelligence and wisdom of state representatives.

Feeling the Need for Speed, Texas Raises Its Limit to 80 (Los Angeles Times):

This week, if all goes according to plan, the posted speed limit on more than 500 miles of West Texas interstates will rise to 80 miles per hour. That will make Texas home to the highest posted limit anywhere in the United States and one that will rival the recommended maximums on Germany’s famous autobahns.

The Texas Legislature fast-tracked the increased speed limit last year and unanimously recommended it; then the Texas Department of Transportation followed suit with feasibility studies that gave the green light. The Texas Transportation Commission gave its approval Thursday.

The first new speed limit signs went up along two flat, rural stretches of Interstates 10 and 20 just in time for Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer driving season.

Texans brush aside such concerns as fuel efficiency or the cost of gasoline.

Engineers calculate that drivers burn 7% more gas per mile for every 5-mph increase in speed above 60 mph. Texans calculate that their Hummers need bigger gas tanks.

“Our mission is to go and seek out whether we can fulfill the requests of the driving public,” said Mark Cross, spokesman for the state transportation department. “And the request from the public is they want to go faster.”

Texas and 11 other states permit drivers on some highways to travel up to 75 mph, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But Texas transportation engineers determined that 85% of drivers on the two segments of I-10 and I-20 were averaging 80 mph, 5 mph above the current 75-mph speed limit, so officials reasoned that raising the limit would simply be a bow to reality.

“We feel it’s always safer to have motorists traveling at a more uniform speed,” Cross said.

Adding insult to injury, here, is the crazy notion that speeders get to determine speed limits on highways. This strongly suggests that energy conservation policy initiatives are sorely lacking in Texas’ legislature. When gas hits $4.00 per gallon nationwide, I guess we can thank Texas for doing their part in driving up the price.

By the way, does anyone know if Bush has violated 85% of the Constitution?

Twisting in the wind is not a “turning point.”

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
May 22 2006

I’m just saying…

Bush Says Iraq War at ‘Turning Point’ (Washington Post):

President Bush said today the war in Iraq has reached a “turning point” with the formation of a unity government Saturday in Baghdad, but he suggested the conflict may be far from over.

“Our nation’s been through three difficult years in Iraq. And the way forward will bring more days of challenge and loss,” Bush said in an address to a restaurant trade group in Chicago. “The terrorists did not lay down their arms after three elections in Iraq and they will continue to fight this new government. And we can expect the violence to continue.”

Three years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost, hundreds of thousands of lives affected, and hundreds of billions thrown into the money pits we call the Department of Defense and arms manufacturers. Attacks still take place. Our troops still have extended tours of duty in the sun and the sand. Iraq still teeters on prolonged sectarian violence at best and civil war at worst. If there is any turning point in this sad situation, I don’t think we have seen it yet.

Heck of a job, indeed.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Apr 14 2006

Was Rumsfeld personally involved in torture at Guantanamo? Human Rights Watch says it has evidence.

Army report on al-Qaida accuses Rumsfeld (Guardian UK):

Donald Rumsfeld was directly linked to prisoner abuse for the first time yesterday, when it emerged he had been “personally involved” in a Guantánamo Bay interrogation found by military investigators to have been “degrading and abusive”.

Human Rights Watch last night called for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate whether the defence secretary could be criminally liable for the treatment of Mohamed al-Qahtani, a Saudi al-Qaida suspect forced to wear women’s underwear, stand naked in front of a woman interrogator, and to perform “dog tricks” on a leash, in late 2002 and early 2003. The US rights group said it had obtained a copy of the interrogation log, which showed he was also subjected to sleep deprivation and forced to maintain “stress” positions; it concluded that the treatment “amounted to torture”.

However, military investigators decided the interrogation did not amount to torture but was “abusive and degrading”. Those conclusions were made public last year but this is the first time Mr Rumsfeld’s own involvement has emerged.

Worst. Defense. Secretary. Ever. — who just happens to work for the — Worst. President. Ever.

Coincidence?

Of course not.