Thursday, February 17, 2005

"Black Code" of Mississippi

(Laws of Mississippi, 1865)

How do I talk about this?

I'm sure we have all been vaguely aware of periods in our nation's history when we haven't treated all of our people as they should have been treated. The term "Manifest Destiny", for one, conjures up the image of arrogant usurpation of the rights of an entire people.

And "Slavery" ... specifically, "Black Slavery" ... is now universally accepted as one more egregious period in our history.

Perhaps you are aware that, after the Civil War, some states enacted statutes to deny Black Americans the freedoms which they had (supposedly) won as a result of this war. Certainly, those of us who are particularly involved in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms movement (RKBA) have heard that during the immediate post-war period, some states enacted laws specifically designed to deny " ... freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes ..." the RKBA freedoms enjoyed by other citizens.

However, if you are as ignorant as am I, you had no IDEA that these statutes were only a part of a larger, more intrusive and all-encompassing set of laws which evidenced a conspiracy to keep these people in a state of virtual slavery, regardless of the intent of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
Thanks to a recent Dave Kopel article in Reason magazine, I have finally read the entire set of "Black Codes" enacted in 1865 by the state of Mississippi.

I have mentioned the "Manifest Destiny" examples of Native Indian abuse, such as the Trail of Tears , the Seminole Indian wars, and the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

But I have never before had cause to feel such shame at being an American.

Now I know what this national shame feels like, and I can tell you that it turns my stomach.

Besides forbidding " ... freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes ..." the right to " .... keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife ....", these other restrictions were singularily applied:
  • they may be sued, but they were not permitted to rent or own land outside of a town
  • any black who may 'intermarry' a white person would be sent to the penitentary .... for life
  • all labor contracts with a black for more than one month must be in writing, and the black who quits before the end of the contracted period would forfeit all wages for the entire period
  • any black who quits a contract is subject to arrest, described as a 'deserter', and may be returned to his 'employer ... or otherwise disposed of ..."
  • anyone who entices a black to quit this employment is subject to fine and payment of court costs; any black who quits this employment may not be provided " ... any food, rainment, or any other thing ..."
  • black orphans can be forceably apprenticed to " ... a suitable person ..."
  • masters of these apprentices are specifically permitted to inflict " ... moderate corporal punishment ..."
  • " ... all rogues and vagabonds, idle and dissipated persons, beggars, jugglers, or persons practicing unlawful games or' plays, runaways, common drunkards,' common night-walkers, pilferers, lewd wanton, or lascivious persons, in speech or behavior, common railers and brawlers, persons who neglect their calling or employment, misspend what they earn, or do not provide for the support of, themselves or their families, or dependents, and all other idle and disorderly persons, including all who neglect all-lawful business, habitually misspend their time by frequenting houses of ill-fame, gaming-houses, or tippling shops, shall be deemed and considered vagrants"
  • adult blacks, with no lawful employment or business, or "living in adultry or fornication" are subject to arrest and fine
  • blacks found to be, among other offences, "... committing ... seditious speeches, insulting gestures languages or acts ... exercising the function of a minister of the Gospel without license ... [or] ... vending ... liquors ..." is subject to fine and/or imprisonment

If these acts were applied today to ALL Americans, I would be in jail and in debt for the rest of my natural life, since the day I turned 18, if only for the "mispend what they earn" clause!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Gothamimage: Mattis/Boykin2008! - A Republican Draft Challange

Generally, we've managed to avoid purely political comments. We're a little proud of this, because we exhibit restraint in so few situations. But although this blog was originated to, among other purposes, discuss 'political' issues, there aren't a lot of reasons why we should move away from the primary IPSC Competition theme.

Okay, all that's over. We found something 'political' to talk about, and it isn't even about RKBA issues.

But it is, vaguely, about military issues, so maybe it's still okay. Even if it isn't ... it's my blog and I can rant if I want to.

Our new chum "WhisperingCampaign" is a NYC blogger with whom we have shared a couple of comments on blogtopics. He's much more polite in his comments (we castigated Warren Burger; he suggested that Dems oughta lose the 'Gun Control' issue) than we are (he said something positive about Senator Kennedy; we suggested thatTeddy was a lady-killer of the first water).

But while browsing his archives (he blogs "GOTHAMIMAGES", as a New York City guy) he made a comment that touched a long-dormant Geek-button.

He used the term: "Chickenhawk", in reference to President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

Here's the context (go to the original link, above, for the whole rant):

Some people really love killing, if provoked, no matter how.

It's true, and it's been that way for all time.

Do you think Bush likes killing?

Ask Carla Fay Tucker's family. Ask Tucker Carlson , the conservative writer.

Ask those others, whose loved ones did not receive a serious review, much less DNA review, in capital crimes.

Ask anyone who saw him smile and giggle when discussing executions during his first debate with Gore.

When Cheney smirks and burps up phrases like, "take 'em out," what emotions is he tapping into?

You know damm well - maybe the frisson of killing.

So why settle for a bunch of sissy chickenhawks.

Bush and Cheney were afraid to fight.

Bush and Cheney are
The defining link looks like this:

Chickenhawk Database: Chickenhawks : We the few, the rich, the elite. Born to kill not serve. Chickenhawk n. A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person’s youth.
The term is a deliberate canard.
The definition itself, while an attempt to define in the general sense, has been used by the Liberal Left as a catch-phrase to depict the Bush administration as being unconcerned about waging war because, never having been personally involved in combat, members of this administration are serene in their ignorance of the effects of war on those who are directly involved.

As if to say: if you haven't fought in a war, you are not qualified to justify committing your country to war.

Let's look at this in the historical perspective of World War II.

One of the great heroes of the Liberal Left is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who committed America to war in 1941. Roosevelt was never a serving member of the military, he certainly never did "see combat", but he declared war on the people who staged a sneak attack on American soil and American people. He also declared war on their allies, their friends, their families, and everyone the fanatical Japanese knew or cared about. He had no qualms about authorizing the fire-bombing of Dresden.
His vice-president (Truman), who assumed the burden of the war effort after Roosevelt's death, was willing to drop atomic bombs on two Japanese cities, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The Liberal Left, apparently, are Down With That.

Maybe it is acceptable because Harry Truman, after all, had served as an Artillary Captain in WWI. Certainly, we don't hear anyone protesting that Harry was a "ChickenHawk".

On the other hand, nobody is calling Roosevelt a "ChickenHawk", either.

Why is that, do you suppose? After all, Franklin (fifth-cousin of a President) was a rich white guy, an Ivy Leaguer, one of the "Effete Elite" as Spiro Agnew might have said. Why is it okay for him to declare war on a Global basis, while it is apparently NOT okay for Bush (son of a president) to declare war on a single nation after a similar sneak attack on American soil, American people?

Why is Bush, who did serve in the military, a ChickenHawk?

Is it because he wasn't called to active duty?

Here's the punchline: it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter whether a President, or his Vice-President, has ever served in the military.
It doesn't matter whether they have gone to war.
It doesn't matter whether they have 'seen the elephant'.
The chances of them successfully prosecuting a war, to the resultant advantage of the Nation which they have been elected to lead, are approximately the same.

Our country has been established with a careful regard for the difference between political leaders and the military.

Our political leaders decide whether to go to war.
Our military leaders decide how to fight the war.

When this guideline is violated, Bad Things Happen.

Should the Military leaders decide when to go to war? That didn't work out well for Japan in 1941-1945. General Tojo and his military cronys pushed the Japanese Emperor into war; it wasn't a priority for the Emperor of Japan!

Should our political leaders decide how, when, where and whether to fight the war? That didn't work out well for America in VietNamin 1961 - 1973. Kennedy (a Democrat ... with personal combat experience) might possibly have handled that better than did his successor Johnson, or HIS successor Nixon?

Nixon ... a Republican ... was a 'ChickHawk" too. He never served. Johnson, on the other hand, had a GLORIOUS war record! He was the first member of congress to serve in WWII, entering as ... a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. (No 'Cronyism there!) He was obviously well-qualified to lead our nation in the continuing conduct of the VietNam War, because he (a) served in the Navy, in a War Zone (for 8 months ... more than Kerry!) and (b) he won a Silver Star ... under 'questionable circumstances.

Johnson didn't start the Vietnam War, but he was the Vice-President of the man .. Kennedy ... who arguably DID start the war. Here we have two ... TWO! ... senior members of a White House administration who were, for one reason or another, decorated veterans, and they got us into the first war that America ever lost. Somehow, we don't think this proves the efficicacy of Military Veterans as War Presidents over non-veterans.

Perhaps it's better that our country should go to war based on political reasons, with the advice of military people.
Perhaps it's better that our political leaders NOT be encumbered by personal combat experience. After all, Truman (the Captain of Artillary) led us to war in Korea in the 1950's. Do you remember that war? Do you realize that, legally, America and North Korea are still "at war" as we were 50 years ago?

Surely, all of these Dead Presidents... Truman, Kennedy, Johnson ... who had 'war records' could have been a reliable justification for the implied 'wisdom' that there is an advantage in having a veteran for a 'War President'?

And perhaps, if we diddled the record enough and ignored several historical facts, we could make this point advantageously.

But it STILL doesn't really seem to matter in the long run, does it?

Military Experience doesn't make a great War President; it doesn't even make a great President. Witness U.S. Grant, and D.D. Eisenhower. These two great Generals were total failures as peace-time presidents. Their skills were the ability to make war; they couldn't HANDLE Peace. (Eisenhower was more fortunate than Grant, in that the social problems he faced ... or ignored, as the case may be ... were less immediate and vital than those which Grant was unable to resolve.)

In the long run, the term 'ChickenHawk' doesn't seem to have any meaning at all. A Leader who faces the decision whether or not to declare, or fight, a war realizes NO advantage or disadvantage from either personal military experience or the lack of it.

The term 'ChickenHawk' isn't a meaningful description. It's a catch-phrase. It's a political device intended only to demean the qualification of a President to lead his country. Its sole purpose is to undermine the legitimacy of the incumbent president, and his staff, so that the party out of power can gain some small measure of political power by comparison.

It's a low, mean, underhanded bit of legerdemain, and the only purpose is to weaken the country which is the home of the people who use it.

I have no respect for the people who use this petty phraseology. They contribute nothing to the national survival, their only interest is to find political advantage at the expense of those who are trying to actually DO something to protect the country.

Mr. Bush's decisions may not be those which the Democratic Party would have chosen, but in the four-plus years since the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (and a lonely field in Pennsylvania) were subjected to airborne attacks by a bunch of insane fanatics, the Democrats have still failed to provide an agenda which is a feasible alternative to the Bush doctrine, which is:
Take the battle to our enemies, fight them on foreign soil, and if possible improve the lot of the people there who have suffered from non-democratic thuggery.

If a man who wants to protect our nation, and in doing so rid the world of thugs, can be so cavalierly labeled a 'ChickenHawk', then I will continue to vote for the ChickenHawk Candidate every time.

It works for me.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Chief Justice Warren Burger & RKBA

I remember driving through Oregon on secondary hiways, on my way to hunting grounds, and seeing wayside-billboards (often crudely painted) stating:

Impeach Justice Warren Burger!

(This is WAY after the "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards, which I understood had to do with his Civil Rights ... Brown vs Board of Education, and Row vs Wade ... leads. I understood that stuff, whether or not I agreed with them. Sometimes, I did!)

I never understood why anyone would want to impeach a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of America, until I read this article which he wrote in regards to:

The Right To Bear Arms

A distinguished citizen takes a stand on one of the most controversial issues in the nation

By Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States (1969-86)
Parade Magazine, January 14, 1990, page 4
With the benefit of 35 years of experience, and absolutely NO legal training, I think I'm prepared to discuss his concept of what the 2nd Amendment really means. Not what I think it means ... but only what HE thought it means>

Commencing now:

Our metropolitan centers, and some suburban communities of America, are setting new records for homicides by handguns. Many of our large centers have up to 10 times the murder rate of all of Western Europe. In 1988, there were 9000 handgun murders in America. Last year, Washington, D.C., alone had more than 400 homicides -- setting a new record for our capital.

Interestngly, Burger ignores the fact that DC forbids its citizenry to defend itself with firearms, a situation which was almost unique (except for Chicago and New York City) during this period .... and which, somehow, continues even now.

<>Of course, Great Britain hadn't yet adopted such draconian measures, which may explain the cmparison between DC and "Western Europe".
The Constitution of the United States, in its Second Amendment, guarantees a "right of the people to keep and bear arms." However, the meaning of this clause cannot be understood except by looking to the purpose, the setting and the objectives of the draftsmen. The first 10 amendments -- the Bill of Rights -- were not drafted at Philadelphia in 1787; that document came two years later than the Constitution. Most of the states already had bills of rights, but the Constitution might not have been ratified in 1788 if the states had not had assurances that a national Bill of Rights would soon be added.
This is all non-sequitor comments. There is a large body of original and supplemental commentary establishing the intent of the constitutional framers. Almost unanimously, these comentators voiced the opinion that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to provide for defense against an oppressive Federal Government ... a concept which conveiently (for his unstated agenda) is never here addressed by Burger.

People of that day were apprehensive about the new "monster" national government presented to them, ...
This apprehension is again seen today. Burger glosses over this original apprehension, and thus implicitly suggests that it is somehow reprehensible. His very words support, probably without noticing, that the apphrehension is justifiable.

... and this helps explain the language and purpose of the Second Amendment. A few lines after the First Amendment's guarantees -- against "establishment of religion," "free exercise" of religion, free speech and free press -- came a guarantee that grew out of the deep-seated fear of a "national" or "standing" army. The same First Congress that approved the right to keep and bear arms also limited the national army to 840 men;
Here, Burger is vague (actually, not forthcoming) about "the purpose of the Second Amendment." At this time he makes no obvious effort to define or interpret it. However, he subtly expands his hypothesises of a relationship between the 2nd amendment and fear of a "monster" government, although he resists the not-so-obvious attempt to define it here. It's just 'verbiage' at this point.

However, he manages to slip into the monologue the idea that a 'standing army' should consist of no more than 840 men.

Consider that at the time of the First Congress, the population of the United States was probably about (or less than) one millioon people. Currently, the population is in excess of 250 million. Extrapoplating arithmetically, the appropriate size of an American standing army must be assumed to be about 220,000.

My understanding is that there are about 140,000 troops in Iraq now, which leaves. 80,000 military not accounted for. Distribute that number among the military in Afghanistan, residential 'home guard' troops such as Coast Guard, Ready Reaction Troops, uncommitted Air Force, Marines, troops in training etc. and we can probably derive a Standing Army committment which is very much in excess of the 840 troops deemed necessary in 1779.

What has this to do with the Second Amendment?
Not much, except that Burger falaciously provides a NUMBER of active troops which on the face of it seems absurdly low compared to current staffing, and only SUGGESTS that it has a bearing on the 2nd amendment because of reasons which he presumably will later present.

Read on ....

Congress in the Second Amendment then provided:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
In the 1789 debate in Congress on James Madison's proposed Bill of Rights, Elbridge Gerry argued that a state militia was necessary:
"to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty ... Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia in order to raise and army upon their ruins."

We see that the need for a state militia was the predicate of the "right" guaranteed; in short, it was declared "necessary" in order to have a state military force to protect the security of the state. That Second Amendment clause must be read as though the word "because" was the opening word of the guarantee. Today, of course, the "state militia" serves a very different purpose. A huge national defense establishment has taken over the role of the militia of 200 years ago

Suddenly, Burger presents the "militia" as being a "state militia". He does not provide any justification for presuming that the terms are interchangeable, but he does encourage the reader to presume the equivalency. If one presumes that the "National Guard" is a "State Militia", and a "State Militia" is equivalant to a "Militia", many of his subsequent arguments may seem to be reasonable. However, he has failed to prove (or even to attempt to prove) the equivalency.

Some have exploited these ancient concerns, blurring sporting guns -- rifles, shotguns and even machine pistols -- with all firearms, including what are now called "Saturday night specials." There is, of course, a great difference between sporting guns and handguns. Some regulation of handguns has long been accepted as imperative; laws relating to "concealed weapons" are common. That we may be "over-regulated" in some areas of life has never held us back from more regulation of automobiles, airplanes, motorboats and "concealed weapons."


We need to become accustomed to undocumented, unwarranted (excuse the expression) assumptions, because this document is based on them. Here are some more;

Without always actually saying so; using nothing more than cleverly applied inuendo, Burger:

  • equates " ... rifles, shotguns and even machine pistols ..."
  • equates them with "Saturday night specials."
  • states unequivacably that handguns are not "sporting arms"
  • asserts that " Some regulation of handguns has long been accepted as imperative";
  • asserts the equivalencty between " ... automobiles, airplanes, motorboats and "concealed weapons.

Perhaps it should be mentioned here, for the first time (although surely not for the last time) that vehicles are both licensed and regulated, and their operators are licensed and regulated, because vehicle operation is commonly assumed to be "a privilege, not a right". In fact, this is specifically stated in the Motor Vehicle Handbooks of most states. On the other hand, posession of firearms as NEVER been identified as a 'privilege'; whenever referenced, it is considered to be a "right". This is probably the crux of the argument for both sides, because the sides of the Gun Control argument is most commonly defined as the diference between a 'privilege' ... which can be taken away capriciously by the stage ... and a 'right' ... which is constitutionally protected.

Let's look at the history.

First, many of the 3.5 million people living in the 13 original Colonies depended on wild game for food, and a good many of them required firearms for their defense from marauding Indians -- and later from the French and English.

Another non-sequitr, as the 2nd amendment has never been seriously defined as the right to hunt.

Underlying all these needs was an important concept that each able-bodied man in each of the 133 independent states had to help or defend his state.

No argument there.

Americans wanted no part of this. A state militia, like a rifle and powder horn, was as much a part of life as the automobile is today; pistols were largely for officers, aristocrats -- and dueling
This is an egrigious attempt to establish that there was no legitimate (or plebian) justification for possession of a 'pistol', which term doesn't mean the same thing today as it did then.

In the 18th century, a 'pistol' was a handgun. A firearm without an extended stock, and with a short barrel. The terms here are in themselves misleading because the 'pistol' of that era was typicallyl a single-shot 9per barrel) flintlock or percussion-cap firearm with an over-all length of from 18 inches to two feet.

The issue STILL isn't about possession of firearms, in Burger's worldview. He is attempting to fix the reader's mind in the understanding that "rifles are good; pistols are bad". If his argument was consistent, ALL firearms would be regulated by the State, not just 'pistols'.

Against this background, it was not surprising that the provision concerning firearms emerged in very simple terms with the significant predicate -- basing the right on the necessity for a "well regulated militia," a state army.

There is still no justification for equating a "well regulated militia" with " a state army."

In the two centuries since then -- with two world wars and some lesser ones -- it has become clear, sadly, that we have no choice but to maintain a standing national army while still maintaining a "militia" by way of the National Guard, which can be swiftly integrated into the national defense forces.

Burger's pont here seems to be, again, reinforcement of the equivalency of the term "militia" with "a state army": that is, the National Guard.

Americans also have a right to defend their homes, and we need not challenge that.

But this is precisely what Burger is doing all though this opinion.
Nor does anyone seriously question that the Constitution protects the right of hunters to own and keep sporting guns for hunting game any more than anyone would challenge the right to own and keep fishing rods and other equipment for fishing -- or to own automobiles. To "keep and bear arms" for hunting today is essentially a recreational activity and not an imperative of survival, as it was 200 years ago; "Saturday night specials" and machine guns are not recreational weapons and surely are as much in need of regulation as motor vehicles.
Again, the 2nd amendment does not, nor was it ever intended to, justify possession of firearms for the purpose of hunting. The terminology is never mentioned in the 2nd amendment. He extends his argument to equate hunting (without establishing that he is doing anything more than defending hunting) with fishing. Also, he continues to compare the ownership and usage of motor vehicles with the ownership and usage of firearms. The 2nd amendment is not about the right to hunt game; it is about ".... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms ...".

Americans should ask themselves a few questions. The Constitution does not mention automobiles or motorboats, but the right to keep and own an automobile is beyond question; equally beyond question is the power of the state to regulate the purchase or the transfer of such a vehicle and the right to license the vehicle and the driver with reasonable standards. In some places, even a bicycle must be registered, as must some household dogs.

Now he is not only comparing the right to keep an bear arms (which can only be revoked for felonious cause by a court) with the privilege of owning and operating a vehicle (which can be revoked for cause by a magistrate); he even equates it with the right to own a bicycle, or a dog!
Had this man so little regard for the rights of the citizenry, that he compares it to dogs? Apparently so!

If we are to stop this mindless homicidal carnage, is it unreasonable:

  1. to provide that, to acquire a firearm, an application be made reciting age, residence, employment and any prior criminal convictions?
  2. to required that this application lie on the table for 10 days (absent a showing for urgent need) before the license would be issued?
  3. that the transfer of a firearm be made essentially as with that of a motor vehicle?
  4. to have a "ballistic fingerprint" of the firearm made by the manufacturer and filed with the license record so that, if a bullet is found in a victim's body, law enforcement might be helped in finding the culprit? These are the kind of questions the American people must answer if we are to preserve the "domestic tranquillity" promised in the Constitution.
  1. Not necessarily, but the courts have consistently ruled in this vein since Burger's tenure.
  2. A 10-day waiting period is just something that Burger cooked up in his own fevered mind.
  3. Again, the right to own a firearm is not, and has never been, the same thing as the PRIVILEGE to own and operate a vehicl.
  4. We are seeing now that the concept of a "ballistic fingerprint", although it is the rant-de-jour for liberal gun-grabbers, is neither scientifically feasible nor econimically advantageous.

I very much regret that Warren Burger is dead.

We should have impeached the son of a bitch while we had the chance.


Can it be true?


Can Yahoo! News be ... pandering to prurient interests on it's World News website?

Please GAWD! Let it not be true!

Oh. Well, maybe.

Surfing the Internet tonite, we wandered through the "Most Popular" website and found the following tittilating (expression advised .... which means we really shouldn't but can't resist the temptation) selection of 'news' stories whose content ( and usually, photos ) belie the idea that Yahoo! News is really about NEWS?

(1) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez .... talks with people who were affected by flooding in Araira in Miranda state, about 50 km (31 miles) from Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, after floodwaters receded following a disaster that has left at least 15 people dead. (AP Photo/Miraflores, Marcelo Garcia)
Our dear friend Marcelo Garcia has managed to capture a poignant picure of Hugo speaking to a young Venezuelen (presumably) constituent who just HAPPENS to be nursing a child, and in the process just HAPPENS to have her left breast comfortably flopping out of her low-cut bright red dress.

Quick test: can you find Hugo Chavez in the picture? Time limit: 10 minutes. No cheating!
(2) Think Ink, Not Mink
In this photo supplied by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), tattoo-resplendent former NBA star Dennis Rodman appears completely nude in a celebrity anti-fur ad by PETA.The ad made its debut at New York Fashion Week.(AP Photo/PETA)
The ever-hot Dennis Rodman (the conservative spokesman for always-correct deportment) is featured here in PETA's continuing all-nude-all-the-time advertising campaign designed to ... what? Demonstrate the difference between humans and animals? You be the judge, if you dare.

Here's the good news: Our Hero Dennis is not REALLY nude. It appears that he has a generous selection of tatoos.
All .. over ... his ... body.

But don't forget the message?

"Be comfortable in your own skin, and let animals keep theirs!" --

Subtle, yet effective. We can say without fear of contradiction that this is one pelt we don't want to see displayed on OUR trophy wall!

(3) Christina Aguillera discusses her marital schedule with a convention-hall full of sweaty, overweight businessmen ... American pop star Christina Aguilera (news) has got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Jordan Bratman, People magazine reported on February 12, 2005. Aguilera acknowledges the applause at the end of her display for Dsquared2 Spring/Summer 2005 men's collections during Milan Fashion Week, June 29, 2004. (Daniele La Monaca/Reuters)
Here Yahoo! News has generously provided the opportunity to keep up to date on the question All America has been asking itself: how is Christina getting along with her boyfriend ... ol' WhatsHisName?
(WTF is a "Jordan Bratman?)

Pay no attention to the Boobs behind the Bustier.

(4) Will Smith completely forgets his marital status for just a moment, really ... Actor Will Smith (L) kisses a Brazilian Carnival reveler as actress Eva Mendes (R) looks on during the Carnival champion's parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, February 12, 2005. Carnival in Rio is famed as one of the world's greatest parties. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos
You can tell that Bruno and Reuters are terribly concerned that we all be aware that "Carnival in Rio" is famed as "one of the world's greatest parties."

We have no idea why. (Though we're certain it is newsworthy.)

Certainly it couldn't be because of the scantily clad "
Brazilian Carnival revelers".

"Pay no attention to the man behind the .. .er ... "
scantily clad Brazilian Carnival reveler".

(5) Actor Tom Sizemore Fails Drug Test with Fake Penis; he couldn't get a broad if he rented a billboard displaying full-frontal nudity. Church attendance soars while millions of Angeleans chant "Thank You JESUS for sparing us! NOW says: "There's nothing new here, men have been lying to us about their penis for years."
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Tom Sizemore has been jailed for violating his probation by failing a drug test after he was caught trying to use a prosthetic penis to fake the results, a Los Angeles County prosecutor said on Friday.

Sorry ... (NOT!) ... No pictures here. Just a 'news' article, obviously offered to help us common folk keep track of Poor Ol' Tom's continuing story of defending himself against governmental interference in a man's personal battle to defend himself against unreasonable judicial edicts to keep himself ... er ... "clean and sober".

Also, presumably, "straight".

Is this like a "blow-up" doll? Only, different?

Gawd, we hope nobody answers this question in the Comments!

(6) ... Male Genital Snow Sculpture Shocks Drivers! DNA tests prove that this is a "Whizzinator" product registered to Tom Sizemore.
GLEN AUBREY, N.Y. - An explicit six-foot-tall snow sculpture depicting male genitals in a yard on a rural road north of Binghamton had some drivers doing a double-take this week.
My, my, my. A "double-take".
One for each ... uh ... never mind.

Again, no pictures.
We're not saying that pictures aren't available, and we're not saying they are.
We're just saying, if pictures WERE available, you wouldn't find them here.
Because it's OUR blog, and we wouldn't have to link to them if they were, presumably, available.
(Surely even Yahoo! News has to draw the line somewhere.)

(7) ... Defaced Bush Face; I swear that this is not Tom Sizemore's missing "Whizzinator" ... Police look at a defaced poster of U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites), while environmental activists protest against Essso's alleged lobbying of the U.S. President to refuse to abide by the Kyoto Protocol (news - web sites). With the pact on climate change set to take effect, the Bush administration still rejects it as too costly for the US economy and based on questionable scientific hypotheses(AFP/File/Gerry Penny
Okay, just so this doesn't have to be ALL T&A All the time, here's an article which clearly doesn't appeal to Pruruent Interests.

Also, the AF" news source obviously doesn't have any political reason to provide a photo and accompanying caption which (a) makes the incumbent American President look like a dork, or (b) suggest that his decision not to ratify the Kyot0 Protocol is A Bad Thing.

(8) ... Just to show that Yahoo! News isn't All About T&A, or "Whizzinators" either! ... Goldie Hawn (news), right, and Kurt Russell arrive for the British Academy Film Awards in London Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005. (AP Photo/John D McHugh)
We guess there may be some female flesh in this picture; but trust us, this is an ugly picture and you do NOT want to go there!

That's a relief.

(9) ... Woman Denies Sherry Enema Charge .... HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas woman indicted last month for allegedly giving her husband a lethal sherry enema said he was an enema addict who did it to himself, a newspaper reported Thursday.

That's the way he went out and I'm sure that's the way he wanted to go out because he loved his enemas," she told the Houston Chronicle.

File this under "Shit We Would Really Rather Not Know About!"
Oops! Sorry.
We're pretty sure that this was not only an unfortunate choice of words, but also shit (oops!) we don't even want to THINK about !

We guess we were confused.

Our conclusion (based upon ... nothing much) is that Yahoo! News photo policy does not intend to present provocative photographs over bland, null-value captions for the express purpose of arousing prurient interest. This is a responsible news-oriented venture designed to tell us all about news which is ... well ... news.

How could we have been so wrong?