Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sympathy For The Devil

Afghan doctor stoned for examining female patient without chaperone | Fox News:
A doctor was reportedly thrown from a balcony and stoned by an angry mob in Afghanistan for treating a female patient in an examining room without a chaperone. It’s not clear whether Dr. Ajmeer Hashimi was killed or severely injured and sent out of Afghanistan for medical attention, Afghan officials told the New York Times.
The female patient is reportedly in good condition at a women’s shelter. The assault occurred in Sar-i-Pul, a government-held town in the northern part of Afghanistan.
There are conflicting reports on the incident, but the provincial police chief, Abdul Raouf Taj told the Times that local villagers stormed a private clinic when they heard the doctor was treating the woman-- a midwife named Mahboba-- alone in his exam room.
Police arrived to escort the doctor and patient out of the office but while the woman was protected from serious attack, Hashimi was thrown from a second-floor balcony into the outraged crowd below and stoned, according to Nabila Rahimi, a local legal affairs official.
In many parts of Afghanistan women are customarily not allowed to be examined by male doctors unless a close male family member is present. Stoning is the punishment for adultery under Shariah law.
Taj said there was no indication that the victims’ relationship was anything other than professional.
Personal background note:
When I was sixteen, I dated a 15 year-old girl named Sheryl.  We were driving up and down main street ("Dragging The Gut") in my Daddy's 1962 Plymouth (ugliest car since the 1949 Studebaker!) and talking, when I mentioned something about "everybody has the right to go to hell in their own handbasket".

She shrilled:  "ARE you telling me to go to Hell!?"

She was just 15, I was 16, and I already knew there was no good answer to that question.

Two minutes later she told me she was dating another boy, George, who was driving his daddy's 1963 Plymouth (much prettier) and that she wanted me to marry her, because George had said he wanted to marry her but she liked me better.

I quite distinctly recall thinking at that moment:   WHY AM I HERE?

I took Sheryl home, and never saw here again.  (I later learned that she married George and they typically celebrated Saturday Nights by loud drunken fights, which sometimes included Sheryl throwing knives at George while he cowered behind a cutting board.)

George is, as far as I know, still trying to help Sheryl get over her Bi-Polar tendencies.

Psychologists call that "being an enabler".

Now, I just read this article about an Afghan being stoned for trying to help a patient.  I'm thinking about culture, you see, and how the culture that I consider reasonable isn't always shared by others, no matter how charming or friendly they may seem "most of the time some of the time when it suits their purpose".

I'm thinking about the American men and women serving their country in Afghanistan, and I realized I have the same question I first had in 1962:


They are crazy people, they are offended if anyone calls them on their insanity, and the more we try to support them, the more they feel justified in treating us as if we are interlopers.

I was lucky that I got out of Sheryl's life early.  We've been in Afghan for how long?  And we're still trying to be "helpful"?

Psychologists call that "being an enabler".
Maybe we should just call it "being useful idiots".

They have an app for WHAT?

Durex creates vibrating underwear you can control via smartphone apps | VentureBeat:
Set aside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s offer to reinvent the condom; Durex is conducting its own research and development — for underwear. 
The condom manufacturer unveiled its new “Fundawear” product yesterday, which is basically a set of undergarments (bras, panties, briefs, and such) that will vibrate whenever your partner decides you need some sexual attention. 
Oh, and you can control it from your smartphone — this sort of brings new meaning to the definition of “phone sex.” According to the demo video, the vibration sensors are supposed to mimic real human touch. You use the smartphone app to specify the portions of your partners body you’d like to stimulate, which are represented through circles on those body parts. When you touch those circles, it activates the underwear’s vibration sensors.

That does it: I'm turning in my new smartphone next week!

In the meantime, my phone number is ......

Cleveland police 137 rounds COF score: "2 mikes, 2 mikes ..."

Cleveland police punish 12 officers in deadly chase that ended in 137 rounds of gunfire | Fox News:

Cleveland police fired a sergeant and meted out demotions and suspensions Tuesday for a car chase last year that involved five dozen cruisers, 137 rounds of ammunition fired by 13 officers, and the death of two people who, it turned out, were probably unarmed.

A captain and lieutenant were demoted, and nine sergeants got suspensions ranging from one day to 30 days. They and the fired sergeant will appeal their punishment, according to Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8, which represents police supervisors.

Dozens of cruisers became involved in the chase without permission from superiors and with little direction, according to a state report released earlier in the year. The episode damaged the department's relationship with residents and must be repaired, Chief Michael McGrath said at a news conference Tuesday.
Wow!  That sounds .... well, actually it sounds terribly familiar.

But first, more info on THIS story:

...  13 officers who fired their weapons as the chase ended in a blocked-off school parking lot in East Cleveland face a county grand jury investigating possible criminal wrongdoing.

The chase began around 10:30 p.m. when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding by the police and courts complex in downtown Cleveland. A parking lot attendant thought it might have been a car backfire, a theory endorsed by the driver's family.
The officer jumped into his patrol car, made a U-turn and radioed for help.
The chase went through crowded residential neighborhoods, then reversed course, headed east onto busy Interstate 90 and through parts of Cleveland, and eventually into East Cleveland.

Then the gunfire erupted, 137 rounds. Driver Timothy Russell, 43, was shot 23 times and passenger Malissa Williams, 30, was shot 24 times.
The union has said the shootings were justified because the driver tried to ram an officer. No weapon or shell casings were found in the fleeing car.
Of the 276 officers on duty that evening, 104 were involved in some way in the chase. Sixty police cars were involved.
So let me see if I understand this:

In Cleveland (the city where both the river and the mayor's hair both caught fire in the 1980's) .. a cop THOUGHT he heard a shot, chased a fire and called for backup.  A total of 104 cops in 60 cop cars were involved.  "... 13 officers who fired their weapons as the chase ended in a blocked-off school parking lot in East Cleveland face a county grand jury investigating possible criminal wrongdoing."
Because both people in the car were killed: not just the driver who reportedly 'tried to ram an officer', but also the passenger who was obviously not involved in that reported assault on a police officer.  (She suffered one more hit than the Driver, apparently in the ".. and one to grow on ..." spirit of a Birthday Spanking; or maybe she just had her seat belt fastened and didn't fall down fast enough?)
Then the gunfire erupted, 137 rounds. Driver Timothy Russell, 43, was shot 23 times and passenger Malissa Williams, 30, was shot 24 times.
The union has said the shootings were justified because the driver tried to ram an officer. No weapon or shell casings were found in the fleeing car.
Emphasis added.  As if the police were not sufficiently emphatic.

Sounds a lot like  "Bonnie and Clyde" to me. 

Do the math: 23 + 24 =47 hits out of 137 shots fired .... all by the police, who were not under fire.
(What happened to the other 90 rounds?)

I'm afraid I cannot stand in support of Cleveland's "Boys in Blue";  I think these boys need to grow up before they swagger down the mean streets of Cleveland wearing a badge and a gun.

But wait ... there's more!

I said this sounded familiar, so I searched my own blog using the search argument "blue on blue", and I found this article I wrote in May 15, 2005:

That described a similar police debacle in which we reported:

On May 9, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) in Compton attempted to shoot Moby Dick (a white SUV) which had been chased "at speeds approaching 35 mph", driven by a man who they considered a suspect in an earlier drive-by shooting. When the SUV appeared to be menacing the 10 patrolmen, they fired as many as 120 handgun rounds (according to early reports) at the Evil SUV. The results were:
  • the SUV was well and thoroughly ventilated.
  • the driver of the SUV was hit four times, in 'the extremities' (hand, arm, shoulder)
  • One deputy was hit by a bullet and knocked down; fortunately the bullet failed to penetrate his bullet-proof vest
  • several rounds hit houses in the immediate vicinity
  • Neighborhood residents stated "it sounded like a war!"
  • An investigation is being conducted to determine whether the police over-reacted.

That article was quickly  followed up on June 9, 2005 in an article called:

(.... a follow-up on the earlier article, see 120 rounds)
1:56 p.m. June 9, 2005
COMPTON – The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will discipline 13 deputies for firing about 120 shots at an unarmed driver here last month, Sheriff Lee Baca announced Thursday. One deputy will be suspended for 15 days, others will be off duty for lesser periods and some will receive written reprimands, Baca said at a news conference at Compton City Hall.
The sheriff also praised the deputies, saying they "are dedicated and have great passion and concern for the people of Compton."
The announcement drew a mixed reaction.
Activist Morris Griffin hugged Baca after the news conference. "We never expected the police to police themselves," Griffin said.
But Lolitha Jones, who held a sign protesting the shooting, said deputies should have faced tougher measures.
"An ordinary citizen going down the street on a rampage like that would have gone straight to jail," she said.
Winston Hayes, 44, and a deputy were wounded in the May 9 shooting, which was captured on videotape. Deputies opened fire as Hayes's sport utility vehicle lurched forward and struck a patrol car. That followed a brief pursuit of Hayes, who deputies suspected of involvement in a previous shooting. It was later determined that he was not involved in the attack.
Hayes was hospitalized for about two weeks after being hit by four bullets and now faces charges of evading police and driving under the influence of drugs.
The deputy was hit by a round but only bruised.
The shooting spurred anger in the community, where bullets smashed through windows and hit house walls. Some deputies held a news conference to apologize.

Do we see a trend here?

When a lone gunman enters a shopping mall and shoots a couple of people, we call it a "Massacre" and immediately begin to propose new Gun Control Legislation.  There is no need for anyone to own a pistol;   if you feel you are in danger, just call the police.  They are trained law-enforcement officials and they alone can be trusted to responsibly carry a firearm.

You, the private citizen, would not have the training and experience to responsible carry a firearm.  If anything, you would probably panic in ... like ... a "Road Rage" citizen and end up shooting innocent people whose only crime was bad driving!

The evidence is clear: only policemen can be expected to responsibly carry a firearm ...

Unless they are gathered in groups of 13 or more.

Friday, June 14, 2013

... In my GOOGLE-full Balloon

Google launches Internet-beaming balloons | General Headlines | Comcast:
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) —
Wrinkled and skinny at first, the translucent, jellyfish-shaped balloons that Google released this week from a frozen field in the heart of New Zealand's South Island hardened into shiny pumpkins as they rose into the blue winter skies above Lake Tekapo, passing the first big test of a lofty goal to get the entire planet online. 

 It was the culmination of 18 months' work on what Google calls Project Loon, in recognition of how whacky the idea may sound. Developed in the secretive X lab that came up with a driverless car and web-surfing eyeglasses, the flimsy helium-filled inflatables beam the Internet down to earth as they sail past on the wind. 

 Still in their experimental stage, the balloons were the first of thousands that Google's leaders eventually hope to launch 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the stratosphere in order to bridge the gaping digital divide between the world's 4.8 billion unwired people and their 2.2 billion plugged-in counterparts. 

 If successful, the technology might allow countries to leapfrog the expense of laying fiber cable, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.
 It may never replace Cable Connections, and who knows what the data transfer speed is, but ...
WOW!  What a concept!

Cable Internet connections are expensive even if we live in a major metropolitan area.  But if you are a sheep-herder in New Zealand (for example), that's an option which may not be available.

Now Internet Giant GOOGLE is experimenting with a way to bring internet connectivity to the mosr remote regions on earth.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  It rather depends on how many Pigmy Bantus establish Facebook pages, I guess.

One thing is for sure .. even though it's a "concept project", nobody will be able to say that it will never get off the ground.

Step aside, Wright Brothers; you've just been pwned.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Roll Call Vote: UN Treaty on Small Arms Limitations

U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote:

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress - 1st Session as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate Vote Summary Question:
On the Amendment (Inhofe Amdt. No. 139 )
Vote Number: 91 Vote Date: March 23, 2013, 04:30 AM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result:
Amendment Agreed to Amendment Number: S.Amdt. 139 to S.Con.Res. 8 (No short title on file)

Statement of Purpose: To uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Vote Counts: YEAs 53 NAYs 46 Not Voting 1
The motion was defeated: 46 senators voted to undermine the Second Amendment.   Curiously, the single non-voting vote was Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ).

Here's the list of (46) senators who voted AGAINST supporting the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (from this view of the vote):

Baldwin (D-WI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cowan (D-MA)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hirono (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Please note that these are ALL Democratic senators, with the exception of the two Independent senators.

On the other hand, these are the 53 (majority) senators to voted FOR the Second Amendment:

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Begich (D-AK)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Ignoring the fact that both of my Oregon (democratic) senators voted on the wrong side ... well, I never voted for THEM, so why should they vote for MY rights ... I don't see ANY Independent votes on the AYE side.

Which is to say, if you support the Constitution the Independents are not your friends.

It was almost a straight-up party vote, in that no Republicans voted against the Constitution.  Curiously, however, there were a few Democrats who also voted to support the Constitution.

This data is almost three months out of date. But this is the first time I have seen the actual detail results.

(NOTE: although I have recently castigate ex-Representative Ron Paul (R-Tx) for his ludicrous public statements,  I note that Rand Paul (Junior senator from Kentucky) voted FOR the Constitution.)

Ron Paul: Fear Snowden Could Be Target of Drone Assassination

Ron Paul: Fear Snowden Could Be Target of Drone Assassination:

Former GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul insisted on Tuesday that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is not a traitor, but he fears the U.S. government may send drones or a cruise missile to kill the 29-year-old, who has fled the United States. “I don’t think for a minute that he’s a traitor,” Paul told Fox Business’ Melissa Francis.

This is the most stupid public statement I have ever seen!

Well, outside of The Usual Suspects in the democratic party ... but we've come to expect stupid public statements from them

For the record, I never voted for Ron Paul and I most assuredly never well vote for him now.

There's an old adage about the way to evaluate military officers, which compares the virtues/faults of "Incompetent" or "Competent" versus "Lazy" or "Energetic"..

Here's how it goes, generally:

Competent/Energetic:  Fine officer; promote frequently as he is an asset to be encouraged.

Competent/Lazy: An average officer who won't be of great use, but won't do much harm, either; allow him to progress to his limitations and retire at at a low rank.

Incompetent/Lazy: Absolutely worthless, but he's too lazy to do much harm.  If you can find a place for him, fine.  If not .. that's fine also.

Incompetent/Energetic: A danger to his men, his unit, and his country.  He will attempt the most unreasonable alterations to the unit and will not stop until everyone dies.  Get rid of this officer at your earliest opportunity.

That's an oversimplification, and you should go to the link to examine a more thorough (and well-written) evaluation.

I think Ron Paul has just transitioned from "Competent/Lazy" to "Incompetent/Energetic".  Perhaps he has always fit in this category, but he hasn't made the effort to show his true colors until now.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Google opposes NSA requests for information

(This link may not be available to all users.)

Google has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and also to FBI Directer Mueller ... asking for permission to be able to publicize  National Security Requests that Google gets.    Google in the letter saying that "... assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests give the U.S. Government unfettered access to our users' data ... are simply untrue.  ..... we therefore ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our transparency report aggregate numbers of National Security requests including FISA (?) disclosures in terms of numbers received and their scope."

Either scripts and active content are not permitted to run or Adobe Flash Player version10.0.0 or greater is not installed.

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Following immediately (as it does) on the tail of my last commentary, I find it interesting that the communications magnates which have been tapped by the Federal Government to provide data on their customer contacts has generated public concern on this, at least the first Internet Provider who is anxious to cry: "Hey!  It's not US, it's THEM!" At least, there are some places you can go finger-pointing:


ACLU sues Obama administration over NSA surveillance

National Security Agency surveillance programs came under more scrutiny Tuesday as the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit and a prominent senator and Internet giant Google called on the Obama administration to disclose more information.
In its lawsuit, the ACLU said an NSA program that harvests phone calls violates the rights of all Americans.
"The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy," said Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU's deputy legal director.

 The ACLU is a "Croquet Balls to Prison Walls" legal defense group which takes its defense of Civil Liberties (read: "The Constitution") to extreme measures.  You probably don't always agree with them, but sooner or later they're going to say something which you (perhaps reluctantly) agree with.   They piss me off frequently with their civil action suits, but I have a sneaking admiration for them all the time, even when I don't like their assumed position in interpreting the Constitution.  They are the ONE group in the world which is NEVER going to ignore the foundation of civil law in America.

So when they talk .. it's the fool who doesn't at least listen to what they say, and think carefully, before he goes ahead and curses them "anyway".

The article continues:
... Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters she has asked Gen. Keith Alexander — the head of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command — to declassify more information about its phone and Internet surveillance programs.
The goal is "so that we can talk about them, because I think they're really helpful," she said.
 Even Di-Fi has her moments ... which proves the adage that the wise man can even learn from fools.

In its lawsuit — which deals just with the phone call program — the ACLU said that the NSA collection system violates rights of free speech and privacy. The ACLU noted it is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, the recipient of a secret court order published by The Guardian last week. The order requires Verizon to turn over all phone call details, including who places them, who receives them and when and where they are made.
"The crux of the government's justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone's data now and ask questions later," said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU's National Security Project. 
[emphasis added]

I don't know if they're right, or if they're wrong.  All I know is that there is someone asking questions, and they have the weight to demand that the Federal Government not arbitrarily dismiss their questions.

If the ACLU never performs another public service, it is sufficient in that it has called for an  accounting of the acts of our Federal Government, and they will not be ignored.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Where's the Treason, John?

John Bolton to Newsmax: Snowden Traitor Who 'Committed Act of War Against United States':
Edward Snowden is a "traitor" who has "committed an act of war against the United States," former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax. The self-confessed leaker of top-secret documents detailing the National Security Agency's phone- and Internet-surveillance programs is a "deceitful and dishonest man" who violated oaths he undertook to keep secret classified information about a program approved by all three branches of the government to protect Americans, Bolton added. 

 "Treason is the only crime defined in the Constitution and it talks about waging war against the United States -- which this is -- and giving aid and comfort to our enemies, and God knows they've gotten a lot of aid and comfort from this release," Bolton said in the interview with Newsmax TV. "Let me ask, who died and made him king? Who gave him the authority to endanger 300 million Americans? That's not the way it works, and if he thinks he can get away with that, he's got another think coming."
As much as I admire the work of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations, he has spoken too emotionally, and too precipitously ... before he was in possession of the facts.

My information is that this information on NSA access to 'communications records' was published in WIRE Magazine in the March issue (2012 or 2013?).

The only thing that SNOWDEN did was to make the information about NSA DataMining more widely publicized ... and nobody can deny that he accomplished that goal.

(Edward Snowden self-outed last weekend.  There is some speculation that, since he made his announcement from Hong Kong, he "may be under Chinese control".)

Since the essentials of the information had already been published,  Snowden offered neither comfort nor aid to the enemy.   What he DID, however, is to violate a Confidentiality Agreement which he signed.  For this he will probably be prosecuted, and rightly so.

He violated a contract, he broke a federal law, and he made a public spectacle of himself.  (Depending on your own personal political views, he may have also made a public hero of him self:  See "The Pentagon Papers" the outing of which made Daniel Ellsberg into a similar icon of either "courage of convictions"  or "cowardly treason" opinions.)

We're all aware of the famous Franklin opion:

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Whether Snowden (or for that matter, Ellsberg ... but as a Vietnam Veteran I will NOT go there!) are dupes or fools, heroes or villains, I'm not prepared to defend my own opinion.

 I recall spending a great deal of time during my college days (1964 -1968) discussing the thesis: "MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG!" 

I argued against the thesis.  I thought that my country should always be right, and if my country was wrong, we should try to be better.  But I still chose to go to Viet Nam in 1969, rather than go to Canada in 1968.  Even though I may not agree with "my government", it's still "my country".

I still would prefer that my country be right, all the time; I'm aware that my country is always populated and led by fallible sinners, and will from time to time do wrong.   We "live in interesting times", our challenges are exceptional,  and we are lead by a man who promised "the Most Transparent" administration. 

It would appear that Mr. Obama is being held to his promise.
At least, I hope so.

[Columnist Mark Thiessen insists in  a video interview that the data mining only connects "known terrorists from outside the United States" with people he connects with ... which allows NSA to track contacts to find other terrorists.  It's confusing to me, but I accept that they are not actually, for example, examining the CONTENT of your emails.  His protestations are that this "... should not outrage anybody ...", but it's not clear why, if this data mining process is so innocuous, the government would have major objections to announcing that it is occurring.]

For an interesting read, also SEE HERE.

Sunday, June 09, 2013


The Real Erin Brockovich Busted for Boating While Intoxicated | Celebrity Cutous:

Though lots of attention followed her after she inspired the hit 2000 movie, Erin Brockovich may be cursing fame as we now know about her boating while intoxicated arrest on Friday (June 7). After clumsily trying to dock her boat at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor in Lake Mead, Nevada, the environmental activist was taken into custody. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, she failed a sobriety test and blew “significantly” higher than the legal limit of .08 on the breathalyzer. Posting $1,000 bail, Ms. Brockovich was released from jail. Back in 2001, Julia Roberts won a Best Actress Oscar for portraying the fiery legal assistant and single mother.
 BUI .. Boating While Intoxicated

I don't know much about "celebrities" (except that they are sometimes dispicable people with duct-tape personalities and political views which disagree with mine), but it kinda drifts into my head that the life of a Celebrity is not an entire bed of roses.

Poor sweet them, the eyes of the world are upon them.

Rather than to give a rant about how her lawsuit against PGE may perhaps not been entirely justified,  I merely offer the suggestion that being a "Celebrity" is not all it's cracked up to be.

And also ... Sunday is often a "Slow News Day".

Could be worse; she could have been abducted by a UFO and subjected to unspeakable abuse.

Well ... Sunday isn't over yet.  It could happen.


The High Price of Gun Control in Colorado

Recall looms for Colorado lawmaker who supported gun control bill | Fox News:
A group of gun-rights activists seeking to oust a top Democratic state lawmaker in Colorado over the passage of strict gun control legislation on Monday turned in double the signatures needed to force a recall election. KDVR reports the group turned in over 16,000 signatures, more than double the 7,178 valid signatures needed, to the Colorado Secretary of State's office in the effort to recall Colorado Senate President John Morse.
 “This sends a strong message,” Rob Harris, who delivered three boxes full of petitions to the office, told KDVR. “We’ve obtained enough signatures to recall a state legislator for the first time in the history of Colorado.” 
The Secretary of State’s office now has 15 days to determine whether enough of the signatures are valid, and then Morse's office has another 15 days to contest the validity of the signatures. Morse tells KDVR he is going to fight the recall effort.
 Let's recap.

Colorado .. which is, after all, a "Western" state, has recently enacted strict gun-control laws against the wishes of a significant percentage of its citizens (leaving out Boulder and Denver which one understands to be bastions of liberal think-speak).

Denver being the capital, and Boulder being .. well, Boulder.  These are two of the biggest three cities in Colorado.

And in Colorado, when you've got two of the three major cities watching your back, you've got most of the liberal population on your side.  Which is to say ... Democrats and Welfare Recipients.

State Senate President Morse is confident, if not complacent.  According to KDVR TV in Denver, Morse intends to challenge the recall proposal:
“We’ll go through these signatures with a fine-toothed comb,” Morse told FOX31 Denver Monday afternoon. “And we’ll file some protests with the Secretary of State’s office because we know a lot of these signatures were gathered based on misinformation and lies.”
“This is a hill worth dying on,” Morse said. “This is a fight worth having; it’s a fight we’ve already had on the floor of the Senate; it’s a fight worth winning.”
 Yes .. well ....

Apparently the Democratic State Senate Leader intends to fight the recall on the basis of the legitimacy of the petition signers, rather than on the merits of the measure which lead to this unique citizen's rebellion.   It's important to recognize the unique character of Colorado voters, who have never before become so outraged at a state law that they have made the effort to remove from the senatorial throne the man who is the leader of the state senate, if not the author of the bill.

To this writer, Morse's determination to examine the petition signatures rather than his own obligation to his constituency is typical of the hubris which characterizes politicians who know best what is right for the citizens of his state.    That is to say ... they know what's right, even if the hoi-polloi are too stupid to know what's good for them.

They forget that they are essentially a rural state.  T

The United States House of representatives is based on geographic and population demographics, which makes a farmer easily as important as a welfare recipient;  unlike the U.S. Senate, which accords two senators to each state (making them more attuned to population centers ... major cities .. where the votes are).

State senates tend to be a product of gerrymandering, which allows the senator from a population center to be MORE powerful than a U.S. Representative from a rural counties, in terms of real power on purely state legislation.  And Morse is a product of that political background:  Think ... Tammany Hall, and the Pendergast influence on Western Missouri in the early 1950's.

So, a State Senator in a Rural State may tend to reflect the interests of population centers ... which is  not necessarily the interests of the majority of the "wealth-producing" population of the state.  This is especially true of the 'more powerful' State Senators, such as the President of the Senate.

We can extrapolate (with a bit of finger-puppet magic) the politics of the rural population of Colorado by looking at the web blog of Michael Bane, who has been (a) an influential citizen of Colorado, living in a rural region, for the past then years, and (b) an outspoken opponent to these gun laws for the past few months.

Even though the country mice (to mix metaphors) have a political bent much different from the city mice .. they have not the power to influence events in the State Senate.

As this writer lives in a similarly Democratic state (with conservative rural population) for several decades, this dichotomy is not difficult to understand.   The Grasshoppers (even more mixed metaphors) in The City elect the leading politicians while living on the welfare bread-and-circuses, and the Ants in the rest of the state support them financially.  If not politically.

Getting back to the Colorado Political scene, my guess is that Morse will retain his position after slandering the majority of the Colorado Ants  (The Country Mice) in petition challenges.

And the Grasshoppers (who have no concept of citizenship) will cheer in support of The Golden Rule:

"He who has the Gold, gets to make the Rules".

And that's just the way it is.

New York Times Disses Prez: Nation shocked, SHOCKED!

New York Times editorial board says administration has 'lost all credibility' | Fox News:

The New York Times editorial board, which twice endorsed President Obama and has championed many planks of his agenda, on Thursday turned on the president over the government's mass collection of phone data -- saying the administration has "lost all credibility." 
The grey lady's editorial section lately has shown frustration with the administration's civil liberties record. It has criticized the escalation of the lethal drone program, and it lashed out after the Justice Department acknowledged seizing reporters' phone records last month. 

The report that the National Security Agency has been collecting phone records from millions of Verizon subscribers appeared to be the last straw.

An editorial published late Thursday said the administration was using the "same platitude" it uses in every case of overreach -- that "terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us." 

The editorial continued: "Those reassurances have never been persuasive -- whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency's phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism -- especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility." 
The New York Times, overnight, amended the last line to say: "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue." 
The editorial board claimed Obama "is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it." 
[emphasis added]
Well, I wanna tell ya, Pilgrim -- the day the Old Grey Lady claims a socialist president has lost credibility is darn sure big news to this cowboy.
This announcement is tantamount to a 50-year-old hooker who decides that street-walking is NOT a good way to pay the rent on her brownstone when she discovers that she caught a social disease. 

We already knew she was a whore, but we never expected her to admit it ... let alone turn her back< on her best client. (Umm ... sorry; an unfortunate choice of words.)