Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh No He Didn't Say That

Quote of the Day:

"I do have the luxury that I can be the last man to file if I choose to, and still have the name ID."

-- Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, commenting on a possible decision he is considering to run for Mayor of West Palm Beach.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Grope Me for Safety

The family's Thanksgiving consensus was that it's a-okay for the TSA to grope them and see them naked, because it will make them safer.

I refrained from pointing out that this is the same federal government most of them do not trust on the science of climate change and the same government they don't trust with grandma's health care. And yet they are willing to trust that same government to put its hands on their privates and to take naked pics of them. It's "Socialist Security!" Don't they realize?

When Grandma Texts

Texting isn't just for the young anymore. Senior citizens are texting each other increasingly. The meanings behind the common acronyms are slightly different, though. For example, when a senior texts that he has a "FWB" he doesn't mean "Friend With Benefits." It's "Friend With Betablockers." And ROFL has an extension: ROFL...CGU. Which means, "Rolling On The Floor Laughing...and Can't Get Up!"

More of these, where I got them, from Car Talk.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bike vs. Car

As someone who bikes to work on a regular basis, I constantly encounter the naked sense of entitlement that motorists have about "their" road. We cyclists are trespassing on their turf.

This was evident in a recent letter published in a "Dr. Gridlock" column in the WaPo. The writer was commenting on the story of a cyclist who complained about a car behind him on the service road along K street who honked her horn at him for five blocks. The letter writer wrote:

"Surely the cyclist must share some of the blame for not yielding the right of way to the motorist who was legally using the service road. The cyclists actions were not only selfish, but even dangerous." Emphasis added.

Did the car have the right of way?

Not necessarily. While the law calls for the cyclist to ride to the right in the lane, there are exceptions when the cyclist can move away from the side, spelled out in DC Municipal Regulations. These exceptions include when the lane is narrow (11 feet wide or less) or when necessary for the cyclists safety.

The service road along K street is narrow, though I don't know whether it is 11 feet wide or less. But I doubt there is enough room for a cyclist to maintain enough distance to protect him from getting "doored" (when someone in a parked car swings his door open in front of an oncoming cyclist) and for a car to safely pass.

There was no "right of way" for the car here. Just a sense of entitlement.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSA Smackdown

Two op-eds in today's WaPo take on the TSA.

George Will makes the point today that the TSA is "disproportionate:"

"But enough, already. Enough trivializing important values - e.g., air safety -
by monomaniacal attempts to maximize them. Disproportion is the common
denominator of almost all of life's absurdities. Automobile safety is important.
But attempting to maximize it would begin (but by no means end) with forbidding
left turns."

But if we outlaw left turns where would senior citizens drive to?

Kathleen Parker weighs in as well. She worries out the incremental giving up of rights:

"Incrementally, we adapt to the stripping of civil liberties until, with the
passage of time and the blinkering of generational memory, we no longer remember
when things were otherwise."

I'll add the voice of James Madison:

"Let [the people of the United States] exert the same wisdom in watching against every evil lurking under plausible disguises and growing up from small beginings."

Keeping us safe is certainly a "plausible" goal of government. And a lot has been done in the name of keeping us "safe." And without a doubt some of it, in Madison's word, "evil."

Friday, November 19, 2010

TSA Offers New Children's Book

First, They Came for the Bicycles

I missed this until now, but bikes were an issue in the recent gubernatorial race in Colorado:

"At a rally in Colorado, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes claimed that the pro-bike policies of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper are the results of a U.N. plot to 'rein in American cities.'...Maes...said programs such as bike sharing 'could be a threaten our personal freedoms.'" (Bicycling magazine, page 24).

Fortunately for socialist cyclists plotting the ruin of urban America, he lost to Hickenlooper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The DADT Debacle

I suppose I should be most pissed off at Sen. John McCain, but I take some comfort from the fact that he will be remembered by history for his craven bigotry.

But it's our "friends" who deserve the most of our ire, from Sen. Harry Reid for sabotaging the earlier effort to repeal DADT, to gay rights groups splitting over DADT repeal, to Barack Obama for never intending to do anything to advance gay equality, despite his promises, posturing and posing with gay advocates in the East Room.

This passage, from "The Promise," by Jonathan Alter, makes it clear that President Fierce Advocate never intended to do anything. At an transition meeting before the inauguration, Alter tells how Rahm Emanuel laid out the administrations priorities and instructed that there were to be "no distractions:"

"The 'no distractions' theme would be critical to shaping 2009. It meant that divisive issues requiring the approval of Congress like...repealing the ban on gays in the military would all be set aside temporarily while Democrats focused on Obama's first tier agenda." (Page 79)

Got that LGBT folk? We're a "distraction," and on the back burner. Gay equality? Sorry, the prez has more important things to do. He can't be bothered.

And now, with more Republicans in Congress, Obama will never get to this "second tier" or "third tier" or wherever we fall in importance on Obama's priority list.

I'm looking forward to the 2012 Democratic primaries.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Leaders We Deserve?

Here's one to watch.

Freshman Rep. Allen West (R-FL) has hired conservative talk show host Joyce Kaufman to be his chief of staff. She's notable for saying things like this about illegal immigrants:

"If you commit a crime while you're here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it."

And this (speaking about Allen West's family):

"I looked at this family and [told] myself, how do you not fight and put them up on the pedestal when we've got this garbage up on the pedestal now, people like Nancy Pelosi?"

This is all okay with the West campaign. Cut to the campaign manager, defending the choice of hiring Kaufman:

"What's been working in Washington has not been working," he said. "Things need to be different."

So, yeah. Let's murder immigrants who commit petty theft and name call anyone we disagree with politically. That should help things around here.

Please keep her away from Michelle Bachmann.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Post 2010 Election: Five Things that Aren't True

Seems to me the following are a list of things that aren't true, in the aftermath of the 2010 wave election:

  1. Republicans will shrink the budget deficit significantly
  2. The Democrats' losses can be explained by a failure to communicate their policy choices effectively
  3. Nancy Pelosi is a good choice for continued leadership in the Democratic party
  4. Obama will be a one-term president
  5. Keith Olberman was suspended because MSNBC is worried about appearing "biased"

Friday, November 05, 2010

Rapture: Timelapse of the American Southwest

Via Laughing Squid.

TimeScapes: Rapture from Tom Lowe @ Timescapes on Vimeo.

The President's India Trip

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Batshit Crazy) says the President is taking a 2,000 person "entourage" to India and that they are taking 870 rooms at the five-star Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. I guess they're doubling up -- with 2,000 people and 870 rooms that's 2.3 persons per room. I wonder who gets to bunk with Hillary? Wouldn't it be kind of fun to have your cell phone ring at 3 a.m. ?"Hillary, wake up! It's for you!"

Since the right is relying on "Internet sources" to spread this BS, I'll respond with a fact from Wikipedia:

The Taj has only 565 rooms.

3.5 people a room?