June 2005 Archives

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June 30, 2005
Random Observation #5

You know how they say, with regard to alcohol consumption, not to mix grape and grain?

Well, for coffee consumption, I'd advise that you not mix nut and berry flavored syrups.

Trust me on this one.

Posted by Russ at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)
June 29, 2005
Quote of the Day
We’ve all heard about how great living constitutions are. The most extreme, but essentially representative, version of this "philosophy" can be found from the likes of Mary Frances Berry or the Los Angeles Times’s Robert Scheer. They matter-of-factly claim that without a "living" constitution, slavery and other such evils would still be constitutional. This is what leading constitutional legal theorists call "stupid."

Jonah Goldberg, in "Better Off Dead":

He then goes on to explain why a "living Constitution" is antithetical to the Rule of Law. Read the whole thing.

Reminder: I'd be an ideal Supreme Court justice.

Posted by Russ at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)
June 28, 2005
Poetic Justice

If you look up "irony" in any dictionary available today, you'll find a definition something like this:

3 a (1) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result

If you look it up in dictionaries of the future, there will be an addendum:

Press Release

For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Justice doesn't have to actually rhyme to be poetic.

(Via the Llama Butchers.)
(And a whole host of others. )

Posted by Russ at 07:09 PM
Getting Out

Dusty John at Castle Argghhh! has a link to the Ted Kennedy Plan To Get Out Of Iraq.

As for me, I'm just surprised Teddy is still alive. As I noted in a comment on another site, the fact that he has not yet shuffled off this mortal coil is a strong testament to the preservative power of alcohol.

[Attribution of the linked post has been repaired. Sorry, John.]

Posted by Russ at 06:21 PM | Comments (2)

If you blog and haven't yet taken the MIT survey, click the image:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Posted by Russ at 05:26 PM
Another Test

Move along....

Posted by Russ at 04:10 PM | Comments (1)

Just a test... nothing to see here.

Posted by Russ at 03:16 PM
June 27, 2005
El Supremo

With the anticipated retirement of one or two Supreme Court justices, the discussion this week is naturally revolving around who Bush will nominate to fill the expected vacancy or vacancies.

I know the perfect candidate for the bench, one whose name has not come up in any previous discussion, yet one who nevertheless is perfectly qualified to be on the Court.


Yes, me. No, I'm not a lawyer, but... so what? There is no requirement that a Supreme Court justice be a lawyer. Indeed, I think having someone on the bench who is not a lawyer would be a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Which still doesn't answer the question, what makes me think I am qualified to sit on the Supreme Court? Two things, really.

   • I have a copy of the Constitution and the Amendments.
   • I can read plain English.

The Constitution was written in plain (but obviously literate) English, and was meant to be understood not only by the comparatively small number of people who have been to law school, but by all of "We the people."

"Make no law" and "shall not be infringed" are supposed to mean exactly what they say.

Two supplementary facts might be mentioned as well:

   • I have a dictionary to help me with the big words, but
   • There are no big words in the Constitution. The biggest words I can find in a quick scan of the Constitution are "representatives," "representation" and "ratification." Maybe there's a bigger word in there, but whatever it is, I'll bet I know its meaning without having to look it up.

My "judicial philosophy" can be summed up as:

   • If the Constitution doesn't address it, neither should the Federal courts.
   • The actual written words and plain meaning of the Constitution and the law always trump "nuance" and "precedent."
   • Scotty couldn't change the laws of physics; judges shouldn't try it, either — pi will never equal 3.
   • The Constitution was written by Americans for Americans. Foreign influences have no place in American jurisprudence.
   • Opinion polls are no basis for interpreting law.

Obviously, my nomination wouldn't stand a chance.

[Yo, Rusty - I got yer fatwa right here.]

Posted by Russ at 11:22 AM | Comments (2)
June 24, 2005
Death Watch

I am fairly certain the cat, Mycah, is trying to kill me.

Her methods mainly consist of attempts to break my neck by tripping me as I go down the stairs, exsanguination via repeatedly clawing at my leg (said activity cleverly disguised as an effort to obtain cat treats), and asphyxiation through the use of wads of cat hair.

Occasionally she tries weapons. Here, she has been photographed waiting — weapon close at hand paw — for me to come through the front door:


Note to the authorities: If I should happen to be found lifeless in my home, the cat did it.

She hardly looks the type, does she?


Posted by Russ at 04:29 PM | Comments (3)
June 23, 2005
Aslan Lives!

I thought I had found this at Absinthe & Cookies, but now I don't see it there.... Oh, well. From FoxNews:

Lions Save African Girl From Abductors

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and beaten by men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently had chased off her captors, a policeman said Tuesday.

My first thought on seeing the story was "Aslan lives!"

That this thought occurred to me is almost certainly the result of having seen one of the previews shown before the movie I saw last week. Said preview was, of course, for the upcoming The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

It looks absolutely, stunningly, incredibly good.

Granted, previews are supposed to put the best possible face on the movie they advertise, but if the highlights are anything whatsoever to go by, LW&W has the potential to make the Lord of the Rings trilogy look like a crap sandwich... and I say this as a guy who thinks LOTR is one of the finest things ever recorded on film.

I rarely go out to the movies anymore, despite the fact that I actually like going to movies. More specifically, I like going movies that interest me for one reason or another, which might explain why I so rarely go. For instance, Revenge of the Sith was the first movie I've gone to see since last October.

It surely won't be another eight or nine months before I go to the next. LW&W is due to hit theaters in early December.

Posted by Russ at 07:58 PM | Comments (1)
Private, Schmivate

Our rulers in robes, the Supreme Court of the United States, having just effectively destroyed the right to private property, must be overruled.

The President should get out in public — now — and propose legislation to protect property owners from legalized theft eminent domain seizures designed to benefit private parties. This is a Federal civil rights issue at least as important as the right to free speech.

This assumes, of course, that the Legislative and Executive branches are actually co-equal to the Judicial branch, in practice as well as in theory.

Mighty big assumption, that.

I wonder now how long it will be until the Tree of Liberty gets the watering that it apparently needs? I think that sad day has come more than just a little bit closer.

Update: via a commenter at Wizbang!, a reminder of this quote from the Hildebeast:

"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
— Hillary Clinton addressing a San Francisco Democratic Fund Raiser on June 28th, 2004.

Doesn't seem so far-fetched now, does it?

Update, 3:42pm: Shep Smith on FoxNews just now, at the end of a story on this abominable ruling, closed the item with the line "Molly Henneburg, reporting live from Havana... I mean, uh, Washington." Make of it what you will.

Posted by Russ at 02:31 PM | Comments (5)
A Load of Sith

I finally broke down last week and saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. There's no need for me to review it, as such — plenty of folks already have done so.

I will say that I thought the script was pretty thin — like butter scraped over too much bread, so to speak — but given that script, the movie came out all right. It was better then I expected, though it lacked the one thing that would have redeemed all of Lucas' previous errors: the very public, very graphic dismemberment of Jar-Jar Binks.

Mee-sa still sooOOoo bloody annoyed.

I'm sure I'll have further reflections and commentary later.

Posted by Russ at 11:48 AM | Comments (1)
June 22, 2005
Quote of the Day
Hitler is supposed to define the outer limits of evil, not the lowest threshold. Something can be very, very bad and be far "better" than the Holocaust.

The mere fact that Durbin and his fans don't understand this is no reason to excuse it.

Jonah Goldberg, in Nazis Über Alles

Posted by Russ at 12:50 PM
June 20, 2005
Does Not (Cannot) Compute

I've been struck with some sort of upper back, neck and shoulder pain that makes sitting at a desk, typing and mousing uncomfortable (to put it mildly.)

Which pretty much sucks, what with me being the geek that I am.

Posted by Russ at 11:54 AM | Comments (1)
June 17, 2005
Random Observation #4

The cat just stuck her cold wet nose into the back of my knee. It makes me jump, every time, and she knows it.

I guess there's only so much fun you can have without opposable thumbs.

Posted by Russ at 08:41 PM
Quote of the Day

Victor Davis Hanson:

A war that cannot be won entirely on the battlefield most certainly can be lost entirely off it — especially when an ailing Western liberal society is harder on its own democratic culture than it is on fascist Islamic fundamentalism.

Ain't that the truth.

Posted by Russ at 12:09 PM | Comments (6)
June 16, 2005
We're #3!

Finally... a caption contest in which I managed to finish near the top.

It's not pretty.

Posted by Russ at 07:49 PM
Sing, Sing a Song

At Absinthe & Cookies, Ith has a contest going: write a jingle for your blog.

Lord help me, this was the first thing I could think of, and now I can't get the tune out of my head.

Set to arguably the most ludicrous song ever to hit the Top 40, "Rock Lobster" by the B-52s:

Military blogger
Barbecue über geek
Has a stray thought and blogs it
It is the TacJammer

(Ahhh... ahhh... ahhh... ahhh...)
(Ahhh... ahhh... ahhh... ahhh...)

All I want to know is, where do I sign up to get some background singers?

[And now I have to spend the rest of my life living this down. Swell. Lord knows, the last thing I need is to be forever associated in peoples' minds (not least of all my own) with such an awful song.

Someone needs to make an entry to beat me. I *should* be beaten.

And if I win, I will need to be beaten with a very large stick.]

Posted by Russ at 01:56 PM | Comments (2)
Random Observation #3

The longest 10 minutes of the day can be found between the start and the end of Mr. Coffee's brewing cycle.

"More coffee for me, boss, 'cause I'm not as messed up as I want to be."

Posted by Russ at 09:57 AM

It's a start, I suppose:

AP: Nearly 200 Illegal Immigrants Arrested


BOSTON (AP) - Nearly 200 illegal immigrants who were ordered deported for committing crimes were arrested during a six-day undercover sweep across New England, federal authorities said.

Dozens of federal, state and local law-enforcement officers began a search Friday for the roughly 200 people targeted in the sweep; by Wednesday afternoon, they had arrested at least 187 illegal immigrants.

If they want to really impress me, they'll have to do it again — 100,000 times.

(Via Drudge)

Update: More analysis (a fisking, really) at Wizbang.

Posted by Russ at 01:48 AM
June 15, 2005

Today is something of a milestone for me. It was five years ago today that I arrived in North Carolina, after having pulled up stakes and left California.

Relocating long-distance was nothing particularly new for me. I'd gone to college in the Midwest, and I'd been stationed in Texas and New England — not to mention in Korea. But those moves were necessary; I had to go to college, and I had to go where Uncle Sam sent me.

However, coming to North Carolina was a purely voluntary decision. Indeed, it was the answer to a few "problems" I had: I wanted out of San Jose, and I wanted to buy a house.

With my employment situation at that time, I had several different places to which I could move. Chelmsford, MA was out of the question, what with the "Taxachussetts" reputation and the vast surplus of Kennedy sycophants. I narrowed my choices to Austin, Texas and Raleigh, NC and spent no small amount of time debating the decision with myself.

I'd been stationed in Texas; combined with my relo-research, I was roughly familiar with things there. But I had never laid eyes on any part of North Carolina. While I was torn with indecision, Fate intervened, and I was sent on a business trip to visit the company offices in Raleigh. It was love at, if not first sight, then first week's stay. My mind was made up.

Less than a month later, I had to make a second trip to the Raleigh office. I decided to see what I could do about finding an apartment during my brief stay. I wasn't overly optimistic about my chances, but my perspective on apartment hunting had been warped by my four years in San Jose.

In San Jose in the late '90s, apartment hunting usually consisted of the following series of actions:

  • Wake up Sunday morning at 4am, shower, shave, get dressed (business casual preferred.)
  • Go outside to wait for the Sunday paper to arrive.
  • While waiting, warm up the car.
  • As soon as the paper is in hand, discard all but the "apartments for rent" section of the paper.
  • Drive like a maniac to the first/best address spotted in the ads.
  • Queue up behind the 50 people who got there before you to fill out an application.
  • Repeat weekly until new apartment found and leased.
  • Auction off a) arm, b) leg, or c) rights to firstborn child to cover the rent expenses.

The rental market in the Raleigh area, to my great relief, was nothing quite as cutthroat as that in the Bay Area. I had an afternoon free during my trip, and in two hours I had found a good place and had a signed lease in hand. I could afford to pay for the apartment standing empty while I wrapped up my affairs in San Jose.

Less than a month later, I had checked out of my apartment in San Jose, hired a mover for the big stuff, packed the small stuff into my SUV, and hit the road.

On June 15th, 2000 I arrived in Raleigh. And, in an odd coincidence sure to make the reader think of pregnancy, nine months later I moved into my very own built-for-me house, where I still happily reside.

I'm a native Californian, third generation, born and bred. But unless something particularly unusual happens, I'll never live there again. North Carolina is now home.

Posted by Russ at 01:02 PM | Comments (7)
June 13, 2005
Random Observation #2

I would never under any circumstances bake a quiche.

A slice or two of refrigerator pie, on the other hand, can make a tasty and filling breakfast.

Posted by Russ at 11:00 AM
June 12, 2005

If you've never read Scott Ott's Scrappleface for the funny stuff, you don't know what you're missing.

But if you've never read it when he's making a serious point, shame on you.

Posted by Russ at 08:55 AM
June 10, 2005
Random Observation

Where did this hair on my ears come from?

Update: And the eyebrows... hokey smokes, I'm just a sapho-juice addiction and a bad haircut away from being able to impersonate Freddie Jones in the 1984 version of Dune.

Posted by Russ at 02:59 PM | Comments (1)
June 09, 2005
Slip Sliding Away

Not all fifth columnists can be found in parades on the streets of Berkeley.

I am reminded today of Conquest's Second Law:

Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.

It's not hard to find real-world instances of the Second Law in action. I always think of the World Council of Churches and the Nobel Foundation as prime examples.

Amnesty International has always been somewhat lefty, but their recent slide into the furthest reaches of leftist ass-hattery is surely confirmation of some sort.

See Captain's Quarters for coverage of an interesting tidbit: AI called for nations to violate diplomatic immunity and arrest American leaders and diplomats overseas.

I'd noticed this at the onset of the recent "gulag" flap, but it didn't stick in my mind. Thanks to Captain Ed for the reminder.

Update, 13Jun05: Interesting... see Ed's followup on the details of what constitutes diplomatic immunity.

Posted by Russ at 12:00 PM
You Know (Part 5)

You know you're getting old when your little brother turns 42, as mine did yesterday.

OK, OK, so 43 isn't old, but it's older than I've ever been before.

If I'm not careful, I'll degenerate into doing a permanent Grampa Simpson routine.

Dear Mr. President, there are too many states these days. Please eliminate three. I am NOT a crackpot.
The Swedish are coming! The Swedish are coming!
You never know what people are capable of. I never thought I could shoot down a German plane. But last year, I proved myself wrong.
We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I... oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
Posted by Russ at 11:23 AM | Comments (3)
June 08, 2005
Quote of the Day
Maybe YOU don't think curare suppositories are funny. I beg to differ.

Steve H.

(And be sure to follow the link he's posted.)

(Yo, Wizbang.)

Posted by Russ at 04:07 PM
June 07, 2005
Kerry "Releases" His Records

So John Kerry has released his military records to the Boston Globe. The Globe, being the upstanding paradigm of journalism that it is (see here, for an example of their journalistic credibility), will undoubtedly give the world the straight story on the contents of those records.

Yes. And someday I might don a cape and tights and fly under my own power.*

Globe reporter Michael Kranish tells us there is a "lack of any substantive new material about Kerry's military career" in the files.

I'm wagering that what we have just witnessed is a completely new usage of the word "substantive." Someone should let the folks at Merriam-Webster know about this.

Kranish — who, as Michelle Malkin notes, co-authored the Kerry campaign suck-up book John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best (a title as wordy as the former candidate himself) — would appear to be Kerry's "go-to" guy in the print media.

Kerry thus gets the benefit of being able to claim full disclosure, without the slightest potential of a critical word being said by the news staff at his media outlet-of-choice.

As a sop to the critics, however, details of Kerry's academic career were published, including a photo of the undergraduate Kerry.

Guess which one is the young Brahmin:

bad Kerry photoStar Trek: salt vampire

OK, that was just cruel. Deliciously cruel. But it's no wonder he didn't want those records released. The camera just isn't friendly to him at all.

* I might someday fly under my own power, but I will never wear tights and a cape. Which, all things considered, would be for the best. Trust me on this.

Update: looks like some other folks are having fun with the yearbook picture. And no, I don't have my own yearbook picture handy, like some folks do. This will have to do:

Update 2: Matt scores some commentary from Swift Boat Vet kahuna John O'Neill.

Posted by Russ at 11:09 AM | Comments (2)
June 06, 2005
Quote of the Day, plus a transcript
I think it's an affront to their memory that we have a tax on the books in this country today that says if you work and earn some money and you pay your income tax on it, and you try to give it to your kids or your family — the natural object of your bounty — you're going to get taxed again.

— Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton, one of the Band of Brothers

In honor of the 61st anniversary of D-Day and the beginning of the end of the Third Reich, Lieutenant Compton made an appearance on Fox and Friends this morning. As well as telling some of his own story, he has an issue he stands for. He laid his life on the line for this country. He deserves the courtesy of a respectful hearing.

I've tried, thanks to the DVR, to make a decent transcript of the entirety of LT Compton's appearance on the program. A generation is passing away; things like this should not disappear down the memory hole.

Steve Doocy: We mentioned it just a moment ago, sixty one years ago today: D-Day, a moment in history that played a huge role in ending World War Two. Our next guest won a Purple Heart and a Silver Star in the Normandy invasion.

E.D. Hill: From Seattle, please welcome retired U. S. Army Lieutenant "Buck" Compton. You know, you're amazing. I often wonder if there are many Americans like you left, that would take the risks that you did. You were one of the paratroopers coming out, I think you were the 101st Airborne... a huge chunk of you lost your lives. What was it like that day as you were dropped in?

Compton: I don't know how to answer what it was like. It was a... obviously an exciting or momentous event, but we'd been pretty well trained, and we, sort of did it by the numbers. It wasn't something that I can, you know, describe to you other than that. We did what we....

Hill [interrupting]: But you were out... you were outnumbered, incredibly outnumbered.

Compton: Well, we were actually, but that wasn't a factor. I mean, we were behind their lines, trying to pave the way for the troops that were coming ashore on the beach, and they were coming ashore in huge numbers and even though our force was smaller than what the Germans had there, that was not really a factor.

Doocy: Gotcha. Alright, so you jumped out of an airplane before the actual beach assault and I understand that you lost all your equipment in the jump. What did you do?

Compton: Well, yeah, we jumped about 1:00 in the morning, and I was equipped with one of these, heh, "leg bags" that they developed to put equipment in so that you could release it and have it away from your body at the time you hit the ground to prevent injury. The jolt of the opening shock of the 'chute jerked the thing off my leg and I lost all my equipment, so when I hit the ground, yeah, I was without a gun, without [chuckle] food, without anything going in. I soon rectified it.

Hill: And you had to connect up with the other people, and as you say, it was in the middle of the night, you're jumping out over Normandy, just inside the coast there, and you had to find the other people. How did you do that?

Compton: Well, just getting out on the road and walking through the countryside in the general direction of the objective that we'd been assigned; and we were scattered pretty badly, we didn't land where we thought we were going to, it was sort of a hit-and-miss proposition, but there were jumpers landing all around and they got together even though we were from different units we eventually got together and got to the objective and... although we were not as well organized as we might have been.

Doocy: Yeah, but what a story, Buck, because not only are you telling it to us, but it was featured on HBO, your story, in Band of Brothers, as well. And now I understand what you're doing is you're taking aim at something else, and that is, you want to repeal the death tax, because you say it unfairly targets veterans of World War Two. Explain it to me.

Compton: Well, you know, we spent a lot of blood and a lot of guys gave their lives and limbs fighting for what we generally describe as freedom, and the freedom that we fought for and that those guys died for was the freedom of private property, the right to work at the job that you want to work at and to enjoy the fruits of your honest labor. And I think it's an affront to their memory that we have a tax on the books in this country today that says if you work and earn some money and you pay your income tax on it, and you try to give it to your kids or your family, the natural object of your bounty, you're going to get taxed again. And to me, that is contrary to what I fought for and what I think these guys fought for, and the worst part about it is it's a socialist-driven mechanism for redistributing wealth. It's not a real revenue producer, it's just designed to redistribute wealth and that's a socialist or communist concept that we've been fighting against and we shed a lot of blood to try to defeat, and it just offends me that this country still has such a tax mechanism on the books.

Hill: Well, if people want to find out more information, please go to the website, www.nodeathtax.org. Lieutenant Glen "Buck" Compton, thank you very much for your time and your service for our country.

Compton: Well, you're welcome, and thank you.

Doocy: Thank you very much. [Seattle feed cuts.] Alright. Great guy.

Hill: Amazing.

Posted by Russ at 10:49 AM
June 03, 2005
Quote of the Day

A classic:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill, writing in opposition to British support of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

[Thanks to Firepower Forward for the reminder.]

Read further for the full (accurate) text from which the usual quote is taken.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.

Found at Bartleby.com — a terrific online resource.

Posted by Russ at 02:40 PM
They Hurt Buddy!

I have been completely and deliberately ignorant of the news coverage of the Michael Jackson trial. I simply don't care about the day-to-day coverage of the trial. I figure if he isn't found guilty, he's still screwy enough to be institutionalized. The word "whacko" might well have been created specifically to be applied to him.

What has irked me about the little coverage I have been unable to avoid is the constant presence of shrilly screaming fans every time Jackson makes a court appearance. Do any of them understand the seriousness of what Jackson is on trial for? He [allegedly] molested little boys.

Do these people have nothing better to do than to wait outside the building, behind a cordon, at a considerable distance from where the principal players in this melodrama make their transition from limo to courthouse door, hoping for a fleeting glimpse of the pervert they idolize?

I guess that question pretty much answers itself, no?

What exactly is this mob of latter-day teeny-boppers going to do if/when Jackson is found guilty? Riot?

Now there's a thought that gives me chills. Rampaging mobs of tearful teenage girls, wailing, pulling out their hair, pounding their little fists ineffectually against whatever solid object is nearest to hand. I do not envision overturned and burning police cars. Rather, the mental image I get is more on the order of the brawling dancers towards the end of Blazing Saddles....

Throw out your hands
Stick out your tush
Hands on your hips
Give 'em a push
You'll be surprised
You're doing the French Mistake!

Followed shortly thereafter by "They hurt Buddy! Let's get 'em, girls!"

I figure a pack of Cub Scouts could handle the Jackson-fan riot-control duties... though it might be exceptionally unwise to have a pack of Cub Scouts anywhere within several miles of Michael Jackson, if you know what I mean.

Stupid fans.

[Update, 13 Jun 05: Yo, OTB. OK, OK, so this isn't a new post, but it's on topic for today.]

Posted by Russ at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)
June 01, 2005
Quote of the Day
So, if you're an Islamic militant, an infidel flushing a Koran down a toilet is grounds for rioting and killing, but your own bombing of a mosque -- killing at least 17 Muslims and obliterating who knows how many Korans -- is fine.

Just want to make sure I have that straight. And we should care what they think about us because ... why?

Andy McCarthy, in The Corner

Posted by Russ at 11:07 AM

Via Sir George at Emperor Misha's place:

Lawmaker Wants Lower Soldier Drinking Age

One Wisconsin lawmaker figures if the U.S. military trusts 19-year-olds with a $10 million tank, then the state should trust them with a beer.

State Rep. Mark Pettis, a Republican who served in the Navy, is pushing a bill that would drop the drinking age to 19 for Wisconsin soldiers — but only if the federal government agrees it will not yank an estimated $50 million a year in highway aid.

A federal law ties federal highway dollars to compliance by the states with the required drinking age of 21.

"We're treating these young men and women as adults when they're at war. But we treat them like teenagers when they're here in the states," he said.

Now, I'm not exactly a proponent of the idea that teens, in general, are just as smart or wise as those of us who have been around the block so many times we know the only parking spot that's free.* Indeed, I've always had an extremely poor opinion of teenagers, even when I was one myself.

But I think it is not altogether unreasonable to extend all the privileges of full majority to anyone who has [honorably] completed a certain amount of time or reached a level of training in the military services. By volunteering to serve, and then by completing basic training (or maybe six months or a year of service), one has demonstrated a level of maturity that will not be attained by many people who are several years older.

Go on — just try to tell me that a college junior or senior is necessarily more mature than a Marine on his first duty assignment, merely because of a date on a birth certificate. That Marine, or airman, sailor, coastie or soldier has accepted the adult responsibilities attendant with service to his country, and deserves to be treated like an adult. He has earned it.

And by "privileges of full majority," I don't mean just the drinking age. I also refer to the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment. Why should a soldier — trained in the use and safe handling of very deadly weapons — be denied the right to purchase a handgun before his 21st birthday?

To deny those rights due merely to age is a dangerous precedent. Why the arbitrary cut-off at 21? Why not 25 or 30? Or, heck, why allow anyone to buy a handgun at all? When an arbitrary standard such as age (beyond the attainment of legal majority) is used as a determining factor in the exercise of an explicitly protected Constitutional right, who is to say what other arbitrary restrictions may be placed on the exercise of that right?

* With apologies to the Barenaked Ladies.

Posted by Russ at 09:45 AM | Comments (5)