Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend Update

Not a whole lot going on today. Job search is taking a back burner as it's Sunday. Weeded and treated the front yard - I'm watering it now. I'm skeptical, but crossing my fingers that the weed incursion can be reversed by a guy with limited green in his thumbs.

I need a yardkeeper.

Friendly Reminder

Courtesy of the Mudflats:

In Pursuit of Knowledge

Stephen Barr discusses the futility that is Intelligent Design as a science

Having written my Substantive Writing paper on the farce that is ID, I can empathize.

Try, Try Again

We've added a new dog (again) to the household. We think she'll be a better fit.

Welcome Molly.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Birthday Wishes

The Princess's birthday is coming up. She's asked for several things for her birthday, including (among others) a puppy. We've tried a Great Puppy Experiment already and it didn't quite turn out as we'd have liked. I have considered trying a smaller puppy, perhaps a rat terrier-type dog that would be a little better fit for the house, but I think the spouse is a little reluctant. She suggested we get the Princess a fish. This is plausible, but we'd have to find a place to put it... Maybe in the center pass-through in the kitchen...

What's the Big Deal?

The Canadian Women's Hockey team won their third consecutive Olympic gold medal. That they won gold is apparently less important than the way they celebrated - with beer.

I don't see the big deal. Throw some Back Bacon on the ice and you've got the essence of Canada...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Head Scratching Quote of the Day

"Rosa Parks did not move to the front of the bus to support sodomy." - Barb Davis White, Tea Partier and Republican nominee for Minnesota's 5th Congressional District.

Words fail.

It's Thursday

I'm baking chicken for dinner tonight.

Applied for a couple more positions. I'm a bit frustrated. Tired, agitated, etc.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Still Looking

So, I've been out of work for nearly 2 weeks now. I've sent out umpteen resumes, followed up on umpteen leads, registered with multiple headhunters and temp-to-hire firms, as well as expanded my search beyond the law practice field. As of yet, I've heard no positive responses.

It's getting frustrating.

More Magic Words

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder, a case that challenges the constitutionality of anti-terror laws (such as in the PATRIOT ACT) that makes it a crime to "provide material support" to terrorist organizations. The problem with the law is that it's quite broad; "material support" could mean a whole slew of things, from providing personnel to training to attorneys writing amicus briefs in their defense.

Of course, as Glenn Greenwald notes, so much of what is potentially a crime should be superceded by 1st Amendment rights. The New York Times has an interesting article on point here, as is this Yahoo! article.

Now, just to mix things up a little more: how attenuated does the support need to be? How much knowledge is there, or is it strict liability? What is a "terrorist organization?"

So many questions...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Police State Watch

I understand that there are several people who are absolutely certain that life begins at conception, despite the clear inability to prove such a thing. I also am aware that many people believe that life begins at birth, or somewhere in between, as our nation's and the Christian heritage established.

I also know that miscarriages are an act of nature, and they occur quite often.

What I don't understand is how anyone could expect to enforce a law that criminalized miscarriages if the woman acted "recklessly." "Reckless" of course, is a magic word that means whatever the speaker intends it to mean.

I don't see how this proposed law in Utah does anything other than place women further under a blanket of subjugation by the state.

Non-Sequitur, on Point Again

Wiley has a way.

Just Remember

That while the Conservative congressmen, talking heads, bloggers, and various loudmouths keep railing against "Obamacare" and the efforts at healthcare reform, despite the fact that virtually everyone except the health insurance lobby agrees that healthcare needs to be reformed, there has been no serious alternatives suggested by the Republicans, nor has there been any serious efforts at compromise by the Republicans.

Harry Truman (one of the greats) once said "I don't believe in anti-anything. A man has to have a program; you have to be for something. Otherwise, you will never get anywhere."

He was right. As he was about so much.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Well Slap My Hog and Name Him Tom

Glenn Greenwald has penned a well-written post about the myth of small-government conservatives. In a nutshell, they don't exist. I've discussed this before, myself, but not since the advent of the "tea party" movement...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why I'm Relentless on Ethical Treatment of Detainees

And punishment for those who mistreated them: it's part of our heritage - to distrust a government that lords authority over those without representation, who exercise control over those who they would lead.

I am reminded of a William O. Douglas quote: "The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected." That's why lawyers exist, and why I cannot stand the recent acquittal of Bybee and Yoo.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Intellectual Honesty

It seems to go out the window when discussing torture. The waterboard has been used as a torture method for hundreds of years by regimes that we would normally be ashamed to be associated with (Khmer Rouge, Gestapo, WWII Japan, inter alia). It's been prosecuted here in the United States (ask James Parker), yet there's still "debate."

But the discussion about torture goes beyond the waterboard alone. There are several other "enhanced interrogation tactics" that are available to those who think they're entitled to lord such control over others (even innocents). There's sleep deprivation, stress positions, slamming people into walls, sensory deprivation, and many others. The argument has been akin to the "ticking time bomb" a la Keifer Sutherland in 24. In a sense, some (like Thiessen) believe that "In traditional war, when you capture an enemy soldier, once he is disarmed and taken off the battlefield he has been “rendered unable to cause harm.” But that is not true of senior terrorist leaders like KSM. They retain the power to kill many thousands by withholding information about planned attacks. A captured terrorist leader remains an unjust aggressor who actively threatens society — targeting innocent civilians in violation of the laws of war — even when he is in custody." This is specious oversimplificating justification. I believe a reader who wrote in to Andrew Sullivan might have the best response:
[S]uppose the captured soldier in a "traditional" war is a high ranking officer with knowledge of the enemy's battle plan. Certainly, by Thiessen's definition, he would still be capable of inflicting harm by withholding information, yet Thiessen appears to be saying that torture is off limits for that individual. On the other hand, a relatively low-ranking al Qaeda operative with most likely little to no knowledge of operations outside of his particular cell (does anybody think that the idiot they convinced to put a bomb in his underwear has really been entrusted with information about planning for other Al Qaeda operations?) must be tortured.

The level of intellectual dishonesty gives me cause for despair.

I'm not sure it could explained any better...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Go Read the Inimitable Just Wondering

at Vim and Vinegar. What she said.

Not Surprising

Over at Balloon Juice, the following post can be found, showing the connection among various high profile grifters and the Tea Party movement. I'd like to say I'm surprised, but well, they're Republicans, if not in name, then in behavior...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Failed Experiment

Well, today the dog is going back to the shelter. I feel bad, but there's been some difficulty in introducing him successfully to the house. He's just a little too active for our family needs. The cats have been sequestered in our bedroom for the last five days (since we brought him home) and when he's able, he's been barking and whining with his head under our bed - where the cats have been hiding. He's rather single-minded of purpose in this category. When he's not been doing that, he's been climbing on the furniture, taking the kids' stuffed animals and shoes, and gnawing at my hand.

Yesterday, two incidents in particular probably pushed the situation over the edge. First, he peed on a floor pillow that was in the game room. I'm rather unhappy about this as he is perfectly housebroken. More importantly, though, the Apple and the Princess went out back to play with him and he got a little too rough. While I didn't see him biting the Apple or knocking him down, I did get to the door in time to see him tackle the Princess and bite her in the back of the neck. I should note that he had is ears pricked up and his tail was wagging like mad - in other words, he was playing, not trying to hurt the kids. However, he gave the kids a good spook, more than they deserved, and I don't want a dog in the house that bites, even playfully.

He's got the potential to be a good dog, but he needs a family with older children or another alpha dog that he can follow and/or play with. He's definitely a loving dog and really likes attention, but, it's just not a good marriage with our family.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Confederacy of Grown Ups

In their latest attempt to assume an air of maturity, the Republicans reportedly will feature a pinata of Nancy Pelosi at their CPAC. Additionally, Harry Reid will be featured in punching bag form.

You have to love Republicans. Messing up the economy, health care, war, the government, then blaming Democrats and getting away with it scot-free because the wimps in the MSM are afraid to call them on anything for fear of being labeled with their "liberal bias," which they're labeled with anyway...

At its core, I relate more with the Republican party's platform, however, the idiots in charge of the party (the wingnuts) have such a stranglehold and their mantra right now is apparently just "No."

Monday, February 15, 2010

American (Double) Standard

What happens when a man of middle eastern descent is detained on allegations that he is a terrorist? Think about what happened to Boumediene, among (hundreds of) others.

Now, what happens when Americans are arrested and charged with kidnapping (or potentially child trafficking)? Complaints of Human Rights Violations.

The concern should be about fair treatment for all who are detained, not just those who share your flag. Innocence or guilt are exclusive to no country's citizenry.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Additions

We went to the movies today. Decided to check out Percy Jackson and the Olympians - the Lightning Thief. The cineplex was hosting the County animal shelter, presenting different pets that were up for adoption. After considering things for some time, we came home with Rusty, formerly Nino. Rusty is a (ridgeless) Rhodesian Ridgeback, and perhaps the most docile dog I've ever seen.

He's a great, quiet dog, who has had his first bath, prefers cat food to dog food, and constantly looks at us, as if he's just hoping that we're going to love him... I don't think he needs to worry

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day

I feel bad. I have done nothing for Valentine's day, other than lose my job and need new tires. The wife has her company awards dinner tonight and I'll be staying at home with the kids. That is something, but I'd rather be able to splurge a little.
Maybe something belated.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

There's a Choice We're Making

No, it's not to sing We Are the World, though we could do that if we wanted.

Rather, it's a choice as to whether or not to accept a potential contract document review position. The thing is, it pays significantly less than what I'm getting right now, with no promise of regular work, and a default pay agreement that I don't fully understand.

In addition, I've got other resume leads that are pending that have the prospect of paying a little bit to significantly more...


Sunday, February 07, 2010


I heard a bit of bellyaching about Tim Tebow's Super Bowl commercial and concerns about the anti choice message. I thought the commercial was rather benign. The message was simple, not the "if you don't have an abortion then your son will win the Heisman. " I agree with the message, to discourage abortions, though as you know I stop short of wholesale banning.
It was fine, much ado about nothing.

Cheat Sheet

Let me just say, while I think it's funny that people still take Sarah Palin seriously as a candidate, every now and then she does something that really makes me wonder what kind of dream world these supporters live in. After months of Republicans lambasting the President for use of a teleprompter, we now have an image of Sarah Palin writing notes on her hand to help her remember what her priorities are when she's "President," though I seem to remember reading that she called for a Revolution last night, which one would assume would make her unfit for office (advocating the overthrow of the country is enough to disqualify you from holding a security clearance, so shouldn't it hold true for those who would lead the military).

Of course, one of the problems with not standing for anything concrete is that you can't remember what your positions are...

Super Bowl Sunday

And I'm somewhat excited about the game. I am close to ambivalent about who wins, though I think I am leaning slightly towards the Colts because I am a Manning fan and we have family in Indiana...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday, Again

Well, I've got my resume out to several different leads. We'll see if anything bites.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

On the Market

Well, my job, that I was hired for back at the end of 2007 to do for 8-10 weeks has come to completion. My last day will be next Friday.

While I'm disappointed at leaving, particularly because I genuinely like the people with whom I work. But I can't say as it's a real surprise - we've seen the work dwindle for the last little bit...

Anyway, I've got my resume going out, and a couple leads to follow up on. We'll see how it all works out.

Rahm's Apology

First off, I'm not sure that he needed to apologize. What he said was crass and unprofessional, but it was also said behind closed doors.

Second, I'm not sure which I'm feeling is more surprising, that Sarah Palin's ghostwriters on Facebook have never used the word for which they've expressed such shock and disdain (seriously, this is like "he who is without sin" stuff), or that the first thing Sarah Palin apparently thought when she heard the word was her son.

The record seems to suggest that Sarah Palin treats Trig as a prop for publicity purposes - why is a special needs child being handed off to her at book signings and other rallies instead of receiving the specialized treatment he ostensibly should be getting - so is there a double standard being applied here - that it's ok to sensationalize special needs when it's a Republican doing it?