Friday, April 30, 2010

I Hate CSI Miami

I was going to post a recap on this week's episode, but quite frankly, I'm tired and grumpy. Let's just say the Constitutional Violations are still intact on this ridiculous show.

And can someone explain to me how the cops managed to extract 2 partial fingerprints of the suspect off a kerchief yet inexplicably failed to find any fingerprints of the kerchief's owner? How fortuitous do you get?

I'm not entirely sure I understand the need for this

I think this bill is along the lines of Arizona's Illegal Immigrant bill. I think it's designed as a political maneuver to try to galvanize a certain demographic to the polls. I haven't seen the spate of airport-related violence in Georgia on the news that would necessitate a specific bill/law to be able to carry firearms into Airports, though I'm familiar with several checkpoints in airports where you cannot bring firearms beyond...
I don't disagree with the right to carry firearms in general, and think there's a utility to people carrying firearms - people are less likely to try to rob a person who's packing heat, but I don't know about the timing/necessity here.
Ga. House OKs Guns At Atlanta Airport - Atlanta News Story - WGCL Atlanta

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Judicial Activism Lives

Of course, according to certain mindsets, it's not Judicial Activism if it's a decision that favors Christian Conservative mores, but I direct you to this post on Americans United and say that I share their disappointment. Perhaps I'll have more to add to this later, but for now I'll just say I think the Roberts Court just made a mockery of the 1st Amendment.

For more information on the background of this story, I direct you to a post I wrote some time ago on the subject, back in 2007.

It's been a long Day

What's up with BP and safety? That oil spill's not looking good.

I think I'll be missing HYLA's last Thursday this month. I was hoping to go, but circumstances dictate otherwise...

Tired of not working.

On Arizona's Immigration Bill

It seems like many people aren’t entirely certain what’s going on with the bill recently signed into law in Arizona. I thought it might help to explain some of the concern with the law and its enforcement, concerns shared by Arizona Association of Police Chiefs and several Arizona sheriffs who have come out in opposition to this law.

Let’s consider a couple things that I see as potential problems, first. The law itself is purportedly drafted to enforce federal laws. The law then dictates when inquiry into legal status comes into play: Title II, Ch. 7, Art.8 Sec. B: For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The operative language here is the term “lawful contact” where “reasonable suspicion” exists. I’ve been searching and have been unable to find a definition for “lawful contact,” so for lack of a better term, or until someone can provide me with a codified definition, I will write from the premise that lawful contact is any contact that isn’t unlawful.

The law does require “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S, however, the language is unbelievably broad. This places a burden on the police officer to determine even in passing, if practicable, if a person is here illegally if the person looks illegal. Contrary to common talking points, the plain language of the bill does not restrict this to stops based on violations of other laws. This language is even broader than the already broad Terry Stops based on reasonable suspicion of unlawful behavior, as it confers the power to determine on lawful contacts that are based on appearance, not limited to behavior.

Further, this law allows, after a stop based on appearing to be illegal, a police officer to arrest an individual “without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.” (Sec. E). Note that this provision allows arrest for removal if the police officer develops probable cause AFTER the stop based on lawful contact based on appearance. Not only that, but this clause allows warrantless arrest for LAWFUL immigrants who appear illegal, not just undocumented immigrants.

The law in question creates a further burden on law enforcement, as it requires the diversion of resources to the enforcement of this law. This law includes the following provision (Sec. G): A person may bring an action in superior court to challenge any official or agency of this state or a county, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state that adopts or implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. If there is a judicial finding that an entity has violated this section, the court shall order any of the following: 1. That the person who brought the action recover court costs and attorney fees, and/or 2. That the entity pay a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars for each day after the filing of an action pursuant to this subsection.” Note that the law does not require a written policy, it allows for a lawsuit if a person believes a policy has been implemented that limits enforcement.

There are a few causes for concern here. The most glaring one, of course, and the one focused on by the most people, is that this law does not appear to be enforceable without profiling. Now, Arizona does not have any laws against Racial Profiling, unlike some other states, so perhaps there’s nothing facially illegal, however, from a Constitutional standpoint, there might be an issue with regard to the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection clause. The fourteenth amendment reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the united States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United Sates; nor shall any State deprive ANY PERSON of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to ANY PERSON within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws (emphases mine). While some may argue that the people who are going to be deported are illegals, that’s missing the point. Even with the best of intentions, police officers are going to be targeting one racial group over the others with their lawful contacts and their stops. This detention, based not on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, poses a burden on citizens of Hispanic descent that is not present to those of other national origin. Not only that, but the Equal Protection clause does not limit itself to protecting CITIZENS of the state equal protection, rather it protects ANY PERSON. This would include the lawful immigrants who would be subject to arrests based on probable cause developed after a search based on appearance, vice reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Remember, this law allows warrantless arrests, which brings us to the 4th Amendment. The 4th amendment reads “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons of things to be seized. Of course, we know that warrantless protective searches are lawful based on Terry (supra), but this law needlessly expands upon the rights of police to conduct warrantless searches and arrests for, in essence, looking illegal (i.e. Hispanic).

I understand that people argue that police aren’t just going to randomly stop people on the street for looking like an illegal immigrant, but consider a couple things. For one thing, the law requires inquiry into legal status on lawful contact. This could mean that a witness to a crime, or a victim of a crime would be put at risk for an inquiry if a police officer determines he or she looks illegal. If we recognize how difficult it is to get domestic violence charges reported already by victims, imagine how hard it will become with passage of this law. Further, the police possess very broad powers to stop individuals as it is. Pretext stops are very simple for a police officer because it becomes a case of one person’s word against the cop’s. I’ve been the subject of a stop where a police officer accused me of crossing a median when I hadn’t, and I know I’m not the only one who’s had that happened to him. How many people are stopped for malfunctioning taillights that work just fine after the cop leaves? To create a situation where police are encouraged to profile and expand upon their already broad powers runs contrary to what I would determine our nation’s reason for existence, which was the right of individual liberty. For those who have argued that it’s a small inconvenience in the name of security, I would counter with the notion that our Declaration of Independence noted an unalienable right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Further, the Constitution sought to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

I apologize for the length of this post and the clarity. I've written this in a style similar to Ulysses, so it may not be the easiest read.

Thursday Morning Random Thoughts

The Apple is on a field trip today. I'm excited for him.

I do think we've determined what rifle we're going to get; it's just a matter of finding a left-handed model. For some reason, stores down here don't stock them...

I've been suffering a good bout of insomnia recently. It's not a fun experience.

I don't understand how encouraging racial profiling in Arizona doesn't violate the Privileges and Immunities clause of the 14th Amendment...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Society of Equals

I've commented a couple times on Arizona's Illegal Immigrant Law, on here and on my facebook. I believe at one point I made a comment that it was legislating the enforcement of "Driving while Mexican."

It appears from this article that I first read about on Balloon Juice, that perhaps there's a reason it seemed racist. As the article reads, one of the main proponents of the law is a man named Kris Kobach, who according to the article linked above, is "a Birther who’s running for Kansas secretary of state. But his Birtherism is the least offensive thing about Kobach. His campaign Website brags, 'Kobach wins one in Arizona.' He’s also an attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of an immigration group called FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform."

To continue, the article reads:
For nine of the first years of FAIR’s existence, the group reportedly received more than $1 million in funding from something called the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund describes itself as based “in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition and eugenics movement.” For the last 70 years, the Pioneer Fund has funded controversial research about race and intelligence, essentially aimed at proving the racial superiority of white people.
As disagreeable as this sounds, it's not exactly surprising to hear a birther is also a believer in racial superiority.

What I find interesting, though, is that as this law is being pushed into effect and supported by an apparent white-supremacist, there is currently a Supreme Court hearing regarding whether a school may deny funding and official recognition to a student organization that violates the school's "all comers" policy - namely that all students must be allowed full access to the organization. Over at the Powerline Blog John wrote on this case a few days ago:
As is often the case in Supreme Court arguments, the justices pelted both lawyers with hypothetical questions, sometimes involving rather far-fetched scenarios. At one point Justice Stevens asked this question:

JUSTICE STEVENS: What if the belief is that African Americans are inferior?

MR. McCONNELL: Again, I think they can discriminate on the basis of belief, but not on the basis of status.

Given the information at the top of this post, I would argue that this scenario is not "far fetched," rather, it's a matter of fact that there are individuals, even lawyers, who believe that one race is superior to another. Personally, I agree with the concept of "who pays the piper calls the tunes," and that the school isn't denying the CLS the right to discriminate if it chooses, rather it's saying "If you want to discriminate, that's fine, but you won't be recognized as an Official Student Organization," i.e. "we won't subsidize your discrimination." I would hate to see schools be forced to subsidize outright racism like Arizona is.

It's a Tuesday.

I'm hunting for jobs, I'm hunting for an outfit for the Boy, I'm hunting for a rifle, and I'm hunting for a hunting spot. It's a great day.

Tomorrow I'll be making it out to the resale shop to see if I can find something nice for the Boy.

Somehow I need to be able to find a piano for him to use...

Glenn Greenwald has a knack

I don't think I know anyone who can point out the hypocrisy of being pro-censorship and anti-censorship simultaneously depending on which religious group is being offended. I agree with him in his disdain for censorship large-scale. The problem, though is that this ire doesn't make itself know until it's people bowing to Muslims. Why not the outrage over the Corpus Christi play that closed near Dallas due to threats of violence against the students who wanted to run it? That's but one example of several that Glenn provides...

The New York Times' Muslim problem

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Monday, April 26, 2010


Job search is still not bearing good fruit.

I have gone out scouting potential hunting sites in the national forest, though. While I don't think I've found *the* spot, I do think I've found a couple potential sites and have a general idea, I think, of where I'd like to hunt.

The real trick is going to be finding an actual deer.

On the plus side, though, I've gotten plenty of exercise the last few days hiking through the woods. We do need to be careful, though. We managed to come across a tick on the Boy's sock.

A Confederacy of Grown-ups, Ctd.

So the Republican strategy is to delay, mislead, argue, and then give up.

The GOP's Terrible FinReg Bluff | The New Republic

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random Quote

"'Sort of' is such a harmless thing to say. Sort of. It's just a filler. Sort of - it doesn't really mean anything. But after certain things, sort of means everything. Like after 'I love you' or 'You're going to live' or 'It's a boy.'" - Demetri Marten

And You're Out!

I had 3 job interviews over the past week. That's the most I've had since I lost my job. Unfortunately, I don't anticipate any offers from any of those positions, and in fact the one job of those three that I really did want told me that I wasn't going to be their choice.

Today I'm going up to the National Forest to start scouting for hunting locations. In the Mitt Romney sense, I've pretty much been a hunter my entire life. However, in a more accurate sense, I'm a guy who went out hunting once or twice with my dad when I was a teen, never saw anything, and now is interested in getting back into hunting 20 years later.

I just have to get the kids to finish getting themselves together. It's only been 3 hours.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The party of no ... credibility

Who'd believe that Republicans are more prolific liars than members of other political parties? The party of no ... credibility

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Job Hunting Update

I just had what must have been the worst interview I've ever been on. I actually felt physically uncomfortable during the interview. That's usually a sign that what you're interviewing for is where you want to be.

It was rather awkward.

Old News, But Still Funny

Having problems embeddign the video, so click the link above.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kudos to Mark Halperin

According to this Who Runs Gov post, Mark Halperin was on MSNBC's Morning Grind talking about the GOP talking point about Democrat Financial Reform creating a "permanent bailout."

The transcript, according to the link, reads:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Just this once, defend the Republican position.

MARK HALPERIN: I cannot defend what they’re doing.


SCARBOROUGH: Look at you! Look at you!


HALPERIN: They are willfully misreading the bill or they are engaged in a cynical attempt to keep the president from achieving something.

Personally, I think it's good to see Halperin refuse to argue against himself on something blatantly false. Kudos to him.

There is video on the link.

It's the Law!

A few years ago, while I was still in law school, there was a case that went before the Supreme Court involving military recruiters. Various law schools, including my alma mater, did not want to allow recruiters on campus because of the schools' objections to "don't ask, don't tell." The Court determined, as my old friend Bookworm wrote at the time, "He who pays the Piper calls the tunes." Essentially, the schools didn't want to allow military recruiters, objecting on 1st Amendment grounds, yet still wanted to receive the federal funds that were tied to allowing the recruiters on campus. I disagreed with the decision at the time, however, I do believe that it is the correct decision.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held oral arguments on a case involving the Christian Legal Society at the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. The gist of the case is that the Christian Legal Society (CLS) wants to be recognized as an official student organization, which allows the group to receive "a small subsidy, preferred use of campus facilities, use of all campus bulletin boards and e-mails and use of the school logo." In order to be recognized as an official organization, the school requires that a student organization accept all comers. In other words, the organization cannot discriminate on any grounds. The CLS had been recognized as an official organization until 2004, when it changed its bylaws to bar admission to homosexuals or those who participate in pre-marital sex. The school stripped the CLS of its official recognition at the time, and cut off its stipend.

At this point in time, the CLS had a couple options. They could: a.) change their bylaws and allow all comers to have full benefits of the society, or b.) accept the decision of the school and continue to discriminate as they see fit understanding that they would not receive funding from the school. What the CLS did, of course, was option c.) file a lawsuit and claim injury.

The CLS argued that this requirement violated the organization's rights, and that it didn't make sense for the CLS to be required to allow an atheist to lead a CLS meeting. Justices Scalia, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts seem to be wanting to participate in what would be called "Judicial Activism" if they were Liberal-appointed Justices with their questions during oral arguments, including Justice Alito opening asking if other organizations were allowed to discriminate on campus despite the CLS's stipulation that others did not, and Chief Justice Roberts trying to parse this case as different than Bob Jones University being denied federal funds for wanting to deny students who believed in interracial dating.

I fail to see a difference between the CLS case and the two Bob Jones University or the Military Recruiters case. I believe that as Bookworm would write, "who pays the piper, calls the tunes," but given the makeup of the Court and the fact that the complainant in this case is a Christian organization and not a Buddhist one, I would not be surprised to see the Court engage in some legal gymnastics to find the holding they want, namely to force the Hastings College of Law to fund an organization that openly wants to discriminate.

It's interesting to think that the organization's argument seems to stem around denying access to atheists as I believe Jesus taught that he wanted Christians to be Fishers of Men, and that would be a pool from which they sought to draw...

Monday, April 19, 2010

On the Surge

One of the great talking points during the runup to the 2008 U.S. Election was the question of whether or not the Surge worked. The politically convenient point to make, and the one made by so many politicians on both sides of the aisle was that the Surge was, in fact, successful as sectarian violence was down. I remember talking with family members and friends who provided this decline in violence as their proof that President Bush was tactically brilliant in making the determination to implement the Surge.

I went on record at the time President Bush announced the Surge while refusing to accept responsibility for creating a situation where a Surge would be necessary ("Mistakes were made"). I said that I had "hopeful pessimism." The reason I was pessimistic was that I distrusted President Bush's ability to assess the situation and create a situation out of the mess his policies had made where his stated purpose of the surge, namely "to give the Iraqi leaders breathing room to work out a [political] settlement" (quote from latter link).

After the various U.S. Politicians and Talking Heads started racing to embrace the popular story of the day (i.e. the Surge Worked), I was asked whether I agreed. My answer then was that there was no way to know in 2008 whether or not the surge worked, because we didn't know whether there was a stable working government in Iraq, which was the ultimate goal of the Surge. Recently, there is evidence that this goal, and perhaps other Surge goals have not been reached. Violence is increasing as American presence is decreasing, which is not a good thing.

While it might be a fun game to point the blame to President Obama for this, remember that removing our forces from Iraq was one of his stated goals on the campaign trail. Further, according to all the big names, including former Presidential Candidate John McCain, the Surge was successful. Republicans were in a great rush to declare the war in Iraq "won" right around the time Obama took office (as it turns out, a resolution declaring victory in Iraq came about right about 6 weeks after Obama was sworn in). The point of the resolution, of course, was not to celebrate actual victory, but to divorce the invasion from the withdrawal, to be able to pin any subsequent increases in violence or collapses of Iraqi government not on the President responsible for an ill-advised (but legal) invasion creating a tenuous, unstable environment in a country with a history of sectarian discord, but rather on the President who had to follow up one of the most incompetent invasions/occupations in world history.

I said before that I was hopeful that the Surge would work, but I was skeptical. I would say that as of this minute, President Bush's last Great Attempt to secure his legacy merely added to the scale of its failure. This is not a failure of the U.S. forces, nor is it a failure of a nation that wasn't ready for western style democracy. This failure belongs to the President who was absolutely incapable of ever owning responsibility for any of his actions.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quick Question

While I suspect it's the overly liberally-slanted media, I can't state that definitively, but, with a Health Care reform bill that is paid for on paper that will cover an additional 30 Million working poor, an economy that is working again despite 8 years of painful damage caused by increased spending, decreased revenue through taxes and decreased/no regulation of major financial sectors, inheriting 2 wars and unbelievable debt, saving the auto industry, and protecting several million jobs that otherwise would have been lost had the stimulus not been enacted, all while the Republicans in Congress and the Senate sat there with their thumbs up their collective asses complaining all along about "not being included" despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary including televised sit downs with Republicans, including $300BB in tax cuts to said stimulus, etc., WHY are the Democrats expected to lose seats this fall?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Hunting We Will Go

I'm off to an interview tomorrow. I'm not exactly looking forward to it. This is a panel interview, and I'm never comfortable with these interviews. Actually, I'm not terribly comfortable with many interviews.

I keep hoping that the dream job is going to pop up. I've sent out more resumes than I can count, and it's getting rather frustrating to hear either "no" or just hear nothing in return. I've followed more leads than I thought I'd have, and they've led nowhere.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More McConnell

Whodathunkit? McConnell lied about the Financial Reform Bill? And there are printed talking points encouraging the misinformation? Glad we live in a confederacy of grown-ups.

Sen. Dodd accuses Republican leader of lying about his bill | McClatchy

Why have integrity when you can just lie?

Breitbart peddles misleading video, again

I'm sure most people aren't going to be surprised that the guy who lied about the ACORN videos presented a video of Congressman John Lewis leaving the Capital on the day of the incident as "proof" that John Lewis lied about being called an inflammatory term by tea partiers on his way INTO the Capital, one hour earlier.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just Curious

But I wonder what the ratio is of teapartiers who believe Barack Obama is intent on turning this country into a Socialist Mecca is to teapartiers who believe that Jesus is coming back to earth in their lifetime and coming to the United States for the Rapture...

I Get Confused

(Cross posted at Vim and Vinegar)

I understand that the Republican Party's current platform is essentially "whatever is the polar opposite of what President Obama supports," but how is it possible to, in the course of a week, take both sides of the financial reform debate? That seems to be what Senator Mitch McConnell has done.

On the one hand, is April 8, where, according to this article from Washington Monthly, Senators McConnell and John Cornyn went to New York City "to explain what it means for Wall Street, and how financial executives might help prevent some of [the financial reform bill's] lease market-friendly aspects from becoming law by electing more Republicans." Steve Benen, who wrote the article adds clarity: "Democrats, the GOP leaders said, are going to try to punish the irresponsible industry that caused the crash, and prevent similar crises from happening again. McConnell and Cornyn want to stop these efforts, and need the industry's help -- if Wall Street will work with Republicans and elect a whole bunch of GOP candidates, the industry will be better off without all of those pesky regulations imposing oversight and accountability.

Clearly they were arguing for small government and corporate/fiscal responsibility. in a nutshell, "we know you screwed up and nearly towed the entire nation into complete financial collapse that was staved off by the government's bailouts that have shown in early returns to have been prudent decisions in the long run. But we trust you won't do that again; after all, Wall Street has never had problems before, so it must be a one-time problem and now you know to police yourselves. So vote for us. We need your money."

Now, Senator McConnell went on the record on Tuesday (today, via to argue that the American People don't want oversight or regulations on Wall Street. Because putting in place minimum standards of regulation and oversight to help save the country from potential future financial ruin by the greed and obfuscation of the people in charge of our nation's financial pulse isn't in our best interests: "If there is one thing Americans agree on when it comes to financial reform, it's absolutely sure they agree on this. Never again should tax payers be expected to bail out Wall Street from its own mistakes. We cannot allow endless tax payer-funded bailouts for big wall street banks."

The article linked above goes on to note that the proposed legislation would create a sped-up version of bankruptcy with a $50BB resolution fund taxing the biggest firms (not the American people, so the funding would come from the financial institutions - consider it a form of insurance, maybe).

So on the one hand, Senator McConnell is looking out for Wall Street and trying to protect them from Government Intrusion, yet less than a week later, hes looking out for the American People when he urges Republicans to oppose Financial Reform because it doesn't do enough to punish Wall Street for their excesses, without mentioning that it was in part the lack of oversight or regulations, the tax cuts, increased spending and inability to account for the overreaching during the previous administration that led to the collapse...

Interesting that he can point fingers to everyone except those who in theory were in charge of the country or who were in charge of the industry that (nearly) collapsed...

Monday, April 12, 2010


I have now received three separate e-mails from the campaign supporting Debra Lehrmann for the Republican Runoff for the Supreme Court. This is a de facto placement to the Supreme Court here in Texas as ALL Texas Supreme Court Justices are Republicans. In the time I've been practicing law here in Texas, and the time I was in law school, I have not seen any Democrats, Libertarians, Green Party, Whigs, etc. on the Supreme Court, thanks to the electoral process in the state. Though there are 9 Justices and at least 1/3 of the state would qualify as "liberal" or "Democrat," the majority is Republican and in statewide votes where majority rules, the result is a non-representative Supreme Court makeup.

While that is frustrating in and of itself, the issue that I have with this particular e-mail is that I have, after EACH e-mail I have received from this campaign, responded with a request to remove my name from the contact list and have received electronic notification that my e-mail account will no longer receive any more e-mails. This is just like telemarketers and spam e-mail accounts. I'm no more likely to vote for a Judicial candidate whose campaign has such little respect for the people who would be subject to her holdings than I would be to buy whatever crap is being spewed out in spam (I can't even think of examples because they go straight to my bulk e-mail box and get deleted without viewing).

I still have no idea how I ended up on a Republican mailing list, as I've never signed up for anything that advertised I would be subscribing to receive campaign e-mails from Republican candidates, but the utter disrespect on the part of Judge Debra Lehrmann's campaign with respect to bulk e-mails is enough to cause me to declare that in terms of the primary campaign, I will support Rick Green in the Primary. At this point it's no longer about judicial records, it's about respect for the citizenry.

Rick Green for the Republican Supreme Court nomination.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Random Quote

"You hypocrite, you fraud! The atheist who believes in God" - E.K. Hornbeck (played to perfection by Gene Kelly), Inherit the Wind

Man Needing to be Fished.

I think it's time to start looking for another church.

I have said for some time that I favor separation of church and state. What I mean by that is that I don't want politics getting involved in my religion and I don't want religion getting involved in my politics.

I really don't care what political persuasion my pastor subscribes to, so long as he keeps it off the pulpit. But when you go on record about your feelings on Glenn Beck during your sermon, then you've made it clear where your politics are, which creates a wedge. I am uncomfortable knowing that somehow my pastor's political beliefs are strong enough to allow them to encroach into his preaching, and that is genuine cause for concern.

On Government Spending

I have had this discussion with family members over the past - who is responsible for the crippling national debt? Most of my family members fall into the well rehearsed mantra of Democrats increase spending and Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility. It's easy for them to say this because that's the message the Republicans have been spouting for 30 someodd years, and nobody in a position of message control (i.e. MSM) has the nerve to call them on it.

I came across the following link to the Fourth Branch today in my blog searches and found someone who actually went to the trouble to point out just how much Republicans and Democrats respectively are responsible for our debt. Key phrase: "Republicans tolerated spending under Republican presidents for 30 years, accounting for 59% of our total national debt, all the while benefiting from federal spending at the expense of their counterparts in blue states, only to then go bananas when a Democratic president and Congress spend money to rescue a floundering economy." Think about that as you read the article and see the charts.

There is a party of Fiscal responsibility. It's just not the ones the message handlers would have you believe.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Just a Reminder

Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman, et al. are interested in only 3 things: Power, Controlling the Message, and Attention.

And they will do or say anything to get it without regard to the truthfulness of the matter.

Rosetta Stoned

I purchased a copy of Rosetta stone to help repair my atrophied Korean skills. It's been some 6 years since I spoke the language with any regularity.

I can say that the first few lessons helped quite a bit - I realize how much is dormant and not exactly "dead." Still, I'm going to have to get through a lot of this before I'm comfortable listing myself as fluent in Korean on my resume again...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Random Comment

What's up with Ryan Seacrest on American Idol this year? I can't be the only one who sees how incredibly discourteous he's been with Simon this season. He needs to grow up.

More "Bad" News

(Cross posted at Vim and Vinegar) I remember the hubbub last year when President Obama determined it necessary to bail out the nation's auto industry, which included the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler. My father in law among others was particularly nonplussed about the idea of "Government Motors."

It turns out GM has made it not only a priority to increase quality and payback the loans, but GM now reports that they plan to pay off their loans by June of this year, 5 years ahead of the 2015 payback date.

So President Obama prevented a dramatic loss of jobs by preventing the collapse of two of the nation's three automakers, keeping people employed and money flowing while allowing the automakers precious time to reformulate their strategy (i.e. "modernize"). As a result, American cars are better, sales are increasing, and the damage to the economy was greatly diminished.

President Obama has his failings (namely most of the wartime policies he carried over from the Bush administration and the subsequent broom and carpet policy with regard to past violations of the law by the same). However, it would seem that with regard to his economic decisions, he's been doing all right. This information is right up there with the news about the Government's profit margin in its Citibank stocks.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tuesday Update

Well, I had an interview of sorts last week. It was an interesting situation where the job isn't immediately open, but they anticipate it will be available in the next 30-60 days. The attorneys I met were both genial and professional, which is a good combination to have. In addition, they both were very knowledgeable, which provides a good resource from which to garner information.

I broke down and got Rosetta Stone for Korean last Friday, as well. This will help my transition into an IP or immigration position as my language skills are not what they were back in the late 90s. We'll have to see what happens.

Hope all is well out there in blogland.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

History is Written by the Petulant

I remember a point in the Bush Administration wherein the former president accused Democrats of "rewriting history" with regard to the workup to the War in Iraq. It turned out, of course, that the majority of what was pressed as the justifications for invading Iraq were, in fact, false, but the accusation stood.

This is an interesting concept, because there appears to have been a strong push on the part of Conservatives throughout this country to attempt to rewrite history, including McCarthyism and others. For a good example, I refer my reader(s) to this McClatchy article that does a good job debunking several of the attempts at rewriting...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Judge: Bush wire-tapping illegal

This probably shouldn't suprise anyone who's followed my blog, but I am happy to hear the smackdown of the Bush Administration's intentional circumvention of FISA and the 4th Amendment.

Judge: Bush wire-tapping illegal

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