Friday, September 10, 2004

Infinite Justice delayed is Infinite Justice denied 


Why aren't these guys in hell yet?

obl & #2 Posted by Hello

(Query courtesy of Matt Gunn.)
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Turing's story resonates 

Today Da Paper had a letter to the editor which used the example of Alan Turing to argue against the amendment to ban gay marriages. As you know, I think his life is so compelling that everyone should hear about it, (though I doubt Turing would want his story turned into a political cause revolving around his sexuality). When people learn of Turing's massive contributions to winning WWII and to the development of the computer, I would hope that it's much harder (50 years later!) to vote to codify the sort of bigotry that did him in. I salute the Times Picayune for publishing Ms. Linda Jenkins eloquent letter (my emph):
Shortly, our state will vote on whether to constitutionally ban gay marriage, which is already illegal in Louisiana. Frankly, I am not sure why people are so intimidated by the thought of two individuals wanting to commit and extend legal protection to each other. What possible harm could there be to you or me?

If Alan Turing hadn't broken the German code, we probably wouldn't even be considering this issue. The Germans would have handled it, because homosexuals were sent to the concentration camps, marked with pink triangles, abused and mutilated.

My vote against this mean-spirited amendment will be a thank you to Alan Turing for his contributions as well as my apology to him for the narrow-mindedness that existed in the 1950s and, sadly, is kept alive by many. It will be my opportunity to say that we have learned something in 50 years. Other voters in Louisiana will have that same opportunity. Please think about it.
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Send the Counselah to the Peninsula 

John Edwards needs to visit Florida at least two dozen times before election day. Speeches, local news interviews, townhall meetings, open events... everything. After repeated pummelings by hurricanes, Florida will be ready for a candidate with that Clintonian "I feel your pain" connectivity. Also, when thousands are hassling with insurance claims, they will be much less responsive to the GOP blame on "trial lawyers" for all domestic ills.

Edwards needn't even address the hurricane damage in an overtly political manner. In fact, he should go out of his way not to look partisan on relief issues. But he already understands that, and will go listen to voters, and talk to them in a way that shows he "gets it" and that he's on "our side".... etc. That's John's genius, and he does it far better than Bush-- not to mention Kerry or Cheney.

Here's hoping Ivan swerves eastward, sucks up Castro into the clouds, and peters out in the Atlantic...
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The "Roaring 2000's" could still happen-- isn't it pretty to think so? 

From BizNewOrleans:
In a series of reports released today, the UCLA Anderson Forecast slightly altered its earlier short-term forecast and warned of a potential national recession within two years.

So what? Bears have predicted nine out of the last four recessions.
[UCLA Anderson Forecast has] been warning for several years that the recession-recovery cycle currently being experienced in the national economy is unique among similar post-war cycles.

I can't believe I'm citing someone who's claiming that "it's different this time."
Historically, consumer spending dropped during such periods and powerful recoveries were fueled by the return of strong consumer activity. In the current scenario, consumer spending on housing, cars and other goods has been maintained throughout, and there is no boost in consumer spending to spur the economy into high-growth mode.

Now that does fit with my credit bubble concerns...

In a best-case scenario, the current slow patch in the recovery holds for two years or so, when more robust capital spending should reduce recession risk. In the meantime, a consumer-led pull back could induce a recession within the next two years, they say.

Ew. But how credible is this outfit?

UCLA Anderson Forecast is one of the most widely watched and often-cited economic outlooks for California and the nation, and was unique in predicting both the seriousness of the early-1990s downturn in California, and the strength of the state's rebound since 1993. Most recently, the forecast is credited as the first major U.S. economic forecasting group to declare the recession of 2001.

Ew. Ew. Ew.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Fighting for Breath 

My 5 month old daughter Colicky is sleeping peacefully as I write this post. She's growing and learning new things each day. But I'm in sort of a quandary. I'm wondering whether I should light a cigar and smoke it in her nursery. I could stand by the side of her crib, inhale, and blow the smoke directly in her face. Lightly, of course. I'd hate to wake her. Someone assured me that if I did this my income statement would improve.

What do you think? Should I?

Hey, Houston and Baton Rouge! Y'all are good at making business decisions. What sort of returns can I expect after retarding my child's lung development?
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While I go out and get some more steaks for the freezer, here's a quick news digest:
1. Front page of the Washington paper.

2. Cartoon.

See how the serious one was unexpectedly funny, while the funny one unexpectedly serious? Now this next story is trivial but I'll exaggerate its import and top it off with an old Dennis Miller line:

3. Tivo and Netflix may merge and offer a huge library of instant, on-demand movies!! In terms of addictive power, this will make crack look like Sanka.

title ref link.
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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

"War is only as good as the peace that follows it" 

(Splendid title quote courtesy of Matt Gunn.)

From the Grey Lady:
As American military deaths in Iraq operations surpassed the 1,000 mark, top Pentagon officials said Tuesday that insurgents controlled important parts of central Iraq and that it was unclear when American and Iraqi forces would be able to secure those areas.

Still awaiting the name of the thousandth casualty. The first was truth.

In the meantime, locals may look through the huge four full page tribute to the fallen in the Times-Picayune. Afterwards, if you're not feeling too ill, you can jam out to this nifty remix.

For those still bursting with unvented, creative frustrations, I've provided the following template; just find the tune in your head and fill in the blanks:

Proclaimers "500 Miles"

When I _____ up, Yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man Who _____ up next to you
When I _____ ___, Yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man Who ____ _____ with you
If I get drunk Yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man Who gets drunk next to you
And if I ______ Yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man Who's ______ing next to you


But I would ____ five hundred _____
And I would ____ five hundred more
Just to be the man who ______ a thousand _____
To fall down at your door

When I'm working, Yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man Who's ______ hard for you
And when the money Comes in for the work I'll do
I'll pass every penny Right along to _____


Da da da da, Da da da da
Da da da dum_ di dee dum_
Di dee dum_ di dee dum_
Da da, Da da da da
Da da da da
Da da da dum_ di dee dum_
Di dee dum_ di dee dum_
Da da

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

"I'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes" 

She helps me Posted by Hello

Normally Dr. Laura Schlessinger enters my mind only for climax control purposes, but the General has an update on her entrepreneurial son, who's getting into the hookah bizness. I think he should write a manual entitled "The Proper Care and Feeding of Water Pipes".

This reminded me about last summer, when I often tuned in to the Dr. Laura show (1350am WSMB) so I could play a game I invented called "There's Another Wrinkle to the Prune!"

It's a pretty simple game. You just keep track of how many calls come in before the following scenario occurs: one of Dr. Laura's "biggest fans" will get through. The fan, often female, gushes about how she is her kid's mom, and how she listens to Dr. Laura every day, and how she has read all her books twice...etc. Sensing the disaster to come, Schlessinger will pause, and cautiously ask "What can I do for you?" Thereupon, the caller will start describing (in some roundabout way) the most twisted, disgusting, petty, and repugnant family situation you've ever heard-- usually involving some brutal psychodynamic between mother/daughter/spouse repeating itself over and over, at immense human cost. Dr Laura (to her credit) will probe into the ugly depths of this morass; not for clinical purposes, mind you, but to more ably make her caller feel stupid. Occasionally, very rarely, the soon-to-be-former "fan"-- so utterly bereft of insight-- will argue with the egotistical host. That's when the fireworks are lit. Such exchanges result in pure radio gold, an eleven on the humor-meter.

All too often though, Dr. Laura will merely beat the caller down with their own stupidities, never missing a chance to make them feel small. Complete capitulation is the goal, and she'll force the (sobbing) caller to repeat some empowering magic words. Perhaps a "moment of clarity" will be manufactured. Then the hapless fan says goodbye, under the illusion that her life might radically change, and that her all-important kiddies might have a chance to make it after all.

So where's the fun in that game? Well, it's encapsulated in that "cautious pause". When her ultra-devoted fans call, Schlessinger must be clenching her teeth in anticipation of the trainwreck to come. Her pruneface is testimony to the daily stress incurred from her most ardent "fans". That's a sweet irony...

I'll admit, Schadenfreude isn't a very noble indulgence; but when it comes to "Dr. L", I take second helpings of the stuff.

In that vein, a couple endnotes:

1. The General writes that Schlessinger recently lost her religion. I'm wondering: is morality still the message? Are the beatitudes in play now?

2. Here's a refresher on her "credentials" from unauthorized biographer Ms. Vickie Bane:

According to the California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners, "Nobody is allowed to use 'Doctor' unless they are a medical doctor or...a professor in the psychological field with a clinical license."

Schlessinger has a PhD, but it isn't in psychology --- it's in physiology. Her doctorate was entitled Effects of Insulin on 3-0 Methylglucose Transport in Isolated Rat Adipocytes. According to one of her professors, she spent most of her doctoral training time "pulling fat pads off rat testicles."

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Monday, September 06, 2004

Get Ready 

Basket of Puppies links to an AP report about how "close" the U.S. is to catching Bin Laden. I'm of the belief that he's already been caught. President Bush indicated knowledge of this during his acceptance speech by winking to a friend after reading the following line (it's about 36 minutes into it):

"more than three-quarters of al-Qaida's key members and associates have been detained or killed"

FOX showed it live, but has a different version available on the internet. MSNBC doesn't show him during the pause, and I can't get the CSPAN link to work. The GOP convention site doesn't show it either...

Sorry. It's pretty frustrating not to offer you anything more than my wild-eyed claims. If anyone has a tape of the live Fox broadcast, contact me.

More at the Fulcrum. Michael is more skeptical.

Perhaps now is a good time to remind you of this quote from straight-talkin' Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA):
Obviously, he'll be caught between now and the election... I think they're on his trail now in a way they haven't been all year.
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Sunday, September 05, 2004

New Orleans MetBlog 

Shannon and I are contributing "Metrobloggers" to this New Orleans affiliate. So, loyal readers can find additional stuff about the Crescent City over there. I post under the bizarre name of "Mark" at There are about a dozen others.

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