Friday, October 16, 2009

Everybody do the time warp.

42 years after Loving v Virginia, Keith Bardwell, a Justice of the Peace in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, has refused to grant a marriage license to a couple because they are not of the same race. "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," said the racist. Bardwell's objection stemmed from the possibility of such unions producing mixed-race children, such as President Obama and golf legend Tiger Woods. "I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it."

In a pathetic display of self-delusion, he attempted to whitewash the stain on his soul, saying "I have piles and piles of black friends." Without a trace of irony, dug the hole deeper. "They come to my home, I marry them*, they use my bathroom." (emphasis added)

"I treat them just like everyone else," he lied.

The year 1959 released a statement on the matter, saying that it had misplaced this individual, but didn't want him back.

* to other black people, not to white people.

hat tip, Ali.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Nation...

Because the webs love me, and I love you,

On nation, under Cthulhu...


Be sure to check out the mouseover text of every tiny bit of symbolism.

Hat tip to the innominate one (née biologist).

Meditations on Guidos

The inimitable dhex waxes fascistic on the final solution to the boom-car menace.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Women's suffrage was good for something!

No, really! When the US mint decided to make a silver dollar commemorating women's suffragist Susan B. Anthony, the result was one of the most sublime statements of duality known to man. The coin is roundly derided as the lamest dollar in US history, and yet on the flip side (literally) it is the awesomest coin ever minted in the United States.

Dig it, yo.

Happy Moon Landing Day, everybody!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tank Guy!

Hope you made it to see the 20th anniversary of the ballsiest move in civil protest in my short lifetime.

Monday, March 30, 2009

How to f**k over Mexico's violent drug lords

Mexico is making headlines again, but not the good kind of headlines, like you want. They're not even making headlines because they're taking American jobs (although in this case they kinda are, but more on that later).

No, Mexico is all over the news and the Secretary of State's lips because of violence. And a good portion of that violence is concentrated right up next to our border, and sometimes spills across it.

Secretary Clinton blames this violence on America's insatiable demand for illegal drugs. But it isn't the insatiable demand that causes the violence. America has an insatiable demand for lots of things, but they rarely lead to violence. America's annual demand for illegal drugs has been estimated at $40-$55 billion in recent years. America's demand for legal drugs is ten times that amount or more. America's demand for beer, wine, and liquor also outstrips its demand for illegal drugs. Tobacco, also consistently outperforms the illegal drug industry in annual sales.

I know some people in the pharmaceuticals industry, and none of them worries about a rival from Pfizer planting a bomb in their car. Anheiser-Busch has never tortured anyone to death. So what's different about cocaine, heroin, and marijuana?

The answer, of course, is that Anheiser-Busch and Pfizer are allowed to operate legally. As such, there are tremendous disadvantages to violence. If they were to resort to violence, everything they have would be taken away. But these narco-traffickers are already underground. If the mere existence of their business comes to light, they will be arrested. So a murder to keep that a secret or to maintain their control over a market is not at all unthinkable.

It is not America's demand for drugs that fuels the violence. It is America's attempts to squash all legal attempts to meet that demand. These narco-traffickers would be put quickly out of business by efficient and honest purveyors in a free market. Mexico's best bet is to legalize the production and wholeselling of cocaine, marijuana, and heroin. It would likely lead to a terrible increase in drug addiction in the country, but taxation of drug profits could fund treatment centers. Far more devastating would be America's likely trade reaction, as self-righteous Congressmen attempt to embargo Mexican goods to retaliate for their defiance of American drug policy. But even so, I think it would be good for Mexico. And good for America to see some defiance to our drug-war imperialism.

For more reading, check out this editorial in The Economist, or this one by the late William F. Buckley in National Review. Anti-establishment agitators indeed.

UPDATE: These guys say it better (hat tip, H&R).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This deal is getting worse all the time

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.

In a closely watched case involving rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state secrets originally developed by the Bush administration.

Dammit. I voted for Obama knowing full well that he'd be terrible on the economy. So I can forgive panicky and poorly thought-out 'stimulus' packages. I don't like them, but I knew what I was getting into. The reason I made this bargain was for a reversal of some of the sickening abuses of government power propagated by the Bush administration. Obama's first steps were positive, but there are some troubling elements.

Several WoT detainees filed suit with a Boeing logistics and airlift subsidiary, Jeppesen Dataplan, charging them with transporting detainees to other countries for the purposes of torture. They allege that Jeppesen Dataplan provided the transport services for the "extraordinary rendition" program. Essentially, Bush lawyers argued that some of the things they did were so secret that we couldn't even begin to discuss them in court without jeopardizing national security. That effectively removes huge swaths of government activity from any form of oversight.

Extraordinary rendition has been one of the blackest spots on America's reputation. If the Obama administration is going to continue to invoke un-reviewable state-secret justifications to prevent investigations of wrongdoing on the part of the government, then he's not living up to the standards he needs to. He'll find his support among civil libertarians waning if he gets up to too much of these kinds of shenanigans.

Hat Tip, Radley Balko.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today is the Day

To discuss what I find to be an error in generally accepted spelling practices.

Today's problem, suffixes. Specifically, when to drop trailing 'e's from a word before adding a suffix. The general rule is that if the 'e' is silent, you drop it.

However, there is an exception. If the suffix begins with a consonant, and the 'e' is necessary to the correct pronunciation of the word, it should not be dropped.

For instance, 'judge' + 'ment' should not be 'judgment', since the 'g' cannot be soft without a trailing 'i' or 'e'. The preferred spelling in most dictionaries drops the 'e'. This is, of course, crazy talk.