Monday, December 26, 2005


HItchy Taking Cranky Bastard to a Whole New Level

Bah, Humbug - The horrors of December in a one-party state. By Christopher Hitchens: "On all media and in all newspapers, endless invocations of the same repetitive theme. In all public places, from train stations to department stores, an insistent din of identical propaganda and identical music. The collectivization of gaiety and the compulsory infliction of joy. Time wasted on foolishness at one's children's schools. Vapid ecumenical messages from the president, who has more pressing things to do and who is constitutionally required to avoid any religious endorsements... No believer in the First Amendment could go that far. But there are millions of well-appointed buildings all across the United States, most of them tax-exempt and some of them receiving state subventions, where anyone can go at any time and celebrate miraculous births and pregnant virgins all day and all night if they so desire. These places are known as "churches," and they can also force passersby to look at the displays and billboards they erect and to give ear to the bells that they ring. In addition, they can count on numberless radio and TV stations to beam their stuff all through the ether. If this is not sufficient, then god damn them. God damn them everyone."

Compulsory INFLICTION of joy, just in case you missed it. Coal in a grown man's stocking anyone? I mean really. One day to be giggly and make others giggly, and he can't even take the CB hat off for one day. Actually, he did make me giggle with this, so maybe he did his part, less the gits and tall trees. I wonder what he and his wife, Blue, do to celebrate this week at the end of the year. No turkey and mistletoe, I suppose. His decorations probably consist of a sign for the door, "Carolers will be shot on sight". Naah, he's probably not to the right enough to be a member of the NRA. Maybe the sign says, "Carolers will be beaten to a bloody pulp". Blue, being a girl and all, probably bought a secret house in the Hamptons where she can put up decorations and take part in the holiday. It takes a great deal of restraint, as a woman, not to love red and green and fat Santas. Fat Santas are a chromosonal must. No exceptions. Even females of the Jewish and Hindu faiths, look at fat Santas and say, "Everyone will understand. It's cute." And females of all beliefs love the excuse for shopping. Does Blue get to warm the credit card at Nordy's in December? For a woman who I probably don't need to worry much about, I would feel for her if she had to repress the natural desire to shop, decorate, and unwrap gifts to celebrate solstice, Hanukkah, or just the end of another year. I don't see my cranky Hitchy down in the floor fighting with the tape to make sure frosty the snowman paper is fully covering a box with lovelies for his wife. To each their own, but seriously, lighten up. If you're around him next Christmas, don't bother to wrap the Johnny Walker and Marlboros.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Is There Really a Shortage of Places to Put the Ten Commandments?

NKY.Com - 'Time we stood up to ACLU': "Northern Kentucky state lawmakers are lining up to support legislation that would permit the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public buildings.
Two downstate lawmakers - Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, and Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro - have filed separate bills that would basically clear the way for the Ten Commandments to be hung in public buildings, such as the State Capitol in Frankfort, as part of broader display of historical markers."

This push to have these markers in government offices is odd. If you go to high growth areas of the country, what you often see is tons of new churches. Then there are the millions of private homes and land. Then you have privately-owned stores. There is no shortage of non-governmental places to worship and display the Ten Commandments.
Smart Americans who feel it is necessary to display these publicly should be more creative. Let's use the traditional small town as an example. Most towns like this have a main town square with a Courthouse in the middle of the square. Bordering on each side, generally, are many little private businesses. Those who feel the Ten Commandments should be displayed in these areas should go to the private business owners and have the Ten Commandments displayed in the windows of the bordering businesses. This way, they get more displays and are not violating the Constitution.
The arguments for these displays make no sense, because if you replaced the Ten Commandments with verse from the Koran, the argument would be over very quickly. There is no war on Christianity or Christmas. Rather there is a great many of us who want religion to be a private matter, not a governmental one. Where I do agree with the Christians in their fuss is that people should not be kept from saying or referencing Christmas. I do, however, see businesses point in wanting to be inclusive. If you think that a good portion of your business comes from the Jewish population and you think your sales associates may not be able to distinguish between who may be traditional Christians and Jewish, you may want to cover the public relations issues by wishing people Happy Holidays. In that case, it may not be as much an exclusion of Christmas as an inclusion of those that believe otherwise.
This is simple. In a Democracy, as opposed to a Theocracy, government does not market religion. Government merely maintains the freedoms that allow people to worship as they please. I think we can all agree on that.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Rondo, Cats knock off No. 4 Cards | 12/17/2005 | Rondo, Cats knock off No. 4 Cards: "Kentucky scored the game's first eight points en route to a 39-24 halftime lead. Throughout the half, Rondo sparkled.
...The busy Obrzut helped set it up by sealing off a defender. The dunk put UK ahead 43-27 with 17:16 left."

Sparkled is right. The Cats are back!!! WUUUUUUU did a great job today too. Go Cats!!!


Giuliani on the Patriot Act

Taking Liberties With the Nation's Security - New York Times: "The central provisions of the Patriot Act allow law enforcement and the intelligence community to share information. This might seem elementary, but for years law enforcement had been stymied by a legal wall that prevented agencies from sharing information. For four years now, inter-agency collaboration, made possible by the Patriot Act, has played an important role in preventing another day like Sept. 11. The act's provisions helped make possible the investigations in Lackawanna, N.Y., and Portland, Ore., in which 12 people were ultimately convicted for attempts to aid Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
So what happened in Washington? The House voted on Wednesday to renew the act; it stalled in the Senate. If the Senate fails to approve the extension, the government will be forced to revert in many ways to our pre-Sept. 11 methods. Sixteen provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire on Dec. 31, including the key information-sharing ones.
It is simply false to claim, as some of its critics do, that this bill does not respond to concerns about civil liberties. The four-year extension of the Patriot Act, as passed by the House, would not only reauthorize the expiring provisions - allowing our Joint Terrorism Task Force, National Counterterrorism Center and Terrorist Screening Center to continue their work uninterrupted - it would also make a number of common-sense clarifications and add dozens of additional civil liberties safeguards."

I think when most of us think of Rudy, we think of a man that was able to get elected in New York with an [R] next to his name. I was told he was able to do this by making unions and other liberal groups in that city understand that he would be their Mayor too. That got him elected. Granted, for the better part of his tenure, he was courting controversy either personally or professionally, but he went on to become the Nation's Mayor, a hero. What we seemed to grown to love about him is that while he has been loyal to his party, he has not been a party line lemming. When Rudy feels strongly about something, he does not seem to feel the need to check that belief with the party platform or pollsters.
While there is no doubt that Giuliani is a politician, there is a strong sense that he is a man of conviction and strength. I read this and kept thinking...would he write this if he didn't really feel it in his gut? The answer is no. Then the next question might be whether he is an expert on the topic. While there are others, I would say most of the country would probably agree that he has had to become one, if even reluctantly. Do those two answers mean that his stance on the Patriot Act is right? Not necessarily, but it lends a responsible voice to a topic that has irresponsible voices both for and against it.
I also have to ask myself whether I would be passionately praising the Patriot Act if we had been hit by terrorists recently. I also have to weigh that against what I would have felt about the Patriot Act prior to 9/11. The basis for our civil liberties has not changed because of 9/11. My stance will need to fall somewhere between these two extremes in order to have any credibility. Rudy's stance seems to recognize and fall between these two extremes.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


We Need More Hitchy's

Saddam's chief apologist - Los Angeles Times: "Far from denying that any such horror had occurred � and it is one of the smaller elements in the bill of indictment � Clark asserted that it was justifiable. He has now twice said in public that, given the war with the Shiite republic of Iran, Hussein was entitled to take stern measures. 'He had this huge war going on, and you have to act firmly when you have an assassination attempt,' he told the BBC.
To this he calmly added that he himself had more than once been shoved aside by Secret Service agents eager to defend the president of the United States (and of course one remembers the mass arrests, beatings and executions that followed the assassination attempts on presidents Ford and Reagan). It is as if Hussein had not started, by his illegal, blood-soaked invasion of Iran, the 'huge war' that Clark cites as the excuse for Hussein then turning his guns on Iraqis.
I wonder, does the former absolute owner of Iraq quite realize that one on his team of attorneys is proudly trumpeting his guilt?"

He shouldn't be the only one who makes this much sense. There should be others that can say it as well. There aren't. Let's face it. Ramsey and others like him enjoy a bit of oppressive power in their friends. Be it Saddam or Castro, they want to be friends with people who don't need charisma to maintain power. The same people that want gun control take pleasure in leaders who lead by the gun, and in this case, by the meat grinder and noose. Whatever works, I suppose, they justify.


These People...

Lines Are Drawn for Big Suit Over Sodas - New York Times: "In a study published in the medical journal Lancet in 2001, Dr. David S. Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children's Hospital Boston and an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, found that each additional daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage increased the risk of obesity by 60 percent.
The American Beverage Association says that there are also studies that show no link between consumption of soft drinks and obesity."

Be it obesity or eating disorders, these groups, including the lawyers, are taking advantage of a buzz issue. They know Americans have seen a lot of news programs on childhood obesity, and know they will get some level of public support for this effort. What they miss is that many kids do not suffer from these problems. Many kids do not over use the vending machines. I grant the argument that the companies have a captive audience to brand themselves to, but it wouldn't take a long walk from most schools to see them branded elsewhere. When I was in high school, I didn't buy from the machines we had, because they were Pepsi machines, as I remember. I took my Diet Coke in every day. We should not support this effort. Under this line of thought, the lunches will consist only of apples and chicken.

Friday, December 02, 2005



Ban on Gay Priests - New York Times: "As much as the Vatican tries to paint pedophilia and homosexuality as one and the same, it simply isn't so.
A 1998 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that 90 percent of pedophiles were men and that 98 percent of these individuals were heterosexual."

How is it that whenever the Vatican speaks I have to shake my head? The ignorance of their choices over the years befuddles me. The irony of being religious, bigoted against gays, and shelterers of pedophiles is beyond my scope of understanding.


Lessons in Legacy

Clemency for a Crip? - New York Times: "A judge has set Dec. 13 as the execution date for Stanley Williams, the co-founder of the Crips street gang, who was convicted on four counts of murder in 1981. During his years in prison, Mr. Williams, who is known as Tookie, has become a voice against violence, writing children's books that urge youngsters to avoid gangs. His judicial appeals have been exhausted, and now Mr. Williams's only hope appears to lie in a grant of executive clemency by the governor."

Before all of this clemency talk, I had never heard of Tookie or his books. Interestingly, I had heard of his greater legacy, the Crips. With all of these famous names backing clemency, they seem to ignore that beyond the conviction and fruitless appeals, he is also known to be a prison rapist many times over. That alone should get him the needle. Being a Nobel Peace Prize nominee is not a reason to spare his life. His books clearly aren't well known to anyone but these famous folks. Looking around the country, I haven't heard of a lot of gang-bangers changing their lives after reading these books. If there were, they would be highlighted in all of this clemency chatter.
I am not sure how I feel about the death penalty. I am actually fine with life sentences as it would save states loads of appeals time and money. While we have the death penalty, however, and he has been sentenced to such, we should follow through as his legacy is weighing more on the negative than on the positive.

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