Friday, February 24, 2006

Any Port in a Storm

If you haven't figured it out from reading this blog, although my actual political beliefs lean towards the Libertarian, I'm a registered Republican who not only voted for Bush, but volunteered on his campaign in 2004, and I still support him to this day.


I've defended his intelligence--although not his speaking skills--against ridiculous accusations of stupidity from the left...but if he can't get his mind around why it might be bad to hand control of American ports over to an Arab nation--or any foreign power, for that matter--then maybe I've been wrong all along.

Those who read my update on Tuesday may think I'm being a bit hypocritical--after all, it's not the country itself who will control the ports, but a corporation based in that country. And after all, aren't the UAE our friends? Sure they are--for now. And as long as the UAE remains friendly toward us (just as we remain friendly toward China), they will be a pleasant and gracious guest (just as Google is).

The trouble comes when relations sour, and diplomacy breaks down. When that happens, the individuals who direct these corporations become citizens of their own countries, first and foremost...or at least so their nations hope. To hammer yet again on the Google example, they could be an excellent tool for spreading propaganda friendly to the U.S. agenda in any sort of conflict. Now imagine that the U.S. and the UAE come into some sort of covert conflict as part of the ongoing fight against terrorism. With the ports under control of their companies, the UAE would have an open door to American soil. Alliances in the Middle East are a hell of a lot less stable than those in Asia--that's just a fact, and it scares the hell out of me.

The fact of the matter is that ports are just borders that we share with the ocean rather than another nation. We don't outsource the Border Patrol in the south to other nations. We'd be foolish to treat our ports any differently.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

When Bluehairs Have Babies

62-year-old woman delivers 12th child

I'm all for science, but sometimes enough is enough. It's not like she hasn't already had children--this one is her twelfth. But the bigger question here is...


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

They Ain't Evil, They're My Search Engine

Why, Google, why?

I had this post all thought out. I was all set to defend you against the heat you're taking from hyperidealists and hacky web comics for agreeing to comply with Chinese government censorship requirements. Google is a private-sector corporation, not an entity of the U.S. or any other government. China has a legitimate, recognized government that maintains diplomatic relations with this country, and U.S.-based businesses are allowed to do business in China.

Imagine what would happen if a foreign company, even one from a friendly nation, set up shop here and decided that one of our federal laws was blatantly wrong. (I know, it's impossible to comprehend.) But let's say they went one step further and decided to outright ignore the law that so offended them. It simply wouldn't fly. They'd be run out of town on a rail by either the public, the media, the government, or some combination thereof before they ever had a chance to get off the ground. Of course most foreign companies comply with our laws, at least overtly, no matter how they feel about them--they're in business to make money, first and foremost. They can't do that in markets that they can't enter. Why should Americans expect our companies to act any differently when they're dealing with another legitimate government? That sort of double standard is a shining example of that American arrogance that gets us the reputation we "enjoy" in other parts of the world. Google complied with the laws of the land, and as a result, they get to keep operating there (at least for now).

But they sure do have a strange way of picking their battles. They obey an unjust censorship law without a word of protest, yet they ignore a federal subpoena from the U.S. Attorney General that's designed to help law enforcement track down pedophiles. Which of these should Google really be fighting in court to best comply with their unofficial corporate motto of Don't Be Evil?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Dick Jokes

Iran has been accused of developing a secret military nuclear program--by France, no less!
The U.N. wants the U.S. to shut down Gitmo and let all the terror suspects go.
The U.S. army has uncovered a Shiite death squad out to kill Sunnis in Iraq.

Did you hear about any of these stories of international importance this week? If you did, you probably had to dig pretty deep, because most of the major news outlets had only one story front and center...unless you're living under a rock, you know it's Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of one of his hunting companions. And why shouldn't they--after all, if the American public eats up coverage of an anorexic hack actress's fender benders, why wouldn't wall-to-wall coverage of an accident involving the vice president bring in the huge ratings and readership as well? Besides, for the tabloid-esque publications, this could be their only chance to use witty headlines like "DICK BLASTS MAN IN FACE LOL!"

I'm a fairly experienced bird hunter myself. I've never gone after quail, but I can't imagine it's much different than hunting pheasant or grouse. So for once, speaking with some actual knowledge (rather than being made an expert by virtue of having a blog and a keyboard), here are the facts that you need to know. The fault of the accident ultimately lies with Cheney--he pulled the trigger without being 100% certain of what exactly was in his target area, and that's the bottom line. That being said, for victim Harry Whittington to walk into the line of fire without any sort of signal to make his presence known is pretty foolish, and just asking for trouble.

There you go--pretty much the whole story in two sentences. Here's hoping that the media gets over this and back to real news soon.

Friday, February 10, 2006


This just in: Perverts can use the internet to find children to assault!

Well, stop the presses, Mr. Hearst! This has only been going on since IRC was invented in 1988. Yet another reason why we need attentive parents and groups like Perverted Justice.

I've been thinking about creating a MySpace as a way to attract more readers to this site--but I've decided against it since I'm an antisocial ass with no interest in picking up preteens.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

This Looks Like a Job for the ACLU!

It's been a bad week for cops in New Jersey. They've been getting in trouble from the north to south end of the state, first for the now-infamous NHL gambling scandal and now for...telling jokes?!

Pretty much everyone who knows me personally knows that I'm a big fan of the Opie and Anthony and Ron and Fez shows on XM's satellite radio service. I listen to the entire shows every day, and though I occasionally use my favorite talk shows to find blog topics, when I do cover something they've talked about, I try to put my own spin on it and not regurgitate the things I've heard for my own audience. Unfortunately, if you're reading this blog and are familiar with the O&A show, a lot of this is going to be familiar to you, because those guys' opinion on this situation matches mine exactly.

Before today, I never even knew the O&A regular known as "Club Soda Kenny" was a West Orange, NJ police officer when he wasn't on the air. But he is, and in between he helps the "boys" with their travel arrangements, security, and the like. I've even met him (by which I mean I said hello) at one of Jim Norton's standup comedy shows in Falls Church, Virginia. Now, his job and 22 years' worth of his pension are in jeopardy because of a short standup routine he performed last year while in his O&A show "character". I've heard most of the act on the radio, and his act wasn't funny--his delivery was pretty awful. It was what most would consider offensive--it contained jokes on rape, bestiality, and pedophilia.

But "Kenny" (real name John Feder) never brought his job into it--to the best of my knowledge, he's never even brought it up on the air, dating back into O&A's stint on syndicated "terrestrial radio" days. He didn't tell these jokes from an officer's point of view. As far as anyone knows, he's never actually engaged in any of the illegal activities that he joked about. This should be a First Amendment case, pure and simple. Jim Norton pointed out the most telling line of the Star-Ledger article:

However, Alana Goebel, assistant director of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said police departments should not tolerate officers who joke about rape, regardless of their right to speak freely.

Read the last part of that sentence again: "[R]egardless of their right to speak freely." The quoted proponent of Feder's firing admits that he has rights under the First Amendment.

Where is the ACLU, the defenders of personal liberties, including, one would think, free speech, in all of this? Are they leaping to Feder's defense in a clear-cut First Amendment issue? Not according to the front page of their website--they're trying to make it harder for the government to fight terrorism, plugging their CourtTV show, and touting their victory allowing homeowners to post campaign signs on their own property. Shame on them--if a man who has dedicated his life and career to protecting others' lives and rights isn't entitled to the same protection under those rights, then who is? I challenge them to at least save this dedicated officer's pension that he's worked so hard for over so many years, if not his career.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Brokeback to the Future

This was too funny not to link here.

Hat tip to


Just a quick hit on this subject--I think the only thing I can add is that as of the time I'm writing this, four people have been killed over a bunch of cartoons. Read that last sentence again and let the absurdity sink in. A bunch of freaking cartoons.

Faxman has some good thoughts on the subject; VodkaPundit has several great posts as well.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Truckers vs. Coke

American Trucking Associations urge Coca-Cola to pull or change their Super Bowl advertisement

This falls under the category of "some stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason." I hate sharing I-95 with meth'd up truckers, either driving way too fast and close on the bumper of my tiny Chevy Cavalier or driving far too slow in the passing lane. Just about everyone has had a bad experience on the road with a bullying trucker in a giant semi--if they hadn't, then the joke simply wouldn't work. I, for one, will make sure to run out and buy a case of Coke (I seldom drink soda or keep it in my house) if Coke has the balls to leave this commercial intact.