Monday, November 29, 2010

An Alternative Airline Security Model


Airport Security Solution

Here's the solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at the Airports:

Have a booth that you can step into that will not x-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your body. It would be a win-win for everyone, and there would be none of this crap about racial profiling and this method would eliminate a long and expensive trial.

Justice would be quick and swift.

This is so simple that it's brilliant. I can see it now. You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion.

Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system,

"Attention: standby passengers. We now have a seat available on flight 4665...

Paging maintenance. Shop Vac needed in booth number 4."


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cables shine light into secret diplomatic channels

I support open government.

I do not support the appropriation of classified documents by non-government actors who assume the right to define open-government. Holier than thou activists often disregard the possibility that their actions might risk the safety/lives of others.

I spent many days in the streets demonstrating against the Viet Nam war, and for women's rights and I don't apologize for that.

I never, however, would have taken it upon myself to "appropriate" classified information - yet the war ended largely because of political opposition, and women's rights have advanced substantially because we got our point across.

I have no doubt we could have embarrassed some politicians if we had chosen to "appropriate" classified documents but we chose to achieve our goals while risking only our own safety.

If you wish to read the NY Times story about the secret cables click on the link above.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Congressman Was Seated Next to a Little Girl

A congressman was seated next to a little girl on an airplane so he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"

"Oh, I don't know," said the congressman. "How about global warming, universal health care, or stimulus packages?" as he smiled smugly.

"OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"

The legislator, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss global warming, universal health care, or the economy, when you don't know shit?"

And then she went back to reading her book.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Red States

We, the Blue States, have decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Colorado, Virginia, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to attempt to make the Red States pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families (including many with same-sex parents). You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti- war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They Have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,

Blue States

Friends, I don't know who wrote this but I couldn't resist posting it. If you know who wrote it let me know. I'll be happy to give them credit.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't Know Whether to Laugh or Get Really Pissed

According to the Associated Press's Rachel Zoll, the U.S.'s Roman Catholic bishops are holding a conference on how to conduct exorcisms (link above). It seems there's a "...shortage of priests who can perform the rite..." so there will be a conference on how to conduct same.

Is this the 13th century?

According to Zoll, "Signs of demonic possession accepted by the church include violent reactions to holy water or anything holy, speaking in a language the possessed person doesn't know, and abnormal displays of strength.

"The full exorcism is held in private and includes sprinkling holy water, reciting Psalms, reading aloud from the Gospel, laying on of hands and reciting the Lord's Prayer. Some adaptations are allowed for different circumstances. The exorcist can invoke the Holy Spirit, then blow in the face of the possessed person, trace the sign of the cross on the person's forehead, and command the devil to leave."

So if you have a "...violent reaction to holy water or anything holy" the remedy is "...sprinkling holy water, reciting Psalms, reading aloud from the Gospel, laying on of hands and reciting the Lord's Prayer?"

How about we just eliminate the cause instead? I suspect there might not be a need for exorcisms if there weren't a church to judge ones' "evil spirit."

Just sayin...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Report on DADT Study

"A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1." (link above)

More than 70% of active duty and reserve troops find permitting gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military would have a positive, mixed or non existent effect according to a survey of active duty and reserve troops conducted by the pentagon over the summer. "The survey results led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them," according to the Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe and Greg Jaffe, reporting on the results of a months long study of the subject conducted by the Pentagon.

So, Congress should repeal DADT forthwith, and failing that POTUS must issue an executive order that the Pentagon stop enforcing it.

The House has already passed a bill so, Harry Reid, the ball is in your court. It's time you "man-up" to quote your recent oponent, and put it to a vote. If the Republicans threaten to filibuster it, let them. Bring out the cots and make them actually filibuster a piece of legislation that the overwhelming majority of Americans want passed.

And, Mr. President, step up to the plate and demand that the Senate do its job.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

8 Wierdest Ballot Measures of 2010

According to the National Journal's Wire, there were some pretty weird ballot measures offered to voters in this country on Nov. 3, 2010. I'm not even going to try to improve on the Wire's presentation of them. You might want to avoid having anything liquid in your mouth while reading these.

On Tuesday, the Wire took a look at some of the oddest ballot measures up for consideration in the midterms. These included a Florida county ordinance against nighttime airboat rides, a Denver initiative to establish a commission in case of UFOs, and a motion (we almost wrote "fatwa") against using Islamic sharia law in Oklahoma courts. So how'd it all shake out?

Stay on That Side of the Law, Please

* WHERE: North Carolina
* WHAT: An amendment that "would alter the state constitution to prohibit convicted felons from running for sheriff in the state."
* STATUS: Passed "overwhelmingly," with 85 percent of the vote.
* CONSEQUENCES: "Convicted felon becomes sheriff in North Carolina town" may no longer be possible in reality, but it can still become a Billy Bob Thornton movie.

No Sharia for Sooners

* WHERE: Oklahoma
* WHAT: State Question 755, which "forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law."
* STATUS: Passed "by a whopping margin of 70 to 30 percent."
* CONSEQUENCES: Billy Bob Thornton could probably do something with this as well. He's pretty versatile.

The Earth Says Hello

* WHERE: Denver, Colorado
* WHAT: Denver Initiative 300, which calls for "an extraterrestrial affairs commission to help ensure the health, safety, and cultural awareness of Denver residents" in "potential encounters or interactions with extraterrestrial intelligent beings."
* STATUS: Rejected in a "landslide" by more than 80 percent of voters.
* CONSEQUENCES: Denver residents will have no one but themselves to blame when the Helmacrons come.

In Order to Catch a More Perfect Bullhead

* WHERE: Arizona
* WHAT: Proposition 109, which would enshrine hunting and fishing as state-constitutional rights.
* STATUS: Rejected, despite the support of Governor Jan Brewer.
* CONSEQUENCES: Dodges the risk of a typo in the state constitution that protects "hinting and fishing," so no one could legally compel Arizonians to ask a direct question ever again.

No Nos Gustan Otros Idiomas

* WHERE: Oklahoma again
* WHAT: State Question 751, which mandates that "official State actions" be conducted in English, though "Native American languages could also be used."
* STATUS: Passed with "huge majorities," effectively making Oklahoma an English-only state.

The IRS Will Have Its Revenge on Seattle

* WHERE: Washington
* WHAT: Initiative 1098, which would establish a personal income tax--the only one in the state--for people making over $200,000 a year. Bill Gates supports it; Steve Ballmer opposes.
* STATUS: It looks like this one was rejected, with Tuesday night reports showing defeat by a margin of 65 to 34 percent.
* CONSEQUENCES: Is anyone surprised? Somehow the failure to launch a new tax in the Year of the Tea Party doesn't shock us.

It's Not 'Land of the Free, Home of the Airboats'

* WHERE: Alachua County, Florida
* WHAT: Ordinance 1, an airboat curfew to be enforced between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Those things are noisy.
* STATUS: Appears to have passed with 56 percent of the vote.
* CONSEQUENCES: Hey, is Billy Bob still around?

Originally Called 'Rhode Island Stuart Leibowitz'

* WHERE: Rhode Island
* WHAT: Question 1, which would shorten the state's official name--The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations--to "Rhode Island," which is what everyone already calls it.
* STATUS: Rejected "by nearly 78 percent."
* CONSEQUENCES: Pending. No word on whether locals will be shortening the official name of the popular seaside city, Newport and Hitler's Lone Testicle.

I warned you.