Posted by: distributorcap | August 7, 2010

Arcade Remedies

You have to hand it to the right and the teabaggers – they bring the definition of fickle to a new level. While one side of their recti mouths talk about being “strict constitutionalists” and how “activist jurists” are ruining the country, the other side talks about changing (or rather just getting rid of) amendments that do not fit their vision of 21st century lebensraum.

We can make this easy for the teabaggers. Lets take the Amendments that they find problematic like:

  • 1st – with that pesky freedom of religion clause allowing a terrorist shrine mosque to be built in lower Manhattan
  • 14th – with the annoying definition of citizenship clause allowing all those illegals to give birth here
  • 17th – with the anachronistic law that gives the people direct election of their Senators
  • Commerce Clause – with that ridiculous law that gives Congress power to regulate the economy

and line them up in the Constitutional Shooting Gallery. The we can have the absolute, cannot-be-touched, well-defined and non-negotiable 2nd Amendment “get rid of” the ones they don’t like – using Sharron Angle’s 2nd Amendment Remedy as the game plan.

If you take out all four with four shots, you win a Grizzly Mama.

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Posted by: distributorcap | August 6, 2010

Mischling to the First Degree

The chatter about making changes to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution (which give automatic citizenship to anyone born on US soil) has gone from quiet whispers to an all out shout from the (pea)nut gallery. GOP Senators Graham, Kyl, McConnell, McCain, Grassley and over 90 members of the House (all Republican of course) have called for some sort of change to the citizenship clause or out-right repeal of this amendment. Using the “anchor-baby” (coming to the US for the specific purpose of giving birth) argument as their defense, these “strict constitutionalists” have found a new way to belittle, demonize and and exclude anyone who is not an old, white guy.

Funny thing, the 14th amendment, enacted in 1868 to overturn the Dred-Scott decision (which I GUARANTEE Sarah Palin could not describe) was proposed and pushed by the Republican party.

Representative Gary Miller (R-Calif) has reintroduced HR 994, a bill he claims can amend the 14th amendment without constitutional procedure. The bill in effect “redefines” citizenship based the definition of status in the country. The relevant part is as following

SEC. 301. CITIZENSHIP AT BIRTH FOR CERTAIN PERSONS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES.
(3) by adding at the end the following:

(b) Definition- Acknowledging the right of birthright citizenship established by section 1 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, a person born in the United States shall be considered ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States for purposes of subsection (a)(1) if the person is born in the United States of parents, one of whom is–

  1. a citizen or national of the United States;
  2. an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States whose residence is in the United States; or
  3. an alien performing active service in the Armed Forces (as defined in section 101 of title 10, United States Cod
  • (b) Applicability- The amendment made by subsection (a)(3) shall not be construed to affect the citizenship or nationality status of any person born before the date of the enactment of this Act.

As one expects, the wording regarding “alien” is vague. What if one parent is a citizen and the other is illegal? What if an illegal marries an legal citizen? or marries just to become legal? What if the “illegal” is a student? admitted for medical purposes? What about diplomats? scientists at conferences? There are an infinite number of permutations to define “alien” and “illegal.”

May I make a few suggestions for clarification to HR 994

ARTICLE 2.

  1. The provisions of Article I shall apply also to subjects who are of mixed Jewish blood.
  2. An individual of mixed Jewish blood is one who is descended from one or two grandparents who, racially, were full Jews, insofar that he is not a Jew according to Section 2 of Article 5. Full-blooded Jewish grandparents are those who belonged to the Jewish religious community.

ARTICLE 5

  1. A Jew is an individual who is descended from at least three grandparents who were, racially, full Jews…
  2. A Jew is also an individual who is descended from two full-Jewish grandparents if:
  • (a) he was a member of the Jewish religious community when this law was issued, or joined the community later;
  • (b) when the law was issued, he was married to a person who was a Jew, or was subsequently married to a Jew;
  • c) he is the issue from a marriage with a Jew, in the sense of Section I, which was contracted after the coming into effect of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor of September 15, 1935;
  • (d) he is the issue of an extramarital relationship with a Jew, in the sense of Section I, and was born out of wedlock after July 31, 1936.

The Nuremberg Race Laws began the official ostracism of Jews in Germany. These statutes made it perfectly legal to persecute an entire group of people. Hitler justified these laws by stating that the “legal regulation of the problem” of Jews in Germany was the only way to stop the “defensive actions of the enraged population”.

Is this sounding awfully familiar – the defensive actions of an enraged population?

The Nuremberg Race Laws were comprised of two separate laws: The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor and The Reich Citizenship Law.

The Nazis, ever efficient, went as far as to define “full Jew” and “half Jews” or Mischling. An individual with three or more Jewish grandparents was classified as a full Jew. An individual with two Jewish grandparents was considered a Mischling of the first degree, or half Jew. Mischlinge of the first degree were broken down into two sub-groups:

1) Individuals who were married to a Jew or had been members in the Jewish community were referred to as Geltungsjuden. These people were treated as full Jews and subject to the same persecution and restrictive laws. They could only marry other Jews or other Geltungsjuden.

2) Individuals with two Jewish grandparents who were baptized into the Protestant or Catholic tradition were known simply as Mischlinge. Under the original Nuremberg Laws, Mischlinge were able to keep their citizenship; however, eventually their rights were taken away and they were treated like the Geltungsjuden. Someone with one Jewish grandparent was considered a Mischling of the second degree, or quarter Jew.

Call me over-reacting. I would bet the German people were cheering in 1935 when these laws were enacted. I would bet they were not cheering in 1945.

This chart – well the Germans went as far as to illustrate the definition of a Jew. Don’t put it past McConnell or Kyl to hire a bunch of graphic designers to visually represent their hatred and bigotry to their base, the teabaggers and Sarah Palin.

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Posted by: distributorcap | August 3, 2010

A Buck, A Yen, A Mark, A Pound

There is one thing Sarah Palin (and teabaggers) loves more than anything else….

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Posted by: distributorcap | August 1, 2010

Borders, Broken Water, and Books

This week an Arizona judge put a restraining order on some provisions of SB 1070, Arizona’s new immigration law. That didn’t stop non-elected governor Jan Brewer (she was elected Secy of State) from opening border control points.

While former first daughter and Stanford graduate Chelsea Clinton celebrated her wedding in style, former 1/2 first daughter of Alaska Bristol Palin, was canceling plans again for her walk down the aisle. It seems that her on-again-off-again fiance Levi was too busy to listen to one of his former-current-and-now-former fiancee’s $10,000 a-pop lectures on the virtues of abstinence.

Sarah Palin, the ex-ex-future mother-in-law and current sort-of-maybe-grandmother to Levi’s first child is prepping her ghost writer writing her second novel book. Apparently the wild success of the first one (which has landed as #1 on the $1 table and was purchased en masse by the Palins) has led her to believe her 2nd would be even a bigger hit. Her publisher, Harper Collins – which is owned by News Corp – which of course owns Fox News, which of course has Sarah Palin as one of their (notes-on-hand) talking Pinocchios, released the cover of their latest ploy to push more lies on the dolts who would rather read about the perils of Paline, than have health care and unemployment insurance.

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Posted by: distributorcap | July 31, 2010

Go All The Way

Back to the 70s

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Posted by: distributorcap | July 30, 2010

The Usual Suspects

There was plenty of insanity to go around this week, most of it from the usual suspects.

1. Several prominent Republicans (who apparently all failed algebra) keep claiming that continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans will not increase the deficit. After all, every time you give a rich person a tax cut, an Angel gets a Tiffany watch.

2. Elisabeth Hasselback (who apparently had her brain voted off the island on Survivor) stated that the reason middle age women “become gay” is because middle age men are only interested in younger women. So I guess we can expect another 10,000,000 single and widowed women to run out and buy Melissa Ethridge albums.

3. Sarah Palin (who apparently enjoys proving she is one of the dumbest people to ever be born) complained about Obama going on The View. Then again, maybe Palin has a point, since Obama had to be in the same room as Hasselback.

4. Oliver Stone (who apparently has been palling around with Mel Gibson) called the media “Jewish dominated” and said the Nazis did far more damage to the Russians than the Jews. Stone has also stated that Hitler was a scapegoat. As a note, Oliver Stone is Jewish.

5. Zack Wamp (who apparently left his heart in the Potomac) joined the chorus of the “warm-hearted” right said this about the unemployed “…And this is creating a culture of dependence which we do not need. We want people out there scraping and clawing and looking for work and not just sitting back waiting….” Yep, because with those $350 checks, those lazy welfare queens can buy 350 lottery tickets.

6. Lindsay Graham (who apparently will do anything to get the Teabaggers on his side) wants to rewrite the 14th Amendment, overturning the clause that says anyone born on US soil is a citizen. Unmarried, childless, “I am not gay” Lindsay Graham wants to change a portion of the constitution having to do with children.

7. Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News for Fox News (who apparently can sleep at night despite the fact his job is contributing to the decline and fall of America) claimed there was a breakdown in the “system” by allowing the Shirely Sherrod story to get on air before it was properly vetted. Yep – there was a breakdown – they got caught in propagating the lie this time.

8. The Iowa GOP (who apparently did not talk to Orly Taitz) wants to strip Obama of his US citizenship for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. What I want to know, is how the Iowa GOP is going to do this considering Obama is Kenyan born Muslim socialist who doesn’t even have a green card.

9. Congress (who apparently really live in a Video Game) took weeks to find $33 billion to help 2.5 million Americans fighting to keep food on their tables, but took about an hour to to find $60 billion to help Americans fight 50 Al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan.

10. The Department of Defense (who apparently hired Arthur Andersen as their accountants) cannot account for 96% of the $9 billion dollars it allocated to Iraq for reconstruction. They might not be able to account for it, but i would bet $8.1 billion that Halliburton and a few other choice firms can.

11. Tom Tancredo (who apparently still hates immigrants) wants to impeach Obama. Get in line Tom, so does every other person in Congress and will undoubtedly begin proceedings if they take back the House.

12. Phyllis Schlafly (who apparently is still alive) said “”Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have big brother government to be your provider.” Maybe Schlafly should listen to Hasselback, and allow those women to marry each other.

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Posted by: distributorcap | July 27, 2010

Bored to Tears

I know it is all a matter of opinion, but here is my list of the most boring movies I have seen

25. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
24. What Dreams May Come
23. Mission to Mars
22. Changing Lanes
21. Event Horizon
20. The Old Man and the Sea
19. Rumor Has It
18. Star Trek I
17. The Great Gatsby
16. Wild Wild West
15. Gosford Park
14. Out of Africa
13. Dune
12. Three Women
11. Cold Mountain
10. Horse Whisperer
9. The Happening
8. 2001 A Space Odyssey
7. Contact
6. Dances With Wolves
5. The Ring
4. Empire
3. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
2. Mission Impossible

and the envelope please:
The Most Boring, Ridiculous, Uninteresting movie of ALL TIME

1. The Blair Witch Project

go ahead – give me your choices

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Posted by: distributorcap | July 23, 2010

Local Global Warming

For most of the country, it has been a very hot summer. It was the warmest June on record, and July is on record pace. As of July 22, the average temperature has been 81.6 degrees in New York, one half degree higher than the previous hottest July. There have been 12 days above 90, including two over 100 degrees. On July 6, it hit 103 degrees – the fourth highest temperature ever (the highest was 106 on 7/9/1936). Electricity usage hit 33,542 megawatts – the second highest ever. Add on top of that some extreme humidity and it has been a mighty uncomfortable summer. If Homeland Security wants to legally torture any potential terrorists, have them stand on the platform of the 34th Street N/Q/R subway station for 60 seconds.

As bad as it gets, we are all spoiled – we can easily run into Macy’s or a restaurant or our homes and feel the blast of air conditioning. Some places (like restaurant I ate in last night) are actually freezing. But who’s complaining?

I know – people who lived before 1928.

There was a time when there was no air conditioning – people living in places like Arizona (if they weren’t deported). Las Vegas, in the deep south or even in NYC in the summer had to endure many 100+ degree days without a machine compressing air and shooting out a cool breeze.

The history of air conditioning (some form of it) goes back as far as the 2nd century. The Chinese used manually powered fans. The Persians used large pools of water and wind capturing towers as a form of cooling. In the mid 1700’s, Benjamin Franklin discovered that evaporation of a liquid such as ether could be used to lower temperatures.

The first rudimentary use of compression for cooling was invented by Michael Faraday in 1820. After Faraday compressed ammonia to liquid form, he discovered it would chill the air when it evaporated. The first ice making machine was developed in 1842 by John Gorrie, a Florida doctor.

It was a very different America before air conditioning and refrigeration. With heat and humidity unable to be controlled – food, textiles, manufacturing processes and construction all were susceptible to the elements. Bread went moldy, machines jammed, printing was not clean and cotton threads broke. Skyscrapers had awnings installed on windows to reflect the sun and lower the temperature.

Modern a/c could not have been developed with the installation of electricity and grids in the cities.

The first modern electrical air conditioning unit was invented in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier. The Carrier machine regulated both the temperature and humidity. Carrier, who was earning $10 per week, had recently graduated from Cornell with a Masters in Engineering. He claimed the inspiration for his idea came while waiting for a train. (What trains have to do with a/c other than standing a hot, sticky NYC subway – who knows?)

The premise was quite simple, air was sent through coils filled with cold water and pushed out into the atmosphere. The colder air chilled the surroundings. This cool air also held less moisture, thus the machine could control the dampness in the air.

Carrier received a patent in 1906 for an “apparatus for treating air.” The term air conditioning was coined by Stuart Cramer, a textile engineer. Because the level of moisture in the air was critical in the manufacture of textiles, Cramer had to devise a method to add water vapor to the Carrier cooling system, thus keep the yarn “conditioned.” Carrier founded the Carrier Engineering Corp in 1915 with $35,000 in start-up funds. The idea behind this type of cooling was so basic and successful – the fundamentals are still used in modern air conditioning.

The first a/cs used compressed ammonia, propane or methyl chloride to keep the coils cooled. These gases were either flammable or toxic (or both). In 1928, freon, a non-poisonous, non-flammable gas, was invented and began to be used as the coolant (freon would later prove to be damaging in other ways).

Initially these new-fangled air conditioning units were only used for industrial plants. The first commercial use of a/c was in 1924 – in Hudson’s Department Store in Detroit. It was such a welcome addition – people flocked to the store just to beat the heat. The Rivoli Theatre in New York advertised “cool comfort” and saw their business rise dramatically. The Weathermaker, designed for home use, was introduced in 1928. The Packard was the first car to have a/c – introduced in 1939. The system took the entire trunk and cost over $4000 in 2010 dollars. The White House was air conditioned in 1930. After World War II, a/c began to be installed everywhere.

A/C is not without its problems. Machines can grow mold and spores. Freon is part of a group of gases known as CFCs. While safe for a/cs, CFCs are deadly to the Ozone layer. Substitute gases have been developed.

Air conditioning completely changed the dynamics of migration within the United States. By creating indoor (and artificial) climates, areas of the country that were inhospitable to growth due to extreme heat – were now just as accessible. Geographical differences due to climate became insignificant. Air conditioning was largely responsible for the explosive postwar growth of cities like Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Miami. In addition, the gleaming glass towers of many cities could not have been designed and built without a/c – as sunlight would make the climate inside intolerable.

So while we complain mightily about how hot it is, we can harken back to a country less than a century ago that had no air conditioning, no refrigeration and a lot of smelly people.

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Posted by: distributorcap | July 21, 2010

The Cool Lunch Table

I am over at Black Magpie Theory today

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Posted by: distributorcap | July 20, 2010

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Sarah Palin: Shakespearean comedy or tragedy?

I’m hoping it ends as a tragedy. Like so many of Shakespeare’s characters, Palin has a fatal flaw – unending sense of self importance and arrogance.

Refudiate (re-fu-dee-ate), the process of selecting a C-student, who cannot name a Supreme Court case, who went to 5 colleges, who thinks there is a Federal Department of Law, who cannot finish the job she was elected to do, and who sees Vladimir Putin’s head flying over Alaska, to a position of governing of 300,000,000 suckers.

So Sarah tweets that if Bill Shakespeare can make up words, so can she. Well little does Sarah know that the Bard himself wrote several characters with Sarah Palin in mind

Falstaff (Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, The Merry Wives of Windsor)

Palinstaff is a likable character of ill repute. She is a phony, a thief, and a liar, but somehow, some people just love her. She is humorous, jovial, childish, and a free spirit. But ah, there is a downside to this behavior – it becomes so abhorrent that she is rejected. Palinstaff misuses funds and is ultimately a coward in the field.

“I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.”

Polonius (Hamlet)

Palinius is a windbag and rambler. She pays way too much time and attention to appearances and ceremonious behavior. She is wrong in all her judgments and is a “tedious old fool.”

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

Lady Macbeth (MacBeth)

Lady SaraBeth suppresses her instincts toward compassion, motherhood, and fragility and anything associated with femininity — in favor of ambition, ruthlessness and power.

“The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe topful
Of direst cruelty!”

[author’s note: unsexing Lady SaraBeth would have dire consequences for the old white rulers of the Party.]

Iago (Othello)

Palinago is one of the most sinister characters in all of Shakespeare. There is a lot of trust placed in her, which she betrays while maintaining a reputation of honesty and dedication. She is an evil schemer and manipulator, displaying deft skills at deceiving other people. Palinago is so cunning, that not only do they not suspect her, but they count on her as the person most likely to be truthful.

“And what’s he then, that says I play the villain, when this advice is free I give, and honest.”

Malvolio (Twelfth Night)

Palinvolio is puritanical. She despises all manner of fun and games, and wishes the world to be completely free of sin. She behaves very foolishly and proves to be a hypocrite when she fantasizes about luxuriating on a day-bed while wearing a “branched velvet gown.”

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

[author’s note – the only thing great about Palin is the great big hole in her heart and brain]

Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing)

When describing anything, Palinberry likes to say it in various ways, often as a mis-ordered numbered list. “Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.” When insulted she is very malicious and wants it to get recorded so she can prove she is being attacked. When Palinberry is called an “ass,” she says:

“O that he were here to write me down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass…O that I had been writ down an ass!”

[author’s note: Sarah Palin is an ass, and there is nothing comical about her.]

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