30 January 2010

I'll See Your 2,000 Pages, And Lower You 1,800.

Obama challenged the Republicans the other night to put forward an alternative health care proposal. Okey-dokey. Heeere 'ya go.

Its pretty much the same GOP proposal the Left/Mainstream Media have been utterly ignoring for months. Summary is here.

Adolph Ain't Happy With Apple.

Der Führer has some things to say about the new iPad.
(Warning: Geek humor alert.)

29 January 2010

Redneck Rhapsody.

A great way to end the week. Watch it all.

Hattip: Theo Spark.

I Told You So.

James O'Keefe, the conservative videographer who was arrested in New Orleans in Mary Landrieu's office, explains what he was doing there, and why. If it sounds familiar, it's because you already read a pretty accurate conjecture days ago. Advantage RSR!

That said, I think Jim Letten would be well within his perview to throw the book at these guys. This went beyond dumb.

28 January 2010

Today's Required Video.

A Keynes vs. Hayek rap. Brilliant.

Hattip: Billy Ockham.

I Ain't Tawkin Funny...

With ths success of the Saints quite a few out-of-towners are becoming part of the Who Dat Nation. OK, welcome aboard. But if you're going to be amongst us, please - you need to learn the local language. And if you think New Orleanians sound like Belizare the Cajun, you're wrong. So below, in the interests of Who Dat unity, is a basic 'Nawlins dictionary. Note this is NOT mine - it was sent to me by email and the author(s) remain unknown. Feel free to add more in the comments.

ANYWAYS - And, then; and, so.

ARABIAN - Someone from Arabi, in St. Bernard Parish.

AWRITE - The appropriate response to the greeting "Where y'at?" Also, a greeting in and of itself: "Awrite, Ed!"

AWRITE, HAWT - Response of agreement to a member of the opposite gender.

AX - Ask.

DA BANK'KETTE - The sidewalk.

BAT'TROOM - A room in the house where one doesn't find bats, but where one bathes, attends to the elimination of bodily waste, or locks oneself in and cries until one gets one's way.

BERL - To cook by surrounding something in hot, bubbling 212°F liquid; the preferred method for cooking shellfish.

BINHAVIN, BEEN HAVIN' - To have had something for a long time, as in ... Q: "How long ya had dat dress? A: "Oh, I binhavin dat. "

BINLOOKIN, BEEN LOOKIN' - To have searched for something for a long time, as in "I binlook in f'dat book. "

BOBO - A small injury or wound.

BOO - A term of endearment, frequently used by parents and grandparents for small children, even small children who happen to be 40 years old ... Believed to be Cajun in origin.

BRA - A form of address for men, usually one with whom you are not acquainted. Usually used in this manner: "Say, bra ..."

CATLICK - The predominant religion in New Orleans . And, according to some Baptists, all Hell-bound.

CHALMATION - Someone from Chalmette, a city in St. Bernard Parish that's part of the New Orleans "metro area". Occasionally used as an insult. (Many New Orleanians have a low opinion of Chalmette and the hell wit them anyway....) Out-of-towners often pronounce it with the hard "ch" sound as in "charge". It's more like or , and the city is pronounced .

CHIEF, CHEEF - A form of address between men, along the lines of "cap" and "podna".

DA - The.

DAT - That.

DAWLIN - A universal form of address. Women use it to refer to both sexes, men use it toward women.

DEM - Them.

DERE - There. As in "Dere ya go!", an expression of encouragement or acknowledgement of having done something for someone else.

DESE, DOSE - These, t hose.

DIS - This.

MAKE DOE-DOE - Sleep. From the Cajun French "fais do do", or "make sleep".

DOWN DA ROAD - A staple in the vocabulary of the St. Bernard Parish Yat. This term is travel directions for someone headed to lower St. Bernard Parish traveling on St. Bernard Highway (US Highway 46). You are usually in da parish when you use this phrase with a destination of either Violet or Poydras.. For example: "Let's go down da road and pass over by the trailah pawk".

DOWN-RIVA - The eastward direction, toward St. Bernard Parish. "Rocky n' Carlo's is down-riva from heah". Opposite of "Up-Riva".

DRESSED - When ordering a po-boy, dressed" indicates lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and MYNEZ, on it. See NUTTINONIT.

EARL, ERL -1. A vegetable product used for cooking, making roux, etc.2. A petroleum product used to lubricate the engine of your car..3. Your Uncle Earl. (Most New Orleanians have an Uncle Earl; I do. )

ELLESHYEW - Louisiana State University , Baton Rouge .

ERNGE, URNGE - An orange-colored citrus fruit.

FOR - a preposition used by New Orleanians instead of "at" or "by" when referring to time. E.g., "Da parade's for 7:00, but we betta get dere for 6 if we wanna find pawkin'." This one tends to be particularly confusing to non-natives.

F'Sho! - 1. A statement of agreement. See YEAH YOU RITE.2.. An excellent (but out of print) book by local artist Bunny Matthews, featuring cartoons with "actual dialogue heard on the streets of our metropolis".

F'TRUE - Pronounced . When phrased as a question, it means "Is that so?" or "Ya kiddin'!!". When phrased as a statement, it's an affirmation, a shortened version of "Nuh uh, I ain't lyin' ta ya ..."

GAWD - A supernatural deity, worshipped by most New Orleanians.

GO CUP - A paper or plastic cup for consumption of alcoholic beverages out on the street, as open glass containers (and cans too, I think) are illegal.

HAWT- A term of endearment used primarily by local females.

HEY, BAY-BEE! - Pronounced with the "BAY" drawn way out. A greeting between any two people of either gender.

I'LL TAKE ME A ... - May I have a ...

INKPEN - A ball-point pen, or any kind of writing utensil, really. Always heavy emphasis on the first syllable ... "Lemme borra ya INKpen, awrite?"

JAMBALAYA - A rice-based dish containing meat and seafood, prepared in a nearly infinite variety of ways by Louisianians. The usual out-of-towner mispronunciation has the first syllable rhyming with "jam", when it should rhyme with "Tom" ... , secondary accent on first syllable, primary accent on third. But one local pronunciation that was brought to my attention (although nobody in my family said it this way) is , primary accent of first syllable which rhymes with "bum", secondary accent on20third syllable.

JAWN - The most popular boys' name in English, pronounced this way among Localese-speakers. Also, a pot ta pee in. Rhymes with "lawn". See TURLET.

K&B PURPLE - A particular shade of purple that you'll know if you know K&B. Used in phrases like, "He was so mad, his face was K&B purple", or, "I can't believe ya bought dat ugly car! It's K&B purple!"

KENNA - A city at the western edge of Jefferson Parish. See "Twin Spans".

LAGNIAPPE - Pronounced . A little something extra. Lagniappe is when your butcher gives you a pound and two ounces of hot sausage but only charges you for a pound, or when the waiter at your favorite restaurant brings you an extra dessert or something, and doesn't charge you. Lagniappe breeds good will, friendship and most importantly, return business.

LOCKA - Where you hang your clothes, analogous to the English word "closet". Example: "Mom-MAH! Where my shoes at?" "Looka in ya locka!" (See LOOKA) Occasionally spelled "locker", as if it was proper English.. Generally always used in place of the word "closet"

LOOKA - "to look". Usually accompanied by a pointing gesture. Often used as a single exclamation: "Looka!" Sometimes used to describe an attractive female: "Bra, she's a looka!"

MAKE GROCERIES, MAKIN' GROCERIES - To do grocery shopping.. Thought to have originated with the French expression for grocery shopping, "faire le marché". The verb "faire" can mean either "to do" or "to make", and the idiom may hav e been mistranslated.

MAW-MAW - Ya grandma.

MET-TREE - An unincorporated area of Jefferson Parish abutting Orleans Parish. Spelled "Metairie".

MUFFULETTA - A quintessential New Orleans Italian sancwich, of ham, Genoa salami, mortadella, Provolone cheese and marinated olive salad on a round seeded Italian loaf. Invented at Central Grocery on Decatur in da Qu arter. Locals pronounce this , and will tend to just abbreviate it as "muff". But if you ask a member of the Tusa family (the proprietors of Central), they'll pronounce it in elegantly proper Italian as .

NEUTRAL GROUND - The grassy or cement strip in the middle of the road. The terms "median" and/or "island" are NEVER used in New Orleans . Use of one of those foreign terms instead of "neutral ground" is a dead giveaway that you ain't from around here, or anywhere close. If you're lucky, you live on a street with a neutral ground big enough to play football on.

NEW ORLEENS / NEW AWLENS - The way silly tourists pronounce " New Orleans ". Natives DO NOT do this. Exception -- song lyrics, as in "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans", for example, and when omitting the "New", as in "Orleans Parish", which is always pronounced.

NORT SHOWA - The north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, covering the towns of Mandeville, Covington and Slidell. Where many New Orleanian's kids and grandkids now live.

NUTTINONIT - A po-boy that is not dressed, which only contains the main ingredient(s).

OIL - Man's name. In the rest of the country: "Earl". "Oil changed da earl in my caw" makes perfect sense to a New Orleanian.

ON DA WES' BANK, ACROSS DA RIVUH - On the West Bank of the Mississippi River, where such places as Algiers , Gretna and Marrero lie. Interestingly, the W est Bank is due south of New Orleans (except for Algiers , of course). Make sense? Thought not.

OR WHAT - Pronounced, and placed at the end of a question: "You gonna finish eatin' dat, 'r what?"

OVA BY - A general replacement for the prepo sitions "at" and "to", particularly when referring to someone's home, or a destination in general. "Where ya goin'?" "Ova by ma mamma's. "

PARRAINE - Your godfather.

PASS BY - To stop at a place, for a visit or to accomplish something. "Ya gonna be home later? I'll pass by ya house." It doesn't mean just to drive by in your car and keep going ...

PEE-CAN - A nut indigenous to the South, and beloved in New Orleans as an ingredient in pies and pralines. Pronounced , not .

PO-BOY - The quintessential New Orleans lunch, a sandwich on good, crispy New Orleans French bread. We put anything and everythig on a po boy.

PODNA - A form of address for men, usually for ones with whom one is not acquainted. Frequently used in the emphatic statement, "I tell you what, podna ..."

SCHWAGMANN'S BAG - A unit of measurement. Approximately 3 cubic feet. Derived from local icon Schwegmann Brothers Giant Supermarkets, who until recently had absolutely enormous paper bags in which they packed ya groceries. (Now they have those stup id tiny flimsy plastic bags just like everyone else.) Usage: "Hey, did ya catch a lot at da parade?" "Yeah you rite .... a whole Schwegmann bag full!" The apostrophe-s is optional.

SHOW, DA SHOW - The cinema. The movie house. The local motion picture emporium. Where works of cinemati c art (or crappy flicks, depending) are shown. True New Orleanians never say, "I went to the movies", they say "I went to da show. "

SOSSIGE - A meat preparation, made of various kinds of ground meats, seafood and spices, stuffed into a casing. Usually spelled "sausage" by English speakers, but pronounced in New Orleans as you see here, always and not .

SUCK DA HEAD, SQUEEZE DA TAIL - The technique for eating crawfish. If you've never done this, have someone demonstrate.

SHUG-A - A term of endearment used primarily by Yat females. Pronoucned with a soft "oo" as in "book".

TO'WADS DA LAKE - Any northerly direction, towards Lake Pontchartrain.

TO'WADS DA RIVAH- Generally a southerly direction, towards the Mississippi River. On the West Bank it can mean north, east and west as well.

TURLET - Ya standard flushable porcelain waste disposal unit found in every bat'troom, referred to by English speakers as a "toilet".

DA TWIN SPANS - Depending on contect, either one of the two long pair Interstate-10 bridges leading to New Olreans. The western ones lead from Laplace to Kenner ("Kenna"), and the eastern set goes from New Olreans East to Slidell. The Causeway is never referred to as a 'Twin Span".

VIOLATION - A person from Violet, Louisiana , in St. Bernard Parish.

WHERE YA STAY (AT)? - Where do you live?

WHERE Y'AT! - The traditional New Orleanian greeting, and the source for the term "Yat", often used (primarily by non-New Orleanians, it is said) to describe New Orleanians with the te lltale accent. The proper response is, "Awrite. "

UP DA ROAD - Same as down da road, only now you are traveling in the opposite direction heading "up da road" to either Chalmette or Arabi.

UP-RIVA - The westward direction, toward Jefferson Parish. "Yeah, ya takes the streetcars up-riva to Camillia Grill". Opposite of "Down-Riva".

Y'ALL - The plural form of the second person verb, "you20all". It's not pronounced as they would in the south, though -- no twang, no drawl, just "y'all". "You guys" is never said.

YA - You, your.

YA MAMMA - Your mother.

YAMAMMA'N'EM - A collective term for your immediate family, as in "Hey dawlin', how's yamamma'n'em?" Spoken as one word.

YAT - A native, often blue-collar, with a New Olreans accent. Often used as a term of derision by Uptowners: "Oh Edward, Buffy is dating a... Yat!" "Yat" can also be used as a descriptor for anyone from "Met-tree" or "Kenna".

YEAH YA RITE - An emphatic statement of agreement and affirmation, sometimes used as a general exclamation of happiness. The accent is on the first word, and it's spoken as one word.

ZATA-RANS - Pronounced . A local manufacturer of spices, seasonings, pickled products and condiments. In context, it's used by some as a generic term for either crab boil or Creole mustard, as it "Put some Zatarain's on it," or "T'row a coupla bags o' Zatarain's in da pot." Context is important here; you don't want to put Creole mustard in a seafood boil.

Today's Required 'Yat' Viewing.

UPDATE: Yeah you rite.

The Passion Of The Building.

I heard about God's Architects, an indie documentary about five people who felt inspired to build, but I missed the screening last night in Baton Rouge. (It's available on DVD.) The film is by a Tulane architecture professor and a filmmaker from here in south Louisiana, and covers some rather off-beat buildings for the greater glory of God.

Who Dat Changes.

The new RSR color scheme for Superbowl 44.

You got a problem wit dat??

Forget The Phone Books - Get That Man a Calendar!

Clintonista Robert Reich doesn't let chronological facts get in the way of a great excuse.

26 January 2010

If This Is True... (UPDATED, With Conjecture)

...It is the very definition of STUPID:
A conservative activist who posed as a pimp to target the community-organizing group ACORN and the son of a federal prosecutor were among four people arrested and accused of trying to interfere with phones at Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office.

Activist James O'Keefe, 25, was already in Landrieu's New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up claiming to be telephone repairmen, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office said Tuesday. Letten says O'Keefe recorded the two with his cell phone.
In a freakin' Federal building. Geez. The affidavit is here.

UPDATE 27JAN10: What seems stupid in a sinister, Nixonian kind of way, is starting to make sense. It doesn't make it any less stupid or wrong, but bear with me as to a why. Read the affidavit closely, especially the allegations of James O'Keefe trying to covertly record the others using his cellphone. Not the typical bahavior of a wiretapper. James O'Keefe made his name with theatrical undercover stings exposing ACORN. It's his thing, so to speak. That's Item 1. Item 2 is this: Senator Mary Landrieu, since she voted for cloture in the first round of health care, has been singularly inaccessible to her constituents by phone, email or fax. It is common knowledge I know all too well, as it has been a huge source of frustration and anger for our BRTP members. Mary's excuse was the phone lines are "jammed". Oops. Sorry. Call back later...

I think that is what O'Keefe and his bunch were after - trying to expose Mary's lame excuse for what is was by using the same theatrics as they did with ACORN. A we-checked-and-her-phones-worked-just-fine stunt. A PUNK'D moment. But to think they could do that in a Federal building was, to put it politely, beyond fucking dumb. The Feds don't have a sense of the theatrical. And in this post 9/11 age, I can't blame them. So if these four gentleman did what they are alleged to have done, then they deserve what they get - no matter the why.

Bishop Schori, South Africa Called.

They want their flag back.

25 January 2010

The President's Agenda, Defined.

Hattip: Perfunction.

Numbers For Truth.

I had a conversation (and I use that term loosely. -ed.) with a "9/11 Truther" the other day, who claimed that over "700 architects and engineers" agree that the World Trade Center towers were toppled by some kind of pre-planted explosives / sinister government plot / Dick Cheney. That 700 number seems to be very important talking point for the Truthers, in a see-how-many-professionals-agree-with-us credability angle.


As a licensed architect who has worked on mid-rise and high rise buildings, and therefore know a bit about how to they are constructed (and how the WTC was constructed), I'm growing very tired of this Luddite argument. And I'm especially tired of folks trying to use my profession to bolster it. The Truthers are not interested in "truth"; they are trying to sell a conclusion with some circumstantial implications and very few facts. That's why that 700 number is so important.

So I did a little research to put that precious number in context. There is indeed a group of architects and engineers who believe that the World Trade Center towers were toppled by means other than what we all saw - Islamic nuts in hijacked planes. But does that 700 number represent a credibly large consensus of my fellow design professionals, as the Truthers imply? Um... no. Not even close.

Let's take a look at just the architects. According to this, in 2008 there were 141,200 architects employed in the United States. According to this at the architects and engineers 9/11 Truther website, to date 251 "architects and architectural professionals" have actually signed onto a petition for a new investigation. If you take out the 69 unlicensed interns, landscape architects, and engineers listed in the wrong place, you are left with 182 architects - out of 141,200 - calling for a new investigation. Do some quick division and you find out that that equals... 0.00129%.

Consensus? My arse.

23 January 2010

Reading The Tea Leaves.

Andrew Ian Dodge notes a warning for the Tea Party movement in the Scott Brown election:
This special election has been a gift to the Republicans in their quest to co-opt the tea party. Surely it would be ironic if Ted Kennedy in death helped the Republican Party get back to electability. Yet Kennedy may have delivered lapsed Republicans back to the party, and split the tea party movement so it is no longer as big a threat to both parties.
While a registered Republican myself, I have no party loyalty anymore. And as an officer in our local Tea Party, I have been a big advocate of keeping the Tea Party movement at arm's length from the GOP for the time being. Agreed, where our goals coincide we should work together. Electing Scott Brown in order to defeat ObamaCare was a common goal, though as someone who lived in Massachusetts I fully realize that "conservative" in Massachusetts is "RINO" most everyplace else. Both the Tea Party and Republicans agree that electing Scott Brown will make others in Congress rather less eager to vote for loony Left/Mainstream Media collectivist policies, such as cap-and-trade, tax increases, and gun control.

But that is where the commonality should end. The Tea Party movement is not a child of the GOP, but a reaction to the GOP's continued inability to speak for us and our values. It exists as much because of GOP incompetence in carrying the Reagan banner as anything Obama and the Left/Mainstream Media have done. While they talk a good game - and spend a lot of time at parties and seminars and on Facebook doing just that - the current crop of Republican activists have generally been unwilling to fight for traditional Republican values - values that a majority of Americans really do support. Because they've had no stomach for the fight of late, and no vision on what that fight even should be, Republicans were utterly outmaneuvered by a bunch of political hacks in 2006, and a bunch of idealist amateurs in 2008.

Some in the GOP are finally getting it, and are starting to man the ramparts with us. We welcome them as brothers and sisters in arms, but do not automatically recognize them as our leaders. They do not, simply because of their GOP label, automatically speak for us anymore. And without us, not the GOP national leadership who came late to the game, Scott Brown would be driving his truck off into the political sunset.

21 January 2010

Multi-Tasking. Sort Of.

While I'm busy here in Las Vegas, I have been keeping an eye on things going on in the world (that's my comment about Scott Brown's truck at the last link). Glenn Reynolds notes an article on the real change coming out of Scott Brown's election: We have, as they say, arrived.

UPDATE: And yes, dear readers, I really have been busy helping a friend cover the SHOT Show for his website, not "busy" in the usual Las Vegas way. The SHOT Show is, so put it mildly, overwhelmingly huge - even for Las Vegas, which knows a thing or two about huge. There will be more commentary and reflection when I get back tomorrow and recover.

18 January 2010

A Note From The Management.

Blogging will be somewhat sporadic, and much of this week's posts will focus on, well, shooting and outdoors things. I am in Las Vagas to cover the annual NSSF SHOT Show. Really. Though this is Vegas, let me paraphrase an old Murry Head song from the 80's: I get my kicks up on the firing line, sunshine... More later.

Driving Ms. Coakley.

The Missus points out a delicious irony:
Obama said you ought to be worried about getting into Brown’s truck because you might not get where you want to go. Isn’t that an interesting thing to say when talking about Ted Kennedy’s seat???
Indeed. At least in Brown's truck you'll get there alive.

16 January 2010

That's It.

To quote Bugs Bunny, "You know, of course... this means WAR":

Say what you want about Scott Brown, but never, ever call Curt Schilling a Yankees fan. Have you no sense of decency, madam, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?...

Hattip: The Hayride.

UPDATE: Schlling responds.

UPDATE: I guess Obama will be "schilling" for Coakley tomorrow...
[rimshot!] Heyo! I'll be here all week...

Best Headline Of The Week. Maybe The Year.

"Obama personally joins Massachusetts quake relief"

Hint: This has nothing to do with Haiti.

14 January 2010

Recalling Some Sense.

The Recall Mary Landrieu issue just will not go away, and even tripped up Senator David Vitter the other night when some of the recall zealots wouldn't leave it alone. Right after that Vitter meeting a number of us met and - of course - the recall subject came up. The arguments flew. The proponents in our group admitted that this was being done not to recall Landrieu - even they knew it was nigh on impossible - but as a way to keep the "anger at Mary alive" until 2014. Our side argued that doing something that is so clearly unconstitutional, and putting so much stock in it, is a waste of time. It gives people false hope and makes us look like we do not understand the very document we claim to be defending.

But the great thing about Americans is we tend to seek common ground. (Which is exactly why the health care thing is tanking - turf does not equal common ground; but I digress.) A fellow in our august band, Jeff, found that common ground: Let's do something the Constitution acknowledges the People have the to power to do, and ask for something the Congress has the power to do: Petition the Senate to expel Mary Landreiu for conduct unbecoming a Senator by clearly selling her vote in a new 'Louisiana Purchase'.

I can live with that. It's keeps the issue alive in the minds of the public and it appears to be constitutional (Amendment I, and Article I, Section 5). What of the other Senators in this debacle? That's up to their voters to decide how to proceed. And the recall proponents who will not see reason? Enjoy your 3% of the vote, guys.

Living In His Own Private Newt.

Newt Gingrich, a man who I greatly admired in my 20's and 30's, a man who could have been the American Churchill if he'd kept it in his pants, has become a parody of himself.

Please, sir, sit down. Dispense your sage advice (yes, it still matters to us), talk about your kids on Twitter, and enjoy retirement with dignity. You had your time. This is not 1988. Or 2009. (*cough* NY-23 *cough*) 2010 will look like 1994 not because of you, but because of folks like me, a lady named Jen, a guy named Dwight, and the hundreds of thousands of others out there busy creating our own Window of Opportunity.

UPDATE: Not that I'd be opposed to an updated Contract with America for 2010.

13 January 2010

Pray For Haiti. (UPDATED)

They need it. And give. Christopher Johnson has some excellent suggestions about where you can donate. Also, Chris' comments about Pat Robertson's Haiti comments are spot on.

UPDATE: Pat Robertson should remember Mark Twain more often.

UPDATE 15JAN10: Danny Glover should remember Mark Twain, too. Plate tectonics and climates. Not exactly the same thing.

The Naked Truth.

If the Coakley campaign think this is gonna hurt Scott Brown's chances next Tuesday, they are even more out of touch than I ever imagined.

By The Numbers.

The buzz about elections may focus on politics, but in the end it's a numbers game. My buddy John has an amazing head for both politics and numbers, and has decided to offer his expertise and insight at WinWithJMC.com. Check it out. You won't be sorry.

UPDATE: Link fixed.

11 January 2010

Beating A Dead Recall.

Alas, we've been over this before, dear readers. But even after a legal opinion by the State's Attorney General determining a recall is unconstitutional, and a letter from the Secretary of State's office saying that they will not proceed with any recall vote, the folks attempting to recall Mary Landrieu are still at it.

This is quickly going from an honest, if misguided, venting of frustration to a quixotic farce that will come back to tarnish the Tea Party movement. Without any weight of Law or legal precedent on their side, the proponent's rationale for continuing this now appears reduced to a legal syllogism at the adolescent level: Since the Constitution doesn't specifically forbid a recall, it must be constitutional.

True, the Constitution doesn't specifically forbid a recall. But by that same logic, since the Constitution doesn't specifically forbid an individual mandate to purchase insurance, must it therefore be constitutional? I mean, that's basically the Left's constitutional argument for ObamaCare.

How can we claim to be the ones defending the letter, spirit, and intent of the Constitution against the grasping-at-clauses rationale of the the Left, if we are doing the very same thing when it suits us? It makes our side look like hypocrites, or worse - like we don't even understand the very document we claim to be defending.

I don't know Mr. Ruben T. Leblanc, so I don't want to judge his motives. While misguided, he seems earnestly fed up with the politics-as-usual in DC - as are we all. But this approach is a legal dead end, a potential public relations plus for our opponents ("See, the Tea Parties claim to be defending the Constitution, but don't even understand how it works!..."), distracts us from our true objectives this year, and gives our supporters false hope in something that isn't real.

Mr. Leblanc better have some whopping deep pockets and a lot of time if he wishes to proceed with a "legal battle Royale" over this issue. Lawyers ain't cheap. As I've said before, the Tea Party Movement needs to focus on 51%-plus solutions in 2010, not 3.79% solutions.

UPDATE 12JAN10: Cross-posted over at The Hayride.

10 January 2010

To My New Orleans Friends.

Have a listen to this. And why is John Georges so interested with who is the current US Attorney?

Hattip: The Hayride.

09 January 2010

Rules For Me, Not For Thee.

Massachusetts Democrats say that if Republican Scott Brown wins Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat, which is looking like more and more of a possibility, they will drag on the certification process if he wins so he can't vote against ObamaCare:
The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.

Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 - well after the president’s address.
The election is 19 January. Funny, when they needed a Massachusetts Democrat vote, none of that seemed to matter:
In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
You know it's bad when even Hillary fans are crying foul.

LOLcats For People.

If you ever wondered where those posters come from, now you know: Very Demotivational Posters. (Note: NSFW)

My favorite (that I can safely post):

Smile Bear!

Hattip: Vodkapundit.

08 January 2010

Fear Of Flying.

ReasonTV makes an honset TSA ad.

Ethics Quiz.

There is a debate raging over implementing a certain government policy. You conclude that the claims by the side opposed the policy are, well, full of Landrieu - and you say so in public. Repeatedly. Your arguments carry great weight in the mind of the public and the press because you are an academic - an impartial and learned observer.

But you are also getting paid a tidy sum in public funds, under contract, to advise that same government on that policy. You should:

A) disclose this apparent conflict of interest up front.
B) say nothing knowing the press won't check.

Apparently, these days the answer is 'B'.

You are the head of the government administration paying for the above contracts. In support of your policy of having the most ethical and transparent administration in US history, you should:

A) disclose this apparent conflict of interest up front.
B) say nothing knowing the press won't check.

See the answer to the first question.

Its the Chicago Way.

07 January 2010

Another Massachusetts Miracle?

We used to live in Boston, and I remember when a Republican was a viable US Senate candidate if they got 25% of the vote. But with no Kennedy in the race, and Bay State voters growing sick of 'RomneyCare' - their version of ObanaCare complete with individual mandates, fines, public options and spiraling costs - this race is getting veeeery interesting. The GOP candidate, State Senator Scott Brown, has closed the gap with the Democrat candidate to single digits, and is now hotter than a Nigerian's crotch on final approach to Detroit.

Can Brown win? A tossup. But in order to make the point he doesn't have to. If an anti-Team Hopenchange Republican candidate can do this well in uber-blue state Massachusetts, where they've already seen the fruits of ObamaCare, what does this say about what will happen in November in fly-over country if ObamaCare passes? At a minimum, a Brown almost win should slow ObamaCare's pace in Congress, hopefully to die alone in a cloak room in a few months, or cause enough Dems in the house and Senate to change their votes and kill it outright. And if he wins? Well...

Baton Rouge Retrospective.

Via Abandoned Baton Rouge comes this link with lots pictures and postcard images of Baton Rouge from the 30's thru the 80's.

This one's for you, Ruth.

Bishop Charles Jenkins Retires.

Story is here. As Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana, Charles Jenkins has been an enigmatic figure to say the least, and will likely be the last remotely orthodox Bishop we will have in my lifetime (if ever). The debates about whether Charles was overtaken by events, or just not up to them, is now moot. I wish he and Louise well in their retirement.

A Personal Note.

If you send me emails about the USDA declaring a disaster so they can secretly put chemicals in our food to control our minds, and you are about to "expose" this "truth" to the world, please remember that there is more to "research" than Google.

Today's my birthday. I'm too damn old to suffer paranoid fools gladly anymore.

06 January 2010

How To Write Like An Arcitect.

This YouTube channel could have saved me loads of time. And my parents thousands.

Hattip: Sippican Cottage. Read Sippican's commentary at the post. "He thought I was freaking Merlin." How true.

05 January 2010

The System Works. (UPDATED)

Michael Yon, this generation's Ernie Pyle, says he was detained at the Seattle airport for... failing to disclose his income.

Good 'effing grief. Isn't this the same bunch that missed a Nigerian jihadi trying to blow a hole in a plane - and splatter passengers with bits of his scrotum in the process - but now they arrest a US Citizen trying to get into his own country???

What, by the Gods, does Mr. Yon's income have to do with national security? The correct answer is, of course, not a damn thing.

I'm going to be flying in a few weeks, and if you think I feel safe and secure in the knowledge that Homeland Security has got my back, you're wrong. I dread the long lines, the annoying checks and rechecks, and the rude, lethargic, and pushy TSA gate guards who are only half gazing at the x-ray readout. They couldn't give a rat's ass about me or my safety.

As far as I am concerned, we should scrap TSA entirely. Let 'em all go back to whatever fast-food restaurants they came from. At least there we got something out of them for our money.

UPDATE: More here.

Tilting At Recalls.

With Senator Mary Landrieu (D - For Sale) doing her best to participate in Harry Reid’s recent ‘Cash for Cloture’ program and voting to place one sixth of our economy under direct government control, a lot of people here in Louisiana - including a lot of Tea Party folks - have been demanding her recall.

A great emotional sentiment; but legally, it’s not that easy. While Landrieu, Reid, Pelosi, and their Lefty comrades are busy trying to shred our Founding Document to create their Euro-government paradise, we in the Tea Party Movement are in the vanguard of protecting the Constitution and the Rule of Law - even when it doesn’t go our way.

And in this case, it doesn’t.

The Constitution has a thing or two to say about who can boot out a sitting Representative or Senator. Article I, Section 5 is quite clear:
Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of it’s own members…
and goes on to say in the next paragraph:
Each House may determine the rules of it’s proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
In other words, the Constitution gives the respective Houses of Congress alone the power to set further qualifications for their members, or remove the same. This has been the understanding of the Article I, Section 5, language since the Constitution was ratified, and the Courts have consistently concurred.

Some have argued that since Article I, Section 4 gives the States the power to set “the times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives…”, then all of a State’s election laws must apply to all Senators or Representatives from that State – including a State’s recall law if they have one (Louisiana has one). But this Constitutional language only delegates to the States how the elections occur. Once elected, Senators and Representatives are Federal officials subject to the Constitution - not state laws.

And the Tenth Amendment? The Supreme Court has concluded, U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U. S. 779 (1995) and Cook v. Gralike, 531 U.S. 510 (2001), that the Tenth Amendment does not reserve to the states the power to put further qualifications on Senators and Representatives, as that power was specifically delegated to the Congress. As Federal Officials, the offices of Senators and Representatives "arise from the Constitution itself", not various individual state laws.

Therefore, only Constitutional provisions apply to the tenure of Senators and Representatives, and a State may not qualify that further. It is, and has been, settled Law.

Would a legal challenge to 223 years of Constitutional understandings and precedent work to remove Landrieu? Highly doubtful. While the question of 'recall' has never been specifically adjucicated (a major claim by proponents for the constitutionality of a recall), the questions concerning the division of powers in the Constitution that a recall would raise have been clearly and consistantly answered - and they do not favor finding a recall constitutional. As a practical matter, it would require someone with a lot of time, a lot of disposable income, and standing to make the challenge. They would need to raise a constitutional question unique enough to make its way through the Courts, for SCOTUS to grant cert, and then find in favor of the constitutionality of a recall. That's a lot of "ifs" before any recall could take place. By that time Landrieu would likely be up for reelection.

The demand to recall Mary Landrieu is not the only one in Louisiana in 2009. Back in the beginning of the year an attempt to recall Joseph Cao (R-New Orleans) got a lot of press after he opposed Obama’s Stimulus Package. But it has gone nowhere because, in the words of the recent opinion by the Louisiana State Attorney General (09-0015):
In conclusion, a member of Congress is neither a state officer nor local officer and therefore is not subject to recall pursuant to La. R.S. 18:1300.1, et seq.

The United States Constitution has delegated to Congress the power to determine the qualifications of its own members and expel its members when necessary. Since this is a power reserved for the individual Houses of Congress, the tenth amendment of the United States Constitution does not reserve to the states the authority to remove members of Congress from office.

Neither the Secretary of State, Registrars of Voters for the Parishes of Orleans and Jefferson, nor Governor Jindal would be required to proceed with the recall process set forth under Louisiana law. These offices only have jurisdiction over a recall attempt of a public officer as defined under Louisiana law. This definition does not include officers acting under the authority of the United States.
I contacted the Secretary of State's Office yesterday (4 January) about petitioning to recall a Federal elected official under Louisiana law, and confirmed with them that the Attorney General's opinion will control their actions if any petition is filed. In other words, no recall election will be called by the Secretary of State's office.

So in the end, as much as we wish it to be otherwise, any 'Recall Mary' petitions gathered and presented to the the Secretary of State's Office would go nowhere, and any court challenge would take years with almost no chance of success. Attempting a recall would take up a lot of our time, our money and our effort, and would distract us from winnable issues that will resonate with a majority of voters in 2010. If we want to change things we need to focus on 51%-plus solutions, not 3.79% solutions. The best way to remove Mary Landrieu's power now is to make her a member of the minority party in the Senate in January 2011, or at a minimum, remove the 60-seat majority in the Democrats enjoy in the Senate.

04 January 2010

Happy Birthday, Norris!

Another year younger!

And Now For Something Completely Different.

The three stages of Communism: first Marxism, then Lenninism, and finally....

Weird Al Yankavism:

From here.

03 January 2010

Give A Little Bit.

Or, if you're a typical greedy, uncaring, uncompassionate, consumerist capitalist American, you give a lot. A helluva lot.

Which made me think - what about my church? Well, let's take a look at the Episcopal Church Foundation. Here is their mission statement. And here is their CharityNavigator.org rating.

One star.

That's right, one bloody star. Which, according to CharityNavigator.org, means, "POOR. Fails to meet industry standards and performs well below most charities in its Cause."

Episcopal Relief and Development, however, does rather better: Four stars.

Speaking Truth To Narrative.

Also via Instapundit, 'Armed Liberal' over at Winds of Change reviews a review of 'The Blind Side'.

Priorities, Priorities.

Via Instapundit, what is important to Team Hopenchenge becomes apparent:
"It speaks eloquently to the Obama administration’s priorities that it took the White House four days to acknowledge the “catastrophic breach of security” that led to the failed bombing of a US-bound jet on Christmas Day — but a scant four hours to accuse Dick Cheney of coddling terrorists."
What? Like you thought we were the focus? Pshaw!