Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Case for Special Pleading

Besides politics, sports creates the most opportunities for man to engage in Special Pleading.

Those who fall prey to the Special Pleading often defend actions committed by members of their party while condemning members of the other party for those same actions.

Yesterday, the Bulls lost a tough game to the Celtics. With the Bulls losing by 2 and a few seconds remaining, Brad Miller received an in-bounds pass and lumbered to the basket for a game tying shot. While en route, Rajon Rondo of the Celts swung and hacked him across the face, opening up a cut and knocking Miller down. It took several minutes for play to resume and a clearly woozy Miller short-armed the first free throw pretty much ensuring the Bulls loss. The foul probably should have been called a flagrant foul.

After the goonish behavior of some teams (mainly the Pistons and Knicks) in the late 80's and early 90's, the NBA instituted the flagrant foul to distinguish between hard contact fouls and attempts to strike the player to stop them from scoring. Rondo intent was to strike Miller to stop him from scoring. It was not a play on the ball, it was not a hustle play with incidental yet forceful contact but a wild swing of the arm with a deliberate intent. The so-called 'no easy lay-ups in the playoffs'.

But, in comes the Special Pleading by Celtic fans. To wit: Rondo's smaller than Miller! The refs called Ray Allen for bogus fouls, this (non) call makes up for them. Miller is dirty so this is justice. Bulls fans are cry-babies. Kevin Garnett is classy!

I don't blame referees for calls (unless they actually commit a crime) as they have an extremely difficult job. However, it is why I favor instant replay as an aid to getting calls correct.

Of course, the ironic thing is, Boston fans and the Boston Globe recently hyped a referee/Bulls conspiracy. Of course, crying conspiracy now allows the Celtics fans to angrily denounce the non-flagrant call as sweet, sweet revenge. And it also affords them the mental gymnastics to never face the proposition the Bulls are the better team in this series and should have won. But, the Bulls lost and might not have the energy to pull out the series in 7.

Listening to 670 The Score on the day after the Flagrant game was interesting. The key overlooked position is the NBA assumed unwritten policy of make-up calls during a game. Perhaps the Ray Allen foul out call was wrong, so the refs made up for that by not calling a flagrant on Rondo to "even" the score. Sports blogs are full of Celtic fans espousing the two wrong calls make a right and citing earlier "examples" of refs missing calls as a defense for the non-flagrant call.

Being an NBA referee sucks. I wouldn't want the job. They immediately anger 50+% of the fans who watch the game for human mistakes. Rondo's head chopping call was an obvious foul call but much of what they do is interept fast paced action involving incredibly gifted men (but not women since they shouldn't play basketball). They are going to make mistakes, they are going to miss minute details. It fucking happens. They should not be derided for that, but any intentional direction to even out missed calls by missing future ones is unacceptable.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Joy of Finding Things Out

" 'Like this cup,' the master said, 'you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?' " ~ Bruce Lee relates a lesson to Joe Hyams in, Zen in the Martial Arts

So, the highway system around the Chicago-land area is very outdated for the amount of traffic it handles. The roadways are constantly undergoing construction, "humorously" highlighted by the canard there are only two seasons in Chicago; Winter and Construction.

I fortunately rarely experience the full on into city/out of city gridlock because, my travel directions are reverse of the normal flow. However, a week ago I meet my friends for dinner before a gaming session and enjoyed the process.

I told Ran about my observations. And as a background my friend Ran is MathMan if someone needs to know the sum of two integers ***boom*** they go to him. So he told me about the discipline of Fluid Dynamics, no doubt something he learned about 25 years before Grung the Blockhead, and how physicists create traffic flow models using the equations associated with Fluid Dynamics. Fucking cool!

Although I do lament my intellectual laziness earlier in life, it's always cool to learn new things. I think this truth holds much of the problems currently associated with the partisan political divide we have in America today. Everyone is so convinced they have it all figured out they immediately treat opposing information skeptically or aggressively denounce it. If only the naked ape was willing to empty his cup...

Friday, April 24, 2009


My current profession allows me the perk of being a Traffic Scofflaw. And I do not merely mean the obligatory speeding.

One of my favorite maneuvers involves my exit off of the Tri-State Tollway. After exiting and as I proceed home there is a stop light which allows access and egress from a major corporation, so it has a long cycle time including a long turn, regardless of traffic. I routinely hit this light at either 0230 or 0630 hours, depending upon my work schedule that day.

Now, if it's a crowded monday morning I'll obey the light cycle but what I normally do is treat it as a stop sign. I'll approach check both ways (I'm elevated and there are several turn and through lanes so I have a clear field of vision) and roll on through.

I do this extra gleefully when other Illinois motorists putrid non-human civilian scum are stuck at the empty intersection with no cross traffic, waiting for the light to change.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Water Board Dick Cheney

No government has the authority to Torture. No government can grant itself the authority to Torture. No circuitous legal memos can circumvent the lack of authority. Torture is a crime. Crafting memos to legalize Torture is a further crime. And any documents should be treated as evidence of intent.

The reason we are seeing such a rabid defense of Torture is because once the Right Wing Extremists, the Pro-Human Pain and Suffering crowd, admit the actions of Bush, Cheney, David Addington, John Yoo, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfled, Paul Wolfowitz, Condie Rice and Jay Bybee were criminal the Bush Torture Regime are going to face War Crimes Trials. And once they are convicted, since we have proud admissions of knowledge, intent and direct supervision of Torture from the grpup, the entire Right Wing will be so fragmented to be possibly destroyed politically for a generation.

Good. Torture should have such consequences. If you support Bush and Cheney you are supporting Criminals.

Torture, Fucking Torture! Rice and Cheney crafted the Torture policy months before the legal memos supporting it were written. Cheney used the Troops as scapegoats when the first knowledge of Torture came to light! Cheney even tried to use Torture to prove a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Dick Cheney is a War Criminal who should face the consequences similar war criminals have faced.

Obama is the tyrannical fascist? Obama is Worse Than You Know Who? Fine. Then President B. Hussein should have the power to water board and sleep deprive all suspected Extremists. Start with Jay Bybee and David Addington and work your way up to George Bush, and Dick Cheney, and all the members of the Torture Regime who with full knowledge sought the power to Torture.

How can we have thousands of screaming Tea Party Protesters bewailing government tyranny over health care and railroad construction whilst silmultaneously wanting that same government to have the ability to Torture? Ahhh, but there's the rub. They don't. Those patriots want a Republican to have the power. For when a Republican president and congress increase the debt by Trillions it's okay, when a Republican president and congress legalize Torture it's okay.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Never Praise Thine Enemy

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. ~ President Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt, "Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", May 7, 1918

So, the Right Wing Extremists (commonly known as everyone associated with the Republican party) floated a specious anti-President B. Hussein story that Obama did not want the SEALs to take out the pirates. Well, of course it was false. Absurdly so. From the Washington Times article:
"I can tell you from a White House and presidential standpoint, there was no conflict, no gnashing of teeth, or excessive influence in trying to manage this thing," Mr. Jones, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, told The Washington Times in an interview.

A defense official said one reason for any hesitation in taking action was the less-than-successful raid on a pirated yacht in the Gulf of Aden on April 10. That raid by French military forces killed two Somali pirates and freed four hostages but led to the death of one other hostage.

The anonymous SEAL source stated in the Internet posting that was attributed to "some SEAL pals in Virginia Beach" that the president would not authorize the SEALs to deploy for 36 hours despite requests from the on-scene commander.

The senior military official said that assertion was false.

Why was it written and circulated? Well its propaganda for the Obama is Worse Than You Know Who crowd. He must never be praised he must always be the enemy. And an enemy deserves no mercy; Mercy is for the weak!

It's that darn Time Function again! The Right Wing Extremists want the country to be under their dictator's control. So, when the pirates had Captain Phillips hostage they took to the Internet with an apoplectic frenzy with spittle drenched keyboards angrily denouncing President B. Hussein as weak for not swaggering around declaring "Bring'em on!" and broadcasting our intentions.

Fortunately, we had a successful rescue and splashing of three bad guys. To the Right this means nothing. Propaganda dictates this must have occurred in spite of President B. Hussein. Economic rallies are in spite of his Marxism. All events he attends must make controversy. The handshake, the Bow, the Teleprompter, the Ipod Faux Pas... Rawrrrrrrrrr! Obamaaaaaaa!

It's how they justify the claim "Obama's the most divisive president ever"! A title which had been held by Lincoln. Good job B. Hussein as you continue to surpass Lincoln! There's even a Pew Research poll to the effect.

But to the Right polls have never meant anything and to quote Dick Cheney, So? Cheney and the Right embraces Hobbesian Style Dictatorship, once the Leader has been chosen he is inviolate, as long as it's their Leader.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Better Than Obama Birthday

Obama Is Worse Than You Know Who. This is evidenced by a Department of Homeland Security Assessment which found at risk individuals may be targeted by Right Wing Extremists hoping to use them in the same fashion Islamic radicals use hurt, bewildered and disenfranchised muslims as suicide bombers.

The reaction was predictable from the garbage spewing Obama is Worse Than group. Obama hates the Veterans! Obama is stifling Dissent! Obama has brought America to Hell! Michael Savage filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security claiming it: 'violates the civil liberties of veterans and targets Americans for their political beliefs'.

Lost in the shuffle are the actual men and women who have Seen the Elephant and being human are suffering for it. Couple that with the criminal negligence of the Bush Administration's bureaucratic mis-manglement and many of these young stalwarts are languishing in personal torment sadly culminating in the taking of their own lives.

But, The Veterans are not people in this debate. They, like The Troops, have morphed into interjections. An emotional phrase used to badger one's opponent into submission.

Tellingly, Jonah Goldberg and other Toxic Trash Talkers don't provide their partisan readers with evidence debunking the claims of the Assessment. Although they do stammer and repeatedly belabor the fact the report states;
The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence.
This is, of course, no concern to me because from 2001-2009 the Bush Administration often played the trump card that they had secret information too sensitive to release. And this report is Unclassified, so too bad Obama has secret intel about Right Wing Extremists which he can't release but which proves 100% that Right Wingers are evil and hate America.

And I could say provide recent examples of a Right Wing Extremist who wanted to assassinate Obama and/or Clinton who might like to use this Marine who apparently had bomb making material in his checked baggage at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Little Green Footballs has angered Right Wing Extremists by highlighting... Right Wing Extremists and the evil Liberal groups (The Federal Bureau of Investigations, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division, the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service) who are monitoring them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!"

The Scottish Police Force are strong with the, ahem, Force... This must explain the lack of crime in the Northern UK. Frighteningly, that means the Criminal Mastermind of Scotland must be the Most Powerful Sith Lord ever and some new recruit to the Force named Annie will destroy them!

I wish I had been smart or brave enough to demand Jedi on my dog tags when I was in MCRSD. Lamentably, I asked for Atheist (for which I earned some extra PT time!) and was told no, so I settled for No Religious Preference. When I made the FMF and MOL came on line I changed my "religion" to Atheist*.

*- If I recall correctly No Religious Preference was Code 13 and Atheist was Code 75, under the religion tab.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Torture. George Bush oversaw the implementation of Torture in the name of the American people. The years of Bush the Liar claiming "We do not Torture" and any instances were the actions of a few rogue soldiers sit like a cold shit sandwich shoved down the collective throats of the American people.

Here is the strangest dissonance from the Pro-Human Pain and Suffering Right Wing Extremists: The harsh interrogation methods we used are so wimpy that slapping oneself on air is the equivalent. However, they are so awesome and useful that if need be we can use them and break someone in 35 seconds to save us from the Right Wing Extremist Bogus Ticking Time Bomb Scenario.

So it's both Torture and Not Torture. Or the AQ guys we capture aren't tough enough to have their nuts cut off like Karl Rove & Dick Armey and other Pro-Human Pain and Suffering Right Wingers.

Torture does not work. You will not get accurate information. This has famously been demonstrated by John McCain admitting to being broken by torture and providing false information to his tormentors. Go to Crooks and Liars for video of Mr. Anathema loving him some torture.

Of course, I could be wrong and all those people tortured by the Inquisition actually were Witches and in League with Lucifer! And the Torture kept christendom safe just the way Fox News proclaimed Torture Kept US Safe!

Update (04/21):
Pamela Geller over at Atlas Shrugged has posted a letter she received from a "Marine". It is absolutely evil and ridiculous. The conclusions reached in the letter is that Torture of captured enemies is necessary to make Soldiers and, of course, President B. Hussein releasing the memos has weakened America.

One of the ideas posited is Drill Instructors' conduct in boot camp is the equivalent of what the torturers did. Well, I was not waterboarded in boot. And I'm not sure why SERE school ever exposed servicemen to waterboarding if it's not torture. Of course, this is when the letter sets up an excluded middle and jumps to to the claim if the US can't torture captured enemies, we can not have boot camp.

Drill Instructors stress recruits, but always in the back of the recruits' mind is the knowledge he won't be killed. Why were homicide charges brought against the DI (who was acquitted) when a recruit was allowed to drown in 2005? Was it because the actions of the DI in causing the young man Jason Tharp to drown were viewed as criminal and not merely as really tough training?

Combat and Torture are not the same. Training for combat and torturing people are not equivalent. Trying to tie them together shows a disturbing lack of moral courage. And this line (bold in the original):
The training techniques were written with the blood of dead soldiers who had to learn the hard way how to train an army and conduct a war.
indicates the presence of a malevolent soul.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I’m just as lost as you
And probably more confused
~ Clenching The Fists Of Dissent, Machine Head

Kathleen Sebelius is another Obama Chicago Machine Politician who is a profligate tax evading criminal. Damn Her Eyes! And the Republicans are aghast at such flouting of the payment of Taxes. But, the whole Republican platform is pay less taxes, give the government less of your hard earned monies? Should the Right not be cheering the ingenuity and perspicacity of Kathleen Sebelius? Who against overwhelming odds triumphantly succeeded in wresting back a small portion of the money wrongfully stolen by the Marxist federal government? As well as giving every other tax defying Obama Nomination a hearty hear-hear clap on the back?

Oooooooh, wait! They're Liberal Democrats! Therefore everything they do is axiomatically hateful, evil, illegal, ungodly and anti-american! And it's not as if the official organ of the GOP used the comments of Joe Biden, Paying more taxes is patriotic, as evidence of the Redistributionist (i.e. Marxist) policies of Obama in their literature or anything... (well, of course, you knew they did by that cliched sentence structure!)

Crime, like Patriotism is a function of Time and Spin. Crime is only Crime when a venomous Liberal does it. Then the Bloody Shirt must be waved, while Republicans rend their breasts, tear their hair out and bemoan the destruction of America for actions which they would defend unto the End of the World if it had been done by oh say Tom DeLay.


You thought it was a joke and so you
Laughed, you laughed! When I had said that
Losing you would make me flip my lid - right?
~ They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! Napoleon XIV

Patriotism is a function of Time. Or a subset. I don't quite have the Math-esque analogies down yet. Protests against the Federal Government were once the bastion of the anti-american looney leftards, championing Tear-Oh-Wrists in Iraq, hurting the Troops and entirely unacceptable. But the sun orbits and then Blam! Here come the April 15th Tea Party Protests, which are totally not being orchestrated and are like totally populist.

Today, unlike at anytime during the previous 8 years, all responsible Congressmembers are calling for an "Orderly Revolutions".

Do they really want to succeed? Once the revolution, "Orderly" or not, begins you have called for an end to the tradition of peaceful transition of power.

I will not accept any post hoc eschatological, metaphysical, philosophical or other class of rationalizations to explain the overthrow of an elected figure. And it can't be a one-off never to be repeated event. The Djinn will be out. And from that point on I would never respect a Republican elected official in the Federal government. Never.

Update 04/15:
Many events have transpired since I first opened this article. Governor Rick Perry's call for Texas Secession and the horrible Ambush Murder of the Three Pittsburgh Brothers by a madman incited by the Obama's Coming to Take Guns Away, ha-haaa Meme.