Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blackface

Thanks for the chuckle ODK:



http://octopusdropkick.net/?p=1141

Proper Punishment

From here:
The practical consequences of this answer make Western intelligence services shudder: "If anyone, the United States or even Israel, gets the idea to bomb the Iranian nuclear weapons program back 10 years into the past, then God help us," says a Western intelligence officer. "Then the Mullahs will unleash their guard dogs worldwide. They will equip and support all Shi'ite terrorist networks with the Sunni networks globally, that is, with everything that they have. For us it would be the ultimate worst-case scenario, one for which we are not prepared."
Not prepared? Or not ballzy enough to deal with it properly. This and much else smells like that now famous article that laid much of western incompetence at the feet of white guilt.

One only has to ask themselves how China would deal with a third world ding bat who was cooking up some nukes to use on them. Would they negotiate forever in the pointless hope that a settlement might be reached?

Imagine if the U.S. firebombed an Iranian city, killed everyone in it and then we told them to relinquish their nuclear hopes. The leaders would undoubtedly rally their people and say that everyone in the country is willing to sacrifice their lives for the will of the dictators Allah; at which point we say "have it your way". Undoubtedly the Iranians would have some nasty card to play, but we'd win after either A) they surrendered or B) we ran out of Iranians to bomb. I don't necessarily advocate this position but this lack of will to punish unfortunately extends beyond the dealings of backwater countries that are just as easily ignored as they are dealt with.
Such as the punishment for congressmen who take bribes. Suggestion: Public flogging. Or how about Presidents who can't see their way through to defending the nation's border? Public flogging. Supreme Court justices who use the phrase 'International Law' in their opinions? That's right, public flogging.

So goes my boredom with every current debate. Everyone knows a much better solution, but too many people want to be able to pretend how nice they are for just one more day (and assuage their white guilt) and then flap their gums in a boring effort to talk the issue to death. Let me know when those idiots are done feeling guilty so that the issues of the day can be properly dealt with.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Sports Corruption

Hot on the heals of one of their better seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a reward for the fans: corporate welfare! From the Pain Dealer:
The Cavaliers want taxpayers to help pay for a proposed $20 million practice facility in Independence [a well to do suburb south of Cleveland].

The team wants to borrow money from the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and then use some of the taxes it will pay on the sports complex -- which normally go to schools and government -- to repay the loans.

Asked if that means the Cavs are in line for a tax break, Independence Mayor Fred Ramos said: "They may be, yes."
Said Mayor Fred "My taxpayers shall spare no expense to make me look good to my peers".

What do these breaks entail? I guess a money losing loan from the local governmental Port Authority, which will be paid back with the local real estate taxes on the new facility. In other words, the Cavs will get a B.S. interest loan that the city of Independence will pay back for them.
But that's not all, what about the deal splitting up that salary bounty?
Cleveland's part of the deal is to split evenly with Independence the 2 percent wage tax that Cleveland collects on players' and coaches' salaries. Cleveland will collect about $550,000 in taxes on player salaries this year. If the tax-sharing deal were in place today, Independence would get $275,000 of that.
Although mentioned later in the article, a little math will give us the payroll that is being taxed. Since it's only half a year, that $550,000 actually only constitutes ONE percent of the payroll, so 100 times 550,000 gives us, that's right, $55,000,000; or around twice as much as the yearly gross of where I work.

What's up with the sweetheart deal on the personal taxes for the players anyway? Isn't it bad enough that the business they work for gets huge government subsidies in order to provide salaries to millionaires? They cut the rate down to reflect when the team actually plays, but do teachers who work in Cleveland only have to pay 75% of the Cleveland personal income tax? How about if the teachers don't live in the city Cleveland? Does the city happily split the taxes with the other municipality?

Or, undoubtedly, would teachers have to pay the same effective 3% local tax rate that I and every other sap has to pay?

I only wish I had an interest in watching the Cavaliers so that I could lose it....

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cleveland Asian

We went to Li Wah toady, a local restaurant on the near east side of Cleveland (The owner there said they also have a slightly different operation on the west side). We had been there before and it was notable for having both authentic Chinese food (yum) and B.S. American Chinese stuff. We were expecting a regular meal, but were surprised by the fact that the lunchtime meals consist of a about a half dozen carts with all kinds of Dim Sum and whatnot on them. It was all so good, it was basically a buffet that came to you so you couldn't even fool yourself into thinking you were getting exercise by walking back and forth to a bar. As well when you have to just sit there and eat what is basically finger food, it's real easy to fool yourself into thinking you can have just one more thing to eat.

I'll also make mention of Korea House*, which serves fairly authentic Korean cuisine. Like the Li Wah, if you don't know how to use chop sticks you'll get to suffer the humiliation of asking your server, who "no speekee engrish very good", for regular silverware.

*(Why don't these places have their own websites? You can get a great business website for much, much less than $100 a year. If nothing else they could even mooch a Blogger site for free. Most of the reviews on the different sites sounded like hit jobs posted by a friend of a competitor).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bang Bang

I went to my brother’s bachelor shindig and I can't let everyone go without some pictures.

No, no naughty pictures, we're talkin' guns! The most impressive piece there I thought was a nicely conditioned, British 303 (by the look of it a S.M.L.E. No.1 Mk.3., second one down). My dad's in the center of the photo holding the beast:


I wonder if you can shoot potato guns off of fishing boats on Lake Erie...

I didn't shoot it myself since A) I can count the number of times I've fired a weapon on two fingers so I'm not a very proficient marksman and B) Despite my limited skill at video games, I have all the coordination of a twenty toed gorilla and would only feel comfortable handling lots of guns after extensive training.

I couldn't land a shot on a TV set out for demo, but my brother put a couple slugs in it, including one from that monster 303 cartridge:


That's ink from paintballs on there as well.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Links

Proving my tattoo point from an earlier post that I don't feel like finding, the E-Man sends me this link:
The touchy-feely, quasi-spiritual trend of getting Asian-language tattoos became popular in the 1990s. For many youngsters, or for people who wanted to feel young, a tat with the characters for “peace” and “truth” seemed just the thing.

But now that the fad-following hipsters of a decade and a half ago have graduated to jobs and families, they are going to tattoo-removal specialists in droves, trying to erase an embarrassing reminder of the mistake they made one drunken night so many years ago: They were permanently inked with an Asian-language word that didn’t say quite what they thought it did.
Well duh. At least most Asians have common sense enough to wear their engrish on a t-shirt or something instead of getting it permanently inked into their skin.
This bit is good too...
And Morel predicts the next big tattoo fad people will want off.

"It's like the lower-back tattoo — the tramp stamp — probably will be."

In other 'news', check out this guy's job title on this page:
Lucas Magder, .NET Evangelism Assistant, Microsoft Corporation
A .Net evangelical, huh? Think what you want about religious types, but when someone has found their true faith within a programming language that is surely a sign of a troubled soul. I can hear it now: "Repent from your IBM programming ways! Give unto Bill and let his dark malevolence rain down upon you!"

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Interesting Ohio Votin'

I love this picture:

This is no doubt less an endorsement than a candid picture that Ken Blackwell had shot on the fly, but it's interesting that he knew enough to figure that a picture of him with Ollie North might, just might, appeal to the people who were voting in the primary. If Jim Petro is sittin' around scratchin' his head wondering why he lost, he can look at this picture and realize that he provided absolutely no reason for anyone to vote for him apart from A) He's not Ken Blackwell and B) He exists.

Interesting too that lazy, establishment Republican types hate the Blackwells of the party, even though it's only through the efforts of strong conservatives that they even hold office. After all, would Betty Montgomery have a job were it not for the efforts of (the now insane) George Voinovich? Would Arlen Spectre be chairman of the Senate judiciary committee were it not for Newt Gingrich?

One other point I've found interesting is with the race situation. Black conservatives get tarred for not being sufficiently 'black', yet they seem to be some of the strongest proponents for their ethnic group. Blackwell's (and other black conservative) thinking tends to seem like "I'm a black person whose had to put up with guilty white and victim black BS my whole life. I'm a black person who kicks ass, and therefore other black people can kick ass as well. Quit making excuses and tell whitey where to shove that liberal crap that has doomed so many of us to the ghetto."*

*(Interesting too that when a black liberal runs, there's no talk in the media about race, because, you know, only a bigot would bring up such a thing. Since Blackwell has been running though, I can't count the number of stories I've read/heard/seen about how 'ultra-conservative' Blackwell, WHO HAPPENS TO BE BLACK AND WILL LOSE VOTES AS A RESULT, will have a tough time winning.)