NOW What My Weekend Looks Like...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My head...oh god I hurt...


What My Weekend Looks Like

Friday, February 26, 2010




Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I am not much of a fan of the New Yorker, but this article does a good job of looking at the Angry citizen and what can sometimes happen. I really liked this paragraph which speaks about a Beck supporter named Pam Stout:

There’s nothing new about Mrs. Stout. She’s a familiar figure in American life, always latent, but coming to the surface in national emergencies. Richard Hofstadter described her mental world in detail. In the seventeen-eighties she lived in Sheffield, Massachusetts, during a period of tight credit and land foreclosures and was sympathetic to the farmers’ uprising known as Shay’s Rebellion that began there. In the eighteen-fifties she was a non-voting constituent of Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. In the eighteen-nineties she was the wife of a Nebraska farmer who joined the People’s Party and voted for William Jennings Bryan and free silver. In the nineteen-thirties desperate poverty drove her to fall for the simple solutions of Huey Long’s left-wing demagoguery, or Father Coughlin’s right-wing demagoguery, which often sounded similar. In the nineteen-fifties she listened avidly to radio personalities like Fulton Lewis, Jr., and Walter Winchell, thought President Eisenhower was a knowing agent of the Communist Party, and was a passionate supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy. In 2001 she knew that the Bush Administration orchestrated 9/11. In 2008 she showed up at Sarah Palin rallies.

Pet peeve alert. From the article:

Glenn Beck delivered the keynote speech at the CPAC conference over the weekend. He spoke for almost an hour, and I watched so you don’t have to.

There are many reviews and critiques that contain the "I watched (or read) it so you don't have to." I am not really interested in watching or reading Beck, but if I would if I wanted to discuss him or lambaste him. I am perfectly capable of formulating my own opinions and conclusions and don't need someone else doing that for me. Other that that, it was a good article.

(h/t to Streak for posting this earlier)


Gun Rights News

It has been a while since I have blogged on this topic, so I thought it would be a good time to update ATK'ers on a recent case from the 7th Circuit. The case, U.S. v. Skoien, received very little press, but was important because it used Heller to overturn a fairly big federal gun law.

Mr. Skoien was arrested for violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which prohibits people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from possessing a firearm. He had been convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery a year prior to the police finding a shotgun in his truck that he had used to kill a deer during hunting season. He argued that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) violated his second amendment right to have a gun for self-defense. In his argument, he crought up Heller. He moved to dismiss the indictment in the US District Court and this was denied. The Court of Appeals vacated the denial and sent the case back to District Court.

Here is the text of the case. Basically, it said that Heller upholds a right to own firearms for self-defense and that the government failed to show that the law was reasonable under an intermediate standard of scrutiny:

The government has approached this case as though all it had to do to defend the constitutionality of § 922(g)(9) is invoke D.C. v. Heller’s language about certain “presumptively lawful” gun regulations — notably, felon-dispossession laws. Not so. Heller held that the Second Amendment secures an individual natural right to possess firearms for self-defense; the opinion’s reference to exceptions cannot be read to relieve the government of its burden of justifying laws that restrict Second Amendment rights. Although Heller did not settle on a standard of review, it plainly ruled out the deferential rationalbasis test; this leaves either strict scrutiny or some form of “intermediate” review. On the facts of this case, we hold that intermediate scrutiny applies. In its usual formulation, this standard of review requires the government to establish that the challenged statute serves an important governmental interest and the means it employs are substantially related to the achievement of that interest.

Later in the decision:

As such, the government’s application of § 922(g)(9) in this case requires less rigorous justification than strict scrutiny because the core right of self-defense identified in Heller is not implicated. Applying intermediate scrutiny, we ask whether the government has established that the statute is substantially related to an important governmental interest. No one questions the importance of the government’s interest in protecting against domestic-violence gun injury and death. The dispute here is about the fit between this important objective and § 922(g)(9)’s blanket ban on firearms possession by persons who have been convicted of a domestic-violence misdemeanor. Under intermediate scrutiny, the government need not establish a close fit between the statute’s means and its end, but it must at least establish a reasonable fit. The government has done almost nothing to discharge this burden. Instead, it has premised its argument almost entirely on Heller’s reference to the presumptive validity of felon-dispossession laws and reasoned by analogy that § 922(g)(9) therefore passes constitutional muster. That’s not enough. Accordingly, we vacate Skoien’s conviction and remand to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I should note that this case is from last fall. Since then, it has been decided that it will be heard en banc, or by the entire court, instead of just a three judge panel. If I had to guess, I would say that the entire court will follow what the panel said. In addition, the fourth circuit has decided a similar case on the same grounds, U.S. v. Chester (4th Cir. Feb. 23, 2010).

I believe both these cases to be sound law and a natural extension of the Heller decision. Let me say that I have no sympathy for people that engage in domestic violence. I think they should be punished appropriately and am not suggesting that society give them a 'pass'. I don't believe 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) is a fair law and is very similar to zero tolerence laws. First of all, it is a lifetime ban. If you are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence (under this law) you are forbidden from ever possessing a firearm for any reason. It doesn't matter how much time has elapsed or what you have done to turn your life around. You are out of luck. While it is clear that the state has an interest in protecting citizens from violence, the government was unable to show that people convicted of domestic violence were automatically going to kill someone at some point in the future.

I believe that a better approach to this is to treat it on a case by case basis. Not all cases of domestic violence are the same and they shouldn't be treated the same. The Court should have the discretion to ban certain people from having firearms if they can show some kind of risk to society based on things like past behavior, threats, and the like. I also don't think this should be a lifetime ban. An individual should be able to petition the court to lift the ban if they can show they are no longer a danger to other people.


Apologies to "Anonymous", and Something Funny

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


my apologies to "anonymous." He left 2 posts on my post about the "flat tire" which, in a haze, I didn't read clearly and I thought they were spam, so I deleted them. Then I got his message about censorship, then I remembered I put the spam-blocking word verification on....


So, sorry Anonymous. I didn't mean to censor your comments. I had a moment of stupidity yesterday. Post away (though I do *wish* you'd reveal yourself!).

On to the funny.

There is a protest outside the capitol today. A group of snowmen are protesting possible tax increases.

While this is a hilarious and unique type of protest...

...someone should tell the snowmen that they don't pay any taxes.
I didn't know snowmen could vote. What is this country coming to when we count snowmen as people?


Beer News

Monday, February 22, 2010

As much as I like to pretend that ATK is the only beer-related blog of any worth, there is another one out there.

The Manager of Crunchy's in East Lansing, Paul Stewart, has a great site called This Week In Beer. It has a blog, a video blog, Podcasts, beer reviews from a "pro" and a new initiate of big beers, and the like.

In other words, Paul's site is what I've always wanted to do!

Crunchy's is the bar that, every other week, hosts a "meet the brewer" night, with chances to meet and have in-depth chats with great Michigan brewers and drink specials on kegs from that brewery. The next one coming up is this Wednesday, around 8:30 pm, with the brewers from Founders (my favorite in-state brewery).

Go check out This Week In Beer. I have a lot of respect for Paul, and find him to be a true advocate for beer and Michigan Breweries. He's a great guy who, at risk to his own bottom line, tries hard to bring craft beer to East Lansing.


Flat Tire

Friday, February 19, 2010

No, not FAT Tire from New Belgium brewing company in Colorado.

No, I mean a FLAT tire. I blew a flat tire, metaphorically.

Yesterday morning, I lifted a cup of coffee to my lips, ignored all the warning signs, and apparently cooked my tongue in boiling liquid. Then, to make matters worse, while eating a beautiful bowl of soup for lunch...the same thing happened. My tongue nearly became a part of the soup.

The end result: my tongue is so burned, so scalded, that I can't taste anything but salt or overpowering amounts of sugar. I tried a beautiful bottle of Arcadia's Cocoa Loco yesterday evening for today's review, and for all I could taste of it the review would have read: tastes of air, wetness and foam.

According to some friends in the medical profession, it will take 4 or 5 days before my tongue is healed enough for my tastebuds to function. So no beer review for you today.

That said, I want to draw your attention to one of the greatest tools of the beer judging and tasting profession: The Beer Judge Certification Program. This is the "secret" website chock-full of beer knowledge to prepare mere novice beer drinkers for entry into judging. And it keep judges apprised of new styles, new expectations and growth in the beer industry.

The crown jewel of this web site, though, are the biannually-reviewed Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines. This is the document judges use to judge beer. It has every style category, what each beer should look, smell, taste and "feel" like,'s the provides commercial examples available on the market for every style.

These guidelines were developed to make beer judging fair. I look at it this way: I am not a fan of "Light Hybrid Beers" or "Pilsner." They bore me. But there is a chance, every time I judge, that I will have to judge those beers. I need a set of guidelines, then, for me to fairly compare and contrast beers that I honestly don't enjoy much; it doesn't work for me to fill out a scoresheet with the word "HATE" scrawled in huge letters for a brewer who tried hard on a beer and is proud of his or her submission.

The guidelines are used for the opposite as well; there are two beers that are everything you've ever dreamed of. How do you separate them? How do you pick a winner? Use the guidelines.

Check out the web site. But more importantly, check out the guidelines. It's a .PDF that allows you to go directly to the beer style in question simply by clicking on its category in the table of contents. It will help paint a picture of just how many beer styles are out there, and it will enlighten you, as it does to me every time I open them, as to how beers should be. And best of all, it gives you beers to go out and buy and try if a style sounds interesting.

Best I can do with a Flat tire.


Pushing the Limits of Church and State

Monday, February 15, 2010

The New York Times Magazine, a weekly publication where they get to put longer stories and points of interest than what appears in their normal paper, recently published How Christian Were The Founders, an article that highlights the Christian Fundamentalist movement to effectively rewrite American history from a Christian-centric point of view. Highlighted in the article is the Texas Board of Education and and several opinions from Christian-based law schools.

More specifically, this movement focuses on American's founding fathers having a deeply Christian motivation for creating this country the way they did, as substantiated by early-American texts such as the Declaration of Independence, the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. This is, the movement contends, supposed to be a Christian nation and our early historic documents verify that.

One of the most interesting cases made (and by "interesting" I mean "a stretch") for this is by Liberty University Law School's Cynthia Dunbar:

Dunbar began the lecture by discussing a national day of thanksgiving that Gen. George Washington called for after the defeat of the British at Saratoga in 1777 — showing, in her reckoning, a religious base in the thinking of the country’s founders...

...A student questioned the relevance of the 1777 event to the court rulings, because in 1777 the country did not yet have a Constitution. “And what did we have at that time?” Dunbar asked. Answer: “The Declaration of Independence.” She then discussed a legal practice called “incorporation by reference.” “When you have in one legal document reference to another, it pulls them together, so that they can’t be viewed as separate and distinct,” she said. “So you cannot read the Constitution distinct from the Declaration.” And the Declaration famously refers to a Creator and grounds itself in “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Therefore, she said, the religiosity of the founders is not only established and rooted in a foundational document but linked to the Constitution. [emphasis added]
I checked with a few of my legal resources (my lawyer buddies) and asked them about this concept of "incorporation by reference." The consensus was this: incorporation by reference is often done in creating laws as well as in contract law and trust and estate law. But Constitutional Law, or in taking a non-legal document, like the Declaration, and trying to have any of its references incorporated into the Constitution is not an accurate use of that legal concept.

This entire article sets the stage for this: the movement focuses on tearing-down the "wall of separation" between church and state.
[Wallbuilders leader] David Barton reads the “church and state” letter to mean that Jefferson “believed, along with the other founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination.” Barton goes on to claim, “ ‘Separation of church and state’ currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.”
A response:
“The founders deliberately left the word ‘God’ out of the Constitution — but not because they were a bunch of atheists and deists,” says Susan Jacoby, author of “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism.” “To them, mixing religion and government meant trouble.” The curious thing is that in trying to bring God into the Constitution, the activists — who say their goal is to follow the original intent of the founders — are ignoring the fact that the founders explicitly avoided religious language in that document.
I could fill line after line with examples in the article from one side or another in this debate, so instead I encourage you to read the article.

There are a few things at work here in this article. First is the Texas Board of Education. Unlike many other states, the Texas Board determines the curriculum and textbooks for the entire state, rather than district-by-district. Given the size of the Texas school system, and what that does to the price and content of textbooks across the country, what the Texas Bord decides arguably has a massive effect on the content of textbooks across the country.

The Texas Board is systematically allowing for religious content in public school books. This article not only shows how that is happening, and who the players are, but also how the Texas Board movement is hand-in-hand, conceptually and actually, with the overall "Christian Nation" movement across the country.

I have several problems with this. First, I believe the tactics they are using are misleading. Filling law school students' heads with erroneous legal interpretations is irrensponsible. Their goal there is to be able to start to challenge 1st amendment cases, with fresh Christian-law-trained minds, all the way up to SCOTUS...and perhaps even control SCOTUS one day. I admire the long-view strategy; that takes a level of commitment that I can't fathom! But it treads dangerously close to the establishment of a State religion.

Another problem I have is the blind, dogmatic following of the Texas Board with this approach. Specifically, here's one of my favorite gems:
Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?” It’s not an especially subversive-sounding title, but the author of this 1967 children’s picture book, Bill Martin Jr., lost his place in the Texas social-studies guidelines at last month’s board meeting due to what was thought to be un-American activity — to be precise, “very strong critiques of capitalism and the American system.” Martin, the creator of 300 children’s books, was removed from the list of cultural figures approved for study by third graders in the blizzard of amendments offered by board members...

..In this case, one board member sent an e-mail message with a reference to “Ethical Marxism,” by Bill Martin, to another board member, who suggested that anyone who wrote a book with such a title did not belong in the TEKS. As it turned out, Bill Martin and Bill Martin Jr. are two different people. But by that time, the author of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” was out. “That’s a perfect example of these people’s lack of knowledge,” Miller says. “They’re coming forward with hundreds of amendments at the last minute. Don McLeroy had a four-inch stack of amendments, and they all just voted on them, whether or not they actually knew the content.[emphasis added]
It's fine for students to learn about the Mayflower Compact or any of the other semi-constitutional documents that preceded the actual Constitution, especially in terms of their overall impact on the final document we know and love today. But despite the rhetoric of only wanting to "acknowledge" the Christian contributions to the United States, this is an attempt to rewrite American history and establish Christianity as the single religion of the U.S., through our public school system (which is supposed to be the great democratizer).

Either you acknowledge every religion's impact on the formation of the country, or you stay secular and report the facts. I'm all for the latter. I can learn all the other stuff in the church of the denomination that I choose to attend. I am not hyperventilating about what they're doing; I don't think in the long run that our country will become some Christian Caliphate. But I do want to raise awareness. Our government is secular for a reason and what these folks are doing threatens to violate the 1st amendment and clearly establish a de-facto religion for the United States. That's not government's role, and that's not public education's role.

[/navel gazing]


I hate to do this...

...but I have to institute the dreaded Word Verification procedure to the comments section. Though the spam we get is humorously unintelligible gibberish ("Do you care las vegas? We be bad luck institute theory check out casino risk games."), it is annoying at best. So Down With The Machines. Only humans and basic humanoids may leave comments here.


If Only Winter Tasted This Good

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A gold-standard of brewing prowess for me is Samuel Smiths brewery in North Yorkshire in the UK. When I attempt to brew British-style ales, I use Samuel Smiths as my template. If only I could emulate their taste...I could open a brewery.

For Christmas, I was the lucky recipient of a four-pack of some of Sam Smith's best beers. Most of these beers, including the one today, are locally available at most "good beer" stores. You can't very well call yourself a good beer store without carrying Sam Smith's.

The lovely concoction I sampled this week is Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale. This is the style of beer commonly called a winter warmer. You drink it because it gives you that lovely warm alcohol spice that warms the stomach and the spirit.

Winter Welcome poured an enticing dark honey, crystal clear and refreshing. As the thick, creamy-white head settled, an inviting effervescence bubbled up from the bottom of the Imperial pint glass. Each quaff left thick lacing down the sides of the glass and spoke of heavy malts yet to come.

The aroma held all those flavors you find in grandma's candy jar when you visit for the holidays: sweet caramel, toffee, and creamy, sticky butterscotch. The malty sweetness blended perfectly with a light, crisp grassy hop character. Under it all was a luscious honey sweetness. The hops, though light, kept this from being an overly-sweet malt bomb. They really pulled the beer towards a pleasant crispness that just became more inviting despite the cold.

The flavor stands up and delivers everything the aroma promised, and then some. Big honey-sweet malt blend with a gorgeous grain savor. Bready yeast, like rolls, balanced with a gorgeous buttery flavor that just makes the beer drip with sweetness and a thick impression. Cinnamon and brown sugar and plums, scant hints thereof, are in a delicate balance with light hops. The thing that brings it all home is this lovely alcohol warmth, which adds a peppery spice to all the sweet, bready flavors that Sam Smith's beers are known for.

Winter Welcome's medium body gives a soothing, refreshing impression despite the frigid temperatures outside my window. Crisp but smooth, refreshing but warming, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome is the right way to enjoy Michigan's winters.



Every other Wednesday, local great beer watering hole Crunchy's hosts a Meet the Brewer night. Last night, they hosted the guys from Arcadia Ales brewing company in Battle Creek, Michigan.

As most brewers, these guys love their craft, they take it very seriously, but they have that irreverent fun streak that comes from a beverage synonymous with everyman social interaction. The great democratizer, after all, is beer!

Oades Big 10 carries pretty much the entire selection of Arcadia's brews. This brewery focuses primarily on British-style ales and I found out last night that they use the same yeast strain on every batch of beer they brew and that they use an open fermentation (tops of the fermenters are left open to the air) method on all of their beers. Their yeast strain is now on its 1,200th generation.

They have also acquired some now-defunct salt mines deep under the city of Battle Creek, and they store many of their barrel-aged beers down there. The temperature is extremely stable and it gets very little, if any, vibration that would stir-up the beer and keep the yeast and trub from settling. It's as close to cave-aging as we can get here.

Crunchy's is carrying Arcadia's award-winning Cereal Killer barleywine, Hopmouth Double IPA, Imperial Stout, and London Porter.

Crunchy's Manager, Paul Stewart, is a true beer advocate. While he carries the money-makers (Millers, Buds), he has devoted the bulk of his 20-odd taps to craft beer, and most of that is Michigan-based. Make a point to stop over at Crunchy's and support Paul's mission to introduce people to bigger, better beer.

The next Meet the Brewer night is February 24, where Crunchy's will host the brewers from my favorite in-state brewery, Founders.


The Zen of the American Public

Monday, February 08, 2010

What's right is wrong, what's true is false. We can cut taxes and not make any cuts to programs like Medicaid. We're Americans, and we can have our cake and eat it too!

The Slate's Jacob Weisberg, at least, thinks we're full of shit. Take a look at the article. His point is that Washington's gridlock has nothing to do with Obama's shitty salemanship or political ideologues. It has everything to do with the fact that we as the public, exhibit "the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large."

Some gems from the article:

  • One year ago, 59 percent of the American public liked the stimulus plan, according to Gallup. A few months later, with the economy still deeply mired in recession, a majority of the same size said Obama was spending too much money on it.
  • Sixty percent of Americans want stricter regulations of financial institutions. But nearly the same proportion says we're suffering from too much regulation on business.
  • Nearly half the public wants to cancel the Obama stimulus, and a strong majority doesn't want another round of it. But 80-plus percent of people want to extend unemployment benefits and to spend more money on roads and bridges. There's another term for that stuff: more stimulus spending.
  • He brings it home with this quote, and I tend to agree:
    I don't mean to suggest that honesty is what separates the two parties. Increasingly, the crucial distinction is between the minority of serious politicians in either party who are prepared to speak directly about our choices, on the one hand, and the majority who indulge the public's delusions, on the other. I would put President Obama and his economic team in the first group, along with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Republicans are more indulgent of the public's unrealism in general, but Democrats have spent years fostering their own forms of denial. Where Republicans encourage popular myths about taxes, spending, and climate change, Democrats tend to stoke our fantasies about the sustainability of entitlement spending as well as about the cost of new programs.
    Go figure. We get our opinions fed to us in 25-second sound bites generally from one single source. It is easy for politicians to play to our basest sensibilities when we don't collectively know enough to call them out on their own glaring contradictions.

    Wake. Up.

    [readers and contributors to this blog are not subject to this criticism...we're fucking brilliant]


    Best PSA Ever.

    Friday, February 05, 2010

    H/T Autoblog.


    Big Hoppy Monster

    Thursday, February 04, 2010

    A beer I can drink all night long is a nicely-done Irish Red Ale. Not that fake Killian's stuff, but a real staple of Irish beer culture. A really great Irish Red is all caramel and roasted malts with just enough hops to separate it from its thicker, sweeter Scottish cousins.

    So when I got a bottle of Terrapin Brewing Company's Big Hoppy Monster, billed as an Imperial Red Ale, I was intrigued. The "Imperial" moniker in beer connotes taking a style to its extreme. So while I eagerly anticipated an Imperial Red to be a malt bomb, its name (Big Hoppy Monster) threatened to put me off just a bit. But why anticipate it when I should just get to actually tasting it?

    The Monster turned my pint glass a nearly-opaque copper red. The deep copper haze yielded enticing ruby highlights. The cap on this beer was a perfectly-level half inch of off-white foam that clung to the sides of the galss all the way down. Lacing like that screams thick, sweet malt.

    The aroma is where I understand the "Big Hoppy Monster" name comes from. But even though hops are much more aggressive in this beer than a standard Red, there is a lovely trio at first: a balance of rich caramel, huge citrusy hops and an alcohol burn. There is also a beautiful roasted malt flavor that hangs out underneath the Big 3, and even the barest hint of pepper. The hops are the star here, mixing a bouquet of flowers with citrus-fruit rinds. But that sticky-sweet caramel strikes a great balance and reminds me of the root of this beer: Irish Red.

    This is one of those beers where the aromas set the right stage for the flavors. Nothing is lost between the nose on the tongue with Terrapin's offering; in fact, I think some is gained. Big grapefruit flavors from the hops compete with thick caramel, bread and toasted malt...and in this competition, the hops lose, but not by much! The lovely, spicy alcohol burn enlivens he tongue and heats the throat, enhancing the malt-and-roast flavors typical of a great Red. But again, despite the aggressive hops in this beer, the malts still shine.

    Despite the copious malts, BHM is a little lighter-bodied than I would have guessed. But the moderately-high carbonation gives the impression of lighter body.

    What I liked most about this beer is how Terrapin Brewing Company enhanced the flavors and boosted the alcohol of a normal Red ale, as well as all those beautiful hops, without destroying the character of the base beer. It's a giant Red ale that I can still tell is a Red ale. With every brewer in the universe taking "extreme" beers to the extreme, it was refreshing to drink an "extreme" beer that remembers where it came from.


    Don't Ask, Don't Tell

    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Admiral Mike Mullen, in his Twitter post from yesterday: Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity.

    Admiral Mullen's longer quote:

    "Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do," the nation's top military officer told the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "No matter how I look at this issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me personally, it comes down to integrity -- theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

    Here is a litany of other supportive quotes from opinionated bloggers we have all read before.

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.)
    "In my opinion, the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would very likely create an unacceptable risk," he said, putting homosexuality in a category with "adultery, fraternization and body art."
    I do have to respond to that. All of my tattoos...both shoulders, both ankles, and my entire back, I obtained while serving in the Marines. Senator Chambliss, if homosexuality is in the same category of acceptance as "body art," as you say, then I would dare say the military fully accepts and even encourages it!

    And that takes me, as a guy who has served and been deployed, to my point: this was a bold move by the top U.S. military commander, and it was the right move. In fact, I think Admiral Mullen sums it up best:
    "Sort of a fundamental principle with me . . . is everybody counts," he told the senators. "Putting individuals in a position that every single day they wonder whether today's going to be the day" -- that they are kicked out for being gay -- "and devaluing them in that regard is inconsistent with us as an institution."
    Yes. That. What he said.

    Sullivan sums up how I think members of our own military will take a lifting of the ban: "This, in my view, is the ultimate reality behind all this: when the ban is lifted, it will be the biggest non-event you can imagine."

    And now, of course, member of the GOP are doubting and criticizing the military's direction. I should note, in all fairness, that Admiral Mullen's quote was, as he points out, his own personal opinion. But in making that statement, he made clear his intention. Former Defense Sec'y Powell and current Defense Sec'y Gate agree. In fact, the only one who didn't thus far is the Marine Corps Commandant, General James Conway. Now, as a loyal Marine, I do love my commandant (well, not in that way...). But the Marines, in which I am inordinately proud to have served for 8 years, are the last branch that still doesn't allow women in ground combat roles. So that's kinda where we come from on that.

    I applaud Admiral Mullen's statement. This is the right way to go. We've all seen examples of the total fucking idiocy of the don't ask don't tell policy.


    Oh What a Feeling...

    I have resisted kicking them while they are down, but as a loyal Michigander, I just cannot take it anymore. This video was just way too funny not to post.

    Now that the liberals in the media have turned on Toyota, they are really screwed.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Toyotathon of Death
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political HumorHealth Care Crisis



    Injured in a dirigible accident?

    Tuesday, February 02, 2010

    I wish I had something more substantive, but you'll have to be content with one of the most goofy PI lawyer ads I have seen:

    If I get hurt while filming Cannonball Run IV or by an exploding zeppelin, I wouldn't hesitate to call these guys.



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