Bacon & Sausage

Today is a law-enforcement related round up here at YPS. First off is the marvelous police chief of Houston, that fabulous metropolis just slightly to the west of YPS Manor. Chief Hurtt thinks that surveillance is a fabulous idea, as long as he can force somebody else to pay for the system. To quote the Chief:
''I know a lot of people are concerned about big brother, but my response to that is if you aren't doing anything wrong why worry about it,''
Hmm. Well, I can throw out a possibility here, just off the top of my head. How about somebody who does nothing ‘wrong’, but is filmed doing something embarrassing. I’ll say, just for argument, that some dog takes dump on the sidewalk and the next unfortunate passer-by slips and falls in it. I once spent an entertaining evening in New Orleans watching people doing exactly that, but I digress. Potentially amusing, but how much liability will the city face when that footage shows up on the internet?

I think if the Chief is so convinced that video surveillance is a good idea, he needs to prove it by demonstration. He should sign up to have an independent camera crew follow his dumb ass around 24-7 and post the footage to the internet. Failing that, here’s a challenge that I encourage all Houstonians with camcorders to act on. In fact, I’ll go one further. Every time you see a Houston police officer, videotape his ass. If he gives you any shit, quote his Chief back at him. I bet if we all started doing that, Chief Hurtt might back down from his statement real quick.

If not, we could get some gems like the ones from Florida. Apparently, asking about complaint procedures gets the cops mad at you. Yet people like this are the ones that want to put video cameras around to watch you. It just might be that power corrupts and giving the cops even more power is a bad idea.

All of these things together bring up an important point that Publicola addresses at some length. I encourage you to go and read it and visit his links. Go to Radley Balko’s blog and look up the amazing array of poor behavior by government officials who overstep their bounds.

At what point do we, as supposedly free citizens, say enough? I can’t answer for you, because I don’t have answers myself. I would venture to say that if it ain’t Wolfe time yet, it’s getting pretty close. Yet what good does it do you to realize that the state has little interest in or concern for your welfare and start shooting? You will end up a spot on the pavement and forever remembered as a marginalized kook. There aren't any easy answers to the dilemma of state encroachment on fundamental liberties.


I Needs Me A Little Shirley Q Liquor Today...

Looks like Shirley got herself a little online hookup...

I sure could use a cold malt liquor and a Slim Jim.

How you durrin?


RIAA Extra Guilty

I got J an MP3 player for Valentine’s Day. I, being foolish, thought that we could rip music from our extensive CD collection and she could have tunes wherever we might go. The RIAA seems to disagree with me.

So now the RIAA is saying I can’t copy any of their products at all? Fair use is apprently defined by the copyright holder? Somehow, I thought this was already settled back in the dyas of cassette tapes and books.

Let me whip out my crystal ball and do some prognosticating. If they can get anybody at all to buy off on this horseshit, expect them to subpoena Apple for the customer registration data on every iPod ever sold. If they get Apple to cave, they’ll go after other manufacturers. Finally, they’ll sue everybody with an MP3 player. Whee! It's so much easier to threaten people with lawsuits than produce a product people want to buy, ain't it?

What a collection of befuddled asshats. Do they honestly think this is going to work? Too bad I’m not the judge, because they would be extra guilty of aggravated ignunce.

Failed Society

So we’re now into full on posturing and ashattery by our elected representatives about who screwed up after Katrina. There’s a storm of fingerpointing and blameshifting going on up at Capitol Hill as we all try to figure out why the feds didn’t spread sunshine and prosperity upon New Orleans immediately after the hurricane hit.

I actually heard some asshat representative say that the federal government "caused" deaths by not responding in time. No, you dumb twat, the hurricane and associated flooding caused the deaths. The failure of anybody to come help you does not cause your death. I think it is unfortunate when no one can get to you in time to save you, but the failure of help to arrive does not cause your death. Saying the deaths could be prevented is one thing, but implying causation is another thing entirely. By this logic, if I accidentally slice open my femoral artery and call 911, the failure of the paramedics to arrive in time causes my death. The fact that I bled out all over the floor has nothing to do with it in this world view. My death is the fault of those dastardly paramedics for not showing up in time. Obviously, if my heirs and assigns tried this argument in court, they would be booted out the room and told to get bent. So why is this argument any more plausible if some ignunt official makes it in Congress? The logic is the same and it still stinks.

Who’s responsible for the deaths? Well, my first choice is all the people living below sea level in a goddamned swamp. The city of New Orleans has been a bowl surrounded by soup for longer than the United States has been a country. You take on a certain level of risk when you choose to live in that environment. The government is not your nanny, okay? You took on some risk and made a bet based on the fact that nothing bad ever happens to a clown… wait, that’s not right. All y’all living below sea level made a bet that it hasn’t happened yet, so it won’t happen anytime soon. Unfortunately for you, the cards didn’t play out that way this time.

So then what do we get? A bunch of people whining about how the feds didn’t do enough. WTF? I’m sorry, is the federal government your mommy? Are they supposed to pick you up when you fall down and put a band-aid on your scrapes and kiss your boo-boos and make you feel better? Last time I checked, the feds weren’t supposed to be the clean-up crew for your poor life decisions. I am fucking sick of the people who think the feds are some magical insurance agency of last resort who exist to help morons who don’t anticipate and plan for the future.

Of course, I could ask why there seem to be so many of these people in New Orleans. Possibly because the whole welfare society in the inner cities of America has bred an underclass of people who think it is the government’s job to take care of them, because it’s worked that way their whole lives. Since everybody wants to assign blame, how about LBJ? That whole Great Society thing failed pretty goddamned spectacularly for the people in New Orleans that bought into it. Dig his rotting corpse up and make him stand trial.

Of course, I could just point at the US Congress. The Congress passed a bunch of laws that created a bunch of perverse incentives. I'm gonna guess our esteemed legislators are going to find that the fault rests somewhere other than in the collective body to which they belong. It’s so much easier to say that the executive branch is the problem when it just might be 50 years of shitty ideas enacted into law. Somehow, I just don’t see the Congress is going to find themselves to blame in any way. They’ll continue on thinking they can solve the problem instead of contribute to it. When the next big natural disaster strikes, we’ll get to play all over again.


Amazing Thank You Note

This is one of the most beautiful things I've read in a while.

Please take the time to read it.

Doomed from the Start

We watched Doom a few days ago. I have to say that I wasn’t impressed. I waited through an hour and a half of bullshit to get 5 ½ minutes of great footage in the first player scene. Other than that, ehh. I saw a couple of nice sequences but overall, not too exciting.

Of course, the minor fact that they discarded the entire premise of the freaking game might have something to do with my annoyance. Lileks does a terrific take on what an initial meeting must have been like. The studio screwed the pooch on the storyline in favor of some crap about injecting people with extra chromosomes, like that’s any more plausible than a portal to hell. If you’re going to come up with bullshit, at least make it grandiose interesting bullshit. Don’t throw some tripe out there that anyone with a basic education in science is going to immediately discard as completely ludicrous.

My other pet peeve watching the movie was the constant annoying tendency of the characters to refer to themselves and each other as "soldiers". Any of you out there who have dealt with marines know that doesn’t fly. The singular noun for a member of the Marine Corp is "marine" and the plural is "marines". For me, hearing a career sergeant with "Semper Fi" tattooed across his back tell somebody he needs soldiers is jarring. The ground would open and swallow him up before he would say that. He would certainly refuse to admit it (out loud) if he ever did need assistance from the branch I was in, the one with the soldiers.

Overall, I’d have to recommend it only if there’s nothing else on. If you have other entertainment options available, take them.

FEMA Fraud: File under "D" for "DUH!"

The GAO has released a report discussing FEMA's general ineptitude, and its inability to control fraud regarding assistance to Hurricane evacuees. Most of the report deals with the successful filing of multiple claims, checks going out to people using unissued and dead people's social security numbers, and all types of fun fraud for the whole family. In a particluar case, 17 people used 34 different social security numbers acquired by nefarious means to collect over $100,000 in payments (see page 5).

Where does the money go? Page 21 of the report reveals that 62.8% of the purchases were cash advances, while only 21.5% were used for food, clothing, and in department stores. And, page 22 of the report shows the most extreme examples of wasteful spending, including $1,300 for a .45 caliber pistol, $1,200 to a strip club, $1,000 for a bail bond payment, $1,000 at a casino, $450 for a tattoo (nice ink), $400 worth of massage therapy, $200 to cover a bar tab, and $150 worth of condoms. Wait a minute, I see a problem. You mean the government didn't issue the condoms up front? Certainly I must be mistaken. Isn't that some kind of right or something nowadays? Oh! The horror!

But seriously, my question is exactly who is surprised by this? And who will punish these criminals? Did we really need yet another government report to tell us how government again got it wrong? The real news would've been the government getting it right, and the good news would've been the government not getting into it at all.


Another YPS Safety Tip

If you’re going to engage in a standoff with the SWAT team, don’t make obscene gestures. Of course, it would probably be better to not engage in standoffs with the SWAT team in the first place. However, should your evening reach that point, keep ‘em guessing and keep the hands out of sight.

YPS Safety Tip

Don’t go bird hunting with old guys who forget basic gun safety rules. Which gun safety rule? That one about be sure of your target and what’s behind it. I have read some comments by guys that actually hunt, (I take the Ron White* approach myself), that imply that somehow this is an understandable mistake.

I’m not sure I’m buying the explanation. Ultimately, the Veep shot a guy. You got the gun, you pulled the trigger, it’s your fault. An old guy with a bright orange vest doesn’t look much like a quail to me. Maybe Mr. Cheney just needs some new glasses…

* "I don't have anything against hunting, it's just that it's early in the morning, it's cold out, and I don't wanna go."


I’ve already posted the YPS position on offending people, as brilliantly expressed by Mike Muir. I’m not going to discuss the fact that Muslims got offended by cartoons. More appropriately, some cartoons got published and cynical people who use Islam to further their own personal political agendas used the cartoons to whip up outrage in the Muslim world. However, the resulting furor has drawn into sharp relief the basic misunderstanding that too many people have about life in a tolerant, liberal Western democracy. Here’s an important life lesson for all you people out there, Muslims and pathetic Western apologists both:

You do not have a right to not be offended.

In fact, I’ll be even blunter: I have the right to say or do things you find offensive and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s the whole thing about living in a tolerant society. It doesn’t mean you approve of or endorse everything your neighbors do and say. It means you don’t set their house on fire and try to kill them as they run out. More importantly, it means you don’t get the government to do that. You have the right to use any non-violent means to express your disapproval, be that by speech, boycotts, or other peaceful activity. Oh, and lobbying your government to change the law so that speech you find offensive is banned? That doesn’t fall under the heading of non-violent. When you involve the coercive power of the state to settle your differences, you gave up on non-violent. State power is, and will be for the foreseeable future, the rods and the axe. Power flows from the barrel of a gun, baby, and don’t you ever forget it. Just because you outsourced the violence to the state doesn’t mean it ain’t happening.

Me, I’m offended that we take these flaming asshats seriously. So Muslims are offended about cartoons? So fucking what? Move your culture and your religion out of the 12th fucking century and maybe I’ll give a shit about your opinion. In the meantime, I find the rabid insistence that I’m supposed to respect your religion pretty goddamned ludicrous when a hell of a lot of Muslims live in countries where the practice of any other religion is punishable by law. Maybe I’ll be more liable to respect your religion when it gives up on being patently misogynistic. Maybe I’ll give you some respect when you quit issuing fatwas calling for people to be killed for writing books. Maybe I’ll care when state-run media in Arab countries quit pushing blood-libel against Jews. And maybe, just maybe, winged monkeys will fly out of my ass, too.

Pot, kettle, piss off now, Mo’. I’ll care about you and your religion getting offended right about the same time you care when your co-religionists are offensive murderers, which will be right about the time I start farting those winged monkeys.


Presidential Predictions: Republican Primary

So, I've gotten a few questions from friends of mine regarding who, in my opinion, will be the game to be the Republican Presidential Nominee. Yeah, it is still early, but if you follow this stuff, you still can't help thinking about it. OK, so I am a geek and I can't help thinking about it. And, I have thought about it and I honestly have no idea who the candidate will be.

So there, end post.

Not so fast.

When Bush picked Cheney in 1999, a lot of my friends opined that there was no natural Republican "heir" to the Presidency, as if that actually helps (see: Dan Quayle, Al Gore). I predicted at that time that if Bush could manage to get himself re-elected (always the cynic, me) that during the period of late 2006-early 2007 some "leaders" would emerge. I still hold to my theory and think there's already some movement on that front.

More precisely, my prediction was, depending upon Bush's popularity at that time, he would "make" this person. Or this person would try to make himself or herself, by trying to emerge with a particular issue. If Bush is unpopular during this period, this person will try to make himself as a critic, by pointing out where Republicans need to provide more leadership.

Now, putting this theory to the test, we're already seeing some movement, and here's my prospective list.

George Allen - He's really trying to make himself using his "good government" PAC. He was the NRSC Chair in '04 so he has a lot of favors to call in. I still don't think he's as well known as he and the so-called pundits inside the Beltway seem to think. Of course, he is still viable because that seems to be his only problem.

Sam Brownback - He's successfully making himself as the choice of Social Conservatives , but I think he'll come off as too Pat Roberston-esque and not score enough points with a wide enough audience.

Bill Frist - He's trying to make himself, but is shiftless, and delusional in the same way Senators all think they should be President. He needs to quit mentioning he's a doctor, in the same way Kerry needed to shut up about Vietnam (note: we know already). Nonetheless, he's not a leader, he can't win, and the grassroots don't actually like him. I personally think he's filled Trent Lott's shoes quite nicely as Senate Majority Leader, and that's not a compliment.

Newt Gingrich - He is a proven factor, has already made himself and has a great shot because he is viewed as an outsider. He can win Republican primaries, especially in the South. His challenges will come in the Northeast and West, who are more liberal/sheepy. He will also constantly battle the media who will dig up crap on him and demonize him at every turn. He may have trouble with social conservatives regarding his personal past; however, I am a big fan of Newt and hope he goes for it.

Rudy Giuliani - He's still riding the 9/11 wave , and will be the favorite of Northeastern & Liberal Republicans. His liberalism cannot win the South and will have a rough time in the West Midwest.

Chuck Hagel - He's talking, but nobody's really listening.

Mike Huckabee - See Hagel.

John McCain - Ah...the Republican Party's resident attention whore and nastiest critic. He cannot win a real Republican Primary, period. I know what the polls show, but McCain cannot win an election where actual Republicans actually vote. He can skim Iowa or New Hampshire, but will die by early February and get the last nail hammered in his coffin by March. The only places where he might have a shot are the same places where Giuliani will actually win, and that is just because Giuliani is more charismatic and not as batshit nuts.

George Pataki - I think he could beat McCain in the Northeast, but not Giuliani. He's more conservative than Giuliani but too liberal to be taken seriously in the South , West, or Midwest.

Condi Rice - She's the only one that Bush is trying to make. I think she rocks and could take the whole thing, but I also think she's too smart to run for this thankless, crap, weasel job. And let's face it, that reason more than any is why we need her more than ever.

Mitt Romney - He thinks he's made himself, and he'll run, but most of the conservatives who would be biggest base will more likely support Brownback. Romney is a Northeasterner and a Mormon, which won't play well in the South and Protestant Bible Belt. He could do well in the Midwest though, but isn't as well known as most pundits think.

Tom Tancredo - He will get the national security/border security vote, because he is an absolute hero to the people who are focused on that issue (myself included) . I would personally love to see him get in there and mix it up. I think he is too little known to actually win the nomination, being more of a Bob Dornan-type candidate who calls people to task on these important issues. I believe he will be to the immigration issue what Steve Forbes was to the tax issue.

As for my summary opinion, if the primary was tomorrow, and all these people were actually running, I would still be juggling my vote between Gingrich, Rice, and Tancredo. More than anything else, it will be interesting to check back to see how I did with my nominee list.

Of course all this being stated, let me just close by saying
If Dick Cheney would run, which I know not in a million years would ever happen, because of his health and blah blah blah, he'd still be my man. I still love me some Dick.


Mohammed Has a 7 Inch Penis

Well I figure Muslims will commit mass suicide, or at least try to burn England to the ground, as a British sex shop is selling a blow up doll called "Mustafa Shag", complete with 7 inch inflatable penis. For those of us not familiar with Islam, apparently Mohammed, is also known as "al-Mustafa". So just for you, I did some crack research...so here's the product. An inflated version can be found here.

No, I'm not pro-sex doll, but good grief, these damn people are just ridiculous. If Muslims are offended by Mustafa Shag, they shouldn't frikkin' buy him for crying out loud. Hell, I'll show solidarity with them on this one and not buy him either. Instead, we'll just go and buy something else British to add to the collection of Danish products we bought last weekend.

West to Muslims: STFU. People offend Christians all the time. Vote with your letters and currency. Get over it.


Step Up, Get Whacked

Well, via Hit and Run, I now find out the answer to my question.

Apparently, the Justice Department has determined that the POTUS now has the power to order the execution of suspects. Now, the lawyer qualified that with the usual weasel words about "under certain circumstances". From what I read in the article, lacking a full transcript, it appears that my interpretation of the issue is validated. The government can decide you’re a threat and whack you out, all nice and legal.

I’ll be the first to say the prospect disturbs me, simply because I don’t necessarily trust the government to get things right. I can find you reams of stories describing the cops busting down the door at the wrong address to serve a warrant. Hell, Radley Balko has made it a regular feature of his blog. The prospect changes slightly when it’s no longer the cops serving a warrant, but a Delta Force team with an op order and a target profile. It’s going to suck to be in the house either way, but your odds of living through the experience are much better in the first scenario.

Of course, any of us who have been paying attention know the drill anyway. If the federal government decides somewhere in the vast bureaucracy that you are a threat, you are going to have a real hard time walking away from the decision. You could go and ask Fred Hampton… oh, wait, no you can’t. The government shot his ass dead while he was asleep in an apartment in Chicago in 1969. I could also run through the sorry legacy of the Clinton years, where we saw FBI snipers taking the 5th about a dead baby and an armored assault and the subsequent torching of a farmhouse, but why bother? It should be evident to anyone with a brain that the federal government has the power to squash individuals like insects, and very little usually happens afterwards.

If you think the Justice Department admitting they think the POTUS has the legal authority changes a whole lot, I’d like to disagree. The only difference is that now they’ll admit they did it, and claim it was completely legal.

Death Becomes A Democrat

Okay, before we start on my main point, I’d just like to mention that many people who know me consider me to be a hateful, insensitive man. I think (and J concurs) it’s probably because I am hateful and insensitive. Having got that out of the way, let’s move on to my issue of the day.

I freely admit I am not up on the internal workings of the civil rights movement, so I may be wrong here. What substantive achievements did Coretta Scott King have that warranted all this fuss about her death? I am unable to discern any, but I haven’t been looking very hard. I’m gonna lump her in with Hilary Clinton. The simple fact that you were married to somebody is not sufficient for me to give a damn about you. Hilary Clinton got elected primarily because she was married to Bill. Coretta King is getting everybody in a twitter because she was married to Martin. As a good rule of thumb, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about whom you let stick their dick in you. It’s just not any of my business or concern. If all you have going for you is the identity of the person you screwed and/or married, you are not an important figure. You are a footnote. The death of a footnote is worth about 5 minutes of news coverage. Press coverage should be maybe 2 column inches below the fold, not a headline. Her death is just not that damned significant and certainly doesn't deserve the quantity of fawning media coverage I've seen in the past week.

Having said that, let’s move on to the subject of etiquette. I am a rude bastard ignorant of the general rules of decorum. Having said that, I don’t think I would get up at a funeral and rant and rave about somebody else who was in the audience. That’s just plain tacky, people. Once again, though, the concept never occurs to our favorite ex-President. Damn, but that old goober farmer is a piece of work. Given that I was all of 6 years old during the election that propelled that twit into office, I can honestly say that I had nothing to do with that freaking disaster. I hope all you people that voted for Jimmy Carter appreciate the gift that keeps on giving. Personally, I’d be embarrassed to think he’s the "elder statesman" of my party. He’s yet another reason to not be a donk, as if I need any more.

Update: Blogger informs me that this is post 666 on YPS. How amusing and appropriate that we're talking about Jimmy Carter. Coincidence, or evidence that Jimmy Carter is a servant of Satan?


Cheap Booze and/or Software

Every time I see the name of the e-mail companion to Firefox, I think of a rhyme from the later, drunker portion of my misspent youth.
What’s the word?
What’s the price?
A dollar twice.
How’d you drink it?
In a cup.
What’d it get you?
All fucked up.
This is apparently a take-off of an actual radio ad for the stuff. I note that a bottle of Thunderbird is only $2.54 at my favorite liquor store. That’s not bad considering the rhyme is at least 15 years old.

I just wonder what other great names exist out there that could be used for free software products. After all, what better association could you have with open source software than nasty cheap booze? How about an animation or movie editor called Ripple? Wild Irish Rose could be some kind of image editor. Mad Dog could be, I dunno, a project scheduler. I think Boone's Farm has some IP issues, but I bet you could use Strawberry Hill or Blanc de Blanc without too many problems. How about Cold Duck? Surely some enterprising young geek can come up with software projects using these names.


Die Tupperware Die!

Okay, somebody heard that Tupperware was polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is the same stuff they use to make bulletproof windows. So what’s the obvious thing to do? Conduct terminal ballistics testing on Tupperware. I have a sneaking suspicion the people involved weren’t great shots, but that could be an impression left by poor reporting by some ditz that obviously knows nothing about guns.

It reminds me of the fun times we used to have out behind the Fort Bliss dump. People would drop used appliances behind the dump, and we would go out there and shoot the discards. That came to a screeching halt when several of my buddies got hauled in by the MPs for questioning. Apparently some other group of firearms enthusiasts had been shooting at the transformers owned by the government. For obvious reasons, the Army frowns upon shooting at things owned by the government as a form of recreation. The MPs thought it might have been my buddies. My friends were innocent, as ballistics testing showed, but I don’t think they ever did get their guns back.

I did learn that a refrigerator stops birdshot pretty well from 50 feet, but does much less well at 20. I also learned that a refrigerator doesn’t stop a 12 gauge .50 cal sabot at all. Of course, this knowledge probably won’t come in handy unless you are attacked by ravening hordes of zombie refrigerators after the apocalypse. In the unlikely event this occurs, my experience leads me to recommend using large bore shotguns, .308 rifles, and aiming low, to hit the compressor.

Clash of the Custodians

Custodians in Houston are currently being bamboozled into paying for luxury automobiles for Union Bosses. "Janitors for Justice", (the SEIU) appears to have conned the the kindly folks who maintain our offices at night by misleading them about Houston's healthcare crisis. What nobody seems to want to point out is that the crisis in Houston is caused by the laws that force hospitals and clinics to treat "immigrants" regardless of their criminal illegal status. But alas, another day, another story.

Professional Janitorial Service is an outfit that has refused the sirens' song. Their staff is mostly part-timers, and not interested paying the confiscatory dues. As a result, they're taking a beating from the SEIU for not falling in line. Check out the latest Houston Business Journal, if you haven't seen the attack ad.

Given that every single industry touched by a union is either completely failed or sliding into the tank, shall we mark this as the beginning of the end of the Houston Janitorial economy? Not so fast. The nice gent who runs the Houston operation over at PJS is reporting that businesses are inquiring a a pretty brisk pace about switching to his service because of his refusal to cave. His employees are refusing to participate in the pickets or have anything to do with the union. They like their gig.

Good stuff. Win one for the good guys.


Update on my Annulment Decision

According to Canon procedure, I visited the Tribunal on Friday to review the decision in my case. It was very enlightening. What I viewed was the package that automatically goes to the Appeals Court in San Antonio. This is a rundown on what I reviewed on Friday.

Cover Page - just the typical name, case number, etc. At the end was a checklist that ensures that all of the procedure is followed and the file is complete.

Advocate (Petitioner) statement - This amounts to basically a brief filed on my behalf by an advocate arguing in favor of annulment. It was about 5 or so pages long and quite comprehensive. Essentially the advocate compiled my statements with my witness' statements, and added notes taken which were contained in files the Church kept from my pre-marriage interviews and classes. The Church notes were items that I was not aware even existed, but I had to chuckle because they proved to be quite prophetic. This advocate made a very strong and compelling case in my favor. After I read the decision I realized how strong it was.

Advocate (Respondent) statement - This is the same type document, except this advocate was arguing against annulment. This document was not quite one page. This person argued basically that my Ex denied my statements, they're not proven, and that an annulment should not be granted unless there is proof to the contrary. I am serious that was it. I joked later that it appeared that this advocate had nothing to go on.

Decision & Recommendation - Obviously in my favor. What was the most interesting about this document was that the adjudicant seemed to take the statements of the Petitioner Advocate as fact. He actually discussed that my Ex was not raised in a very stable environment, and he had a lot of resentment and problems.

Then, the adjudicant stated what I joked was kind of a "sentence". For me, it was stated that because I had not been married 5 years that T and I would need to participate in the Church's pre-marriage program prior to convalidation. I figured as much. For the Ex, the statement was something similar to this:

"Respondent was psychologically incapable of entering into this marriage and remains too immature to enter into any marriage. In the unlikely event that Respondent should ever wish to marry in the Church, he would need to undergo a full psychological evaluation and counseling, and his prospective spouse would need to be counseled regarding his past behavior, his immaturity, and potential problems."

And no I am not kidding about that. I mean that isn't an exact quote, but it is close. Damn...to be deemed by the Catholic Church as un-marriageable is quite an accomplishment, and not one many people can claim, I'm sure.

Honestly, it was kind of nice for a completely impartial person to verify for me that he was and is essentially crazy. Nonetheless, the Priest at the Tribunal explained about the automatic appeal, stating that it takes approximately 3 months. If the Ex chooses to appeal on his own, the entire file goes for re-review, and that would add about a month to the process. Apparently he can also appeal to Rome, but it would cost him $1,000 and I know he won't spend the money.

I'm hoping to be finished with this by June.


Groundhog Day Roundup

As I generally am paying less attention to the news lately, as can be seen by my post content, I am unaware of what the fat little animal in Pennsylvania decided was the weather forecast. Chances are he’ll be just as accurate as the guy on your TV, so take it all with a grain of salt.

Moving randomly from topic to topic, Michael Bane had a link to a guy who has way more spare time than I do. I aspire to have the kind of free time necessary to create things. It ain’t happening soon, I don’t think. I have many other things to do. There’s a deck on the back of the house that needs to be built. There’s a vehicle that needs to be relocated and rebuilt. I have a motorcycle to sell. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that needs to happen. Someday, I can have more time for hobbies.

Next random topic: how much do you trust Google? Given the recent kerfuffle over the decision to comply with Chinese demands for censorship, you might not be inclined to trust them at all. Simon Garfinkel raises some legitimate questions over privacy and security. Me, I got no Gmail account, so I don’t have to trust Google. I have to trust the reborn AT&T and Yahoo. At some point, your internet access is dependent on a corporation that may or may not have your best interests in mind. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Google is also up for a fight over copyright. I enjoy watching the copyright wars because I think a lot of organizations are trying to desperately retain the old ways of doing things and refusing to adapt to reality. The issue is only going to get worse before it gets better. Old media organizations and companies are going to continue to try to lock down content tighter and tighter. I don’t foresee it working. The only way is to cripple the hardware deliberately, which consumers won’t accept completely. You also have to have complete buy-in from hardware makers, which, absent some government action, I just don’t see happening.

Moving along to yet another random topic, the Danes pissed off the Muslims pretty hard, and some people added fuel to the fire by reprinting the cartoons that started the whole mess. Cathy Young points out many of the problems involved in bowing down to people and self-censoring because you might offend them. I’ll just add that if you don’t want your religion to be thought of as a bunch of intolerant, hateful barbarians, get your co-religionists to quit threatening to kill anyone who offends your delicate sensibilities. I don’t have a whole lot of patience for a group of people who think the appropriate response to speech is murder. It doesn’t do anything to promote the whole “Religion of Peace” bs people keep spouting nowadays.

Anyhow, go forth and celebrate the day of the earthpig in whatever fashion you deem appropriate. I’m going to bed.

Promising News From Boston

The article is about black history month, but that's not the story. (emphasis mine)

Recently, Larry Watson saw proof in one of the college classes he teaches that Black History Month was needed more than ever.

"I asked the students in my class whether they knew who their Senate representative was," said Watson, who teaches music and sociology at three colleges in Boston. "No one knew. And when I asked who was Sen. Edward Kennedy — the most activist senator in our country — the only thing most of my students could say was that he was fat and that he was drunk. I hate to think what would have happened if I'd asked who was Shirley Chisholm."

It made me smile a little. You know the libs are losing when they can't even protect "Drunk Ted No Pants' " image at home. Maybe there is hope for the future of Massachusetts after all.