Archive for June 25th, 2007

Meme Streets

Well, since both virgotex and ellroon have tagged me with this, I guess I better do it – I only have to do it once, right?

1. All right, here are the rules.

2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.

3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog

(For symmetry, shouldn’t there be eight rules?)

Okay, random things…

1. I have been taking pictures since I was 8 or 9. I started out with a cheap Kodak Instamatic, then got my sister’s old Pentax Spotmatic when I was 12. I took Photography (B&W prints) my first two years in high school, and “Media” (color slides) my second two, plus one disastrous photo class in my junior year of college.

2. Some things that are in my apartment: Star Trek Ken & Barbie, a lava lamp, a currently uninflated inflatable loveseat in the shape of the rear half of a pink ’59 Cadillac Biarritz, one PC, four laptops, four external hard drives (~1.5TB total capacity), five digital cameras, 16 GB of flash memory in four different formats, pink bellbottoms, and a blinking rooster-head medallion. This should be considered a representative sampling and not an exhaustive inventory.

3. I ran cross-country for two years in high school, but now I can barely jog two blocks without getting winded.

4. I don’t drive, smoke, drink, or do drugs of any kind. More for practical reasons than moral ones.

5. I love chocolate, but I don’t like chocolate ice cream at all, or even ice cream with chocolate in it. Well, okay, not counting cookie dough or cookies ‘n’ cream…

6. I used to know pi out to 300 decimal places.

7. I have appeared on Saturday Night Live.

8. I once hit Messy Marvin/Ralphie from A Christmas Story in the head with a dress shoe.

Okay, now, who to tag…

1. Bigezbear (Glenn)

2. belledame222 (Fetch Me My Axe)

3. Ol’ Froth (Froth Slosh B’Gosh)

4. oldwhitelady (It’s Morning Somewhere)

5. Sanjay (karmically speaking)

6. P. Drano (Loser’s Guide)

7. four legs good (Plush Life)

8. spiiderweb

12 comments June 25th, 2007 at 10:02pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Memes

Maybe Shouldn’t Have Announced These On The Same Day…

Shorter Supreme Court, Part 1: Free speech is awesome! Always err on the side of free speech!

By 5 to 4, the court ruled that an anti-abortion group in Wisconsin should have been allowed to broadcast ads before the 2004 race for the United States Senate in that state. In its ruling today, the high court opened a significant loophole in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, familiarly known as the McCain-Feingold law, to curb donations to campaigns.Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that, when regulating what can be said in a campaign and when it may be said, “the First Amendment requires us to err on the side of protecting political speech rather than suppressing it.”

Shorter Supreme Court, Part 2: Free speech is dangerous! When in doubt, always clamp down on free speech!

In another 5-to-4 ruling involving free speech, the court ruled today against an Alaska high school student, finding that educators can prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use.


In the Alaska case involving free speech, the court found that a high school principal and school board did not violate a student’s rights by punishing him for displaying the words “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” on a banner across the street from the school as the 2002 Olympic torch parade went by.

When the case was argued on March 19, Kenneth W. Starr argued – successfully, as it turned out – on behalf of the school authorities that, whatever rights students may have to express themselves, thumbing their noses at school officials’ anti-drug messages is not one of them.

Huh. How about that. I guess corporations have much stronger free-speech rights than students or ordinary citizens. Good to know.

June 25th, 2007 at 07:19pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Judiciary,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

I Spoke Too Soon.

Perhaps I was a little too hasty in naming Roger Cohen my Wanker Of The Day. I had not yet seen Emily Yoffe’s ghastly WaPo piece, but The Carpetbagger deals with it quite nicely.

Apparently, scaring people about the possible consequences of global warming is the wrong way to get them to do anything about it. Algore needs to be, like, more mellow, man. Like, stop harshing our buzz, dude.

Apparently, people only take bold, decisive action on important, life-threatening issues when they feel totally relaxed and unthreatened. Who knew?

June 25th, 2007 at 06:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Gore,Media,Wankers

The Continuing Saga Of The Golden Pants

Well, this is as it should be:

The D.C. administrative law judge who sued his neighborhood dry cleaner for $54 million over a pair of lost pants found out this morning what he’s going to get for all his troubles.


In a verdict that surprised no one, except perhaps the plaintiff himself, a D.C. Superior Court judge denied Roy Pearson the big payday he claimed was his due.

Delivering her decision in writing, Judge Judith Bartnoff wrote 23 pages dissecting and dismissing Pearson’s claim that he was defrauded by the owners of Custom Cleaners and their “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign.

“A reasonable consumer would not interpret ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ to mean that a merchant is required to satisfy a customer’s unreasonable demands or to accede to demands that the merchant has reasonable grounds to dispute,” the ruling said. ” . . . The plaintiff is not entitled to any relief whatsoever.”

It was a pointed rebuke of Pearson’s claim, and came with an order to pay the cleaners’ court costs. But even bigger troubles may loom for Pearson.

Financially, he could soon be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees incurred by the owners of Customer Cleaners. Attorneys for the Chungs have said they will seek such payments, as well as sanctions against Pearson for bringing the lawsuit. Bartnoff said in her ruling that she would decide those issues after both sides have filed their motions, counter-motions and legal briefs.

Professionally, Pearson could find himself out of his $96,000-a-year job as an administrative law judge for the District government.

Look, I’ve had my share of bad customer service experiences, including dry cleaners who lost some of my favorite shirts for several weeks, and I can relate to the desire to make them pay, but $54 million (originally $65 million) is literally insane unless you’ve suffered some sort of severe personal harm or lost a loved one. A (possibly) lost pair of pants from a thousand-dollar suit does not even befin to approach that kind of standard.

If the administrative law court re-ups this out-of-control jackass for a full ten-year term, then they’re as crazy and irresponsible as he is.

June 25th, 2007 at 05:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Wankers,Weirdness

Wanker Of The Day

Roger Cohen:

Have we liberal interventionists of the Balkans, members of the rapidly emptying school of “liberal hawks,” been too quick to abandon our principles out of fear of alignment with the neo-cons?

Or perhaps, more inexcusably, have we fallen short merely because of a failure of the imagination, an inability to conceive of and work for a better Middle East, as if Arabs and freedom were somehow incompatible?

I think so….


The price of “stability” safeguarded by cynicism is worth recalling at a time when the Middle East’s name is instability. Whatever else the bungled Iraq operation has been, it marked the end of American buttressing of a poisonous Middle Eastern stasis and a murderous Stalinist regime.


The global jihadists were not created by the Iraq invasion. They were thriving on American policy prior to it.

The manifold blunders of America in Iraq have made it unfashionable to recall such truths.

Or maybe, just maybe, we opposed the invasion because we knew there was no good reason for it. Maybe we opposed it because we knew it would be executed in the most incompetent and inhumane way imaginable, and that it would, in fact, strengthen Islamist terrorism.

That Cohen still doesn’t see this after 4+ years suggests that he must be hooked up to a permanent Kool-Aid IV.

3 comments June 25th, 2007 at 11:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Media,Wankers,War

More Mostly Skeletal Photoblogging

This is the last of the photos from the Museum proper, but I still have a bunch more from the Plane’arium.

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Baby dinosaurs! The one in front gives me kind of a Bart Simpson vibe…

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Not actually a fossil. Just a regular, ordinary turtle skeleton.

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Some things are just too horrific to be seen by the general public.

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June 25th, 2007 at 11:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: NJ/NYC,Photoblogging

Monday Media Blogging

Johnny Cash novelty music video. I am not making this up.

If you want to see “The Man In Black” wearing a yellow-and-blue superhero costume, check it out.

June 25th, 2007 at 07:09am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

My Secret Fantasy

*wistful sigh*

1 comment June 25th, 2007 at 12:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics

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