Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wal-Mart The New Morality Police

Wal-Mart apparently wants to be America's new morality police using their massive weight in the retail business to make their vendors conform to their views.

The latest example revolves around the movie "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" which is scheduled for DVD release on Tuesday. The world's largest retailer and seller of DVD's has informed the makers of the movie that they must change the title on the DVD cover removing the word "porno" before Wal-Mart will place the title on their shelves.
Last fall, some ads for the film were rejected south of the border because of the word "porno." Now, Smith says Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. have asked that the cover of the DVD, set to hit shelves Tuesday, omit the word too.

Who knew that it was Wal-Mart's job to shelter us from so-called "objectionable material"? Just what we need, the world's largest retailer with somewhat questionable business "morals" also acting as another in the ever growing list of groups that think they know what is best for America. I wonder what they will say when the inevitable complaints come in from the folks that bought "Zack and Miri" and end up getting "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" all because the word "porno" doesn't appear on their approved word list.

Read more

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gun Nuts Get An All Around Nut For NRA President?

The Constant Conservative informs us of the possiblity that well known rock singer and all around nutcase Ted Nugent is seeking the Presidency of the "Pry out of my cold dead hands association" aka the NRA. What a perfect fit that would be huh? How cool would it be for the guy who penned these classic lyrics to head the somewhat Conservative gun rights group?

Wang dang, what a sweet poontang
A shakin' my thang as a rang-a-dang-dang in the bell
Down on the street you know she can't be beat
She's so sweet when she yanks on my meat
What the hell


He should fit right in.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Politics Of Gitmo

The announcement by President Obama that he plans to close the terrorist vacation home in Guantanamo Bay Cuba has human rights groups rejoicing and Conservatives cringing. Liberals and human rights groups cite the damage that torture inflicted at Gitmo has caused to our reputation as a nation which has led to the recruitment of thousands of new terrorists as a few of the reasons that it must be closed.

Conservatives meanwhile claim that the closure will put hundreds of terrorists back into the "war on terror". They cite one Said Ali al-Shihri, a former Gitmo resident released in 2007 and now working with Al-Qaeda in the Middle East along with others whose current employment is questioned as reasons that it needs to remain open. So who is right?

I am sitting in the human rights group's camp but if anyone can give me valid answers to the following questions I might change my mind. (no one has for years so I doubt they will now)

1. If these 200 or so remaining "detainees" are in fact terrorists, why haven't they been charged with any terror crimes, some have been detained for 5 years or more?
2. If Gitmo isn't a prison but instead a prisoner of war camp for enemy combatants in the "war on terror" as some claim, why are they not following the Geneva Convention? I doubt waterboarding is an allowed activity.
3. Few people deny that Ali al-Shihri is now working with Al Qaeda, but can anyone tell me without any doubt that the poster child for the Conservatives to keep Gitmo open isn't now fighting against us because of his stay in Cuba and not in spite of it? Years of unlawful detention might cause one to be a tad bit angry...

Oh, and if citing evidence to answer any of the above questions, please refrain from using links to Joseph Farah or Worldnet Daily, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity etc. and instead try ones ending in .org or .gov.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama Gets It So Why Not Mikey?

At least on the surface it appears that President Obama gets the open records thing with his announcement yesterday of a new web site recovery.gov with the purpose of tracking “how and where we spend taxpayer dollars”. So if we can do it on the federal level, why is it so hard for Governor Rounds to comprehend the need to do it on the state level?
“Government requires individuals and businesses to provide a significant amount of information,” Rounds said in an interview. “I don’t think we should, as a matter of fact or as a matter of policy, release that information that is proprietary or confidential unless there’s a good reason to.”

Governor Rounds cites a need for a good reason for opening records, so how does because we are paying for it sound?

(h/t - South DaCola)

Beam Me Up Scotty

Some of the science fiction from shows like "Star Trek" is becoming less fiction and more science as apparent by the latest breakthrough in teleportation from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland.
Now the JQI team, along with colleagues at the University of Michigan, has succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a meter. That capability is necessary for workable quantum information systems because they will require memory storage at both the sending and receiving ends of the transmission.

In the Jan. 23 issue of the journal Science, the scientists report that, by using their protocol, atom-to-atom teleported information can be recovered with perfect accuracy about 90 percent of the time — and that figure can be improved.

"Our system has the potential to form the basis for a large-scale 'quantum repeater' that can network quantum memories over vast distances," Monroe said. "Moreover, our methods can be used in conjunction with quantum bit operations to create a key component needed for quantum computation."

Now my science knowledge, not great to begin with, make most of the meat of the article a bit difficult to comprehend but 2 things I did get from the story. One is with 90% accuracy I wouldn't want to be transported as it stands now and secondly, science is well on it's way to Star Trek type technology breakthroughs. How cool is that?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Times Are Tough Even For The ACLU

I know my Republican brethren won't be shedding many tears because they have the NRA to fight for the only Constitutional issue that really matters to them but it looks like the ACLU is having money problems which will likely affect their fight for all our other civil liberties. And apparently the just announced layoff of 10% of their workforce can be traced at least partially to Bernard Madoff's ponzie scheme.
"Like many organizations today, the ACLU is feeling the impact of the tough economic climate which has resulted in a decline of our assets and reduced the donations and grants that we rely upon to fund our activities, including those from two foundations that were wiped out by the Bernard Madoff scandal. We take very seriously our commitment to our donors and members who count on us to defend the constitutional rights of all Americans, even in difficult financial times. To safeguard the fiscal health of the ACLU and ensure that the vital work of defending civil liberties continues, we have taken a number of steps to cut expenses and streamline our organization, including instituting a hiring freeze, limiting travel, cancelling  conferences, and reducing non-personnel costs, resulting in savings of more than $9 million. Unfortunately, additional measures were needed and as a result, the ACLU National Office has been forced to eliminate 36 staff positions, which represents 10% of the current staff. Although we did everything in our power to avoid taking this painful step, it was necessary in order to protect our long term viability and ensure that the ACLU has the flexibility and strength to meet the challenges ahead. In addition, we are freezing salaries for the next fiscal year, which will save an additional 11 positions, and our executive director has voluntarily reduced his pay by 15%. We are confident that making tough financial decisions in the short term will serve to strengthen the organization for generations to come," said Romero.

Goodbye Old Grey Lady

[caption id="attachment_899" align="alignleft" width="237" caption="The End Of An Era"]The End Of An Era[/caption]

I received an email this morning inviting me to attend the decommissioning of my first ship, the USS Kitty Hawk. I was aware that she was due to be mothballed at some point soon but finding out about the January 31st ceremony at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington still caught me off guard.

I haven't posted much here about my time on board "The Hawk" but those that have followed my other blogs might remember some of my Navy travels posts. They documented my travels while serving in the Navy and most were from the 2 deployments I completed while stationed onboard from 1985-1988. While I wouldn't say that the time stationed on her was fun, it was something that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.

So with next Saturday's ceremony, the last of the Navy's conventional carriers joins another ship that I served on, the USS Midway, in the Navy's mothball fleet. That leaves only the USS Nimitz as ships that I served on that are still active.

Man do I feel old.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thune To Head Lobbying Outreach

South Dakota's own John Thune has been tasked by the GOP to suck up to lobbying groups while Barack Obama works to strengthen lobbying regulations for the Executive Branch.
Senate Republicans have tasked Conference Vice Chairman John Thune (S.D.) with beefing up the party’s outreach to K Street, business groups and grass-roots organizations, hoping to maintain critical alliances built up over eight years of White House control.

Primarily, Thune said he hopes to create new alliances and fortify old relationships in order to sell the party’s priorities to the masses as it tries to reinvent itself after suffering bruising Congressional losses in the past two election cycles.

Johnny boy is definately moving up isn't he? It's not every Republican Senator that gets tasked with the important job of keeping one of the few remaining GOP bribery revenue streams in tact.

Updated to clarify who Obama's new lobbying regulations apply to.

It's Only The 4th Amendment

There’s no spying on Americans” - former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell during an interview that discussed changing FISA last year.

NSA whistleblower Russell Tice earlier this week.
Tice said on Wednesday that the NSA had vacuumed in all domestic communications of Americans, including, faxes, phone calls and network traffic.

Today Tice said that the spy agency also combined information from phone wiretaps with data that was mined from credit card and other financial records. He said information of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens is now in digital databases warehoused at the NSA.

What the heck, it's not like it's the most important Constitutional amendment anyway, right?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wish I Would Have Said That

Sometimes you run across a post or comment in the blogosphere that makes you step back and wish that you would have written it. I found one of those comments when reading Cory from the Madville Times' post on SB70 that seeks to repeal the 48 hour waiting period to buy handguns and it actually came from Cory's wife Erin.
If Rhoden,Olson, et al. manage to get rid of the 48-hour waiting period, will they at least sponsor legislation requiring gun purchasers to certify in writing they understand that if they shoot a person with the newly purchased gun, that might result in terminating the life of a whole separate, unique living human being? The purchasers should also be told they’re putting themselves at greater risk of suicide and homicide (the stats bear out the greater risk of both when a gun is in the home).

South Dakotan's and those familiar with our state government's penchant for certain types of legislation should have no problem catching the double entendre.

Thousand Words

[caption id="attachment_869" align="alignnone" width="285" caption="See ya!"]See ya![/caption]

Just sayin...

Where Were You For The Inauguration?

John Thune wasn't the only South Dakotan with prime seating during the inauguration and boy was it chilly.

[caption id="attachment_858" align="alignnone" width="365" caption="Can you see me?"]Can you see me?[/caption]

Ok so maybe not but Myinauguralphoto.com can feed your delusions if you so desire.

Why Many Conservatives Fear Obama

Reading certain blogs, especially several in our local blogosphere, you would think that the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency was the end of the world. Terms like Socialist, Marxist and just about every other word ending in "ist" pepper the daily sky is falling posts from these folks.

To be honest, I really didn't understand what was behind all the rhetoric being used by these certain far right Conservatives in regards to this Democrat who had yet to spend 1 minute in the White House. After all it's not like we haven't had a Democrat in the White House or Democrats in the majority in Congress before, so what made this particular Democrat so scary?

Then I saw this new page on whitehouse.gov that outlines President Obama's agenda for Civil Rights.
Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

* Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
* Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
* Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
* Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
* Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
* Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
* Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
* Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Ahhh, now I understand...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

View From Space

Barack Obama's inauguration as seen by GeoEye-1, the satellite that Google will soon be using for high-resolution imagery of the Earth.

[caption id="attachment_843" align="alignnone" width="383" caption="Satellite image (click to enlarge)"]Photo Via GeoEye-1 Satellite[/caption]

(Photo via CNET)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Danger Will Robinson!

[caption id="attachment_835" align="alignleft" width="156" caption="Bob May and his alter ego"]Bob May and his alter ego[/caption]

You may not recognize the name Bob May but anyone of my generation will certainly remember the 60's TV show "Lost in Space". May, the actor who donned the robot suit for 83 episodes between 1965 and 1968 died yesterday of congestive heart failure at 69.

He was a veteran actor and stuntman who had appeared in movies, TV shows and on the vaudeville stage when he was tapped by “Lost in Space” creator Irwin Allen to play the Robinson family’s loyal metal sidekick in the series that debuted in 1965.

“He always said he got the job because he fit in the robot suit,” said June Lockhart, who played family matriarch Maureen Robinson. “It was one of those wonderful Hollywood stories. He just happened to be on the studio lot when someone saw him and sent him to see Irwin Allen about the part. Allen said, ’If you can fit in the suit, you’ve got the job.”’

Although May didn’t provide the robot’s distinctive voice (that was done by announcer Dick Tufeld), he developed a following of fans who sought him out at memorabilia shows.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

He Didn't Just Say That Did He?

What do you do if you want to get conservative panties in a bunch? Well the Aberdeen American News' Bob Mercer picks a perfect subject with yesterday's column on providing free condoms in lieu of or in conjunction with abstinence education as a way to save money on government funded medical services.
Would free condoms be an efficient answer to reducing unintended pregnancies and slowing the spread of Chlamydia - and in turn reducing the demand for high-cost medical services, especially for lower-income families, and easing the burden on tax payers?

The most common alternative that is offered is sexual abstinence. For the thousands of unwed mothers last year, and the thousands of people who contracted Chlamydia, and hundreds of women who received abortions, abstinence wasn’t the answer.

Abstinence probably wasn’t even a thought for many, what with human beings being human beings.

Condoms, government funding, and abstinence education all in the same article and you have to know that our wonderful conservative blogosphere would go in for the kill. PP over at the War College goes the easy route, he just quotes the article and waits for his legions of anonymous commenters to do the ripping for him.

On the other hand, one of our newest ultra conservative bloggers, Fastidious, uses this conservative buzz topic to rid us of 2 other anti-conservative programs, Medicaid and CHIP, with this truly outrageous comment.
My larger point here is that we cannot prevent bad behavior; however, we can deincentivize bad behavior. Rather than picking up the tab of young men and women who have chosen to engage in risky behavior and get disgusting diseases, we can allow these folks to experience the consequences of their chosen risky behaviors. So, yes, cut funding to Medicaid and CHIP. When folks realize that the State will no longer pay for their mistakes, they’ll quit making them.

Wow, what more can you say?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not So Strange Bedfellows

It seems the Ku Klux Klan and the conservative right have found something in common. They both want their membership to boycott Hallmark for offering gay/lesbian wedding cards.

From the homophobes in the Klan
"This is sickening beyond belief...We white Americans are to BOYCOTT Hallmark cards until they take the cards off the shelf."

The Klan joins the homophobes over at Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
Good luck with your new, politically correct business plan, but I will be informing as many people as I can to stop buying Hallmark cards until you get out of the homosexuality-promotion business.

And the family friendly homophobic group the American Family Association is not going to be outdone by the Klan either.
Hallmark is a private company obviously driven by greed. Let them know you do not appreciate Hallmark promoting a lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states. American Greeting Cards, Hallmark's competitor, does not offer same-sex marriage cards.

The Ku Klux Klan and the conservative right, who would have thought they would have so much in common?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Will They Boycott This Organization Next?

The homophobic right is quick to call for the boycott of companies that they see as sympathetic to the "homosexual agenda". Through the years Google, McDonalds, Disney, and Pepsi among many others have been targets of the so-called family groups like Campaign for Children and Families.

So in keeping with these group's SOP of calling for boycotts of homosexual friendly organizations, will the US Military be next in line for their boycott calls when Barack Obama changes the policy and allows gays to openly serve in the Armed Forces?
President-Elect Barack Obama will end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy towards gays in the military as part of moves to sweep away remnants of the Bush era.

It might make things a bit difficult for the homophobes, who often also subscribe to the Bush doctrine of bombing the crap out of every country that looks at us funny, to also boycott (by telling young people to not enlist?) the organizations that are tasked with carrying out that agenda. So will they stick to their agenda of intolerance in this case as well?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Voting Privileges Should Be Removed

Sorry for the 2 sports themed posts back to back but the announcement yesterday of the electee's to the baseball Hall of Fame has me asking myself a question. Who are the 5.2 percent of the baseball writers that didn't think Ricky Henderson should be elected into the HOF?
The undisputed standard for leadoff hitters, Henderson received 94.8 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America in balloting announced Monday, well above the 75 percent needed.

He's not Ruth or Aaron but he is the best leadoff hitter in baseball history as well as the national pastime's all time stolen base leader.
Henderson, the 1990 AL MVP, was a 10-time All-Star who swiped 1,406 bases, one shy of 50 percent more than Lou Brock, who is in second place with 938. Henderson batted .279 with 297 homers, 1,115 RBIs, 2,190 walks and 2,295 runs. He owns the modern-day season record with 130 steals in 1982 and the career mark with 81 leadoff homers. He played for Oakland, the Yankees, Toronto, San Diego, Anaheim, the Mets, Seattle, Boston and the Dodgers.

So what reason exactly could 28 or so writers have for not voting for Henderson?

How Cool Is This?

[caption id="attachment_760" align="alignleft" width="198" caption="Joey Morona / Cleveland.com"]Joey Morona / Cleveland.com[/caption]

Those in Milwaukee might recognize this somewhat un-original form of between inning entertainment but the Cleveland Indians are looking for a few good hot dogs.

For free admission to Tribe home games plus $18 an hour you could be one of the fun bunch, a threesome dressed in Ketchup, Mustard and Onion hot dog costumes who race around the foul lines between innings.
An ad on the team's Web site for "Fun Bunch" seasonal workers notes: "Applicants must have some type of previous training in high school sports/track and cardio/respiratory endurance between 400-800 meters. Running skills will be tested as Fun Bunch employees will be required to participate in the Hot Dog Races."

$18 bucks an hour? Heck 20 years and 50 pounds ago I would have done it for free!

Read more

Monday, January 12, 2009

VA Priority 8 Horror Stories Wanted

From yesterday's email inbox:

As you may have heard, one of the priorities of General Shinseki, when he takes over as head of the Department of Veterans' Affairs is to re-open enrollment for VA care to those who were classified "Priority 8 Veterans" – veterans who didn't have service connected injuries, or were rated with a zero-percent disability rating, and had an income over a certain level.

As the Military Times put it, "Priority 8 veterans were blocked from enrolling in the VA health care system in 2003 as a budget-cutting move to help ensure funding for veterans with service-connected disabilities."

This was supposed to be a temporary move, but has stayed in place. One positive step happened last year when Congressman Chet Edwards fought for and got $375 million in the budget to expand enrollment for some Priority 8 veterans.

We're fully supportive of the move to reopen VA services to veterans like these, but it will take some education in Congress about how the budget-cutting move affected the veterans community.

If you were classified as Priority 8, and denied VA care because of it (or know someone who was) please let us know. We would like to tell your story to Congress, so they know the negative effect of the policy, when General Shinseki comes to them to request lifting it.

Just send an email to me with your story, at pgranato@votevets.org.

Thanks for all of your help, and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Peter Granato
Iraq War Veteran
Vice Chairman, VoteVets.org

Tina Fey Did Say They Could...

Tina Fey doesn't seem too impressed with the pajama media, most notably a couple of commenter's over at the LA Times' The Envelope whom haven't been kind when describing to her performances in 30 Rock and on SNL. In fact she called them out during her Golden Globe acceptance speech last night.
I want to say thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press. I'll always love the Hollywood Foreign Press and have all the Hollywood Foreign Press action figures. Thank you, Will Arnett, for that joke. But I want you to really know how lucky I am to have the year I've had this year and, if you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet! You can find a lot of people there who don't like you! I'd like to address some of them now! BabsonLacrosse, you can suck it. DianeFan, you can suck it. Cougar Letter, you can really suck it 'cause you've been after me all year. And to my husband, Jeff, I love you. Thank you very much!

So what is a lowly blog commentor, in this case Cougar-Letter, to do when being called out? They respond via  blog comments of course.
Give me something to suck on...

Read more over at The Envelope.

Checks And Balances?

Barack Obama pissed off many in the gay community when he chose noted homophobe Rick Warren to give the Inauguration invocation so is he now trying to make nice with his choice to give the invocation for Sunday's event at the Lincoln Memorial?
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who was elected the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003, will deliver the invocation for Sunday’s kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said.

I guess this is what is meant by the term "checks an balances".

New York Nanny

As an ex-smoker, I used to hate it when legislation was brought forward that would restrict where and when I could light up. It got to the point I was afraid to smoke anywhere as I was wondering from one moment to the next if my smoking was breaking some newly created law. The last straw which pushed me into quitting for good was when South Dakota decided to increase their tax revenues by excessively taxing a relatively small portion of the population with the added $1 per pack cigarette tax that took effect 2 years ago.

Now New York is looking to take that idea one step further by proposing an 18% sales tax on most non-diet type soda products, sort of a fat tax if you will.
Can taxing junk food solve the obesity crisis? This controversial idea has never been given a real-world tryout, but the combination of a budget busting fiscal crisis and a citizenry that keeps getting fatter is causing legislators and executives around the world to give a so-called "obesity tax" serious consideration. New York Governor David Paterson is the most serious of all, proposing in his 2009 state budget that an 18% sales tax be levied on non-diet soda and sugary juice drinks. Such a tax, he says, would raise $404 million in the fiscal year starting in April, and $539 million in the year after that—all to be earmarked for obesity-fighting public health programs.

With our current economic and societal woes, is taxing everything deemed bad for us going to be the fix du jour? The cigarette tax passed because the majority of folks didn't smoke and sort of backfired as taxes collected actually decreased when smokers either quit like I did or went to other sources to buy their cigarettes. What will happen when the government gets around to increasing the taxes on something that affects a few more folks?

Keep an eye on New York, we just might find out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wikipedia Follies And The NFL

Just about everybody other than South Dakota's Lee Breard knows that Wikipedia has issues with the facts at times but who knew that it could also be a way for sports fans to vent their frustrations?

Last night the Arizona Cardinals surprised just about everyone when they beat the Carolina Panthers and shortly thereafter, Panther fans took out their Wikipedia editor hats and had a little fun with Panther QB Jake Delhomme's Wikipedia page.

Some of the finer edits:
On January 10, 2015, against the Arizona Cardinals, Delhomme threw for a career high sixty seven (67) interceptions in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, and cost the Panthers a run to the Superbowl, unless a presidential veto is used to overturn the match result.

And
Delhomme was born to Jerry & Marcia Delhomme, both [[Cajun]]s: the last name translates to "asshat".

And
''Jake Christopher Delhomme''' ({{pronEng|Duh-LOAM}}) (born [[January 10]], [[1975]] in [[Breaux Bridge, Louisiana]]) is an [[American football]] [[quarterback]] for the [[Carolina Panthers]] of the [[National Football League]] and is well on his way to breaking several records including most interceptions in a single playoff games...he sucks like John Casey. He was originally signed by the [[New Orleans Saints]] as an [[undrafted free agent]] in 1997. He played [[college football]] at [[University of Louisiana at Lafayette|Louisiana-Lafayette]], then known as Southwestern Louisiana.

So Carolina fans do you feel better? At least you can take solace in one thing, you aren't Browns fans...

(h/t - Louis Gray)

Time For Another Coulter Book Tour...And Voting Controversy

Let me just preface this by saying that seeing Ann Coulter being interviewed and listening to that woman talk makes fingernails across the chalkboard sound like a Mozart symphony so when I hear she has another "book" coming out, I get the ear plugs and blindfold ready. With that said, it appears something else happens each time Coulter goes on a book tour. More allegations appear that makes one wonder if the so-called political commentator has mastered that whole voting thing.

A few years back when Coulter was making headlines by calling 9/11 widows "harpies and witches", she became embroiled in a voting controversy where questions were raised about improperly using an address that she didn't live at in Florida to absentee vote. She was eventually "cleared" of those charges but new allegations have surfaced that apparently show she might have had issues remembering where she lived as much a 4 years earlier.
Coulter, who was investigated and cleared in 2006 for allegedly filing a false registration in Florida, used to be registered in Connecticut. The 47-year-old author voted there in 2002 and 2004 via absentee ballot, claiming her parents’ New Canaan home as her residence.

But property records indicate she was actually living in New York City. In 2003, the landlord of an E. 82nd St. apartment building sued her for allegedly failing to pay $11,028 in rent. That same year, she bought a $1.49 million condo on the upper East Side.

Is figuring out where you are supposed to vote really that hard?

Read the whole story here but be warned that there is a photo that could burn your eyes if you aren't careful.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Wait Is Almost Over

If like me, you were wondering when what many consider the best "worst" movie of all time would finally make it to DVD, your wait is almost over. March 10th is the date that the 1986 Marvel Comics based cult classic Howard the Duck comes out on DVD.

How can you go wrong with a talking duck from outerspace who gets pulled to Cleveland by a laser experiment gone awry along with early big screen performances from Tim Robbins and Lea Thompson all wrapped in a movie produced by Lucasfilm?

Pre-order your copy today at Amazon as I am sure they will sell like hot-cakes...

Okay, probably not.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

For those out there lucky enough to not have to work today (unlike me), here's hoping you enjoy your New Years holiday with lots of friends, family, food, and football.