Selective Indifference

Another provision of our Constitution that is hanging on even now because of our love of killing things is getting set to be debated by the Supreme Court during the upcoming session when they look at the Constitutionality of Washington DC’s  gun control law. Whenever talk of limiting someone’s access to guns comes up, the crazies are sure to come out of the woodwork. This morning’s Argus has a letter from one of these individuals.

My solution to this debate is simple. Let’s all join the South Dakota State Militia and urge all American citizens to join their state militias. All states, I believe, have one. This action not only would stop the current debate on the amendment but also would leave those lawmakers who support gun control looking kind of silly. Because if we all are members of our resident state’s militia, we all can bear arms not only to protect ourselves but our country.

Speaking of looking silly, knowingly or not this guy just volunteered to go to Iraq or Afghanistan (as part of the SD National Guard which could be considered a current day militia) just so he can legally own an assault rifle which serves no purpose other than to kill people. Maybe the Bush Administration has just found a new recruiting tactic for the military? Predictably, he goes on to give his unwavering support for our Constitution comparing it to, you guessed it, the Bible.

I don’t always support our government, but I do and always will support our U.S. Constitution. To me it’s the most important document – second only to the Holy Bible. And I, as most Americans, am willing to die for it.

The issue of gun ownership isn’t something that is divided by party lines especially in a rural state like South Dakota where it could almost be considered a second religion, so my question is why are these folks so adamant about the perceived right to bear arms but yet have no problem when our government takes away other Constitutional rights? Did I miss this guy’s letter condemning the recent FISA legislation that would authorize warrantless spying on Americans and amnesty for those companies that have already spied on us? How about the CIA’s destruction of video taped interrogations and the approved use of torture by our government? Habeas corpus anyone? Apparently it’s only certain parts of the Constitution many of these folks care about or are willing to die for.

As is often the case when gun control is mentioned, the idea of being able to shoot Bambi with an AK47 seems to take precedence over any real Constitutional issues facing this country in the mind of the “pry my gun from my cold dead hands” crowd. It’s all about one’s priorities.

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Forgetting Something?

I’m sitting here listening to Al Michaels and John Madden harp on how the Indianapolis Colts packed up and left Baltimore and how the fans of Baltimore hate the Colts because of it. Heck the Ravens won’t even put the nickname “Colts” on the scoreboard.

So why aren’t Michaels and Madden mentioning the fact that just a few years later, Baltimore received the same gift when the Cleveland Browns packed up and moved to Baltimore. And to just rub salt into the wound all us current and former Clevelander’s are living with, the newly minted Ravens did something an Art Modell owned Browns team could never do, they won the Super Bowl.

So all you Ravens fans that are Colt haters, all I can say is waaaaaaaaa!

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Some Things Should Just Be Left Alone

Ok, maybe I am showing my age here but when I heard that the Wachowski brothers, you know the guys that brought us the Matrix movies, were going to bring a cartoon from my youth to the big screen, it peaked my interest. Speed Racer was one of the few early anime productions from Japan that had a decent run here in the states. It was funny to see a cartoon that appeared just like the old dubbed Godzilla movies where the mouth movement obviously didn’t correspond to the dialog.

Then I watched the clip below and my interest is no longer peaked. Unless this trailer is deceiving I think the Wachowski brothers would have been better off with Matrix #4. Does anyone remember Underdog? Exactly…

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Ron Paul Supporters At It Again

Brothel owners and Viagra spammers, what a support base! How many of these stories about less than above board tactics being used by Ron Paul supporters have to be reported before something sticks? The latest tactic involves Ron Paul spam originating from a US based Reactor botnet.

The researchers analyzed header elements of the spam e-mails to trace them back to zombie systems that were infected with the Srizbi trojan, an unusual piece of malware with highly advanced features. According to Symantec research, which has independently studied Srizbi, the trojan is one of the first pieces of malware found in the wild to operate fully in kernel mode with no userspace code. Srizbi bypasses firewalls and packet sniffers by directly manipulating the kernel-level TCP/IP stack. The Srizbi trojan is largely propagated by the well-known msiesettings.com site, which is paid by spammers to deploy viruses and trojans for spam botnets.

SecureWorks collaborated with network administrators to analyze the traffic from some of the computers infected with Srizbi that were responsible for sending the Ron Paul spam. This allowed the researchers to discover the location from which the botnet was operated—a colocation facility in the US. The researchers collaborated with Spamhaus to get the server shut down and then obtained the source code used on the control system, a Python-based spam botnet management tool known as the Reactor Mailer. The logs present on the system prove that it was indeed the origin of the Ron Paul spam. Further research showed that other systems in the same colocation facility were also controlling various segments of the Srizbi botnet, and using it to transmit spam advertising replica watches and enlargement pills.

Having by far the largest number of internet savvy supporters might help with fund raising but as is being shown here again, it can have some serious downsides.

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The Blogosphere: The No Spin Zone This Ain't

Cross posted on KELO Blogs.

It is always entertaining to take an important political story and compare how each wing of the spectrum sees fit to spin it. The latest story to hit the spin zone deals with the just released NIE report that states that the latest evil empire on the Bush Administration’s hit list isn’t quite as evil as once thought. Of course this totally contradicts the same report from 2005 which deemed that Iran was evil and must be dealt with to which Bush and Co. had already set the wheels in motion to do just that.

Now to preface this, I have no idea how accurate this report is and given the history of our intelligence agencies lately, the only people that probably do know for sure are high up in the Iranian government but that doesn’t stop both sides from putting their own particular fingerprints on to what this report means. The left of course believes that this vindicates their calls all along that Bush and Co. will lie, have lied, and will continue to lie in order to carry out their agenda.

Sounds like the United States intel community, regardless of what it thinks of Iran’s current rulers, would rather trust them than Dick Cheney or the rest of the PNAC Platoon.

And the right, not to be outdone, has their own ideas on the accuracy of this report as well.

In other words they don’t know (and that can be said with high confidence now) if Iran has their weapons program ongoing now or not – even if Iran claims they do! It looks like some decided to push their views over those of others and stage a media event.

The same righty quoted above apparently isn’t someone willing to pass up a good conspiracy theory when they can manufacture one either. He even sees a connection between the unfavorable to his position NIE report and the spy who wasn’t really a spy even after she was outed as a spy, Valerie Plame.

I have listed a lot of coincidental and circumstantial evidence in this post folks. I feel compelled to warn everyone when I see links to this NIE and Valerie Plame!

Talk about a leap of Grand Canyon proportions! What did our parents do for entertainment before the internet and blogs came into being?

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Daschle Responds To Rove Dementia

Bush Puppeteer Karl Rove all but blamed Tom Daschle the other day for forcing Bush to go to war in Iraq. Yesterday Daschle responds with “the Rest of the Story” (h/t Paul Harvey).

Well, I was called last week a couple of times and I literally thought it was a joke. I thought somebody was trying to pull my leg. I can’t believe that anybody would make such an outrageous statement and I was interested in that several of the former Bush high level people have now disputed it as well. But, he’s saying it and I guess he’s trying to sell some books.

He goes on to again try to refresh Rove’s memory on what really happened.

I reminded the President that his father waited until after the election for the 1991 war. It was a wise thing to do and allowed him to build consensus around the world and de-politicize it here at home. I turned to him and said that he ought to do the same thing. I wish you’d consider that. He looked at the Vice President. They smirked a little bit and then looked at me and said. “Can’t do that.”

Think Progress has more including the audio.

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What Happens When Separation Isn't Allowed

Cross posted over at KELO Blogs.

People often wonder what the big deal is and ask why some get nervous when people attempt to allow religious symbols in governmental offices or legislate policies based on religion in our society. Many of the faithful think that the tenants of their beliefs are good so why wouldn’t it be good public policy to make it the law of the land. Just ask Christians in Iraq how that is working for them.

Before someone gets all huffy, yes I realize that it isn’t the current government, puppet regime that it is, that’s behind the cleansing in the country but one should ask why even with the horrible dictatorship that existed before we invaded, Christians were able to live and practice their faith out in the open and now they are either dead or in hiding. If that example doesn’t work for you, why don’t you ask the British school teacher in Sudan who named a Teddy Bear Mohamed at the urging of her students and is now in jail and worried about her life and let’s not forget to ask the millions of women that live in relative servitude or worse because of their beliefs how that’s working for them.

So why am I going on about this now? Other than the horrible story on “60 Minutes” last night that documented another in the countless number of atrocities that have occurred because of our oil war, a story is now making the rounds that has GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney feeling the need to address his faith to placate the far right wing of his party. Romney’s poll numbers are floundering and one time also ran and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee’s stock is rising mainly because of his strong support from Christian conservatives.

48 years ago no one believed a Catholic could win the White House and today many think a Mormon can’t either. Kennedy proved them wrong in 1960 and now Romney is being forced to try and do the same in 2008. My question is, even after all these years, why does he have to?

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GOP Bloggers Rejoice Pt. 2

I posted earlier on how the right is going ga ga over the fact that the Argus finally printed a review by Brent Lerseth of Daschle Vs. Thune: Anatomy of a High-Plains Senate Race by South Dakota Thune blogger Jon Lauck. Some are acting as if the blogosphere accomplished the impossible and literally forced the editors to relent and review a book that pretty much throws the paper under the bus.

congrats to the conservative bloggers. they really forced the hand of the Argus on this one and it drives the liberals crazy because they have long assumed that the Argus is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party.

I went on to ask what was the big deal as the Argus actually didn’t review the book and instead asked a Republican government professor to do it for them? Well anyway commenters over at SDWC are throwing a party and God help any liberal that tries to inject some sanity (emphasis mine).

Leave it Todd Epp to smear Professor Lerseth, whoever he is. Nothing could be more predictable. If the review had been critical, Epp would have said “see, I told you the book sucked!” Since the review is positive, Epp says “the reviewer is a right-wing hack!” This is oh so predictable. Epp, who is supposely a “lawyer,” apparently doesn’t have anything intelligent to say about this book, which isn’t too surprising.

You really got to like a guy that will blindly stand up from someone they have never heard of while ripping someone’s comments about that person. And comments like that go on and on.

Todd, I know you and PP are bud’s but why do you even bother posting comments on SDWC, every time you do you get ripped unmercifully, you have to realize by now that you just can’t win over there?

So now the Argus has given the handful of Republican’s out there that were in a lather a full on woody by farming off a review of a little known book (outside of the blogosphere) that praises Thune and rips the state’s largest paper. What exactly has this accomplished? The Argus still hasn’t reviewed the book as the last time I checked Lerseth worked at Augustana, and now Beck and Co. won’t have to deal with the constant criticism over not reviewing it. Sounds more like the Argus comes out Ok on this to me.

But at least the little bit of exposure the book got by appearing in the paper might push it to number 1 in South Dakota beating out the ever popular books about the James River and Deadwood so it ain’t all bad. Oops, I guess not as when the review appeared on Saturday, the book was #2 and now 2 days later it has fallen to #15, so much for the power of the Argus.

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Just Blame Daschle

While I understand that it was common practice here in South Dakota to blame all our problems on Tom Daschle, just ask Jon Lauck, but now apparently Daschle bashing has become common place nationally as well. This morning former Bush puppeteer Karl Rove all but blamed Daschle for our presence in Iraq.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Karl Rove–who is quickly becoming the laughing stock of Washington– appeared with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (chair of the DCCC) to talk politics. When the discussion turned to Iraq, Van Hollen seized the opportunity to confront Rove for his failed attempt to blame the Democrats for pushing the White House into voting on the 2002 Iraq war invasion resolution. Rove’s response? Why, it was all the fault of former Democratic Senator, Tom Daschle. What?

You know Mr Rove, they have made great strides in treating dementia…Watch it.

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GOP Bloggers Rejoice

The hated liberally biased Argus Leader has finally printed their impartial review of the all time best selling book (tongue fully in cheek) Daschle Vs. Thune: Anatomy of a High-Plains Senate Race by South Dakota Thune blogger Jon Lauck.

Overall, Lauck’s book provides a worthwhile discussion of the 2004 race, the role of local media and the importance of alternative media sources. While his partisanship has to be considered as part of any evaluation of his depiction of events, he does raise valid concerns about the need to critically evaluate traditional media on similar grounds.

Read Augustana College assistant professor of government Dr. Brent Lerseth’s full review.

By the way, in response to commenter poly43 on the Argus forum who responds to this review in between ripping our fine South Dakota blogs by incorrectly listing the book as being rated #13 on Amazon for local books in South Dakota. It is in fact way up there at #2 as of this posting just behind an all time popular book about the James River and just ahead of a book about Deadwood and Wild Bill Hickock.

UPDATE: As an aside, what is the big deal? Those in the GOP blogosphere were ripping the Argus for not reviewing it and in theory they still haven’t because they had someone not associated with the paper doing it. Is the act of printing an outside review good enough? Apparently so

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