Saturday, March 29, 2008

Constitutional Question

Amendment XIV, section 3 reads:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid and comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability.

I would hardly call the hateful drivel of Rev. Jeramiah Wright, and the tolerance and acceptance of his remarks by Senator Obama, et al, an insurrection. But it is rebellion, is it not?

The Rev. Wright is certainly allowed to hold and express anti-American sentiment if he wishes. He is a private citizen. But he has a certain position of authority and influence over his congregation, who obviously agree with him. Senator Obama's 20-year association with Rev. Wright- marriages, baptisms, regular Sunday attendance- reflect his tacit approval of, and implied agreement with (aid and comfort?) the Rev. Wright. Senator Obama is a public offical who has taken oath(s) of office.

Senator Obama has neither distanced himself from, nor has he denounced sufficiently, the anti-American sentiment of Rev. Wright. To the contrary, he has only dug himself deeper into the hole of his own making by his failure to make a complete and unequivocal break from Rev. Wright and his “church.”

“Unfit for Command” should be stamped across the front of his personnel jacket in big red letters.

Monday, March 24, 2008

World's Tallest Man

The Associated Press: World's Tallest Man Struggles to Fit In. Being a tall person, I can empathize, especially the "stooping through doorways" bit. At 8'5", he beats me by a full two feet:

All the doorways in his one-story brick house are too short for him to pass through without stooping. His 440 pounds cause constant knee pain and often force him to use crutches.

Stadnik loves animals, but had to quit his job as a veterinarian at a cattle farm after suffering frostbite when he walked to work in his socks in winter. He could not afford custom made shoes for his 17-inch feet

He is becoming a celebrity, and his fame is dragging Ukrane into the 20th century:
His neighbors joke that they may also benefit from Stadnik's success. "Of course we are proud of him — we may have gas here soon thanks to him," said the 75-year-old Nila Kravchuk.

Oh, and it's getting to look a lot like old times in that part of the world:
Stadnik came home one day and saw a new computer connected to the Web sitting on his desk — a gift from a local Internet provider. Company workers "sneaked into the house like little spies" to install the equipment, Stadnik joked.

I wonder, is the local interwebs provider run by the government?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


sol·ip·sism -noun

1. Philosophy. The theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
2. Extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

3. The source of leftist moral relativism.

Yes, #3 is mine. Thanks to the editors at National Review for expanding my vocabulary.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Obama: The Implosion Begins

Imagine you have been attending the same church, lead by the same pastor, for 20 years. The pastor married you and your wife in the church, and baptized your children. Imagine the title of your second book is borrowed from the title of a sermon your pastor delivered one Sunday morning. Imagine that you wrote about your pastor with respect, honor, and admiration in said book.

If you were running for president, it would be good to have man like your pastor, who has known you and your family for decades, in the media spotlight. Unless...

Mr. Obama has chosen this point in time, and in his campaign, to speak out against "some" of his pastor's "controversial" remarks that are not part of the "typical" Sunday sermon. Remarks such as the despicable bigoted racist garbage that has been all over the news. Remarks such as the obtuse and insane idea that the United States deserved to be attacked by islamo-facist terrorists on 9/11.

There are four possibilities to explain Mr. Obama's confused and confounding behavior: 1) Mr.Obama is one of the most weak-willed people in history, unable to assert his own convictions to the point of, at the very least, walking out and finding another church to attend. 2) Mr. Obama agrees with the outrageous and anti-American sentiments of his pastor. 3) Mr. Obama neither agrees nor disagrees with his pastor; he is only involved in the church out of political expediency and knows that the (presumably) all-black congregation, and other individuals and congregations of similar views, will support and vote for him. 4) Mr. Obama is some combination of the previous three.

I fail to see how any other explanation is possible. This exposure of Rev. Jeramiah Wright, Mr. Obama's pastor, a man who is on record making these kinds of remarks for at least the past ten years, point to a lack of character and severe personal weakness as shown by Mr. Obama's failure, until now, to (partially!) disassociate himself from Rev. Wright.

Mr. Obama has his defenders, his "useful idiots," as well. They classify his pastor as something akin to a foolish and perhaps mentally unstable uncle who sits in the corner. The fallacy of that argument is this: You do not chose your uncle. He may be a crazy old bigoted racist with paranoid delusions, but he is still family. Your pastor, on the other hand, is yours by choice. And you are free to seek out a new one, whether that pastor offends you or not. And why is it relevant that this pastor is nearing retirement? What does that have to do with any of this discussion?

A logical and reasonable person would conclude that Mr Obama is weak, lacks a core, and would be willing to go along with nearly anything as long as it means the retention of his political power. These are ugly traits in any person, and unacceptable for someone who wishes to be president.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tilting at Windmills, Part II

I have been trying to get some kind of legal permission to build an alcohol still (for fuel purposes only) for some time now. I finally found someone at the "Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau," which is a sub-bureau of BATFE, Treasury Department, who could direct me to the proper forms for requesting a permit to operate a "small alcohol fuel plant." She called me after receiving my request.

"Do you have your still at your production and storage facility ready for inspection?"

"No," I said. "It is illegal for me to own a still in the Commonwealth of Virginia without a distiller's permit."

"Well, I am sorry, but we are unable to issue your permit without inspecting your equipment first. We used to get maybe 10 requests per year for alcohol fuel plants, and now we get about 400. Many states either allow or have changed their laws to allow small scale alcohol fuel production. Virginia is rather behind the times in this area. They are still [no pun!] worried about hillbilly moonshiners."

"I agree," I said.

I'm worried about the ever increasing amount of (virtually worthless) greenbacks that I have to hand over for a gallon of dinosaur juice.

I was hoping to use the federal permit as political leverage to change the outdated and byzantine law here in the Commonwealth, since a mere letter or two blowing across our esteemed delegate Wat Abbit's desk goes unnoticed unless it is on fire or written on the back of a $100 bill.

The TTB (the gov'ment acro-nym for Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau) lady was kind enough to send the permit paperwork for a beverage alcohol plant. It came in a big fat envelope which threatened to topple our little rural mailbox after it was forced inside by the letter carrier. There is all kinds of information required, bonds to be posted, first-borns to be surrendered, arms and legs removed, etc. etc., all in Government Standard Triplicate.

And I would still (heh) have to fight the Virginia ABC to get a Commonwealth Distiller's Permit.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Stocking Stuffer

Alas, it is illegal in the U.S. Click for story and more pics.