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2009 June — Why Now?
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Posts from — June 2009

Hell Froze Over

Del Stone Jr. runs the editorial page at the Local Puppy Trainer which is merely hard core libertarian on its good days. This is easily the most evangelical Republican county in the state, and yet he wrote this: Down with ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’.

When the editorial page of the Northwest Florida Daily News comes out against a policy, that policy has clearly been shown to be box of rocks stupid. Folks, your iPhone doesn’t work in Okaloosa County. We are an unpaved path well off the “information highway”. People still rent VHS tapes of movies here. By the time realization hits this county, the rest of the world has forgotten what the problem was.

Somebody tell the President that the editorial page of the NWFDN has his back, and he really can dump the stupidity.

June 30, 2009   2 Comments

Now What’s The Excuse?

The BBC reports that there’s a Minnesota senate win for Franken

Democrat Al Franken has won the disputed 2008 Minnesota Senate race, after his Republican opponent Norm Coleman conceded victory.

On election night last November, voting machines gave Mr Coleman a narrow 215-vote lead, triggering a recount.

Mr Franken won the recount, prompting an appeal from Mr Coleman. Earlier on Tuesday, however, Minnesota’s Supreme Court rejected Mr Coleman’s arguments.

Now there will be a scramble for Harry Reid to find a new reason why he can’t get anything worthwhile through the Senate.

June 30, 2009   Comments Off on Now What’s The Excuse?

Rule Of Law

I prefer to look things up for myself to be sure that the people reporting aren’t spinning things. The situation in Honduras revolves around their constitution, so I decided to find out for myself who was telling the truth.

I located a synopsis in English, as my Spanish is not geared toward the legal language of a constitution and found most of my questions answered.

The current Honduran constitution is its sixteenth. They have had long periods where they were ruled by dictators, both military and civilian, and the current constitution, which took force January 20, 1982, reflects the desire to avoid any future dictators.

Created in an era of typewriters, copy machines, and high speed printing presses, it is much longer, and more detailed than the US Constitution.

Title IV addresses the constitutional review of laws by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of Honduras, like the Supreme Court of the US rules whether or not things are in accordance with their constitution.

The next point is one that bothered me because it is a difference between the US and Honduran systems:

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June 29, 2009   6 Comments

Honduras Situation

I do have some interest in Honduras. I donated several hundred dollars to their ecosystem when friends of my older brother flipped the Jeep they were driving in a river in Honduras and didn’t bother to go after the borrowed equipment. I didn’t even get a T-shirt, just a terse statement of fact.

CNN has an updated story. Heavy military presence in Honduras after coup, but hard news is not easy to come by because the major sources are aligned with various centers of power, so they are all lying to one degree or another.

This is what I have been able to glean:

  • The government in Honduras has a very similar structure to the US government, i.e. three branches, checks and balance, constitution, representative democracy, etc.
  • Zelaya was not simply trying to amend the constitution to give himself another term, he wanted to have a constitutional convention and rewrite the entire document.
  • He won election by a very narrow margin in 2005 with a plurality of the vote, not a majority, and didn’t like working with the established government systems.

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June 29, 2009   6 Comments

Silly Sunday


In honor of the lynx kittens.

June 28, 2009   2 Comments

Kudos To My Neighbors

It is with something resembling pride [not really] that I announce that in the St. Petersburg Times Bizarre Florida weirdness roundup for this week, four of the top ten stories are sourced to my Local Puppy Trainer.

This is what being an evangelical Republican does to you.

[exits stage left slowly shaking his head…]

June 28, 2009   Comments Off on Kudos To My Neighbors

More Agitprop

The BBC reports on UK fury as staff arrested in Iran

The UK has demanded the immediate release of Iranian staff at its Tehran embassy who were arrested on Saturday.

Iranian media earlier reported that eight local staff at the mission had been detained for their “considerable role” in post-election riots.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband called the arrests “harassment” and dismissed the allegations as baseless.

Relations between the countries are strained after Tehran accused the UK of stoking unrest, which London denies.

The Iranian authorities are doing anything they can to convince their people that the demonstrations are a foreign plot to destroy the revolution. They are digging deep into Stalin’s playbook in an effort to avoid taking responsibility for anything that has happened.

This is the same technique Limbaugh is using saying Obama is responsible for Sanford’s infidelity, which ignores the fact that Sanford was messing around before Obama became the Democratic candidate.  These people have there own universe, and too many Iranians are no smarter than Americans.

June 28, 2009   Comments Off on More Agitprop

The Iranian Protest Morphs

CNN is still reporting on Iran: Thousands demonstrate silently in Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — About 5,000 protesters marched slowly and silently through Tehran on Sunday near a mosque where the government was allowing a demonstration for the first time in days.

Authorities were riding on motorcycles alongside the marchers, who are telling each other to walk slowly and drag their feet, a CNN producer reported. Police were telling the demonstrators to move faster, the producer added, who CNN is not naming for security reasons.

Some of the protesters were telling the police that they have the legal right to protest in peace, the CNN journalist said.

The marchers are walking from north to south down a major street, Shariati Street, near the Ghoba Mosque, where a memorial is being held in honor of a hero of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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June 28, 2009   Comments Off on The Iranian Protest Morphs

Coup? Not So Fast

CNN tells us that Honduras president detained, sent to Costa Rica, official says

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (CNN) — Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya arrived in Costa Rica on Sunday after a military-led coup, a Honduran government official told CNN.

The Honduran military arrested Zelaya early Sunday morning, the same day he vowed to follow through with a referendum that Honduras’ Supreme Court had ruled illegal.

“They detained the president and sent him out of the country,” the government official said.

A military team entered the president’s residence and met resistance from Zelaya’s guards, the official said.

The official at first said Zelaya was injured, but later said it appeared he had not been.

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June 28, 2009   7 Comments


The call of the Republicans in their native environment. This means when they pick your pocket to pay for their programs it won’t be called a tax, it will be called a fee.

From the Local Puppy Trainer: Some vehicle, license fees will double

The Legislature this year approved across-the-board rate increases for fees charged by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The new prices take effect Sept. 1.

“This is a huge deal. A lot of the fees are doubling,” said Okaloosa County Tax Collector Chris Hughes. “It kind of slipped in there. None of us knew about it until after the Legislature approved it.”

Below are some of the hikes:

  • License plate renewals: From $28.10 to $46.65.
  • Registration fee for new vehicles: From $100 to $225.
  • Drivers license: From $32.25 to $54.25.
  • Replacement of lost license: From $15.25 to $31.25.

You can double fees, but don’t ever suggest a 0.1% increase in anything labeled as a tax.

June 27, 2009   8 Comments

Grow Up

I scan a dozen media sites every day. The leading purveyor of news today is CNet, because, of all of the sites around the world that I read, they were the only site on which the lead story was not “Michael Jackson is still dead”. They had their story on the impact of the death at number 3 [there was a surge of traffic on Twitter, YouTube, and the ‘Net].

John Doone Donne makes a valid point in Meditation XVII: “… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” I don’t doubt the sincere shock and pain felt by others, but this has reached media-fueled hysteria. One of the contributing causes of his death was Mr. Jackson’s refusal to mature. The same can be said of the media.

June 27, 2009   3 Comments

Leona Helmsley, MD

The Orlando Sentinel provides a story of someone who took the “servant” in public servant, a bit too literally: Florida Hospital executive pleads guilty of defrauding New York workers

Florida Hospital executive Antonia Novello pleaded guilty today to forcing New York state employees to work overtime for her personal chores, filing false documents and costing taxpayers close to $50,000.

Novello, a former U.S. surgeon general hired in 2008 by Florida Hospital, entered the plea in Albany (N.Y.) County Court. She was New York’s health commissioner from 1999 to 2006.

She pleaded guilty to a felony in a deal with prosecutors to avoid prison time. Novello faced up to 12 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Florida Hospital spokeswoman Sam O’Lenick said Novello, the vice president of Women’s and Children’s Health & Policy Affairs for Disney’s Children’s Hospital, remains on a leave of absence.

She was the Surgeon General under George HW Bush, and then hired by Governor George Pataki for the similar position in the state of New York. The complaints about her behavior started being filed with the NY Inspector General in 2001, but nothing was done until Pataki was replaced by a Democrat.

June 26, 2009   3 Comments

Quick Picks

The ABC has a great headline: Happy hops damage poppy crops

The mystery of crop circles which have appeared from time to time in and around Tasmania’s legal opium poppy fields may have been solved.

It seems it is not aliens, but junkie wallabies hopping around in dazed circles – perhaps.

The BBC’s ‘Stoned wallabies make crop circles’ is just too staid.

I’m watching Invest 93L in the Western Caribbean to see what it wants to do. It is currently headed towards the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and then into the Southern Gulf of Mexico. The conditions in the Southern Gulf are starting to shift towards possible development.

A minimal tropical storm with a lot of rain wouldn’t be regretted along the Texas coast right now, as they have been short of rain for a while.

June 26, 2009   2 Comments

Bummer, Eh!

The CBC reports that Toronto’s Canada Day celebrations cancelled

It’s appears Canada Day is going to be a big fizzle in many parts of Toronto, with festivals, celebrations — even the city-sponsored fireworks display — cancelled.

The city is having a labor dispute with its workers, and the show can’t go on without the labor force. Well, OK, it could, but then the politicians would lose a golden opportunity to drum up some public anger against the unions.

Since the negotiations are held in secret, the public doesn’t actually know who is being the more unreasonable, or even why the talks are stalled.

June 26, 2009   1 Comment