The Blob

Friday, September 19, 2003

Where lawyers came from

I couldn't help but stop and read this dispatch from The Associated Press:

Ancient rodent the size of a buffalo


It would be an exterminator's worst nightmare: A 1,545-pound rodent with a voracious appetite and continuously growing big teeth. Resembling a guinea pig grown to the size of a buffalo, the animal lived millions of years ago in a South American swamp and is thought to be history's biggest rodent, researchers say this week in the journal Science.

Finally! I have an explanation of the origins of where ACLU and record industry attorneys came from. Why hadn't I thought of this before?

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Food loves me. It really, really loves me.

I have a theory about food and me. No matter how careful I try to be, I always manage to turn my clothes into a painter's canvas of food. My wife is horrified. My cat doesn't associate with me any more. I have brought shame and dishonor on my ancestors. Stumped, I gave a lot of thought on why this happens.

My theory: food loves me. It wants to stick to me. Oh, and my clothes too.

I've searched scientific texts on why this is so. And today, I made an amazing discovery: I am positively charged, and food is negatively charged. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Want proof? Allow me to digress. I recall when I was a little kid growing up in Minnesota, my grandmother would visit in the winter. Some of my earliest memories of her were painful ones. If you've spent a winter in Minnesota, you know that a house gets incredibly dry inside when you're heating it to protect you from -40 winters. Add to that a wool carpet (we're talkin' the 1950s) and you have a man-made lightning storm for static electricity. And sure enough, when my grandmother picked me up to kiss me, lightning bolts of, say, um 20,000,000,000,000,000 amps would jump out of her lips. Now that's kinky.

The same was true when you had a key in your hands. In Minnesota, you quickly learn to hold a key about a 1/4" from the door. It's fun to watch the blue arc of electricity jump from the key to the door. Or when you jump into bed on a bitterly cold night, the static in the sheets would cause lightning to arc under the blankets. Weird but true. It's just plan dangerous living there.

But back to food. I did an experiment at lunch to confirm my theory. I walked through a food court at a local shopping center, carefully observing things. Sure enough, because I was positively charged, blobs of negatively charged food came hurling through the doors and slamming onto my clothes. And I suspect that's why I'm not as svelte as I once was.

All this leads me to my last point: free radicals. You can't go to a health food store without reading about the dangers of free radicals. There are antitoxidant vitamins up the wazoo to fight them. This fails to explain why so many people who look like free radicals frequent health food stores, but that's a blog for another day. But I figured it out that being born positively charged (and a minority of us are), I'm a target for the negatively charged free radicals. Given that I live in California, I have now managed to explain why Democratic politics in the state is dangerous to people's health, and how food sticks to my clothes.

Yes, I know. It was a long and convoluted blog, but worth it. I managed to show how the Democrats are a bunch of negatively charged free radicals and that they are to blame for staining my clothes. Do you think I can sue them for this? There's gotta be an angle here. Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Flawed logic

The decision handed down yesterday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the California gubernatorial recall election was nothing less than insulting, infuriating, and not without irony. The liberal bias of the three judge panel, no doubt carefully hand picked by the ACLU and Governor Davis, was more than transparent. It's sad that judges of any political point of view have become so partisan. I wish for federal judges not to be conservative or liberal, but instead, intelligent, independent thinkers who see beyond dogma to search for truth. That might sound naively idealistic, but that's what the rule of law should be all about. When I compare the United States to practically any other nation on earth, it is the rule of law that separates America from anywhere else. And in my mind, the Sharia does not cut it.

Allow me to explain why.

If you buy their logic, the three-judge panel and the ACLU believe that as many as 40,000 votes may not get counted in the recall vote because six California counties still use punch-card ballots, the same system that sent the 2000 presidential race into chaos. In making its ruling, the panel leaned heavily on the Bush v. Gore case that effectively decided 2000 election.

In a 66-page, unsigned opinion, the panel, made up of Judges Harry Pregerson, Sidney Thomas and Richard Paez, cited Bush v. Gore repeatedly to support the view that California's Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election would be unconstitutional if the state, as planned, used outmoded punch-card ballot machines like those that contributed to the deadlock in Florida in 2000. The punch-card technology would deny millions of Californians their constitutional right to have their ballots counted fairly, the court ruled.

The 9th Circuit noted that, according to experts, some 40,000 voters out of the several million expected to vote in the recall election would lose out because of the normal 2.23 percent error rate in the punch-card technology. Those voters would tend to come from six heavily minority counties containing 44 percent of the state's voters, whereas 56 percent of the state's voting population would get the benefit of machines with an error rate of no more than 0.89 percent.

Never mind the fact that the three judges are basing their opinion on an event that has not happened yet, using estimates that have no scientific basis in fact and making conclusions on results that may never approach the hype being spewed forth by groups with a vested interest in promoting FUD.

If I were a member of the minorities referred to in the legal decision, I would be outraged. The ACLU's contention and the court's opinion is that African American and Hispanic voters are incapable of making a decision, much less being accountable for the act of voting properly. That's patronizing perfectly intelligent and capable people, regardless of whether they are a minority. Why should a African American or Hispanic voter statistically be any less able than a white or Asian voter to make sure that the X or punched hole is correctly filled out? For years, liberals have fought for equal rights for minorities, and to dispel the myths that a minority is any less able than their white counterparts. Yet, when it is convenient, liberals show their hypocracy and bias to suit their point of view. And here, the ACLU, purportedly the champion of the downtrodden masses of minorities, is selling the intelligence and abilities of minority groups short to defend an incompetent white man, namely Governor Davis.

The right to vote is one of the most important rights of any American, one to not be taken lightly. If our vote is to count, it is up to us as individuals to make sure that we have followed the instructions that our ballot is properly completed. No technology is flawless. And in countries around the world, simple paper ballots with an X or a hole has served the purpose of democracy for decades. But now, when it suits the purposes of liberal special interests, the legitimate will of the people is being denied to preserve the status quo. That's not just voter disenfransement. It's outright fraud and manipulation.

Look at it another way. If I was pulled over for speeding, and in court I told the judge, "Your honor, you must let me off because I did not understand the speed limit," I would get laughed out of court. Ignorance, I am reminded, is no defense of the law. So why should voting be any different? If I am responsible for knowing the speed limit to exercise my priviledge to drive, I should be just as vigilant with my right to vote.

But I have a solution. I'm thinking of writing the ACLU and asking for their help to get a recent court decision overturned on the grounds that my voting rights have been infringed upon. Just imagine: having the ACLU duke it out in court against the ACLU. Maybe then it would degrade into a fight to the death, and the ACLU, like two circling scorpions, would end up consuming itself. That would be justice for all.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Going once...

Over the weekend, I drove with my boss and good friend, Kevin, to North Hollywood to attend an autograph show and autograph/Hollywood memorabilia auction. The highlight of the day for us was the big item on the auction docket: a beautiful Fender Telecaster guitar once owned by the late George Harrison and used in the movie Let it Be. The auction featured a mix of mundane to highly interesting signed mementos. From the army uniform worn by Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, to the puppets used in Spitting Image, to a mix of items from rocker Delaney Brammlet or autographed letters from the French emperor Napoleon, the range was pretty fascinating. Much of the items sold under their asking price.

Except for the George Harrison's guitar, that is. Bidding started at just north of $100,000 and quickly went up from there. The early leading offers came from online bidders on eBay, who bought many of the smaller items in the auction. But they were quickly passed by two serious competitors in the theatre where we sat: a handsome, obviously well-off man, likely a Hollywood or record industry executive, and actor Ed Begley Jr. Back and forth the offers went, with Begley sitting back, casually holding up his card while listening to music on an MP3 player. Before long, the bidding spiraled to a dizzying $370,000. The tension was palpable. But Begley emerged the winner.

I never imagined Mr. Begley to be a giant TV or movie star, but a look at his resume surprised me that he has stayed very busy with work all these years. Obviously, he could afford the price (over $430,000 with the auctioneer's commission tacked on). Pretty amazing. If you ever get the chance, sit in on an auction like this. I felt a bit of history passing through my hands.