Posted by: jcardillo | 6 May, 2009

Idiots Amuse Me – Is That Wrong?

From the Rangers Report,

Can I tell you something about the Yankees game last night? Two people in the expensive seats (which seats aren’t?) behind home plate were hit by foul balls because they were talking on the cell phone. Doesn’t that say it all? One was a woman in the little cafe area. The second was a guy on the phone, with an umbrella, and the ball nearly hit him square in the crotch. His umbrella went flying, but he never stopped talking on the phone, even though he was obviously shaken up by the direct hit and now he was getting soaked by rain. Idiot. It kind of made my night.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really miss the days of crappy stadiums with bad food and seats so uncomfortable they made you want to stand up. You HAD to pay attention to the game to distract yourself from the crummy surroundings. Now, as happened to me at a Sharks game earlier this year, you are told you can’t even lean forward if there is something exciting going on! Maybe that’s why PA announcers are out-of-control.

Thanks Carp!

Posted by: jcardillo | 29 April, 2009

Debating Torture

The Daily Show hosted Cliff May from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies the other night, and their talk about torture ran so over the allotted time that TDS Website is hosting the whole interview. It was a great debate and like commenters and the participants themselves say, it’s sad that this is only being done on Comedy Central and not a “real” news outlet.

My personal moral compass is built on “do unto others…”, therefore my view is that even though it was only done to three “high-value” detainees, our actions were torture and therefore wrong. Period. Instead of spending scads of cash building the next giant weapons system or closing Guantanamo while rendering suspects to Bagram (necessarily reactive methods), we should be investing that money in intelligence, language training, and other preventative measures.

Also noted:
May’s point that many American’s haven’t read the torture memos. You can here.
If you’d like to read the Geneva Conventions you can do so here.
The specific section on detainee treatment is here.
That section with commentary, including the critical to me line, “each individual is desirous of the treatment corresponding to his status and can therefore judge how he should, in turn, treat his fellow human beings.”

Posted by: jcardillo | 23 April, 2009

Reaping and Sowing, Part II

Remember my post from the other day about Michelle Malkin?  Well, now you can re-read it, but (pretty much) insert Jane Harman (D-CA) wherever you read Michelle Malkin.  The agents spying on Harman even went out and got WARRANTS! If you don’t want them to do it to you, don’t let them do it to others.

Posted by: jcardillo | 15 April, 2009

Whither Water?

From Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed:

500-year history of water flows in the Colorado River

500-year history of water flows in the Colorado River

A few things to note:
1) the levels at which the southwestern states draw water was determined during one of the wettest periods during the last 500 years, meaning that each state’s allocation will, by definition, be too high.
2) The mean for this century is higher than the 500-year average due primarily to this wet period.
3) Note that the final blue spike falls roughly in the last 25 years, meaning that those of you who are my age or younger have a memory of water levels that are WAY higher than average.
4) The “drought” we are currently in actually represents a Colorado River level that is roughly at the 500-year average, meaning that we should permanently consume water at this level (if not lower) and not just reduce our consumption for a couple years to “get through it.”

Posted by: jcardillo | 14 April, 2009

Michelle Malkin Doesn’t Like to Reap What She Has Sown

A good rule of thumb when granting power to anyone, especially a government actor, is to decide whether or not you would be comfortable having someone you completely disagree with wield that power.

For years, Michelle Malkin has pounded home the idea that the only way for us to be safe from enemies both foreign and domestic, was for the government to have broad powers to wiretap our phone calls. This is how we’ll know who does bad things! Naturally, not a word was uttered when the DHS produced a report in January warning of the danger from left wing radicals, yet when they issue a similar report detailing threats from those who tend to agree with her, oh the hue and cry! There is no problem if FISA, DHS, NSA, etc. powers are used to keep an eye on, for example, groups that might firebomb a ski resort, but there sure is if they are used to keep an eye on, for example, “[t]he high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by right-wing extremists…

The reality is that both of these problems are the domain of the FBI and local law enforcement who are well-equipped to keep an eye on suspects. The fact that, thanks to Congress, we now have a much broader set of powers that can be used to “spy” on Americans who aren’t really even suspected of a crime (a legal gun purchase is not a crime) and no ability for the Judicial Branch of our government to check those powers wielded by the Executive, is disturbing. But why, oh why, did she defend them when they were implemented?

Posted by: jcardillo | 13 April, 2009

Outside Lands lineup = AWESOME!

Wow!  Just…wow!

SF Outside Lands Lineup

SF Outside Lands Lineup

Posted by: jcardillo | 10 April, 2009

You Just Got Served!

I wrote in an email the other day that “I think thinking is good.”  It is in that spirit that I (belatedly) post a link to Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article, “The Big Takeover.”  From the article:

“As complex as all the finances are, the politics aren’t hard to follow. By creating an urgent crisis that can only be solved by those fluent in a language too complex for ordinary people to understand, the Wall Street crowd has turned the vast majority of Americans into non-participants in their own political future. There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power. In the age of the CDS and CDO, most of us are financial illiterates. By making an already too-complex economy even more complex, Wall Street has used the crisis to effect a historic, revolutionary change in our political system — transforming a democracy into a two-tiered state, one with plugged-in financial bureaucrats above and clueless customers below.”

Perhaps Taibbi goes a bit too far in the direction of conspiracy theory, and the reality is closer to “once you’ve created a problem and there’s an opportunity to grab power, you’d be stupid not to.”

Posted by: jcardillo | 8 April, 2009

The Soul and Sense

Kyle Boelte wrote a great article in the Christian Science Monitor about how and why he rides his bike. His words remind me not only of how much I just enjoy being on my bike, but also of how much work my own writing needs.

(thanks Rog!)

Posted by: jcardillo | 1 April, 2009

What to do, what to do?

I’m still digesting this, but I think Johnson is headed in the right direction. We certainly haven’t seen the worst yet, and if we aren’t willing to suck it up and deal with drastic change (both in the financial sector and elsewhere), we’re in for a long, sucky recovery.

In other news, I will actually post again at some point on my job search, the folks trips out to celebrate their respective 60th birthdays, and other things that I need to get off my chest… someday.

Posted by: jcardillo | 5 March, 2009

It’s Been a Long Time Since I’ve Laughed This Hard

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