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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Something Tells Me Huckabee Won’t Be Running on a “Tough on Crime” Platform

This from our blogging partner-in-crime, Robert Hayes:

The current suspect in the Lakewood police murder case had his lengthy prison sentence commuted nine years ago by then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Over the protests of law enforcement and his own state prosecutors, Huckabee commuted the sentence of Maurice Clemmons despite his long criminal record of violence and major concerns about his mental stability. Clemmons was convicted on at least five felonies in the state of Arkansas. He currently faces eight felony charges in Washington, before any charges that may result from the Lakewood killings. He was released from custody in Pierce County Jail less than a week before the Lakewood shootings.

Many are asking why Clemmons was released from the Pierce County Jail, given the seriousness of the charge pending against him (second-degree rape of a child), that there was a fugitive warrant for him in Arkansas, and that he was facing multiple felony charges in Washington. Clemmons posted $150,000 in bail through a Chehalis, Washington bond company. Bail was issued despite Clemmons’ history of assaulting police officers, and recorded statements that he had told his family members that he was Jesus Christ, that he could fly, and that he expected a visit from President Obama to confirm his status as the Messiah.

Ouch.

I can’t say this makes me happy--the circumstances simply won’t allow that kind of a response. I will say, though, that I’m not, never have been, and can’t imagine being a Mike Huckabee fan. Over the next few years, Republicans will need to find a strong voice to carry the fight against expansive government and the Democrat’s current policy prescriptions. It would be nice if that person were a conservative with a track record of fiscal responsibility, good judgement, and the charisma and strength to lead the country when tough changes need to be made. Huckabee isn’t that guy (although, to be fair, I’m not sure who that guy actually is right now), and it will be easier to find the right candidate if a guy like Huckabee isn’t riding along, confusing the race.

Just one blogger’s opinion…

Read the rest.

Update: Malkin has much more.

Google Voice and Google Wave

Anyone out there have a Google Voice or Google Wave invite they are willing to send my way? Because, you know, I’m special and stuff.

Update: Okay, Wave is taken care of. I now have 8 Wave invites to send out to anyone who needs them--just leave a comment and they’ll go first come-first serve.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bless the Geeks and the Children

In particular, bless these Clash of the Titans lovin’, mythology debatin’ geeks and this mildly gnawed child.

And then play and old Carpenters song just to make the whole musical pun really come to life.

For the record, the remake of Clash of the Titans is certain to best the original in dramatic tension, violence, and special effects, but it will have none of the pure, shining fun of the original. Great movies don’t revolve around seamless CGI and glowering protagonists. Story and sense of wonder are important, too, which fact is well illustrated by movies like The Princess Bride and Harvey. Movie makers these days don’t have much of a grasp of that fact which is why Pixar really shines to me. Of course, Pixar also has groundbreakingly awesome animation…

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I have much for which I am thankful. I am thankful for my wife and family (and thankful that my wife was willing to wait so long).

I am thankful for a very short period of unemployment, and, of course, looking forward to proving that I deserve the job I was offered last week. I feel blessed to have found the job as quickly as I did--it seems to be the exception and not the rule right now.

I am thankful for friends--the blogging kind and otherwise--who have enriched my life over this last year.

There is a lot to worry about in a bigger sense, but this is the kind of day where I’m going to focus on the positives while desperately fighting off the tryptophan coma that’s heading my way. Thanks, all, for the part that you’ve played in my life this year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking for Suggestions

It’s time for a Jimmy Stewart night at the Zomby household. I’ve admired the man since I was just a boy and my appreciation for him--both as a man and as an actor--has only grown as the years have passed.

So, here’s the thing, which movies should be in the Jimmy Stewart night? Harvey is almost certainly on the list, but there are a few others that I love nearly as much. What are your favorite Jimmy Stewart movies?

By the by, the reason that this is coming up is because of this post by Shawn Macomber (and be sure to click through and watch the clip at the site he’s referencing--wonderful stuff).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Funniest Moment of My Day: The Indy v/ Baltimore Edition

"Run, there’s a murderer chasing you!”

The above is a real quote from Darling Girl after Manning had just completed a pass to a receiver who was about to be tackled by Ray Lewis.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Boycott of the Democrats Might Last a Little Longer Than These Guys Intended, but Still…

Okay, so me pushing a boycott of the Democrats is both self-serving and, maybe, a bit off-base, but since I support the goal I thought I would point it out:

What is this?
We are asking voters to pledge to withhold contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, and the Obama campaign until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is passed, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) is repealed, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is repealed -– all of which President Obama repeatedly promised to do if elected.

Why are you asking people to take this pledge?
Candidate Obama promised during the campaign to be the gay community’s “fierce advocate.” He and the Democratic party have not kept their promise.

One of the things that I find most odd about the Obama administration’s unwillingness to follow-up on its promises in reference to gay rights is that, unlike many of the administration’s higher priorities, gay rights might be an easier sell. Consider: allowing gays to serve openly in the military not only doesn’t cost our government another penny, but it keeps competent, patriotic citizens in the position to serve their country. Compared to new programs that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and could make it even harder for small businesses to create new jobs, ending don’t ask don’t tell should be simple.

Of course, this is one of those areas where I lose a lot of my more conservative friends (along with supporting gay marriage) and have heard the dreaded RINO title uttered. If there really were a purity test for Republicans, this might well be where I would be tossed out of the party. Luckily, that isn’t the case; while their must be some standards as to what constitutes a Republican (and, even more, what constitutes a conservative), there has to be room for dissent and discussion. I trust that most people will agree with me that this is one such area.

Read the rest.

It’s the Power of Metal (and the Chipmunks)

Shawn notes the power of 80’s metal as one of the forces that helped President Reagan in his quest to have Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall (and he gives us some hope that metal can help bring freedom to the Muslim world, too).

To which I add this.




With apologies, of course. Sorry about that.

FREE Mac Software

Okay, I’m trusting that I can help direct about a quarter million hits to MacHeist over the next 24 hours, all of whom register and download all the free loot.

Because, damnit, I want that license to Mariner Write.

Sadly, I might be overestimating the reach of this site. Crazy Zomby.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Expensive Rights

For all the talk about making health care a “right” for all Americans (or, at least, everyone who happens to be sick, injured, diseased, or otherwise needy in a health care sort of way), it sure sounds potentially hazardous to fail to exercise your right in just the right way. If you take my meaning.

Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses.  Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:

• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.”

I know that there are readers of this blog (and friends of mine) who are big supporters of the Democrat’s health care reform proposals, but the more I read about it the more disturbed I am. Good intentions don’t make good policy; what the Democrats are trying to pass right now might be with the best intentions, but I’m terrified that it will hurt our already bleeding economy.

If it does manage to pass, though, I’ll have an easy guide to who to vote against in the upcoming elections.

Read the rest.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fort Hood Tragedy: Good Advice from Michael Yon

From a short blog post on the Corner:

First reports are notoriously wrong.  The shooter already has been killed then resurrected by the media.  Some media are in a frenzy and so the reports are particularly untrustworthy at this time.  Now is not a time to psychoanalyze the attacker by using a media-supplied telescope that already said he was dead, and that there were multiple attackers.  Media: STOP, please.  There will be time to pursue answers and justice after Christmas.  We must remember that family members lost loved ones just before the holidays.  Justice and answers will come with time.

Absolutely right.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Just Wondering…

Just read this:

A Saudi court has ruled that a man convicted of raping five children will be beheaded and crucified.

Muhammad Basheer al-Ramaly, 22, left his youngest victim, aged three, stranded in the desert to die.

He was caught when he tried to abduct another boy by offering him a lift home from school in his car.

I find myself wondering if that’s the right order of events. Because, that crucifixion bit seems to be coming a bit too late to do any good.

For what it’s worth.

Read the rest.

Loving School Choice

I’m a big supporter of vouchers, but, absent that, I wonder if “school choicing” (hate that term) will be the new norm over time? It’s a big step in the right direction--that is, the best way to hold any institution accountable for its performance is to be able to withhold funding at the end-user level. If the school isn’t doing the job, then move the dollars (along with the student) to a school that will do the job.

That’s a big win for parents and students. If the schools took it in the right spirit, it could also be a big win for the best teachers, the best administrators, and the best ideas.

Anyway, here’s this (which also highlights a problem with income inequity with open school enrollment throughout a district--a problem that I think is overblown):

In Denver Public Schools, 41 percent of the district’s estimated 75,000 students attend a school other than one in their attendance area, up from 34 percent in 2004.

The numbers of DPS students “choicing” into schools continues to rise as the district’s diversification of school programs continues.

Among Denver’s 140 schools, there are 21 charters, five dual-language schools, three arts-focused schools, 11 with an international theme, three science-oriented schools, two expeditionary learning schools and six Montessori schools.

“Our goal is in every neighborhood in every part of the city to have high-quality choices,” said Tom Boasberg, DPS superintendent.

DPS is a big, diverse district with all sorts of institutional problems. It has been working hard for a number of years now, though, to address those problems and I like a lot of the changes that they’ve made.

Here’s to choice.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Might I Need to Trade In for a New Model?

Happily I sang out, “ East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’, we gonna do what they say can’t be done. We got a long way to go and a short time to get there. I’m east bound, just watch ol’ Bandit run.”

Darling girl looked at me like I was a fool.

“Sing along,” I said, smiling, “you know the words!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she answered. She then shuffled off and finished putting the groceries away.

My wife doesn’t know “East Bound and Down?” My wife doesn’t feel happy, warm thoughts when Smokey and the Bandit speeds, screaming chicken proudly displayed, through the nostalgic corner of her mind? Who the hell did I marry? I might have to trade in for a better model.

None of which changes the fact that Dede Scozzafava is doing what she can to provide help and safe harbor to a liberal Democrat in an important election for Republicans. The good sense of everyone who bucked the GOP party line and supported Hoffman, the independent (and conservative) challenger. I realize that lots of folks are upset with Newt Gingrich for pronouncing support for Scozzafava in this race, but he is utterly right about one part of this: this is a fight that should have taken place in a primary and not after the establishment simply pronounced Scozzafava as the candidate of choice. The person who wrote what I’ve quoted below should never have been the Republican candidate for the district.

I want to thank you for your support and friendship. Over the past 24 hours, I have had encouraging words sent to my family and me. Many of you have asked me whom you should support on Tuesday.

Since announcing the suspension of my campaign, I have thought long and hard about what is best for the people of this District, and how to answer your questions. This is not a decision that I have made lightly.

You know me, and throughout my career, I have been always been an independent voice for the people I represent. I have stood for our honest principles, and a truthful discussion of the issues, even when it cost me personally and politically. Since beginning my campaign, I have told you that this election is not about me; it’s about the people of this District.

It is in this spirit that I am writing to let you know I am supporting Bill Owens for Congress and urge you to do the same.

At the end of the day, Scozzafava has shown that she has truly earned the title of Republican in Name Only and that voters were right to be suspicious of her. If she truly cared, as she has stated, about smaller government and government restraint then she would never have endorsed Bill Owens, the Democrat in the race. If she made the choice as a matter of conscience, then she is no true Republican; if she made it as a matter of pique, then she’s more concerned about her own hurt feelings than she is about her supposed values. Either way, a horrible showing on her part and a loud message to the Republican party as we continue to head toward the bigger fights in 2010.

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