Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vigilante Justice in McCormick Correctional Institution

Jerry Sandusky better be glad he's not going to end up in a South Carolina prison. Can't say that I feel too much sympathy for the victim. One-hundred years ago, they would have hanged Mr. Cooper at dawn the morning after the guilty verdict.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SC Statehouse Christmas Tree

It's up and looks nice. Check out The State for more photos. Merry Christmas!

South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation

This Saturday, SCHAF will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the opening of Columbia Army Air Base. They will have vintage military vehicles, actual WWII aircraft, and all sorts of WWII artifacts from collectors and historical organizations.

WHERE: 2553 Airport Blvd, West Columbia, SC 29170 (Adjacent to Columbia Metro Airport)
WHEN: December 3, 2011 from 11:00AM - 3:00PM
COST: Free

For more information check out SCHAF's website.
P-47 Thunderbolt

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flying with Guns

Really good tips. I'm usually inclined to drive for most of my holiday travel, but if you decide to travel with firearms: knowledge is power.

[H/T: Uncle]

Memo to Politico: Amending the Constitution is Not Unconstitutional

Unconstitutional? I don't think it means what you think it means.

The same candidates promising to appoint strict constructionist judges clearly think the Framers, for all their wisdom and foresight, forgot a few things, which they now want to tack on with an array of proposed constitutional amendments that would bulk up the document.
Heaven forbid anyone proposes to modify the document through the process embedded within the document itself. Epstein is a blatant political hack for writing this article.

Clemson vs. Carolina (Clemson Fans Leaving Early)

This is the last you'll see me discussing the Carolina/Clemson game until next football season (maybe). In any event, soak it up Carolina fans. For all you Tiger fans out there: It is what it is.

[H/T GodfatherGamecock]

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy Columbia: Judge Lee Allows Tents and Sleeping Bags

Judge Lee has issued a TRO allowing the protesters to bring tents, sleeping bags, and other living gear.

I respectfully dissent. The Statehouse is not a campground. You cannot live there.

Hateweek (Clemson Myth #3)

We continue our odyssey into Clemson football with Myth #3: Running down the hill is "the most exciting 25 seconds in college football".

Wow. OK. I'm not sure it's "the most exciting 25 seconds in college football". I think I will refer to it as "the 25 seconds before Clemson starts disappointing their fans".

The Browning M-2 (Forever Young)

Developed in the 1920's, it's still going strong today.
Three years ago, the U.S. Army gave up on getting a replacement for the nearly century old M2 machine-gun, at least not anytime soon. However, many of the current ones were wearing out, so the army began replacing over 80 percent of its 36,600 M2 machine-guns, a process expected to take five years, with new M2s. Numerous efforts to develop a replacement for the M2 have failed so far.
Not bad for a weapon system that is approaching it's 100th birthday. How many things can you think of that were designed in the 1920's that haven't been improved upon since?

[H/T Ace]

ABA Rates 14 of the 185 Obama Judicial Nominees as "Not Qualified"

Volokh has an interesting discussion of the various issues this raises. First, I would probably guess that at least a few of the "not qualified" nominees are requests from Democratic Senators who have certain "pet" nominees.

More interesting than the ABA deal is the debate in the comments about what actually makes a person qualified to be a Federal District Court Judge. Would you prefer a district court judge with trial court litigation experience, or would you rather have a credentialed, tenured law professor who knows more of the substantive theory of the law?

I believe that litigation skills are transferable from one subject matter area to another. A district court judge needs to be able to understand how to run a contested case from the beginning to the end. That covers everything from discovery dispute, summary judgment motions, pre-trial motions, conducting the actual trial, handling post-trial motions, and a whole host of other things.

If you simply plug a “high intellect” transactional lawyer or law professor into the judgeship, you’re going to get a great deal of “on the job” training on the procedural side, and you’re still going to have to deal with them not knowing every area of substantive law. It just doesn’t make sense.

No one can know enough substantive areas of law to make up for neither knowing the basics of litigation skills nor having participated in a trial. If I had to pick a judge, I would take any lawyer who was tried 10 cases to a jury verdict over a tenured law professor any day of the week

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

5 Tips for Getting Upgraded to First Class

The first tip is the most important. Nobody does favors for jerks.

Hateweek (Myth #2)

A 2010 blog article from ESPN's Heather Dinich has been brought to my attention for Myth #2:

Myth #2 "Clemson is a national football powerhouse."
 There seem to be a few Clemson fans out there excited about the idea/speculation of the SEC inviting the Tigers to join their conference, should massive realignment take place across the college football landscape.

Be careful what you wish for.

Clemson has a losing record against every SEC school except for South Carolina. (Well, and Mississippi State, which it's 1-1-1 against). Overall, the Tigers are 112-160-14 against the SEC. Do you still want to line up against Alabama, Auburn and Georgia every year?


Alabama (3-12 remember what happened last time?)
Auburn (11-33)
Florida (3-9)
Georgia (17-41)
Kentucky (5-8, thanks to a Music City Bowl win this year)
LSU (0-2)
Mississippi (0-2)
Mississippi State (1-1-1)
South Carolina (65-38)
Tennessee (6-11)
Vanderbilt (1-3)

Still think it's a good idea?

Hey, don't shoot the messenger, that's Heather's opinion. It just happens to be correct. Just to throw you Clemson fans a bone, below the jump is nice shot of a celebration in Death Valley.

Government Confiscates Tuna

What should this guy have done differently? It seems like he did everything right, and the Government still took the fish away. Doesn't NOAA have anything better to do?

[H/T Uncle]

Restaurant Review (Gervais & Vine)

If you're looking for another Columbia foodie blog, go check out The Hungry Lady. She has a nice review of Gervais & Vine, which is one of Mrs. PP's favorite restaurants.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Protesters to Challenge Haley's 6:00PM Edict

As much as I disagree with the Occupy movement, I do not believe that Haley's decision to have everyone off the Statehouse grounds by 6:00PM is a reasonable time restriction. On the contrary, I believe it is an arbitrary and capricious time. Apparently, some people out there are going to call Haley's bluff.

Why 6:00PM? Why not 6:15PM or 7:00PM? The government needs to show a compelling reason why people should not be on public property after a specific time. Obviously, you can't camp out there, but you should be able to simply be there.

I'll be interested to see how it turns out.
UPDATE: Looks like I was exactly right. Maybe the Governor should have consulted me for legal advice first. Full roundup of the silliness from Mr. Warthen here.

Hateweek (Myth #1)

A friend (we'll just call him "GamecockGodfather") sent me  the following photograph to disprove Myth #1.

Myth #1: “Clemson’s fans don’t leave early. Only USC fans leave early.”
Death Valley (Carolina/Clemson 2010)
We'll do a myth each day this week. Ok, Clemson fans, don't get your feelings hurt. Send me a Carolina myth of your own, and I'll put the best up.

Super Committee Fails

Surprise...surprise....surprise. Did anyone really expect the "Super" Committee to actually come up with a solution? I didn't. The two sides both have equally deep-held beliefs on how to fix the country's economy. The only problem is that the two solutions happen to be diametrically opposed.

One side believes that government spending funded by higher marginal tax rates and management of the economy through regulation will stimulate economic growth. The other side believes that reducing the regulation on businesses and lowering taxes will be an incentive for private growth.

Everyone talks about how our government is "broken" or that it is "dysfunctional". I disagree. The system is working exactly like it is supposed to. The problem is that the viewpoints of the two political parties are so perfectly opposed to each other that there isn't any room for compromise anymore. Any middle ground solution will require each party to give in on what they believe is actually good for the country. Therefore, no compromise.

If history has taught us anything, it is that wars are never permanently resolved through compromise. One side has to entirely destroy the other. Until that happens here (in a metaphorical sense) there won't be any resolution. One side needs to win.

Hateweek (Clemson/Carolina)

The Clemson Tigers take on the South Carolina Gamecocks this Saturday night in Columbia at 7:45PM in a nationally televised match-up. Time to bring the hate. Alshon will bring the TDs

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Change You Aren't Allowed To See

The meeting on Government Transparency is closed to the press. Oh, and don't forget, there's no fighting in the War Room, either.

Friday Happy Hour (Best Bloody Mary Ever)

You know the scene all too well. It's early on Saturday morning, and you partied pretty hard on Friday night. You stayed up late, had a little too much fun, and you're paying for it at 7:00AM.

However, you know that you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning, so it's time for a Bloody Mary. It's just the right combination of juice and alcohol to ease you out of the morning hangover and into the long Saturday of recovery (or more drinking).

Most of the time, I'm making these somewhere besides the kitchen (tailgate, someone else's kitchen, at the beach) I finally decided to go through what I like to put in Bloody Mary's and write it down. Behold: the Best Bloody Mary Ever. You can thank me later.

This makes for a big pitcher, about 8 or so drinks (depending on the size of your serving)

2 1/2 cups vodka (you'll need this)
1 quart of tomato juice (or regular V8; I don't go with the new kinds)
1/4 cup horseradish (NOT horseradish sauce - big difference there, bro)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (that's a hard word to spell)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon regular, red tabasco (or more, depending on your taste)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (stay away from the concentrate)
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh onion

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Put all that in your big pitcher. Mix it up. Pour it into a glass (have some ice already in the glass). Add a stick of whatever kind of garnish you like (celery, pickled okra, olives) with top it with fresh ground black pepper. Enjoy your morning and try to remember what you did last night.

18 Phrases to Avoid in Conversation

What not to say. For example:
Don’t say: “Are you pregnant?” Why: You ask, she’s not, and you feel totally embarrassed for essentially pointing out that she’s overweight. Instead say: “Hello” or “Great to see you” or “You look great.” Anything besides “Are you pregnant?” or “What’s the due date?” will do. Save yourself the humiliation and never ask. 
As a man, when speaking to women about pregnancy, I have a strategy for not saying anything offensive, dumb, or insensitive. I don't talk to women about pregnancy.

CNN Reporter Questions Obama

Objection, Your Honor. He's leading the witness.

This Is How You Sell A Car!

Advertising Genius.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Do You Need to "Tame" Your Southern Accent?

I guess there are some Southerners who are taunted by non-Southerners, and that makes them want to try and eliminate what they perceive to be a flaw. I guess I'm just more self-confident (or maybe I don't venture out of Columbia much) but I wouldn't try to change my accent for anything. Being Southern means that we are warm, welcoming, and our accents reflect that.

If your Yankee boss doesn't like it, then you can impress him with your actual skill and knowledge. Also, if you're a Southerner in an office full of non-Southerners, they're probably jealous that your accent makes you unique.

Don't let the bastards get you down.

Investment Banker Quits Job; Starts Making Knives

Two years ago, Greenville, SC native Chris Williams traded thirteen years as an investment banker for a small shop, a grinding wheel, and a fresh lease on life. Now he makes knives. Really nice knives. Talk about living the Permanent Press lifestyle...

Feel free to put that in my stocking for Christmas.
[HT: G&G]

SC Teacher Reprimanded for Receiving Foot Rubs From Students

Apparently, a Batesburg-Leesville teacher has been getting foot rubs from some of her students. Some people are saying this is serious, and some people are saying it is harmless. My opinion can be be summarized as follows: [Caution, mature language.]

Financial Wisdom from Captain Obvious

Pearls of Wisdom: Spending money you don't have to buy crap you don't need is a "flawed business model". John Madden has nothing on this guy.

Occupy Columbia: Normalcy Returns

Brad Warthen has a good, yet somewhat sympathetic, run-down of the six nineteen Occupy protesters in Columbia, SC being removed (via arrest) from the Statehouse grounds.

As I've been saying for awhile now, the Occupy movement should never have been allowed to "camp out" in public places using free speech as a stalking-horse. It's well-settled constitutional law that our First Amendment rights are subject to reasonable, content-neutral, time, place, and manner restrictions.

Obviously, the outbreak of Tuberculosis, lice, ringworm, Parvo (in the pets), scabbies, and all sorts of other horrible and gross things is evidence that these restrictions are in the public's best interest.

Protesting is fine, but you can't live on the Statehouse grounds to make a political point.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Co-Sleeping With Your Baby

The Milwaukee Health Department runs an ad that says sleeping with your baby is like sleeping with a knife. Overdoing it a little?

This is clearly based on anecdotal evidence, but you can base anything on anecdotal evidence. I'm sure the Milwaukee Health Department has all their other problems solved, so they've moved on to the real problems of moms who sleep with their babies.

[Hat Tip: Mrs. Permanent Press]

This Just In: Hawaii Is Now Part of Asia

Not so fast, my friend.

Five Tips for A Successful Range Trip

Via When the Balloon Goes Up. It's pretty good.

I certainly don't log all my range trips, and I could probably have more of a "plan" for each trip. I think these tips would also be good for a golfer going to the the driving range who is looking to get more out of it than just mindlessly hitting balls.

C-SPAN Requests Televised Obamacare Oral Arguments

The head of CSPAN sent a letter to C.J. Roberts asking for the Court to break with long-standing tradition and allow cameras in for the oral arguments which are scheduled for five and a half hours.

I can see the arguments on both sides of this issue. On one hand, it's an important case that will affect every single person in America in addition to having large political implications. On the other hand, it's impossible to bring cameras into a courtroom and not have soundbites put up that are not representative of the entire process. Both sides would be guilty of trying to "spin" the oral arguments, try to analyze each Justices' demeanor, body language, and so on. I think that would somewhat demean the process. Even if no cameras are allowed, SCOTUS always puts up an audio transcript of oral arguments a week or so afterwards.

If I were the Chief Justice, and I had to come down on this issue, I would continue with the tradition of not allowing cameras in. What say you? On an interesting note, I saw a documentary on the Supreme Court a few months ago, and I was amazed at how close the Justices are to the lawyers when they argue.

[HT Insty]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Bumper Sticker that Sums up Legal Insurrection

One of my favorite sites is Legal Insurrection. If you haven't been there before, this sums the blog up nicely.

The Fountain in Five Points is Blue; Any Idea Why?

I took this photograph around 2:00PM today while running some errands. Any idea why the fountain is blue? The only thing I could think of was that we were pulling for Kentucky to pull a miracle upset of Georgia this weekend. Anyone else have any ideas?

If You Can't Take the Heat, Stay Out of the Kitchen

In the last year, Columbia restaurants have seen competition from food-trucks. To be specific, there are currently four (4) licensed food-trucks serving the Columbia area: Pawley's; Bone-In; 2-Fat-2-Fly; and Alfreso Mobilista.

You would think that four little ol' food trucks wouldn't really cause too much concern to the established "brick and mortar" restaurants since the Columbia metropolitan area is a pretty well-populated place. Not so fast my friend.

I have previously documented the City of Columbia's attempt to regulate the food trucks at the behest of the Columbia restaurants. Now, the Columbia Restaurant Association is lobbying the City of Columbia to push even tougher regulations on food trucks.
The association for Columbia’s brick-and-mortar restaurants is asking City Council to place more restrictions on mobile food trucks that are becoming increasingly popular around the city.
Food trucks should remain half a block from stationary restaurants — 200 feet to be exact — and about four blocks (1,500 feet) from a restaurant that serves the same kinds of meals as food truck vendors, the Columbia Restaurant Association recommended in a Nov. 2 email to council members.
Further, the association wants food trucks to meet fire safety standards and other permits that immobile restaurants must meet.
This is a microcosm of the crony-capitalism we see at the Federal level. Columbia restaurants are trying to use the power of government, under the guise of "regulation" to construct barriers and increase costs to competitors in the marketplace. Rather than simply compete with the food-trucks on a level playing field, the restaurants are trying to use their lobbying power to drive their competitors out of business.

Also, the City Council doesn't need to be wasting time on restaurants vs. food-trucks unless they have every other more important issue already squared away. On the list of priorities for the City Council, regulating food trucks should be about #5,482,389. We have much more serious problems than whether the Bone-In BBQ food truck sets up "too close" to Harper's.

The restaurants don't want the market entirely free - they want assistance from the local government to help them. You know what: Fend for yourselves, you babies. Don't come in and ask the local government run your competitors off and have my tax dollars pay for the enforcement, because that's what they want to happen.

It is time for a substantial part of the government (at every level) to start saying: "Hey, it's not my job to do this." The problem is human nature intervenes and politicians at every level love grabbing more and more power over every aspect of daily life. Whenever you ask them to, they're usually happy to oblige.

I love restaurants in buildings, but that's not the point here. It's not the job of the Columbia City Council to take on the job of where food trucks can and cannot be. Everyone comes to the government with their hands out looking for a favor. Whether it is for subsidies, regulations on competitors, or whatever, it needs to stop.

Fend for yourselves, Columbia restaurants.

Monday, November 14, 2011

22 Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin

Pretty cool.

The first-aid kit, pocket games chest and the survival kit are my top three.
[Via Uncle]

I'm In the Wrong Line of Work: Two Guys Hit the NC BBQ Trail

If you're one of those unfortunate souls who are frustrated with their work, maybe you shouldn't read any further. These two guys have it all figured out.
The two are traveling the entire state of North Carolina aboard the “The Barbecue Bus,” an eco-friendly RV, and plan to hit the state’s major cities like Lexington, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, but also have smaller towns — Ayden, Hookerton, and Jason — on their food trail. Part of their research will be to capture the in-state rivalry between Lexington-style barbecue and the Eastern-style barbecue.

In addition to scouring barbecue eateries, they plan to explore the state’s non-barbecue restaurant scene, farmers markets and microbreweries. The pair is asking Barbecue Bus followers to tweet them with suggested stops along the trail.
It's a tough job, but someone has to eat all that BBQ and write about it on a blog. The folks in North Carolina may be lacking in many things, but one thing they know plenty about BBQ. I love the vinegar-based sauce they do.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Kind of Recycling: Armored Cars

Right here in SC: Regular cars are modified into armored ones.
While the federal government buys most of the armor-plated vehicles, ranging in cost from $110,000 to $180,000, the Sprinter van on the factory floor will go to the city of Charleston for its SWAT team, he said.
Also, a Bentley waits in the showroom to be armored as one of the company's new prototype vehicles. 
"We can do all sorts of vehicles," Welborn said.
It sounds like this is a labor-intensive manufacturing job that is so highly coveted. It also sounds like South Carolina is doing well and isn't such a bad place to build things. Shhhh! Don't tell the NLRB about this!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Spurrier vs. Muschamp

From Inside the Chart: Florida coach, Will Muschamp said this about his experience trying to walk-on at UF: "I went to see Coach Spurrier, but he wasn't there for his appointment. I think he was 2-under."
Spurrier (in response) told Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun, "You tell Will we never had appointments for walk-ons, and I haven't been 2-under for a long time."

Zing! Gotta love the HBC.

Veterans Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Here's a good video of The Old Guard at Arlington.

Thanks to Instapundit.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

US Government Delays Approval of Pipeline from Canada

Voting "Present" because he's worried about upsetting the environmentalists. How can you support a party that constantly tells you: Your job [building this pipeline] is not as important as a minnow.

You remember that person who does all the MSNBC ads talking about how we don't do "big things" anymore? They are unavailable for comment.

[HT Ace]

Joe Paterno Fired; CNN asks the Tough Questions

Paterno is out immediately, not at the end of the season. This is a move that had to be made. Many things are more important than college football - failure to report sexual abuse is one of them. If you disagree, then your priorities are all out of whack.

Kudos to CNN for getting the most knowledgeable reporters on the story to ask the tough questions that everyone wants answers to:

Bless her heart.
[HT: EDSBS for the video link]

Happy Birthday USMC

A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.

The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Christmas Tree Tax is Here UPDATE: Tax Delayed

President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.
What in the world is going on here? This is insane. I haven't seen any polling on this, but my guess is that Christmas Trees have a higher favorability rating than the Federal government. Christmas Trees don't need a marketing campaign - their image is fine. Also, a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas Trees is a prime example of things our government does not need to do.

Stop. The. Insanity.

UPDATE: The tax is now being delayed. (Because they realized how much people hated it.) The government will either try to re-implement it after time passes, or they'll just let it die.

[H/T: Insty]

Mrs. South Carolina is from Lexington County

I didn't even know there was such a thing as Mrs. South Carolina. In any event, congrats to her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DC Court of Appeals Upholds Obamacare

Yet another ruling. Eventually, the Supremes (Kennedy, really) needs to come down on this issue and be the law-giver, but the wheels of justice are slow.

If the Constitution does not prevent Congress from mandating that everyone buy health insurance to solve the national problem of health care, then I'm hoping we get a law requiring everyone to own (and carry) a semiautomatic sidearm to solve the national problem of crime. Who's with me?

Is Missouri Southern Enough to be a Member of the SEC? (Tips for New SEC Fans)

If you've been following college football's conference realignment shake-up at all, you may have noticed that the University of Missouri has left the Big 12 to join the SEC. (Side note: The Big 12 is laughable, but I digress.) This move was made because the SEC had just recently added Texas A&M University as the thirteenth team, and an odd number of teams presented a scheduling nightmare. Now the SEC stands at 14 teams and scheduling becomes easier. However, a question: Is Missouri a "Southern" school?

Savory Reviews

New addition to the Required Reading section. If you're looking for good recipes, good drinks, and tips for smoking a turkey, you could do much worse. Cheers!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Assistant AG Breuer Knows What's Best for You

Assistant AG Lanny Breuer said this to Congress to justify more controls and regulation of guns:
“Very few hunters in the United States or sports people and law-abiding people really need to have semiautomatic weapons or long guns.”
Bless his little heart, but he's a moron. First, it makes me question if he even understands what "semiautomatic" means. What about revolvers? Is he cool with them? What if they're single-action? Is AG Breuer saying I really can't have a sidearm designed in prior to the outbreak of WWI?

Does AG Breuer even know anything about guns, or is he just using the word "semiautomatic" because it sounds like "automatic" if you mumble? Second, and more importantly, who is he to say whether or not I need a one or not? You know what? I don't think he needs a car. He should walk to work. You know...because cars are really dangerous. We don't even have an amendment protecting cars. Get those damn death machines off the road now.

And what the heck does need have to do with it? I don't need a whole bunch of things other than food, water, and shelter. I don't need this nice little MacBook Air that I'm blogging on, my lawnmower, or a grill in my backyard. Yet, I am allowed to have these, and I could probably kill you will all of them.

Third, and most importantly, the Constitution doesn't say "only arms for sporting and hunting purposes are protected." Maybe Assistant AG Breuer should should pick up a copy of a Con Law hornbook and do some reading. He's entitled to his opinion, but his opinion is irrelevant as far as the law is concerned. 

I'm constantly amazed at how many people try to take something that is their own private opinion and turn it into policy because they think they know best.

#OccupyFail and The Boy Scouts

At first, I was disdainful of the Occupy protesters and mocked them. Now, I'm starting to pity them. Their little protest (once cute) is now turned into a horror show. A reporter from the NY Post spends a night in Zucotti Park and finds a scary scene.
“It’s done,” he repeats. “Occupy Wall Street is no longer a protest.” Scenes like this -- and far worse -- have been playing out since the Zuccotti Park “occupation” began on Sept. 17.

The parcel is now a sliver of madness, rife with sex attacks, robberies and vigilante justice.
It’s a leaderless bazaar that’s been divided into state-like camps -- with tents packed together so densely that the only way to add more would be to stack them.

And despite an NYPD watchtower overhead and the entire north side of Zuccotti lined with police vehicles, it is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous places in New York City.
Read the whole thing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember Munich in 1938?

Appeasement always ends poorly.

How is this going to end? At this rate, I would have to say "Not well".

Today in History (Flux Capacitor)

Doc Brown invented time travel. Just remember to bring extra plutonium with you for the trip back.

Dippin' Dots Files for Bankruptcy Protection

So, the "ice cream of the future" is bankrupt. The economy is so bad that even the companies in the future are going bankrupt in the present.
I guess it's back to regular ice cream.

Going Back to Work From Maternity Leave

Mostly common sense, but it's always good to think about these things.

Mrs. PP is on maternity leave now, and her law firm is definitely going to want her back for both her work product and her law league softball skills.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Range Time (Little Sister)

I took my little sister (a senior at USC) to the range today. She did pretty well with my FN Hi-Power under my coaching. This was after about an hour at the range:

So anyway, if you didn't already need me to tell you: Don't mess with my little sister.

Madison, WI Bar Owners Told to Stop Checking Everyone's ID

If you keep checking everyone's ID, we're going to pull your liquor license. Maybe I'm the crazy one here, but it's it pretty much....a legal requirement.....that you check people's IDs when they enter a bar?

Note to self: Cancel plans to open a bar in Madison, WI.

[H/T Althouse]

Standard Time Retuns

I really dislike "standard time" because it's dark when I go to work and it's dark when I come home. Talk about depressing. In any event, don't forget to set your clocks to "fall back".

I'm definitely on #TeamDST.

Jeopardy Fail

Admit it, you were probably thinking the same thing.

Nikki Haley Calls for SC DOT Overhaul

Haley says the DOT's governing commission is "wheeling and dealing," rather than prioritizing the limited cash the state has for construction and maintenance. Maybe they are, and maybe they aren't, but it did seem a little strange that they ran out of money this summer. Haley's criticism?
Haley said now is the time for the Legislature to build on a 2007 overhaul of the agency that shifted partial control to the governor's office. Haley said she can only do so much to change the agency's internal management and continuing money problems. "We don't need a political body handling infrastructure," Haley said.

Haley said the difference between the commission and the governor's office having control is that she will take a statewide approach to managing highway dollars with an eye toward economic development.
So let's see....Haley says the seven member committee at the DOT is too "political" and is "wheeling and dealing", but she want the Governor's office to have the control because she would do it "with an eye toward economic development". Maybe. But isn't the Governor's office even more political than a seven member committee? You know, the Governor the political process. It's pretty much the definition of "political".

Maybe the committee isn't doing a great job, but to say they need to give the Governor all the power to take politics out of the equation doesn't compute. In any event, I'm pretty happy with the roads here in SC. Nothing has collapsed (that I know of) and I can pretty much drive to everywhere I need to get to. So, there you go. It's not totally a broken system in my opinion.

Cars from 1990; looking dated...

How many of these old cars still look up-to-date? It's pretty amazing to see the one at the end, because it still looks good. Here's my first car:

What was your first car?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Religion and Politics

It really doesn't mix.

Congress votes to affirm "In God We Trust" on all our coins and such. Ok, great. Thanks for addressing serious issues Congress. [Congress looks distracted].

The President criticizes: “That’s not putting people back to work,” Obama said. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people to work.”

Ok, now the President looks silly, because he's implying that God wants us to pass his jobs bill. Congress should stop wasting time, and our President should ignore the silly things, not jump all over them.

E.J. Dionne and SC Politics

Brad Warthen has a nice couple of posts on E.J. Dionne coming to Columbia and SC Politics. I don't agree with Brad on everything, but someone who drinks Yuengling is ok with me.

Check out Brad's blog if this blog is too right-wing. Brad's more of a "middle of the road" guy, whereas I'm just to the right know.

The US Navy's Railgun

It's pretty cool. I'm hoping it will be available in stores before the Christmas rush.
[H/T to Ace's sidebar, home of interesting stuff]

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The NY Times on Southern Manners: Bless Their Heart.

A PP reader brings a New York Times article to my attention. It is titled: "Southern Manners on Decline, Some Say". Since the New York Times always has their finger on the pulse of the South, I was keenly interested to be educated on the cultural decline of my native South. First, I was very impressed with the article's title. Whenever some people say something, I'm all ears because it's always spot-on. You know how accurate, expert, and reliable some people are.

The article then opens with an anecdote about two men in a fancy restaurant in Atlanta who are seated at the full bar and refuse to give up their seats to two women standing behind them.
One August night, two men walked into a popular restaurant attached to this city’s fanciest shopping mall. They sat at the bar, ordered drinks and pondered the menu. Two women stood behind them.
A bartender asked if they would mind offering their seats to the ladies. Yes, they would mind. Very much. Angry words came next, then a federal court date and a claim for more than $3 million in damages.
Ok. First, $3 million in damages? Please. Is your ego that big? In any event, we have a situation where two men don't yield their seats to two ladies in a restaurant. Is that a federal cause of action now? If so, I'm going to have to re-focus my civil practice and make a fortune. Let's see what happens next...
The men, a former professional basketball player and a lawyer, also happen to be black. The women are white. The men’s lawyers argued that the Tavern at Phipps used a policy wrapped in chivalry as a cloak for discriminatory racial practices. After a week’s worth of testimony in September, a jury decided in favor of the bar.
Oh right! I totally forgot! Everything that happens in the South is because we're all racist! Silly me. And I bet the all-white jury of men decided against the black men. Darn racists! But that the point of the article? If so, why isn't the title of the article something like "Racism in Atlanta Bars and Federal Courts!". What does this have to do with "Southern Manners"? The jury enforced the idea of giving up your seat to a lady, so doesn't that mean that Southern Manners are alive and well? Were the two men even from the South? The article doesn't say. Wouldn't that be the whole point? Maybe the idea of painting the South as racist was just so natural for the NY Times. Just like an old horse going to the barn; it knows the way.

So, what else is in this insightful article to conclusively demonstrate that Southern Manners are on the decline? As Jerry Seinfeld would say, "Who are these people?"
“Manners are one of many things that are central to a Southerner’s identity, but they are not primary anymore. Things have eroded,” said Charles Reagan Wilson, a professor of history and Southern culture at the University of Mississippi.
Aha! An expert. A professor, no less, informs us that "Things have eroded". I'm sure the next sentence is the results of his scholarly study, or something with....oh yeah, evidence supporting his allegation that "things have eroded". Ok, I'm ready. Amaze me with your evidence.
To be sure, strict rules regarding courtesy and deference to others have historically been used as a way to enforce a social order in which women and blacks were considered less than full citizens. In the Jim Crow era, blacks and whites lived with a code of hyper-politeness as a way to smooth the edges of a harsh racial system and, of course, keep it in place, scholars of Southern culture say.
Oh wait, never mind. We're back to racism. It's like playing Chutes and Ladders. You take a few steps forward, and then you go back to the racism area. So, manners are the veneer to cover racism. That's the point they're making and they're happy that manners are in decline, because that means that racism is in decline, right? Or does it just mean that people are being overtly racist? I'm confused.
As those issues faded, proper manners remained an important cultural marker that Southerners have worked to maintain. Since the Civil War, any decline in Southern civility has largely been blamed on those damn Yankees.
Newcomers still get much of the blame. In the past decade, the South has seen an unprecedented influx of immigrants from other states and countries. The population in the South grew by 14.3 percent from 2000 to 2010, making it the fastest-growing region in the country.
So "some people" are saying that it's not Southerners who are simply letting manners fall by the wayside, but it's other people (Yankees and newcomers) who don't share the same values coming in and watering down the existing values? Why would they come to such a racist region? I can't imagine.

I know what you're thinking, dear reader. What about the children?
Dana Mason, who teaches second grade in Birmingham, says manners have been at the lowest level she has seen in her 36 years in the classroom. Parents who move South tell her they don’t want their children to learn to say “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am.” Too demeaning, they say.
Right, it's totally demeaning to show respect for your elders. Who needs that? Also, notice that it's "parents who move South" requesting that their children just say "Yeah" or "Nah". when asked a question from an adult. My position on this can best be summarized by Bocephus:

Also, you don't see Southerners moving to Buffalo and demanding that the tea be sweetened. Seriously, if you're going to move somewhere, getting used to the cultural differences is baked into the cake.
Manners also helped create the South’s famous “bless your heart” culture — a powerful way of seeming to be polite without being genuine.
“Manners are often a way of distancing and maintaining space,” said William Ferris, a University of North Carolina folklorist who edited the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture with Professor Wilson. “If someone is polite, you better be careful and consider what that politeness veils.”
Oh, now I get it. If someone is polite to you, they secretly hate you. Another professor nails it. Manners are bad because people can be nice on the outside, but they really are being mean. It would be much better if we were all just overtly mean to each other. That would be so much more authentic. Who needs all that fake niceness anyway? Children should just be authentically disrespectful to adult strangers if they feel like it. That would be so much better.
“As a whole, we are now more willing to say what we think,” she said. “And that is a good thing for the South.” 
I guess we can throw out: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." That rule was probably originated by some racist white guy anyway. We should all teach our children: Say what is on your mind, even if you want to tell someone how much you hate their outfit. Our society will be better off with this free exchange of opinions.

Way to go New York Times. Since I'm sure you're all on board with this new era of saying what we think to each other: Here's my opinion of your article: [below the jump]

Actual Headline: "Crooks board train, make off with $200 dollars worth of pigs' feet"

Porcine pirates. Is nothing sacred?

[H/T rdbrewer at Ace's Sidebar]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Being Unemployed is Better Than Being Non-Union

According to Nancy Pelosi, she would rather see the Boeing plant in Charleston shut down rather than be a non-union employer. Clearly, she has never been unemployed.
In an interview late last week, House Minority Leaeder [sic] Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNBC that Boeing should either unionize its production facilities in South Carolina, or shut them down entirely.
“Do you think it’s right that Boeing has to close down that plant in South Carolina because it’s non union?” asked host Maria Bartiromo. Pelosi’s reply: “Yes.”
The minority leader quickly added that she would rather it simply unionize and stay open. But barring unionization, by Pelosi’s reasoning, it should simply shut down.
This is nonsense. Does Pelosi even listen to herself? Would you rather work for Boeing or be unemployed? Hmmm....tough question. Oh wait, I would rather have a job. Also, maybe someone should tell her that the workers themselves voted to be non-union. The. Workers. Don't. Want. A. Union.

So let's add up the math here: The company decides to relocate to South Carolina because (in part) of our employment laws. Check. The workers themselves don't want to be in a union. Check. But the plant should now close down if it's not unionized? Plenty of non-union manufacturing jobs have high pay, great benefits, and happy employees. I know that Pelosi's core constituency is comprised of union folks, but at some point she needs to tell her California constituents that other people (way across the country in South Carolina) can do what they want.

[H/T Drew at Ace's Site]

Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright Tells It Like It Is

A 46 year-old man (Walter Lance) is is police custody after an attempted rape. He attacked a woman walking her dog on Sunday afternoon in a park in Spartanburg, SC.
At Lance’s bond hearing on Monday, 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette said the victim was walking her dog when Lance approached her and petted the dog to be sure it was friendly. Then he grabbed the woman and dragged her into the woods...Lance choked the woman from behind, forced her to strip off her clothing and then attempted to rape her.
First, this could happen to anyone. Walking your dog in a park at 2:30PM on a Sunday shouldn't be a high risk activity. This is a prime example of the police simply not being able to be omnipresent. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens all too often. Apparently, it has come to the point where the Spartanburg County Sheriff is issuing a call to arms (video at link).
Wright said Lance had been charged numerous times with crimes against women, and other crimes such as resisting arrest and escape. Wright said Lance had been on probation for a federal gun charge. 
He referred to Lance repeatedly as an "animal," and expressed his disgust about Lance's long record and the attack. 
Wright said Lance has had more than 20 charges dating back to 1983.
During his press conference Wright expressed his disgust with the current justice system that allows criminals to re-enter society to commit more crimes like this. Multiple times, Wright said that private citizens need to get a concealed weapons permit. "Carry a concealed weapon. That will fix it." I agree; carrying around a sidearm is much easier than carrying around a sheriff's deputy everywhere.

If you like to think of yourself as a responsible person, ask yourself this: Am I responsible for my own protection? Getting a restraining order and a cell phone doesn't stop people (and I use that term loosely) like Lance. The only thing that is going to stop him is a few rounds in his center mass. I know that it may be unlikely for you to need a concealed weapon, but the bad guys only need to be lucky once. You have to be lucky every time.

Permanent Press applauds a law enforcement officer who will tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.  It sure isn't politically correct, but it's common sense. Having said all that, if you do decide to carry, it's also a big responsibility. Don't do so on a whim. Practice, train, and be smart.

Update: Welcome, readers from Legal Insurrection!

Notre Dame Message Board Opinion Chart

Submitted without comment. You know who you are.