Monday, June 30, 2014

Is The US Military Insulting Native Americans?

If you're easily offended (or stupid) you'll probably be upset to learn the name of this helicopter.
Seriously, you guys. Not from the Onion.
Identifying our powerful weapons and victorious campaigns with those we subjugated serves to lighten the burden of our guilt. It confuses violation with a fair fight.

It is worse than denial; it is propaganda. The message carried by the word Apache emblazoned on one of history’s great fighting machines is that the Americans overcame an opponent so powerful and true that we are proud to adopt its name. They tested our mettle, and we proved stronger, so don’t mess with us. In whatever measure it is tribute to the dead, it is in greater measure a boost to our national sense of superiority. And this message of superiority is shared not just with U.S. citizens but with those of the 14 nations whose governments buy the Apache helicopters we sell. It is shared, too, with those who hear the whir of an Apache overhead or find its guns trained on them. Noam Chomsky has clarified the moral stakes in provocative, instructive terms: “We might react differently if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes ‘Jew’ and ‘Gypsy.’
So let me get this straight: Even though no one is offended by the "Apache" helicopter, it's still offensive? Is this like the tree falling in the woods thing?

What's more, I always thought these names were compliments to tribes that have been traditionally recognized for their military prowess. Every time I think that I haven't seen the stupidest politically correct idea, you crazy kids out there in "I'm Offended Land" always manage to outdo yourselves.

It's going to be hard to top the weapons-grade-stupid that Mr. Simon Waxman has unleashed with this piece.

How Well Do You Know Your Southern BBQ?

I got 7 out of 10.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Friday - Open Thread

Gentlemen, start your engines.


Enjoy your weekend.

$4.4 Billion Just Isn't Enough Money, You Guys

A review of IRS spending by the Free Beacon shows the agency has spent a massive amount on what it labeled as IT/software and data processing contracts in the past five fiscal years. The official government’s spending website shows the IRS spent $4.4 billion during this time period.
You can't really expect the IRS to run an IT system that preserves e-mails on that kind of shoestring budget, can you?

IRS delenda est.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Does Your Toddler Hate Itchy Clothing and Recoil from Loud Noises?

Why is everything a "disorder" these days?
For most toddlers, tantrums and clumsiness are just a part of life, something they grow out of. Yet a burgeoning number of parents, like Pamela Trigg, are reporting that their children exhibit baffling, intense behaviors. Some overreact, recoiling from loud noises or refusing to wear itchy clothes. Others underreact, showing little reaction to pain or crashing their bodies into walls.
Wait, what? First of all, no one that I know of (adult or child) likes to wear "itchy clothes". So let's just make sure we're not confused here. There's no such thing as "itchy clothes disorder". That's called wanting to be comfortable. And "recoiling from loud noises" is a symptom as well? Are you serious? If you find that baffling, like this "burgeoning number of parents" do, you may need to consult a therapist - for yourself.

Apparently, I've been suffering from "itchy clothing disorder" AND "loud noise aversion disorder" all my life.

Sure, sometimes kids just overreact to stuff, and sometimes they're pushing limits. However, under this theory of "sensory processing disorder" there is a whole new world of stuff opening up.
Parents can invest in “sensory-friendly” products and attire, from weighted vests to chewable jewelry. They can fit their homes with sensory gyms (some parents have launched crowdfundingcampaigns for home therapy equipment). They can send their children to schools that cater to students’ sensory intolerances and allow them to move around, take breaks and wear headphones. Public libraries host sensory storytimes, theaters stage quiet performances with modified lighting, museums conduct out-of-hours tours with cool-down rooms. Even hair salons are beginning to offer “sensory friendly” cuts.
Sensory friendly attire? Is that like the t-shirts that don't have the little tags in the back? Weighted vests? Are you kidding me? I would never put a weighted vest on a toddler. That sounds ridiculous, and it's probably not super-safe.

But quiet rooms actually sound nice. Maybe we could all benefit from some quiet rooms from time to time. I don't mean to discount actual disorders, but I think we're getting a little far afield here...

(via Althouse)

#BringBackOurGDP

Am I the only person slightly concerned about this whole economy contracting by 2.9% in the first quarter of 2014?

It's not all "weather related". The weather doesn't drop your GDP by 2.9%. Or as Reuters puts it:
While the economy's woes have been largely blamed on an unusually cold winter, the magnitude of the revision suggests other factors at play beyond the weather.
No kidding? The weather isn't entirely to blame? I think we need to deploy a hashtag. Remember #BringBackOurGirls?. If we have another quarter of negative GDP, that's a recession.

Yeah, I think it's time for #BringBackOurGDP.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Trey Gowdy Does His Thing - IRS Scandal Gets Worse

This Trey Gowdy fellow...he's going places. I can tell you that I've seen lots of lawyers do cross-examination, and he's pretty good at it. But this is just devastating for the legitimacy of the IRS.

This entire IRS deal is getting worse and worse. The IRS is pretty much entirely devoted to record keeping. That's what they do. They keep records, and sort through taxpayers records. With this scandal, they've basically admitted that they're negligent record keepers at best, and intentional attack dogs of a political party at worst.

 

And this Koskinen guy is so arrogant. He's not sorry for anything. You know, when the head of a private company comes before Congress in connection with a big screw up, they're pretty contrite. Remember the GM CEO?

This guy is basically saying, Yeah, we don't have the records, or maybe we'll get around to it, but no big deal. We didn't do anything wrong anyway - just take my word for it, ok?

It's clear he doesn't give a damn about "Congressional oversight".

And on the issue of the "our hard drive crashed" excuse - let's just assume (for chuckles) that it's true. Ok, if someone's hard drive crashes, what's the first thing you do? Obviously, you make an attempt to retrieve the "lost" emails from the hard drive using IT expert before you destroy the freaking hard drive.

If no attempts were made to recover the information before the drive was physically destroyed, then intentional, and people like Lying Lois Lerner need to be charged with a crime.

Orange. Freaking. Jumpsuits.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Poland Has Lost That Lovin' Feeling


Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski says the country's strong alliance with the U.S. "isn't worth anything" and is "even harmful because it creates a false sense of security."

Didn't the Polish used to be some of our stanchest allies? Apparently, they've lost that lovin' feeling.

I'm pretty sure that President Obama promised to "restore out standing in the world" or something like that. So what's up with getting dissed by the Polish Foreign Minister? I guess stiffing them on the ABM deal and botching the Ukraine thing hasn't helped.

Does this mean the Polish tell jokes about us now? Because that's not acceptable.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Morning Good News Only Headlines

Happy Friday.

Medal of Honor recipient, Corporal Kyle Carpenter
Since it's Friday, here are some of the positive and uplifting headlines I'm seeing this morning. (I'm not going into all the negative stuff.)

1. Lexington, South Carolina's own Kyle Carpenter received the Medal of Honor yesterday. He intentionally threw himself on a grenade to save his buddies. You can see the official citation here.

2. Gun manufacturer thriving since moving to SC from CT, and will be issuing a commemorative SC rifle to say "thank you" to South Carolina.

3. 1964 Jaguar E-Type found in pristine condition in "nearly pristine condition" in a barn.

4. Oh, and Kate Upton has apparently made a cameo in a country music video. In case you're into country music...or whatever.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How Do You Correctly Pronounce "Certiorari"?

Yet another sign of a divided U.S. Supreme Court: The justices cannot even agree on how to pronounce the word “certiorari.”

A new and somewhat whimsical research article reveals that justices are “profoundly divided” into at least six camps on the proper way to say that Latin word.

“There was only one point of unanimous agreement,” legal scholar James Duane wrote in the latest edition of The Green Bag legal journal. "They all pronounce the beginning of the word “ser,” presumably because of its obvious resemblance to certain."
I'd be interested to see how the South Carolina Supreme Court Justices come down on pronouncing it. I think we would certainly say it a little more slowly and maybe let the ARRR sound lengthen out a little bit, softening and rounding out the word.

Sounds like a good research project for a law clerk.

Confessions of an Englishman: I hate American soccer fans

Over the years, I've been angered, saddened and ashamed by these things. But through it all, my love for soccer remained undimmed.

But lately, I've discovered there's a new scourge on my beloved game that I simply cannot tolerate: Americans.
He doesn't really need to worry, though. As soon as the World Cup is over, 99% of all the Americans watching soccer will go back to not watching it. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

IRS: We've "lost" more of the e-mails that you've asked us about. Totes Sorry!


If you didn't already know, the IRS has stated that they "lost" about two years worth of Lois Lerner's e-mails that the House of Representatives had subpoenaed. Because her computer "crashed".

Oops. We all make mistakes!

I mean, it's impossible that any sort of backup or retrieval could happen. I mean, computers are just magical things that no one really understands. Sometimes bad stuff just happens, right? I know, it's convenient that it just so happens these were e-mails that would possibly prove a criminal conspiracy, but I guess anything's possible, right?

Well, it just so happens that the IRS has now claimed that six more employees who were the target of a Congressional inquiry have all lost their e-mail as well - all in computer crashes. Essentially, they've lost another submarine.

This is simply not plausible. It's not plausible that seven different people, who all happened to be under investigation, all lost their e-mail in the same way, and there's no way to retrieve the e-mails.

We lawyers have a word for this. When you destroy or lose evidence in a civil case, it's called "spoliation". If you lose or destroy evidence, the trial court takes a negative inference against you, and then you lose the darn case. In my practice, I've had trial courts hold opposing parties accountable for destroyed digital information by taking a negative inference against them.

But the IRS is claiming that all this just accidentally happened. They're not criminal; they're just incompetent.

They ought to subpoena every single IT administrator at the IRS and question them under oath.




Jesse Jackson's Group Is Going to Sue Greenville, SC

Apparently, having local city-wide, non-partisan elections is racist, or something.

Aren't Columbia's city elections non-partisan? Are we gonna get sued?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thoughts on the Disaster That We Call Iraq

Happy Friday.

After work tonight I'm going to Conquest Brewing to sample some beer and some local BBQ from Yellow Dog BBQ. I'll have a review/recap of that over at Fig this weekend. By the way, the folks at Fig have been really nice to me, and they have a great little thing going. If you're a Columbia person, consider checking out Fig every once in awhile...but I digress. My (mostly depressing) thoughts on Iraq are below the jump.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ten Year Anniversary

I don't normally put personal stuff up on the blog here, but my ten year anniversary is special.

Ten years ago, I married a girl after realizing that she's better looking that me, smarter than me, and nicer than me. So far, she hasn't realized how much of a great bargain I got. Shhh, don't tell her.

I'm looking forward to the next ten years and sharing our lives together. She's my best friend, the love of my life, and I can't imagine where I'd be without her.

Happy anniversary, Mary!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

12 Gauge vs. Watermelons



No reason. Blowing up stuff amuses me, 'cause I'm a guy.


Ramius Killed Political Officer Putin Last Night in VA-7

Over on Facebook where I'm a newbie, Brad referred to Eric Cantor as the one time "zampolit" who kept Boehner in line, and how it was somehow fitting that Cantor would lose to a Tea Party challenger.

When I read the word zampolit, the first thing I thought of was of Political Officer Putin, who was similarly taken by a rouge agent, who then changed the standard orders.

The Tea Party is burning the orders from Moscow.
I think my attempt at humor works quite poetically, as Ramius killed Putin, and then covers it up by claiming he slipped on some....tea.

Watch out for that tea, Eric.

Everything always comes back to The Hunt For Red October.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

SC GOP Primary Is Boring AND ERIC CANTOR LOSES??

Eric Cantor, please call your office.
It looks like Lindsey Graham will remain our Senator. There were some good challengers, and there were some not so good challengers. Hopefully, we can send Senator Graham back to Washington with a sense of renewed purpose.


This is a pretty big deal, y'all. I think this probably means that any big legislation on immigration is dead. I don't see any politicians sticking their head in the noose after they just saw what happened to Cantor tonight.

How does the saying go, some times you have to hang a few generals so that something something?

Obama Refuses to Apologize for Bergdahl Trade Because It Was Totally Hagel's Decision

The White House has solved it: Apparently, the SecDef did it, in the Situation Room, with the candlestick.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel – not President Obama – executed the administration’s final call to proceed with the prisoner exchange of five ranking Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, administration officials told Congress today in a classified briefing today.

“They indicated [it was] Secretary Hagel [who made the final call],” House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-California, told reporters following the briefing Monday evening. “It was the president of the United States that came out [in the Rose Garden] with the Bergdahls and took all the credit and now that there’s been a little pushback he’s moving away from it and it’s Secretary Hagel?”
Oh really? That's so strange. The guy in the Rose Garden kept saying that he did it, and that he made no apologies. I guess that's because Obama meant that any apologies should be made by Hagel. Darn that Secretary of Defense, overruling the President!

The decision tree for the White House looks like this:

Does the action reflect well on the President?

NO: It was someone in a lower position, and they acted without any direct authority from the President, who just found out about this bad thing, and he's angrier than anyone.

YES: The President was directly involved at all times, doing all of the right things.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Short Suits: DO NOT Do This - Be A Man And Wear Some Damn Pants

The suit

Fellas: bring it in, and take a knee.

Do not. I repeat, do not do this. No one wants to see you do this. There is no reason to ever wear a "short suit".

Apparently, Business Insider says these are "going mainstream". It seems that J. Crew, Asos, and Barneys are pushing this horrible idea. According to J. Crew's description you're "almost guaranteed to win the battle for best-dressed at nearly every summer occasion."

Look, the only thing you're "almost guaranteed" is that you're almost guaranteed that you'll never procreate with a woman if you wear this.

Don't give me: But Bryan, it's hot outside...Suck it up. You're a man. Wear pants like a man. If you have to wear a suit in the summer someplace hot like Columbia, wear it like a man. Wear some linen, wear some seersucker, wear any lightweight fabric you like, but for goodness sake - wear some damn pants.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday Morning: Breakfast and Headlines

I love being able to wake up on Saturday morning and cook a leisurely breakfast. With nowhere to be first thing in the morning, I can take more time than the normal because my main goal isn't getting out the door. Using a cast iron skillet, you can make almost anything.



So, now that I've got some coffee and eggs, here are some articles I'm reading today:

1. More on Bergdahl: Taliban says that they found Bergdahl alone, cursing Americans. I'm beginning to think that Bergdahl didn't intend to be a traitor, he was just a deserter/idiot.

2. In economic news: The percentage of American civilians 16 or older who do not have a job and are not actively seeking one remained at a 36-year high in May. Any which way you slice it, that's a lot. 37.2% of people 16 or older are not working. That's not how you have a productive economy.

3. In news of the stupid, a San Antonio, TX school allowed a 10 year old girl to get sunburned on a field trip because they don't allow children to take sunscreen with them...because the school considers it a "toxic substance". The stupid. It burns. Literally, in this case.

4. In BBQ news, Garden and Gun has a list of the top 21 BBQ sandwiches in the South. Jackie Hite's was the only one from South Carolina.

Ok, time for a coffee refill...


Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day: Seventy Years Ago



Seventy Years Ago.

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

-- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bergdahl: Anyone Like This Deal?

By now, it's pretty obvious that Bergdahl wasn't a hero. He certainly didn't serve with "honor and distinction" as National Security Director Susan Rice has said.

In fact, the Army kind of already investigated the thing and arrived at a slightly different conclusion.
An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after Bergdahl's 2009 disappearance concluded that he left his outpost deliberately and on his own free will, according to a U.S. military official briefed on the report. The official spoke to CNN on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.
At this point, I'm pretty convinced he deserted. I'm less convinced that he cooperated, but I'm not ruling that out.

So, is anyone ok with the fact that the President traded five really bad guys for a deserter? 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Gun Related Discussion at Brad's Bar and Grill

I've been pretty light on content here, but it's been a busy week. The billable hour is a harsh taskmaster. Anyway, there's a gun-related post over at Brad's place, so you should go there and discuss. It's about the knuckle-heads in Texas who decided open carrying AR-15s into coffee shops was going to win hearts and minds...or something. Anyway, the NRA kind of distanced themselves from it.

Is is smart to take this to a coffee shop? Probably not.
Tell him I sent you.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Looking for A Good Beer?

Sam Adams had a contest for homebrewers. Out of the 1,000+ who entered a beer, Sam Adams picked a winner and mass produced his beer.

Pretty cool. I wonder if I can get some at Morganelli's.

Sunday, June 1, 2014