Sunday, April 26, 2015

Precedent: All it takes is an idiot.

Photo: Kabir Bakie at the Cincinnati Zoo

This Monday past in NY Manhattan Supreme Court, Justice Barbara Jaffe granted a writ of Habeas Corpus to two chimpanzees.

This is after a NY Appellate Court rejected a similar attempt with the following ruling:

“[We] conclude that a chimpanzee is not a ‘person’ entitled to the rights and protections afforded by the writ of habeas corpus. Only people can have rights, because only people can be held legally accountable for their actions.  In our view, it is this incapability to bear any legal responsibilities and societal duties that renders it inappropriate to confer upon chimpanzees the legal rights … that have been afforded to human beings.”

Animals are not people, that doesn't mean we are free to abuse them, but it does mean that they are chattel, can be bought, sold, and otherwise dealt with by their owners within the confines of the law.

What do you think? 


Science Magazine 


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Sessions: Not good enough for the Hall of Fame

A prior post on Joan Jett led to a discussion of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and who is and who isn't in it.  Here are some bands that haven't been deemed good enough to be admitted, or have been simply overlooked.

And the lists go on and on... here are a few for reference:

Future Rock Legends

Rock Snubs

Consequence of Sound

Now we all have our favorite bands that we thing ought to be in the Hall of Fame as well as bands we despise that we think ought not, but there is no arguing, there are some serious holes in the history of Rock and Roll painted by the Hall of Fame.

What do you think?  Who's there that shouldn't be and who do you think was snubbed?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Flamethrowers, Street Skiing and Tree Fishing

* - Editor's Note:  This is a repeat from 2011, updated to celebrate Summer's anticipated arrival.  Time to put away the skis, get out the fishing gear and fire up the grill.

Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the nation.  We love the outdoors.

Sanders, my long-haired former-hippie neighbor turned libertarian, is one of those people who could look 50, or 25, depending on how you turned your head and what frame of mind you were in when you were looking at him. He acts like he’s 15 and sometimes wears funny hats or severe-looking heavy framed tortoise shell eyeglasses, which produces in me an odd combination of fear and amusement.

“Dude, you gotta get one of these!” he shouted as he cranked up the flamethrower he was wielding.

We were standing on his deck imbibing 471 Small Batch Double IPA's from Breckenridge Brewery, and when the blast hit his Weber kettle grill, I had to admit it did an admirable job catching the coals on fire. I also noted the singed branches overhanging the deck, and I made a mental note of the blackened portion of his guttering and soffits. He caught my casting glances and chuckled in spite of himself.

Of course I ignored his advice. I’ve got a gas grill anyway. The guy just ain’t all there. He’s got a medical marijuana prescription due to an injury he sustained when he hit a parked car while skiing. How did that happen? It wasn’t up at Monarch, where if you got really, really wild coming down Gunbarrel it could be technically feasible; it happened (appropriately) on Race Street here in town. His girlfriend (or ‘old lady’ as he refers to her), got him a nice pair or Rossignols for Christmas and he just couldn’t wait to try them out so he strapped on and headed down the street, in boxers, a ski jacket and WW II aviators goggles an uncle had given him.  

I can’t really knock him for it. I’ve done some dumb stuff myself. Every spring I test out my fishing rods by casting down the street with a one ounce weight attached. Almost put out a mail truck’s windshield once, and I accidentally tore a birdhouse out of a neighbor’s tree with my Eagle Claw open-face. I use the extra heavies to get the bale to completely unwind, but it can have negative and far reaching consequences.

My friends and I did some street skiing back when I lived in Denver. We were supposed to take a day trip up to Keystone, but ironically, a blizzard hit and all the snow closed I-70. I don’t remember anyone wracking themselves up like Sanders did, but I do remember us falling down laughing when Dave did a nice kick turn off of Jamaica Street onto Colfax and passed a snow plow that was diligently plodding along. Jim, a jolly black-bearded cable guy from next door came out with one of those huge bottles of Jack Daniels. After some generous chugging, one of us, can’t remember who, slid into a neighbor’s house, causing her to poke her head out the front door and threaten to call the police. That’s when we decided to go back inside.

If we aren't suppose to eat animals, how come they're made of meat?

Anyway, I started out wanting to post on grilling, and I guess I got sidetracked. If you enjoy grilling, smoking or BBQing, The Ugly Brothers have some pretty good tips on their web site. Their Grillosophy Page is a treasure trove of outdoor cooking wisdom. Whether you’re new to the grill or an old hand, you’ll find some worthwhile stuff there.

I’m looking forward to smoking pork ribs, beef ribs and brisket.  I'll be grilling beer butt chicken, hot wings,  marinated pork chops, lamb burgers and chicken sausages from Sprouts Market.  How about you?  What will you be cooking up this summer?

Will you be imbibing?  How about musical instruments to accompany your grilling?  Me?  I enjoy plinking out tunes on my banjo as I watch the smoke rise and I wait for the slabs of mean to reach juicy perfection.

What about you?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Obama's Cruelty to the Innocent

Law-abiding immigrants stand in line while Obama coddles people who came here illegally
While the administration struggles to move forward with its plan to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, the list of foreigners trying to get into the United States legally has surged to 4.4 million, over 100,000 more than last year, according to the State Department.

Those on the list either have a family member who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, sponsoring their entry, or an employer wants them.  (Washington Examiner)
Here's my favorite part:
And more than a quarter of them, 1,323,978, are Mexican.
The State Department should strike every one of those Mexicans from the list and tell them that fellow Mexicans who were smart enough to sneak over the border used up their quota.

Other thoughts...

* We The People should force government to decrement its immigration quota by every illegal they let in.

* If Mexico continues to facilitate illegal entry into the United States, we should deny their oligarchs entry visas.  If they want to shop here, get medical care or take the family to Disney World, let them sneak in like everybody else.  Same for other countries sending their people here illegally.

*  Who is for welcoming the illegal immigrants among us?  C'mon, raise your little paws!  That includes you, congresspeople and senators.  OK.  One, two, three...  Keep those hands up.  Good.  Every one of you who support welcoming illegal immigrants must sign up to take care of a family, house them in your home, teach them English and support them until they can get on their feet.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Vote Hillary, because She's Entitled, Damn You!

The GOP had their first group gaggle in New Hampshire this weekend, and nooze outlets like AP characterized their discussions of foreign policy as "bickering," but let's move on to more important topics.

What is it about Hillary that voters find so attractive?

Her status as faithful wife to a serial and flamboyant philanderer?

The Rose Law Firm billing records?

The purloined FBI files of the Clinton enemies?

Her skill at playing the futures market?

Her gross incompetence and callous disregard for human life as Secretary of State?

Perhaps it's her metallic voice, bereft of all human warmth that makes even a personal story sound like a cold, stern lecture?

Maybe it's her flat-eyed stare that looks like it belongs on the face of a space alien staring at you through the window of a flying saucer.

Or is her soulless stare more like that of a psychopathic stone-cold killer?

Could any Democrats out there in Blogistan explain it to me?

Here's some great sHrillary sound from The Savage Nation:

Do we really want eight years of this?  Can anyone defeat her?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hope Sinks

Ames News

A human tragedy has occurred in the Mediterranean
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, speaking after some 700 migrants were feared dead in the Mediterranean, on Sunday appealed to the international community to take swift and decisive action to avoid more tragedies.


"I make a heartfelt appeal to the international community to react decisively and quickly to see to it that such tragedies are not repeated," he said, before asking the crowd to pray "for these brothers and sisters." (Yahoo News)
Our globe is pockmarked with cauldrons of human misery, oppression, criminality and despair. People there hope for a better life in clearly superior European and North American lands. What are we to do?

Bribery Works:
In 2008, the-then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Gadhafi signed an historic friendship agreement in which Italy promised to invest $5 billion in Libyan infrastructure and Gadhafi promised to close what he described as a "spigot" of migrants. (CNN)
  Five billion was cheap compared to what Italy grapples with now.

Taking a hard line also slows the flow:
For a time, almost all migrant arrivals came from Tunisia, just 70 miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa. Because Italy sent most of those migrants who did not qualify for political asylum back to Tunisia, the flow eventually tapered off. And once a new Tunisian government was in place, after the Arab Spring, Italy signed an accord with Tunisia in which they promised to help patrol Tunisia's ports.(CNN)
Humanitarianism Abets Criminality
"Proactive Search and Rescue missions" by EU countries "were halted last October, despite saving an estimated 100,000 lives, amid fears that the operation was encouraging smugglers and migrants to organise more trips. (The Independent)
This highlights a sad irony that plays out on the Mexican border as well. Our humanitarian efforts end up supporting human traffickers and attracting more people to risk their lives to come here.

What else can Western Nations do?

* Punish the rich and the governing oligarchs by denying them travel visas. Trap them in their own nations with their teeming hordes and force them to make improvements. As it is now, the oligarchs of these stinking cesspools use the west as their safety valve.

* Return of Colonialism. Those miserable creatures cannot govern themselves, so perhaps its time to pick up the white man's burden once again.  (it's a literary reference, not a declaration of racial superiority, so spare us the mock outrage)

* Renew Western sponsorship of iron-fisted military regimes to restore order in these broken societies

* 100% return policy. No one caught sneaking in stays. Period.

What are your ideas?

The March of History

What will Western Nations do in response to the Pope's appeal? Dither and hold talks, and the flow will continue. This is part of a historical population shift that has played out many times in the past in different places around the globe. A society reaches its apex, becomes decadent, and is slowly taken over by more energetic people spilling out from less-prosperous areas seeking a better life. The west is clapped out and no longer willing to propagate itself, but nature abhors a vacuum, so others are moving in and they will eventually take over the project.

Related:  Sea of Sorrows

Monday, April 20, 2015

Joan Jett

Finally, Joan Jett has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I was head over heels in love with her when I was a teen.  The highlight of my young life was standing at the edge of the stage as she played at the State Fair.  To top it off, she reached down and touched my outstretched hand while singing "Do you Want to Touch Me."  Yeah, she also touched everybody else's hand, but so what?  

Besides writing and performing her own awesome music, she also does some great covers. Little Drummer Boy is one of my many favorites, although it stirred in me some clashing, conflicted emotions to hear a Christmas song sung by a woman who caused such un-Christmas-like thoughts in my hormone-soaked, adolescent brain.

At her induction, she sang Chrimson and Clover with the writer and original singer of the song, Tommy James.  That is my absolute favorite Joan Jett song, and here is the original:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Hampshire GOP Gaggle

Did anyone see any of the GOP Cattle Call this weekend?

Who is your favorite and why?

Most importantly, can any of them beat Hillary?

New Hampshire GOP Summit:  Six Takeaways