Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I thought about Muslihoon's suggestion in the comments below, about taking pictures of this thing while it's in progress, and thought I'd see what my digital camera can do. It turns out, it actually gives me some pretty good detail. Maybe it won't work when the thing is finally done, but I guess I can do some progress reports.

This is the status after two nights of work. It's all pencil guidelines, and once I get the ink down, I'll erase the pencil. I included a shot of my Pilot P-500 for size comparison. I only use Pilot pens for the detail work on these things (sometimes I brush on liquid ink from a jar for larger patches), because that's the only pen that gives me both the precision I need for the fine lines, and still lays down enough ink.

Here's a close-up.

Note that I do all of that with the posterboard flat on the ground, so I have to spend literally hours hunched over it. My knees and back are killing me.

I'd also like to say I'm very upset with Pilot. The greatest pen I've ever used, the Pilot G-Tech C4, is not sold in America. I used them all the time when I lived in Europe, and neglected to stock up on them before coming back to America because I figured "Hey, this is the greatest pen ever. Of course they sell these things back home."

And, of course, I was wrong.

I went to all the office supply stores I could find, looking for that pen. I went to Staples, whose motto is "Yeah, We've Got That." They don't have it. Eventually, in despair, I e-mailed the company and asked if they could sell me some of these pens, and they actually told me no. I guess they have exclusive sales arrangements or something, so an overseas company which has the pens can't sell to me, and domestic companies can't sell to me because they don't sell them.

In other words, the only way I can get a Pilot G-Tech C4 is to get on an airplane, fly to Europe (or Japan), buy a box full, and fly back here. Hey, I'm pretty picky about my pens, but that's a little on the pricey side, you know?

So anyway, I'm not a huge fan of the Pilot company. Although I do love their pens.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Note: Sporadic Posting Ahead

I mean, it was already kind of sporadic, so I guess I'm just confirming that it will get more so. I'm busy at work, but I'm also starting a new art project, and those tend to take a lot of my time. I'm not calling it quits, but you might consider checking in once a week, instead of once every day or every few days.

In the meantime, I entrust you all to the capable hands of the folks over there on the sidebar.

Um, except for Dave, who totally freaks me out sometimes.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Official SobekPundit Blogger Interview: Instapundit

Sobek: Welcome back for this week's interview. Instapundit's here, for a word or two.

Instapundit: Yo Sobek, that rhymed.

Sobek: I know, dog, that's pretty crazy.

Instapundit: We been tokin' on the chronic so the room's all hazy.

Sobek: I like that "Army of Davids" book; yo, that's pretty dope.

Instapundit: I be slayin' MSM suckas 'til they gots no hope.

Sobek: Your rhymes are fresher than Snuggle fabric softner, fo' shizzle

Instapundit: I like ta dizzle wit da frizzle while I mizzle a grizzle. [editor's note: ???]

'Cause it's da Instapun-dit
Blog-daddy number-one-dit
Baddest nigga under the sun-dit
Respect da Instapun-dit

Sobek: Yo, dat malt liquor you drink all day can't be too nutritious

Instapundit: Yeah, but Mr. Pibb + Red Vines = Crazy delicious

Sobek: Time to get your gat, jump in your pimped out ride

Instapundit: Suckas don't confront, they just stay inside

Sobek: You da dopest gansta, dat's fo sho

Instapundit: True dat, Sobek. Austin Bay has mo

'Cause it's da Instapun-dit
Blog-daddy number-one-dit

Baddest nigga under the sun-dit
Respect da Instapun-dit

Sobek: You gots so much bling, yo, it ain't even funny

Instapundit: I gotta do somethin wit all this crazy blog money

Sobek: Gold 42" wheels on yo '61 Caddy

Instapundit: Diamonds on my fingas sparkle when I roll a fatty

Sobek: You be the baddest law-dude since Justice Roger B. Taney

Instapundit: If you deny it, I grab my gat and pull a Cheney

Sobek: Blast a sucka in the face, dawg, just to watch 'im bleed?

Instapundit: Yo, straight up, Sobek ...

Sobek and Instapundit: ... Heh. Indeed.

'Cause it's da Instapun-dit
Blog-daddy number-one-dit

Baddest nigga under the sun-dit
Respect da Instapun-dit

George Bush hates black people!!!


Other SobekPundit Blogger Interviews:
John from WuzzaDem
Ace of Spades
Dave from Garfield Ridge
Oliver Willis
The Therapist
Protein Wisdom
Jack M.
Bohemian Conservative
Michelle Malkin
Jennifer from Demure Thoughts
Right Wing Sparkle
Six Meat Buffet
Llama Butchers
7 Deadly Sins

Next Week:
What if there is no next week? Huh? You ever stop to think about that?!?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

SobekPundit: Your Official Source for References to Congolose Hookers

This blog is now the number one result for the Google search "Congolese hookers," if you're searching in Dutch. In English, I'm only the second hit. I guess that means I need to mention Congolese hookers more.

P.S. - Congolese hookers.

P.P.S. - if UN peacekeepers are raping teen-agers, they don't really count as "hookers" anymore, do they? I mean, it's not like they're getting paid to be raped by UN peacekeepers. Maybe I need to e-mail Google and ask them to rectify the situation.

A Brief Warning to Everyone Who is Considering Watching the Movie "Failure to Launch"

Some things you just can't unsee.

Like TerryBradshaw's naked, sagging ass.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Note to the Reading Audience

Tomorrow I'm going to put a blogger interview in this spot. This post is just a placeholder until then. I don't want any of you people to mess it up by commenting here, or anything. And I definitely don't want any trackbacks, because it wouldn't make sense to track back to a post that hasn't even been written yet.

So just so we're all clear, no comments or trackbacks are allowed until I get my blogger interview up. Understood? Good.

Notice: City Will Now Enforce the Law

That's just such an unusual headline. Do cities normally announce that kind of thing?

Madeline Albright: 'There's No Axis of Evil'

Reading that headline, I've never been so happy she's nothing more than a historical footnote.

A historical footnote who was famously photographed sipping champagne with Kim Jong Il.

On that same trip, she was later quoted as saying "I'm sure all those political dissidents you brutally torture to death by the hundreds and thousands had it coming. LONG LIVE COMMUNISM!"

Here's what I can't figure out: Madeline Albright is obviously an idiot. And it's also pretty clear that Clinton didn't nominate her as SecState because she's easy on the eyes:"Back off, Sobek. If you looked like me, you'd be a bitter harpy who rejoices in the deaths of millions, too."

Challenge to South Dakota Abortion Law Begins

For the record, I plan on following this legislation as far as it goes.

Also for the record, Kate Looby is comedy gold:

"But officials with Planned Parenthood, which operates the only clinics in South Dakota that provide abortions, said a lawsuit may not be filed immediately.

"Instead, abortion rights supporters may try to take the issue before South Dakota voters in November. State law allows ballot referendums seeking to overturn legislation.

"'When you take things to the courts you don't have the opportunity to engage the public in the process. You don't have the ability to build a movement,' said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kate Looby."

That's pretty rich, considering that Roe v. Wade is the antithesis of "engaging the public in the process." One of the biggest conservative complaints about Roe is that it took the whole issue out of democratic hands by judicial fiat, rendering all but nine Americans utterly powerless on an emotionally charged issue. And Judge Rehnquist, dissenting Roe, attached an extensive list of state statutes -- all enacted by the will of the people and in effect for decades at the time -- that were arbitrarily swept aside by seven judges.

Engage the public in the process? I wonder why Looby is so concerned with that, all of a sudden, given that the mantra of the pro-choice movement for the past forty years has been "F%$k the public, we want our mother-f#*king consequenfce-free sex, G*# D&*$ IT!" Ahem. Pardon my French.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why Do I Always Find This Stuff After Christmas?

Why does nobody tell me about this sort of thing? Am I going to have to start breaking skulls?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Harry Reid, Apparently Not Yet Completely Convinced of his Utter Incompetence, Threatens Filibuster

I take immense personal satisfaction knowing I get to vote against this guy.

Reid actually flew down to the Mexico border to stage a press conference, at which he pretended to have something like clout. It seems Bill Frist and the Republicans (note: that would be a terrible name for a rock band) are trying to do something about immigration reform. The proposal is described thus:

"Frist unveiled a bill last week that sidesteps the question of temporary work permits. It would tighten borders, punish employers who hire illegal immigrants and provide more visas."

So what about that has Reid's panties in a wad?

"Reid said the overhaul must include heightened border enforcement, a 'guest worker' program and a 'path to citizenship' for the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally. He called legislation by Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R- Ariz., a 'good place to start.'"

I haven't read the Kennedy legislation, but I have a sneaking suspicion it involves the massive importation of Corona and Dos Equis. All joking aside (note: I wasn't joking), what exactly is Reid's problem? Let's take a closer look:

Frist: "tighten borders"
Reid: "heightened border enforcement"

Frist: "provide more visas"
Reid: "a 'guest worker' program"

Frist: [no 'path to citizenship']
Reid: "a 'path to citizenship' for the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally"

Um, so I guess the only difference is that last one, right? I can only assume Reid's "path to citizenship" doesn't mean outright amnesty, so it looks like it's just an application process, right? I confess I'm not big on immigration law, but isn't there already an application process, whereby non-citizens can become citizens? I could have sworn I read about something like that somewhere.

Anyway, Reid then proceded to pose for the most awkward political photo this side of John Kerry:

Is he doing "the robot"?

Hypothetical Question

Let's say you're a cop. You get a call on a domestic disturbance, and when you get to the house, the wife and husband are both standing at the door. They're shrieking and hollering at and about each other. The wife tells you the husband is a scum bag, but they probably wouldn't fight so much if he didn't spend all their money on cocaine.

This, I imagine, would catch your interest. But at this point, you don't have a warrant for anything.

In fact, wife tells you, hubby has some cocaine upstairs in the bedroom right now. She gives you permission to enter the house to search for drugs.

So you look at hubby, who says you do not have permission to look for drugs. Wife reminds you that you do have permission. Hubby insists that you do not.

Do you go in and look for the drugs, or do you leave?

The cops in Georgia v. Randolph went in, they found the drugs, and they prosecuted. The Georgia Supreme Court said the cops screwed up. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed. (You can read the 51-page opinion here).'s angle on the story is to note that Roberts wrote his first dissent, and that what has been an unusually united Court so far split 5-3 (Alito didn't vote).

Justice Souter's majority opinion left open the question of what happens when only one spouse is at the door, but made it clear that if the objecting spouse is at the door when the cops ask for consent to search, the other spouse can't consent for both of them. If hubby had been in a back room or something, there apparently would not have been an issue.

From "In his first written dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts said that 'the end result is a complete lack of practical guidance for the police in the field, let alone for the lower courts.'"

With all due respect, I think he's overstating the case. He goes on to argue that if a woman invites the cops in, and the husband says no, then the woman is in danger of retaliation as soon as the cops leave. Souter countered that nothing in the holding denies a cop the power to prevent domestic violence (if Randolph had attacked his wife, for example, they could have intervened) -- Souter just didn't want the cops to burst through the door with no warrant on a non-time-sensitive issue. Sure, Randolph might get rid of the cocaine he had at the moment, but if he's a coke-head he'll get more, and the cops can come back with a warrant at their leisure. Especially if the wife files a police report.

Stevens, concurring, noted: "assuming that both spouses are competent, neither one is a master possessing the power to override the other’s constitutional right to deny entry to their castle."

That seems to beg the question. If my wife cannot deny my right to keep the cops out, then the necessary corrollary is that I can deny my wife's right to let the cops in. Why Stevens would choose to err on the side of keeping the police out of a domestic dispute -- especially where one party truthfully tells the cops there is cocaine in the house -- is beyond me. But then again, Stevens has always been off in his own little world, so I guess there are no surprises there.

In other Supreme Court news, today a decision came down in U.S. v. Grubbs. The Defendant ordered a video tape of child pornography from an undercover postal inspector. A magistrate judge gave the cops something called an anticipatory warrant, which is just like a regular warrant (in that it must describe with specificity the place to be searched and the things to be seized), but it also does not take effect until a certain event triggers it. In this case, the triggering event was the delivery to Defendant's home of the tape -- at which point the cops jumped out from behind the bushes, arrested the guy, and searched him home.

The catch: the anticipatory warrant was supposed to have a statement of the triggering event stapled to it, but by accident that statement was missing. In all other respects, the warrant was valid. The only question for the courts was whether the specificity requirements of place and things also included specificity of the triggering event. The Ninth Circuit decided the warrant was invalid because it didn't state the triggering event. The Supreme Court disagreed.

So the cops won one and lost one today.

ETA Declares Permanent Cease-Fire


ETA, you may recall, is the Basque separatist group in Spain and France that has been using terrorism to agitate for an independent homeland for the past forty years. After the Madrid bombings, conservative Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar initally blamed ETA, and the backlash from discoveries that al-Qaeda was the real perpetrator fueled the outrage necessary to sweep him out of office in favor of socialist Zapatero.

Now ETA's calling it quits, and an expert quoted in the article says "Wednesday's statement could be taken 'very seriously.'"

So what caused the change? The article lists at least three possibilities:

1. "Analysts say a concerted police crackdown in recent years in Spain and France may have helped weaken the group and prompt its cease-fire statement."

2. "Many Spaniards also say they believe the March 11, 2004 terror attacks in Madrid -- carried out by Islamic extremists -- effectively stymied ETA, with public revulsion over terrorism making deadly violence politically impossible for the Basque group, The Associated Press said."

3. "'The aim of (the cease-fire) is to promote a democratic process in the Basque country and to build a new framework in which our rights as a people will be recognized,' the group said in the video."

Monday, March 20, 2006

Three From the Review-Journal

A teacher spouts political talking points in class. Surprisingly, they are conservative talking points.

The Review-Journal sues for the right to advertise whore houses.

A heart-breaking story about a child caught between two families. A two-year-old girl was taken from her mother by the state (the mother had the child while in prison, and the child tested positive for meth at birth, so I'm not complaining yet). The grandmother asked for custody. Grandmother already had custody of the baby girl's five siblings, and wanted to keep the kids together. The state said "six kids is too many. We're giving baby girl to a foster family."

Two years and countless legal battles later, the girl is a toddler with emotional attachments to her foster family, and grandmother is still trying to get custody (or, at the very least, visitation rights). Last Thursday, the Nevada Supremes decided the state screwed up by not giving grandmother more access. But regardless of how they came down, no solution is going to be perfect in this tragic case.

A Couple of Video Links

I don't have time for blogging tonight, so I'll just throw out some links (and maybe do one other post).

The South Park Scientology episode.

You've got ninjas.

(First two links from Ace).

A trailer for Blue Velvet, re-cut as a romantic comedy.

Garfield Ridge's safety tip of the day (um, actually the safety tip for yesterday).

Sunday, March 19, 2006

And Now, a Rebuttal to the Recent French-Bashing by Famous French Statesman, Monsieur Jean-Jacques Francois

[Editor's Note: the following is to be read with a thick French accent and an arrogant sneer for full effect]

You stupeed Americans! You zink you are zo smart, what weeth your booming economy, your attractive weemin, you competent doctors, your hot running water, your invention of airplanes, cars, and zee internet, your respect for human rights, your effective military, your freedom of speech, your personal hygiene, your enthusiasm for life, your rich natural resources, your failure to collaborate with the Nazis or to sell banned weapons to Saddam Hussein, your opposition to tyranny, your inexplicable failure to worship Jerry Lewis, your low unemployment, your failure to enact blatantly racist policies against North Africans, the absence of genuine colonialism in your history, your failure to carve up the Middle East, Africa or Southeast Asia just to leave decades of bloody violence in your wake...

And Now, a Brief Message from Chairman Mao, Josef Stalin and Michael Moore to the People of France

Whoa guys, let's ease up a little on the socialism, okay? I mean, you don't want to get too crazy, do you? Try to show a little common sense.

Trust me on this one, comrades, socialism may be the only answer to the excesses of Kapitalist korruption, but you guys are going a little overboard. Try to dial it back a notch.

Yippee! Hooray for socialism!

More French Riots

This story is a few days old, but I may as well post it.

The French are rioting again. Once again, it's because they're economy has been socialized into the crapper, but this time the government cares, because the rioters are actually, you know French people instead of Youths of Undetermined Ethnic Extraction (or "YOUEEs").

French employment laws are such that once you hire someone, it's virtually impossible to fire them. So if you're an employer, and someone comes to you straight out of college, with no work experience and no old boss to call to see whether or not he can actually do the job, you're naturally going to be a little hesitant. Which helps explain why unemployment rates for recent college grads are somewhere in the neighborhood of 40%.

So someone in France had a rare lucid moment, and proposed a new law that would let employers fire employees who suck.

So now the French are rioting. I guess that makes more sense than actually making sure you can do your job, so your boss won't want to fire you.

For the above-linked story: "Police loosed water cannons and tear gas on rioting students and activists rampaged through a McDonald's and attacked store fronts in the capital Saturday as demonstrations against a plan to relax job protections spread in a widening arc across France."

Water cannons, huh? Ace has this theory that Europe is about 30 years behind any American trend. In this case, they seem to be taking a page out of the 1960s civil right era, so maybe they're closer to 40 years behind. Whatever the case, I think it's funny that the rioters' proposed solution to the vast problems created by socialism is more socialism.

Susan Sarandon to Play Cindy Sheehan in Movie

Wow, they cast a shrieking, hysterical moron to play ... a shrieking, hysterical moron? That's what I call range, baby!

That the proposed movie is blatant Oscar bait is made clear by the Hollywood rule that Oscar loves ugly.

Anti-War Protests Fizzle

Massive protests, scheduled for the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, turned out extremely low numbers, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

I've come up with two possibilities for the low numbers:
1. The vast majority of Americans realize that protesting something that happened three years ago is a little silly.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blogging Blind

For whatever reason, I can't access my own blog right now. So I'm typing this on the assumption that either it's just me, or it's only temporary. At any rate, I apologize for any inconvenience.

In order to make it up to you, the reading public, I hereby offer this as an open thread. Go crazy, folks.

Update: fixed. And to everyone who e-mailed asking if I had banned them, the only reason you weren't banned was because I couldn't get into my blog. 'Cause otherwise, y'all woulda been toast.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Advance warning on this link. Ace found a site where the blogger, disapproving of South Dakota's abortion ban, posted instructions on how to set up your own basement abortion business.

So seriously, if you don't want to read grisly details about how abortions are performed, do not click the link about to post.

Everyone clear on the rules?

Okay, here's the link.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Ace concludes: "I don't know how this cuts, politically, for me, anyway. On the one hand, I have a new, visceral appreciation for how grisly this all is. On the other hand, I also appreciate that women are seriously going to try DIY abortions if they want one and no abortion-doctor is available."

First, I'm glad Ace came to his new understanding. Second, his second conclusion rather misses the mark. Yes, the abortion procedure is grisly. But the whole reason it's grisly is because of what happens to the fetus. Any time you chop up a human being and use an ice cream scoop to scrape the placental remains off the uterine wall, by definition you're entering "grisly" territory.

Yes, I reckon women will try this sort of thing. But three points: if abortion is outlawed, I doubt the number will spike, because people will be aware that, Hey, abortion is illegal again, so I can't sleep around with impunity like I've been doing since 1973. Part of the reason people are so lax about contraception is that they know a doctor can take care of any "accidents." Second, do it yourself abortions will happen even without overturning Roe v. Wade. I read an article a few days about about some kids who got pregnant, so the girlfriend got down on her back and the boyfriend walked around on her stomach until the babies were dead. [Incidentally, the boy was charged for murder]. I'd say that's a pretty freakin' gruesome procedure, and Roe is still the law of the land.

My third point is simply a reiteration. Yes, a do-it-yourself abortion has the risk of being very grisly for the mother. But any abortion, of any kind at all, is guaranteed to be grisly for the baby whose skull is collapsed, arms torn from the sockets, brain suctioned out, and the shredded remains pulled from the womb with foreceps.

Update: Adolfo Velasquez, commenting at Ace's, is on the same page:

"The problem, Ace, is that women are still throwing their babies in dumpsters and DIY aborting at, probably, the same number they were before widespread medical abortions. I don't even have to post a link, we've all seen the stories on the evening news. Legal, widespread abortion has not made any stupid people suddenly smarter."

I'd also like to echo Mrs. Peel's sentiments, commenting at Ace's: "Dear Lord."


A Nevada judge took the phrase "gag order" more literally than most, yesterday.

"A District Court judge fed up with a criminal defendant's unwillingness to keep quiet in court last week ordered a bailiff to put duct tape on the man's mouth."

Unsurprisingly, the ACLU isn't as enthusiastic about this story as I am.

"Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel for the ACLU of Nevada, said judges have to maintain control of their courtroom, but he questioned the need to use duct tape, which he said could feasibly cause someone to have breathing problems and put them at risk."

Yeah, cry me a freakin' river.

Update: No, it wasn't me.


If you're part of an ultra-leftist group that has literally vowed to storm into the White House on a certain day, topple the U.S. government, and replace it with an interim government, can we start questioning your patriotism yet?

Details here.
A very good reason for said ultra-leftists to change their minds here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Discussion Topic:

Which state has the biggest loons in the federal government?

River Rat (from Michigan) and kobekko (from California) seem to disagree on that point in the comment to this post. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) obviously has no idea how ridiculous she looked standing beside that sign today, but other than that, when's the last time anyone outside of Michigan even heard her name? River Rat's also got Carl Levin, and that's some pretty serious ammo, but I don't know if he can go toe-to-toe with the combined forces of pure, consistent idiocy that is Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

Obviously Massachusetts has to be mentioned in this post. The combined idiocy-power of Kerry and Kennedy could power a city block for a week. And New York is clearly in the running, with Clinton and Schumer. Delaware's got a strong contender with Joe Biden, but I've never heard of Tom Carper, so Delaware takes a hit. Hawai'i has a couple of Dems, Inouye and Akaka, but you never hear much from them so I don't think they're finalists. Illinois has to be mentioned, with Dick Durbin and Barak Osam Os Osama Osam Obama. But most of Obama's charm is in the media's fawning over him, more than his personal lunacy. Louisiana's Mary Landrieu proved herself a total moron after Hurricane Katrina, but she has wisely shut up since then (actually, she spoke out against an Alito filibuster), and Louisiana also has David Vitter (R), so Louisiana is disqualified. Nevada has Reid, who would be an incredibly strong contender, except that the state also has John Ensign. So Nevada's not on the list. Vermont has two strong candidates, with Pat Leahy and Jim Jeffords. A pox on West Virginia for sending us Robert Byrd, but I don't know anything about John Rockefeller. Wisconsin definitely makes the cut, with Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl.

Okay, now here's my list of finalists:
New York

I don't think I can choose a winner from that crowd, so in the spirit of true liberalism, I'll just declare them all winners, and let them go eat paste until naptime.

Oh, I Am So Buying This Bib For My Kidd-O

Something Awful has a series of "inappropriate" baby bibs.

Some of these are in poor taste, but others I think could really sell. I also want to buy the Alien bib.

Also: Retired Geezer somehow got this picture of my nephew Noah. Which makes me wonder why he's stalking my relatives. He's just your typical creepy old man, I guess.

Note: for more of me being a bad uncle, see here.

Backlash Stalls Jersey Internet Civility Bill

Story here.

My rebuttal to Mr. Peter Biondi here:

Pucker up, buttercup.

"Ross said he can see things from their perspective, but he still believes people should maintain civility online."

Well sure, they should, but government intervention to ensure they do is a terrible idea.

What's Up in Iran?

From this morning's Washington Times: "Tehran Elite Turning on Extremist Presidency"

I certainly would like to hope so, but there are some serious red flags about this story.

"A relatively small group of extremists 'at the top of the government around the president' are seeking to benefit from a crisis with the West, because 'that way they will be able once again to blame the West for all of their problems,' said Mousa Ghaninejad, the editor of Iran's best-selling economics daily newspaper, Dunya Al-Eqtisad."

See, that's all good news while you're reading the quote itself, especially in light of the preceding paragraph, because it makes it look like Ahmadinejad might face internal upheaval before the U.S. has to take drastic -- and almost certainly catastrophic -- measures.

But then you get to the source. This guy is writing this kind of stuff in a widely-circulated newspaper, in Iran itself? Granted, I'm not a daily reader of Dunya al-Iqtisad (Arabic for "The World of Economics"), but something tells me nothing gets printed in a popular Iranian newspaper unless it gets official approval first.

I kind of wonder if this isn't a Rabban tactic (this analogy's for you, Enas). In Frank Herbert's Dune, Baron Harkonnen wanted to instal his nephew Feyd-Rautha as head of Arakis, the desert planet. He devised a plan whereby he actually put his other, fatter nephew Rabban in charge, with express instructions to make a complete tyrant of himself. That way, the Baron reasoned, he could let things get really bad, then remove Rabban, and install the comparatively benevolent Feyd, who would then command the loyalty of the people simply by being a lot better than Rabban.

Then the Baron got eaten by a giant sandworm. So, you see how well that worked out for him.

Now Drudge has a headline up (it's supposed to be a link to the New York Times, but the link doesn't work yet) that says "IRAN PRESIDENT'S INNER CIRCLE SPLITS OVER NUKES... DEVELOPING..."

Again, I hope so. Then again, I also hope the mullahs all get eaten by giant sandworms, so I guess that's not much.

From the "Who Are We to Argue?" File

Well, I didn't want to say anything, Senator, but as long as you mention it...

Stabenow then segued into a speech entitled "What Senator Clinton really means when she says she just wants to go out for a few drinks."

Update: El Capitan from Dude, Where's the Beach? sends along his contribution to the Clinton/Stabenow '08 campaign:

Monday, March 13, 2006

SobekPundit for President! Pt. 3

Sobek Pundit is proud to announce that his presidential candidacy is making a real impact in the polls,[n.1] and it's all thanks to the support of you, the loyal readers. After my DNC and RNC acceptance speeches (here and here), I was virtually deluged with letters of support from people on both sides of the aisle.[n.2] But it is my official view that the kind of binary thinking that leads today's politicians to say things like "both sides of the aisle" is exactly what's wrong with America. So today, I offer you, the reader, my official bid to break down the two-party system, as I announce my candidacy as a Libertarian, and as Your Next President(TM)!

Governing Best by Governing Least

My fellow Americans, and you Canadians who somehow make it onto the registered voter lists (Seattle, I'm looking at you), as I've travelled down the highways and biways[n. 3] of this great country of ours, telling people about my dream of one day rolling a fat joint in the Lincoln bedroom, I've often been asked, "Why do you want to be President?" and "What qualifications do you have?" and "Dude, you holdin'?" And the answer to those first two questions has invariably been: I'm a lazy, lazy man.

As Ayn Rand once said, "that government governs best which governs least."[n. 4] As a committed Libertarian, I believe that to be true. And the way I see it, if your core philosophy is that the government shouldn't actually do anything, then the absolutely perfect job for me would be to run that government. Think about it: what other job could I possibly hold where the highest ideal is to not do that job? Any time I did any actual work, it would be a betrayal of my constituents, of the Constitution, and of my absolute committment to becoming the laziest President in U.S. history.

Iraq war? Not only does it represent an untolerable encroachment of Executive power into the Legislative branch, it also represents an untolerable encroachment of Legislative power into the Executive branch, and of Judicial power into the other two.

That's pretty much my philosophy on everything. The U.S. government regulates narcotics? I say, The Constitution doesn't grant that kind of power! The government builds interstate highways? The Constitution doesn't grant that kind of power! The government maintains postal roads? Well, okay, technically the Constitution grants that power, but I still wouldn't let anyone do it. I mean, just because the government can do something, doesn't mean it should. Not on my watch.

And that's another important part of my philosophy: interference with normal government operations. Not only will I refuse to do my job, I'll make sure Congress doesn't do its job, either. Same with the Supreme Court. And on my first day in Washington, I promise to fire the entire cabinet, the Joint Chiefs, and White House staff. Then I'll call a press conference and see how long it takes the White House press corps to realize I'm not going to show up -- that it's all an elaborate practical joke. I will refuse to appoint new judges and ambassadors. I will veto every piece of legislation Congress sends my way, and I will hire goons to sabotage the cars of individual Congressmen to keep them from showing up and over-riding my vetoes.

Actually, those last two promises sound a little too much like work. I think I'll get the private sector to sign my vetoes and sabotage cars. Yeah, that's the ticket.

My foreign policy will be both consistent and elegant: we don't care. My conservative opponents will try to smear me, saying I don't care about homeland security. To them I say, If private, mercenary armies were good enough for Macchiavelli's Florence, it's good enough for America. My liberal opponents will try to smear me, saying I don't care about suffering in the Third World. To them I say, you want to help starving people in Bhutan, I'm not going to stop you (unless you're in Congress), but don't expect me to do anything about it. I've got a game of Unreal: Tournament to play.

My domestic policy will also be consistent and elegant. Any special interest groups that approach me about economic protectionism, or increasing the welfare state, or federally-funded anything, will be cordially invited to the White House rose garden, where they will be given free marijuana (oh, yeah, I'm getting rid of the roses) until they're too baked to even think about getting me to do any work. Or, for that matter, too baked to even think.

As an added bonus, once the government is effectively neutralized, political punditry will virtually cease to exist. That means Maureen Dowd will still be a bitter harpy who can't attract a man to save her miserable life, but at least you won't be reading about it in the New York Times.

So vote for me, America, as your Libertarian Party candidate! I'll prove to you just how little I can govern!

n. 1: Note: this may or may not be true.
n. 2: Note: I have not received any letters of support.
n. 3: Specifically, highway 95 between Las Vegas and Laughlin.
n. 4: I have no idea who actually wrote this.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dems: It's Time for More Socialism, Baby!

Great editorial in Friday's Review-Journal. The 2006 Clark County Democratic Convention kicked off yesterday, with symposia entitled:

*Securing the American Dream: The Right to Own a Home.
*Securing the American Dream: The Right to Earn a Living Wage.
*Securing the American Dream: The Right to Responsible Government.
*Securing the American Dream: The Right to Affordable Health Care.
*Securing the American Dream: The Right to Quality Public Education.
*Securing the American Dream: The Right to Retire with Dignity.

The editorialist then asks:

"Notice a pattern? (Hint: It isn't 'Securing the American Dream.')
"To grant everyone all of these 'rights' championed by county Democrats -- the 'right' to a house, a nice salary, 'affordable' health care, free education and a wonderful retirement -- would require the destruction of the very private market economy that has proven the most effective approach history has ever known for creating wealth and battling poverty."

Yeah, pretty much. Conservatives routinely accuse liberals of having no ideas. More precisely, I guess they have a bunch of ideas, they're just 200 years old and have failed dismally wherever they've been tried. It's just kind of funny that Democrats, sensing Republican weakness, apparently have decided that now is the time to seize power by formally announcing that yes, they're still confiscatory, big-government socialist hippies.

"[I]f the convention agenda is any indication, the gathering will once again highlight the party's embrace of a big-government, high-tax, collectivist approach to politics -- an approach that goes down at the polls virtually every time it's honestly presented to an electorate outside of Santa Monica, Calif., or Cambridge, Mass."

As concerned as I am about the hit Bush has taken at the polls over the Dubai Ports deal, it looks like the Dems are absolutely determined to let their potential advantage go to waste.

One last quote, which highlights I think the most fundamental distinction between true conservatives and true liberals:

"A true 'right' imposes no obligations on others. An individual has the right to purchase a home he can afford; he does not have a right to force someone to build it for him or subsidize his purchase. Likewise, an individual has the right to pursue the best job he can find; he does not have a 'right' to force an employer to pay him a 'living wage.'
"These are not simply fine distinctions. They are concepts that separate free societies from totalitarian dictatorships."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Official SobekPundit Blogger Interview: 7 Deadly Sins

Because it's his blogiversary and everything, I've invited Sinner, from 7 Deadly Sins, over for this week's Official SobekPundit Blogger Interview. Sinner's been at this thing for a whole year now, and somehow the grinding tedium hasn't cause him to throw in the towel just yet. So without further ado...

Sobek: Thanks for joining me, Sinner.

Sinner: Lust: My pleasure.

Sobek: Uh, you're not going to do your whole "deadly sins" bit the whole time, are you?

Sinner: Pride: What? It's a funny bit.

Sobek: Well, in the context of your blog it's fine, but in a conversation it's a little ... you know ...

Sinner: Sloth: I'm not about to think up something new just to please you.

Sobek: Well, whatever. I ...

Cardinal Ximinez: NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!! Our principle weapon is surprise! Surprise and ...

Sobek: Oh, come ON, guys! You totally screwed that up!

Cardinal Ximinez: What? Didn't he just say "I didn't expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition"?

Sobek: No! I was just about to set him up, and you bozos jumped the gun.

Cardinal Ximinez: Gee, I'm sorry...

Sobek: This isn't rocket science, for crying out loud! You had one line to listen for. One lousy line. What am I paying you people for?

Sinner: Wait a minute, you weren't just going to run through the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition sketch and pretend it was original, were you?

Sobek: Well, I ...

Sinner: Come on, Sobek, if you're just going to phone it in, why even bother?

Sobek: Look, I've got enough of a headache dealing with my cardinals, here. I don't need this crap from you, too.

Cardinal Ximinez: Right, we'll start again.

Sobek: Well it's a little late now!

Sinner: I'm not going to say it.

Sobek: Oh come on. I really don't have a back-up plan for this interview. If you don't do the Spanish Inquisition sketch...


Sobek: Oh, for crying out loud!

Cardinal Ximinez: Don't give me that. I know I just heard the cue.

Sobek: That was me, you morons! And I said "If you don't do the Spanish Inquisition sketch," not "I didn't expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition."

Sinner: Lust: look, if we're all done here, I was about to go read Kiss 'N Blog...

Sobek: Wait just a second. I'm going to get this right if it takes all night.

Cardinal Ximinez: Right. We're going back out.

Sinner: Maybe you have all night, but I've got places to be, people to meet, commandments to break.

Sobek: Fine, just say the line and we'll breeze through this. I'll punch it up in editing.

Sinner: [Sigh] Okay, but let's make it quick.

Sobek: Great. Okay. So, uh, how did you choose the name for your blog?

Sinner: I, uh ... gee, I didn't expect, uh ...

Sobek: Yes?

Sinner: I didn't expect a, uh ...

Sobek: Yeeeeeeees?

Sinner: ... a sort of ... you know, a sort of, uh ...

Sobek: What's the hold up? I thought you said you had somewhere to be.

Sinner: Look, I just can't do it. Okay? The bit is a direct rip-off of Monty Python, and the whole punchline has already been spoiled.


Sinner: Well, if you're going to use that kind of language, I think this interview is over.

Sobek: Wait! Come back!


Sobek: Son of a bee-sting!


Sobek: That's it, no more of these stupid interviews for me. I'm outta here.





Cardinal Ximinez: Uh, guys? You still here? Where did everybody go?

Other SobekPundit Blogger Interviews:
John from WuzzaDem
Ace of Spades
Dave from Garfield Ridge
Oliver Willis
The Therapist
Protein Wisdom
Jack M.
Bohemian Conservative
Michelle Malkin
Jennifer from Demure Thoughts
Right Wing Sparkle
Six Meat Buffet
Llama Butchers

Next Week:
I get liquored up and shout at passing cars. Stay tuned!