Thursday, March 27, 2008

If anyone doubts we are in a war for the preservation of civilization...

...then they should get over to the Rott and carve out 20 minutes to watch this.

Give no quarter, because there is no reason to expect any. Open your eyes, America.





It is sad that we have come to this...

When I saw this story, my first thought was that IF people were not promiscuous, and IF married people confined themselves to sex with their spouses (which apparently is asking a lot these days), there really wouldn't be a market for this. Sadly, its a big seller.

Who's your daddy? Answer's at the drugstore
Pharmacy chain markets DNA paternity tests in 30 states nationwide

After two decades, Sean Reid of Surrey, British Columbia, discovered that he had a son. Fred Turley of Des Plaines, Ill., learned he didn’t have a daughter. And Wendy Lieb of Lewis Center, Ohio, made certain she wasn’t going to be a grandmother quite yet.

In all three situations, crucial genetic information altered the lives of the people involved. And in each case, it came not from a doctor or other medical source, but from a $29.99 kit on a drugstore shelf.
$30.00 bucks to alter not only your life, but the lives of others. What a bargain. Its nice to know that misery can be had so cheap these days.
Reid, Turley and Lieb are among more than 800 customers who responded to the first wave of marketing for do-it-yourself DNA paternity tests sold as Identigene by Sorenson Genomics of Salt Lake City.

Sales in three western states — Washington, Oregon and California — were so brisk last fall that Rite Aid Corp. expanded the product this week to some 4,300 stores in 30 states across the country.
Why not? Maybe you're not the baby-daddy. Which still doesn'tmakewhat you did right, but oh well.
“The running joke is that we’re the Maury Povich family,” said Reid, 37, who confirmed years of speculation about a former girlfriend’s son with a kit purchased at a Bellingham, Wash., store. “But why not do it privately? We did this as discretely, as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible.”
Yes, but some won't resist becoming the Jerry Springer family, I'm sure.
For users like Reid, the tests provide easier answers to one of life’s crucial questions — Who’s your daddy? — said Douglas Fogg, chief operating officer of Identigene.
Sure beats paying an advertising firm to come up with a slogan,doesn't it?
“Everyone is purchasing the tests because they’re curious,” said Fogg, who expects to sell at least 52,000 tests this year. “They’re looking to establish questions about their own child or their own paternity.”
Again, the fact that there are questions is truly heartbreaking to me.
But for genetics experts, drugstore marketing of DNA testing raises questions of accuracy and ethics.
Which makes sense, is it ethical to let people delve into such serious questions without certainty that the results are accurate? Keep in mind this is why they don't do blood typing in your children's science classes anymore. A little too shocking to find out through your homework that Dad isn't really Dad.
“From our perspective, direct-to-consumer genetic tests raise all the same issues for lax government oversight, potentially misleading or false advertising and the potential for making profound medical decisions on the basis of poorly interpreted or understood results,” said Rick Borchelt, a spokesman for the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University.
At the very least, the kits have the potential to complicate the lives of the people who use them, legal experts cautioned.
Sounds like an understatement to me.
“We all need to take a step back and realize that this is different than many tests that you take,” said R. Alta Charo, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “This is a life-changing moment.”
Maybe even a life ending moment for some. (Not that I wanted to be that ray of sunshine. Just keepin' it real, s'all.)
DNA tests join other diagnostic tools. The paternity kits have taken their place on store shelves next to other diagnostic tests that don’t rely on DNA, including those for pregnancy, HIV and blood sugar, said Michael S. Watson, executive director of the American College of Medical Genetics.
Unlike genetic tests for health conditions, tests that use DNA to determine paternity are fairly simple to provide and fairly easy to interpret, said Watson. They're subject to limited oversight, however, with no review required by the Food and Drug Administration and no certification required under the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, or CLIA.
The Identigene kit includes swabs for collecting cell samples from the inside of the cheeks of the child and the alleged father. Collection of the mother’s cells is optional, but strongly recommended to strengthen the results. The swabs are packaged and mailed to the Sorenson laboratory in Salt Lake City where they’re analyzed.
The Sorenson lab is accredited by the AABB, the agency formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks.
Results are reported online, by phone or by mail in three to five business days. They come back as a probability figure that verifies paternity with 98 percent to 99 percent accuracy, Watson said.
More instant gratification.
Total cost is about $150, including the price of the kit and a $119 laboratory processing fee. For another $200, users can purchase validated tests that meet legal requirements for determining paternity, Fogg said.
Court use questionable. But Susan Crockin, a lawyer who specializes in reproductive technology, said consumers shouldn’t count on the tests standing up in court.
Duh. Most states have pretty strong presumptions regarding paternity, such as if the kid is born during the marriage, it is the husband's, even if it is not the husband's. The reasoning is that they want the child to be carried for and more importantly paid for by someone other than the state.
“The jury’s still very much out on these tests in terms of reliability and establishing a chain of custody,” said Crockin, a consultant for the Johns Hopkins public policy center.
Most of the users who have been buying the kits — which have gone on sale for as low as $17.99 — don’t plan to use the results to resolve legal issues, Fogg acknowledged. Instead, most are looking to answer social questions. And that's where the complexity comes in.
Because the cell samples are taken in private, there’s the potential for fraud and deception, noted Charo, the ethics expert.
“I can imagine rather peculiar circumstances in which somebody has a swab taken without their knowledge,” she said. “It raises questions about informed consent.”
Duh, again.
Even when people do consent, the results can be unsettling. Watson estimates that between 5 percent and 10 percent of genetic tests he's conducted show a child is not related to the presumed father.
“It could break up families,” Watson said. “Some will be broken because that was the goal. Others will be broken up and that wasn't the goal.”
But people who’ve used the at-home tests swear by the ease, the accuracy — and the results.
After 20 years, a mystery solved. For Reid, the paternity test opened the door to a new extended family. He’d always wondered whether the baby born to a former girlfriend was his, even though she insisted the child was fathered by another man. When the girlfriend contacted Reid on Facebook last summer, the pictures she sent of her oldest son raised the question anew.
“My wife, said ‘Oh my, that’s you,’” said Reid, a nurse.
Which is MUCH more accurate, of course.
Internet research pointed Reid to the Identigene test, which was cheaper and more convenient than other options. With cooperation from his former girlfriend and her son, they all took the tests, with results that altered everyone’s lives.
“Our newest son has a family he never knew he had including grandparents, aunts, and three younger brothers who are all very excited to meet him,” Reid said.
For Fred Turley, 55, the DNA test confirmed what his companion had told him: the 4-year-old girl he helped care for was not his. The news was disappointing, but clear, he said.
“The bottom line is, I don’t have to live with the uncertainty about her being my daughter and wind up in a fight just to find out,” Turley said. “This won’t change how I feel about the girl. It will just remove what had become a major concern.”
For Wendy Lieb, 41, the DNA test restored her 20-year-old son’s future. He’d already quit college, taken a job and assumed the responsibilities of pending parenthood after a girl he had sex with at a party claimed she was pregnant with his child.
‘He just didn't look like my son at all.’Lieb said she was proud of her son’s response, but perplexed after the baby, a boy, was born.
“He just didn’t look like my son at all,” Lieb said. “And we have fairly strong genes.”
A trip to the drugstore and 10 days later, the answer was clear: her son was not the father.
“I thought it would have required thousands of dollars and a trip to the doctor,” she said.
Lieb is relieved for her own child, of course, but also for everyone involved. As difficult as the situation has been, she said, it will be easier for them to adjust now, rather than years later. The test may raise ethical questions, she said, but it also provides the peace of mind that comes with answers.
"Peace of mind" is a questionable turn of phrase under the circumstances.
“I think it’s a lot more ethical for you to find out the truth,” she said.

Lest Anyone Get The Wrong Impression About Other Members of My Tribe...

H/T to the Hostages for this story:

And it was a double bonus. I had to look up "contumacious".

Little did I know it could be applied to me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Word of the Day

com·mit·ment (kə-mĭt'mənt)

3. The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons: a deep commitment to liberal policies; a profound commitment to the family.

From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Because I am tired of a throwaway society.

I had great personal and moral objections to performing divorces when I started practicing law, and I still have them to this day. I'm not saying that there aren't some cases, such a physically abusive relationships, where this course of action is not just appropriate, but also recommended. However, I am of the opinion that:
1. It is too easy to get married to begin with; and
2. No-fault divorce is a blight on the social landscape of this country.

What's that? "But sometimes its just too hard to get along." you say?
True. It can be very difficult to get along with a spouse sometimes. The pull of competing dreams and unspoken expectations can lead to resentments and schisms in the home that can be very difficult to reconcile. But if you can simply get a divorce, for no reason at all, rather than make the effort to make these things work, then most people are relieved of the effort necessary to live up to their commitments.

"But I did try."
Yes, maybe you did. But you didn't keep trying. Talk to the old folks, kiddies. They'll learn ya a thing or two about marriage. My grandparents, who went longer than 50 years were blunt: There are times when you are going to be mad at your spouse. White-hot mad. They may not even realize it. That may make you madder still. You might have a period of bad sex. You might have periods with no sex at all. You aren't going to have the euphoric feeling of adoration that you once had. But you made promises, and that means that sometimes you play nice when you don't want to. Sometimes, they won't either, but if you stick with it, and appreciate this teamwork and camaraderie, you will be rewarded with something rich and deep: A lifelong commitment, with foundations of respect, freindship, trust, and real love.

"And who are you to question my choices?"
Nobody. Nobody at all. Just someone fed up with the idea that divorce is an option when things don't go right. Life is messy. Relationships are hard. Instant gratification has destroyed our collective sense of sweat equity in the worthwhile things in life. I'm tired of watching friends who meant what they said at the altar being left behind when something different (you'll note that I didn't say "Better") comes along. I'm tired of the damage that it does. I'm tired of children being put in the position of having to navigate between two households, and being robbed of the security necessary to help them to grow up whole. I'm tired of people who never have to resolve issues with themselves going on to make the same choices repeatedly, leaving more destruction and human wreckage in their wake.

Who am I to have this opinion? Nobody. Nobody at all. And if every nobody stood up and said "Enough is enough." then maybe we could make a better society for ourselves.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And they ended on it???

"Jake Green, I don't know what you're carrying, but it better be important, because I think I just started a war with Cheyenne."-Republic of Texas ANG Lt.Col. after just shooting down two Allied States of America jet fighters dispatched to bring the last remaining bomb from the previous September's attacks back to Cheyenne or to shoot the plane down.

So they did it. The conspiracy was outed, Major's Beck's men were let in on the secret, and like Beck, refused any more orders from Cheyenne, and the stage is set for the Second American Civil War. And CBS pulled the plug.

I am not stupid, nor am I easily entertained. This show was intriguing last season. This season, it has been the most tautly written show I have watched since Babylon 5 went dark. I actually caught myself holding my breath at different points. They gave us some of the best emotional payoffs of anything on TV since Jack Bauer killed David Palmer's assassin on 24, and CBS pulled the plug, citing low ratings (although apparently, it is one of the highest downloaded shows on iTunes.)

Could it be the timeslot? Ten O'Clock on Tuesday isn't exactly "must see TV". I think someone's ego at CBS got bruised when the fans demanded its return after the first season and decided to teach we peons a lesson. Why give us a show, with mystery, drama, intrigue, suspense, and solid American values when they can subject us to another horrible sitcom promoting promiscuousness, homosexuality, single parent homes, or yet another cop show?

I really hope that a cable network will see the potential here, and choose to pick it up. If that is the case, all I ask is that you do it right. Don't cheap out and start cutting the cast to pare down the costs. There is still a story to tell here, and in a world increasingly crowded with video vacuousness, We deserve the inspiration and entertainment this show could offer.

"How does it feel to make history?" -Hawkins, in the ambulance after landing in San Antonio, Texas.
"I think we just started a war today." -Jake, sitting next to Hawkins and looking down at him.
"Jake, this war was coming whether we got involved or not. All we did was to help give the good guys a fighting chance."

More than could be said for the show.

Congratulations, CBS. You Boneheads.

I am joining a service organization, and they asked for my Bio.

Yeah, it surprises me too that there is an organization that would not only let me join, but actually invited me to do so. Apparently, they don't know me well enough. Rather than prolong the inevitable, I thought I'd let it all hang out.

BiW was born in December of 1971 in the then-sleepy college town of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, which is now home to one of the largest casinos in the state. He later went on to attend classes at Central Michigan University with his mother while still an infant, so when he says he has been in school all his life, he really means it.

His parents later moved to the suburbs of the City of Flint, and having grown inexplicably attached to him, they brought BiW along, to raise him in the shadow of GM’s factories. He was privileged to live through the crash of the American Auto Industry and all associated deleterious effects on the local economy that started in 1978 and never really stopped.

Upon graduation from high school, he stayed consistent with his chosen allegiances, and much to the consternation and disapproval of much of his family, he chose to attend the right university in Michigan, the University of Michigan, rather than blindly following an unfortunate family tradition of attending the green and white cow college in East Lansing. This choice added fuel to an already acrimonious rivalry that makes the UW/WSU rivalry look like a mild political debate.

Upon graduation, BiW was fortunate enough to marry the love of his life, and went to work for Michigan National Bank. After almost two years in a Dilbert-cartoon like atmosphere, BiW decided that if he was going to work for a corrupt organization, he’d rather if be his own. Law school seemed to be an ideal choice. He started in the James Iredell class at the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Lansing, Michigan. The class was the largest to commence at the law school at the time, with over 500 students. The school has a well-deserved reputation for being easy to gain entry to, and an even better-deserved reputation for being difficult to stay in. His son, Ethan was born in 1999, his second year at Cooley. He graduated cum laude in September 2001, and passed the Washington bar in February 2002.

After passing the Bar, BiW started practicing at a small firm in Tacoma, where he did far too many divorces for his sanity or comfort. His second son, Jake, was born in March 2004, and he started back to school in 2004 at the University of Washington School of Law. He graduated in 2005 with his Master of Laws in Taxation. At around the same time, he started work at XXXXXXX, in XXXXXXX, where his practice focuses on Business and Corporate Law, Estates and Probates, with some Real Estate, Tax, and Tree matters, but NO divorces. He enjoys the work as many “non-textbook”matters seem to find their way across his desk. If you had told him that he would have one tree case for every year he was in practice at the time he was in law school, he would have laughed in you face. Now, he just says “Call me.”

Like many in his profession, he is afflicted with the belief that he is a writer, having been published in the WSBA’s Young Lawyer publication, De Novo. He manages to be perpetually working on a novel, which remains unfinished, despite having garnered favorable criticism from other published authors he knows.

He enjoys the fact that his boys constantly teach him the difference between experience and cliche. He still does not know what he wants to be when he grows up, but despite a healthy dose of cynicism, earned by first-hand exposure to the process, he is still considering crossing over into a career in politics, where he would be assured of angering almost everybody.

It Just Seemed Appropriate

I played this loud this morning on the drive to work, although I like the drums and horns remix on Eponymous better. Disturbance at the Heron House also sounded really good.

Monday, March 24, 2008

No Understanding of History.

I was listening to the Hugh Hewitt show when I was driving home today. He was playing clips of Obama reading his book "Dreams of My Father."

Don't get me wrong. I still wouldn't trust the guy as far as I can spit, but the narrative sounded genuine. More than one caller expressed dismay that he swore (or in their prudish terms "used vulgar language") and one military caller expressed the opinion that he seemed a little to down to earth, and he didn't feel that he could call the guy "sir."

Excuse me?

Maybe its the shoptown kid in me. Cursing can be second nature to me. It was the operative language at the job I held all through high school. Like everything, it has its place. State dinner with the Queen of England? Not the place. Trade negotiations with Canada? Not the place. Negotiations between the Teamsters and management? Abso$&#^@**$^$lutely the place. Close door summit with an intractable enemy who wants to kill your citizens? If it helps to drive the point home that NOBODY messes with this country on your ^$%#*%^%!ing watch, you bet.

One caller expressed the opinion that it was not presidential. What? What history books have they been reading? Nixon? LBJ? Truman? Andrew Jackson? and of course, George Washington,who had been observed by at least one connoisseur of profanity to have a distinct and profound talent for the medium.

As for down-to-earth, I'd rather have the guy I feel I could have a beer with. I don't want someone who will look at the nation's problems from the viewpoint of Buffy and Reginald at the club. I want someone who has actually done some low wage work at some time in their life so they have an inkling of how actions will affect the lowest of us as well as the best off. Someone who has had these experiences, and keeps it in mind when they "make it" is far more deserving of the title "Sir" than someone who's main concern is for the person eating their salad with the wrong fork.

I still wouldn't vote for the guy, but I no longer see him as the characiture of the Hopey-Changeyness guy he pretends to be on the campaign trail, either.

Dinner. Its what's for dinner.

In case anyone thinks I joke about who the cook is around this place, this was the goodbye dinner for Mrs. BiW before she leaves for 11 days at o'dark thirty Tuesday morning on a trip to her plants in the midwest.

Corn, Gravy,

Mashed Potatoes,

Rosemary Chicken

And a freshly mixed Roy Rogers to wash it down.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I hope everyone had a good Easter sunday.

I'm tired.

Jake slept in, and has been extra grumpy all day long. He didn't really dig the egghunt in the rain. Ethan, being older and somewhat insane, didn't mind at all.

Neither one was very interested in the turkey dinner at Papa and Nana's, although they did eat enough to have some of Jake's birthday cake and ice cream. Jake enjoyed his presents, and is inflicting "Hailey and Bailey" hell on us right at the moment. For those of you without small children, they are charcters from the Hermie and Freinds videos. Yeah, I know. It made it so much clearer for you.

The only real question remaining is do I have leftover chinese for dinner, or do I make some rosemary chicken? Yeah, I think the curried chicken sounds better, too. Its a lot less work.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I give up

Whenever I really start enjoying a show, it seems to be destined to be whacked.

Jericho has been cancelled again. Could it have something to do with the time slot CBS chose for it this time around? Naaaaahhhhh. That would NEVER happen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

JB Gettin' his rant on...

Ohhh, I think I'm Offended!

According to this story, Don Imus got the award for the most Politically Incorrect turn of phrase in 2007 for his "nappy headed hos" remark.

Damn. I was hoping it was me, or at least someone I know.

Runners Up?

"Ho-Ho-Ho" (which was replaced by Ha-Ha-Ha in Australia this past Christmas.)

"Carbon Footprint Stomping" (Do I get an Honorable Mention for Gorebecile?)

"Fire-breathing Dragon" (out of fear of running afoul of health and safety regs...I'm not making this up.)

"Whatch dun did now?" (Subtitle to 'The Ghetto Handbook')

"Gypsy Skirt" (Changed to "Travel Skirt" to avoid offending any gypsies.)

These are all pikers. Come play in my playground for a while. You'll learn something about being politically incorrect.

Another Filtched Bit...

Stolen from M at the Cigar Intelligence Agency:

(Author unknown)

I had a dream the other night I didn’t understand,
A figure walking through the mist, with flintlock in his hand,
His clothes were torn and dirty as he stood there by my bed,
He took off his three-cornered hat and, speaking low he said:

“We fought a revolution to secure our liberty,
We wrote a Constitution as a shield from tyranny,
For future generations this legacy we gave,
In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave,

The freedom we secured for you, we hoped you’d always keep,
But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep,
Your freedom gone, your courage lost, you’re no more than a slave
In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one,
On land that your believe you own, you pay a yearly rent,
Although you have no voice in choosing how the money’s spent.

Your children must attend a school that doesn’t educate,
Your Christian values can’t be taught, according to the state,
You read about the current news, in a regulated press,
You pay a tax you do not owe to please the IRS.

Your money is no longer made of silver or of gold,
You trade your wealth for paper so your life can be controlled,
You pay for crimes that make our nation turn from God in shame,
You’ve taken Satan’s number, as you’ve traded in your name.

You’ve given government control to those who do you harm,
So they can padlock churches and steal the family farm,
And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
Harass your fellow countrymen while corrupted courts prevail,

Your public servants don’t uphold the solemn oath they’ve sworn,
Your daughters visit doctors so their children won’t be born,
Your leaders ship artillery and guns to foreign shores,
And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people’s wars.

Can you regain the freedom for which we fought and died?
Or don’t you have the courage, or the faith, to stand with pride?
Are there no more values for which you’d fight to save?
Or do you wish your children to live in fear and be a slave?

People of the Republic, arise and take a stand!
Defend the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land!
Preserve our Great Republic, and God-given right,
And pray to God to keep the torch of freedom burning bright.”

As I awoke he vanished in the mist from whence he came,
His words were true: we are not free, we have ourselves to blame,
For even now as tyrants trample each God-given right,
We only watch and tremble, too afraid to stand and fight!

If he stood by your bedside in a dream while you’re asleep,
And wondered what remains of our Rights he fought to keep,
What would be your answer if he called out from the grave:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Dave? What Are You Doing, Dave?"

Arthur C. Clarke dies today,at his home in Sri Lanka.

A bright light extinguished, but the light radiated still travels.

I have thought about this at certain times in my life...

Apparently this guy has figured his own life was too painful,so he put it up for bid by other people. It has the factor of novelty, but I wouldn't go there.

Il Est Dur, Dur, Dur Etre BeBe'!

I know how he feels.

So I Was Thinkin' About Uncle Bob Today...

And this IS one of the classic Bob Seger songs. Its no accident that he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Chutzpah: Its What's for Dinner.

In yet another example of the sad fact that there is NO SHAME for anyone in this country, we get this stunning exhibition of gall from the lawyer for King Elliot's Good Time Girl:

Call girl's lawyer blasts media for using photos
Newspapers, Web sites have shown photos of Dupre in suggestive poses

Since when did sitting cross legged in a bikini, in a photo that was OBVIOUSLY taken outside and in public become 'suggestive'? When she could no longer potentially gross more in an hour than I make in a month by publishing it for potential johns?

updated 9:34 a.m. PT, Sat., March. 15, 2008
NEW YORK - The lawyer for the call girl linked to the downfall of Gov. Eliot Spitzer lashed out at the media on Friday for thrusting the 22-year-old woman into the "public glare" without her consent and publishing revealing photos.

Prompting the question "Who is the biggest whore, the lawyer of the client?"

Since her identity was disclosed, newspapers and Web sites have splashed photos of Ashley Alexandra Dupre in suggestive poses on front and inside pages. Dupre was known as "Kristen" in court documents accusing Spitzer of paying thousands for prostitutes' services.

The very same pictures she published to the web for all to see?

Her attorney, Don D. Buchwald, said she did not consent to the use of her photos in this manner, and the usage may be a violation of federal copyright laws. He said the photos have appeared on commercial Web sites without her consent.

Ok, maybe I do need to don a black robe, because I would love to make this guy squirm under my questioning. "Do tell,counselor. Why, exactly, does she expect to retain the right of consent to something she herself published for public viewing? Think carefully, and speak slowly, counselor."

Buchwald stopped short of saying Dupre would sue media outlets, but he contended that she is not a public figure and said he would take "all steps that we deem necessary or appropriate to protect Ms. Dupre from any unwarranted exploitation of her name, picture, voice or likeness for purposes of profit."

Because it would be a VERY difficult case to make. Screwing a public official for profit doesn't make you a public figure, but getting caught doing so does, and it is a very likely result of her unfortunate career choice. Weak argument, counselor. As for exploitation for profit, I she is not new to the concept. Methinks she is bitching for not getting a cut. I'm sure she can rectify that with the Penthouse spread. (I didn't intend the double entendre, it just came out that way.)

He did not specify the publications to which he was referring. The New York Post ran four photos Friday in which Dupre, topless, barely covers her breasts, as well as two other images of her scantily clad. The pictures, credited in the paper to Wesley Mann at Contact Press Images, have become an Internet sensation. The Post had no comment on Buchwald's statement.

Because to comment would be to lend credibility. The press isn't stupid, just delusional. Besides, the main purpose for taking a photo is for it to be seen.

The Daily News of New York also published a photo in which Dupre appears to be topless, but it wasn't clear where the image came from. The Daily News did not return calls seeking comment Friday.

Other media outlets, including The New York Times and The Associated Press, published other images that were from Dupre's MySpace page. The AP distributed three of those images, in one of which she is wearing a bikini, and issued a disclaimer authorizing the use of the photos only with reports or commentary on the Spitzer scandal. The photos were also restricted from commercial sale.

Because newspapers are KNOWN for making enormous profits from selling photos that they did not take themselves. Please, a little more posturing. That was almost believable.

"The Associated Press discussed the photos obtained from the MySpace page in great detail and found that they were newsworthy," said Associated Press National Photo Editor V.W. Vaughan. "We distributed the photos that were relevant to the story. Those photos did not show nudity, nor were they explicit."

"Besides" stated a woody-sporting copy boy "she's hot. Why wouldn't we publish it?"

The Times did not return calls seeking comment.

Pinchy Solzberger was...pinching. A few more scandals like this might actually save his tarnished rag.

Governor steps down
Spitzer resigned earlier this week amid the prostitution scandal. The married father of three teenage girls was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes — including a tryst with the call girl "Kristen" in Washington the night before Valentine's Day. Lt. Gov. David Paterson is taking his place on Monday.

Buchwald said the montage of Dupre's suggestive photos has nothing to do with the Spitzer story.

Yeah, because no one is curious to see who was worth losing a kingdom over.

"While the circumstances surrounding Governor Spitzer's resignation are newsworthy, some publications, in violation of journalistic norms, have used the occasion of Gov. Spitzer's political misfortunes as an excuse to exploit Ms. Dupre's persona for commercial purposes," he said.

Buzzt! Bullshit flag, 35 yard penalty and loss of down. Journalistic norms aren't that much different than those of prostitutes. What gets ya paid with the least effort.

Friday, March 14, 2008

And Another Thing...

I was listening to a local radio show while driving home last night, and the host was playing clips of Obama-Osama's pastor swearing in church and denouncing America, and the host was taking calls. One was from a black man in Seattle who started in with the same nonsense. America did this, that and the other thing in the past, which was wrong, and therefore America does suck and is evil, and he could 100% understand where the pastor was coming from, then he started in about how unfair it was that possession/dealing of different types of cocaine would get you a sentence of different lengths, and how the prisons were all full of young black males, the only reason he was here was because of slavery, etc. I could almost hear "Its Hard Being a Pimp" playing in the background. The host did his best to point out that the drugs and those who dealt them typically victimize the black community, so that maybe the fact that some of these people are in jail instead of continually victimizing their community maybe wasn't such a bad thing, and that if it really is about looking to the future, as Mr. Hopey-Changeyness and his Hate America First wife keep saying, then why not recognize the great strides that America has made in the last half-century in terms of race relations and living up to the promise presented so invitingly in the words of our foundational documents. The caller, firmly planted in the victim mindset would, of course, have none of it. Shortly after, another caller, an older white male called in to address a few of the things said, and started by saying "Well of course America has a lot to atone for..."
Another RCOB moment. I'm sure the drive last evening did NOTHING to help my blood pressure, as these calls demonstrated two symbiotic mindsets in this country that are real impediments to any true progress as a nation. The mindset that because my grandfather or great-grandfather had few or no opportunities, because their father or grandfather was a slave, and therefore I am oppressed and America owes me something, and the modern white guilt that says "Because I am white, I am guilty of the crimes of the past." "Bite Me." Doesn't adequately express my feelings about this.

I am not responsible for slavery, an institution that was brought to an end more than one hundred years before I was born.African-Americans born in the same generation as myself are not victims of Slavery, at least not the kind that we hear all the carping about. Instead, the new slavemasters are Al Sharptongue, Jesse Jackson, and the other assorted poverty pimps, a culture that embraces misogyny, and a victim culture that is used as an explanation and excuse for not fully stepping in to the promise that this country holds. Those who overcome the dependence and misdirection are vilified by the members of their own community who don't want to lose this power. Don't believe me? Ask Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and other successful African-Americans. Whenever the talk of reparations for slavery bubbles to the surface in our country's circular discussion on race relations, I see red. The excuses are lame. "We paid them to the Japanese." Yes, we did, to those who were still alive. I don't believe that any one who was a slave is still living, but even then, I might question the wisdom of a reparation. An awful lot of Americans shed blood and died to end the practice. It seems to me that a very high price has already been paid. The idea of giving a check, which we can ill afford, to someone not directly impacted by the institution, is both offensive, and silly.

Then on the other side, we have white people who think there is something they need to feel guilty about. I can acknowledge the past, and know that as a nation, we accepted many practices that are unacceptable to modern sensitivities. I don't see a need to revise it. If left unmolested by certain elements in academia who have bought lock, stock, and barrel into the 'Guilt' mentality, it would actually provide a perspective that all Americans could be proud of when they reflect upon how far we have progressed from the bad old days. Instead, the guilt crowd are obsessed with believing that American culture and history is something that we must all be ashamed of, and they are too eager to throw it under the bus in a rush to make ourselves into something different and unproven.

I love this country. I love what it stands for. We don't have people killing each other over transitions of power. We are charitable. We believe in helping people in need and distress, the world over, even when they don't share our views. Our best aspirations set the standard for the rest of the world to follow, and we seem to be forgetting that. It is clear to me that at least one candidate seeking to be the President of this country does not understand this. He can't. Not with the people who he has surrounded himself with. And the zombies of all color who follow him freighten me. They cannot even articulate his appeal for them, at least not in any terms that resemble logic. I wonder what our epitaph will be, and I wonder how soon it will matter.

That 15 Minutes of Fame Again...

So I read that King Elliot's favorite hooker is apparently cashing in. What a surprise. The download for her song has received a bajillion hits. Maybe she can go on American Idol next. They seem to be continually lowering their standards. It isn't a question of if there will be a controversy, now it is about how many.

I guess it is true. Fame is a social disease, and if you screw someone who has it, you might become famous too. Of course, now that there is no reason for anyone to have any shame about anything anymore, it just got that much harder to grab that spotlight, as it will take more and more outrageousness to grab the national attention.

Mr. Hopey-Changeyness goes to church with an America-hating pastor, and he doesn't see it as any big deal. His wife badmouths the country that has allowed her to prosper, and we get a cricket chirp from the usual suspects in the media. A guy who builds his empire on the bones of others gets caught with his pants down, and the other woman who is 'servicing' him gets the spotlight. If we truly get what we deserve, then I fear for us all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

All It Takes Is For Good Men To Do Nothing

I read something today that rubbed me the wrong way. Actually, several somethings.
The first was a comment from at friend at his own site on a thread about a dope stoopid enough to defend King Elliot of the DroppedTrou. I respect this person. A lot. His example is one a few that actually got me started blogging. I know from his posts and conversations with him that he has a strong belief in God, and the Bible. This is what made the comment even more irritating to me. The gist of it was that while laws preventing prostitution should be obeyed, even if they are stupid. I could have misread it, I could have misunderstood it, but frankly, it has left me a little rankled. King Elliot's troubles have brought the discussions of prostitution to the national forefront, but even for some of the public recognition of the heartache and shame that his activities have brought to his wife, and daughters, there seems to be little recognition of the inherent evil that prostitution represents. The eight hundred pound elephant in the room is the connection between the damage to innocents and the family in general that the toleration of such practice causes. I can't imagine that there are a whole lot of fathers in the world who get all warm and tingly at the thought of their little girls growing up to sleep with men for money. I have sons, so the dynamic is not quite the same, but still I want better for them and from them. The current national focus dissects the process of modern day prostitution, and the types of clients who frequent the business, as well as the glamour and money that some women can make. What is missing from this discussion is the downside, and the destruction that some the those involved in the practice wreck on other people in their lives. The fact that Mrs. Spitzer is still standing by King Elliot, and according to some reports, actually encouraged him to attempt to remain in office, despite other reports that he has been frequenting call-girls for a while, and engaging in sexual behavior that puts not only him at risk, but her too, does not help to spark a debate in which we recognize the practice for what it is: evil.
Instead, we get interviews with former practitioners who, contrary to expressing regret about their choices, instead discuss the more glamorous elements, improbable results, and celebrate the fact that their sentence was short and their book is coming soon. The worst part? The fact that she seems to think that sleeping with married men helped to prevent them from having affairs and thus ruining their marriages. What? What? Last time I looked, infidelity was infidelity, whether it is an affair lasting a span of months, years, or sleeping with a prostitute, even just once.

The world we live in is a marvelous place. We can be in touch with anyone, anywhere on the planet, instantaneously. A few minutes at a computer with a search engine can reveal a multitude of information that used to take hours to ferret out in the library. We can meet and get to know people anywhere in the world without ever meeting them in person. It has unquestionably improved our quality of life. Unfortunately, it has also conditioned us for instant gratification, and instilled the belief that no one will know what we do. However, it also allows things that might not otherwise be encountered to creep into our lives. Our morals, and ultimately our souls will suffer a death of a thousand cuts. Porn is free and available to anyone with a computer. We are constantly bombarded by images and opinions that foment and feed disaffections in our lives, driving wedges where none previously existed. We start to compromise with the things we know are wrong, until we reach the point where we may no longer recognize ourselves. At the same time, the growing emptiness within us grows, driving us for more, and better. Is it any wonder that under such circumstances that as a society, we fail to take such trivial matters as wedding vows seriously. We allow the messages to make us believe that our gratification of immediate lusts is equivalent to satisfaction as a person, despite the fact that the feeding of such urges never leads us to satiation. And when we don't get what we want in our commitments, despite the fact that our ininitition-driven quests often correspond to our own lack of effort and participation, it is simply too easy to unilaterally proclaim that the commitment is dead, the pact void, and that we are entitled to kill something that has a life of its own, regardless of our own neglect and inattention to it.

I feel somewhat betrayed today. I feel betrayed about eyes that know the truth, but just can't see. I feel betrayed by a media that is in love with the scintillation to the point that it ignores the corresponding destruction, and in its own way glorifies evil. These betrayals would make it so easy not to care, if we would only succumb to evil's relentless advance. I feel like we are losing this fight. It bothers me because it matters. And I think our adversary knows it. We have all manner of distraction, from the innocent to the prurient, and everywhere in between, and the troubles, blocks and stumbles that arise whenever individuals awaken to this threat. And for those readers who might say "Who is he to be on this high horse?", I know about many of these things from experience as much as study, so think of it less as a judgement than a call to action. If you dare.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brave New World, Part 2

A While back, I posted a story about porn on cell phones and mulled over the new issues that it would pose for society. Now, out of a very timely example, we have cell phones assisting the sex industry.

Prostitution in a wired world
How technology has changed the world’s oldest profession

It may be the world's oldest profession, but prostitution is using some 21st-century tricks.

Do tell.

The prostitution scandal involving New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer lays bare some of the inner workings of modern-day sex work: text messaging to clock in the client, electronic fund transfers, a Web site featuring color photos, prices and rankings.

Lays bare. Mheh. I guess someone learned something at j-school.

There's always been a distinction between indoor and street-level prostitution, and advances in technology have increasingly separated the two, said Ronald Weitzer, author of "Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography and the Sex Industry."

You mean how one is frowned upon, and the other leads to a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, say no more."?

Not only can prostitutes and escort services now run more efficient businesses, but they can leverage word-of-mouth advertising in new ways to build their brands and troll for clients. Online social communities built around the escort and sex worker industries can solidify customer loyalty.

Crawly must be so proud of himself. Something new to brag about at his weekly meeting with Arazaphel. (See Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman.)

"It's commercial, but it's also social, so people do really form relationships," says Audacia Ray, author of "Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration" and a former sex worker.

"Clients become buddies," she said.
Who loses the most in this arrangement?

There are a host of online message boards where clients or potential clients can discuss, rate and exchange information about individual women.
"Screw the little black book! Give us the bandwidth!"

A recent rating of one woman on the escort-review site reads: "She is the real deal. She's bright, funny, enthusiastic, beautiful, flawless body, really loves what she does."
"It isn't about the money. She loves me. She really loves me."

Another woman got a bad review — not for her physical shortcomings, but for her communications etiquette: "... didn't return calls or e-mails. Irresponsible."
"Because I need to be the focus of her attention at all times, even when I am not paying her."

Such sites are natural places for escorts or prostitutes to advertise, linking to their own Web sites, a technique many sex workers use, Ray said.
Low overhead, broad reach, and interactive. It was only a matter of time.

Technology also eases the business-end of things, Weitzer says. While clients are surveying potential companions, escort-service managers can look into clients with a background check or even a simple Google search.
Perhaps making a great blackmail potential for the pimps...and lets call them what they are.

Payment is easier, too.

"It's often convenient to have an account established with a balance, so if you have the last-minute urge, you don't have to worry about getting money into the account," says Norma Jean Almodovar, executive director of the sex workers' rights organization COYOTE ("Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics") in Southern California.
"When will people realize that the 'old tired ethics' are around for a reason?"

Emperors Club VIP, the high-end prostitution organization Spitzer allegedly was involved with, was brought down when banks noticed frequent cash transfers from several accounts and filed suspicious-activity reports with the Internal Revenue Service, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
Something that he should know about.

The accounts were traced back to Spitzer, and public-corruption investigators opened an inquiry.

It's a long way from leaving cash on the dresser.

Cell phones are handy, too. According to court documents, some details of the alleged appointment Spitzer had with a prostitute were arranged via text message. She was even instructed by her home office to send a text message when he arrived so the office could start the clock ticking on his allotted time, according to court papers.
Is it too late for an "I told ya so."?

Devices such as Web cams also have created new opportunities, Almodovar said.

For instance, if a customer is traveling and wants to talk with a prostitute, "he can just go on the Internet and she can be in her home, and he can be in Europe, and they can have long-distance sexual dalliances," Almodovar said.
Wow. Expensive cybersex. PT Barnum was right.

But even with so much electronic evidence, authorities permit a lot of prostitution to happen without repercussions.

"On the one hand, they're advertised, openly. So you know it exists, and you're letting it go. But then they're not taxed, or prosecuted, unless it becomes a quality-of-life issue or (involves) a public figure they happen to run across. Think of all that cash," said Assistant Philadelphia District Attorney Rich DeSipio, who is assigned to the sex-crimes unit.
Because that is all they would do.

And sex workers also can use high-tech measures to avoid getting caught.

High-end call girls might use bug- and camera-detection equipment to look for surveillance devices, said Jimmie Mesis, editor in chief of Professional Investigator Magazine.

Police often don't find the equipment until after they make an arrest, Mesis said. "They realize, 'Look at this. She has a bug detector. She has a hidden-camera detector. This is a pretty sophisticated set-up here.'"
Yeah, with that kind of money at stake, I'd invest in ECMs too.

But for every client who is revealed, no one knows how much prostitution remains hidden.

"The surprise should not be that (Spitzer) was a client, but that he got exposed," Almodovar said. "Despite the technology we have, 99 percent of them will never get discovered.

"If we didn't have so many clients, we wouldn't be prostitutes."

Here it is. I see the brave new world pushing back the boundaries of this kind of behavior and the shameless people being exposed then keep trying to 'mainstream' this kind of behavior because they engage in it. I have watched a significant erosion in society's norms and mores over my short lifetime, and raising my own children has allowed me to appreciate this slide. The era when society would let kids be kids is gone. Now, we have to hawkishly guard our children's innocence because people have rejected a certain decorum that once central in our nation. And we are the poorer for it.

Passing the Sentence

I read PJMomma's post on farting yesterday, and it brought to mind this little blast from the past.

It was sophomore year of High School. My folks were out of town, so of course I invited the guys over. It was past 2 am, and everyone was finally settling down and drifting off to sleep. My eyes had adjusted to the dark, and the ambient light allowed me to see everyone pretty well. Suddenly, Brian, for no apparent reason, jumped up, leapt across the room to where Jeff was sleeping on the floor, squatted until his butt was about 2 inches from Jeff's face, and cut loose with an enormous, cheek-slapping, gut rumbling fart that lasted almost a minute. Right at the same time the fart started to fade to silence, Jeff's face crinkled up, and seemingly without moving his arms or legs, his entire body turned the other way and he buried his face in his pillow for nearly a minute before getting up to chase Brian back across the room and pummel him for his pointed "nocturnal emission". Good times, good times.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Time to remind them who the big dog is...

In today's news from al-reuters, apparently Russian pilots want to play the real-life version of "You Bet Your Life."

WASHINGTON - A Russian bomber aircraft approached a U.S. aircraft carrier off the Korean coast Wednesday and was intercepted by American fighter jets — the second such incident in less than a month, U.S. defense officials said.

According to the U.S. officials, a Russian bomber came within three to five nautical miles and flew 2,000 feet above the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships.

Two U.S. F/A-18 fighters were launched to intercept the Russian aircraft and escort it out of the area, according to one defense official.

Or help it into the sea. It really doesn't matter.

Russian bombers over the past year have increased their flights near U.S. territory and U.S. naval assets, demonstrating their long-range strike capability.

In February, two Russian bombers approached the Nimitz near Japan and one flew over the carrier, escorted by a U.S. fighter jet. That was the first Russian overflight of a U.S. carrier since 2004.

Those operations come as Russian officials say they will revive some of the military power and reach allowed to collapse with the Soviet Union.

They could start by keeping a firm grip on their nukes.

U.S. defense officials Wednesday said they did not consider the Russian bomber flight a threat or concern.

Bureaucratese for "Had this been a real emergency, it would have been shot down before it ever got in sight of our carrier."

I think its time one of their planes flew into an 'unannounced' surface to air weapons check.

Monday, March 03, 2008

One Of My Favorite Driving Songs

Now it feels like old home week.

I really want to get this on CD.

Another Kappa Party Favorite

I still listen to this album.

Another Trip Down Memory Lane...

I'm sure Cloots will dig this. It got played a lot at Club X in Detroit in 1991.

What the heck? A twofer. We used to love playing this at our frat parties. Kappa Delta Xi Do Or Die. Pecker's Dead!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Because I don't think his ears have done enough bleeding...

Some More 80's Arena Rock for Cloots. Enjoy!

At the risk of inviting provocative comments from some of my female readers...

...This is what I did yesterday.

If you haven't had the opportunity, you should try it. Glass blowing is cool!

As for the provocative, that is what we do best around here!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I was nostaligic for my mispent youth in a shop town

this week,so I bought this greatest hits cd this week. I never get tired of this song.

The Fun Never Stops

I was feeling wiped out yesterday. Like dragged behind a bus for a cross-country trip wiped out. My throat was feeling tight. I was in sad shape. I asked my wife to look in my throat. She screamed. I went to the doc. I have strep. I got the zmax since I am allergic to pennicilin.

Today, I got to try glass blowing.

FREAKIN AWESOME. I really want to try it again. I go pickup my dish tomorrow. I'll post pics.