Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Listening to the induction ceremony for Cal Ripken Jr. this weekend, a question occurred to me:

How does everyone assume Mark McGuire used illegal anabolic steroids, but Cal Ripken didn't?

And why would the hall of fame care, given neither of them broke any baseball rules?

I hope Bonds destroys the record, so there's no question.


In honor of the beginning of Ravens training camp, I would like to present my virtually meaningless, pretty much uneducated, and mostly just a shot in the dark prediction for this year:

12 - 4

AFC North Champs

Saturday, July 28, 2007

How the government really works

Don Boudreaux explains the real politics of prohibition in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The most important thing to know:
So, if the history of alcohol prohibition is a guide, drug prohibition will not end merely because there are many sound, sensible and humane reasons to end it. Instead, it will end only if and when Congress gets desperate for another revenue source.

It's sad, but what the government decides you can and can not do has little to do with anything other than revenue. Gambling is exactly the same.

How you can tell for sure the American public is stupid

Daughtry has a record deal, and has sold 3 MILLION copies of their first album.

Who listens to this shit? I heard it on the radio the other day, it's like they rip off 3 other awful bands (Nickelback being the most obvious), and don't even do it well.

I hate pop music.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Must be nice.

A man's boss tells him to kidnap a man, take him to a ditch, and shoot him. The victim dies, and the shooters plant a gun near him to cover up the crime.

One of the shooters' punishment: he loses his job.

That's what happens if you are a Marine, and your victim is an Iraqi.
Charged with killing an Iraqi civilian, Marine Trent Thomas backed out of a plea agreement calling for a 12-year sentence to face a court-martial that could have put him in prison for life. He said Friday that it wasn't a gamble, but a leap of faith.

"God can do anything but fail," the 25-year-old from Madison, Ill., said shortly after a jury decided against giving him any prison time for kidnapping and conspiring to murder. "It didn't matter whether I took the 12-year deal or went to court. God's willing for me to get out."

Thomas, who spent 14 months in the brig awaiting trial, was reduced in rank from corporal to private and given a bad-conduct discharge. He could have received life in prison without parole for the crimes he was convicted of Wednesday, and one of the counts he was acquitted of, aggravated murder, carried a mandatory life sentence.

A jury of three officers and six enlisted Marines deliberated for less than an hour Friday before returning its decision.

Prosecutors had recommended Thomas be sentenced to 15 years in prison with a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank and a fine for his role in the April 2006 killing of the retired Iraqi policeman in the village of Hamdania.

Thomas was among seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused of snatching 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his house, marching him to a nearby ditch and shooting him after they botched an attempt to capture a suspected insurgent.

Prosecutors said squad members tried to cover up the killing by planting a shovel and AK-47 by Awad's body to make it look like he was an insurgent planting a bomb.

"I believe we did what we needed to do to save Marines' lives," Thomas said outside court, while declining to discuss the details of what happened that night. "I think anybody who understands what war is or what combat is understands."

Thomas' attorneys argued that their client was only following orders from his squad leader and asked that he be returned to active duty.

"We failed him as a Marine Corps, because under good leadership, this Marine would not be here today," Maj. Haytham Faraj told the court. "Consider where the responsibility lies."

Thomas had agreed in January to plead guilty in the case, but withdrew the guilty pleas on the eve of sentencing in February. His attorney, Victor Kelley, said that pretrial agreement had called for 12 years in prison.

Words don't convey how disgusted I am.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Some questions, answered

USA Today worries that the lighter unbanning on airplanes is an issue, because lighters might still be dangerous.

The TSA has a very helpful Qand A on the subject, but USA today has some questions only a smart person can answer. Lucky for you, I'm smart.
When and how was it decided (and who decided) that lighters were no longer a "significant threat"? Less a threat than 4 ounces of shampoo or toothpaste or breast milk? Help us out here, TSA.

Lighers never were a significant threat. They were banned in response to someone using matches to light his shoe, so naturally, they banned lighters, but not matches. This is what happens when you Must Do Something, you just come up with something to do.

• What's the deal with smokers? Why do they continue to pack lighters in carry-ons, knowing they'll be taken? Willfulness? Constitutional issues? Nicotine-induced amnesia? Or is it just addiction? (Are screeners also confiscating heroin-junkies' "rigs"?)

The article points out that over 11 MILLION lighters were confiscated last year. I flew several times last year, each time with a lighter. Only lost one. Why? Because airport screening is a joke. Smokers who travel regularly know that it's easy to make it through screening with your lighter. So you pack it, take some matches just in case, and you'll probably get to your destination with your Bic. In my case, my wife and I also made it to our destination with a screwdriver and a canister of mace (which was attached to my wife's keychain IN PLAIN VIEW).

• Why is breast milk not a threat? (See below)

It never was.

Bend it like Beckham

I'm a soccer fan. I don't watch much US soccer, mostly because compared to international play, it's just second rate. I was uninterested in all the hoopla about David Beckham coming to play in the states, again, I don't follow MLS, and most of the hype had to do with his celebrity, not his skill.

Mike DeCourcy in the Sporting News has a nice commentary on Beckham, and why the media, specifically the sports media, might be well served to pay a little more attention to the sportsmanship instead of the celebrity.

The celebrity will get old, quick.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

One small win against tyrrany

A US appeals court in DC ruled that detainees at Gitmo can indeed see the evidence the Goverment has.

Your government has 385 people locked up with no charges and no trials. For 5 years.

That's why we have a Constitution. How this administration keeps getting away with ignoring it; well, that's something the American Sheeple need to take responsibility for, isn't it?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Over Under

The Benoit toxicology came out. We'll ignore all the alcohol, and instead focus on the illegal stuff.

I'm now taking bets on the over under on how long it is before someone proposes new anti-steroid legislation.*

* Not really, because that would be illegal. I never do anything illegal.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Good Times!

Had a great time last night. J and I, along with our friends K, A, and K went to see the Bacon Brothers outside at the Western Park at the Inner Harbor, then stayed for a screening of 'Diner'. Even a quick shower didn't dampen our spirits (K had a sheet big enough for all of us to huddle under.)

Just sitting outside with a margarita watching a band backed by the Baltimore skyline was a treat, and made me love living in the city just a bit more. I may never go back to the 'burbs.

Friday, July 13, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, I was challenged to overcome bodybuilding mythology that beginners shoudl use bodypart splits. This was the impetus I needed to get back to things.

My training for the next 8 weeks will be primarily to bring my GPP up to par; I need to get in shape. I'll use a very basic routine ripped off from Mark Rippetoe, plus some cardio and stuff.

Workout A:
Squat 3x5
OH Press 3x5
Bent Row 3x5
15 minutes of whatever

Workout B:
Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Deadlift 1x5
Chin 3 x as many as I can do
15 minutes of whatever.

I'll post updates here, but I'll probably post workouts on the Jacked Libertarian.

Positive reviews

Made a purchase yeaterday of a Buffalo Linkstation 500G NAS. I'm not a technical wiz, and was a little concerned that it didn't really come with much of a manual.

10 minutes later, it was hooked up and I was saving files to it. Easy as pie to set up. I haven't messed with any configuation stuff yet, but I don't really know that I'll need to.

Also downloaded Mediamonkey to rip my CDs to the NAS in flac (lossless) format. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get the album art (and get that to work with sonos), but that's also easy as pie to use. I still need to test the conversion from flac to mp3 to get things on my new 8G Sandisk Sansa.

I love toys.

Oh, by the way, another plug for Sonos. It took me about a minute on their forums to find the solution to the album art issue. It's still the coolest thing ever.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Steroids are sexier than wine.

Straight shootin, and it's refreshing they let him on. But the idiots still want to blame teh steroids. (He makes a great point that no one cares that there was alcohol in the house.) I love how they cut him off at the end - talk about credibility.

Steroids didn't kill anyone. "Roid rage" is a bunch of crap. Come on.

Monday, July 9, 2007

How many stupid people run for President?

At least one.

Mitt Romney, in a fit of what can, at best, be described as incredible stupidity, recounts a story about lashing his dog (in a carrier) to the roof of his car for a cross country trip. Apparently, this story is supposed to demonstrate his ability to remain calm under stress.

Now that I think for a minute, I guess this is a good skill to have: the ability to remain calm when you do something stupid and your dog shits all over your car, or say, you invade Iraq and your plan shits all over your car...


There is a response - Dogs Against Romney.

It's healthy to laugh at stupid people.

Congratulations, Mr. Romney, on being the idiot of the day.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Me gusta cervesa

Anther one of those 'my life is great' kind of nights. Went to an open house at a new, really cool project calle Tailros Row. Each of 5 houses has commercial space on the first level, for either a work/live kind of deal, or you can rent it out, or use it as part of your house.

Hooked up there with another Realtor friend, R. We decided to meet his girl T, along with two friends of theirs at Arcos, someplace I've wanted to go for a while.

had a couple of Dos Equis waiting for everyone and waiting for a table. Everyone else had margaritas, all approved. This place is a little North on Broadway, and is on the edge of some rough areas.

The atmosphere at this place is unbelievable. We ate outside, which is all brick, with cool wood deatails. We started out with chips and salsa and guac. The guacamole is some of the best I've had. Dinner was OK, Carne Asada, but nothing special. Atmosphere - 9 out of 10. Food - 5 out of 10. Service was a little too relaxed.

All in all, a great night though.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Layman's Guide to Anthropogenic (Man-Made) Global Warming

This is fantastic stuff. Read it all when you have time, and dare to challenge the global warming religion.

Apparently, they didn't like the taste

Yet another giant goverment program that's a failure. Shocking.

But an Associated Press review of scientific studies examining 57 such programs found mostly failure. Just four showed any real success in changing the way kids eat - or any promise as weapons against the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.

"Any person looking at the published literature about these programs would have to conclude that they are generally not working," said Dr. Tom Baranowski, a pediatrics professor at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine who studies behavioral nutrition.

The results have been disappointing, to say the least:

_Last year a major federal pilot program offering free fruits and vegetables to school children showed fifth graders became less willing to eat them than they had been at the start. Apparently they didn't like the taste.

_In Pennsylvania, researchers went so far as to give prizes to school children who ate fruits and vegetables. That worked while the prizes were offered, but when the researchers came back seven months later the kids had reverted to their original eating habits: soda and chips.

_In studies where children tell researchers they are eating better or exercising more, there is usually no change in blood pressure, body size or cholesterol measures; they want to eat better, they might even think they are, but they're not.

Unfortunately, doctors don't really seem to get it, either:
The forces that make kids fat "are really strong and hard to fight with just a program in school," said Dr. Philip Zeitler, a pediatric endocrinologist and researcher who sees "a steady stream" of obese children struggling with diabetes and other potentially fatal medical problems at The Children's Hospital in Denver.

What does he tell them?

"Oh God, I haven't figured out anything that I know is going to work," he said. "I'm not aware of any medical model that is very successful in helping these kids. Sure, we try to help them, but I can't take credit for the ones who do manage to change."

Tell them to get off the couch, sell the freaking Nintendo, buy a soccer ball, and get their kids outside. Tell them to quit feeding their kids just peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches on Wonderbread - give them some meat, some veggies, and some fun stuff they like.

Sometimes there is a time and place for a 'when I was a kid' story. Here's one. My mom is a hell of a cook. She's from a Southern family, and there were lots of meals in my house that were fried in Crisco. Every dinner had potatoes. Not a worry about fat content.

But every dinner also had a vegatable. There was always fresh fruit in the house. We drank our milk.

I lived on sweet (with real sugar) tea, sodas, cakes, cookies, and potatochips, too. And when I graduated from high school, I was 5 feet 11 inches, and weighed a whopping 135 pounds.


Because I went outside and played. Because when I turned 16, I got a job where I was on my feet. Because I was active. Not a star athlete, not necessarily even a good one. But I was out doing stuff.

This isn't difficult to understand, and it isn't difficult to fix. And goodness knows, we don't need another government program to 'help'.

Idiot of the Day

The states of Minnesota, Arizona, and Tennesee

Keeping us safe from the scourge of inexpensive flags not made in the USA. Or, maybe, polititians are protecting someone who gave them some money.
Sandy Van Leiu, chairman of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, said the imports are cause for concern even though U.S. companies still dominate the flag market.

"That door is going to keep opening," said Van Leiu, a sixth-generation executive at the family-owned Annin & Co., a 160-year-old business that supplies retailers like Wal-Mart. "It starts small, then it gets big. You're just opening Pandora's box."

To help consumers identify the origin of their flags, the association created a certification program two years ago that bestows a seal-of-approval logo to flags made with domestic fibers and labor.

Whether Minnesota's law violates international trade agreements — and whether anything would be done about it — is an open question.

Under World Trade Organization standards, the U.S. government can't treat foreign products less favorably than those produced within its boundaries, said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland and the former chief economist for the U.S. International Trade Commission. How the rules apply to states is debatable, he said.

Morici said a foreign business harmed by the law would have to get its government to take action against the U.S. government. Robert Litan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, said while the likelihood of Minnesota's law sparking a dispute is slim the symbolic message is hard to miss.

"It's symptomatic of an anti-foreign bias moving through the country right now. It would not surprise me if other states copied it," Litan said. "It's hard to oppose politically."

When the bill was debated this spring, some legislators argued it sent the wrong message to close Minnesota's borders to foreign-produced flags.

"That flag should be made throughout the world because it is our message to the world that there is hope for freedom and justice," Republican Rep. Dan Severson said at the time.

The law's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Tom Rukavina, said the flag deserves extra protection. To celebrate his legislative victory, he plans to hand out 1,000 miniature flags at Fourth of July parades in his district.

"The biggest honor that you can give the flag is that it be made by American workers in the United States of America," he said. "Nothing is more embarrassing to me than a plastic flag made in China. This replica of freedom we so respect should be made in this country."

The new law doesn't spell out a penalty for violators. In Minnesota, the default punishment for prohibited acts is a misdemeanor offense, carrying up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

I blame rock music.

Tipper probably should have done a better job, huh?

Of course, if my father made me drive a Prius, I'd smoke weed, too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

The 4th is always a day of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, we get to celebrate with vigor the ideals on which our country was founded - Liberty being first and foremost.

Then, I think about what we are now.

It isn't at all what we were shooting for.