Tarry for the Nonce

June 17, 2010

It Killed Obi-Wan, After All

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 9:46 pm

Upside: It’s a working lightsaber.

Downside: It can really hurt you . . . specifically it can can burn retinas and set skin on fire.

February 9, 2010

The Top 10 Most Corrupt Politicians

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 5:54 pm

This is couple months old, but for thems that missed it, Judicial Watch has published their list of the ten most corrupt politicians for 2009:

1. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) – for accepting kickbacks from financial firms and undervaluing his foreign property. He has had a formal Senate ethics complaint filed against him.
2. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) – for misusing the power of his office to cover up an extramarital affair. He is being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee.
3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) – for misusing the power of his office to influence the Treasury Department and for accepting kickbacks from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in exchange for his support.
4. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner – for tax evasion, misrepresenting his (not insignificant) role in the AIG bonus scandal, and employing illegal aliens.
5. Attorney General Eric Holder – for repeatedly refusing to investigate charges of corruption, obstructing investigations and employing double standards of judicial enforcement along party lines.
6. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL)/Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) – for suspicious involvement in the buying selling of Obama’s senate seat. One man has already gone to jail.
7. President Barack Obama – for possible involvement in the selling of his Senate seat, for breaking federal laws regarding the logging of White House visitors, for using taxpayer dollars to have the NEA publish pro-administration propaganda, and for systematically appropriating control of the private sector.R
8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – for using taxpayer money and the American military for her personal travel, for lying about her knowledge of CIA waterboarding techniques, and for ignoring corruption within her party as a party leader.
9. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) – for tax evasion, for undervaluing his net worth by $1M in his financial disclosure forms, and for improperly using his influence to provide tax loopholes for his major contributors.

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) was also included on this list for accepting kickbacks from the PMA lobbyist group in exchange for tens of millions of dollars in earmarks, and charges of nepotism in regards to defense contracts, but he died Monday. He considered himself a “deal maker” and repeatedly stressed that Congress was all about “making deals” to benefit one’s constituents. I suppose it’s all in one’s perspective.

Obama’s Approach to Terrorism

Filed under: News, Politics — lmwalker @ 5:22 pm

I’ve read several articles in the same vein over the last month, and it’s so very true that Obama – for all his grandiose blustering about change in terrorist policy – has effectively maintained the status quo:

[T]he Administration has tried to break from its predecessors on several big antiterror issues, and it is on those that it is suffering the humiliation of having to walk back from its own righteous declarations . . .

Begin with Mr. Obama’s executive order, two days after his inauguration, to shut the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay within one year . . . Mr. Obama’s deadline has come and gone, and Guantanamo remains open. In part this is the result of political opposition from Americans—including many Congressional Democrats—who understandably do not want terrorists in their backyards. Another problem is that European allies, while pressing for Guantanamo’s closure, have been reluctant to accept more than a handful of detainees who are deemed suitable for release. The upshot is that Congress may never appropriate the money to close Gitmo, and Mr. Obama never mentioned the prison in his State of the Union address.

Policy Failure One.

The Administration similarly has been backing away from its intention, announced in November, to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other enemy combatants in civilian court a few blocks from Ground Zero . . . Mr. Obama himself responded to criticism by suggesting that what he had in mind was a series of show trials, in which the verdict and punishment were foreordained. When NBC’s Chuck Todd asked him in November to respond to those who took offense at granting KSM the full constitutional protections due a civilian defendant, the President replied: “I don’t think it will be offensive at all when he’s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.” Mr. Obama later claimed he meant “if,” not “when,” but he undercut his own pretense of showcasing the fairness of American justice . . . In the event of an acquittal or an overturned conviction, it would be entirely legitimate under the laws of war to continue holding KSM and the others as enemy combatants. But this would defeat the moral rationale of a trial and require the Administration to explain why it was continuing to detain men whose guilt it had failed to establish in court.

Policy Failure Two.

A third policy under increasing criticism is the Administration’s approach to interrogation . . .Mr. Obama declared that responsibility for interrogating detainees would shift from the CIA to a new, FBI-led High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which would employ only tactics that are “noncoercive” or approved by the Army Field manual . . .Then came the attempted Christmas bombing . . . On [Attorney General Eric] Holder’s order, investigators immediately classified him as a criminal defendant. After interrogating him for just 50 minutes, they advised him of his right to remain silent, which he promptly exercised. Fifty minutes was plenty of time, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs assured “Fox News Sunday” viewers last month: “Abdulmutallab was interrogated, and valuable intelligence was gotten as a result of that interrogation.” Mr. Holder told Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter last week that Abdulmutallab “more recently . . . has provided additional intelligence to the FBI”—which is encouraging if true, but makes Mr. Gibbs’s earlier assurance look empty.

I wouldn’t immediately classify this as a policy failure, but we don’t know what was done to elicit the additional intelligence. If his artificially imposed civil rights were still in place, then one may presume he gave up the information voluntarily, but he seemed a reluctant attacker in the first place. Can we rely on future attackers being so magnanimous?

Personally, I am glad that Obama has responded to public opinion and has opted not to exercise some of the more nonsensical points of his hearts-and-flowers policies, but I wonder where the liberal outcry is. Perhaps they are learning that it’s more difficult to quarterback outside the armchair.

Best Superbowl Ads 2010

Filed under: Anecdotes, Humor — lmwalker @ 4:58 pm

These were my favorite Superbowl ads:
Dodge Charger: Man’s Last Stand and Audi: Green Police (because they’re funny!)
Google: Parisian Love (because it’s sweet!)

Other than that, there was really nothing remarkable, although each of these had their moments:
Budweiser: Body Bridge
Bridgestone: Future Car
Cars.com: Growing Up
Bud Light: Observatory
Bud Light: Survivor
Doritos: Dog Gets Revenge
Doritos: Play Nice
Bud Light: Two Ladies
Coke: Simpsons Moving
GoDaddy.com: Danica Patrick (the extended version at GoDaddy.com, anyway)
Coke: Sleep Walking
VW: Punching Game
Flo Tv: Spineless
HomeAway.com: Hotels
KGB: Sumo Wrestling

NFL: Lift Off was my favorite ad sponsored by the NFL:

I felt the coolest for understanding the subtleties of Flo Tv: My Generation and Vizio: Beyonce.

And, I can’t figure out why Focus on the Family is controversial. Maybe it was toned down or something.

December 28, 2009

Best Christmas Light Display

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 12:53 am

Ever.

December 27, 2009

Tequila!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 10:15 pm

July 26, 2009

Forever!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 10:12 am

I don’t know these people, but I would like to:

(Hat tip to Katy Dixon.)

July 21, 2009

What Should They Name the Children?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 12:18 am

Kelly Hildebrandt is getting married.

An engaged Florida couple has the same first and last name.

Here’s how it all started: 20-year-old Kelly Hildebrandt decided to search Facebook for other people with her name. Up popped Kelly Hildebrandt of Lubbock, Texas. For the next three months the two exchanged e-mails and then started calling each other.

Then he decided to visit, and the couple soon began dating. Eight months after Kelly Hildebrandt sent her first e-mail, he proposed. The couple plans to marry in October.

They say the sweetest sound to a person is the sound of their own name, you know.

July 18, 2009

A Laughing Matter

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 7:39 pm

Did you get a chance to see the Department of Treasury posting for a humorist with the following job description: “The Contractor shall conduct two, 3-hour, Humor in the Workplace programs that will discuss the power of humor in the workplace, the close relationship between humor and stress, and why humor is one of the most important ways that we communicate in business and office life. Participants shall experience demonstrations of cartoons being created on the spot. The contractor shall have the ability to create cartoons on the spot about BPD jobs.”

Republicans just shook their heads, but Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) intervened:

“Of all the agencies, the Bureau of Public Debt should know that there is very little that is funny about today’s economic conditions,” Dorgan said in a statement. “I understand the need for motivation in the workplace, but I think we have a greater motivation to save the taxpayers some money.”

The bureau canceled its plan to hire a cartoonist after Dorgan intervened.

July 12, 2009

Some Side-Splitting

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 10:38 am

In happier news, here is my list of the top five stand-up comedians I would like to see live (in no particular order):

1. Jim Gaffigan
2. Brian Regan
3. Jeff Allen
4. Russell Peters
5. Taylor Mason

With nods to . . .
6. Tim Hawkins
7. Weird Al Yankovic

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