Archive for April, 2011


President Obama’s birth certificate, or lack thereof, occupied the rightwing for 2 and 1/2 years. It’s occupying some of them even still.

My personal thoughts on the president’s birth certificate were of two strains.

First, asking to see the president’s actual birth certificate, the long form, was a perfectly reasonable request that could have been granted with minimal effort on the part of some aide within days of being made. The short form they provided on the internet was not, in fact, good enough.

Second, I was sick of hearing about it after, possibly, a week.

Let’s say the man was not, in fact, born in Hawaii, but simply to an American citizen in Kenya or where the hell ever. Still an American citizen at birth because his mother was a citizen and he was, therefore, subject to US jurisdiction. Arguing that ‘natural born’ must mean born within the borders of the geographic US, rather than to an American mother or father, seems a bit much to me. At the end of the relevant clause in the constitution it even stipulates how long a citizen must reside in the country to be eligible. President Obama fits both bills, birth certificate from Hawaii or not.

So, why did he hide the long form for so long? And I think it’s pretty obvious he was hiding it because it would have been so easy to obtain when the request was made.

I think he was watching the far right eat itself up over the issue and decided to just let them, to see how long they’d stay at it, distracted. They could have been up to other mischief for these last two and a half years. Instead they’ve been obsessing over the birth certificate, which he knew he could provide at any time to make them look stupid. Pretty canny, Mr. President.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the constitution is an amazing document with laws that should be followed as close to the letter as possible. I swore an oath to defend it. If Obama had been flouting the law, tricky dicking his way around it, breaking it, action needed to be taken. But unless you’re going to argue that his natural birth mother was not a citizen, the man is eligible and has been since the beginning.

Evolution


“Not only could a million monkeys have turned out the works of Shakespeare, they actually did.”

Well, it definitely did not go to hell. I liked this book.

Everything I liked about it in the first 8 chapters: Hard SF sensibilities, a cool central premise, the fast moving short story pace, were maintained for the entire novel. All good. Highly recommended.

And in other news, Eric James Stone’s story “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” has been nominated for a Hugo award in the “Best Novelette” category. Huge congratulations, Eric!

Politics: the complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society, esp those relationships involving authority or power

Mao Zedong said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

He was right. He and I have some pretty major philosophical differences but on that he was absolutely right. Continue reading

Best Buy Has My Business

Samsung GalaxyThere is more to a retailer than price.

A few weeks ago I switched from an iPod Touch and an old flip cellphone to a Samsung Galaxy. All-in-one! And believe it or not I’m actually paying less per month now than I was. Of course, switching my habits to encompass an android device instead of a Touch has made a bit of an impact. The functionality is all there, and more, but it’s different.

Among other things the little FM transmitter I could plug my iPod into and hear it over my car’s radio didn’t plug into the Galaxy. So, I did a little research and decided to go with Gomadic for both a mount and a power/transmitter device. They arrived. (I do so love getting packages with cool things in them!) and I installed them both.

The mount was OK, secure if a little wobbly. The transmitter was crap. They had assured me on their website that their transmitter was “2nd Generation, even more powerful!” and that I would listen to all my music with “crystal clarity”. I had faith because the one for the iPod had worked quite well.

Bull.

Continue reading

Over on Monster Hunter Nation rockstar author, accountant, and gun maven Larry Correia has some pithy thoughts on the state of US Government spending.

But no matter how screwed up our tax code is, and even if we suddenly had a sensible tax code tomorrow, we’d still be in deep trouble, because the government is spending too damn much.

Read the rest and enjoy.

I haven’t finished this book yet, so be warned that it may go completely to hell before I get there. I don’t think it’s likely but I’ll let you know either way. So far though, (I’m up to Chapter 8.) it’s a rocking good time with hard SF sensibilities striking sparks off of a whimsical  and amusing central premise.

Also, in the interests of full disclosure, Eric James Stone, the author, is my friend. I like his stuff in spite of that though, and I don’t think I’m in the minority.

Unforgettable