Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mark it, Horatio!

Bush eschews the signing statement in favor of the veto.

It crossed the President's moral boundary (you know the one, drawn in the sand during a wind storm).

The Senate passed it with a substantial majority but not large enough to override a presidential veto. (Senate 63-37 on 7/18/06, House 238 - 194 on 5/24/05.)

I wonder if the NSA has a way to track those stem cells - to make sure they don't wind up in the wrong place - like a Democrat. In other news, three more organizations that have been tapped to help in Bush's War on Everyone Not Like Us:

BOLERO: Bill Of Lading Electronic Registry Organization. A digital database of bills of lading, those things that record shipments of goods.

CHIPS: Clearing House Interbank Payment System. Bank-owned corporation that clears international USD transactions.

FedWire: The Fed's wire transfer service. I bet there is some pretty information to be had here, too.

If the Feds just happen to gather information on citizens (corporate and otherwise) not engaged in terrorist activity (whatever that is), then that's just the cost of doing business.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Firmly planted on the ledge

Baseball fans can fall into roughly one of two camps:
Never say die,
and
We're so dead!

There are White Sox fans in both camps. And with the White Sox losing the last 5 of 6 to the Red Sox and Yankees, I'm really ready to kill the Never Say Die crowd. Today I opted to follow world news instead of sports radio because it was more upbeat. (Note: Israel started World War III last week, and the news was feverishly following the ultimatums and counter ultimatums.)

The White Sox team batting average is .288. Second only to the Toronto Blue Jays. They are first in the majors with home runs (136).

The Cubs have more stolen bases than the White Sox. (65 v 57)

The White Sox have drawn 301 bases on balls. That's good enough for 15th in the majors. (The Red Sox, who are first, have 400 BB.)

The Really Bad News
The White Sox team ERA is 4.57. The Tigers is 3.54. The Tigers are first, the White Sox are 17th. Keeping it just to the AL, the Sox are 9th (out of 14).
We suck.
Is there any good news here?
The Sox are 2nd in saves. (Thank YOU Bobby Jenks.)

Finally, the fielding stats.
The Red Sox lead the majors at .990. The White Sox are 9th (at .986). They've turned the 3rd fewest double plays (74). The worst, the Washington Nationals, have turned 67.

What I'd really like to do is jam pom poms down the throat of one of those fans who are chastising us for panicking.

Thank God the Sox have an off day.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Brewing them dumber in Colorado

Senate candidate and Coors pitchman Peter Coors gets arrested for drunk driving in May.

When you're that rich AND peddle beer for a living, was it the stupidity or the deep-seated vein of cheapskateness that led him to to opt for driving himself rather than getting a taxi?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI breaks out the Prada boots

In a classic misread of the situation, Pope Benedict XVI is on a mission to halt 'eclipse of God'.

Is he going to develop some leadership and tackle the illegal wars the United States (and associated allies) launched and continue to fight?
Or leadership on the return of torture as a viable tool for governments? (re: United States)
How about the rapaciousness of corporations that steal, poison the planet, undermine societies and cultures, and promote illegal wars?
Something, anything, on the planet's detoriating climate due to man-made causes?
The steady degradation of most of the planet's population to slave status to serve multi-national corporations (the stripping of civil rights, economic power, access to healthcare)?
Acknowledgement that the Church was wrong, wrong, wrong on its stance regarding pedophile priests? And maybe follow their own preachings of Christian conduct and fix the problem?
Baseball's substance abuse problems?
Ozzie Guillen called someone a fag?

None of the above. To follow Benedict XVI's latest counter-assault, we go to Spain.

The Vatican's on-the-ground intelligence in Spain is reporting that Prime Minister Zapatero's government is launching direct attacks on the Roman Catholic Church. (Italics mine.)

In reality, Zapatero and other critical thinking people are rising up against Rome's oppression.

Madrid has legalized gay marriage. Benedict XIV is scandalized. The only church-sanctioned homosexual relationship is that between priest and minor.

Madrid now allows the adoption of children by gay couples. Rome doesn't even want them to adopt dogs (citing the well-known scientific fact that gay couples turn pets gay).

Spain now allows fast track divorce. The Church prefers the "Waiting For Godot" separation. This is where the couple stays married, but live in two different places. And patiently wait for Rome to tell them when it's okay to get divorced (i.e. never).

Compulsory religious education has been abolished in state schools. I seem to recall the Vatican wasn't too keen on compulsories when Muslims were running the show in Spain.

Spain's economic performance has taken off, while church attendance has plummeted (along with the national birth rate). If the priests moved the Mass along and gave decent homilies - well, that's a pipe dream.
Anyway, sounds like God doesn't like countries with high church attendance. (See "Ireland.")

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cheats the system again

Ken Lay is dead. Here are some of the headlines:
Disgraced boss Ken Lay dies at luxury ski chalet (UK Guardian)
Enron founder Ken Lay dies awaiting sentencing (Australia National Nine News)
Lay's Conviction: Gone With Him (Time Magazine)

That last headline reminds me of the greatest sequel never written: The Wind Done Gone

So that rotten bastard dies and cheats the system. Again.

In other news:
All day I referred to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" as "Thundersticks." And not one person corrected me. You think you have friends, and then they let you do this.

In still other news:
Never go to a White Sox game on a holiday. First off, there were be plenty of other people who will go in our place. Second, it's the holiday crowd. They were jumping up and down, traipsing the aisles during play but when it was between innings - watch out! They all settled in to watch the entertainment on the jumbo screen. (Pepperoni pizza won.) The George Lopez Experience was going on to the left, where a conglomerate of 2-3 families took up seats. The fathers (3?) were focused on securing beer supplies. The kids (uncountable) had to have one of everything every vendor was selling.
Oh, and the Sox lost to the Orioles 8-1.
And some stupid &($&@# shouted on every Oriole home run: "Throw it back!" They clearly need GPS and sobriety.

Tangentially:
Way back I had a plan to slick into IIT's Financial Markets graduate program. All I had to do was finish the graduate certificate program and transfer into the grad program. That way I didn't have to take the GRE (again).

But then I went on hiatus. For four years. And IIT has tightened up some loopholes in the meantime. Such as slicking into the graduate program. I have to take the GMAT now. And calculus. And statistics.

And that is the sound of the other shoe dropping.