Saturday, December 20, 2008

RLIUPA Declared Unconstituional

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act is unconstitutional, and the federal jury’s decision in a Boulder Case proves it, county attorneys claimed in post-trial motions filed Friday.(link)

It's good to see this being challenged.

“To comply with RLUIPA, the commissioners would have had to give preferential treatment to (Rocky Mountain Christian Church) over secular applications solely because RMCC is a church. As this court has recognized, such preferential treatment is prohibited by the Establishment Clause” of the First Amendment, Boulder County attorney David Hughes wrote in a motion for judgment.
Besides, look at the size of this collossus! It already rivals the size of Niwot High School just down the road (images courtesy of Google Earth, check for yourself) and they want to make it bigger yet! Can you say 'theocracy'? Can you say 'tax dodge'? Good grief. This is just berzerk.

Go for it Boulder County Commissioners! Keep fighting!

Godly Positioning System

This made me weep with pity.

Oh, the rending of garments, the wailing.

Enjoy that trip to the wasteland kids, you bought and paid for it. You oh-so-lovingly serviced the fundies again and again and again, even when they were savaging you. It was funny to watch, I admit.

Let's hope the 'Moral Compass' is useful in finding your way back. Maybe now that you've pried that huge hunk of crusty religious magnetite off of yours, you'll have a prayer. (a leetle teensy tiny one)

Somehow I suspect the journey back is going to be like watching bad outtakes of Survivorman.

Big Steel Balls

Good grief. Is it required to be crooked to be a member of the Bush administration?

"Promoting democracy" in Cuba no less and this tool had to steal - nearly half a million.

I begin to think it's genetic.

Some people find a bag full of money and return it (and refuse any reward) this shitheel, charged with promoting our country's greatest virtue, promptly fleeces people.

There I believe is a fundamental difference in people. Some will do good because it's just the right thing to do, others will immediately try and game the system.

I guess to some people the whole world is a game, replete with buttons, flippers and big steel balls.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reach across

From Bill Sanders:

Friday, December 19, 2008
Codifying the core of right wing God-O-Meter!

When it comes time to introduce the Reverend Rick Warren to give the invocation for President-Elect Barack Obama, I doubt that we will hear this:

Now we give you Reverend Rick Warren, because he preaches a more moderate, ecumenical tone for our national civil discourse. A minister of strong Christian faith, who believes that Jews are going to hell, who compares abortion to the Holocaust and gay marriage to pedophilia and incest—who describes social gospel Christians as "closet Marxists".

A best selling author of Purpose Driven life who was driven to call Michael Schiavo’s decision to remove his wife’s feeding tube "an atrocity worthy of Nazism" and suggested that Michael wanted Terri to "die" because he feared that if she regained consciousness, she might have "something to say that he didn’t want said."

And finally, we give you a minister with a Christian world view who preaches we should "take out" (kill) evil world leaders like Ahmadinejad, because "The Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped. In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers."

Too bad we won’t hear that because it would go a long way toward proving we can disagree without being disagreeable. After all, reaching across the chasm that divides the Evangelical Right from the vast hodgepodge of the rest of us heathens worked so well in the past.

Why, remember when the Lesser Uniter, Bill Clinton reached across to the Evangelical Right and signed the Defense of Marriage Act–even as the lefties groused about it being the worst piece of anti-gay legislation ever enacted? And remember when he did it again with the school uniform issue and the V-Chip bill? Boy, he really piled up the brownie points and threw cold water on the partisan hostility in Congress! (The only glitch to the Clinton era harmony effort was Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and their congressional toadies who impeached the President)

And remember how well disagreeing without being disagreeable worked right after 9/11. Congressional Democrats gave President Bush authorization to invade Iraq. What a boon that was to the United States’ reputation and our economy.

The ultimate example of disagreeing without being disagreeable was Nancy Pelosi’s reach across to the right wing by taking "impeachment off the table" and not pursuing war crimes prosecution. If you don’t believe that worked to the advantage of harmony, just look at the executive orders George Bush is leaving behind as he rides off into the sunset.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Disclaimer of the Year

Read to the end.

This guy should get a freakin Pulitzer.

Best Loop of the Month

(ripped ever-so-gently from the pages of - nice giffage dude!!)


Naomi Issacson, SIST CEO

Okay, this is bloody creepazillic.

Alleged Murder-For-Hire Rattles Small Town
CBS Evening News Exclusive: Placid Midwest Town Turned Upside Down By Alleged Hit List And Secretive Group

SHAWANO, Wisc., Dec. 17, 2008

(CBS) At the annual holiday parade in scenic Shawano, Wisc., for the first time someone was missing this year. The long-time mayor was nowhere in sight. She was afraid for her life, CBS News cheif investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.

"To have this happen, who would - who would think it?" said Shawano Mayor Lorna Marquardt.

So unthinkable that Marquardt's open-door policy is now officially closed, and she had bulletproof glass installed on her office door.

It's all part of a once-quiet town that's been turned upside down.

"We have weapons in our home now," Marquardt said.

All a reaction to news of an alleged hit list and claims by a so-called hit man, now telling his story for the first time.

"And I said, 'you want me to kill 60 people? You want me to kill the whole town of Shawano?" said Canadian businessman Bob Cameron.

Keteyian asked: "They were hiring you as a hit man?"

"Yes, they were," Cameron said.

"You're talking about the mayor, the city administrator, the city treasurer, the city attorney, the police chief, judges, investigators, fire commissioners," Keteyian asked.

"Uh huh," Cameron assented.

Cameron says in late October he received $175,000 in wire transfers from people known to be part of a secretive group long run out of a house near Shawano called SIST.

Ah. Religious cult with too much money (or maybe, suddenly, too little). And of course, they're crying discrimmination and not paying their bills. Hm. They like handbills too.

Gee, the death-threats kinda blow that whole act.

Nose-picking malevolence

Holy crap, Whiskey Fire is a must-read today:

And my point is, is that things go in cycles in politics. Now, in order to win, it's important to recruit good candidates who stand on principle. Most Americans believe what we believe — that government ought to be limited and wise, that taxes ought to be low, that we ought to encourage entrepreneurship and small businesses, and that we ought to have a strong national defense.

and Thers superb rejoinder, culminated with this lovely word-picture:

Oy. Just toss it onto the groaning compost heap of evidence showing that "conservatism" means nothing, nothing at all, except for mindless, tribal spite, vulgar money-grubbing, and interminable, nose-picking malevolence.

Funniest Headline of the Day

UNC women hold off Aggies

Sometimes the humor is in plain sight.

Wait a sec. THIS ONE.

Rodrigo Braz Monteiro (aka amz on Slashdot)

wrote this lovely piece:

If programming languages were religions...

And now, for some off-topic:

"If programming languages were religions"
(Inspired by "If programming languages were cars")

C would be Judaism - it's old and restrictive, but most of the world is familiar with its laws and respects them. The catch is, you can't convert into it - you're either into it from the start, or you will think that it's insanity. Also, when things go wrong, many people are willing to blame the problems of the world on it.

Java would be Fundamentalist Christianity - it's theoretically based on C, but it voids so many of the old laws that it doesn't feel like the original at all. Instead, it adds its own set of rigid rules, which its followers believe to be far superior to the original. Not only are they certain that it's the best language in the world, but they're willing to burn those who disagree at the stake.

PHP would be Cafeteria Christianity - Fights with Java for the web market. It draws a few concepts from C and Java, but only those that it really likes. Maybe it's not as coherent as other languages, but at least it leaves you with much more freedom and ostensibly keeps the core idea of the whole thing. Also, the whole concept of "goto hell" was abandoned.

C++ would be Islam - It takes C and not only keeps all its laws, but adds a very complex new set of laws on top of it. It's so versatile that it can be used to be the foundation of anything, from great atrocities to beautiful works of art. Its followers are convinced that it is the ultimate universal language, and may be angered by those who disagree. Also, if you insult it or its founder, you'll probably be threatened with death by more radical followers.

C# would be Mormonism - At first glance, it's the same as Java, but at a closer look you realize that it's controlled by a single corporation (which many Java followers believe to be evil), and that many theological concepts are quite different. You suspect that it'd probably be nice, if only all the followers of Java wouldn't discriminate so much against you for following it.

Lisp would be Zen Buddhism - There is no syntax, there is no centralization of dogma, there are no deities to worship. The entire universe is there at your reach - if only you are enlightened enough to grasp it. Some say that it's not a language at all; others say that it's the only language that makes sense.

Haskell would be Taoism - It is so different from other languages that many people don't understand how can anyone use it to produce anything useful. Its followers believe that it's the true path to wisdom, but that wisdom is beyond the grasp of most mortals.

Erlang would be Hinduism - It's another strange language that doesn't look like it could be used for anything, but unlike most other modern languages, it's built around the concept of multiple simultaneous deities.

Perl would be Voodoo - An incomprehensible series of arcane incantations that involve the blood of goats and permanently corrupt your soul. Often used when your boss requires you to do an urgent task at 21:00 on friday night.
(too true and too funny! d)

Lua would be Wicca - A pantheistic language that can easily be adapted for different cultures and locations. Its code is very liberal, and allows for the use of techniques that might be described as magical by those used to more traditional languages. It has a strong connection to the moon.

Ruby would be Neo-Paganism - A mixture of different languages and ideas that was beaten together into something that might be identified as a language. Its adherents are growing fast, and although most people look at them suspiciously, they are mostly well-meaning people with no intention of harming anyone.

Python would be Humanism: It's simple, unrestrictive, and all you need to follow it is common sense. Many of the followers claim to feel relieved from all the burden imposed by other languages, and that they have rediscovered the joy of programming. There are some who say that it is a form of pseudo-code.

COBOL would be Ancient Paganism - There was once a time when it ruled over a vast region and was important, but nowadays it's almost dead, for the good of us all. Although many were scarred by the rituals demanded by its deities, there are some who insist on keeping it alive even today.

APL would be Scientology - There are many people who claim to follow it, but you've always suspected that it's a huge and elaborate prank that got out of control.
(I've used APL and I have to completely agree!! d)

LOLCODE would be Pastafarianism - An esoteric, Internet-born belief that nobody really takes seriously, despite all the efforts to develop and spread it.

Visual Basic would be Satanism - Except that you don't REALLY need to sell your soul to be a Satanist...
(chortle d)

Thanks to jfs and other people on #aegisub for the suggestions. Keep in mind, this list is a joke, and is not meant to offend anyone. Also, if you're a Muslim, please don't kill me. ;)


Betsy Markey won in Larimer County Colorado by a huge margin - 34,193a (96631 : 62438).

Voter registration in that county was (in Oct 2008) 65,148 Republican / 54,052 Democratic - 11,096 vote advantage (nice districting - shows why they need to be adjusted periodically).

You do the mathb

I believe the term is 'disaffection' (not be confused with 'disinfection' but the effect is similiar).

For the Larimer county GOP, it must have been like spilling a hot yagermeister shot onto sunburnt thighs - no wonder the screeching is getting louder not fading.

a. not the much-lower figure being reported in some places, probably because the bigger number makes Musgrave supporters wail and rend their garments, then casteth thyselves uponeth the stepeths of the localeth newthpaperthsthh wailing and thoiling thyselveth.

b. it's okay, we can wait, you've got four years, you might have enough time. Hurry.

Nice Haircut

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Always watching

I'm so pleased that people are watching every single move I make. :-D

It's comforting. Really. Like warm (slightly rank) breath on the back of my neck.

They could use a hobby though.

or a laxative.

or a mint.

My responses to the peanut gallery

Reading the comments1 at the Times-Call is always appalling, but today had some classics. I thought a few needed more pithy responses than the TC's 'moderators'2 would have allowed.

First thing to eliminate should the be the ridiculuous amount of money going toward frivilous open space! Let the Boulder enviro-nuts bury themselves with these foolish spending programs, not us.
'should the be' ? 'ridiculuous'? This one speaks for itself. Bad grammar and worse spelling = half-crocked winger. Must have been hurrying to get in front of the teevee for 'Wheel'
Good thing they opened that ice rink!!
That would be 'kept open' - since no private business has ever come forward with an offer to help - or compete. But always a standard play in the red-state playbook: spit on anything done for the 'little people' (especially if it's non-ivy-league kids). Bra-vo. (golfclap)
Not to fear, since we just approved a couple hundred million in new taxes for the school district, which means our community will any day now see the enormously positive economic impact of this.
"Any day now" being "this week" since all wingnut-driven tax increases instantly "bear fruit" and help us be "greeted as liberators" - oh, wait, I forgot, war GOOD, education BAD. Children exist only to feed the maw of the military ambitions of the bloody red staters.
Is this any surprise. We should have seen this coming. With all the un-needed studies and such and than not doing anything to improve things in Longmont. Some our services are bad now and with new cuts I wonder what is going to suffer next. Maybe the council can take a cut. As always just my opinion.
"Some our services" - write much?
The budget was proposed in August. There were public hearings in September and October and they didn't adjust the budget then when we knew the slowdown had turned into a recession? Lame. What happens when many people have their property reassessed downward from May to June and property taxes go down?
Wait a minute? Now it's a recession? I thought the economy was booming? Funny how the accountability creeps3 in.
I wonder how many of the negative comments about the ice rink and tax money for the school district come from people with kids. The few positives for our youth seem to be the first things some want to throw out, how sad.
I'd suspect a LOT of em. But remember, to many people, kids are great because they're a tax deduction and they can do scut work around the house4.
I have kids and think the ice rink is a waste of tax payer money. Let a private party take it over. I do however feel that the schools are important and do need money.
Hm. Obviously not a hockey mom5.
In response to: "First thing to eliminate should the be the ridiculous amount of money going toward frivolous open space! Let the Boulder enviro-nuts bury themselves with these foolish spending programs, not us." I really like the open space, and think Longmont should increase funding to open space when possible. Look at the home values in Boulder, they are still going up last I checked.
But, but... Longmont doesn't want to be like Boulder!!! (in a high-pitched screechy voice a la Gollum). Besides, no fair using facts, this is a Red Town6 dammit. That'll be enough of that.
The situation is not as dire as "the sky is falling" folks are claiming. We can certainly live without the Martin Street expansion this next year, for example. That saves $3M right there. The budget is ballooned with other of these "nice to have" projects; delay them as needed.
For the love of God! Think of the developers! (chokes back sob)(giggle)
How about emulating Honda Motors cost cutting measures by having all city managers take a pay cut. Seems fair to me since they are steering the ship!
This one actually makes sense. Why not tie size of raises to city budget? Seems reasonable.
(skipped a couple that already get way more play than they deserve)7
No worry are great socialist city council will just tax are way out of this mess.
Ka-CHING! Right on time. PS. Blow me.
Maybe it is time for the city to realize we can function without a bunch of government employees trying to run the show. Welcome to the real world and start cutting jobs, not funding. This city deserves what it reaps. The same thing for the federal government, God bless socialism. Idiots!
How about 'We can function without a bunch of deep-pocket robber-barrons raping and pillaging nonstop' ? Yes, this city does deserve what it reaps - the right-wing elected Stoecker and Pirnack, now that the butcher's bill from their incompetence and cronyism comes due it isn't their meat on the block - yet the whining and bitching is more strident than ever. Personally I think it's because the bag men aren't getting their share anymore and that rankles. God bless socialism? God bless Democracy, another term of barkin-mad wingnuts would have sunk the whole country. Quit blaming socialism every time the pendulum swings7.
Why is open space even on the table? Certainly there is money there for maintenance. Cuts simply mean we don't buy property. It has it's own tax and the budget would be based on what is collected. It isn't subsidized by general sales tax revenues. How do you expect the council to absorb millions of dollars by having them "take a cut"? They aren't paid. Tighten the belt folks. That what we are all doing (except me; now is the time to make money, if you are an investor).
Whaddayanuts? Open space? A piece of land without something built on it? Why... why... that's sacrilege!!!! Freakin hippie! (grin)
Oh heck, let's just have a bond election and a mill levy overide for the city that will take care of things. It's for the kids.
Oh, I think we can forget about any more 'elections8' in Longmont, there's so much money stacked up under the counter now that the 'consultants' will have 'consultants' to park their towne cars.

1 If by 'comments' one is referring to 'semi-literate howls and screeches punctuated with dung-flinging barrages from right-wing loons helplessly watching their dreams of untramelled corruption going south faster than a beer boner in sub-freezing weather.
2 Because for some reason my best responses never seem to show. Maybe it's all the f-bombs. Go figger.
3 and I do mean 'creeps' - like leeeetle tiny rats with long, razor-sharp claws and needle-tipped teeth... but I digress
4 come on, admit it
5 Besides, schools are great for keepin the lil termites busy while you're downing a fifth of scotch and getting that 'special delivery' from the 'postman'
6 Bought and paid for! Dammit!
7 and whose comments will not be seen here either. GRIN. PS, bite me.
8 I'm just waiting for the media onslaught, should be starting any day now.