Sunday, April 29, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
In his remarks, Reid criticized Bush and called Vice President Dick Cheney the president's "chief attack dog," lacking in credibility.
I hope he is madder than the reporter who wrote this thinks:
There is far less certainty about the next steps in the historic wartime confrontation between Congress and commander in chief. Reid and other Democrats have said repeatedly they will not leave the troops without the funds they need, but they have not said whether they will first force Bush to veto at least one more bill before sending him legislation he finds acceptable.
To hell with sending the most stupidly stubborn President I've ever seen "legislation he finds acceptable."
Congress, use the power of the purse granted you in the U.S. Constitution to safeguard against continuing executive branch follies. Further food for thought:
Democratic aides said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reid hope to clear the measure through both houses by Friday and send it to Bush by early next week for his expected veto. The Democratic leaders have not said whether they will attempt to override the veto in what would be a largely symbolic act given the number of Republicans who have said they will back the president.
Here's the skinny. It's not necessary to override Bush's veto to get the job done that the American people changed control of Congress to the Democrats to achieve: ending this idiotic war ASAP. All that's necessary is for the House and/or Senate to refuse to fund the war at all, if Bush rejects Congress' ultimate control under the Constitution of whether war is to be waged or not and for how long.
The numbers game here is that a resolution declaring war or authorizing the use of force is treated the same as a "bill" in Constitutional terms, and a resolution repealing or modifying same is also treated the same as a "bill." And either kind of resolution is subject to Presidential veto. From Article I of our federal Constitution:
Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.
Thus we find ourselves recurrently in the situation where it only requires a majority in both houses of Congress to get us into war (presuming no Presidential veto of the resolution) but it requires a two-thirds majority in both houses to end or modify a war if the President vetoes same. Future generations would be well-advised to insist on an automatic expiration of such declarations and authorizations, a "sunset" provision, under which continuing a war would become illegal and unauthorized (and possibly criminalized) unless Congress renews the declaration or authorization.
The silver lining in this cloud is that either house of Congress can end or seriously curtail a war in progress simply by refusing to fund it any longer. And it only requires a majority in either house to defeat passage of a bill continuing funding for a war.
Lest you knee-jerk that this is an un-American thing to do, ask yourself why the Founding Fathers wrote this provision into the Constitution:
The Congress shall have Power ...
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; ...
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces....
Now let's deconstruct another of our dunce President's propaganda statements:
I will strongly reject an artificial timetable (for) withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job[.]
OK, what makes a Congressional timetable "artificial"? Now isn't Bush a Washington politician too, if any of the members of Congress are? Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution expressly commands civilian power over the military. Ergo, the President is a civilian as well as a "Washington politician." And how can the United States Congress ever end a war, which is its Constitutional prerogative, when a President is unwilling to disengage, unless Congress provides a definite or even conditional time for withdrawal that is binding?
I have little hope that the two U.S. Senators from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, will help get our soldiers out of the Iraq morass.
But I hope and trust that the new Congressman from the Ninth District of Tennessee will take the principled stand he voiced during his campaign and not sully his hands with this crazy war. Make Georgie Porgie blink first, Steve Cohen.
If George Bush rejects Congressional authority to end the war while funding the troops' safe exit, then any future deaths of American soldiers in Iraq will be solely George Bush's doing.
Congress, if Bush vetoes your end-the-war bill, please, for the sake of our republic, do not continue funding this slaughter. Force Bush to withdraw our soldiers, because that would be truly supporting the troops while refusing to continue to support this great mistake of a war. And it would be supporting the Constitutional principles upon which our nation was founded.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
It’s almost inevitable: When women get together, the chatter eventually turns to whose skinny jeans don’t fit anymore and who weighs in heavier on the scale. And participation is socially mandatory, a new study finds.See also my post "Overweight & Obesity."
Researchers call this “fat talk,” a term coined to describe a behavior common in middle school-aged Caucasian females. But the phenomenon seems to occur in older females as well.
“We have found in our research that both male and female college students know the norm of fat talk—that females are supposed to say negative things about their bodies in a group of females engaging in fat talk,” said study co-author Denise Martz of Appalachian State University.
. . . .
"Because women feel pressured to follow the fat talk norm, they are more likely to engage in fat talk with other females,” Martz told LiveScience. “Hence, women normalize their own body dissatisfaction with one another.”
“If there are women out there who feel neutrally or even positively about their bodies, I bet we never hear this from them for fear of social sanction and rejection,” she said.
As obesity rates in the Unites States climb, more and more females are finding their bodies further from the beauty ideal put forth in the media, and thus more women could be coping through fat talk, researchers hypothesize.
“Females like to support one another and fat talk elicits support,” Martz said. “An example would be one saying, ‘It's like, I'm so fat today,’ and another would respond, ‘No, you are not fat, you look great in those pants.’”
Almost all blaxploitation films featured exaggerated sexuality and violence. When set in the North or West Coast of the U.S., they tended to take place in the ghetto and dealt with pimps, drug dealers, and hit men. In all these films, it was common to see drugs, the Afro hairstyle, pimpmobiles, and crooked and corrupt white police officers. When set in the South, the movies most often took place on a plantation and dealt with slavery and miscegenation.
As John Beifuss wrote in his excellent blog, The Bloodshot Eye:
"Paramount Vantage's 'Black Snake Moan' slithered out of the top 10," Daily Variety reported Monday, in its weekend box office report. "Landing at No. 11, pic dropped in its second frame by 55 %. 'Snake' has hissed to $7.2 million in two frames on more than 1,200 screens."Is that redemption or rationalization, Craig?
In other words, Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer's second major movie - which today begins its third week (frame) in theaters - isn't likely to recoup its relatively low production budget ($13 million) and multimillion promotional budget until it hits DVD later this year.
Moviegoers may have been confused by an advertising campaign that screamed exploitation followed by interviews with the director and stars in which they spoke of making a story of redemption.
Craig seems like a very nice guy. He's probably even seen me liquored-up and acting crazy at Wild Bill's.
But Craig Brewer has started to seem to me like a straight-to-the-screen version of John Grisham, another son of the South who has also exploited race to sell books, make movies, and be famous.
Let's see what else you got besides raceploitation, Brother Brewer....
From the Nashville Tennessean: "17-year-old who was starved and chained wants tougher laws."
Candidates for the state House, where all 99 seats were up for re-election, spent more than $7.4 million -- an average of nearly $75,000 per seat.
. . . .
In the Senate, 17 of the 33 seats were up for re-election last year and spending totaled nearly $5.4 million, an average of slightly more than $315,000 per seat.
Read the rest of it and weep. If you can't raise this kind of money, how are you going to compete?
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Here's Mary, Mary, quite contrary, showing off a piece of her "adequate provocation" on the witness stand: a white platform high-heel sandal her husband liked her to wear for him.
39-13-211. Voluntary manslaughter. —
(a) Voluntary manslaughter is the intentional or knowing killing of another in a state of passion produced by adequate provocation sufficient to lead a reasonable person to act in an irrational manner.
(b) Voluntary manslaughter is a Class C felony.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; T.C.A., § 39-13-207; Acts 1990, ch. 1038, § 4.]
By the way, Kontji Anthony filed a good report from Selmer on this case. I socialized with her recently and found her an intelligent and vivacious lady. Click on either screen cap for her report.
UPDATE: "Did preacher’s wife get away with murder?"
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I have accepted a position with the Memphis Police Department as a technical consultant. I will be helping to create the Real Time Crime Center and also working on other projects. My email address there is - John.Harvey@memphistn.gov . If you have need to contact me for any business related to policing or law enforcement, feel free to send me an email.
The something old is that I will be developing systems that put critical information into the hands of those who use our systems. The website I developed while assigned to the District Attorney's office has enabled officers to make thousands of arrests over the years. That base code was also utilized by my brother Lt. Jim Harvey of the MPD and his partner Sgt. Joey Catanzaro to develop the MPD's KIOSK which has had the same results.
The something new is that I have more ideas about how we can better utilize data to combat crime and the MPD command staff is very supportive. That wasn't the case at the SCSO. I have talked about some of my ideas on my cyber-posse.com website and there are others I'd like to see implemented, but in due time. In Thursday's meeting I raised the issue of repeat, repeat, repeat offenders to Dr. Janikowski and his eyes lit up. He said we need that information. I also spoke with the director about it and he too wants to further develop that information and to use it to point out what must be done to correct the problems. They already knew that we had a repeat offender problem, but weren't aware of the exact numbers.
Sidebar: I attended the MPD’s tracks meeting last Thursday (modeled on New York’s Compstat) and I must say I was impressed. It was refreshing to see the Director get up and lead the session. He knows whereof he speaks because he has worked the streets. He is measuring successes and failures and holding commanders accountable for the effectiveness of crime reduction strategies in their areas. We’ve got some great plans in store for the MPD and other agencies that will be accessing the systems we develop. I predict a precipitous drop in crime over the next year or so.
On another note. I’m also having a little trouble getting used to being appreciated, but I’m sure I can adapt!
Congratulations, John! Go get 'em!
The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.
The text of the Act is broad and is addressed at any attempt of a US citizen to conduct foreign relations without authority. However, there is no record of any prosecutions or convictions under the Logan Act.
. . . .
Passed under the administration of President John Adams, during tension between the U.S. and France, it was informally named for Dr. George Logan of Pennsylvania, a state legislator (and later US Senator) and pacifist who in 1798 engaged in semi-negotiations with France during the Quasi-War.
. . . .
Despite the apparent success of Logan's mission, his activities aroused the opposition of the Federalist party in Congress, who were resentful of the praise showered on Logan by opposition Democratic-Republican newspapers. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, also of Pennsylvania, responded by suggesting that Congress "act to curb the temerity and impudence of individuals affecting to interfere in public affairs between France and the United States." The result was the Logan Act, which was pushed through by the Federalist majority (60-46 in the House; and 22-10 in the Senate) with relatively little debate.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Stevie Winwood reportedly now lives in Franklin, Tennessee, in the Nashville area, having married a woman named Eugenia, a Lexington, Tennessee native and Belmont University graduate who introduced the Brit to Music City more than a decade ago.
From a 1997 article:
The Winwoods married in 1987 and now have four kids between the ages of 2 (Lilly, who "runs the whole show") and 10.
The family splits time each year between Middle Tennessee and Gloucestershire, England, where Steve has a home studio.
"We've got small children, so where they go to school generally dictates where we are,'' the 49-year-old father explains. "Normally we spend their school time in England and then we come here during school holidays and summer vacations.