NCAA Hoops Shit

Why are these teevee fuckknobs talking about how Louisville is “the number one seed of number one seeds”? Is this some new shit that the four number ones are seeded with each other? I don’t ever recall that in previous years. Am I delusional?

REPOST: Constitutional Originalism, Natural Law, and The Ninth Amendment

Conservative legal theorists spend a lot of time talking about how the text of the Constitution should be construed only as it was understood at the time of the Founding and Ratification. Building on this idea, they rail against “judicial activism” and the “creation of new rights” that are not “found in the text” of the Constitution. This provides a theoretical basis for conservative claims that there is no Constitutionally protected right to many things they despise: gay marriage, abortion, health care, housing, food, etc.

As I will describe below, this textual originalism is bad history and bad law. Furthermore, this theory only has any jurisprudential legs at all because of an unfortunate happenstance of 20th Century Supreme Court jurisprudence.

(This is a repost of a guest-post I wrote at Home of the Brave, a great blog on constitutional issues in contemporary politics.)

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Holy Fucknoly!!!!11!!!

In another stunning upset, the motherfucking Dutch have clinched advancing to the next round of the World Baseball Classic–and knocked the Dominicans out–by beating the motherfucking Dominicans again!11!!!!!!

To give a sense for how huge this upset was, the Dominican pitching staff has had over five hundred wins in the Major Leagues, while the Dutch staff has had 95, 90 of which were by one pitcher: Sidney Ponson. The Dominican team has 23 current MLB players, while the Dutch have 2. The Dominican team has 1801 MLB homers, and the Dutch have 82. The Dominican team represents over $80 million in 2008 MLB salary, and the Dutch team $400,000.

This could be one of the greatest sports upsets of all motherfucking time!!!11!!

Magnificent Painting By Jessica Palmer (aka BioE)!!11!! {Updated With Artist’s Annotation!}

jessicas_painting

Comrade PhysioProf won this beautiful painting by Jessica Palmer–who is also the blogger known as Bioephemera–with the biggest Donors Choose donation to her blog’s challenge. It was matted and framed by an awesome fucking frame shop in the neighborhood. w00t!

You can check out a fuckton of her other work here.

UPDATE: Here is the artist’s annotation written by Jessica:

Well, the medium is watercolor. There may be a tiny bit of gouache in the details on the bubbles and so on, and pencil for the sketch. I wanted to do a cephalopod for this contest because it’s a theme of my blog, but the last one I did was really bright and science-fictiony. I wanted to go a different, more organic direction and paint an art nouveau style cephalopod, such as you might find in a stained glass window or on a piece of enamelled jewelry.

The unusual palette was partly inspired by a Daniel Merriam painting I had seen, and partly by a grungy patina on a collage.I originally was going to have grungy letters and numbers layered in the painting – I was thinking of a submarine or something – but as I proceeded the painting was just too organic and flowing for that to work. So I ended up embedding a Shakespeare quote in the background of the piece – Ariel’s song from The Tempest,

Full fathom five thy father lies:
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

which came to mind as I was painting, in part because of the coral color of the octopus, but mostly because I’ve always been kind of fascinated with those lines. I wanted the painting to be sumptuous in its curves and detail (rich), but still surreal and dreamlike (strange). (I was emphatically trying NOT to think of Hitchcock’s “Rich and Strange,” which is a terrible film.) I was also thinking while painting this of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who drowned young. (It turns out the boat he wrecked in was named “Ariel”; I did not find this out until after I finished the painting. Odd.)

Meaning – well, a cephalopod is a changeable creature – changing shape and color freely – so it seemed like the right critter to represent a theme of transformation, especially timeless transformation, with its tentacles making little infinity loops and spirals all over the place. I envision this octopus as a sort of wise dragon of the deep, guarding its treasure of bones and coral and pearls and whatever else is down there decaying away in slow motion (including Shelley). But it could mean something quite different to someone else. I don’t think the artist has a special privilege when it comes to interpreting the artwork.

Maureen Dowd Is A Fucking Toxic Waste Dump

I always fucking regret it when I read Dowd’s horrible swill, but there I was on the NY Times Web site today, and her March 3 column was on the “Most Popular” doohickey in the sidebar, so I clicked on it. What a fucking mistake. Without even getting into how fucking painful it is to read her turgid meaningless prose, let’s just talk about how she is a destructive lying sack of shit.

The column is entitled “Stage of Fools”, and the premise is that Saint John McCain is like motherfucking King Lear–yes, she quotes fucking Shakespeare–railing against Congressional earmarks in the final 2009 fiscal year omnibus bill. Just to get some facts out there–which, to her credit, are actually presented in the column–the total omnibus budget bill is $410 billion. The total amount of earmarks that Saint McCain sought an amendment to remove is $7.7 billion. That’s ~1.9 fucking % of the bill. Not much in the grand scheme of things.

In a rational world, Dowd’s column would be about how it is just political grandstanding on McCain’s part to be railing against <2% of an omnibus spending bill. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!! Here are Dowd’s characterizations of the bill:

offensive bipartisan pork

In one of his disturbing spells of passivity, President Obama decided not to fight Congress and live up to his own no-earmark pledge from the campaign.

Yet he did not ask Congress to sacrifice and make hard choices; he let it do a lot of frivolous redecorating in its budget.

a budget festooned with pork

the first pork-filled budget from a new president

the bloated bill

First, it strains the English language to the breaking point to consider <2% earmarks–even if you concede that all of those are so-called “pork”–as “festooned with pork”, “pork-filled”, or “bloated”. Second, it is a total fucking lie that all earmarks–defined as particular spending lines inserted by particular legislators to fund shit in their own districts/states–are “pork”. Many of these earmarks are for things that are good and useful expenditures.

Dowd is a destructive blight on this country, and I continue to be outraged that she is granted a platform of prominence by the NY Times. Oh, and what a fucking surprise: she manages to work the hated Clinton name into the column:

It includes $38.4 million of earmarks sponsored or co-sponsored by President Obama’s labor secretary, Hilda Solis; $109 million Hillary Clinton signed on to; and $31.2 million in earmarks sought by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with colleagues.

Fuck you, Dowd. You wake up every morning and thinks to yourself, “Hmm. Now what can I viciously lie about today that is going to make life more difficult for as many of the little people as possible, and how am I going to work the Clintons into it?”

Note To “Moderate” Republicans

It’s so funny when people try to act like there is even the slightest bit of reason remaining in what passes for the right-wing in this country. Here’s a hint: If you think of yourself as some kind of rational moderate right-winger, you need to start a new political party. The Republican Party is nothing more than a refuge for deranged racist, misogynist, theocratic, neo-feudal wackaloon nutjobs. To the extent that there may have been–at some point–something even remotely decent there, it is gone.

Oh, and one other thing, enough with the manly Randian fantasy shit. Other than to a bunch of 14 year-old pimple-face dudes wacking off at how virile and powerful they are, it just makes you look fucking stupid.

HTH. HAND.

Religion Versus Reality

The Barefoot Bum has an interesting post up that touches on the relationship between religion and reality. One of his key insights is this:

The problem with religion, any religion, is that some privileged elite almost always has to speak for God.

Yep. This is because when you’re just making shit up wholecloth, you can’t rely on a bunch of different people happening to make up the same shit. So you need a powerful shit-making-up authority to ensure that everyone is on the same bullshit page.

The cool thing about actual reality in comparison to wackaloon religious sky-fairy fantasy shit is that when people seek to ascertain the nature of actual reality through good-faith inquiry–rather than pulling arrant bullshit out of their asses and imposing it on the masses through authoritarian power-mongering–they tend to converge on the same conclusions.