Saturday, May 2, 2009

School tase

Of course this happened in Florida:

It was "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" at the Franklin Correctional Institution, and Sgt. Walter Schmidt wanted to give the kids an idea of what their parents do.

So he took out a handheld stun device and zapped them with 50,000 volts of electricity.

The children, whose ages are not available, reportedly yelped in pain, fell to the ground and grabbed red burn marks on their arms. One was taken to a nearby hospital.

And then this happened:

Schmidt was terminated after 14 years with the Department of Corrections.

"It wasn't intended to be malicious, but educational," Schmidt said. "The big shock came when I got fired."

Goes to show, stupid is hard to unlearn. Continue Reading »


If only Kramer had tried harder. Seems like anyone with an appropriate amount of greed can be a banker these days.

Continue Reading »

Term limits

If they're good enough for the president, senators, congress members and most other elected representatives, why not Supreme Court justices?

Once again, Matt (I need to read more blogs, huh?) hits on a topic I've been jonesing on for the past few years - mostly as part of a low-key effort to unseat Scalia and Thomas:

... it’s worth emphasizing what a macabre spectacle the life tenure on the SCOTUS is. When you hear about a candidate for the gig, you need to first go look up his or her age. Then when you hear that Elena Kagan is younger than Sonia Sotomayor, you need to consider that Hispanic life expectancy is generally longer than for non-Hispanic whites. Quick—to the actuarial tables! This kind of decision-making process is unseemly and leads to unsound decision-making. It would make much more sense for Justices to serve a single fixed term of pretty long duration (12-18 years, say) followed by a decent pension.
This sounds reasonable enough.

The way it works now, presidents seem to look for relatively young partisans (say, someone in their mid-40s) who can live long enough to bend the court to their particular ideological bent. But before Bush I's nomination of Clarence Thomas, I had always assumed the High Court was an honor (the highest in our nation) reserved for an exemplary career in law.

If that's not the way it works, then I just hope President Obama packs the court with the youngest, healthiest progressives that he can pluck off the federal circuit. To his credit, Obama seems unlikely to resort to that sort of tomfoolery.
Continue Reading »

A brief word about activist judges

Matt Yglesias:

The idea of an “activist judge” is something that was cooked up by white supremacists in the 1950s and 60s who didn’t like judges bossing people around and telling them they had to let black people vote and go to school. To me, frankly, it’s a bit shocking that modern-day conservatives are still so eager to associate themselves with the legacy of the racist backlash of a couple of generations ago.

Except that it's not shocking at all. But it is interesting to think about why some social conservatives today are leaning on the same language they were using 40 and 50 years ago.

Anyway, several years ago, Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer spoke about this silliness:
"The fact is, once I'm appointed, I'm not a judge for one group or another group," he said. "And when I write a dissent or when I write a majority, the people that disagree with me the most -- I'm their justice too."

Word. Continue Reading »

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"My SUV runs on black jokes"

Once again, Larry Wilmore FTW.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Grading Obama
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisFirst 100 Days
Continue Reading »

Free period

I'm sure you all have noticed (or maybe not), but the pace of blogging here slowed a bit over the past couple days. There's no real reason - just an unusually busy time at the place that pays the bills. And I'm tired.

Here, how about some links? Has anyone heard the news about Arlen Specter?

1. Nate Silver crunches the data to determine what kind of Democrat Specter might be. Short answer: a less-jowly Joe Lieberman.

2. Via Tomasky, Todd Gitlin at TPM Cafe explains why adding another Lieberman to the caucus should give the Dems pause.

3. He uses a teleprompter, he didn't show enough concern about the tea parties, he shook hands with Hugo Chavez, he pointed out that he won ... what a terrible first 100 days for our president. Or the New York Post is being silly and sensationalist.

4. If only black people and women didn't exist (or vote), then Republicans would rule forever and ever. Maybe black votes should only be counted as three-fifths of a white one? (That's not mine, I must admit. That joke has been making the rounds today, folks).

5. Our political media elites seem to focused on the silly while the very serious surrounds them.

6. Not a bad idea: ending the university as we know it. Increasing collaboration between schools is a really good, economically sound suggestion.

7. Damn shame what's happened to former NBA star Jayson Williams. In many ways, he was being groomed to be the next Barkley. h/t G.D.

8. The man who baptized my father, married my best friend and was pastor to Beyonce and me (for a little while) points out that the Bible doesn't say much about marriage as we know it in the 21st Century. But he's mostly just asking questions.

9. Has it really been 17 years since the L.A. riots? Remember when Dwayne Wayne and Whitley got caught up in all the chaos?

10. What was Rielle Hunter's come-on line to John Edwards? "You are so hot."

11. Our Baller-in-Chief. He shoots really well to be wearing a shirt and tie.

12. And speaking of blogs, Undercover Black Man is closing his shop. This is sad for obvious reasons but I must note that he was the first blogger to include me on his blogroll. You might call him my blogfather. So for that, and for all the inspiration to post wild-ass YouTube videos, I'm forever grateful to him. Vaya con dios.

Other links: Ave tackles a top 15 for Outkast (we almost always agree on No. 1 tunes); Bougie unearths a "gay ad" targeted at kids; Cami made some news by running into Kwame Kilpatrick during her trip back to Detroit; and my globe-trotting friend returns to the States after a year traipsing around southeast Asia.

I'll be doing better over the next couple days. Promise. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Tebow for your Tebow

Or for the girl with a really unhealthy obsession:

I'm going to hurl before the fall even gets here. Someone, please, put a stop to this nonsense.
Continue Reading »

What's playing in my deck

Nothing but shame.

On the drive home from work the other day, I realized that I had become obsessed with the new song "Every Girl" from Lil' Wayne, Young Money and a bunch of other dudes no one has ever heard of.

This was sort of embarrassing because, I mean, there is almost no redeeming value in the record at all. But Lil' Wayne's first verse just reeled me in. Listen to it: it almost perfectly explains the lusty heart of your average teenager. Or 25-year-old. Whatever.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about the list of songs I enjoy that would almost certainly end any of my political aspirations - or call for the revocation of my hood pass. Since this is a small, private little personal blog, I'll assume that we're all family and you won't judge me too harshly:

1. Xxplosive by Dr. Dre - the beat, which Dr. Dre also loaned out to Erykah Badu for "Bag Lady," is bananas. If you can, try to ignore the lyrics. Especially if you're a woman.

2. Breathe by Anna Nalick - I really can't explain this one. There's just times when I sort of dig this sort of stuff.

3. Like That by UGK - this cut makes "let me wear you out" sound like something written by Nora Roberts.

4. You and Me by Lifehouse - the First Lady can not stand this song. I was sorta surprised.

5. Arab Money by Busta Rhymes - the gibberish-themed hook is probably the most offensive part. Well, that and the whole concept of the song.

6. With You by Chris Brown - whenever this cheesy song comes on, I immediately turn for the volume dial so the First Lady can't laugh at me.

7. Suck It or Not by Cam'Ron feat. Lil' Wayne - really, the title says it all. And really, Cam'Ron is responsible for some of the most misogynistic hip-hip of the past decade. "Wet Wipes" nearly made the list, too.

8. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield - same as No. 2. I just couldn't shake this song from my mind.

9. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham! - honestly, how did no one know that George Michael was gay until the late '90s?

10. Love Song by Sarah Bareilles - I think that iPod commercial successfully conquered my brain - and whatever resistance I might have had.

Ok. End of the confessional. More later. Continue Reading »

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stop the vote

This excerpt from the weekend endorsements over at PostBourgie:

Over the past couple of days, I have received (at this point) five e-mails asking me to vote in a MSNBC online poll that will assess a cumulative grade to President Obama over his first 100 days.

“Republicans are flooding it with ‘F’ votes,” the e-mails state. So I assume the senders want me to give Obama an “A.”

But I’m not so inclined.

The whole exercise seems silly. In fact, I wish people would allow Republicans or real Americans or whomever to flood the poll with “F” votes. I’d love to tune in to MSNBC next week and see someone like Contessa Brewer soberly report that 85 percent of the voters gave our president a failing grade.

And then what? Does that mean McCain gets to move into the White House? Does the South get to secede? Will Obama supporters be forced to start teabagging each other?

Probably not.

That’s because the only poll numbers that mattered came in on Nov. 4. So please, refrain from rocking the vote. Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cosby meets Cosby

I didn't see much of the NFL draft - the first or second day - but this made me really sad. It was almost painful to watch.

Remember when the Coz was funny? Or was it really that long ago? Seems like his best days are behind him.

Even worse, Quan didn't get drafted by a team at all. Much like Theo Huxtable. Continue Reading »