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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Emperor Barry I proves who he cares about (Hint: Not you)

The number of people living in poverty is at an all-time high, the percentage of people who have dropped out of the labor force is near an all-time high, job-creation is centered on part-time and low-wage jobs, so what does the president of the United States do? He promises illegal immigrants he won't deport them and, even worse, that he'll give them work permits. Good plan.

And yes, I meant "illegal immigrants." They aren't undocumented. They have documents. Those documents -- passports, ID cards, driver's licenses, birth certificates, whatever -- were issued by other countries, though, before those illegal immigrants came to this country without bothering with the legal immigration system. They are immigrants who are here illegally and are, therefore, necessarily illegal immigrants. So who is more important to the president of the United States -- illegal immigrants or the people actually allowed to legally elect the president? Those people -- the citizens and legal residents of this country -- probably thought the president was elected to look out for Americans. Suckers. What the emperor just did is not immigration "reform" -- it fixes nothing. Nothing. It makes things worse for people who are here legally who can't find a job, or have given up, by making it that much easier for millions of people here illegally to compete for jobs. And who thinks this action won't lead to a leap in illegal immigration, just as the emperor's promise of amnesty for children caused illegal immigrant children to swarm across our borders in record numbers? Show of hands, please. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Coming soon to a Temp Town project near you . . .

It's not often you find a lawyer so incompetent that he might be too awful even for Temp Town, but I believe we have a candidate. From the American Bar Association Journal:
A lawyer who told jurors his capital murder client was a “professional drug dealer” and a “shooter of people” has been disbarred for “inexplicable incompetence.”
Sure, he basically served as a witness for the prosecution during his client's trial -- with the death penalty on the line, no less -- and he made no effort to actually mount a defense of innocence (or even reasonable doubt):
At trial, Hawver described his client, Phillip Cheatham Jr., as a “professional drug dealer” and a “shooter of people,” according to findings of fact cited by the state supreme court. During the sentencing phase of the trial, he said the killer should be executed. “I had a single mitigator to offer the jury in sentencing,” Hawver said in an affidavit, “and that was my argument that my client was innocent.”
Hawver didn’t investigate alibi witnesses and didn’t track his client’s cellphone to find his location at the time of the murders, the court said.
None of that is what makes Kansas lawyer Dennis Haver truly special. Not content to get his client convicted, he also was determined to lose his own hearing on charges of his incompetence, and he did so in a very, um, special way:
The Kansas Supreme Court posted its opinion (PDF) on Friday as well as a video of oral arguments in which Dennis Hawver appeared dressed as Thomas Jefferson.
Yes, you read that correctly: he showed up at his incompetence hearing dressed as Thomas Jefferson, thereby putting himself in danger of being found not merely incompetent as an attorney, but just generally mentally incompetent, as well. I mean, damn, y'all! Naturally, I would not leave you hanging. Here is the video of his hearing. You can skip to 5:17 to see his get-up and, if you really want a treat, watch his argument to the Kansas Supreme Court starting at 22:38:


My only question is, will he dress as Thomas Jefferson when he shows up for his first temp project next week? OK, two questions: is that business casual?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Oh, man, it's Oman!

And that whole Middle East domination by Eff You continues with a first-time visit from Oman. I'm telling you, Eff You is huge in that part of the world. So, let's talk about Oman. The Sultanate of Oman
is an Arab country in Southwest Asia, on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.

From the late 1600s into the early 20th Century, Oman was a fairly significant regional power, which at its peak in the 1800s controlled territory from Zanzibar (now in Tanzania) in the south to Iran and Pakistan in the north. As it's power decline, Oman fell more under the protection of the British, although it was never a British possession.

A number of ethnic groups live in Oman, but the population is primarily Arabic and Muslim. The country has modest oil reserves. An absolute monarchy, the sultanate has close military ties with the United States and Great Britain.

The Portuguese showed up in 1507 and occupied Muscat, building a fortress to guard the sea lanes and port that is still there. Took until 1650 before tribes banded together and ousted the Portuguese. In 1741, a Yemeni tribe came in and ran those tribes off, beginning the dynastic line of sultans that still rules Oman.

Oman is a desert nation, with mountains along the north and southeast coasts. It's right nice looking as deserts go:


 (Photo by CISAustralia.)

A number of forts are scattered across Oman from the days when it was a major regional power, including this one, pictured on the website of Liliana and Emil Schmid, who apparently have spent nearly 30 years visiting pretty much the entire world and are still at it.


It's pretty damn hot in Oman and doesn't rain much. Oil revenues give the country one of the better standards of living in the region, but the place isn't swimming in the stuff like some of its neighbors. Tourism is on the rise, as well. The population of about 3.8 million is more than a third expatriates, many of whom work in the oil and other industries. About half the population lives in or near the capital city of Muscat.

So there you have it. Please extend a big Eff You welcome to Oman. Come again soon, and bring your friends.

Actual temp conversation

Temp 1 (speaking to captive audience at his table): There's no such thing as black and white in pyschological analysis.

Temp 2 (walking past): That's kind of a black and white statement.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Emperor Obama to the peasants: Am I not merciful? UPDATE!

Hey, screw the Constitution and all the times Emperor Obama acknowledged it would be illegal for him to wave his executive order in the air and contravene existing immigration law without the participation of Congress. That stuff is so 10 minutes ago. The emperor -- who is leaning toward being known as King Barry I -- is going to do exactly that. Tomorrow, apparently:
President Obama will announce Thursday that he will use his executive authority to expand temporary protections to millions of undocumented immigrants, according to several individuals who have been briefed on the decision. Obama will travel to Las Vegas on the heels of that announcement to rally support for his initiative on Friday.
The stupid shit thinks he can trash the Constitution because he wants to and that it won't cause any problems. He thinks he's still campaigning -- he's going to "rally support" in Las Vegas? From whom, the illegal immigrants there? Is that because he couldn't be bothered to rally support in Congress for his ideas?  He's fundamentally transforming the country, all right -- he's turning it into a banana republic, ruled by a dictator who ignores the legislature whenever he finds it convenient. What could go wrong?


Update: Over at Town Hall, Katie Pavlich reports that Speaker of the House John Boehner's office did a little digging and found that the emperor said on 22 separate occasions that he couldn't do what he's about to do because he lacks the legal authority.


151 years ago the standard was set

On November 19, 2863, Abraham Lincoln set the standard for public speaking, cramming possibly the finest speech in the history of humankind into 272 words. Five known copies of the speech in Lincoln's handwriting are known to exist. This is the most commonly used, and is the one engraved on the Lincoln Memorial:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
Some people with a proclivity for speaking in public should take notes: brevity is good, first-person pronouns are bad..

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Damn, I scored some swag!

A woman with whom I am working somehow scored tickets to an ultra-exclusive musical performance last night by Eric Paslay, an up-and-coming country artist. He's written five No. 1 country hits for other artists and, from his debut album, has one No. 1 himself and another top 30 hit, with a third single looking like it will go to No. 1 as well. I like him a lot.

Anyway, the woman with whom I work is apparently a go-getter, because she came to work today with a guitar pick (Eric Paslay personalized, no less) and a copy of his debut CD, autographed to me personally. Damn! That's a first for me -- the CD, not the pick. I still have, somewhere, a guitar pick from Joan Jett, black and in the shape of a hear -- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, get it? -- that I got from her in 1981 in a bar in Rochester, N.Y., the day after Thanksgiving.  Awesome show. Wish I could have seen Paslay last night, but there is still a chance to catch him opening for Dierks Bentley Saturday in Baltimore. We'll see. Anyway, for those of you not familiar with the man, here's a sample:


He's going to be big.