Monday, January 31, 2011

garmonbozia is on indefinite hiatus

I unfortunately have too much on my plate right to continue with posts for the time being.  This will hopefully change soon, but for the time being... farewell!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

California man arrested in Michigan for threatening to attack mosque

Via digby at Hullabaloo, police in Dearborn, Michigan have arrested a man for threatening to attack a mosque.
Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Army veteran from California who was reportedly angry at the U.S. government, was arrested by police in Michigan and charged with allegedly threatening to blow up a Mosque in Dearborn.
Dearborn police allegedly found Stockham inside his vehicle outside the Islamic Center of America with a load of M-80s in his trunk and other explosives, the Detroit News reported.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Counsel on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), told the newspaper that police told him the suspect was drinking in a Detroit bar on Monday and threatened to do harm to a mosque in Dearborn. An employee at the bar followed the man outside and wrote down his license plate, which he reported to police, Walid told the newspaper.
One thing I wonder is why exactly this guy threatening to attack a mosque if he was angry with the US government?  Is he mad that the government hasn't expelled all Muslims from the US by now?  Does he think that President Obama is a secret Muslim?  What does the one have to do with the other?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Maggie Gallagher links abortion with anal sex

Via Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon, columnist (and co-founder of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage) Maggie Gallagher attempts to draw a link between legalized abortion and anal sex.
Overall 16 percent of young adult women say they’ve been diagnosed with depression. Among those who have 10 or more lifetime partners, 32 percent say they’ve been diagnosed with depression. Among those who’ve had 10 or more partners in the past year, almost half say they’ve been diagnosed with depression. 

If less-committed sex makes women feel bad, why do they do it?
Because even according to the statistics she cites, most of them don't feel bad about it.  She assumes that the casual sex is what causes the depression, but the reverse seems at least as likely.  People often seek external validation through sex.
Well, Regnerus and Uecker provocatively ask, why do a growing number of young women engage in anal sex? By age 23, 33 percent of never-married young women in the Add Health survey say they’ve had anal sex (white women are the most likely). When asked if they enjoy it “very much,” just 15 percent of women who’ve tried it say yes. So why do women do it?
Because 15 percent of them enjoy it "very much" and I imagine that the percentage of women who enjoy it "somewhat" is probably pretty high considering the fact that the number isn't provided.   Is there any evidence that a high percentage of the women who tried it and didn't like it continue to engage in it?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ayn Rand, parasite?

Via E.D. Kain at Balloon Juice, far-right heroine Ayn Rand is claimed to have collected Social Security and Medicare payments.
An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor (husband Frank O'Connor).
As Pryor said, "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out" without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn "despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help."
But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so.
The only Ayn Rand I ever read was Anthem in the ninth grade, and even back then, I thought it was heavy-handed, reactionary crap.  If this is story is true, I don't begrudge Rand from collecting these payments, but I do begrudge her ranting against everybody else who collected them as well.  I wonder how Rand felt to be numbered among the "parasites" she built her career denouncing.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seventh circuit upholds prison ban on Dungeons & Dragons

Via Thoreau at Unqualified Offerings, the United States Seventh Circuit court of appeals has upheld a prison ban on Dungeons & Dragons.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit weighed in Wednesday on a matter of grievous import to the nation's prisons: Dungeons & Dragons. And the Court's ruling was bad news for naughty nerds nationwide, concluding that the innocent-seeming board game was inviting trouble.

The case brought before the Appeals Court argued that D&D inhibited prison security, because "cooperative games can mimic the organization of gangs and lead to the actual development thereof." And therefore Kevin T. Singer, a long-time dungeon-explorer sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for bludgeoning and stabbing his sister’s boyfriend, was denied access to his magical staffs and pieces of gold.

According to the published ruling, Captain Bruce Muraski, who serves as disruptive group coordinator for the Waupun Correctional Institute in Wisconsin, elaborated that "during D&D games, one player is denoted the 'Dungeon Master.' The Dungeon Master is tasked with giving directions to other players, which Muraski testified mimics the organization of a gang."
I wonder what form the next ridiculous D&D scare will take.  I'm not sure which idea is more stupid: that D&D leads to devil worship or that it leads to gangs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Florida Attorney General Bondi outlaws drug through emergency order

Via Atrios at Eschaton, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has issued an emergency order.
Hoping to fend off a rash of overdoses in Florida during the upcoming spring break, Attorney General Pam Bondi has outlawed a synthetic drug cocktail masquerading as "bath salts" that has apparently give users super-human strength and has similar effects to LSD, heroin and cocaine.
Bondi issued an emergency order Wednesday banning the drug -- Methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV -- after Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen brought the dangerous concoction to her attention Friday.
Effects similar to LSD, heroin, cocaine, and super-human strength?  Gee, why shouldn't I believe that?  That doesn't sound like bullshit at all!  What penalty will be faced by those who violate this decree?
Bondi's new ban, which took effect immediately, makes possession or distribution of the MPDV bath salts a schedule 1 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison.
"To put it in perspective, that's right up there with cocaine and heroin," Bondi said.
So an attorney general can just make laws by fiat?  What about the state legislature?
Bondi's emergency order will last 90 days, giving lawmakers time to criminalize the bath salts during the legislative session that begins March 8.
Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, standing beside Bondi at the press conference late Wednesday afternoon, said that lawmakers would "act quickly" to permanently ban the substance.
I'm sure they will act quickly, but what if they didn't?  If the state legislature failed to enact a ban, what would become of those who are charged in the interim?  Are they still guilty of a felony?

An attorney general can do this?  Seriously?  Without the consent of the governor?  (I'm sure the governor could override it, but the idea that the attorney general can single-handedly start it off seems wrong.)

What constitutes an "emergency" for these purposes in the first place?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Filibuster reform looks unlikely

Via mistermix at Balloon Juice, it looks like filibuster reform is not going to happen any time soon.
Amid a long-running dispute over decades-old filibuster rules, Senate leaders have used a parliamentary trick to leave the chamber in a state of suspended animation - in reality adjourned since Jan. 5 but officially considered in a long recess that's part of the same individual legislative day.
This nearly three-week break has taken place in large part so leadership could hold private negotiations to consider how to deal with a group of Democrats agitating to shake up the foundation of the world's most deliberative body, right down to challenging the filibuster.
To the dismay of a younger crop of Democrats and some outside liberal activists, there is no chance that rules surrounding the filibuster will be challenged, senior aides on both sides of the aisle say, because party leaders want to protect the right of the Senate's minority party to sometimes force a supermajority of 60 votes to approve legislation.
I'm pretty sure that nobody was proposing to get rid of the filibuster altogether, so that last sentence is a bit misleading.  The idea of reform was to make the minority actually have to put up some effort to block legislation as opposed to abusing it to block any and every bill without even having to hold the floor.

Some other rule changes look like they might happen (most notably changing how secret holds are done if not getting rid of them altogether), but the lack of filibuster reform is disappointing.