Friday, August 31, 2007

One step closer to equality for all

It isn’t over yet, but a judge in Iowa has struck down a law that prevents same sex couples from marrying. As you may or may not know I find same sex marriage bans to be legalized racism. Discriminating against any person because of who they are is a fundamental wrong. I believe we need to rid ourselves of repressive ideas and reject any ideology that prevents any person from exercising the same rights provided to all others. So today we give a hearty high five to Polk County Judge Robert Hanson.
No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You sometimes wonder if the world has gone mad.

I love the Wall Street Journal. I love it. It is a GREAT newspaper. Reading the "What's News" box on the left side of the front page is usually enough to keep you caught up on domestic and international business and politics. Today, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, above the fold, is a story about 2 young men who started a beer pong supply company. Ladies and gentleman, the world has officially gone to hell entrenched firmly in a handbasket.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The internet is dead and boring... says Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban did an interview with Lloyd Grove and said the internet was on the decline. Due to the backlash from the interview he has followed up with a couple of blog posts amplifying and inflaming his comments and detractors.
Here are some of his comments:
The days of the Internet creating explosively exciting ideas are dead. They are dead until bandwidth throughput to the home reaches far higher numbers than the vast majority of broadband users get today. Few people's actual throughput to their homes have increased more than 5mbs in the past 5 years, and few people's throughput (if you dint understand the difference between throughput and the marketed downstream speeds your read from your ISP, you should) to their homes will increase more than 10mbs in the next 5 years. That's not enough to define a platform that allows really smart people to come up with groundbreaking ideas.
Let's be clear about my opinion of Mark Cuban. He is a visionary businessman that has created a billion dollar fortune out of ideas. That is something to be respected, in my opinion, because I spend a large part of my day trying to come up with the next winning idea. However, in this particular case I think he is dead wrong.
Let's assume for a moment he is right about the bandwidth that most people's homes will be able to manage. All that means is the smart people will have to think of ideas to make use of the bandwidth people have. I am sure there are start up companies out their right now that are working on data compression technology that will allow the kind of content delivery Cuban thinks necessary for the internet to advance. Maybe the better questions is why do people need more throughput to their homes for the net to advance beyond it's current state?
Take a look at the history of the internet and the creation and loss of great wealth that has come with it. Look at the new tools that are popping up and the different ways of interacting with everyone that is, was, or will be in your life. To say the net is in its infancy might be a gross overstatement, but it is definitely in its adolescence. The world is making demands and the markets follow demand. If the net truly needs greater throughput to expand, it will have it. My hypothesis is that someone will think differently and come up with a better idea of how to use the bandwidth that exists to advance the net for themselves and for the world.
No 1 of Consequence
***EDITOR'S NOTE*** A lot of my respect for Mark Cuban has been lost. He is scheduled to appear on Dancing With the Stars.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Alberto Gonzales, see ya

Alberto Gonzales resigned. Democrats are criticizing him as he goes. Republicans are giving him very subdued thanks. If you follow this administrations myriad mistakes you are aware that Alberto Gonzales has made a number of them. If anyone thinks that his actions are independent of this administration's policy of oppression they are sorely mistaken. President Bush and his cronies have declared war on civil liberties in this country. Alberto Gonzales was acting in the service of his king... so called king, self crowned king... facist leader. Should he have risen above the administration and led the Department of Justice on a just path? I think he should have. Am I even remotely surprised he didn't? Not even a little bit.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

No mas, I give up.

Back on August 6, I posted about a law that basically usurped the 4th Amendement rights from a lot of Americans. I intimated in this post that the democrats were asleep at the switch while this legislation was being pushed through.

No Best Man of Consequence sent me an e-mail last night quoting a New York Times article:

Congress accidentally gave President George Bush the power to conduct warrantless searches and seizures when it passed a wiretapping bill earlier this month. Democrats are embarrassed they voted without understanding language that would allow—among other things—some physical searches, and the collection of business records, without a court order.

Another quote from the Times:

“We did not cover ourselves in glory,” said one Democratic aide, referring to how the bill was compiled.


This is sickening on a number of levels. How does one accidentally give broad powers in violation of The Constitution to the executive? How is a bill accidentally passed? I am certain I saw a Schoolhouse Rock episode once when I was a kid that detailed how tough it really is to get a law passed.

That YouTube video is 3 minutes long. Longer than anyone spent reading this pathetic piece of legislation. It also demonstrates that Congress doesn't actually debate laws anymore. They just sign them out of fear.

Scaredy cat signing quote from the times:

Though many Democratic leaders opposed the final version of the legislation, they did not work forcefully to block its passage, largely out of fear that they would be criticized by President Bush and Republican leaders during the August recess as being soft on terrorism.

Once again we have checkers playing politicians in a chess playing world. This isn't even hard folks. I bet if I asked my 13 year old son how he would handle this kind of criticism he could easily come up with a deflection strategy that would be viable.

How about this, and keep in mind I 've spent exactly 3 minutes thinking about it.

Hypothetical politician responding to hypothetical criticism that he is soft on terrorism when faced with passing legislation that significantly impacts the rights of American citizens.

"When taking my oath of office after the citizens of (insert state here) saw fit to elect me as their representative I swore to uphold The Constitution of the United States of America. This legislation, while it may be expedient, does not protect the bests interests of Americans because it impinges upon their civil liberties. Voting for legislation that oppresses law abiding citizens is a violation of my oath and I will not sign, EVER. This administration has refused to do what's hard, which is protect Americans from terrorism without infringing upon the freedoms that make this country what it is. Until President Bush and the republican party take freedom as seriously as I do, and are willing to do the hard work involved in protecting that freedom, we will not be safe from ourselves, much less terrorists."

Think that would send any critical right wing elements scrambling? I do. Imagine what someone who does political spinning professionally could come up with.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, August 17, 2007

Miracles do happen

The victories for liberty have been so few in this country lately I wanted to share this small one with you.

Read this and smile, for The Constitution still exists, if only for a moment.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So long Scooter

In case you haven't been paying attention or don't really care, baseball lost a great envoy this week. Phil Rizzuto wasn't just a great shortstop and great New York Yankee, he was greatly responsible for me loving baseball.

I was born in 1971 and some of the earliest memories I have of my father revolve around him coming into my bedroom to say goodnight and tuning in the Yankees games for me on a transistor radio. I listened to the exploits of Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Ron Guidry, Thurman Munson et al through Scooter's descriptions and stories. My love for the Yankees was born in those moments and refined over years and years. Listening to Phil shout "Holy Cow" into the microphone punctuated some of the greatest sports moments of the 1970's and my childhood.

Like many people who lived in Essex County, NJ I have my own Phil Rizzuto story, and it isn't just about the time I ran into him at the Millburn Diner with his wife Cora. In his later years Scooter was big on strolling around the local malls. He had a secretary that drove him around the area and he would shop and chat with people during the day. I used to get my hair cut at the Livingston Mall and as I was popping in for a trim he was walking out of the mall.

"Mr. Rizzuto," I said, reaching out to shake his hand, "I just wanted to tell you what a big fan I am and thank you."

I spent a few moments relating how my dad used to turn the games on and how my love of the Yankees was born listening to his voice.

He smiled and said, "Holy Cow! What a memory you've got!"

I laughed and beamed as he went on about his business. I know he threw his catch phrase around pretty liberally, but that one was just for me.

Rest in peace.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Boy Genius

Karl Rove has resigned from the White House to resume his position as {insert satanic joke here}.

Say what you will about Karl Rove, and believe me, most of what I want to say uses language I tend to stay away from on this blog, the man was a genius.

He was, perhaps, the only chess player in an administration that was repeatedly caught playing checkers on a global stage. Rove's ability to manipulate the conservative vote by putting polarizing referendums on ballots in swing states was truly diabolical. He conquered. It is unfortunate that he never chose to use his brilliance for the benefit of all Americans, rather he spun his maniacal webs of deceit for the benefit of The President and his cronies.

Karl Rove is also guilty of treason. Scooter Libby took the fall for the outing of Valerie Plame, but the only person who doesn't think that Rove was ultimately responsible might be President Bush. If Karl Rove revealed the identity of an undercover CIA operative during a time of war he is guilty of treason. At the very least he should go to Fort Levenworth for the rest of his life. Karl Rove might be responsible for more damage to the United States than any other single human being in the last 30 years. The only reason I am not jumping for joy is because now he will be free to continue to plot against America without any oversight. I am truly fearful of the next time we hear his name in the news.

No 1 of Consequence

Since the first post was kind of a cheat...

... and I am way more interested in posting than I am in working, I will give you a second post today.

For those of you that talk to me regularly you probably know I am a big fan of a book called Freakonomics. It is a well written, down to Earth take on some real world issues and gives you different ways of looking at them.

Here is a very quick example of some of the contentions of the book:

Roe v Wade was actually responsible for a significant drop in crime in the US.

Measuring teachers and school districts on the results of standardized testing leads to teacher cheating.

Reading to your child has little or no impact on their intellectual development, but having a lot of books available does.

Without reading the book none of that information means anything, but I was trying to whet your intellectual whistle a little bit. Read the book. It will teach you something, either about the world or about yourself. One thing it helped me with was asking the right questions when confronted with a situation.

Overall the book really trained me to ask the question, "Is this information relevant to the topic at all, or should I be looking for different information." It is a GREAT way to tune your personal BS filter.

Be that as it may I am writing this post for two reasons. First, I suggest everyone read this book. You may reject everything in it as hogwash and you may decide the questions the authors end up asking are wrong, but I guarantee you you'll be thinking about the book long after you are finished reading it. Secondly, I want to let you know that the authors, in association with the New York Times have a blog. It becomes severely pretentious at times as these guys do get wrapped up in themselves. Overall, however, it is a brilliantly written, thought provoking blog and it will give you something very interesting to think about almost every day.

Check it out It is a daily read for me.

No 1 of Consequence

***EDITOR'S NOTE*** I know I wrote about this about a month or two ago, but I didn't feel like I gave it the attention it deserved. So for the second time today I am cheating you out of real content. Bad No 1!! The Freakonomics blog has also been linked on the sidebar for all eternity.

My nerd-dom knows very few bounds

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Princess Bride

Last week for the first time my two older sons watched The Princess Bride. My oldest (13) thought it was ok, but my middle son (7) was completely enamored. For the last week he has been bouncing around fake fencing and quoting the movie. Saying things like, "I know something you don't know... What's that?... I am not left handed," and "Who are you?... No 1 of Consequence... I must know...Get used to diappointment." He puts on a little Spanish accent when imitating Inigo Montoya and it is about the cutest thing ever. I don't write about the kids a ton, but since he fell in love with the movie that inspired the name for this particular blog, I thought I would share it with you.

Inigo Montoya: Who are you?

Westley: No one of consequence.

Inigo Montoya: I must know...

Westley: Get used to disappointment.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, August 06, 2007

We have to protect you, by taking away your civil liberties.

Sometimes I don't even know what to say. It is a rare thing to find me speechless, but I am. You hope things would change since congress is now majority democrat.

The your government passes this law on a Sunday, while you weren't watching.

The Constitution becomes more and more a historical document every day.

I am going to go throw up now.

No 1 of Consequence

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fishy fishy in the sea.

On my way to the Atlanta Zoo today I rode behind a Saturn Vue. This particular car, like many cars in GA, had a Jesus fish stuck to the back of it. Something was written in this particular fish and my naturally inquisitive nature tried to decipher it. Finally, I thought I had figured it out and read something so baffling that I laughed out loud.

"What?" asked No Wife of Consequence.

"I could swear the Jesus fish on that SUV says gefilte in it," I said with as much shock as I could muster.

"You're an idiot, it doesn't say gefilte," she said, "It probably says "gives life" or something like that."

I was forced to agree it was unlikely it said gefilte. As we pulled into the zoo parking lot, the Saturn was a couple of cars ahead. My wife was forced to pull very close to them as we entered the parking lot.

"Yeah, that's a Jesus fish that says gefilte in it," she said.

We parked very close to family that had the gefilte Jesus fish on the back of their car and I went right up and asked them where they procured this delightful little novelty. The husband told me he found it somewhere on the net.

Guess who's ordering a gefilte fish for his car? You bet your tuchus I am!
By the way, Pandas are super cute. I mean ridiculously cute. You almost can't determine a cuteness level they are so cute. If you don't believe me, click the Atlanta Zoo link above and load up the panda cam.

No 1 of Consequence