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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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WWW Pull On Superman's Cape
Superman's product of the century (so far):

June 24, 2005
Filed in: Celestial, Current Affairs, Science

There was a monster sunsport traversing the sun that I posted about at the end of April. Friend Nathan thought it looked like the Eye of Sauron.

This week the Hubble space telescope folks released some pictures it took using its (Advanced Camera for Surveys) ACS coronagraph masking technique to expose the debris ring around the nearby star Fomalhaut (a star in the Southern Fish constellation Piscis Austrinus).


How about that one Nathan? Feel like the Ringlord is watching?

(H/T Commonsense and Wonder)

On further investigation, there is a significant mystery relative to this star and these photographs. Scientists are convinced that there must be a large planet orbiting this star because the debris ring is offset from the gravitational center of the star.

(Please click below to continue...)

...Continue reading "Ringlord"

Pulled by Emcee on June 24, 2005 at 09:26 PM
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The Gadsden Flag
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

At the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) here in Washington state, EFF president Bob Williams raised the Gadsden flag in protest over the SCOTUS Kelo decision yesterday.


From the EFF commentary:

The Gadsden flag was the fighting standard chosen by American patriots during the Revolutionary War. The English government was infringing upon the fundamental rights of life, liberty and property, and, as a result, the American colonists revolted. The Gadsden flag, with the famous words “Don’t tread on me,” best portrayed their sentiment. In the same spirit, and for the same reason, EFF has chosen the Gadsden flag as our standard as we fight to restore our property rights.

There's some great historical legacy about Colonel Christopher Gadsden and the genesis of this flag in the EFF commentary.

The marines that initiated this symbol and these words thought that freedom - and in particular in this context: the right to property - was worth dying for.

h/t Josef (my favorite Dinocrat).

Pulled by Emcee on June 24, 2005 at 07:21 PM
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You've heard of dwarf tossing?
Filed in: Current Affairs, The Armadillo Conceptual Series

Well in New Zealand they toss a variety of erstwhile fauna.


There he was. Little guy spinning like a dradle. Next thing you know some drunken Kiwi has nabbed him and starts tossing him around like a pithy Ardolino comment.


Problem was, he had shown up at the Armadillo restaurant - featuring late Friday night 'Dillo tossin'. Poor little beggar.

Pulled by Emcee on June 24, 2005 at 06:26 PM
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Washington State Politics: Note from the Chairman
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

Washington state GOP Chairman Chris Vance provided this interesting tid-bit in his weekly update today:

Gregoire to The Olympian: Proud of Raising Taxes?!

Republicans were right all along.  New forecasts call for $450 million in previously unexpected revenue, proving that Gregoire and the Democrats’ tax increases were completely unnecessary.  Democrats passed and Gregoire signed over $400 million in new taxes during the 2005 legislative session.  Despite this obvious lack of good judgment, Gregoire is still proud of her “leadership.”  No wonder here approval ratings are in the gutter (34% according to Survey USA) You can read the article by clicking here.

I suppose there's not much chance for a repeal of the unneeded tax revenue then? No? I didn't think so.

Pulled by Emcee on June 24, 2005 at 03:31 PM
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June 23, 2005
Justices mete...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

I've been thinking and reading about the SCOTUS Kelo case today like so many, many others. I'm surprised to find that I'm getting a bit cynical in my old age.

My friend McGehee, oft quoted today, says this in part:

Forget the Schiavo case—if you want to see a ruling that leads to contempt for, and anger at, the judiciary, over the long term this is the one.

But this decision doesn't supplant the Schiavo case. Judicial tyranny is cumulative. It is heaped upon heap. And it is partly the point that cross-cultural antipathy has prevented consensus. There isn't sufficient agreement among the populace that the black-coats have been running roughshod over the people for the last many decades. Yet hearty disagreement provides no diminution to the stinking mass.

Master communicator Jeff Goldstein ends his typically well informed post with:

I think most conservatives who are infuriated by this ruling believe that the particulars in this case moved beyond the 5th Amendment scope of eminent domain, expanding the conditions of public use to the point where, as Justice O’Connor notes in her dissent, all private property is, under the right circumstances, the government’s property to (re)distribute as it sees fit.  In other words, Adler is misrepresenting the source of the outrage and begging his own question; conservatives believe that this particular expansion of eminent domain violates the intent of the 5th Amendment.

Infuriated? Sure. Outraged? Yes. We are sick and tired of emanations and penumbra. What to do? Many eyes behold the violation in contempt. And do nothing.

I weep for my country. Sure, the blogs will rage for a few days. But we have already seen an impotent legislature and an impotent executive in the face of murder by judicial fiat. They are impotent still.

What we haven't seen discussed for the most part is that this case has been ongoing now for more than eight years. Some families occupy the land of the original homesteads of their immigrant forefathers. Eight years? These families have spent more than 10% of a lifetime and probably all of their available resources in attempting to fend off usurpation.


Jack Sauer / AP file

And they will watch as their homes are razed to the ground.

Oh, there may be a day of civil disobedience. Or two. But everyone will have to go back to work. And the 'dozers will wait.

What will it take to awaken the people? Not this?

Will it be when they take everyone over 70 and euthanize them with morphine? Hey, it will fix Social Security.

Will it be when they can come to your house and take you away for the post you wrote last night? No more hate crimes you know.

Will it be when the mandate comes that there are no more paychecks - your employer just pays the government and the government provides you with what you need? Well, at least wealth will be distributed appropriately.

Justices Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer, Kennedy, and Souter: you are accursed. If I could invoke curses upon you I would. But that would only make me feel more wretched you rough, slouching beasts.

It would mete justice to all of you if a group of business people got together and went after your homes and replaced them with development projects that increased employment and the tax base. And continued wherever you went. Soon, no one would sell you a home, and you could never feel like you had a place to call your own. What? You don't like how that idea feels?

You, who disgrace the dignity of your station, you, in whom justice is supposedly reposed, have just conveyed that very feeling onto all who live in this great country.

Pulled by Emcee on June 23, 2005 at 08:30 PM
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Strange Days
Filed in: Current Affairs

Fox News, not your normal gossip rag, asks some pointed questions about the whereabouts of Katie Holmes during more than two weeks in April.

It's actually chilling you ask me.


Art by

So, is that a Cruise missile, SondraK?

Pulled by Emcee on June 23, 2005 at 01:13 PM
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Federal Vote Charges Filed In Milwaukee
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Wisconsin Vote Fraud

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports three voters were served with federal charges for casting illegal votes.  The excuse given by one of those charged is priceless.  A felon on probation since early 2004 was asked why she voted.  Her answer, "The person who registered her said felons vote all time."  E Micheal Mc Cann (Dumocrat Milwaukee DA) had this to say, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Things are slowly moving forward.  To be completely successful Gov. Jim (Cue Ball) Doyle must be removed.   Voter ID will help minimize the impact of  the illegal alien vote and the college student multiple vote. Nothing can ever completely eliminate the dedicated criminal (Democrat) from their illegal activity.  We can make it tough and expensive if they get caught.

Felons must be addressed in a different manner.  One possibility would be to tie the Voter Database with the State Department of Justice Database.  This would require marking felons in some obvious way so poll workers can see the identification at the time the individual tries to vote.  This procedure would be necessary for absentee ballots as well.

Some progress is being made here in Wisconsin.  There is a lot more needed if we are to cleanup this voting mess.

Pulled by Ron L on June 23, 2005 at 07:19 AM
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June 22, 2005
Schiavo: Dr. Sherry Eros too...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

So, you think I jumped the gun? Spoke out too soon? Should I just apologize and move on?

Dr. Sherry Eros (M.D.), on her blog Eros Colored Glasses, weighs in with a long post on the autopsy of Terri Schiavo. The post begins with:

  • By reference to the medical literature adduces evidence that a substantial portion of the loss in Terri's brain weight observed postmortem may have been due to the dehydration to which she was subjected.

And follows in her discussion with:

With respect to the question of PVS, Terri's autopsy is perfectly incapable of providing instructive answers. While a marked loss of brain weight or volume after surgery or other brain insult is "consistent with" PVS, it is equally "consistent with" a minimally conscious state or even a fully conscious state. The level and state of consciousness is a function of a variety of factors most of which are not meaningfully illuminated by an autopsy--or brain weight. Most hemispherectomy patients return to a fully conscious state, with restoration of cognitive and other abilities, despite suffering loss of half, or nearly half, of their brain weight. At least as important as the brain's weight is the determination of which areas of the brain are lost to surgery, trauma or other forms of insult.

And notes this paper which reports that PVS diagnosis may have an error rate as high as 43%. The referenced paper presents these key messages:

    • Many patients who are misdiagnosed as being in the vegetative state are blind or have severe visual handicap; thus lack of eye blink to threat or absence of visual tracking are not reliable signs for diagnosing the vegetative state

    • Any motor activity, no matter how slight, that can be used for communication by the profoundly disabled patient should be identified at an early stage and repeated at regular intervals

    • Identification of awareness in the presence of profound and complex neurological disabilities requires the skills of a multidisciplinary team expe- rienced in long term management of disability due to brain damage

Dr. Eros' post is worth the long read.

The truth will be known.

Pulled by Emcee on June 22, 2005 at 09:14 PM
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Terri Schindler-Schiavo: Michael's center of the self...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics


In 1992 in testimony during a malpractice lawsuit, Michael Schiavo testified:

Q. How do you feel about being married to Terri now?

SCHIAVO: I feel wonderful. She's my life and I wouldn't trade her for the world. I believe in my - I believe in my wedding vows.

Q. What do you mean? You want to take a minute?

Q. If the court would let us take a minute.

Q. You okay?

SCHIAVO: Yeah, I’m sorry.

Q. Have - you said you believe in your wedding vows. What do you mean by that?

SCHIAVO: I believe in the vows that I took with my wife. Through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'm going to do that.

Did you know that Michael wants everyone to know that Terri departed this earth February 25, 1990?

What does Michael Schiavo want remembered about Terri? He wants you to know that "I kept my promise."


Pulled by Emcee on June 22, 2005 at 08:45 PM
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Ann's Torture Guidelines
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

So, now that Dick "Turban" Durbin has apologized, we just move on, right?

I'd like to hear his take on Ann Coulter's new torture guidelines for GTMO:

In the interests of helping my country, I have devised a compact set of torture guidelines for Guantanamo.

It's not torture if:

  • The same acts performed on a live stage have been favorably reviewed by Frank Rich of the New York Times;

  • Andrew Sullivan has ever solicited it from total strangers on the Internet;

  • You can pay someone in New York to do it to you;

  • Karen Finley ever got a federal grant to do it;

  • It's comparable to the treatment U.S. troops received in basic training;

  • It's no worse than the way airlines treat little girls in pigtails flying to see Grandma.

What do you think Dick?

Game for spending a few minutes on TV with Ann?

Pulled by Emcee on June 22, 2005 at 07:55 PM
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