A Brief Moment of Clarity

From the Bradrocket:

But seriously: there are times when I want to throw up my hands and say “Screw it!” and vote for a Ron Paul-Kucinich Kucinich-Paul Unity ‘08 ticket. Because while each one of them is, respectively, a wee bit flaky or crazy, I’m pretty sure they’re both sincere. Face it, folks: people who claim to have seen UFOs and who want to return America to the gold standard aren’t trying to deceive the American public by telling them what they want to hear.

He has a point.

Great Moments In Law Enforcement, A Continuing Story

And the taserings continue in earnest:

he FBI is investigating after a Trotwood police officer used a Taser on a pregnant woman.

Trotwood Public Safety Director Michael Etter said the incident happened on Nov. 18. He said the woman arrived at the police department asking to give up custody of her 1-year-old son.

Etter said an officer spoke with the woman as she held onto the child outside the police department.

“(He) attempted to obtain information on both the mother and the child, at which time the mother refused to give any information and became very agitated,” Etter said.

Surveillance video from the police department shows the woman trying to leave with the child. The officer then grabs her coat in an effort to get her to stop.

Etter said the officer was doing what he thought was in the best interest of the boy.

The video shows the woman struggling with the officer, who then takes the child from her and gives the boy to another officer. The first officer then forces the woman down on her stomach, and he then uses a Taser on her neck.

In defense of the officer, she may have been planning to ask a GOP candidate a question in the next debate, so we are glad this was handled quickly and without incident.

*** Update ***

Via Radley, yet another tale of America’s finest at work.

Hostage Situation At A Clinton Office In NH

No snark, no real analysis other than that there are fucking crazy people out there. My sympathies go out to everyone involved.

Apparently two more hostages have been freed; no news on whether any more remain in the building.


Standoff ends, suspect in custody, nobody hurt. A long relationship with court-ordered psychiatric care to begin shortly.

Friday Open Thread

Question: Is it immoral for an illegal immigrant in the US to have an abortion to prevent birthing an “illegal child of God?’

Have a good afternoon. I am off doing other things.

Creation Museum Irony

Scalzi wasn’t the only one to visit the Creation Museum! Scientist Tom Robey paid a visit, and found a 500 million year-old fossil in the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot.

I hedged my bets that I could find something good if I sought out that beacon of American consumption. I was hoping for something like I bought as a 10 year old from the Field Museum of Natural History. I wasn’t disappointed with the 45 minutes I spent scrambling over clay-slickened rocks behind the bargain center’s loading dock…In under an hour, I had unearthed ample evidence of life extinct for more than 500 million years

And I didn’t know this. The Creation Museum is built atop one of the richest fossil beds in the world. Imagine that!

Do Bloggers Have First Amendment Rights?

Apparently not in Manalapan, NJ. Bonus: especially not if you dare criticize town officials on your blog.

And While I Wait

I am still waiting for any takers on the challenge I posed twice, and no one has bothered to take me up on it. While I wait for a response, chew on this:

I attended Frank Luntz’s dial group of 30 undecided–or sort of undecided–Republicans in St. Petersburg, Florida, last night…and it was a fairly astonishing evening.

Now, for the uninitiated: dials are little hand-held machines that enable a focus group member to register instantaneous approval or disapproval as the watch a candidate on TV.


In the next segment–the debate between Romney and Mike Huckabee over Huckabee’s college scholarships for the deserving children of illegal immigrants–I noticed something really distressing: When Huckabee said, “After all, these are children of God,” the dials plummeted. And that happened time and again through the evening: Any time any candidate proposed doing anything nice for anyone poor, the dials plummeted (30s). These Republicans were hard.

But there was worse to come: When John McCain started talking about torture–specifically, about waterboarding–the dials plummeted again. Lower even than for the illegal Children of God. Down to the low 20s, which, given the natural averaging of a focus group, is about as low as you can go. Afterwards, Luntz asked the group why they seemed to be in favor of torture. “I don’t have any problem pouring water on the face of a man who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11,” said John Shevlin, a retired federal law enforcement officer. The group applauded, appallingly.

Meet the Republican base.