You may have noticed that BHM had problems yesterday. These were due to a major site overhaul and server move that should eventually produce good results (especially for mobile users).
But the upgrade was handled … um, gracelessly. We bloggers were caught by surprise (I was in the middle of posting at the moment things went unexpectedly haywire) and at least one reader reported getting a message that the site downage was due to a February 2010 upgrade. I gather there are still a few improvements to come, but things should be calmer today.
The TSA failed 95% of the tests to find explosives. But not to worry. They reliably found 95% of breasts, crotches, prosthetic limbs, knitting needles, and sippy cups. (H/T LA)
Soooo, while we’re all rejoicing over the momentary illusion that the NSA will no longer be scooping up all our edata, the FBI steps flies to the fore. (And where do they get all these Orwellian names? USA Freedom Act? Because it orders the phone companies to do all the collecting on behalf of the uber-government? Who do they think they’re fooling?)
This month is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Not just a piece of paper, but the first time people (even if aristocrats) placed themselves, by both force and law, above a king.
Your very much non-awwww dog story for the day. (Warning: sickening photos, though the dog has now been saved from the very worst.) Whoever did this to Caitlyn the dog should have the same thing done to them.
Yesterday I was noodling something Deep (maybe goofy and full of woo, but still … Deep) when I was yanked, almost bodily, into local politics.
Later, when I regained my sanity, my ‘Net connection was acting up, so I just bagged it for the evening. I had no post prepped for you this a.m.
I never get involved in local politics. Never, ever, ever. But yesterday from 2:30 to 6:00 (I checked the time on my cellphone), I was in it.
At 2:30 I learned that some anonymous moralists or civic betterment types were trying to use — of all things — a 40-year-old sign ordinance to crush some of the newer, more uppity, more dynamic businesses in town. And that there was going to be a meeting about it in three hours.
This sort of thing raises my hackles so much my spine hurts.
I didn’t even know the town had a sign ordinance. But I spent the next couple of hours researching it and making notes. Yes, the businesses in question are clearly out of compliance — along with at least 1/3 of all the companies in town. Unlike most of the other businesses in town, though, the uppity ones are drawing enough attention to themselves to prompt tourists (passing through on their way elsewhere) actually to stop. And, you know, spend money here. And to notice how nice the place is.
Thanks to them, we have a chance to fill up some long-empty storefronts and keep new shops alive for more than the usual, desperate six months.
My hackles were more like spikes running up my spine by the time I got to the meeting.
I turned out not to need the spikes, however. The meeting was lightly attended and very informal. Everybody who wanted a say got to have one and things went about as well as they could have.
Tellingly, not one of the moralists who’d gone to the local gov-o-crats with their complaints chose to show at the meeting. Other than me, the only audience members who spoke were the owners of the “offending” businesses.
Among the ‘crats we addressed, only one had obviously made up her mind against us, and her entire argument seemed to be borrowed from what some other town’s ‘crats had come up with. At the other end of the panel, we clearly had a friend who maintained that you shouldn’t risk regulating businesses out of existence. Between them sat a quiet, but seemingly open-minded majority.
I think they’ll end up rewriting the ordinance to allow the uppity businesses to continue to attract attention to themselves — and to the town.
If they don’t, they’ll face some serious questions about selective writing and enforcement of laws.
For a while I even fantasized that they’d have some very spiky creatures running against a few of them in the next election. Then I regained my sanity.
You know those famous electronic billboards in Times Square? LOL, the feds apparently demanded NYC take them all down. “Highway beautification,” you know. Then just that quickly, they denied making the demand. But turns out the signs are in violation of fedlaw. Governing highways. To paraphrase Kipling, “… if once you have paid him the taken his Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane.”
Like Pamela Geller or loathe her, she has a point. One might wish the current crop of liberal authoritarians had as good a grasp on the meaning of free speech.
Sigh. Didja ever think you’d see the day when people would be moronic enough not only to v*te with their sex organs — but boast about it?
I saw a guy today in our little tienda Mexicanawearing this tee-shirt. Got a big laugh — though I suppose my Irish ancestors didn’t.
Cody Wilson is suing the State Department on First Amendment grounds for “preempting” him from posting Liberator pistol plans online. He’s got Alan Gura on his side. And SAF doing the only thing it’s actually good for.
Henceforth, I am going to charge $500,000 per blog post and I urge all of you to inform your employers or clients that that is also now your standard fee for doing any work or even making an appearance. If you’re an employer, tough luck to you. ‘Cause after all, we’ve “gotta pay our bills” don’t we?
OMG, FEMA is holding a national Preparathon and I forgot to sign up with the government! I’ll bet you did, too. Oh no! This must mean we’re all dooooooomed!!!
Yeah, that’s what you get for going around jihading in Texas. Good comment one. Good comment two. (Maybe the would-be jihadists got the idea that Texans were an easy target from Major “Soldier for Allah” Nidal Hassan. Somebody shoulda told ’em that only works on disarmed military bases.)
Maya Plisetskaya has died. She was a ballerina of extraordinary power and grace who overcame Stalinist oppression for her art.
I’ve been outside the last few days. In the sunshine. Sweating. Sweating. In March. The world has turned upside-down, but by golly you will not catch me complaining. (Still sorry, you east coasters. I know that your ghastly winter has been All Our Fault.)
Been painting skirting on the house (no more piece-o-crap black plastic sheeting nailed around the foundation; the neighbors should love me!) and putting on the belly band between the skirting and the upper house. I’m hardly alone. The neighborhood is roaring with lawn mowers and at the lumberyard I’m in line with every contractor and handyman I know, all busy, months ahead of schedule.
So I’m a little slow on posting, but I haven’t forgotten you! We’re gradually moving back toward rain and that’ll bring me indoors to the computer soon enough.
Meantime I did manage to post a little something over at The Zelman Partisans. Nothing earth shattering, but there it is.
Also found this great Kevin Williamson article about that Great American Slime Mold, the Clinton family. Or, as Williamson puts it, “the penicillin-resistant syphilis of American politics.” Hey, whatever else they are, the Clintons are entertaining.
Think your way to stronger muscles. (No doubt has a lot of applications beyond muscles, too.)
(Formerly) dying man says adopted stray dog — that he didn’t even want — helped cure his cancer.
It’s not really news that religious people are happier than us non-religious. Question is, are they happier because of something about their religion or are they happier because they’re the sort of people who don’t poke and prod at every extraordinary claim, the sort who just accept the word of their chosen authority and get on with life?
Yes, Christmas Eve was quite a time for that embarrassing data dump, wasn’t it, NSA? Kevin D. Williamson has some sharp words about that — before winding toward some very naive and foolish words. (Williamson is frustrating. He’s one of those guys who almost, alllllmost, gets it, then turns away.)
Shocked. Simply shocked. Guess which political party is “the party of the rich.” (Yeah, you knew, didn’t you? The real question is why will millions of supposedly informed people be genuinely shocked — and in denial — about this?)
I still owe some thanks to some Santas! Right now, I gotta go walk the dogs in the rain, but I will get to that. I think I’ve already thanked the Santas themselves, in person or in email, but I had to guess on matching some of the packages up with their mystery givers. And here I really wasn’t expecting anything for Christmas this year.
Hope Santa was great to you, as well.
Am also reaching the end of my two-months hermitude and need to write a wrapup on that. A wrapup would be easier if I actually knew what I’d accomplished during these months, but surely even a failure to find what I didn’t know I was looking for is … something.
Vladka Peltel has those I wish I didn’t care about politics blues. She’s talking about this season’s billionaire disarm-the-peasants dream, Washington state Initiative 594 (which I agree inspires even my anti-v*ting soul to want to get out and you-know-what).
If you don’t live in Washington and think I-594 doesn’t affect you, take another look. Win or lose, it affects us all.
(And yes, this is politics and nooz and if it weren’t from TZP, I wouldn’t be linking it. Never fear, I’m also working on a post about hermitting, knitting, candlelight, and the veil between worlds. Coming soon.)