July 2008 Archives

Washington State's Article I

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The Evergreen Freedom Foundation has published its first book, To Protect And Maintain Individual Rights: A Citizen's Guide to the Washington Constitution, Article I. It was written by Michael Reitz and Jonathan Bechtle, with a foreward by Washington Supreme Court Justice Charles Johnson.

The book is 116 pages and available for $10, and also available as a free download. Clearly the EFF is more interested in informing the public with this fantastic resource, than making a buck.

The title of the book is fairly self-explanatory, but for those who don't know, Washington's Article I is a 35-section Declaration of Rights. It was written in its original form in 1889, and the record of the proceedings do not exist, as the legislature refused to appropriate money to pay the stenographers, so they destroyed the records.

And while that is a loss to history, it's also a good lesson from history, so good for them. slashdot.org

My album "Nandor's White Castle" went live on iTunes Music Store and eMusic this week, in addition to Amazon. You can download individual tracks or the whole album.

It will be interesting to see if "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday" gets significant downloads leading up to September 11. It was this week played on a German podcast (again ... I can't understand what they are saying, but I think they are mocking me).

It will also be interesting to see whether "Christine, Christine, Christine" gets downloads leading up to the Christine Gregoire - Dino Rossi gubernatorial election.

I played several of the songs off the album at the Snohomish County GOP picnic last weekend. "Christine, Christine, Christine" was especially well-received, I think. slashdot.orguse.perl.org

I played the GOP Debate Song at the Snohomish County picnic last weekend. You can see the original here:


This is the Longest Concert Evar, starring Pudge. Send requests to concertrequest@pudge.net, or post them here.


Greg Silah is my friend's nephew. He practically raised Greg as his own for much of his life. Greg and his two cousins, Alex and Zaven, were abducted by their fathers, brothers Greg and John Silah, who are apparently in trouble with the Armenian mafia, owing millions, and with the law, for numerous crimes. The boys were abducted in late June.

The mothers of the three boys are going to be on Greta Van Susteren's show on Fox News tonight at 7 p.m. ET.

You can read more about it on the "News" page on the site, which has a bunch of print and TV stories, and press releases. slashdot.org

McCain and the Keating Five

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I've been hearing more about McCain and the Keating Five scandal lately. Pretty much none of it is true. There's not a lot of recollection about it, so here's the basic facts.

In 1991, Democratic Senators Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, and Donald Riegle were found by the Senate Ethics Committee (of the Democratic-led Congress) to have substantially and improperly interfered with an investigation of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, run by Charles Keating.

Two other Senators, John McCain (R) and John Glenn (D) were completely exonerated of any wrongdoing. The record shows that McCain severed all ties with Keating immediately upon the revelation that he was under a criminal investigation. The Ethics Committee said McCain's "actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him....Senator McCain has violated no law of the United States or specific Rule of the United States Senate."

McCain's only sin was in meeting with regulators on behalf of Keating at all, not because he exerted undue influence -- which did not happen -- but because it could have given that appearance. Basically, he made a rookie political mistake (one he has obviously learned from). But he did nothing actually wrong.

Some Democratic members of the Ethics Committee said that McCain should not even be investigated, because there was no evidence against him. Some people say he was included by the Democrats only to make it look less like the scandal was all Democrats, and that in response to McCain's improper inclusion in the investigation, the Republicans pressed to get Glenn included as well.

The bottom line is that McCain did nothing wrong, and everyone who uses the Keating Five as an example of corruption against McCain either doesn't know what they are talking about, or is being intentionally deceptive. slashdot.org

Obama R Smrt

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People keep telling me Obama is highly intelligent. What is this based on? I've seen no evidence he is as smart as I am, and I don't think of myself as having a particularly notable intellect.

He's no dummy, sure. But I've never seen him give specifics about an issue he hasn't carefully studied his talking points for; when he speaks impromptu he is often unimpressive; he has not even demonstrated a terribly deep understanding of the Constitution, for someone who supposedly taught it in law school.

Not that you have to be a genius to be President. Kerry and Bush are both moderately intelligent, but not geniuses. Gore and Bush Sr. and Clinton were a bit higher up the intellect chain, as were Carter and Nixon. Reagan was no genius, but he was very bright: capable of distilling lots of information and understanding big pictures, even if he wasn't an expert on the details. I think maybe Obama is like that, though perhaps not quite as astute.

McCain is no genius either, but he is not trying to use his supposedly lofty intellect as a qualification for President. Even still, I cannot think of a single issue where Obama is actually more intelligent than McCain.

And no, simply disagreeing with someone does not count, nor do silly errors like "57 states" and "Sunni/Shia" conflation. I am talking about demonstrating a deeper understanding of the issues involved. And I don't see that from Obama. I see him emoting a lot more, but that doesn't count either.

Maybe Obama is brilliant and I just haven't seen it. The thing is, I pretty sure most other people haven't seen it, either. slashdot.org

A lot of conservatives complain that Obama gets more news coverage. While it is, of course, true that Obama gets a lot more coverage, the point of news coverage is to try to tell us things we don't know, and as we still have no idea what Obama actually stands for, the extra news coverage is warranted, isn't it? slashdot.org


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Here's my OSCON talk, Perl for Political Campaigns. use.perl.orgslashdot.org

NAND-OR's White Camel

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I am sitting in Damian's talk on rod logic, which followed the White Camel Awards, and perhaps I should have named the album NAND-OR's White Camel instead of Nandor's White Castle. use.perl.org

The noon bell rings in Catholic churches to this day because on this date, 552 years ago, Janos Hunyadi led his men to defeat the Ottomans, who had besieged the Hungarian city of Nandorfejervar (which means "Nandor's White Castle").

And today also marks the release of my album, Nandor's White Castle.

It is currently available for purchase and shipping on my web site, and for purchase and digital download on Amazon.com. use.perl.org

"Nandor's White Castle" Disc

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pudge posted a photo:

"Nandor's White Castle" Disc

This is the disc art for my CD "Nandor's White Castle." It's my Schrammie award. And yes, it is cropped to be a circle on the disc itself. pudge.net/Nandorfejervar/

pudge posted a photo:

"Nandor's White Castle" Liner Notes

This is the inside cover art for my CD "Nandor's White Castle." pudge.net/Nandorfejervar/

"Nandor's White Castle" Tray

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pudge posted a photo:

"Nandor's White Castle" Tray

This is the tray art for my CD "Nandor's White Castle." That's me on the big screen TV serenading the politicians. pudge.net/Nandorfejervar/

"Nandor's White Castle" Cover

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pudge posted a photo:

"Nandor's White Castle" Cover

This is the cover art for my CD "Nandor's White Castle." pudge.net/Nandorfejervar/

Leaving for OSCON

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I am headed to OSCON tomorrow morning. I am speaking on Thursday, Perl for Political Campaigns.

First stop: Red Sox @ Mariners tonight. slashdot.orguse.perl.org

Yours truly will be performing some tunes at the Snohomish County GOP Picnic on July 26. I will have my new CD, Nandor's White Castle, available for sale, with some proceeds going to the 38th District (which is organizing the picnic).

Many local candidates will be speaking, and Jack Turk will be performing his magic. It's at Langus Riverfront Park in Everett, just off I-5, from 4 to 8 p.m. (I am scheduled, I believe, to go on at 5 p.m.) Cost is $10 per person. There will be a raffle, and plenty of food.

Nandor's White Castle is mostly political songs, featuring new classics like "GOP Debate Song," played for the CNN/YouTube Republican Presidential Debate; the co-dependent love song to Washington's governor, "Christine, Christine, Christine;" the Schrammie-award-winning tune "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday;" and the folk anthem "George Bush is Hitler." slashdot.orguse.perl.org

More Lies About McCain

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I am watching Meet the Press from July 13. Senator Claire McCaskill is ... amazing.

And not in a good way.

Much of what she is saying is simply bald-faced lies. The most clear example:

"[I]t was interesting that Carly referred to the boom years. That's when we had a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress. Those were the boom years."

Obviously, the "boom years" were in the mid-to-late 1990s, which had a Republican Congress. Everyone knows this.

She also offered a lot of extremely dishonest rhetoric:

"... talk about a shifting position, I mean, John McCain used to be very positive about George Bush's leadership in Iraq."

Except that McCain was a significant critic of how Bush was handling the war, all the way back to 2003. He did say some positive things, and some negative things.

"[McCain]'s saying we're going to stay in Iraq."

Only to the same extent that Obama is saying we're going to stay in Iraq.

"John McCain's economic policy was drafted in a corporate boardroom. Barack Obama's economic policy was drafted at a kitchen table."

Both literally and metaphorically false.

"... there's a very clear difference between the two economic plans. One represents change and one doesn't."

Meaningless tripe.

"What we have done with No Child Left Behind is squeeze the creativity out of the classroom because teachers have begun to just teaching to the test."

This has nothing to do with NCLB, and everything to do with choices made by the individual states. If the states wanted to allow more creativity, they could. The WASL is not problematic because of the NCLB. It is problematic because of Washington State's own choices. slashdot.org

Obama's Current Iraq Policy

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It must be a tough job being a speechwriter for Obama. I tried my hand at writing this press conference speech about his Iraq policy.

"What I've said before is always what I've said and what I'm still saying, that we need to be careful and deliberate about how we bring the troops home. That's my policy, and it's always been my policy.

"When I said that we would do it in 16 months, and made this promise repeatedly in order to become the presumed Democratic nominee, what I meant -- and I've said this all along -- is that we might NOT do it in 16 months. The timeline really doesn't matter, as any military expert will tell you.

"I mean -- and I respect Senator McCain's military service -- but when he says his goal is to get the troops out of harm's way and make sure that we don't leave behind an unstable Iraq, but that he won't set a timeline, that is very different from my goal to get the troops out of harm's way and make sure that we don't leave behind an unstable Iraq, because I do have a timeline, even though I will readily sacrifice that timeline if it might risk an unstable Iraq or put our troops in harm's way.

"I haven't changed anything. The confusion here is the fault of the McCain campaign, which has deliberately twisted my words ... I mean, I've been very consistent, nothing has changed at all ... if anything, it's McCain who has changed, since he supported the war from the beginning, but NOW he wants to get the troops out of harm's way! Right? ... WILL YOU ALL PLEASE JUST STOP LOOKING AT ME?!??! I mean, COME ON!!!! I thought you LIKED me!" slashdot.org

Happy Independence Day

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The EFF put up this Fourth of July video:

Which reminded me of a video I put up last year, a cover of "Fireworks" from Schoolhouse Rock:

Happy Independence Day! Having fun blowing up little bits of paper and cardboard with black powder! I sure will.

[NB: I know that, in fact, it was Robert Livingston, not Philip Livingston, who was on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Schoolhouse Rock got it wrong, and when I copied them, so did I.] slashdot.org

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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