Thursday, June 30, 2011

Overheard at Booth 1

A woman on her phone, saying, "I left work early today so I could get the house ready for this weekend . . . Mike's having a few friends over and the last time he did I was cleaning blood off the couch at two-thirty in the morning."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: Directions

1: you go up highway 52 until you get to Stanlon, off old state road 426, then you make a right.

2: she should probably take I-91 right on up to Fallsdale, that way she could catch the Old Church Road, which'd swing her right around to 289.

3: yeah, but that takes you around the state park, it'd be an extra half hour, and she's trying to get there before sundown.

2: sure, but Stanlon has all that construction now, plus whenever I go through Stanlon, I always get caught behind a train.

1: I forgot about the train! Listen if you go through Stanlon, take Polk Road, not Harlan Road. Harlon will get you turned around, but if you take Polk Road, you'll catch back up to 52 as soon as you come around the City Square with the big old bank in the middle.

3: isn't that now what they're using for the City Hall.

2: it's actually the county seat.

2: No foolin'? So that's why they're widening 52 from Bustledorf to Campbell.

4: Uh, guys? I think I'm just going to use my GPS.

1: Oh, don't use those things - they only just confuse you!

Monday, June 27, 2011

At the Counter: 1st Amendment beats ban in video game battle

1st Amendment beats ban in video game battle

Verble says, "The issue I have is that video games are not books or movies, which are themselves artistic formats used to convey messages about culture and society. Video games are about fun and killing, or the fun of killing. Nothing more. I don't see how video games can ask to be viewed on the same level as books and movies before they have actually matured. Maybe someday, when Duke Nukem stands with his head on the guillotine prolcaiming 'tis a far far better place I go than I have ever been!' Then we'll see!"

Overheard at Booth 4

As much as libertarians disgust me, this guy is right on the money about this issue:

I think the Liberals, Progressives, and Libertarians should band together to overthrow the plutocracy that owns both the Republican and the Democratic party.

That sounds completely insane, I know, but I think the Libertarians have been snowed under by false profits, that is, those conservatives who have made them believe that the problems are caused by bleeding heart liberals who want the government to hold their hand. Conservatives are very good at getting people to march to their tune by touching all their hot buttons, but if the Libertarians would actually cut to the core of their belief system, which can actually be considered a Christ-founded belief, they are not so far from the Liberals in that they believe that people should help each other. Government shouldn't have to bail people out, because people should stand on their own and help each other out when they fall down.

I think they believe this at the core. They just go about it differently . . . see, Liberals feel the same way, but they're just lucid enough to know that people WON'T help people out, and so we need some semblance of government sufficient enough to keep the people from starving or dying a slow death trapped in their homes slipping into insulin comas at the age of 87.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Overheard at Table 4

My sister in law called me from her new place in downtown Houston, said she was woken up at one in the morning from the Gay Pride Parade.

One in the morning?

Yeah, I guess that's the only time in Texas you're allowed to show Gay Pride.

Yah, keep 'em outta prime time so the kiddies won't know!

Video: The City Harmonic - Manifesto

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Overheard at Table 2

Perry: I've been thinking.

Tennyson: That's always a dangerous thing.

Perry: about what we were discussing at study last night, about the television shows.

Kari: How they're all cra - spberries?

Perry: Yeah, about what passes for family shows these days, everything goes, every sort of perversion can be put into a marriage, how everyone is just allowed to do whatever they want, so long as it feels good and doesn't hurt anybody.

Tennyson: It's called hedonism.

Kari: Sometimes called Epicurianism.

Tennyson: For the philosopher who developed it.

Kari: Still valid.

Perry: Whatever! What I was thinking when I woke up was this: what if the reason why it's so pervasive is that this is actually a modern construct - not the ancient version of Hedonism - or Epicurianism - but actually a recent misinterpretation of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Tennyson: What really amazes me is not that you said that but that I'm not now at this moment staring at the black smoking stain of what was you right after the lightning bolt struck.

Perry: Seriously! Jesus taught us that we should be loving to everybody, equally. What if the anything goes mentality, including what we call perversions, is peoples current UNDERSTANDING of the mandate of God to love everybody?

Kari: God didn't specifically state that it's OK to be gay, lesbian, bi, experimental, lewd, lascivious, and giving to any pleasure.

Perry: I'm not talking about what God did or didn't say. I'm talking about how people have internalized the message. Their ingrained interpretation of His message of love and living in peace and harmony. That's why it's so prevalent in this society, because (to lift a quote from Auntie Em) we've "told the truth but told it slant."

Kari: I think you're reaching at straws, and personally it really hacks me off that you think that God's message should somehow get misinterpreted, because God's word is perfect.

Tennyson: But we are not. A text message can be sent perfectly, but if the receiving phone is offline, the message won't get through. Same with a radio signal, it can be transmitted fine, but if there is interference, you'll hear it garbled.

Kari: So God's the radio tower and were those little battery charged one-speaker radios that they had way back when? And we're like the little kids under the blankets trying to tune in rock and roll stations from across the Channel?

Tennyson: And the radio interference . . . that's called the World.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Scrap of notebook paper left at Table 4


Scraping wallpaper
While she paints an upstairs room.
This is now our house.

- from 365

Friday, June 17, 2011

Overheard at Table 2

Heard a debate on Pacifica Radio last night, between Kucinich and some other guy, and it was all aboutKucinich bringing the lawsuit against Obama over the War Powers Act and the bombing in Libya and at first I was all against the other guy, but really, as the debate went on, I could kind of see the points on both sides, you see . . .

it's like this: there's a debate over whether the War Powers Act is even constitutional, because it is the Legislative branch inserting itself into the Executive branch. That's the debate. Now, the Constitution clearly states that Congress, and only Congress, has the power to declare war. But the debate comes as to whether any military conflict is war, or whether just an all out "we hate this country" is a war. Because the Constitution does give the President the power to use the military for protection of the citizens from outside attack.

I think the problem lies in giving the President enough power to protect but not enough to abuse. That's always been the problem. Look at it: we got scarred by Vietnam, and I don't think we've ever recovered. We had military in that country for over four presidents, and not one declaration from Congress. That's why the War Powers Act came out in 1973, to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Then there's the whole "What did the Framers want?" speech, which I think is fine, to a point, because all in all, they're dead. Harsh to say, I know, but we are the ones living here now and we are the ones with the responsibility to maintain an ordered and protective society. Not them. They gave us the blueprint, and we're still building the building.

But then you get into the whole "is the Constitution the Word of God or a blueprint for growth," because there are some who want to see it like the Sermon on the Mount, or the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments or even the Bible itself, and then there are rational human beings who realize that the perfection of the Constitution was the built in ability to amend the darn thing without having to start over from scratch.

And the only reason I mention it is to show that we as a people keep waving our Constitution around like its some God-given right without ever knowing that just by doing that, we are creating the environment in which we will never be able to draw any mature, clear answers to our conflicts.

So, still, it's an interesting debate, and actually I think that's why the Founding Fathers gave us a Judicial Branch - to settle the disputes between the other two.

Let's hope they come to a better understanding than we have.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Left at Booth 2: War Powers Act and Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States of America

TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 33 > § 1541
Prev Next
§ 1541. Purpose and policy
How Current is This?
(a) Congressional declaration
It is the purpose of this chapter to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.
(b) Congressional legislative power under necessary and proper clause
Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer hereof.
(c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation
The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.


Section 8: Powers of Congress
[edit] Enumerated powers
Main article: Enumerated powers
Congress' powers are enumerated in Section Eight:

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Overheard at the Counter

I'm sorry, what? Say what? Oh no he didn't! Really! Boehner demands an explanation or legal justification of the military action in Libya? He wants a "clear explanation"?

Good Lord in Heaven! For starters, like Boehner could even have the grey matter enough to UNDERSTAND a clear explanation, but here is a Republican leader who doesn't want to fight a war.

Seriously, does anybody else get the point here? Apparently the Republos only want to fight in wars that THEY start . . . not a war that some Democrat starts. What cheek! What nerve! what chutzpah!

First, the entire Iraq war is illegal, immoral, and unjustifiable. The American people know that our military action there was based on a bald-faced, outright, outrageous LIE, and still we continue to support it. The mission in Afghanistan - to capture or kill Osama bin Laden - has been accomplished, and STILL NO SIGN of leaving.

And yet, this moron has the unmitigated GALL to demand a legal justification!

This is insane, this is ludicrous, and the worst thing is that while these dweebs are sitting there slugging it out in Washington, our children are still being killed, disfigured, or dismembered in wars that only make the rest of the citizenry an even bigger target than we ever were before.

Boehner - shut up and work to get all the troops back home! Stop building a base by which your Republo buddies can build a platform for their campaigns!

And give me another shot of espresso!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Overheard at Booth 5

Poe: Heard on the BBC yesterday about that Scottish kid who was pretending to be a gay girl in Syria, being tortured by the police.

Hoffmann: Heard about that - for a week "she" was the only news coming out of there. The whole world was praying for her.

Poe: Yeah, and it turns out to be a straight college male with an agenda.

Plath: Don't they all have an agenda?

Eliot: What kills me is all this blurring the lines between fiction and journalism. Seems like everybody with internet access these days wants to play the poet. Seriously! If everyone is a writer and a poet now, where does that leave us?

Poe: Quality, my friend. True quality of prose - or poetry - or prosody - will always shine through.

Plath: You're an optimist. You think quality will be rewarded. But you forget that fecal matter invariably rises to the surface . . .

Hoffmann: . . . and some of the best waters are buried on the bottom of the ocean.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Overheard at Table 1: The Green Hornet

I just watched the Green Hornet last night. What a piece of s#!) - and I can say that because that's every other word in the movie. Kid you not. "S#!)" must have been used at least two thousand times, in fact, I think the writer must've been on contract for getting a dollar every time he stuck the word into the dialogue. Sure made him some money.

Gol-LEE what a disappointment. I mean, with all the cool superhero movies coming out these days, they span the gamut: dark, slick, bright, goofy, straightforward action, moody - I mean most are done fairly well, a lot are really good and some are fantastic, but this thing? Seriously, it's like they just wanted to play to a sliver of a segment of the teenage circuit - those 15 somethings who still think it's cool to curse when the parents aren't around and dream of going to college just so they can see what keggers are like. This movie wouldn't even appeal to the college crowd themselves.

Even the cool special effects are too intermittent to hold any kind of attention. And yeah, sure, maybe they could have worked with the idea of making the superhero an unlikeable slacker, but there needs to be some sort of real redemption, some sort of actual character growth, and the writing just fell short.

Basically, that's it: The writing killed this movie. Which is sad, because the last guys I ever want to pan are the writers, but boy did they stink of fecal matter throughout this two hours of poo.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Overheard at Table Two

Lyle, hands around his coffee mug, says, "I remember you were talking about that sniper bumper sticker the other day when I saw another one just as I was coming here, it said


Steve says, "Ah yes! Just another soul lost to corporate lies. They think their eyes are opened but they've really been deceived."

Guy says, "What's that part there in the Bible where Jesus says - or maybe it was the letters of Paul - where it's written that there will be many false Christs?"

Steve says, "Revelation, maybe?"

Lyle admits, "Man, I sure envy those who can quote chapter/verse, but I wasn't never one of them."

Guy says, "Well, I've been thinking . . . we've always thought that He was saying there would be a bunch of false prophets rising up claiming they're the Second Coming, and we've been looking for leaders of mega-churches, or charismatic demagogues, but what if . . . what if the false Christs that He was talking about are in the Churches themselves? You know, the ones that go with the party line of 'I've been saved, but let's bomb Iraq!'?"

Lyle says, "You mean the 'Crusader' Christians."

Steve says, "Personally, I've never thought anybody could really see the love of Christ coming at them at a thousand feet per second."

Lyle, finishing his coffee, says, "It can't. I've only ever seen the love of Christ in either two hands closed together in prayer, or open palms going for a handshake or a pat on the back."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Overheard at the Booth 2: Self-Diagnosis in the Internet Age (Playing Doctor)

When I started my practice, it was still at a time when people had respect for their doctors. Nowdays everybody just comes in with their own diagnosis that they picked up on the Internet.

So they think they know better than you?

Yeah, like 11 years of school and $200,000 in student loans doesn't count for ship against a Google search.

I know! Last month Ista had a sore throat and these little red and white dots at the back of her mouth and I looked around and every site kept telling me that she had cancer. Cancer. Cancer. Cancer. God, by two am I was sure she was a goner! Heck, the only alternative that I found was that she had AIDS.

It was probably just strep throat.

It was! She went to her doctor the next day. Strep.

You could have just called me, I would have saved you the trip.

Yeah, but I didn't want to bother you. I figured if I researched a little bit it would cut down on the time it takes to diagnose.

Hm. Maybe that's what my patients think. They probably think they're doing me a favor by trying to play doctor.

That, and also because it's fun!