Monday, June 30, 2008

Keepin' It Real (Property)

If you've been down with KAR for any amount of time, you know that I'm a real property law geek. That is to say: I'm a geek of real property law, not that I'm a real geek when it comes to -

Eh, you get my meaning.

Anyway, I love it. Mainly because a lot of what you do today surrounding the buying or selling of real estate can be traced back to colorful or cataclysmic events in both the near or ancient past. Sometimes these things are amusing or trite, other times, mortifying. But usually interesting.

Look at all the steps that go into a land transaction today. First, you need a purchase agreement. The PA is often riddled with riders. You should never sign one without an inspection rider. Currently own a house? Better have a contingency rider. Financing? Well, duh, moneybags, better put in there a rider that leaves you an out in case your bank runs screaming away. New home subject to an association? It's a good idea to have a look at the bylaws and covenants, and leave yourself an out there too, just in case you had plans of painting your new house a yet-undiscovered-by-science shade of hot pink.

Then you have The Closing. At a date predetermined in the PA, you finally get to meet the slobs you're buying from. You sign all manner of disclosure paperwork, get the abstract and/or title insurance - a product that itself can be traced back to the Great Chicago Fire (Why was the fire so great? Because it burned down Chicago!), execute the financing and the deed (full warranty deed, thank you), the buyer signs the mortgage and note, and then finally the keys slide across the table. From there it's on to the new home, where you spend the next day or 3 moving your shit into the house, eventually pulling a muscle in your back so badly, that for the next three weeks it hurts to poop; but that's OK, - you have no place to do it anyway since your last act before your injury was a convulsive lurch that deposited your 500 pound barca lounger right in front of the bathroom doorway.

If you're also selling you own home, you get to do this twice.

So, if you've ever closed on a home, you already know that it's a huge, paperwork-heavy plastic hassle, where everything -EVERYTHING - is meticulously documented.

And we've been doing it this way for centuries.

Back in Ye Olde Medieval England, the landed gentry also performed a closing ceremony upon the conveyance of land. It was much more elaborate, if not as paperwork-heavy. That's the way it had to be, since the Cuban Education System had yet to be invented, so pretty much everyone was illiterate. Therefore, since a transaction couldn't be written down (and if it was, it would still have been of little use to the vast majority of illiterates) there needed to be an elaborate and memorable to-do with lots and lots of witnesses.

So this is what they did. First, the buyer, seller and all the gathered witnesses, walked the perimeter of the land about to be conveyed three times. Then, the seller, with all the gravity and pomp that could be mustered in such a situation, would present the purchaser a clod of dirt from the land, formally conveying all interest to the property. If there was a key, that would be presented in lieu of the dirt.

Oh, but that's not the interesting part.

Now sure, walking around in circles and watching some guy give some other guy a clod of dirt may be memorable good-time hootenanny for some. Unfortunately, those also tend to be the sort of people who could never be reached in their caves should their memories of the transaction be necessary to resolve some future dispute relating to the land's title. So they needed one guy present at the closing who would have a most unique experience that this person would never forget it. And the younger the better - someone who'll be around for years should any disputes arise in the more distant future.

Thus, the English created the most awesome closing tradition that was known as "birching the boy".

No, Ryan, there was no masturbating. Though "birching the boy" might be an excellent euphemism for that. What BTB entailed was closer to the ordeal modern real estate closers encounter. One of the assembled witnesses gathered would be a young boy, maybe about 14 years old. After the clod o' dirt changed hands, all assembled would turn on the boy and beat the living shit out of him. After that, the same boy would then be the guest of honor at a large feast, likely the greatest shindig of his life.

The boy would not forget that. The purchaser's title in the land was likely safe from claim jumpers for so long as the boy lived.

So what's the point? Why do we have these elaborate customs, practices and documentation surrounding real estate?

Because land tends to be expensive? Well, yeah there's that.

But Hummers are expensive too. Why is purchasing a car that much less of a hassle than buying land? Or a yacht for that matter?

It's because of the nature of land. Real estate is finite and is the least fungible thing on the planet. No two parcels are the same, and there are only so many places to build. The English knew this in 1100, and it's carried forward to this day. Before Clear Title statutes (mandating that any clouds occurring 60 or so years prior to present day are automatically extinguished) and abstracts, land titles were searched back to the original patent from the U.S. government. We take this stuff seriously. And we go through all that hassle up to and at closings to make sure that that parcel we bought will be OURS with no other claims on it, because it's that precious.

It helps to remember that when you hear some ignorant dingbats shrieking about some coming "housing collapse" portending doom in the year of a presidential election. The amount of buildable land will remain constant, even as the population grows.


/geek off

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Thought Liberals Hated Monopolies

WARNING: This post contains a long run-on sentence. Reader attention spans are advised.

Oh look: Molly's, like, trying to write about the coming economic catastrophe again in her usual breezy, snarky and totally clueless manner we have all come to revile. How cute!

You thought the average 15.5 percent home-price decline in the Twin Cities was bad? Start saving your pennies, stamps, and future eBay-auction items now. According to a new report (pdf) by the Center for Economic Policy and Research, the vast majority of families headed by people between the ages of 45 and 54 will have little or no housing wealth by next year due to unregulated lending practices and the resulting housing crash.

I love it when paid leftist propagandists cite "a new report" by some heretofore unheard of organization in order to predict (with absolute certainty - IT'S IN A REPORT) some dire crisis that will affect a "vast majority" of a segment of the population in some future date that is far enough away that we will have conveniently forgotten about the report by the time it is proven false. Oh, and the election will over. In the case of Molly's latest drooling, "some time next year".

Yes, I know, assigning the likes of Molly to the business and economics beat is kind of like assigning Molly the latest trends in personal hygiene beat. She''s easy to dismiss as a naif who's never owned a share of stock in her life. But here, she has cited A Report from an august sounding organization. So maybe we ought to take a look at this organization to see what it's all about.

Please stand by.

{googling}

{Long time readers will already know what's coming next. Please keep your mouths shut so you don't spoil it for the others.}

{clicking through to Center for Economic Policy and Research website.}

{Noting to self how site has a similar feel to some I have visited before}

{Scanning links}

...

{Scanning...}

...

Aha! There it is:

Our Funders

The Center for Economic and Policy Research is proud of the support that we receive. Approximately 80% of our funding comes from grants made by foundations. We are also supported by an ever-growing number of individuals who have made personal donations to our work. To join our ranks of individuals donors, click on Donate Now. [Link has been disabled. They'll have no problems getting funding, as you will discover shortly. -ed.]

CEPR does not receive any funding from corporations, unions, or foreign governments.

Foundation support in 2008 includes:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

The Ford Foundation

The Meyer Foundation

The Moriah Fund, Inc.

***The Open Society Institute***

The Retirement Research Foundation

The Russell Sage Foundation

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The Streisand Foundation

Washington Area Women's Foundation

There's that "Open Society Institute" again! That name just keeps popping up like a bad Soros huffing Viagras.

So now we have that far left wing currency speculator (I thought speculators were supposed to be bad now?) George Soros through his pet tax shelter, OSI, funding:

MorOn.org - Your one-stop shop for hatchet-jobbery done on behalf of (but not in coordination with - oh no, that'd be wrong) the Democratic Party.

Media Matters - Media watchdog group that specializes in combating "conservative misinformation in the media." As such on that site, "the media" tends to consist almost entirely of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

The Center for "Independent" Media - Runs several "non-partisan" (battleground) state-based "media outlets" that spew forth all manner of leftist drivel / character assassinations.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington: A "non-partisan" ethics watchdog that specializes in suing Republicans, and making endless FOIA requests regarding Republicans.

Approdeh - An outfit that lobbies on behalf of South American terrorist organizations.

And now...

The Center for Economic Policy and Research - Issues bogus reports that can be cited by all of the above as authoritative. Kind of like money laundering.

If Soros wanted to do some good, how about getting into oil exploration? It'd be a much bigger public benefit than flooding the internet with, *ahem* liberal disinformation, forcing us to sift through tons of incestuous citations masquerading as "independent media" just to find out that it's just more bullshit propaganda that should be ignored anyway.

Fore! Friday

This video should serve as a gentle warning to unsuspecting males in the vicinity of MilF golfers this July 25th: What goes down may also go up...

21 - 3

That was the score by which my softball team defeated Kevie's last night to earn the season sweep. A shellacking of monumental proportions, we had the rare honor of invoking the seldom-invoked "15 Runs After 5" mercy rule.

21 - 3



Twenty-one



to...



Three




Three times seven



to...




The square root of nine.



To be fair, Kevie didn't play last night because he's on the 15 day DL (retroactive to June 23rd) with a case of mono. His team played like they all had mono too.

You don't think...?

Naaaahhhh.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ahhhh, Civilization

I've returned from my short vacation off the grid. I had a pleasant time, free from the distractions of the outside world.

But it is good to be back. I've got tickets to a George Carlin show and I hear that my favorite midget actor, Verne Troyer, has a new movie out. Can't wait to see both!

So, did I miss anything?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moron Mail: Where have all the morons gone?

OK, I know you answered the question in the subject line in your head already. "The Internet," you said, probably adding "you idiot" shortly thereafter. Right on both counts, but today I found a whole new vein of stupidity that I, in my myopicness, had heretofore known nothing about.

When Foot roped me into writing graciously offered me the chance to write for this fine Thunderjournal, he encouraged me to write the occasional Moron Mail entry. Practically drooling, I started checking the Letters to the Editor at the Strib every few days, looking for drooling-but-for-a-different-reason suspects to tear into.

But either my timing was poor -- not unusual; consider my being out of town during the MiLF yet again this year -- or the letters have been edited more closely to clean out some of the idiocy. As time went by, I found fewer and fewer mouthbreathers in the Letters section; I feared that opportunity had passed me by, and I was forever locked into trolling food blogs for bacon references. Clearly, this ThunderJournal's consistent Moron Mail postings had prompted the editors to clean house a bit.

Yeah, I actually believed that for a second.

But then I discovered Netlets. [Cue trumpets and chorus of angels.] Are they only posted online? Probably, but I don't care. Netlets is where the morons that the editors started culling out of the print herd are sent to stagger behind the rest and die by the teeth of ThunderJournalists.

Let's see what's available today...
Flip flop could be sign of courage
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA--

OK, while there's almost an actual point there, he falls for calling a "flip" (a single change in stance [no, not from narrow to wide -ed]) a flip-flop. And if it was a sign of courage, wouldn't you expect it to be a flip from a popular position to an unpopular one?

Onward:
Success ought to breed withdrawal

My question to Charles Krauthammer: If the United States has been so successful in Iraq, as your June 14 column asserts, why isn't it time to start bringing the troops home?

SALMON PETER, BONERTONKA

My question to you, Peter: when the antibiotics you take for your debilitating VD start to work, isn't it time to stop taking them?

But you can't beat this for pure "what the hell?"ness:

It saddens me that on June 17, the Star Tribune published an article dealing with how Bonny Belgum felt when she saw Keith Richards' face on a book cover. Not only did it take up a third of the page that could have been used for more important issues, but also reflected America's obsession with looks and celebrities. The article didn't even mention what kind of a person this Richards was. It only talked about how his face looked. I hope that someday we can go beyond what's on the outside and focus more on the inside.

DIC BRINGZA, BONERMOUTH

Set aside his being too dense to understand what the "opinion" piece (more of a column, really) was supposed to be about; that Esquire is, in fact, a magazine and not a book; and that he clearly has no idea who Keith Richards is (not "was"; despite his looks, he ain't dead yet).

No, the true stupidity is this: Dic, the last place the Strib should be publishing "more important issues" is in the Opinion section. Sack and Keillor and Sturdevant, dealing with "important" issues? Sure. And I'll be the surgeon doing your bonerectomy today, Mr. Bringza.

So, based on my complete lack of research, incredibly late discovery of this "feature" of the Strib, and about 5 seconds of thought, I hereby retract my theory of "Peak Moron Mail" and substitute the theory of "Strib Stupidity Conservation":

The level of stupidity broadcast by the Strib is a constant; it just gets shifted around once in a while.

UPDATE: First corollary: Every few weeks, every last bit of it lands on Nick Coleman.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Supreme Court Rules That The Death Penalty Rules

While Mitch is on stand by with the Heller decision, we at KAR report a recent Supreme Court decision on the death penalty (f-bomb alert if watching at work):

Moron "Male" Fail Monday

A City Pages journalist and a city council member equate an 1877 lurking law with discrimination:

Last week, Cam Gordon moved to repeal an anti-lurking ordinance which has been on the books since1877 (seriously), arguing that the statute is vague, overbroad, and discriminatory.

The motion failed by a 7 to 5 vote.

Minneapolis is one of just two cities in the country that has a specifically tailored anti-lurking ordinance. Proponents say it helps combat drug dealing. More specifically, the ordinance gives police the power to write up tickets for drug dealers who don’t necessarily have any drugs on them, which is to say non-drug dealers who merely look suspicious, which is to say “tan” people hanging out downtown after 11 p.m.

Which is to say Bradley Campbell is a moron. Let's have a look at one Mpls. precinct crime map earlier this month:




I count 1 homicide, 1 rape, 10 personal robberies, 9 aggravated assaults, 1 business robbery, and four domestic aggravated assaults in one precinct in one week . While we may not equate all of the above with lurking, I'm sure it may have played a part. But that doesn't matter to Cam and Campbell as much as ignoring crime prevention and playing the race card:

Of the nearly 300 people who’ve been arrested or cited for lurking the past two years, 74 percent are minorities.

“It’s just a poor ordinance,” says Gordon. “The conviction rate hovers around twenty-five-percent and it also contributes to economic and racial disparities. But while the motion failed, there were two pubic hearings and people were made aware of institutional racism.”


Which is to say that Cam Gordon is an institutional moron.





I don't see tan on these maps — I see red, yellow, purple, blue, and lime green. How long have laws against assault, murder, rape and robbery been on the books? Let's remove them too because they're "vague, overbroad and discriminatory."

F-ing idiots. I need a mojito already — which I will also drink to celebrate another moron FAIL.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Obama Recreates Presidential Seal. So Does Bacon.

He's announced he'll be President for two terms, now Obama dons a new presidential seal in his likeness.

Compare and contrast to the real thang:




Did the BO just make an illegal boo-boo by infringing on a copyrighted and protected symbol?

(a) Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States, or of the seals of the President or the Vice President of the United States, or the seal of the United States Senate, or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress, or any facsimile thereof, in, or in connection with, any advertisement, poster, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, public meeting, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production, or on any building, monument, or stationery, for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

IMPEACH!!!!!1!!

Oh, wait. He's not elected yet. Although he thinks he is.

And he thinks you think he is.

As it's a Friday Bacon post, our endorsed candidate will not be outdone by the big "O"— even if he breaks the law and faces impeachment into his second term:





Sealed with freshness. Packed with deliciousness. Unimpeachable PhotoShop greatness. Bacon.

SHOCKING KAR VIDEO SCANDAL OMG!!!! WTF!!!! DIAF!!!!!1! UFIA!!11!!!!

Joe Tucci here. I have discovered something disturbing. I take no pleasure in disclosing this, but I feel it is my duty. Nobody should take this as another one of my attempts to wrest control of the fam- er, this ThunderJournal, from Foot. I do this as a good citizen who values Truth and Honesty in the media.

Many of you have seen the new LearnedFoot documentary just released this week entitled 'Moonchild Goes Yard." If not, you can watch it here. Unfortunately, I believe that this video is a fraud. A fake. A fabrication. Consider the following:

1. Three year olds aren't coordinated or strong enough to hit a nerf baseball that far.

2. There are professional baseball players, such as JJ Hardy, who can't even hit a ball out of the infield, yet we are led to believe that this little munchkin can take one deep/

3. The video looks hinky, as though stock footage of Moonchild filmed elsewhere (probably in front of a green screen) and then edited into the final video to make it appear as though he hit that ball. Take a look at the photographic evidence:

Image 1 - here is a screengrab of "Moonchild Goes Yard" in which we see "Moonchild" "swinging the bat just before the moment of contact:




As you can see from my enhancements, the BAT APPEARS NEARLY AS BIG AS MOONCHILD HIMSELF. Not only does a 3-year old supposedly jack one out of the park with his naturally underdeveloped fine motor skills, but we are also to believe that he did so WITH A LARGE, UNWIELDY BAT. It would be like trying to hit a golf ball with a 7-iron that's 6 feet long!

Image 2 - another screengrab taken a half-second prior to Image 1 from the video is even more damning, and I believe it conclusively proves my case:



Look at the pitcher's - Mrs. Foot's (purportedly) - arm, and compare its size to Moonchild's. THE PITCHER'S ARM FROM ELBOW TO FINGERTIP IS EXACTLY THE SAME SIZE AS MOONCHILD'S HEIGHT! Either that's Yao Ming and not Mrs. Foot pitching to Moonchild (which would be a lie in its own right) or this video has been totally DOCTORED!!!

We're through the looking glass here, people.

This is a scandal reminiscent of Mark Kennedy and Fishgate in aught-six.

Why would LearnedFoot fabricate such a video? We don't know, but what is clear is this:

MOONCHILD WAS NOT IN THAT BACK YARD WHEN THIS FOOTAGE WAS RECORDED!

Why is this important? Who knows? But my accusation is intended to insinuate something unseemly about LearnedFoot which may or may not be true.

ARGH! NOT! My accusation is NOT intended to insinuate something unseemly about LearnedFoot. (Damn backspace button is broken). That would be goofy. I am only interested in Truth and Honesty, and honest and open debate and all that other high-falootin' nonsense you always hear. But you already know that, since I wrote that back in the first paragraph.

Unfortunately, I hear that LearnedFoot has fled to a remote location in northern Wisconsin until Thursday, so I cannot confront him with my accusations for his denial. Maybe one of the sudden crop of new forensic video experts that sprung up out of nowhere yesterday can examine the video and verify my claims.


Developing...

Friday Bacon Post

Finally, a new superhero, badly needed for our troubled times, emerges. Suck it Captain Planet.


No one knows who they were - or what they were doing. But their legacy remains, hewn into the smoky, crispy, porky deliciousness...

Of Baconhenge!

(Tip o' the Pitcher to Kevie & Steve.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Liveblogging, er... Nothing in Particular...

2:54 - It's the bottom of the 7th in the Brewers - Blue Jays tilt at Miller Park and...

How should I put this?

Um... nobody in the Brewers' dugout is speaking to Dave Bush. IfyaknowwhatImean.

Yes, you read that right. Dave Bush. More as developments warrant.

3:06 - GREAT NEWS for Dave Bush! Lyle Overbay's triple means that Bush's teammates will talk to him again when he gets back to the dugout.

BETTER NEWS: This liveblog is over (with the Brew Crew up 8 - nil, top of the 8th)!

UPDATE: Aaaaaand given the final score of 8 to 7 (Jays scored 6 in the ninth off something like 7 Brewer relievers), I'm guessing that Dave Bush will not be talking to his bullpen for a while.

Now this liveblog is over!

Moron Mail

The Moron Mail trifecta is now in play:

Before people jump on the "more domestic oil drilling" bandwagon, they should know it takes a minimum of 10 years for the oil to be found, drilled for and extracted, pipelines to be built to carry it to a refinery, refined and, finally, put into a gas tank.

Oh, OK then. I guess I'll just run right out and buy one of those cars that runs on hydrogen fuel cells or dead cats. I'll be right back!

Um, OK. I went to the car dealer, and he told me that the only cars they sell run on gas. Obviously a tool of Big Oil™.

Meanwhile, the last refinery built in the United States was in the 1970s, and it takes another 10 to 15 years to build one. And, if people think it's going to lower gas prices, they're sorely mistaken. Remember, it's the oil companies that do the work and build the new infrastructure. Just how do you think they're going to cover the costs?

I do remember hearing something about them reaping "windfall profits." If only there were some use all that extra money could be put to. Hmmm....

No, the big effort should be in finding alternative forms of energy and developing the vehicles that can run on them, not placating oil-hungry people and the politicians who pander to them.


And until that evil car dealer fesses up and tells me where he hides those cars that don't run on gas, I guess I'll just have to try to fill my tank with Happy Thoughts and the Promise of Future Technologies with butterflies flitting about under rainbows and bubbles, while the Grateful Dead plays "Terrapin Station" on a stage made completely out of soy based cotton candy!

(I'll probably still have to top it off with gas, though.)

Good thinking, slapnuts!

KEVIN DRISBONER, ST. PAUL

Oh, we're not done yet. This letter is in the running for the Stupidest Simile Ever Award:

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's plan to open up more exploration options to cut fuel prices makes just about as much sense as lowering the price of liquor to cure alcoholism.

Well, no. When a guy's car is filled with gas, he can get to work and be a productive member of society. When he is drunk or hungover, he usually doesn't even bother getting out of bed.

Which, I suppose, saves him on gas.

The truly sad part of this debate is that she may even be right in believing the electorate is that shortsighted.

And the alchie sucking on his $3 bottle of Stoli, alone in his car at the gas station, waits for the mystical Unicorn of Environmental Stewardship to deliver the magical Green Technology of the Future, while Stalinistic jerkholes force him to suffer for his own good in the present by the leave of their own consciences.

JEFF BONERCEK, MAPLEWOOD

Geez. Next thing you know, they'll be calling for the nationalization of the oil industry...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moonchild Mealticket

Another original feature film with all the production values you'd expect from KAR Studios.

Starring Moonchild. I smell a scholarship.

Moron Mail

Instead of a straightforward fisking, I'm just going to use this letter as a jumping off point for a rant:

I had to laugh at Neal Justin's June 15 media column ("Media reform takes all voices"), which was nothing more than a defensive rant trying to make mainstream media look good.

NOTE: When someone uses the word "rant" to characterize someone else's rhetoric, it can almost always be translated into "I vehemently disagreed with what that guy said, but I lack the intellectual firepower to actually articulate why."

I attended the National Conference on Media Reform in Minneapolis, and I left the Convention Center excited and inspired by the speakers and panelists I'd heard for three days.

Bill Moyers -- whom Justin mentioned only as having "a heated exchange" with a Fox News producer, rather than quoting from his inspiring hour-long address to the 3,500 conferees -- summed up the central theme running throughout the conference: "As journalism goes, so goes democracy."

NANCY BONERJAMES, SANTA ROSA BEACH, FLA.

See, here's the thing though. That (extremely misleadingly named) conference wasn't about journalism. Oh sure, there were the typical lamentations about media consolidation and right wing *snort*

Excuse me, I just snorted for some reason. Continuing...

right wing *snort*

I can't seem to help it. Let's try again...

right wing *SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOORTTTTTTTTTTT BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA *SNORT SNORT SNORT*

Sorry. I'll try to just force it out.

rightwingbiasinthemainstreammedia *SNORT SNORT SNORKY SNORT*

Ahem.

But what journalism is - how I understand it anyway - is merely the dissemination of important information to the community. Now, what "news" is important and to whom it is important is always up for debate, and the purveyors of journalism constantly have to make judgments regarding that. The result is often imperfect, but with all the different available news sources out there, a diligent person can usually get at least the important points of a story with relatively little effort. That's journalism.

The horribly misnamed National Conference of Media reform had little to do with journalism. It had to do with activism. It wasn't so much concerned with the dissemination of information, but rather the dissemination of the right information. Or to put a finer point on it, the dissemination of a message. Whose message?

Theirs.

Pretty monolithic bunch there. Philosophically speaking there are plenty of gripes about the state of the media in this country from both sides. Certainly enough to build a reform conference around. Yet I'm pretty sure there wasn't a whole lot of disagreements flying around in their little workshops.

These people couldn't give a rip about fair or accurate journalism. Only in the fair and accurate dissemination of stories that fit their worldview or support their ends. It's activism. Its messaging of a particular point of view. Don't blow sunshine up my ass by claiming that it's "democracy" or some other specious crap. In a speech at the conference, Keith Ellison called for the elimination of "hate radio" (who decides what is "hateful," anyway?) and Fox News. If you click through that link, you'll see an embed of the video of that speech. Unfortunately, whoever posted the vid has since pulled it. How democratic.

The proliferation of blogs has failed to fulfill its promise. Instead of getting insight into the opinions and analyses of shmoes just like you (or not), getting a number of perspectives on what some piece of information or news could mean, and maybe learning a few things in the process, we now get an onslaught of political activism which alternates between character assassinations of candidates in the party opposite and fellating the given blogger's own party candidate. We now have video camera-wielding jerkoffs, both employed by campaigns and working independently, relentlessly stalking candidates for office in hopes of catching them in some banal embarrassment. And when they do, it's repeated ad nauseum on other likewise-oriented blogs with no value added. All there is anymore is just a haze of proxy campaign sites masquerading as "independent" blogs. And then these people have the gaul to refer to themselves as "citizen journalists". You're not. You're a lame-o party activist - an unpaid low-grade salesman - who is of little worth to anybody seeking an intelligent opinion on anything. If I want to read nice things about Steve Sarvi, I'll just visit his website (where the candidate actually has to take responsibility for misrepresentations about his opponent's record and character), thanks.

We've already got front "news" outlets, for front groups of front groups of the Democratic Party, claiming to be "independent". What the hell do we need a conference for? What the hell do they need a conference for? They're already piddling their lies, half-stories, smears and Democratic fellatios into the marketplace of ideas with well-funded impunity.

There's no "debate". There's very little reliable information. There's no dignity.

It's boring and worthless.

I've abstained, mostly, from reading the hardcore political (activist) blogs since the little flameup with Joe Bodell last month. I am richer for it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why Was I Not Invited?

Check out this story from the AP:

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Associated Press, following criticism from bloggers over an AP assertion of copyright, plans to meet this week with a bloggers' group to help form guidelines under which AP news stories could be quoted online.

Jim Kennedy, the AP's director of strategic planning, said Monday that he planned to meet Thursday with Robert Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association, as part of an effort to create standards for online use of AP stories by bloggers that would protect AP content without discouraging bloggers from legitimately quoting from it.

The meeting comes after AP sent a legal notice last week to Rogers Cadenhead, the author of a blog called the Drudge Retort, a news community site whose name is a parody of the prominent blog the Drudge Report.

The notice called for the blog to remove several postings that AP believed was an improper use of its stories. Other bloggers subsequently lambasted AP for going after a small blogger whom they thought appeared to be engaging in a legally permissible and widely practiced activity protected under "fair use" provisions of copyright law
.

Oh. Shit. Should I not have done that?

Um...

Never mind. I guess I'm going to have to bail on this post.

And just ignore the above quoted story. Never happened.

Bye!

Run to the MilF

Prior to the Kentucky Derby, "My Old Kentucky Home" is sung. Before any major American sporting event, we sing "The Star Spangled Banner." And before the puck drops in an NHL game between two Canadian teams, we hear the Canadian national anthem "Take Off to the Great White North" (or whatever). It struck me that we have never started a Millard Fillmore Memorial KARNation Open Championship Golf Outing Classic with a proper anthem.

Well, that's about to change. But since the MilF doesn't take place in Kentucky or Canadia (or whatever) those ditties don't really seem relevant. And I believe that kicking off an event colloquially known as "The MilF" with our beloved national anthem would be seen as something less than reverent. So I have taken it upon myself to craft a fitting tribute to the first and greatest ThunderJournal-related golf outing in Minnesota. All MilFers should memorize it and be prepared to sing it prior to the first group's tee time.

Without further ado, I give you:

ALL HAIL THE MILF

(Sung to the tune of Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills")

Cheesy Midi here.

White men came to Valleywood
To hit golf balls into the woods
They killed the grass, they killed the greens
They had no shots from the weeds

The greens were hard, the greens were slick
On eighteen, Yost raped the stick
Too many strokes, too hot to pee
Oh when will the beer cart come to me?

Banaiain kicking dustclouds and divots up
Clad in his sandals and socks
Hitting approaches nowhere near the holes
Shuta puts another into the rocks
Bogey golf on the front nine; four eights on the back
Still enough to win because we're a bunch of hacks!

All hail the MilF! All hail the MilF guys!
All hail the MilF! All hail the MilF guys!

LearnedFoot is huge off the tee
(Too bad his short game is shit)
Andee takes four swings at the ball
And never once did hit it
Group ahead taking so long, you start to get cold
JUST HIT THE DAMN PUTT - WE'RE ALL GROWING OLD!!!!

All hail the MilF! All hail the MilF guys!
All hail the MilF! All hail the MilF guys!
(repeat 17x)


(Mad MilF props to Chief for the graphic.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

The News In Haiku

Is it just me, or
does the phrase "Wellstone Action"
sound vaguely pervy?

See Pi Press. Now see
Pi Press thrash and flail for a
shot at survival.

Your daddy sent you
back to rehab, Amy, and
you say "d'oh, d'oh, d'oh".

This just in from court:
All St. Olaf hYpStRz can
buy their own IPods!

Thunderjourno Ryan
Rhodes - has he been seen at all
anywhere, today?

Sources for libel?
Anonymous blog comments
are reliable!

People who follow
this site's plea to eat bacon
can ignore this bit.

Lake Superior:
So cold, makes nuts small enough
to work for MNMon.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Fathers' Day Friday Bacon Post

No bacon news today. Instead, this Fathers' Day weekend, I urge all of you to spend quality time with Dad and share some delicious bacon with him. That's all he really wants.

The bacon, I mean. The time, not so much. You were a constant source of frustration, heartache and worry for him, and frankly, your dad was elated when you finally dragged your dead ass out of his basement. Just leave the f&%$ing bacon on the counter and go, you deadbeat!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Poking The Vote

The following is self-fisking. Forwarded from a friend who's on the MoveOn.org mailing list:
Dear MoveOn member,

Imagine showing up on November 4th to cast your history-making vote for Barack Obama—only to be turned away because you aren't properly registered.

Think it can't happen to you? Don't be so sure. There are a bunch of reasons your registration might not be up to date, even if you think it is. Take one minute right now to double-check your registration using VotePoke, our new Facebook app. Click here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3764&rc=fb&id=12835-6402166-06SS1t&t=3

This is going to be an amazing, exciting, once-in-a-lifetime election. You don't want to have to tell your grandkids you wanted to vote for Barack Obama, but didn't actually get to do it. And now that there's VotePoke, there's really no excuse. After you check your registration on Facebook, you can also "VotePoke" your friends: ask them to check their registration, and then see if they do or not.

Try VotePoke today. It's easy: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3764&rc=fb&id=12835-6402166-06SS1t&t=4

Thanks for all you do.
–Peter, Laura, Daniel, Matt, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team

P.S. If you're not on Facebook, you can use the VotePoke.org website instead: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3765&id=12835-6402166-06SS1t&t=5

Support our member-driven organization: MoveOn.org Political Action is entirely funded by our 3.2 million members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support our work, you can give now at: http://political.moveon.org/donate/email.html?id=12835-6402166-06SS1t&t=6

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

...


VotePoke?!!!1!


...



...


Many here at KAR are well-known for our tiny staffs, and we VotePoke Bacon with them.

A Very Special Mongo Father's Day Poop Post

The following post is true.

Moonchild's been potty training. He does pretty well with the pee pee, but the pooping is hit and miss. Mostly miss. He has yet to discover the glories of the classic 15 Minute Sitdown, still preferring to leave his steaming piles in his pullups.

Last night, just after his bedtime he came into our room and declared "I gotta go potty." Mrs. Foot climbed out of bed and helped him on to the toilet. After sitting there a moment he declared in a somewhat distressed voice "I gotta poop!"

Now, Moonchild was a bit constipated. It'd been a good two days since he had plopped his last stinky. So Mrs. Foot stayed with him and encouraged him while he grunted and groaned and struggled and basically sounded like he was giving birth. Finally, after about 5 minutes, I heard Mrs. Foot exclaim "It's coming out!" followed shortly thereafter by an ecstatic Moonchild shouting "I did it!"

Mrs. Foot called me into the john to examine Moonchild's work. What I saw there, was one of those seminal moments of pride a father feels in his son; the dawning of a new, but inevitable connection between father and son, that is only possible because of the pride that all males take in an especially well-crafted turd.

There, laying in the bowl was the most remarkable specimen I have ever seen eliminated by a toddler. Moonchild's poop was about 8 to 10 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter at its widest point; well tapered, with a healthy color and a solid appearance.

It was a magnificent poop, an observation Moonchild echoed when he proclaimed it to be "a huge, MONGO poop!"

I started to get all teary eyed when he suggested (reminder: not making this up) that I take a picture of it.

!!!!!

Before I even had a chance to move toward the door, Mrs. Foot flushed the toilet. Women sometimes just don't understand.

Speechless

[LEARNEDFOOT is alone, poking a steaming pile of ...something with a stick. RYAN and THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA enter.]

HOAG: You called?

RYAN: What's that you're poking there? It kind of looks like what became of the burrito I ate last night, but I know that I left that in my toilet this morning.

FOOT: [Too engrossed to take his eye off the pile.] This is today's column from NonMonkey.

RYAN: Ewwww! Gross! DO NOT WANT!

FOOT: Yeah. I know.

HOAG: So why did you want us here?

FOOT: I thought we might multifisk it...

HOAG: ...But?

FOOT: But damned if I know how.

RYAN: What do you mean?

FOOT: Well, it has something to do with flying cows and impeaching the president.

RYAN: Sounds promising! Let's get a-fiskin'!

FOOT: Wait. That's not all. He also refers to Dennis Kucinich as though he were sane. And, well...

HOAG: Sounds like easy pickin's to me. Let's get at it. Unless there's more you're not telling us. Who did he quote in the article? A mime?

[Both RYAN & HOAG chuckle at HOAG's bon mot.]

FOOT: As a matter of fact, yes.

[RYAN and HOAG stop laughing.]

RYAN: You're kidding, right?

FOOT: No. I wish I was.

RYAN: Well, I still think we can work at -

FOOT: [Interrupting] This mime also regularly does a "crucifixion performance" at some church, and has a hard time drawing the distinction between the persecution and death of Jesus - who, if I am to trust the Bible, harmed no one - and a bunch of psycho Islamist zealots who joined a group whose main tactic is to kill and maim as many innocents as possible to advance their cause.

RYAN: ...

HOAG: [Muttering] Lousy Unitarians!

RYAN: I... I ah...er. It's just that... um... FUCK!

FOOT: Exactly.

HOAG: There's nothing to do here. It's a self-fisking column.

FOOT: We can't outdo the unintentional hilarity in this column with our smooth, witty and caustic brand of intentional humor. I mean, how many different ways can you say "Look at how stupid this sentence is!" without it getting boring?

HOAG: Agreed. So, what do we do about the column now?

RYAN: Kill it with fire, and don't look back.

HOAG: Agreed! Fire FIRE! Heh heh heh!

FOOT: [Shaking fist in air] Oh, you've beaten us this time NonMonkey! But we'll be back!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If You Can't Stand the Heat, Kick Elia Out of the Kitchen

To: Mitch Berg

From: LearnedFoot, Average schmuck and food-oriented reality show connoisseur

Re: The relative hotness of former female Top Chef contestants

Like you, I am a big fan of Bravo TV's "Top Chef." I enjoy your takes on the show, even though it now appears that your once promising theory to predict the finalist seems to have been somewhat discredited by the events of this season. It was an interesting theory, and one you should take no shame in seeing disproven. After all, the discovery of incredibly powerful predictive devices such as the Nihilist Anti-Lock Betting System typically only occur once in a generation.

That said, I have a major quibble with your Top Chef coverage.

Please stop referring to Casey as the epitome of Top Chef hotness. Everybody knows that Elia was BY FAR the hottest babe to ever chop leeks in the Glad Family of Products™ / Toyota RAV4™ Top Chef Kitchen (brought to you by the GE Professional Collection™). This is objective fact and the debate is over, so don't even bother arguing it. Elia's so hot, she makes Casey look like that leftyblogger Tild in comparison.*

Sure Casey is cute. But she is no match for the exotic, scorching hot, drool inducing hootchie mamaness that is Elia. Want evidence? How about this: even after Elia shaved her head, she was still inducing boners in a fair majority of the admittedly small straight-male Top Chef viewership (to say nothing of the large lesbian viewership) (although I'm pretty sure they don't get boners, per se) ("screaming thigh sweats, maybe?) (end of parentheticals).

So, in conclusion, Elia = yummy, and I ain't talkin' about her food.



* I have never actually seen this Tild woman, but I don't need to. I am pretty sure that she's a big fat blob of hideousness. Because I just know, OK?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Backboner

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!!

Damn, I wish I had seen this first.

Happy Steve Sarvi Day!

Who's Steve Sarvi? I have no idea, but leftybloggers, most of whom don't live in the 2nd Congrssional district are blogging "for" him today. From what I can gather, Steve Sarvi:

* Is a veteran;

* Is a Democrat;

* Is running for Congress against John Kline;

* Is a veteran.

* Is a vereran.

John Kline is also a veteran. Not that that matters to my preferences as to who represents me in Congress (as opposed to some pantload who lives in Bumblefuck Firstdistrict), but I figure those bona fides cancel each other out.

However, and much more importantly, John Kline is not a Democrat. So I'll stick with him, the advice of jerkoffs who elected Keith Ellison to congress notwithstanding.

No offense to Sarvi, though. I hear that he's a solid guy.

The News in Haikus

The five worst ways to
Get hammered. For some reason
Grain Belt not on list.

Speaking of Grain Belt,
This is what it feels like to
Get nailed on that shit.

You say "to-may-to"
I say "sal-mAH-nella"; Let's
Pull them off the shelf.

Junior hits number
Six hundred. Five-ninety-nine
Came in '95.

Irony defined:
Guinness record restaurant
Can not serve Guinness.

Kucinich intro's
Impeachment, Martian buddy
Gorbazz to the House.

When was KAR
Quoted in The Blog House???? We
Want a retraction!

Lake Delton dam breaks.
Tommy Bartlett to create
"Mudhole Adventure!"

Big Brown lays a big,
Brown turd. The Nihilist must
Have bet tons on him.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The MilF Is Firm

Attention MilFers, PostMilFers, assorted groupies and train wreck gawkers:

We have confirmed the date of the MilF and, remarkably, it is the same date we originally slated the tournament for:


FRIDAY JULY 25, 2008. TEE TIMES START AT NOON


If you're on the mailing list, check your email for important MilFy information. If you're not on the mailing list, what the hell is wrong with you anyway? Contact the Tournament Chair pronto at koolaidreport (at) yahoo (dot) com to get in on the action.


Tournament competitors should be warned that Bill and I had our first team practice 2 weeks ago. Both of us played 13 holes of solid golf followed by 5 holes of profanity-spitting, club-chucking crap. I nearly drove both the 320 yard par 4 5th AND the 310 yard par-4 6th, so while we may be considered vulnerable as defending champions, it's doubtful that anyone will be able to eclipse my manliness this year.

During that round, Bill and I encountered perennial MilF contender Mike Bhonerity in the clubhouse, who was enjoying (his 5th? 6th?) cold, refreshing beer before his mid-afternoon MilF practice round. This should be a wake up call to all you wannabes out there. Some of us take this tournament very seriously. If you want any shot at all, you'll need to be equally dedicated. So get out there and tee it up or hit the range (I'm looking at you Schuta!).

Turning to more serious matters, I have received word that Noted Flagstick Defiler Mark Yost may be unable to play this year. This leaves King Baniaiaiaiai90n without a partner. Despite this unfortunate turn of events, we believe that this presents a unique opportunity. We believe that King's short game combined with Chad the Elder's proficiency with finding the lateral water hazard drop areas would create a "complete package" of a team that could contend for 4th or 5th place in the 2008 tournament. To that end, I have created an online "Draft Chad" petition. Go there and sign it in as disrespectful manner as possible.

Finally, in addition to our existing special awards, we've added a couple of new ones. New special accolades include:

The Mike Bhonerity Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence goes to the golfer with the best individual score (Mike Bhonerity accomplished this feat in the last 2 MilFs).

The Judge Shmales Severed Hamstring Award goes to the individual golfer whose wretched play has the most deleterious effect on his team (Mike Bhonerity's partner accomplished this feat in last year's MilF).

As you can see, you won't want to miss out on any of this year's hot MilF action. Availability is limited, so confirm your slot today!

(Credits: Photoshop by Iron Matron. Inspiration for 'shop here.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Behind the Scenes at KAR HQ

My last post generated a flurry of hypothetical queries as to what life is actually like here at KAR HQ. We do try to run a secret operation here, and try to keep our day to day operations on the down low. But, while we don't allow videotaping in the building, we do have some surveillance cameras.

Below is some footage of a typical scene at HQ. I believe that this particular footage captures the day our intern, The Analog Kid, informed me (the Managing Editor) that he forgot to make the daily morning donut run. Enjoy.


http://view.break.com/513310 - Watch more free videos

Ah... Hmong Friends

[LEARNEDFOOT (FOOT) is reclining in a barcalounger reading a newspaper at KAR HQ. BILL enters.]

FOOT: 'Sup Bill?

BILL: Nothing. What is up with you?

FOOT: Meh. Just reading this Calgary newspaper that Chad the Elder subscribed us to as a prank.

BILL: That wiener! [Shakes fist.] Anything interesting?

FOOT: Well I am reading this scandalous article about betrayal, infidelity and murder in this Vietnamese-Canadian family.

BILL: Oh, my. Do dish!

FOOT: Well it turns out that this married couple - what were their names? [Refers back to the paper] - um... Phuc and Bich were in this love triangle with...

[FOOT looks up from the paper to notice BILL glaring angrily at him]

FOOT: Is something wrong?

BILL: I don't think that that's appropriate at all!

FOOT: What's not appropriate?

BILL: What you called that Vietnamese lady.

FOOT: What did I call her?

BILL: You know what I'm talking about mister!

FOOT: [Thinks for a moment.] No, I can't say that I do.

BILL: *sigh* You know, just because I'm still listed as a contributor on your SewerJournal doesn't mean I approve of that sort of language!

FOOT: What sort of language?

BILL: That name that you used!

FOOT: Which name? "Phuc" or "Bich?"

BILL: Yes!

FOOT: ????

FOOT: That was an either / or question.

BILL: And like I said, I am offended at that sort of language.

FOOT: You're offended by "Phuc" and "Bich"????

BILL: Arrrgh! Stop saying that!

FOOT: Why? Those are their names; "Phuc" and "Bich".

[BILL cringes, then realizes what is happening.]

BILL: Gimme that paper! [He rips the newspaper out of FOOT's hands, and scans the article.] Aha! I see it now. I'm sorry, but you were pronouncing the names wrong.

FOOT: OK, how would you pronounce them?

BILL: "Fook" and "Beesh".

FOOT: !!!!!

BILL: What?

FOOT: You just got finished dressing me down for using harsh language which I did not use, and then you turn around and insult me using a foreign accent???

BILL: I don't know what you're talking about!

FOOT: I cannot believe the hypocrisy! Why the hell would you call me a "fooking beetch" as if you were some sort of Turkish immigrant or something? What did I ever do to you? Here or abroad?

BILL: I was just pronouncing the -

FOOT: Think you're a big worldly man, huh? Think that I sound like a provincial doofus troglodyte 'cuz I'm trying to pronounce exotic names through my thick Milwaukee accent? Is that it? For that I'm a "fooking beetch"???

BILL: No! All I did was -

FOOT: Let me tell you something mister! Why don't you just fly back to Japan and fukubukuro? You Fukuda Aso!

BILL: OK. Now you're just talking gobbledygook.

FOOT: Fukudome!

[FOOT storms out of the room.]

BILL: [Shakes head.] That's just Truong.

[And... scene.]

Friday Bacon Post

* Good news: price of pork belly futures plummmet $4, leading to cheaper bacon. Bad news: price drop was caused by suppressed demand after bacon salmonella outbreak.

* I know what Noted Marquette Alumnus Denbo's getting for Father's Day...

* Yes! We! Can! Bacon! (Bonus: The cans come with camouflage labels, so you can easily hide your bacon from others.)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

People Who Should Be Sent to Gitmo Forever

So I go to the gym yesterday to do some lifting. I typically use the "Advanced Training" area because it has all sorts of different equipment. In addition to dumbbells, there are strength balls, cable machines, stepping / leaping platforms and those squishy things you stand on while doing bicep curls or whatever.

Yesterday, this little but solidly built tattooed woman I frequently see there got to the area just before I did. While I grabbed a floor mat and started doing some crunches to warm up, she prepared for her fitness routine.

First, she dropped her towel to mark "her spot" on the floor.

Then, she grabbed the short stepping platform and dragged it over to her towel.

Then, she went over to the dumbbell rack, grabbed two 10 pound and dropped them next to the platform.

Then, she returned to the rack, grabbed a thirty pound dumbbell and likewise placed it with the others.

Theeeeeen she grabbed the only two 25 pound dumbbells (the ones I was planning on using for my strength ball chest presses as soon as I was done with my crunches), and dropped those on her pile.

Theeeeeeeeeeeeeen, she grabbed one 17.5 pound dumbbell and added that to her collection.

And after that...

...

And after that...

(Sorry, I'm choking on my own rage here. Please stand by.)

...

(Deep breath.)

After she finished hoarding all the equipment she was going to "use", she went over to a cable machine and started doing reps.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is same thing she has done EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. TIME. I've seen her there. In fact, I can't recall ever seeing her putting any equipment she's used back where it belongs.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Excuse me a moment. Still. Choking. On. Rage.)

...

...

...

...

(Sorry. This is taking longer than expected. Please stand by.)

...

...

...

Nope. It's not going away. I'll have to end this post here. Bitch.

(Yes, I took the dumbbells I needed when I needed them, and when I was done I put them back on the rack. I doubt the self-centered twat even noticed they were gone.)

Oh, and I should mention: just as I was wrapping up my workout, I got called to the child care room. Moonchild got kicked out for the day for biting some little shit who was tormenting him. At least he got some measure of satisfaction.

Here Is a Video of a Tractor Blowing Up

See? Rednecks are good for something.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Lament on the Restraint of the Human Spirit

We as a species have accomplished remarkable things. We have sent rockets to the moon, are exploring the surface of Mars and have mapped the human genome. We have cured diseases and built skyscrapers to previously unimaginable heights. We have conceived contraptions that can photograph a molecule or planetary orbs. We can transmit a message half way around the earth in the amount of time it takes to eat a canaloupe or two.

These things have all been accomplished because of our innate spirit of innovation, competition and self-improvement that beats in our breasts, fueled by the boundless gift that allows us to imagine. When unrestrained, the possibilities of what we can accomplish are limitless. You made the world's largest cheeseburger? Fine. I'm going to construct a 3 ton cupcake!

Of course, when we hold back - or are held back by others - we stagnate. And if we stagnate, we will go tits up as a society. When some boob comes along and cans an attempt at human augmentation, I think that it is our duty to say them to "Tata! Time to head for the hills, bucko." We must never paralyze ourselves like a deer in headlights; never put the quest for innovation on a rack, to languish untried like a Minnesota pontoon boat in the winter.

We must never allow others to dictate what we cans or cannot accomplish.

Traffic Advisory

Kellogg Boulevard going into downtown St. Paul will be closed this morning for the massive cleanup of palm fronds and virgin carcases. Please use alternate routes.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Strawmen

You've probably heard this term before. If you've ever read a comment thread on Shot in the Dark, you've probably seen that word over a thousand times (and that's just from Flash's comments). In modern-day internet speak, a straw man is a logical fallacy that involves the restatement of an opponent's argument that resembles the original, but is just slightly different enough that it can be seized on and easily discredited.

OK, you already knew that.

But what you might not know is that term has a history in, of all things, Real Property Law. Yes, I'll explain.

Say a married couple purchases some property and wants to take ownership as joint tenants. Back in the day, purchasers could only own title as joint tenants if the following four conditions (the "Four Unities") applied to their ownership:

Unity of time - both tenants must take title at the same time.

Unity of title - ...to the same parcel

Unity of interest - (this gets into some technical stuff involving awful terms such as "fee simple absolute," "life estate" etc., so I won't go into detail here)

Possession - both tenants must have a right to possess the whole.

The benefit of owning property as joint tenants has to do with the fact that when one tenant dies, his or her interest in the property is automatically vested in the other, avoiding probate. Nowadays, the parties to a transaction can merely sign a simple declaration as to whether to own as joint tenants, or in cases where they already own land as joint tenants, sever the joint tenancy.

But, back in the olden days, when joint owners wanted to sever the tenancy and hold the property as tenants in common, it wasn't as simple as merely filling out and signing some boilerplate form. More commonly, the same held true if one who already held fee simple title to land wanted to create a joint tenancy with, say, a new spouse. If they couldn't "unite" the title under their joint ownership, when a spouse died, the property had to go through the meat grinder of probate.

So what's a newly betrothed property owner to do?

Why, find a third party, of course!

In order to create the joint tenancy, the newly married landowner would convey title to a trusted third party - a "straw man" - who would then reconvey it back to the landowner and his new spouse (for a nominal fee, of course). This new (sham) transaction through this fake purchaser would have the effect of uniting time, title, interest and possession in the couple who could then take the property as joint tenants. While most of these sham transactions were innocent and entered into with the purest of intentions, there were enough instances of conniving spouses using straw man transactions to sever joint tenancies, that the term became something of a pejorative.

The whole point of this is that, the term for that logical fallacy the "straw man" at one time actually referred to a man. Since my Property course in law school ended, I had only seen the term used in reference to an argument, and never to an actual person like the old understanding of that term.

Until yesterday.

Over on the aforementioned Shot in the Dark, there is a particularly trollish commenter that goes by the name (at least for now) "peevish". He insinuates himself into just about every comment thread hurling manifesto-length off-topic ad hominems. He is also a frequent invoker of the "strawman" fallacy.

Well, peevish went and started himself a blog (under yet another pseudonym). Hopefully in time, it will capture and isolate most of his bullshit so that it may eventually be safely disposed of in Yucca Mountain, or perhaps launched into the sun. He wrote this the other day in a gassy, novel-length post entitled "Abiding Arrogance" (emphasis mine):

What's worse, Berg, became incenced (sic) when someone suggested he just might have a little bit of bigottry (sic) too - the commenter said we all do - and demanded an apology - (sic) which the commenter provided.

One wonders when Berg will apologize to Cole? (well, not really, double-standards a.re (sic) Berg's calling card, his 'raison d' etre' as they might say in France, or Senegal)

Yeah. The "someone" "commenter" peev refers to on his blog, excerpted here, is himself.

Why would he do such a thing? Why wouldn't he just write that he was the "commenter"; that the "someone" was him?

Because one of them is a sham seller. He's his own strawman. Reason number 1,760,195 why the internet sucks.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Strategy Was to Handcuff Posner to Scalia

Unathletic dorks everywhere rejoice as Steinbrenner weeps:

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to step into a dispute between a fantasy sports business and professional baseball.

Without comment, the justices declined to hear the case involving a segment of the $1.5 billion fantasy sports industry in the United States, in which participants manage imaginary teams based on the real-life performances of professional players.

The lawsuit involves C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing Inc., a Missouri company unable to obtain a license from a subsidiary of Major League Baseball to use players' names in C.B.C.'s fantasy baseball games.

The Missouri company sued, saying it did not need a license to continue to sell its fantasy baseball games on its Web site.

The baseball players' union jumped into the case on the league's side, alleging a state law violation of the players' publicity rights _ the ability to profit from the commercial use of a person's name.

A federal court and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled in favor of the fantasy baseball business, saying that enforcing state law rights would violate C.B.C.'s right of free speech protected by the First Amendment
.

What really sucks about this is that I don't get any points for a denial of cert in my Fantasy Federal Courts league. I got both Scalia and Souter (1st and 3rd rounds respectively) and three quarters of the 8th Circuit (I'm kind of a homer, much like many a typical Minnesota fantasy footballer who drafted Tavaris Jackson in the 1st round last year).

It's a great league, the rules are simple:

ALL BASE POINT VALUES ARE MULTIPLIED BY THE CIRCUIT NUMBER AND ASSIGNED BASED ON THE TYPE OF OPINION AUTHORED BY THE JUDGES /JUSTICES ON YOUR TEAM. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT MULTIPLIER IS 15; SUPREME COURT, 20.

BASE POINT VALUES:

Author of unanimous published opinion: 10 pts (1 point bonus if court is sitting en banc)

Author of majority opinion: 8 pts (1 point bonus if court is sitting en banc)

Author of plurality: 7 pts

Author of concurrence which is joined by one or more justices: 6 pts.

Author of dissent joined by one or more justices: 5 pts.

Author of writ declaring cert as improvidently granted: 3 pts

Author of dubitante: -5 points

As you can see, if the court had granted cert and affirmed the 8th Circuit's decision in an opinion by Justice Souter, I could have double-dipped on points. Curse the luck.

DISCLAIMER: I am not nor ever have been in a Fantasy Court League. To the best of my knowledge no such thing exists. However, the Author of this ThunderJournal is aware that there are many people out there who think this might be a good idea. This ThunderJournal assumes no responsibility for any dateless wonders who actually think this might be fun starting a league, to the extent that no royalties are involved.

Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da BUTTMAN!

Caption this caped crusader:





Or photoshop it. Whatever. Original can be found here.