Gray Flannel Dwarf


Initial thoughts: Eminent Domain ruling

I am not sure what I think about the recent Supreme Court decision.

On its face, I don’t like it at all. That personal property can be taken up and all but redistributed — regardless of “compensation” — to corporate or residential redevelopment efforts is darn near asinine.

At the same time I do wonder if SCOTUS made the right decision, legally speaking: it’s not too different from a states-rights issue. I’m not so sure that different states — or counties, cities, towns — shouldn’t have the ability to govern themselves in determining what is and isn’t ethical with regards to eminent domain. If a community doesn’t like their region’s laws, they should fight to change them, or shouldn’t allow such draconian statues pass in the first place. I guess residents could always move, too, if they don’t like these laws, but that’s sort of defeating the purpose.

To summarise: I think it’s wrong for local governments to seize land from existing owners for commercial purposes. Dead wrong. But from a legal perspective, I hesitantly feel the SCOTUS made the right decision, avoiding a situation where it would otherwise be treading that fine line of creating legislation through judicial precendent — much less Federal legislation on what some might consider a municipal issue.

Another thought that comes to mind: there’s the obvious angle that will be taken by many concerning the fear that such a ruling can and will encourage the redistribution of property to already-wealthy institutions — those, as O’Connor stated, “with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.” However, I see a larger concern — what keeps local governments from abusing this new privilege? State legislators gerrymander to shape political districts, what’s to keep local governments from seizing the land of political opponents, under the guise of creating “appreciable benefits to the community”, per the SCOTUS majority opinion?

This one is a tough cookie to swallow, either way.

cswiii @ 11:45 pm

Bleeding on a Jet Plane

USAToday: 4 Major Airlines Increase Fares

Blah. Emphasis mine…

The four biggest U.S. airlines — American, United, Delta and Northwest — raised most airfares Wednesday, citing record-high fuel prices. United raised fares 3% across the board, Northwest raised domestic fares 3%, and American and Delta raised fares $5 each way.

I’m already well-aware of the costs of my plane tickets, and now I’m sure I’ll know even more about it.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 10:38 pm


Blowing off Steam

I keep focusing on these quotes from today’s address.

“Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world’s terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror,” he said.

No, Mr. President,

You made Iraq a central front on the ‘war on terror’.
You implied the links between Hussein, WMD and terror networks.
You falsified information and went against many well-respected people in Washington who told you it was a bad idea.
You took out the leader of an authoritarian-yet-sovereign nation, allowing the predicted power vaccuum to come to life.
You fulfilled, in their eyes, the prophecies of an American imperialism in the Middle East.
You threw the rocks at the proverbial hornets nest and got the swarm’s temper enflamed.

…and now the world’s terrorists are the ones who turned Iraq into a hotbed for terrorism.

Oh, well. yeah – maybe you’re right.

“This mission isn’t easy, and it will not be accomplished overnight.”

Does that mean you’ll be giving back the flightsuit, then?

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 1:30 am


Jumble Mumble Pie

I took some “me” time today — time I probably should’ve spent getting a haircut or mowing the yard — to do nothing but listen to music. The same old albums — Highway 61 and BOTT. I probably should’ve been more productive.

My weekends are far too short these days, however… and I want to be productive — I want to write music, I want to cook, etc… but after being so busy during the week, it’s hard to do that.

And I said I never wanted to be that kind of person.

I want to observe, but not have to analyze, for once.

I don’t hate what I do during the week, these days — although Mondays are tough — all things considered, I can say I’ve been learning things across a variety of different talent swaths. But then, tonight, I happened to look back at her livejournal. I read her old entries, saw the colours she expressed, the vivid imagery, and it just made me a bit… I dunno… wistful?

I’m not complaining about any sort of downward tilt in my own weblog — although my writing has changed a lot too — and I’m not complaining about having to work or the quantities or qualities thereof.

Something just doesn’t feel right, and I can’t figure out what it is. Like the itch you can’t scratch. I feel like I’m on some sort of trailblazing mission, progressing… but tearing down history and forgetting to look at anything else in the peripherials.

I dunno. I can’t put my finger on it tonight. Maybe that’s the thing, though — I shouldn’t spend all this time analyzing.

Oh yeah, and for what it’s worth, I’ve totally been diggin’ The Delivery Man in my truck for like, at least the last month+.

cswiii @ 10:51 pm

Photo Labs Afraid to Print Pics Deemed “Too Professional”

There’s an interesting story on today about how some photo technicians and labs are now, under fear of violating copyright laws, refusing to print digital photos that appear to have been taken by a professional photographer:

We’ve got a law written back in the 1970s and we’re trying to apply 2005 conditions to it,” Noble said. “When you’ve got an eight-megapixel camera out there, which is what used to be reserved for professionals, and it takes professional quality, how is the processor going to know?

Tags: , — cswiii @ 4:02 pm


‘Cued up

My dad sent me a copy of this article in the mail the other day, commenting how, living near Raleigh, I fall right near the middle of the NC barbecue debate.

The funny thing is, while I do prefer the vinegar based stuff (sorry, Seth), when I make ‘cue seasonings, I make a much better one when I add tomato.

This said — western ‘cue is mostly tomato with a splash of vinegar. Eastern ‘cue is mostly vinegar and peppers. My base, however, is a cross between the two — usually 2:1 ketchup to vinegar, with my other seasonings coming in later.

Based on my methods and my location, I guess you could call me the Henry Clay of BBQ country, eh?

Also: It’s funny how trains of thought chug. I got to talkin’ about BBQ, started looking for ‘cue places up here in Michigan, found a soul food place, pondered the meaning of “Beans and Cornbread” until my coworker mentioned that it was a song, and when looking that up, I stumbled across Prepare to Meet Your Bakerina.

Food weblogs rock.

cswiii @ 2:36 pm


Dammit, Dean

One of my favourite, and widely known quotes by Moby is, “The Christian Right is neither”.

This said, I’ve never been a huge fan of Howard Dean, and I have to admit that his recent statement about the GOP being a “white, Christian party” annoys me a bit. I don’t care what the context is, in this case, because from my perspective, it doesn’t really matter.

Regardless of what Dean “meant”, what bothers me is that his statement reinforces the idea that the so-called “Christians” in the GOP are indicative of Christianity in America, or even Christianity in general.

I’ve said time after time that the Dobson evangelicals are far misled and indeed, in my opinion, far detached from what Christianity truly is. True Christians are charitable, peaceful and compassionate; none of these is an adjective I can, in good concious, apply to any of the selfish, chickenhawk warmongers that continue to exert their influence on the GOP.

By saying what he did, Dean has done nothing more but reinforce these mistaken beliefs that the Christian right is either — Christian, or right.

cswiii @ 12:03 am