Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In The Land Of No Internets

I've made a tactical mistake. I decided to spend a few days visiting my brother's new place in Florida and completely forgot he built it so far back in the woods there is likely no hope for internets for a generation. So things will remain sketchy for the next few days.

In the meantime some screeds from others for your pleasure.

I haven't written much about the Michael Vick saga. It's all too awful. But Spacey sums up my feelings very well.

Paul Broun's first vote? To stop prosecution of those who use medical marijuna. Lawdy!

The baseball debate with Jmac continues.

Poor Jim Galloway. This morning, he must feel like the teacher who said "Lake Titicaca" in front of a group of third graders.

More later as I find hot spots.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Further South

Headed down to the Sunshine State. Back on the grid tonight.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Headin South

For the weekend. Nobody burn Atlanta while I'm gone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bicycle Pants Man

You Atlantans are surely familiar with bicycle pants man. If not you should definitely watch the above video.

But whatever you do, please, for God's sake, DO NOT USE GOOGLE IMAGES TO TRY TO FIND HIS PICTURE.

Life has been really bizarre lately.

And don't miss part II with more Keith the CVS Clerk!

A Girl Like Me

Amani, I have to confess. I must have been sleeping because I never heard about Kiri Davis' award winning documentary "A Girl Like Me". Fascinating stuff.

As I watch it, I can't help but recall the Don Imus controversy. The point I think many people missed in that whole mess was how ignorant many of us still are to African American culture. For all the progress we've made, we still have so far to go.

Still, we shouldn't be discouraged by the distance yet to travel. The conversation, the explanation, the exploration of not only our commonalities but also of our differences must continue. If not, we will all continue to sleep.

Let's Talk Baseball

With the Braves facing down Bonds and saying "not on our watch" as he chases down Hank Aaron's all time home run record, let's take a little break from politics and talk some baseball.

Jmac and I are having a friendly debate about the greatest player ever. I stand by my hero Hank Aaron and agree with ATLmalcontent that his all around play is continually underrated. Jmac would not even rate him in the top five.

Well, that's just plum crazy. But before we get to the passion, let's look at the cold hard facts.

Stats matter. In basebally arguably more than any other sport. So how does my argument that Aaron is greatest all around player ever stack up against other greats? Let's use Jmac's top five for comparison. First, we will look at each player's rank on the all time lists in 6 offensive categories (Home Runs, RBI, Runs, Hits, Total Bases, Steals). For simplicity sake. we will give someone a score of 100 if he is out of the top 100 all time. Then the rankings will be totalled and the players ranked from lowest total to highest total.




1. Aaron 110
2. Cobb 120
3. Mays 135
4. Ruth 154
5. Williams 228
6. Rose 300

A few things obviously stand out. You could not ask for a more stark contrast of the dead ball era versus the modern game. Cobb's steals and the others home run totals vividly display a time when the ball was barely hit out of the infield. For this reason, Cobb will always be difficult to compare. So let's remove the two obvious outliers; home runs and steals. Aaron still dominates.

1. Aaron 9
2. Cobb 16
3. Mays 31
4. Ruth 51
5. Rose 100
6. Williams 113

Another things stands out. Many will be surprised Ted Williams doesn't rank higher in most categories, especially hits. Yet another demonstration of how his service in the military cut into his career statistics.

But is there a better way? How about we compare the six players to each other. With this method we can include career batting average.




1. Aaron 15
2. Cobb 17
3. Ruth 23
4. Mays 27
5. Rose 30
6. Williams 35

So there you have it. Aaron dominates any way you look at it. That is the cold hard statistical fact. So now let the passion begin.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

CNN's John King On The DemocratIC You Tube Debate

Shelby interviewing CNN bobblehead John King in the spin room of last night's DemocratIC Presidential debate.

Media on media! Media gone wild!

Georgia Thoughts On The YouTube Debate

A wrap up of local impressions on last night's YouTube Presidential debate.

Amani provides an insiders insight.

Shelbinator was on the ground and not only live blogged but also recorded video.

Grayson takes a turn on Shelby's efforts and is unable to resist taking a shot at all male Atlanta bloggerati as infantile, sexually repressed masses of goo.

Jason Pye also live blogged.

And Benson also live blogged.

Mike-el's wrap up.

If there are other's out there that I missed, drop a comment and I will update.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Democrat Debate Live Stream

Shelby backstage at the Dem Debate in South Carolina. Pretty cool stuff. Tune in.

I can't get the embed to work so GO HERE.

State Of Mind

Actual AJC headline.

Nichols Case Has Depleted State Defense Funds

How I read the headline.

Nicholas Cage Has Depleted State Defense Funds.

I have no idea what this means.

The Hammer

One other non-political thing.

Today's must read. A fitting tribute to the greatest baseball player ever. Period. No argument.

Mischief Managed

It took me nine hours to burn through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. It was a fitting end to a great series. But it has left me drained, so not much out and about today. Not much going on anyway.

But one item of interest is Shelby scored a press credential to tonight's Presidential debate in Charleston, S.C. He will be streaming live from spin alley. It should be entertaining.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Stupids

Tugs at your heart don't it?

Georgia Blog Carnival

Check out the Georgia Blog Carnival. A good roundup of things going on around Georgia.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The I Word

The Washington Post is reporting President Bush has basically given Congress the finger. This latest action raised the eyebrows of the rather reasonable folks at Central Sanity.
What exactly are they trying to hide? Perhaps a High Crime or Misdemeanor? Several possible options lie before Congress. They can use their "inherent contempt" power, which does not require the cooperation of the Justice Department, but will have the look of an internal witch trial. They can impeach Gonzales -- he's already on record lying to Congress and that's impeachable all by itself -- and the Senate can refuse to confirm a successor until this mess is settled and Harriet Miers appears before them. Perhaps they will talk about using the I Bomb on the President himself.

Son, when you have moderates talking about impeachment, it's time to fret.

A Life Shattered

"We are messing up the future of the next generation" ~Rev. Joseph Lowery

Serenity covered Juanessa Bennett's face. Certainly it must have masked a storm beneath. Quietly she stood on the steps of the Georgia Supreme Court facing the hoarde of media as her son's, Genarlow Wilson, attorney B.J Bernstein explained the legal intricacies of what just happened.

When asked her plans for the weekend, Ms. Bennett simply replied, "I'm gonna stay prayed up".

Prayer may be Genarlow Wilson's last best hope; for common sense and reason left this arena long ago.

"We could have five hundred hearings and the judge would still have to follow the law" ~Douglas County District Attorney David McDade

The law must take its course. The legal road began when D.A. McDade, known for being a law and order prosecutor, chose to bring the full weight of the justice system against Genarlow Wilson. We all think of the law as a black and white world where all is written in stone with no variation. In reality it is a place of muddled motivations and convenience. Suspects plead to lesser crimes. Prosecutors choose to charge based on chances of success. Sometimes they choose discretion.

"To insure justice..." ~ Preamble to the Constitution of the State of Georgia

A prosecutor is bound by law but is also bound to a higher contract. In its most base form, a prosecutor's discretion is used to grease the wheels. To get the business of the people done. But it also serves a larger purpose, for in the end all those who hold their hand and swear before the people of Georgia are bound to justice. On most occasions justice requires the punishment of those who have or would do harm to others. But on rare occasions justice requires mercy. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "let 'em up easy".

In charging Genarlow Wilson with aggravated child molestion, D.A. McDade certainly followed the letter of the law but it may be debated for decades whether he felt the spirit. Nearly three years later, justice last hope may rest in the hands of the Supreme Court of Georgia who on this day heard arguments for and against the release of Genarlow Wilson.

Justice is the last hope of one quiet woman standing on the steps of the courthouse

"We should change the name of prisons to schools" ~Genarlow Wilson attorney B.J. Bernstein

One has to wonder about the thoughts of Juanessa Bennett. All mothers hope their children hold promise. Just over the horizon, Genarlow Wilson's mother could see promise fulfilled. A son who excelled in academics and athletics. A child she would not have to worry about paying for college, for the colleges stood in line to beg him to come. A life destined if not for greatness, then success and security. Most mothers make simple requests; be safe, be happy, make me proud. Some spend a lifetime struggling to find these safe havens for their children. Juanessa Bennett had them in her grasp only to see them whisked away in a flash of indiscretion by her child and lack of discretion by a prosecuting attorney.

It is the testament to the will of a mother that Ms. Bennett still speaks of hope. She still sees promise for a son who now waits behind bars. Waiting for justice. Waiting to prove his will not be a life shattered.

At The Georgia Supreme Court

Media outside the Georgia Supreme Court waiting the participants in the Genarlow Wilson appeal hearing.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tom Morgan Predicts Wilson Release

From Fresh Loaf, former District Attorney Tom Morgan, a man I truly respect, predicts tomorrow the Georgia Supreme Court will find a way out.
My guess is, the justices would not have granted the expedited appeal unless they were interested in finding the legal means to correct an injustice.

He also questions the release of the video tape by Douglas D.A. David McDade.
The law makes clear the exemptions (to kiddie-porn statutes), and giving tapes to legislators so they won’t change a law isn’t one of them.

Amen, brother.

Gettin' Some Action

Not a real time image. Courtesy of NOAA.

Due to a stubborn Bermuda High, the Intertropical Convergence Zone has been forced south for the first 6 weeks of the 2007 hurricane season. Since the zone is a key ingredient in the witches brew of tropical storms, its being forced into the South American coast has created a lull in cyclonic development.

Well, no more. The high is relenting and the ITCZ is slowly moving north. Already there is something brewing just south of Puerto Rico.

Last year's relatively quiet season, i.e. little Gulf of Mexico activity, combined with this years slow start might bring on complacency. It shouldn't. We are now just entering peak hurricane season so it would be a good time to check all your preparations.

This morning's science moment brought to you by the letter H and the number 42.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Legal Opinions, More questions

From the tip line, here are some interesting legal opinions on the Genarlow Wilson tape at Concurring Opinions. But here's the part which interests me as a layman.
The optimal solution might well be to allow access to the tape with strict limits on redistribution (perhaps requiring that it be viewed in the courthouse rather than distributing copies) or perhaps blurring the faces of all the persons involved. But most likely neither of these possible solutions satisfies either of the inflexible legal structures. The only way I see of avoiding the problem is for the U.S. Attorney to exercise prosecutorial discretion and allow this sort of limited access. But I'm not sure how likely that is to occur.

The first time I heard of the tape was a CNN report where the journalist viewed it in the District Attorney's office. What an easy solution it would have been. Limit viewing of the tape to the press in the confines of that office. Probably no action by the federal prosecutor. Probably no questions about distribution of pornography. Most importantly, no untold amount of copies floating free across the land.

Which brings me back to a question I first alluded to on March 1.


Every action is backed by motive. Why was this tape let out in the open? What was the motivation? D.A. McDade claims he was simply following the law. Given what we know about exemptions from the Open Records provision, federal child pornography laws and the concept of federal preemption, this is shaky ground at best. Certainly common sense would lead us to wonder if there is a different answer to the question "why".

But even if we give D.A McDade the benefit of the doubt, even if we believe if he was just making a good faith effort to comply with the law, there is still a question which needs to be answered. Why wasn't the time taken to contemplate a better solution than just handing out tapes to anyone who asked (and possibly those who didn't)?

Do we not expect persons holding such enormous power and responsibility to hold to reason and restraint? Do we not expect prudence?

We could dive into the legal minutae until we all drown. Instead, can we not have the clean air of answers to a few simple questions?

Open Records And The Wilson Tape

Former federal prosecutor and U.S. Congressman Bob Barr has an interesting article regarding the vilification of Douglas County District Attorney David McDade.
The Georgia Open Records Act is even more explicit. If the judge with jurisdiction over a case does not approve public inspection of the evidence, the person responsible for the maintenance of the evidence, including a district attorney, is then required by the law to make available a reproduction or copy.

Really? Well, before we get to that, what about a couple of other angles on the issue?

A Typical Joe handles the political aspect. It appears Barr's recent resurgence of common sense libetarianism once again takes a back seat when the sex is involved.

Sara (with local PD Audacity commenting) handles the concept of federal pre-emption. A concept that's been settled for only about 140 years.

But what about Georgia Open Records statutes? Is it as simple as Bob Barr states? Via the tip line, Georgia Unannotated Code 50-18-72:
(a) Public disclosure shall not be required for records that are: (1) Specifically required by the federal government to be kept confidential; (2) Medical or veterinary records and similar files, the disclosure of which would be an invasion of personal privacy.

Number 2 might be argued but number 1 is pretty clear.

If there are other legal minds that disagree, the tip line and the comments section are wide open.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bigger Waves

Editorial pages around the country are beginning to ask the question. Cary Clack of The San Antonio Express-News:
Maybe the tape is subject to the Open Records law and maybe — maybe — it was absolutely essential that reporters and lawmakers view it, even though there's no dispute about what happened. That doesn't lessen the creepiness dimension of adults watching teenagers having sex or for McDade's failure to be more discreet in releasing the tape instead of putting it in circulation like an R. Kelly sex tape. Why is it necessary for anyone in the general public to have that tape?

Sums it up pretty neatly, no?

Big tip of the hat to Jason.

10th District Election Today

Two old guys trying to out-right, out-Christian and out-crazy each other. Yawn. Sorry, but this one no longer excites me. Whitehead wins by at least 20.

If you are interested Blake's got it covered.

Oh yeah. And Erick Erickson officially becomes a Macon City Council elect. Seems the smell of victory has him feeling Robert Duvallish.

UPDATE (1:20am): I will take my serving of crow now. Broun is the apparent winner (although Whitehead may ask for a recount). I'm not sure anyone can explain this one. If the coalition Broun claims actually delivered (conservative Christians, African-Americans, Democrats), poly sci students will be studying this race for decades.

I'm going back to watching the World Series of Poker final table. It's even money right now whether it or the race that just won't die, i.e the 10th, will end first.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Panhandle Democrat?

It's been fun focusing on Georgia but I've been too long neglectful of Florida. Besides, this story is too tantalizing to resist.

The Dems may have a chance at winning the Marianna area. For those of you who think everything stops south of I-20, Marianna and Florida's House District 5 is as panhandle as you get. It borders both Georgia and Florida, a tri-state region which is sometimes lumped all together in a wash of scrub oak and flatness. Once upon a time my great Aunt had a fish camp there but that is a story for another day.

For the first time in Lord knows when, a Democrat may stand a chance of taking the seat. Of course, he's a gun-totin, rootin-tootin sort of Democrat who was a county Sheriff for 28 years. But despite endorsing Jeb Bush twice for Governor, he swears he will never switch parties. Meet John "Johnny Mac" McDaniel.
The Democrats' possible savior is John McDaniel, who for nearly three decades has been sheriff of Jackson County..."Johnny Mac," as he is known, is running for the District 5 House seat being vacated by Don Brown, a feisty Republican from DeFuniak Springs, who will be term-limited out of office in 2008...After his wife's death, McDaniel said he prayed about what to do next in his life. He wants to change the way the FCAT is used to grade students, emphasize vocational education more and improve mental health programs for jail inmates.

Republican-lite? Old school Democrat? Just plain ornery old guy that wants to make a difference? Who knows at this point but he should be fun to watch. Read the entire St. Pete Times story here.

The Lifeline of Hope, Pt II

Lest you think all Republicans in this state are bull fruit looney, I give you Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody). In April, he took the well to defend making the previous changes in the aggravated child molestation statutes retroactive. I wrote on him previously in "The Lifeline of Hope".

(And yes I know. The Star Trek thing is a little goofy, but in the context of his elephantine brethren, a rather minor sin.)

Georgia Republicans: It's All Politics

In the latest Insider Advantage, the leaders of the Georgia Republican Party have weighed in to defend Douglas County District Attorney David McDade. Particularly interesting are the comments of Rep. David Ralston, chairman of the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee:
The citizens of Douglas County and Georgia as a whole are fortunate to have someone as smart, committed, and thorough as David looking out for them. Politicizing this situation and attacking him rather than discussing the merits of the case are shameful.

Politicizing? Not discussing the merits of the case? Please Rep Ralston, answer me this.

Was it the Democrats who rose in the Senate and lied about the "merits of the case"? Was it the Democrats who leaked a tape of teenagers having sex in an attempt to steer legislation? And how about the legal community. Surely, it must only be Democrats who are calling for prosecution or at a minimum sanction, right?

The gall.

Iran Next?

Time to take a dip into the national scene.

The Guardian is reporting a sharp divide in the White House over dealing with Iran. On one side is Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of Defense Gates advocating diplomacy. On the other is Vice President Cheney advocating military action.
The Washington source said Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively. They are also reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway.

If we choose to open a second military front in Iran the chances are high the entire region will dissolve into sectional war.

I've long avoided using the "I" word, but if Bush/Cheney pursues such a dangerous course of action we have truly reached the brink of insanity. And that is not the "I" word of which I speak. Impeachment is.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Georgia Gang Watch For Yourself

Watch Phil Kent's absurd claims for yourself.

h/t: Flack

Fisking The Georgia Gang

As expected Fox 5's The Georgia Gang took on the Genarlow Wilson saga. No surprise that some of the myths are still being thrown around but there's a doozy of a new one being birthed. So let's take a look at what was said.

Dick Williams: There are 35 tapes out there right?

Phil Kent: Disseminated by the news media. Maybe we ought to prosecute the news media for pornography. It's not being disseminated by David McDade...It's the news media distributing them, not the D.A.

Do what?! In a sea of ridiculousness, Kent has actually plumbed new depths of ridiculousness. As has been documented here and many other places, McDade admits to making approximately three dozen copies of the videotape and providing it to media outlets and legislators. And as WSB reported Friday night, he sent at least one tape to a legislator unsolicited.

What is the color of the sky in Phil Kent's la-la land?
Stephanie Ramage of The Sunday Paper: I don't know how much consent an intoxicated 15 year old girl can give when she's in the company of older males who are taking advantage of her.

I'm going to give Ramage the benefit of the doubt here and assume she mispoke on the age of the girl but its important to note the mistake because there have been so many purveyors of falsehoods in these parts.

Let's the get the facts absolutely clear. The 15 year old was not intoxicated. She did not drink any alcohol or ingest any drugs prior to arriving at the hotel or after the party got started. The 17 year old admits to drinking prior to arriving at the hotel room.

It was Wilson's sexual intercourse with the 17 year old that resulted in the rape charge. A charge on which not only did the jury acquit but have made quite clear they were able to determine the 17 year old was able to give consent.

It was the oral sex with the 15 year old which resulted in the aggravated child molestation convictions. This is the act which resulted in Genarlow Wilson being sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Many people are making many spins in an attempt to retry the rape charge. Of course, I'm sure that was never D.A. McDades goal when he decided to release the tape. Right?

Phil Kent: And if you look at that tape, you wonder if this was a midemeanor too.

Stephanie Ramage: Have you seen the tape?

Phil Kent: I have not seen the tape.

Oh! Well at least we can cross Phil's name off the list of people who have seen the tape. Doesn't prevent him from bloviating about the contents of the tape and what "greater truths" the images tell. That's pretty much all you ever need to know about Phil Kent and his credibility.

But also we must give credit where credit is due. And from an oh so unexpected source.

Dick Williams: ...is saying the District Attorney in Douglas County may be guilty of facilitating child pornography.

Phil Kent: Well, that's absurd.

Dick Williams: No it's not!

And a light will shine in the darkest of places.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday Stupids

A stupiding we will go, a stupiding we will go...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Chris Krok On Genarlow Wilson

Tonight as I was driving home I heard WSB Radio's Chris Krok ranting about the Genarlow Wilson tape. He had the letter which alledgedly D.A. McDade sent to Eric Johnson who then gave the letter and tape to Neal Boortz. The letter begins:
I hope this tape helps you...

WSB is reporting unequivocally that D.A. McDade sent the tape to Sen. Johnson unsolicited.

So much for those open records requests.

What Is Goin' On: Jason Pye Interview

Wilson Smith's interview with Jason Pye can now be heard here. He discusses the Genarlow Wilson case and some of Sen. Eric Johnson's antics.
Why has he been holding private screenings of this video in his office at the capitol? I know for a fact he's been doing it. I've had legislators say they've seen it in his office.

Jason, despite his respect for Sen. Johnson and the heat he has taken from his friends, has been a staunch ally in the search for the truth regarding this whole sordid mess.

More Waves

The lawyer bloggers at Volokh weigh in on McDade distributing the Genarlow Wilson tape.

So do the libertarian bloggers at Reason.

People with a hell of a lot more legal mojo than me seem to think McDade violated state ethics laws. Some even go so far to suggest federal prosecution is necessary.

McDade loosed a genie when he started handing this tape out. Now another genie is loose and I don't believe this one will be easy to cork back in the bottle either.

Rain On Your Wedding Day

Irony is a difficult concept. Most people struggle to give a clear example and 99% of the time when you read or hear someone saying isn't it ironic, it isn't.

You would think a journalist would at least have a clue.

Can someone please explain to me how anything in this Randy Travis blog entry is ironic?

A lame attempt at cleverness? A rather flaccid defense of an exploitive "investigative" piece by his employer? Well, it may or may not be those but it certainly ain't no black fly in your chardonnay.

At least we know we can add Travis to the list of those who have seen the tape.

My Morning Wooten

Been a while. Let's rock.
The problem with hate crime legislation is demonstrated by the unprovoked assault by 10 or more thugs on young Joshua Martin outside Six Flags Over Georgia. All are the same race, but suppose otherwise. So when is it a hate crime? By the way, wonder how many of the gang have fathers in the home?

Answer to question 1. When the evidence indicates the crime was racially motivated. Evidence. Still required by the American judicial system despite the efforts of some over the past five years.

Answer to question 2. Rememeber a time in this country when reporters actually supplied answers to questions instead of posing strawman questions to further a political agenda? So do I.
American politicians are able to play partisan political games with the war. Imagine them in the role of Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, constantly the target of assassination attempts, and yet he has the courage to confront — and kill — hard-line pro-Taliban cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi and dozens of his die-hard followers.

Except for the western mountain provinces of Pakistan where due to lack of action by the Pakistani government and sheltering by the warlords actually in charge of a quarter of the country, Al-Qaeda is currently regrouping. WHOOPS!
Between Mark Taylor and the trial lawyers the Democratic Party of Georgia remains afloat. Better sue a few more manufacturers, guys. This need could go on for awhile.

Ummmmmm. Exactly who is talking about Mark Taylor? Except for right wing floggers. Then again, the oldies are always the goodies, right Jim? See above regarding reporters and reality.
The plot for my latest novel, entitled “When Good People Do Stupid Things,” features a renegade board member from a major urban hospital who shows up at a neighboring county demanding $4 million, thereby sabotaging any charitable impulse that might have existed to help the neighbor solve his problem. In Chapter 2, he goes to three more neighbors demanding money — where he is arrested by the short sheriff in Slayton (this is fiction) for panhandling.

Shall we keep a tally of young'uns in Cobb, Clayton and Gwinnett who when they wrap their car around a tree are transported to Grady? Surely if we kept such a tally there would be no cost due outside the citizens of Dekalb and Fulton. Surely, only those that actually pay in taxes for Grady actually benefit. I thought conservatives are about accountability. Once upon a time facts actually mattered in reporting. Even in opinion.

Maybe I should have titled this one: reality check.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What Is Goin' On Has A New Face

My buddy Wilson Smith got a facelift via Rusty and Amber.

Check out the new site. Now, you can finally see what the rascal looks like.

Note to bloglines subscribers: You will probably see several old posts pop up today as I update my links to past interviews.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Ripples. More Waves

Jason's got some more good questions regarding the distribution of the Genarlow Wilson tape.

Can you hear the waves crashing, D.A. McDade? Perhaps it's time for you to start 'splaning before they wash you away.

Baby With The Bathwater

I don't like Michael Moore.

It's not that I disagree with his politics (although I mostly do). It's not because I think he's a bad film maker (actually I admire his skill with the craft). It all comes down to this. He fights like a creationist.

In the creation/evolution wars, the most frequent tactic of the young earth absolutists is to take the smallest nit, then throw it into a cloud of nits in an effort to obscure a greater truth. People like Kent Hovind and Duane Gish will find a very minor disagreement in the evidence then shout, "AHA! It must all be wrong which means we must be right!"

Moore is currently quite upset with CNN for a report by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on his new movie "Sicko". In the report Dr. Gupta states Moore "fudges the facts". As you can see in this Larry King segment last night, who has the "right facts" is a matter of source and perspective. It is also elucidating to note in Moore's point by point rebuttal of the CNN report on his website the fudging boils down to such shocking disagreements as $6000 vs $7400 and 77.5 vs 77.6. Nits.

Of course, all of this presents an opportunity for Moore to turn to another frequent creationist tactic. Persecution and paranoia. Instead of a reasoned response of exploring the differences and discussing the greater truth, Moore chooses to accuse CNN of being bribed by HMOs and the pharmaceuticals. Disagreement, no matter how mild, is sinister and heretical.

Moore does do a great service. Once again, he has sparked a national conversation. We should be talking about health care. It may be the most important and most complex issue facing our generation.

But no matter how important the conversation, Moore with his burn at the stake tactics will never win the conversion.

When Counting Counts

Looking at my stat counter for the day I see that at almost 3:00am I've reached my normal daily total of unique visitors.


Because there are that many people out there searching for the keywords "Genarlow Wilson Sex Tape".

The genie was let loose from the bottle a long time past, so why wouldn't people seek it on the internet?

Does this make you proud Sen. Johnson?

UPDATE: Now I'm receiving email requests to post the video. As if I wasn't completely feeling vomitous before.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ripples Make Waves

The breakers are coming in with increasing frequency.

Sen. Emmanuel Jones (D-Decatur) has sent a letter to Attorney General Thurbert Baker requesting an investigation in the release of the Genarlow Wilson sex tape.
State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) said it is "an absolute, utter disgrace" that a videotape of the raunchy party in a Douglasville hotel room that led to the conviction of Genarlow Wilson on aggravated child molestation charges has been shown to both reporters and legislators. He characterized the videotape as child pornography.

Strangely, Sen Eric Johnson, an early, ardent supporter of viewing the tape as the "truth", has grown silent on the whole matter.

NASCAR Politics

Sara has an excellent write up on the sometimes uncomfortable courtship between NASCAR fans and politicians. She also references an article which dives straight into the essence of being a NASCAR fan.

But Don Ward, 48, said there were only three questions Mr. Giuliani needed to know to converse with a fan like himself: “What kind of beer do you like? Who is your favorite manufacturer? And who is your favorite driver?
For the record: Bud, Ford for life, Greg Biffle.

I'm a lifelong Mark Martin fan but even though I am happy he is having fun driving for Ginn Racing, I just can't bring myself to root for him while he's driving a damned Chevy.

And do not get me started on Jeff Gordon.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wilson Appeal Moved Up

The Georgia Supreme Court has expedited Genarlow Wilson's appeal. The hearing will be held on July 20th.

Well, I've already been to Federal District Court. Seems like a good time to visit the state's highest court. Look for a report on the 20th.

The Irony Is Rich

If you watch the Channel 46 report you will see reported D.A. McDade excusing his cavalier distribution of the Genarlow Wilson sex tape as just complying with Freedom of Information requests.

However, when the AJC used the same type of request to obtain an audio tape of a Douglas County investigator interviewing one of the girl's mother about her comments to a reporter, D.A McDade declined the request.

McDade later released the tape to the Fulton County Daily Report.

Listen and judge for yourself what is going on here. Slowly but surely, the onion is being peeled.

Questions On Wilson Tape Continue

Channel 46 steps up to the plate to ask why the tape is being distributed so cavalierly and since it shows minors engaged in sex acts were privacy and obscenity laws violated.

It's a question which is not going away. And it shouldn't.

John Edwards Blog Interview

Summertime means travelling, so let's head north to our neighbor North Carolina. My friend Coturnix who runs the science blog A Blog Around The Clock has an exclusive interview with Presidential candidate John Edwards.
I do believe that science is the key to innovation in the American economy, the key to improving our standard of living. We see the impact of science everyday--from biotechnology to smart bombs, from satellite Global Positioning Systems to the Internet.
Read the entire interview here.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Georgia Blog Carnival

I'm down in the land of humidity and gnats. So go check out some great Georgia voices at the Georgia Blog Carnival.

Usual rants will return Monday.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Matt Towery On Randy And Spiff

Matt Towery was on WGST's Randy and Spiff show this morning discussing the Genarlow Wilson case and the law he authored.
He (Douglas D.A. McDade) also took the role on as lobbyist and went down to the legislature and did in fact show this video. And it has really poisoned, I can just tell you. A lot of my colleagues who are usually very reasonable guys who I've known for a long, long time have seen this video and they say "oh Matt the guy is guilty". I say "guilty of what"? They say "rape". Well, he was found innocent of rape.
You can listen here.

h/t: Rogue at Peach Pundit

UPDATE: Tonight Channel 46 will air a Wilson piece. Only this time instead of just rehashing all the sordid details, it appears the focus will be on the question of why the tape is being distributed to legislators. Sometimes small ripples can build into big waves.

Mike Jacobs: Timing Of The Announcement

On Tuesday, June 19th, Rep. Mike Jacobs of north Dekalb County switched from Democrat to Republican. Some noted the strangeness of the timing. Rumors had floated for months that Jacobs would jump party lines and he would not face re-election for over a year. So why announce on the same day the Democratic Party Of Georgia faced a severe test in the 10th District Special Election?

I asked Representative Jacobs that very question and he responded:

I had resolved to make a final decision and announcement by the end of June. A press conference was scheduled for June 27, but someone leaked it to the media on June 18. Rather than fostering a “will he or won’t he” guessing game for a week and a half, I went ahead and announced my decision the next day, on June 19. That’s life in the information age.
Stay tuned for more on the continuing Mike Jacobs saga.

Glenn Vs Teh Blogs

Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson in Insider Advantage via Cracker Squire:
"Those dadgum blog sites. You know what I predict is going to happen? I predict somebody’s going to sue one of those site domains for slander, and somebody’s going to get hit with a big suit because there’s no accountability, and they say and do things about people that are blatantly false."

We've got a saying where I'm from Mr. Speaker. Don't sing it, bring it.

But before you consider that perilous course of action let me bring forward a few more of your own words.
"truth is a defense"

Usually a good one too.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

Georgia signers of the Declaration of Independence, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton. ~courtesy of EHT.

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

Politics return tomorrow with something real juicy.

Songs In My Head

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Questions Being Asked

In his subscription only Insider Advantage newsletter, Matt Towery asks some of the same questions I've been asking about the Genarlow Wilson case and the distribution of the video tape evidence:
In 1988 when the infamous Rob Lowe sex tape with an underaged female surfaced in Atlanta, the Justice Department dispatched representatives to inform television news directors and producers that if they even viewed the tape, much less aired it, they would be guilty of serious crimes related to child pornography. Since we are so hell-bent to stick to the letter of the law in this state, even when a law such as mine had “Romeo and Juliet” language in the bill for consensual intercourse, then will someone tell me what the federal law is to possession, viewing and dissemination of a video showing underaged teens having sex and the viewing of that video by legislators? Perhaps there is an exception, but no one has shown it to me. And if there are exceptions, have they been properly utilized in the instance of every person who has been shown or has viewed this tape? Seems we are hard as hell on some folks, but the letter of the law is more forgiving for others.

Mr. Towery authored the law which snared Genarlow Wilson. He has stated on record it was never the intention for the law to be applied in cases such as Wilson's.

Unlike your humble blogger, Insider Advantage is read by the big boys and girls of state politics. If that is what it takes to turn the heat up on this issue, so be it.

Love That Dirty Water

The double edged sword of receiving much needed precipitation over the last two days is the usual rise of tiny, nasty critters in the 'Hooch.

We had planned another rafting trip today but we have fought against our redneck instincts to plow forward and postponed to another time.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Geek Moment

I never thought I would live to see Neal Stephenson's Metaverse fully realized.

I may have been very wrong.

Georgia Politics Podcast Episode 13

Things get a bit testy when Genarlow Wilson is discussed.

As the dear departed Ronnie Van Zandt once said, "Turn it up..."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My Mama Taught Me Better

Recording the Georgia Politics Podcast

Seated from left to right: Catherine of Blog For Democracy, JosephG of Dora-Blog, yours truly, Randy Lewis of Georgia Politcal & Policy Digest and the sandaled foot of Decaturguy of Atlanta Public Affairs. Back to the camera is Rusty.

I'm afraid my strange habit of always having my legs spread wide open when a camera is around may doom any dreams of moving beyond text only communication.

Toco Hills City Limits

Hey Decaturguy?

Remember when I joked about the City of Toco Hills?