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Dave Hill
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Religious liberty means never having to say the law applies to you

A Missouri Republican legislator objects to having to pay for birth control coverage for his three daughters -- two of whom are adults -- and is suing for a personal belief exemption from the ACA, along the lines of Hobby Lobby.

Of course, the basis for the Hobby Lobby decision was that the government had not found the "least restrictive" way of enforcing the birth control coverage mandate. In the case of Paul Joseph Wieland, he is quite explicit that he and his wife simply do not want their daughters using birth control, and so he should not have to include it in their coverage; to do otherwise would be the equivalent of “an edict that said that parents must provide a stocked, unlocked liquor cabinet in their house whenever they’re away for their minor and adult daughters to use.”

Mr Wieland doesn't think much of birth control.

Whether that means that he -- and presumably everyone else in the country -- should get a personal religious exemption from paying for any insurance coverage he morally objects to (in theory extending to others, one would think, since he's still indirectly paying into the risk pool for their coverage), is a different question altogether.
Usually, lawsuits that try to use “religious freedom” to prevent women from using their health plans for birth control are launched by employers, such as Notre Dame and Hobby Lobby. (This overlooks that the plans, like paychecks, technically belong to the people who earn them through working—but onward.)  One of...
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So this means I can sue the government to make sure none of my money goes to funding the military, right?
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Not necessarily the way I want immortality, but ...

So if your goal in life -- or death -- is to be preserved as a fossil ... how do you go about doing it?  Read on ...
Think of how many people have seen the most famous dinosaur and hominid fossils on display in the world’s natural history museums. It’s in the millions....
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Yeah, a box'll be OK.
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When police officers using force are never guilty

Here's a deeply troubling article about William Lewinski, an expert witness on how cops are never, ever wrong in police shooting incidents. Someone shot in the back? The perp obviously flashed a gun (or the cop thought he did) and then turned and ran. Shot in a passing car? The cop clearly was focused on his safety and,  through "inattentional blindness," shot even when not actually threatened.

His bottom line: if cops wait until they see an actual gun and perceive an actual threat, they'll be dead. So cops should shoot first, and worry about the annoying paperwork later.

“A batter can’t wait for a ball to cross home plate before deciding whether that’s something to swing at,” he told the Los Angeles deputy sheriffs. “Make sense? Officers have to make a prediction based on cues.”

Because the stakes involved are, of course, no greater than a baseball game. And if innocent people get shot? Well, heck, better that than cops getting shot, right? At least as far as the cops involved go, and they're the ones we've authorized to carry guns and, as they see fit, use them.
When police officers shoot people under questionable circumstances, William J. Lewinski often appears as an expert witness who says they had no choice but to fire.
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Dave Hill

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Dave Does the Comics - 2015-08 Edition

Three graphic novels I recently wrapped up:

The Autumnlands Vol. 1 "Tooth and Claw" 
(Image) w Kurt Busiek / a Benjamin Dewey
Well-worn tropes neatly remixed for an exciting story and engaging world-building. Howardesque fantasy, a boy's hero's journey, and anthropomorphs who aren't just a set of cat ears. Good stuff.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1352499509
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The Wake
(Vertigo) w Scott Snyder / a Sean Murphy
A decent horror tale completely bollixed by a second half overwhelmed by infodumps and muddy storytelling.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1352506819
●●○○○

Fables Vol. 22 "Farewell"
(Vertigo) w Bill Willingham / a Buckingham & Leialoha (et al.)
Wrapping up the massive saga in ways mostly satisfying, usually imaginative, and more often than not achieving decent closure. I found it a fitting conclusion to a truly remarkable undertaking.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1352520026
●●●●○
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Summer Cut, Cat Style

Kunoichi got a hair cut this past week, as sections of it were getting painful tangles and mats. She went from a remarkably poodgy kitty to one that is ... well, still big-boned, but a lot less spherical.

#caturday
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Still a floofy sweetheart.
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If non-equality county clerks are conscientious objectors, treat them as such

Attorneys from Liberty Counsel for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, claim she is like a conscientious objector in wartime. 

'“Like a noncombatant who cannot shoulder a rifle, a county clerk who cannot issue” same-sex licenses “can still faithfully and devotedly serve this country, and their county,” lawyers for Kim Davis argued in a pleading filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.'

Said lawyers miss the fact that (a) COs generally only get to object when they are being drafted, not when they've volunteered for the armed forces or when all of a sudden they get sent off to war, and (b) COs don't get a pass on service or don't get to just do the parts of being a soldier they enjoy, but instead are set to (unarmed) scut work, or doing things like being stretcher bearers under fire.

The CO analog for Ms Davis, then, would be, "So you now cannot uphold your required job duties? Fine. Here's a mop and a bucket; the bathrooms need cleaning."

'She said that even if she had a deputy issue a license to a gay or lesbian couple, her name would appear on it, which would equate to her approving it. “That searing act of validation would forever echo in her conscience,” her lawyers said in their 40-page argument.'

Which is ludicrous, of course, because nobody is asking her to approve of any marriage she signs off on. "Hmmm, no I don't think it will last, request denied.  Oh, a mixed-race couple? Definitely not on the approval list, so denied. Oh, they make such a lovely couple, request approved." That is not the job of a county clerk.  

Ms Davis is being asked to certify that the license application is correct under the law. Which a properly filled out marriage application between a gay couple is, under the law. Whether you agree with the SCOTUS Obergefell ruling or not, it is the law.

'Davis said the plaintiffs could obtain marriage licenses from any one of the more than 100 county clerks who are issuing them in accordance with Gov. Steve Beshear’s order to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision requiring states to allow same-sex marriage. “This case is not about whether plaintiffs can obtain a Kentucky marriage license,” Davis’ lawyers say. “They can. Instead, this case is about forcing an individual county clerk … to authorize and personally approve same sex marriage,” which they describe as an “authoritarian invasion and intolerant coercion.”'

Which is fundamentally saying, "Why should my restaurant be forced to serve blacks? They can get their food from some other place, can't they? Why should I be required to hire women? There are plenty of other jobs out there." 

The filing also asserts that "Requiring Davis To Affirm A Definition Of Marriage Contrary To Her Religious Belief Violates The Religious Test Clause." Fundamentally this is saying that a government official's religion allows them to trump the definition of any law they disagree with. "Murder only applies to human beings; forcing me to believe that American Indians are human beings who can't be killed on a whim is violating my religious freedom." "I don't think Baptists are truly Christian, and Christianity is the only valid religion, so I will approve people getting fired because they are Baptist."

Of course, the Liberty Counsel filing also puts "scare quote" around the term "marriage" any time it refers to people of the same sex. Jerks.

The full filing can be found at the bottom of this article: http://goo.gl/hcSU86
Rowan Co. clerk who refuses marriage licenses to gays likened to ‘conscientious objector’
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+Stan Pedzick Only if she refused to perform any duties whatsoever. COs in WWI were only imprisoned if they refused to work in the military at all. Similar COs in WWII served in the Civilian Public Service (CPS). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscientious_objector#United_States)
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Dave Hill

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When the clown car is running the hearing

Not only can they not be trusted with the presidency, the GOP can't be trusted with congressional majorities, either. Yeesh.
If Republicans win the White House next year, they’ll almost certainly control the entire federal government. Many of them, running for president or aspiring to leadership roles in Congress, are trying to block the nuclear deal with Iran. This would be a good time for these leaders to show that...
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Stage Review: "Henry VI, Part 1"

We went on Sunday to see the +Colorado Shakespeare Festival performance of H6.1 (to coin an abbreviation), and had a faboo time.

The play itself is kind of a mess -- it's a history, and things happen, and more things happen, and then it's The End, and there's no feel of a plot to it as in the normal Shakespeare play. 

But the actual performance was a hell of a good time. In part that was  the excellent CSF ensemble (some of whom we've already seen once or twice this season -- the excellent Vanessa Morosco, both playing Joan and directing; Howard Swain; Peter Simon Hilton; Geoffrey Kent as both Talbot and fight director; pretty much everyone on stage). In  part because they performed it at an "Original Practices" play. This is explained in the video below, but the result (as a groundling) was vastly entertaining, with boos and hisses and catcalls and hurled pieces of paper from the audience (who had the house lights up on them), and the actors working their way with minimal rehearsal and treating the audience as participants as well.  It was fresh, lively, poignant in places, but just damned funny in others.  

Their second (and last) performance is on Wednesday night this week -- if you have the opportunity (unlikely, as it's sold out), I'd strongly encourage it. We'll definitely be targeting similar "Original Practices" shows in future CSF seasons.

More info:
- http://www.coloradoshakes.org/plays/2015/henry-vi-part-1
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Dave Hill

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Bunnies vs Beemers

Rabbits at DIA parking lots are causing problems with wiring -- especially soy-based wiring like German cars use. 

Among all the measures being used to drive off the bunnies, the one that caught my eye are "predator poles," to encourage raptors to take care of the problem "naturally." Bravo.
DENVER, CO - "You come home and you are totally shocked this happened." Pilot Robert Favuzza had a run in with the rabbits in the employee parking lot after four days of flying. "I saw a couple bun...
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Kitchen Project - Day 269: Ranged In

The last major gap, so to speak, in the kitchen has been fixed. The range could not be pushed all the way back to the wall because of a problem with the plywood on the floor and the position of the electrical outlet. The contracting crew was out on Friday, pulled the range out, fixed the problems, slid it back in, and it fits like a dream. Huzzah!

That largely wraps up the interior -- the hinges on the doors to the dining room need to be replaced, and we need final inspection, but overall we're very good. Outside is a different matter, but that's a photo shoot for another day.
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It's a PERFECT day for having air conditioner problems!

Awesome banging sound from inside the furnace as if the fan has come lose from its mounting! Excellent sizzling temps to make us appreciate how great air condition is as an invention! Terrific timing to pay for emergency a/c repairs!

Great way to start the weekend!
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Gretchen Sher's profile photoDave Hill's profile photoStan Pedzick's profile photoScott Randel's profile photo
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+Gretchen Sher, if you mean normal temps for Washington, no.  Summers here are usually mild enough that AC is not built into apartments and houses. It's been unseasonably hot. We've been breaking records left and right, and are getting heat warnings, normally unheard of here.
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US Elections: Show Me the Money

As we start to watch the money rolling into the Presidential Election of 2016 ... the results are not encouraging except for the biggest-bucked of donors. (Emphasis mine):

'The 67 biggest donors, each of whom gave $1 million or more, donated more than three times as much as the 508,000 smallest donors combined, according to a POLITICO analysis of reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.

The 67 mega-donors accounted for $128 million in cash to super PACs supporting specific 2016 presidential candidates. In all, POLITICO’s analysis found that 29 super PACS and other big-money non-profits dedicated to the candidates combined to raise $271 million from 9,500 donors, for an average donation of $29,000.

'On the ledger’s other side, the analysis found that donors who gave $200 or less to the candidates’ campaigns (and whose donations are estimated at $75 each) combined to donate $38 million to the campaigns of the 21 announced candidates.'

So whose interests are these campaigns going to most reflect? If money is speech, whose voices are drowning out the others?

And what, if anything, can be done about it?
The flood of seven-figure contributions to outside groups supporting presidential candidates — officially reported for the first time Friday — illustrates in stark terms how the unprecedented political buying power of wealthy donors has fundamentally shifted U.S. presidential campaigns. The 67 biggest donors, each of whom gave $1 million...
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Thank you Citizens United! </sarcasm>
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Mr. Nice Guy
Introduction
Husband, father, writer, gamer, diplomat, theist, civil libertarian, tech fakir, pointy-haired manager, traditionalist, Coloradoan, wordsmith, reader, blogger, magpie, nice guy.

I write about politics, religion, my particular geeky pop culture kinks (SF, Fantasy, Comic Books), and whatever other shiny objects attract my attention from moment to moment.
Bragging rights
A great marriage and a lovely teen daughter. But I can't take the majority of credit for either.
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Education
  • Pomona College
    History
  • Glendora HS
  • Fort Collins HS
  • Damien HS
Dave Hill's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket
www.forbes.com

Stop thinking of Silicon Valley as an engineer's paradise. There's far more work for liberal arts majors -- who know how to sell and humaniz

America's Top Colleges Ranking 2015
www.forbes.com

The No. 1 FORBES Top College 2015 is Pomona College, followed by Williams College and Stanford University. The highest rated public school i

In big move, Accenture will get rid of annual performance reviews and ra...
www.washingtonpost.com

The firm tells The Washington Post that it will abandon its old system for all 330,000 employees, starting in September.

Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling, July 10, 2015 Via @GoComics
www.gocomics.com

One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways &amp; giggles.

You’ll get through this. | The Bloggess
thebloggess.com

It might just be me but it seems like the last few weeks have been more hellish than usual regarding mental imbalances. Friends and family w

Why Are Republican Presidential Candidates More Afraid of ISIS Than Chin...
www.theatlantic.com

The greatest potential threat to America’s national security involves Beijing, not Iran or “radical Islam.”

Coil Your Extension Cords Like a Roadie with the Over-Under Method
workshop.lifehacker.com

No one understands the value of a properly wound cable more than concert roadies and TV crew professionals, who wrap and unwrap hundreds of

The Newsbox: Some of the news. A few days later.
the-newsbox.com

Ahhhh…Powergirl. Probably one of the most recognizable, and most controversial, characters in the DCU. You may know all about that boob wind

Is motorcycle lane-splitting safe? New report says it can be
newscenter.berkeley.edu

A new report by UC Berkeley researchers finds that motorcyclists passing other vehicles in the same lane, a practice called lane-splitting,

Selling Off Apache Holy Land
www.nytimes.com

What motivated Congress to give Oak Flat, a sacred Apache site, to a mining company that will certainly destroy it?

Holy Crop: How Federal Dollars Have Made America’s Drought Crisis Worse
projects.propublica.org

The federal subsidies that prop up cotton farming in Arizona are just one of myriad ways policymakers have refused to reshape laws to reflec

Morning People Vs. Night Owls: 9 Insights Backed By Science | Co.Design ...
www.fastcodesign.com

Night owls are drunker, smarter, and get more bootybut morning types may be happier.

Google researchers create amazing timelapses from public photos
www.engadget.com

There are a zillion digital photos in the public domain and scientists have just figured out something very cool to do with them. A team fro

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex
www.rawbw.com

An exceedingly amusing story by Larry Niven about the Superman's procreative challenges.

Court rules search of businessman's laptop at border 'unreasonable'
www.pbs.org

A federal court has ruled that the government's search of a traveling businessman's laptop at the California border was unreasonable and vio

Patrick Advisers Blast Abbott's Pre-K Plans, by Jay Root
www.texastribune.org

Lt. Gov. ;Dan Patrick's grassroots advisers are blasting Gov. ;Greg Abbott's plan to enhance pre-kindergarten programs, a move sure to incre

Many lovely items, esp. the cinerary urns. But it's all organized very poorly (and there's an excess of cinerary urns on display). The display cards are all in Italian, but of wildly varying styles. Worth a visit while in Volterra, but maybe not the key thing to see there.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Decent "diner" fare. Good shakes, passable chili fries. Could use with a bit more cleaning attention to the dining room.
Food: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Entrees were very good, but a simple off-menu drink was bungled and the caesar salad was too deconstructed for its own good. Service was nice but not as helpful as it should have been.
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Food was excellent, as it has been on previous visits. It, and the extensive wine list, are pricey, but worth it. The service was good for the first 2/3 of the meal. We'd come in at 5:15 (we had 6p reservations but made it into town early). While the restaurant was mostly empty, the service was nicely attentive. As our meal was wrapping up, though, some larger parties came in and the restaurant filled up -- at which point it took about 25 minutes, from ordering, for our after-dinner coffees to appear, etc. So, definitely worth visiting, but try to avoid crowded times.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
11 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Tasty (if overpriced) margaritas, and good (if not spectacular) carne asada and appetizer sampler. You could definitely do worse than to dine here, but I suspect you could probably do better, even if it truly is the oldest Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles.
Food: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
We were a large dinner group, most of us there for the first time. The waitstaff was very helpful and supportive. The food selection was broad, and everyone seemed to enjoy what they got. I'd go back again.
Food: Very GoodDecor: GoodService: Very Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
The wine was good (if not fabulous); the service was friendly (if not knowledgable), the shareable food platters were excellent; the ambiance was terribly noisy (wish we'd eaten on the front porch). Like Randy, we found the wine flights (reds) were overchilled. They were much better once they'd warmed up.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago