Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Friday, July 10, 2009
Correcting and Explaining
Last night, a photograph apparently depicted President Obama looking at a woman's back side.

This morning, Good Morning America is on the case, giving an alternative explanation and mocking the French President to much laughter in the newsroom.

A question, good friends, is how often did the media throw its newsgathering apparatachiks into gear to provide context for an unflattering George W. Bush or John McCain photo? I believe that answer is and ever shall be Never.

The media continues to beclown itself with its haste to correct and contextualize anything unflattering about Obama I.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Those Nazi Republicans At It Again
Now Congress has legislation in the pipeline to give the Attorney General the ability to identify and intern terrorists on his say-so.

Funny, they told me the Republicans wanted this sort of power. But Alcee Hastings is not a Republican.

Monday, July 06, 2009
Book Report: Bachelors Get Lonely by A.A. Fair (1961, 1971)
You know, Erle Stanley Gardner wrote innumerable Perry Mason novels and far fewer in this series featuring Bertha Cool and Donald Lam. A shame, really, because these are a touch more enjoyable than the lawyer novels. They feature a small private detective who is irresistable to the ladies and who is quite easily roughed up. A bit tongue in cheek, I think, but not burying the needle in Campy.

In this book, a businessman hires the team to find a leak in his organization. They do, easily, but Lam thinks something more is at work. He finds a tangled web of love affairs, double-crosses, and women who like to take their clothes off. Lam manages to dodge a murder rap and, of course, solve the crime to the chagrin of his boss and the local police. I'd be happy to find more of these in the wild. Someday, I might have to actually order them by name if I cannot.

Books mentioned in this review:

Sunday, July 05, 2009
Another Article Ignored
The Constitution of the United States, Article 2, section 1:
    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

    He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

    The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
The Obama administration:
    With the clock running out on a new US-Russian arms treaty before the previous Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires on December 5, a senior White House official said Sunday said that the difficulty of the task might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate's constitutional role in ratifying treaties by enforcing certain aspects of a new deal on an executive levels and a "provisional basis" until the Senate ratifies the treaty. "The most ideal situation would be to finish it in time that it could be submitted to the Senate so that it can be ratified," said White House Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction, Security and Arms Control Gary Samore. "If we're not able to do that, we'll have to look at arrangements to continue some of the inspection provisions, keep them enforced in a provisional basis, while the Senate considers the treaty." Samore said administration lawyers are exploring the "different options that are available. One option is that both sides could agree to continue the inspections by executive agreement; that would work on our side. On the Russian side, as I understand it, that would require Duma approval."
So, do you think our legislative branch of government will stop this power-grab by the executive branch? Aw, hell, no. That's just one more actual responsibility removed from their plate so they can convene show hearings, pontificate, and abdicate their Constitutional duties for easy busy work.

(Link seen on Instapundit.)

Book Report: The Legend That Was Earth by James P. Hogan (2000)
I'm always up for a James Hogan novel. I first read Inherit the Stars in middle school and have encountered other novels in the 20 years since (see also Paths to Otherware and The Multiplex Man).

This book starts in the near future, where aliens have established contact and want to impose a soft totalitarianism on the world, and they find helpful accomplices in Western governments, particularly the United States, where the ruling class wants power and wealth that collaboration will bring. A fixer gets dragged into insurgent plots because his ex-wife has become a revolutionary. The battle for Earth becomes bloodier as the insurgents arm up and begin convincing aliens that the Earth way of creativity and experiential pleasure beats the rational and regimented alien way.

I enjoyed the book, even the italicized expositionary chapters describing the alternate science that powered the aliens. In the middle of the book, though, Hogan splits the characters and then goes into their points of view covering the same time period for some reason. It didn't really add suspense and just seemed to bog the book down. But when the timelines merged again, the book picked up.

So it's not his best, but it's pretty good anyway.

Books mentioned in this review:


To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."