The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

What a cute curmudgeon

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers sued God, had the case dismissed (God wasn't properly served, you see), and may appeal on the grounds that an omiscient God by definition has adequate notice of the suit. I think he may not be entirely serious, though:

Chambers filed the lawsuit last year seeking a permanent injunction against God. He said God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents in Omaha, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants."

Chambers has said he filed the lawsuit to make the point that everyone should have access to the courts regardless of whether they are rich or poor.

One skeptic to another, dude: your tactics may not be the most effective of those available to you. (It's worth noting the legislator has served for 38 years.)

Today's Daily Parker

Parker decided a while ago that a patch of a century-old rug makes a comfortable bed. The rug hasn't turned black yet, but every time I vacuum it seems the thing yields an entire dog's worth of hair.

I delayed getting a dog bed because Parker ate the last one. Granted, he was 11 weeks old at the time. So, hoping he'd gotten past that phase, I took him to the pet store at lunch to audition beds. This is what he picked:

I think he's comfortable:

As for the urge to eat anything that gets too close to his nose, well, as I did a color test for the shot above, I decided not to worry any more:

Either he's grown up, or he's really sleepy.

We've just bought some bank stock—$250 bn of it

"We" in this context means "we American taxpayers:"

The Treasury Department, in its boldest move yet, is expected to announce a plan Tuesday to invest up to $250 billion in large and small banks, according to officials. The United States is also expected to guarantee new debt issued by banks for a period of three years, officials said.


Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase were told they would each get $25 billion; Bank of America and Wells Fargo, $20 billion each (plus an additional $5 billion for their recent acquisitions); Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, $10 billion each, with Bank of New York Mellon and State Street each receiving $2 to 3 billion. Wells Fargo will get $5 billion for its acquisition of Wachovia, and Bank of America the same for amount for its purchase of Merrill Lynch.

The goal is to inject massive liquidity into the banking system. The government will purchase perpectual preferred shares in all the largest U.S. banking companies. The shares will notbe dilutive to current shareholders, a concern to banking chie executives, because perpetual preferred stock holders are paid a dividend, not a portion of earnings.

The capital injections are not voluntary, with Mr. Paulson [and Luca Brasied.] making it clear this was a one-time offer that everyone at the meeting should accept.

Any other administration—any other—and I'm including Harding's and Grant's in there—and I would have some modicum of trust that this was the right thing to do. As it is, I'm deeply suspicious. Only 98 days left.

Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon passed my house in two directions this morning, going north from mile 5 to 6, and then south right around the 15 km mark. Here, running north through Lincoln Park, is the Kenyan team, with race winner Evans Cheruiyot third from left:

I didn't catch women's winner Lidiya Grigoryeva (she was well protected in the pack), but I did get Olympic gold medalist Constantina Dita (right) heading south on Clark Street.

The course temperature has hit 26°C again, making this year's race almost as hot as last year's.

Below: a runner crosses the 15k timer on Clark just north of Belden.

Below: The scene at Belden and Clark, in Lincoln Park, Chicago:

419 Poetry

The African email scams have haunted our inboxes for so long now I hardly notice them any more. But this one I received today had such fluidity and verve, such poetry, that I feel impelled to share it:

From the Desk of Dr.Anddy Vaina,
And Counselors at Law,
06 Bp 1704 Akpakpa Cotonou
Benin Republic.

Dear Friend,

How are you together with your Family today? My Dear our latest news to you today is that our Federal Government has approved all the funds owned by foreigners to be converted into ATM SWITCH CREDIT CARDS in which you can easily received through Atm Credit Card Service Department Center here in Benin republic for security reason.

Meanwhile your funds $ has been convert into the Atm Switch Cards which has been approve by the Government and the Switch Card code of your funds are stated below (4008b) which you can use to struck your fund like $1,500.00 per day to any ATM Bank nearest you in your Country.

So we have make the arrangement to the Atm Department Service here in Cotonou Benin Republic to Deliver you your Atm Card to your destination house address which take's under 2working days to get to your Address, Meanwhile you have to Contact Atm Office Department immediately and the only money you have to send to received your Atm Card from them is there processing fee which is $107.00 only to receive your Atm Card from Atm Department. Here is their Contact Information Address, so Contact them with below information; Atm Sheping Department Center Cotonou Benin Republic. Director: Rev Dr. Isaac Momoh.
Telephone: +229-9340-7932.

Contact them immediately and get back to us as soon as you get intouch with them: below is what they need from you to Re-confirm to avoid Delivery Mistake.

1.Your Full Name......................
2.Country Locate......................
3.Home address........................
5.A Copy of your picture..............

Immediately you contact them you get back and let us know.

With Best Regards Mr.Anddy Vaina..

I mean, I don't even know what they're hawking here. At least with the traditional 419 scams you could kind of see where it was headed.

Good morning, I think

Take out the trash day? Or just an ordinary Friday during these interesting times? Since lunch yesterday:

  • Despite all the McCain Campaign's efforts to keep it under wraps for just three more weeks, an Alaskan legislative investigation released a report alleging Gov. Palin abused her power by trying to get her brother-in-law fired from a state job.
  • Chrysler and GM are in merger talks.
  • The administration (101 days, 4 hours left) took North Korea off the list of state sponsors of terrorism, leaving only one country in what can't really anymore be called the "axis of evil."
  • Oil dropped to $78, its lowest price since last September, on fears of a global slowdown.

Finally, a wonderful quote whose attribution I can't find: "President Bush isn't so much a lame duck at this point as a wooden decoy."

Connecticut court overturns gay-marriage ban

The state that fought privacy rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1965 has now embraced them:

The Connecticut Supreme Court overturned a ban on same-sex marriage Friday in a victory for gay-rights advocates that will allow couples to marry in the New England state.

The court found that the state's law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

Not the most important item of news today, but one more example of how the right wing have failed to secure their agenda, as Mark Morford described today:

They know their 15 minutes are up. They know they had their shot, gave it everything they had. Six solid years of complete control, their most potent leaders, their best ideas, war and terror and jingoism, anti-gay anti-women anti-science. Also: a million new surveillance cameras, ten thousand right-wing judges, a front-loaded Supreme Court, pummeling the line separating church and state, blaming gays for 9/11, keeping Christian rock alive, creepy museums in Kentucky where humans walk with dinosaurs.

And they failed. Spectacularly. Historically. Unsurprisingly.

I would be happier, I suppose, if 40% of my retirement savings hadn't gone away in the past month; but at least I'm not planning to retire for about 30 years.

Morford on the World Vote

San Francisco's Mark Morford also noticed the Economist's "if the world could vote" tool:

But come on, it can't be that much of a global landslide, right? Surely there must be some stiff, stoic nations out there who'd want a grumpy, tempestuous military man to lead the U.S., if only to have someone to play with in the grand sandbox of war and intolerance and oily greed?

Is there really no military junta, no dictator, no incensed bomb-gathering nation that really wants McCain, if only for the joy of mutual saber-rattling and for refreezing the Cold War? Putin fanatics? Tories? Papal knaves? Anyone?


McCain gets Georgia (of course). And maybe Macedonia. Slovakia is relatively close, but leaning Obama. And, well, that's about it. At last tally, of the 9,875 available global electoral votes (195 participating nations, including the U.S.), Obama has 8,482.

McCain has 16.

Yeah. And those 16 include those in the U.S.

26 days, 16 hours until polls open.

Second Debate

There is a saying in law school: First year they scare you to death. Second year they work you to death. Third year they bore you to death.

I think the debate calendar skipped second year this time around.

Though, must say, the Vice-Presidential debate scared me to death.

Update, 20:58 CT: When is Brokaw just going to high-five McCain? I've seen more fairness in a high-school election.

Update, 21:35 CT: Well, it wasn't the laff-riot I'd hoped, but still. Wow. I think Tom Brokaw lost.