31 January 2006

I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
Richard Earl of Cambridge.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
Henry Lord Scroop of Masham.
I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.

Our purposes God justly hath discover'd;
And I repent my fault more than my death;
Which I beseech your highness to forgive,
Although my body pay the price of it.

For me, the gold of France did not seduce;
Although I did admit it as a motive
The sooner to effect what I intended:
But God be thanked for prevention;
Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,
Beseeching God and you to pardon me.

Never did faithful subject more rejoice
At the discovery of most dangerous treason
Than I do at this hour joy o'er myself.
Prevented from a damned enterprise:
My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.

God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.
You have conspired against our royal person,
Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd and from his coffers
Received the golden earnest of our death;
Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
His princes and his peers to servitude,
His subjects to oppression and contempt
And his whole kingdom into desolation.
Touching our person seek we no revenge;
But we our kingdom's safety must so tender,
Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
Poor miserable wretches, to your death:
The taste whereof, God of his mercy give
You patience to endure, and true repentance
Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.

This is a section of Shakespeare's Henry V that seems particularly relevant today, as a murderer awaits his punishment.

26 January 2006

A bittersweet announcement...Donald Fagen will be releasing his third solo album in March. His last came out in '93, the first in the 80s, so it's been a long time coming. He's also touring to support the album. Of course, nowhere near Kansas City is on the list. I've a mind to email him, perhaps toss a few lyrics back at him, maybe "Kansas City born and growing" from Parker's Band, or "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo". Although even I know how small a crowd he would draw, relatively, here in the midwest. How about Toby Keith opens for him???

Oh well, I've seen him in concert before (with Becker as Steely Dan), but it would have been cool nonetheless, especially as a solo act.

25 January 2006

"It's time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be a
chocolate New Orleans. And I don't care what people are saying in Uptown or
wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day. This city
will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You
can't have it no other way." - Mayor Ray Nagin

OK, let's take a quick look at this despite it being old news. A few weeks have passed...has anyone ANYONE in the civil rights community called for this bigoted racist twat to resign?

Imagine a slightly different wording:

"It's time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be
a snow-white New Orleans. And I don't care what people are saying in Uptown
or wherever they are. This city will be white as the driven snow at
the end of the day. This city will be a majority Caucasian city. It's the
way God wants it to be. You can't have it no other way." - Mayor Ray Nagin

Anyone else find that to be offensive? Anyone think that a prominent politician claiming the God-ordained destiny of his constituents are to become more and more white would have a snowball's chance in hell of political survival?

What a stupid idiot. But he doesn't make me mad...it's the fools and hypocrites who cry racism at the silliest things but then turn a blind eye to the most bald-faced racist rhetoric I've heard from a prominent politician in a loooong time. I mean, from the invocation of God's will in political matters to the call for racial purity, this guy should be more at home in the National Socialist party than with the Democrats. Note to libs, clean up your house, if you want to pretend that racism offends you so much, and dump this guy from your party pronto.

23 January 2006

Alright, I won't post too much background info here regarding the personal connection, but allow me to rant for a moment. There is a case open right now contesting that Missouri's method of execution, a three drug injection, causes unnecessary pain and is somehow thus unconstitutional. I have doubts as to the truth of this, naturally, but a larger question remains...since when has capital punishment been mandated to be entirely pain-free? "Cruel and unusual punishment" now implies anything painful? Is there a more humane method of execution? I suggest this tongue in cheek, but somewhat seriously: if this lawyer's objection is genuinely only regarding the method of execution, why don't we offer him and his client a form, roughly as follows:

State of Missouri Execution Method Request Form
(Reorder # MO1X24-B)

Please mark a number '1' by your first choice, a number '2' by your second
choice, and a number '3' by your third choice for your preferred method of
execution. All efforts will be made to provide you with your first choice,
but you are ensured at least one of your three selections will be made available
to you.

___ Electric Chair
___ Hanging
___ Being Thrown Off a Cliff
___ Lethal Injection
___ Gas Chamber
___ Starvation
___ Firing Squad (please indicate preferred caliber: _____ )
___ Assisted Suicide
___ Guillotine (a 3 week lead time may be required)
___ Walking the Plank
___ Being Shot into Space towards the Sun

Pardon the slightly darker than usual humour...I know by all rights this is no laughing matter, but perhaps the absurdity in the above suggestion will make my point. Well, and for "assisted suicide" one wonders what difference there is between the injections Dr. Kevorkian used and those the State of Missouri uses.

02 January 2006

OK this is tremendously ugly in Visio format but its a quick idea. It illustrates my rantings regarding the battle tactics (or lack thereof) in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. First note how the defensive line is arrayed with the mountain cliffs on its flank. In the movie they arrayed themselves in front of the mountain, which had the effect of cutting off a clear withdrawal path, and also offered no protection of the flank. My plan protects the left flank. The enemy were essentially all mounted or unmounted shock troops, and they advanced in an unorderly rabble straight for the Narnian line. You array your heavy infantry at the front, preferably behind some kind of fortification such as wooden stakes (to ward off cavalry charges). The light infantry is directly behind them, and can rain down arrows as soon as the enemy is within range, which would be especially effective since the fortifications could slow down the advance. Then, your heavy cavalry pours out from the right flank, speeds around and attacks the enemy's rear and flank. At this point the heavy infantry and heavy cavalry would be fully engaged in melee combat, and you would want to command your light infantry to lay down their bows and prepare for melee combat. Use them as a reserve, rushing in to bolster weak or broken points in the line. You would also want to wait until the enemy heavy infantry had reached the line and was engaged with your heavy infantry before unleashing the cavalry's flank attack. By springing the trap too soon they could double back and overwhelm the cavalry, forcing a hasty retreat and possibly a rout of your horsemen. Once they were encumbered in combat and clambering over the fortifications, there would be no way for them to properly reform on their left flank and rear to drive off the cavalry flank attack.

Here is the diagram: