Sprint Center: From Flying Saucer to Squished Marshmallow

New design drawings for Kansas City’s Sprint Center[*1] (Kansas City Star, registration required) show the cost-driven evolution of the structure’s design. The initial design drawings featured a rakish glass-covered exterior, while newer drawings envision a still-glass-covered, but more rounded exterior, shaped like a mildly squished marshmallow.

I haven’t decided whether or not it’s an improvement. It appears that they are settling on 18,500 seats, which in my opinion is at least 1,000 seats too small. Oh well, what do I know?

Constitution Day, Sept. 17

Schools ordered to observe ‘Constitution Day’[*1]

A sad commentary on the state of public education, when schools have to be ordered to teach the U.S. Constitution.

They certainly aren’t doing it very well on their own.

Before those of you in the education establishment go ballistic, this idea comes from former KKK member Senator Robert Byrd, proving again that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The truth is that schools should be teaching the Constitution daily, not one day a year. But, it’s a start.

Filibuster Followup

We have a Compromise![*1]

Democrats agree not to filibuster except in “extraordinary circumstances.” Nice. Everyone knows that “extraordinary circumstances” to the Democrats include the existence of a Republican President and Republican majority Senate, which the Democrats have already made abundantly clear that they consider to be illegitimate and not representative of the actual will of the people.

Just watch. We’ll be right back here as soon as the first Supreme Court nominee comes up. On the up side, the Republicans have now utterly enraged their conservative base with this compromise. Oh, this isn’t done by a long shot.

Red Cross Commits Verbal Atrocity

The International Committee of the Red Cross thinks that the U.S. is as bad as Nazi Germany.

From a Wall Street Journal editorial[*1] (registration required):

According to a Defense Department source citing internal Pentagon documents, the ICRC team leader told U.S. authorities at Camp Bucca: “You people are no better than and no different than the Nazi concentration camp guards.” She was upset about not being granted immediate access shortly after a prison riot, when U.S. commanders may have been thinking of her own safety, among other considerations.. . . We are trying to understand how a representative of an organization pledged to neutrality and the honest investigation of detainee practices could compare American soldiers to the Nazi SS. And considering the timing and content of several ICRC confidentiality breaches concerning the U.S. war on terror, it’s fair to ask if similar views aren’t held by a substantial number in the organization.

You know, not everyone who is detained by the U.S. is an innocent. Those who choose to operate outside international law and fundamental (i.e. Western) notions of human decency, like Muslim terrorists and their collaborators do, should not be allowed to expect protection by that law. They are not “insurgents,” “freedom-fighters,” “rebels,” or “opposition forces.” They are criminals, brigands, bandits, outlaws, crooks, thugs, fanatics, gangsters, marauders, pirates, punks. Terrorists.

The ICRC fatally damages their credibility by holding that “illegal combatants” are equivalent to, and have rights equal to, lawful prisoners of war.

Maybe the ICRC (not to be confused with the American Red Cross) is confused by the vaguely similar helmets of the Third Reich and the U.S. Military. They certainly have never heard of Godwin’s Law[*2] . Or possibly, Reductio ad Hitlerum[*3] is more appropriate here.

When MSTies Get Mad

Don’t cross a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000[*1] .

This blog story[*2] (hat tip Compendium[*3] ) talks about hacker vigilantes taking down (“owning”) illegal “phisher” web sites. (Phishing is enticing customers to go to a fraudulent web site and entering their personal/financial information, so the thieves can then plunder bank accounts and otherwise make the victims miserable.)

Towards the bottom of the story is a screen shot of an owned phisher web site, featuring “The Master” made famous by MST3K’s “Manos: The Hands Of Fate” episode.