Friday, March 31, 2006

Rice admits multiple Iraq errors

Way to admit your errors. Nothing specific of course, or any offer of anything that might eliminate or even reduce future errors, just an offhand remark that she's sure we've made some. Way to go! It really says something about this clusterfuck of an administration that this little nothing comment actually makes headlines. I like this part too:

the US had no desire "to be the world's jailer", and that Washington wanted "the terrorists that we capture to stand trial"

That's interesting since they've pretty much thrown up every obstacle that they can think of to avoid silly things like trials. But I guess that will change now, I'll be holding my breath...


...


Any trials yet?


...


Ok, I give up. Anyway I thought their official position was that these people should be happy if we just don't torture them too much. Well, at least one thing I agree with her on, is that history will judge these decisions correctly.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

NFL - No Fun League? NFL might rein in TD celebrations

Why does anyone in the NFL think this is a problem? Sure, a lot of endzone celebrations are uncalled for, bad, and we would be better off without them. But some are good, creative and make the game that much more entertaining. The best way to make them go away though, is not to make rules against them, but to ignore them. If the league is really so opposed to them, treat it like they do when a fan comes on the field, and turn the camera away. Of course they won't do that, though, because they want to have it both ways. Some celebrations are fun and add to the game, and some suck and take away from the game, but all these stupid rules against them only take away from the game.

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Technology keeps teens awake, study shows

Why do people always want to blame common, ordinary problems on technology? Like all the people who seem to think that rude people suddenly appeared on the planet along with cell phones. When I was a kid, I used to read comic books under the covers with a flashlight, then when I got older, I would stay up and watch TV. If there had been an internet, or cell phones, I probably would have stayed up late using those. But it wouldn't have been because of those that I stayed up. Kids like to stay up late, technology or not.

Someone should do a study on why people continue to study nonsense like this while ignoring so many real issues in the world.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

War on Halloween

I wish I had thought of this, but John and Robert mentioned this in the comments of the War on Easter post below, and I think it's a great idea. When October rolls around, we need to raise the call far and wide about the religious right's War on Halloween. Every time they have one of their 'Harvest Festivals' at some local church, we need to complain. It's an affront to all of us who love witches, ghosts and the walking dead.

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Vision America: A 'war' on Christians? No.

If I was one of the Christians who was truly persecuted back in the day, I'd be pretty ashamed to be associated with this bunch of whiny little pussies. I don't know how our government or society could be any friendlier to religon in general without actually exstablishing a theocracy. And I know a lot of these nutjobs probably actually want that, but if we had it they'd still be whining because it could only possibly fit in with the beliefs of a small percentage of them. And because whining is what they do.

There are stricter limits on explicitly Christian expression in schools and other public settings. There is growing public acceptance of homosexuality and out-of-wedlock births, while television and movies seem awash with sex, nudity and profanity.

The only one of these things that's even slightly negative is the acceptance of out of wedlock births. But if these idiots really have a problem with those, they could actually start supporting the things that prevent them. Like birth control, freedom of choice, and sex education. As for the other things, I don't see any problems. There are stricter limits on Christian expression in public settings because everyone in these settings isn't a Christian, that seems pretty simple to me. As for acceptance of hommosexuality, that's called progress, and it's painfully slow anyway. Sex, nudity and profanity aren't bad things at all on TV or in a movie, they make it much more realistic. And if you're worried about your kids, then supervise them. If the worst thing they ever see is a fraction of a second of a partially uncovered breast on TV, consider yourself lucky.
Hollywood is producing more Christian-friendly movies while Christian news media, Christian music, Christian novels and other forms of Christian pop culture continue making their strong mark on society.

Very true. All anyone has to do is look at a book like Left Behind being on the bestseller list, despite being an incredibly poorly written, boring piece of crap to see that people are accepting of Christiam friendly entertainment even despite its lack of quality. Seriously, has anyone else read this garbage? It was easily the worst book I've ever read.

If these nutjobs are really so intent on feeling persecuted, ship them all off to Afghanistan. Maybe then they'd realize how good they have it here.

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Former embryo (t-shirt)

After seeing stupid "pro-life" t-shirts like this one, I've decided to start my own line of pro-life apparel. Mine will say:

Former Sperm* - Pray to end Masturbation**

and

Former Egg* - Pray to end Menstration***

* Imagine cute little egg and sperm graphics
** I think this one may be a tough sell (not the shirt, the ending masturbation part)
*** I'm sure this one will be easier, no one really cares if women control their own bodies. I'm not sure exactly how to go about it, but I'm sure if we put our heads together, we can find a way. Won't someone please think of the eggs?

Thanks to Shakesspeares Sister for finding this nonesense.

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V

So I went to see V for Vendetta over the weekend, and after my initial disappointment that it had nothing to do with aliens taking over, I found it to be very good. When I first heard about the masked guy, I was skeptical that that could be done very well, but it really was. I'd recommend seeing it if you haven't already.

One (extremely) small complaint. I noticed a Dell monitor on the inspector's desk. And while, I'm normally a big fan of product placement (I'd rather see a character drinking a Budweiser than some bottle that just says "Beer" on it), it didn't seem to fit in this situation. Since the United States was apparently in some kind of turmoil, I find it hard to believe that Dell would have ever even existed, much less become big enough so that people in London were using its computers. Maybe it was supposed to be a different Dell.

Anyway, good movie. Very timely.

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'6/6/06' sky banner sparks concerned calls

People just get stupider and stupider. Can anything unusual happen anymore without someone freaking out and thinking it's terrorist related? It's not like we've seen some rash of terrorism that would logically make people think that way.

Noting that June 6 is a Tuesday, she drew the connection to Sept. 11, 2001, also a Tuesday

Wow, that's quite a connection. With parallels like that, it almost has to be terrorism related. There are six other days that it could have been, the fact that it falls on a Tuesday, like September 11, 2001 did is clearly far too unlikely to be coincidence. What are the odds?* And anyway, it's not like there's anything else at all significant about that date.

On a related note, I feel sorry for the all the little fetuses that are headed toward being born on that date. As annoying as it is when people make fun of you by calling you Howard the Duck, it's probably worse to be called the Antichrist.


* After some calcultions, I've determined that the odds are about 1 in 7. Wow! 1 in 7. Someone raise the terror alert level to 'Blind Panic" please.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Scalia = jerk

Two Scalia quotes about Guantanamo detainees -

"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts," Scalia said in the talk at the University of Freiburg, according to Newsweek. "Give me a break."

...

Scalia, asked at Freiburg whether detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have protections under international conventions, gave the suggestion short shrift.


So they don't have any rights under US law or under international conventions. And you know, even if that was correct to the letter of the law (although I don't believe it is), it's obvious that that's not where Scalia's coming from here. He's comfortable relegating an entire group of people to subhuman status without benefit of due process. It's nice to know that one of our nation's highest jurists has such respect for his fellow man.

I know that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights doesn't have the force of law, but The 1968 United Nations International Conference on Human Rights decided it "constitutes an obligation for the members of the international community" to all persons. Oh, wait, I forgot, we don't listen to those UN pansies.

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War on Easter

I was reading this post over at Shakes today. As an atheist who hosts an annual Easter party, I think it's safe to say that Easter, just like Christmas, is safe.

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Clerics to West, Karzai: Back off Christian convert case

This whole case is ridiculous. The thing that strikes me is the way religious tyranny is addressed differently than secular tyranny. It's as if the fact that these immoral laws are Islamic gives them some sort of credibility. Here's a quote -

The trial highlights a conflict of values between Afghanistan and its Western backers -- notably American Christians who cheered the administration of President George W. Bush when it toppled the oppressive Taliban regime in late 2001.


So executing innocent people is a "value" now?

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gas Prices - MSN Autos

This is interesting. I'm always hunting for the cheapest price on gas. I'll have to check this out to see how accurate it is. If nothing else, it looks to be a good guide to what the average price is in the area.

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Space Mountain Secrets

Yes, I suck. But I do have the Space Mountain video. For everyone who's ever wondered what Space Mountain looks like with the lights on, here it is. It's definitely more closely packed than the typical outdoor roller coaster.

Inside Space Mountain

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bush denies Iraq is in civil war

I posted about this quite a while back, but with all the talk about it recently, I thought it was a good time to restate my thoughts on Iraq Civil War. It seems to me, even though we've lost way too many Americans in this stupid war, the vast majority of the people killed have been Iraqis, killed by other Iraqis, or insurgents or terrorists, or whatever it is we call them this week. If that doesn't qualify as a civil war (and it has for some time), I don't know what does.

But much like the pointless debate about Tiger Woods' Grand Slam and whether it was technically a Grand Slam or not, the debate should not be about what to label it. Who gives a fuck? It's still the most impressive achievment in golf. And whether we call what's going on in Iraq a civil war or not doesn't change the fact that it's all fucked up over there, and whether we leave or stay, or whether we're right or wrong to be there in the first place, someone needs to come up with a better fucking plan than repeating how great things are going despite the fact that it's clearly bullshit.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

I'm not dead

I just went on vacation. My brother was supposed to post during my absence, but he sucks. Anyway, I'm back now, and regular posting will resume whenever I feel like it.

We went on a cruise to Key West and Nassau, then when we got back, went to DisneyWorld for a few days with my brother and his family. We had a lot of fun on both trips. We got to see Space Mountain with the lights on. I have some cheesy video from my cell phone that I might post if I find the time, and my brother has some video of it from his camera that's probably better, but I doubt he'll post it, since, like I mentioned above, he sucks.

There were lots of things I thought of to blog about while on vacation, but I've forgotten them all by now, so you're all (whoever is left) deprived of my witty thoughts on tourists, exotic locales, and the happiest place on earth.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Reading

So, I finally finished reading Scattered Suns (The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 4 (review). It was pretty good. This one had a lot of action, which was nice, since there have been some slow parts in this series. Now I have to wait for the next one to come out, and who knows when that will be. Since it took me so long to read this, I've had other things piling up to read. First, I need to read The Historian, which a guy at work has been wanting me to read for quite a while. I also have Crytonomicon, which I keep meaning to start, but haven't been in the mood for anything quite that big lately. I also need to read The Protector's War, since I liked the first book in that series.

So, what's everyone else reading these days?

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

No play station, say Metro bosses

This has got to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever (or today, anyway) seen. First of all, I don't know how this sign is supposed to sell Playstations. It doesn't seem to even mention what it is selling, so i have no idea why someone would come up with it in the first place. But even worse is the overreaction to it:

The poster, advertising Playstation, was spotted by a railway worker and Metrolink was ordered to take it down for fear it could encourage people to leap on to the line.
emphasis mine

Really? They were afraid of that? That can't be true. Seriously, people in Manchester can't be stupid enough to do something just because a sign suggests they should. If they are, then I would suggest that Sony take these signs down and put up ones that say "Buy a Playstation" instead, and Metrolink should put some up that say, "Don't Jump!" Ok, so obviously people aren't really going to do it just because the sign says to, but it doesn't make me any more confident in the intelligence of these people that they think this sign would in any way affect anyone.
There have been several incidents where people have been hit by Metrolink trams in recent months.

Most recently, a 60-year-old woman needed hospital treatment after being hit by a tram in Piccadilly Gardens.

So, these were related to the sign how? Oh, that's right, they weren't, not sure why they're even mentioned. Ridiculous.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Crash Backlash

Seems a lot of people are using Crash's Academy Award for Best Picture to point out how bad it was, and I don't get it. I didn't see any of the other movies (when did everyone start saying films?) nominated, so I can't really say whether it deserved to win, but I really enjoyed it. The main complaint I've seen is that it's too heavy handed in its message, which I definitely noticed, but it didn't bother me. The way I figure it, if you're dealing with such an incredibly simple concept, like racism is bad, and people obviously haven't gotten it yet, maybe you have to beat them over the head with it a little bit. I figured out a long time ago that most people aren't all that bright, so when a message is important, maybe it's not so bad to play to the lowest common denominator.

Anyway, I thought the movie was entertaining, and well intentioned, so I'm glad it won, even if there may have ben something better out there (and isn't there always?).

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What the Fuck is wrong with people?

My wife and I went to the Home and Patio show yesterday. We had our son along, and he was actually pretty good, despite having to ride in his stroller the whole time, which he's not usually very happy about. Anyway, as my wife was talking to a guy in one booth about lawn care, the pest control guy in the next booth sees my son in his stroller and gives him a keychain, which was nice. He then tells my son something about how every man should have a keychain in his pocket. A little odd, I thought, but whatever. But then, using that as some bizarre segue relating to perceived manly behaviors (I guess?) he starts into a little anecdote, which I'm still not too clear on because I really couldn't believe that he was saying what I thought he was saying. Anyway, he says something about going into neighborhoods to get kids to go to Sunday school, and how he saw a young boy walking, and I forget how he put it, but the point was the kid wasn't walking like a man. So, he apparently told this kid something to the effect that woman walk with movement in their hips and wrists, but men walk with movement from their shoulders and arms (?), and that this kid needed to walk differently, so people "wouldn't get the wrong idea." He then smashed a beer can on his forehead and pounded on his chest.*

I really didn't know what to say, I really thought I must have missed some part of what he said that would make it seem less insane, so I just walked on to the next booth, while my wife confirmed that what I heard was accurate. I can't believe that people think like this, or even worse that they think like this and aren't smart enough to just keep it to themselves, and especially to just come out with nonesense like that to a complete stranger that you're trying to sell something to. We could use pest control too, and my wife was going to ask him about it, until he told his little anecdote. I wish the story had ended with the kid telling him that it wouldn't be the wrong idea, or just telling him to fuck off and mind his own business. But even if it had, I'm sure he would have left that part out.

If we can't get to the point in my lifetime where everyone is tolerant and understanding of people who are not like them (and I really think we can, or at least pretty close), I'd at least settle for getting close enough where people like this feel too ashamed of their idiotic beliefs to feel comfortable expressing them openly to strangers.



* Ok, I made that last part up, but looking back, it wouldn't have surprised me.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Simpsons come to life

When I saw this link, I was sure it would suck. But after watching it, they actually did a pretty good job, The only thing I noticed that was really missing was the radioactive thing bouncing onto Homer's back, then under Bart's skateboard after it's thrown out the window, but I guess that would be pretty hard to do. Also, the steering wheel was on the wrong side of the car.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Jessica Alba: Playboy tricked readers into thinking she was naked

This is kind of silly. I should say that I think Playboy should get permission before they put anyone on their cover. That said, I don't see what Alba's complaining about.

As the article says, Playboy often has people on its cover who aren't nude inside, so I don't think anyone familiar with Playboy would make that assumption. I know when I got that issue, I assumed she wasn't nude, especially with the "25 Sexiest Celebrities" thing on the cover.

And what if they did think she was nude anyway? Alba clearly trades on her sexy image, and there's nothing wrong with that. I can't see how a few topless pictures in Playboy would change her image. It's not like she has a persona as the virginal girl-next-door.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Patriot Act Renewal Clears Final Hurdle

So, while everyone is all upset over the ports deal, this manages to go by without much notice. Of course, it was a big fight before, now everyone has just decided to give in to the administration. Because it's ok to back down from your principles if no one is paying attention, I guess. This is how our government works now. Something ridiculous comes along, reasonable people point out how ridiculous it is, there's a big fight over it, then it goes away for a while. When it comes back up, people aren't nearly as worked up over it (mostly because something even more ridiculous has come along to distract them), and the exact same thing that everyone was upset about in the first place passes by with barely a notice, and hardly an objection. Well, it works for the administration to distract us from scandals by simply having a new one, it shouldn't be surprising that they distract Congress from debating one issue by distracting them with another one. Of course, I fully expect in the next couple of weeks, this ports deal will go away for a while, then in a few months it will come back up without all the fanfare and hoopla, and it will be quietly approved. One thing in the article that stood out to me was this quote by Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, where I'm now ashamed to say I was born:

Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead


I'm just shocked that someone can say this without being openly mocked and ridiculed. Perhaps, if we hurry, we can notify all the text book publishers who are busy putting warning labels or removing evolution related material from our kids' science books to also go to work on history books to replace Patrick Henry's famous quote with Bunning's.

Assholes.

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