Tuesday, June 29, 2004

WHEW! Free speech online is safe... for now

Okay... have to exhale here...

The news report just came in that the US Supreme Court has upheld the judicial block on the "Child Online Protection Act", AKA COPA, CDA 2.0, or the bastard son of the anti-American "Communications Decency Act".

COPA/CDA2 makes it a felony to have material online that is "harmful to minors" that isn't under some for-profit credit card membership service. The freedom-haters thought that they had a winner with this law, but the lower courts saw through their lies and they shut down the law, citing ACLU versus Reno and a score of other judicial precedents.

Now there are PLENTY of things that are wrong with this law... the big one being that it is simply not the government's job to protect your children online! It's not! The government didn't provide that computer. The government didn't give you an ISP account. The government isn't paying for your phone line or DSL line or your cable modem line. YOU ARE! It's YOUR bill, so it's YOUR responsibility!

Second... under this law, any non-profit organization that deals with sensitive matters involving human sexuality would be forced to put their material under a for-profit website. Essentially it would destroy their non-profit status!

Third... "harmful to minors" can mean a great deal of things, and even if the law spells out what those things are, they would also be subject to change. As members of Congress were approving of this law back in 1998, they were reading a certain report by Kenneth Star that would have been ILLEGAL to post online. All of the major news agencies would be considered CRIMINALS if that law was enforced! Not to mention that news agencies would not be able to post some of their more salicious stories online.

Even the federal COPA committee that met in accordance to the law said that this law would not work! What more do you need?

And this was a close one too. Last time it was 8-1. This time it's 5-4.

Unfortunately... it's not over yet. Because the justices did NOT shoot down the law itself. They simply upheld the lower court's order blocking the law. Now that lower court has to have yet ANOTHER trial!

Essentially, boys and girls, the US Supreme Court PUNTED YET AGAIN on a sensitive legal issue instead of doing the right thing. What a bunch of black-robed COWARDS these old farts are becoming! If they did the right thing and struck down the law outright, then it probably would have slammed the door shut on this matter, because this was the freedom-haters' most detailed attack to date. The matter would have been over with, and the justices would never have had to deal with this matter ever again. But NO.. they had to bounce it back one more time.

And given the fact that the real architects of COPA are now members of the Department of Justice, you know that they will fight tooth-and-nail for their unholy demon-child.

Yes, we are at war, boys and girls. We've been at war for quite some time now, and the bad guys aren't just fanatical Muslims!

Monday, June 28, 2004

the dysfunctional moralist legacy continues...

Strange news last week... seems that a Republican candidate for the US Senate has bowed out of the race because of his previous marital habits.

It seems Illinois' own Jack Ryan (no, not the Tom Clancy hero) was married to former "Star Trek: Voyager" star Jeri Ryan. Operative word here is "WAS". And when they filed for divorce, she accused him of forcing her to go to sex clubs and try to force her to perform in them.

Now going to the clubs and taking part is one thing. Forcing is another. That's a no-no.

Anyway, it became a he said/she said deal. She said she was forced to be there, he said he urged her to but didn't force her. They had the divorce, and all of the nasty allegations pretty much got sealed supposedly to protect their son.

But actually it was sealed to protect both of them from the media. Problem is, that sort of stuff sticks out like a sore thumb. So when Mr. Ryan announced he was running for office under the GOP's wing, the media went looking for dirt... and a sealed court transcript is GOLD to them.

So now the details are out. And try as he might, Mr. Ryan couldn't get past those allegations made by his ex-wife. Even when he ADMITTED to being in those clubs, it wasn't enough.

Mr. Ryan dropped out of the race over the weekend.

Three thoughts on this...

1. The GOP is accusing the media of engaging in sabotage. Well that might hold true if Mr. Ryan was considered to be the odds-on favorite in that race, but since the politicians live, breathe, and die for polls, they know that Ryan was already too far behind in the polls to matter. In fact he was so far behind in the polls that he probably was being confused with the Green Party candidate. (If there even IS a Green Party candidate there.)

2. Yes, Mr. Ryan, I agree with you in that it SHOULD NOT MATTER! Yes, it should not matter what you did with your TV-star wife of the time... except that it involved a primal action that the moralists in the GOP have successfully demonized in society. It is a primal action that the moralists CONTINUE to demonize even to this very day. If you don't like it, take it up with the moralists in the GOP because they're the ones running around as the Christian mullahs that they are.

3. You know, Mr. Ryan, none of this would have come out if you simply stayed away from public office. You should have known from the moment that you announced your candidacy that the media would go after anything and everything that you ever did your life. They love to sniff for these things, like pigs going after truffles.

Oh... and one more thing Mr. Ryan... you let someone like Jeri get away? What's WRONG with you, man?

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Reuters: Stern still gets Infinity backing... for now.

Well Howard Stern may have lost his biggest supporter in Viacom, but it appears that Infinity Broadcasting (Viacom's radio subsidiary) is still going to go to bat for him, and for all of their talent.

Reuters is reporting that Infinity's chief operating officer announced in a panel discussion at the Radio & Records convention that, quote, "We're going to support Howard (Stern) and all of our on-air talent 110 percent".

Well isn't that nice?

The thing is... I remember a certain Clear Channel executive tell two Atlanta radio show hosts that same thing. ON THE AIR, mind you. And just a few weeks later, they were fired for something one of their engineers did!

So you'll forgive me if I don't take a corporate executive at his word. And since Stern has been in the radio biz for decades, I'm sure he's not taking them at their word either.

But there is one thing about the Reuters article that people should note... ever since the FCC went on their religious crusade against Stern and all other shock jocks, Stern's ratings have been steadily climbing! Even MORE people are tuning in and listening to what Stern has to say!

Remember what happens when moralists try to ban a book or a movie? People flock to see it. The more the moralists try to ban Stern, the more people will listen.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Quickie thought: Moore's film?

Re: "Farenheit 9/11"

Won't go see it in the theatres... but not for the reason that you're probably thinking it's for.

No I'm not going to abstain from viewing it because of Moore's liberal characterization of Bush Junior being an ineffective yet manipulative politician eager to get us into Iraq. I'm not going to abstain from viewing it because of Moore's grandstanding or his pathetic speech in the Oscars. I'm not going to abstain from viewing it because the liberals tell me to see it. I'm not even going to abstain from viewing it because the conservatives are telling me to do so. In fact, hearing conservatives tell me not to see this movie would otherwise send me INTO the theatres, not away from them.

No, the only reason why I will be abstaining this movie is because it is a documentary.

If I'm plopping down $20 for tickets and overpriced non-biodegradable snacks, I want to be ENTERTAINED. Novel thought, sure... check my online column from a few weeks ago about this. I want my money's worth, and a 2-hour lecture/speech just doesn't cut it.

What would get me to see it in the theatre? Two words: beautiful woman. Of course I probably wouldn't be thinking about the movie if I went there with a beautiful woman, but it WOULD get me to spend money on it.

Monday, June 21, 2004

History has been made... did you notice it?

For those of you stuck in perpetual Iraq/Abu Grabe/al Qaeda mode, you probably didn't realize that history was made this morning.

Today marked the first time ever that a civilian pilot took a privately-funded spacecraft into space.

Yes, there have been civilians in space before. They've been passengers onboard a government-funded vessel whether it is the space shuttle, the European Arienne, or the Russian rockets.

There have also been privately-funded spacecraft launched into space before. All satillites.

But never before in the history of humanity did any civilian pilot take the helm of a privately-funded, civilian spacecraft and send it outside Earth's atmosphere and bring it back down safely.

That of all changed today, June 21st, 2004, when SpaceShipOne, the first private space shuttle, took off on the belly of the jet White Knight, brought to an elevation of 47,000 feet, and cut free and launched past Earth's atmosphere into a suborbital level of 62 miles before being brought back to the same runway it launched from.

Michael W. Melvill, an experienced test pilot and Vice President/General Manager of Scaled Composites, LLC, became the first truly civilian astronaut by taking SpaceShipOne into space.

The Tier One Project was part of a larger challege called the "Ansari X Prize", which is run by Microsoft Founder Paul Allan. The goal is to create and successfully launch-and-land a privately-funded 3-seated spacecraft outside of the atmosphere, not just once, but twice within two weeks. Tier One just did the first part... now they have to repeat the magic two weeks from today.

Why is this important, you ask? Because America's space program has needed a shot in the arm and a kick in the ass ever since the Shuttle Challenger blew up!

NASA, America's government-run space organization, has been coasting since going back into space. And then, with Columbia dissintegrating upon reentry, the space program has become skittish. The shuttles are old and need to be replaced, but NASA cut all research into replacement models. They don't want to replace the shuttles. They don't even want men in shuttles until they can get everything safe and flawless.

NASA officials have even told researchers that they weren't going to keep the Hubble Space Telescope repaired and updated. Too risky, they said. Too dangerous. They would rather just ferry personell back and forth from the International Space Station, which is "safer" according to the paper-pushers because its in a much lower orbit.

So how about this idea? Once Tier One wins the Ansari X Prize, how about Allan and the others get together their next challenge... take SpaceShipOne up to the Hubble Telescope and fixing it, and then taking it over. Call it reverse-eminent domain. If NASA doesn't want to maintain it, then they have abandoned it.

Private space exploration has just begun and it has already done what NASA has refused to. They created a reusable spacecraft that can easily replace the aging space shuttle fleet, and to do so without the need for bulky solid rockets, fuel tanks, or extravagant launch facilities.

Sadly, though, most people won't even realize the importance of this moment. They'll be too busy talking about Iraq and terrorists and politics. Shame on them for not appreciating this moment!

Take some pride, folks... you don't need the government to get into space anymore.

War and politics

Ok boys and girls, the new stuff is all online. Last week's rant went up on Friday, and this week's column was of course uploaded last night.

One thing I want to touch upon with my column concerning war and whether terrorists should be considered prisoners of war. I do believe this is a war. We didn't declare it. Osama bin PigBastard and his ilk did a few years before 9/11. And that's fine. If they want this to be a war, then we'll treat it as a war. Kill or be killed. Enemy combatants must be treated as prisoners of war.

The point of my column this week is to kick the cons and neo-cons in the ass and get them to fulfill their own moral obligations in this war. If they want to call this a war, then they must TREAT it as a war and not play these BS games of declaring people by some half-assed POW synonym.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Breaking News....

The news reports are coming in now that the American hostage Paul Johnson Jr. was brutally murdered at the hands of a Saudi-based terrorist group linked to al Qaeda.

The terrorists threatened to kill Johnson if the Saudi government didn't release all of the captured terrorists. Since the Saudis don't negotiate with terrorists, the terrorists could only do one of two things.. they could have either released Johnson or killed him.

NOW here's my prediction for the next week: you're going to hear the media drone on and on about how this is all the fault of Bush Junior. You're going to hear that especially from Mr. Johnson's family, who were critical of us being in Iraq in the first place. They're going to blame this on Abu Graibe and the other instances of abuse that are already being investigated and prosecuted, and then they're going to blame it again on Bush Junior specifically. And of course they're going to bring up the brutal death of Nick Berg again, since he was also brutally beheaded for no reason whatsoever.

Now.. what you're probably NOT going to hear... you're not going to hear that this is really all the fault of the terrorists. You're probably NOT going to hear the other Muslim clerics condemn this barbaric act.

And this is what you're not going to hear is this from either the American leaders, the Saudi leaders, or for that matter even the clerics. This is the speech that NEEDS to be said, but no cleric will have the balls to say it.

"It is not enough to say that the terrorists responsible for this cold-hearted act of barbarism will be hunted down and brought to justice. These men are dead men. They have forfeited their lives the moment they decided to take the life of an innocent.

"And in accordance to Islamic Law, not only are their lives forfeit, but their souls are forfeit as well. They have brutally murdered an innocent man who had received the prayers and spiritual protection of a faithful Muslim and was an ally of Islam . These men will never get the spiritual rewards that they so desire. Indeed, they will only know that which they have needlessly inflicted... agony and death. With every praise that they utter for their foul deeds, they spit on Allah and the words of the prophets. Look not upon these men with anything but the total disgust that is deserving of them, for they have become a curse to anyone of faith."

You won't hear that from the clerics... and that is what really needs to be said. Maybe then the Islamic world can wake the hell up and realize that what is going on is nothing less than their own self-destruction.

quickie thought...

So Madonna is going to change her name to Esther, huh? Still no last name, though... unless she wants to use her husband's name. Esther Ritchie? Yeah that's really modern... she went from "Vogue" to "Vague" to "Vintage".

But don't worry, Mrs. Material Mom... your real critics won't have to revise their vocabulary for you. They've long since changed your name.. four letters, starting with an "S" and ending with a "t".

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Baptists back down on school threat

The Southern Baptist Convention is having their regular convention this week... these are the ones who act as if they are running the GOP, and thus the rest of America.

For the uninitiated, Southern Baptists are basically the Christian version of Shi'a Islam. (Be thankful I didn't refer to them as Christian Wahabis.) They are highly fundamentalist... often bordering on being rabid fundamentalist. These are the people who proudly proclaim "The Bible says it, I believe it, case closed!"

Few years ago, the SBC decided to pick a fight with the Walt Disney Corporation over their employee benefits. They didn't like how the "almighty mouse" was offering benefits to same-sex partners. Since the SBC declared that to be an unforgivable sin, the SBC ordered all of their faithful to boycott all things Disney.

Now boycotting a big corporation is not the same as boycotting a little small-town mom-and-pop store. Disney has their hands in A LOT of stuff, including things that these conservative holy rollers enjoy. To truly boycott Disney, then, would be to boycott Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Paul Harvey, the ABC television network and ALL of their affiliates, ESPN, and numerous syndicated sitcoms including "Home Improvement" (which at the time was quite popular).

It probably would have been easier for the SBC devotees to simply do a mass migration to Montana and live in the Unabomber's old digs than to try to consciously boycott all things Disney.

Obviously their efforts were a huge failure... but the pompous ones continued to delude themselves into thinking that it worked. After all, THEIR attendance to Walt Disney World and Walt Disney Land dropped. Yeah, a drop in the ocean REALLY makes a statement, huh?

Anyway, about a year or so later, the SBC decided they wanted to remind people what the role of WOMEN was in their world. That is, of course, at the feet of their men. That got the women's groups upset... but my question was who really cared? The SBC certainly didn't care! Their interpretations of the Bible was all that mattered!

Well this year there was this idea to order all of the Baptist faithful to pull their kids out of government-run schools. The theory being that these government schools have become "godless" institutions that are promoting sex and drugs and are now hostile to any form of Christian ideas. So the idea was to just pull their kids out... to essentially boycott government schools... and either put their kids through private religious schools or to home-school them.

This week the SBC shot down that idea for two reasons...

First, half of the SBC faithful ALREADY have begun home-schooling their kids.

And second, because if they pulled their kids out of government schools, they would then forfeit any opportunity to further change those schools and impose their will on them. Essentially they would lose an important front in their theocratic campaign.

But there is another reason that they didn't mention... but you know I will. That reason is that if they went through with their plans it would only further embarrass them.

Much like the Disney boycott, the Southern Baptist boycott of government schools would be another drop in the ocean. The diehard faithful would obviously comply with the decision, even if they ended up raising a bunch of burger-flippers and toilet-cleaners.

But then the faithful would find out that the rest of the SBC members would weasel out. These are the folks who actually have to work for a living. They don't have the time for home schooling, nor do they have the money to put their kids in private schools. They're already paying for that government education with their taxes, so they're not going to give that up just because of a bunch of elitist SBC jerks got their burquas in a bunch.

So the SBC leaders decided that it was best to vote down this idea and just go back to trying to take over the government schools as a way to spread their theocracy. After all, if it worked in Middle East, it can work in America.

I would call these guys pathetic... but they're really not. They're dangerous. They're almost as dangerous as their Islamic counterparts... and the only things that separates them from being exactly like their Shiite counterparts are a bomb and an explosive issue.

Mark my words folks... if you think that the Islamic jihad is bad, just wait until their Christian counterparts here in America go off!

Monday, June 14, 2004

The Supreme Court FUMBLED!

Ok folks, this just came out over the wire, but the US Supreme Court basically chickened out over the Pledge of Allegiance.

They could have done the right thing and given a straightforward ruling saying that the morlaists and the bible-thumpers and the freedom-haters and the "God and Country" crowd were WRONG... because they were... when they inserted the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The court is the only government body that considers INTENT when it comes to legislation. No other body of government has to care about intent. The court does... and specifically the US Supreme Court MUST consider intent when it comes to legislation. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at that intent and realize that the original Pledge did NOT include the words "Under God" in them, and that those words were added at the request of religious groups SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of advancing a general religious belief. In other words RESPECTING THE ESTABLISHMENT of religion.

Read the legislation. Read the words by President Eisenhower when he signed that piece of crap legislation. Why did he sign it? What did he say the whole purpose of it was?

There is no "Nature's God" in the Pledge. There is no "Creator" in the Pledge. It's not "Under Yahweh" or "Under Allah" or "Under Buddha" or even "Under Beezebub".

Read the First Amendment. Read it carefully. Word for word. Re-read it if you have to. What does it say Congress CANNOT do when it comes to "respecting the estalishment of relgion"?

Anyone with a working BRAIN would come to that conclusion that inserting "Under God" int he Pledge was WRONG, even if that conclusion is in defiance to everything they have been indoctrinated to believe.

The justices of the US Supreme Court COULD have done that. They COULD have ruled with their brains. But they didn't.

The justices ruled 8-0, not for or against the Pledge itself, but rather that the plantiff, Michael Nedow, lacked the credentials to file such a suit in the first place. After all, he's just a divorced father who doesn't even have custody of his daughter. And because of that, the whole case... all the way down to the initial lawsuit... was dismissed.

What a pathetic miscarriage of justice!

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Quick DVD review: Fight Club

Finally managed to pick up the collector's DVD of "Fight Club" and watch the whole movie from start to finish. The 2-disc edition was certainly worth the price.

This whole movie is a mind-screw, right up to the very end. I really can't describe it to you without blowing the secrets. You've got an insomniac who needs to go to all of these therapy sessions just so he can feel good about himself. You've got this eccentric babe who also shows up at these therapy sessions. And then there's Tyler Derden... soap salesman.

Now for those of you who actually listen to my rants, every so often you'll hear me throw in what I call the "Tyler Derden Rant". Basically it's a collection of Tyler sayings. The reason why I insert those into my rants is because for the most part they ARE true! That's part of the reason why the movie hits a cord with so many people. It's not just mindless entertainment with the occasional plug for IKEA or Starbucks. It's the whole consumer mentality that's turned upside-down. It's about how we define ourselves as adults. It's about those of us who have been pacificed and left out and dumbed down to conform to someone else's system while others reap the benefits of that same system.

And yet, at the same time... it IS entertainment. These guys aren't trying to change the world. They're not there to save the whales or push for gun control. They're just taking our so-called "civilized culture" and throwing it back in our faces. Even the ending doesn't really solve anything. The world isn't "saved" or anything like that. Even the ending of the movie has a unique "Tyler Derden" touch. (And that's all I can say about it without giving it away.)

This 2-disc DVD has a whole bunch of extras thrown in as well. Behind-the-scene footage with multiple angles, several deleted or re-edited scenes, all of the promos for the movie including the Internet ones, and even its own music video.

All in all, DEFINATELY worth the money!

New stuff is up...

Just loaded this week's column to the Brutally Honest website. This is the article I wanted to write last week, but obviously got pushed back because of the death of Ronald Reagan.

And of course my audio rant is also online. I believe this rant was old-school Brutally Honest (hey, I've been online for eight years now, I can use that term) because it goes back to those early columns about collectivism. Anyway, take a listen and sound off here about what you think.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Lots of stuff...

In case you've been wondering why I've been silent about a few things this past week, well it's because I've had a lot of stuff going on and not enough time to sit down and crank out the blogs.

Ronald Reagan's passing is the subject of this week's Brutally Honest column. I actually had another subject I wanted to discuss this week, but that one can wait. Reagan's death was a timely issue, and as you know, timely issues take priority.

Smarty Jones lost. Well he came in second, but he still failed to get the Triple Crown. I figured that would happen. He was just hyped too well for him to actually be the first TC winner in almost thirty years.

Last week's show is online now, and it's something that has sort of been bothering me... namely the Abu Graib prison situation.

Now my rant wasn't really about the servicemen and women who committed the acts that made this situation so despicable. The military system is trying to deal with that now. My rant was focused on the people who are now excusing the abuses and trying to justify them. Those are the ones who are rightly deserving my criticism.

So CIA Director George Tenet has fallen on his sword, huh? Well I knew that SOMEONE had to take the blame for the mistakes that were made over a great deal of issues, from 9/11 to the WMD reports. Who better to do so than a holdover from the Clinton Regime?

Oh, by the way, the media is not really reporting this, but there WERE WMDs found in Iraq! Remember that exploded shell that contained enough Sarin gas to kill 60,000 people? You don't just make ONE shell! You make dozens. You make hundreds. In other words, you STOCKPILE them!

The really scary part is that this was a WMD that was never REPORTED from the 1991 war! That means that somewhere in Iraq is a stockpile of unmarked and undeclared chemical weapons that could be used to slaughter millions that has been sitting there for well over ten years! We desperately need to find that stockpile and (1) dispose of it... and (2) make the liberals and their friends in liberal media EAT THEIR WORDS!

I'm hearing that the leaders of Socialist France, those surrender-monkeys in the Axis of Weasels, are telling Bush Junior that they will support a new UN resolution recognizing the new Iraqi government. I'm more concerned with what is NOT being reported... like whether or not Socialist France will agree to the resolution only if we drop the whole investigation on the "Food For Oil" program. Right now the info makes France, Germany, Russia, and even the UN Secretary General look bad. I'm sure they would be willing to do ANYTHING that will make that scandal go away quickly and quietly.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

They're pumping more of SOMETHING...

So I've been reading about OPEC and how they're trying to pump out more oil to "stabilize" oil prices. Yeah... right.... uh-huh.

Okay, first of all, if the Arab nations want to "stabilize" oil prices, they first have to make sure their extremists don't pull a Helter Skelter act like they did this past weeeknd. We found, convicted, and put our Charles Manson in prison. King Faoud now has to do his part with his version of Manson. (And folks, I said CHARLES Manson, not MARILYN Manson. There is a difference.) Those four "vigilantes" didn't go there alone. They had help. They had encouragement from some cleric. That's your Manson.

Second, OPEC can pump their fields dry and it STILL will not cut down on prices at the gas pump! There are several factors involved in that, most notably being the lack of refineries

Third, if Bush Junior REALLY wanted to do something about the price at the pump, he should have suspended those damned EPA rules! 50 states with multiple gas refinery standards is demented! The Periodic Table of Elements do not change from one state to another. The chemical composition of smog does not change from one state to another. There should be ONE standard for refining gas. PERIOD!

Fourth, if Bush Junior STILL REALLY wanted to do something about the price at the pump, he should have eliminated that $100,000 tax exemption for SUV buyers and give it instead to anyone who buys a fuel-efficient car! That'll change the attitudes over in Detroit real quickly!

What OPEC really wants is not for oil prices to drop... just to stay the same for a while. Then they can rake in the big bucks.