Tuesday, August 31, 2004
On Saturday, Bush Junior told NBC's Matt Laurer that the War on Terror cannot be won. In the interview that aired on the "Today" show on Monday morning, he said, quote, "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less accessable in parts of the world."
Today, however, Bush Junior flip-flips and proclaims that the war CAN be won.
No doubt this turnaround came because it pissed off too many people, which the GOP simply cannot afford to do at this point.
But there's something familliar about his original statement. You can just about apply that statement to every domestic "war" being fought by government today!
The war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on corporate abuse, the war on offensive materials... they all are not winnable by any stretch of the imagination. So what government has been doing is creating conditions so that the practice in CERTAIN areas is undesirable. They know that they can't really "win" in any meaningful way, so at best they're just making life miserable for everyone involved.
But since the politicians can't really sell that idea to the great unwashed, they continue to sell the illusion that they're "winning".
That may also explain why the Bush Junior Administration refuses to recognize terrorism being carried out by non-Muslims. Clayton Lee Waagoner, Eric Rudolph, and the late Paul Hill were terrorists in every sense of the word, but the government and the media still refuse to refer to them as such.
As I have pointed out in the past, there is no real way to determine when this war is finished. But there is a way to know whether or not we have lost this war. When America ceases to truly promote and defend individual freedom, when its people live in fear not just of terrorists but also of its own government, when people decide that freedom is an obscenity and that being safe is the ONLY thing that matters, THAT is when America has lost the war...
... and sadly, we aren't too far off from that point.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
First... be sure to check out this week's Brutally Honest rant about the Olympic games and with the controversy surrounding Paul Hamm. I don't usually discuss sports, so you know that if something got me going on that subject it must be interesting.
Second... with the GOP convention about to kick off in NYC, I want folks to think for a minute about how Richard Nixon got elected in 1968.
The voters in '68 saw a lot of violence and instability. Vietnam wasn't just a political issue back then. It was a real-time conflict, happening not just over there, but also on television screens in homes all across America. It was being escalated by the President, who at the time was a Democrat. Martin Luther King got shot... he wasn't a Democrat but he was linked to social programs of the Democrats. Robert Kennedy was assasinated just prior to getting the DNC nomination. The Democratic Convention was mired in protests and violence surrounding the protests, all of which was brought to TV screens nationwide.
Basically Nixon didn't get elected because of what he stood for... he got elected because too many people saw the Democrats as being mired in death and violence.
Keep that in mind when you hear about protesters during the GOP's convention, especially if they get violent.
Monday, August 23, 2004
This movie is almost literally picking up where Vol. 1 left off. There's a bit of a recap (something you didn't with the last two Matrix movies), and a lot of backstory involved with the events. Some of it, I think, was needless. Like the whole backstory leading up into the "massacre". Okay, so the massacre was the prime motivator in the movie, but the details were more or less rehashed in several other places in both parts 1 and 2.
The confrontations with Elle, Budd, and Bill were well orchestrated. And the training bit with Pai Mai was great. It was a great homage to the old Chineese martial arts movies. Then again, director/writer/co-creator Quentin Tarantino does a pretty good job incorporating classic material in his works. The whole "Ironside" bit may seemed a bit corny, but it was well-played.
Yes, it is ultra-violent... although not AS bad as Volume 1. And I would say get this DVD right now... except I understand that Miramax will be releasing a combined "Kill Bill" movie at some point. So if you haven't picked up Volume 1 yet, hold off on getting both until the new combined release is out. If you have picked up Volume 1 already, then get this one.
Friday, August 20, 2004
The bodies of two camp councelors were found murdered in their sleeping bags in the coastal area of Jenner, 75 miles north of San Francisco.
Although the couple were apparently shot in the head while they slept, police were still baffled why they found a machette and hockey mask near the area, or why they kept on hearing someone loudly whisper "Che-che-che.... Ca-ca-ca.... Che-che-che... Ca-ca-ca"
* Whazituya News: we break it, you buy it.
BugMeNot was one of those free resource websites that would provide access information for those newspapers that offer supposedly "free" registration so you could view their articles. The newspapers claim that they're simply doing this for "research", but the truth of the matter is that these papers are doing it for SPAM!
Look, the newspapers don't need to know who you are, where you live, what your phone number is, what your e-mail address is, where you work, what you make in salary, or even what your favorite hobbies are. They don't need to know these things... but so-called "marketers" do! They want to know everything about you so they can Spam the crap out of you!
That's where BugMeNot and a few other resource sites come in. They would set up generic accounts with these papers and then give the access information to anyone who wanted it. Bear in mind that these are for newspapers that supposedly offer "FREE" (as in no subscription) articles.
Well now BugMeNot is shut down. Word has it that their host pulled the plug on this popular resource website. No doubt the publishing companies put pressure to get rid of the website.
I just have one question... have these newspaper website folks ever heard of IDENTITY THEFT? Did it ever occur to them that the REASON why people don't want to divulge all of that information is because they're (1) sick of SPAM and (2) afraid someone in your organization may use all of that information to commit identity theft?
These newspaper websites are due one bitch-slap.
Update 8/22/04: BugMeNot has a brand new home with a brand new host. Here's the link to explain what happened to them. Good going, guys! Hang in there and help keep us away from annoying marketers and their damned "free registration" crap.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
The first is I just saw the latest from Penn & Teller from their Showtime series "Penn & Teller: Bull$#!t." (No, I still won't say the word here.) This week's rant was on addictions, and they compared the traditional 12-step religious programs like Alcoholics Anonymous with some of the more secular alternatives.
The big thing they hammered home is this mantra that alcoholism is a "disease". If it's a disease, then it's not your fault that you are the way that you are. But if it is, then why do you have to make an account of what you did and ask for forgiveness? You're not at fault, remember? It's "the disease" that is at fault!
The thing about AA that Penn really didn't get into (but I have in the past) is that you essentially trade in one addition for another. You go from being an alcohol addict to a religious addict, which is considered to be MUCH more socially acceptable... well unless you discount the religious addicts that drive car bombs, shoot doctors, bomb women's clinics, send fake Anthrax threats, or hijack planes and crash them into major cities.
Anyway, I have to say kudos to Penn & Teller for coming up with a kick-ass show, even if it is a word that I voluntarily refuse to say on this forum. These guys are nominated for 2 Emmy awards, and they seriously deserve to win them for the great job they've been doing. It's funny and serious at the same time, and if you have Showtime then you need to watch it... and if you don't you can always get their first season on DVD.
The second quickie thought involves the September issue of Playboy Magazine. Now you may have heard about this issue because of the interview with the guys from Google. It was an interview that almost cost them their debut on the stock market today. Or it may have been the fact that several past and current female Olympians were posing nude. Sadly, none of them were in beach volleyball. (Well, you'll probably say that you just got that issue for the Google interview...)
Anyway, the quickie thought doesn't come from either of those sections of the September issue. Rather it comes from this little letter to the Forum section regarding the Pledge of Allegiance issue.
Does a public display of piety benefit the nation? Before "Under God" was
added, we won every war we engaged in. Since it was added, we have
been bogged down in quagmires. - Paul Alter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Well you're forgetting about Grenada there, Paul. There was no quagmire when we kicked Communist ass there. And that little excursion into Libya where we sent Mommar Quadaffi screaming into the desert because we dropped a bomb on his house certainly wasn't bogged down in quagmire. But other than that, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Nice observation!
Monday, August 16, 2004
Well I've got news for you: gas prices have ALREADY gone up!
One of the gas stations that I visit regularly is probably one of the more accurate barometers of pump prices. On Thursday (8/12), the price of regular unleaded was $1.63 per gallon. On Friday afternoon, that price went up to $1.72. That's 9 cents in 24-hours, and yet NOBODY in the media reported on this jump!
And you know what? You're probably not going to hear anything for a couple more days.
For some reason, the media is keeping price spikes quiet for several days. This is the same forum that promises "fast, speedy, instanteneous, BREAKING news!"
Now I have to wonder... WHY are they systematically dragging their feet on this one issue? Why? Shouldn't "the people" have a right to know that they're getting fleeced when it happens and not seven days afterwards? Something just isn't right here...
I'm waiting to hear that John Kerry would have provided even FASTER aid, possibly even declaring the areas where Charley hit to be disaster areas even BEFORE the storm came on shore. How would he know which areas would be affected? He was in Vietnam, silly!
Senator Lurch is already complaining that Bush Junior is in the disater area, but then again he'd complain just as loudly if Bush Junior DIDN'T show up already. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't... from Mister Flip-Flop no less! Well I suppose there HAD to be an advantage to being on both sides of everything.
Charley missed its intended track and became a category 4 hurricane, both of which were not predicted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Where's the congressional investigation on NOAA? Why isn't their intelligence on top of these things? We expect the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the other 17 intelligence agencies to know where everyone is at all times, why not expect NOAA to know precisely what a hurricane is supposed to do before it happens?
And to top it all off... I'm waiting for Cynthia McKinney and the rest of the lunatic fringe to start firing off allegations that Bush Junior KNEW in advance about the track of Hurricane Charley and did nothing about it so his rich friends could profit from the recovery. Michael Moore can probably do a documentary on it called "Charley and Me" and complain about the rescue efforts and wasting time on locating lost dogs and cats. Maybe Jadakiss could include all of this in a revised version of his song "Why"... as in "Why did the Floridians have to die? Why did Bush let Charley ride?"
There are certain times when partisan politics need to be put aside, even in the height of election season. Charley's aftermath is one of them.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
A full-page newspaper ad for Bill Clinton's book!
I'm serious! And it wasn't even intentional!
I was changing out my cat's litter box and I was laying down fresh newspaper from the NY Times. I was about to set the box down on top of the newspaper when I realized that it was going to set right on top of Big Bubba Spin's ad!
I didn't even realize that Bubba had an ad in the Times... that's how clueless I was about it.
It's a pity the other page wasn't another full page ad for his wife's book.
Friday, August 06, 2004
In other words the predictions of our so-called "experts" were wrong.
The big reason why companies aren't hiring more people as expected? Well the guess is because of the continual increase in gas prices.
Now, what have I been telling everyone about the higher gas prices? Higher gas prices affect our economy! They aren't just a pain in OUR personal wallets. Higher gas prices affect overhead. That means more money that has to be spent in order to produce the goods and services that are needed. Yes, it could mean higher prices and inflation, but in the short run it means less available money for businesses to invest in things like raises and new jobs.
The good news has been that gas prices were leveling off, but now that oil prices are going through the roof again, you can be they're going to climb back up soon, if they haven't already.
And don't expect your politicians to do anything about it... well except TALK about it, and blame it all on the opposing party.
Let me tell you folks something... if we really carried out all of the plans made by our elected grifters and shysters for the past THIRTY YEARS to wean America off of foreign oil, our pump prices would not have been so skittishly dependant on foreign oil prices. We've been dealing with thirty years of BS from our elected hucksters on this issue and they're STILL coming up with so-called "sure fire plans"!
I have one: start giving a damn about the mileage numbers again when you're looking at cars! And actually BUY a car, not an SUV! That will send a much louder message than the one you refuse to send at the ballot box in November.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Mark Hacking: This loser is currently under arrest and under mental observation for the murder of his pregnant wife Lori. As of this blog's date, they haven't found her body yet, but the police have gathered enough evidence to prove that she was killed by this jerkoff and that she isn't just unconscious in some ravine. Right now they're searching landfills for her body.
Apparently this guy is now Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, or you know that will be his defense. He lied about graduating from college, he lied about being accepted to medical school in North Carolina... those probably weren't the only lies he told his wife, family, and friends.
Scott Peterson: Here's a guy who should have been fed to the fishes. Perfect life, perfect job, great wife and soon-to-be mother, and she goes missing on Christmas Eve. Few months later, they find her body and he tries to make a run for the border.
Now he's on trial. And the prosecution was allowed to show what I thought was a very risky piece of evidence.
Apparently Laci had set up DirecTV for the house back in 2001. But two weeks after she disappeared on Christmas Eve of 2002, Scott turns around and orders Playboy TV along with a few more adult channels. The prosecution believes that this would prove that Scott knew that Laci was dead, because otherwise he would have never ordered these programs.
It's pretty damning evidence... because who would be watching adult programming while supposedly still searching for their missing pregnant wife?
On the other hand it's TOO damning. They've already pinned a mistress on him. He's already being viewed as a devious, manipulative, narcissistic killer. Now the prosecution wants to paint him as a porn-fiend too? That's just needless character assassination, and they could very well lose the case on appeal because it taints the jury.
My advice to the prosecutors is this: the evidence is important in establishing a frame of mind, but don't make this into a "porn made him do it" case. You don't need to assasinate his character because the case itself does that.