Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Weather / April 30, 2014 / Comment on this

Current active weather advisories in DC: Flash Flood Warning, Areal Flood Warning, Coastal Flood Warning, Coastal Flood Watch, Flash Flood Watch

We’re getting a bit of rain.

Election Day / November 7, 2012 / Comment on this

Now that everyone from Fox to NPR (the full range of the rationality spectrum) has called the presidential race… I just gotta say… listening to the results tonight, it sure sounds like the Republicans got their asses handed to them across the country. They kept the House, but that’s about it. Lots of big Dem wins in the Senate and Governorships.

Gentrification / October 19, 2012 / Comment on this

I like this article on gentrification in DC. (“Gentrification in D.C.: How will we remember those displaced?” in the Washington Post). While ‘gentrification’ is a loaded word, the article is one of the more balanced I’ve read on the topic. It doesn’t instantly assume that the new people moving into these neighborhoods are bad. (Though almost as bad — it does assume that all new residents will be interested in “improving” the neighborhoods.) It instead just asks that people learn about their new surroundings, and try to find a way to coexist that benefits everyone. That’s kind of — you know — the definition of civilization. Otherwise, we’re just in a predator/prey situation. (Which isn’t to say it doesn’t happen that way quite often. Just that I agree with the author’s request.)

As someone currently trying to buy a house in a ‘transitional’ neighborhood, I’m very aware of all these tensions. I’ve actually lived much of my life in such places; more often being in the minority dispute being a white male. But I don’t choose a place solely on what it might become. I’m sitting on the porch of the hopefully-new house right now, watching kids playing together. Watching people talk with their neighbors. Listening to the wind in the trees, and the sound of the nearby city. I love all this, and certainly wouldn’t want to lose it. Starbucks and a hipster bar would certainly be no decent replacement.

World War II: Women at War / September 12, 2011 / Comment on this

For the nations who were deeply involved in World War II, the war effort was total, with women volunteering in huge numbers alongside men and filling traditionally male positions at home, in industry, and the military. Women took both active and supporting positions in factories, government organizations, military auxiliaries, resistance groups and more. While relatively few women were at the front lines as combatants, many found themselves the victims of bombing campaigns and invading armies. By the end of the war, more than 2 million women worked in war industries, hundreds of thousands volunteered as nurses or members of home defense units, or became full-time members of the military. In the Soviet Union alone, some 800,000 women served alongside men in army units during the war. Collected here are images of women involved directly in the events of World War II, and some of what they experienced and endured.

 

See the photos and more at In Focus on The Atlantic.

Down with Xenu / March 17, 2008 / Comment on this

2335584266_8a5843728c.jpg
Stupid little buggers.
I went to take pictures at the Anonymous protest, yesterday. Anonymous — if you’re unaware — is a protest movement against the Church of Scientology. The movement’s organizers cloak themselves in anonymity to “protect” themselves from the Scientologist’s well-documented harassment of any critics. So the protests are generally a lot of people in masks (see: Anonymous) waving signs outside any branch or office of this “Church”.
The general things that the protesters are upset about include Scientology’s secrecy, their financial focus, questionable physical and mental health practices, their tax-exempt status as a church, and their harassment of former members any just about anyone trying to find out any details about them.
But I had a vaguely bad feeling when I was reading a bit on the local Anonymous chapter’s website, here in DC, on Friday night. They were specifically telling their ‘members’ to be doubtful about anyone who showed up that wasn’t part of the protest. Anyone who stopped nearby, or anyone who asked questions, or talked to them in any way, was supposed to be viewed with distrust, since they could be a scientologist “mole”. And sure enough, within about two minutes of arriving, and taking pictures from a nearby meridian in the street, (right next to the traffic cop assigned to keep order), I had people looking at me suspiciously. There were plenty of people pointing at me, soon enough. And lots of pictures and video footage including me, eventually. A few of the braver souls eventually yelled across the street that I should have been more subtle… I was too obvious a plant.
A plant for what? I wasn’t talking to them. I wasn’t getting in their way. I wasn’t trying to disseminate my own message. Assume the worst… that I was L Ron Hubbard reincarnate… then what harm was I still causing to them? Are protesters there to be seen or not? Is there any value to being rude to people asking questions, as I watched them do to a couple others, just because they aren’t part of your protest? Isn’t that why you’re there? You will never convince someone who’s already hard-line for a cause. You’re whole purpose in protest is to convince the people in the middle, who aren’t firmly decided. To ignore them, or even chase them off, is just shooting yourself in the foot.
But… also not particularly shocking. The majority of the protesters were — by appearance — black block-ers. The people who go to ANY protest, in all black, wearing masks and imagining themselves to be the hard-core true-believers. My biggest problem with the black block, besides the fact that most of them are just obnoxious little pricks who protest because that’s what “you’re supposed to do”, is that they always do it with their face covered. Attending a public protest with your face covered is meaningless. You protest because you want to stand up and say that no matter what the risk, I personally support this cause. To do so in a mask removes any personal commitment, making you a useless twat.
And of all the things to be pissed about — to choose scientology says just as much about you as it does about them. They absolutely have some questionable practices. And I have a real problem with anyone who isn’t open to questions. But in just about every major religion you’ll find all the same basic issues as you do in Scientology. They all expect money… (tithing would have you give 10% of your income to the church). Mormons are just as secretive about their buildings and papers. Jehova’s Witnesses have difficult and questionable restrictions on medical practices. I don’t believe the scale at which the Scientologists do these same practices warrants this special attention. And on the chart of fucked-up institutions and practices that humanity inflicts upon itself, they don’t even make the Top 100.
In the end, I don’t care what they yelled at me. And if they want to film me, it just adds on to all the tourists’ shots I probably already show up in ever summer. And attacking me just for taking pictures of people acting strangely on the streets of one of the main tourist locations in the country makes them no different than the cop who stopped me a week after September 11, 2001 for taking a picture of an empty street. I’m sure the black block will love that comparison.

I’m off… / December 22, 2006 / Comment on this

I am off in about an hour and a half, to spend Christmas with my family. (Am I worried about people knowing my apartment will be vacant? No. I have the attack cat.)
So I’m flying home at the last minute to be with the family. Very Norman Rockwell. You know… if his families were a bit more … hostile.
My mother has been talking up her new neighbor. A “cute, young, single girl.” Again… very christmas made-for-tv movie. At the very least, there will be a cute girl near by. Never happened while I was growing up in that town.

I was working on an ad for a client earlier this week. And at about 3 in the morning, I saw something that made me think of college. And I said to myself… “hey, self, why don’t you do a version of the ad in the style of every piece of design that ever came out of that school. So I did. Mostly as just an exercise in nostalgia, for me. Yes… I can be just as good as people with 9 years less experience than me.
Of course… the client chose that version. Loved it.

Americans suck.
I watched maybe the first 5 minutes of the news tonight, and yelled at the TV at least 5 times. There was just too much stupid for my filters to handle. The other senator Rep from the 5th Congressional District from Virginia said, on TV, that he was offended by the new Islamic Senator wanting to be sworn in on the Koran. (Would you ask a Christian Senator to be sworn in on the Torah?!) And he bragged how he would never touch a Koran with ‘these hands’, and never have one in his office. (“I hate you and everything you stand for!” “What do I stand for?” “I don’t know, but I’m sure I hate it!”).
This story was immediately followed by a story about the Soldiers being charged in Iraq after they went on a killing spree after being attacked. They were apparently so upset by the death of their comrade, that even after repelling the attack, they stormed through homes in the area shooting anyone… men, women, and children. On the news, the family of a soldier accused of killing 10 people in this rampage said they were incredibly proud of their son, and that they were incredibly disappointed in and upset with the Marines for prosecuting him.
Fighting for a reason is occasionally understandable, though seldom good. Fighting for vengeance is just animalistic. If he’s guilty, that fucker better spend his life in Leavenworth.

Buying Freedom? / October 22, 2006 / Comment on this

Interesting proposition from Wikipedia founder J. Wales, about what could you do with $100,000,000, in terms of freeing copyrights, with a teaser of the possibility of it becoming reality:

I would like to gather from the community some examples of works you would like to see made free, works that we are not doing a good job of generating free replacements for, works that could in theory be purchased and freed.

Dream big. Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase copyrights to be made available under a free license. What would you like to see purchased and released under a free license?

Photos libraries? textbooks? newspaper archives? Be bold, be specific, be general, brainstorm, have fun with it.

I was recently asked this question by someone who is potentially in a position to make this happen, and he wanted to know what we need, what we dream of, that we can’t accomplish on our own, or that we would expect to take a long time to accomplish on our own.

Reminds me of a thing in Charlie Stross‘ latest book, where the protagonist regularly patents new business ideas and then immediately donates the profitable ones to a foundation that manages free distribution of the concepts.
(found via boingboing)

Agua / August 6, 2006 / Comment on this

I was briefly talking to someone today about what comes after we stop fighting about oil. (If all else fails, when it runs out, there’s nothing left to fight over). And I said, as I’ve thought for a while, that drinking water is the next big resource to cause conflicts. While I can’t remember the exact countries, there’s already UN Water monitoring stations in some of the southern former-Soviet republics, to prevent the countries from going to war over usage rights for drinking water from rivers. And today, Sri Lanka started bombing the Tamil Tigers again, after negotiations hosted by Norway over water rights fell apart.
Just in case ya thought things would get better soon.

Tenuous Grip on Reality / April 13, 2006 / Comment on this

Have you ever read Syrup, by Max Barry*? Pretty good book, released years ago. Focuses on a drink concept created by a man, and his attempts to maintain control of it long enough to get Coke to give him money for it. Product is named Fukk, and comes in a sleek brown container. Very angsty and shit. (No… really, I have a point here.) So I was waiting in line at the Soviet Safeway on Monday, and I notice a stack of Coke bottles on the floor. In slick black containers. With the name “Bläk” on them. At the exact same time, I both wanted desperately to buy one, while hating the thought of what went into that product if it was anything like Barry’s story.
*Barry spelled his name with two Xs on that book, as a joke.
Hispanic Protest March in Washington DC
That same day, I decided to go down and check out the Hispanic Immigration protest marches on the National Mall. I wasn’t expecting too much. I’d only heard of this particular march the day before. And marches that take place on a weekday are typically pretty small. But almost as soon as I stepped out of my front door, I knew something was up. The one sure thing to scare off the few locals who are willing to descend into the tourist regions of DC is to tell them there is a major protest or event going on near the Mall. But As soon as I left my apartment, a good 8 to 10 blocks form the Mall, I was surrounded by locals heading down there. Mostly hispanic families. Whole families, with grandparents, people fresh out of work, and babies in strollers. Several times I passed a pickup with a bed full of shouting people and waving flags. By the time I made it to Pennsylvania Avenue, I was caught up in a huge wave in people flowing onto the Mall. Another wave of almost equal size was flowing out of the Mall. By the time I got up to the Mall proper, it was really enough to stop you in your tracks. The entire Mall, full, practically shoulder to shoulder, with people, mostly hispanic. Tens of thousands of people at least. Bigger than 90% of the major gatherings I’ve seen on the Mall. The size of the Protest was staggering enough, primarily because I wasn’t expecting it. But a few other things rather quickly stood out. People who come to DC to protest are usually upset. They’re pissed an they want to make sure everyone knows it. Their signs are angry, their chants are angry, their costumes are angry. But at the Protest this week, everyone was smiling. Everyone was cheering. (Something I’ve never heard on the Mall in 8 years here). It had to be the most positive experience I’ve ever seen in DC. Sure these people wanted change. But they didn’t come in saying “you fucked us over”. They said “we love it here”. “we want to live here”. “We’ll do anything for this place, if you’ll just give us the chance”. And everybody was waving the American flag, in one way or another. Flags on poles. Flags on sticks. Handkerchief flags. Flags as capes. Flags as shirts. Flags as signs. 50… 100,000 flags, all being waved every time a cheer went up. These people, who were there to protest some seriously disturbing bills aimed at them and people who help them, were more positive about America than any other group I’ve seen bring their message to DC.
Anyway…
Since Monday morning I’ve been torturing myself over a project. It’s not particularly complicated. And I had no trouble coming up with some clean layouts that looked just fine. For various reasons they were just fine as is, really. But I really wanted to come up with some stronger “concept” behind the whole thing. But there were just so many things working against me. The type of project, the resources I had to work with. The nature of the client’s personality. So it drove me nuts for three days. This afternoon I told myself it wasn’t worth it anymore, and packaged up everything to deliver to the client. And after 15 minutes discussion, they narrowed it down to exactly those early, safe versions I worked up in 5 minutes on Monday morning.
Did I mention their “new” logo strongly resembles cigarette packaging?

Audrey Tautou / February 8, 2006 / Comment on this

Audrey Tautou, of Amelie fame, is going to star in the movie version of The DaVinci Code.

Oil for China / January 23, 2006 / Comment on this

This a day after watching Syriana, where it was a major plot point: “China has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia that may boost Beijing’s purchases of Saudi oil. The deal came during a visit by Saudi King Abdullah to the Chinese capital.” — Voice of America

anti-drug officials arrested for smuggling cocaine / November 16, 2005 / Comment on this

Guatemala’s two top anti-drug officials and one police officer were arrested in the United States for attempting to smuggle cocaine, Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Vielmann said on Wednesday.xinhuanet.com

guy falkes 400th anniversary / November 6, 2005 / Comment on this

Remember, remember
the Fifth of November
gunpowder treason and plot.
I see no reason
why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

eminent domain / November 4, 2005 / Comment on this

The bill would withhold for two years all federal economic development funds from states and localities that use economic development as a rationale for property seizures. It also would bar the federal government from using eminent domain powers for economic development. – San Francisco Gate

no common sense / October 17, 2005 / Comment on this

When a high school student takes a picture of themselves giving the thumbs-down to a tacked up magazine photo of The Shrub — as part of a project on the Bill of Rights –, the photo developer turns it over to the police, who refer it to the Secret Service. The Secret Service proceeds to show up at the school, question the student, and confiscate the poster. I’ll give it to the student… he was more polite to the SS than I would be.

Miers won’t withdraw / October 13, 2005 / Comment on this

Uh oh… bad sign. Reports that Bush says Miers won’t withdraw herself from consideration for the U.S. Supreme Court. I give it less than a week now before she withdraws, sword in chest.

Miers nominated to the Bench / October 7, 2005 / Comment on this

As recent as yesterday, there is speculation that Ms. Miers will withdraw her name for consideration for the Supreme Court. Today, the Shrub is predicting that she will be confired. Someone is tragically out of touch. Of course, on both sides, it really amounts to nothing more than geurilla marketing.

From an ABC news story: / October 1, 2005 / Comment on this

From an ABC news story:

The draft report of the federal government’s emergency plan predicts that as many as 200 million Americans could be infected and 200,000 could die within a few months if the avian flu came to the United States. Right now, there is no vaccine to stop the flu.

There’s a special place in / October 1, 2005 / Comment on this

There’s a special place in hell reserved for people who lay on the horn while commuting through a residential neighborhood.

Passive-aggressiveness is the last resort / October 1, 2005 / Comment on this

Passive-aggressiveness is the last resort of the weak-minded. Not the the stupid.

Excellent overheard quote: / October 1, 2005 / Comment on this

Excellent overheard quote:

It’s better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you pretend to be.

a little house-cleaning / June 9, 2005 / Comment on this

From Randi Rhodes, a terrible radio host, who stumbled on a few good ideas for news media:

First, Congress must act to adopt standards for labeling a broadcast as NEWS. There is a right to a free press expressly guaranteed to each and every one of us, and yet there are no standards for corporations who brand themselves as news providers. We had standards for sitcom families and their sleeping arrangements. We have language standards for radio stations, but no news standards that define what journalistic principles must be present in order to brand as news.

If I may insert a note here: Wether you know it or not, this has actually gone to court. In an unlawful termination case against Fox, the court eventually ruled that there is no requirement that the news be true.

Second, I think we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine which served this country well from 1949 through 1987. It simply guarantees competing viewpoints on issues of public importance. There’s never been and Equal Time requirement as is widely believed. We viewed station licensees to be “public trustees” and therefore, they had an obligation to present different viewpoints on issues of public importance. License holders were also required to actively seek out stories of interest to the public and air programs addressing those issues.

Thirdly, finally and most importantly, we need to protect our journalists. They must be free to report and never be penalized with lost access to the people they cover or with retribution from partisan employers. Journalists have died covering Afghanistan and Iraq in numbers that surpass the numbers of lost journalists in Viet Nam. And that is saying a lot. Coverage of Viet Nam went on in earnest for 12 years. Yet in just 2 and a half years there have been more journalists killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dunno if I agree with number 3. How the hell do you “protect journalists’. If anything, I would prefer journalists had less to do with American soldiers and such. I think if you’re going to travel into a war-torn area to talk to and take pictures of lots of people, then you better fucking well be prepared for the consequences.

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Google owns Blogger, right? And Google has a half decent translation service for web pages. So why don’t they add a “translate this page” link to the blogspot header on Blogspot-hosted pages?

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brought to you by the Washington Post and several administration officials who wouldn’t know ethics from a hole in their backside:

“The White House said Wednesday that changes in government reports on global warming by a former oil industry lobbyist were part of a normal review and did not violate a pledge to rely on sound science.”

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On the party in power refusing to give credentials to people who didn’t support them in the last election, to attend a telecommunications conference in central America:

The White House admits as much: “We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively, and–call us nutty–it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that,” says White House spokesman Trent Duffy. Those barred from the trip include employees of Qualcomm and Nokia, two of the largest telecom firms operating in the U.S., as well as Ibiquity, a digital-radio-technology company in Columbia, Md. One nixed participant, who has been to many of these telecom meetings and who wants to remain anonymous, gave just $250 to the Democratic Party. Says Nokia vice president Bill Plummer: “We do not view sending experts to international meetings on telecom issues to be a partisan matter. We would welcome clarification from the White House.”

TIME.com: Any Kerry Supporters On The Line? May. 02, 2005
So we’re so concerned that certified experts in telecommunications be supportive of the administration — not the country, but the administration — that we won’t let them talk to other people about… you know… telecommunications.
More and more there’s a disconnect between the US and the world. I mean… literally. I’m constantly being reminded of the scene in Channel Zero where the protagonist, after being exiled from the US, discusses with a foreign reporter the difference in realities, between what you see from within the united states, and what you see from the outside. An all pervasive control of reality, at the borders.

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There’s something wrong with running hot dog and Perdue chicken commercials on Animal Planet.

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And only two years after I first brought it up, the FBI finally arrested the Pentagon employee who was passing secrets to Israel. If you can’t find a way to get out of the country to somewhere without an extradition treaty in two years… well you probably deserve what’s coming to you.

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Anyway… if I may paraphrase an email I recently sent Lea:

“Me? Now? I work. I work a lot. And, you know, then I work more. Working for myself, I have worse hours and longer days than I did with other jobs. But I don’t hate it. I ended up hating my last job, with passion. When I climbed in the elevator every morning, it felt a little more claustrophobic each day. So while I may panic now about a schedule, and am never sure where the next job is coming from… I feel like every day is lived in a wide-open space. (I take the stairs a lot.). And hey… the next job keeps coming.”

Fuck Art – part 3 / February 18, 2005 / Comment on this

Not only is he not allowed to replicate a painting by Michelangelo, but he gets in trouble for using the word “love”:

“He painted Eve as God created her: nude. And when he finished including the bare-bosomed Biblical first woman, he inscribed the word “love” on the mural that covers the outside wall of his Roseville art studio.

“In Ed (Gonzo) Stross’ eyes, his variation on Michelangelo’s “Creation of Man” mural is art. In 39A District Judge Marco Santia’s eyes, it’s a crime.

“Santia ordered jail time, a fine and probation — a sentence that sounds a little harsh to a state senator, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and fellow artists.

“Santia ordered Stross, 43, to serve 30 days in jail, do two years’ probation and pay a $500 fine for violating a city sign ordinance. Roseville officials said letters were prohibited on the mural and Eve’s exposed chest is indecent.”

Detroit Free Press

Naked Chicks, Cash, and Comic Books / February 1, 2005 / Comment on this

I sometimes think that if it weren’t for porn, I wouldn’t remember what a naked woman looks like. I mean, ya know, if I relied on Picasso or DuChamp … imagine what my expectations for the female body would be.
I heard a story in passing, the other day, about people lining up at banks in California for the release of their new state quarter. I’ve been trying all night to decide if that’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. Checking your change as you empty your pockets? Fine. Even stopping when you travel to pick up something special coin from that state… fine. But to go and line up, waiting for the release of a new coin for your own state, of which only a few million will be imprinted… it just feels wrong. Wait a few weeks and visit a laundromat. You probably won’t have to wait in line at the change machine… and you may even get your clothes washed.
Went to an incredibly depressing comic convention the other day at the Metro Hilton. Maybe 7 or 8 local dealers with just boxes of old books. SPXpo has spoiled me. It’s filled with creators… writers and artists and publishers; not just a dealer with a bunch of crates who could care less what you buy so long as it’s something. That whole thing I mentioned before about Eastern Market applies here… not only do you get a piece of art, but you get to connect for brief time with the person who brought it to life.
People seem to be conspiring to keep me in business. Barely a day goes by lately that I don’t talk to someone about a new project.

Survey Finds First Amendment Is Being Left Behind in U.S. High Schools / January 31, 2005 / Comment on this

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new national study, the largest of its kind, says America’s high schools are leaving the First Amendment behind.
In particular, educators are failing to give high school students an appreciation of the First Amendment’s guarantees of free speech and a free press, say researchers from the University of Connecticut, who questioned more than 100,000 high school students, nearly 8,000 teachers, and more than 500 administrators and principals.
The two-year, $1 million research project, titled ‘The Future of the First Amendment,’ was commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The survey suggests that First Amendment rights — freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, of assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances — would be universally known if they were classroom staples.
‘High school attitudes about the First Amendment are important because each generation of citizens helps define what freedom means in our society,’ the report reads.
Among its findings:
Nearly three-fourths of high school students either do not know how they feel about the First Amendment or admit they take it for granted.
Seventy-five percent erroneously think flag burning is illegal.
Half believe the government can censor the Internet.
More than a third think the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees.
‘These results are not only disturbing; they are dangerous,’ said Knight Foundation President and CEO Hodding Carter III. ‘Ignorance about the basics of this free society is a danger to our nation’s future.’”

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Fuck Art – No. 2 / November 12, 2004 / Comment on this

Parents and students say they are outraged and offended by a proposed band name and song scheduled for a high school talent show in Boulder this evening, but members of the band, named Coalition of the Willing, said the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. The students told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver they are performing Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War” during the Boulder High School Talent Expose because they are Dylan fans. They said they want to express their views and show off their musical abilities.

But some students and adults who heard the band rehearse called a radio talk show Thursday morning, saying the song the band sang ended with a call for President Bush to die. Threatening the president is a federal crime, so the Secret Service was called to the school to investigate. Students in the band said they’re just singing the lyrics and not inciting anyone to do anything.

The 1963 song ends with the lyrics: “You might say that I’m young. You might say I’m unlearned, but there’s one thing I know, though I’m younger than you, even Jesus would never forgive what you do! And I hope that you die and your death’ll come soon. I will follow your casket in the pale afternoon. And I’ll watch while you’re lowered down to your deathbed. And I’ll stand o’er your grave ’til I’m sure that you’re dead.”

abc.com
You gotta love that the principle stood behind the students. The students went on to perform the song anyway. Fuck the stepford wives who wanted otherwise.
This is the same school where students held a sit-in demanding to meet with representatives from the state political parties after the Shrub won the election.
Side note to head Stepford Wife James Lemons: You don’t live in a democracy. Your taxes do not give you a vote in everything that happens. You live in a republic, where your represented by someone who makes decisions in your place. There’s no promise that those are the decisions you would make. Civil rights have never been wanted by the voting majority. War is never wanted by the voting majority. The most inspiring and monumental art in history has never been representative of the majority.
So bite me.

Fuck Art – No. 1 / November 12, 2004 / Comment on this

“ABC affiliates in at least eight states will not televise the network’s broadcast of the World War II film “Saving Private Ryan” because they fear repercussions from U.S. regulators.

“Affiliates in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia said they were worried about running afoul of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington.”

cnn.com

Swiftboats and Moles and Machinery, Oh My! / August 28, 2004 / Comment on this

There’s good money in this city, being spent on large pieces of machinery that lift heavy stuff hundreds of feet in the air and place it on top of or inside other heavy stuff. Six or seven years I’ve been here, and I’ve never seen this level of construction going on. But nothing looks different.

There seems to be great amounts of concern raised over John Kerry’s former co-soldiers, and their accusations that he falsified his combat reports 30 years ago. Nobody seems to be speaking much about the likelihood that it is just another Bush-campaign tactic. Maybe it’s so obvious that it’s beyond discussing.
At the least, you would think it would be bigger news that 2 unrelated senior Bush campaign staff have resigned their positions after it coming to light that they consulted for the organization making the accusations.
Are you looking at me, and saying, “Who cares how it came to light, so long as someone brought out this truth!”? Well… I would only recommend that you remember this is politics, where truth is whatever the winners say it is. One of the men who show up in the TV ad making the accusations against John Kerry is on video tape from 8 years ago standing next to John Kerry extolling the candidates war record. So, again, whose ethics are questionable?
I’ve seen quite a bit of evidence that Kerry is a putz, and typical scumbag politician as well. But he doesn’t have a record of using the media as his own heat-seeking missile to take out anyone who makes life uncomfortable for him. Unlike some incumbents I might mention.

There’s a story in yesterday’s news about the FBI preparing to arrest an unspecified Israeli mole working in a high-level position at the Pentagon. The story is stupid enough on it’s own. That’s not the kind of story that accidentally leaks. It’s the modern equivalent of Elmer Fudd telling Bugs Bunny, “I’m hunting wabbits!”. Assuming it’s true, and that the person may be too high level of worker to simply run away, how much time do you really want to give them to prepare their defense, to establish alibis, and to destroy evidence?
The article made some interesting comments. They referred to the all-powerful “source who wishes to remain anonymous”. This naturally evoke discussions in the back of a crowded bar, or hushed telephone exchanges on the street. But the following paragraph referred to, “… the source, during their video interview with reporters …”. Does your source really have any right or expectation to remain anonymous when they are giving video interviews to multiple reporters at one time?
The point the article was emphasizing, and I doubt it came from the FBI who is the investigative agency involved, is that this Israeli source was placed in this position primarily to affect US policy towards Iran, Iraq, and Syria. The article, and several others, hammered this point home repeatedly. You’d have to be Helen Keller not to see the obvious implications. Yet another reason we’re not really responsible for all those dead Iraqis. Really. Look! They made us do it!. Uh HUH!

Damn, it’s hot today.

Disney: Am I Full of Shit or Not / July 1, 2004 / Comment on this

Disney refused to release Michael Moore’s newest movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, claiming it was too mean and gritty for their image.
Today, Hyperion Publishing, which is, you know, a subsidiary of Disney, paid $300,000 for the rights to a book from a Senate intern who was briefly famous a month or so back for publicizing her anal-sex-for-money adventures with some big name politicians.
Disney: Hypocritical or Just plain crap. You decide!
(When do you think was the last time any of my journal entries made it past a single bad-language web filter?)

State of the Union as seen from UK / January 21, 2004 / Comment on this

Published by the lndependent/UK
Today the President gives his annual address. As the election battle begins, how does his first term add up?
232: Number of American combat deaths in Iraq between May 2003 and January 2004
501: Number of American servicemen to die in Iraq from the beginning of the war – so far
0: Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender to the Allies in May 1945
0: Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home from Iraq that the Bush administration has allowed to be photographed
0: Number of funerals or memorials that President Bush has attended for soldiers killed in Iraq
100: Number of fund-raisers attended by Bush or Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2003
13: Number of meetings between Bush and Tony Blair since he became President
10 million: Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, setting an all-time record for simultaneous protest
2: Number of nations that Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into the White House
9.2: Average number of American soldiers wounded in Iraq each day since the invasion in March last year
1.6: Average number of American soldiers killed in Iraq per day since hostilities began
16,000: Approximate number of Iraqis killed since the start of war
10,000: Approximate number of Iraqi civilians killed since the beginning of the conflict
$100 billion: Estimated cost of the war in Iraq to American citizens by the end of 2003
$13 billion: Amount other countries have committed towards rebuilding Iraq (much of it in loans) as of 24 October
36%: Increase in the number of desertions from the US army since 1999
92%: Percentage of Iraq’s urban areas that had access to drinkable water a year ago
60%: Percentage of Iraq’s urban areas that have access to drinkable water today
32%: Percentage of the bombs dropped on Iraq this year that were not precision-guided
1983: The year in which Donald Rumsfeld gave Saddam Hussein a pair of golden spurs
45%: Percentage of Americans who believed in early March 2003 that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks on the US
$127 billion: Amount of US budget surplus in the year that Bush became President in 2001
$374 billion: Amount of US budget deficit in the fiscal year for 2003
1st: This year’s deficit is on course to be the biggest in United States history
$1.58 billion: Average amount by which the US national debt increases each day
$23,920: Amount of each US citizen’s share of the national debt as of 19 January 2004
1st: The record for the most bankruptcies filed in a single year (1.57 million) was set in 2002
10: Number of solo press conferences that Bush has held since beginning his term. His father had managed 61 at this point in his administration, and Bill Clinton 33
1st: Rank of the US worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions per capita
$113 million: Total sum raised by the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, setting a record in American electoral history
$130 million: Amount raised for Bush’s re-election campaign so far
$200m: Amount that the Bush-Cheney campaign is expected to raise in 2004
$40m: Amount that Howard Dean, the top fund-raiser among the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls, amassed in 2003
28: Number of days holiday that Bush took last August, the second longest holiday of any president in US history (Record holder: Richard Nixon)
13: Number of vacation days the average American worker receives each year
3: Number of children convicted of capital offences executed in the US in 2002. America is only country openly to acknowledge executing children
1st: As Governor of Texas, George Bush executed more prisoners (152) than any governor in modern US history
2.4 million: Number of Americans who have lost their jobs during the three years of the Bush administration
221,000: Number of jobs per month created since Bush’s tax cuts took effect. He promised the measure would add 306,000
1,000: Number of new jobs created in the entire country in December. Analysts had expected a gain of 130,000
1st: This administration is on its way to becoming the first since 1929 (Herbert Hoover) to preside over an overall loss of jobs during its complete term in office
9 million: Number of US workers unemployed in September 2003
80%: Percentage of the Iraqi workforce now unemployed
55%: Percentage of the Iraqi workforce unemployed before the war
43.6 million: Number of Americans without health insurance in 2002
130: Number of countries (out of total of 191 recognized by the United Nations) with an American military presence
40%: Percentage of the world’s military spending for which the US is responsible
$10.9 million: Average wealth of the members of Bush’s original 16-person cabinet
88%: Percentage of American citizens who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of 2003 cut in capital gains and dividends taxes
$42,000: Average savings members of Bush’s cabinet are expected to enjoy this year as a result in the cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes
$42,228: Median household income in the US in 2001
$116,000: Amount Vice-President Cheney is expected to save each year in taxes
44%: Percentage of Americans who believe the President’s economic growth plan will mostly benefit the wealthy
700: Number of people from around the world the US has incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
1st: George W Bush became the first American president to ignore the Geneva Conventions by refusing to allow inspectors access to US-held prisoners of war
+6%: Percentage change since 2001 in the number of US families in poverty
1951: Last year in which a quarterly rise in US military spending was greater than the one the previous spring
54%: Percentage of US citizens who believe Bush was legitimately elected to his post
1st: First president to execute a federal prisoner in the past 40 years. Executions are typically ordered by separate states and not at federal level
9: Number of members of Bush’s defense policy board who also sit on the corporate board of, or advise, at least one defense contractor
35: Number of countries to which US has suspended military assistance after they failed to sign agreements giving Americans immunity from prosecution before the International Criminal Court
$300 million: Amount cut from the federal program that provides subsidies to poor families so they can heat their homes
$1 billion: Amount of new US military aid promised Israel in April 2003 to offset the “burdens” of the US war on Iraq
58 million: Number of acres of public lands Bush has opened to road building, logging and drilling
200: Number of public-health and environmental laws Bush has attempted to downgrade or weaken
29,000: Number of American troops – which is close to the total of a whole army division – to have either been killed, wounded, injured or become so ill as to require evacuation from Iraq, according to the Pentagon
90%: Percentage of American citizens who said they approved of the way George Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 26 September, 2001
53%: Percentage of American citizens who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 16 January, 2004
© 2004 Independent Digital (UK)

BBC to open archives online / August 24, 2003 / Comment on this

The BBC has announced that they will be putting their entire archives, radio and television, online for free downloads.
That is just fucking cool.

Flash and Bang / August 21, 2003 / Comment on this

Just to start off on the right foot…
Some of you out there really make me fucking sick. Two days ago there were two major stories in the news:

  1. A truck bomb is set off in front of the local UN headquarters in Baghdad. 20 people are killed and over a hundred are injured.
  2. A drunk bride in East Bumpafuck tries to steal booze from the caterer and ends up getting busted.

And god help me, but for a day and a half, the bigger news story was the bimbo with the bottle. Even Jay Leno was making fun of it.
It’s not even worth lecturing how ridiculous that #2 was a news story AT ALL.. But the fact that any newscaster had the cahones to mention it in the same broadcast as the attack on the UN… well… calling it sad is not even in the ballpark.
Diplomacy has been under attack for a couple decades now. Embassies and Diplomats have been the foundation of international relations for hundreds of years. They’re the basis of civilized interaction among nations and states. How many wars must have been averted, and how many lives saved, by the last minute talk at an embassy.
And the ONLY thing that makes Embassies and Diplomats special is their immunity to external pressures. The cannot be tried under local laws. Their property is sovereign to their own nation. And they must not be subjects of military assault.
But assaulted is just what they have been, for several decades now. How many embassies have been bombed in the last 10 years? How many diplomatic teams have been assaulted, abducted, and killed?
The UN is the epicenter of the Diplomatic ideal. No longer is each nation required to maintain expensive embassies in every other country. Everyone can come together in one place to express themselves.
And two days ago, the epitome of the untouchable foundation of civilization was blown the fuck up.

And in more news today, the USA annexes the U.N.
Apparently.
Press release out of Washington indicates that the assault ‘on american forces in Iraq’ has changed from guerilla, one-on-one assaults, to large scale terrorist attacks.

For those of you who remember Afghanistan, and how we kicked butt over there…
More than 60 people have died in the last week in military and guerilla assaults.
And this is the country where we have declared success.

What complete fucking loser thought up the idea of FlashMobs?
The name FlashMobs could on have come from the fact that a lot of people show up in one place quickly and stand around for a few minutes. That, though, is called being a loser with too much time on your hands.
Some people have the belief that this is some amazing modern event.
Why?
You get a message to go do something boring in a couple days with a bunch of strangers. That’s not modern… that’s a tupperware party.
EVERY fucking person on earth but me has a cell phone. Set up phone trees and arrange these meetups only an hour or two beforehand. And the whole ‘standing around’ thing…. it’s no longer irony. It’s you trying to wear the cool clothes six months too late.
Years ago, people held sudden, unexpected parties on subway trains. That was 20 times cooler than these flashmobs.
Gather people and do something meaningful. Do something adventurous. Be pissed off and do something vocal.
When the White House threatens to invade Luxembourg, arrange massive protests within the hour, and tell InternationalANSWER to go fuck themselves and their collection bins.

what to do / August 14, 2003 / Comment on this

The Shrub says he is “watching what is going on with the California recall election, but will let the voters decide what to do”.
As if he had a f’n choice.

c://run Smite / June 4, 2003 / Comment on this

A Christian group in Orlando is calling for a lifting of the no-fly ban over Walt Disney World so that they can charter airplanes to drag anti-gay banners over the park during Gay Days, an unofficial gathering of gays and lesbians at the park.

local6.com

To quote Keir, “Yep. Need a ‘Smite’ button.”

what a day / February 1, 2003 / Comment on this

7 dead on the Space Shuttle Columbia
40 dead in a Zimbabwe train crash
Over 100,000 rioting in the Ivory Coast
What a fucking day.

Shuttle Columbia goes Down. / February 1, 2003 / Comment on this

shit.

Rumesfeld meets Saddam / January 8, 2003 / Comment on this

Penn Gillette / January 4, 2003 / Comment on this

” Last Thursday I was flying to LA on the Midnight flight. I went through security my usual sour stuff. I beeped, of course, and was shuttled to the “toss-em” line. A security guy came over. I assumed the position. I had a button up shirt on that was untucked. He reached around while he was behind me and grabbed around my front pocket. I guess he was going for my flashlight, but the area could have loosely been called “crotch.” I said, “You have to ask me before you touch me or it’s assault.”

“He said, “Once you cross that line, I can do whatever I want.”

“I said that wasn’t true. I say that I have the option of saying no and not flying. He said, “Are you going to let me search you, or do I just throw you out?”

“I said, “Finish up, and then call the police please.” “

Penn Gillette
I think I love this man.

IM / December 17, 2002 / Comment on this

“The patent (6449344), originally filed in 1997, and granted in September this year, gives AOL instant messaging subsidiary ICQ rights as the inventor of the popular IM Internet application. The patent covers anything resembling a network that lets multiple IM users see when other people are present and then communicate with them. “

CNET.com
The problem with this, as anyone who ever used the Talk or Phone functions under Unix of Vax will tell you, is that the idea of messaging people is not new, and was not even when ICQ first appeared.

300 underwater cars / December 15, 2002 / Comment on this

“Nearly 3,000 new luxury cars on board a carrier ship which sank in the English Channel are almost certainly write-offs, salvage experts have said.

BBC
There is some evil little guy on my left shoulder reveling in all this. Any dumbass who spends the equivilant of a small country’s GDP on a gas guzzeling, poluting, wreck of a mode of transit deserves to see it end up at the bottom of the English Channel.

RIP BBC / December 6, 2002 / Comment on this

Okay… newspapers officially all suck.
I usually respected the BBC for presenting more real news. But the fact that they had an article about the outcome of the Winona Ryder court case… there goes all my respect.

Reverent / November 5, 2002 / Comment on this

Boy Scouts kick out avowed atheist

The Seattle Times
Okay… not one reporter who has written about this story seems to know anything about the boy scouts, really.
The guy is an eagle scout. End of the line for boy scouts. He’s effectively done. To get to this stage, you have gone through no less than 5 “boards of review”, including what should be a very thorough one that usually specifically touches on the religion issue to get his Eagle rank.
Which means one of two things:
He either blatantly lied multiple times when confronted with this issue, which makes me question his ethics more than any belief in religion.
or
He was reviewed by people who either never checked his beliefs before or at the time chose to ignore it, which would really make me wonder why they chose to bring it up now, when you cannot do anything to this scout in particular.
He has his Eagle and all the training, skills, and recognition that goes with it. I would have told the Boy Scouts where to stick it.

Aquyilara / October 25, 2002 / Comment on this


Okay,… it’s official. She’s now the sleaziest person in music. Mick Jagger is dead; long live the queen.
Currently on the box: The Day I Went Away from the album “Sleater-Kinney” by Sleater-Kinney

Lizard Lawsuit / October 17, 2002 / Comment on this

“O’Neil is alleging that while she shopped there on Oct. 19, 1999, a creature that appeared to be a lizard jumped out of a tropical plant display, and she tripped over the animal. As a result, she experienced extreme pain and suffering, and permanent injuries, resulting in loss of earnings and the need for hospital care, according to the summons.

“The lawsuit does not tell how the creature got into the store, or what happened to it afterward.”

Finger Lakes Times
I see the stupidity isn’t limited to the big city.

The Big Five music-recording companies / October 15, 2002 / Comment on this

“It’s easy to fail in e-business; what’s hard is failing magnificently. The Big Five music-recording companies have been transcendent in this respect. Their combined efforts have gone beyond killing their e-businesses and are close to destroying an entire industry.”

globetechnology.com
Very cool article from a Canadian journalist, about all the insanely stupid things the record companies have been doing for the last decade.

Gas and War / October 6, 2002 / Comment on this

wave a gun around on a pressurized plane you jackass. / September 20, 2002 / Comment on this

“The incident on Delta Flight 442 was scary enough last month: U.S. marshals seized an unruly passenger, then one aimed a pistol at other passengers for a half hour and shouted at them to stay seated.

“The event, however, didn’t end there. Unknown to most passengers on the Atlanta-to-Philadelphia flight, the marshals upon landing also seized an Indian passenger from first class and silently whisked him away in handcuffs.

“Far from being a terror suspect, the second detainee turned out to be a former U.S. Army major and military doctor from Lake Worth, Fla., where he has had a family practice for two decades. Both detainees later were released without charge, and the physician’s angry account of his ordeal offers a glimpse at the dark side of America’s war on terrorism.”

Philadelphia Inquirer
A couple yokle, gun-nut cops with no training on a flight (in first class where all terrorists hide) and no idea what they’re doing, waving a gun around inside a pressurized vehicle at 30,000 feet.

Punk in School / September 19, 2002 / Comment on this

“When 15-year-old Katie Sierra wore T-shirts bearing this version of the American pledge as well as other sayings that showed her opposition to the war in Afghanistan, teachers and students at her West Virginia High School were outraged. Some students of Sissonville High School allegedly threatened to give Katie a taste of “West Virginia justice”. The school’s principal, Forrest Mann, suspended Katie for three days and forbid her to wear the controversial shirts, saying that her behavior was “disrupting school activity.”

On the morning of Oct. 23, 2001, Katie asked Mann if she could start an anarchy club, so that like-minded or curious students could gather, have reading and discussion groups and do community service. She’d spent all weekend working on a Constitution and Manifesto for the club. “This anarchist club will not tolerate hate or violence,” says her Manifesto. “It is our final goal to dispel myths about anarchism, especially the belief that anarchy is chaos and destruction.”

Forrest Mann didn’t look at her literature before rendering his decision that he would not permit such a club in his school. Katie asked him to read the documents, and though he agreed to read them later he said that he wouldn’t change his mind. “

COURTTV
I am so gonna marry this girl in 5 years.
That’s American schools people… home of theweak and land of the depraved. Their administrators make rush limbough look like a pot smoking peacenik. And they’re teaching your children.

Art & Prozac / September 19, 2002 / Comment on this

“A statue of a falling woman — designed as a memorial to those who jumped or fell to their death from the World Trade Center — was abruptly draped in cloth and curtained off Wednesday because of complaints that it was too disturbing.

“I don’t think it dignifies their deaths,” said Paul Labb. “It’s not art. It is very disrupting when you see it.”

AP
okay… that’s it…
YOU!
Out of the gene pool!
We’re taking that piece of crap landscape you have hanging over your musty ass sofa and burning it.
Art does not ask your permission. Art comes up and spits in your face and asks you what the hell you are gonna do about it.

River found under Sahara / September 17, 2002 / Comment on this

“Russian satellites have discovered a river flowing 700 feet under the Sahara. It carries enough water to supply 50,000 people and is said to surge with ‘colossal power'”

Ananova
Shades of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Yes, you should read it, runt.

staking / September 9, 2002 / Comment on this

U.S. national security agencies are on alert for a terrorist attack after the discovery that a Middle Eastern man carried out suspicious surveillance of the Washington Monument, the Pentagon and other buildings in the area.

The man in question videotaped the Washington Monument on the Mall on Sept. 1 and paced off several distances around the monument, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

The Washington Times
1. When has a single one of these threat warning panned out?
2. When has a single terrorist attack ever occurred on the anniversary of another terrorist attack?
3. Need we even discuss the sheer incredulity of worrying about a man — any man — videotaping the biggest tourist attractions in one of the most visited cities in the world? (Pacing off at the Washingotn Monument? It’s a big spike surrounded by a circle… what the hell else do you do but walk around it?)
4. A man who has done nothing illegal, or even interesting, is the news story… but not the fact that he was illegally robbed by government agents?

niggardly / September 8, 2002 / Comment on this

“Stephanie Bell, a fourth-grade teacher at Williams Elementary School, taught the word "niggardly" to her class last week in an effort to improve her students’ vocabularies.

Now, a parent wants her fired.

Although the word means stingy, Akwana Walker said it was inappropriate to use it because it sounds similar to a racial slur.”

Wilmington Star
People have such terminally short memories.
There is a now old argument that my generation may be the first to do worse than it’s parent’s. (this was before the 1990s of course). But it seems to me the children would be a lot better off if it weren’t for such ignorant parents.

Amber alert / September 5, 2002 / Comment on this

“The legislation would also provide $25 million in federal matching grants to states to help them buy electronic highway signs and other equipment needed to set up an Amber alert system, as well as education and training programs.”

CNN.com
Okay… now wasn’t the point of the Amber alert system that it utilized existing resources to spread the word?
Why the fuck is the government offering anywhere from 25 to 100 million dollars for this program? Even if you hired 3 people in each state to manage the program at a cost of $50,000 each with expenses of $100,000 for each state, and all this seems generous on my part, and wholly unwarrented considering the origin of the program…would only amount to $12.5 million.
Keeping in mind the federal funds for the cheapest plan are matching funds, this means only 6.25 million would be needed. But that number would not make it sound like the government was really putting support behind the program.
Government solutions: throw money at the problem till it goes away.
After all.. it worked with Iran. And Nicaragua. And Afghanastan. And…
um… nevermind.

Britney turned on by lesbian porn / September 4, 2002 / Comment on this

You just can’t make this shit up:
Britney turned on by lesbian porn: Pop star gets tight with sultry adult-movie queen
We now have every teenage boys wet dream.

Nazi Punks, Fuck Off / August 26, 2002 / Comment on this


Counter-protest to the Nazi rally at the Capitol this weekend.

Timothy McVeigh / August 25, 2002 / Comment on this

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”

Ann Coulter

Secret Court Rebuffs Ashcroft / August 23, 2002 / Comment on this

“The secretive federal court that approves spying on terror suspects in the United States has refused to give the Justice Department broad new powers, saying the government had misused the law and misled the court dozens of times, according to an extraordinary legal ruling released yesterday.

“A May 17 opinion by the court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) alleges that Justice Department and FBI officials supplied erroneous information to the court in more than 75 applications for search warrants and wiretaps, including one signed by then-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.

“Authorities also improperly shared intelligence information with agents and prosecutors handling criminal cases in New York on at least four occasions, the judges said.”

Washington Post

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton visits Geneva / August 21, 2002 / Comment on this

“U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be in town next week focusing on the environment.

“Local officials confirmed this morning that the junior senator will be making a stop in Geneva Thursday, Aug. 29. A time and location will be announced later. The event will be open to the public.”

The Finger Lakes Times
I lived in that shitty little town for 22 years. Ronald McDonald and Grimace were the most famous people I ever saw.
Then I move to DC, and lived here through 3 years of the Clinton presidency. Never saw anyone from the white house in the flesh.
Now the power-hungry runt is visiting my hometown.

The Insider’s Guide to Real Policing in Washington DC / August 21, 2002 / Comment on this

The Insider’s Guide to Real Policing in Washington DC

ban the koran / August 19, 2002 / Comment on this

“A federal appeals court refused Monday to halt a program to expose new students at the University of North Carolina to information about the Koran.

“Attorneys for a conservative Christian group on Friday had asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to stop Monday’s discussion sessions of a book that interprets the Islamic holy text. Members of the Virginia-based Family Policy Network and three unidentified UNC-Chapel Hill freshmen contended the assignment was unconstitutional.”

WashingtonPost.com
Yup. There’s no surer way to end a period of great social upheaval and strife than by trying to stop people from understanding the very basis of the greatest misunderstanding.
It is an extreme interpretation of the Qur’an which leads many people to do stupid things. So the best idea some Tipper Gore wanna-be can come up with is to stop students from reading said document in hopes of understanding the roots of the issue?!
Man, I didn’t know these lawyers were done with the case against teaching evolution in schools. It’s no wonder this is a nation of culturally ignorant and intellectually stagnant rednecks.

Butterfly Meets Bazooka / August 17, 2002 / Comment on this

Butterfly Meets Bazooka

FSB Calls FBI Agent an Illegal Hacker / August 17, 2002 / Comment on this

“”If Russian hackers can be convicted on evidence obtained by the Americans through hacking, it means the U.S. secret services may use further illegal means of obtaining information in Russia and in other countries,” an FSB spokesman told Interfax on Thursday.”

The Moscow Times
Good point.
Apparently search warrants are only necessary when dealing with God-fearing American citizens, as opposed to those heathen fer’ners.
(Unless of course you’re a member of the RIAA, in which case you can do whatever the hell you please, without being held responsible.)

17th Street Truck Ban / August 9, 2002 / Comment on this

“The U.S. Secret Service as of today will ban most trucks on an eight-block stretch of 17th Street NW just west of the White House because of the threat of potential truck bombs, D.C. and federal officials said.”

Washington Post

They’re lying to you.
My guess would be it’s the SS that is the one misleading. They already have a reputation for insane security precautions. And they currently have a president who demands more security than any in history.
The White House is already secure from any reasonable truck bombs. From t he front and back of the White House, you can approach no closer than the rough equivalent of 2 city blocks. And to each side are building so massive that they easily dwarf many times over the 300 unit apartment building in which I live. Buildings so large they would absorb the largest truck bombs I have ever seen.
They lie.
Now ask why.

Same-Sex Unmarried Partner Data / August 8, 2002 / Comment on this

fact n. (‘fakt):a piece of information presented as having objective reality – in fact : in truth
“1) Same-sex spouse responses were flagged as invalid to comply with the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act (H.R. 3396) passed by the 104th Congress. This act instructs all federal agencies only to recognize opposite-sex marriages for the purposes of enacting any agency programs. In order for Census Bureau data to be consistent with this act and the data requirements of other federal agencies, same-sex spouse responses were invalidated. The legislation defines marriage and spouse as follows:

“In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.”

“In order for the Census Bureau to be consistent with this act and the data requirements of other federal agencies, same-sex “spouse” responses were invalidated. “

The U.S. Census Bureau

security in the skies / August 5, 2002 / Comment on this

“British tourist Judy Powell, 55, bought a GI Joe doll in America as a gift for her seven-year-old grandson George.
“Security officials at Los Angeles airport found the toy — similar to Action Man — when they searched Judy’s bags before she boarded a flight to London.
“Then they took the figure out of its box and confiscated its tiny replica Armalite rifle.”

The Sun
Stupid, inbred, moronic, bonehead.
The security guards say they were simply following instructions to “confiscate anything that looks like a weapon or a replica”. This is what happens when you put people who could reason their way out of a tent in charge of securing a high traffic gateway.
These are the same people I saw on a recent trip to Texas. The guard who made me feel the safest was working the cummuter flight building at DFW. He must have weighed at least 300 lbs, all fat. I’m not sure if he could walk, because the entire time I watched him, he was leaning back in a chair, (a truley strong chair), facing the doorway; presumably guarding it. To be fair, he only passed out and started snoring once. The little line of drool down his cheek was endearing.
Just fucking give eveyone an glock when they get on the plane. When was the last time a NRA meeting was held up? I guarauntee I will be able to keep the fat guy from drooling on my shoulder on this flight.

Education is no excuse / August 1, 2002 / Comment on this

"In the way they’re kind of writing it right now out of the Senate Finance Committee, some people could spend their entire five years on welfare – there’s a five-year work requirement – going to college. Now, that’s not my view of helping people become independent, and it’s certainly not my view of understanding the importance of work and helping people achieve the dignity necessary so they can live a free life, free from government control."

Newsday.com
That quote, ladies and gentlereaders, was brought to you by your duly miselected “Education President”.
Just cause the Shrub spent his four years at Yale binge-drinking, tokeing, sleeping late, and gropeing the ugly sorority sister, doesn’t mean other people don’t get some self-respect and ambition out of college.
So unless we’re seeking to breed a class of illiterate peons to clean our toilets, maybe the president shouldn’t be trashing schooling while speaking from the lecturn in a public school.
Heaven forbid this country had intelligent people creating new products and ideas to propel the economy and the planet into the future.

Lickety Split Couriers / August 1, 2002 / Comment on this

“Jim, a punk dyke bike messenger, is addicted in equal parts to her stripper girlfriend, Ally Cat, her bike and speed, though the three competing habits have a tendency to cancel one another out. Breedlove also was once a speed freak, a dater of strippers and a bike messenger. (She founded Lickety Split Couriers, an all-girl bike messenging service, in 1991.)”

Salon.com
Oh.
my.
God.
Lickety Split Couriers
too perfect.

Fuck the RIAA / July 30, 2002 / Comment on this

“The Recording Industry Association of America’s Web site was unreachable over the weekend due to a denial-of-service attack.
“The apparently deliberate overload rendered the RIAA.org site unavailable for portions of four days and came after the group endorsed legislation to allow copyright holders to disrupt peer-to-peer networks.
“”Don’t they have something better to do during the summer than hack our site?” asked the RIAA representative, who asked not to be identified. “Perhaps it at least took 10 minutes away from stealing music.””

CNET.com
This has all the maturity of a junior high girl complaining how boys act.

Russian cargo plane crash kills 14 / July 28, 2002 / Comment on this

“An eyewitness who identified himself by his first name, Konstantin, said that the plane had banked hard on its left-hand side, hit the ground and exploded.
“Vasily Nayuk, an official with the Emergency Situations Ministry, said that according to preliminary information 14 people were killed. Two flight attendants survived and were hospitalized in critical condition. “

Salon.com
Okay… dead people = bad. But could someone tell me why there were flight attendents on a cargo plane?

Rob me! Please!!!!!!!! / July 23, 2002 / Comment on this

Man robbed after sucking nipples smeared with knock-out drops
Rob me! Please!!!!!!!!

The Burqa Incident / July 21, 2002 / Comment on this

Sarah Lawrence: The Burqa Incident

reading Islamic newspapers / July 8, 2002 / Comment on this

"The basis for the complaint was that they were believed to be reading Islamic newspapers," she said.

Naples Daily news
They were whispering and reading a newspaper in a library? Well someone call out the fucking swat team. They sure have cahones, don’t they?

ignorant, red-necked, inbred, sheep-shaggers / July 6, 2002 / Comment on this

“Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because our women proudly show their faces in public rather than cover up like a shameful whore? Do you and your fellow Mulsims hate us because we drink wine with dinner, or celebrate Christmas? Do you and you fellow Muslims hate us because we have befriended Israel, the ONLY civilized nation in the entire middle-east? And if you and your fellow Muslims hate us, then why in the world are you even here? Are you here to take our money? Are you here to undermine our peace and stability? Are you here to destroy us? If so, I want you to leave. I want you to go back to your desert sandpit where women are treated like rats and dogs. I want you to take your religion, your friends, and your family back to your Islamic extremists, and STAY THERE! We will NEVER give in to your influence, your retarded mentality, your twisted, violent, intolerant religion.”

Restore America
And you wonder why Americans are viewed as ignorant, red-necked, inbred, sheep-shaggers?
Note: A man using a radical, misleading interepretation of this country’s founding charter to assault people on the basis of a radical misinterpretation of a major religion’s founding charter.

Do I go to jail for listening to my neighbors radio? / July 6, 2002 / Comment on this

I swear to anything you hold holy, they get more stupid all the time.

  1. Do the record companies believe they will engender any sympathy, support, or even respect for their fight by suing and/or jailing individuals?
  2. Will the make annnnnnnyyyy money off these lawsuits? No? You say they are just trying to get a message across? See point A.

Does anyone else find it way too coincidental that shortly after Universal Vivendi announced they would pull their ass out of the dark ages and start distributing their music in the format people have been asking for for years, that they are forced to declare bankruptcy? That this new initiative of theirs would have gone directly against the goals and aims of the RIAA?

Does every member of the RIAA still take pride in their membership? Or has this organization become the stuff of science fiction stories? The beast that emerges from the collective consciousness of its constituents, so powerful it can no longer be controlled by those member parts.

There is no bigger man here. / July 6, 2002 / Comment on this

“The Israeli army has apologised for causing the deaths of six-year-old Ahmad Abu Aziz and his 13-year-old brother Jamil, but said the tank crew opened fire to deter Palestinians breaking a curfew and approaching them.
“However, the footage shows a tank firing the first of two shells, at close range, at a group of civilians who are running away.”

BBC News
It’s not hard to agree with Isreal’s right to defend itself. Living here in Washington, we were given just one small taste of the unreasonable fear of death and the unknown. Try living under that every day.
And the Isrealis know who their attacker is. I have still yet to see the evidence that convicts anyone in the September 11th attacks.* Everyone including the attackers and their government admit Palestinians are implimenting their attacks.
So we feel bad for Isreal. They are trying to be the ‘bigger man’. They are trying to ethically fight back against an enemy willing to do anything to get their point across.

Bull-fucking-shit.
The isreali defense forces have razed homes of admittedly innocent people to send messages to their families. They have taken over whole cities; instituting cerfews and travel restrictions backed up with lethal enforcement, that can and likely will result in starvation for a majority of the Palestinian people living in those cities. Now they are caught firing on children running away with a fucking tank.
There is no bigger man here.
You have two governments, both being run by former (and current) human butchers, who will defend their people, no matter how many of their own lives it costs.
And the best the rest of the world can do is present peace plans that do little more than quote Rodney King and Reginald Denny?
“Can’t we all just… get along?”

* The automatic assumption of binLaden’s guilt makes that hard to remember. The american government assured foriegn leaders it had damning evidence that convicted the Al Queda in the destruction.
I don’t remember them ever showing it to us, though. The american people they represent.
I saw video tapes. I don’t happen to know anyone in the area who speaks arabic who could translate for me. But even taking the government translations, (which took way too long to just ‘translate’) as literal, binLaden admits to nothing but joy over the success of the attacks.
That may be sick, but it is hardly evidence, and hardly shocking. I would be amazed to learn that at least a third of the world weren’t happy to finally see the US get bitch-slapped. We are not well liked people. And when I am forced to listen to Joe-Bob and Bertha telling me how they wished they could get out there and help kill those damn A-rabs in Aphgany-stan, I don’t have trouble understanding why.
Show me the fucking evidence.
Or was the evidence more in the nature of the US pointing out to these foriegn leaders that if they went along with this campaign, it gave them free reign to take out (translation: kill) every force they could declare subversive to their own beliefs?

Library patron, 12, due in court / June 26, 2002 / Comment on this

“Since she has already paid her $9, Marisa will need only to show the court her library receipt and pay a $15 court fee, to have her case dismissed. If a delinquent borrower doesn’t pay his or her fines before going to court, and then pleads not guilty to the charge, the case goes to trial. Maximum penalty for conviction is $1,000. An adult also can be sentenced to jail.”

Denver Post
And you wonder why those kids went on a shooting spree through their school and killed themselves in the library?
Why do I know the librarian also drives a SUV with a Mary Kay sticker on the back window?

China executed 32 people to mark UN anti-drug day. / June 26, 2002 / Comment on this

China executed 32 people who were sentenced to death for drug-related crimes at public rallies held nationwide to mark a United Nations anti-drug day.

CNN.com
There is something incredibly sick about this. State sponsored slaughter to commemorate an attenpt to end widespread self destruction of human life.

Blockbuster, Enemy of Common Sense / June 22, 2002 / Comment on this

Blockbuster, Enemy of Common Sense

“Airline officials are trying to / June 16, 2002 / Comment on this

“Airline officials are trying to figure out if there is anything to be done after a Georgia congressman urinated into a cup on a flight from Washington to Atlanta on Thursday night.”

ABCNEWS.com
Just what always happens… congressmen pissing all over America.

“I didn’t get close enough / June 14, 2002 / Comment on this

“I didn’t get close enough to the 6am rally, but in my search for an organizer of Turn Your Back On Bush, I did indeed hear the announcement. Graduating students were told that they would be expelled and arrested if they turned their backs. they were alerted that dozens of staff memebers and police officers would be watching the stands, as well as the Secret Service. A few students asked for the definition of expulsion….did it mean removal from the stadium or refusal of their diplomas, or both? One of the persons at the front said "Both. And what will your parents do when they are paged from the crowd to bail out their son?" I do not know if this person had an official capacity with the Ohio State University or any police department.”

— democraticunderground.com
It’s just…
fucking…
sick.

The Not In Our Name Statement / June 14, 2002 / Comment on this

The Not In Our Name Statement
Despite the fact it was issued for and signed by a tediously long list of prominent Americans, you probably won’t see this in The New York Times and time soon.
Just… read it.

j-Lo / June 8, 2002 / Comment on this

Oh yes, there is a God. Jennifer Lopez is single again.

Yes, folks. This Shrub has / June 2, 2002 / Comment on this

Yes, folks. This Shrub has his finger on the bomb.

Monuments and Mortals And the / June 1, 2002 / Comment on this

Monuments and Mortals
And the accompanying article.

Washington – The Real and the Ideal / June 1, 2002 / Comment on this

Washington – The Real and the Ideal
This is where you think I live. And this is where I live.

I woke up to a strange day. / June 1, 2002 / Comment on this

I woke up to a strange day.
I didn’t know it at first. It was just another lazy Saturday. A day to forget the week and do something truely pointless with great meaning.
But while waiting for the bus to take me to great meaning, I stopped to read the front page of the newspapers, through the vending machine windows.
The first article I read, in the Washington Post, explained that a three judge panel had declared the 2 decade old prohibition on protesting next to the Capitol Building to be unconstitutional. They said the Capitol Police’s concerns did not outweigh the citizen’s first amendment rights.
I’m sure you think this is about as astonishing as Oprah Winfrey gaining weight. But dispite the fact that this is the Capital of the United States, those who spend any time here know it is also one of the most restrictive, oppressive, unfair, and secretive places in the world. There’s a law on the books that you cannot protest here without first obtaining permission from the Police Chief; telling him what you want to protest about. On any given day your route to work is likely to be barricaded by National Guardsmen with machine guns cradled in their hands; (the guns are never slung over their shoulders here). And the Shrub is so scared from having received more death threats than any American President in history, that he typically demands quadruple the security measures instituted for any head of state. The Secret Service regularly lies about his whereabouts and access to the man, as a means of protection.
In this city, no one is shocked that you weren’t allowed to protest outside the Capitol.
I also looked at the front page of the Times. They had an unfortunatly small article about the ruling of a 3-judge panel in Phillidelphia, which declared the much despised Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to be unconstitutional. The problem found with this Act involved the Internet filtering basically forced upon public libraries. As anyone who’s read up on Internet filtering knows, there is no reliable way to block access to supposedly pornographic material without also blocking a great deal of legitimate educational material. This led the court to overturn CIPA.
This alone is heartening. Now if someone would tell me a good reason why we are blocking public access to anything on the Internet, I would be very appreciative. We are talking public libraries here. These aren’t the third rate movie theatres where Pee Wee Herman was found jacking off to Fourth Rate pornos. If librarians who should be keeping at least a cursory watch on their computers cannot keep youth from viewing such materials, than what hope does filtering software have? There is more sex in Shakespear and Catcher in the Rye than on most web sites. And frankly, since I’m technically an adult, I don’t need your morals thrust upon me. If I wish to use an idle library computer to download Pamala and Tommy’s honeymoon video, what business is it of yours? Libraries are meant to provide us with access to information and media, not to dictate it’s value or uses.
Yeah.
While waiting at the barbershop, I was again reading the business section of another newspaper. And there was a blurb about third judicial panel overturning the court order that required Sonicblue, who handles client accounts for one of the digital-TV recorder companies (Tivo or one of those), to commence monitoring their client’s use of the product and turn that information over to their major media corporations (theoretically for use in anti-piracy invetsigations).
This panel were apparently the second – to – last people in the country to realize how much of an invasion of privacy this order was. But better late than never.
In the age of Rudy “freedom – is – about – how – much – liberty – you – are – willing – to – give – up” Gulliani, I can’t believe how many judges took the time to consider the idea of liberty, privacy, and freedom yesterday. What next? Open elections in Florida?

WTO to announce schedule for disbanding / May 27, 2002 / Comment on this

WTO to announce schedule for disbanding
Okay…what’s going on here.This just does not look right. Something is going on here. I’m waiting for Alan Funt to step out.
You just don’t give up the power they had. Or even risk it on structural reorganization.
Read it.

I can see the future. / May 25, 2002 / Comment on this

I can see the future.
At least the Washington Post‘s version of it.
They apparently have started posting Sunday’s stories a wee bit early.

White House was terrorists’ intended / May 23, 2002 / Comment on this

White House was terrorists’ intended 9/11 target
One half block away.
This same plane, which crashed into nothing but ground, shattered windows hundreds of feet away through the sheer force of it’s impact.

It’s called footnotes. / May 12, 2002 / Comment on this

“Now Adelman is locked in a battle against the Belo media corporation, owner of The Dallas Morning News, which sent him a legalistic letter this week demanding that BarkingDogs.org remove all “deep links” to the DallasNews.com site.
“‘Deep links’ point to specific content within a site, allowing readers to bypass the site’s front page. Instead of linking to a specific article within The Dallas Morning News’s site, Belo wants Adelman to only link to the site’s main page.”

Site Barks About Deep Link
Look! Up there! It’s the story that wouldn’t die!
This is a stupid argument that will go nowhere. I can almost garauntee that several things are going to haappen here:
Some judge will rule in favor of a company like below, stating that sites can require people to only link to their front page. Then all the people out there watching from home will yawn, and change the channel. It will be totally unenforcable.
Someone will realise it would be incredibly easy to prevent people from deep linking. You need only require that anytime someone is accessing a low level page in your site be referred by a higher level page. Information like this has been tracked since the creation of the modern web browser. You’d simply need a web server designed to check it each time.
I wouldn’t take bets on how long a shelf life that software has, though. You wouldn’t even notice it was up, before it was taken down because the hits to your site fell like a rock.
It’s called footnotes. Get the fuck over it.

“FIRE!” / May 12, 2002 / Comment on this

“In a stinging rebuke of the Justice Department, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that Attorney General John Ashcroft could not nullify Oregon law that allows physicians to help terminally ill patients kill themselves.’

USATODAY
Does it disturb anyone else that people like Ashcroft and Rumesfeld, who were never elected to their positions, are essentially making law and setting US policy?
It’s one thing to do it behind the guise of the executive branch. But they aren’t even trying to conceal their actions.
In this case, the directive issued by Ashcroft went against the results of two legal and uncontested elections. Free country huh.
Reminds me of congress telling the District that if they even released the results of the vote for legalization of medicinal marajuana, that all our federal funding would be cut. They didn’t say our decision was illegal, immmoral, or wrong. They just said we shouldn’t even be talking about it.
“FIRE!”

Ya know what they say about art students / May 9, 2002 / Comment on this

Ya know what they say about art students.

“The bill also would make / May 9, 2002 / Comment on this

“The bill also would make it easier for Internet service providers to report suspicious activity on their networks. Current law prohibits service providers from reporting user activity unless it presents an immediate risk of death or injury, and allows users to sue for damages if their privacy is violated.
“Smith’s bill would loosen those requirements to enable service providers to report threats that are not immediate, and would protect them from lawsuits when they do so. Providers would face penalties if they did not store electronic records, such as customer e-mail, for at least 90 days.”

USATODAY
On first perusal of this article, I catch two things.
One, providers, even under current laws, are expected to report custommers they believe are planning to injure themselves or others. The only way this could be accomplished is that everything you send through your ISP is not only scanned for buzzwords, but literally read for meaning, outtng the words in context.
privacy… hah.
And since this data is located on the ISPs servers, do they now have the right to sell what they learn about you to other commpanies or individuals. It would sure seem so, considering the resukts of many of the lawsuits that occured after the dotcoms all went bust.
But I pitty the ISPs as well. They are legally required to store copies of all your transmissions for 90 days? The small office I work in easily transmits gigabytes of information by email each month alone.
We’re talking terabytes of storage for small ISPs alone. While this is not impossible at the moment, usage increases exponentially each year.

The FBI geometry course / May 9, 2002 / Comment on this

“Luke J. Helder, the 21-year-old college student arrested in connection with a spate of mailbox pipe bombings, has admitted that he manufactured and planted the explosive devices, the FBI said Wednesday.’

MSNBC & The AP
What no one seems to be mentioning here is how wrong the FBI profilers were in this case. They weren’t only wrong, their profile of the suspect was nearly the exact opposite of the man now said to have confessed.
The FBI released a profile just a few days ago, describing the suspect as an ‘older american male’, who most likely had a previous career as a traveling lone worker, such as a mailman. This was supposedly reinforced by what was being called a circular pattern to the bomb placements.
The use of the adjective ‘circular’ left me scratching myself, since the map I was looking at looked pretty straight and flat.
The man currently in custody is a 21 year old college student who plays in a band. He was openly anti-establishment. Far from doing anything in a circle, short of his future nighttime activities in prison, he was actually driving across the country.
Hey… you gotta hand it to the FBI… they had the ‘male’ part correct.

“A report released at a / May 7, 2002 / Comment on this

“A report released at a conference this week suggests a parent should be very worried because high school students with body piercings tend also to have smoked, used alcohol, had sex, skipped school and gotten into fights. ”
The author of the report proudly annonced that later this week he would be releasing several new reports such as "Black Males – More likely to commit crime" and other assinine topics

Metafilter

Is it the 1950’s already? / May 7, 2002 / Comment on this

Bruce Willis Buys Girl Scout Cookies for U.S. Troops

Scientists’ deaths are under the microscope / May 4, 2002 / Comment on this

Scientists’ deaths are under the microscope.
Do you wanna feel good today?
Start off thinking about how many ‘enemies of the state’, like Iraq, Iran, and Korea have fairly openly admitted to their biolgical and chemical weapons programs.
Also keep in mind that most western powers officially closed down their biological weapons programs deccades ago. The men who originated and ran these programs are slowly getting old and dieing.The few people replacing them have very little practical experience.
And now, over the course of five months, 11 of the worlds top microbiologists, all from non-enemy states, have died of unnatural causes.

The Creator Map / May 1, 2002 / Comment on this

“A find of Bashkir scientists contraries to traditional notions of human history: stone stabs which is 120 million years covered with the relief map of Ural Region.”

Pravda
I don’t know what to say. Read the article.
While I long ago stopped believing in the “fertile crecent” as the birth of civilization, this would simply throw out everything we know about human evolution.
Keeping in mind, of course, I know nothing abvout Pravda’s reliability, and the highly suspect quality of it’s translation.

Civilian Service / May 1, 2002 / Comment on this

Civilian Service
“In many parts of the world, in many battles, leaders of armed movements enlist young children – both boys and girls – to carry out military or terrorist operations. In some cases, these children and teens are regularly drugged with substances that will make them more aggressive in their actions and less apprehensive when it comes to one’s natural fear of losing limbs or life. In these situations, it becomes much more difficult by moral standards (if not by those standards related to internationally accepted rules of war) to differentiate between a soldier and civilian. Certainly, when the child is shooting at you and is dressed in military garb, one could understand the viewpoint that this child is in fact a soldier. But from the kid’s perspective, it’s not quite that clear.
“There are other examples of this blurred line between civilian (or forced fighter) and members of a military force. In the earliest days of our confrontation with the Taliban, there were many stories written about the forced recruitment of young males who were handed a gun and sent to the front lines. In many cases, these ‘soldiers’ were given no viable alternative. Either they joined the battle or they were killed and their family members were endangered. So when the front lines of the Taliban resistance were obliterated, one can assume that among the dead were many of these young men who chose to stand in the line of fire only because the alternative was even worse – and in many cases they were likely supportive of the other side. After all, the Afghan people were the most tormented victims of the Taliban for years before most of us heard of their horrible regime.
“Under dictatorial rulers, being forced to fight against one’s own personal cause is commonplace. In a recent article in The Atlantic on Saddam’s rule in Iraq, Mark Bowden (author of Black Hawk Down) describes a scenario faced by one combatant during the Gulf War:
“There was no hope: he foresaw death everywhere. If you went toward the American lines, they would shoot you. If you stayed in the open, they would blow you up. If you dug a hole and buried yourself, American bunker-buster bombs would stir your remains with the sand. If you ran, your own commanders would kill you?because they would be killed if their men fled. If a man was killed running away, his coffin would be marked with the word “jaban,” or “coward.” His memory would be disgraced, his family shunned. There would be no pension for them from the state, no secondary school for his children. “Jaban” was a mark that would stain the family for generations. There was no escaping it.
Some things are worse than staying with your friends and waiting to die. Hussain’s unit manned an anti aircraft gun. He never even saw the American fighter jet that took off his leg.”…
“So is the person described above (and the thousands of his fellow fighters who lost much more than legs) a soldier, or a civilian placed in the line of fire by an insane ruler who calls for holy martyrdom from the safety of an underground bunker?
“This is the situation for many citizens who live under the heavy hand of a tyrant. They live for years under the dictatorship of a madman and often their only way out is to be fodder on the front lines, killed at the hands of their liberators. And somewhere, there is always another thug collecting kids for the next unholy battle. “

nextdraft.com

Musharraf Claims Victory in Vote / May 1, 2002 / Comment on this

Musharraf Claims Victory in Vote to Extend Term
Oh wait… let me look suprised.
😐

“Judge Rejects Jailing Of Material / May 1, 2002 / Comment on this

“Judge Rejects Jailing Of Material Witnesses
Ruling Imperils Tool in Sept. 11 Probe

washingtonpost.com
Yup… this is non-biased reporting.
God forbid we release a man from jail who hsn’t been convicted of a crime and is not expected to testify.
The idea that we have the right to incarcerate people because they might be valuable to a criminal trial is just sick. By this same interpretation of the law, if you happened to be taking a plane on September 11, the US government have every right to lock you up for 8 months without trial.
Yeah, the kid most likely lied. He very probably knew all about the attacks. Does he deserve to go free? Unless you are going to take him to court and prosecute him, yes. Otherwise it is no different than if I locked up someone I hated in my basement.

The Thong Song / April 30, 2002 / Comment on this

Thong-Wearing Teens Kicked Out Of Dance
Oy.
When uptight morals collide with sexual casualness in one person, it all goes so terribly wrong.

The Library of Alexandria / April 30, 2002 / Comment on this

“The original library of Alexandria housed 500,000 scrolls, which made it a center of culture and scholarship from the third century B.C. into the early Christian era. The modern Bibliotheca aims for similar stature as a global hub of information.”

Wired

The Online Personal Privacy Act / April 30, 2002 / Comment on this

“Likewise with the Online Personal Privacy Act. It is masquerading as pro-consumer when in fact it is pro-business. The new legislation is similar to laws passed in Europe that divide your personal information into two types. The first is “sensitive” information, such as your financial and medical history, race, lifestyle, religion, political affiliation, and sex life. The second is “nonsensitive” information, and among that will include your name, address, and records of anything you buy or surf on the Internet. Under the act, business can’t collect or divulge the sensitive bits without your express consent, but anything classified as nonsensitive can be freely collected and sold at will.
“But the nonsensitive clause is a huge gaping loophole through which business will ride roughshod. Never mind that part about “sensitive” information being forbidden. Most things that businesses want to know about us can be inferred just by examining the things we buy, read and click on. If they can put that information together with our names, which the bill allows, then any concept of “privacy” protection is rendered meaningless. The Online Personal Privacy Act legitimizes the kind of intrusive spyware program activity that is currently proliferating. “

Salon.com

Israel Lists Demands for UN Mission to Jenin / April 30, 2002 / Comment on this

Israel Lists Demands for UN Mission to Jenin
(Reuters) Apr 29 2002 7:12PM
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israel appealed to the United States on Monday to make sure a U.N. fact-finding mission it has held up for more than 10 days into the devastation at the Jenin refugee camp would not present conclusions in its final report.

— AOL’s Today’s News
So now the people being investigated are allowed to make demands of the investigators? Man… why didn’t someone tell me this when I was growing up… I so could have gotten out of cleaning my room.

Wal-Mart cultivates an aw-shucks, we’re-just-folks-from-Arkansas / April 30, 2002 / Comment on this

Wal-Mart cultivates an aw-shucks, we’re-just-folks-from-Arkansas image of neighborly small-town shopkeepers trying to sell stuff cheaply to you and yours. Behind its soft homespun ads, however, is what one union leader calls "this devouring beast" of a corporation that ruthlessly stomps on workers, neighborhoods, competitors, and suppliers.

AlterNet
These people make Bill Gates and Company look like the playground bully.

"You weren’t alive during the / April 27, 2002 / Comment on this

"You weren’t alive during the Microsoft conflict. We were beating each other with our own severed limbs."

Bringing you tommorrow’s headlines today: / April 24, 2002 / Comment on this

Bringing you tommorrow’s headlines today:
The Caspian Sea. The next big story, (assuming the planes stay in the air).

Patient having op on backside / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

Patient having op on backside breaks wind, causing fire
I don’t think I’ll be able to uncross my legs for weeks.

Boy adopted by chimps. Wait… / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

Boy adopted by chimps.
Wait… I think I know this one… name of Greystoke, right?

Thousands of Inca Mummies Found / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

Thousands of Inca Mummies Found Near Lima

Goth subculture and suburbia / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

Goth subculture and suburbia

I’m never gonna get old.

EU bans internet blocking. / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

EU bans internet blocking.

Feds might use Microsoft / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

Feds might use Microsoft product for national online ID

Thpft! / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

Thpft!

Their successful track record with / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

Their successful track record with major demonstrations, including the April 2000 large-scale protests against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, has brought them or their aides invitations to share their crowd-control tactics with numerous other police forces across the country and around the world.

washingtonpost.com
mmmmmHM.
Their success in dealing with the 2000 protests. Would that be their famous ‘handling’ that got them sued by every major civil rights organization in the country? For little things like locking people up on buses, not allowing them to take their medication? Or maybe how they told those people that if they paid $50 and signed a form letter declaring their guilt (yup, that almost sounds like due process), they could go?

“Further, the system would not / April 17, 2002 / Comment on this

“Further, the system would not require users to toss their current computers or force service providers to create an entirely new, separate Web. Rather, it would be an evolution of the existing Web, using much the same technology. “

David R. Baker
No, but it would require that more people out there are out for something more than just to make a buck. The majority of people offering information and services on the Internet do so in the simplest manner which will bring in the most revenue with the least work.
Ask them to improve the experience for the customer? Yah. That ccould happen.

Don Henly / April 17, 2002 / Comment on this

Will any new songs show up on the upcoming tour?
We will not, because if we did, those songs would be bootlegged immediately and they would be on the Internet and downloaded. We would have to start all over again.

Don Henly on the Eagles Tour
Oh my God! Someone needs to bitch-slap this man to make him stop whining.

China’s “Mother Tongue” / April 15, 2002 / Comment on this

China’s “Mother Tongue” Is Dying

Chavez resigns / April 12, 2002 / Comment on this

Embattled Chavez resigns in Venezuela
Something you’re not likely to hear much about in American news.
After a General Strike began this week, including the all-important oil workers, and at least 13 protestors outside the presidential palace were shot to death by police, all the branches of the Army openly withdrew their support from the president.
A leader without a country.
I wish the American media woud shut the fuck up about the fact the oil prices may be affected.
It’s not like any country in that area has an incredibly stable government. But come on.

Historic Midway / April 11, 2002 / Comment on this

Historic Midway shuts downs

Freedom for Booksellers / April 9, 2002 / Comment on this

Freedom for Booksellers
While the Court didnt exactly tell the government to go to hell, it did specifically state that citizens have a right to purchase books without government interference.
Thank you.

onesies and twosies / April 8, 2002 / Comment on this

Did the Secretary of Defence just say “onesies and twosies” when refering to warfare?

Flasher escapes after being caught in his own zipper / April 4, 2002 / Comment on this

Flasher escapes after being caught in his own zipper
YeHa! I gotta meet this girl in ten years.

I can detoxify myself immediately / April 1, 2002 / Comment on this

We gossiped a bit, and she scolded me for having visited a Washington shopping mall without appropriate protective equipment. Whenever she goes to a mall, she brings along a polyurethane bag "big enough to step into" and a bottle of bleach. "I can detoxify myself immediately," she said.
The New Yorker

God Save the Queen: LONDON / March 26, 2002 / Comment on this

God Save the Queen:

LONDON (Reuters) – Pop-up toilets that rise from the ground at night will be installed in central London in a bid to dissuade late-night male revelers from urinating against walls and doorways.
The self-cleaning telescopic urinals, which Westminister City Council hopes to have in place by autumn, will emerge from under the ground and be retracted in the day via remote control.
“By moving them underground it means they are not an obstacle in the day,” a council spokeswoman said Monday.
The council has already deployed mobile urinals which have been placed on the streets Friday and Saturday nights to cut down street urination.
The telescopic toilet is currently only available in Europe, Westminster council said.

yahoo

Journalism is dead and Maxim / March 23, 2002 / Comment on this

Journalism is dead and Maxim is dancing on it’s grave.

U.N. weapons inspectors / March 14, 2002 / Comment on this

At a news conference with Cheney at this Red Sea resort, Mubarak also addressed another difficult Mideast issue, saying he believes Iraq’s Saddam Hussein is close to agreeing to allow the return of U.N. weapons inspectors.

Okay… eveybody here who believes this is going to work out, raise their hand.
Now it may just be because I’m alone here, but I don’t see any hands.
Within six months, the inspectors will either be running for their life, or withdrawn for lack of results. Even when Iraq was pretending to go along with the inspections, the UN teams never found anything despite the fact we knew there was something there.
How mny times are we going to do this?

Bush View of Secrecy Is / March 3, 2002 / Comment on this

Bush View of Secrecy Is Stirring Frustration

Divine Right to Fool / March 2, 2002 / Comment on this

Any crack or perceived crack in the support, in the unity, of the American people and our leaders in Washington is not helpful,%uFFD3 Lott added, %uFFD2and it is important that we not be critical of the commander-in-chief in a time that we are at war.”

msnbc.com
Kiss.
my.
fuzzy.
pink.
ass.
There is no time when anyone, especially our governmental leaders, should be immune to criticism.
There is no period when a president experiences more power than during wartime. Meaning there should be no time when they are under closer scrutiny.
We may not be able to do anything about violations of humanity and common sense until after the fact, but everyone is accountable for their actions. How happy will the Shrub be when he is Milosovic’s place?

“A Louisiana woman is suing / March 1, 2002 / Comment on this

“A Louisiana woman is suing Nintendo, alleging her 30-year-old son suffered seizures after playing video games for eight hours a day, six days a week.”

Lady… if you have a 30 year old man living with you playing Nintendo 8 hours a day 6 days a week… you have some problems of your own you should deal with.

they’re fucking little girls / February 27, 2002 / Comment on this

Child refugee sex scandal
Life is not pretty.
In fact it is fucking morbid in western Africa. These are countries that suffered famines through the eighties, revolutions and lawlessness in the ninties. This is the place where the Army of God (?) was raised, forcing children not even into puberty to fight to the death and dismember each other. Where a homicidal church incinerates all of it’s followers.
And now the aid workers. People who go there to address the most basic needs of human life. They’re there to literally keep each individual person from dying of starvation or exposure.
And while they do that, they’re fucking little girls.
Someone needs to tattoo swasticas to these guys foreheads and drop them into the middle of South Central buck nekkid.

Warren Ellis: Prognosticator / February 27, 2002 / Comment on this

Warren Ellis: Prognosticator
N.Y. Times source database hacked

The Shrub Does Beijing / February 22, 2002 / Comment on this

The Shrub Does Beijing
Ignorance and apple pie at it’s best.

Thank you, I’m moving to France. / February 21, 2002 / Comment on this

Catholic Church Slams ‘Amen’ Poster
And the Catholics sued…
and lost.
Thank you, I’m moving to France.

Just say Fuck / February 15, 2002 / Comment on this

Powell Urges Condom Use
Can you believe this argument is still going on?
There’s an episode of the Sitcom Designing Women that dealt with this exact issue. A young man came to them to plan his funeral because he was dying of AIDS, while the schoolboard was arguing the merits of placing condoms in the nurses office.
And at the end of the episode, in a moment that they’d obviously been leading up to, Annie Potts says something to the effect: “All moral arguments aside, no matter what decisions our children make, they shouldn’t be forced to die for them.”

Make sure your children are mature / February 15, 2002 / Comment on this

Laura’s Lessons From Lindh

"Make sure your children are mature before you allow them to do certain things," Bush said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Um, Laura, would that be like, umm, before you allow your kids to get arrested for drunk driving? Or more like, before you allow them to fake a perscription for drugs?

And in today’s round of / February 15, 2002 / Comment on this

And in today’s round of “Give me a fuckin break”…
Alert issued for potential teddy bear bombs
If these are their criteria, the FBI must have warnings out on half the people in my hometown
If you’ve ever lived in a rural area, this shopping list is not the least bit suspicious. Teddy bears are universal, and no indication of anything in their own right. If the man bought BB’s, then gosh, maybe he owns something he could use them with, like, oh… I dunno… a BB gun? (No self respecting Son of the Soil should be caught without one). And the propane? What do you do when you don’t live in the city, or when you go camping? You run propane stoves, propane heaters, and propane lamps. And canisters this size are not legally allowed to be refilled, so the man would likely have to buy multiple backups.
“Potentially of middle eastern decent”? What did they say? “Well, this dude that looked like Jesus came into the store and bought some bomb supplies. It seemed religious enough… he was talking about a holy war or something.”

Big Brother is watching you read / February 15, 2002 / Comment on this

Big Brother is watching you read

Nuremburg, revisited. / February 11, 2002 / Comment on this

Nuremburg, revisited.

Cockroaches in Coke Is Secret / February 11, 2002 / Comment on this

Cockroaches in Coke Is Secret Potion

right to review / February 7, 2002 / Comment on this

New York sues Network Associates
Thank you.

these two youts walk into a bar… / February 7, 2002 / Comment on this

Concerns already were raised over the weekend by immigration and Colombian activists about the film’s Colombian characters.

My AOL | Today’s News
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
If we take this to it’s logical conclusion, we cannot have people who do bad things in stories (note the word ‘stories’) be from…
anywhere.
It’s a fuckin fictional story. It’s a character. He has to be from somewhere.
Get a friggin life, people.

Terrorism is a crime against / February 6, 2002 / Comment on this

Terrorism is a crime against all humanity. It knows no ethnic, religious or other national or geographic boundaries, and we must see it in that context.

— Colin Powell
This really is one of the few intelligent comments I’ve heard on all this. It neither relies on kneejerk patriotism, nor ignorant racism. And it keeps in mind, that if it wasn’t the US, there would be another target. People instinctivly hate those who have more than they do, no matter how altruistic their lifestyle.

what about watermelon? / February 6, 2002 / Comment on this

My STupid act of the day:
Store apologizes for fried chicken special in honor of Black History month

Fucked in the head / February 3, 2002 / Comment on this

Okay. It’s official. Pat Buchanan is on crack:

But can this sentiment bring together a nation as divided as we were over the Florida returns? That was over something that went to the heart of what people believed. The best criterion to judge how people voted in 2000 was how often they went to church. People who went to church voted for Bush; people who rarely or never went to church voted for Gore. That is for me the moral and social divide in America. We don?t believe the same way anymore. We don?t believe in the same ideas of right and wrong, and morally speaking, we live on a different continent.

Study: Basic cable raunchier than / January 30, 2002 / Comment on this

Study: Basic cable raunchier than broadcast TV
"South Park," an animated show on Comedy Central, was overall the most "offensive series," the study said, with a per-hour combined average of 126 violent or raunchy moments. "

Next you’ll be telling me that MTV or VH1 play too much music.
This is one of those great “Duh!” moments in life.

How soon till The Running Man starts? / January 30, 2002 / Comment on this

"The Chair," with John McEnroe as host, may have won its personal battle with Fox, but could be in some danger itself. It drew 9.8 million viewers last Tuesday, ranking No. 57 for the week.

How sad is it that 10 milion people actualy took the time to watch that god-awful show? The participants and host make even Anne from The Weakest Link, (another hour of boredom) look animated and candid. Man, I thought it was bad when sit-coms filled prime-time. If this keeps up, I may have to do something drastic like read a book.

Meanwhile, for people who tire of Winter Olympics competition on NBC, Fox has a special in the works for late February. Called "The Glutton Bowl," the two-hour show will feature people competing to eat large amounts of foods like hamburgers and eggs.

And you know, a couple million people are going to sit at home and watch TV to obtain the same level of entertainment you can get at your local McDonalds.

not for you / January 29, 2002 / Comment on this

So I think for the time being, my web site is set. I have completed most of the templates in the new CMS, so my journal will work and look beautiful, much liike myself. And I have a new front page, again featuring my reluctant model, Lea.
I really wish I had something to rail against tonight. But I have been feeling humdrum all evening. Couldn’t even find anything in the news feeds to upset me really.
I caught an article about the Department of Defense comng up with plans on how to make themselves into the first line of defense in this country.
There are very good reasons the legions of Rome did not enter the city walls.
I’m begining to wonder what it will take to get the shrub out of office. Most people seem to expect him to lose the next election, which he’ll surely run in. But I dont know. As a president he has been lackluster at best. But he strikes me as a man who has many more things going on in the background than even his closest advisors know about. I don’t think he’s playing the same game the rest of us are.
I really wish I could just cough up this lung and get it over with.
Is it just me or does the media really want Enron to be a scandal? But nobody seems to care. We have men lying to congress. A dead man worried about the lies. The shrub is ready to fight a court battle to keep what he knew about it secret.
But nobody cares. Maybe we’re all looking for the story that this seems to be trying to overshadow?

And in a case / January 22, 2002 / Comment on this

And in a case of being absolutley the last person on earth to the table, AOL has decided to sue Microsoft for anti-competative practices.
I believe this is what’s known as “picking over the remains”.

Lizard Lawsuit / January 22, 2002 / Comment on this

“O’Neil is alleging that while she shopped there on Oct. 19, 1999, a creature that appeared to be a lizard jumped out of a tropical plant display, and she tripped over the animal. As a result, she experienced extreme pain and suffering, and permanent injuries, resulting in loss of earnings and the need for hospital care, according to the summons.

“The lawsuit does not tell how the creature got into the store, or what happened to it afterward.”

Finger Lakes Times
I see the stupidity isn’t limited to the big city.

Bill bans ‘crimes’ in sex education / January 16, 2002 / Comment on this

This bill is brought to you by the same people who told youy not to distribute condoms in high schools because it would lead to teen sex.
I went to high school. You went to high school. My friends didn’t start having sex in high school.
They started having sex in Junior High.
(No, I’m not telling you when I started).
These people are fundamentally lacking in the intellectual department. The idea that by omitting discussion and education of a topic is an adequate method of preventing said topic, is utterly ludicrous.
Kids know about fucking. It’s one of those things you don’t ever need to read a book about or recieve instruction on to figure out. What kids don’t know, and are likely afraid to ask about just because of laws such as this, are the dangers they potentially face because of varoious forms of fucking.
The very foundation of the lawmakers argument is flawed at best. The idea that there are crimes against nature, in relation to sex, is a pretty prejudiced viewpoint. I don’t find men’s asses particularly alluring. “Moos” and “Baaas” don’t exactly give me a hard on. But if that’s what does it sexually for someone else… well why not. No one is getting hurt. And likely all parties involved are enjoying themselves a great deal.
Is it bad because a book written two millenia ago says so? This same book would ban American Football. Most farmers in this country would be put to death for their planting practices. And I have a couple ex’s who should have their hands cut off. Just because a book is old doesn’t mean it is omniscient. Think for yourself while reading… some things just may not be applicable anymore, if they ever were.
This is all, of course, me assuming that they’re being forthright about their reasons for introducing this bill. But like most stupid people, their own words tend to trip them up:

“[Homosexuality] is illegal and also carries risks,” Mrs. Cobb said.

Mrs. Cobb said the Family Foundation will ask for a “friendly” amendment to be added to Mr. Welch’s bill that would allow teachers to simply say there is a risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease if a person engages in a crime against nature, though not going into lengthy detail about the sex acts themselves.

I don’t know how these people manage to procreate. What, with their incredibly ignorant and dangerously outdated views and knowledge of sexuality.
It has been at least 15 years since the majority of humanity believed that AIDS, or any other ailment, was a ‘gay’ disease.
And it isn’t a punishment from God. In the long run, being gay is about who you fall in love with. And there is not one place in the Bible, or any religious document I have ever read that describes any form of love as bad.

Notables and no-names alike / January 8, 2002 / Comment on this

Notables and no-names alike searched at airports
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think that this who “search-a-senator’ story is just one big public relations ploy to make the little people feel better and accept all the changes?
Frankly the airports are being run by inbred morons who couldn’t protect a tuna sandwich. The last time I flew, it was shortly after that idiot tried to give the whole plane a hotfoot. So they started doing “random” scans of people’s footware.
Was I the only one who had heard that the explosive in this guys shoe was a malleable substance, that simmply required a trigger of some type to set it off. I could easily have had it wrapped beneath my belt or lining my bag.
“Make the little people feel good, so we don’t all go belly-up!”

So if the first / January 5, 2002 / Comment on this

So if the first American killed by ‘Enemy’ fire in Afghanastan just happened this week…
then how did the CIA agent killed in the prison revolt die?
I don’t remember hearing the term ‘friendly-fire’, but there aren’t a whole lot of alternatives.

New Times Broward Palm-Beach / January 5, 2002 / Comment on this

New Times Broward Palm-Beach unravels the abiding mystery of Youree Cleomili Harris, or possibly Youree Dell Harris, a/k/a Miss Cleo. Here’s an interesting nugget: Callers to her Psychic Hotline get instantly “upgraded” to “preferred customer” status, which allows them to dial in to a different number for consultations. That number turns out to include “the AT&T access code for (the Republic of Niue), a tiny coral island in the South Pacific that has become a nexus for high-priced phone schemes.” Calls there ring in at as much as $7.53 per minute and end up routed to a service center in decidely un-exotic Omaha, Nebraska, and then to independent subpsychics around the country. So– Wait a minute. You mean the whole thing’s a scam???

— Blather

My little ode to stupid people.

The Sun Yep. God / January 1, 2002 / Comment on this

The Sun
Yep. God forbid we pull our asses out of the renessience and start painting people realistically, as opposed to idealistically, even if they are the queen.

The US pulls out / December 13, 2001 / Comment on this

The US pulls out of the ABM treaty, while Russia calls it a mistake.
Argentia faces a general strike.
Afganastan would implode if there was anything left of it.
Suicidal attackers assault the Indian parliment.
Isreal cut off contact with the Palestinians and Palestine declares Isreals action acts of war.
Maybe the al Queda aren’t such fools. If I knew of any place, I would be crawling into the nearest hole in the ground right now too.

Worst-Case Scenario: The U.S. Has None / December 10, 2001 / Comment on this

Imagine the unimaginable: The president, in the White House, the vice president, at the National Observatory, and all Cabinet members, in their respective agency headquarters, are killed in a terrorist attack on downtown Washington. So are all members of Congress, except the few who happen to be out of town.

What happens to the Republic?

Dana Milbank
You know, it really doesn’t make me feel better when they’re actually thinking about things like this.

Big Stink Over a Simple Link / December 7, 2001 / Comment on this

In a letter to a consultant in Britain who runs a personal website that has not been especially nice to KPMG, the company said it had discovered a link on his site to www.kpmg.com, and that the website owner, Chris Raettig, should “please be aware such links require that a formal Agreement exist between our two parties, as mandated by our organization’s Web Link Policy.”

wired.com
You know you’ve subordinated all independent thought to the organization when you can no longer see how ridiculous you’ve become.
From a technical standpoint, as the article states, if every link on the web had to be mutually agreed upon, there would be no web. (You figure it out… some 60 billion pages on the web with probably 3 links each, minimum.) And to imply that you have a right to say who can and cannot link to your site means you believe you have editorial control over a someone else’s intellectual property.
Can you believe companies pay millions of dollars to an organization that has so little grasp on the common sense workings of the World Wide Web.
Or maybe not.
There are supposedly 25 million regular direct internet users in the United States right now. That is about one tenth of the population of the country. Now figure that no more than one in ten of those users has a strong grasp of the history and workings of the internet (web included).
That’s about 1 percent of the people in this country who might find this story truly ridiculous. And every day as more people come online, the ‘power users’ are a shrinking proportion.
So when the overwhelming majority of people don’t know any better, and they’re simply told that they’ve done wrong, in a non-confrontational society as the US has become, …
Who’s left to tell KPMG to fuck off?

Man picked up outside White House had knife and truck loaded with weapons / December 6, 2001 / Comment on this

The man then volunteered that he had more weapons, directing officers to his parked truck opposite the Treasury Department on the far side of the White House complex. Officers found an SKS assault rifle in plain view on the front seat, Mackin said. Also in the truck, which had Idaho plates registered to the man, were a rifle with scope, a handgun, a Kevlar helmet and a bulletproof vest.

AP
It’s always comforting to read about shit like this after I walked right by there at lunch time. And within half a block on my way to work this morning.
The sad thing is that the world is so fucked up right now, this story didn’t even make local news.
When I left work, I was almos feeling guilty about not going to the National Christmas Tree lighting.
On a good year, there is a crowd of a couple hundred people standing in the cold, waiting for 2 hours, jockeying for position to peek through the fences, trailers, bleachers, and crowds.
I’ve done that twice.
This year, the entire street was cordoned off all afternoon leading up to the event. No backpacks allowed. People being searched before approaching the field.
It just weren’t worth it.
Like so many other things in Federal City lately, everything is focused on the television audience. Camera operators are VIPs and politicians are reading scripts.
Does anybody remember anymore that you needn’t be a politician to be elected to office?

Ashcroft, Canadian leaders hail agreement to bolster border security / December 4, 2001 / Comment on this

“Ashcroft said the use of the National Guard troops will be a temporary measure to assist Border Patrol personnel overtaxed by heightened security measures put in place after the terrorist attacks.

“It’s not a militarization of the border or a fortification of the border,” Ashcroft said.

For what the Justice Department described as an “initial phase,” 419 National Guard troops will be deployed in 12 states bordering Canada.”

Ummmm…..
bullshit.
I don’t remember ever hearing about a temporary government action.

Bush cyber-security adviser wants / December 4, 2001 / Comment on this

Bush cyber-security adviser wants Internet users to get free security software
What did I just say?
This bodes ill.
Am I the only one that becomees suspicious when the government advocates forcing people to install certian pieces of software on their computer?
It’s not incredibly brilliant in execution anyway. Right now there is no reasonable way to force people to keep such things up to date. Hell, you won’t even get half the people to install the shit.

Bush pushes legal fight against terrorism / November 30, 2001 / Comment on this

“We’re an open society, but we’re at war,” Bush told the federal district attorneys. “We must not let foreign enemies use the forms of liberty to destroy liberty itself.”

George W. Bush, Jr.
After all, we wouldn’t wanna treat these damn foriegners like they’re human or anything.
What would be next? Giving equal rights to gays, lesbians, and republicans?
Maybe some of you out there haven’t taken this to heart yet, but our freedoms and liberities only truley exist, and are only valuable, when they extend to covering those instances where it would be most convenient to sweep them away.
Free speach and freedom of the press is not important until we sue a magazine publisher for printing an article about a software program.
Freedom of movement is not important until I have to show my ID to National Guardsman to get into work at a public building.
Freedom of belief is not important until the government declares all muslims to be suspects in a crime commited for the least holy of reasons.
The founders of this country had a few choice words for their former dictatorial oppresors:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

The Declaration of Independence
Granted, my glasses are a little dirty right now, but the way I read that, it seems to completely conflict with the Shrub’s ridiculous comments.
And don’t come talking to me about these times being especially trying and an exceptional circumstance. When the founding fathers of the US wrote those words, at best thirty percent of their countrymen were willing to fight for freedom against the biggest empire the earth had ever known. I call that trying.

Now Portland Comes In / November 30, 2001 / Comment on this

Law enforcement officers in the rest of the nation are questioning foreigners about their possible knowledge of terrorist activities. But Kroeker, worried about civil rights violations, has said his officers will not join in this task. His is the only police agency in the country to refuse to cooperate for such reasons, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department.

Because of that decision, based on advice from Portland’s city attorney, Kroeker is winning plaudits from civil libertarians. But he is catching flak from all over the country.

Los Angeles Times
Oh just shoot me now. I cannot live with myself anymore. I am actually coming out in favor of a cop.
I can save myself the mental anguish though. More precisely, as usual I am coming out against stupid and ignorant people.
I can’t believe the entire country is guning for a police department, because the police actually decided to show restraint. The cops didn’t make a knee-jerk reaction like most of their counterparts by drooling over themselves with incestuous glee while fulfilling a FBI and Justice Department directive.
I refuse to even be concerned that it involves the September attacks on the US. That is by far a secondary concern in this case, at least to me.
First of all, Police departments are intentionally localized organizations. Having each community police itself is not only more efficient than a national force, but removes any temptation to evolve such a national police force into Big Brother from 1984 or the firemen from Farrenheight 451. That this local police department is now being assailed for not immediatly and blindly following the federal decree is insane.
Considering I personally have never seen an officer stop to utilize that lump of graymatter between their shoulders, (yes, between their shoulders. they never seem to have necks), I find it very comforting to know there are police out there who take time to consider the right and wrong of their actions, and what effect those actions will have on the people they’re dealing with.
If people in this country had any conscience, this would be just one more thing that would lead to a lot of ashamed people in a few months.
Thankfully, we all have the long-term memory of a pile of steaming dog shit.

Russia’s Last Major Independent / November 26, 2001 / Comment on this

Russia’s Last Major Independent TV Station Dissolved
The Russian version of the Clean Act.

‘Harry’ and The Nation / November 25, 2001 / Comment on this

‘Harry’ and The Nation Of Dweebs
Halleluhiah Brother, preach it!!

FBI – Major Investigations / November 25, 2001 / Comment on this

FBI – Major Investigations – Amerithrax
Am I the only one who finds this logo extremely distasteful and high offensive?
Shit like like makes me ashamed to be a designer.

Washington, DC: Not a / November 24, 2001 / Comment on this

Washington, DC: Not a Pretty Site (or sight)
Slightly musty, but very accurate and enjoyable.

Stamp Backlash Worries Muslims / November 24, 2001 / Comment on this

Stamp Backlash Worries Muslims

Mekeel’s and Stamps Magazine, a weekly philatelic newsletter, ran editorials this month and last month against using the Eid stamp, citing the terrorist attacks. The newsletter urged Muslims and others to instead support the United We Stand stamp, which depicts a U.S. flag. Last weekend, the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative policy group, asked Republican congressional leaders to retract the stamp.

“I am writing to suggest that the current stamps be withdrawn, to be overprinted with the image of the Twin Towers and then reissued,” foundation President Paul M. Weyrich wrote in letters to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) and Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

“I have no doubt a majority of Americans would find the altered stamps a more appropriate commemoration of Islam than the current celebratory version,” he said.

Ignorant, degenerate, inbred reprobates.
Were they protesting against the Christmas stamps when McVeigh blew the side out of an office building and the lives out of a couple hundred people?

And the word phrase / November 22, 2001 / Comment on this

And the word phrase of the day is:
“Promotional Considerations”

So the Taliban has / November 22, 2001 / Comment on this

So the Taliban has surrendered. Or sday they will. Do you believe it yet?
Yesterday… 24 hours ago; they said they would never surrender.
I remember them saying they had no idea where Osama bin Laden is. This was about a day or two before they offered to turn him over in exchange for the bombing.
Their soldiers will never be defeated… they fought off the entire USSR. That is, until they surrendered half the country in 2 days.
M… it isn’t over yet. If for no other reason than there is no single leader over there with the authority to surrender. They couldnt even come to a consensus about what to get on their pizza right now.

Smokers Told to Fetter / November 21, 2001 / Comment on this

Smokers Told to Fetter Their Fumes
Next week, we outlaw fat women who leave the house in pea-green stretch pants.

Reality check: The algebra / November 17, 2001 / Comment on this

Reality check:
The algebra of infinite justice

Europe Goes After the / November 17, 2001 / Comment on this

Europe Goes After the Cookie
Why did this get to be such a big story?
Europe is not banning cookies. They are going to require that web site’s get permission before placing them on a user’s computer. This feature is already present in all major browsers. Europe would simply be making it more obvious for non-technical users to be aware of what’s going on.
Advertisers say it will kill their business.
Um… yeah.
I guess that means that advertisers cannot do business unless they are allowed to invisably track the movements of computer users.
Well kiss my fuzzy pink ass. When I download pictures of nekkid women, I ain;t sharing with anybody.
An educated consumer is an advertisers worst nightmare. If the consumer knows exactly what they want, and what is best, advertising would no longer make a significant difference.
The advertising companies should really stop worrying. People are fucking lazy and apathetic.

French say U.S. Yahoo / November 17, 2001 / Comment on this

French say U.S. Yahoo ruling poses extremism risk
How soon before the first war starts over Internet content? I don’t think it will be pretty, wether it’s fought with bullets or bytes.
For now, no. You can’t allow a country to have any authority over the content on a web site not based in their jurisdiction. There is no governing body that could possible oversee such ttthings. And it would be insane for any single web site to try and meet the requirements of every sovern nation on earth.
And on a side note, god bless america. Home of the racists, maniacs, republicans, and perverts. We honor our freaks, providing then a public pulpit to hang themselves with their own words.
Suppression has never worked. France with all their anti-incitement laws, still has a worse skinhead problem than the US. Remember these are the same people that discussed restricting American television broadcasts in France because it was corrupting their language.

Let not the legions / November 16, 2001 / Comment on this

Let not the legions of Rome enter her walls.

Bush, Putin Agree to / November 14, 2001 / Comment on this

Bush, Putin Agree to Slash Nuclear Arms
Ignoring the political bullshit at the end, and the very fact that these agreements mean essentially nothing in the real world as far as military and destructive capabilities, this is still one of the few stories I have read that has made me feel good in a long time.
Someone has finally pulled their head out of their ass (yes, I do say that a lot), and relized how ridiculous our nuclear arms race had become. What possible benefit was there to being able to destroy the entire world a hundred times over? How realistic was it to maintain, protect, and upgrade such a force?
The reality today is that war has changed again. Just as formation battles passed away, no longer does brute force make any sense. You cannot simply beat someone into submission any more.

Health group targets Coke / November 12, 2001 / Comment on this

Health group targets Coke over Harry Potter
Okay. I hate big corporations as much as your next wannabe hippie redneck. But attacking Coca-Cola over their partnership with Harry Potter?
Please just pull your head out of your ass and say what you want, damnit. This is blatant opportunism to exploit their message with what is bound to be the biggest entertainment spectacle of the year.
Coca-Cola of all companies is not the devil. This is a company that sells drinks. Shitloads of drinks. Second only to the drinks, if even that far back, they sell an Americana image. Mom, apple pie, and all that jazz. Considering the tactics, marketing campaigns, and ethics of most corporations out there, this virtually makes Coke the Mother Teresa of the business world (with Ben and Jerry’s being the Pope, of course).
Forget the issue of who might sponsor the movie at all.
Has anyone from the CSPI been to a movie theatre in the last 20 years? You’d have to be blindfolded and dead to walk through a theatre’s lobby and not see a Coke advertisement, right along side every cholesterol-filled, cancer-causing substance known to man, in the form of candy bars and fake melted butter.
Yup, kids eat too much junk food. I alone kept several Chex Mix factories in business while I was in college.
Did ya see what I said there? I said “I”. I did a nasty little thing. I took responsibility for what I put in my body. I took responsibility for what I spent my money on. And when I was younger, my parents took that responsibility.
We’ll surely be arrested soon for blasphemy.

More from Colonel Klink: / November 9, 2001 / Comment on this

More from Colonel Klink: NY1: News Beats

At the Pentagon, Urgent / November 4, 2001 / Comment on this

At the Pentagon, Urgent Resolve To Honor Dead (washingtonpost.com)
Okay… ummm…
STOP WITH THE FUCKING MEMORIALS!
You can’t die in this country without someone wanting to erect a slab of rock in recognition of the fact you knew how to blow your nose.
If god forbid I should ever become famous, for curing death or something, dont waste people’s money forcing people to look at my ugly face for decades.
If someone aids a cause so well, carry on their legacy by doing the same. EOS

News: Microsoft: Stop leaking / October 18, 2001 / Comment on this

News: Microsoft: Stop leaking bug code!
Microsoft really needs to bite my ass.
They can start complaining about people releasing information about how to hack into their products as soon as they release products that are not the most bug riddled things on earth. If it weren’t for their dominant market position, they would never get away with selling any of their products. There are better, more efficient, cheaper alternatives to almost everything they produce.

U.S. Inquiry Is Under / October 16, 2001 / Comment on this

U.S. Inquiry Is Under Way on Online Music Business

Hey… I was ahead / October 16, 2001 / Comment on this

Hey… I was ahead of the curve, by what… 12 hours?
I feel special. Or at least, that’s the term my doctor uses to describe me.

You fucking wimps. (These / October 15, 2001 / Comment on this

You fucking wimps.
(These particular morons live in Stratton, Ohio, but I speak to every person who lets shit like this happen.)
The reader’s digest version: Stratton, OH requires all people going door-to-door to get a permit from the town hall. To do so they must give their names and addresses and affiliation with the cause for the last five years.
You need a law to protect you from what? Someone talking to you? These kind of laws are why people can sue for mental distress. You have no right to where they can and cannot evangalize or promote. You know what your right is?
To slam the fucking door in their face.
I heartily recommend you practice this as frequently as possible. If you don’t like someone, don’t listen. It doesn’t even require any effort. It is a complete lack of effort (something americans tend to be pretty good at).
I don’t care if it is meant to protect you from fraud. You can only be defrauded if you let it happen. Use your mind for once. And telling people they have to register their name and religious affiliation in order to evangalize is blatently unconstitutional and pretty damn scarey.
If you can’t stand the real world, go home, lock the door, draw the curtians, and start watching Springer. But don’t expect laws to preserve your piece of mind.

I was just stepping / October 8, 2001 / Comment on this

I was just stepping out of the shower when I heard the bombing began. This is going to be one of those evnts filed away under “I remember where I was when…”. Causse I don’t believe this is going to be as simple as it has been.
Are things going on here in DC? I watched a couple of Chinook heavy-lifters flying over south-east shortly after the bombing began. Shortly after that I was taking pictures on Massachusetts Avenue, 6 or 7 blocks south of Union Station when I was stopped and questioned by a cop.
For taking pictures.
In DC.
On the weekend.
.

Yup. I can see / October 4, 2001 / Comment on this

Yup. I can see Dave Thomas gettin sued soon, by Microsoft. You don’t point out that the Emperor has no clothes.

I can’t say it / September 15, 2001 / Comment on this

I can’t say it any better.
Brother, if you don’t mind…

Edited on Sept 15, 2011: Link no longer works. Removed.

The rescue workers in / September 13, 2001 / Comment on this

The rescue workers in New York are using Magic Markers to write their names and social security numbers on their limbs. They know they are risking their own lives to save people who are most likely dead.

Reagan Airport ‘Too Close’ / September 13, 2001 / Comment on this

Reagan Airport ‘Too Close’ to D.C.
funny… National Airport is still closed, although it is the only local airport the terrorists would NOT have used, since it does not allow transcontinental flights.

(washingtonpost.com) Ah… a rush / September 13, 2001 / Comment on this

(washingtonpost.com)
Ah… a rush of ego to my brain and other bodily extremities.
To be quoted, in the Washington Post. And not just any quote, but to wrap up the entire article.
I’m ready, Mr. Demille.

Edit: The article has since been taken down. But they interviewed me in the park behind the white house the day after the Sept 11 attacks.

AOL sued for language / August 31, 2001 / Comment on this

AOL sued for language in chat rooms
Of all the ignorant, idiotic, overbearing, close-minded, tea-tottling, militaristic, bone-headed, asanine moves…
An American citizen sueing a company based in the United States over things that were being said.
Said.
Said.
Let me repeat that:
Said.
How did this person make it out into public if they failed 4th grade history class. Which they surely must have if they have never heard of freedom of speech, one of the founding requirements of this country.
To support what I would weakly call their ‘argument’, they cite a portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits “discrimination in public accommodations”.
Ohhhhhhhkay.
Would Mr. Noah please explain to me when and how the discrimination occured? Speech is not discrimination.
Discrimination is an action taken to prevent someone else from exercising their rights. There is no way in a chat room to prevent other people from talking. Therefore there is no way anyone could have commited discrimination.
Was there hateful speech and ignorant views expressed. Damn right. That’s the best part of being an American. You can make a complete jackass of yourself whenever and wherever you want.
Considering this, the idea that a chatroom is a public gathering space and needs to be protected — well, that argument just falls apart. All parties had equal access to the chat room and equal opportunity to express their views.
It’s been said many times in many spaces, but apparently not quite enough:
Freedom of speech is not truley valuable or even needed unless it is protecting the expression of the most heinous of thoughts.
Any speech that is so whitewashed as to not offend anyone is very likely to be so damn boring I don’t even want to hear it.
So fuck you all. Be offended.

Powerball is up again. / August 25, 2001 / Comment on this

Powerball is up again. Somewhere around 280,000,000 USD. And since it hit a hundred million, I’ve been playing.
Like a lot of people, I think about what I might do with all that money.There’s obvious things like paying myself out of debt, and getting a better place to live. Of course, you want to take care of your parents too. But with an estimated win after taxes of $70,000,000, that is gonna leave me with a lot of denero. And not a lot of ambition.
I’ve thought about going into business for myself. Who cares if you lose money when you have another 69, miliion in the bank. I don’t doubt I could live very comfortably off the interest alone for the rest of my life.
I had a more appealing idea recently. Well appealing to me anyway. Most people have noticed my interest in photography recently. The reasons for that are left to another post,, once I’ve had time to figure out what they are.
So I just wwant to drive around the country for a year or so. Taking pictures. That’s all. Imagine being able to do that without a care in the world.
This of course would be proceeded by a couple months of learning how to drive. When I can devote all ,y time to it, I’m sure it shouldn’t take long.
And I gotta find the perfect vehicle(s) for the (criss)cross country trip. Probably a convertable. Maybe a jeep cherokee.
In the long run, I might extend my travels to include the whole world. I’ll certianly want to travel internationally.
Don’t give me crap about wanting to do something productive with your life. Professionally, Designers have little direct influence on the course of human events anyway. I believe a person’s mere existance is the greatest impact they make on the world. Their interactions with the people n their lives (a la “It’s a Wonderful Life”).
My first job once I win will be to protect my ass anyway. I have no intention of turning in the ticket immediatly. First I get a new private phone number. A financial adviser. A secure place to stay. There will be a lot of people out there who hate or covet me just for the money.

Helms set to opt / August 21, 2001 / Comment on this

Helms set to opt out of Senate race
And the world breathes a collective sigh of relief.

D.C. Police Brace for / August 17, 2001 / Comment on this

D.C. Police Brace for Next Month’s IMF Protests
Bah!
That’s all the intellectual effort that the DC police deserve.
Of all the ignorant, power-tripping, bull-headed people in the world, why them?
I’m still noticing distinct efforts to rewrite history to exploit. When the IMF protests took place last year in DC, the Post was stating the number of participants as over 30,000. This article in today’s post declared that there were only 20,000 protesters.
Doesn’t seem like much of a difference at first. But imagine 10,000 people, all actively working for the same thing at the exact same moment. It probably took less people than that to build the Great Pyramid, at any one time.
And this is just the DIFFERENCE between the 2 numbers reported by the same media outlet.
(Should I mention that i was in the thick of the protests throughout the day, and I doubt there was 10,000 people there altogether?)
I don’t blame the Post… too much. They are most likely reporting the number given them by the DC Police department. But come on! It’s called fact checking people.
I am blatently ignoring references to the other IMF protests throughout the world. I have never experienced them first hand, and they have thus far borne no resemblance to the protests locally.
I lay down a bet now, for everything I own (total value: $3.14), that if something tragic happens at the Washington IMF protests this Fall, it will have been instigated by, or massively aggravated by the police involved in the event. I’m not too worried about loseing my shirt. If anyone remembers correctly, the DC Police were sued multiple times last year for the way they behaved during the IMF protests, citing illegal arrests, no due process, and outright hazardous treatment of people already under arrest.
Since I moved here it has gotten to be standard procedure. The police respond the any large gathering with an overwhelming show of force, blatently placed where it will be most visable to the protestors/attendees.
There is a fine line between deterance and antagonism. A line that each time has disappeared beneath the boot-heel of the shocktroops that the DC police become. I have had shotguns cocked in my face. I’ve watched police and secret service agents lie and attempt to intimidate people. I’ve seen hidden preparations designed to prevent and/or disrupt government sanctioned protests. I was nearly brought to patriotic ecstacy watching a squad of shock troop officers in full riot gear defend me and my city from a group of 40 year old women in their old-fashion Sunday best.
So we’re going to erect a big fence to keep people away. First of all, who said you had the right to keep people away. Why don’t protesters have the right to protest where they can actually be seen by the people they wish to influence. But doesn’t anyone on the police force remember that last year, the only violent action that occured on the part of the protesters was when they ripped down a fence and assaulted the police with it.
My math skills are getting rusty. Otherwise I would be able to figure out why 30,000 protesters last year required 7 million dollars in security and 2 to 3 times that many protestors this year require 5 times as much money for security?
Protests in this city could bore a cat to sleep. If anything is ever going to push these protesters to behave as they have in Europe and Seattle, it is going to be the antagonization of the city police.
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine Martin Luther King, Jr standing on the steps of the National Women in the Arts museum (because the Lincoln Memorial was barricaded), waiting for hours while the crowds found their way around detours set up to delay them, to give a speech to a crowd where the police outnumbered the activists, with a row of mounted officers carrying automatic weapons sitting in the background.