Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BlogRoll ver2.0

Welcome to Dave's Blogroll, ver.2.0. There's a lot of links here, and it's all pretty good stuff, too. Dont read anything into the order things are listed in, at least within their catagories. I'm too old (and too lazy) to be playing the Favorites Game.
Such is life, right?

These are all fine blogs which give their siren call to me on a more or less daily basis:
Contrary Brin
Ran Prieur
Rude Pundit
Whinger
Raed in the Middle
Preston thinks
Aunt Sassy
Falafel Sex
The Phantom Professor
Hotrocks
Dear Leader's Daily Thought


These are blogs about politics and science and other people stuff:
Today in Iraq
Welcome to the Now
The Rare Sixth Sense
Majikthise
Action is Eloquence
Bitch, ph.d.
Pandagon
Heritic Fig
Boing Boing
Blog For America
Newsricks the news in limerick form (really, I swear).
Semper Gumby
Mad Mustard
the Skeptical Observer
the Reform Club

These blogs are more personal,or sometimes just wierd, though that's not to say they dont deal with the stuff above from time to time. Some comedy, some pathos, all the usual stuff of life:
Suburban Turmoil
I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right
Word
Chocolate cake is a nice surprise, _________is not
World Scott
Milan's Daily
Demonbaby
Angry Chimp
Little Man, What Now?
motellage w/ Motor Inn
Bathysphere
Spastic
Dont Mess With Cupcake
The Twinkie Experiment (big window/little window/big window)
The Worst Hour in Radio History
Hollywhatever
Define Normal by the Red Pants of Justice
Roots and Wings
Flan: not quite jelly, not quite cake
ocbkitchen
Pop's Bucket
Car Bombs, Bronx Bombers, and Breasts


art and music:
Eyes Wide Apart
Photo-a-Day
Lightning Studio
On An Overgrown Path
Xquisite-India Chirayu Photography
Observations on the Arts Today
Fish or Cut Bait
Kevin Mills Photography
Tomas Muse, stories n' links
Twitz: a strip a day
thedalyblog
Paul W Ruiz : Paintings and Drawings
Red Shift: arts reviews
A Softer World": more comix... well, sort of
everybody cares, everybody understands


religion:
The Cornell Society for a Good
Time

Thoughts on Life and Faith
Zen Filter
Bible Mysteries Revealed!
Preston thinks


individual posts or sites of interest:
find the man among the beans!
check out this Ferrari wreck!
beer prayer
poem from Bush Quotes
a wonderful post about getting a perm. really!
"Golden Rules"
a night of televangelist-lackey-baiting
the 6 Lessons of School
An article on Dean Kamen - science hero (inventor of segueway transporter)
Scientists Riot!
The Cost of War
Instructions for something called Throwies which are magnetic LEDs which can be used for graffiti-like decoration


Other cool Internet stuff:
Internet Public Library
TPM cafe
Worldchanging
Uncyclopedia: not Wikipedia
The Discordian Coloring Book
Biblical Legos


These are my "mutual" links, that is, blogs to which I am linked and who are, astonishingly enough, linked to me also:
Sympathetic Stupid
Dave's Evil Twin
Tree Story
Reverend Billy Bob Gisher
United We Lay
Science and Politics
Totally...
Library Bitch
Spoonfighter
Death and Taxes
Omnipotent Poobah
Stinkhorn Rodeo
Dont Floss with Tinsel
Elvira, Mistress of the Blog


Go to Blog Roll ver 1.0

Monday, February 27, 2006

testing...

I just took the nerd/geek/dork test. Results? I scored 78 % on Nerdage, 34% on Geekage, 60% on Dorkage. The test declared me perfect "Tri-Lambda" material, which is ironic because I always hated those movies.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

broken promise

Okay, I know I said I wouldnt say anything more on the subject, but then my friend Shaun sent me this. And now I'm done. Really. I swear.

The Truck Analogy*

Okay, imagine this. You're standing on the corner. You'd go across the street, but you can see a truck coming. There's a man next to you, who steps off the curb.
"Hey!" you say, "there's a truck coming!"
His makes a dismissive wave of his hand. "No, there's not."
"Look! It's coming down the road towards you!" you shout.
He keeps going, eyes straight ahead. "Quit trying to distract me, I'm crossing the road here."
You're beginning to get a little frantic. "It's going to run right over you!!"
"Nonsense!" he responds, "You're being an alarmist. Even if there was a truck, which there isnt, it would stop before it hit me."
The truck, nearly on top of him, blasts its horn.


Hmmm. This is okay, but it's not quite what I'm searching for.
Let me think...

Okay, imagine this. You're on a bus. The bus is full of people and heading down a highway. Then comes a sign up the road that says, "DANGER - CLIFF AHEAD - Road Ends 1 mi.". The bus driver, however, shows no sign of slowing down. Worried, you get up to go speak to the driver. Before you can get there, though, about three rows from the front, a man stands up.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asks.
"I need to talk to the driver, there was a sign back there that says the Road is going to end."
"I didnt see a sign," He replies, "and neither did the driver, and he's my friend."
"Well, there was a sign," you say, "and I think maybe the driver really needs to slow down."
"You really need to sit down", he says, a bit threateningly.
"There's a cliff!"
"We've seen no evidence of a cliff. Now sit down."
You turn around, and head back towards your seat, but stop before you get there. "Did anyone else see the sign about the road ending?" you ask the passengers.
Many say they did. About half of the passengers feel that someone else should perhaps drive the bus, but then start arguing amongst themselves about who and about how and about qualifications. You say, "No one needs to drive the bus, just stop the bus!", but they ignore you.
You turn to the other half of the passengers. They are also arguing. Some are adamant that there is no cliff, shouting, "Show me this cliff!"
You respond, "If we dont stop this bus, you'll see the cliff up close and personal!" This results in a storm of verbal assaults on you, with some of the passengers getting in your face.
"If you dont like the bus, then why dont you just walk!"
"What's the matter with you? There's something wrong with you! Are you possessed?!"
"There is no cliff! Anyone who says there's a cliff is a troublemaking liar!"
"Why would you say something like this? Do you hate busses? That's it, isnt it, you're a bus-hater!"
One couple tells you, "We used to ride on the busses from this outfit in Arkansas. We hated them! There's a bus company that's gonna drive off a cliff!"
You're really starting to get worried now. Some of the people (the ones not sleeping or arguing) are also getting anxious. Some of these are moving back and forth between the larger groups, searching for answers. Others have joined you in shouting "Stop the Bus!"
The PA speakers crackle a bit, then whine as the mike is picked up.
"Uh, hello. This is The Driver® speaking. I, uh, want you to know that we're On Track® here in the Bus®. God® is with me, and I am Doing Everything I Can® to assure Your Safety®. This isnt a perfect bus, but I am a Driver with a Vision®, and it's a Good Vision®, and if you'll just Trust Me® you'll all end up right where I think is Best®, uh, for Everybody®." Then he turns around a waves. Someone takes a Picture®.
A man from the pro-driver crowd turns to you. "See, everything is OK®, the driver just said so."
The bus passes another sign: "DANGER - CLIFF AHEAD - Road Ends 1000 ft".
The bus doesnt slow.
The man looks at you again and says, "How could he drive us off a cliff, when he'd go with us? I'm sure we're OK."


Um... that's true, I guess. Isnt it?

Ok, let's try this:

You know Clint Eastwood's movie The Gauntlet? Only, this time, after making his armored driver's seat, the driver hasnt let all the passengers get off the bus...







*a response to a challenge

wow

Read this.
Maybe you'll say to yourself, "whoa, that dude's way overboard."

But a part of you will know he's right.

Squash it down, squash it down. Shhhhh.
Read it, again.

Shhhh.

props to the Rev.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

today's quote



Judy: Love means never having to say you're sorry.
Howard: That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.
-- "What's Up Doc?"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

story time

I played with Legos as a kid, but I never played like this.Hey you guys, Dad says you beter quit fucking up his planet, or he's gonna kick your ass'Course, they didnt have the mini-figs back then. Click on the picture. Are you listening?

foot fetish



Oh, man. For I dont know how long, I've envied our less "advanced" cousins for their exceptionally cool feet. And now, just when it's finally starting to look like I might get myself a nice opposable big toe, Sam Brownback, Senator from that Luddite stronghold known as Kansas, goes and introduces a bill to make my dream of tree-climbing ease illegal. Bastard. Thank God Asian countries such as India and Korea will soon totally outclass us medically.

lucky number 7

CotL logoIt's time, really time, actually, for you to send a submission to the 7th Carnival of the Liberals. This time round it's being hosted by Hamilton Habs from Throw Away Your TV. CotL #7 will be on Wednesday, March 1, but Hamilton needs your submissions by next Monday, Feb. 27 at Noon EST.
This time round, with TayTV hosting, there is, as you might expect, a bit of a bias towards video, but it's not necessary. But whatever you submit, you havent got much time (Monday the 27th, remember - 6 days), so get your act together.

thought for the day

chimp in chief


Courage is of no value unless accompanied by justice; yet if all men became just, there would be no need for courage.

-- Agesilaos II of Sparta

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Okay, this is the last time I will speak of this, I swear

Well, do you have any experience?Ha! This is about right!Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Communist Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've SHOT SOMBODY ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I DO IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified?
"Vice President Dick Cheney, while hunting wild geese in the Rose Garden, accidentally shot President Bush twice, once in the heart and once in the head. 'I didn't really shoot the President twice,' said Cheney. 'The second time I shot him, I was president.'"
Steve Martin, The Huffington Post (props to The Daily Nooz)

party analysis made easy

Ha! This is about right!skimmed from Mad Mustard

What the Hell is wrong with everybody?!?!

Once upon a time, Europe was thought, at least by myself, to be a haven for Rationality. It was the home of the Renaissance. Nearly all of the Great Thinkers (that I'm aware of anyway) came from there. Newton, Locke, Einstein, Aquinas, Bacon. And the Rational Philosophies of Europe combined with the independent spirit of those ballsy enough to pack up and head West to create America, the greatest nation on the planet, so far.

Apparently, the thinking over there is not so rational these days. The Cartoons might exist as proof of this, as would skinheads, British soccer fans, and French Right-wing parties. But each of these things can also be dismissed with a casual, "oh, there've always been fringes."

Okay, fair enough. How about a court decision, then. Even here in America, we expect our Courts to act in a rational manner, right?

In a stunning decision worthy of something out of an American Fundementalist Wacko's Pulpit (think Pat Robertson), Italy's highest court has ruled on Friday that...

raping an under-age girl who has already had sex with others is less serious than raping one who hasn't .

Upholding an appeal from a man convicted of raping
[the] 14-year-old [daughter of his girlfriend], the Cassation Court said the girl's past sexual experience amounted to "extenuating circumstances" for him. (ANSA)
Yes, you read that right. Appalling, isnt it.
Even Italians are stunned by this ruling. Equal Opportunities Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said the sentence "leaves us speechless". The rapist was seeking to have his sentence reduced by two thirds. Said his lawyer: the attack "didn't provoke any trauma," because the girl had had so many sexual partners.
The Italian Court has a bit of a history of this kind of idiocy, actually...
In recent years it has ruled that "an isolated and impulsive" pat on a woman's bottom at work did not constitute sexual harassment, and returned a verdict that a woman could not have been raped because she was wearing skin-tight jeans. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Imagine the Tom Hanks of old, doing his stunned and standing thing that he does so well. Have him smack his forehead. In fact, have him do it several times because he just cant fucking believe his ears. Let him do some classic rub-his-eyes-and-clean-out-his-ears shtick. That's me. It's like something out of movie. But even the Godfather wouldnt have tolerated something like this. ("It's not respectful") . No, this is like something out of a really bad movie from the 30's, some sort of companion piece to "Reefer Madness" about the dangers of Promiscuity.

I dont know what's the matter with the planet right now. Maybe it's some form of post-millenial madness. So many people in the world, all convinced the end was nigh. When it didnt happen, they must have been really disappointed. Sometimes people get a little crazy when they're disappointed. Or just stupid.
All over the world, the consensus seems to be that the clock should be rolled back a ways, and women need to be put firmly back on the second tier where they "belong". Even a lot of women seem to be affected by this madness.

So now, I guess I'd better make sure my daughters get plenty of martial arts training. And maybe they need to learn to handle a firearm. If I knew any Navy SEALs, maybe I'd get one to teach them how to handle a blade, too. It probably wouldnt stop some idiot who recognises a "get out jail free" card when he sees one, but at least afterwards, when one of my daughters are in court, it'll be, not as a victim, but as the girl who busted up her assailant.

In the meantime, boys, let me remind you: "No" means "No".
I dont care what you read on the Internet. I dont care what you and your buddies joked about. I dont care what movies, television, video games, or even that "little slut" in 5th period say.

"No" means "NO".

And a little something everyone might keep in mind. The good old days had a lot of quaint customs in addition to that of making sure a woman "knew her place". Among them was a certain brand of vigilantism.
I'm not advocating any kind of violence here or anything. But that's the problem with the Good Old Days; they werent really all that good.

Friday, February 17, 2006

some days, you just feel old

25 SIGNS YOU HAVE GROWN UP
(from Car Bombs, Bronx Bombers and Breasts, which about sez it all)

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "break up."
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
10. You're the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won't turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog/cat Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps from noon to 6 PM
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
19. If you're a gal, you go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff."
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate her instead of asking "Oh S*$# What happened!?!?!?!
25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old butt.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

impeachment

Impeachment criteria:

James Madison, from the Virginia ratification convention: "If the president be connected in any suspicious manner with any person and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter him, he may be impeached."

The South Carolina ratification convention impeachment criteria: those are impeachable "who behave amiss or betray their public trust."

James Madison again at the Constitutional Convention: "A president is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution."
If the impeachment provision in the Constitution of the United States will not reach the offenses charged here, then perhaps that eighteenth century Constitution should be abandoned to a twentieth-century paper shredder. Has the president committed offenses and planned and directed and acquiesced in a course of conduct which the Constitution will not tolerate? That is the question. We know that. We know the question. We should now forthwith proceed to answer the question. It is reason, and not passion, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision.
All these come from Barbara Jordans's Opening Statement to the House Judiciary Committee Proceedings on Impeachment of Richard Nixon.
(All possible props to Tree Story, who just doesnt post enough.)

More fun

Remember, years ago, when Bush the First threw up in the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister? Well, apparently "The incident spawned the Japanese slang verb bushusuru (literally, 'Bushing it') to refer to puking." (Source: Rotten.com) (Props to Jeanne at Paranoranimal)

Something Fun

This one nails all of Homeland Security
You know, lately I've been a little tense, right? So I decided to go to what was, before the blogging began, one of my favorite sites, Something Awful. There, in Photoshop Phriday, I entertained myself for a while. Okay, it's generally pretty sophomoric, occassionally even offensive. But dont we all need a bit of that in our lives, from time to time.

Carnival of the Liberals No. 6

Take this, you damned Liberal pinkos!CotL logo



Well, it's a done deal, again, no thanks to me. The latest Carnival of the Liberals (Number 6, that is) is now up at Slant Truth. Check it out. There were three catogories this time:

1) Progressive Politics? What do we mean 2) Homophobia and the Black (or any other) Community 3) Can Art be Political, and if it is, is it still Art?

never let them see you cry, son

In England Wednesday, Parliament passed a bill outlawing the "glorification" of terrorism. Said Prime Minister Tony Blair:
the proposed offence is something entirely different. It is a "signal" of the Government's determination to bear down on terrorism. Not to support it is to be seen as soft on terrorism. (from News.telegraph)
I never noticed before that Tony Blair is as much a belligerent little schoolyard punk as George Bush and Company are. Was I not paying attention? Is it all macho posturing, or do politicians think we really respect this kind of chest-puffery? Or, worse, do we?

Opponents, very rightly, worried about the vagueness of the law. Not only does the word "glorification" allow for a loose interpretation, but the word terrorism isnt a whole lot better.
And ("Future bills in Congress for $500, Alex") when can we expect to see a similar law passed here.

tinfol hats intensify my brain waves

Here's proof: a thought I had the other day that might give any Administration-types who may be making "contingency" plans for martial law / suspended elections.

There are, in this country, millions of young adults who spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours electronically training for guerilla warfare. And they cant all join the army, no matter how much funding for higher education gets cut.

I myself played hours and hours of Doom, and I was a lightweight. Guess what the best (as in most useful, not most ass-kicking) weapon was in Doom? The shotgun. Readily available, and reloadable in any garage.

By the way, I'd just like to point out that I do not advocate armed rebellion (except long ago in a galaxy far far away), but I was just having a brainstorm and the metal around my skull kept it all inside, so I had plenty to share.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

today's quote

[Critical thinking]...is the examination and test of propositions of any kind which are offered for acceptance, in order to find out whether they correspond to reality or not...It is our only guarantee against delusion, deception, superstition and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances.

William Graham Summer quoted in Michael R. LeGault's book Th!nk

Monday, February 13, 2006

Molly Ivans sez

yep, I used it again, and with no apologies.  Maybe I'll use it over and over, HA!Read this article by Molly, not just because she's a hoot (well, most of the time, I think maybe she's starting to get a bit peeved), but because she's also right. (as in correct, not leaning)

no fucking way!*

King George, the Bush, an image stolen from Paste-up.com Okay, I know it's just some dumbass bullshit, just like the same losers who were trying to amend the Constitution so that Ahnold could be our first foreign-born President.
And I know that there is no way in hell that a guy who just barely got a majority in two elections is going to get 75% of the states to pass him (unless there are a lot of pro-electronic voting machine bills passed in the next 2 years), and then manage to win again.

And yet, they try to do so anyway. Yes, Representatives HOYER, BERMAN, SENSENBRENNER, SABO, and PALLONE have entered a bill to repeal the 22nd amendment to the United States Constitution. That's the one that REPUBLICANS got passed after the 4th time Franklin Roosevelt got elected, the same Franklin Roosevelt that Republicans still hate because he made life easier for poor people.

And I know that everybody had better start paying real close attention or those bastards are gonna hose us again!

Oh, I'm sorry, was I yelling?

Okay, you know what this is, dont you? It's this years Red Herring. Like last year's Gay Marriage fight, it's another stroke of Evil Genius from the Right. See, we cant let this issue go, but while we're fighting it (and while it gets BIG media attention, which is the key to the success of the strategy), the Republicans continue feasting on the flesh of America.

Hey, wait! I got an idea that'll nip this thing right in the bud! Ready for it? Here goes:
Bill Clinton, '08
third time's a charm!
Addendum: (an hour or so later) Okay, so my brother informs me that 4 out 5 bill-writers are Democrats. So, what does this mean? Are they trying to pull some sort of whammy on Dubya. Are they insane? Are they bought? Will somebody please tell me what is going on?!


*A lesson in jumping to conclusions

Saturday, February 11, 2006

reading material

You know, I cannot, in good conscience, surf the blogosphere without sharing the cool stuff I find along the way, so here's the latest list...

some time at the park


So the other day I was sitting around at the park, doodling in a sketchbook while my daughter played on the monkey bars (or whatever they call them these days), and I drew God. Not in his aspect as my brother, but in the traditional manner: robes, flowing hair and beard.
I wished it was better, then drew a bird, for no particular reason, other than because it was, after all, a sketch book.
Then I looked up, and saw God. He was walking across the playground, His long white beard and hair streaming in the wind that had come up with His approach (I think that was what made me look up from the sketchbook). The same wind was swirling through the silken folds of His robes in a manner to make a Renaissance painter weep with joy. As He walked His arms swept out in the kind of movements you would expect to see only on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He sat down on the bench beside me.
"Nice entrance", I said.
"Thanks," He said, "Every artist enjoys his crafts, even if he rarely practices them. You ought to know that."
I thought of the corner of the garage stuffed with photographic equipment. Oh boy, dont I know it.
"Yes" He said.
Suddenly, my daughter appeared in His lap, seemingly from thin air, grinning that little grin of hers, eyes a-twinkle. "Hi God!" she said.
"Hello, how are you?" He said, in a sober manner that was somehow playful.
"I'm four." she replied, with equal gravity.
"Icee-pop?" God asked, the long, thin tube of orange ice in His hand.
"Yes, please." She grabbed it from His hand, then sat down next to Him to eat it. A car pulled up to the park, and mother and her two children got out. I noticed God's hair and beard, in addition to being much shorter, was now a salt and pepper color. His robes had become a pair of jeans, a t-shirt from some New Orleans crab place, and a windbreaker. He was also a rather distinguished shade of brown.
"Nice shoes." I said, pointing to His Chuck Taylor All Stars.
"I see you prefer the low-top." He said, gesturing at mine.
Two more cars pulled up, spilling children and mommies. My daughter, Icee-pop abandoned, ran out to join them.
"It must be time for someone's play-date", I said, watching another car pull up.
"No, no," He said, "This always happens when I visit a park. If you ask them, they wont know why they came, but I think they sense that I would never let anything bad happen to the children while I'm here."
We sat for a while, watching the children play.
Finally, I asked, "So... what brings You here today?"
"You drew Me in."
"In what? My sketchbook? That made You come here today?" I was dizzied slightly by the implied power of my action.
"Well, images certainly can carry a lot of power, but no, nothing like that. I could tell that you were kind of bummed out, so I came to see what I could do."
"How about a rain of shit on the Capital?" I said, though without much hope.
He narrowed His eyes at me, and suddenly all the children in the playground booed. Mothers looked up concernedly.
"No, I guess not." He has told me, repeatedly, no wrath of God stuff. I keep asking though, and I think it's starting to irritate Him.
We watched the children some more, then He made a gesture towards the playground. "That doesnt make you feel better? It always works for Me."
I looked at the children. "It's them I worry about more than anything. What kind of world are we leaving them? Pretty fucked up, I know that."
"Oh, it's not so bad." God replied. "I have to look back only a hundred years and I can tell you of a world much, much worse." I suppose He meant that part about looking back literally.
"But we could, we should, do so much better."
"Yes, yes, you could."
I was not feeling better at this point.
"You really should lighten up some." He said. "You dont need to be serious all the time. You need a balance of the two, and you, my son, are out of balance."
"But we're killing the planet!"
"You cant kill the planet, you can only kill yourselves. The planet will live on, even if the human race turns out to have been only a filter."
We watched the children some more. They were playing a strange little game where each would shake anothers hand, and then say, "What an interesting point, I'll have to think about this", in a somber voice. Then both would giggle. I had no idea what they were doing.
I told God that He wasnt making me feel any better. He told me it wasnt His job.
"Go read a good book," He said, "or see a funny movie. Do you even read the comics anymore?"
He sighed.
"Listen, Dave, think about this: Remember in the 50's when everyone thought there'd be a robot in every kitchen and a helicopter in every driveway? Did that happen?"
I looked at Him. "I'm sure it did on some dimension."
This smart-ass response was rewarded with one of His beatific smiles. All the children on the playground whooped in joy. "You're getting better at this." He said, giving a measured look that made me nervous for some reason.
Then He stood up. "Nothing ever works out the way you think it will. Ever. For anybody. I gotta go now, but We'll talk again later."
After He left, the mothers and their children filtered away almost as quickly as they had come, so I collected up my daughter, and went home to file the drawing somewhere safe, and to find my copy of the Holy Grail.



from The Gospel of Dave, chapter 5, verses 12-21

12. And on that day did Dave attend the commons with his youngest child, and with him carried pencil and paper bound. 13. And on the paper he did fashion an image of the Lord. 14. Then came a mighty wind, and the Lord appeared to Dave in His Glory. 15. Soon the park was filled with the Children of the Lord, feasting in His Presence and echoing His thoughts.

16. Again did Dave ask the Lord to smite his enemies, and again did the Lord refuse. Dave and the Lord then did speak, but yet Dave was not comforted. 17. And so the Lord did suggest "Good Omens", or some other amusing tale, but Dave remained in his funk. 18. And so the Lord bid Dave to lighten up, reminding him of the Jetsons, and how that future came to naught. But Dave was unconvinced, and said, 19. "There are other Dimensions", in which answer the Lord was well-pleased, for in it He saw the coming of Dave's wisdom. 20. And whereupon the Lord returned to His ethereal plane, Dave did partake in the Holy Sacrament of the Python King's Quest, 21. and Lo! he didst laugh righteously.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

input

FLIR Thermovision II/III MS, also know as the Head of Number 5
Hey, ya'll, guess what? Number Five is alive.

Okay, not really. As you can see, they've shaved his eyebrows, and decapitated him.

Okay, that's a lie, too. It's just life imitating art. Again.

It's built by a company called "Flir", and is specifically a model called the "Thermovision Ranger III MS". Google it, if need be.

Monday, February 06, 2006

listening to hearings

Today, I'm listening to Alberto Gonzalez defending the Presidents abuse of authority, and several things are going thru my mind...
  1. Congress needs to be more careful with their wording when passing laws giving the President authority for something. Actually, when giving the President authority for anything, apparently.
  2. Shakespeare may have had it right. One of Gonzales' arguements for the president having legal authority to wiretap domestically was this thing about "two possible interpretations" and how if one interpretation caused a tension between executive and legislative branches, then they had to, by law (as interpretted by the Supreme Court), go with the other interpretation. Funny thing, though, he didnt mention what happens if both interpretations cause conflict.
  3. Gonzales keeps citing decisions made or actions taken by people from the "other side", such as Bill Clinton, Sandra Day O'Connor, and FDR. If the deed was wrong, the deed was wrong, regardless of who did it. Save your history lessons for the classroom.
  4. In light of the information in one of my previous posts, I find reference to FDR especially troubling, for it was under Roosevelt that Japanese-Americans were rounded up wholesale and placed in detention camps, an action I'm not sure this country has yet to show an appropriate level of shame for. Dont think for one moment that the Administration hasnt reviewed all legal arguements associated with that episode.
  5. We need to look at our definition of the word "war". We may indeed be involved in a conflict with extremist Islamists, and it may qualify as a guerilla action, but I dont think it qualifies as War, any more than the Cold War was a war (however many real wars it may have contained).
  6. John Cornyn is an Administation Tool, and an asshat. In fact, most of the Republicans, even when giving Gonzales a hard time, seemed mostly to be asking, "how can we set things up so that the President can keep doing what he's been doing, but while keeping us, the Republican-controlled Congress, in the loop?"
  7. How far will the BushCorp take section 109, authorizing "use of military force", which Gonzales used as his ultimate fall-back position during the hearings. Spying on Citizens, torture (which the administration still denies, even while defending the practice), hiding information, and God knows what else. Will that include rounding up dissenters, perhaps following the promised next attack by al-Queda?
    Hey! I got an idea, let's nationalize the countries Oil Companies! Surely huge oil profits (to the detriment of all Americans (except big stockholders and oil execs) and the military, which must buy petroleum products for its use, could justify that move, also.
Finally, the hearings are still ongoing, with the expected soft-soaping by Republicans (though not totally) and impotent vitriol by Democrats. Through it all, Gonzales has kept to the Administration line:
We havent done anything illegal, because we dont think we did anything illegal.
Could I use that next time I get a ticket?

    checks and balances

    In 1832, the Supreme Court, headed by the revered John Marshall, ruled in favor of the Cherokee Indians in the case Worcester v. Georgia, where Georgia was attempting to take the land of the Cherokees for use of newer, whiter settlers. According to this decision, Georgia was not allowed to take the land.

    The response of the then-President of the United States, Andrew Jackson: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it." Jackson, who was known as a "man of the people", stood by while the Cherokees were herded halfway across the country to Oklahoma, on foot, losing 25% of their numbers while doing so. Actually, since the military was used to force this removal, he obviously did more than merely stand by.

    My point? No point, other than to say that I think people place too much faith in the workings of government. If those in power make a decision, and those who placed them in power sit back and accept that decision, regardless of it's "legality", then what exactly are we playing at here? What is the point of a constitution if you can set it aside and no one objects?

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    Quote for the Nation

    "People generally quarrel because they cannot argue."

    Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

    Tin-foil hat time, I hope

    I was just over at Ran Priuer's site, and he had a link to an interesting article. Seems the Government has been contracting with (who else?) Halliburton (or more properly, KMG) to build detention camps here in the good old U.S. of A.

    Why?

    Well, for an "emergency influx of immigrants", of course. Certainly not for American citizens, you paranoid nutbag, you. That would be illegal, unthinkable. It could never happen here. Why, next you'll be implying that the Administration suspects the citizenry of terrorist activity, and is actively spying on them.

    Oh wait.

    Never mind. Try googling Rex 84 instead. It's the phrase "or to support the rapid development of new programs" that worries me.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    unsolicited Call for entries

    CotL logookay, so it's done, the 5th Carnival of the Liberals has been juried by Modem Butterfly. Check it out, it's safe. Between a dead computer and just being lame, I'm not represented this time out, so you can read without fear.

    Then, ready your submission to the next Carnival of the Liberals (no. 6), being held at SlantTruth. This time round is slightly different; not a freestyle, but with a choice of three topics instead:
    1. Progressive Politics? What do we mean?
    2. Homophobia and the Black (or any other) Community
    3. Can Art be Political, and if it is, is it still Art?
    Think of it as a commission.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    I respond to my own words

    Well, first of all, let me apologize for going off on y'all like that yesterday.
    Everything I said was true, I think, but the tone..., well, I was tired, cranky, maybe coming down with something. I'm having a bad week.

    To start with, Samuel Alito was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a margin of 58 to 42, with only 4 Democrats on his side (to put this in perspective, Clarence Thomas, one of the worst Justices in decades, passed 52-48 with 11 Democrats, in a Democratic-controlled Senate). Sure, he may turn out to be just fine, and we can all hope for that. But personally, I'm just happy that Presidential term-limits are covered by the 22nd amendment, and not a law passed by Congress.
    Stay tuned for true judicial activism.

    As for the State of the Union speech by our fearless leader... sigh.
    I'm just to tired to deal with Dubya today. He wearies me. Republicans weary me, Conservatives weary me. Americans, such as my parents, incapable of seeing the damage being done to this country by them weary me.

    Here's one thing I will say. Republican intransigence, their unwillingness to compromise, their willingness to destroy checks in the system to make sure the minority retains a voice - these things will someday come home to bite them on the ass (barring some sort of Theocratic coup d'etat, of course).
    I've read a lot of people slamming the Democrats for not standing up to the Republicans enough, for not philibustering, for not going to whatever extreme is required to block the Path of the Conservative Steamroller. I've said some things against them myself. But they're not so much incompetent as out of their league.
    The Republicans have changed the rules. No longer is Washington (and statehouses around the country) engaging in Politics. Politics involves compromise, give and take, settling. What the Mouthpieces of the Right Wing call wishy-washy is what used to be called Statesmanship.
    Remember Statesmanship? You've got a list, They've got a list. Both sides get together and try to work out a way for everyone to get as much as they can, so that everyone is happy, and things dont degenerate down into conflict.
    Not wishy-washy. Compromising. That's supposed to be the Political Process.
    The Conservative Movement has changed all that, though. They have reinstituted the principle of Winner Take All. A majority, any majority, means that the winners get everything. No bones will be thrown to dogs, no pennies for the poor. Our Way or the Highway.
    I think the Democrats, being basically at heart people who care about the well-being of the country as a whole, are resisting this idea, because they know that it is a way of life under which a significant chunk of the country can only suffer, and that is Bad For the Country.
    This is why they keep loosing so badly. They are peaceful Christians in the Political Colusseum that the Republicans have created, and the Conservative gladiator they are facing isnt concerned about anything but killing his opponent, and going back to the tent and wallowing hin his glory and prize-winnings. To the Victor Go the Spoils.
    Wait. No, much as I like this analogy, it's not quite right. Because the Republicans arent interested in just victory and the prize. They want more. They want domination. They want whatever the fight is about, and everything else, too. It's not enough for Republicans to control their own Destiny (i.e., have Liberty), they must control the "liberty" of others, also. They want Prayer in School (their prayers), and so others must have it too. They dont want Gay Marriage, therefore no one else must have Gay Marriage.
    Spoils? More like Spoiled. Republicans act like teenagers faced with chores. They dont want to do it, they're not gonna do it. And if they have do it, they'll do a crappy-ass job of it so you dont ever ask them to do it again. Disagree? Look at the Drug Program. Look at the Katrina Relief program.
    How about taxes? Tell a teenager, if they're gonna live in this house, they're gonna help with the chores. Tell a Republican, if you're gonna live in this country, you're gonna pay taxes to help with the chores, at which point they'll start talking about property and rights and how it's their country (like they built it all by themselves).

    Okay, enough rambling. My conclussion: America is a country being run by teenagers with swords. An entire generation of people who were raised by hippies and beatniks, who reacted by becoming that which their parents hated, and who now run the country without regard to the feelings or needs of anyone else.
    But they've forgotten one thing.
    Someday they'll be old, and their hold on power will be slipping. And their children, who will also have deliberately become that which their parents hate, will gain power. And they will be operating under the rules being established now, using the political ethics being "taught" by example now.
    And while it might be fun to watch that battlefield from the comfort of Canada or someplace, I'm not looking forward to being here when it happens. Dont be surprised if, within a generation, not many other people are either.

    But guess what. It'll be no more than we deserve. Democracy is not a priviledge, it is a responsibility. And everything being done in Our Government today is being done because we voted (or didnt). Our choice, our consequences. Live with it, fight it, or find something else, but dont think for one minute that you deserve anything more.

    new orders

    Well, they did it. Sam Alito has replaced former swing voter Sandra Day O'Connor. I hope y'all are happy in the Republican party. Because this one's gonna last, along with the other ones. Twenty, thirty years. Ready for it, America?

    I'd comment on it all, make snide comments about Roe, about authority vs. people, predict doom laced with sarcasm. But I cant. I feel like crap, and this just piles it on. I cant even generate any real comment on the laughable accusation by President Oil Baron that we are respondsible for the oil crisis, other than to point out that we are the dumbasses who've put the politicians who've made the energy policies for this country into office in the first place.

    We suck. We will get everything that we so richly deserve. Poverty, sickness, falling wages, a shrinking piece of the pie, in short, less and less and less of everything but cheap TVs and video players for everyone (excepting the top few who'll get the cream, the butter, the curds, the whole milk, the 2%, the 1%, and half the Skim). And because this is a Democracy, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Congratulations.