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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flag Burning Amendment

I am of two different but far from dissimilar minds on this issue. On the one hand, I'm very happy to see that the proposed amendment failed in the United States Senate today. On the other hand, I'm more than a bit concerned that it was by the smallest margin ever. One more vote, and the measure would have advanced. Furthermore, the very fact that 66 Senators out of a Senate comprised of 100 members voted in favor of the proposed amendment is, frankly, terrifying. One of the cornerstones of this representative democracy is the concept that all speech, no matter how offensive, is protected, in whatever form it may take, as long as said speech does not lead to the direct harm of others (such as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre), and with other very proscribed restrictions. In fact, as numerous points of case law and our own nation's history attest, offensive speech, or rather, the right to it, is particularly critical to the health of our society. In the earliest days of the United States, we had very vicious personal attacks during the course of campaigns for public office or by various newspapers against public officials they disliked. Look at some of the early "broadsides", which have evolved into today's pussified editorial cartoons.

My response to this was going to be some utterly brilliant quote I heard once. However, I was unable to locate this gem, so instead, I'll go with a lesser one that starts to express my opinion, a gem from Doug McLeod: "I still say a church steeple with a lightening rod on top shows a lack of confidence." Or perhaps this quote from Ambrose Bierce is more apropos: "In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office."

Monday, June 26, 2006

I have heard the music at the entrance to Hell...

And it is the sound of Scott Stapp singing. I saw him on TV not too long ago, and I tried to listen to one of his songs all the way through. I really tried, like I would when trying some incredibly nasty yet exotic and possibly interesting dish at a restaurant, but my brain wanted to burst its way out of my skull to save me any more of that incredible misery. I swear, a few more seconds, and I would've been a twitching human vegetable for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I had just enough motor control left to change the fucking channel, and after watching VH1, I was able to function as a human being again, though I still suffer from flashbacks to that horrific experience. *shudders*

For those of you who thought he was a self-righteous, egotistical, talentless hack whose voice was reminiscent of hydraulic cutters being used on a mangled automobile, you don't have any idea how much worse he sounds without his band to keep him straight. Oh, and how about that? The band kicked him, the person who defined that band, out, with the probable knowledge that they were ending their careers as rock stars, and they pushed him out anyway. To them, I offer my most sincere condolences for having dealt with him for as long as they did. As for his singing, I roughly quote the Luke's Spirit Test scene from the original Star Wars series, when Luke says that he's not afraid of anything. In response, I quote Yoda when I say, "You will be." While his voice sounded like a hydraulic cutter before, now it sounds like a stereo playing a dirge while said stereo is going through a woodchipper. Oh, and he comes across as being even more insufferable than he was before. But not to worry: Kids who can't quite bring themselves to buy Christian rock will flock to his, ahem, CD, and he'll once again be "the next big thing" and people who enjoy real music will once again weep for this young and foolish generation, for they know not what they're doing. I can only hope that they get ahold of some real music instead before they suffer permanent damage. In the meantime, I wonder if the local grocery store has a special on Kleenex.

A challenge:

Name ten or more celebrities you think are hot. For this one, I tag Evie. My incomplete list is as follows:

1) Alyson Hannigan
2) Jessica Alba
3) Jada Pinckett-Smith (who was a touch lower on my list until I saw her sing.)
4) Eliza Dushku
5) Amber Benson (Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
6) The redhead from the Pussycat Dolls
7) Morena Baccarin (Inara Serra from Firefly/Serenity)
8) Jewel Stait (Kaylee from Firefly/Serenity)
9) Mischa Barton
10) Jennifer Connolly
11) Lark Voorhies (Lisa from Saved By the Bell, and no laughing)
12) Amy Acker (Winifred "Fred" Burkle from Angel the Series)
13) Katie Holmes (before she got involved with that creep Tom Cruise, which knocked her down 8 spots on my chart)
14) Tyra Banks (lower on the list because she's a model and probably a bit high-maintenance)
15) Angelina Jolie (much lower on the list because she's a bit crazy)

Well, that's about all I could think up for now. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A positive thought about Bill Gates...

I've been thinking a lot about Microsoft's WGA snafu, about which I reported recently. I also heard that Bill Gates is making plans to switch to part-time as of 2008. I got to thinking about it, and somehow, the strange and as yet unplotted workings of my mind got me to thinking about military culture. From what little I understand of the culture of the U.S. military, if an officer for any reason feels they cannot perform their duties, if they feel strongly enough, their duty is to resign. While I cannot even begin to speculate on the reasoning behind Mr. Gates' decision, and whether or not the WGA snafu had anything to do with that, I think the timing in and of itself is very interesting, and I think, at least raises that question. Or, maybe he's just getting old and wants to spend more time with his family and his other commitments. Either way, this is good news for the world and (hopefully not) good news for Microsoft.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I would say Bill Gates=Satan, but Satan has a better approval rating.

The latest incident to which I refer is the WGA update, which many unsuspecting people will download as part of the automatic update feature of Windoze. Before I continue, I want those of you with Mac OS X or one of the many distributions of Linux to finish pointing and laughing at we sad sacks of shit who still use one of the flavors of Microsoft (failing to) Operating Systems. The update is listed by Microsoft as KB905474, and installs the Windows Genuine Advantage program onto unsuspecting computers. Some of the reported issues with this have been with those who have had their hard drives serviced but have legal copies of their version of Windoze having annoying balloons popping up and saying that they're not running legal copies of Microsoft's software. A much better outlining of this issue can be found on ZDNet in the blog post titled Microsoft Presses the Stupid Button, and I recommend reading the post as well as the ensuing discussion. I have griped about the evils of the Sony rootkit CDs, but I would venture to say that this is even moreso; hence, the title of this post. As for me, I plan to install the critical updates and send this which was intentionally added in error to the dust bin where it belongs. I'm sure Big Bill will wonder where he went wrong in a few years, when Linux carves out a market share Mac can only wish they had, but by then, it will be too late. Not to worry. As soon as I get better hardware, if Microsoft won't be dead to me, they will certainly be close enough.

Oh, and to the Mac users, blame Steve Jobs for your minority status. Besides, he's an even bigger wanker than Bill Gates.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hurricane Fatigue, Part 16,001

This is a topic I find myself revisiting from time to time, though whether it's because I suffer from a form of this or because it's so intrinsic to living in my area these days, I don't know. For two years, ever since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, we've been constantly hearing about hurricanes and their dangers and the devastation they leave behind, and this only worsened with Hurricane Katrina. Combined with our first-hand experiences and the vastly increased coverage of hurricanes in general since Katrina, this has only worsened over time. Where in the past, the news media would reduce or halt coverage of hurricanes once the season was over, allowing people to recover emotionally from the past season, the opposite has been true since Katrina. It seems that every time you turn on the Weather Channel, CNN, or any of the local stations along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, they have to have at least a token story about hurricanes. Leading into this season, the local stations even reminded people that hurricane season officially started in one month, or two months, or four months, or whatever it happened to be at the time, and since June 1, the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, they've been even more insufferable. I can only ascribe this to a desperation to improve their ratings, no matter the cost to their respective communities. In this respect, at least, Fox News has been far superior to CNN, since they have focused more on terrorism and kissing Bush's ass, and for their lack of monomaniacal focus on the tropics, I thank them. With the exception of those who are new to my area and the areas affected by Katrina, Rita, Dennis, or any of a number of other monsters last year, you already know what to expect and what to do, and what the consequences are for failing to do what you need to do. I stopped watching local news as a general rule months ago, but still, I do happen to be in the room when it's on from time to time, and I can't escape it.

This brings me to the first named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Alberto. To the untrained or inexperienced eye, the satellite photos show a storm that may appear very disorganized. If this is your impression of this storm, you're absolutely right. If you see the term "tropical storm" and the projections that this will be the strength at landfall and start to feel bad for the people of Florida, then congratulations, you're an idiot. I know someone in one of the areas likely to be affected by Tropical Storm Alberto, and she's looking forward to the rain. Some areas of the Florida peninsula have had as little as 1/3 of the normal annual rainfall to date. Assuming this makes landfall as a tropical storm, a likely scenario considering its lack of organization and no signs of it strengthening, this will be a thunderstorm, and not even a particularly nasty one, and will be just what the doctor ordered for that area.

I'm just tired. Tired of being scared half of the year while being reminded of the source of my fear the other half of the year by speaking rectums on the news, and tired of wondering, "Will this be the year?" I'm tired of eating antacids like candy, and popping over the counter pain relievers like it's going out of style, and trying my damnedest to feel something other than fear gnawing at my gut. I'm tired of the constant anxiety that's sucking away the joy I take from life. I'm tired of seeing those I care about lose a lot of their most precious belongings. I guess it would be more accurate to just say that I'm tired of this shit. So on that note, I wish everyone a happy, safe, and above all else, boring hurricane season, though the experts have ruled the last bit out.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I wanted a video that expressed anger and despair...

But all I could find was one that expressed horniness instead. Enjoy. As usual, I can only wish I owned this video, and no infringement is intended. Don't sue. I'm po'.

"Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge

"Got a big plan, his mind's set, maybe it's right
At the right place and right time, maybe tonight
In a whisper or handshake sending a sign
Wanna make out and kiss hard, wait never mind

Late night, in passing, mention it flip to her
Best friend, it's no thing, maybe it slipped
but the slip turns to terror and a crush to like
when she walked in he froze up, leave it to fright

It's cute in a way, till you cannot speak
And you leave to have a cigarette, knees get weak
escape was just a nod and a casual wave
Obsess about it, heavy for the next two days

It's only just a crush, it'll go away
It's just like all the others it'll go away
Or maybe this is danger and you just don't know
You pray it all away but it continues to grow

I want to hold you close
Skin pressed against me tight
Lie still, and close your eyes girl
So lovely, it feels so right

I want to hold you close
Soft breath, beating heart
As I whisper in your ear
I want to fucking tear you apart

Then he walked up and told her, thinking maybe it'd pass

And they talked and looked away a lot, doing the dance
Her hand brushed up against his, she left it there
Told him how she felt and then they locked in a stare

They took a step back, thought about it, what should they do
Cause theres always repercussions when you're dating in school
But their lips met, and reservations started to pass
Whether this was just an evening or a thing that would last

Either way he wanted her and this was bad
Wanted to do things to her it was making him crazy
Now a little crush turned into a like
And now he wants to grab her by the hair and tell her

I want to hold you close
Skin pressed against me tight
Lie still, and close your eyes girl
So lovely, it feels so right

I want to hold you close
Soft breath, beating heart
As I whisper in your ear
I wanna fucking tear you apart

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Is Ann Coulter really Eva Braun reincarnate?

Her latest antics have forced me to say something I thought I'd only say when hell froze over: Hilary Clinton is right about something. Specifically, Hilary Clinton is not only right but also proper to be outraged and express her outrage at what Ann Coulter said in her appropriately-dated book release about the 9/11 widows, saying of the widows "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," and calling the grieving 9/11 widows "The Witches of East Brunswick." We've all become accustomed to Ann Coulter's insane rantings and not-so-pretty hate, but this is a new low I didn't believe even she would approach. Peter Rost on the Huffington Post takes an interesting position, and I certainly see his point. It's a point I've made here a time or two about different people and groups. The difference in this case, though, is that Ann Coulter is just such a bitch that I find it difficult to keep my silence each time she vomits a new and horribly, intentionally stupid belief. I think, however, that Keith Olbermann of MSNBC expressed it best when he asked a question I'm sure many of us have asked ourselves, though never so succinctly, "Honestly, if you were Ann Coulter's attorney at a sanity hearing where could you possibly start?"

She attacks "godless liberals", and yet I probably qualify as one of the roughly 6 billion people she hates. I am godless, though there are a very few things I believe are sacred. I certainly don't worship anything she recognizes as a deity, or to be more blunt, I don't worship her. I swear, she's a waste of perfectly good fake breasts. I don't really worship anything in the sense that she means it because I question and, at times, take to task those I revere and my beliefs on occasion instead of being a mindless cretin like her fans. All that I really find holy is the love of my family, friends, and a fondness for a few other people and pets, and a belief that things should get better and ideas for the same and a knowledge that this will require a hell of a lot of work. For some people, that's not enough, but for me, that's more than plenty. And liberal? Only if you're to the right of Attila the Hun, which in her view means that I am, in fact, her definition of liberal. And if she or anyone else doesn't like that or cannot for some reason accept me for who I am, I will be happy to bend over and wear a thong so those offended can kiss my ass.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I feel the need to celebrate...

I've been reviewing the results of yesterday's primary elections in my lovely state of Alabama, and I want to jump for joy. Roy Moore and his entire slate of candidates were resoundingly defeated in yesterday's Republican primary, though one aligned candidate did advance yesterday. That candidate, whom I had incorrectly identified as a member of Roy Moore's slate, was Glenn Murdock. The four members of Roy Moore's slate, not including Bierficker Moore himself, are as follows: Tom Parker (candidate for Chief Justice, lost 59%-41%), Ben C. Hand (candidate for Associate Justice Place 1, lost 58%-42%), Hank Fowler (candidate for Associate Justice Place 2, lost 71%-29%), and Alan Ziegler (candidate for Associate Justice Place 3, lost 70%-30%). Glenn Murdock, while not affiliated directly with Moore's slate, was aligned with them, and I fully intend to vote for his opponent in November, Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge John England. Oh, and I left out the results of Roy Moore himself in his campaign against incumbent Governor Bob Riley. That putz lost 65%-35% in an unusual display of good sense and taste on the part of the people of Alabama, myself included. He slated 5 candidates including himself to run on his God and disrespect for the law ticket, and each lost by double digits, three by 30% or more. I think I'll take this moment to say, in the words of the bully from the Simpsons, "Ha-ha!"

Roy Moore was such a distasteful option that I know at least a couple of people crossed over, much like Snave did in his native Oregon, to vote in the Republican primary, and I know they weren't alone. I thank them all, and to all who voted against Roy Moore and his chosen candidates (such as I who used Roy Moore as a negative litmus test), I say "Well done. Well done indeed."

As a side-note, there are two coastal counties in Alabama. I have mentioned in the past how Mobile County recently lost a sheriff due to charges relating to misuse of his office. Obviously, there was no incumbent running for the vacant sheriff's seat in that race. Across Mobile Bay, however, there was a 5-term incumbent, Jimmy Johnson, who ran against his former Chief Inspector, Huey "Hoss" Mack and some other guy. It's not terribly unusual for an incumbent to lose, though it's far from common for someone of that long a tenure. What is unusual is the margin by which he was defeated. The people of Baldwin County, AL, sent Sheriff Johnson his walking papers by a margin of 69% to 24%. My first, and indeed, only reaction, is DAMN!!! Since the only candidates for that office ran in the Republican primary, "Hoss" Mack will be formally elected to the office of Baldwin County Sheriff with the first Republican straight ticket ballot in November. Rock on.

Proof that Paul Oakenfold is GOD!!! Or, a shout-out to Evie.

This is one of the hottest videos I've seen in a long time, and I'm surprised that a singing celebrity can actually sing, in this case, Brittany Murphy. Enjoy.

Neither this video, nor this music, nor the lyrics or anything else on this belong to me. In short, don't sue. I'm poor.

Faster Kill Pussycat by Paul Oakenfold feat. Brittany Murphy

"Faster, kill faster" said pussycat
I can't stand to see you cry
honey you know where the world is at
get what you want with your lucky eyes

you turn me on
yeah you turn me on
you turn me on
yeah you turn me on

better wake up, you sleepy head
the big old world will pass us by
so many things we can do instead
get what you want with your lucky eyes

Faster, kill faster still pussycat
those high heels are not your friends
honey you know where the world is at
come home with me
when the party ends

you turn me on
yeah you turn me on
you turn me on
yeah you turn me on
you turn me on
yeah you turn me on
you turn me on
yeah you turn me on


Heaven knows I tried to let you go
I cant help myself
you know I'm out of control
Heaven knows I tried to let you go
I cant help myself
I think I'm losing control

you turn me on
yeah you turn me on
you turn me on
yeah you turn me on

Yeah you're turnin' me on"

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Alabama's impending primary on 6-6-06:

First, I want all of you to take a moment to laugh to yourself at the fact that Alabama, the very heart of the Bible belt, will be voting on what some believe is the most evil day in a century. Personally, I think that will only be true if ultraconservative Roy Moore wins the Republican Party primary. As this article points out, this will be the 21st time the abbreviation 6-6-6 for a date has happened since the start of the current era.

Moving along, in addition to voting for various local and state positions, we will be voting on, by my highly inaccurate estimate, our 6,660th proposed amendment to the 1901 Constitution of the State of Alabama. Although Alabama already has a law against gay marriage, ousted former judge Roy Moore has somehow gotten the state legislature to put such a ban on the ballot in Tuesday's election. Doing a search on Yahoo, I found this interesting article from the Decatur (AL) Daily. I could very easily be the only person voting in the Republican Primary to vote against this poorly-written and even more poorly-thought measure, though I certainly hope I'm wrong. I've heard, as I'm sure you have, a wide variety of paleoconservative pseudochristian asshats talking about how gay marriage is somehow a threat to traditional message. Aside from telling them to go fuck themselves, I have a suggestion for them. If they want to fight real threats to "traditional marriage", don't look outside the set of people for whom "traditional marriage" has been an option. Richard Simmons, Ru Paul, and the Hearty Boys on the Food Network aren't a threat to traditional marriage, because they're not a part of the real problem. To those who view this as the next sign of the Antichrist, I advise you to do some introspection for once in your miserable, pathetic, worthless, and ultimately futile existence. Ask yourself what percentage of all people you know have been divorced, and of those, how many have been divorced more than once, or if you're Catholic, had your marriage "annulled" which is just like a divorce with the added benefit of any children born into that marriage being rendered illegitimate; and on that note, I also send a "go fuck yourself" to Senator Lurch, er, Kerry from Massachusetts. Ask yourself why more and more people are choosing to cohabitate before or instead of marrying their opposite-sex partners. Ask yourself how many husbands and wives are the victims of spousal abuse or how many children are abused by their parents, and if you know any who fall into those categories. Then ask yourself if this is a result of bad choices in mates on the part of those getting the divorces, or if the gays are secretly responsible.

Roy Moore in my state and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist are engaging in what can only be described as a modern-day reenactment of the Senate hearings by Senator "Tailgunner" Joe McCarthy. The difference is that, at the time, a Communist nation was actually attempting to do harm to the United States, though almost none of those actually accused of such misdeeds by the great and powerful Oz were guilty of anything other than being disliked by one cunt in a position of power. This, on the other hand, is even nastier if that's possible, since gay couples are only "guilty" of wanting that which heterosexual people not only have a right to do, but take for granted. Gay couples are only "guilty" of wanting to live their lives as consenting adults in the manner they see fit. By and large, they work hard at their jobs, pay their taxes, and contribute to society as the rest of us do. The only difference is that they are attracted to members of their own sex. As a result, I oppose this ban on both substantive and procedural grounds, as I also feel this does not rise to the level of requiring a new amendment to the Constitution of Alabama or the United States.

Oh, and for the record, I reiterate my support of current Governor Bob Riley and my utter contempt and lack of support for his opponent Roy Moore, as well as Roy Moore's allies currently running for state office: Tom Parker, Ben C. Hand, Hank Fowler, and Glenn Murdock. For more information, please read this editorial from the Montgomery Independent.