Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why is America so Anti-Sex lately?

ugh! Fuck you Channel 6.. who the fuck cares? Does the company pay taxes? Does it's employees? Are they doing nothing illegal? Then leave them the fuck alone!

We're going backwards

What can I say about the abortion debate that hasn't already been said before? Not much. All I can say is that because I'm pro-choice doesn't mean that I'm for abortions for everyone all the time. I'm just saying that we shouldn't remove the choice from the equation. Whatever..

The reason I'm writing today is that, well, we're going backwards and it's beginning in South Dakota where it is now illegal to perform an abortion. Even in cases of rape and incest. Nice going peeps! Keep up the good work! Soon we'll be bringing out the scarlet letters and performing ritual sacrifice..

Police arrest teen over Photos?

So let me get this right. Police were cruising MySpace (hmn.. sounds like they read my blog) and found the page of a teen that was from a local high school. On that page were photos of drugs, the teen with a gun in his hand, and some claims that he was a drug dealer.

First of all, let me ask you how they were able to determine that the page was created by, maintained and essentially owned by the teen. They can't you know. At most they can supena MySpace and perhaps get the pages email address registration but what does that proove exactly? How easy is it to spoof email?

Ok lets assume that the page belongs to the kid (though any half ass lawyer should be able to get the case thrown out right there). How is it that anyone can proove that the photos were genuine? The NBC10 page says : "there are pictures of ecstasy, marijuana-stuffed cigarettes and cocaine" . Uh really? How do they know that the cigarettes were stuffed with pot? How do they know the cocaine wasn't powder? I made a film in highschool called "Lower Marian Vice" that was a take off of the popular Miami Vice (this was the 80s) where we had guns, and drugs all over the place. Were they real drugs? Nope.. but you sure couldn't tell by looking at the film.

Ok, so assume that in some crazy world the pigs were able to determine that the photos were real. When did it become illegal to post photos of drugs on the internet? When did it become illegal to post photos of guns on the internet? The gun apparently was seized and legally belonged to the kids father... so how is that illegal?

Here is the kicker "The teen bragged that he was making $250,000 a year -- an unlikely claim, police said".. ahh.. so the kid was lying here and boasting to look cool. Who is to say that he wasn't boasting about the rest?

Anyway, here is what I have to say. Hello Philly cops!! Hello? I am a drug dealer. I make $500,000 a year selling extacy, cocaine and pot. I have a gun and I'm not afraid to use it. As proof, here are some actual photos :

Monday, February 27, 2006

How to Elect a President

I tend to write a lot about voting. (see here and here for examples) The reason is simple, I want my vote to count and I want to feel like I have some control over the govenment.

If I lived in New York or Texas I wouldn't have a vote in the presidential race. That's because those two states are hardcore Blue and Red states. No matter what happens, no matter how hard I try and "get out the vote", those states will go Blue and Red. The electoral college the way it is set up ensures this. To get elected, a president only has to concentrate on a small number of states. These states are the ones that can go either way and have significant number of Electoral Votes. This is really no way for us to pick a candidate. We need to go to a popular vote.

But that is hard to do. Each state has to go along with this plan and there are all kinds of complexities when changing the constitution. If we ever tried to change it, it would take years. So what can we do?

There is a group/movement called the "National Popular Election of the President" (catchy huh?) that has a wonderful plan that will work and that we can help make work. The plan is simple. Each state at their leisure and if they want to participate in electing the president by popular vote simply passes this law: "we the state of XXX will award all of our electoral votes to the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia." In addition they add to the law that "This law would only come into effect only when it has been enacted, in identical form, by enough states to elect a President—that is, by states possessing a majority (270) of the 538 electoral votes."

In a sense it's a total hack, but guess what.. It can work. So your assignment is to write your local state legislators and lobby them to implement this bill. I know I'm going to.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Have I told you how much I love Mark Cuban?

I'm all for this.. I would certainly watch!

9/11 once more

I've gotten a lot of responses by email (would love them to have been comments) about my Loose Change post. Mostly people saying: "the video is compelling and there are some issues that we don't know, but I can't believe it was a govt. conspiracy.. too many people involved would have to keep secrets...", etc. Let me clarify my stance a bit. First off I don't think it was a govt. conspiracy. I think it was Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Condi, Bush Sr., other Bush men, a few other insiders (in this case not Rove) combined with a select few defense contractors and CEOs that were the main perpetrators. As for the real ground operatives, the CIA has a ton of them that specialize in doing things and never telling anyone about them. These are the kinds of people who on a daily basis do all kinds of odd things in the name of Patriotism--Stuff that they don't question at all because it is part of plan that they don’t know nor want to understand. Everyone else involved? They could have been duped into doing things for other reasons. I truly think the rest is all manipulation and misdirection. Qualities that the BHW is not lacking at all.

As for the video, sure I’ve got some issues. I think if the director was more skilled, it would have been more convincing, and I think that some questions were unanswered, but the film shows that there are clearly huge holes in the official word and the BWH insistence on secrecy about everything doesn't help make the conspiracy theory's go away.

But the video appealed to me more than most because I had heard two other theory's/fact sets before it. First was the whole pentagon plane thing. There are dozens of sites talking about the fact that there is 0 wreckage from the 757 and the verifiable fact that all surveillance tapes from the area (hotels nearby, etc) were immediately confiscated by the FBI (I’m sure those agents were manipulated into thinking that they needed to confiscate them for some official reason.. this is the kind of stuff I’m talking about in the first paragraph). Anyway, I firmly believe that a 757 did not hit the pentagon. Secondly (and I don't remember where this came from) there was a story about all RF devices not being allowed to operate on 9/11 in the vicinity of the towers (TV microwave, etc.) on that day. That combined with the fact that NASA (and the military) having proven that they can fly large planes large distances does not rule out that the planes were remote controlled.

Most of the comments and criticisms I heard made mention of the passengers of the planes. Where are thy? Yup I don't know. Personally I differ from the film in that I think that they were in fact on some of the planes involved in the attacks. I think were 3 planes and one missile. The missile hit the pentagon (cruise missile is my guess form looking at the damage and the wreckage and the site). The 3 planes I think were actual passenger planes that were filled with people but remote controlled. So in my version all the people did in fact die. I think the one in PA was either shot down accidentally and covered up by the military (thinking either that they made a huge mistake, or did the right thing but that the people in America "would never understand we shot down a passenger plane") or the passengers broke into the cabin to find no pilots and the remote controllers simply blew it up to cover up evidence… Which would explain why there was no wreckage or bodies at the “crash site”

In either case, the bottom line in my book is that things did not go the way we've been fed and I’m sure we’ll never know what happened, but we can’t simply let the machine feed us all the time. We as a people should be vigilant and we should always question. Weather for fun, for profit or for country, we should always question.

Any day now....

So GWB says : "As we see more of these Iraqi forces in the lead, we will be able to continue with our stated strategy that says as Iraqi forces stand up, we will stand down" (from here). Gives you confidence right? Well, how many Battilions in Iraq are ready to fight on their own? Up until reciently the number was 1. Now it's 0.. Seems like we'll be leaving the county quite soon now.

Oh wait, we didn't tell you the whole story

This is wrong on so many levels. You know the UAE deal to take over 6 of our ports? Well it's not six, it's 21! It's not clear to me right now how the media got the original story wrong, but I would venture to guess that the BWH kept it from us and somehow it got out. So in my mind they have not only been incompetent, but deceitful as well. Kudos to the media here, but on the other hand, how could they have run with this story for weeks without digging deeper to find the real truth?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

iTunes suckers

I've said it before, iTunes and the iPod are a joke.. do you know why? Apple has all of those songs digitally managed so you can't copy them or play them on anything else but an iPod.. duh.

My Uncle

My unlce was a guest poster here once. I've posted his stuff on my older blogs as well from time to time. I like his point of view and I think he likes to write so I've offered him a guest posting spot. I asked him to write once a month for us.. I don't know if he'll accept. I guess we'll see...

Update : apparently he posted already.. somehow due to some quirk in Blogger, his post is below this one (here). His blogger name is : FlagrantAmerican

Some Vacation Thoughts

I like to change my routine while on vacation. I sleep on the other side of the bed, do much of the cooking but don't make coffee and do many other things that I don't usually get a chance to do thus the vacation aspect. It works for me anyway. Well this year I decided to get as much of my news as possible from Fox News. Now I didn't follow every story in detail but I did a fair amount of sampling Fox’s offering while watching TV in Cancun (BTW, The English shows with Spanish subtitles seem to be helpful in learning some simple sentences in Spanish. But don't bother trying to watch The Simpsons in Spanish without English subtitles unless you know Spanish already. They could be saying ANYTHING).

Anyway, back to Fox. There seem to be two basic show designs. The solitary reporter/commentator like Brit Hume who I found to be the best on the network or the blowhard type like O'Reilly vs. the foursome model which has two dark haired horn-rimmed guys who came out of Brigham Young and Duke (optionally, one can be black with an Indiana accent), a smiling liberal professor or columnist who takes all the shots with a laugh and the perky blond out of the Ann Coulter mold who pillories the professor. Fair enough, that's the general format they choose. But what comes out of their mouths is most interesting. On every show with the exception of Brit Hume (which may account for my favorable view of him) one or more of the righties is telling us "What the liberals would like you to think...." or "The Democrats would like to see this happen....." with the liberal and Democrat labels easily juxtaposed in any context and for every story. It was a regular drumbeat and the number of times that paricular phraseology was used was very noticeable to me as a regular non-viewer. I hear that line of argument from hard core Republicans. So that's where it comes from. Hmmm, it must be working.

Even the simpleton Colmes will jump on the repetition/minimization background noise soundtrack that they create in the name of making their case. Give us facts about what's being discussed and don't be simply counter to the left. People who think differently on an issue aren’t necessarily Democrats or worse yet Liberals. It seems to me that Fox News IS the right wing propaganda mouthpiece that a lot of people say it is. Better to get your fake news from The Daily Show since at least it's product is labeled correctly.

Some stories snuck beneath the radar....

Submarine attack on Arlen Spector deflected using the old Capitol Hill standby. Launch a review by the Ethics committee. That'll learn you other buggers who might be thinkin' about....well, thinkin'. Stay in line and nobody gets hurt.

Cheyney's facts waited 24 hours to be sure they came out right only that "zilch alcohol" became one beer at lunch. Mary Joe Kopekne's folks may see this a different way.

The Dubai port hubbub is more another shrewd political move than the stumble it’s being portrayed as. Even the much practiced Scott McClelland couldn’t convince anyone that Bush learned of this from the news reports. Bush isn’t running in November so Republicans in Congress just got a softball lobbed to them. Meanwhile, Bush might either just win or just lose a veto override vote if it ever comes to that. The real trick now is to get the Republicans to disagree with it because they are strong on security and the Democrats to disagree because they are prejudiced and/or unwilling to support our partners in the War on Terror. Besides, the British think its okay. Must be a Frenchy idea. And it takes the surveillance issue off the front page to boot.

Good to see that the same old, same old prevailed while we were gone.

(Interestingly, the promo and introduction for one of the shows Fox and Friends or something like that has a One Way sign showing. It points to the right. What's that all about?)

Congress is just a bunch of sad fucks

Please tell me why TIA is still operational? In case you didn't know about, TIA or Total Information Awareness is a government data mining program that was shut down 2 years ago by congress becasue it was (and still is) incredibly powerful datamining operation.. here is a description (lifted from The Total Information Awareness Resource Center)

Neoconservative New York Times columnist William Safire notes the potential of the TIA program as follows:

"Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized grand database."

Here is how John Markoff of the New York Times describes the capability of the TIA program:

"...it will provide intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials with instant access to information from Internet mail and calling records to credit card and banking transactions and travel documents, without a search warrant. Historically, military and intelligence agencies have not been permitted to spy on Americans without extraordinary legal authorization. But Admiral Poindexter, the former national security adviser in the Reagan administration, has argued that the government needs broad new powers to process, store and mine billions of minute details of electronic life in the United States. Admiral Poindexter, who has described the plan in public documents and speeches but declined to be interviewed, has said that the government needs to 'break down the stovepipes' that separate commercial and government databases, allowing teams of intelligence agency analysts to hunt for hidden patterns of activity with powerful computers."

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and numerous other privacy and civil libertarian groups have lined up in opposition to the TIA program.

Now I ask you.. if congress killed this orwellian terror of a program, why is it still in operation? Can't they do anything? Or did they know it was still alive and hoping that we wouldn't notice?

It's not all bad in the world

Sometimes great stuff happens to deserving people.. see here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Restaurant Week

This week is Restaurant Week again here in Philly. I believe they do it bi-annually. In either case, my lady and I went out to try a couple of places. My choice wasn't too good, hers was awesome. Here's my short reviews:

Friday, Saturday, Sunday is a little spot in Center City that has been around since the 70's. I've never been there. One time, about 6 years ago I had a drink in the bar above the place (called Tank Bar) and really liked the cozy atmosphere. I figured it was time to give the place a shot. Overall it was ok. For appetizers, I had the mushroom soup (supposedly a specialty) was pretty tasty but nothing really spectacular. K had the Pate and was quite happy. For dinner, she had the Euro Chicken and wasn’t the least bit impressed and I had the Filet Mignon which was just average. The place was cozy and warm, but the service was miserable. The waiter seemed to hate us from the first moment he saw us and no matter how nice we tried to be he still treated us like shit. Eventually he just disappeared and the manager took his place. We gave it a C+ overall.

K chose Patou. Her choice was based on the menu. We'd seen the place in our travels and it looked like a tiny little joint. When we went in, we were greeted by a doorman who opened the door and then a huge curatin to reveal the entry. This place looked like it was just a bar, albeit a very cool looking one. Soon we were ushered back into the eating area. It was spacious with a high ceiling, white walls and cool lighthing. Our waitress was nice and reccomended some great stuff for us to eat. To start, the bread dish had this pesto sauce that was better than any I'd ever tasted. For apps, I had the tuna tartare which was spectacular. She had the crispy calamari which was quite good but not as great as mine. For dinner she had the skate fish and I had the lamb. Both were really really good. Dessert was just as amazing. Overall we gave it an A-. It's a bit pricey so we can't go back right away to be sure, but we will be soon.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

9/11 Was an Inside Job

The link at the bottom of this post is to a video called "Loose Change". For those of you who don't know about this film, it's a film about 9/11. But it's a lot different than you are used to. It is an incredbily well put together film that explains (using many facts) how 9/11 could have been perpetrated not by Osama Bin Laden but by our own government. I know this sounds like a far fetched conspiracy theorey at first, but I ask you to watch just the first 10 minutes and tell me if you aren't intrigured.

The premise as presented is totally plausable and makes complete sense. Plese not only give the video a look, but tell your friends. The truth may never be known, but we can at least fight for it.

Don't take my word for it. Here is an article about it that was in the Villiage Voice!

Click Here for the film. You won't be dissapointed.

Cheney was Drunk!

Apparently Cheney was totally drunk when he shot his friend in the face with a shotgun.. Interesting but totally not surprising. Always good to be playing with guns while inebriated. Note that this is the man who is reponsible for convinging George Bush to send thousands of Americans to their death for no reason in Iraq.. I sure feel happy I not only had nothing to do with getting this administration elected, but was against it publicly from the start.

Nothing Funnier To Geeks Like Me

I love when the pigs get all confused and incredulous. I also love how clueless and obtuse they are when it comes to their old fashioned laws as they appliy to the internet and computers and software. To that effect, I submit the following story about how cops in the UK were about to arrest some "software pirates" that were simply following the law and then got mad when they found this to be the case. Guess they should concentrate on shooting some innocent subway patrons instead.

Well, we're almost there.. just a little more and we'll be in 1984

"HOUSTON Houston's police chief is suggesting putting surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets and even private homes."


Security in the USA

You know.. I just can't help posting this piece by Ronnie Polaneczky in the Philadelphia Daily News.. Good to know the paper hasn't totally gone to crap.

Case in point: When my family and I visited Punxsutawney, Pa., on Groundhog Day, we were frisked by security before boarding the shuttle bus to Gobbler's Knob to see furry Phil.

Because those terrorists can infiltrate anywhere.

Except, apparently, our country's seaports.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Arab port deal - part 2

So a few days I posted about the Arab Port Deal. Since then, it's turned into a hurricane of activity in the government. The interesting thing I've noticed is how the Republican congressmen are turning against the deal. Let me clue you in on something here: a) the president has an approval rating of less than 45%, b) The VP is even lower, c) the president is a lame duck, and most importantly d) the midterm elections are upon us. Of course congress would be against this deal! They don't want to look soft on terrorism and they could care less about supporting the BWH becasue they are on their own now for getting re-elected. Be sure to notice how up until the election they oppose him more and more. It's not that the R's finally got backbones, its that the BWH ride is over and they know it and it's time to get re-elected!

Anyway, so today I read that the President didn't even know about the deal until a few days ago. A deal that his administration put together and set up!!! You can look at this in one of two ways. Either the administraion is running by itself w/o the prsident in the loop or the president is lying to us again. Either way, its bad bad bad man.


I thought this animation was pretty cool. The flash version is a bit small though...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It was such a good idea

So I hate going to the Movie Theater. In a number of posts I've complained about all kinds of things related to the experience. A few years ago a movie theater called The Bridge opened up at Penn. The concept was simple: charge more money for a ticket and the clientel will be more genteel. Obviously it didn't work. This isn't an isolated case. I've been there a number of times and every time I've been there, the place was overrun with loud, toublemaking teenagers. One time I almost got beat up by one for apparently being "a bitch".

Even at the Ritz, which used to be my last bastion of hope for a nice peaceful movie expierence, I'm beginning to see more and more people being rude and noisy. At Brokeback the other night, a woman behind us not only had her cellphone ring during the film, but ANSWERED IT AND HAD A CONVERSATION!

If a company would start a theater here that would follow these few simple guidelines, they would make a killing:

1) block all cellphone signals in all the theaters
2) add an usher into each theater who would police behavior and monitor quality of the projection/sound
3) no more general admission seating. Number the seats and allow advance sales for them

I mean the industry complains that sales are down. Well, in addition to people not going becasue of terrible quality films, maybe the experience is part of it as well.

Jamie gets a Job

I have a sister who is 16 and starting the tough project of deciding where to go to College. Making that even harder, I’m sure, is the fact that she’s not sure what she wants to be in life. And lets be honest here, who really did know what they wanted to do in life at 16? I know I had ideas, but I really didn’t.

At 37 I think that I would have an easier time deciding what kind of job I would life and again, I bet you could as well. As adults we’ve been exposed to the world more. We are aware of so many jobs and careers and possible ways to live our lives. It’s almost not fair that we gain all this knowledge when it’s really hard to change our lives. It would have been awesome to have this knowledge transferred to us when we were 16 and 17. The only ones that could really effectively transfer that knowledge is our parents. And we all know how well that works.

My father wanted me to be a Lawyer and my father thought that I should study Business in College. Luckily I hated the latter so much while I was in college that I finally quit school altogether thus making the former a virtual non-starter. Unluckily it took me a number of years to get back on my feet and re-direct my life. (I did eventually finish college, and also got a Masters Degree). The moral is that parents are usually biased in some way about what they think their children should do in life so children rarely get good career guidance and when they do, I would argue that it’s not very varied.

My solution is a simple one that not only does good for the children, but for the implementers as well (in the form of money). I suggest that one of the teen focused TV networks (MTV comes to mind) produce a show (reality or non) called “Jamie gets a job”. The premise is simple. Jamie (who can be a girl or a boy, possibly changing each week in sex and race and religion) has parents that have a ton of friends in all kinds of fields. Each week Jamie asks her parents about a certain job, say doctor, banker, chemical engineer, test pilot, etc. and the parents say “Oh cool, yea, my friend XXX is a {Insert job name here}, why don’t you go spend a day with them?” and the episode follows a day with that person.

So each week, the show can effectively promote some job and the kids watching it will be exposed to all kinds of ideas on possible career choices. How would this not a) be a hit and b) be a tremendous service to the teens watching it? I wish before college I had had the exposure that this show could have offered me. All those cool jobs I would never have thought of or even imagined could be fun. Don’t you?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

Well, I only have one more film to see (Munich) to complete my Oscar Nominee project. I have to say than Munich better be pretty damn good because of the 4 I’ve seen so far, none of them has impressed me as the best films of the past year.

I’d place Brokeback at the bottom of my list. It’s not that it’s a particularly bad film, but it’s the worst of the 4 I’ve seen so far. I think that the two best parts (and they were really seriously good parts) of the film were the cinematography and the acting by Heath Ledger, who was really good.

The film is formula. It’s the old ‘forbidden love’ story set in Wyoming and about 2 gay cowboys. As my girlfriend said, the film could have been exactly the same with an interracial couple and the absence of man sex. The story began to fall apart a bit near the end. Some characters that were developed earlier began to disappear, making me think that they really weren’t necessary in the first place.

The casting was pretty good, though Anne Hathaway looked really goofy in her blonde wig. But I did get to see her boobs, which is nice. Oh, also I got to see Michelle Williams breasts, which makes me think that they had to show some boobs so men would actually go to the film.

There were some really annoying flashbacks near the end that were simply odd and it seems like they put them in after audience testing which is never a good thing at all. I don’t know. the film just rubbed me the wrong way and any film that has my girlfriend and I going back and forth with things we found stupid or didn’t make sense really isn’t a good film since usually at least one of us is satisfied enough to defend it.

So whatever, it will probably win the Oscar because it’s “such and important film” but I hope it doesn’t. At this point, I think the leader is “Good Night and Good Luck” with “Capote” in second. What do you think?

Senator saves day - with video!

Well, the story was from a week ago, but Senator Vincent Fumo, while vacationing in Florida jumped in front of a car and stopped a purse snatching. I'm happy to report that the suspects have been found and are now in custody.. There's even an old video stream from the local florida news with the story..

Pesonally I would have stepped back and tried to get the licence number instead of jumping in front of the car..

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Arab company takes over the Port of Philadelphia

Read this one..

I'm not sure if I'm more freaked out that we are giving away 6 of our ports to an Arab company or that there isn't an American company that could do the same job. I mean, aren't the ports the biggest worry for terrorsit activity? Shouldn't all of our ports be controlled by US companies? I don't know the business, but it seems pretty odd to me...

Saturday, February 18, 2006


I admit it, I'm a total geek and I tend to always try and follow stuff that's off the beaten path. As such, I've decided from the beginning of the Olympics to watch a lot of curling. Thanks to the USA network and Tivo, that has been an easy goal to achieve. Well, it seems that I've grown to love the sport (womens and mens). It's really cool and is something that I would love to learn and do. So I moseyed on to the US curling organization website and tried to find a local chapter. No luck. I looked for some way to hook up with other like minds. No luck again. So I typed up the following email and sent it to them. Here's to hoping that they do something. In the meantime I'm going to look on meetup.com.

The email:

Hello. I have to say that I'm really enjoying the Olympic coverage of curling this year. I'm not sure if the coverage from 2002 was as comprehensive, but this year, I've been able to watch (on average) a game a day since the curling events have begun.

Obviously having watched so much of the sport, I've grown to really enjoy it and have decided that I want to play. The problem is that I'm not sure where to begin. I looked up your website in hopes that I would find a starting point. Being from Philadelphia, I've found that there isn't a local club for hundreds of miles and that’s a problem.

I was thinking that surely there are others in my area that would like to be part of a local club, but there really is no way to form one. This is where you come in. My guess is that others in my situation have done the same as I have. They probably went to your site and looked for a local chapter, having found none, they gave up. This isn't good for us and for your sport. I suggest that at some prominent place on your website you should have a "matching service" link that would allow people to register themselves in some way and when a group of say 4 or more is found close to each other, it will notify them. Perhaps your organization could offer support for that group to form a local club.

To grow your sport, you have to start at the bottom and that's the fans who want to play. Organizing them as best you could will do wonders.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Swann doesn't vote

I'm not going to beat up on Lynm Swann that much in the coming months, I'm going to leave that to the press, who will surely find all kinds of stuff. But I will point out that over the last 36 elections, Swann didn't vote in 20 of them. Now here is the kind of guy we need in government! And if you have a similar record, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What do we give up with Myspace?

So I just came up with a great money making idea. Feel free to use it. As you know, there is a tremendous amount of public personal information on the internet. Any given person, may have a blog, a friendseter/myspace account, or some other form of self-expression on the net. The interesting thing is that content of something like a myspace account could be really useful for employers or credit agencies or the like at some future date. For example, my younger sibling has a myspace account and they have all kinds of stuff on there, from their beliefs, to their network of other friends. Now, say 20 years from now they are looking for a job. Would a company pay to see that myspace page as it was today? I would argue yes. This page could tell what kind of political slant a person would have, it would show possible connections to other people that may or may not be useful for the company, etc.

My plan is to start caching all these pages (friendster, myspace and blogs) in a secure way that is verifyable and auditable. This database can totally be sold to another company who can sell it off person by person.

Now, of course this doesn’t really feel like a good thing at all, having all of your personal beliefs available to some future employer. But it is totally plausible and in some ways, it’s just the same as if you were going to hire some author or journalist. You could clearly do a search of all their work and use it to make your decision. The thing is that we give up our privacy when we post on the net in any form. Most people though, don’t think this through. I have and I’m ok with the risks involved, but what about a 15 year old kid? Parents clearly need to think about this and I’m sure it is a very tiny percentage that do.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Well Hardy Fucking Har!!

The story of the Shooting develops and the BHW decides to joke about it.. Yea, they guy got shot in the face, has a heart attack and is in the hospital.. Now if that isn't a laughing matter I don't know what is. This is the office of your president folks!!!

President Bush’s spokesman quipped Tuesday that the burnt orange school colors of the University of Texas championship football team that was visiting the White House shouldn’t be confused for hunter’s safety wear.

Chaney shoots a man in the face

Well, I don't have much to add to this incident. First there is the wonderful Daily Show clip about it. Next is the serious part, the timeline between when this even occured and when it was reported to the country by the White House. Of course we will never actually know when the BWH would have told us about the event since it was leaked by the ranch owner on her own accord.

I could get all conspiracy on this issue, but I won't. I'm actually pretty sure this was in fact an accident and not intentional in any way. With that said, why did the BWH try to keep it from us? Makes you wonder doesn't it? If they are keeping accidents like this secret, what else are they hiding from us? I'm sure the list is longer than anyone could believe.

Monday, February 13, 2006


This is an awesome site. I've done retouching so I know this stuff really happens.. But I advise all of you to see what really happens with magazine photos.


I was talking to my dad the other day about how fucked up the Democratic party is. I told him "What they need is just one person to get up and say anything that makes sense and is agreed to by the whole party. They need a Newt Gingrich moment." I was referring to the "Plan for America" that Newt came up with a while ago to unite the county behind the Repulican Party. Sure the plan was a bunch of marketing crap, but everyone heard it and it was the beginning of a sea change in politics. The Repulicans swept in after that.. riding a wave of "change".

So, who is going to do that today? Who is going to stand up and make some sense? Who is going to fire some shots across the bow of the normal every day political ship? Well, it's Newt again!

He writes about how fucking innane presidential campains are. How focus group and sound bite oriented they are. How the candidates in the debates don't debate at all, how they don't show any intelligence or skill in any way. I'm sure it's not the candidates, it's the process. And I can't help but agree with him.

Contrary to what your mom told you, the office of President of the United States is not for just anyone. It takes someone who is really smart, who can make good decisions, who is well rounded, who cares about the country more than their own carreer aspirations, who is honest, who has integrity. These are qualities we never get a chance to see and judge when we see our candidates campain. We really should demand better.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Organized Religion is bad news man

Ok. I get it, any depiction of Muhammad, including cartoons are blasphemous. While it is kind of a stupid thing to make sacrilegious, I'm not here to comment on that so I won’t get into it. What I will get into are two points. First of all is this thought: Every day, millions of people do things that either I don't agree with or I would never do because of my morals. Does that give me any cause to want to kill them? Second is this thought. After 9/11 the big push by everyone in the world was this thought: Islam is a peaceful religion. Now is that why these peaceful Muslims are protesting by burning down embassies?

Obviously there is some mix-up in what Islam and its followers are all about. First I would like to say that I believe the religious scholars when they read the Koran and tell me that it's a document focused on peace. But I also believe that organized religion has an amazing way of distorting stuff to serve its own dogma. This happens all the time with the Bible and those insane evangelicals and other Christians. While I'm sure the Bible has all kinds of peaceful intent ("Thou shall not kill" is a good one), you see people killing abortion doctors all the time. I can come up with dozens of other examples.

So my argument is this, most of the Muslims in the Middle east are totally brainwashed by this organized Islam, just as the Christians are here in America. This is not a good thing. People are being completely led around and manipulated by their religious leaders and it is leading to some serious evil. I'm all for people believing whatever they want, what I’m not in favor of is people forcing their values on others, moral or otherwise.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck.

It’s ok to spy on Americans and tap their phones. So says the BWH. Their reasoning? There may be al-Qaeda operatives in our midst. Do you know that most American people are ok with this? Even though there is no formal definition of what a terrorist is and even though there are essentially no rules or accountability for the president to follow, all is well. We really need to study our history.

As recently as 40 years ago something similar was happening in America. It was the elusive hunt for Communist party members and supporters in our midst. Let’s just forget about the fact that America is based on Freedom and following a party that is non-traditional and non-mainstream is far from illegal. It was perfectly fine for Joe McCarthy to have a witch hunt and ruin peoples lives and waste our taxpayers money on hearings that were pure insanity. Most of America was fine with it, as long as they weren’t being accused of something.

This is why “Good Night and Good Luck” is such an important movie. While it doesn’t go into great detail about the hearings, it does follow a newsman and his production staff as they try and take on Joe McCarthy while the rest of the country was too afraid. You talk of heroes today? Fucking Edward Murrow was a hero the likes we haven’t seen in a very long time (and don’t tell me 9/11 firemen and our armed forces people are heroes, sorry, but they were and are people doing their jobs). Ed Murrow went beyond his job and exposed McCarthy for what he was, a fucking loon. If we had news broadcasts like we had in the late 50s and if we had reporters that cared about the truth and not ratings today.. ahh, one can wonder…

So anyway, yea, the film tackles some really important subject matter and has a wonderful message, but is it a good film? Is it deserving of the Academy Award? That was the main reason I went to the theater to see it as opposed to waiting for it on video. And let me tell you, going out to the movies is hell for me! That was only reinforced by the fact that last night at the theater was this lunatic sitting behind us. And I really mean lunatic. Why was he so annoying and crazy to me? If this was an episode of Seinfeld I’d call him an “Inappropriate Laugher”. This guy had a crazy loud laugh, but most importantly he laughed when stuff wasn’t funny. And when I say not-funny, I don’t mean stuff that others consider funny but I don’t. I’m talking about stuff like a guy gets fired, or someone talks about being scared of being called a communist… “Ha Ha!”.. like he was doing some serious laughs and then occasionally would be that laugh of approval like “Yup! I get it man…”… just amazingly insane.. Everyone in the theater was freaked out by him and I’m not guessing that, you could see people in the dark of the theater turning around and looking for the guy after a laugh or two escaped his lips.. fucking putz. Typical..

Ok, so the film.. Sorry. First off, the acting across the board was really good. David Strathairn, George Clooney, Frank Langella, Patricia Clarkson, excellent work by all. I saved Robert Downey for last. You know what? Every time I see him on tv or a film I say to myself “how can they hire that guy? He’s an addict, he’s a mess, what are they thinking?”. You know what they are thinking? Robert Downy Jr. is a fucking great actor, that’s what they are thinking.

This is George Clooney’s second feature film (the first was “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”). I really like Clooney’s directorial style. It’s overtly stylish but not to the point of being annoying, it’s right at the edge of beautiful and that’s a good place to be. Also, he tells a story with no deference to the American viewer. I really feel like he is saying “yup, it’s difficult material and no I’m not making it any easier to understand, if you pay attention and stop asking to be spoon fed, you may just get what I’m presenting here”. This is another thing that I enjoyed.

Clooney, if he can keep this style up is going to become a very important director. While I can tell that he chose this story because it spoke to him politically (he was a co-writer as well), I think that in the future if he doesn’t get labeled as a left wing guy he’s going to be awesome.

So, will this win the award? I don’t know. So far it is the best of the 3 I’ve seen so far (Crash and Capote if you haven’t been keeping up) but I still don’t feel like it should win. I think it was an important film, but it didn’t take me on a ride of any kind, I wasn’t affected by it. With that said, I would love to see it win for 2 reasons. First, it would increase its audience and that can only be a good thing for the message. Second, I would love to see Mark Cuban get up there and accept the award. What can I say? I love that guy!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Is this any way to build an empire?

Apparently XM and Sirius have both secured exclusive Subaru deals. Apparently XM will be available in the Legacy and Outback while Sirius will be avalable in the Forrester and Outback Sport. How fucked up is this? Say I want Sirius and I'm in the market for an Outback, well I'd have to buy only the Sport model to get Sirius built in. Or else I'll just have to install my own reciever.

My solution is for both XM and Sirius to get together and as a team, get Sirus and XM put into all new cars instead of attempting to one up each other and sign "exclusive" deals with car makers. When will they figure out that it's not the recievers but the content? It's kind of like HBO and Showtime, I can get them both on Comcast but how messed up would it be if Comcast only carried one and the other I'd have to get Directv for?

Why not get smart and get out of the reciever business entirely and focus on content? There is really no need to expend capital on these insanse deals.

Let the market develop a reciever that can handle both signals (they are different signals) and let the consumers decide which service (or both) they would like. I would totally pay an extra 2-3 dollars a month for Air America (only on XM) in addition to Sirius, and I'm sure XM people would gladly pay an extra 5-6 dollars a month for Howard Stern (well the ones who like his show, of course).

The satalite guys are thinking that we are a bunch of dumb consumers and won't bother to get a different satalite service if one is in our car alredy.. "satalite is satalite isn't it?".. actually now I get it.. nevermind...

Is the remote war something we should be wanting?

Lets talk about the Predator for a moment. Here is a jet that is completely controlled by remote and now carries munitions. The way we deploy the Predator now is usually with a pilot and munitions officer stationed here in the US. These people go to work each day and as soon as the walk in the office they are "at war". Though, these folks are really at no risk of dying in this war and (some would argue) won’t make the same decisions that a person on the ground in theater would make. Essentially, the Predator is a more deadly weapon because of the fact that it can (and does) kill with no consequence. The same can be said for our smart bombs. These are launched/dropped from planes that are far from danger and by pilots who are not connected to the target in any tactile way. Both of these weapons are incredibly effective because they don’t have a human conscience on the scene who is connected to their detonation. A target is chosen and it is destroyed man. There are no second thoughts because the person/people pulling the trigger are far from the battlefront.

In the future, one can see technology enabling us to wage total war without our soldiers being anywhere near the battlefield. Surely one can see Predators morphing into fighter jets, automated tanks and perhaps small robot like soldiers, all controlled remotely. What kind of war would that be? Some would say it would be wonderful since nobody would die from it. Well, of course that is if you aren't on the other side. I would argue that this kind of disconnected war is akin to terrorism. There is no conscience on the battlefield, it would be methodical killing. Shots all being called by some generals far, far away. Can you imagine that? Imagine seeing a fucking line of robots heading your way like clones from Star Wars, no way to say "hey man, don't shoot! I'm a civilian!", no conscience on the battlefield to make human decisions. No sacrifice, just super-efficient killing on a mass scale.

Now look at the struggle against America fought by the radical Islamists. Their most effective weapon is a person strapped from head to toe with explosives. Essentially since the person is completely willing to die, this weapon is deployed in quite the same way as the Predator and our smart bombs. It is a weapon that works with no consequence at all other than killing everything within 100 yards of it. It is controlled "remotely" by some leader in some bunker far far away. How are we any different than terrorists?

Essentially what I'm getting at here is that as we become more technologically advanced, we're becoming more and more disconnected from what war is really all about: Willing to die for what you believe. We are moving more towards killing with no conscience just to beat an enemy into submission. I'm anti-war in a lot of ways (not all), but I think if we as a people don’t start thinking about these issues, we run the danger of war disappearing... and being replaced by state sponsored killing campains.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Well I wonder

Check out this story. I wonder if he'll face charges or be listed as a sex offender? I've nothing against what this cop did.. it's just that if I did it, I'm sure I'd be in jail right now and then the rest of my life would be ruined as I would be labled as a sex offender. Double standard.. guess the cops can do whatever they want.

Philadelphias Next Mayor - A Prediction

I don't know if he will run, but John Dougherty will win the mayors election if he decides to. Do you want to know why?

a) He runs a major union in the city. That is a guaranteed voting block. And that's not the only useful thing. His members will also support him financially. Lastly, and this is most important, having this huge block of votes gains him clout and will help other people (financial supporters, and voters) swing his way. Who would you rather give money to? They guy with 15% of the vote already locked up or someone with 0?

b) He is a man of the people. This guy is not a flashy politician. He's a humble man from the neighborhood who happens to run a union. He cares about local issues. Now those in the know know that he is in fact a politician (which is an important feature for any candidate.. a regular joe cannot win an election in Philadelphia) and has been involved in city politics for quite sometime, but he does it away from the press and the people. He seems like a regular guy and most voters want a regular guy. They are sick of politicans thanks to the federal crap that is going on.. and no D or R means nothing here. People hate all politicians and think they are all criminals.

c) His skin is a different color than John Street. Yup, it's partially a race thing. But not in the obvioous sense of whites wanting to elect a white candidate, but in the sense that most people think Street is a terrible mayor and they want a change. I believe that people will sub-conciously select a white candidate not becasue they are white, but becasue they simply couldn't be more different visually than John Street.

d) He can win the primary because he is white. Black voters make up over 50% of the city and from what I can tell, there may be 2 black democratic candidates in the primary. This should split the hard core "We'll elect any black candidate" black voters somewhat making it an election where you probably would only need 15% of the vote.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Was bummed today when I saw that the blog was down.. I guess it has to do with the folks at blogger and all the changes and upgrades they are doing.. Here's a little present for your troubles.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl Ads

I have some serious opinions on the super bowl ads this year, but fortunately I don't need to wrtie them here since someone alredy has pretty much written word for word what I would have written. Seth Stevenson from Slate, take it away.

People don't care about non-local politics

On a number of occasions in the past I have postulated that most people (American and otherwise) don’t care about politics at their abstract macro level and they only care about them at their micro level. I still believe this and I really don’t get why most people don’t seem to agree with me. So I’ll delve a little deeper and try some more to convince you. Take a look anywhere around the world where people get to elect representatives. Look at Africa and Iraq and Palestine. Look here in America. Time and time again people are amazed that the democratic process doesn’t seem to work as intended. I say that it works perfectly as intended. The people who vote decide who to elect. The problem is that nobody who matters ever votes.

Let me go back a step or two and lets take a look at Palestine. I’ve heard in a number of places that their democratic process is flawed and that its people essentially voted for terrorism and voted for the death and destruction of Israel. I believe that nothing could be further from the truth. Even before 9/11 60 minutes was doing stories about Hamas and how in the entire nation, their organization was the only one providing schools and fixing the streets and building temples for the people there. Everyone should know that this group has done exceptionally well at providing the people of Palestine what they needed most and they have for a number of years. Once they decided to enter the elections is it any mystery that they won? The people, I would argue, only care about sending their children to school and only really care about having their local needs filled. I would say that on average these people can’t relate at all to the bigger issues that Hamas is about and really don’t care. These people weren’t voting for terrorism. They were voting for schools and fixed potholes.

In Iraq it’s similar. These folks simply want some security and electricity. They don’t care who is running the country as long as those needs are met.

Lets look at Africa, where warlords control almost the entire continent. Do you think that most of the population there knows or even cares about the atrocious things these warlords do? Most of these villagers care about 2 things: food and shelter. If they can make it through the next year and be fed and have a roof over their heads they will support anyone who can provide for them. If their village is one of the ones affected by killings and rapes (which happen all the time in Africa), surely those issues will take precedence but how many villages, percentage-wise, are affected? It comes down to necessity.

Skip politics and look at America. I grew up in South Philly where mob hits happened all the time, where the mafia still runs illegal gambling halls and probably controls a bunch of other stuff. Overall they are a bad organization, but you know what? 99% of the residents don’t care and love these guys because they take care of the neighborhoods, they keep them safe, they don’t directly harm anyone outside of the “family”. Again, here are criminals living amongst us yet we residents protect them because they take care of our local needs better than the government.

Now look at our American government and look at the main needs of the American worker. We have ample food and shelter and we have good streets and acceptable schools. For us, our needs are finding good jobs and having healthcare, and yup, being able to watch American Idol in peace on our sofas. These are the issues we care about. If we don’t have a job, we surely don’t care about what’s going on in Iraq. If we don’t have a job we could care less about everything happening on the national front. We don’t care so we don’t vote.

Big issues also have the property that they are hard to grasp. As an example, look at an easy to grasp issue and really think about how the regular person on the street relates to it. How about this statement? “Iran is getting close to having a nuclear bomb”. Sure I’m against Iran having nuclear weapons, but can I really truly relate to that issue? There are so many tenuous connections to be made between that statement being true and me dying directly from it. Also, do I really believe that America can really stop this from happening? Further, do I really think that one president would do better at stopping it from happening than another? Of course not. This issue doesn’t ‘touch’ me so as much as I’d like it to pressure me to go vote, I know that my vote does nothing to change this issue. But I do know that electing the right mayor would help me get my trash picked up on time.

I don’t have the statistics but I bet that if we looked at them we would see that on average, the typical voter would have a job, have at least a median income, have health insurance, and have cable tv. Who would this group vote for? Is it any wonder the R’s control everything? Only the rich are voting. I bet if we counted that group, they would comprise only half of our nation (if that). The people who vote are people that have a vested interest in the politicians they vote for. The others simply don’t care. The key to getting elected in America (on any level, national or local) is to really appeal to the people on a local/micro level because that is universally what people really care about.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I'm not a fan of the Oscars. I was once, a long time ago, when I didn't realize that they were a bunch of political crap and really didn't reflect the state of the movie industry and were just a marketing device for the studios. But still I've always tried to see the best picture nominees. This year is no exception. So far, we’ve seen 2 of them: Crash and Capote. I’m going to try to give you all my personal reviews of the films as I see them. To catch you up, I’m going to start with the 2 I’ve seen so far.

Before I do, I want to let you know an interesting fact. 4 of the 5 films this year were independents (Munich wasn’t) and that’s pretty impressive. It tells you something that you should already know when even the studio back slapping machine can’t find studio films to nominate. But we all know the studios just don’t get it. They think that films are all about big actors, big special effects, big budgets. How moronic that they don’t know that the only thing that really counts is the script and the story it tells.

Ok, so here are my quick reviews. I’ll start with the film I saw first, Crash. I saw this film when it came out at the recommendation of a friend. Overall I thought it was a pretty well made film. The acting was ok across the board with pretty excellent performances from Don Cheadle, Matt Dillan, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton and Ludacris (yes I’m serious). The film was totally engaging and entertaining. I liked how the story was told in pieces and how the characters lives crossed paths. In a lot of ways (some that I can’t really put my finger on) I feel like this film was inspired by one of my favorites of all time : Magnolia. With all that said, you would think that I liked this movie. I didn’t and I’ll tell you why. I hate when I’m preached to and this film preached to me like I was a 10 year old about something that most of us already should know by now : racism is alive today and we should all be aware of it. Fucking duh man! I sort of feel that this film is nominated because the academy has been trying to suck up to blacks lately and this is the perfect way to say to them.. yes, we get it, we are an overly white/racist society and we’re sorry (I’m speaking as the Academy, not as the country).

So on to Capote. I saw this yesterday. Before the film I knew practically nothing about the man and after the film I thought I had a much better understanding of who he was. This was a good thing. Making films about writers is always a bit hard since usually their lives aren’t that interesting. Choosing the period that they did to give us a glimpse of Capote was an obvious choice and a good one. The film was highly entertaining throughout and I never fell out of the films grasp (well, not true, at once point in the back row someone was making a ton of noise with a plastic bag.. inconsiderate fuck!). Anyway the acting was superb. I thought Catherine Keener was wonderful as she always is, the killers were played quite well, but of course I’m going to tell you that PS Hoffman was fucking incredible. Not once did I see him as anyone else than Capote. He just became him (not that I knew Capote, but the fact that I didn’t see anyone else including Hoffman himself convinced me that he was someone and that can only be Capote). At only one point in the film did I think of anyone else when I saw him and that was one point when it was a close-up of his face and his eyes, I remembered him as Phil Parma in (tada) Magnolia.. his eyes were (obviously) the same and the shot was similar and the way he played Phil is so etched on my mind. Anyway, the film itself was practically perfect. Overall it was understated in a lot of ways which I find simply beautiful. And I mean that not only in a cinematographical way but in all ways (script, acting, tone, music, etc.). It wasn’t nominated for sound but it should have been. There were some wonderfully subtle sounds like a woman knocking on a door or a voice in a phone that were so low that you could barely hear them yet they were perfectly audible. There was never a time when I couldn’t hear something that was important yet nothing stood out as being too loud. It was pretty incredible.

But I said almost perfect and I will tell you why I said that. There were two technical reasons. First was the score. The music was really cliché and just seemed so annoying to me, but of course I got used to it and forgot about it. Second was a big one (to me) and it really pissed me off. You all are going to laugh at me, but there was a close-up of Capote on the telephone and the receiver had a modular connector in it! This film was set in 1960, there were no modular phone jacks then! How hard would it have been to find a non modular phone? Just jarring to me! Anyway, the film made up for those two little mistakes and is my top choice so far for the Oscar but I hope something is better because Capote doesn’t deserve to win at all. The main reason I say that is that the movie didn’t move me at all. Sure it was great and sure it was well made, but I really feel like I could have not seen it and my life would have been the same and that’s not a good thing for an Oscar caliber film.

Prince.. da man

Saw Prince yesterday on SNL. He was pretty good. I was always impressed by the guy even though I didn't always love his music. The fact that he always did his own thing and didn't give a fuck what anyone thought, and the fact that on most of his albums he played every last instrument while having written all the songs and lyrics were always the two main reasons I loved the guy.

So, it was good to see him again in such a public way. But the reason I write you today about him was something my gf said last night "He never sold out". A while back I wrote about how the Doors were one of the only bands I could name that hasn't sold out their songs to tv commercials. And I still believe it. Almost everyone has sold a song and I'll bet today during the SB you will see one or two commercials with songs by bands you thought would never sell out to the man.

Well, Prince hasn't and I'd be surprised if he did. So I'm adding that to my list of reasons why he rules.


For those of you who saw it, I apologize for the last post being repeated 10 times. I was trying to post it on Friday and Blogger kept saying that it couldn't post due to errors (of course they didn't specify what the errors were) so I kept trying subtle variations to the post in hopes that it would go. It never seemed to so I gave up. Finally today, all versions of the post shoed up for some reason.. I quickly deleted them.. sorry again.

Friday, February 03, 2006

W => Nixon.. I like it

The new moveon.org spot is pretty cool. They need to show it at the superbowl.

Pigs almost kill an Iraqi vet

So first read this story. Interesting huh? Now see the video.

Here is what I think

a) if you are going to show a guy get shot, you should at least leave the fucking curses in it!
b) if you are enough of a vidophile to have a camera with night vision you should at least be able to hold it steady!
c) this is perfectly representative of the society we live in
b) stuff like this happens every day
e) the pigs are too jacked up these days and nobody seems to care about it.

I wonder what will come of this.. think the story will die? Probably..

The Grammys - bah

So, I saw an ad for the Grammys today : "Louder! Live and Unpredictable!".. ha ha ha ha.. do I even have to disect this one for you? Ok.. I'll give you some hints.

a) It's not fucking live if you have a tape dealy you fucking assholes!
b) It's not unpredictable if it's scripted and you have a tape delay!
c) Louder than what? Isn't there a maximum volume level you can broadcast? Yup there is and all audio engineers shoot to get as close to it as possible w/o going over. The only way to make it louder is for us to turn up our tv's.

What do they take us for? Morons? Oh yea.. they do..

The grammys? they can go fuck themselves...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

More on Cindy

I read a post that referenced this post. It said that in the Kos post the idea came up to do a day where everyone wore T-shirts that said "2,245 Dead - How Many More?" which was the shirt that Cindy had on.

I thought about this and I agree. Someone with the ability to print, sell, and deliver a huge number of these shirts should agree to do it at cost and maybe charge a dollar or two extra to go to some Anti-War charity. A web site should be set up and publicized and a day of protest should be chosen for us to all wear the shirts. Hell, I'd pay $20 for one, knowing that it would be for a mass protest like this.. This is the kind of activisim I'm talking about.. Picture 5 Millon people wearing the same shirt on the same day and what kind of media attention it would get world wide.. it would be a way to say "hey W, hey Red staters, we're fucking out here and we can organize you fuckers!".. but of course I'm dreaming aren't I? We can't organize ourselves and that's why this is all happening.. yup.. bummer..

Yea.. I didn't really mean that.

I was pretty surprised when I heard that W in his state of the union speach was saying how addicted we were to middle east oil and how we needed to fund alternative energy research so by 2025 we wouldn't need oil any more. I didn't know what to say.. Had W actually comitted to something that I believed in? Aparently he was just joking. Ahh.. ok.. that makes sense.. so we just spew total bullshit in the speach that most of America sees and then cancel it out the next day in a quiet way that nobody sees. That's ethical.. That's the way to be president..

But it's not his fault, or his administrations. It's yours! You people voted this amn in office and those of you who didn't mostly sit back complacent and complain. Do something! Get active!

Cindy and her T-Shirt

More of the story of the T-Shirt arrest at the Kings declaration can be found in a wonderful article here. Sure all charges were dropped and sure Cindy was apologized to but the mission was accomplished wasn't it? With the T-Shirt out of view of the TV cameras, the speack went off without a hitch and of course it's not an issue anymore since she was aplogized to. Gotta hand it to the BWH those fucking guys know what they are doing!

Highlight :

...what sort of message does it send when visitors to the U.S. Capitol passively expressing a sentiment -- either in support of or opposition to the president -- are not allowed to observe the State of the Union address?

"The U.S. Capitol is not private property that belongs to the president, or even the speaker of the House, it belongs to the people," said Jamin Raskin, a constitutional law professor at American University in Washington who has discussed legal options with Sheehan.

"The great irony was that Bush was extolling the virtue of freedom and civility in America, at the same time the police were dragging Cindy Sheehan out of the chamber."

Follow up on Spencer Gifts

I haven't found any new news of yet, and I'm surprised that I haven't. I don't even smoke pot and I'm pissed.. I don't get it at all.. Well, in either case I have found another blogger who has written about this event. His post is here and highlights are below :

It's not enough for many to enforce unjust laws against marijuana possession, growth and sale... they have to find other ways to express their displeasure through punishment.

Paraphernalia laws are a prime example of this. How absurd a notion! Thing A (marijuana) is illegal, and Thing B (pipe) can be used to facilitate the use of Thing A. Thing A doesn't in any way require Thing B, and Thing B and be used for a lot of different things not involving Thing A. Someone can buy Thing B intending to use it with Thing A and that's legal. However, if you attempt to sell Thing B with the acknowledgment that someone might use it with Thing A, you're busted (even if the buyer had no interest in Thing A, and no Thing A was around or involved). Confused? You should be.

Also, on one of the nbc10 stories there is a poll question "Should It Be Illegal To Sell Clothing With Marijuana Leaf Images In The State Of Pennsylvania?" Last I checked there were over 4000 entries and 70% said No.. As usual I urge you to vote..

Down To This

In a previous life I used to hang out in the music field as a hobby. One of my friends was this guy named Derek Lee and in addition to being a good friend, he was an amazing drummer. Way beck then he was starting a band and now they are entering their maturity. They've got a deal, they tour, they just finished a video, etc.

Their music is more suited to a generation younger than I, but I can appreciate their talent. Check out their track Empty Rooms on thier myspace page and you'll see what I mean. When they come to Philly to tour I'll let you all know...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Spencer Gifts Update

Now this is facinating.. here is the police report. I highly reccomed it.

Now, after reading that, I say that the store manager is a complete dumbass and deserves to be arrested just for being a jackass but otehrwise I can't see a case at all. What a waste of time:

Spencer Gifts Assistant Manager Paul came to the counter and waited on your affiant. Your affiant said, "I'm buying some Marijuana posters for my smoking room". Your affiant then looked surprised at the water bongs displayed for sale on shelves on the wall behind the sales counter. Your affiant said to Paul, "I didn't know you sold pot bongs". Paul said that Spencer's just started them recently...While looking at a box for a $39.99 model water bong, your affiant commented to Paul about the sticker that read, "Notice: This item is intended for use with legal smoking products only." Paul then said laughingly, "Of course, these are for use with tobacco only - yeah, right, we're supposed to say that - what bull, we all know what they are used for!" Paul then continued, "I was surprised at first that we were selling these because I'm from Jersey and we're not allowed there, but these things are selling like hot cakes here!" Your affiant then explained to Paul that your affiant grew his own crop of Marijuana. Paul said that he sold one of these bongs to his friend and has smoked pot from it and it worked fine. Paul suggested that your affiant use ice water in the bottom chamber because it makes the pot smoke a lot smoother than regular water.

Oh yea.. and on the other side of fucked up!

The president and CEO Spencer Gifts is now under arrest for selling amoung other things, glasses and T-shirts in his stores.

Now before you say I left out an important detail, I will say, fuck you, I can read. I know that they were also selling hookahs.. How is that illegal? How many places can you buy a hookah? Hell, I remember a year ago when it was cool to smoke from a hookah and a local smking longue was profiled on local news. What the fuck man?

I can't stand how we are allowing the fascists to legislate morality.

Yet another case of entrapment

I've said it before and I'll say it again. It is blatently illlegal (in my mind) to entrap someone the way the pigs do with people trying to arrainge dates on the internet with supposed underage children. This is the often heard charge of "Soliciting a Minor for Sex Over the Internet"

There is a case today that has an interesting twist and I'll tell you what I think about it.

First off, lets talk some more about this solicitation charge. I see this on average once a month and its really beginning to piss me off (though what can I do but complain?). Here's the deal. Person A has some chats or exchanges emails with someone on the internet (person B). The conversations are generally based on the belief that person B is underage. The conversations lead to a potential meeting. When person A shows up at the meeting spot they are arrested and charged and then basicly forever branded as a child molester (guilty or not).

Ok, where to begin? Person A has no real way of knowing the actual age of Person B until they meet with Person B (which ultimately never happens). So, first of all, they cannot be soliciting a minor, they are solicing somoene who is proprting to be a minor. Now should this be a crime? I wonder. Lets talk about free speach for a moment. Last I checked, it's not illegal to express ones sexual fantasies to another in an email or in a chat room (though I'm sure it will be soon). How is this situation different? Now the pigs would argue that person A believed that person B was a minor and therefore had every intent to engage in sexual relations with the minor. How can that be proven? It can't. Person A was engaging in a fantasy and as it turns out, the very nature of what actually occured proves my case: they expressed this fanstasy TO AN ACTUAL ADULT!

So, why did they go to meet? I would say they went to meet for any number of reasons. The first of which would be to establish if this person really was a minor or someone posing as one. No meeting occured so ultimately I would argue no crime occured. It's totally fucked up to me and it's infuriating that this continues. I can't see why these cases don't get argued up to the supreme court so maybe this "law" could get thrown off the books, but I know better. First off, the case would take years to get to the supreme court, secondly, the defendant would have his/her life ruined in the process.. Totally fucked up!!

Ok.. so now the interesting part about this particular case. This investingation and sting ultimately came about because this guy had a relationship with another minor. This is where I move from logic to personal moralistic opinon and say this:

I don't know the details of this relationship, but I could argue that in many cases (not all) the minor (person under 18) is perfectly capable of making sexual decisions on their own. In other cultures, sex is something that occurs naturally at puberty. The general thought is that if the body THAT GOD GAVE YOU is ready for sex, then the mind is as well.

But like I said, I really don't know the details of this particular case so I really can't comment. What I can comment on is that fucked up law. Am I the only one who thinks this way?

It's a sad day

No, I didn't watch the State of the Union yesterday.. Why would I? What surprises would the king grant? Fuck him.. All we can do is wait out his rule (unless he decides to extend his term).. Anyway, the reason I write is because it's a very sad day when you can get arrested for wearing a T-shirt. Fucking fascists!

Tell me, why is Cindy Sheehan the only activist we ever hear about? Where are all the protesters like back in the Nixon days? Where is everyone? My guess (and I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this) is that becasue we have the Internet and Blogs, we are sitting at home doing our complaining.. Back in the 60's all you had were public forms of protest (sit ins, etc.) or maybe we're afraid of the National Guard like back in Ohio?