Friday, March 31, 2006


My life is in complete disarray my friends. I am living out of boxes and I can't find a damn thing (including my cellphone charger.. which is becomming a more serious problem by the minute). You see, I have moved.

My girlfriend and I bought a house on March 1. It was in perfectly fine shape, but we thought it needed a master bathroom closer to the bedroom (the original bath was far away down the hall). That led to us cutting a bedroom in half and building said bathroom. That of course made the bedroom too small so we then decided to combine it with the 3rd bedroom. Of course that meant we needed a new hardwood floor for the new bedroom. All of these things had to be done before we moved in (2 days ago). Also, we didn't want to spend a huge amount of money so we decided to do it ourselves. That, of course is why I've been so distant.

Let me tell you, nothing is harder than psysical labor and combine that with a 'real' job and you've got one tired person. I've been working 14 hour plus days since March 1 and we're not even done yet. Well, the office (the old bedroom) is pretty much done, but the bathroom is still only at about 50%. But we're moved in and all our stuff is here so all we have to do now is unpack and organize. Easier said than done..

Anyway, I'll try to post some photos and try to get back into writing here, but I'll be busy with unpacking, finishing up the bathroom and oh yea.. for the next 2 weeks my favorite Philadelphia event will be taking up about 6 hours per day : The Philadelphia Film Festival!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Thinking Like Buffett

I just finished reading my favorite continuing story….the year in review of Berkshire Hathaway by Warren Buffett more commonly identified as the first 25 pages or so of their annual report. For those who haven’t seen one you can get to it online at but I recommend you consider investing in Berkshire even minimally (about $3,000 for a B share) to get your own copy of the report to better appreciate its straight forward clarity of vision and to learn the real principals of value investing.

I am a bit of a numbers nerd having interests in finance and economics which I feel are the What and the Why of business, economies in general and even down to the micro level of how individuals react. So I take great pleasure in hearing Buffett’s description of how the Berkshire businesses performed and his strategies for long term value building. Buffett is a genius in applying the basic principals of finance to complex businesses and financial arrangements. And like a true genius he also has the ability to bring it down to our level with clear explanations and common folk examples.

Buffett is worth listening to. He rails against executive compensation that is excessive or not tied to the best interests of the owners. He highlights his own failures and trumpets those of his top performers. He preaches and practices pragmatic long term thinking in all of his business dealings including the detailed planning for his own replacement some day. He decries deficits and debt particularly the national debt and the trade deficit of which he says “at some point [this] problem will likely address us in an unpleasant way”.

Buffett’s thinking seems to be in the vast minority in today’s business world and non-existent in Washington. There are too many MBAs and not enough masters of business. Not so much at the entrepreneurial level where survival and success are still driven by committed people making the kind of hard nosed financial and economic decisions needed to build value. Rather it is most lacking in what we might call Big Business and the overall trend to globalization. I am not against Big Business. My pension too is largely tied to the efforts of Big Business and the overall economy. But the short term thinking that rules due to pressure to produce short term profits threatens to undermine our entire system.

As a nation, our long term security can’t be best served by losing our industrial base in a race to be the low cost provider of everything to the consumers. Already we don’t produce hundreds of items in this country – from the mundane such as socks, TVs and typewriters, to ball bearings and high-strength epoxies used to manufacture aircraft and computer components. More importantly our machine tool industry is all but gone (in some cases literally sold, packed up and shipped to the Far East for reassembly) and with it we lose the ability to produce the actual means of production. We can’t become a nation of service based industries selling to each other and have nothing to produce to sell to the rest of the world. If so, the value of our dollar won’t hold up in the long term with very unpleasant results to follow. Continued deficit financing by individuals and most importantly the government will only paper over the problem for so long. It’s time to get real with solutions instead of politics, corruption and pork-barrel spending as usual.

I won’t pretend to know what the answers are but my guess is that they involve all of the following – education, investment, cost control, sacrifice, patience and hard work. And I can’t forget breaking our dependence on imported oil, the single largest leak in our national fiscal bucket. These are some of the “old school” values that have kept this country competitive during the past century of world trade. Buffet would probably say to also forget about – flipping the property, buying into the bubble, simple protectionism, new paradigms, deficit financing and every other quick to riches but unsustainable idea.

And the sooner we get started the better.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Just as I thought..

...those red light cameras don't do any good. In fact, in one place where they were analyzed, accidents went up!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Yes!! I want StreetWars to come to Philly. Check out the website and the videos and stuff and see if you agree with me. Then email them and ask them to set up a game in Philly. Tell your friends too. My thought is that with enough interest, Philly will be the next battleground. If the game gets set up, beware, I will stalk the living shit out of you guys and there is no way I won't win the game.

Molly Saves The Day

For those of you in South Dakota who need abortions, here is how to accompish one. I think this is a wonderful gesture. I'm not sure what's going to come of it, but the only way I can support Molly in her casue is by linking to her blog and giving her some major props.

The more I think about this, it shows me that even if Abortions become illegal across the nation, the illegal abortion "clinics" will not be anywhere near as bad as they were back in the day. I can easily see piercing clinicians doing these procedures since they understand how to keep their tools sterile and clean. I can see step by step instructions posted on the net (like Molly has done). I can see well funded underground clinics opening up. Times are changed here in the world. This is not the 60's. This is the 21st Century where infomation is free and available. Maybe things aren't so bleak after all?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Susteen DataPilot is a piece of junk

I spent $90 so I could download my contacts from my computer to my phone. Yes, I agree this is an insane amount of money but its the only way. I bought a kit called DataPilot from a company named Susteen. The kit comes with a myriad of connector cables so it can be used with practically any cell phone. I thought it was worth it since between my girlfriend and I, we have 3 phones and I'm sure over the years we would end up with more and it would be nice to easily move the contacts to and from the phones. Also it would allow us to move photos, etc. as well to and from the phones.

The probelm is that the software sucks and doesn't work as its supposed to. I found this out after I had it erase the contacts on my phone (to make way for a new clean set from outlook). I tried a million different ways to get them to write to the phone but it just doesn't do it. It says it does, but nothing ends up on the phone. Tech suppost doesn't seem to cae either. It's email only and nobody answers it.

So I'm trying to return it and it seems that they don't refund shipping charges which I find insane as well. I take a risk in buying their product. I buy it online so they can save money and when their product doesn't work I ahve to pay the shipping both ways? How is that fair? Fuckers.

Now lets back up a second and ask ourselves why we need to buy 3rd parts software and hardware to connect to our cellphones. I mean, why when you buy a phone does it not come with some way to synch with a computer? I've got 30 photos on my phone that I can't get on my computer unless I use verizon to send them one by one to myself in emials. It's not even the cost that makes this prohibative, it's having to type in my email address into the phone 30 times.

Some phones have bluetooth, but I haven't found that to work that well either. It's just plan silly that we should have to jump through hoops to do simple stuff with technology. I'd write my own software if I could find the api for my phone..

Monday, March 20, 2006

Data Mining to find terrorists is bad for US

Remember the TIA program? For some reason I thought I wrote about it in the past but I can't find a post. Anyway, TIA was a data mining program proposed by the govt. that would collect as much data it could on every citizen of the country and then hopefully mine that data for patterns that would indicate terrorist activity. This is called data mining. TIA was killed but it still lives on in various forms in the govt.

Not only does Data Mining infringe on our privacy, it also doesn't work. Essentially it will create so much static (in the form of false alarms) that the system will be overwhealmed with waste:

When it comes to terrorism, however, trillions of connections exist between people and events -- things that the data-mining system will have to "look at" -- and very few plots. This rarity makes even accurate identification systems useless.

Let's look at some numbers. We'll be optimistic -- we'll assume the system has a one in 100 false-positive rate (99 percent accurate), and a one in 1,000 false-negative rate (99.9 percent accurate). Assume 1 trillion possible indicators to sift through: that's about 10 events -- e-mails, phone calls, purchases, web destinations, whatever -- per person in the United States per day. Also assume that 10 of them are actually terrorists plotting.

This unrealistically accurate system will generate 1 billion false alarms for every real terrorist plot it uncovers. Every day of every year, the police will have to investigate 27 million potential plots in order to find the one real terrorist plot per month. Raise that false-positive accuracy to an absurd 99.9999 percent and you're still chasing 2,750 false alarms per day -- but that will inevitably raise your false negatives, and you're going to miss some of those 10 real plots.

This isn't anything new. In statistics, it's called the "base rate fallacy," and it applies in other domains as well. For example, even highly accurate medical tests are useless as diagnostic tools if the incidence of the disease is rare in the general population. Terrorist attacks are also rare, any "test" is going to result in an endless stream of false alarms.

This is exactly the sort of thing we saw with the NSA's eavesdropping program: the New York Times reported that the computers spat out thousands of tips per month. Every one of them turned out to be a false alarm.

(From a wired article)

Friday, March 17, 2006

HD and Tivo

I am a tv maniac. I watch tons of tv. I am also an ex video professional and I have known about (and wanted HD) for about 5 years now. I also have the money to buy a plasma 1080p 50" monitor. But, I haven't. I've been quite happy with my 35" Sony Wega and SD. Why? Because it works and it works well. I've got 2 cable boxes, 2 Tivos and everything is nicely networked together so I can watch and record everything all the time.

HD has a million questions attached to it. First off, I've been waiting for a full 1080 resolution monitor to be released (most of the units are 720 and downconvert when needed). Secondly I've been (and still am) reluctant to use the Comcast PVR for HD. I hate the Comcast PVR for SD. It really doesn't compare at all to Tivo. I still am amazed that a company as big as Comcast hasn't solved this problem yet. And they even partnerned with Tivo a while back.. though nothing has come of it.

I love HDTV. I want HDTV but I'm not going to get it any time soon since I refuse to get rid of my Tivos. I've been considering DirectTV with their Tivo/HD combo, but they are really pricy and require all kinds of service committments and I refuse to lock into something that I can't play with first. I've been doing a ton of research on building a MythTV box. But god knows what a headache that will be. I'm a technical guy but I don't want to deal with building my own box.

Thankfully I have heard this news. And I almost cried when I read it. They say this box will go for $800. That's a lot of money but guess what? If it works as well as the SD Tivo, I will shell that out in 2 seconds. I will call Comcast, order up a couple of cable cards and fuck man.. my life will be back to normal again.. And let me tell you, I've been stressing this HD thing for a reeeealy long time. I just hope it comes out soon. I can't wait much longer..

American Inventor

First off, as promised I've been away from the blog. And more than that I've been away from life. I haven't spent much time at the computer so I haven't been keeping up on the news or my other blogs at all. Sorry.. I will most likely be out of the loop for another 2 weeks. Perhaps I'll fill you in about why in another post.

I did have a free moment to watch the first half of "American Inventor" though and let me say that it's a total copy of American Idol (which I have seen about 1.5 episodes of purely by osmosis). There are like 50,000 entries across the county and the first episode (or more, I don't know) is focusing on whittliing that group down to a manageble number. The entries are simply regular joes who have invented something.

Just like American Idol this show realizes that the bad entries are just as entertaining (or more) than the good entries so it tends to focus on those more. The bad entires are simply comical and I'm I'm not sure if the entrants are full of shit or not. I mean some of the entries and presentations are simply comical. It seems like the people are trying just to get on TV. If these people are serious, they are a sad reflection of the general populous of our country.

The good inventions so far are kind of dull but I have no doubt one or more of them could sell a million units. The show itself seems to focus on the human element and on the hard luck stories of the inventors. It's kind of sappy at times. I'm glad I have it on Tivo since I could fast forward not only over the commercials but over the crap in the show. The first hour took me about 25 minutes to watch.

I sort of reccomend this show. Maybe I'll have more of an opinion at a later date.. who knows..

have a good weekend.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Black. White.

Black. White. Here is a show that brings out all kinds of emotions for me. I originally checked it out for the novelty of seeing how the makeup worked (quite well for most of the participants actually), but I found that the show had more interesting stuff going on. It's a sign of something when we pause the Tivo 20 times to talk about something we're watching. Weather it's to say "that's bullshit!" or to debate about something we saw, pausing means that we are engaged and therefore the show is a success. For this show it was a little of both.

First off, to any black people watching the show I have this to say. Most white people aren't like the white family in this show. We aren't that ignorant of race relations. I mean in thius first episode, the dad seems to believe that someone is going to go up and call him nigger while he is in his makeup. He says it a number of times actually.. as if that actually happens in LA where this is shot.. Maybe, maybe in the deep south but come on.. The mom appears to be equally clueless but we'll have to see.

Here's where we found it interesting. The black family, especially the dad seems to think that racism is everywhere. As a white, he says stuff like "in this makeup, I feel more comfortable when I go out and about, more free". This statement leads me to one of the aforementioned tivo pauses. From what I can see, he feels less burdened when he is in "white" skin which seems to indicate that his uncomfort comes from within and not from external sources. This is further reinforced as he spends most of the first episode pissed at the white dad becasuse the white dad sees no racism while he is in his makeup. In fact they actually go out togther as 2 black men with the black dad trying to show him racism and to my eyes (and the white dad) there is none. Which makes the black dad say "well you just can't see it". Well, I may be a dumb white guy, but this certainly reenforces my stereotype that most (not all) racism towards blacks is self created. Essentially, when you believe you are persecuted, that is how you will feel.

But I'm a white guy, so what the hell do I know? The show is compelling, but it would be a lot more interesting if they put the people into controlled tests instead of this randomness. Example. The black guy goes into a pro shop to buy golf shoes and is amazed that the clerk not only is helpful, but actually puts his foot into the shoes for him! Personally I think this would happen no matter what his race. It seemed like a nice store with good service. What we didn't see was the same guy going in and doing the same thing as a black man. That would have convinced me that there was a difference in how he was treated.

This show is intereting. I would like to watch it with some black people so we could debate about it and compare notes. I have one black friend and I really can't believe that if he saw this same first episode he would hae said almost the same things that I did about it. Anyway, worth checking out.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Milosevic Dead

I wonder if anyone will notice this.. Usually once these leaders are captured we forget about them. Anyone remember Noriega? What ever happened to that guy? It was so important we capture him and once we did, not one more piece of news.. Am I the only one that finds that strange?

Bird Flu in the USA

Here is a pretty interesting press release from the Harvard School of Public Health about the US feelings towards Bird Flu. Thankfully we at least make the grade about being concerned about potential outbreaks (57% are concerned). What I found interesting is that if there is an outbreak, 71% of Americans would not attend public events but (and here is where it gets interesting) only 46% would stop eating chicken. Isn't there something odd about that? I mean this disease is spread more through poultry than humans.. right?

Two TV Shows

So I've found two new TV shows that you should check out.

First is "Sons & Daughters". This is a great show, but I don't think it will last since it really doesn't seem to fit into the general TV sit-com mold. First off I know it will fail since it has a very similar feel to "Significant Others" which I loved but only survived 2 seasons. So what makes it similar? Well, it has one of the same characters from SO in it (Fred Goss), has similar transitions, no laugh track and also is partially ad-libbed. Anyway, the show is pretty funny and certainly entertaining so I higly reccomend you check it our before it goes the way of "Arrested Development" (which was way more commercial). Oh.. just found a review that sums it all up quite nicely.

The second show is somthing that not everyone will like, but I loved and found it so funny that there were genuine tears running down my face. This show is called "Pros vs. Joes". Essentially the concept is this: take some average guys who think they are great atheletes and put them up against true pro atheletes and see what happens. Obviously this is a huge mis-match so to keep things relatively competative, they use ex-atheletes instead. For example (and this is where I laughed so hard I almost paseed out) the first show I saw asked the joes to play defensive back and cover Jerry Rice. Each guy got 3 tries and Jerry never got a rest. Of them, one made contact with Jerry (and that was when Jerry strong armed him into the ground). Others were simply hysterical as Jerry just faked these guys out of their shoes. To be honest, one guy stopped one pass, but in the NFL it would have been PI. Amazing stuff. Oh, another event we saw? Try to get a rebound off of Dennis Rodman.. Ha Ha Ha... Check this show out.. it's a ton of fun!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Yup.. color me unimpressed as well

I liked this simple review of the Philadelphia Flower Show. It was my first time as well and I was expecting something really cool. Instead I found a dark room with 4-5 big displays and then a whole convention center filled with a flower flea market. Not really my cup of tea.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fishy Port

Something seems too easy here.. Seems that the UAE is dropping out of the ports deal but you know..I wonder.. if there were no US buyers before, why would there be one now? I would like to see who is on the board of this new US company. Probably the same bunch of people behind the original deal... I wonder if we'll ever know or if the deal will fall off the media radar. I bet it will now.. even though it may still be the same deal in sheeps clothing...


I know I write every weekday but I'm going to be missing for the next 2 weeks.. I'm going to be on a vacation of sorts.. I may slip in a post here and there but for now assume I'm away until I say I'm back..

Monday, March 06, 2006

We Don't need no Stinkin Forms!

This is a great video. It is part of a report by a local news crew and a watchdog group where they go into police stations across S. Florida and ask for a form to complain about an officer. While the report clearly shows that the forms don't exist (nor or required) in the police stations, what's shocking was how the person was treated. In one case he was threatened by an officer with his gun (something that happened to me once in the south) for no reason other than not complying with an illegal request for id. It's pretty chilling stuff. Also on the video is an interview with John Timony who is the chief there in Miami. His dept. had the forms. Timony is a really good guy. I met him once when he was cheif here in Philly and he did an amazing job during the RNC a few years back. It was good to see him running a tight ship in Miami. But the other districts? Wow.. totally predictable.

Munich and Crash

So, I missed my chance to post about Munich before the Acadamy Awards. We saw it yesterday since we wanted to see all 5 before the show. It was pretty bad. No, it was really crappy.. that seems more accurate. I won't go into specifics, but man Speilberg is just so annoying sometimes.. Can you spell out more stuff for us dumb american audiences Steve? Uhg..

Whatever. So Crash won. Here's what I have to say about Crash: It's an ok film, nothing special. You can wait for the video release and don't need to rush to the theatre. Personally I found it entertaining and veeeery preechy. You can read more about what I thought here. I had ranked it at number 3 on my list of the 5. The list was Good Night, Capote, Crash, Brokeback and a distant 5th Munich. But I'm not a member of the academy so I guess what I think is kind of moot.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Find out why the US let Bin Laden get away

This looks like a great presentation. Free event with the author of "Jawbreaker". Check out this msnbc article about the autor/book/hunt for Bin Laden and how the US Let Him Get Away! If I can get away from my hectic life this month, I'm going to go to this event.

You can choose window or aisle.. why not your seatmate?

This is a really cool idea. Essentially for a $5 roundtrip fee, you can choose the person who sits next to you froma group of people that match your selection criteria. The company website is another story. To me it looks like some kind of creepy dating service/escort site.

Personally I would pay $5 to make sure that I sit next to someone who won't bother me. I don't know about finding "a date in Los Angeles". But there is a market of some kind here I think.

Emerald Nuts

Please don't think I'm jumping on a bandwagon here, but I love Emerald Nuts commercials. The first one I saw was in October of 2004. My blog post was simply :

Good Yob
Ni Same
Ahhh. Thats Ok.
Ike It

Encouraging Norwegians love Emerald Nuts


Referencing the most amazing commercial I'd seen up to that point in time. I loved that spot. (It can be seen here by clicking 'tv ads' on the top spinner thing, then the 'next' hand thingie then "Encouraging Norwegians"). Something about that spot just cracked me up. Since then I'd see a spot once and a while.

During the SB the "Networking Druid" spot came on and even though I'd never seen it, I knew it was an EN commercial. Everyone else in the room were like "huh? What the fuck was that shit?" as I burst into hysterics. All I can say is that I love their commercials!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Didn't they have something like this in Waco once?

I'm not sure how I feel about the Domino's development in Florida. I mean, it's kind of like a commune right? Or a cult thing? In all honesty I think I remember Disney building a town in Florida that would follow strict christian guidelines.. FreedomTown? Something like that. Anyway, if the "town" is fully built on private land (and it doesn't say in the article.. though one would think that would be a crucial bit of news) I can't see why we should complain or would have any right to. Say I decide to set up a "store" in my house and sell stuff to my family. I don't see how the state or federal government could say what I could or couldn't sell there.

I like the idea acutally. I have proposed something similar (but of course opposite) in the past. A town on private land where there were no laws. See this ooooold blog post of mine from 9/04:

So I'll have to talk to a lawyer about this one, but here's my concept...

I was thinking that in some cases, towns and cities have laws that somehow supercede state and federal laws. So, for instance if a town wanted to legalize prostitution or marajuana usage or whatever, they could do it. I know in Cali they are in a legal debate with the feds over marajuana but still, I believe the concept is that a city can make its own laws.

So, my question is this. If I had a big enough land mass and a group of people living on/owning that land could we just consider ourselves a city or a town or a county or whatever?

My concept is this. Using some cool website and the internet, wouldn't it be possible to assemble groups of morally like minded people (say people who want legal drug use or liberal speed limits) and get those groups of people to all move to the same place and form their own towns and legal systems?

Why isn't this possible?

Apparently New Hampshire is the place to move to if you want liberty. Also here.

The DPA - Donate Today!

I only have 40-50 readers but that's enough to do some good. I urge you each to donate at least $10 to the Drug Policy Alliance. This is a group which has this simple stated goal :

The Alliance is the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs. We envision new drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights and a just society in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more

You and I know that the "War on Drugs" has failed. Anyone can see that the program does little or no good and that it is a complete waste of money that does nothing to help abusers of drugs. Obviously I reccomend the movie "Traffic" to you, but more importantly I ask you to think about reading the book "Smoke and Mirrors" by Dan Baum. This book, published 10 years ago, gives us a history of the war and paints a pretty convinving picture that the war is a disaster.

But don't take his word on it. Ask Walter Cronkite what he thinks.

It's really hard to make change happen. Fortunately the DPA exists to help the process along. I'm giving $50 and you should give a little too. Click here to donate.

Oh.. also I just found on the DPA blog this post. Apparently Bill O'Reilly doesn't agree with Walter.

Floyd on Sirius

Well, Sirius is creating a 24 hour Pink Floyd channel. Also featured will be solo work from David Gilmour. This is cool, but I think they would have better music if they had Roger Waters' solo stuff on there which is much better..

Just change the report

See, it's not just the president that is the problem. It's the entire administration and all the top level people in the federal governemnt that he has put in place. As you may or may not know, there was a report sent up to the White House a couple of years ago that basicly said that the Insurgency in Iraq was local, was partially formed becasue of the occupation and would lead to civil war. But, that news wasn't going to go well when the report went to George Tenet so it was suggested that the report be changed to make it more palatable. Thankfully Wayne White prevailed and got the correct version out (he's not at the State Dept. any more):

Wayne White, a veteran State Department intelligence analyst, wrote recently that when it became clear that the National Intelligence Estimate would forecast grim prospects for tamping down the insurgency, a senior official "exclaimed rhetorically, `How can I take this upstairs?' (to then-CIA Director George Tenet)"

White argued forcefully in inter-agency deliberations for a more pessimistic description of the insurgency, and his views eventually prevailed. White is now an adjunct scholar at the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

But did the report change any minds in the White House?

"The mindset downtown was that people were willing to accept that things were pretty bad, but not that they were going to get worse, so our analyses tended to get dismissed as `nay-saying and hand-wringing,' to quote the president's press spokesman," he said.

The result, he said, was that top political and military officials focused on ways of dealing with foreign jihadists and disaffected Saddam loyalists, rather than with other pressing problems, such as growing Iraqi anger at the U.S.-led occupation and the deteriorating economic and security situation.

A former senior U.S. official who participated in the process said that analysts at the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department's intelligence bureau all agreed that the insurgency posed a growing threat to stability in Iraq and to U.S. hopes for forming a new government and rebuilding the economy.

"This was stuff the White House and the Pentagon did not want to hear," the former official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They were constantly grumbling that the people who were writing these kind of downbeat assessments `needed to get on the team,' `were not team players' and were `sitting up there (at CIA headquarters) in Langley sucking their thumbs.'"

Great stuff and a great report all right here.

Ahh.. Proof about Katrina and Bush

Well, we all suspected he knew about the potential of the storm and we all assumed he knew about the potential for the levees to break. But here is the proof. Impeach Bush! The lying bastard!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


In a survey, apparently Americans know more about The Simpsons than the Constitution.

About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half of Americans can name at least two members of the fictional cartoon family, according to a survey.

I would have gotten at least 3 of our freedoms correct, but I would have been able to name all of the Simpsons so I think I would have failed as well. Though I found stuff like the following bit amazing :

It also found people misidentified First Amendment rights. About 1 in 5 people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38% said they believed the right against self-incrimination -- commonly known as "Taking the Fifth" -- was a First Amendment right, the survey found.

Heh.. Funny stuff indeed.

Funny stuff and Not so funny stuff

I love Anderson Cooper.. this was a funny tidbit.. but seriously, those trailers are still in Arkansas! Have you actually heard that story? Read this and tell me what you think.

I'm not a drug dealer

Ok.. Let me clear something up for the authorites that are reading my blog. Contrary to what I may have said here, I'm not a drug dealer, nor do I have any illegal drugs.

Now. Why am I writing that? Well, I've seen a considerable spike in readership since that post and I'm scared. I have this vision of the police, fbi, nsa, whoever checking out my blog and deciding "ahh, another moron kid showing off for his friends" and then coming over and doing a raid on my house. While I'd like to believe that that's a longshot, you never know in todays society.

See, I was simply trying to make a point that just becasue you see something on a blog post or in a photograph doesn't make it true. The gun is real (and legally owned and registered by me), the drugs are clearly fake (as one of my friends pointed out in about 32 seconds).

It would be a waste of taxpayer money to come and raid my house. I'm just a normal citizen who has a hard time keeping his head down all the time. I really don't want to have a whole day (or more) of my life taken up by crazy searches and (god forbid) arrests.

You know, it's amazing that I'm so scared. Probably because just yesterday I finished watching a great movie called "The Tunnel" (der Tunnel is the real name) about the seperating of Berlin (and Germany) into the East and the West. The poor folks in the GDR followed one rule : innocent or guilty, keep your head down you don't want the police on you.

Maybe I'm paranoid but with all this wiretapping and erosion of civil liberties I kind of feel the same way when I write in this blog. I take contrary stances all the time to stuff. It would take 2 seconds to list me as a terrorist even though I couldn't be more of an American. I mean look, even Morrisey was questioned.