Thursday, July 28, 2005

Our Litigious Society

I just saw this story about an 81-year-old woman sueing the makers of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game for including hidden sex scenes in the game that can be unlocked using a patch downloaded from the internet. Apparently, said granny bought said game for her 14-year-old grandson as a present.

Let's step back and analyze this for a second, shall we:

1) Rockstar Games, a division of Take2 software, creates Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a sequel to their (apparently) highly successful Grand Theft Auto game. Note: I've never played these games, but from what I understand it involves a lot of gunfire, explosions, car chases, drugs, fistfights, cop-killings, and other unsavory elements. A couple of programmers bury illicit sex scenes within the (presumably) millions of lines of code conatined within said game

2) The ESRB wisely issues the game a rating of "M" for mature, meaning this game is not for anyone under the age of 17. Or, more specifically, "Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language."

3) Granny buys her 14-year-old grandson said video game. Apparently, she thinks a game involving extreme violence and perpetual defiance of authority is just the thing he needs!

4) Apparently realizing her mistake when she gets home, she demands that the game be taken away from said grandson. Apparently, she doesn't realize at the store that a game that takes its title from a major felony probably isn't appropriate for a young teenager barely past puberty.

5) Upon hearing about the ilicit sex scenes hidden in the game, said granny sues the maker of said game, claiming "false, misleading, and deceptive practices."

Now, as near as I can understand it, the grandson did not play the game at any time. He didn't see the violence, drugs, and sex contained within GTA: SA. Granny didn't want junior to have it. Fine. Get your receipt, take it back to the store, and exchange it for something more kid-friendly. No harm, no foul.

But NOOOO! Granny wants money and publicity. So she jumps into the legal system with both feet. She wants her piece of the pie.

Rockstar games, meanwhile, basks in the spotlight. You can't buy this kind of publicity!

There are a number of people at fault in this whole affair:

* The people who wrote the illicit code. These people should lose their jobs, and never be allowed near a computer again.

* Granny, for not having the sense to LOOK AT THE BOX that the game came in. Seriously. What part of "may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older" did you NOT understand?!

* Her lawyer, for talking her into filing a suit that will increase tenfold sales of Rockstar Games, more than enough to make up for any paltry award they may have to pay in court, if any.

* The ESRB, for not making their ratings system more clear. Seriously. Try this:
"DO NOT SELL OR GIVE THIS GAME TO ANYONE UNDER 17 YEARS OF AGE!!!" Hard to get any clearer that that!

NOT at fault, however, is the company Rockstar games. They produced a product that filled what they perceived to be a market demand (and, judging by sales figures, they were right!) It's what businesses do every day. Perhaps their only mistake was not accounting for the fact that there are thousands of geeks out there who go through game program codes line-by-line, looking for just this sort of thing.

Personally, I can't help but wonder if this whole deal isn't a publicity stunt...

You know, once upon a time, I watched the movie Suburban Commando. I'm still not sure why. I mean, this movie was HORRIBLE!

Of course, that can pretty much describe any movie starring Hulk Hogan. But I remember one funny scene: The hero (Hogan) has just trashed a muscle car belonging to some redneck neighbors of the family he's living with. Then, when one of the rednecks asks "Do you know what we're gonna do to you?", the hero responds with a litany of physical abuses. "No," says the neighbor, "this is the '90's--We're gonna sue you!"

Pretty scary, isn't it, that a movie made back in 1991 is still right-on almost fifteen years later?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hey! Look Over There!

Why does it seem that the SCLM (So-Called Liberal Media) has apparently stop covering the whole Valerie Plame/Karl Rove scandal?

Could it be that the hurried launch of Discovery has knocked it off the national consciousness?

Why is the SCLM so easily distracted? Could it have anything to do with the fact that all the SCLM outlets are owned by giant multinational corporations, who greatly benefit from having Republicans control everything?

Imagine this call, if you will:
(Note: I couldn't easily find the name of the current director of NASA, so I henceforth refure to him as DON)

Karl Rove: Hey DON, I'm taking a lot of heat over this Valerie Plame thing. Get that goddamned shuttle in the air, NOW!!

DON: But, it may not be ready! We could lose another seven astronauts if we push it!

KR: Even better! Another tragedy like that would once again allow our corporate media buddies to distract Americans from the fact that I jeopardized national secur--I mean, that I got the worst president ever re-elec---I mean--Oh, fuck it! Just get that tin bus flying, or you'll never get another dime from the U.S. government!!!

DON: Y-Y-yes sir. Right away, sir.

(DON hangs up phone, turns to aide): Look, fuck the safety checks! That shuttle is going up tomorrow. And if you want to keep your job, you'll make sure that it goes off without a hitch!

(Aide looks dumfounded, then nods discreetly and turns and leaves.)

Look folks, I'm not saying that's what happened. But how many Karl Rove/Valerie Plame stories have you seen on the major networks in the last 36 hours?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Not the Best Headline

I'm signed on to AOL right now. One of the rotating headlines is this:

Shuttle Returns in Blaze of Glory

I can't get a screencap of it yet. Maybe in an update.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, ask yourself this question.

Think about what happened two-and-a-half years ago, when the Columbia "returned in a blaze of glory..."

I'm just sayin'!

Tales From My Documents, Chapter 2

Document Title: A Test
Authored by: Unknown
Last Modified: 5/1/2002
Text of Document:

This is a test to gauge your mental flexibility and creativity. In the years since it was developed, it has found that few people could solve more than half in the first day. Many reported getting answers long after the test had been set aside, at unexpected moments when their minds were
relaxed and some reported solving it over a period of several days. A bonus for getting either nos. 12 or 13, they are impossible! Scoring:
1 6 questions = average
6 12 = somewhat intelligent
12 18 = intelligent
18+ = Genius!
Example: 16 = O in a P
Answer: 16 ounces in a pound

1] 26 = L of the A
2] 7 = D of the W
3] 1001 = AN
4] 12 = S of the Z
5] 54 = C in a D (with J)
6] 9 = P in the SS
7] 88 = PK
8] 13 = S on the A F
9] 32 = D F at which W F
10] 18 = H on a G C
11] 90 = D in a R A
12] 200 = D for P G in M
13] 8 = S on a SS
14] 3 = B M (S H T R)
15] 4 = Q in a G
16] 24 = H in a D
17] 1 = W on a U
18] 5 = D in a Z C
19] 57 = H V
20] 11 = P on a FT
21] 1000 = W that a P is W
22] 29 = D in F in a L Y
23] 64 = S on a C B
24] 40 = D and N of the G F
25] 76 = T in the B P
26] 50 = W to L Y L
27] 99 = B of B on the W
28] 60 = S in a M
29] 1 = H on a U
30] 9 = J on the SC
31] 7 = B for SB
32] 21 = D on a D
33] 7 = W of the AW
34] 15 = M on a D M C

Poster's comments: BTW, I got most of the answers, but not all of them. Don't ask me what they all are. I haven't worked on them in awhile. And for #8, there's a word missing that makes the clue a lot easier. But remember--according to the rules of this feature, I don't edit the text of these documents--I post them as is!

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Problem

Recently, I received an e-mail (the text can be found below), received by my dad from my uncle and forwarded to me. It was about the wonders of the banana. This e-mail claimed bananas can fix everything from mosquito bites to hangovers to P.M.S. (those last two alone would be enough by themselves!)

Of course, since this originally came from my internut* Uncle--who forwards so much junk that I take anything I receive from him with a grain of salt the size of my head--I had grave doubts as to the veracity of most, if not all of the claims.

So I did what I normally do: I navigated my way to, the excellent urban legend debunking site, and searched for "banana".

To my astonishment, of the forty-some hits I got for articles containing "banana", none of them was an exploration of these claims. I guess this is too new for them.

So I put it to you, the two readers of this blog. The entire text of the e-mail is contained below. Read it (warning: it's pretty long), and decide for yourself, based on your own personal knowledge, whether any or all of it is true or not.

Let me know what you think with a comment.

(Of course, I don't expect to get any comments, but you never know)

Text of the e-mail:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!

This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brainpower. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine, "eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"


PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit.

*Definition of an internut: Someone who believes any thing they learn through e-mail or from the internet is the absolute gospel truth--regardless of how silly or obviously wrong it may be. Also defined as someone who passes said thing along to EVERYONE they know!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Cutting Through the Crap

In an attempt to cut through all the spin surrounding the whole Karl Rove/Valerie Plame/CIA/Judith Miller/Robert Novak/etc. scandal, the good folks at have put together this timeline of the whole affair, from 1988 to present.

I can't say enough about these guys. A former journalistic colleague of my dad's was once a member of their team (I won't say which one--no permission). I find their honesty and fairness to be quite refreshing in these days of spin, counter-spin, and outright dishonesty in politics and the media.

I encourage the three people reading this blog to use their hotmail accounts and subscribe to their e-mail updates. They don't send them very often in the non-election years, but when they do, it's usually pretty important.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Best. Headline. Ever.

Update (7:40 P.M.): Just in case you think I made this using photoshop, here's the link to the page.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A New Feature

Today, I plan to start what I hope will become a regular weekly feature on this my humble blog. I plan to call it "Tales From My Documents".

Y'see, I've saved quite a few MS Word documents on my computer. It's mostly funny stories, jokes, and aphorisms I've been e-mailed, and a few things I've written myself. And, in the interests of preserving this miscellanea for future generations, I hope to post at least one document each week, unedited and in its entirety.

(Actually, it's really just a way of coming up with at least one post per week that doesn't involve me writing anything new. But you didn't hear that.)

Some of the "tales" will be funny, some sad, some touching, some sappy, some angry, some depressing, and I cannot promise you they will all be entertaining. But I'm going to do it anyway.

So having said that, here is the first of what I hope will be many entries in this series, chosen at random from the "My Documents" file on my computer:

Tales from My Documents: Volume 1
Document title: 12 Rules of Life
Date created: 3/31/2003 Date modified: Same Source: E-mail


Sometimes we just need to Remember what the 12 Rules of Life really are...

1. Never Give Yourself a Haircut After Three Margaritas.

2. You need only two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the duct tape.

3. The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship are "I apologize" and "you are right."

4. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

5. Never pass up an opportunity to pee.

6. If he/she says that you are too good for him/her -- believe them.

7. Learn to pick your battles: Ask yourself, "Will this matter one year from now? How about one month? One week? One day?"

8. When you make a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.

9. If You Woke up Breathing, Congratulations! You have another chance!

10. Living Well Really is The Best Revenge. Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just might mean that the other person was right about you.

11. Work is Good, but it's Not That Important. Money is Nice, But You Can't Take It With You. Statistics show most people don't live to spend all they saved -- some die even before they retire. And everything we have isn't really ours -- it was given to us by God; He just lets us borrow it while we're here...even our kids.

12. And Finally ... Be Really Good To Your Family and/or Friends. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Tale of Two Caps

I would like to tell the three readers of this blog about two caps.

Both of them are red.

Both of them are sports-related.

Both of them have the logo of the Detroit Red Wings.

One is much fancier than the other.

I know. You're asking, "Why the hell are you telling me about a couple of caps?!"

Well, the reason is that I used to wear one of these caps almost every day. The simpler cap I wore during the Red Wings' regular season. The fancy one I wore during their playoff games.

But I hung both caps up on pegs in the wall when the NHL went on strike. Neither cap has been worn since. For a while, I feared neither cap would ever be worn again.

Now, howwever, it would appear that the NHL labor dispute has been settled. The NHL may once again resume play.

But both caps will remain hanging on the wall until the first time a skate worn by a Detroit Red Wing touches the ice (A pre-season exhibition game will be fine.)

Hopefully, that won't be too long from today!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Why Do They Do It?

Early yesterday, Londoners paused for two minutes of silence to honor the victims of last week's bombings. It must have been quite a sight to see--and hear!

Following closely on the heels of this was the announcement that the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers. A disturbing development, to be sure.

And it's one that got me thinking: Just what is it that causes someone to become a suicide bomber?

Now, I don't claim to be an expert in psychology, religion, or politics, nor do I claim to be able to read anyone's mind, but I have developed a theory that there are three basic types of suicide killers.

Type one: This is a person who lives in abject poverty every day. Ignored by society in general, every day is a struggle to survive. Suddenly, they are approached by a kindly-looking man (or possibly a woman). This person tells them that there is a way out of their miserable existence. There is a way for them to be taken straight into paradise, where their every need and want will be fulfilled. All they need do is walk into a crowd of non-believers with explosives strapped to their body and set them off. Most of them jump at the chance.

The only way to stop this type of bomber is to fix the cause of his or her poverty in the first place. An admirable goal, to be sure, but not one likely to happen in the near future.

Type two: This is a person who has been trained almost from birth that all infidels must die! It is the will of God to destroy as many non-believers as possible, and the quickest and easiest way to do it is to walk into a crowd with a Semtex vest and press a button. After that, you will instantly be taken into paradise.

The only way to stop this type of bomber is a bullet. Sadly, we may never be rid of this type.

Type three: This is the most complicated (and possibly most insidious) type. This person is usually very young, possibly early teens. He or she is a child of reasonably well-to-do parents. The parents are just like any other parents--they are overworked and rarely home when their child is, and even then, their social interaction with this child is limited to a few hours, or even a few minutes.

This child (I still call him or her a child at this point, since that is where he or she is emotionally) goes to their selected place of worship on a regular basis. The leader of said institution, or another important figure within said place of worship, befriends the child.

Normally, this would not be a problem. But in this particular place of worship, said authority figure is an extremist. He or she begins to teach the child, subtly at first, but becoming more and more blatant over time, about the evils of the infidel (any person not of their faith). Slowly, gradually, the child begins to believe at first that infidels are bad, and will be punished in the afterlife. Soon, he or she believes that they will and should be punished for their evils on this earth. Eventually, the child has become so far brainwashed that he or she believes that the infidels must be punished on earth, NOW! And that the best way to punish them is to kill them while killing him or herself.

Like I said, this may be the most insidious form of suicide attacker--the kind that would normally grow up to be a normal, decent human being, but that has been corrupted by the political agenda of an extremist religious authority figure.

Please note that this type of extremist brainwashing is by no means limited to any one religion. It has occurred far too many times in the past, in most, if not all, of the organized religions of the world. It is the kind of extremism that teaches people to lay waste to entire cities, killing everyone and everything within. It is the kind of extremism that teaches people to throw bricks through the windows of Muslim businesses, and then kill the owners of said businesses when they come out to defend themselves. It is the kind of extremism that teaches people to give their children Kool-Aid laced with cyanide before taking it themselves. It is the kind of extremism that tells people to wait outside Planned Parenthood clinics with Molotov cocktails or sniper rifles. And it is the type of extremism that teaches four young men to carry backpacks filled with explosives onto subway trains and public transit buses and detonate them during rush hour, killing themselves and killing or wounding hundreds of others. It continues to happen today, and will probably continue to happen for the forseeable future.

The only possible solution to this type of extremism may be to refuse to allow the extremists to occupy any position of authority in any religion. Sadly, that is probably impossible.

Please note that I believe that I have taken what I believe are great pains to single out no specific religion and/or faith in this post. Extremism can and has been the downfall of many faiths, and those that remain today continue to be in constant danger from it!

In addition, I welcome any comments and/or criticisms of this analysis. Like I said, I am not an expert in psychology, religion, or politics. This is merely my opinion as a layperson.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

You Gotta Be Kidding!

Sometimes I come across something that leads me to doubt the future survival of the human race. In fact, it seems to be happening far too often, lately.

Like this story, for example.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Weighing In, Volume 4

Usually I only post one of my "Weighing In" entries when I've been too lazy to post in a week or more, but I have a lot of ground to cover, so lets get started with:

On London:

Congrats to you Brits for landing the 2012 Olympics. Let's hope we're all still around to see them. But...

On London, Part 2:

From a state of Euphoria to a state of despair in less than 24 hours. That may go on record as the biggest and fastest mood swing in history.

To you, the perpetrators of these attacks, I say this: YOU BASTARDS! YOU DESPICABLE, INHUMAN, BASTARDS!!! MAY YOU ROT IN HELL!!!

(I may have mentioned before that I don't sugarcoat!)

Seriously. These people have a special room in hell waiting for them.

Meanwhile, our worthless president will probably use this incident as an excuse to invade Iran...

On the SCOTUS vacancy:

Jeebus, I never thought I'd see the day when I would be rooting for Alberto "torture memo" Gonzales. Lord knows, the wright wingnuts are sure screaming about him.

I can't help but wonder if the whole thing might be a carefully crafted plot to put an arch-conservative on the Big Bench...

On the Ohio Coin-Fund Scandal (TSTKOG):

Recently, The (Toledo) Blade had an article that stated that Tom Noe used his influence to have access to the Governor and even the White House.

Gee, y'think?! Are they now going to tell us the sky is blue, the ocean is deep, and the sun is hot?

On the Space Shuttle:

On Wednesday, the Shuttle Discovery takes off for a new mission, the first shuttle Mission since the Columbia disaster more than two years ago. As far as I can determine, this mission is to test whether or not they'll be able to fix it if something goes wrong. This seems to me to be a lot like flying a fighter jet into a mountain just to see if the ejector seat works...

Of course, the real problem is that we're dealing with technology that was developed while I was still in elementary school, fer crissake! Maybe they should work on designing something new. Seriously. A lot of the Shuttle's technology was designed by people who are probably retired by now. Maybe it's time to bring in some new blood.

I'm just sayin'!

On Jamie Farr:

Toledo's favorite native son. Every year he comes back here to M.C. the Jamie farr LPGA classic.

But it's more than that. Recently, the father of an acquaintance of mine died. The viewing was last Thursday. And, since Jamie had gone to the same high school as this man, he stopped by to say hello and pay his respects.

The man is a class act.

Well kids, that's all for now.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Yes, folks, here we go again.

By now, unless you've been living in a cave, you've no doubt heard that terrorists set off bombs in the London Mass Transit System. As of this writing, at least 37 people are confirmed dead, and over 700 are injured. No doubt, the death toll will rise before this is all over.

I might point out that this is the exact same M.O. that was used in the Madrid train bombings less than a year-and-a-half ago. I guess if something works for the terrorists, they stick with it.

And I am mad as hell.

And not strictly at the despicable bastards that perpetrated this attack. Don't get me wrong, by the way. I would love to get these monsters in a private room, cut their balls off, lightly fry them, and serve them to them for lunch.

(I may have mentioned before that I don't sugarcoat things!)

No. I am also mad at the entire Bush administration.

Why? Because their last justification for the war in Iraq has disappeared after today's events.

Don't believe me? Let's go down the list, shall we?

Justification One: We invaded Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction, and planned to use them.

WRONG! There has been no evidence found that such weapons exist, nor has any evidence been found that they ever did.

Justification Two: Iraq was involved with the September 11th attacks.

WRONG! The bi-partisan 9/11 commission found that there was no evidence of any link between the 9/11 terrorists and Iraq and/or Saddam Hussein.

Justification Three: Even if the first two were wrong, Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator who needed to be removed.

WRONG! There are probably dozens, if not HUNDREDS, of dictators all over the world who are just as bad, if not worse, than Saddam Hussein. They, however, do not control the world's second largest oil reserves...

Justification Four: Fighting the terrorists in Iraq means we do not have to fight them at home.

WRONG! Ask the British people how true they think that statement is today!

Give me any other justification for invading Iraq.


I'm waiting!

You gots nothing, does ya?

By invading Iraq, George W. Bush created a training ground for future terrorists, and created the greatest possible recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and its associated organizations. It was the exact opposite of what should have been done.

Bill Clinton was impeached for getting a blowjob from a subordinate.

What will it take to impeach George W. Bush?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Oh Say Can You See?

Lately, it seems, there has been quite a fuss over flag-burning. The House of Representatives last month approved an amendment making desecration of the flag a crime. And there is more than a good chance it will also pass the Senate, this time.

Of course, since the majority of American flag desecration seems to me to take place outside our borders, this amendment is going to be as effective at stopping flag-burning as a household sponge is at stopping a tsunami.

By the way, my personal philosophy has always been that if someone wants to burn a flag, fine. If, however, they try to burn MY flag, I will tear their arm off and shove it up their ass!

But I digress. I think there is a bigger issue here. Yesterday, on the 229th anniversary of our country’s birth, I happened to look up and down my street, and guess how many flags I saw being displayed?

Four. Including mine. This in a neighborhood of dozens of houses (there are more than twenty on my block alone).

I happen to believe that on The Fourth of July, perhaps more than any other holiday, houses NOT flying the American flag should be the exception, not the rule.

The problem is NOT that people in this country do not respect the flag. No, the problem is that people do not respect the American flag ENOUGH.

The flag is more than just the symbol of our country. It has been carried into battle on too many occasions to list. It flies over cemeteries, many of which came into existence because of those same battles. It flies over government buildings and sports stadiums alike. It is the constant reminder to all who see it that this is the United States of America. But when it comes to peoples’ homes, it is often absent.

And that is the problem. Most Americans rarely encounter the flag on a day-to-day basis. It therefore comes as a shock when they see people desecrating the flag. And they easily fall in step behind anyone who tries to do something to stop such actions from happening.

So fly your flag proudly! If it becomes more a part of our everyday lives, we may begin to pay less attention to those who desecrate it as a protest. And if flag desecration stops being the attention-getter it is today, the problem will take care of itself.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

In Honor of July 4th

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

Tomorrow, we celebrate the 229th anniversary of our country's independence.
May we never forget the sacrifice of the millions of our fellow citizens who paid the ultimate price to secure that independence.

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Paul Harvey, You are an Ass!

On his radio broadcast on June 23rd, Paul Harvey said this:

...we proceeded to develop and deliver the bomb, even though roughly 150,000 men, women and children perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With a single blow, World War II was over.

Following New York, Sept. 11, Winston Churchill was not here to remind us that we didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy.

So, following the New York disaster, we mustered our humanity.

We gave old pals a pass, even though men and money from Saudi Arabia were largely responsible for the devastation of New York and Pennsylvania and our Pentagon.

We called Saudi Arabians our partners against terrorism and we sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq, and we kept our best weapons in our silos.

Even now we’re standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive, because we’ve declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies -- more moral, more civilized.

Our image is at stake, we insist.

But we didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy.

Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and into this continent by giving small pox infected blankets to native Americans.

Yes, that was biological warfare!

And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever. And we grew prosperous.

And, yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves.

And so it goes with most nation states, which, feeling guilty about their savage pasts, eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded, and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry and up and coming who are not made of sugar candy.

So. Apparently Paul Harvey thinks that it was O.K. for us to use biological warfare on the Indians, and that it's O.K. for us to use nukes on anyone and everyone, and that slavery is good, because we've done it before.

This, in my opinion, falls under the "Kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out" philosophy. And there are too many things wrong with that to list.

I used to listen to Paul Harvey every day. And I am ashamed of that!

What happened to you, Paul? Once upon a time, you were the voice of reason. Now you're just another reactionary right-wing asshole.

And I hate you for that.


I have been to this website,, and after visiting this and many others, I have concluded that he would be the best candidate to replace Justice O'Connor.

It is up to us in the blogosphere to make sure that a moderate like Justice Prado is appointed to the Big Bench.

To that end, I have added my blog to the bloglist, and hope to soon add a link to that site on my linkcolumn.

Bear with me, as a newbie like myself often has trouble with such things!

Let's make sure fairness and justice NEVER becomes just a memory in this country!

So Long, Sandra

And say Sayonara to the rest of the country, too.

With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announcing her retirement today, a crucial voice for moderation on the SCOTUS has fallen silent.

No doubt Karl Rove is already rubbing his hands together with glee at the prospect of choosing a Scalia or Thomas clone to replace her.

And if Rehnquist also decides to call it a day, Rove may have an orgasm so violent you'll be able to hear the scream in California.

And, with a solid conservative majority on the Supreme court, you can say goodbye to worker's rights, consumer protections, and a woman's right to choose, just to name a few things.

Basically, with one, or even two, addition Scalia or Thomas-style judges on the Supreme Court, we could see all the progress we have made in this country over the last 70 years completely wiped off the map.

Here's a handy list of all the critical rights and protections that could be at stake with one or two more archconservatives on the Supreme Bench.

I would urge the three people reading this article to immediately visit People for the American Way, The Center for American Progress, or any one of dozens of other progressive sites to find out what they can do to help keep these rights intact. I plan to as soon as I finish writing this. Right now, in fact!