Monday, February 27, 2006
1) McCain sided with the fundies on Schiavo.
- It's true. He has a history of backing the religious right. He also supports the teaching of "Intelligent Design" is schools and is has voted in favor of banning partial birth abortions. Be clear about this: he WILL support the interests of the Religious Right, at the cost of women's reproductive rights and the education of our youth.
2) McCain believes in and supports the privatization of Social Security.
- McCain has gone out on the stump in support of Bush's plan and has said for years that he supports privatization. Most Americans disagree with him on that, but that has never stopped him from being a rank-and-file Republican on most issues.
3) McCain supports the war in Iraq (always has), doesn't think it was a mistake, and wants to INCREASE the size of our military budget, and get tougher on terrorism and the countries that sponsor it.
- He's a hawk, a big one. Don't think things will be all lovey dovey if he were in charge. Quite the opposite.
4) He SUPPORTS the NSA wiretapping.
- McCain has been a loyal toady for Bush on this, coming out in support saying that the President has every right to authorize this kind of wiretapping. Implicit in an agreement that its okay for the president to do this, is the recognition that its both legal and nececcary. Oooh... but at least he's a "maverick."
5) The Barak/Obama spat.
- Totally unbecoming of a person is this little ordeal. I blogged on it before, but if you need a little refresher, check this out here.
6) A blast from the past: Didn't support the recognition of MLK day
- But he's such a moderate!
There's more in the diary, some good criticism of McCain, and some stuff that I actually think is unfounded and/or unfair. The point is, there should be more than enough there (enough SOURCED information, something I haven't bothered to do here) to make anyone of the leftie persuasion seriously pause before endorsing McCain so readily. So, check out that post.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Okay... so I'm basically mining 7 Inch Punk for my purposes until it's used up of Colorado bootlegs that I want. Don't hate me because I found such a great site. Anyways, here's the first release by Expatriate (the band from last week's TFB). It's live! That means awesome live energy and more of that metallic hardcore grinding action. Good stuff.
Have a good weekend.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Denver Post - The big gun in Colorado News. Denver-centric and the best source for state news.
Rumford Falls Times - Okay, okay. There's not too much news here. But this was my town in Maine and I like to check up on it occasionally. Maybe you'd like to take a gander too.
Summit Daily News - The local (free) paper of where I (currently) reside in Colorado. They have some interesting local news, but their op-eds are what will keep you going back. Rich Mayfield has some of the best columns I've seen anywhere, bar none. And check out local funny man Biff America's column, insightful and funny stuff there.
To: President Bush
Hate to say we told you so, but we FUCKING told you so.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I don't think I have much more to say in regards to this, the analysis seems pretty spot on.
EDIT: MyDD has another great piece on the Port Scandal here.
Monday, February 20, 2006
The NYTimes is reporting a story wherein U.S. Intelligence agencies have been reclassifying declassified documents. Since 1999, intelligence agencies have reclassified more than 55,000 pages of previously declassified documents. This is...mind-boggling. In 1995 Bill Clinton issued a declassification order to increase the rate of declassification of documents that were not deemed extremely sensitive to national security. For four years, documents were available for public perusal. Then, they were reclassified. Many of the decisions made regarding which documents should be reclassified have scholars and experts baffled. Frankly, it's ridiculous.
There's a serious problem with this, and I think it speaks to a larger issue about the decreasing transparency of the US government. The secrey with which the Bush administration especially has conducted their day-to-day affairs is troubling, and the fact that the process of reclassification intensified under their watch speaks to this larger aura of secrecy. Some of have suggested that many of the documents have been reclassified to cover up embarassing issues in the past. Is this an attempt to rewrite history? To cover up the mistakes of America to reorder the way we think about our nation?
This echoes eerily the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's novel "1984." Charged with the task of correcting history and deleting references, changing old records, and covering up the truth, the Ministry of Truth is all about a lack of transparency in government. When there is no consistency in government, there is a serious problem with democracy.
There's simply no reason for the government to reclassify so many documents. None. Most of these documents have no relation to national security, yet they're being retracted from the public eye. Why? What possible good reason could there be for doing such a thing? I don't think there is a good answer. The answer that exists is, I think, that we have entered a time where people aren't concerned with reality. They want to be true what they want to be true instead of what actually is true. And this, I think, is a product of a strand of modern conservatism that has little to do with conservative principles and a great deal to do with authoritarianism. Everyone, liberal and conservative, should be up in arms about this. How can a government retract what has already been put forth into the public record? How can they justify changing history?
Luckily, an audit of the reclassification program has been ordered. Luckily, many people are concerned with this issue. But I'm afraid that it spells a dangerous trend for American democracy, a trend that can only end in the fundamental destabilization of our nation.
Google has formally rejected a demand from the US government to hand over a week's worth of search records.
The rejection was made in court documents Google filed in response to official demands for search data.
In the strongly-worded papers Google said the request would violate the privacy of its users and reveal trade secrets to its rivals.
It also added that handing over the data was impractical and would not accomplish what the government wanted.
It's good to see a company like Google actually have an understanding and respect of its users' wishes and the basic rights of citizens and limitations of governmental authority. It restores my faith in the ability of large companies to do what is right. People should be focusing on this aspect of Google along with their activities in China. Activities which, in my opinion, aren't bad at all and actually are in the same spirit as Google's fight against the U.S. government. In China, Google is working with the Chinese government to ultimately provide Chinese citizens with MORE, not less information than they had available to them before. If having to deal with some censorship requirements (requirements which, I think, will not survive in the long run), in order to provide as much information to a huge group of people as they can, Google is doing the right thing.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Time for that cherry on top of the banana sunday that is your week - the Friday Bootleg. The second in the series of bands from Colorado, this week I'm going to be taking another post from that awesomest of resources - 7 Inch Punk. This time it's some late 80's punk rawk for y'all, a little band called Expatriate. They were before my time in Colorado, but the choons are mighty fine and the music is free, so it's all good. This is their first single, "No Sleep Till Chugwater" and you can download it right here.
Hope y'all have a good weekend, I'm to Cold Springs Resort in New Hampshire for some maxin' relaxin' with the g/f. Good night and good luck.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Iraq has launched an investigation into claims by the US military that an Iraqi interior ministry "death squad" has been targeting Sunni Arab Iraqis.
The probe comes after a US general revealed the arrest of 22 policemen allegedly on a mission to kill a Sunni.
"We have found one of the death squads. They are part of the police force," US Maj Gen Joseph Peterson said.
Sunnis have long accused Iraqi forces of operating death squads - but the claims have never been substantiated.
Isn't that special? At least the U.S. is trying to get to the bottom of this instead of trying to cover it up.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Acid Zen Wonder Paint - A totally insane comic made in MS Paint. Totally hilarious, the comic comes in two flavours. The first (seemingly being fazed out) are singly panel non-sequiters of pure random brilliance. The second kind of strip comes in the form of help column advice and is equally hilarious, and even more complex... somehow. A brilliant comic.
Checkerboard Nightmare - A webcomic pontificating on the state of webcomics... brilliant. Actually, it's quite funny and since it's been around since 2000, it's a goddamned institution. Wacky adventures abound, and it's been re-started recently with the all the snarky commentary on the state of webcomics that had been at the core of the comic's brilliance for the last 6 years.
Exploitation Now - The comic is dead, to begin with (ooo... Dickens reference. Aren't I wicked smaht? *See previous post*). But, the archives are there and the comic was glorious in its day. From the maker of Errant Story... this is his first and *ahem* better comic. There's the funny first half of the strip, and the compelling drama of the second half of the series. Great artwork, too.
Niego - Another dead comic. This one was put to rest on recently, taken before its time (in my opinion). Great characters drove this comic, and some really hilarious situations. Check out the archives, for shizzle.
Overcompensating - Okay, I'm still just starting to get into the one, but it's one of those "comics taken from real life situations" kinda comics... except not crappy. The frequency of the updates is like a barrage of comics straight to the face, which can only be a good thing, right? Anyways, funny (if somewhat cynical and dark) strips abound. Pursue this comic and thou shalt be rewarded!
Well, that's all for now. If I end up adding more today, I'll update this post.
A body of research suggests that playing video games provides benefits similar to bilingualism in exercising the mind. Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tasks.
A new study of 100 university undergraduates in Toronto has found that video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable.
Now, if only I were bilingual... I'd be indestructable.
(via Daily Kos)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
Electric Sheep is a free, open source screen saver run by thousands of people all over the world. It can be installed on any ordinary PC or Mac. When these computers "sleep", the screen saver comes on and the computers communicate with each other by the internet to share the work of creating morphing abstract animations known as "sheep". The result is a collective "android dream", an homage to Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
Cool, huh? Well point yourselves here and download it.
Sometime between 1:30 and 2 p.m. today, the Sox’ equipment truck departs Fenway Park for Fort Myers, for the start of spring training. The 18-wheeler is expected to arrive at City Of Palms Park at midweek, a couple of days before pitchers and catchers report on Saturday.
Baseball is here again, folks. There may be snow on the ground, but it's Spring in our hearts - and on NESN. The Spring Training reports shall begin in earnest - and before too long (March 4, to be exact) - we have the first Sox pre-season game. Oh, it will be beautiful.
NESN Red Sox programming schedule can be found here.
Friday, February 10, 2006
THIS IS HOW IT'S ALWAYS BEEN!
THIS IS HOW WE DO THINGS IN THE COUNTRY!
Thursday, February 09, 2006
1 - I attended a lecture today on the increasing "Financialization" of the U.S. (and World) economy. There was a lot involved, but the basic point was that, increasingly, the business model for large corporations is not to invest in actual industry type stuff, but to sink money into investor type stuff, thus stagnating economic growth. That's kind of what happened to Enron and is happening to GM (at least in part). This method of making money provides high short term profits, but doesn't offer long term viability. The lecture was like one huge piece of the economic puzzle sinking into place, helping to explain why everything is the way it is.
2 - I can't begin to describe how ready I am for the 2006 baseball season. I can't wait to see the Sox take the field and find out what all the new boys (and rehabilitated old boys) can do. Should be an exciting season. A serious contender for the World Series? Perhaps not, but I'm not scared by "building years." We're seeing a transition into the future of the Red Sox. Ain't nothing wrong with that. I guess Spring Training info and the Baseball World Classic will have to tide me over until April. So far away...
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
From the frequently amusing RelentlesslyOptimistic: This is just a little tid-bit, a little newspaper excerpt, but it's too funny to not share. Find the link here.
And from one of the more thought-provoking blogs out there, Reasonably Ascertainable Reality: A post (find it here) on the cartoon-related rioting and how people need to basically learn that getting offended is sometime just a freakin' part of life. I find myself agreeing with the core content of the post, even if I wish that didn't mean agreeing with Michelle Malkin. Oh well, it happens.
Both of these blogs get my sidebar love, so you should be checkin' em out regularly. Very much worth your while.
EDIT: Massive edits and rewriting to remove the vulgarity in the original post. It's just not classy.
EDIT 2: If you want your daily dose of rudeness, check out The Rude Pundit's post on the issue (combined with a bit on the King funeral) here. He extolls on the racial dimensions (that may be) at play here. More food for thought.
The political leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas has said the group is willing to take a serious step towards peace if Israel does the same.
Khaled Meshaal told the BBC that Hamas would not renounce violence, saying resisting an occupation was legal.
But he said a long-term truce would be possible if Israel accepted conditions including a return to its 1967 borders.
Of course, one can argue the sincerity of the Meshaal in this case, but I think that argument avoids the larger point, which is that this kind of rhetoric is something that hasn't really been espoused by Hamas before, when it's been primarily revolutionary organization. Voting Hamas into power forces Hamas to become an administrative organization, one which has to deal with day to day problems through compromise and negotiation. Democracy ain't so bad efter all, even when the "bad guys" win.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Read the whole story here.
EDIT: From the Christian Science Monitor:
Initially, Coca-Sek distribution will be limited to Indian communities. Eventually, Mr. Curtidor wants to distribute it to Colombia's larger cities. But selling Coca-Sek abroad will be difficult. Coca is on a UN list of dangerous substances - international commerce in the leaf and its products is strictly limited. The Coca-Cola Company is one exception. Although Coke no longer contains the cocaine alkaloid, the Houston Chronicle reported that the company gets State Department approval to buy about 200 metric tons of coca leaves annually. The leaves are processed to remove the cocaine alkaloid, and the leaf mulch is reportedly used as flavoring in the secret recipe.
Free trade my ass. Let them sell the damned stuff worldwide.
EDIT 2: Spelling & Grammar edits.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
Have a good weekend, see y'all on the other side... OF THE WEEKEND!!!
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Well, I'm using Internet Explorer 7 right now, and it's interesting. I can't say I've used for more than a few minutes, but I'm happy with some things already. For one, it's really sleek and streamlined looking now. The top navigation bar is more compact than any of the other web browsers right now, I'd say (at least when all are compared in their default modes). Also, ActiveX is disabled by default - hopefully this is a sign they're fazing it out for good eventually. All in all, IE7 feels a lot like Firefox or Opera, which is a good thing. Of course, there are still problems, IE still seems a little sluggish in loading websites and it has problems displaying some sites properly - but it's hard to say how much of this is going to be a problem in the final release of IE and how much is just because it's a beta.