Saturday, December 31, 2005

and Geoff gets Upset When I Say Things About Kwanzaa

But acording to his favorite conservative hottie:

(Sing to "Jingle Bells")
Kwanzaa bells, dashikis sell
Whitey has to pay;
Burning, shooting, oh what fun
On this made-up holiday!

Coincidentally, the seven principles of Kwanzaa are the very same seven principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army, another charming invention of the Least-Great Generation. In 1974, Patricia Hearst, kidnap victim-cum-SLA revolutionary, posed next to the banner of her alleged captors, a seven-headed cobra. Each snake head stood for one of the SLA's revolutionary principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani -- the same seven "principles" of Kwanzaa.

And, FTR, I happen to LIKE Kwanzaa.

However I wash my hands of Robannukah

"the most arrogant company in the world"

The plot stays the same, but the characters change in a decade long cycle.

Jerry Weinberger, chief executive of Rates Technology Inc. (RTI), said he was the inventor of software programming that allows telephone calls to be placed over the Internet.
He said 120 companies, including Lucent, Cisco, IBM, Yahoo and Microsoft, have paid RTI to use the technology for "Voice over Internet Protocol" (VoIP) calls.
RTI filed suit in a Long Island federal court against Google two months ago because the search engine was using the technology without authorisation, Weinberger said after the New York Post reported the lawsuit Friday.
"They told us to go to hell," the RTI boss told AFP. "They are the most arrogant company in the world."

ATT, IBM, and Microsoft so far in my conscience lifetime. Google seems next.

So Were You Just Making Stuff About About Writing A Book?

asks a reader.

No. I have been making progress, just slowly. Events have overtaken some of it and I'm working out late 21st century plot elements. Unlike Ray Kurzweil, I'm not confident I know how things are going to pan out.

For example, I destroyed Miami in 2013 by a Cat 5 hurricane, then Katrina rendered the whole thing moot.

However, to prove my good intent, here is a sample from the outline.

Bill Gates Retires: Steve Ballmer to remain until end of 2012. MSFT stock slides 20% on news.

Koreans Clone Chimp: Telomere Dog still healthy.

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise returns to rehab after assaulting nuns

Harry Potter
Despite Deaths, Final Harry Potter Movie in November

American space
Hubble snaps last photo. 1 working shuttle remains in fleet: Atlantis

Red States
Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas model anti-contraception legislation on Utah. Scott v. Utah appeal to reach SC next term.
Scott v. Utah challenge to Utah Anti-contraception law

Pittsburgh joins NY/Boston/LA/Austin as free internet cities

Hillary decides against running for president
Warner leads

McCain Challenges Romney for nom.

Benedict XIV
Pope dies of stroke while shitting
The Catholic Schism

New Anglicans
New Anglicans popular with Americans, 1st worlders. GM, contraception, euthanasia cited.
Evolution of Church

Pope Nicholas VI
Wilfrid Fox Napier, 71, named Pope Nicholas VI. Seen as hard right turn, growing strength of African Church
Isolation of the US/Euro churches increases

Blue States
Washington, Oregon adopt Gay Marriage by Refferendum.

Blue States
Mass, Vermont, Washington legalize medical MJ.

Brian Schweitzer (G-MT) takes DNC nom. Offers Wes Clark VP.

Romney/McCain ticket

Red States
Kansas passes anti-contraception

Blue States
California passes statute forbidding religion in classroom except for religion or philosophy classes

Pope N VI
Pope instructs priest to deny communion, confession to politicians supporting gay rights, abortion. Stops just short of excommunication

American Cardinal Brams, NY, hints that American Church may have a hard time following these orders.

New Anglicans
New Anglicans denounce Pope

Southern Baptists
Southern Baptists, Falwell, Robertson support Pope’s idea but not Pope

Few American, Europe Churches refusing communion, Pope furious. Calls conclave to Rome and screams for 16 hours.

A Few New Links

I've updated the links list on the right a little. Long over due.

Media Training 641: Advanced Studies

There is a defacto Professor of Media Training at Syracuse University, Robert Thompson (the p is silent, like in swimming). I am in awe. He does everything I was ever trained to do and so much more.

Aluminium Webbed armchairs?? My hat is off to you Professor!

The key to Thompson’s savvy is staying ahead of the game. “You hope that by the time a journalist calls you’ve already been thinking about it,” he says. The 60th anniversary of the webbed aluminum lawn chair, he offers as a nontelevision, pop-culture example, is approaching, so he read up. The chair is fascinating, he says, “because you had all this extra aluminum after the war,” and some enterprising folks thought to “take this surplus of aluminum and match it with the explosion of the suburbs, which was helped with the GI Bill.” It’s his favorite type of topic. “It’s fun to learn the contextual history of things you take for granted. The stuff is so totally a part of who you are and you fail to see the significance.”

Friday, December 30, 2005

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Enemy of my Enemy

In a message dated 12/29/2005 10:40:22 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:
Nov 8- San Francisco passes a law that "prohibits the manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city, and makes it illegal for residents to keep handguns in their homes or businesses." (Washington Post).I've searched on the ACLU site for any kind of call to action re: this, but found nothing. Nothing urging support for or against this, which is a huge Second Amendment concern. My question is, are they strictly hands-off with guns, or just picky about the civil liberties they defend?

I thought you wanted to get rid of the ACLU, now you want their help?

... okaaaaaay

Well, first of all, the ACLU is a private organization, so they are free to pick and choose whatever they want or don't want to defend. They don't have an obligation to take cases like this, or any cases in fact. I happily support them with a check now and again so I can keep burning flags with pictures of Jesus giving George Bush a blow job on them. If a majority of the membership thinks this is worth doing, then they will do it.

So it's not the ACLU you have to convince, it's people paying their bills.

Like me.

Second, there isn't a case here. In order for the courts to get involves, there has to be a case. None has been offered yet.

Finally, the ACLU stand on the second amendment is right on their website:

Update: I wanted to add: I was very "pro gun control" for a long time until I read the Federalist Papers. Understanding the context of the 2nd Amendment moved me to the ACLUs "neutral" position. I'm pleased (and a little surprised) that the ACLU and I agree on this view.

I happen to think they have it about right.
Maybe I should write them another check.... grabbing check book... looking for pen...

Gun Control (3/4/2002)
Gun Control
"Why doesn't the ACLU support an individual'sunlimited right to keep and bear arms?"

BACKGROUND The ACLU has often been criticized for "ignoring the Second Amendment" and refusing to fight for the individual's right to own a gun or other weapons. This issue, however, has not been ignored by the ACLU. The national board has in fact debated and discussed the civil liberties aspects of the Second Amendment many times.
We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias to assure their own freedom and security against the central government. In today's world, that idea is somewhat anachronistic and in any case would require weapons much more powerful than handguns or hunting rifles. The ACLU therefore believes that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns or other weapons nor does it prohibit reasonable regulation of gun ownership, such as licensing and registration.

IN BRIEF The national ACLU is neutral on the issue of gun control. We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns.

Most opponents of gun control concede that the Second Amendment certainly does not guarantee an individual's right to own bazookas, missiles or nuclear warheads. Yet these, like rifles, pistols and even submachine guns, are arms.

The question therefore is not whether to restrict arms ownership, but how much to restrict it. If that is a question left open by the Constitution, then it is a question for Congress to decide.

ACLU POLICY "The ACLU agrees with the Supreme Court's long-standing interpretation of the Second Amendment [as set forth in the 1939 case, U.S. v. Miller] that the individual's right to bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected. Therefore, there is no constitutional impediment to the regulation of firearms." --Policy #47

Washington Post Article: my personal feelings:

What is it?


I don't know, but it's a very cool picture.

Zell Miller Syndrome

There must be something in the water in Georgia. First Zell Miller goes batshit, the President throws a collar on him and parades him around on stage, then he disappears. Truthfully, I really did think Zell had some kind of neurological problem, the change was so drastic and sudden.

But now, former congressman Bob Barr has it as well! Bob is the meanest, reddest republican who ever came from Georgia. He loves the War on Drugs, the FMA and was the leading congressman in the impeachment of Clinton. When asked why he and fellow republicans was pushing so hard for investigation after investigation until they found something , anything which would allow impeachment he notably responded, "because we can". He went as far as having Clinton's cat investigated.

But now, out of congress, Barr has changed his tune significantly. Once an author of the PATRIOT ACT, he is now one of it's most vocal critics, calling for scrapping it. He's joined the dreaded American Civil Liberties Union, the garlic and wooden spike of big daddy government. Very strange. Now this:

Two of the most powerful moments of political déjà vu I have ever experienced took place recently in the context of the Bush administration's defense of presidentially ordered electronic spying on American citizens.
First, in the best tradition of former President Bill Clinton's classic, "it-all-depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-is-is" defense, President Bush responded to a question at a White House news conference about what now appears to be a clear violation of federal electronic monitoring laws by trying to argue that he had not ordered the National Security Agency to "monitor" phone and e-mail communications of American citizens without court order; he had merely ordered them to "detect" improper communications.

This example of presidential phrase parsing was followed quickly by the president's press secretary, Scott McLellan, dead-panning to reporters that when Bush said a couple of years ago that he would never allow the NSA to monitor Americans without a court order, what he really meant was something different than what he actually said. If McLellan's last name had been McCurry, and the topic an illicit relationship with a White House intern rather than illegal spying on American citizens, I could have easily been listening to a White House news conference at the height of the Clinton impeachment scandal.

Weird. Not quite a call for impeachment, but definately a clearer eyed evaluation than I would expect from someone with Barr's background.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Finally, What I Wanted for Christmas

A shred, just the smallest shred of integrity from someone on the Right. Looks like I got it, no matter how short lived it will prove to be.

From the Wall Street Journal owned Barrons (Subscription only)

AS THE YEAR WAS DRAWING TO A CLOSE, we picked up our New York Times and learned that the Bush administration has been fighting terrorism by intercepting communications in America without warrants. It was worrisome on its face, but in justifying their actions, officials have made a bad situation much worse: Administration lawyers and the president himself have tortured the Constitution and extracted a suspension of the separation of powers.

. . .

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.
It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law.

. . .

Published reports quote sources saying that 14 members of Congress were notified of the wiretapping. If some had misgivings, apparently they were scared of being called names, as the president did last week when he said: "It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."

Wrong. If we don't discuss the program and the lack of authority for it, we are meeting the enemy -- in the mirror.

It won't last of course, but it is a sign that the current administration has gone too far even for it's allies. No one (except Cheney) wants a return to the days of Nixon when the president could wiretap the competition.

To my republican friends out there who think I am making too much of this, answer me one question. Is this the kind of power in the presidency you want to leave to President Hillary Clinton?

Barrons quote via