Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Future of Media

As a blogger, I am not sure if am thrilled or terrified by this predictive animation EPIC 2014.

(Via Bifurcated Rivets)

Sometimes you need a picture...

To explain Bush's plans for Social Security. Here is the best graphic I've seen to date: Social Security Privatization for Dummies

Techie Tuesday: White Box Robotics

Yes, these are the droids I'm looking for... Posted by Hello

The folks over at Endgaget have an interview with Tom Burick, the CEO of White Box Robotics. Here's an excerpt:
What’s it cost?
The bare-bones platform is gonna come in right around $799. For that you get the differential drive system, you get the IO card that controls the motors and the sensors, you get the full chassis and the body panels. From there, you add the motherboard of your choice. You can add a laptop hard drive, a CD-ROM drive and CD burner, and cheap Webcams, and you have a fully functioning robot. We chose to do it that way because the PC and robotics enthusiasts really expressed the idea that maybe I don’t want a 20-gig drive, maybe I want a 120-gig drive, or half a gig of RAM instead of 128.

The DIY platform as an initial platform made a lot of sense because we can get it in the hands of enthusiasts and they can get it out however they want. It’s important to note that we designed the platform to let people cut, drill, paint — it’s a far larger blank canvas than a PC, especially for the mod crowd. It’s DIY, do-it-yourself. At all costs, I want to avoid the word “kit,” because it sounds like a toy or model and these are very serious, real robots.

Are there functionalities that all the DIY robots have in common?
On a basic level, you can still do a lot with the robot. Right out of the box, the robot can pretty effectively guard your house, with object recognition. Telepresence is a big one, too: connect the robot into your wireless network at home and you can access the robot while you’re away. You can check on the house, check on your parents, check on your child or dog. Did you leave the iron on? Send the robot into the room to find out. It has speech synthesis and speech recognition as well.

He goes on to describe some commercial applications that robots can now do, like security. Which brings me to my favorite quote:
And companies can recoup their costs fairly fast.
That’s exactly it. Robots don’t show up drunk, they never call in sick.

Well, I don't think they'll be able to outsource robot repair anytime in the near future. Now, if only all these community colleges would start teaching Mechanical Servant Maintenance to prepare us all for our next career move...

Anyhow, I think these are a modder's dream. Here is a description from White Box Robotics' product page:
These robots are powered by an industry standard VIA Mini-ITX mainboard. This mainboard along with other hardware (hard drives, CD-Burners, DVD drives, web cams, etc.) are then installed in the White Box Robotics 912 mobile platform. The end result is an amazingly high-tech, functional mobile robot!

Our platform, or "rig" as we call it, is based off of standard PC architecture. Similar to an industry standard PC case in construction, almost any off-the-shelf PC hardware can be used on the 912 platform with little or no modification. Any computer store in the world becomes your own personal robot parts bin! The great thing is that anyone who can operate and\or tinker together a PC can use or build one of these incredible machines! The finished robot runs Windows 98/ME/2000/XP as an operating system. For its robotic functions, such as motion or obstacle avoidance, the 912 uses Evolution Robotics Robot Control Center software.
Why buy or build your next PC when you can have one of these amazing robots? They can do ANYTHING a PC can do, plus patrol your house for intruders, run errands, and allow you to check on your house while away from home (telepresence) - you see what the robots sees via a remote internet connection, plus much, much more!

The 912 platform is primarily designed for PC based hardware. However, the platform is SO flexible, ANY hardware can be easily used to control the robot (BASIC Stamp, PC104, ISOPOD, etc.) The platform uses a system of easily removable trays to mount hardware. The 912 is truly an affordable, professionally manufactured mobile robotic platform!

For PC enthusiasts and traditional robot builders alike, the 912 was designed from the start to be cut, drilled, painted, accessorized, and modded!

For the less technically inclined, they plan to roll out some fully assembled models.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Are you tired of turkey sandwiches yet? Try my leftover quick n' easy Turkey Shepard's Pie.

In an ungreased 1 quart casserole dish add the following ingredients:
-2 cups cubed turkey with equal parts of white and dark meat.
-1 cup gravy.
-1/2 glass of wine (optional, but never hurts).
-1/2 cup mixed vegetables (whatever you've got).
-Mix in spices according to taste.
-Top with mashed potatoes, enough to cover entire mixture.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook for 30 minutes, or until topping is browned.

Friday, November 26, 2004

For more years...

of this shit!

It's a worthtwhile meme to propagate...

(Via Everlasting Blort)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Unusual Holiday Meal Ideas

Instead of Turdurken Turducken, try this interesting Whole Stuffed Camel Recipe.

Well, maybe next year...

Update: I have been informed that 'Turdurken' is a combination of turkey, chicken and Mavericks Power forward Dirk Nowitzki. (Thanks Drew)

(Via Incoming Signals)

A Mark Fiore Holiday Offering

Thanks-for-nothing Turkey

Thanksgiving Byrd

Senator Robert Byrd delivered the following remarks in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Senate Remarks: A Thanksgiving Prayer in a Time of War
In a matter of days, families across this nation will gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday on which we pause to give thanks for our many blessings as a nation and to celebrate that most precious gift of all, the love of our families and the fellowship of our friends.

Alas, there will be many empty chairs at the table this year as America observes the second Thanksgiving holiday since the invasion of Iraq. As many as 140,000 U.S. military personnel are currently serving in Iraq and another 20,000 in Afghanistan. What that means in human terms is that tens of thousands of American families will be sitting down to a somber Thanksgiving dinner, their prayers of thanksgiving tempered by their fears for the safety of their loved ones.

Others, the families and loved ones of the more than 1,200 American troops who have been killed in Iraq, will sit down to a dinner seasoned with sorrow, the empty chair at the table a wrenching reminder of the terrible cost of war.

Whatever one believes about the justification of the war in Iraq, it is an indisputable fact that the troops on the ground, and their families and friends here at home, are bearing the heaviest burden of the President's decision to go to war. And on holidays like Thanksgiving, when family and friends are held especially close to the heart, the weight of that burden becomes especially hard to bear.

It is easy to talk about war in the abstract. It is easy for the President and his military advisers to point to the steady progression of U.S. victories against the insurgents in places like Falluja and Mosel as evidence that we are winning the war in Iraq. It is easy to be armchair quarterbacks in a bloody battle raging halfway across the world. But as anyone knows who has visited wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Hospital, who has gazed into the eyes of young widows or grieving parents, or who has read the poignant stories of the fallen, there is no such thing as war fought in the abstract or battles waged in statistics.

War, to those who must fight it and to their loved ones who must endure it, is painfully real and painfully present at the table, on Thanksgiving and on every other day of the week for the duration of the conflict – and sometimes for long after the fighting has ceased. These are the men and women on the front lines of the battle, and it is they whom we must salute and thank for their sacrifice.

I was struck by an article in the November 14 edition of the Los Angeles Times on the psychological toll that the war in Iraq is taking on U.S. soldiers and Marines. According to the newspaper, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has found that 15.6% of Marines and 17.1% of soldiers surveyed after returning from Iraq reported suffering from major depression, generalized anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Even more disturbing, the article predicted that the reported statistics were only the tip of the iceberg. According to the Times article, "Army and Veterans Administration mental health experts say there is reason to believe the war's ultimate psychological fallout will worsen. The Army survey of 6,200 soldiers and Marines involved only troops willing to report their problems. The study did not look at reservists, who tend to suffer a higher rate of psychological injury than career Marines and soldiers. And the soldiers in the study served in the early months of the war, when tours were shorter and before the Iraqi insurgence took shape."

The Los Angeles Times went on to quote Dr. Matthew J. Friedman, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Dartmouth Medical School and the executive director of the VA's National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: "The bad news is that the study underestimated the prevalence of what we are going to see down the road," he said.

What a chilling forecast. One has only to look at the video footage of the house-to-house, mosque-to-mosque combat in Falluja to understand the tremendous psychological stresses on the young servicemen who form the vanguard of our assault against the insurgents in Iraq. One has only to read of the wary convoys of soldiers and Marines who are tasked to traverse the treacherous stretches of deadly Iraqi highways day after day after day, or to edge their way into the labyrinthine alleys of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods, to understand the sheer psychological hell of the war in Iraq.

The Pentagon keeps a daily log of U.S. military troops killed or wounded in Iraq. As of this morning (Nov. 19), the Pentagon reports that 1,214 American troops have been killed in Iraq and another 8,956 wounded – more than half of them so severely injured that they could not be directly returned to duty. Barely more than halfway through the month, November 2004 has already turned into the second deadliest month for American military forces since the United States invaded Iraq in March of 2003. Where, oh where, will the carnage end?

The casualty statistics are heartbreaking enough, especially on the cusp of what is supposed to be one of the most joyful seasons of the year. But they do not represent the whole story. The Defense Department does not tally the walking wounded, those soldiers and Marines who return home from duty physically fit but emotionally scarred, sometimes for life. These men and women are also casualties of the war in Iraq, and they and their families may suffer just as deeply as those whose wounds are plain to see. Modern medicine has come a long way in mending the broken bodies of soldiers wounded in combat, but I fear the military still has a long way to go in identifying and mending the broken psyches of otherwise healthy veterans.

And so on this Thanksgiving, I hope that all Americans will take a moment to pray for the safety of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the eternal salvation of those who have died in service to their country, and for the speedy recovery of all who have been wounded, including those who are suffering from the invisible ravages of emotional wounds.. I also hope that Americans will take a moment to pray for the families and loved ones of all those who have been called to duty in the battle zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. We cannot fill the empty chair at the table, but we can offer an abundance of love and support for our neighbors and friends whose lives have been upended by the war, and we can pray most fervently that our troops will be returned home quickly, and that their families will not have to endure another Thanksgiving without them.

(Via Buzzflash)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Techie Tuesday: Turbospoke

Real hog sound without batteries. Posted by Hello

One Christmas I got a MATTEL V-RROOM 'Real Motor Roar Hot Rodder Engine' for my tricycle. I was really proud of the noise I'd make going round terrorizing my neighborhood. So when I saw the Turbospoke I was thinking I wish had one of those- Maybe I'll trick out the mountain bike...

Listen to it here

(Via BoingBoing)

Monday, November 22, 2004

What Would Arnold Call His Party

I think everyone has already heard about amending the Constitution so Arnold can run for President as I mentioned awhile back, here.

That's why this piece over at Wonkette's caught my eye:
"California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a plan for the future. Friends say the Austrian-born actor is looking for an 'entity' to help him push for changing the nativity provision of the U.S. Constitution so he can run for president. Two ideas are under study. One is to work with Congress to change the law barring foreign-born American citizens from becoming president, then to sell it to states. Another is bolder and riskier: creating a third party to push his idea, a move that may lose him Republican support." (emphasis mine)

Now I'm all for 3rd party politics, although I just wonder what Arnold would call his new 'Party' and what would be the colorful symbol of his party? Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Strap-On Veterans for Truth

Who amongst us dosen't love a site dedicated to Exposing the truth about Ann Coulter:

An organization dedicating to exposing the truth about the former drag queen now known as Ann Coulter

(Via everlasting blort)

Mark Your Calendars for the 2nd BARBARian Drinkfest

Bay Area Resident Bloggers and Readers meet up on Wednesday, December 15, from 6-9pm at Ben & Nick's Bar & Grill for drinks and conversation.

The bar is in Oakland's Rockridge district, located at 5612 College Avenue (half a block from the Rockridge BART station) and a few blocks from Freeway exits on Hwy 24.

This is an open call for any Bay Area bloggers or their readers to join us for a holiday bash.

'Sex' and Jon Carrol Is Not Getting It

Neither do I, so let's skip to the favorite bits:
I am so not getting this sex thing. Or, perhaps, this "sex" thing. I imagine it's a red-state kind of deal, but even allowing for my ignorance, I still don't get it.

I sort of understand about Janet Jackson's breast. I mean, it was flashed for less than a second, and you had to be looking carefully, and I do not think that youths would be corrupted by the televised image of any human breast, but I get that this nation has a breast thing, and it is customary to keep them covered in prime time.

Playboy would not have become a successful magazine were there breasts on view on television. You may scoff, you may rejoice, but there it is.


A lot of people say this has something to do with the Bible, but I went to Sunday school and I do not recall any passages about bath towels. I do recall that we were supposed to go forth and multiply (which did not mean "go forth and do arithmetic"), and I recall that the peacemakers were blessed. There is some stuff about killing your wife if she offends the fatted calf (I probably have that wrong), but I believe those parts of the patriarchal desert culture have been rejected by modern Christianity, even by fundamentalists who take the Bible literally except when they don't.


Look, sex is funny and poignant and bawdy and dumb and cute and natural and delicate and pervasive. Mostly, it is fun, unless there are unwanted babies made or sexual diseases transmitted. And the same people who think Nicolette Sheridan is a scandal are against promoting safe sex -- so AIDS is OK and children raised by irresponsible mothers are OK, as long as we protect the kids from seeing breasts. Dear heavens above.

I guess if we saw what was behind the bible-belt we get it...

Bang Bang: It's over

Check out this awesome ascii antiwar animation: feuerfreimovie.swf

You may want to checkout this list of Chat Acronyms and Text Shorthand and watch it again.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The next best thing to being there...

Check out the Clinton Presidential Center.

What a great resource! It seems to have put the entire Presidential Archive online with over 20,000 documents.

The Color of Politics

A few days ago Emil Guillermo wrote this fascinating piece on Race Politics In Red And Blue
Here's one thing that's come out of the presidential election: we're all people of color -- every last one of us!

That's President Bush's new color scheme for you.

You're either red, or you're blue. That's all that counts.

Black, brown, yellow? That's so old school.

In the Bush administration, it hardly matters anymore.

Instead, Bush has polarized the country in a way so strictly based on cultural values and ideology that traditional race, and even some class lines, no longer function the same way they did before.

Judging from the split reaction to the nomination of White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to replace Attorney General John Ashcroft, Bush may have stumbled his way onto a new color paradigm. Through a red-and-blue lens, race politics plays out so differently. We may find Bush playing it a lot more, and Democrats playing it a lot less.

(Bush announced Gonzales as his choice so quickly he didn't even leave much time for any of us to derive some joy from the announced departure of Ashcroft, the father of the USA Patriot Act and the scourge of freedom fighters in America.)

From Bush's perspective, Gonzales was a wise choice. He's been doing Bush's dirty work since their Texas days, when, together, Bush and his judge kept that state in the death-penalty business. So, who better to call on than Gonzales to lock up folks like Jose Padilla, the so-called Dirty Bomber, who for the last three years has been sequestered without an attorney or due process? Who better to continue racial profiling in the name of antiterrorism?

Gonzales is red to the bone.


One man I know who met Gonzales at a national Latino attorneys' meeting in 2001 told me how he recalls being disappointed by Gonzales, especially when he discussed the death penalty and clemency issues with him. "He sounded like he relished the power," the attorney said. "It wasn't a feeling of being humbled by the daunting task of having power of a person's life or death. It was very off-putting."

I'd say that sounds very much like Bush's attitude towards life or death.

It's the same kind of arrogance the civil liberties groups found in the memos Gonzales wrote in 2002, used to justify the U.S. policy of torture to extract information from suspected terrorists.

According to the Center for American Progress, Gonzales opined that laws prohibiting torture do "not apply to the president's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants." The memo also said that an interrogation tactic constituted torture only if it resulted in "death, organ failure or serious impairment of body functions."

Gonzales could have been the attorney for the Marquis de Sade.

Or the general counsel for Saddam Hussein, for that matter.

Even if you are tired of red vs. blue stories, this one stands out and is worthy of examination...

Milestone Moment

Yesterday I had my 10,000th unique visitor according to SiteMeter. I started this blog on May 18, just six months ago, which in blogs years means I am still a pup.

I want to thank all the people who stop by here, especially the reader from who was the magic visitor, and who I'd like to buy a drink, or a cake with a candle (drop me an email and let me know who you are).

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Techie Tuesday: Table Top Fireplace

C'mon baby, light my fire... Posted by Hello

When I think of the holidays I think of sitting in front of the fireplace, even imitation ones. Once as a kid we had one with fake logs, a red lamp, and turning reflective foil. Unlike that one I find this Carl Mertens' design very beautiful:
Unlike any other oil lamps around, this faux fireplace creates a focal point and radiates light and warmth for the table top. the 18/10 stainless steel logs are sleek and contemporary and are further highlighted by the natural feel of the slate base. base dimensions are 10 by 14 inches.

(Via Popgadget)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Is this the new face of US diplomacy?

Condi Rice is Angry!!

(Via Everlastng Blort)

Hoosier Highway Hanky-Panky

From Fark comes today's tale of wacky republican morals as we find out that Hostettler mounting campaign to change the name of Interstate 69

John Hostettler, the Congressman representing the 8th district of Indiana, has been convinced by local religious groups to introduce legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more moral sounding number.

There are plans to extend the interstate from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana all the way through Texas into Mexico in the coming years. While most believe this highway will be good for the state’s economy, religious conservatives believe “I-69” sounds too risqué and want to change the interstate’s number.

Hostettler, a proponent of the interstate extension, agrees. “Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.
(emphasis mine)

You might remember this strange story from a few months ago. Gun found in congressman's carry-on bag
A Homeland Security Department official said Hostettler had a loaded 9 mm Glock pistol in his bag at Louisville International Airport .

The congressman said he did not know the gun was in his bag and apologized, the official said.

Hostettler's spokesman, Michael Jahr, said Transportation Security Administration officials detained but did not arrest the congressman.

"He was pulled aside and questioned," and then was allowed to take a different flight, Jahr said, adding that he didn't know if the gun was confiscated.

The gun is registered to the congressman, but Jahr said Hostettler never brings it to Washington, where handguns are illegal. He does not have a house or apartment in the district, but sleeps in his office.

Sleeping in the office is the moral thing to do. I gotta remember that one...

UPDATE: The first story is from a satire sight. The good news is that I am not alone in falling for the I-69 story. The bad news is how beleivable it was. By the way, the second story is true.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Gonzales - The Inside Man

While most people are focused on the fact that Bush's pick for Attorney General wrote the rationale for going against the Geneva Conventions, I have not noticed anyone mentioning that he also layed out a defense, back in 2002, for the administration against possible prosecution under US law for violation of the War Crimes Act which can include the death penalty.

Back in May this article caught my eye and I wrote this post: I wonder if Bush will change his stance on the death penalty? and made this comment (abridged edition):
In the lead up to the War in Iraq the Bush Adminstration spent more time seeking US exemption from the International Criminal Court than seeking a consensus of the UN Security Council or building a coalition of countries that count. Well here is a story that will explain that:

In the memo, the White House lawyer focused on a little known 1996 law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that banned any Americans from committing war crimes—defined in part as "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions. Noting that the law applies to "U.S. officials" and that punishments for violators "include the death penalty," Gonzales told Bush that "it was difficult to predict with confidence" how Justice Department prosecutors might apply the law in the future. This was especially the case given that some of the language in the Geneva Conventions—such as that outlawing "outrages upon personal dignity" and "inhuman treatment" of prisoners—was "undefined."
One key advantage of declaring that Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters did not have Geneva Convention protections is that it "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act," Gonzales wrote.
"It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441 [the War Crimes Act]," Gonzales wrote.

Now it makes perfect sense, if you are in possible violation of a US law with such a penalty wouldn't you want to appoint a friendly prosecutor who also wrote your defense. Sheesh, and some people wonder why anybody would ever want to be President...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Tit for Tat

If there is going to be a push for a Marriage Amendment, I propose a push for a Divorce Amendment.
Let no man put asunder that which God has joined...

I'm just saying...

The Election Fraud Conspiracy

Slowly reports of voting irregularities are popping up: over counts, under counts, and suppression of vote counting - all of which need to be investigated to instill faith in our system. In reaction to these reports some see conspiracy and some see conspiracy nuts.

I remember reading about a psychological experiment where they asked volunteers to decipher the pattern in a series of flashing lights. Yet there was no pattern as the experiment was about how people react to randomness. Upon exit interviews, once told that there was no pattern, those with the most complicated theories refused to believe the testers and were adamant in defending their theoretical constructs. After all, how could they be wrong? The final treatise of the experiment pointed out that the more complicated, or convoluted, the explanations posited the stronger the emotional involvement in the testees belief. Emotional investment solidifies belief. This goes a long way in explaining the beliefs of conspiracy theorists, fundamentalist, and an X-File fans.

Max Sawicky makes this observation:
Ever notice these days, when it is suggested that those in power may be guilty of a crime, they try to nix it off as a "conspiracy theory"?

In actuality, a conspiracy theory is the intimation of some huge, world-historic crime committed by an impossibly well-coordinated, secretive, large, powerful group of people. By contrast, election fraud is a pedestrian exercise that has been quite frequent all over the world. It is not a high conspiracy, like the alleged cover-up of the Kennedy assassination. The idea that it couldn't happen in the U.S. is a fantasy. In fact, before the election the Right was constantly predicting election fraud by Democrats. Apparently conspiracy theories only cut one way.

Election fraud is real and it cuts both ways. What's at stake is can we trust our system or has democrcy died and we are left with a republic in name only? It has been bandied about that John Kerry conceeded the election in suspicious haste. I don't think that is quite the case, which is expressed cogently here:
John Kerry realized that to launch a public campaign calling the vote into question would be disastrous. In fact, he likely realized he would we walking right into a Bush-set booby trap.

In particular, during our election coverage we talked about the pending battle of Fallujah, about the timing of it being an election ploy, about how it was following in the constant Bush pattern of creating a media event to sway the election, as he did last time by making the run up to the Iraq invasion come to a head exactly on election week.
Picture if John Kerry had chosen to call the election into question. Immediately, the Bush camp would talk about how 50,000 of our troops are just about to launch the biggest military operation since the invasion of Baghdad. And, just a couple of days after the election, it was launched.

You can imagine the arguments from the Bushies: “How could Senator Kerry undermine our security while our troops are in the midst of battle.” Fallujah was to be the pressure point that would, if not stop Kerry from uncovering all the dirt and getting a fair election count, would at least tarnish his name with much of the nation and, as importantly, create something for the right-wing dominated media to hammer away at him on, making it seem as if he is only caring about himself and not the nation.

It was quite a well-crafted plan. Completely amoral, but smart.

Unfortunately for them, John Kerry was smarter.

As Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, who has been about the only mainstream journalist to actually follow up on the many serious problems with regard to the integrity of the election, has pointed out, a concession speech, in effect, means nothing. It is not legally binding.
But at the same time, he is still just as free to look into any voting irregularities as he would have been had he not conceded. Even better, he could do it without the press going insane and the nation being kept on tension-creating edge. All of the lawyers he could have sent to look into things still could be sent to look into things, and if the election is truly called into question, he could then, with ample justification so as to make it legitimate, come out publicly and retract his concession. It is the prosecutor, also one of Kerry’s previous jobs, who knows well enough to thoroughly prepare and investigate his case be leveling charges. You may have a real hunch that someone is responsible for a murder, but until you believe you can win that case in court, you do not make the allegation.

While the Bushite sare claiming a mandate and church bells are ringing, the vote is being validated and I'm sure it is being watched, if not actively manoeuvred, by both parties. The only thing to do is clamor for transparency to eliminate the specter of a stolen election.

Speculation of electoral theft is not enough, although for some it is an emotional necessity. Instead I prefer this insidious thought:
But until evidence emerges to the contrary, I have to assume that conservatives and evangelicals, in fact, carried the day, giving Bush what he savors as a mandate.

So now, in the woozy afterglow of an election-day-after hangover, we will discover just how functional is the Bush formula. The conservatives, who have been haranguing liberals for decades, have won emphatically. It's time for them to stop blaming and deliver.

I expect them to prove, not just promise, that giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy will benefit all citizens and not disembowel the budget. That privatizing schools, government functions and Social Security will result in more-efficient services and more-secure retirements. That suppressing gay relationships, putting the Ten Commandments in schools and rolling back the right of women to control their own bodies will create a more morally righteous nation.

Let's hold them to their word and their feet to the fire. It's up to them to prove us wrong. However, keep in mind this famous governor's admission, "where there's smoke, there's fire."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Just in case you forgot...

Here's an absolutety brilliant reminder of everything you love in Negative Campaign Advertising.

(Via grow-a-brain)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Techie Tuedsay: The Daiquiri Whacker

This gas powered margarita maker is muy macho... Posted by Hello

This is the cure for blender envy. Once I accompanied our CEO's assistant to a restaurant equipment supplier on a mission "to buy the best damn blender they have," with a second caveat that it'd be more impressive than the blender owned of our Managing Diretor of Investment Banking. That's where I saw an $800 industrial blender behemoth with a 1 gallon jar and example of blender envy as an upper-management pychosis.

Too bad this $259 puppy wasn't around back then. Check out these specs:
The Daiquiri Whacker sports a Homelite 25cc PowerStroke™ engine that produces the most horsepower in its class. Homelite has the patented Zip Start™ technology – Twice as easy to pull, quicker to start.


The top of the Daiquiri Whacker acts like an umbrella to protect the motor from any spillage. Cleanup is easy! Just wash the jar and wipe off the base. The motor stays VERY clean! The receptacle in the center holds any Oster Jar and is slotted in the back to allow an escape path for any spills preventing any liquid from seeping into the motor.


The starting cord is right on the front of the blender. Easy to find and easy to pull. The starter cord is so easy to pull, you can start the motor with two fingers. The three heavy duty PVC legs press right into the base and provide a tripod footprint that won't rock on any surface.

Check out how mixing with the twist grip throttle sounds like, and see their recipes for blended drinks.

(Via ShinyShiny & Gadgetryblog)

Monday, November 08, 2004

Barometric Bromides or Funny Sayings to Similiar Situations

Blues State Mentality: Yes Son, animals are people too…

Red State Mentality: Son, I want you shoot this chicken-stealing dog…even if he licks you.

Blues State Mentality: Yes Son, homosexuals are people too…

Red State Mentality: Son, I want you shoot this chicken-shit dog…if he even tries to kiss you.

Blues State Mentality: Yes Son, the civilians in Iraq are people too…

Red State Mentality: Son, I want you to appreciate the volunteers who are there to shoot those chicken-raping dogs…even if they beg for their lives.

Sporting Excuses

South Knox Bubba has a sportfan's list of the best excuses for why the team didn't win this time around. Here are 49% of my fav's:
10. Should never have nominated a candidate who dodged the draft by enlisting in the Navy.

6. Plan to ask Chirac permission to appoint Kofi Annan as four-star general in command of U.S. military operations in Iraq not Kerry's best foreign policy moment.

4. Really bad lighting and contrast on the bin-Ladin video tape.

1. a) Youth voter registration drive exposed as plan to gather names for Kerry's draft according to secret memos leaked to MTV, and b) hiring Michael Moore as his campaign manager.

Recovering from the Great Liberal Hangover, 2004

Like a sucker-punch to the solar plexus is how felt about the election. Writhing, gasping for air I don't remember the kick to the balls.

For a few days I was bereft of words and heartbroken. So, I numbed myself and I was 49% not alone. Similiar to a the pain of a love lost, nay stolen, it was overwhelming. Now my lovely Lady Liberty is hanging out with some huge ugly prick these days. One who promised her a huge dicking.

A slight majority of my national neighbors accepted the guilt of the Bush doctrine, pre-emptive war, and tarnished me, my future generations, and all of us with it. The crowd revelled in its bloodlust and called out for Barabbas.

Now the triumphilists, and their surrogates are rubbing our noses in it. Smirking as they pass with my girl on their arms. So in revenge, I'll live better because that's the best kind of revenge. I also believe the next round il go better because...well...the guy's a huge prick.

Also I'll be stalking Lady Liberty, in a non-threatening (a non-illegal) sort of way - just to let her know I'm around, just in case she wakes up to that fact...

More Words Soon...

I have been posting much lately. There are quite a few drafts stored up. Once I can tune up all the mixed metaphors expect a deluge...

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Mapping the Election

More Maps.

Via Pen Elayne, who has quite a few maps, I found these two images worth comparing. The first is colored by how each district voted. The second is a picture from space of light pollution, or urban areas. Notice a pattern?

Illuminated thinking... Posted by Hello

Via Kevin Drum there is this gem of map of an antebellum United States of slave holding states and where slavery was allowed. It kinda' looks like the Bush States vs. Kerry States.

Not much has changed in a 140 years! Posted by Hello

So what does it all mean? Well, I see a pattern of un-enlightenment and a selective definition of human rights.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Color Values

After catching enough Z's (see earlier post), I mulled over this Red vs. Blue State meme that has taken hold of many bloggers and the media. I think it is complete balderdash, but it makes for cute CG graphics to flash on your TV screen, specifically since red is not an NTSC safe color and bleeds, wavy like, on the cathode tube. Don't worry I'm not going to delve into the meaning about choice of colors, though I'll note that it once was "Better Dead Than Red."

Most graphic artists working with the RGB scale know that red or blue share conversely similar vaules (Blue - RGB: 0;0;255 and Red - RGB 255;0;0) and that if one wants to be precise there are no truly 100% red or blue state. I doubt that there is truly any voting precinct that is 100% either way. That's why I love this graphic below.

Neither Red nor Blue Posted by Hello

In a few hours I can drive to one to the home reddest of rhetoric in the country,Fresno the home of Free, and I live in a "Blue State."

The issue as I see it, trusting my gut (which, queerly enough works for Bush, is male intuition) is that this is mainly urban vs. rural voting patterns. Conservative types stay at home. They do not leave their birthplace. It's like a creative brain-drain that cause the the urban areas to flourish and care less about the small town homophobic rhetoric. There is no safety in numbers in a small town...

That's why this Jesus Landpisses me off. It represents a quirk of the Electoral College but not the way the city folk, forced to live with a mixed bag of diversity, tend to vote.

Bonus Questions:

-Were all the absentee ballots counted?

-Were all the provisional ballots counted?

-Were voting machines moved to the rural areas in detriment to the urban areas?

-Do you feel that you vote was counted?

Please let me know!

(Thanks to BoingBoing for images)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Another Catastrophic Success

Yesterday, the sky was brilliant blue as I headed to my polling station to vote. There were no lines, in fact there were a number of people who were told they were at the wrong polling place. The poll workers thought it was odd, too. After doing my civic duty, I headed home to catch the early returns.

After a few hours of checking blogs and flipping through channels for the latest news, I left the TV on ABC and laid down to watched in a more relaxed position. Whereupon I fell asleep and had a strange and adventurous dream of a prison break and capturing a small ship.

“Let’s take her out of the bay,” I said pointing to the rays of the setting sun streaming through the clouds on the horizon.

“We can’t do that!” said the pilot.

“Why not?” I ask perplexed.

It was about midnight when awoke feeling disoriented with the TV blaring depressing projections. So I watched for three more hours hugging my dog for comfort till sleep came for me again.

This morning the sky was the color of misery. Brooding and out of coffee, I tuned into Kerry’s concession speech. Then I took a short nap. The best advice I ever got was “Never try and think when you’re tired.” When you do it leads to dark decisions.

Normally I don’t believe in omens but it started hailing outside and thunder can be heard in the distance -very rare and unusual for the Bay Area. However my usual sunny disposition took over and I searched for news that’ll cheer me up. Well it looks like Measure Z passed and that’ll be useful for the days ahead…

Monday, November 01, 2004

Gore Vidal Interview

Here are a two excerpts from a compelling BuzzFlash interview with Gore Vidal: Novelist, Essayist, Playwright, and Provocateur:

BuzzFlash: You’ve seen many presidents come and go through the decades as a writer and as a social and political critic. Although only a fool or a liar would foretell the future, but when you look at John Kerry are there certain qualities that you think he possesses that could make him a strong president?

Gore Vidal: Well, don’t over-personalize the presidency. It’s not wise. Then you fall into the trap of "if only we had a nice man or woman as president, everything would be all right." Some bastards have been great presidents. I wouldn’t judge anything by that. If it means that he is far more intelligent than the average American and has read many, many, many more books than the average American professor, much less citizen, and that the other one is as close to a cretin as has ever served in that office, then of course, there’s no choice between them. Obviously it’s Kerry. He is intelligent. And at least once in his life he really did something of great importance when he turned on the Vietnam War. That was a splendid statement that he made to the Senate committee: "Whom can you ask to be the last person to die for a mistake?" That’s immortal. Let’s hope he does as well yet again.


BuzzFlash: Would you say that George Bush’s presidency is the embodiment of everything that the Founding Fathers feared when they drafted the new Constitution?

Gore Vidal:
I have never myself put it so baldly, but I accept your definition. They are turning in their graves.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing...

Vote or Cry!

Vote like you mean it! Posted by Hello