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

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Sign up and be seen...

From Avedon Carol, who is half way around the world, we learn about something going on in our backyard.
will post 150 banners on Bay Area freeways protesting the war in Iraq and the failure to find Osama Bin Laden. This action will reach communities including Marin, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.

I once read that you can use paper or sytrofoam cups and insert them into the chainlink fence to spelll out a message. When the light hits it at a certain angle it glows....

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Gonzo but not forgotten...

Everyone has written about HST, it seems, and I can't add anything of worth. So, instead, I'll pass along this tribute by AveryAnt

Sleazy Solicitation

When I was teenager I pounded the pavement going door-to-door for several activities. There was the paper route to improve subscriptions, there was the church group to increase the fellowship, and then there was the fly-by-night operation that called itself the National Volley Ball Association (NVBA).

I was part of a cadre of canvassers, aged between 15 and 20 years old, that would pounce on neighborhoods all through our county. We usually made more than double the minimum wage of the time for our efforts. Our rallying point was an agency that was set up in a ramshackle office space and run by a sharp, professional woman not very much older than us. She drove a new, red Alfa Romeo - a sure sign of success and legitimacy…

I can still remember after all these years the spiel I gave (because I repeated it a few thousand times). I went like this.

Hello, my name is _____ and I represent the National Volley Ball Association. We are raising money to help the Women’s Volley Ball team qualify for the Olympics. Did you know they beat the Chinese team in qualifying rounds?

We are having a demonstration match at ____ High School on ____ with women’s team playing the City of ____ Sheriff’s team.

If you cannot attend we will send a handicapped child in your place. The donations are only $2 and your help would be very much appreciated. So how many tickets would like to buy?

There was a game were a women’s team crushed the local sheriff’s department at said High School, and there was a group of handicapped children prominently displayed in the center of the bleachers. The funny part is that they only numbered about 40, or so, and I knew that I had by myself collected at least 3 times that number in donated tickets.

Looking back I understand, in hindsight, that it was a business. How much money ever made it to the women’s volley ball team, I can only guess that it was small fraction of the dollar raised. This is what I would call for-profit fundraising.

Is that ethical? I’ll let you decide after you read the code of ethics put out by the Association of Fundraiser Professionals.

As one person I've interviewed recently put it, "Commercial fundraising seems to go against the idea of charity." My opinion, for what it’s worth, people that knowingly prey on peoples sympathies, or their fears, to fraud them should be consigned to a special circle in Dante’s hell for their transgressions.

To put it another way, I never got involved it something like that again…

Washington Socialites: Reward: Jeff Gannon information

From the crowd over at Corrente we learn there is now a $10,000 Reward for Jeff Gannon information

It remains unclear how Gannon got White House press access for almost two years (first in early 2003 as a GOPUSA [a group led by Texas GOP activist Bobby Eberle], and more recently for Eberle's Talon News blog.

But one thing is for sure: Jeff Gannon is on the lips of every insider in Washington D.C., and many say he's been kissing some of them, too -- for $200/ hour and $1,200 / weekend. His profiles on escort websites say he leaves no marks, only lasting impressions.

So, I ask again -- have you seen this man? Have you slept with this man? Do you know this man?

Filthy Lucre and Big Moolah

From the crowd over at Corrente we learn there is now a $10,000 Reward for Jeff Gannon information
It remains unclear how Gannon got White House press access for almost two years (first in early 2003 as a GOPUSA [a group led by Texas GOP activist Bobby Eberle], and more recently for Eberle's Talon News blog.

But one thing is for sure: Jeff Gannon is on the lips of every insider in Washington D.C., and many say he's been kissing some of them, too -- for $200/ hour and $1,200 / weekend. His profiles on escort websites say he leaves no marks, only lasting impressions.

So, I ask again -- have you seen this man? Have you slept with this man? Do you know this man?

With the power of the Almighty Dollar, this reward will probably be collected before the $25 Million $50 Million put on the head of Osama Bin Laden.

The Slime Machine

The Gin Lady, Maureen Dowd, vents her spleen on the vicious and dishonest attackson the AARP in latest screed Swifties Slime Again
Instead of trying to destroy AARP, Republicans should be signing up the seniors' lobby to find Osama.

AARP's super-relentless intelligence network is certainly better than that doddering C.I.A's. Osama has to have turned 50, and AARP somehow knows where everyone who has turned 50 lives.

But no. The same Republicans who used to love AARP when it helped them pass the president's prescription drug plan now hate AARP because it is against the president's plan to privatize Social Security.

"They are the boulder in the middle of the highway to personal savings accounts," said Charlie Jarvis, the president of USA Next, a conservative lobbying group. "We will be the dynamite that removes them." He sounded more like Wile E. Coyote than a former interior official in the Reagan and Bush I administrations. "They can run, but they can't hide," he said. But the walker-and-cane set is hard to picture in the Road Runner role.

The Washington Monthly called USA Next's United Seniors Association, a self-styled AARP rival, "a soft-money slush fund for a single G.O.P.-friendly industry: pharmaceuticals."

Certainly, AARP, the gigantic special interest flush with money, probably does wield undue influence and certainly can be an obstacle to public policy, sticking up too much for what their critics call "greedy geezers."

But AARP doesn't deserve this treatment from the "Swift Boat" political demolition team. As Glen Justice reported in The Times, USA Next, which has spent millions on Republican policy fights, has pledged to spend as much as $10 million on ads and other tactics to "dynamite" AARP and get Americans to rip up Social Security. It's hiring some of the same consultants who helped the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who dynamited John Kerry, a war hero, by sliming him as a war criminal.

Once again, just as W. runs into political trouble, he floats above the fray while the help takes out his opponents. Just as John McCain was smeared by Bush supporters in 2000, Swift Boat assassins can rid the president of any meddlesome adversaries now.

She talks about the USANext ad mentioned in the previous post and then lets loose on Jarvis.
AARP has not taken a position on same-sex marriage. But Mr. Jarvis told Judy Woodruff on CNN's "Inside Politics" yesterday that it had opposed a proposal in November to ban same-sex marriage in Ohio.

This was, of course, specious. The Ohio chapter of AARP objected to the proposal because it said the wording could affect legal recognition of any union, even of older heterosexuals living together.

The oleaginous Mr. Jarvis explained that the soldier was X-ed out on the ad because AARP does not "take a position on veterans and combat veterans' health and support an expansion of their assets. And we do." That is so lame. Just because AARP doesn't endorse a USA Next plan for veterans' health, that doesn't mean it hates American soldiers.

How they can defend these tactics is beyond me. They call themselves people with morals, yet they constantly hit below the belt. I think the only way to hurt these people is to hit them in the wallet, because that's where their heart lies.

(Via Smirking Chimp)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Agenda Makers & The Real Agenda

GOP Political Discourse Posted by Hello

The other day this ad was running on the conservative site The American Spectator. It clicked through to which is running Swift Boat Vet's type campaign against the AARP which opposes Bush's destruction of Social Security.

So who is behind USA Next? According to a Whois search the site is registered to
William Brindley
3900 Jermantown Road, suite 450
Fairfax, VA 22030
tel. (703)359-6500

So who else shares that address with them? There is United Seniors Association, Inc.or USA, Inc, which morphed into Next USA. I ran another search on the phone number. Again, there is United Seniors Association, Inc. (USA, Inc.), also known, as ALARM -Americans Lobbying Against Rationing of Medical Care, USA (notice the lovely choice of acronyms) and I saw there is also Maureen E. Otis sharing the same address.

This is where my search jumped in to the world of non-profits, political lobbying and commercial fundraising. The laws governing Lobbying and Political Activity by Tax-Exempt Organization are pretty clear except when State’s requirements for filing and auditing of fund raising organizations are concerned. That's when one needs a service like the Unified Registration Statement(URS) or a good lawyer like Texas-based Maureen E Otis.

Now if you had had thriving business in registering fundraising groups in, lets say, the State of Washington you would most likely have a mention of that on your website. I can only speculate on why one would play that down unless various connections weren’t meant to be known. Otis is tied to The Richard Norman Company also which has carried on some fundraising activities for USA/Next USA Inc. and funneled quite sum of money to the Swifties.

Interestingly the domain is no longer in service, but through the power of Google I found out his bio with some interesing connections:
In 1994 Richard took a one-year sabbatical from his Agency to personally design and execute the fund raising program for Col. Oliver L. North's U.S. Senate campaign. The result was over 266,000 contributors who gave more than 22 million dollars. Both the number of donors and total dollars raised set new records for political fundraising. He also served as Finance Director for Dan Quayle's campaign for President in 1999 and currently handles fundraising activities for the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Tom DeLay.

Richard Norman was (is?) a fund raiser for Tom Delay!?! Worked for Ollie North! Furthermore his client list reads like a cabal of conservative advocacy groups that feed each other.

I am still sifting through a few days of research in trying to untangle the web of interdependent rightie groups and for profit-fundraisers. There are many more questions, such as, how much of Richard Norman's business went USANext's way and could Maureen Otis be related to William G. Otis? A few things that are emerging are the ties between religious groups, Texas, rightie fundraisers, and White House politics.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Techie Tuesday: The Fido Cam Headset

The canine collective, "Resistance is futile!"  Posted by Hello

Police dogs go high tech with this light weight, wireless video camera system. Canine units, in the UK, hope to improve their efficiency according to this article from BBC News"
The Fido camera system has infra-red lights, which means pictures can be provided in darkness.

Pictures are seen on a receiver unit carried by the dog handler and an audio facility allows them to listen to any activity near the dog.

I hope their hounds are well behaved otherwise there will be a lot of crotch shots, not to mention puppy porn.

(Via endgadget)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Sheep, a Bike, and Boy Named George

Forget about all the goat stories... Posted by Hello

Everytime I learn something new about the young George W. Bush, it keeps getting weirder:
Young George W. Bush once worked on a sheep farm in Scotland and was mistaken by an American tourist as a "little Scottish boy."

The president disclosed his presence in Scotland as a youth in talking to European journalists during a round-table interview on Friday looking ahead to his Europe trip next week.

Bush pointed out the Group of Eight summit of industrialized nations this year would be in Scotland.

He added: "I worked there as a 14-year-old kid. I left Texas for Scotland to work on a sheep farm. And I'm riding a bike, taking this one sheep, you know, from here to there and I said OK, fine, and a big tour bus stops. And they got off and a woman with a Texas accent said, 'look at the little Scottish boy.'"

Bush, who himself has a Texas twang, said he did not let on that he was an American.

Taking a sheep "from here to there," is that what they used to call it?

I am half disinclined to believe this story beause everyone knows he can't ride a bike.

Gerbil in the White House

This is too damn funny. Bill Mahrer, along with Robin Williams, goes to town on the the Gannon/Guckert Story.

(Via The Mahablog)

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kids these days

A study was released the other day that details High School students' surprisingly restrictive view of First Amendment freedoms. It points out that about 20% think that unpopular opinions should be prohibited. And, "only 51 percent think newspapers should be allowed to publish stories without government approval."

Bill Mahrer, comedian, former host of Politically Incorrect, and all around funny guy with his Susan Estrich-sized head, had this reaction to the study and penned this piece, Kids Say the Darndest, Most Stalinist Things:
But the younger generation is supposed to rage against the machine, not for it; they're supposed to question authority, not question those who question authority.

And what's so frightening is that we're seeing the beginnings of the first post-9/11 generation — the kids who first became aware of the news under an "Americans need to watch what they say" administration, the kids who've been told that dissent is un-American and therefore justifiably punished by a fine, imprisonment — or the loss of your show on ABC.

President Bush once asked, "Is our children learning?" No — they isn't. A more appropriate question might be, "Is our teachers teaching?" In four years, you can teach a gorilla sign language. Is it too much to ask that in the same amount of time a kid be taught what those crazy hippies who founded this country had in mind?

I know the Morals & Values folks want us to take time out of the school day for prayer and the Ten Commandments and abstinence training and at least two theories of evolution — the one agreed upon by every scientist in the world and the one that involves naked ladies and snakes — but, lest we forget, last month the people of Iraq risked death and danger to send a simple, inspiring message: America, get out of our country. But also, we want the freedoms you take for granted.

While the trend is disturbing, there is hope. I find hope in this scrawl written
(on the epitome of free speech) a bathroom stall in a Middle School in Virginia:
Killing for peace is like fucking for chastity.

Maybe I have too much faith in human nature and am blind to to the danger. Yet not all the 'Reagan Kids' grew up to be complete idiots. It reminds of this old Assyrian Tablet from 2,800 BC:
"The earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book Blog, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching."

OK they didn't have blogs back then yet somehow the world survived.

(Via Billmon)

Who Would of Thought that Koko was a Breast Man?

Some jobs aren't worth it. But you sometimes don't know that until after you've started working at the place. For example, check out this bizarre story, Gorilla Foundation rocked by breast display lawsuit:
Two former employees of the Gorilla Foundation, home to Koko the "talking" ape, have filed a lawsuit contending that they were ordered to bond with the 33-year-old female simian by displaying their breasts.

Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller, both of San Francisco, are taking on the Woodside nonprofit and its president, Francine "Penny" Patterson.

Their lawsuit, filed Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court, alleges sexual discrimination, wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting health and safety violations, and failure to pay overtime or provide rest breaks.

It seeks more than $1 million total in damages for the two women.

The suit follows complaints filed by Alperin and Keller in January with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, in which they gave identical reasons for why they were fired: "I refused to expose my breast to perform acts of bestiality with one of the gorillas."

The lawsuit goes into more detail.(more)

It seems that Koko has a history of this kind of behavior. Also, I would say the foundation has some issues. Check out this job posting that was odious enough to be noticed by Fuck That Job!:
Great opportunity for industrious, trustworthy, and enlightened
individual who is devoted to the welfare of non-humans, and wishes to make a
contribution to the cause of helping save, care for and learn from the
great apes. This is an hourly part-time position from 4PM-10PM, five days a
week with the opportunity of becoming full-time. Flexibility required with
the ability to work weekends.

Major Responsibilities:
- Monitor Research Office grounds and assure well-being and comfort of gorillas Koko & Ndume
- Web development Internet sites (including some design, DreamWeaver template implementation and ongoing content updates)
- Data entry (via FileMaker Pro)
- Light cleaning and maintenance of Research and Gorilla facilities

Minimum Qualifications:
- Some experience working with (or caring for) non-human animals
- Some experience developing websites
- Passion for the Gorilla Organizations’s Mission
- Highly computer literate (preferably with Mac hardware, and Dreamweaver, FileMaker and MS Office software)
- Excellent Hearing
- Not afraid of the dark
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Superior Work Ethic:
- Hard-working — responsible and self motivated
- Positive attitude with good sense of humor
- Proactive — not afraid to ask questions
- Well organized / efficient
- Strong team player
- Able to follow defined protocols
- Good common sense

Desirable Qualifications:
- Degree in Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, Primatology, Cognitive
Psychology, Anthropology and/or Computer Science
- Accounting/book keeping
- Have published in scientific journals
- Fluency in American Sign Language
- Carpentry and fix-it skills, equipment repairs, troubleshooting. etc

I think the "Not afraid of the dark" would have raised some flags. However, I can understand that if you are desperate for job(like I am right now) you'll take whatever you can get. I wonder how much they pay?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's Not Butter ...It's Parkay Guns, Guns, Guns...

I just read this article by Don Monkerud and I'm angry. He breaks down the Bush Budget in Don't call it defense: America's militaristic budget:
With his budget for 2006, President Bush appears to be fulfilling the priorities of the American electorate by emphasizing the "defense" budget. Upon closer examination, the budget reveals a drift towards the creation of a nation devoted to the military.

News accounts proclaim the military and homeland security "fiscal winners" in the budget, but an even larger portion of tax dollars are being used for military purposes than government statistics and charts indicate.

To promote Bush's "war on terrorism," the budget boosts military operations in the Department of Defense (almost 5 percent), the Department of Homeland Security (7 percent), and the Justice Department (17 percent). The $419.3 billion Department of Defense budget is 41 per cent higher than the pre- Sept. 11, 2001 budget, and a whopping 73 percent above the 2000 budget. In comparison with other countries, these sums are already staggering.

Just how staggering? Our tax dollars are being spent to out spend the rest of the world combined on military spending. Read the whole piece to see the math. But this just jumps out.

Recall that Bush's expected $81 billion "supplement" for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan was added to the military budget, which at $500 billion is, in current dollars, almost 10 percent higher than at the height of the Cold War and 15 percent higher than during the Vietnam War. Other money in the budget devoted to military spending includes the cost for Defense/Civil programs ($44.5 billion); Homeland Security ($33.3 billion); and Veterans Affairs ($68.3 billion). This pushes the total military budget to $646 billion. Add $4 billion in foreign military financing from the Department of State and the total reaches $650 billion.

Other spending is hidden deeply in many departments such as Justice, Energy, and NASA. While it will require experts to reveal these hidden funds, the cost of the bonds to pay off past military spending needs to be included in the total cost of the U.S. military. In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Higgs calculates that debt-financed defense spending amounts to almost $139 billion, which brings the total amount that the U.S. spends on military projects in 2006 to $789 billion.

According to this pdf. from The World Bank, this is more than the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the entire Middle East and North Africa in 2003. Furthermore, if this Budget Block were it's own country, let's call it Pentagonia, it would would rank 10th in world in terms of GDP - just between Canada and Mexico.

Here are the top 20 rankings from the latest GDP figures (2003)I could find
(listed in Million Dollars):
1 United States 10,881,609
2 Japan 4,326,444
3 Germany 2,400,655
4 United Kingdom 1,794,858
5 France 1,747,973 a
6 Italy 1,465,895
7 China 1,409,852
8 Spain 836,100
9 Canada 834,390
10 Mexico 626,080
11 Korea, Rep. 605,331
12 India 598,966
13 Australia 518,382
14 Netherlands 511,556
15 Brazil 492,338
16 Russian Federation 433,491
17 Switzerland 309,465
18 Belgium 302,217
19 Sweden 300,795
20 Austria 251,456

To wrap yourself around these figures let's turn to our new-found friend The Next Left where he notes:

Zeroes are important. A million seconds ago was last week. A billion seconds ago, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. A trillion seconds ago was 30,000 BC, and early humans were using stone tools.

So, at three quarters of a Trillion Dollars we are still in the stone age.

With all this largesse to arms dealers there is bound to be fraud and corruption. Are you suprised? I think war profiteering is a form of treason and should be investigated (hint to Democratic leaders). It is our money after all...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Techie Tuesday: Think Tank

I can't feel my feet...hello...where am I? Posted by Hello

Ever feel out of sorts, isolated, or disembodied even? I never realized how much I depend on my computer and feel cut off when I can't send out emails or get my bloggy news. In celebration of this new-found insight I give you this offering from Baron Bob and Wonderfully Wacky:
This glowing life-like brain in a bubbling self contained unit, is much like the ones from the 1950’s horror films.

It’s great as an office oddity, or Halloween effect. The constant bubbling can even be relaxing.

The workmanship and detail are akin to that of Hollywood special effects departments. The tanks come fully assembled – (just add water!)

It stands 47” tall and operates on standard 110 house current.

Now you can have that extra brain for only $225.00

Instead of adding water, I wonder if you could put in your favorite poison and install a tap?

(Via The Red Ferret Journal)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Now I'm having network problems with my

Having a hard time satisfying my blogging addiction lately. What is doubly frustrating is I'm sending out resumes as the job search is becoming frantic.

Someday, I'll look back ont his and laugh (yeah, right).

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Job Wanted: White House Correspondent

If you haven't been following the Gannon/Guckert scandal, here's a quick recap to get you up to speed.

Mystery man starts website and one week later is granted press pool credentials for the White House despite being turned down for press priviledges over at Congress (something to do with not being a qualified journalist).Furthermore He is allowed to us a fake name, lobs softball questions, and has ties to the partisan groups.

So Bloggers get on the trail and find out unsavory and lurid details about the guy (remember kids, never ever put your picture on the web) and he finally goes into retirment. Questions still exist over what the White House saw in such a tool.

If you have been following the story, then you will love this beautifully written snark by Madeleine Begun Kane"

Dear Scotty:

I've always fantasized about being a White House correspondent. But until now, I've never sought so lofty a position because -- silly me -- I assumed you had to be an actual journalist.

Now that I know otherwise, please consider this my application for White House press credentials. Of course, I know that being Bush's chief media guy and all, approving press applications doesn't fall into your job description. But I'd be mighty grateful if you'd pass this on to whoever screens these things.

The janitor, perhaps? Or maybe the White House chef? One of the Bush twins? Or is it the new Bush family dog that just got out of obedience school?

Whoever the right go-to-guy happens to be, please forward my email to him/her/it ASAP.

Ooops! I almost forget to tell you about myself. Hmmm, let's see:

1) I've never been to journalist school, but would be happy to spend a weekend there, if required.

2) I'm proud to say I've had a slew of jobs over the years -- symphony orchestra oboist, lawyer, food stamp application taker, department store hosiery organizer -- I could go on and on. And, while I've never driven a truck, I used to be a typist and my dictation skills (while rusty) could readily be brought up to speed.

3) I'm married and straight. But I do have a lot of gay friends, if that helps. (See symphony orchestra oboist, above.)

4) Most importantly, I'm completely biased. (Against your guy, until now. Sorry! But for the right price... Well... You can fill in the dots.)

As you can see, I'd make a wonderful White House correspondent. So please, once you figure out who's in charge of these things, pass my letter on. Cause I'm giggling with anticipation of my very first gaggle.


Madeleine Begun Kane a/k/a Mad Kane

I think we bloggers should flood the White House press office with resumes. I hear there is good money to be had channeling the GOP line.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A Man and His Sign

If you work in downtown San Francisco you know this man by his distinctive gait and bizarre protest. Every day without fail, he marches through the Financial District carrying his message. Now and then he would change his target which would be a conversation starter, like, "did you see the sign guy's new sign?" Finally, he is no longer nameless. He is Frank Chu and this is his story.
Q. When and why did you start protesting?

A. I started about five years ago. My protest is regarding the embezzlement and treason against me committed first by former President Clinton and other guiltied parties, mostly in Washington, who slander the several billions population in the 12 galaxies.

Q. Which president has been worse to the 12 galaxies, Clinton or Bush?

A. I would have to say Clinton because of the strong evidence against him for not paying my royalties as a movie star. But Bush still has another term to go, so maybe he will eventually be worse.

Q. Do you have a regular route?

A. Yes. It is based around Market and Montgomery streets, depending on commute and traffic hour. I protest seven days a week and I hold the Guinness Book of World Records for longest consecutive protest. I have walked more than the March of Dimes and Salvation Army put together.

Q. Do you ever call in sick or take a vacation?

A. I was sick once a couple of years ago. I go skiing once a year in Lake Tahoe. Telepathic treason limits my ability to ski on the advanced slopes. I do not ski with my sign.

Once for a Bay to Breakers, I tried to get together a centipede where everyone would dress like this guy and amble through the race. It just didn't happen in this galaxy...

Update: Here are some pics of the guy and his signs.

(Via Information Junk)

Bible Recipes or God Snacked

There are some disturbing lessons in Bible Recipes:
Goldfish snack

Thanks to Sister Miranda for contributing this recipe!
I used gold fishes for the story of the loaves and fishes. I got a magnet with string attached and put a board up so the children could go fish. When they pulled up a fish (a piece of paper with a magnet) it had a scripture verse on it about the loaves and fishes. It wasn't until after the lesson was through that we ate our fish. Very enjoyable!

All I can say is poor goldfish

(Via Everlast Blort)

Attaturk does Ann Coulter

If you are a fan of things Coulteresque, then you gotta' read this over at Rising Hegemon. Here's a sample:
Our Fickle and Dangerous Neighbor to the North
By Ann Coulter

Recently I had the unfortunate experience of being invited to go to the third-world backwater of Canada for the purposes of promoting my book, titled there "How to Talk to a Liberal, eh", and for judging the Saskatoon 'Chicks with Dicks' Parade. In preparing I did some research on the evil empire of socialized medicine that lies to our north.(1)

* Canada was originally settled by Satan worshipping sodomites who landed in Prince Edward Island seeking to sacrifice the souls of Viking settlers and eat their puppies.

* During the American Revolutionary War, the Canadians were traitors.

* During the American Civil War, the Canadians did not fight.

* President Wilson had to send the American Army into Canada in 1914 in search of evil filmmaker and revolutionary Pancho Mack Sennett.

* The Canadians fought in the First World War a long time before it became cool.

* Canada became a sovereign nation in 1977 when its independence was declared by Margaret Trudeau between lines of cocaine and dances with black men at Studio 54.

* From the time of Pierre Trudeau, all Canadian Prime Ministers have been cuckolded eunuchs.(More)

For a moment there I thought Attaturk had committed copyright infringement. If they had a Talk Like Ann Coulter Day this would be a winning entry!

Back Online, Sorta...

Computer problems are never any fun. For while there I was beginning to think I'd never be able fix it. I'm back online for the moment. Yet, I can see with my new firewall that someone, or many someones, are trying to access my computer on the average of every 2 minutes.

I ran a Whois on a number of these IP addresses and these attacks are coming from around the world - China, Germany, and the US to name a few countries. This really sucks. The people who do this suck. Although, in a small way I should thank them for making me get in touch with my inner registry.

So it was a forced vacation from blogging and I read 3 books while doing scans, reboots, downloading patches, and anti-spyware programs. As soon as I can I'm going get another router with a hardware firewall, although I really wish I had a mac...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Techie Tuesday: Wheel Surf

Nice set of Wheel... Posted by Hello

The dream of the monowheel has been around for a longtime. For the latest addition to this monomania comes the Wheel Surf as Gizmag reports:
The Brazilian-made Wheelsurf is one of the most distinctive vehicles on the planet -- a US$2500 single-wheeled , ride-inside conveyance that's sure to get you noticed. Riding the Wheelsurf is not for those seeking transport alone as it has no conventional steering mechanism and requires adept throttle control. The throttle and the brake are located on the rigid handlebars and steering is done by moving your centre of gravity (i.e. YOU) to the inside of the corner. Too much throttle and the inner body, with you on it, starts to rotate backwards. Back off the throttle to slow down and you need to lean backwards so you don't rotate forwards within the wheel. Grab a handful of brake and ... errr

I'd like to think of it as your own personal amusement park ride. A skilled operator can do 360 degree loops inside the centric contraption. If you're willing (or should I say, wheeling) to wait through a slow download, you can see the video of it in action.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Mixed Metaphor Brain Salad Surgery

Both the State of the Union Speech and the Gonzales confirmation wreaked havoc on my digestive systems. It’s like the bad cosmic burrito brought bad flora and fauna to and already over-taxed tract. I have a steel heart and an iron stomach - but both were weak and brought low these last few days over the fact that I had to swallow torture and lies. Even the most optimistic fellow, such as my cynical self, could not react to the twin blows of the SOTU and Montezuma’s revenge.

Now you may think this is some sort of anti-Hispanic screech or a revulsion to a President that speaks Mexican. It is more like I live in a neighborhood with its fill of taco trucks and burrito buses. If you have the appetite, it looks, it smells good, it taste good, only afterwards will you feel the ill effects of poor and spoiled product.

The combo plate of Gonzales and Bush; along with that spoiled radish Leiberman made me want lay in bed or not be far from a safety shit.

They say you born between it, but if you’ve ever taken care of anyone dying: it’s all piss and shit. And this great county of ours is on life support. We endorse torture, we call for benefit reduction, we decry the prolonging of life through stem cell science. They can’t say we believe in euthanasia, rather they say we believe in youth in America.

For the last few days my hearts and guts have felt sick. I did not feel like posting anything or reading anything posted. To top it off, I returned my friend’s router which was my hardware FirewalI. In less than an hour the Adware and worms had infested my computer like the electronic version of the bad burrito.

Watching reboots and scans of the hard drive were more pleasurable than watching Senate votes on C-Span, which is less pleasurable than watching paint dry.

With the latest political developments and the democracy I know and love - the Firewall is down…

Friday, February 04, 2005

Friday Funnies

Mark Fiore's response to gay cartoon characters-Right-Wing Ralphie

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

You get what you pay for, again...

Blogger has been acting weird of late. I notice that if you try and post in the morning hours things go awry and posts get eaten. Also after work hours, connecting is difficult. It's like right after 1st and the 15th bars are full. Coincidence? Could there be so many bloggers using Blogger that there is congestion?

Or is it something else?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Techie Tuesday: Boomer Toys

"...odds are you won't live to see tomorrow, Secret Agent man" Posted by Hello

Children today have many toys that transform themselves from monster vehicles into robots for justice. When I was child we had toys that were just as intricate and unfolded into clever devices. We had cameras that that turned into pistols. We had brief cases that turned into rifles. The gadgets seen in James Bond films, or The Man from Uncle series, showed up on toy store shelves and under Christmas trees. It was a foreshadowing of commercial tie-ins to come.

To jog your memory visit Boomer Baby's virtual toy store for playthings you (or your parents) haven't seen in ages. This was before advocates argued that certain toys were dangerous and had harmful consequences. It was before product liability suits. It was before you could rob a bank with a water pistol, or the police shot kids carrying toy replicas of automatic weapons.

There were toys like the Secret Sam Attache Case
that wouldn't be allowed on any airline today. It had a knife (made of rubber) that slid out of the case. It became a periscope. You could assemble the assassin's rifle to shoot your siblings. Also it could be booby-trapped with with live-fire caps .

For those who didn't like to play 'Cowboys and Indians' there were Jungle Warfare toys from the Monkey division
In 1963, young boys, in their never-ending battle against whomever, called and Remco answered with the Monkey Division line of stylish weaponry and accessories including 2 different bazookas and a mortar. Look at all this stuff!

• Monkey Gun - Pistol, Tommy Gun and Grenade Launcher
• Monkey Pistol - different than above
• 2-Way Wrist Radios - another way for Remco to use up its unending supply of radio boards
• Helmet with Movable Visor - comes with mock built in radio and antenna
• Jungle Mortar with Pillbox Target - lob 4 shells at a cardboard pillbox
• Long Range Bazooka - lob 3 rockets at a cardboard pillbox
• Short Range Bazooka - shoots 2 rockets 20 ft
• Jungle Combat Patrol Outfit - (Here we go!) Bazooka, Helmet, Mess Kit, Wakie Talkies and Canteen
• Mess Kit
• Walkie-Talkies

There were many generic military toys made in the '60s, (even Mattel and Marx made weapons and accessories for small soldiers) but the Monkey Division line is among the most sought after by toy collectors today.

Nothing like training children for war. I played war in the jungle behind me school in 1970. The zone was perfect with its razor grass and sandy soil. We would fill up the beer cans we found with sand and call them hand grenades, lobbing them into the air while yelling, "Incoming." That was until my friend Marcus Dove (ironic name, that) was struck in the back of the head and driven face first into the ground by a two-pound hand-thrown missile. Luckily, he didn't have to go to the hospital, but he sure cried a lot.

We stopped playing war after that. Maybe it was we were of an age beginning to understand the consequences of pretend violence. Or it was that Vietnam was taking its toll and it reached our pre-adolescent brains. I'd like to think it was we found out girls were the cool thing and we made war no more.