Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oh Al how I missed you.

Two from the weird one:



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

oooh just shut up

Olberman.

Listen, I undertand what you are doing. good for you. you are collecting a paycheck. I recommend you save some of that.

As for the rest of you propping him up to his nearly mediocre ratings... for shame. Have you figured out what you are doing wrong yet?

Stop trying to ape what you think the american right is doing on fox news with your own answer to fox news/Rush (et al). It has become increasingly obvious that you, as a group, are acting off the impression of whatyou think the right is doing rather than what the right is in fact doing.

As much as I despise Bill O'Reilly, just show me the time he called anybody not named cocco a monkey.

The tragedy in this is that if I were a higher traffic blog, people would explain how Olberman showed himself to be a superior man to Wallace by handing Clinton a check during an interview (because he was avoiding the pixilations of a presidential bj) to a man asking a relatively reasonable and fair question that to my knowledge hasn't been discussed in the mainstream.

Olberman.... stick to selling seeds

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bill, meet your better

Some people went to law school to actually learn about law and stuff. Imagine what happens when they try to deal with asinine law suits by political hacks like the one we have as AG in California.

Well, don't imagine. Check out Fern's post at Alone in Public where she shows that Bill Lockyer doesn't even pass the laugh test, let alone a legal test.

The lawsuit begs two questions. First, if the California government cares so much about pollution, why weren't the California emissions standards low enough to prevent the significant environmental damage Lockyer is claiming has been caused by car emissions? Suing car manufacturers after they met the standards we told them to meet seems ludicrous from a common sense standpoint, even though it's a viable legal argument.

Second, if the California government cares so much about pollution, then why aren't they building extensive mass transit systems in places like Los Angeles and Orange County where there are virtually no useful public transportation systems and millions upon millions of people who have lengthy commutes to work each day. The Los Angeles metropolitan area is almost certainly the largest source of the state's car pollution and yet the state and local governments aren't doing anything to curb the need for cars.
Why is it that these questions can be so clear, but ignored by our state's AG. It is our eternal shame that we let a wanna be go to law school just to get a job he isn't suitable for, when people like Fern could do the AG's job without subjecting the state of California to ridicule in legal communities.

It must be liberal day over at google

You can tell because the day ends with "y"

So here are my 3 quotes of the day:
I had an epiphany a few years ago where I was out at a celebrity party and it suddenly dawned on me that I had yet to meet a celebrity who is as smart and interesting as any of my friends. - Moby
Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion, rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science. - Gary Zukav
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Quote 1: Moby, everything is more interesting than you. I don't know how you became a celebrity, but you are not interesting enough to merit being a quotable person.

Quote 2: As stated by a person who knows nothing of Western Theology or Western Sceince. Because both statements are fundamentally false. Western theology has become increasingly complex, and western science has become increasingly linked to politics. Oh, and Fatwa! you have defamed Jesus! I am totally calling you out. Bike racks, after school.

Quote 3: Yeah yeah yeah, it's Ben's most famous quote after, "why does it burn when I pee?"

Nothing wrong with this quote, except for the fact that people who quote him tend to forget every other principle from the founding, but remember this and the Danbury letters as proof positive that a) gwb is dumb and b) being a liberal is good.

Essential liberty is a concept that is complex and worthy of deeper discussion, too bad it's always thrown out as a one off for people being against even basic security measures by this administration.

As a basis of comparison, consider the following, the government can force you to keep and quarter troops in times of war against your consent. In times of peace, you must either consent or they cannot stay. THAT is essential liberty, and even then, the founders were aware of times where essential liberty must give way. Why? because as essential as it is as a liberty interest, it is secondary to the "existence" interest.

But using the founding fathers to attack the US government is easy, because most people dont' spend any time with it, and people don't want to attack the founders. Then again, people are more than happy to accept every other historical transgression against the founders... Wickard v Fillburn etc.

Google, I love your search engine, your email service, and the easy way your image service helps me find porn, but this is just a bad day for you and quotes.

Especially since when it comes to protecting "essential liberty" you are tough with the US government, but roll over for the Chinese all day long.

Talk is cheap, especially other people's talk.

Google. You can SUCK IT.

the cost of terrorism prevention

Glenn at Agoraphilia has some thoughts about the risks of terrorism related deaths compared to other causes of death... like bee stings or seeing Bea Arthur naked.

Well, as a matter of comparison. When it comes to bee stings, we have an office in every (appropriate) county in America to cover pest control. We have cops everywhere, obstensibly to prevent crimes, even crimes that don't mean death.

We don't spend a lot on preventing terrorism now. Before then, we spent a negligible sum. Our police practices for other things allowed terrorism prevention by free riding (see Neumaniam Bomb Plot)

Terrorists have spent very little before the "war on terror"because the risk was minor compared to the value of success. Even now, the risk vs reward factor favors acting out against the US. The only question is whether the US has truly counterbalanced it's level of effort against the level of risk, or at a minimum, has the appearance of such a counter balance occurred.

The problem is, practically speaking, it's really hard to calculate the costs we actually incur on those other popular causes of death. We are even harder up trying to calculate the marginal gains additional spending would produce.

But the Big 12 is a conference of peace!

In the wake of the Oregon victory by way of blown instant replay:

The Pac-10 replay official, Gordon Riese, has received death threats to him and his family. Let’s don’t go into how sick that is, only to say that if the feds can trace the call, that person should do some serious jail time.
Maybe Oklahoma fans should take a hint from pundit Hugh Hewitt.

If It's Not Close They Can't Cheat.

Sports and politics are inherently related. I believe Plato discussed how sports are part of being a proper citizen (but it's been a while.) One of the most important things that kids learn in sports is Don't be a whiner. Sure you can lose. You can lose because of blown calls. You can lose because of cheating. You can lose because the wind conditions blow a homerun ball back to warning track distance.

In the end, it doesn't matter. Losing happens, and your job isn't just to win, but to be far enough ahead of the other side that the externals don't cost you a win. If you lose, it is always your fault.

In sports, and in politics, the buck always stops here. Anything less is just poor sportsmanship.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I see Robin Williams is still out for that best actor Oscar, trying to prove he is a real actor by trying to mimic a comedian in Man of the Year.

With clever and timely lines like "I did not have sex with that woman... I wanted too." how can you fail? Pure genius. While you are at it, why don't you dust off the rainbow suspenders.

Pure. Comedy. Gold.

Monday, September 18, 2006

If the message is don't upset the snake, I want to be a snake too

Ghost Blog chimes in about the Pope having the gaul to actually discuss issues of theology:

I'm angry because his excellency (excellent at what? speechmaking? lol.) wasn't bright enough to see that his remarks are very easily manipulated into memetic weapons by the hardliner imams and shayks and local tyrants intent on deflecting criticism of their own regimes who are the real adversary.
We have a very profound saying out here in the West.
Don't poke the snake.
You see, the paramedics at our local fire department here on the front range of the rocky mountains treat a number of snake bite cases every summer. The story fronted by the cyclist/jogger is always that they were peaceably cycling/running past and said snake just jumped out and bit them.


So. Let me tell you about snakes.

First of all. If you anger a snake, it forgets quickly. Out in the San Bernardino county hills, I've met plenty of rattlesnakes. I've upset more than my fair share while hiking, or biking, or while trying to find other snakes. If you piss one of, he forgets.

Unlike these figurative snakes which are still mad about everything that has ever happened to them. The Crusades? Still mad. The loss of the portions of Europe they took by war? Still mad. The existence of Israel? Still mad. There are actual Kuwaitiis who are still mad at the US for Gulf War one.

If you name a transgression, real or imagined they are still pissed. There is a saying I heard from a middle easterner that seems to fit. "If you grab a persian by the arm, he'll never let go."

Second. If snakes are what others fear and placate, then other animals will act like snakes too. I'm sure my Rocky Mountain friend is familiar with all the species who copy dangerous snakes so they get the benefit. The King Snake has the coloration of the coral snake (red and black, friend of Jack...) some snakes thrash their tails in a manner to mimic the sounds of a rattlesnake etc.

By teaching the world that we should do whatever it takes to not stir up the snakes. We guarantee the world more snakes. Because the environment has become better suited for them.
Third, read the speech. Go on, read the whole relevant section and tell me what he said that is actually controversial. The problem isn't the fact that he said something controversial, it is that everything pisses somebody off. But apparently there is a species of snake that can get angered by everything, pick the locks on your door at your home at night, and kill you just because you are aware of it's existance and mentioned it to others. Be sure not to piss of that species of snake. But I must warn you, it's tricky, because you probably have angered it just by reading the Benedict speech without issuing your own fatwa.

Fourth, people who say "lol" as part of a substantive attack on the speechwriting of others should be taken out to a field and beaten with bats. If this ghostie has a question as to why the beating is going on, just tell them that they created and subsequently angered a snake.

it's that time

Tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate day.

To get you warmed up. Enjoy these intellectual pirate jokes from McSweeney's

Q: What's a pirate's favorite aspect of computational linguistics?
A: PARRRsing sentences.

Q: Of which concept shared by Jungian psychology and Northrop Frye's literary theory are pirates especially fond?
A: ARRRchetype.

Q: Who's a pirate's favorite member of the creative team behind "32 Short Films About Glenn Gould"?
A: Don McKellARRR.

Q: What's a pirate's favorite alliance-creating diplomatic agreement from the Second World War?
A: The TripARRRtite Pact.

Q: Which ancient Greek lyric poet do pirates like the best?
A: PindARRR.

Q: If a pirate were to recite one of the Olympian odes by the aforementioned poet, which one would it be?
A: The XIth Nemean Ode, "To ARRRistagoras, the Prytanis of Tenedos, son of ARRRchesilaus."

Q: If that same pirate were then to recite a 20th-century poem about the nature of poetry, what would it be?
A: "ARRRs Poetica" by ARRRchibald MacLeish.

Q: What if he went on to recite a poem by Sir Walter Scott?
A: "LochinvARRR."

Q: Why does that pirate keep reciting poetry, anyway? Is he some sort of Nancy-boy?
A: Aye, 'tis a Nancy-boy he be. Arrr.

Q: Of the ghosts that appear to Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol," which do pirates prefer?
A: Jacob MARRRley.

Q: Can we replace that last one with something about Bob Marley, so we can have an additional gag about RastafARRRianism?
A: No.

Q: Whom did the pirate vote for in the Haitian election?
A: ARRRistide.

Q: Wait. Why did they let a pirate vote in the Haitian election?
A: Remember, the nation was taking its first halting steps toward democracy, and balloting procedures were rather chaotic. The pirate just slipped in somehow. Arrr.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Only Revolutions

I went up to LA last night. Got rear ended on the five -- Caught Mark Z Daneilkowski doing a reading from his new book "Only Revolutions"

I haven't had a chance to read it yet -- just a short skim.

As usual his verse sounded interesting. Even the parts he read that weren't poetry sounded like it. It's just a shame that sometimes it's wrapped in really dense text and story structure that makes his works sometimes feel like actual work (see: "House of Leaves"). His writing however is really really fun at times, and makes up for the slog. As for the story itself, strange and ambitious.

But that appears to be a family trait.

Mark's sister Poe was in attendance. Someday soon she will be free of her horrible Atlantic contract and out to make a follow up to her brilliant album Haunted (which is one of the best albums of that year (2001), I demand you pick it up now.) She was charming as always, a true lady. Probably one of the few people I've met in LA who has natural star quality that doesn't act like a primadonna. She talks to just about anybody, and is about as sweet as one can be in the process. I can't wait to see her out on her own again.

I also saw one of my true musical heroes, Danny Elfman. Fortunately for him, he was well out of screaming fan range by the time I spotted him at the door. I'm sure other Boingo fans would understand.

Monday, September 11, 2006

hearsay and what it means in the war on terror vs the media

So does anybody actually believe that the President told Bill Keller he'd have "blood on his hands"? Of course not.

But that's what Bill Keller got from it.

He Knew

Of course Billie Boy was under the impression at the time that the Bush administration was damaged in it's credibility because of the Plame affair (you know, the one where they in fact turned out to not have done anything wrong), that their concerns over the deaths of US citizens must have been ill founded.

Did the White House call anybody a traitor?

Of Course not.

But that's what the New York Magazine got from it.

But that's what the lead in line says the White House thinks of Bill Keller.

I went to law school (bar results pending), and I actually did OK in evidence. So, let's talk about hearsay. Hearsay is a rule that keeps statements out by third parties because they lack reliability. But statements can come in for other reasons.

For instance, the effect on the listener.

In other words, even if Bill Keller was not told that he would have blood on his hands (he didn't), HE KNEW HIS REPORTING OF THE WIRE TAPPING STORY WOULD RESULT IN BLOOD ON HIS HANDS.

I'm sure all kinds of clever men will come up with clever reasons why this article should not have been published but the basic fact remains, Bill Keller published this article under the believe that the President of the United States arued that reporting the story would result in dead Americans. He opted to sell newpapers instead.

If you ever opt to by a New York Times, remember this, they'd rather sell you a paper than protect your life.

it always turns to porn

If I knew then what I know now about the patent office, I'd have reconsidered my academic path.
In the meantime, check out this rejected patent application that includes hardcore porn pics.

Monday, September 04, 2006

College football is back!

I am so glad college football is back. Now that the odds of my beloved Anaheim Angels advancing to the playoffs are slim, it's good to have my other sports fix up and running.

UCLA looked damn good on Saturday. Olsen opened with 7 passes to 7 different receivers. He was efficient in his passing. Even better, the UCLA defense was not embarrasing. UCLA still has the potential to be a strong PAC-10 team this year, maybe ranking as high as 3rd.

Right now, I'm watching Miami play Floriday State. Number 11 v number 12. So far a great rivalry matchup, but I have to say College Football should not be played on a Monday Night. It just doesn't seem right.
Ok, if I have one pet peeve in this world it is people who use the word "ironic" to describe anything and everything.

Shortly after Stever Irwins death, I heard at least 6 different Ironic comments from folks I know.

THIS IS NOT IRONY

This was expected. A wild animal handler dying at the hands of a wild animal is not ironic, it's the logical conclusion to a darwin awards inspired life. Irony would be this man getting killed by a safe domesticated animal, like a hamster.

Getting killed by a sea ray is not Ironic.

Just funny. Really really funny. In a tragic way. Pure traumedy

Friday, September 01, 2006

Expect some feedback

You know what I love about reality tv?

Having friends and pals get a shot at doing something cool. As hokey as it was, I was totally stoked to see feedback win on Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

Great stuff. Way to go Matt.