Tuesday, August 29, 2006
No, I'm not shitting you.
Yeah, it's to see family. What other reason would there be? I mean, it's not like there's something else to do there. If you take a good look at the calendar on that link, you might notice that they forgot to put 'get a DUI,' or 'get bar sluts pregnant' on there. Those probably aren't things the Chamber of Commerce wants you to know about, but that's all anyone over the age of 11 is doing there. Or maybe they just didn't bother to put it on the calendar because it happens every single day?
Jamestown had about 16,000 people when I graduated from high school. Less than two months later, I got the flying fuck outta there. Now, it was to Wyoming, true, but there, they have things called 'community colleges.' Casper had 50,000 people, so it was a little better. Plus, it ended up being a gateway drug to Colorado for me, so it wasn't all that bad.
It'll be nice to see my brother again though, as it's been a couple of years. Granted, we're going to drink ourselves into comas, but as they say ... 'when in Rome.' Highlights from this trip will be: Beating my brother's cocky little ass at Guitar Hero (even if it only happens once), sharing some kung-fu with my brother (he and his drummer have been practicing Wing Chun for a while now), and perhaps the greatest reason of all...
God DAMN. It's been two years since I've had potato oles. It's motherfucking ON.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The situation has put both parties in hypocritical positions. Republicans, who have frequently painted Lieberman as a leftist, are now supporting his views as being reasonable and moderate. Democrats are abandoning one of the ranking members of their party in the Senate, at a time when every seat will be critical for control of the Senate. Liberal blogs have turned on Lieberman faster than you can say "spin that dradle", and many of their attacks have been complete misrepresentations. Partisanship is in full swing.
The problem for the Democrats is that, as a party, they have taken the wrong position on the Iraq War. While setting a deadline to bring the troops home from what has been a debacle at every stage, seems like a perfectly reasonable stance to take, the execution of this strategy by Democrats like John Kerry has been poor. Setting arbitrary deadlines for troop withdrawal and leaving Iraq in a state of chaos is not a viable option at this point. Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and others in the Democratic party have had the right idea, which is to force the Bush Administration to set a timeline with tangible criteria for troop withdrawl.
As it stands now, the Bush Administration has no metric for success in Iraq. Bush is indifferent to the fact that we will be there "as long as he's President." Unfortuntaely, this is no better than saying "Bring the Troops Home for Christmas." The lack of an acceptable criteria for withdrawl is an example of how poorly thought-out the Bush Administration's strategy for Iraq has been from the beginning. Democrats have an opportunity to re-shape our strategy in Iraq, and set themselves up to the White House in 2008, by campaigning under a viable timeline for success in Iraq. This is something the Republicans can't campaign against, and haven't come up with on their own.
Instead, Democrats continue to present a fractured front on the issue, focusing on political polarization instead of actual policy steps to get us out of the mess that Bush got us into. It's a golden opportunity, and it's obviously more important for us to be the opposite of the Republicans, instead of finding reasonable solutions to these problems.
Tucker goes on the lambast the media, in general, and the Washington Post, specifically, for portraying Allen as a racist. Let's read an excerpt directly from Tucker's piece, and I'll let you decide if you think he's helping Allen's image as a racist:
- The piece dredged up the fact Allen once had a confederate flag in his home and noted that in 1984 he’d voted against a state holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. “As a chief executive, he also compiled a controversial record on race,” the magazine asserted.
The problem is that every conservative political pundit from here to outer Mongolia has defended Allen's comments, and proceeded to paint the issue as a liberal media conspiracy. It's almost like a knee jerk reaction for these guys, and unfortunately, it makes them look like conservatives are defending racist comments. Not exactly a good position to take for a party that is trying to broaden their appeal to minority groups.
The better course of action would have been to praise Allen's apology and provide examples of things Allen has done in his career that show he's not a racist. There have to be some examples right? Particularly, if this whole image of him as a racist was invented by the Godless Left?
When one of the most prominent black members of your party is certified nut-job Alan Keyes, conservatives need to try harder not to appear like the Strom Thurmond-backing, Trent Lott-defending, good old boys who think that calling someone from India a monkey is an acceptable thing to do "because he was just joking."
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Jack Kemp wants to reassure conservatives that despite recent victories for those of us who want science to be taught in science classes in public schools, that the anti-evolution movement is far from defeated. Kemp provides the following examples to support his case (if you think I'm kidding, please see his original post):
- Voter turnout in the Kansas election where Pro-intelligent design board members were ousted from their posts was only 18 percent.
- Ann Coulter's most recent attempt to write in complete sentences "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" is selling like hotcakes. And as Kemp points out, she spends a good part of the book explaining how evolution is directly at odds with religion.
- Only 10 percent of the general public, as cited in an anonymous Gallup Poll, believe in evolution as currently taught in public schools.
- Unfortunately for Kemp, a lack of voter turnout does not invalidate election results. The fact that not a single member of the Kansas State School Board that voted to restrict the teaching of evolution in schools held their seat lets you know how the people who matter (those who chose to vote) feel about conservatives trying to insert pseudoscience into their science curriculum.
- Ann Coulter is nothing more than a bitch, trying to get a rise out of people. She has no credibility, and everything she says should be carefully fact-checked, since she obviously chooses not to fact-check a single thing she says. Want examples ? Just because a book sells a lot of copies does not make anything within it true. Example? Any of the Harry Potter books.
- Finally, this anonymous Gallup Poll on what people believe as far as evolution is concerned. This is a Jack Kemp fact flea flicker (he used to play football). If you look at a variety of polls completely recently on the topic of evolution and what people believe, nearly half of people believe in evolution. Where Kemp hides the ball on this one is that because schools have to follow that whole, annoying "seperation of church and state" thing, schools don't teach that God had any part in evolution, since whether he did or not is a theological question and not a scientific one. So, because a good number of people who believe in evolution believe that God had some part in it, Kemp is able to say that a very small percentage of people actually believe it as it is taught in schools. Nice sleight of hand eh? Oh, and even if you take those people who believe in evolution without God being part of it, it's still about twice as many (20%) as Kemp cites in his article in any poll in the past 2 years.
Conservatives don't want to be painted as "dumb, rural fundamentalists" to quote Kemp's column. If you don't want to be portrayed that way, then pick up a science book and learn the difference between theology and biology. Kemp was almost your candidate for President in 1988, is this who you want to be your spokesperson on educational curriculum?
Friday, August 18, 2006
When I first heard about 'Snakes on a Plane,' it was through a blog post from some Hollywood screenwriting gun-for-hire who turned down a chance to do a rewrite on the script. The post was rather funny at the time, because it was the first time I'd heard about the film, and the jokes he made about the name of the film were fresh.
That post was written exactly a year ago. Since then, ads for this film have been everywhere. Pat Robertson couldn't have shoved Terry Schaivo's feeding tube down her throat any harder than we've had this film shoved down ours. Originally, I had a strong desire to watch the movie, but after seeing all of the marketing behind it, that feeling dissipated into a subtle indifference. The late, great Bill Hicks had an opinion about marketing, and I could never, ever top it, so here's the link, if you're unfamiliar.
However, once in a while, someone in a marketing meeting comes up with a good idea. And this film had someone good working on it, as evidenced here. It's not every day someone gets a call from Samuel L. 'The One That Says Bad Motherfucker' Jackson. Well, at least it wasn't every day, until now, where you could feasibly get a call from him every five minutes or so. Nothing says 'Hollywood marketing machine' like some good old-fashioned overkill!
So, my plan with 'Snakes on a Plane' turned into 'wait until I can see it for free,' as usual. But when I learned that I could see it the night before its official release, and for free, that changed. 'Before release' and 'free' in the same sentence? Well, there isn't much I won't see under those conditions. So I went to see it last night.
Did it live up to the manufactured hype? Well, of course it didn't. Did I laugh? Yeah, I did. The beers I had probably helped, but that's the whole point of a film like this. Don't even think of going into the theater sober. Now, I'm not gonna waste your time discussing the intricate nuances of the plot, or the varying depth of the performances, or the subtle movements of the camera. I can sum all of those things up by saying, 'No, no, and no.' But if you liked Deep Blue Sea, you'll like this. Only difference is, I never felt like anyone in Deep Blue Sea was winking at me while delivering their shitty dialogue.
One last question. Was Mr. Roberts allowed to fly with that thing?
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
I understand the need for a therapist. I really do. Therapists are professionals with credentials, who, in most cases, have had to attend a lot of school and help people solve real problems like depression, marriage, and other bad things that happen to good people.
Life coaches are essentially people who attended a seminar and paid a shit load of money so that they can give you career and financial advice. Ironically, you pay them to do this, which seems counter to having good financial sense, really. If I am looking at your budget and I see $1000 line item for a Life Coach, I'm no Life Coach, but I think firing your Life Coach would be a great way to save some money.
Are you stuck in a career you don't like? Do you need to find direction? Pay this person to tell you what to do. This way, you don't have to take responsibility for any additional bad decision you might make in life and career.
High school kids probably need a Life Coach, but nature conveniently supplied most teenagers with one or two, you might remember them as your parents. You know them, right? The difference between being 16 and being an adult, aside from the sort of women that you date (or not), is that adults are expected to be able to make decisions competently about their own lives. Adults who can't make decisions about their career or financial matters without consulting another adult who is trained in NEITHER of those areas, has larger problems.
Yet, in the United States, this is a booming industry. Apparently, we can't make these types of decisions anymore without paying someone else, who obviously didn't have a sucessful enough career as it is. If someone is doing well at their actual vocation, they wouldn't need to become a Life Coach.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
1) If someone at your job says "I don't want to re-invent the wheel...", what they are actually saying is that they want to copy something that you already did and take credit for it because they're lazy and useless.
2) Meetings about productivity are completely ironic. Here we are, sitting in a room together, not working, so our boss can tell us how much more we need to work. Want to increase productivity? Cancel all those fucking meetings. Maybe then I could actually do what you hired me to do, since I don't remember meeting attendee in any of the job description I read.
3) Managers without exception suck at their profession. If they were good at what they did, they'd still be doing it and not managing. The exceptions are managers who never worked in a given profession that they are supervising. These managers actually do a much better job than the jack-offs who are supposed to understand your job. Go figure.
4) Employers do not understand motivation. Do you think buying me a fucking clock that I wouldn't buy for my worst enemy's grandmother or a corporate coffee mug that some 4 year-old Cambodian child made for thirty cents will motivate me to do a better job each day? How about more money and more time away from my job? That's what I call employee appreciation, not a party sub from Quiznos and a slap on the ass.
5) Co-workers that you like will inevitably leave, while co-workers that you would murder if given the opportunity will never leave your job. I work with several women who are obnoxious, evil skanks, and I can't keep my friends Brenwah and Lepto at my side.
6) Any attempt to improve processes, procedures or efficiency will not be rewarded. People who do the bare minimum, hide in their offices, and define mediocrity will get raises, promotions, and will be regarded by management as a team player.
7) Team player is synonymous with bitch-ass punk loser. If the people at your job were a team, they would be the Buffalo Bills.
8) The greater your salary is relative to those who work around you, the more incompetant you must be. Ever notice how the people who get paid the least are the only people actually working? Don't say they've earned it either. Just because your Dad is the hospital administrator doesn't mean you earned shit.
9) You will always have someone old and cranky at your job, no matter what it is. The White House has Dick Cheney. The Supreme Court has Scalia. It must be part of the Constitution that every department and every job description on Earth must have at least one cranky, old person, who reminds you why Oregon allows assisted suicide.
10) People in accounting who do your expense reports for trips are jealous, punitive little whores. So what if I drank 4 double Jack and Cokes with my dinner. SO WHAT IF IT WAS MY ENTIRE DINNER. I don't know Latin very well anymore, but last time I checked, per diem doesn't mean "only food".
Friday, August 04, 2006
And I mean troglodyte in the worst way possible. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion based on some combination of perception and fact. I am completely in favor of differences of opinion, and I think dissent is one of the most democratic things a person can do. However, failing to acknowledge scientific fact, simply because of your political views, is idiotic.
There's a small, but vocal, group of jackasses out there who do not believe global warming is occurring. Let me say that I think it's absolutely fine if you don't believe that global warming is occurring. You can have this viewpoint, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE SCIENTIFIC FACTS AT THE BASIS OF THIS BELIEF.
Some will say that this is a logical trap that I have set, since a significant portion of the scientific community would tell you that the existence of global warming is no longer debatable, but I think if you believe that there is some scientific evidence to disprove the existance of global warming, being a scientist, I can't really fault you for that. There is nothing wrong with disagreement in science. Disagreement is the motor of scientific innovations.
You can imagine then, my shock and disappointment, when a colleague of mine and Leptodactylus' from work, who is an established researcher with a Ph.D., denied the existance of global warming earlier this week, simply because she doesn't like Al Gore's politics. Not because she's created her very own climate model. Not because she has evaluated the available research and decided to be undecided. Those would be reasonable things.
She simply is so conservative idealogically, that she is unable to consider an idea that is supported by someone with a different political viewpoint than her own. I think this sort of thinking is illustrative of a huge problem in our country. When your political ideology inhibits an incredibly intelligent person from evaluating scientific evidence, forgive the cliche, but Houston, we have a problem.
Whether you like Al Gore or think he's the characature featured in the ManBearPig South Park episode, you can find people on both sides of the political spectrum who have acknowledged the existance and severity of global warming. Even President Bush, who is not EVER going to win an award for his thoughts in scientific fields, has FINALLY acknowledged the existance of global warming, albeit years later than he should have.
So, essentially, this individual is putting herself in a group of people that even President Bush is too progressive and intelligent to belong to. Hence, the reason I chose to use the word troglodyte.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Recently, a video was posted to YouTube mocking Al Gore (who, I hear, won a clear majority of the popular vote in 2000) and his anti-Hummer movie An Inconvenient Truth. I won't link the YouTube video here because, just like that annoying kid in third grade, I hope it will go away if we just ignore it. At any rate, the video was purportedly posted by a 29-year-old kid from Beverly Hills. However, header information in emails from the "kid" indicated that the "kid" was sending his emails from a computer licensed to DCI Group, a Washington-D.C. based lobbying group that works primarily for *gasp* oil companies. Including Exxon. Now, why in the world would oil companies want us to take An Inconvenient Truth lightly? Oh, right: because their entire existence depends on us continuing to suck the crack-pipe that is low-mileage SUVs.
Now, I don't have a problem with lobbying. And I don't have a problem with debating the veracity of the contents of An Inconvenient Truth. But what I do have a problem with is publicly-held corporations lying to us. Reminds me too much of Enron. And Tyco. And HealthSouth. Of course, back in 2000, the Republicans blamed Clinton's presidency for causing a moral backslide by making people think it was okay to get one's unit slurped in the Oval Office. However, as absolutely, soul-crushingly, astoundingly horrible as it is to get a mouth hug, it's frankly worse for our President to lie to the public on a regular basis. So, I guess, Exxon can blame Bush for creating a "moral backslide" of his own by making people think that constant lying is okay.
For anyone interested in a complete, "professional news" story about this, you can check it out here. But, in all seriousness, do not check out the YouTube video. Right now, it has a pathetically low number of views. If we keep it that way, this kind of corporate deception might die an early death. If everyone runs out there and views the video, the immoral, deceitful assholes at DCI Group will have accomplished their goal. Be strong!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
In the comments, Mr. Bling brought this gem to the surface, and still licking my wounds from his earlier retort, I decided to dive in and take it on. The commentary in question was posted by this guy: Father Jonathan Morris of the Fox News Channel, one of the most fair and balanced new organizations in all the land. Seriously. They say so, which means it must be true.
Father Morris admits that he's friends with Mel Gibson, so I know right from the start, he's going to be completely fair and balanced in his assessment Mel's anti-semitic drunk driving arrest this last weekend. Check out The Smoking Gun for mug shots, documents, etc. If you read Father Morris's regular contributions to the Fox News website, which I don't, you'll notice a theme: Forgiveness and the Sex Industry at the World Cup. Think I'm kidding? Check out his archives here. He did a 4 part report on the Sex Industry in the World Cup last month. For some reason, he's really interested in that. Hmmmmm......
Anyway, Father Morris essentially says "Trust me! I'm a Catholic Priest. See my collar? I wouldn't lie to you! Mel Gibson is absolutely not anti-semitic. Where are those little boys going?". Still feeling stung by the reality that I own property in Omaha, I sent Father Morris the following email. I hope you enjoy the pun I inserted in the opening line. I will post any replies that I might receive from him in a future post.
Forgive me, but it's not exactly reassuring to read the opinion of one of Mel Gibson's friends regarding his recent drunk driving incident and anti-semitic comments made towards a police officer during his arrest. I think Mel Gibson's comments speak for themselves, and the old saying goes "in vino veritas" or "in wine there is truth."
I commend your loyalty to Mel, but if a person is not anti-semitic to begin with, I find it highly unlikely that he would just throw out some random comments about hating Jews. His comments were obviously based on some underlying feelings about this particular religious group. There's nothing special about tequila that makes a person spout hate against Jews.
More importantly, I feel like a larger issue is being lost here: Mel was DRUNK DRIVING with an open bottle of tequila in his car. While defending him against anti-semitic comments is one thing, he could have killed someone or several someones, a point that you didn't even mention in your defense. I think when you're finished defending him publicly, you should find your friend Mel some help, before he goes out and runs into a family of 4 in his luxury vehicle.
You make a valid point about the cost of living in Seattle versus Omaha. However, you fail to mention why there is such a difference. I will go ahead and tell you why: NO ONE WANTS TO LIVE IN OMAHA. When I watched Napoleon Dynamite for the first time, I could've sworn they filmed it there. Granted, Dallas isn't exactly a cultural Mecca, but it has plenty of things to do. A national art museum. Every type of live music known to man (well, maybe not Tuvan throat singing). Every professional U.S. spectator sport imaginable. Six Flags. Lots of cool independent mom-and-pop record and video stores. If you're into having kids, Plano and Frisco have some of the best schools in the nation. Twenty-three Fortune 500 companies for employment. I could go on, but I'm starting to feel like I work for the fucking D/FW Chamber of Commerce. But to wrap that argument up, I offer Exhibit A. According to that site, the Omaha area is 'Metro.' When I was trapped in ... ERRR, visited your fine city, I didn't see a single Metrosexual.
Seriously speaking, remember when we used to go to Denver or Boulder to see some sweet live shows? It was less than an hour drive. Now how far would you have to drive to see The Aquabats, or the Family Values Tour? Isn't it about three hours to Kansas City? Since I bought a house here, my drive into downtown Dallas is about 20 minutes. Cost of living aside, you can't deny that it's a great convenience to be close to so many sources of entertainment.
Okay, so we're pretty good friends, and I'm obviously giving you a hard time about leaving Seattle. I thought it was really beautiful there. Having said that, I do understand where you're coming from. I know that most of your wife's family lives there, and you went to college there and have friends in the area. Perhaps I've been a little too harsh on Omaha because it reminds me of my own hometown, and how much I hate small-town America. But you fired back with a brief 'make fun of Texas' post. Predictable, but still disappointing.
So instead, let's look at the things we have in common. I'll join you in making fun of our mentally-handicapped president (even though he's actually from the Northwest), and Vince Young and his fantastic Wonderlic skills (just spelling your name correctly gets you five points). And I know you'd join me in making fun of the fact that Alexander Payne can't walk outside his front door in Omaha without getting mobbed, and of all the former Nebraska football players who are now in prison or on parole. Politically, Nebraska and Texas aren't that far off. In 2004, Nebraska had a higher percentage of people voting for Bush than Texas did (66% versus 61%). Two human beings of the same sex can't get married in either of these redneck, backwards, homophobic states. And, we both have to go across a border to gamble, as if there aren't any Native Americans in Nebraska or Texas.
Finally, my brief defense for moving. I went from being a glorified video stock boy in Greeley (not Denver), making seven bucks an hour, to where I am now ... working for one of those Fortune 500 companies, making plenty more than I'm worth ... to play video games. This is an important point, so for those of you who may have forgotten your glasses, I will repeat it, in annoying capitalized and bolded letters. I PLAY VIDEO GAMES FOR A LIVING. Do you know how hard it is to keep a straight face while typing that? So do I have any regrets? None whatsofuckingever. I love Colorado, and I'm gonna end up back there some day, but until then, I'm gonna ride this 'buyer' thing out for as far as it takes me. Wouldn't you?
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
And let's not forget this:
So really, you can bag me all you want for leaving Seattle, but leaving Denver for Dallas is not exactly Movin' on up like the Jeffersons.
.... for THIS?!?
I call bullshit. I spent three days in Seattle last week and it was fucking BEAUTIFUL. How could anyone with half of a brain cell leave there for the same exact job? Money? It better have been a doubling of your salary! Family? Family schmamily. Scroll back to the first picture. Look at that fucking mountain! Did you actually eat any of the seafood there? I don't even like seafood, and I was in heaven.
Are you that big of a College Baseball World Series fan or something? At least tell me you cried as you were driving away. Lie to me, dammit! LIE TO ME!