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Monday, January 31, 2005

Idiots. I, for one, don't believe that the children are our future. That possibility is just too crushingly depressing some days.

I don't know what's worse--that a third of the kids think the First Amendment goes too far, or that they think high school papers should have more freedom to publish than the real press.

Viruses and spyware. I got an email message this morning from the university's email virus protection service alerting me that an email I sent contained a virus-infected attachment. Okay, but I didn't send the email in question. At home, I use webmail, but I use a desktop-based groupwise program at school. So is the school computer infected?
And can anyone suggest a good free spyware program that won't load its own spyware onto the computer?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Dick. This story about Cheney's pathetic behavior is hilarious. The writer says of Cheney's attire for yesterday's ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, "The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower."

Yes, there are worse things that Cheney has done, but it's the symbolism, people.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Isn't that special. Shrub ordered his cabinet secretaries not to break the law. Says that the Honky Crib should not pay columnists to promote the Bushco agenda. Wow. What courage to take a stand against misappropriating tax money to pay off columnists to propagandize for the state. What a leader we have in George W. Bush!
He also told Iraqis to rock the vote on Sunday, just don't sweat the small stuff (like the chance of gettin blowed up). Afterall, Shrub did say back in April that even "brown-skinned" people love democracy: "Some of the debate really center around the fact that people don't believe Iraq can be free; that if you're Muslim, or perhaps brown-skinned, you can't be self-governing and free. I strongly disagree with that." Strongly disagrees! How could America not re-elect this moral giant?

I am an idiot. But you already knew that. So here's another reason why. Yesterday evening, I went over to campus for my first class of the spring semester. I got over to campus at about 5:00 for the 6:30 class, and I thought to myself, "It seems a little empty for the first day of the semester." But it was at the end of the day, so I didn't give it any more thought. I walk over to the class and get there five minutes early, and nobody is there yet. I logged on to the computer and checked the course schedule just to make sure I was in the right place at the right time, and sure enough, I was. Five minutes go by, and nobody else shows up. Another five minutes, and still nobody. "WTF, mate?" I say to myself.

Not knowing what to do, and feeling like it's my first day of 7th grade all over again, I head back over to the department. I thought that maybe the location had changed, and I just missed the email. But there wasn't anybody around the department. So, I go back over to the scheduled classroom just to check again, and still nobody is there. I gave up at that point and assumed that I must have missed an email announcing a time/location change or a cancellation. So I came home and watched "The Amazing Race" (yes, yes, I know, bad reality television, bad, bad, bad).

This morning, my legal counsel called me up and informed me that spring semester classes start today, not yesterday. So that's why nobody else showed up for class last night. "Way to go, champ!" she said.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Feeling drafty. From the Post, Army Plans to Keep Iraq Troop Level Through '06.
The U.S. Army expects to keep its troop strength in Iraq at the current level of about 120,000 for at least two more years, according to the Army's top operations officer.

While allowing for the possibility that the levels could decrease or increase depending on security conditions and other factors, Lt. Gen. James J. Lovelace Jr. told reporters yesterday that the assumption of little change through 2006 represents "the most probable case."
It just keeps getting better and better. I guess they need to keep the troops there to clean up all the flowers that greeted them. And what of the reservists?
To continue to be able to draw on the better trained reservists, Army officials have said they are considering petitioning Rumsfeld to extend the 24-month limit on the total time a reservist could be called to active duty.
I think that's stretching the idea of what a reservist is. Just a bit.

Krazy. The Daily Show did a piece on this tonight. It's Tonik, a healthkare plan targeted at the kids. Ridikulous. Katch the replay Tuesday at 7 or 11:30.

More freedom. Last May, Shurb declared, "Because we acted, torture chambers are closed." Even then this statement seemed a bit at odds with the abu Ghraib prison scandal. And now according to a report by Human Rights Watch, it seems that the new boss is much the same as the old boss.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi authorities routinely torture prisoners, a leading human rights group said Tuesday, citing examples of abuse which will sound all too familiar to those who suffered under Saddam Hussein.

Prisoners have been beaten with cables and hosepipes, and suffered electric shocks to their earlobes and genitals, the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch said. Some have been starved of food and water and crammed into standing-room only cells....

The report also said Iraq's intelligence service had violated the rights of political opponents.

It highlighted the systematic use of arbitrary arrest, pre-trial detention of up to four months, improper treatment of child detainees and abysmal conditions in pre-trial facilities.
Wow. A twofer! Political opponents and child detainees! Hot damn, freedom is on the march. I guess that when Shrub said that "torture chambers are closed," he only meant that some, not all, of the chambers had been closed.

What's another $80 Billion? Especially if it's for spreading freedom! Mmm...delicious freedom. Bushie gonna tell Congress that he needs another 80 large to keep his boondoggle running. At least from the beginning the Bushies were up front and honest with the public about how much this war would cost.
"There’s just no reason that this can’t be an affordable endeavor."
--Mitch Daniels

"I don’t know that there is much reconstruction to do."

"And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction."
--Ari Fleischer

"We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."
--Paul Wolfowitz

"People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you."
And when you're done hugging the shut-ins, cough up another $80 billion, suckers. Halliburton needs a new pair of shoes.

Friday, January 21, 2005

One year blogging anniversary. Has it been a year already since I started wasting my time and yours with this silly little blog? Here's to stealing time from employers!

After a year of doing this, and after 717 posts, I can proudly say that I have a remarkable accomplishment--- I am the #1 Yahoo! search result for bullballs thanks to this post.

So what will the second year of blogging bring with it? More of the same.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Yay! Template is fixed. So I'll be keeping the current look. If they only knew at my old job just how much time I spent blogging and getting the template to look just the way I like it.

In other news, it's a winter wonderland outside. If this is the only snow we get all season, I won't lodge any complaints.

In medical news, my right arm is still hurting from playing foosball for a few hours this past Saturday night. I don't know if it's a muscle or tendon, but whatever it is, it isn't comfortable. And yes, I am aware of what it says about me that I have a foosball injury. Stop laughing. But I was scoring from the backline, and my moving defense was impenetrable because of a mis-spent freshman year of college. Back then, we spent countless hours building up our skillz thanks to the placement of a table in the attic of Monroe Hall. I might not have learned much about geology, but I developed a good bankshot from the goalie rod. Along with my foos partner, Schoolboy, and his spin shot which would curve around the defense, we were a force to be reckoned with.

Here's a picture of where we spent many an hour.

And if there's anybody out there who has $1200 to spare, this would be the perfect gift.

Day late, dollar short. Yesterday, John Kerry decided to finally acknowledge the widespread voter suppression that went on during the election. Kudos to you, Mr.Senator! And then today, I get an email from John Kerry (sent just to me, I'm sure) asking that I sign his petition to replace Rumsfeld. WOW!!! What a novel idea! Good call on that one, sir! It's just that if maybe you had tried to make the case for these causes, oh, I don't know, three months ago, instead of talking about Cheney's gay daughter and Bush's $80 ownership in a timber company ("Need some wood?"), then maybe, maybe the whole Bush cabal would be replaced this week. What's that you say? Bush lied about his economic and foreign policies? And he used to be a cokehead? Well, jeepers, thanks for making note of that, you dipshit.

Monday, January 17, 2005

You go, girl. You eat that eleven-pound burger.
CLEARFIELD, Pa. - Kate Stelnick may weigh only 100 pounds, but her appetite is remarkable. The college student from Princeton, N.J., is the first to meet a restaurant's challenge by downing its six-pound hamburger — and five pounds of fixins' — within three hours.

Stelnick didn't eat for two days to prepare for the challenge. "I felt very full, but I was too excited that I actually ate it to notice," Stelnick said.

Stelnick, 19, made the five-hour drive to Denny's Beer Barrel Pub with two friends from The College of New Jersey on Wednesday, after they saw pictures of the monster burger, dubbed the Ye Old 96er.

Denny Leigey Jr., the owner of the bar 35 miles northwest of State College, had offered a two-pound burger for years and conceived of the six-pounder after his daughter went to college and phoned him about a bar that sold a four-pounder.

But nobody had finished the big burger in the three-hour time limit since it was introduced on Super Bowl Sunday 1998. In addition to the meat, contestants much eat one large onion, two whole tomatoes, one half head of lettuce, 1 1/4 pounds of cheese, two buns, and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, relish, banana peppers and some pickles.

Stelnick did it all in two hours, 54 minutes.
Impressive. Very impressive. We salute you, Kate Stelnick.

You and what army? Seriously, what army does Bush think he has that would be able to mount a war against Iran? Don't let that stop him from keeping all options on the table. Four more years! Holla at your brother.

It has turned cold as all get out here in what I like to call affectionately "the blast zone." So I'm reconsidering whether or not I feel like dealing with the crowds and the anal probes that I'd be sure to have to endure at the inauguration on Thursday. Plus, I'm not down with limo bombs. "But James, you swore that you'd be there!" Yeah? Well, I also swore back in 1995 that I'd never get drunk again after I woke up on the bathroom floor with my ass hanging in the toilet.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Not safer. Further evidence that the war in Iraq has not made the world a better place, there's a report now that says Iraq is the new terrorist training ground replacing Afghanistan as the place to be.

No WMD. No ties to al Qaida. No threat. Created a terrorist playground. Wow, that $150 Billion spent sure has been worth it, not to mention the lost and shattered lives.

More Ali G details from his appearance at the Salem Civic Center.
After telling the crowd he supported America's war on terrorism, he said, "I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards ... And may George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq." He then sang a garbled version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
I would think that sort of hyperbole would play well with that kind of crowd. But I guess that freedom-loving Murkans won't put up with such a demonstration of free speech. Like my man Shrub says, "There ought to be limits to freedom."

Technical Issues and stuff. Jeebus, why isn't my blog loading up correctly? Rather, why won't it load up correctly on either of our home computers? Further, why does it load up fine using Mozilla and not in Explorer? And why isn't any of this happening with the archives? I don't feel like messing with the html code, so maybe it's time for another template change. I haven't done that in a good six months probably. But that's such a pain in the ass to do. I suppose that given that classes don't start for another twelve days, I do still have some time on my hands.

Research on the lives of homeless people has shown how they will take a few simple tasks and stretch them out over the course of several days. This gives their lives a sense of order while providing them with short term goals to meet. Not so much unlike my life these days. I'm TA-ing a winter session class, so every other day I get a couple of essays to grade. And when I say "grade," I mean "lay the papers on the floor and see which the cats go to first." So that only takes up a half hour or so, leaving me with 23.5 hours to fill. Sleep takes up another 6-12 hours, depending on how early I fall asleep and how much more time I sleep during the day.

So, to fill the rest of the time, I run errands rather inefficiently. Why make one trip to the store for the week when I can make five? Something has to go to the post office? Let me check my schedule...yes, I do think I have an opening. And then there's the cooking of breakfast and dinner, and the leaving of the dishes so that I'll have something else to do later (I know who makes the money in this family, and it certainly isn't me).

And then the rest of the time is filled by "sitting around, hanging out with the cats." A typical phone call:


YLH Legal Counsel: Hello?
Me: Hey, whatshappenin.
YLH LC: Not much. What are you up to?
Me: Oh, you know...sitting around, hanging out with the cats. Getting ready to do some dishes and run out to the grocery store.
YLH LC: Alright, well, I'm busy here, so I'll talk to you later.
Me: Okey dokey.

And three hours later I'm still getting ready to do the dishes and go to the store. It really is a brutal existence. I don't know how I manage. But whenever I'm stopped at a traffic light, and a homeless person walks up to my car window looking for change, and I pretend not to notice because I'm too busy fishing something out from under the seat...that's when I find the strength to endure., yeah, gotta fix that template.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Inauguration for Boy George. Shrubco has decided that it would be a grand gesture to stick DC with the bill for some of the security that will be had at the inauguration next Thursday. Punishment for DC voting 90% for Kerry, no doubt. And speaking of security, it will be supermax. Street closings, snipers, bomb sniffing dogs, helicopter eye-in-the-sky, undercover officers, etc. And the Secret Service announced a list of items that will be prohibited inside the secure zone:
The list of items prohibited from all event sites includes weapons of any kind, aerosols, supports for signs and placards, packages, coolers, thermal or glass containers, backpacks, laser pointers, bags larger than 8 inches by 6 inches by 4 inches and "any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard," the Secret Service said.
Definitely no room for smuggling in those rotten eggs. I wonder if my middle finger will be determined to be a safety hazard.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The end is nigh. War? Check. Locusts? Check. Scary plastic surgery Vince Neil and wife? Check. What else do we need now...I know! A big rock.

We won't be fooled again. Link to video access to story about Ali G and that stupid son of a buck. Courtesy Joel.

Son of a buck. This is hilarious. I know exactly what type of people from the Roanoke area would show up for a rodeo at the Salem Civic Center, so the crowd reaction must have been priceless. Thanks to Joel for the link.
"Man I'm the dumbest son of a buck in the world."

Six weeks ago Bobby Rowe got a call. His rodeo was headed to Salem and a Hollywood film company doing a documentary on a Russian immigrant wanted to come too - and wanted their star to sing the national anthem.

"When he said California that made me a little bit suspicious, because there are some weirdo's out there," Bobby said.

But, the show went on. On Friday night the cowboys and horses filled the ring and the star grabbed the microphone, but before singing he told Bobby he wanted to say something.

"How he was proud to be an American, this and that and Americans have always been his idols and all this stuff," Bobby said.

Instead of saying that the guest start began talking about the war in Iraq, the United States government and sang his "home" country's national anthem.

"So, I turned to one of the people and said 'What the heck is going on?" Bobby said. He told his staff, "You get that son of a buck and get him out of here. I don't want to see him no more."

The guest star left the stage. The crowd - not happy.

"I said you go out there and you won't make it to the other end of the arena. I said these people will skin you. They're a simple American, God fearing, flag waving person."

But, what Bobby didn't know?

"Somebody said, "Well don't you watch HBO?' and I said what the heck is HBO?"

Bobby quickly learned that the man wasn't an immigrant. His name is Ali G. He has an HBO comedy show that puts his characters in some interesting situations, situations like Salem's rodeo.

"He wasn't no daggum immigrant," he said.

Bobby says he's looking forward to seeing the comedian one more time.

"Somewhere we'll run into him. Somewhere I'll see him."
"Daggum." "What the heck is HBO?" Equating skinning someone with being a "simple American" and "God-fearing." I love it.

Fired over forgeries. Four CBS execs were sacked because of the "60 Minutes" story on Bush AWOL that used allegedly forged documents. Mind you, nobody ever really disputed the substance of the story, that Shrub shirked his duties while in the TANG. Damn you, liberal media!!!

So the moral of the story is that you can use falsified documents to start a war and still keep your job. But if you are in the media, don't even think about it.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The United States military said it dropped a 500-pound bomb on the wrong house outside the northern city of Mosul on Saturday, killing five people. The man who owned the house said the bomb killed 14 people, and an Associated Press photographer said seven of them were children.
The homeowner, Ali Yousef, told Associated Press Television News that the airstrike happened at about 2:30 a.m., and American troops immediately surrounded the area, blocking access for four hours. The brick house was reduced to a pile of rubble, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene.

An Associated Press photographer said from the scene that 14 members of the same family — seven children, four women and three men — were killed, and six people were wounded, including another child in the house and five people from neighboring houses. By evening, all 14 victims had been buried in a nearby cemetery, Yousef said.
And in 22 days there are supposed to be elections in this place? Riiiiight.

Friday, January 07, 2005

This here is exactly the sort of thing that has sapped any energy that I might have had to blog about anything political these days. Apparently, Murkans aren't too thrilled about the president of the Congress they elected just 9 weeks ago.
WASHINGTON - The American public is deeply ambivalent about President Bush (news - web sites) as he begins his second term and his approval rating is lower than any recent two-term presidents, a troubling sign for his ambitious agenda, an Associated Press poll found.

Bush's approval rating is at 49 percent in the AP poll with 49 percent disapproving. His job approval is in the high 40s in several other recent polls — as low as any job approval rating for a re-elected president at the start of the second term in more than 50 years....

About four in 10, 41 percent, approve of the job Congress is doing, while 53 percent disapprove, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos Public Affairs.
As Ren would say, "You idiots!" Reap it.

So while Des is back and fired up, I just don't have it in me. I spent my outrage reserves last fall and haven't psyched myself back up for the fall of the empire. Maybe if an indictment ever comes through on the Plame case or for Tom Delay. Or maybe if Dr.Bill Frist admits that it is impossible to contract HIV through sweat and tears. But until then, I'll be looking for other things to blog about. And lacking other things to blog about, I'll inevitably return to politics.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The New Year. Both my legal counsel and I had a cold, and we stayed in on New Year's Eve. Those two statements should not be taken as being related in any way. I'm generally not a big fan of New Year's Eve. Too much societal pressure to have a good time. I'll have a good time on my own terms, thankyouverymuch. Plus, the public is out in large numbers on New Year's, and I don't much care for the public.

That being said, I can feel that this is going to be a very good year. Shit, after last year, what could go wrong? Bush can't be elected again this year. I won't eat another three Monster Thickburgers in an hour (and by the way, I see that Burger King is advertising an Angus burger, like that's supposed to make it good...believe me-- it doesn't). I don't see us being in another four car accident caused by an old lady or having our car urinated on again. I'm not going to watch "Daredevil" a second time either.

But just to be sure, let's ask the Magic 8-ball: Will 2005 be the greatest year ever? Signs Point to Yes!!!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

It's 2005 already? Seems like just yesterday it was 2004.

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