Neo-Hippie Ramblings - I'm a Non-Conformist Just Like All My Friends: August 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Yahoo Rankings - #1 for hating Nancy Grace

I'm now the top search result on Yahoo for the phrase "i hate nancy grace". ROFLMAO. Here's the original post that got me there.

Followup to 'Truth? Reality?' on The Cranky Liberal

The original post is here. Just yer standard "Rush Limbaugh made another asinine comment followup and here's why" post.

I just wanted to cross-post my response to one of the comments:

Cranky said:

As long as some of us are here to fight the fight, the fight ain’t over.


A lot of my friends have been really down since November; they just got terminally disgusted and unplugged from politics and from the news in general. Not me. Seeing Bush re-elected (if you want to call it that) based largely on the fear generated by an intentionally exaggerated threat made me furiously angry, but constructively angry.

Let me share a few of my beliefs.

  1. I believe that the current administration has compromised the integrity and good name of our Republic by its ignorance, arrogance and policies of naked aggression both overseas and within our borders.

  2. I believe that our 'default' view of current events is being sanitized in order to control us.

  3. I believe that our electoral process is so badly broken that civil disobedience on the scale of the civil rights movement must be undertaken to fix it, if it can be fixed at all.

  4. I believe that the ongoing erosion of the Bill of Rights places us into clear and present danger of devolving into a theocracy or a dictatorship.

But most importantly, I believe that I have an obligation to my country, my family and to myself to express civilly my outrage, in the strongest terms that I can, and to hell with whatever the consequences of my dissent might be.

Regardless of how this all turns out, I want to be able to look back at this period in time and say "I stood up for what I believed was right."

Monday, August 29, 2005

God Bless Amerikkka

Attendees of a legal gathering on private property conducted with appropriate permits and insurance are attacked by Utah police with riot gear, assault rifles, attack dogs, helicopters and tear gas. If you can't beat 'em, beat 'em, I guess. Just a little more of the kind of shit you'll never hear on CNN.

Sun Aug 21st, 2005 at 22:30:30 PDT


Originally Posted by knick evl ntnt

Last night, I was booked to play an event about an hour outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The hype behind this show was huge, they presold 700 tickets and they expected up to 3,000 people total. The promoters did an amazing job with the show.. they even made slipmats with the flyers on them to promote in local shops.

So, we got to the show around 11:15 or so and it was really cool. It was all outdoors, in a valley surrounded by huge mountains. They had an amazing light show flashing on to a mountain behind the site, the sound was booming, the crowd was about 1500 people thick and everything just seemed too good to be true really. Well...

At about 11:30 or so, I was standing behind the stage talking with someone when I noticed a helicopter pulling over one of the mountain tops. I jokingly said "Oh look, here comes big brother" to the person I was with. I wasn't far off.

Apollo's diary :: ::

The helicopter dipped lower and lower and started shining its lights on the crowd. I was kind of in awe and just sat and watched this thing circle us for a minute. As I looked back towards the crowd I saw a guy dressed in camoflauge [sic] walking by, toting an assault rifle. At this point, everyone was fully aware of what was going on . A few "troops" rushed the stage and cut the sound off and started yelling that everyone "get the fuck out of here or go to jail". This is where it got really sticky.

Article continues online here.

Video footage that the police didn't manage to confiscate here and here.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

This is all kinds of fucked up

I'll preface this by telling you about an old friend of mine, Burley. He's a Vietnam vet. Back in my college days, during summer break, I used to hang out with his daughter and get stoned just about every night. Once in a while, if we couldn't get ahold of any pot, he'd hook us up by leaning over and flicking a joint from behind his ear onto the kitchen table. Good times.

Burley was in the heavy shit in Vietnam. I don't know what happened exactly, because he didn't talk about it much. But I do know from bits and pieces of conversations with him and his daughter that he was a bad mother-fucker and was involved in some truly terrible things. It's hard to reconcile that image with the kind, gentle man I know, but I don't doubt that it's true.

He's spent the years since the war thinking about it. Haunted, repentant, and truly convinced that he is going to Hell for the things he did. Medicated, self-medicated, and, more recently, in and out of mental hospitals.

And with that introduction I give you King of Zembla's post, Porn for Monsters.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dear Children of Darfur

It is with sincere regret that I must inform you that the United States will probably be unable to intervene to stem the murders, rapes and other hideous state-sponsored crimes in your country of Sudan in a meaningful way.

I'd like to think that many of my fellow citizens in the US would probably care if they had a better picture of what was happening, but unfortunately, nobody is going to tell them. If just one rich white girl had been raped and killed there, you'd be all set. I could pretty much guarantee you a few thousand hours of primetime news coverage, some genuine outrage and probably even a swift, effective public call for action.

Apparently, though, the handful of people here who decide what's "newsworthy" don't consider the massacre of entire villages of unarmed civilians important enough to mention. Neither do they consider the rape of five-year-old girls by soldiers, or the murder of women carrying their infants in their arms by Janjaweed 'militias' to be particularly newsworthy.

Maybe it's because you don't have any oil or other strategic resources. Maybe you're just not white enough. I really don't know. But all we're given here is a ticker legend or a ten second sound bite mentioning 'atrocities' that happened somewhere far away in a land most of us have never heard of. The few of us who do know what's going on just can't yell loud enough to awaken the rest.

Anyway, the cavalry ain't coming.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

VX2 Spyware

Just spent way too long trying to get this shit off my PC. Grr.

After trying about five things, I finally succeeded by turning off System Restore, manually deleting the files that Freedom had identified as infected, deleting the associated registry entry and doing a hard shutdown. Reopened, re-scanned, and no more VX2.

I hate fucking spyware.

If I ever find the mofo who created that miserable piece of shit, I'm going to pretend to be his buddy and take him out for a night of cheap Mexican food and hard drinking. And then he's gonna wake up locked in his closet for two days with nothing but all of his clothing, a flashlight and a big jug of water spiked with Ex-Lax.

Friday, August 19, 2005

New baby

Our third daughter, Marley Grace, was born this morning at about 9 am. A short but intense labor and delivery marked the happy ending to a high-risk, very stressful pregnancy that we had all feared might end in disaster (hence her middle name). Peace and love to the world. - J

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Old comments are back

Yea! Because I really did care, just not enough to spend six hours doing CTRL-C, CTRL-V, Rinse, Repeat.

Jedi Master artesea over in the HaloScan support forums had the old comment fix posted out in a handy little javascript snippet, though, so that was that and all is well in my Blogger template, at least for now. In another few weeks, I'll probably manage to hose it up again trying to improve something else and embark on another one of those 'learning experiences' that I tend to launch with a well-placed 'oh shit'.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Does this scare anyone else?

This woman is a middle-school teacher, but she can't spell the word 'sponsor' or correctly use the word 'whose' in a sentence:

Please take a moment to assist a broke teacher to buy more supplies and visit my sponsers. Links located at the bottom of the page. I am 28 currently, I am married to a wonderful man. I have two children whos' fathers are not my wonderful husband. I am a middle school teacher. I recently quit smoking (yay me), and now I drink too much. I read a lot, and I watch a lot of movies and tv.

More Shady Accounting by DeLay -- Who Would've Thunk It?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A political committee founded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay may have improperly spent unregulated "soft money" on get-out-the-vote and fund-raising activities, the Federal Election Commission says. A DeLay attorney said Thursday the money has been reimbursed.

Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee "potentially" spent about $203,000 in soft money from its nonfederal account to pay for the political activities and administrative expenses, the FEC found in an audit.
Article continues online at CNN.

Pretty standard stuff here; nothing we haven't seen before. I'm fairly certain that if I "potentially spent" $203,000 on something I would probably know it.

Anyway, here's the line that just cracks me up every time I read it: "Everything in this audit is accounting issues," [Don] McGahn [DeLay's lawyer] said.

Um, Don, I'm not sure if you're familiar with what a financial audit is, but...

Just switched over to Haloscan

I just switched my comments system over to Haloscan, so any old comments you might have left between December and now are in electro-limbo. It's not that I don't care... it's just that the thought of restoring all those comments manually via cut and paste leaves me feeling borderline catatonic. Cause I've got shit to do, you know?

Anyway, if you're particularly fond of a name that you called me at some point, or just think that whatever you said back in February was all that, ping me and I'll restore it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Terrorist Infants Threaten Airline Security

These babies hate us because they hate our freedom.

Seriously, though, file this one under I told you so.

Trying to fight terrorism via massive, name-based compliance lists without any reasonable supporting data behind them is applied without judicious restraint, obscenely expensive and just doesn't work. Here's a thought: How about if the government's myriad of intelligence agencies were to just do their fucking job from the start?

A no-fly list is one idea, but here's a better one: If you know or strongly suspect that someone is a terrorist, don't give him a student visa to begin with. If he's already here, yank that visa and send his ass home. Spend a little more time on taking care of the known threats and maybe we'll all be safer.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Grasshopper -- Stuck in the 60s But Not So Counter-Culture

I left work Friday feeling like I'd been sucker-punched a few times (long story, don't wanna talk about it) and P. suggested that I buy myself a pick-me-up gift. I'm not generally the 'shopping as therapy' type, but it actually sounded kind of appealing. So we headed over to Grasshopper. I hadn't been there for a few years and was looking forward to it.

The handful of you who hit this site from ErieBlogs will know what I'm talking about, as it's an Erie institution of sorts. For the benefit of the rest of you, Grasshopper is exactly like a headshop, except that you can't buy a hash pipe, dildo or whip-it dispenser there. I'd include a link, but Grasshopper has zero Web-presence except a one-line blurb on the Celebrate Erie site to the effect that they'll have a booth there next week.

Anyway, at Grasshopper you can buy tie-dyes, Guatemalan-style shit, jam band tees (although I didn't see a single Phish t-shirt -- WTF, guys?), indie-label music, a dizzying array of beads, hippie jewelry, incense and static/bumper stickers. I was hoping to find something along the lines of a Buck Fush t-shirt or bumper sticker -- anything particularly incendiary would've elevated my mood nicely.

Quick aside: I think I may have wigged out a few of the stoners when I walked in, being way out of uniform and all. (Don't worry, dudes. I'm pretty sure that you're still more likely to run into a narc wearing a Steal Your Face t-shirt and Birkenstocks than you are to run into one with a buzz cut in business casual.)

Anyway, there was not a single political statement to be found, except for a few worn out Green Party bumper stickers and leftist slogans that have been floating around since the early 90s. Yawn. Big. Fucking. Deal.

<rant> There's a culture war at full pitch, folks, and the side that shops at places like Grasshopper needs a brand of ammunition that they don't, and won't ever, sell at Wal-mart. Put down the fucking bong and quit rolling the fucking FIMO beads for a minute. It's not just good politics or good citizenship, it's also good business. Every time you see a car with a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker, you're probably looking at someone who'd buy a 'Bush Lied' bumper sticker. All sorts of people are angry and disgusted, and want to speak out. Help give them a voice.<⁄rant>

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I hate Nancy Grace

I hate Nancy Grace. While her mannerisms do have a distinct 'nails on the chalkboard' effect, and her tendency to damn suspects on scant evidence is offensive in its own right, what really gets to me is the way in which she parades out the murdered and the missing in a tone that I can only describe as vampiric glee.

It's the exact same blend of feigned outrage and barely-controlled orgasmic bliss that Robert Downey Jr. captured perfectly as Wayne Gale in Natural Born Killers -- and not unlike Aaron Brown in the hours and days immediately following 9/11 , totally unable to completely remove that motherfucking smirk from his face.

Anyway, I'm not alone on this one. Check out this quote from Jump the Shark:

Without a doubt, CTV jumped when they brought that horrible obnoxious self righteous judgmental witch Nancy Grace on. She's the only person in the world that actually makes me root for the defendant. When she whines and screws up her face into that sneer, flares those pointy nostrils and rolls her eyes I swear I want to throw my couch at the TV screen. And does she know how to shut the hell up once in a while and let someone else talk? It's like eeeek! Trying to get in a word edgewise here you big mouth. I once played a drinking game with someone during her show but we had to quit because I was afraid I'd get alcohol poisoning. One shot: Every time Nancy makes some lame joke at the defendants expense. Two shots: Every time Nancy says "She's a crime victim" BTW if her fiance hadn't of gotten killed he probably would have shot Nancy by now. Can you imagine having to listen to that sickening venomous honey coated accent everyday? Oh and did you ever notice how she gives this "pensive look" before she cuts away to the courtroom? She'd be a big hit at a charity function. I'd pay 50 bucks to dunk her in a tank. There would be a line wrapped around the building for that, I'm sure.
And here are some gratuitous links to other people who hate Nancy Grace:

All Thing Just Keep Getting... Stranger
Television Without Pity
State of the Qusan

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Modest Proposal - Make Tobacco More Toxic

While I was out mowing the lawn the other day, I happened to notice the neighbor's 14 year-old kid lighting up a cigarette. It occurred to me then that the problem with tobacco products isn't that they can kill you, it's that they take so damned long to do so. So in the interest of the public health, let's make tobacco more deadly.

Sound crazy? Think about it. One day the 'next big thing' on the pop charts is in People magazine, cigarette dangling stylishly from his lip. Three months later, he's down a lung and hauling an oxygen tank behind him. Or the major league pitcher has a wad of chew in June, and a big, nasty chunk out of his jaw by August. That shit'll make you think.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Finally - a name!

Well, after nine months of indecision, we finally came up with a girl's name: Marley Grace.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

America, Know Thyself

The teacher stands in front of the class
But the lesson plan he can't recall
The student's eyes don't perceive the lies
Bouncing off every fucking wall
His composure is well kept
I guess he fears playing the fool
The complacent students sit and listen to some of that
Bullshit that he learned in school

Take the Power Back
Rage Against the Machine

I'm in the middle of reading Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen (see the Amazon link in the sidebar). Very interesting stuff.

What it is: A brief, heavily footnoted history of the United States that focuses on significant omissions, oversights and outright falsehoods in the curriculum taught by high schools, as defined by the twelve most commonly used American history textbooks.

What it isn't: An America-bashing guilt trip. Rather, it simply makes the argument that by white-washing negative events, disputed facts, complicated situations and the character flaws of important leaders, we lose the important perspective that an unbiased view of the past could give us on the present.

A few things my history teacher never told me:

  • Helen Keller was an outspoken and prolific advocate of socialism for most of her adult life.

  • 80% of the federal budget in George Washington's day was spent on Indian wars that are all but absent from the history texts.

  • Woodrow Wilson was openly racist and instituted policies that removed blacks from federal posts and set back civil rights by decades.

Anyway, it's worth checking out if you're the sort who doesn't take everything at face value.