Tuesday, July 31, 2007

a fred near-anomaly

My friend Fred is usually spot-on, but he missed badly, and I mean badly,* on his latest attempt to enlighten us. I knew the guy wasn't Christian and has shown vague contempt for Christian traditions at times, but he didn't hold back in this round. My suspicion is that he isn't so much anti-Christian, as he's shown respect toward Christianity at other times, but that he's buying into the "America is a Christian nation" myth and parlaying his well-documented (and well-founded) hatred for the current American regime into a hatred of the religion he thinks it represents. But any fool can see from a casual look at the facts that the contemporary United States and Christianity shouldn't be lumped together in any slight way and that the gap is widening.

I would offer my thoughts, but it's late and Vox has already presented a short exposition of Fred's fallacies.

* This isn't the first time he's been off. Although he's usually thinking straight he's been way, way wrong before. His column arguing the merits of journalists as should-be presidents comes to mind. But still, despite the occasional wayward shot, he's almost always on target and is about as reliable a columnist as one could hope to find these days.

Monday, July 30, 2007

ain't that the truth

Another good comment from Vox Popoli:
"One of the two scarcest resources in America is maturity. The other is common sense. Oddly, these sources tend to be located together, and mostly in the nation's interior."
- Azimus

Sunday, July 29, 2007

possible upcoming trip

A friend has been planning his annual trip out west recently. I've joined him the past two years but it likely won't be happening this year. Given that the PE exam, a.k.a. The Most Important Exam Of My Life So Far, is at the end of October,* come early September I'll already be in full panic mode and trying frantically to catch up on studying and learn all that crap I managed to avoid having to really learn in school. Heck, I'm almost at that point now and it's not even August! So while the trip would certainly be a great one, the timing doesn't work out this year.

But I'm not out of the woods yet on that. Having been unsuccessful in recruiting me thus far, my friend has taken to the cheap tactic of sending me unsolicited info and pictures of his upcoming adventure, certainly knowing that I have very little ability to resist the allure of a good outdoors vacation. And depending on how much studying I can get done in the next month or so, he may just end up getting me to bite. Since he's doing all the planning for only one person anyway, I would almost surely be able to get in on the excitement at the last minute with no impact on trip plans.

There will be trilobyte fossil digging and a long hike in Great Basin National Park, but to me the real draw is a multi-day hike through Escalante National Monument in southern Utah (perhaps the most scenery-packed region in the country). I've seen pictures of this before, and I'm sure it deserves its citation in a recent National Geographic Adventure magazine as one of the best treks in the States. The place combines beautiful landscapes and views with crazy narrow passages through huge rock formations. I'm sure you've seen, at some point in your life, the pictures of people squeezing through slot canyons that are only a couple of feet wide and hundreds of feet deep. Those are often from Escalante.

Narrows in Escalante National Monument
A big downside is that the cost is, let's say, bordering on prohibitive. This trip would likely be up there in the neighborhood of my estimates for the Peru excursion -- that Escalante outfitter he's working with isn't exactly cheap. Even if I went my adventure budget would likely be blown for the year. That would kill possible opportunities for after the exam, such as kayaking in Jamaica and a cruise in the Caribbean. And given recent events and ideas I'm not sure I even have the money to spare for this one.** Tthat alone may prevent me from going. So I face the prospect of not going on an outdoors vacation, especially one that a friend has already planned out and would be joining me on, due to finances...that would be a sad day indeed and wouldn't exactly do wonders for my struggle to cope with the world as I've seen it.

So, in the near future, I have a decision to make that could end up being painful. In the interest of preventing such a nightmarish outcome, I need to get to studying. But not before once again saying that my study habits and diligence are so unspeakably pathetic I'm even amazed at myself sometimes.

* I finally got my registration approval in the mail last week. I still need to send in a current 2x2 photo -- I assume I can get this at any place that does passport photos -- and my confirmation of which exam I want to take (apparently I can register to take an exam in a field other than what my degree is in, that's actually a little scary), but I'm officially on their roster now.

** Not that such a lack of finances has stopped me from going on trips too often before. I am able to live within my means in some areas of life, but I certainly wouldn't say travel is one of them. But I don't mind all that much when it comes to seeing and experiencing things I may never have the opportunity to do again. Methinks the regret of not taking advantages of such opportunitites would far outweigh the regret of not saving enough for the future. I mean, dough is dough. May I never get to the point where it constricts me so much it dominates everything I do. Oh, wait, I'm already there...damn. How'd that happen?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

some love for john lennon

I think it's on the downswing now as far as air time, but recently I've heard Green Day's new single Working Class Hero on the radio quite a bit. I liked it the first time I heard it and I'm still impressed with it. That's very unusual for me with respect to Green Day songs. Although I enjoy most of them, but I wouldn't call them "good" or list any among my favorites or must-hear-on-the-radio rotation. But this one is different in that the lyrics have a depth that goes beyond Green Day's usual ranting and/or singing about nothing at all. I figured maybe they finally hit on something more real than their usual punk flavor. Maybe they're another example of wisdom coming with age...?

Or not. The reason this one is different is it's a cover of a John Lennon song. I only found that out a few weeks ago. Now had anyone told me beforehand I'd like a Lennon song that much I'd have had strong reason to believe they knew nothing of my taste in music or my dislike for the Beatles and John Lennon. But this Lennon guy isn't too bad apparently, at least not in this song. I of course don't like all of the lyrics, which comes as no surprise to me given what little I know of Lennon, but overall he does well. And I really like the Green Day cover of it. (I've never heard the original.) That's probably because it strikes a chord with me in a way.

Anyway, enough of my talk. Here are Mr. Lennon's lyrics:
As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so ------- crazy you can't follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still ------- peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like all the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
As I said, I don't agree with it all, but Lennon is getting at some truth there. I particularly like the third and fifth stanzas.

simpsons movie

Went to Annapolis with a couple of friends today and watched The Simpsons. I was skeptical going in, as my only other experience with a TV-based movie was the utterly horrible South Park, but this one really delivered. I wouldn't say it was one of the best I've ever seen in a theater or anything, but it was certainly worth the price of admission.

The laughs kept coming, and the producers managed to cram together four episodes worth of comedy without letting the plot drag out or jumping too much among scattered storylines. I'd say it was standard Simpsons fare, with Homer and Bart being the focus of the comedy. I guess if I could change anything I'd have taken the focus off of Homer's stupidity a little and added some more Bart, like some school stuff (which was noticeably absent), but overall I really can't complain.

I wouldn't say it's one of my all-time favorites, so I can't put it on the A list, but I'll give it a B+. Not bad for my first trip to the theater since Borat. It lived up to my expectations.

[As an added note, we went to the 10:00 AM showing. It was cheaper (but not by a lot, still set me back $7) and there were far less people in the theater house. Perhaps most importantly, there were no noisy kids, popcorn munchers, LOLers, commentators, or other annoying punks to interfere with my movie-going experience. There's no feeling worse than that which comes over you as you watch such distracting people sit down in close proximity in a theater -- well, except for the one you get when it happens on a plane, but you get the idea. And it didn't happen today! I'm all about this attending off-peak showings thing.]

Monday, July 23, 2007

i don't think so either

Quoth Vox in a recent post:
Is any comment really necessary? I don't think so.
Go read for yourself. You'll be amused but not the least bit surprised.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

let's just eliminate the middle man

I love how we keep hearing and reading this crap about how X federal program is so precious and can't be cut back because "Z amount of dollars go to state A" or "that program provides funding for Y jobs" or some equally dumb crap. Um, hello? That's our money, you freaking fools! The feds aren't just grabbing the stuff out of the air and handing it out. So where do you think they're getting it? YOU!!

Let's say you give someone your money, he pockets some and hands more out to random dudes you don't know, and gives you back pennies on the dollar. You just got fleeced, right? No, he claims, because he gave you money. But wait, he took your money and then gave you back less than he took. Does it matter that he lost a bunch in the process? Of course it does!

Or let's say you take $50 in coins to one of those change counting machines at the bank, but instead of losing maybe a couple bucks on a bad day, you lose $30 or so. Did you just "make" money or "gain" money or "receive" money? Well, if you're a total idiot or you have a bad case of amnesia, then you're overjoyed at being handed a $20 bill for nothing and the story ends there.* But if you have any common sense and a functioning memory, you realize that there's no way you just "made" $20 because you had to hand over $50 to get it. You got robbed!

Now, someone please explain to me how the government is any different. It takes money from everyone,** grabs most of it to support itself, loses more in the process somewhere, and then redistributes whatever is left in such a manner as to sustain its own necessity and perpetuate the causes for its existence. Okay...now why do we need this process? If those pet programs are so good, let's just cut them off at the federal level and re-create them at the state/local level or in the private sector for a fraction of the cost. And if they aren't so good, then let's axe them altogether.

I know, this doesn't work for every aspect of the federal monstrosity. Border states shouldn't have to foot the bill for defense of the whole. A single currency is necessary for the purpose of working with other countries (only in certain ways, of course). And there are others -- but few enough that none are coming to mind. But health care? Roads? Education? Research? Welfare? Benevolence? Bury that crap. It's all better handled at lower levels. The default should be to take care of things as close to the source as possible, and only if absolutely necessary should any issue be escalated to a higher level. Somewhere along the line the process got turned around.

* Observe that an idiot thinks this wacked system is a good thing. So is it any wonder that such a system is so popular in our country? As a guy at work put it last week, people get the government they deserve.
** Okay, it doesn't take from everyone, and it takes from people in direct proportion to how little they benefit from the redistribution. But you know what I mean.

Friday, July 20, 2007

libertarians and consipracy theories

So I've been trying to figure out lately whether I'm more "conservative" or "libertarian." I don't really align completely, or close to completely, with either. These days I'm more inclined to label myself as libertarian simply because the common notion of what a conservative is has been drifting farther and farther from true conservativism. I don't see myself as one really, but it gets closer to the mark than the conservative label does. I probably agree more with the stereotypical libertarian "I hate everything that could possibly control me" nutcase than I do the neo-con "we right, them wrong, no ask why" one.

Anyway, I've just spent the past few hours reading more stuff on Ron Paul and watching more videos of him -- that's becoming an interesting but very time-consuming hobby -- but mostly reading about conspiracy theories. This started with a Vox post about the supposedly faked lunar landing. What!? Yeah, for real, there are folks out there who think the whole moon landing thing in '69 and subsequent ones after that (by the U.S. anyway) were just staged to make America look good and justify the HUGE amount of money poured into the space program and related projects. This seems so outlandish to me that it isn't even worth taking seriously, but with some otherwise reliable folks coming down on the other side I figured I'd at least check it out.

And, well, my opinion of that conspiracy theory as wack hasn't changed. But at least it's humorous to see everyday folks with little or no knowledge of the high-level stuff being questioned pointing out how the plans don't make sense, or how the photos were obviously faked because of x or y inconsistency with what they've seen before, or how a lunar vehicle that looks like that thing in the display case can't possibly have survived a moon landing. I mean, these are voices of intelligence and expertise speaking here, right? Right...as plenty of responses written by real physicists and the like point out, these people are just grabbing for any apparent surface inconsistency without bothering to look into certain inconvenient realities like the difference in gravity on the surface of the two bodies and the limitations of telescopes and satellites in our atmosphere with regard to the size of various objects in space. This simply adds support to my own theory that some people are so eager to believe the government has duped them and is duping them that they're ready to bite on just about any supposed evidence that even suggests such activity.

Which brings me to libertarians and their frightening tendency to cling to conspiracy theories. I'm not sure this generalization is true, and maybe it only holds among the very few sites I know libertarians to frequent, but what I've seen indicates that there are a lot of libertarian nuts out there purporting all kinds of funky crap. For example, if they're right, then history as it's commonly accepted needs to be rewritten to include, among many others, the following clarifications:

* Every lunar landing by the U.S. was faked, and sloppily at that.
* Saddam Hussein never, ever had WMD's (I guess the Kurds just did it to themselves).
* The pyramids were not built by humans.
* The U.S. government staged 9/11 so they could start a Middle East rampage.
* JFK was killed by [enter the name of any person, group, government, weapon, or method -- except Lee Harvey Oswald with a gun]. (Okay, people have been recycling this one nonstop for almost 44 years now, but hey, it's still going strong.)
* McVeigh was in cahoots with [enter a foreign government] on the OKC bombing.
* And so, so many more...I didn't even get to UFO's, Pearl Harbor, etc.

Now I'm not saying I absolutely believe all of the above are false. Maybe some are true. But when the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of one position, even the most popular one, then why dig for shreds of evidence here and there that could, maybe, possibly, remotely point to another set of events? Just put aside the nonconformist stint long enough to admit the less exciting tale is the most likely one. This makes me think of people who drum up single "gotcha's" based on some far-fetched set of circumstances to prove the Bible must be false while apparently not realizing that their version is much more laughable in comparison. As they say, don't make things more complicated than they are.

I admit that I myself buy into some of the "conspiracy" stuff, but certainly not with the eagerness and devotion of those I'm referring to. For example, if every time the government is challenged on a particular requirement -- like, say, paying taxes -- it responds not by taking the easy route and showing proof of the legitimacy of the requirement, but rather by using its size to put on a show of force and strong-arm Joe Citizen into compliance, then one can't help but wonder if there are questions Uncle Sam just can't answer or doesn't want to answer* -- and Uncle Sam knows the bully in the park doesn't have to answer to anyone. Other things, like the Branch Dividian compound inferno from the early 90's, may somehow fall into the conspiracy bin for others, but regardless of what the "official" story is I don't consider it a conspiracy theory if the truth is commonly known and accepted.

In light of this, I wonder if perhaps some libertarians out there get their political bent from a general distrust of everything more than just a dislike of big government. In other words, they're paranoid of any large group and hate them all. And maybe others just don't want a government big enough to pull off all these hoaxes that they're tired of seeing. Not that I'm not happy to see them vote in favor of true conservative candidates, of course, I'm just not convinced their motivations are the same as mine or even reasonable.

* An ingenious solution would be to require any law enforcement official or agency to show proof of his/its authority to carry out a certain action, similar to a search warrant. Cops on the roads should have in their cars copies of the laws pertaining to their authority to stop speeders, control disputes on private property when necessary, and the like. I don't think many people would ask for this sort of stuff, and surely every now and then the cop wouldn't have it handy, but it'd set a good precedent. It would allow people to demand to see the law in writing without such an action being somehow "resisting authority" or whatever. And it could prevent such cases as the fiasco in New Hampshire, in which the Brown's have asked the feds to show the legal trail that ends in their being required to submit an income tax return and the feds thus far have refused. (In this case, rather than send the relevant documentation, maybe included with a "here's our proof that you're violating laws on the books, so it shoud come as no surprise to you that you're under arrest" court date, they have chosen to spend lots of money and time on surveillance and legal action and the like. Hmmn. Then again, the government is unfailingly stupid beyond comparison so maybe I shouldn't expect any better.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

another test

Just took another (short) personality test. According to this one, I am...
...the Spiteful Loner, the personality type that is most likely to go on a shooting rampage. In high school, you were probably that kid who wore all black and who sat alone in a corner of the lunch room, drawing pictures of dead babies. You are a rational person and tend to hold emotions in very low-esteem; not only that, but you are also rather introverted, meaning you probably bury any emotions you feel deep inside yourself, like all of the bodies in your backyard. Combine these traits with your dislike of others and your brutality, and it seems that you would be quite likely to shoot innocent people in a rampage. Most likely, you also have low self-esteem. Hell, I get low self-esteem just looking at you. This is only yet one more incentive to go on a shooting rampage, because you wouldn't care if you died as a result. Granted, you probably haven't gone on a shooting rampage and probably never will, but all the motivations are there. All you need is for someone to push you over the edge, calling you names and belittling you. Like me. But don't shoot me. I have a 101 mile-long knife, you know. In conclusion, your personality is defective because you are too introverted, brutal, insecure, and rather unemotional. No wonder no one hangs around you, you morbid, cold-hearted freak!
Pretty much on the money, don't you think?

UPDATE: I should be studying, but I'm doing this instead. Some things never change. Anyway, given that others besides me took the test, I figured I'd try to guess what people are. Having not read each description, I'm going mainly on gut feel for what the four categories seem to represent. So, I present to you...
Nathan: Emo Kid. (wrong, but I bet it was borderline)
Marisa: Emo Kid. (RIGHT!)
Mom: Hippie. Fitting, eh? Not a hard choice.
Dad: probably another Spiteful Loner, possibly a Sociopath.
Brian: Sociopath. Absolutely no question. I would bet my life savings on this one.
Jesse H: maybe a Bitch-Slap. Tough one.
Daniel: Class Clown. Not as obvious as Brian's but easy to pick out.
Dustin: Brute. Possibly another Class Clown, but AD&D gives it away.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

quote of the day

I thought this comment from "PORCUS" on a recent Vox Day post was great:
"I'm a Christian, I'm just not a very good one."

Well...given your money, drive, good looks, superior intellect, and incredible social skills (all potentially huge stumbling blocks) - I'd say you do OK.

But then again, its not my place to say "Well done".

I've been spiritually blessed with a poverty of all the above traits. So...I guess I've got no excuses for not livin' the life better than I do.
That last part is the best. I can certainly throw in with him on that. Another reminder that oftentimes worldly things or advantages only serve to make you more worldly. That's exceedingly hard to remember in today's world but very true nonetheless.

The Top 100 Christian Blogs List Vox links to is interesting as well.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

a hint i need to take

Might need to run up the road to REI tomorrow and score a new toy...

Some seconds of the kayak I long ago chose as the model I want are on sale for 20% off, with the "defects" being "minor cosmetic blemishes that do not affect performance." Heck, give me one of those. The thing will get stratched up the first time it hits shallow water or scrapes dry land anyway. (Out of curiosity, I wonder if these are kayaks that other people returned after putting them in the water once or twice.) But no kayak is ever without blemishes for very long -- the things are built to take abuse because that's what they do. So why not get one that's already broken in?

Now I'm not claiming to be a prophet or anything, but as far as I can tell, the only proper way to interpret this sudden discounting of the right kayak a week before I'm supposed to go on a kayaking trip is that God is making it plainly obvious that I'm supposed to own one. Unfortunately I've never been that good at taking hints, so I'll have to deliberate more...

random insane fact of the day

A co-worker (who works in a different group than I do so I don't know him very well) is getting a new "dream home" built, and word on the street is that once the house is finished his mortgage will be in the neighboorhood of $9,000 per month. That's nine thousand dollars per month. I'm not kidding. Pretty good engineer money, eh? Whatever...his wife has an MD and just became a partner at a psychiatry office. Still, though, nine grand? I like the guy and all, but there aren't words to describe how stupid that is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

test post

test post

Monday, July 09, 2007

juries gone wild #1,467,598,934

This just in...yet another jury hangs a guy out to dry by exploiting the loophole of "pain and suffering". Far be it from me to jump to the defense of big corporations and rich people, especially rich people with attitudes, but the only reasonable conclusion to that bullbleep on the other side of the link is that Allen Iverson got reamed. You can dislike AI all you want, and for a lot of good reasons, but injustice is injustice.

Back in 2005, a couple of dudes wouldn't vacate the VIP section of a nightclub (big surprise that one of those crime inducers is involved) for Iverson and his homies, so a couple of AI's bodyguards dispensed some street justice and beat the squatters down. Iverson says he didn't see the fight, and one of the two bodyguards wasn't actually working for Iverson that night but went ahead and practiced some of his bodyguard skills anyway. Both of the receiving-end guys sued, and one was just awarded $260k of Iverson's money. Read the full article for the full scoop.

There are so many things wrong with that. For one, only $10k of that was for medical bills. Granted, those are some whopping medical bills for a scuffle and show that the guy took some damage, but two hundred fifty thousand dollars for pain and suffering? Give me a freaking break. Nobody's "pain and suffering" is worth a penny, regardless of who the victim is or how much money the defendant has at his disposal. Lost wages that can be clearly documented are different, as are other real losses like property damage or, of course, medical bills. But the idea that one can attach a monetary figure to anguish and discomfort is utterly absurd. And yet it works in a courtroom. Yay, go American legal system!

Even more scary is the fact that Iverson was held directly liable for something his bodyguards did on their own. The verdict wasn't that AI told them to do what they did, or that he encouraged men in his entourage to be violent, or even that he snapped and contributed to the trouble by throwing a temper tantrum. Maybe all of that happened, maybe it didn't -- my point is that none of those were cited as reasons to hold AI responsible. Quoth the article:
The lawsuit claimed Iverson was responsible for the brawl because he failed to properly supervise Kane and Williams -- but it did not claim he took part in the fight...

Jury foreman Dave Peterson said "there was no question" that Iverson was negligent in failing to control Kane that night.
That's right, he has to pay up because he failed to properly supervise and control his hirelings. Holy crap. That borders on terrifying and is based on terribly open-ended logic. To be more specific, what the jury is saying is, an employer, supervisor, foreman, etc. can be held responsible for what those under his direct or indirect command do regardless of how much he contributes to or tries to prevent the trouble. That, folks, is total bullbleep.

Using the same reasoning, my boss or employer could be held responsible if I go ballistic in the office and hurt people, assault someone on company premises after hours, or otherwise cause huge trouble by acting stupid. So if one person chooses on his own to do something egregious, those above him are somehow accountable because...they should have prevented the incident? They should have been able to detect it would happen and gotten rid of the guy? They should have used their 20/20 foresight and had barriers in place to prevent it? I mean, how does this work? What that line of reasoning implies is that while your employee is on the job, you are expected to have absolute and total control over everything he says and does. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Once again, I present to you, in all its glory...the American legal system.

This verdict was also predictable in at least one way. As with any case involving someone or some entity with big money, there is the ever-present desire among the less fortunate to "stick it to 'em" and "teach 'em a lesson" by robbing crazy amounts of money for a questionable offense that is minor at worst. Seriously, if I were the defendant, would that scrub have gotten $250k? I think not. But, since it's AI we're talking about, and "standards" of fairness and justice are completely fluid and dependent upon the names in play, suddenly such a verdict becomes acceptable and even honorable. The plaintiff's lawyer even said it himself:
Godfrey's lawyer, Gregory Lattimer, urged jurors Monday to award punitive damages, saying the only way to send a message to Iverson was through his wallet. Jurors were told before their deliberations that Iverson makes $23 million each year.
Thankfully punitive damages weren't awarded -- not that anyone should think he didn't use the same approach to "argue" for pain and suffering compensation. But one must wonder: What does the difference between $23 thousand and $23 million have to do with universal standards of justice? Anything? Oh, I'm sorry, I had a brain lapse for a second there and mistakenly assumed that such things matter in our courts of law. But we at least have to give that pond scum lawyer credit for something: instead of wasting his time on rational arguments grounded in relevant facts and logic, he showed a good grasp of how Joe American thinks by going straight for the emotion-grabbing bullcrap that has a solid track record in our court system.

Such crap. And quite scary really when you realize that this same sort of thing could easily happen to everyday folks without huge money or name recognition. This seems to me to be a good reason to (1) not become a landlord unless I can stack the deck overwhelmingly in my favor somehow, (2) never spend any one-on-one time with any less-than-absolutely-trustworthy woman in any work-related situation and thus leave myself wide open to a trumped-up harassment charge, or (3) do any similarly fair and acceptable thing that could be trampled on by the manipulative ploys of bands of idiots, of which there are plenty these days.

Finally, let me throw the bullbleep flag on some stuff in the article I didn't get around to mentioning. Observe the following quotes and tell me if you think any of them are not ridiculous in their own way. Of course, I can't resist adding my own thoughts.
"[Iverson] said the two men suing him were merely trying to cash in on his fame and fortune." [And, for one of the few times in his life, AI is actually right.]

"Iverson lawyer Alan Milstein also said the NBA player's absence from the trial was not a reflection of his opinion of the court case, an argument frequently made by the plaintiffs." [I guess they figured Iverson had nothing better to do than go hang out in a courtroom where he couldn't say anything and would have otherwise gotten a report from his much more knowledgeable lawyer anyway.]

"'For me it was never about the money,' [the plaintiff] said. 'It's always been about holding them accountable.'" [Uh, that lie deserves three bullbleep flags.]

"'The fact he was a superstar was really not something we could consider as a factor,' [the jury foreman] said." [That one too.]
Anyone with more than a shred of confidence in today's comic relief of a judicial system, please raise your hand. Anyone...? This country needs some good lawyers, dammit. (Yeah, of course that's a hint.) Heck, at this point, just one would do. Gotta start somewhere.

* Was recently talking to a friend about such issues, and that crap is for real. (He's not caught in it, thankfully, but it's easy to look at seemingly normal situations and see how it's pretty much random fire on a battlefield -- not crap you can do at times except hope you don't catch a stray bullet. One can't help but be vigilant of what settings he puts himself in.) That's actually really damn scary when you think about how twisted the system is and how susceptible any average Joe Worker like any guy is to a claim that would inevitably go unquestioned and unchallenged. Um, down with the western employment system. [Cartman voice] Screw you guys, I'm going elsewhere.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

great day for online reading

Vox Day once again lays down some humor at the expense of one of the many groups of idiots in today's world. It'd be even more humorous if it didn't hit so close to the truth. Though it's missing the context of the full post, here's the good part:
It's a bit late for the suffrage thing, but attendance at a Take Back the Night rally ought to be good for at least five lashes. With an extra two lashes for every lighted candle.

I can't wait until women hold the White House and have the majority of the House and Senate. That will mark the end of the pendulum's swing, because within six months, they'll have passed enough Nanny State laws to spark violent rebellions from Maine to Baja California. I don't know what they'll ban first, football, strippers, beer, or video games, or if they'll just pass a general law banning "fun", defined as anything that could potentially risk physical harm or male enjoyment, but you know it will make Prohibition look like a libertarian convention held in Amsterdam.

It's a bit Leninesque, I know, but the sooner we can get this equalitarian cycle over with, the better.
I love Vox.

And Fred's article on comic books and schools is one of the most impressive smackdowns of public education I've read in a long time -- required reading for anyone who wishes to grasp how useless the system truly is. I'd even say it's one of Fred's best. Yeah, that's really saying a lot.