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June 30, 2003

Judas Touch

That's the name of the song I'm listening to right now. I'm letting it's quiet guitar play in the back of my head while Mark Lanegan's voice is a gentle whisper barely touching at my mind.

If I close my eyes, I can see myself in a dark bar. A singer sits on a stool in the middle of the room, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, his eyes closed as his raspy voice fills the bar. It's a whiskey on the rocks sort of moment--something that burns in your throat as it goes down then fills you with a gentle warmth.

What the hell am I talking about? Listen for yourself.

Dial-up beware--this is a biggish sort of file.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:23 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Oh, Please, Please, Please...

It looks like Ralph Nader is going to throw his hat into the ring again. He's quite willing to play spoiler for the Democrats, although his reasoning is that the Democrats have no one who can defeat President Bush.


'It is quite clear that the Democrats are incapable of defending our country against the Bush marauders,'' Nader, 69, says. ''They have been unwilling to go all out to stop the destructive tax cuts for the wealthy. They have been soft on corporate crime. They have gone along in almost every issue except judicial appointments. They have cowered, surrendered or divided themselves.

I mean, it's not that I disagree with him about the Democrats. But if the man thinks he stands a snowball's chance in a fiery furnace of doing better than the Democrats, then he's more delusional than I could have imagined. If he doesn't realize that the only party he steals votes from is the Democratic party, he's also more amazingly brain dead than I could have hoped.

Whatever his reasoning, whatever his rationale, I welcome another Nader run. The Green Party run can only cannibalize votes from the Democrat nominee, and God bless 'em for it.

Aside from that, Nader will provide the butt for a great many jokes in the coming months.

C'mon in, Ralph, the water is fine...

Update: Jeff at Random Act of Kindness has posted some thoughts on this subject. Some I agree with, some I don't, but thoughtful and interesting. Check it out.

Posted by zombyboy at 03:53 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Muslim Culture Matters

I'm not posting this story to hold it up to ridicule, nor to condemn those whose culture differs dramatically from ours. Instead, I'm posting this story to remind us that traditional Muslim culture, as practiced in most of the Arab world, is dramatically different from ours.

This is not racist, ethnocentric, or judgmental. It just is.

A young man who would marry a young woman has tried for eight years to gain the blessing of the woman's father. The woman would marry the man if she were allowed, but the wedding cannot take place until the father gives his blessing.

Over the years, the man has done everything that he could to gain that blessing in traditional ways, and has now taken the father to court.

The young man has reason to believe that his beloved's father has violated Muslim laws in denying the request, he is not going to court to fight for the right to marry without the father's consent. Such is the acceptance of the system and the traditions, that stepping outside of Muslim teachings is unthinkable.

Keep that in mind when you consider America's debate on gay marriage--or even on the concept of "rights." Keep that in mind when you consider the barriers to successfully implementing a democracy in a country whose citizens have no concept of "rights" or courts sympathetic to the individual outside the context of religion.

When having a conversation about Christianity and Islam, one of my friends made the comment that the face of Islam is much like the face of Christianity--only about 700 years removed. There's a lot to be said for this argument. Arab states may have the trappings of modern life--cars, computers, and fast food--but their political systems are stuck in the middle ages.

Iraq, having been a secular state, is in a better position to be rebuilt than Saudi Arabia is to be liberalized. That only partially solves the cultural problems facing us as we try to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

We'd do well to keep that in mind as we face the next few years of occupation.

Read the story in the Arab News.

Posted by zombyboy at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Moral Conscience of the World?"

For world leaders, visiting Nelson Mandela when on a trip through South Africa is akin to visiting the Pope when traveling within spittin' distance of the Vatican. You just do it, play the photo-op for all its worth, and forget whatever political differences you might have with the man.

President Bush doesn't like that game and has decided that a visit to the man is unnecessary when he travels through South Africa next week. He will be the first foreign head of state to not request a visit with Nelson since South Africa has thrown off the bonds of apartheid.

Good for him.

The Independent is imagining this as some horrible slight to the great man, saying that "the world's most powerful leader will not meet the world's most famous statesman."

While I'm ready to concede that Bush is the world's most powerful leader, I'm not so sure that Mandela is its most famous statesman. I mean, hasn't former President Carter already claimed that role? Maybe that can hold a Famous Statesman Grudge Match to determine the title.

Mandela is a man of courage and incredible will. I admire his strength. Still, when the US turned its eyes to Iraq, he spoke out wildly against the war effort, said that President Bush could not "think properly", and became a cheerleader for the ineffectual, power hungry Jaques Chirac. He has yet to offer a word of support for the war effort or condemnation of the Hussein regime.

In other words, Mandela would have preferred Hussein remain in power to torture political prisoners, gas citizens, and divert oil wealth than be overthrown by an American-led coalition who want to see the emergence of a fair system of government for all Iraqis.

When it comes to neighboring Zimbabwe, Mandela has offered only the most polite criticism of the man who has run the country with such brutality and corruption. To Mandela, Bush doesn't think properly, but Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's President for Life, deserves the benefit of the doubt.

In a telling little bit of slant from the Independent, the reporter states "Mr Bush will not easily forgive a man widely regarded as the moral conscience of the world."

So Mandela is both the moral conscience of the world (maybe a grudge match with the Pope is in order for this title) and the world's most famous statesman (assuming Carter can't take that belt). I haven't seen this much overtly loving commentary masquerading as journalism since Barbara Walters interviewed Hillary Clinton.

Famous and famously-principled are certainly good ways to describe Mandela. This doesn't make him correct, though. Until he finds a way to stop playing the apologist for dictators and lashing out at those who would make the world a better place, he has no place on our President's agenda.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Little Room to Hope

The Boston Globe printed something today that warmed my heart:


The unilateral cease-fire announced yesterday by three Palestinian militant groups injects a new possibility of hope in the long-grim Israeli-Palestinian relationship. And the changed dynamic, analysts say, is due almost wholly to President Bush.

A lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace is still a long shot, but the Bush White House understands that there can be no peace for the United States until this situation has been handled. Bush's people have not been as staunch in supporting Israel's right to self-defense as I would have liked, but they've been like rocks when it comes to the largest terrorist organizations signing on to a cease-fire before talks can continue.

The seriousness of this White House, the pressure that they were willing to apply on both parties, and the quietly floated potential for US troops to take a role in stopping the terrorists all combined to give the "road map" the chance for success that does exist. The successful campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq--two battles in the War on Terrorism--also gave credence to an America willing to exert every option necessary to ensure our own national security.

It may not be anything even close to good odds, but the fact that there is a chance at all is more than I would have dared hope two years ago. Me, I'm an optimistic man--and I believe that people with big dreams and strong will can change the world.

Reagan dared to believe that we could, without directly firing a shot, cause the downfall of the Soviet Union. President Bush believes we can have peace between the Israelis and Palestinians--a peace that will lift not only Israel and Palestine, but will be a boon to the whole world.

I always put my money on the dreamers, and damn the odds.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Secret Weapon of the GOP

Dennis Miller is campaigning for the President. Whether that will help the GOP cause or not remains to be seen. It does, though, give us the opportunity to hear some great, pointed commentary from the veteran ranter.

Check out this quote about Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat and former KKK fundraiser:


"I think he must be burning the cross at both ends."

Heheh. Of course, people are reacting indignantly, but Byrd has a nasty racist past that he has yet to really explain away.

If Dennis continues to campaign for the Prez, I'm betting we'll hear a lot more of these fun little quotes. Truth has never been the friend of Democrats.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2003

Blog News

I'm sure you've already noticed, but just in case you missed it, two of my favorite sites have new looks and new URLs.

Walter seems to have given up on the rubbing of sticks and baking of clay tablets. This means, at very least, that we can now all comment on his posts. Excellent.

Kevin has also moved to new MT-driven digs and promises the same blogging wonder that he's been feeding us steadily.

Update your blogrolls, bake a cake (I'm a firm believer in blogwarming gifts), and go say "hi."

Posted by zombyboy at 08:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Quick Update

Quick update for those who sent me emails wishing me well: things are going much better with my grandpa. Much better, indeed.

The trials (quite literally) aren't over yet, but today the skies look much brighter.

The blog should be getting back to its regular schedule this week and the interruptions should be fewer.

Thanks for sticking with us.

Posted by zombyboy at 05:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 27, 2003

A Sexual Straight-Jacket

I read The American Spectator regularly, and find most of its articles to be intelligent commentary on current events. Even when I disagree with them, I usually find thoughtful essays that show me a new point of view.

What George Neumayr says in his "American Prowler" article, today, though, is just the kind of thing that leaves me shaking my head and wondering exactly why he decided to even broach the subject of sexuality. Arguing against the Supreme Court's decision on sodomy laws he says this:


The Supreme Court says anti-sodomy laws "demean" people. The framers thought those laws would discourage people from demeaning each other through the slavery of sin. It would befuddle the framers greatly to hear sodomy and dignity in the same sentence. They held that the dignity of democracy depended on citizens governing themselves according to moral standards, not according to a respect for each other's basest instincts. If citizens couldn't govern their own dark passions, how long would a democracy that relies on their capacity for self-government last? This concern made anti-sodomy laws eminently sensible to the framers.

His view of the framers may be correct. Given the context of the era in which the constitution was written, he almost certainly is correct about their views, in fact. American government was created in such a way, though, that it would evolve and reflect new thoughts--that it would always, with the care and trust of its citizens and civil servants--strive toward a more just and reasoned understanding of individual rights in relation to the overall health of the political body.

Neumayr leaves no room for that growth or for more modern interpretations of what is and is not good for the nation or the individual. He also makes an unreasonable value judgment that, at its root, is simply arrogant and offensive.


But now, in our vast modern wisdom, we know better. What quaint fools the framers were. They thought society would teeter if vice had rights over virtue. We are doing just fine. They thought -- can you believe it? -- that such consensual acts as adult incest were wrong. Now we know that "it can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring."

This doesn't work on two levels: first, you have to accept that sodomy is a vice (and, then, for consistency, it must be a vice for both heterosexual and homosexual practitioners), and, second, you have to accept that sodomy is morally on the same level as adult incest. That's an awful lot to ask.

What makes a particular sexual practice a vice? If we say that sodomy is a vice, then is oral sex any less a vice? Or how about the use of "marital aids?" What he's saying is that it offends his own personal sense of what should go on in a bed between consenting adults. The fact is, what is and is not acceptable sexually between a couple is defined by them and it is not necessary for a writer for a magazine to be supportive of their choice.

Sex with children or animals cannot, by definition, be consensual and therefore is not on the same moral level as sodomy in an adult relationship. There is also room to believe that community standards must, at some level, be respected when those standards do not impose to heavy a burden on an individual's freedoms.

This is why laws against public indecency are good and reasonable--if an individual's rights are respected in these cases, the rights of the community are ignored. What happens in a bedroom doesn't exactly qualify. In my mind, though, adult incest falls into the same category as a therapist having sex with a patient. Heinlein be damned, incest is abuse of a position of authority and power no matter the age of the participants.

Neumayr believes that homosexuality is a sin and sodomy is a vice. I have no problem with him believing that, but a big problem with him trying to force that viewpoint on me. Whatever you think of the Supreme Court's decision in constitutional terms (should they have stepped into something that really is an issue for the state?), understand this: laws that are unequally applied are wrong. Laws against sodomy are not laws against a specific sexual practice; they are laws against male homosexuality. These laws are not enforced on straight couples, only gay couples--and that's one of the biggest problems I had with the laws.

Neumayr believes that the constitution is a straight-jacket imposed on us by the framers that leaves no room for growth or movement. I believe that the constitution is a guideline for individual liberty balanced with a respect for the community that guarantees that liberty.


License won for homosexual activists is liberty lost for communities and families. As America hurtles past homosexual adoption toward homosexual marriage, who but the obtuse can deny this?

Call me obtuse, then, because I think that we're ushering in an era of increased freedom and respect for the individual. That sounds like a good, healthy sign of growth to me.

Read his story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

I'm Jealous of Dean Esmay (StumpJumper)

A couple of weeks ago I attempted to start a discussion regarding the constitutionality of sodomy laws, specifically with respect to the Texas law that was being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Although I disagreed with the law in question, I postulated that it may not necessarily be unconstitutional. The ensuing discussion was limited. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue, Dean has posted his thoughts. They are very similar to mine. The ensuing discussion is fascinating and well worth your time.

Read Dean's thought's and join the discussion.

Posted by stumpjumper at 07:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What I've Known of Marriage

(Warning--this is a long post that reflects my current state of mind. It is personal and likely of interest only to me. It does, however, have some bearing on a post I will be making tomorrow next Tuesday.)

My grandparents, after decades of marriage, are getting divorced. My grandmother had papers drawn up while my grandpa was in an convalescent hospital. He was recovering from surgery to repair his broken thigh and hip.

My parents have stayed married. Although, that's less a tribute to honor and love than it is to stamina and a willingness to turn a blind eye to certain fidelity issues.

I have friends who have good marriages and friends who have bad marriages, and no two marriages seem to be exactly the same. They all revolve around rules that the couples make with each other--rules that are as unique as the relationships themselves. The ones who can't live within the rules they agree on are the ones who get divorced.

That's what I've seen of marriage. This is what I've known of marriage.

I walked into a Firestone to order a car part. I'd been working on my car all day, trying to get the damned thing to work. I was sweaty, I had grease on my hands and on my clothes, and my hair was a mess.

There was no one at the service counter, but there was an amazingly beautiful woman sitting in the waiting area. She looked up at me and told me that the service guy had just gone out to look at her truck. Her eyes were the most beautiful I'd ever seen, and her smile was like sunshine to me.

She stood up and told me to follow her. Together, we went out and got the service man who happily took my order.

I decided to wait for the part.

I sat across from this beautiful woman and we talked. We talked about family and religion and art and music. We talked about her past and mine. And I think, right there, I fell in love. The way she laughed, the way she moved and talked--it was like there was a part of my mind that came alive when I looked at her.

Let me explain something, here: I had made a habit of dating women and girls who were either married or living with other guys. I just knew that I couldn't make a woman happy in the long run, and didn't really want to be tied down. Who better to keep me unattached than someone who always went home to someone else.

One of my oddest experiences in life was going out to dinner with two couples. I was sleeping with both of the women, each of them knew about the other, but neither of them knew that the other knew. After dinner we all went skating. Sound bad? I'm sure it was. I'm sure that I'm the vile person that you think I am. I ask for no pardon; what I was doing for so long was wrong.

But I didn't believe in marriage. I didn't believe that people were faithful. I didn't believe that I could ever make someone happy enough that they wouldn't hurt me. So why try?

That all changed when I sat in the waiting room of a Firestone, looking like a bum, and talking to Cin. For the two hours that I waited, I was in heaven. When the part came, I didn't know what to do. I'm not a brave man when it comes to women--I knew that I wanted to see her again, but I didn't know how to make that happen. I mustered all the nerve that I had and wrote my number on the back of one of Firestone's business cards. I can still see the grease smudge on the paper, and I can still feel the nervousness of knowing that I was just about to put myself on the line.

I turned to her and tried to be nonchalant. "I really enjoyed talking to you, and I'd like to talk to you some more. Here's my number. You can call me if you want."

I said goodbye and I left.

She called me the next day.

We were inseparable. I had never felt that way about a person, and I really didn't know how to deal with it. We laughed, we went places, we drank, we shopped, we talked, and we made love. It was wonderful.

And I went on a charm offensive. I gave her gifts, brought her flowers, and learned to give the best back rubs in the world. We both worked in bars, and I knew her schedule. When I got off early enough, I'd leave a card on her door at home to let her know that I wished I could be with her.

One night, she called to let me know that she had cut her hand at work. Her boss had dropped her off at an emergency room and could I come pick her up. When I got there, she still hadn't been seen. I sat with her on the bed in the hospital waiting for the doctors to deal with more important issues. She was nervous and wanted to know if I would stay when they came to stitch her hand. I told her that I wasn't sure if they would let me stay--maybe you had to be a relative.

"Not a problem," she said. "I'll just tell them that you're my husband."

I was quiet for a moment. "You know, if things keep going the way they are, I'm going to ask you to marry me."

"You know," she said, "I'm going to say yes."

A few weeks later, I asked. She said yes.

The first few years were amazing. My life, before or since, hasn't been better. I've never laughed or loved as much. I felt reborn--like I'd been washed of all the bitterness and cynicism that had part of me for so many years. I felt like I had when I was a little boy. I felt like the world was filled with possibility and opportunity.

I felt like it was okay to dream again.

A few years later--and a lot of mistakes and hurts gone past--she asked for a divorce. I'd always made fun of people who said that "love hurts." Hell, I'd walked away from more relationships than most people would have in their lives, and never once did I have to look back and cry.

When she asked for the divorce, I collapsed. Literally collapsed. It was like a hand squeezing my heart and my lungs--a pain that I couldn't walk away from and a pressure that overwhelmed me. How could she not want me anymore? How could she not want to work it out? My God, I was so lost. I ached for what I was losing. I was losing my best friend, my wife, and a future that I had worked so hard to keep.

And I was tired.

By the last day that we lived together, I felt empty. I still ached, but it was from a distance. Everything that happened was from a distance. Everything was a few inches out of reach and my mind felt as divorced from my daily existence as I was from my wife.

I've lived through surgeries and the deaths of my closest friends. I've lived through my family. This, though, I was afraid would beat me.

The fact that I survived was a surprise to me.

Now, four years later, I'm feeling mostly okay again. I'm cynical and my friends would tell you that I'm dark. In fact, when I met some of the family of one of my most recent girlfriends, her sister confided in her that I was "really nice, but he seems so sad."

That's me. I'm a nice guy, I make people laugh, and I'm always covered in a little bit of shadow. Sadness is never far from me, and my dreams are safely tucked away. I'm a good friend of my ex-wife now. She still understands me and knows me in ways that no one else has ever managed.

What I know of marriage is that when it works, it's the most wonderful thing in the world. When it's broken, it's the most difficult. It's also the hardest thing I've ever done, both in being married and in being divorced.

Somehow, I'd like to be married again. I'm not sure that I can ever feel okay with that again, though. I don't like to be close, I don't want to trust, and I hate not being in control of myself. Being in love is being able to give of yourself without reservation, and I don't know that I can do that again.

Losing is too hard.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:36 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

June 26, 2003

Good Night, Kids

A good night was had by all bloggers and attendees of the latest meeting of the Drunkards. There was bad bar food, pitchers of good cider, and shots of--well, all sorts of stuff.

Thanks to all who joined me; it was a good time.

Now, though, I'm tired and must sleep.

Blogging will be light for the next few days as I'll be in Colorado Springs with family. Wish me well. This isn't a pleasure trip.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 25, 2003

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Update: It is now time to leave the office and mentally prepare for the drinking ahead of us. I'm sure I'll be inebreblogging later in the evening. Cheers.

As our good friend Deb was so kind to point out, it is a glorious day to be a Drunkard! Wednesday is here, and it is time for our Second Irregular Meeting of the Drunkards for Economic Growth.

Drunkards for Economic Growth

Now, before you go forth and drink, there are a few rules you should know about:


  1. Don't drink and drive. Get one of your wussy, lefty-liberal, "I don't want the economy to grow", Starbucks-bashing friends to drive for you. Remember to hold the insults until after said friend has dropped you off at home.
  2. Drink.
  3. All True and Good Members of the Drunkards for Economic Growth should lift a shot in the virtual toast to Members of the Unemployed. As Stumpy said, the shot is planned for "8:00PM ZombyTime (Mountain)/10:00 PM StumpyTime (Eastern). The shot of choice is tentatively planned to be the Lemon Drop."
  4. Drink more.
  5. Women generally do not dig Drunkards (for Economic Growth or otherwise) and therefore should not be hit on this evening. It will only produce embarrassment and funny blog-entries if you choose to ignore this dictum. If you are a woman, feel free to ignore this and hit on all the other women that you want--that also produces fun blog entries.
  6. "Where's that waitress? I need another drink."
  7. Know your limits and try to not do anything that will bring shame and sadness upon the Drunkards. Public vomiting is frowned upon, indecent exposure to be avoided, and dying in a drunken incident is right out.
  8. Have a good time.

And thank you for playing.

Thanks to Chipstah! for his efforts on behalf of Drunkards everywhere--and the funniest damned I could have imagined.

Posted by zombyboy at 05:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kid Rock Doesn't Suck...

Billboard is running an article about Rock's recent USO experiences and support for the troops. I still think his music sucks, but he's done something good for the troops, and that makes him pretty damned cool in my book. This from Billboard:


The entertainer said a few of the troops he talked to were worried that some Americans were upset over the war.

"I told them that 'the people I know, my loved ones, my family, my friends, we're all behind you guys 100 percent,'" he said. "If people are behind their troops, they really should be vocal about it, because it means the world to these kids who are putting their lives on the line for us."


I'll be buying one of his CDs just to say thanks. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to know which one sucks the least.

Thanks.

Posted by zombyboy at 11:13 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

An Honorable Democrat

McGehee posted an extended quote from Orson Scott Card that I finally got around to reading today. I've fallen away from reading Card's novels (while the Ender books have consistently held my attention--especially Ender's Game and then Ender's Shadow--none of his other work has been terribly compelling) but find this particular political essay to be amazingly well-reasoned, intelligent, and honest.


Or take the Florida recounts in 2000. We still hear charges of how the Republicans "stole" the election, even though there has not been a credible case made for any stolen votes in the original count. (All the charges have been about "systemic" unfairness.)

But Democrats were openly playing precisely the same games that the Daley machine had always played in the notoriously filthy politics of Chicago -- selective recounts, "helping" non-English speakers make the right choices inside the voting booth, and making calls to elderly voters to make them think they might have cast their vote for the wrong party, so they would raise a furor about a completely non-existent pattern of error.


There are honorable Democrats left in the country, and a few of them even happen to exist in the public's view. Here's to Orson Scott Card and those like him; if the Democratic party was made up more of people like Card and Hitchens our country would be much the better for it.

Read Card's Essay.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mr. Brando?

Kari from Inkgrrl.com sent me a link to a great picture.

It must be seen to be believed.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 24, 2003

WMD: An Aside

Saddam Hussein was doing his best to develop a weapons program that included nuclear, biological, and chemical options. Saddam Hussein was equally obsessed with finding ways to weaponize these items quickly. He had a clear connection to terrorist organizations who regularly attacked American holdings internationally, and was more than willing to destabilize the region to further his own political machinations. President Bush believed that Saddam posed a threat to the region and, ultimately, to the United States.

Did the Bush White House exaggerate the potential danger in order to mobilize Americans toward a greater goal? Chris Hitchens certainly thinks so--but he also thinks this isn't such a bad thing.

There were those who favored regime change in Iraq in any case, and who thought that the WMD argument would serve as a mobilizing tool. And there were those who opposed regime change in Iraq who would not now change their minds if all the specified weapons had actually been found. (One knows this about the most prominent of the anti-war spokesmen, not only because one knows them but because they continue to carp about the interventions in Afghanistan and Kosovo and Bosnia, even though the evidence against al-Qaida and the Taliban and Milosevic continues to outpace what was known at the time. It seems only yesterday that the "anti-war" forces were complaining about the paucity of mass graves in Kosovo.) Both sides at different times overstated the immediacy of the problem: the administration by rushing into print with some recycled crap and the anti-warriors by scare-mongering that a confrontation with Saddam would bring on a WMD apocalypse.
And who knows what remnants of a weapons program that goes far beyond the mobile labs and papers may still be found? The UN had over a decade to look; the military has had only a couple months. This story hasn't even come close to running its course yet.

Hitchens goes on to make some great points about the anti-war side as a whole. For them, this war wasn't undesirable because it did or didn't serve any greater good, but simply because America (and the coalition) was involved. It doesn't matter that we've found mass graves or toppled an inhumane regime; America was the bad guy simply because it's America.

In taking Senator Kerry to task for his recent statements, Hitchens goes full bore after the anti-war crowd in his own special, vitriolic way.


It is amazingly unlikely that the Saddam regime had no plan to preserve or restart its long-standing WMD scheme, though the evidence for this may involve some complex study and not take a "gotcha" or "smoking gun" form.

The overwhelming consensus among inspectors and monitors, including Hans Blix's sidekick Mohammed ElBaradei, is now to the effect that Iran's mullahs have indeed been concealing an enriched-uranium program. For good measure, it is a sure thing that they are harboring al-Qaida activists on their territory. Will the "peace" camp ever admit that Bush was right about this? Or about the "evil" of North Korea: a demented starvation regime now threatening to export ready-to-use nuclear weapons (which Saddam Hussein, say, might have been interested in buying)? Don't make me laugh: The furthest the peaceniks will go is to say that Bush's rhetoric made these people turn nasty. I am not teasing here: The best of the anti-war polemicists is Jonathan Schell, who advanced this very claim in a debate with me earlier this month. Meanwhile, the overwhelming moral case for regime change in both countries is once again being left to the forces of neoconservatism, with the liberals pulling a long face while they wait to be reluctantly "persuaded."


Hitchens is no friend of Republicans or Bush. He's simply a clear-eyed liberal who realizes that his own party has abandoned honesty and strength in a dramatic way. He realizes that his own party is doing its best to pave the way for a much more dangerous and powerless future for the United States.

Did Bush exaggerate the threat? I think the President most likely chose the reports that were most damning while leaving dissenting opinions back in the cutting room. But I think he did it not out of a desire to mislead, but out of an honest belief that a) Saddam Hussein needed to go whether weapons of mass destruction were or weren't found, and, b) that there wasn't room for being wrong. If the worst of the reports were true, then the damage from the next terrorist attack would be far more painful than what we experienced on 9/11.

He made the right choice. And the administration's response to North Korea and Iran prove that they're not just gunning for bad guys--they're taking measured responses to different situations in hopes of securing America's future well-being.

Here's to Hitchens for being a constant, strong voice from the left that understands the dangers our country faces. I don't think any of the current Democratic candidates has such a clear vision, and that lack of comprehension is precisely why I'll continue to work against their campaigns.

Read the article on Slate.

Posted by zombyboy at 05:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Violating all the Guy Bathroom Etiquette Rules

Because peeing isn't all that it could be, two MIT grads have developed a game for men to help them control their streams.


You're in Control is a game developed around the art of keeping urination where it belongs: in the urinal.

I found myself feeling a little uncomfortable with the direction of the concept and then I read the truly scary part:

The men are also working on a networked multiplayer game. "I think that would produce an interesting social phenomenon whereas now only women go to the bathroom in groups, men might start going to the bathroom in groups as well to get a new high score," Maynes-Aminzade says. "It really would be a pissing contest."
Read the ABC story. If you must.

(Thanks to Cin (AKA Formerly Evil Ex) for link.)

Posted by zombyboy at 02:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Everyone's a Critic

This is why I don't do karaoke--I'm fairly sure that I would meet the same fate within moments of taking the microphone.


A 25-year-old Filipino man has been stabbed dead for singing a Frank Sinatra classic out of tune during a birthday party.

Read the article.

(Thanks to Drudge.)

Posted by zombyboy at 11:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

EU Says: Don't Laugh at Me--Don't Call Me Names

The EU is responding to criticism of their stance on genetically modified (GM) foods and the effect that their policies are having on developing nations by saying, "Nuh uh."


"The suggestions made by the United States are simply not true," European Commission (news - web sites) spokesman Gerassimos Thomas told a daily news briefing..."

And if that didn't clear it up for you, maybe this will take care of the problem.

"It is false that we are anti-biotechnology or anti-developing countries," Thomas said."

Well, it's good to have that cleared up. Although, maybe, just maybe, it doesn't really answer criticisms from one of the founders of Greenpeace.


In the United States, up to 70 percent of prepared foods contain genetically modified ingredients. Not only will the EU not accept them, but their ban has effectively forced starving nations to reject food aid, of which the United States provides 50 percent of the world's stocks.

Last year, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, two African nations experiencing ongoing famine, turned down thousands of tons of desperately needed foods, in part because of Europe's ban, in part because of an international propaganda campaign.

"They basically are saying it is better a million people starve to death than eat perfectly nutritious genetically modified food from the U.S. where people have been eating it for 10 years without negative effect," said Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore. Moore has since broken with Greenpeace.


Don't worry, though, Mr. Thomas. We here in the US understand that the EU will never let pesky facts and evidence stand in the way of bad policy. We'll try to keep the EU-mocking to a reasonable level.

Read the Yahoo story.
Read the Fox News story.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Drunkards Toast I (StumpJumper)

ZombyBoy and I were talking last night and we came up with an idea that we hope will become the first Drunkards For Economic Growth [TM] tradition: the synchronous, virtual toast. The idea is that we pick a time, called Resurrection Time, and a shot and then we synchronously make a toast, wherever we each may be. In the days prior to the Drunkards outing we will post a toast here on the blog. We will make the toast something general, but (hopefully) profound. We will then let people use the comments to personalize the toast so that by Resurrection Time we are in economic, drunken, and personal solidarity. We like this idea, and we hope that you will, too. Tomorrow, 25 June, 2003, Resurrection time is tentatively scheduled for 8:00PM ZombyTime (Mountain)/10:00 PM StumpyTime (Eastern). The shot of choice is tentatively planned to be the Lemon Drop.

And now, for this week’s toast:

To The Out Of Work

These are difficult economic time in which we live. We, the Drunkards, recognize the economic effects of the current unemployment rate. How often, however, do we think about the human cost? Because I am young and single I was able to move to where the work and my family were when I lost my job. Because of my mobility I was actually much better off after I was fired than I was before. Not everyone has the mobility that I did. Some have families to support or they have job skills that are less in demand. For some, the financial costs of being out of work are tremendous. From this some never recover.

Regardless of the financial cost of unemployment, there is always an emotional cost. Whether they call it a layoff, a reorganization, a termination, or just plain being fired, losing a job is a difficult thing to bear. Whether you feel rage at a far-off executive who will never know your name, lack of self-worth because you are unable to support your family, hatred for a former friend who lied to you repeatedly and then betrayed your trust, or something else entirely, the range of emotions that you can feel are powerful and negative. No government subsidy, job retraining, or economic stimulus package will ease this burden. It is yours to bear alone.

Tomorrow, while we drink deep in mirth and joy, let us remember those for whom the need for economic growth is a harsh reality. Let us keep them in our thoughts and in our prayers.

Posted by stumpjumper at 06:56 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Affirmative Action Revisited

Steve Dunn, of the excellent Begging to Differ, posted about the Supreme Court affirmative action decision today. His post is far more in depth and satisfying than my little teaser, and recommended reading for everyone who desires a race-blind society.

His view, in the end, is also not entirely my view. But his goal and hope are the same. I'm unconvinced that the Supreme Court's decision will help move us toward that goal, but I'm equally skeptical that throwing away racial consideration in these school decisions will solve the problem either.

Ultimately, what the court did was to change the quotas from an overt system to a covert system. The goal of the schools will still be the same, but the methods used to achieve the goal will be guided by the court's decision rather than the strict and obvious mathematics used previously.

Whatever your opinion might be, Steve's analysis of the decision will give you a new perspective on the topic.

Read Steve's posting.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2003

This is Supposed to be Fun...

Treacher has posted something that may or may not be directly related to the Moxie v/ Moxiepop battle--and something that I find disturbing as hell. That's all the comment I have on the subject.

Read Treacher's post.

Posted by zombyboy at 04:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Questions on Affirmative Action

  1. How is it not racism when a student is denied access to a school based primarily on skin color?
  2. When race matters more than college entry exams or scholastic performance, how can that not be considered racism?
  3. How can you tell an otherwise excellent candidate that though they worked harder and achieved more than another candidate, that other candidate will be going to the school because of their racial background?
  4. Why is this considered acceptable when the race being benefited is a "protected" minority?
  5. Why is one minority considered more needy of this protection than others? For example, African-Americans and Hispanics are protected, but, often, Jewish and Japanese students are not.
  6. If the same practices were used to make it easier for Anglos to get into schools, the practice would be legally actionable. It would, rightly, be called racism and the school would be the target of boycotts, national derision, and more lawsuits than you can count. How, then is it justifiable in reverse?

Then again...

  1. How do you tell a young African American that, even though his inner city schools failed to teach him as well as his suburban Anglo peers, and even though he's easily as intelligent as that more accomplished student, that he can't go to a school that will challenge and benefit him?
  2. How do you tell that student that even though he excelled in the classes that were offered, but did not have the academic opportunities open to him due to bureaucratic waste and incompetence, that he isn't good enough to attend that school?
  3. How can you make up for a culture of academic apathy that pervades many minority neighborhoods without allowing for the students that do care to continue on to good schools? The struggles that they face in those inner-city schools aren't something that many of us can comprehend--and the cultural differences are very real.

I don't think there's a good or easy answer to this. On one hand, in the name of diversity and righting old wrongs, an Anglo student is discriminated against on the basis of his skin color. On the other hand, a minority student that struggles against a school system that is geared not toward academic excellence but the lowest common denominator is punished because his schools failed him.

The dream is a color-blind society. The goal is a color-blind society. I don't believe that we're quite there yet, though.

School vouchers that help parents get their kids into better schools are a perfect step towards that goal. Getting kids away from the academic underachievement that inner-city public schools can engender helps push them toward achievement and responsibility.

If vouchers become the rule, not the exception, and parents exercise their right to move their kids to good schools, then in a generation we might see a real change in minority academic achievement.

The question is, what about the kids who are graduating from those crippling inner-city schools right now? Is it unreasonable to say that we may have failed them along the way and that we should give them a little helping hand?

My heart says that the court should have protected the unblemished ideal that is a color-blind school admissions policy. My head kicks me in the shins and reminds me of what I normally say about idealism: idealism blinds people to solutions while solutions bring people closer to the ideal.

What I'd like to see is a solution to the problems that brings us closer to the ideal

Posted by zombyboy at 03:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Our "Friends"

Saudi Arabia has again gone to great lengths to prove its friendship for the United States and support for the roadmap to peace. This from the Arab News.


Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal has said Saudi Arabia would never put pressure on the Palestinians or make them agree to anything against their will but would always support Palestinian demands.

?One of the conditions put by the Saudi delegation to the Sharm El-Sheikh summit led by Crown Prince Abdullah was that we would not be a tool to pressure the Palestinians to accept anything they don?t want.


Oh, thanks so damned much. While Colin Powell is trying his damndest to get Israel to stop defending themselves from seemingly endless Palestinian homicide bombers, the Saudis refuse to be used as a tool to pressure the Palestinians into any reasonable demands or requests.

Yeah. Friends.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 11:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A Path to Peace?

An oil trust fund in Iraq could bring peace. The first thing an implementation of an oil trust fund would do is prove that coalition forces a) didn't do it for the oil, and, b) are serious about setting up systems to help all Iraqis.

The various ideas of the trust fund are all based on a simple, and correct, assumption: that the massive benefit of the oil trade should not be limited to just a few large companies--Western companies or Iraqi companies. To address that, a portion of the money earned from the oil sales goes into a trust fund that is paid to Iraqi citizens in one of various ways.

All the ideas being floated are better by far than seeing a ruling elite in Iraq control the trade while watching none of that prosperity to filter down through the society. One of the ideas, though, stands above the others as a way to bring the people of Iraq into a place where they want to play an active role in a liberal, open government. A place where they will feel as if they have more than Arab or Muslim pride to support them, but a true sense of nationalism that could cross cultural barriers.

The best idea being discussed right now is the Alaska model of managing a public trust fund. In Alaska, the trust fund is divided into two portions: a portion that is invested and cannot be spent without a vote, and a portion that is paid annually to every qualifying resident of the state. This both preserves capital for a future in which natural resources are no longer exploited, and ensures that individuals are given an immediate reward for their own discretionary use.

Another of the ideas being offered up uses those same funds to set up a sort of social security system for Iraqis. A nice idea, but the benefit to beginning pay-outs on an annual basis would be to give citizens a sense of their own investment in their country--an understanding that what is good for the economy and good for the government is good for them.

A social security system would given them a promise of something far off--an annual payment will give them something now.

Iraq is estimated, according to the Washington Post, to ship some five billion dollars worth of oil this year, the majority of which will go back to Iraq in some form or another.


After commissions and payments to a reparations fund to compensate Kuwait for the Iraqi invasion in 1990, he said Iraq would likely receive $3.5 billion, which would be deposited in a fund to pay for development projects.

Bremer said he did not anticipate the creation of a dividend or social security system this year. He also said he wanted the issue to be discussed among Iraqi political leaders before a decision was made. He did not specify how much of Iraq's annual oil revenue should be set aside for such purposes.

"This resource belongs to the Iraqi people," he said in the interview. "It's really up to them."


The desire for Bremer to maintain a mostly hands-off approach is admirable. The desire to guide more than enforce is both ethically and politically responsible. This idea of a trust fund, though, deserves to be pushed and pushed hard.

It's not a miracle solution to the problems and hurdles faced in rebuilding Iraq, but it's most certainly a large step forward in gaining the trust and involvement of the citizens. If well designed and implemented, this trust fund helps stabilize an economy through down cycles and helps engender a healthy sense of nationalism in the short run.

Further reading:
Read the Washington Post story.
Read about the Alaska Permanent Fund.
Read a paper on the missteps in setting up a similar trust fund in Montana.

Hat tip to Instapundit for getting me thinking about this topic this morning.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 22, 2003

Weekend Update

Just thought I'd drop in, say "hi" and let you know how my weekend went:


  1. Bought the new Metallica CD. Can't say I'm overwhelmed. It's better than Load and Reload. Better than the black album. I liked S&M, but realize that I might have been in the minority.

    Still, there wasn't a single song that stood out and made me want to growl along with James. Not disappointing, but, then, maybe not the return to form that I'd hoped.
  2. Family. Yeah, well...
  3. The mountains here are so amazingly beautiful. In a perfect world, I could split time between a beach in San Diego and the mountains of Colorado while taking occasional shopping excursions to Chicago. If you could find me a way to live that life, I think I'd owe you a little piece of my soul. Of course, if you could throw in a Screaming Trees reunion tour and an Aston Martin Vantage Volante, you might just get the whole thing.

    In that deal, I'd have gotten the better end.
  4. Gay marriage, abortion, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. What will I be talking about tomorrow?

Posted by zombyboy at 10:59 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 20, 2003

More Searches

Someone came her from a Google search for "Crystal, 24 nude pictures from." This is in relation to the girl who's father took voyeur pictures of her. I can only assume that this jerk-off was looking for the pictures.

I'm glad to disappoint. Now go away.

Another search came in for "greece Soul Calibur." In this case, I'm glad you came by. Enjoy the site.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Loving America

Mike Potemra has posted something in The Corner that really caught my attention. It has to do with an email he received from a friend about the debate on gay marriage. I won't quote the whole thing, but this is a good indicator of the rest:


An America in which gays have "won" is not an America in which some other group has "lost" and must now be oppressed; any more than the fact that Jews, blacks, or Catholics have rights somehow diminishes the rights of Gentiles, whites, or Protestants.

This, too, is my America--the American that I believe in and trust and love.

Read the post.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

National Review's Look at Metallica

Surprisingly, Kevin Cherry has reviewed Metallica's St. Anger for National Review Online. Typically, NRO's reviews are for bands a little bit on the lighter side of rock, but it was nice to see them take on something a little bit louder.

The review is generally positive, and I'll probably be heading out this weekend to pick up the CD. There is one little thing that will likely rouse the rage of Stumpjumper. It's contained in this quote:

The CD comes with a few extras that are worth noting. Included is a DVD of the band rehearsing for their upcoming tour. Each song is included, and it's fun to watch the band at play. Obviously, the band had to replace Newsted for the tour; producer Bob Rock had handled the bass duties in the studio. The choice was Robert Trujillo, former bassist for Ozzy Osbourne. In the madcap world of metal musical chairs, Newsted is now laying down the low notes for the Ozzman. He does just fine live, though it's hard to know how he would fit on any future studio recordings.
Can you guess what it is that might possibly set SJ off?

Heheh.

Read the review.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:57 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Pinched by the PC Police (StumpJumper)

A couple of years ago I was conducting training for the junior programmers at my office and I made the comment that “there is more than one way to skin this cat” when I described an alternate method for the task that I had just demonstrated. One of the junior programmers expressed her dissatisfaction with my statement, explaining that it was “cruel” and, subsequently, inappropriate. My initial reaction was that she was joking, so I joked back sarcastically. This made her upset. It turned out that she was a hard-core animal right’s activist who published her own regular animal right’s newsletter. She demanded that I immediately stop using that phrase. Out of respect for her, I did. At the time I thought that her objections to this phrase were trivial and silly. I still do. Unfortunately, I was reminded last night of the hypersensitivity of some people.

For several years I have held adjunct/affiliate faculty positions at a couple of different colleges and universities. I teach part-time because I enjoy it and the extra cash is nice. Because computer science classes can be pretty dull I try to inject humor when possible and appropriate. One of my standard bits is to joke about the “skin the cat” story that I just related. Since I started talking about it I have received a lot of laughs. Last night, one of my students wasn’t laughing. After I used the phrase I launched into the story, described the person with the objection with terms like “tree hugger,” and then asked “Is anyone here offended by me saying this?” In all of the times that I have done this, no one, until last night, has said that they are. The question is really meant to be rhetorical because I had assumed that the aforementioned incident was unique. Apparently, I was wrong. Much to my surprise, one of my students objected last night. I have to give her credit for bravery. Considering that I had just berated the original objector it took quite a bit of (dare I say it?) moxie to object amongst the laughter of her fellow students. As much as I admire her chutzpah, I still have to marvel at her hyper-sensitivity. She was polite about her objection and said that, had I not brought it up, she wouldn’t have said anything. Since I brought it up, however…

So, folks, there you have it. It’s official. “There is more than one way to skin a cat” is no longer an accepted phrase in politically correct society. It expresses cruelty to animals and may offend cat lovers and animal right’s activists everywhere. Use it at your own risk. I won’t, that’s for sure. At least until next quarter…

Posted by stumpjumper at 08:45 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 19, 2003

Senator Kerry Loses All Credibility

I don't like John Kerry. I think he would sell his many Vietnam war medals and citations if he could just be President. In fact, I think he tries to sell them for votes every time he goes out and talks about his sterling career.

Which is to say, every time he makes a speech.

When he went after President Bush like an attack dog, though, he apparently decided to sell his credibility out, too. This man doesn't deserve the attention, the respect, or the nomination.

Drudge links to a Boston.com article which quotes Kerry as saying, ''He [President Bush] misled every one of us...That's one reason why I'm running to be president of the United States.''

That's the kind of rhetoric that you'd expect from Kerry. I don't like it, but it's not out of the ordinary. I think it's opportunistic and potentially bad politics, but in itself it doesn't really mean that much.

Then Drudge drops the other shoe and quotes Kerry from the Congressional Record from 1997, when he was a bit more hawkish on Saddam Hussein.


"In my judgment, the Security Council should authorize a strong U.N. military response that will materially damage, if not totally destroy, as much as possible of the suspected infrastructure for developing and manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, as well as key military command and control nodes. Saddam Hussein should pay a grave price, in a currency that he understands and values, for his unacceptable behavior. This should not be a strike consisting only of a handful of cruise missiles hitting isolated targets primarily of presumed symbolic value." (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 11/9/97, pp. S12254 -S12255)

Oh, so in '97 it was a good idea for the Security Council to authorize a strike. In '97 he believed there was an "infrastructure for developing and manufacturing weapons of mass destruction."

"[W]hile we should always seek to take significant international actions on a multilateral rather than a unilateral basis whenever that is possible, if in the final analysis we face what we truly believe to be a grave threat to the well-being of our Nation or the entire world and it cannot be removed peacefully, we must have the courage to do what we believe is right and wise." (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 11/9/97, pp. S12254 -S12255)

Okay, there's more, but this is enough. Senator Kerry believed we should act unilaterally if we didn't have UN support. He believed that Iraq was a clear danger to the United States. He believed that Iraq had the capacity to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.

What changed between now and then?


  1. There's a Republican in the White House. According to Democrats like Kerry, it is impossible for a Republican to be involved in a just war. Only Democrats have the power to declare a just war. Otherwise, it must have been (all together now) for the oil.
  2. Kerry wasn't trying to smear a sitting President for his own gain.

Kerry is willing to pretend that he never believed (long before President Bush supposedly misled the country) that Iraq was a potential danger to the world. Moreover, he's hoping like hell that we don't remember that he himself urged a strong military action--unilaterally if necessary.

We do remember. We do see through the attempt to smear the President. We do understand the cynical, nasty game you're playing in hopes of winning the nomination. And we see what a power-obsessed politician you really are.

And, no, we won't vote for you.

Read Drudge's story.
Read the Boston.com story.

Posted by zombyboy at 07:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dave Cullen and the Klutzy Fat Black Queens

A&F has totally got its image down. No fatties, no homelies, no misfits, no post-pubescents, no straight people. (I'm sorry. I meant, "...no gay people and no straight people not posing as a gay people.") And all models must possess the ability to impersonate athletic skill in a still photograph. It's strictly The World According to Bruce Weber. Apparently, he has no interest in having sex with aging klutzy fat black queens. Well, it's his world.
That's the last paragraph. The rest of it is even better.

I had occasion to read Cullen's for the first time today, and, by decree of Zombyboy, He Will Be Blogrolled! Looking at the murky links to the right, you might assume that this isn't a big deal.

Wrong, you presumptuous reader. This is a big deal precisely because this is the first time I've knowingly blogrolled a person who's written for Salon. I think this exception is worthwhile.

Check out Dave's site.

Posted by zombyboy at 05:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Guardian and BBC v/ Fox News

The Guardian, while reporting on Fox News and others having been cleared of the charges of biased reporting during Iraq: The Regime Change, joins the BBC in some seriously biased reporting. You'd have thought, given the topic, that the writer of the article would have done his best to avoid taking a really obvious slant.

Apparently, though, bias is only a bad thing when Owen Gibson disagrees with you; in the cause of (self) righteousness, having a powerful editorial slant is absolutely fine.

Witness:


Television watchdogs have thrown out all of the complaints they received about news bias during the Iraq war, including those against notoriously pro-war US channel Fox News.

Or, how about this one?

Fox's flag-waving patriotism was unrelenting throughout the conflict, from the reporters embedded with the American "heroes" and "liberators" on the front line in Iraq to the Rumsfeld-lauding talk show hosts back at New York HQ.

Damned unrelenting, flag-waving patriotism. Imagine Owen looking grief-stricken: "No, I'm not biased on this subject at all. What are you talking about?"

Oh, but there's more fun to be had.


Fox's star interviewer, Bill O'Reilly, told viewers the US should go in and "splatter" the Iraqis...

Hey, wait, whatever you think of O'Reilly, note that he isn't paid to be objective. He's a talk-show host and he gets paid to be an opinionated loudmouth. What's your excuse, Owen?

As if to prove his stance on the subject, Owen gives equal time to those expressing his exact same viewpoint.


The BBC director general, Greg Dyke, last month hit out at the "gung-ho" stance of Fox News and other US news providers during the conflict.

"Commercial pressures may tempt others to follow the Fox News formula of gung-ho patriotism, but for the BBC this would be a terrible mistake. If, over time, we lost the trust of our audiences, there is no point in the BBC," he said.


Of course, the only acceptable point of view for a BBC "journalist" (God, I love using scare quotes) is, of course, anti-American. The BBC almost made the beloved Baghdad Bob seem reasonable by comparison.

Alright, I'm being a little unfair. Fact is, Owen does give time to the ITC (a media watchdog organization) findings concerning Fox and notes that Fox does have some politically diverse shows. He does make a vague attempt at showing the other side, but only after using some pretty loaded terminology to describe Fox and its reporters.

Fox is slanted in its policy. There is no doubt about it--but its reporting seemed pretty reasonable and it does quite a bit to counter the liberal spin given by most mass media outlets.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Welcome Sage...

...to his brand new blogging home. He's made the leap and ready to blog up a storm.

Go say hi.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Searching for Marla

Someone just got here after searching Yahoo.com for Marla Sokolov pictures.

I don't like to disappoint, so here ya go...

Some picture of Marla



Some picture of Marla

Posted by zombyboy at 11:26 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Vodka Pundit v/ Hillary

I hate the fact that this stand-by-your-man's-coattails shrew is considered a feminist icon. I hate her blithe assumption of your and my lack of intelligence, or even simple memory. I hate her clumsy, self-serving, supposedly-self abnegating grabs at power. I hate the fact that this Faustian-bargain bin bitch holds herself up as a paragon of virtue. I hate even more that people, too many people, buy her act. Mostly I hate that she'd hate all of us masses, if only she could be bothered to notice us from time to time as something more than tax-coughing-up drones to be directed to the better (read: "her") good.
Whew. That was nice.

Read the rest. It's fun.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

End of the Dream

I've never been a big fan of Kid Rock. The music just really isn't there for me--it's just too derivative and too typical, in my opinion. I'm feeling for the Kid right now, though.

Kid Rock is living the redneck dream, I always told my friends. Look at him--he's got the grand deluxe double wide, the cars, money enough for more beer than he could ever possibly drink, and the redneck dream babe. Pamela has had way too much work done to appeal to me; I like women who look like human beings, not living Barbie? dolls.

I recognize that rednecks think that those Barbie? looks are pretty special. The bloated, basketball-like breasts, the sculpted nose, the perpetually pouty through some miraculous medical procedure lips all combined with peroxide blond hair to create the "ideal" redneck babe. And Kid Rock had her.

Had. Past tense.

My sympathies go out to the couple and all their redneck dreams.

Read the story on CNN.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 18, 2003

More Thanks to Chipstah!

Notice the Drunkards poster on the left--it will be in place until the grand event has passed. Much thanks to Chipstah! (I really just like writing out the whole name) for the quick work.

Feel free to download and use the graphics on your own sites, but give credit to Chipstah! for his efforts on behalf of drunks and lushes everywhere.


Drunkards for Economic Growth

My hope is that groups of Drunkards spring up everywhere in America--drinking to Zombyboy while spending their hard-earned money on booze.

God, what a beautiful dream.

Posted by zombyboy at 03:03 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

A Spirited Chipstah!

Chipstah! has the holy spirit. No, not in the religious sense. I mean, the guy has figured out how to best get across the message of the Drunkards for Economic Growth.

Don't believe me?

Check it out. Get ready for a party. Get ready for stupid, fun, exuberant economy lifting drunkenness!

I'm getting all excited.

Posted by zombyboy at 11:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mark Morford: Complete Freakin' Idiot

Today, Mark Morford aims his meager, frustrated talent at Wal-Mart.

I'm no great defender of Wal-Mart--I don't shop there, it's bland, it's cheap. Being the snob that I am, I would much rather bankrupt myself at Saks. But Mark Morford demonizes Wal-Mart to a point that is laughable, all the while harping on the old line that Wal-Mart "censors" artists.

This just shows that Morford, like a great big honking section of American society, doesn't really understand censorship.

This is Wal-Mart. The glorious consumer mecca, the epic wonderland/wasteland of prefab landfill merch, not only the world's largest and most powerful retailer and the most aggressive snarling frightening happy-place marketer and quite possibly the most hideously overlit soul-draining monster empire you will ever know in your entire lifetime, but also the very multibillion-dollar pseudo-Christian kingdom that censors their offerings and refuses to sell certain music CDs and bans "risqué" beer-'n'-babes mags like Maxim and FHM and Stuff, because, you know, pretty girls are evil.
Oh, Jesus, not only is his work over-written and hysterical, but he doesn't even acknowledge that by refusing to carry a product, Wal-Mart isn't actually censoring anyone. Wal-Mart also doesn't censor CDs. Instead, their buyers decide that a CD doesn't live up to their standards and they offer the artist a choice: either don't distribute through Wal-Mart or make a sanitized version. That isn't censorship, it's deciding what to put on shelves of a store.

If a natural foods store decides not to carry Captain Crunch because of the contents of the food product, then is General Mills being censored? And, yes, it's exactly the same thing; the store chooses, by its own standards and requirements, what to put on its own shelves. Lose the talk about censorship, Mark, it doesn't fly.

Morford even acknowledges that "it shouldn't matter." Then he goes on to explain precisely why it does matter--sorry for the size of the following quote, but Mark doesn't really write concisely, does he?


Here is why it matters. Here is why you should care. Because Wal-Mart is not merely a store. Wal-Mart is not merely a hollow and deeply frightening Christian-values mega-retailer that makes you feel like you need a karmic shower and soul de-lousing immediately upon exiting the vacuum-sealed whooshing glass doors.

Wal-Mart shapes ideas. They affect mind-sets. They influence cultural perspectives. This is frightening and wrong. They ban (or "sanitize") the latest Marilyn Manson CD? They don't carry Maxim? Then for 100 million benumbed Wal-Mart regulars, Marilyn and Maxim might as well not even exist. Why not choose a nice issue of, say, Guns & Ammo and the new Shania Twain instead? There there, Timmy. Now hush up and let Daddy buy some bullets and a vat of Cheez Doodles.


See? Wal-Mart has to carry magazines with naked women for the kids.

(Completely and utterly unrelated: The only time I liked that line was in Hudsucker Proxy. "You know, for the kids.")

Wal-Mart has an obligation to carry things that its owners (and, if success is any measure) and customers find offensive so that children will be exposed to a wider variety of--well, of sexually charged magazine covers and profane lyrics.

Here's how he closes out his article:


Wal-Mart is, in short, deciding what America needs based on the shockingly uptight whims and intolerant perspectives of the hard Right. This is why you should worry. This is why you should care. The arbiter of taste for much of the country is not the media. It is not the movies. It is not Britney or Keanu or MTV.

It is a giant suckass superstore, one that aggressively works every single day to drain out any semblance of voice or personality or alternative viewpoint and works harder than any other company in the nation to kowtow to the masses and keep the nation in a nice big hole of casual blind lockstep sameness without the nation even knowing any better. Ah, just like BushCo. Just like America.

Except, you know, cheaper.


Of course, what he's actually saying is that the arbiter of taste for much of the country should be Mark Morford, not this darned soul-killing "suckass superstore." He decries the arrogance of Wal-Mart for deciding what not to offer at their store and then arrogantly declares what they should be carrying.

Mark, just stick to your side of the trailer park, and Wal-Mart will stick to theirs. Me, I'll just go buy some over-priced crap at a capitalist institution that Mark would hate nearly as much.

Lord & Taylor's here I come.

Read the execrable piece of shit that is Mark Morford. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:22 AM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

June 17, 2003

Sex B Gone [TM]

Assuming you never, ever wanted to get laid again, you, too, could join in the first annual US Air Guitar Championships.

Wildly gyrating, sweating, and pretending to be a rock star while thrashing at an imaginary musical instrument isn't just stoned/drunken fun anymore. No, sir, it's about never, ever again having someone of the opposite sex take you seriously.

One contestant had the right attitude, though:


“Other contestants might tell you that you need a certain flair and physical dexterity to compete, but that's all bullocks,” he said. “The key is a supreme sense of just how absurd life can get and drinking all the contents of the mini-bar 20 minutes before you go on stage.”

For this, the contestant is given honorary membership in the Drunkards for Economic Progress.

Read the Fox story.

Update: Venemous Kate did, indeed, blog about air guitar competitions--only hers was in Australia and didn't include gratuitous quotes from certifiable alcoholics. Read the Venemous One.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Second Irregular Meeting of the Drunkards

There I was, cruising Chipstah!'s new site, and, lo, what did I see? A mention of the Drunkards for Economic Growth!

And I started thinking: have I done everything in my power to help the economy lately? Have I been a good Drunkard?

My friends, I have been remiss in my duties as the head Drunkard, and I must make things right. It is my great pleasure to announce another round of economy-sprucing drunkenness, and I invite you to take part in the festivities.

Next Wednesday will be the Second Irregular Meeting of the Drunkards for Economic Growth. Let me know what you'll be doing via comments or email and I will post a follow-up next Thursday. In an attempt to bolster the flagging telecom industry, I will make drunken calls to all members who send me their names and phone numbers. Unless of course, I can no longer push the buttons at some point in the evening.

Remember, one beer helps, but a six pack helps more. Drink American booze, eat American junk food, and don't buy drinks for the girl at the end of the bar.

She's not going home with you. Trust me.

Posted by zombyboy at 07:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Incredible Exploding Computers

Update: Nathan has a great post on this subject. Long, but worth the read.

Or, at least, that's how I envision Senator Orrin Hatch's plan to target the computers of users who download right-protected material.

As reported by the Washington Post:


The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.

Orrin, you're scaring me. Stop.

No, you file trading freaks out there, information does not want to be free. Information doesn't want anything. Copyright holders have a right to defend their property, but this is going a little bit over the top. Punishment for crime should never be out of proportion with the crime itself--and the individual down-loader hasn't caused much in the way of harm.

There is a big difference between Hector downloading a song for his own use and a CD market in an asian country selling bootleg copies of software or music for profit. The RIAA doesn't recognize this difference, and neither does the good Senator, apparently.


He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."

The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said.


Orrin must own a freakin' record company. I mean, if it's all about prevention, then we should destroy the homes where these damned, illegal down-loaders live. I bet that'll stop 'em.

File trading is not destroying an industry. The industry has hurt itself by not recognizing the need to diversify musical offerings, by not understanding the need to adopt new technologies for the delivery of music, by releasing fewer albums for consumers to purchase, and by not realizing that they need to offer customers better value for their dollar.

In fact, the industry continues to make money. Take this report from the UK:


According to their statistics, UK sales of CD albums actually increased by almost 7%, from 1.05 billion in 2000 to 1.12 billion in 2001, despite a quoted increase of 34% in UK commercial pirate sales, from 20.50 million to 27.55 million. (Source: BPI Piracy Report, June 2002.)

The BPI is unable to provide any figures for revenue it claims was lost because of internet file-sharing during this period, but the claim that internet file-sharing resulted in significant loss of revenue means that, with no illegal downloads, CD album sales would have increased by much more than the 7% actually recorded.


Hey, it gets better when it is pointed out that file trading may actually help encourage listeners to go out and buy full CDs.

...the number of albums being released worldwide by the record industry has fallen in recent years, by almost 20% between 1999 and 2001 (source: Recording Industry Association of America). It is hardly surprising that sales growth has slowed just as issues of new recordings have declined.

In fact, there is considerable evidence to suggest that on-line file-sharing has contributed to the growth in CD sales described by the BPI's own figures. As the RIAA's then president Hilary Rosen discovered when she surveyed members of the Oxford Union in October 2002, the majority of file-sharing users bought more CDs even after downloading tracks. And according to surveys in the US in 2000, between one-third and two-thirds of file-sharing users were more likely to buy CDs after listening to tracks downloaded from the internet (sources: Yankelovich Partners, Jupiter Research, Wall Street Journal).


Does this completely excuse file traders? No. Of course, what they're doing is illegal (like, for example, posting a song from a beloved artist for every visitor to this site to download freely is obviously illegal).

But do their actions warrant attempting to render their computers unusable? Or to consider a congressional exemption for record companies in their fight against file traders? I'm thinking not.

Read about Senator Hatch's statements.
Read the Piracy Myth text.

Posted by zombyboy at 05:42 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Hey, Cool!

The Magic Liberal Infinity Ball. Ask it policy questions, ask it social questions, ask it if Nemo will still be in first place after The Hulk opens up this weekend.

And after playing with the Infinity Ball for a bit, I got to generate some fun hate mail, too.


Dear magc 8 ball,

Not only is the Liberal Ball not funny, but it is also not Beautiful or Intelligent. In fact, it is the most foul thing I have ever seen.

You clearly are not informed about current events if you are criticizing liberals. Few would argue with the fact that it is republicans who are ultimately responsible for the Private Lynch story and the looting of the Iraq museum.

Just keep blindly listening to whatever crap Jonah is saying this week, but don't blame us when bombing of Hiroshima happens again!

You are a moron,

zombyboy


Hey, it's a slow news day...

Posted by zombyboy at 01:55 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Women 1, Scumbags 0 (StumpJumper)

A few weeks ago, ZombyBoy wrote about a video voyeurism case in Massachusetts that had an unhappy ending. The perp (the woman's father) was never charged because he broke no laws. Yesterday, Governor Pataki of New York and the NY legislature came to an agreement on a new, soon to be signed law that makes video voyeurism a felony. Such a law would seem to be obvious, but few (if any) states have one. Congratulations to these law makers for doing a great job. Let's hope that this starts a trend for the rest of the country.

Posted by stumpjumper at 11:12 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

NRO Bleg-a-thon

National Review Online wants your money.

The fund raising effort over at Andrew Sullivan's joint was so inspirational that NRO decided to follow in the footsteps. I didn't give to Andrew (mostly because I don't think he's quite worth it), but I'll be donating a bit to NRO.

Lemme explain. Not only do I get the fun blog at The Corner, but I also get some of the most brilliant and interesting political commentary available on the Internet. David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, and Jay Nordlinger are among my favorite authors. This is definitely worth supporting.

My subscription to the Dead Tree edition is only half the fun, so it will be only half of my donation to the cause.

Donate to NRO.
Subscribe to the Dead Tree edition.

PS- If you look through The Corner really carefully, you'll also find a message from Bruce Banner to Nemo. In case you were wondering.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:17 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Triumphant Return

And while we're on the subject of bloggers--Vodka Pundit has finally returned. I was starting to worry that maybe he'd been lost to some terrible kitchen accident.

We missed ya.

Welcome him back to the 'sphere.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

She's Movin' on Up

Our friend, Amy, has made the move from Blog-City to her own domain. She gives thanks to Dean, myself, and Stumpjumper, but I'd like to publicly acknowledge the efforts of the other two--I just had to shuffle a few emails around, stand back, and let others take care of everything.

Big congratulations to Amy.

Now, go say hi.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2003

"Hot Zombie Love"

"Hot Zombie Love" was the title of the article. I asked myself, "How could I resist?"

Next time I ask that question, remind me to resist. Hard.

This article by Maureen Dowd is not about women desperately seeking Zombyboy. No, it is an article about the remake of the Stepford Wives and has all the typical slant that you'd expect from a Dowd article.

Next time I see an article about "Hot Zomby Love" (misspell it right, fergodsake), I want to hear about how all the women in the entire blogosphere have fallen deeply and madly in love with my mind. Anything else is just a tease.

Click only if you have some strange desire to hear more about a movie that didn't really need to be remade.

Posted by zombyboy at 08:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Daniel Lanois News

I bought the new Daniel Lanois CD, Shine, over the weekend and will be posting a full review of it later in the week. I want to make sure I give it time to sink in before I comment on its value.

I wrote about this CD with great excitment some time ago. I had hoped that it would be a worthy successor to his previous CDs For the Beauty of Wyonona and Acadie. I have to admit, I'm feeling just a tad underwhelmed at this point...

Posted by zombyboy at 04:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

We Needed a Study For This? (StumpJumper)

Every once in awhile I read about a legitimate research study that could have been answered for a lot less money if the researchers would have simply walked out of the lab and had conversations with a few people in the real world. I read about one such study today. This particular study was conducted by “Meredith L. Chivers, a PhD candidate in clinical psychology at Northwestern and a psychology intern at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto." What, you may ask, did Ms. Chivers discover from here study? She discovered, simply, that "women's sexuality differs from men." As a side note, she also discovered that “Men show their greatest sexual arousal to the categories of people with whom they prefer to have sex. With respect to sexual orientation, heterosexual men experience much higher ... arousal to women than to men, while homosexual men show an opposite pattern." On the bright side, she also “found that women, regardless of their sexual orientation, are aroused by erotic images of both men and women." Of course, they proved that on The Man Show last night, for those of you lucky enough to watch.

Again, I ask, did we really need a study for this?

Read about the rest of Ms. Chiver’s findings.

Posted by stumpjumper at 10:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Breaking News

Hatfields and McCoys end feud.


Descendants of the Hatfield and McCoy families gathered Saturday in Pikeville to sign the truce, making a largely symbolic and official end to a feud that had claimed at least a dozen lives from the two mountain families.


The Hatfields and McCoys can write? I'm shocked.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:44 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

France: It's Hard Being This Wrong

Everyone knows that France's cultural cache has slipped a bit in the United States. You know you've hit bottom when one of the funniest lines in this year's The Simpsons is mother Marge chastising their dog for failing to save Homer from a burning tree house with these words: "I'd expect this kind of behavior from a French poodle, but not an American dog..."

With all the, ahem, diplomatic exchanges between American and French politicians, and with a weaker dollar, the French tourist industry is feeling a serious slump. What do you do when you need to give an industry a quick boost? Hire a celebrity spokesperson, of course.

Only, problem is, the French hired Woody Allen.

Woody is supposed to, somehow, encourage Americans to start flying to Paris and enjoying the sites again. Unfortunately, they seem to have sort of misunderstood the place that Woody holds in America--less as a current, vital celebrity-artist and more a resident, freaky, perv filmmaker.

Sort of a Roman Polanski, only with less talent and the intelligence to have waited 'til she turned eighteen, fergodsake.

Couldn't they have gotten Brittany Speers? I mean, her career seems to have tanked, and they would've appealed heavily to everyone from my friend OpinionEngine to Bob Dole. I'm betting she could've used the cash.

Instead, we'll be faced with a pruned and whiny little New Yorker with his patented Woody Allen mousy, irritating delivery telling us this:


"Recently there has been a lot of controversy between the two countries, and I would hope that now they could put all that behind them and start to build on what really has been a great, great friendship," he said in the video.

"And I will not have to refer to my French fried potatoes as freedom fries and I will not have to freedom kiss my wife when all I want to do is French kiss her. So let's pull together now."


Freedom fries are fair game, I'll admit. But by even mentioning French kissing, all I can think of is this old man sticking his tongue down his (former) daughter's throat. Technically, this calls for a full body shudder, a scrunched face, and a really loud "ewww."

Other stars appear in the French tourism-building video, but Woody seems to be getting all the press. Kind of the same way I won't give a roadside sobriety test a second glance, but I have to stop and gawk at all the really good accidents with the other citizens.

Read the story on the BBC.

Full disclosure: I'm not sure that my Marge quote is correct--I was working from memory. If anyone could verify, I'd be grateful.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 15, 2003

"Lyric a Day Melee"

I entered a song into Arguing with Signpost's Lyric a Day Melee, and today is my day. Want to see what I sent in?

Then head on over to Arguing with Signs to find out.

And if you'd like to take a listen to the song, then here you go:

Listen to "Ugly Sunday."

Posted by zombyboy at 10:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why We Love Montana...

Tonight I met Craig from MTPolitics, his wife, and their two kids. It would be hard to imagine a nicer, more friendly, and generous family. Definitely good people (and the fact that MTPolitics is one of my favorite blogs is just a bonus).

Much thanks to them all for a fun night out and for the Moose Drool beer. I'm looking forward to seeing them all again--and hopefully soon.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pixar Uber Alles

Pixar's Finding Nemo crawled its way back up to the number one position this weekend, at least in part because of the Father's Day implications of a move about a father searching for his lost son. The other reason it's on top, though, is the sheer magic of Pixar Studios.

Finding Nemo is a wonderful movie. Better than Monsters Inc., as good as Toy Story and Bug's Life, and almost as good as Toy Story 2. The seascapes are vivid and perfectly framed--not just beautifully drawn, but beautifully considered in the sense that the shots are given a cinematic scope that absolutely rivals any live action movie I've ever seen.

The characters are warm and emotive, each with a vibrant personality and superb voice work. Ellen DeGeneres almost manages to steal the whole movie with her off-beat characterization of a fish with some interesting mental issues. Albert Brooks, an actor I've never cared for, is somehow perfect as an over-protective father learning to let his son live his own life.

As stories go, I'll admit that there aren't too many real surprises in the plot. You may not know the specifics of what's coming up, but you'll certainly know the general direction. That's okay, though, because the story moves with a flourish--it's not a short film, but it moves quickly and with great humor, drama, and a sense of timing.

If you haven't seen it yet, go now. Finding Nemo just proves that the real heirs to the heart and creativity of the greatest Disney movies are at Steve Jobs's second company.

Posted by zombyboy at 02:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

MovableType Cheats

Lockergnome has a link to a very cool cheat sheet of all the MT tags (the special tags inserted in the MT XHTML templates that define the site's functionality). If you're finding it difficult to wade through the tags, or wanted to add some functionality, this page has the tags and a definition of each tag's function.

Quite useful--in fact, I'm putting the link on the blog so I'll remember where to go to look stuff up.

Check out the cheat sheet.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

C'mon and Rock the Vote

I love Homer Simpson--but only as a humorous example of nearly everything potentially bad about a prototypical American male. Frighteningly, at the BBC, Homer is leading in a poll of Greatest Americans (from an unfortunately limited list) with a total vote of 47.5% of the vote (more of the popular vote than Clinton ever got, if I remember correctly (although I fully realize I could be wrong (but I don't think that I am))).

Anyway, help sway the vote. I voted for Lincoln, but there are a few other great possibilities on their list--Mr T, for example.

Go vote.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 14, 2003

Treacher Day

I declare this day to be Treacher Appreciation Day. He's had a really tough week and, to top it off, it's his birthday. Drop by over there and give him some love.

Go now...

Posted by zombyboy at 10:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 13, 2003

Of Redistricting and Racial Gerrymandering

In Texas and in Colorado, Republicans have used local government majorities to draw up new district lines designed to ensure Republican dominance in elections. I think this is dirty politics (just as dirty as hiding away in a neighboring state and holding legislative bodies hostage because you know you're about to lose a vote) and I think this is bad politics. Often, this sort of very bold redistricting causes backlash among voters who see it as the cynical power-play that it is.

What bothers me, though, is the Democrat's continued self-righteous anger over the subject. See, the Dems want you to believe that when Republicans do this, it's selfish redistricting. When Democrats do it, it's a selfless attempt to redress racial wrongs.

How utterly contemptible.

Democrats don't draw lines based on obvious political power. Democrats draw the lines based on racial power. The Democrats know that throughout America, a district that is home to overwhelmingly black or hispanic citizens is far more likely to vote a Democrat into office than they are to vote Republican. So, in the guise of wanting to represent minorities more accurately, instead of representing an overall neighborhood, districts are drawn with the tiniest of connecting threads with the understanding that this will create a new Democratic bloc of voters. Read this from Adversity.net:


"The Supreme Court's decision yesterday culminated a legal battle that began in 1992 when North Carolina created a 54.7 percent black district snaking through the central part of the state. At one point, only a stretch of Interstate I-85 connected two black sections of the state.  Opponents of the North Carolina districting plan sued, and in 1993, the Supreme Court struck down that earlier version of the 12th District.

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, joined by the court's conservatives [in the 1993 opinion], wrote for the majority that the oddly shaped district embodied unfounded assumptions about how blacks and whites vote, and that racial gerrymandering threatened to "balkanize" the country."

And this is less cynical than the Republican redistricting precisely how?

Districts need to be drawn that represent overall communities, no matter what the racial mix or voter registration. When done by Democrats or Republicans, it isn't wise politics or accurate representation, it's cynical power-grabbing that does more damage to the parties and to the representation of communities than it does any good.

Democrats need to cut the "poor little me" act, though, and recognize that Republicans are simply starting to use tactics that Democrats had used for years when they had the opportunities to do so. An honest assessment of their own actions would go a long way in giving them credibility when discussing Republicans.

Further reading:


  1. Read about legal battles over gerrymandering.
  2. Read Rep. Mark Udall's (D-Col) article in the Rocky Mountain News.
  3. Scroll down a touch to see some very interestingly shaped districts.
  4. The Wikipedia short history and definition of gerrymandering.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Another Brawl in the Works

Because Friday is for relaxation:

First, it was Moxie vs. Moxie (no, I don't want to talk about it), now it's PUCE vs. PUCE in the grudgematch of the century.

Treacher once again proves that he may be the funniest man in the blogosphere.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:30 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Origami

Order your very own Origami Boulder with original haiku.

Puce would be proud.

Intrigued?

I send you wadded paper with Priority Mail. It is fast with nice free box from Post Office.

Post office worker tell me, "Don't take so many free boxes! You must order them online from USPS! Other customers mad when you take them all!" I laugh and yell, "It says free, bureaucrat!! What you expect, dumb dumb?"

Update!!!! Wall Street Journal article on 5/29/02 say that Priority Mail is ripoff and doesn't arrive faster than First Class mail. This is outrage from post office lazy people. I complain today at post office and they laugh and pretend article isn't true. Who you believe, slow postman or Wall Street Journal? Now maybe I buy special boxes and send First Class instead of wasting money on Priority Mail. I make most efficient decision for customer benefit.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

News from the World of Venemous Kate

You'll just have to go and see for yourself, though...

Read how Kate will be modifying the ol' vodka intake.

Posted by zombyboy at 11:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Public Thanks *Sniff* I Told Myself I Wouldn't Cry *Sniff*

Now that the new blog home is moving forward rather nicely (and, yes, I know I still have some work to do), it's time for some public thanks to people who helped get it off the ground.

First, and foremost, monumental thanks to Dean Esmay for helping me and quite a few other bloggers make the leap from one of the blogging services to a much more impressive new home.

Second, to my partner in crime, Stumpjumper, for a great script that made importing the archives from Blog-City into MT a snap. Every comment in place and with body, extended entries, and excerpt. Thanks, pal, that was a very impressive bit of work.

Third, to Matt Moore for pushing this site with his readers and helping me out from the beginning.

Lastly, since I've made the move I've discovered quite a few other sites that are now linking to me. I'm not going to list them all in this entry, but they've all been added to my blogroll with thanks for finding this site worth telling your friends about.

Thanks, everyone, for keeping this fun.

Posted by zombyboy at 11:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Give Blood (StumpJumper)

You would have a hard time realizing it by reading the news, but America is in day 11 of a nationwide blood emergency. This means that there is only a one-day supply of blood on reserve. Since someone new needs blood every two seconds, this is bad. What is good, however, is that you have a chance to help. I am not a model citizen or a model human being, nor am I likely ever to be. I am selfish, arrogant, egotistical, abrasive, megalomaniacal, annoying, and just not very nice. I can, however, say with pride that I have been a regular blood donor since I was 18 (that’s 15 years now, for those of you who are curious). Giving blood is painless, costs nothing, and saves lives. I just did it this morning, as a matter of fact, so I know from whence I speak. If you have never given blood but you are eligible (there is no valid medical situation preventing you from giving blood) then you should be ashamed of yourself. Fortunately, it’s not too late for you. The Red Cross is currently conducting the largest-ever nationwide blood drive. So, get off your butt and go give blood. Now.

If you are in the Cleveland area, here is a list of donation places and times.

Read a Cleveland NewsNet5 story about the blood drive.

Find other donation locations and times at the American Red Cross Save A Life Tour 2003 Calendar.

Learn more about blood donations from the American Red Cross.

Read more at the American Red Cross.

Posted by stumpjumper at 09:12 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

June 12, 2003

Lanegan is Good for the Soul

I only tell you all this crap about Mark Lanegan because I'm an obsessed fan who buys Screaming Trees related stuff on eBay at stupid prices I want to enrich your lives with news of one of the greatest artists of our time.

One of the reasons I like him--aside from the lyrics, the music, and the voice--is that he's utterly my kind of asshole. Here he is in an interview about his new CD:


Indeed, while QOTSA has been on the road constantly in support of its latest Interscope album "Songs for the Deaf," Lanegan is one of three vocalists in the group and often finds himself leaving the stage completely. Where does he go during those moments?

"I sleep," jokes Lanegan. "Actually, I'm trying to learn how to read. I have a tutor out on the road. It is great. It's not just a band, it is a program to take inner city kids like myself and to sort of empower them."


If he weren't a recovering addict, just tell me you wouldn't want to have a drink and watch a game with this guy.

Read the interview.

Update:
Part of another interview with QOTSA.

Interviewer:In the past your solo albums have been quite introspective and moody. How about this one?

Mark: No, this one is more dark and brooding.

Josh Homme: Which is quite a change in adjectives...

Hear the interview: Listen up.

Posted by zombyboy at 08:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Peace-Loving Clinton

Dick Morris has an open letter up on NRO to Hillary Clinton. If what he's saying is true, it certainly puts an entirely new light on Bill Clinton.

The real reason I was reluctant was that Bill Clinton had tried to beat me up in May of 1990 as he, you, Gloria Cabe, and I were together in the Arkansas governor's mansion. At the time, Bill was worried that he was falling behind his democratic primary opponent and verbally assaulted me for not giving his campaign the time he felt it deserved. Offended by his harsh tone, I turned and stalked out of the room.

Bill ran after me, tackled me, threw me to the floor of the kitchen in the mansion and cocked his fist back to punch me. You grabbed his arm and, yelling at him to stop and get control of himself, pulled him off me. Then you walked me around the grounds of the mansion in the minutes after, with your arm around me, saying, "He only does that to people he loves."


Bill Clinton was such a little boy--only his desires matter, only his needs matter, and he never had to pay for the bad things he did.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 05:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A Good Day

I spent my day teaching as a guest lecturer for a great group of kids today. These are all inner city kids, mostly minority, and all extremely bright. Another day where I can see a great hope for our schools and for our country.

I lectured three classes of kids from ages 9 to 14 about politics in America. For the most part, these kids had a lot to contribute--intelligent commentary and excellent questions.

One of the kids that I had an opportunity to meet was in a group that didn't go through my class--and he was disappointed that he hadn't had the opportunity to debate me on the issues. Articulate, wildly intelligent, friendly as hell, and as opposed to me politically as you can imagine. He comes from a family with a long, proud history of social activism. He wants to go on to get his law degree and then to practice politics--and I utterly believe that he can achieve it.

One of the greatest things about this gentleman was that at 15 he had mastered something that many adults never master--to not see your opponent as his argument. He listened, respected my views, still stood his ground, and seemed to understand that just because I disagreed with him on some subjects I wasn't a bad person.

Strong willed, intelligent, and with an amazing future ahead of himself. I look forward to seeing what he does with his life.

Don't misunderstand, the rest of the kids were great, but he really stood out in my mind.

Posted by zombyboy at 04:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Jayson Blair: Victim (StumpJumper)

I’ve been trying to avoid discussing the Jayson Blair scandal because I don’t feel as though I have much to say that hasn’t already been said. This week’s print edition of US News has a brief interview with him. The gentleman conducting the interview, Julian E. Barnes, is a Senior Editor there and is a “former colleague” of Blair’s. This is the first time that I have read an interview with him since the debacle began (maybe I live under a rock and have just missed others, I’m not sure) and he did exactly what I would have expected: he played the victim card. Big surprise. I should probably be upset, but I’m getting desensitized to the incessant claims of victimization. Now, I simply find it pathetic and funny. Blair did extremely well, though, and some of his quotes are rare gems. Now, for the play-by-play…

Blair gets off to a good start, fooling the reader into thinking that he might take actual responsibility for his actions:

I believe my own demons would have caught up with me regardless of my race

He then goes on to address racial preferences but somehow, magically, turns it into racism and then starts immediately down the path of “it’s not my fault”:

…racism had more of a role in my career than racial preferences… Racism built me into a person that was set up to be self-destructive.

And we’re off! Notice how he deftly avoids actually detailing any of the racism that he supposedly experienced? See how he manages to throw it into the mix without actually pointing to the Times? Damn, this guy is good! But wait, there’s more:

What I did was not entirely deliberate and conscious.

Yes folks, you read that correctly. Blair didn’t send all of those stories in deliberately or consciously. It was all an accident of his subconscious. “How can this be” you may ask. Fortunately for us, Blair explains:

I didn’t invent the wheel. Somewhere in my head I knew people were getting away with this.

Apparently my mother was wrong all of those years when she told me that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” According to Blair, we really shouldn’t be blaming him, we should blame everyone else who did it too. Of course, however, it isn’t sufficient these days to stop with blaming a whole profession. Blair, in true victim style, casts his net much wider:

I am convinced others can learn how to control a certain kind of rage that bubble up in many Americans, particularly, but not limited to, women, black, and other minorities.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Jayson Blair: Victim. Victim in solidarity with women, African Americans, and all “other minorities.” How could we have possibly thought otherwise?

Posted by stumpjumper at 11:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Go Punk

Actually, let me clarify. That's GOPunk.com.

But I think you get the point.

Posted by zombyboy at 07:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 11, 2003

The Roadmap to Peace

Hamas will never accept Israel. Hamas will never accept a peace that allows the state of Israel to exist or for Jews to live in the region. Unless the Palestinian people can stop Hamas from their terror tactics, Hamas will single-handedly derail any hope for peace.

Israel will be forced to protect itself. Yesterday's attacks by Israeli forces were, make no doubt, in retaliation for the terrorist bombings perpetrated by Hamas over the previous few days. And Israel cannot simply sit back and accept those attacks while simultaneously talking about peace with Palestinian leaders.

Legitimate Palestinian leaders must call on their people to not only repudiate terrorism, but to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist in peace. They must call on their people to cease supporting terrorists for the good of Palestine.

This is the second time in my memory that Israel accepted a peace plan that called for the formation of statehood for Palestine. This is the second time in my memory that Palestinians have done their level best to destroy hope.

I pray for peace as much as any left wing activist, but not at the cost of Jewish lives or Israeli statehood.

Read about the latest homicide bombing.

Posted by zombyboy at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Accept My Brilliance

I just did a googlism on "Zombyboy." This is what it had to say:


Googlism for: zombyboy

zombyboy is right


Remember that.

Check it out.
(Hat tip to Jonah at NRO for showing us all this very fun toy.)

Posted by zombyboy at 01:04 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

MTPolitics Big Day

MTPolitics is celebrating nine years of blessed domesticity. Marriage can be a most wonderful thing--beautiful and comforting and fulfilling. Here's to knowing that this is one of those marriages that will last.

Cheers.

Go say congratulations.

This from Matthew Prior:

"Be to her virtues very kind. Be to her faults a little blind."

And hope that she's as forgiving of your faults, as they are almost invariably, more numerous than hers.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Get to Know Shell and Mandrake

Shell and Mandrake, at Across the Atlantic, have posted 100 things about themselves to help you get to know them. Having become one of my most regular reads, I found it pretty interesting to read about them.

Read about Shell.
Read about Mandrake.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FerGodSake, Don't Have Sex!

Or, if travelling in the UK, have it with someone old. No, really. This from the BBC:


One in 10 young people are now infected with chlamydia, which can cause infertility in women. Syphilis rates have jumped by 500% in the last six years, while gonorrhoea infections have doubled.

More people are also being diagnosed with HIV than ever before. Around 6,500 people were told they had the disease last year.


Holy damn!

Those Brits may be stalwart allies and excellent in combat, I may love 'em and even have a secret desire to move away to London (not so secret now, of course), but that's some scary stuff.

Even if I wasn't seeing someone, if I meet you now and you're young and havae one of a number of UK accents, I have one thing to say:

NO ZOMBY FOR YOU!

Thank you, thankyouverymuch.

Read the story that inspired this sexual paranoia.

Posted by zombyboy at 09:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 10, 2003

Buckley on Drug Laws

The wonderful William F. Buckley Jr. has an article on NRO today likening current drug laws to Prohibition era alcohol laws. Brilliant, of course.


The marijuana laws can most directly be compared to the Prohibition-era laws, which didn't work, undermined the law, and were capriciously enforced. Pot consumption varies, but not in correlation with the laws' throw-weight. If you buy an ounce in New York State, that could bring you a fine of $l00; in Louisiana, a jail sentence of 20 years. Ed Rosenthal is quoted by author Schlosser. Will the laws in America dissipate, as they have done in Europe? He doesn't think so. "They've made the laws so brittle, one day they're going to break." The whole edifice of prohibition would come down, he predicted, "like the fall of the Berlin Wall." Schlosser nicely summarized Rosenthal's prediction. "A group of powerful, white, middle-aged men will meet in a room to discuss what to do about marijuana. And they will reach the only logical conclusion: tax it."

Sounds about right.

The thing to remember about the abolition of drug laws is to acknowledge that they will case certain social problems. There will be people who become addicts in the same way that there are people who become alcoholics; there is a social cost to allowing drugs to be used even in a controlled manner.

The question has to be, which situation costs us more? Which situation is not even internally consistent in either sentencing or enforcement?

Marijuana isn't some scary drug that causes users to become drooling junkies--at least no more so than a bottle of Jack Daniels.

How long until we reach the only logical conclusion and start taxing the hell out of the stuff. The budgetary windfall would be magnificent.

Jonathan Adler in The Corner. Still, it offers up more darned fun than a barrel of bitter, dieting bloggers.


The People for the American Way has set up a form e-mail and letter generator on their website to generate opposition to Bill Pryor's nomination. Yet, as Southern Appeal points out, visitors to the site can edit the subject heading and text so as to generate e-mails in support of Pryor. Those so inclined can do so here.

Go have some fun.

If you're so inclined (I was) you can go support the nomination of Bill Pryor through the PFAW.

Posted by zombyboy at 05:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Continuing Down That Road...

Sort of.

How is it that my tracking software says that the number one search leading to my site includes the term "breastfeeding"?

I don't even remember posting about breastfeeding.

Posted by zombyboy at 04:03 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Speaking of Beautiful Women

Moxie.nu or MoxiePOP?

I've made my choice (I'm loyal to my girl Moxie.nu, damnit), now you can make yours.

Go Vote.

(And, if you don't know what I'm talking about, you just don't read the wrong blogs enough. Good for you.)

Posted by zombyboy at 03:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Michele's Breasts

Have you ever wanted to see Michele's breasts? Well, if you're a guy, the answer is probably yes. Today, you owe her a great big "thank you."

Run on over to A Small Victory right now.

(Note: And she absolutely loves Faith No More, too. What a woman.)

Posted by zombyboy at 03:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

2 Fast 2 Blame

The newspaper headline reads: "Racing movie blamed for LA high-speed crash death." I feel for the family of the deceased--what a stupid, meaningless way to end a life, and I'm glad that they didn't weigh in on the movie (at least in this article).

But to blame a movie for this death?

A high-speed crash involving a driver who had just seen the street-racing movie "2 Fast 2 Furious" left a 78-year-old motorist dead, police said.

Vahan V. Shahenian, 23, of Granada Hills was traveling nearly 100 mph on a residential street Sunday when his 2002 Nissan Altima broadsided a car driven by Keiji Iko, who died instantly, police said.


The blame for the death obviously falls squarely on the shoulders of Mr. Shahenian, and any other talk is foolish. The funny (in a weird, not haha, way) is that the police in LA will soon be enforcing a law that might just end street racing.

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday passed a measure permitting police to permanently confiscate and sell cars used in street races. It has yet to be signed into law by Mayor James Hahn.

That's a little bit frightening--sort of like the zero tolerance laws that allowed law enforcement agencies to confiscate personal property for drug offenses. These sort of laws almost invariably lead to abuses by enforcement officials who realize that fighting confiscation in the courts is more expensive than many people are willing or capable of paying.

In this case, it will probably be remarkably effective, though.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 02:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Recipes from Acidman

I don't normally read Acidman's site--my blog plate is pretty full with all my very own FauxTrolls (tm) and friends. Once in a while, I drop by, though, and see something interesting.

Acidman posted a recipe that set my mouth to watering. If you like onions, you must read his recipe now. I'll forgive you for leaving.

Read the recipe.

Posted by zombyboy at 01:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Waksally Wabbit

Whaddya mean I'm not the first one to think of this particularly bad pun?

Either way, Waksal, the former CEO of ImClone was sentenced pretty hard (and pretty fair) for insider trading. So, see, if you work real hard to sell stock to the common folk even when you realize it's about to crash hard, and then you let all your friends in on the secret, bad things do happen to you.

I'm a little less sympathetic to investors than perhaps I should be. Let's be honest, Wall Street is like Vegas for the white collar set. And, just like Vegas, you better be willing to take your losses without crying. When the CEO of the company hides pertinent information about the company's financial well-being, though, you'd better bet there should be consequences.

Welcome to federal pound-em-in-the-ass prison, Waksal.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

RIAA Has Gone Too Far (StumpJumper)

ABC News is reporting that Jesse Jordan, a freshman Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. has had his entire life savings ($12,000 US) taken from him by the RIAA for setting up a search engine for his fellow students. The network already existed. All Jesse did was make it searchable. He calls his site ChewPlastic.com and it was the second most popular search engine at the school. His site had more in common with Google than with Napster. The RIAA, however, didn't seem to care. They contacted Jesse out of the blue, with no previous indication that he had done anything that they took issue to, and sued him. In Jesse's own words: "I entered into the agreement voluntarily. Why? A $12,000 settlement is much cheaper than defending a multi-billion dollar lawsuit." There has been no admission of wrongdoing. The RIAA never asked for one. all they asked for is Jesse's life savings. This is extortion in its purest form, and it is an outrage.


As a professional I have always worked for companies where intellectual property was very important to our business. My views on IP are based, in a large part, on my experiences working for these companies. I cannot subscribe to the belief that "information wants to be free" as some suggest. IP is a valuable commodity and some level of protection is a necessity in a capitalist economy. This, I supported the RIAA and Metallica in their fight against Napster (I can honestly say that I never used Napster). Maintaining my philosophical position has become increasingly difficult as the tactics of the RIAA have become more audacious and extortionist in nature. As I mentioned in another (unrelated) post the other day, it is possible to support the cause and not the actions. This is how I now feel about the RIAA. They have simply gone to far.

Despite the outrageous and abhorrent tactics of the RIAA, intellectual property is an important part of our economic system. The growth of the Internet does not invalidate the need for intellectual property protection. As the impact of the Internet on the daily life of the average citizen increases, new ways to protect IP must be sought. We must embrace the change that the Internet represents, however, and not fight against it. Extorting the life savings from college freshmen is not the answer, however.

Read the article.

Hear Jesse's side.


Posted by stumpjumper at 11:49 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Un-Jihad

Now there's someone who wants to move you back to Blogspot (but only if you meet some rather steep criteria)...

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 10:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Clintons and Open Relationships

Michael Alvear, a writer of sex advice columns, takes the Clinton-Lewinski scandal in a brave new direction today. He notes that it is entirely possible that the Clintons have an open relationship which remains a private matter only for political considerations.

In fact, he makes the case that monogamy is not only unnatural but may not even be that desirable.

What a load of shit.

First, we've all seen the pictures of Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea walking around after Bill finally admitted that he was running around sticking his dick places it didn't belong. They don't have an open relationship. Hillary was pissed and decided to stay with him for some personal reason that had nothing to do with her being okay with him sticking his dick where it didn't belong.

Second, the whole argument about what is and what is not natural is a little bit of a joke. He trots out various animals, none of which manage to maintain monogamous relationships. I mean, those darned monkeys just screw everything that moves--can't control themselves. That must mean that monogamous relationships aren't really "natural."


The almost universal inability to stay sexually faithful proves that monogamy is as unnatural for heterosexuals as it is for homosexuals. It's even unnatural in nature. Recent studies show that among primates (the animal order we belong to), only two species of monkeys are monogamous. Birds are worse. Only 10 percent are monogamous. Even bluebirds, long admired for their instinct to mate forever, sometimes like to do a little wife swapping. They are monogamous except for one unexplained phenomenon: The male did not father 20 percent of chicks parented by bonded bluebirds.

So, the best that I can ever do is to shoot as high as animals with no reasoning abilities or moral sense? Please. That's as foolish a statement as I've ever come across.

I shoot higher precisely because I am not an animal.

Then he goes on to admit that he'd been unfaithful in a previous relationship, and wonders why he felt guilt. He blames it on his Jewish/Catholic upbringing, saying that he "was going to feel guilt and shame whether (he) violated a moral law or not.


He skips right over the possibility that he may have felt guilt because he knew what he was doing would have caused emotional harm to his partner. It's much easier to rationalize the situation without considering that aspect.


There's not much empirical or anecdotal evidence proving that monogamy is possible or even necessary for a relationship to thrive. Ask any long-term couple the top five reasons why they're still together and none, I mean none, will say, "Because he's sexually faithful to me."

I'll tell you this, though, one of the top five reasons that people end relationships is "because he cheated."

If it causes pain to your partner, if you keep it secret because you know that it would hurt them, then how can you rationalize it away? How can you not recognize the cause of the damage as being infidelity?

I'm sure that open relationships can work--although it could sure as hell never work with me. And, yes, I do think monogamy is a better state, a more desirable situation, for a relationship. And, no, I don't think the Clintons had an open relationship.

Mostly, though, I think this guy is just a rationalizing ass who can't keep his dick out of places it doesn't belong. Kind of like a certain former president.

Read the story.
(Full disclosure: this is a Salon article and will require a subscription or that you view an ad before you are allowed access to the article.)

Posted by zombyboy at 10:35 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

A Little on the Late Side

A man convicted of murder has been cleared by a court in London. Unfortunately, it's just a tad bit late to help the man, as he was hung for the crime 53 years ago.


"It's a great pity that some of those who fought for many years for Mr Kelly are not here today."

Lord Justice Rix said: "However much the Cameo murders remain a mystery we regard the circumstances of Kelly and Connolly's trials as a miscarriage of justice which must be deeply regretted."

And this is the meat of my own personal argument against the death penalty.

I don't believe that this sort of "miscarriage of justice" happens on a regular basis. I think our justice system (and, I know, this instance happens to be British--I don't necessarily think that our system is less falible than theirs) tends to err on the side of caution, especially when capital punishment is a possiblity.

That said, even one life taken in error when another valid path exists, in my opinion, invalidates the whole exercise. If we could be guaranteed zero errors, I could be convinced that the death penalty is valid. I don't believe that anyone can give me such a guarantee, though.

No amount of judicial "regret" can bring the dead back to life.

Read the story (Posted by the BBC with their usual, umm, flair.)

Posted by zombyboy at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 09, 2003

Just a Little Too Ironic, Dontchathink?

I'm breaking silence only to note that it appears that my old home at Blog-City (and, indeed, all of Blog-City) is down right now. I'm sure it's simply a momentary glitch, and I'm sure they'll have it fixed soon.

Still. I'm suddenly enjoying my newfound freedom.

Posted by zombyboy at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hillary and Babs

I'm watching the Hillary Clinton interview right now, and the first things that
are really strinking me about it are:


  1. It feels like a job interview--deflection of criticism with a smile,
    spinning bad situations to make them sound far better than they really ended up, and that polite banter that you use to disarm the interviewer. She's good.
  2. Even Hillary doesn't want Bill to get a third term. Heh. And she thinks
    she's over all the cheating and lying. I don't think so.
  3. Surprisingly, I'm a bit sympathetic when it comes to her dealing with the
    lying and cheating. It's not as easy as just walking away, it's not as easy as
    simply stopping yourself from caring about someone. And sometimes it's easier to tell yourself that the someone in question is telling you the truth than it is
    to actually believe the truth.
  4. Babs just doesn't give hard interviews anymore, does she (Did she ever? I'm not sure.)? She's setting Hillary up for great responses.
  5. This is great publicity for her new book and a great set-up for her further
    political ambitions.

Just some initial thoughts.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Velociworld News

Kim, at Velociworld, always has an interesting take on the world around him--always interesting, always worth reading, and sometimes worth disagreeing with. Take a look at his wrap-up of recent events (and be sure to read the always mildly frightening Jack Straw in the comments).

Check it out.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BIG Monday News

McGehee was right: I'm making the leap to my very own MT site. Check out the new digs at www.resurrectionsong.com.

I'm pretty excited about this move, and definitely enjoying all the new features I have available to me with MovableType. I will be leaving this site in place indefinitely, and might just use it as a back-up blog in case I have problems with the new site.

Thanks to everyone who's dropped by my blog and helped keep it fun and interesting for me. I hope you'll find it worth your time to continue to visit the new site.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 08, 2003

Welcome To Resurrectionsong

I wasn't sure if I wanted to make this move quite yet, but Dean Esmay's wonderful offer of assistance made it almost impossible for me to stay with Blog-City. Of course, now I'm thrilled with the new blog home.

Here's to both Dean and Verve for making this a painless, fun move.

To kick things off, I thought I should let visitors know a few things about the site.

  1. As you can tell, the template isn't quite finished yet. I'll be working on it over the next few days. I have the layout mostly completed and all of the elements in place, but need to tinker with the MovableType style sheet to make the old elements match the new look.
  2. The blogroll will be updated as soon as the style sheet is completed. My best guess is that it will be completed on Thursday. All of those who were blogrolled on the old site will be taking their places on the new site.
  3. Anyone who needs help with an MT template is more than welcome to ask for advice and assistance. Once I've completed modifying my own, it should be a fairly simple task to help others. Don't hesitate to ask, and I will assist as I am able.
  4. I hope that those readers who remain part of my regular traffic enjoy the new features.
Thanks to all who helped make the old site such fun for me to maintain. I'm looking forward to making this new site even better. Enjoy.
Posted by zombyboy at 10:56 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

June 06, 2003

And Dean Said, Let There Be Light

And it was so.

Posted by zombyboy at 07:13 PM | Comments (7)

Pixar Brilliance

Redsugar Muse kind enough to share this with the class. Coming next year from Pixar...

...the Incredibles

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Professional Level Frog Bashing

I am an amateur at Frog Bashing in comparison to Shell at Across the Atlantic. I bow to her superior bashery. Anyway, if you'd like a little lesson in French history, take a look at the link.

Read Her Post

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More Astrological Disasters Ahead

I'm not sure what this means, but I can't imagine it to be anything other than bad.


Leo: (July 23?Aug. 22)
After the events of next Sunday, for the rest of your life, people will stop you on the street and ask you to autograph packages of pork chops.

Damn The Onion. Damn them, I say.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why I Read Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg, one of National Review's finest authors, posted a new G-File. Today's article deals with a few frequently and infrequently asked questions.


Q:Are you ready for MUCH larger breasts?
A: Yes! I mean NO! I mean?wait. Oh, this is spam.

Thank you, Jonah.

Read the whole article.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A Moment of Teacher Appreciation

A while back, at a party, I was discussing why I could never be a public school teacher. I stated that I think that the politics of holding a job in the teaching community would be difficult for me and that it was my contention that the parents would be a barrier to success, as well. Don't get me wrong--I think most parents wouldn't be difficult, but that there is a class of parent who's child is never at fault. That isn't to say that they think their child is right, but that if there's a problem it must lie somewhere other than the child himself.

These parents would demand that their children never be meaningfully disciplined no matter what their infraction. These parents would demand that their child advance even when they haven't learned necessary subjects. And these parents would be verbally aggressive. I don't deal with that particularly well.

I would never have expected this (from a FoxNews story), though:


Police say a mother and her two sons beat a teacher unconscious at school with a desk and a chair because she had suspended the younger boy.

The teacher, who works in an alternative school program (search) for troubled youth, had suspended the boy for spitting in her face and pushing her, police said.

Jamie Mereness, 34, and her 17-year-old son William Ramos, went with her 12-year-old son to the school Tuesday afternoon to confront the teacher, who was not identified, police said Thursday.

Police said Mereness, Ramos and the younger son choked and punched the teacher, then used a desk and a chair to beat her in a basement classroom, Detective Lt. Santo Centamore said. The alternative school program is held in a church.


Teachers who work in inner-city schools have a great deal of my respect. It would be a job difficult for the most talented teacher to perform--dealing with cultures that do not emphasize educational achievement, parents who are often apathetic towards their children's academic life...I don't think I'm cut out for that sort of a career choice.

My sympathies go out to this teacher, and I certainly hope that she'll continue to do this job that so many of us could never even consider. That doesn't make her a saint or angel, I realize, but it does make her valuable.

As much as I think this is an aberration, I don't think anyone would blame her if she decided to pursue a teaching job outside that district next year. Standing in that classroom again would be difficult.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Mark Morford Fun

He's the liberal journalist I love to hate. Today, he just made me giggle. A few weeks back I wrote about his great synopses of articles in the SF Gate. Well, today he outdid himself. This is for an article about the million pre-ordered books that Amazon was going to be shipping out to customers in a few weeks.

Offered in full:


Harry Potter And The Happy Brain-Eating Sprites Of Mediocrity
Amazon.com Inc. said it has received more than 1 million advance orders so far for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," on its Web sites worldwide, I mean whoa, and that's just one retailer. The fifth book in the "Harry Potter" series will be released June 21. Amazon said it has received more than twice as many worldwide advance orders for this book than it received for author J.K. Rowling's fourth Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," mostly because the books are pretty much hyped beyond human comprehension and kids have become desperately and oddly addicted and it's this bizarre combination of a really truly wonderful phenom on the one hand, gets kids reading and into their imaginations and it's delicious sorcery and magic and wizards and non-Christian fantasy, and on the other, not really all that great, sort of shallow, actually, Narnia and Tolkien and many others able to realize prfoundly cool and affecting worlds far more effectively, and honestly, than Rowling, but hey, that's sacrilege, kids are reading and that can only be a good thing and yet, and yet, something seems just slightly off about it, askew and lopsided, like the books aren't *that* good, you know?

Read the article that inspired his rant.

Full disclosure: No, I'm not one of those who pre-ordered the book, but, yes, I will read it after all the furor has died down. The Narnia Chronicles were better, though.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Pixar Brilliance

Redsugar Muse kind enough to share this with the class. Coming next year from Pixar...

...the Incredibles

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Professional Level Frog Bashing

I am an amateur at Frog Bashing in comparison to Shell at Across the Atlantic. I bow to her superior bashery. Anyway, if you'd like a little lesson in French history, take a look at the link.

Read Her Post

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Big Zombyboy News Coming Up Monday

Be sure to drop by on Monday for the Big Zombyboy News.

I think you'll like it.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

More Astrological Disasters Ahead

I'm not sure what this means, but I can't imagine it to be anything other than bad.

Leo: (July 23?Aug. 22) After the events of next Sunday, for the rest of your life, people will stop you on the street and ask you to autograph packages of pork chops.
Damn The Onion. Damn them, I say.
Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why I Read Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg, one of National Review's finest authors, posted a new G-File. Today's article deals with a few frequently and infrequently asked questions.

Q:Are you ready for MUCH larger breasts? A: Yes! I mean NO! I mean?wait. Oh, this is spam.
Thank you, Jonah.

Read the whole article.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A Moment of Teacher Appreciation

A while back, at a party, I was discussing why I could never be a public school teacher. I stated that I think that the politics of holding a job in the teaching community would be difficult for me and that it was my contention that the parents would be a barrier to success, as well. Don't get me wrong--I think most parents wouldn't be difficult, but that there is a class of parent who's child is never at fault. That isn't to say that they think their child is right, but that if there's a problem it must lie somewhere other than the child himself.

These parents would demand that their children never be meaningfully disciplined no matter what their infraction. These parents would demand that their child advance even when they haven't learned necessary subjects. And these parents would be verbally aggressive. I don't deal with that particularly well.

I would never have expected this (from a FoxNews story), though:


Police say a mother and her two sons beat a teacher unconscious at school with a desk and a chair because she had suspended the younger boy.

The teacher, who works in an alternative school program (search) for troubled youth, had suspended the boy for spitting in her face and pushing her, police said.

Jamie Mereness, 34, and her 17-year-old son William Ramos, went with her 12-year-old son to the school Tuesday afternoon to confront the teacher, who was not identified, police said Thursday.

Police said Mereness, Ramos and the younger son choked and punched the teacher, then used a desk and a chair to beat her in a basement classroom, Detective Lt. Santo Centamore said. The alternative school program is held in a church.


Teachers who work in inner-city schools have a great deal of my respect. It would be a job difficult for the most talented teacher to perform--dealing with cultures that do not emphasize educational achievement, parents who are often apathetic towards their children's academic life...I don't think I'm cut out for that sort of a career choice.

My sympathies go out to this teacher, and I certainly hope that she'll continue to do this job that so many of us could never even consider. That doesn't make her a saint or angel, I realize, but it does make her valuable.

As much as I think this is an aberration, I don't think anyone would blame her if she decided to pursue a teaching job outside that district next year. Standing in that classroom again would be difficult.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Mark Morford Fun

He's the liberal journalist I love to hate. Today, he just made me giggle. A few weeks back I wrote about his great synopses of articles in the SF Gate. Well, today he outdid himself. This is for an article about the million pre-ordered books that Amazon was going to be shipping out to customers in a few weeks. Offered in full:

Harry Potter And The Happy Brain-Eating Sprites Of Mediocrity Amazon.com Inc. said it has received more than 1 million advance orders so far for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," on its Web sites worldwide, I mean whoa, and that's just one retailer. The fifth book in the "Harry Potter" series will be released June 21. Amazon said it has received more than twice as many worldwide advance orders for this book than it received for author J.K. Rowling's fourth Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," mostly because the books are pretty much hyped beyond human comprehension and kids have become desperately and oddly addicted and it's this bizarre combination of a really truly wonderful phenom on the one hand, gets kids reading and into their imaginations and it's delicious sorcery and magic and wizards and non-Christian fantasy, and on the other, not really all that great, sort of shallow, actually, Narnia and Tolkien and many others able to realize prfoundly cool and affecting worlds far more effectively, and honestly, than Rowling, but hey, that's sacrilege, kids are reading and that can only be a good thing and yet, and yet, something seems just slightly off about it, askew and lopsided, like the books aren't *that* good, you know?
Read the article that inspired his rant.

Full disclosure: No, I'm not one of those who pre-ordered the book, but, yes, I will read it after all the furor has died down. The Narnia Chronicles were better, though.

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Roll Your Own Headline

The Village Voice has a great "Create Your Own New York Times Story" kit. Fun for the whole family!

(Uncredited stringer not included.)

Go play.

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June 05, 2003

Guardian Backtracks

To the gentleman who disagreed with me earlier in the day, I would like to note that even the Guardian has admitted that Wolfowitz neither said what had been reported nor meant what they originally construed it to mean. Good for them for the admission. This is their correction (emphasis added by me):

A report which was posted on our website on June 4 under the heading "Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil" misconstrued remarks made by the US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, making it appear that he had said that oil was the main reason for going to war in Iraq. He did not say that. He said, according to the Department of Defence website, "The ... difference between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq." The sense was clearly that the US had no economic options by means of which to achieve its objectives, not that the economic value of the oil motivated the war. The report appeared only on the website and has now been removed.
See the page.
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Larry Flynt, Disgusting Vulture

Larry Flynt is bidding on nude photos of Amer Frey, the woman who was dating Scott Peterson while his wife, Laci, was busy being pregnant with his child (and subsequently busy being murdered). Apparently a photographer owns the rights to these photos and realized that the market value of them will never be higher. Who, then, to approach?

Why, of course, Larry Flynt, publisher of that well-respected magazine Hustler.

This all sounds legal, but sometimes there's a difference between being correct and being right. Sure, this will sell like all hell to guys with nothing resembling a conscience, but it will be a slap in the face to Laci's memory. Her family and friends deserve better than this.

Larry will stand on his right to publish this. He'll shout and rage at the censors and puritans and government busybodies who would dare to question his Constitutionally Protected Rights. Well, screw Larry. It isn't about whether he has the right to publish these photos, it's about whether he has even the remnant of a moral compass that would tell him he's heading in the wrong direction.

Hustler is trash and Larry Flynt is a bastard.

Read the story.

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Just for Fun

A list of little fun things I've been running across today.

Kim, at Velociworld, talks about a movie that I really want to see. I feel guilty. Check it out.

McGehee, the man with the most difficult name to figure out in the blogosphere, will subject you to more PUNishment than you can possibly handle in one sitting. Beware (and read the comments). You were warned.

Hector thinks about splitting up his posts, about Sammy being innocent (a Vast Cork Sucking Conspiracy), and Martha Stewart being guilty (no conspiracy to report). Read on.

Greg gives a structured look at liberals that you just might find funny. Beware the not-so-classical liberal.

I have a feeling this is going to be a good day (even if a certain someone is a little miffed about my desire to not go out and play tonight...)

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Good News for the New York Times

This will be the big story of the day (and I have yet to make my blog-rounds, so I'm sure that it already is the big story of the day):

Howell Raines has quit as editor of the New York Times in the wake of the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal. The paper's managing editor Gerald Boyd has also resigned.
This is good news even if you're a Raines supporter. Raines lost the confidence of his staff and the trust of readers everywhere. This will, hopefully, allow the Times to get back to a position of authority and respect.

As I said, good news for the Times and good news for readers.

Read the story.

(Of course, this came from the Guardian. Normally I wouldn't use them as a source--except as a source of derision--but I'll make an exception this time.)

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Question: Constitutional Sex

A few years ago the state of Colorado considered an amendment to the state constitution that, if passed (which it did), would increase school funding. At the same time the city of Thornton (the city that I lived in at the time) had a ballot measure authorizing a one-time school funding tax. I voted for the city tax but against the constitutional amendment. Many people who were for the amendment accused me of being against an increase in taxes to support schools. This was not the case - I voted for the tax increase in my city. My problem with the constitutional amendment was that an amendment to the state constitution was not, in my opinion, the correct way to enact a tax. I considered this an example of poorly written legislation for a great cause. This is one of the limitations of our (or any, for that matter) legal system. We vote on legislation, not causes. Just because I support the cause does not mean that I have to (or even should) support the legislation if that legislation is poorly written. Unfortunately, supporters of legislation often blur this distinction and accuse those who are against the legislation as being against the cause when this is not the case.

In the near future, the United States Supreme Court will be ruling on the constitutionality of sodomy laws outlawing homosexual sex. This ruling is causing me to ask many of the same questions regarding cause vs. legislation that I asked about the school tax amendment in Colorado. The libertarian side of me finds such sodomy laws abhorrent. As Z mentioned in a previous post, I am the person who changed his position on same-sex marriage. He used to be against it and now, like me, he is for it. I also am very outspoken within my church (I am Catholic) in support of gay membership. I was in the military when President Clinton implemented the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy. I was an outspoken supporter of this policy (in actuality, I don't think that it went far enough in support of gays in the military) despite the very vocal opposition to it of many of my colleagues. When it comes right down to it, there aren't very many heterosexuals who are as supportive of gay rights as I am. I would like nothing better than to see the anti-gay sodomy laws repealed. What I am not sure about, however, is whether or not this is a constitutional issue. The questions that I ask you, the informed reader of this blog, are few but profound. Is sex a constitutionally protected act? Should it be?

I am not an expert on constitutional law but, as I understand it, the Constitution of the United States of America does not assume implicit restriction, only explicit approval. If something is not explicitly approved by the Constitution it is not assumed to be outlawed. In our legal system, which is based on freedom, we are allowed to do whatever we want until such time as it is outlawed by legislation. Thus, sodomy laws can be repealed without constitutional and judicial intervention. When the Supreme Court gets involved, the legislative landscape changes. We, the masses, are stripped of our right to enact and retract laws. Once something is declared to be unconstitutional we absolve the legislature of the right to legislate and hand that right over to the judiciary. Look at the abortion and gun control debates that are currently raging. Both of these issues are now considered to be constitutional. Roe v. Wade has declared abortion to be a constitutionally protected act and the right to own a gun is protected by a constitutional amendment. Are we really better off because of this? Has constitutional intervention resolved either of these issues or has it made them more difficult for us, as a country, to resolve? Will we be better off is sex becomes a constitutional issue, too?

What do you think?

John Leo wrote an interesting op-ed on the constitutionality of sex for US News, but, unfortunately, you have to pay to get it. You can find it here.

Here is an interesting op-ed on gay rights from Reason Online.

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Global Warming or Not

I shake an angry fist at all the gloomy prognosticators of global warming doom. Pfah!

It's June in Colorado--rainy, cold, and humid.

(I would also like to let the weather gods know that I'm not really complaining. In fact, the humid, chill weather is probably helping make up for the fact that I forgot to water the plants on Sunday. Oops.)

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Angry Artists Against War

You might ask, "What war?" The war in Iraq, of course.

"But, isn't that war over?" Well, yes, but if you spend your days trapped in an ivory tower, locked away from all the normal people of the world, safely ensconced in the bosom of your drug of choice, you too might think that there was still a good reason to release a protest album.

This is from a CNN story today:


"Protest music was prematurely declared to be unfashionable," says musician Billy Bragg, who is featured on the CD. "Hearing some of these songs might help people who feel ambiguous about it make a conscious decision to oppose the war," he adds on the CD's press release.

DiFranco doesn't shy away either.

She delivers the unbridled lyrics on the CD's first track, "It's time to get our government to pull its big ---- out of the sand of someone else's desert and put it back in its pants."


Well, you can't really accuse them of being timely, but they've got the bombastic rhetoric part down, don't they?

And, apparently DiFranco is confusing this administration with the last administration. When it comes to having problems keeping his dick in his pants, no one can really compete with Clinton.

Read the story about these tardy, self-aggrandizing bastards.

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This Lie Has Legs

The Guardian is reporting that Defense Secretary Wolfowitz has admitted that the war in Iraq was all about oil. Here's the quote:

Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."
Wow. Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? Damned shame that it has no resemblance to what he actually said during his address. As reported in the Pentagon transcript of the conversation:
Look, the primarily difference -- to put it a little too simply -- between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq. The problems in both cases have some similarities but the solutions have got to be tailored to the circumstances which are very different.
It takes on a pretty different feel when the entire response is quoted correctly, doesn't it? What Wolfowitz was doing was simply explaining why economic issues are forcing a different response in North Korea than the actions we took with Iraq.

Unfortunately, it might be irrelevant. This story will spread, and in being spread it will gain credibility. It will be repeated in reasonably serious places by overly serious people trying to make deadly serious points about the moral bankruptcy of the Bush White House, truth be damned.

Read the Guardian story.

Read the Pentagon release (scroll about half-way down the page).

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June 04, 2003

Rainy Night Game

I'm about to run off to catch tonight's Rockies game.

I'm guessing that, with the rain and generally chilly weather, I might not manage to stay through the whole thing.

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Dean's Jihad

Dean Esmay, one of my favorite daily reads, has declard Jihad on Blogspot. The bloggers using the Blog Tool of Great Evil are subject to permalinks that point to wrong content, comments that regularly fail to work, and slow network service. Dean has had enough:

If you're currently on Blogspot, I will, free of charge, set you up with a Movable Type based blog. You will need $15 to register a domain, and $5/month. That's it. Nothing more. $15 up front and $5 per month. That gets you more speed, more reliability, much more powerful blogging software, and much more flexibility and freedom. As well as your own personal domain and set of email addresses.
That's a hell of a deal.

If you are one of Blogspot's victims customers, you should very seriously consider his offer.

Check it out.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Man Cannot Live on Punditry Alone

Right now I am listening to Masters of Reality playing "Annihilation of the Spirit." Great song. I love it.

The thing I really want to know, though, is why MOR are so uneven. I buy a CD and love a few songs on it, but think that the bulk are just okay. Damnit, if they ever put out one, solid, consistent CD, they'll be a hell of a band.

Sidenote Number One: Mark Lanegan guests on their latest CD, Deep in the Hole. The song he's on is one of the better ones, "High Noon Amsterdam."

Sidenote Number Two: Click here to listen to the Masters of Reality song "Moriah." It will only be up until tomorrow morning, most likely, so get it now.

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Put Down the Salami...

If you live in the UK, you may wish to stay far away from salami for the time being. According to the BBC, during a study of the exact ingredients used in the making of salami, there were a few surprises.

Rosemary Hignett, the FSA's head of food labelling, said: "There are concerns that UK consumers could unwittingly be eating horse and perhaps donkey meat when they buy salami or a similar product.


"Some people may prefer not to eat these products, even though food safety is not the issue and they are often traditional recipes."


So, some people may not want to eat donkey? Jeez, a nice flank of donkey is a staple around the ol' Zomby homestead.

The funny thing is that my response to this is to be pretty disgusted. On any reasonable level of moral consistency, though, what is the real difference between eating horse and eating cow. There isn't one, if you ask me.

We carnivores can be such hypocrites.

Read the story.

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David Frum Makes Me Smile

Read David Frum's diary on NRO. Read it always. It will not disappoint you. Here's a blurb from today's offering:

So It Worked

If the Arab governments honor their pledge to President Bush to cease funding Islamic extremist terror, and if they agree that Arafat must be isolated and Mahmoud Abbas put in his place, and if Abbas then honors his pledges to end terror against Israel ? big ifs all of them ? but if so, then can?t we now say: The Iraq war worked? The ultimate goal of the Iraq war was to change the political culture of the Arab world ? and post-war, that culture is changing.


Here it is: Iraq was chosen because Iraq needed a regime change to make the region more stable. It was also chosen because it is the right kind of visible target.

  1. It most certainly wasn't going to change without military action. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and others may all enact changes on their own; Iraq would never have done so without direct outside intervention.
  2. Much of the Arab world considered Saddam a hero for having stood up to the United States and the UN and living to tell the tale. That was not an acceptable view of our relations and needed to be changed before the political climate of the Arab world could begin to change. There needed to be a credible threat of response for continued misrule.
  3. Iraq is now an "aircraft carrier" in the region that obviates our need for a presence in Saudi Arabia--without our political need for the Saudis, it becomes far easier to consider various forms of diplomatic pressure to help them move towards liberalization in their government.
  4. Our "aircraft carrier" is not just a military jumping point for the region, but a political vehicle for pressuring many of the governments towards reform.

Our victory in Iraq was the first step towards sweeping changes in the region and a credible dialog between the Arab/Palestinian world and Israel is the second step.

The only way to truly disarm the Muslim terrorist organizations plaguing the world is to liberalize and stabilize the Middle East. The only way to do that is to pressure governments to move towards, if not democracy, dramatic social reforms that discredit the extremists and prove the value of a more moderate path. In that light, the shepherding of Iraq toward a stable, more liberal government is the cornerstone of building a lasting peace.

Neocons are being accused of wanting to create an American empire. The empire that neocons have really begun to work for is not American, but liberal in nature. The empire is not built merely to ensure American superiority, but to create a safer world.

Read David Frum's Diary.

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Hey, Look, Ma--I'm a Democrat!

I was reading my inspirational quotes of the day and came across this little gem:

Henry Fielding

"Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil."


Yeah, Henry's right. So, to keep the plague away you should all send me your money!

I'll redistribute it to the needy. Mostly my creditors right now, but I have a feeling there's an Aston Martin dealer who's really needy living close to my home...

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Damned, Evil Breasts

A lesson most of us never have to learn: just because you have lactating breasts doesn't mean you should use them.

Or, maybe this instead: with great breasts come great responsibility.

Alright, so they're both equally bad. That doesn't change the zany value of this story being reported by AP:


A woman was charged with breast-feeding someone else's baby at a daycare center without the parents' knowledge.

Prosecutors charged Shannon Denney, 32, with outraging public decency and public morals, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.


Raise your hand if you would even consider breastfeeding someone else's child with or without their consent. Yeah, I didn't think so.

Read the story.

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A Little Bit of Hope

President Bush, labeled by the left as politically and diplomatically inept, is having a pretty good day in the Middle East. His White House has succeeded in marginalizing one of the biggest continual threats to peace in the region by completely bypassing Yasser Arafat. His diplomatic efforts have pushed both sides of the argument to make concessions that seemed unlikely just a year ago. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Bahrain decried anti-Israeli violence of any kind.

Don't get me wrong: I still think that the idea of lasting peace is a long shot and that the roadmap to peace needs some fleshing out. With President Bush in office--a President who is well-respected for his earnestness and strength of will--I feel a tiny bit hopeful that a real resolution can be achieved. I also find it hilarious that critics on the left are quick to say how American foreign policy has alienated the rest of the world, supposedly leaving us in a situation where we are so despised as to be ineffective. This is the kind of ineffective that I could learn to embrace.

There is so much farther to go, but I say that right now you should allow yourself to feel hope. Just a little hope.

Read about today's maneuvering.

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You Just Gotta Believe!

Well, a Danish Protestant pastor seems to have decided that faith isn't a really terribly important part of his job. This from ABCNews in Australia:

A Danish pastor in the state Protestant Church has been suspended from his job after admitting he does not believe in God.

The Danish news agency Ritzau says Pastor Thorkild Grosboell revealed his religious beliefs, or lack thereof, in a newspaper interview published at the weekend.

Bishop Lise-Lotte Rebel described the pastor's comments as totally unacceptable and suspended him for one week.


Suspended for a week? I guess maybe faith isn't really such a big deal in some churches.

Read the story.

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Baby Steps

A group of African-American organizations has released an open letter to Robert Mugabe on AllAfrica.com. It's a step in the right direction from a group of prominent, politically active Americans.

We have strong historical ties to the liberation movements in Zimbabwe, which included material and political support, as well as opposition to U.S. government policies that supported white minority rule. In independent Zimbabwe we have sought to maintain progressive ties with the political party and government that arose from the freedom struggle. At the same time our progressive ties have grown with institutions of civil society, especially the labor movement, women's organizations, faith communities, human rights organizations, students, the independent media and progressive intellectuals. In Zimbabwe today, all of our relations and our deep empathy and understanding of events there require that we stand in solidarity with those feeling the pain and suffering caused by the abuse of their rights, violence and intolerance, economic deprivation and hunger, and landlessness and discrimination.
It's a welcome move, although it falls a little short in a number of areas. It isn't the strongest statement, and it supposes that a settlement can be reached with a man who has refused to allow real elections in the country.

It would be easy to nitpick this document to death, but it's far better at this point to embrace the fact that Zimbabwe is on the tips of tongues and fighting its way into the news. People are watching.

A few more steps in this direction and we might see the possibility of real change in Zimbabwe.

Read the letter.

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June 03, 2003

Never Doubt the Existence of Evil

Evil is a word that's lost much of its meaning over the years. Overuse and cynicism make the utterance of the word "evil" in many circles a joke or a sly ironic comment. The President raised quite a fuss when he used the term "Axis of Evil" to describe three nations constantly and consistently at odds with the United States.

Webster's Revised Unabridged dictionary defines evil in this manner:


Having or exhibiting bad moral qualities; morally corrupt; wicked; wrong; vicious; as, evil conduct, thoughts, heart, words, and the like.

Today, MTPolitics and BeerMary noted an article about a teen who can be described, in my world, as nothing other than evil.

A 16-year-old Great Falls boy "showed no remorse at all" when he told police he mowed down a female jogger with his Dodge Ram Charger so he could have sex with her corpse.

What word would you use to describe the boy?

Read the story.
Read the MTPolitics entry.
Read the original entry at RantORama.

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Various Forms of Relief

Our compatriot from Brain Fertilizer, Nathan, has this to say about my earlier posting on the subject of women's basketball:

Zombyboy relieves himself on this issue.
I'm hoping that women aren't too offended by my behavior--I've been known to relieve myself on many issues.

Thanks, Nathan.
Read the rest of his post.

(And, if you haven't already, blogroll this guy. He deserves your attention.)

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Musical Melee

Bryan, at Arguing with Signposts, is holding a fun contest for anyone who takes music way too seriously (like me, for instance). I've sent in my entry and I'm almost positive the artist will be a complete surprise to you.

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Chirac

In a successful bid to irritate me, Jaques Chirac stated that he still feels the invasion of Iraq was wrong.

Chirac told Bush he still considered the Iraq war illegal because it failed to win United Nations approval.

"We haven't changed our view," Chirac told journalists at a news conference winding up the meeting, held in France on the southern shore of Lake Geneva.


Not a word of praise for freeing the Iraqis. Not even a momentary realization that the lack of UN mandate doesn't even play in the ball park of making a war "illegal."

Damned Cheese Eating Surrender Socialist (as reported by Yahoo News).

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Tired of the WMD Debate

I'm getting kind of tired of hearing all the debating about Weapons of Mass Destruction. I'm getting kind of tired of all the second-guessing and finger-pointing, as if our failure thus far to find a few metric tons of Anthrax precursors somehow invalidates the need for the war with Iraq. The fact remains that Iraq has not accounted for incredible amounts of precursors for chemical and biological weapons. The fact remains that Iraq was not forthcoming with the UN concerning any documentation of the destruction of those precursors and delivery mechanisms. The fact remains that the US has discovered mobile weapons labs, just as we had been warned to expect. The fact remains that Iraq most certainly did attempt to create weapons systems that defied UN mandates.

Rich Lowry at townhall.com agrees:


The failure so far to find WMD in Iraq is a major embarrassment for President Bush, and congressional hearings into the intelligence prior to the Iraq War are welcome. But the post-Iraq debate shouldn't proceed on false pretenses: Everyone this side of famed Iraqi prevaricator Baghdad Bob believed that Iraq had WMD. In the run-up to the war, the United Nations, the "axis of weasel" (France and Germany) and high-profile Democrats all agreed about WMD.

The specific figures in Secretary of State Colin Powell's U.N. presentation about Iraq's unaccounted-for WMD came from U.N. inspectors. France and Germany didn't argue that Saddam had no WMD, but inspections could rid him of them. Clinton and Al Gore dissented from aspects of Bush's policy, but agreed about WMD. "We know," Gore said, "he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons."

What happened to those WMD? Could they have been secreted away somewhere in Iraq or shipped off to another country for safekeeping before the war began? Could they have been destroyed prior to the war to embarrass coalition forces?

There is little doubt that Iraq continued developing these weapons--the age and sophistication of equipment in one of the mobile weapons labs confirms their continuing efforts, even if the place had been so sanitized that it was impossible to tell what had actually been produced there. The reasons for the war--our national security, regional security, and the enforcement of UN mandates remains unchallenged. We do need to understand precisely what happened within our intelligence community to leave us in this position and to ensure that dangerous weapons haven't fallen into our enemies' hands.

But let's be honest--it doesn't take much to hide a terrifyingly dangerous amount of Anthrax, and it will take time for our forces to really understand what took place in Iraq. The UN had 12 years and urged further patience; the coalition has had only a few months. Maybe, now, a little patience is in order.

Read the story.

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BlogoSFERICS: No Mary Kate and Ashley Here

BlogoSFERICS most certainly does not have nude pictures of Mary Kate and Ashley.

Click here to not see nude Mary Kate and Ashley pictures.

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Left v/ Left, The Cage Match

Barbra Streisand is going after an environmental activist like the deranged pit bull that she is. The man's Web site, CaliforniaCoastline.org has posted pictures of the California Coastline so that concerned citizens can check on legal and illegal development along the coast. One of the thousands of pictures on the site shows Streisand's Malibu home.

What does an environmentalist like Streisand do when faced with such an outrage? File a law suit claiming $50 million dollars in damages and asking the courts to shut the Web site down because it's quite obvious that her own privacy is far more important than any damned eco-lefty leanings she might espouse.


"It is inconceivable to me that someone who proclaims herself an environmentalist would threaten to dismantle one of the greatest high-tech projects to protect the California coast in all time just because they chose to place their back yard on a coastal bluff," said Mark Massara of the Sierra Club's Coastal Program. "At some point, someone needs to sit her down and tell her the public interest is at stake here."

I don't know whether this is truly a "great" project, but I do know that Babs looks like a foolish little hypocrite. And, even if her suit has some merit, asking for $50 million dollars? That's one expensive photo.

Read the story.

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Well, It Seemed Like a Good Idea...

What is the proper punishment for a man who, when late for his plane, calls in a bomb threat in the hopes of keeping it at the gate just a little bit longer?

This guy is about to find out...

Read the story.

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Is the WNBA Really That Bad?

I'll admit that I've never watched women's basketball. There are no reasons for this omission. Nope, there are no reasons, there is merely a reason. See, the thing is, I've never thought that it would be remotely as interesting as NBA or NCAA games.

Of course, as a good, well-conditioned American male, I've felt mildly guilty about not wanting to watch a WNBA game. Luckily, Stacey Pressman's article on ESPN.com let me know precisely what I was missing.


I know I will indeed take heat for this from my female cohorts, but if people were honest, they would admit that this game is just not entertaining enough to be promoted on an equal footing with the men's game. Sports is about entertainment and 40 minutes of underhanded layups is not an entertaining product! I'm not going to pretend I enjoy women's hoops just because I am a woman.

Like a portion of the WNBA's fans, I'm finally coming out of the closet. And you know what? It actually feels great!


Wow. Suddenly, the guilt is not only washing away, but slowly being replaced with relief that I hadn't actually managed to spend money on such a lackluster product. Don't get me wrong, though: I'm a big supporter of women's sports.

I happen to enjoy women's tennis more than I do men's. I've spent a good portion of my life watching women's downhill skiing--easily as enjoyable as men's. But basketball? I want to see dunks and elbows and angry trash talking. Women just don't deliver the same thrills.


It's easy to want to like the idea of women's basketball. It's easy to say "I believe that women's basketball is just as entertaining and enjoyable as men's basketball." It appeals to our democratic values and the better angels of our nature to strive for egalitarianism. The reality is, those cherished notions just do not ring true when it comes to basketball.

Yep, that just about sums it up, doesn't it?

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 02, 2003

Mass-Media Makes the Case for Scott Peterson

Debra Saunders has written a story on Townhall.com that calls the media to back off of the Laci Peterson story. Her contention is that by giving credence to every little defense maneuver, the media is making it easier for the defense to convince the public of Scott Peterson's innocence.

Fox News' Geraldo Rivera reported "exclusively" that a "defense source" told him that Laci's body had been "carved up" and "there were internal parts missing." (The dissection twist, expert TV panelists argued, supported the Satanic Cult Real Killers theory.)

On Thursday came leaks of the autopsy. MSNBC reported that "plastic tape" was found around the neck of Laci's unborn son. "Finding in Peterson case could be used to bolster defense theory on killings," read the MSNBC website's sub-headline. The story continued, "The finding could be used by the defense team for Scott Peterson, Laci's husband, who is accused in her death, to bolster its theory that Laci and the fetus were killed in a satanic ritual."

Stop the presses -- there may be litter in the bay. In fact, what NBC called "plastic tape" a reporter who read the leaked autopsy described as "nylon and twine."'


Saunders notes that the OJ's defense team used the same tactics successfully throughout his trial. While not saying that Scott Peterson is guilty, she thinks that media sources might make it impossible for the prosecutors to prove their case--essentially robbing the prosecutor of the possibility of a fair trial.

Of course, this contention hinges on the assumption of OJ Simpson's guilt. I think she might just have a point.

Read the story.

Off topic: We can all agree that were we to have been on the jury in that case, OJ would be rotting in jail, right? I mean, c'mon...running for the border with his fake beard, loads of cash, a revolver and a weapon. History of abuse. This guy was just screaming, "Please put me in jail. Please."

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Only the Dumb are Infected

Computer users who are foolish enough to believe that Bill Gates would email them personally, are instead opening emails that are infected with Sobig-C.

Quick lesson for those not quite quick enough to figure it out on their own:


  1. Bill Gates is not emailing you unless you own something that he wants to buy, crush, or mock. Okay, I'm probably making up the part about mocking.
  2. Don't open emails from sources unknown. Even if it turns out to be "harmless" spam, it isn't. Here's a nasty secret from a guy who helps the marketing department with their spam-campaigns: we know if you open it. We can track your response--did you simply ignore it, open it, or actually follow the link? I know the truth.
  3. I don't know of any virus that can infect your computer simply by being mass-deleted with the rest of the spam. You have to open them to set them to down their nefarious little path.
  4. If you do receive an executable (a .exe) file from someone unknown, for heaven's sake please don't run the damned thing. No one is really trying to send you a free porn screen saver, they're just playing on your insatiable desire to see nekkid women. I sympathize, but don't be a fool.

Remember that Bill Gates is as likely to take interest in you as that guy from Afghanistan/Nairobi/Somalia who's trying to wire you millions of dollars to get his poor dead uncle's money out of the country (or however the hell that stupid scam goes).

If Bill Gates sends you an email out of the blue, please remember these words: Only the dumb are infected.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Some Sick Bastards...

In the hospital where a Muslim woman's body was desecrated with bacon, an employee who had worked in the mortuary is being suspended. Apparently, when police raided the unidentified man's house, they found 2000 "mortuary style photographs" of dead people taken over a ten year period. Unfortunately, they saw no evidence of desecration, so there's nothing tying one crime to the other. Still, the man was arrested and later released on bail for the crime of taking and having those pictures of the dead.

Thoughts:


  1. So, in England it is illegal (as it should be) to take pictures of dead people on a slab, but in Massachusettes, it's legal to take nude pictures of unsuspecting, living adults. Yeah, okay.
  2. I really hope they catch the preson who desecrated the body. It shows a level of arrogant despite that fuels Muslims' fears. It's a crime that must be punished. The woman who's body was covered in bacon was a 65-year old cancer patient.
  3. How sick is this cat? I mean, taking pictures of dead people in the morgue for his own personal enjoyment? Suddenly, I have no desire to watch Six Feet Under for a while.

I heard many people making jokes about burying Muslim homicide bombers with pork products in an attempt to desecrate the bodies. The logic was that if they were buried with pork, they wouldn't be allowed to collect the 72-virgin bounty awaiting them in paradise. The idea was to make sure their was no longer an incentive to blow up tour buses and shopping centers in a suicidal attempt to improve one's sex life. Never was sure how I felt about that joke--I didn't really find it funny, and I didn't really think it would work, but I hold homicide bombers in the highest contempt. It would be hard for me to care less whether their delicate sensibilities were considered when disposing of their remains.

This woman had offended no one, and had died a painful death. The hurt caused to her family over this is not a joke, is not negligible, is not acceptable.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sunday Night Post

I hope everyone has had a weekend as good as mine. Friday night's concert with a good friend. Saturday's birthday party for Roverpundit (who needs to post more damned often). Sunday's party with a crew of dedicated and hopeful educators--people that manage to keep me a little bit hopeful about Denver Public Schools.

Posting will resume later this evening.

Update: Thanks to Andy at World Wide Rant for taking embarassing pictures and posting about the birthday party. It's good to live near this great group of bloggers.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Keepin' the "Ass" in Massachusetts

A 24 year old woman who was living with her parents discovered that her father had been secretly taking nude and semi-nude pictures of her over a five year period. These pictures were taken from a Web cam in the woman's room. No charges will be filed, though, because no crime has been committed.

"I found hundreds of pictures of Crystal," he said. "There were no photographs of her with clothes on. In every single one she was partially dressed, or getting undressed, or doing something undressed."

Crystal says she still can't believe that her father won't face any criminal charges for taking the pictures and now the computer and all the images are back in her father's possession.

"That made it even worse. That made it 10 times worse," Crystal said. "It's like being kicked twice. I didn't believe it."


So, in Massachusetts (and, to be fair, I'm betting that this is the case in many states), there is no law to prevent voyeurism. The father gets to keep all the nude pictures of his own daughter. I understand, but really don't like, the way this ended up.

I'm thinking that, if this young woman has a boyfriend, he needs to pay her father a little visit. I'm also thinking back to something a friend of mine said in situations like this: "No jury of my peers would convict."

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

McDonalds Gets All Angry

Taking a page out of the playbook of the vegetarians and fat folks that have been suing them all over the damned place, McDonalds has decided to sue an Italian culinary expert for derogatory words about their food. Apparently, Eduardo Raspelli called their food "fodder" and described the famous McDonalds fries as being "obscene and tasting of paper."

I'm all sorts of okay with Don's joint--it serves quick, cheap, fatty foods to the masses all over the world at a price that anyone can afford. In small doses, I don't even think that it's terribly bad for you.

And, damnit, I like the fries.

Please, though, how do they justify suing a man for simply sharing his opinion? I hope they lose ugly.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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