Monday, June 20, 2005
Avast, Ye Scurvy T-Shirt Lover!
I’ve just been wanting to say that since yesterday.
Downing Memo Blues
I don’t care if it’s real. I don’t care if it’s fake.
In fact, the people spinning their wheels working to discredit the memo are, to me, as off base as the people trying to tell me that it acts as some smoking gun against the President. It was ignored for so long by the mainstream media because, frankly, it really doesn’t matter; it is only entering public debate because of the unflagging efforts of fringsters who really, really, gosh-darnit, really want the thing to be meaningful.
I just don’t care.
The Rocky Mountain News sums up my opinion on the subject pretty well:
The memo story keeps growing, and I keep resorting to my irritated schoolyard defense: so what?
Sunday, June 19, 2005
So, Out of Curiosity
Fully realizing that pedestrians in the crosswalk are strictly off limits, I find myself curious as to precisely what the rules are for loiterers...
And in other news, Jed is working to protect Colorado’s public shooting spaces. You know I approve.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish the design for a brochure.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Looking at Canadian Health Care
This is pretty much all you have to read to understand my continuing opposition to a universal health care system in the United States:
Luckily, though, there’s a whole lot more in Sally Pipes’ article today in the Seattle PI. As a transplant from Canada, here experience with the socialized Canadian health care system drove her to share her thoughts with Americans who are eager to try their hand at even more government control and funding of our health care system.
Well worth the read.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Critical Realization of the Day (Non-Critical Version)
The OC sucks.
I mean, it really, really sucks.
Except the hot chicks. And there are a lot of hot chicks.
The Questionable Value of Handouts
A few days ago, I wrote an exceptionally long post about debt relief for Africa. Being some 1800 plus words in length it was, of course, soundly ignored by all.
That’s not my point, though. My point is that in it I questioned whether freeing the poor African nations from their debt servicing would actually result in money being directed at health, infrastructure, education, and food. This report from IRIN serves to underline my point rather nicely.
To be sure, the President of Malawi should have a car. But he probably doesn’t really need a car that costs more than half a million dollars. Expect an increase in purchases like this, brand new presidential palaces, and a smattering of self-named football stadiums in the near future.
Best Beatles Song? (Update)
I’m glad you asked.
“Day Tripper” has what might be the coolest sound with its chunky guitar sound. “A Day in the Life” is ambitious and gorgeously messy. I’m a big fan of “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” too. Funny, catchy, and wonderfully pop with a rebellious streak. Their best song, though?
It has to be “Paperback Writer.” Two minutes and eighteen seconds of perfection.
Update: I considered supplementing this with a “Best A-Ha Song?” section, but rejected that when I realized that I would be the only one playing…
A Reminder and a Warning
Via Steve Green, we get a grim (and extremely disturbing) reminder of what real, honest-to-God, no bullshit torture looks like. For everyone who makes the comparison between Saddam’s depridations and what has since gone on in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, this small sample really should put the equivalence to bed.
That doesn’t mean that we should excuse any American soldier or agent who oversteps the bounds of what we consider acceptable. Prosecution is the right answer in some cases--but there is no comparison between our camps and either Saddam’s professional torturers or the Soviet gulags.
Changing Times: Dell and Apple
Michael Dell, rather famously, once suggested that the best thing Steve Jobs could do for Apple’s shareholders would be to “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” You might imagine that I’m not the biggest Michael Dell fan, and you’d be right.
But the times change.
Michael Dell from a recent article by David Kirkpatrick:
Since Apple is still a hardware company, the idea of Dell selling boxes equipped with OS X is probably a good long way off. Apple learned from the failed experiment with licensing that what happened wasn’t an expansion of sales to new markets, but cannibalizing sales from Apple’s current market. If the user base isn’t going to grow significantly, why cede the hardware sale to another company?
Still, it’s nice to see that Dell now recognizes that there might be value in Apple yet.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Return of the Commie
In response to this comment below from someone who hasn’t visited in some time:
I haven’t accused him of being a dictator that I’m aware of, so I assume that you actually want to address that comment to the writer of the post on Babalu, correct?
Thank rising oil prices for economic growth, not Chavez.
Here are some interesting statistics (although I admit that I couldn’t find 2004 data and I assume that the rise in oil prices had helped prop up this economic outlook somewhat):
GDP 2000 5,948
Unemployment 2000 13.9%
Gov’t Consumption (% GDP) 2000 7.23%
So, a rising unemployment rate, rising gov’t spending, and a decreasing GDP are good things to you? They also show an average annual inflation rate of 21% between 1999 and 2003. You might also want to look at the Economist’s economic forecast, which I would consider anything other than bright.
Next up, you are aware that the democratically elected fellow was a part of two failed coup attempts before he joined the democratic political process, right?
Lastly, as for Venezuela being the brightest light in the region, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether, for example, Argentina with a lower rate of inflation, lower unemployment and a higher per capita GDP isn’t looking a little better than Venezuela.
A Good Recommendation
I was going through a stack of old magazines last night, getting ready to toss them out, and ran across something that I had meant to share with the class. In the January 2005 issue of Mojo, Mark Lanegan (who had Mojo’s number five album of 2004 with Bubblegum)is part of the end of year article, “The Best Thing I’ve Heard All Year.”
I think you’ll see why it made me happy.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Conspiracy Theorist Fun for the Whole Family
By now you’ve heard the claims by former Bush administration staffer, Morgan Reynolds, about his doubts that the official version of the collapse of the World Trade Center is accurate. Tin foil hat aficionados everywhere are doing a conspiracy theory dance of glee over this cat’s baseless commentary.
Of course, to believe that the US government took down the towers to give us an excuse to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, you have to be willing to shelve some serious knowledge. Things like the fact that the conspiracy theory has been well debunked by experts far and wide. Or the fact that while the US gov’t doesn’t have a history of trying to knock down the World Trade Center, Islamic terrorists had actually made an effort toward that goal in the past. You’d have to imagine that our government (which can’t even keep a lie secret like the shameful one about Pat Tillman (and, yes, I do consider the misdirection to be shameful)) could manage to keep people quiet for the last few years about the fall of the towers.
Sorry, folks, but that’s giving way too much credit to our government.
But, as I’ve said before, arguing with the moon landing deniers is always a losing battle. For every logical, reasonable claim or refutation that you can make, they can manufacture secret programs, hidden bases, the “disappearing” of witnesses, or, in truly desperate situations, the intervention of aliens and secret, world-controlling societies of Masons in little, funny hats. Since a conspiracy is a hidden thing, there is absolutely no way to disprove the existence of the conspirators (which someone like Andy would say resembles the whole argument between, say, atheists and Christians--but that’s another topic, entirely).
I like sitting on the 16th Street Mall in Denver or the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder for the same reason that I like to watch conspiracy theorists raving about their pet plot to deceive the world; it’s a fun pastime, and it’s usually harmless.
So, with that in mind, this Reason Hit and Run post and subsequent commentary definitely filled my need for conspiracy theories and tin foil hats.
The real horrors of the day aren’t enough for some people; they have to manufacture a diabolical purpose outside of the reality that a group of ultra-violent, vicious terrorists took dead aim at the buildings for the second time and knocked them down. It wasn’t the Evil Joooos, it wasn’t President Bush, and it wasn’t a hidden Masonic society.
What, precisely, is it about the marginally insane that I find so entertaining?
I just noticed a new blog out there (referrer logs are a good thing) that will be joining the blogroll. So, if all y’all regulars would like to go say hi to Cadillac Tight, you might just find something new to read for yourselves.
Update: And while we’re on the subject. Another new entry will be going to The English Guy. It was his very Englishness which won me over, in case you were wondering.
Rules for Pet Ownership and Parenting
Now, here are a few follow up rules for those who don’t take the initial advice.
No, he’s dead because you were a horrible parent. Even if it was just for that hour, even if it was just that once, even if it wasn’t something you would normally do: when he needed you to be a good, judicious, intelligent parent, you abandoned him and he’s dead.
This is on your shoulders.
Speaking of Hugo Chavez (Because We Were, You Know. Yesterday.)
Guilty (But Not As Charged)
From this point of view, let’s just say that Michael Jackson is lucky that Paul Campos’ opinion wasn’t the prevailing belief of his jurors.
While I really don’t care about Jackson or his trial, I have to admit that this line of thinking is intriguing to me. On the one hand, it seems almost offensive to consider convicting someone for a crime that they haven’t been charged for; on the other hand, it seems foolish to let someone walk when you truly believe that while they are innocent of the current charges, they are dead guilty for previous transgressions.
Again, I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Monday, June 13, 2005
The New, Improved Michael Jackson
Now, will someone please prosecute the parents for letting their kids go on sleep-overs with a freaky, middle-aged man?
Does anyone else get the feeling that the price of oil is increasingly being decoupled from the actual production of, demand for, and supply of the stuff?
Or is it just me?
Hey, At Least Mike Tyson Might Be Going Away…
For some reason.
The last time they performed together with the almost-original, minus-the-crazy-guy line-up, I was all of ten or eleven years old. Now, they decide to return to preach to the world about how we should all (defined mostly as the United States) be giving more to the poor dictatorships of the world.
Somehow, Pink Floyd’s reunion gives me the same sense of bemusement as realizing that Mike Tyson is leaving boxing with his tail between his legs: not only did I not know that he had a fight scheduled for the weekend, but who really cares anymore? I mean, aside from his creditors.
Hey, I’ll still break out the occasional Floyd CD and wish I had some chemical accompaniment to make the experience more of what I remember, but I don’t imagine that they have much new to tell me. Hell, they’ve been living off the good will and memories of burned out acid freaks and the amazing longevity of Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall for decades.
At least if Mike Tyson really does run off to be a missionary somewhere, we’ll be well rid of him. Pink Floyd could always decide to cash in on the high-priced has beens touring trend, bringing their extra-special sense of self-importance to a stadium near you soon.
© 2005 by the authors of ResurrectionSong. All rights reserved.
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