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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mr. Answer Does a Little Translation Service for the Crowd

If the definition of mistake is “a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention” (and it is), then I suppose that this statement from Scott Christopher Cates is true.

“I just want to say I’m sorry to the family for everything that happened. I hope everybody forgives me. I made a mistake. I’m sorry.”

Undeniably, Cates showed bad judgment and an ignorance that is almost painful. Still, mistake doesn’t seem quite enough for what Cates and his four friends did to a young man named Isaiah Clyburn.

My interpretation of Mr. Cate’s statement?

Oops. Sorry. My fist slipped and I beat the crap out of an innocent black guy that was just walking down the road. My mistake. And when the kid ran away from me and my four similarly mistake-inclined friends, trying to escape to a nearby friend’s house, somehow my fist slipped some more.

My bad. Sorry about that.

When you target a guy for a beating simply because he’s black, you’re committing an intentional act of brutality because you’re a racist pig. Make no mistake about it; these five teens didn’t make any simple errors. They didn’t just forget their keys at the office or forget to make dinner reservations for that special night.

The good part is that these kids are going to jail. The bad thing is that this is the kind of ignorant idiocy that keeps us all from realizing Dr. King’s color-blind society.

For what it’s worth, Mr. Clyburn shows far more grace than I could muster in his place.

Their victim, Isaiah Clyburn, 17, said through his lawyer that he forgave them.

“He holds no hatred in his heart for what they did,” attorney Trey Gowdy said.

Read the story.

Good, Scamming Fun

When you put up a resume on CareerBuilder, apparently the buzzards think you are not only jobless, but stupid and greedy, too. Take this email, for example, which imagines that I will be suckered in by thoughts of easy money and ignore that little tingling in the back of my head that says, “Not only is it too good to be true, but if it were true it would be illegal, and, gosh, you trust these people?”

Hello David J [Names of people and companies along with URLs have been changed.-DJ]. My name is Liz H and I work for a company called Scammers I found your resume on careerbuilder.com because we are searching for reliable professionals across the United States who are interested in a potentially lucrative partnership with an international firm.

Scammers is a leading investition company in Germany and we are currently expanding our operations in the United States. But because of various banking and legal restrictions, we are unable to open commercial bank accounts in every state. As such, Scammers is recruiting partners to conduct simple banking transactions on our behalf.

The process is simple. If you were interested in becoming a US partner of Scammers, you would sign an agreement that would make you an official financial representative of our company, able to accept invoice payments on our behalf. Instead of asking our American clients to conduct complicated international payment transactions (which are especially complex for German companies), we have them work with our partners to submit payments. You would then forward the payments to us, a simple transaction for an individual.

Scammers pays its partners a 10% commission on every transaction. In addition, we will take care of any incremental tax liability you incur. Depending on which state you are in, and of course on how good business is, your monthly commissions could be as high as $4,000 per month.

If you are interested in working with us, or if you want more information, you can contact me directly at my personal email address: [Email address removed-DJ]. I’ll need your full name and mailing address so I can send you the contract and other paperwork necessary to get started.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The truth is, greed is the door that scammers walk through--the promise of something for nothing that inhabits the hearts of people more concerned with cash than integrity. Some greed, some desire to have things better and easier at the same time, is common; the kind of greed that pushes a person into truly stupid acts, though, is the kind of greed that con artists count on for their big scams.

Just sayin’.

Cars, Immigrants, and, Damnit, Why Don’t I Have a New Job Yet?

  1. I’m not quite an open borders advocate, but I’ve always been of the mind that a liberal immigration policy would be a good thing. But let’s get something straight: no other country sets our immigration policy.

    Some foreign diplomats suffer under the delusion that they should be allowed to set our policies.

    Diplomats from Mexico and Central America on Monday demanded guest worker programs and the legalization of undocumented migrants in the United States, while criticizing a U.S. proposal for tougher border enforcement.
    [...]
    “Migrants, regardless of their migratory status, should not be treated like criminals,” they said.

    Of course, the fact that a migrant crossed a border illegally absolutely does make them criminals and subject to treatment as such. It’s laughable to suggest otherwise. It’s also good business, as the article goes on to note, since “Mexicans working in the United States are a huge source of revenue for Mexico, sending home more than $16 billion in remittances in 2004, Mexico’s second largest source of foreign currency after oil exports according to the country’s central bank.”

    Mexico’s economic desires do not dictate American policy needs, though, and what is good for Mexico (and the other nations represented) is not necessarily good for America.

    “There has to be an integrated reform that includes a temporary worker program, but also the regularization of those people who are already living in receptor countries,” Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said.

    That is not a decision to be made by diplomats outside of the United States. The necessity of a temporary work program and an amnesty program of some kind is debatable. While the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary is welcome to share his views, he won’t be setting American policy any time soon.

    Read the rest. (From that Drudge guy.)

  2. Dodge Challenger. Sexy. Perhaps too perfectly an object of the seventies, but boys of a certain age will be instantly captivated.
  3. Chevy Camaro. Not so sexy. I can’t put my finger on why the Camaro fails to move me. Is the front end too blocky? Is it that the lines trailing to the rear of the car are disjointed? Is it that squinty look to the headlights? I’m not sure what it is, but it doesn’t quite work.
  4. Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 Ever since loudly driving a new Mustang through Florida (on my most recent vacation), I’ve been in love with Ford’s cheap little muscle car. A pretty face, a fun car to drive, and easy power go a long way in an inexpensive package. And this is the ultimate Mustang. Gimme.
  5. Ford Reflex (on the same page as the GT500). This car intrigues me. The various pictures that I’ve seen show it to be tremendously impractical. The rear view must be horrible and the body looks like it would be expensive to produce. But something about the squat little thing looks like it would be fun to drive. Even more, that line that extends, mid-body, from the front quarter panel all the way to the back of the car and then switches back to make a trip all the way to the leading edge is just gorgeous. The way it echoes in the lines around it, always in harmony and always flowing, is the kind of design that I love.

    I wouldn’t call it a pretty car, but I would call it an extremely well finished design.

    So, yeah, I want to look closer at this one.

  6. And while we’re talking about it, why the hell don’t I have a job yet? Hmm? I mean, seriously, I’ve been unemployed for two freakin’ days. I’m getting tired of this.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Sense of Humor About the Big Things

I’ve always tried to keep a sense of humor about myself and about the big things that happen in life. While I can’t claim to be constantly successful--divorce, death, and the mean things people say about Mark Lanegan test me severely--I can tell you that I’ve been able to make people laugh about my upcoming unemployment, made really lame jokes from a hospital bed before emergency knee surgery, and even made the limo driver laugh after my grandfather’s funeral.

Which is my way of keeping life’s tougher bits in perspective.

And that brings me to Shawn, and, perhaps, one of the reasons that I continue to enjoy his writing.

It isn’t as if American soldiers are expecting sissy embedded journalists to be warrior souls, but one still imagines most fearless (okay, scared witless) correspondents must strive to acquit themselves with a bit more aplomb than I was able to muster on my first night raid of a suspected terrorist hideout last week in the heart of Sunni Mosul.

As we closed in on the target the call to disembark from the Stryker armored personnel carrier came a bit too suddenly for me. In my haste I first got caught on the vehicle’s fire extinguisher, tearing a mile wide hole in the back of my pants. I immediately followed this up by cracking my helmet festooned head into the steel lip of the Stryker’s door, like some giant stumbling around a McDonald’s play area.

After you let the smile play on your face and read the article, though, you realize that he’s seeing things that are effecting him deeply.

So, yeah, read the rest.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Heh. And Stuff.

I’m not good with unemployment. It’s been at least 8 years since my last--month long--bout of unemployment, and I hate not having the security of a job. It gets into my head and worries me like you wouldn’t believe; and, to be honest, I get a little depressed.

The strange thing is that I’m not even unemployed yet. I’m working through the end of the week and still have a few paychecks coming to me.

Anyway, I’ve already applied for two jobs (both of which I’m well-qualified for, one for which I don’t meet their academic needs, though) which means I probably need to get my full resume and a portfolio ready to support. Especially since the I’ve already been emailed by one of them asking for salary history.

Heh. Well, cart before the horse and all that…

The real reason for this post is to a) offer a note of thanks to everyone for their emails and calls and concern, and b) let you know that I’m planning to get right with blog starting next week. I had planned to be writing up a storm this week, but found that the upcoming change in work status just threw me off too much.

Seriously, thanks to everyone for their thoughts and concerns and offers of help. You guys are great (and don’t stop being great: I don’t have another job yet). Hugs for everyone!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Olde Europe Isn’t Gonna Like That…

While I may not be a bundle of fun, Steve Green can provide the smiles with his letter to Old Europe. Except in Old Europe where much crankiness will erupt.

Check it out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Miners Found Alive (Updated)

According to FoxNews here in Denver, the 12 miners have been found alive--and here’s to them and their families and friends.

That put a smile on my face.

PS- And here’s a link from Drudge.

Update: It’s tragic that I wake up to find that those early reports were wrong--only one of the miners survived and, as Bryan says in his comment, I can’t imagine how painful that is for the families.

2006 Sucks: The Jobless Post

So, there I was minding my own business when 2006 came along and just whacked the living shit out of me. Beat me with a pointy stick, I tell you.

The company that I work for just had it’s newest round of layoffs and I wasn’t one of the survivors. Which can’t be a good thing as far as I’m concerned. And, trust me, I am concerned.

Point being: if you happen to know any good companies that are hiring graphic designers (with a bit of Web development in their backgrounds), this would be a grand time to let me know. I’ll be sending out resumes and calling all my friends starting next week.

Update: Anyone with job leads is welcome to send them to me at jobs -at- resurrectionsong.com. I’ll be using that email address during this job search.

And thanks very much for the kind thoughts.

The Daily Kos: Bladders of Freakin’ Steel

Go ahead. Shoot me. I’m not scared.

(Note: I’m sure there’s a rational thought somewhere in Markos’ urine soaked tantrum, but I’m damned if I can find the thing.)

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Handful of Football Thoughts

  1. The Broncos are a far better team than I thought they would be this season. After their off-season moves (signing a good chunk of an unimpressive Cleveland defense, for instance), I wondered if Shanahan had lost his mind. After a season-opening, brutal loss in Miami, I thought that they were in for an ugly season. After watching them wind their way through early home wins without putting together any great games, I wondered if they could win on the road. After a series of mistake-plagued games late in the season--mostly wins, but closer than anyone could consider comfortable--I wondered if the team’s good luck was finally abandoning them. So, yeah, I was wrong most of the way through.
  2. But I was right about the need to step away from a three back rotation, that Mike Anderson deserved the starting job, that the receiving corps is a long-term concern, and that the key to the defense wasn’t just finding better players for the secondary--it was equally important to find a good pass rush. This year the offense got on top early (only allowing one team in sixteen games to score on their first possession and taking leads into the fourth quarter in 13 out of 16 games), stopped the run by a combination of good defense and simply putting opponents behind far enough that they had to pass the ball, and then closed out games well with a grinding rushing offense and an offense that rarely made mistakes.
  3. Finishing the year with second stringers playing much of the game, with nothing much extra to gain by winning, and on the road in San Diego, the Broncos had a ton of excuses to play soft. Instead, they went in and beat a San Diego team pretty soundly with a bruising defense and an opportunistic offense.
  4. I’m on the bandwagon.
  5. Does anyone think that Larry Johnson won’t go past 2,000 yards next season if he starts the whole season and stays healthy? Unless the offensive line collapses, Johnson should be one of the early MVP favorites. Which is a good thought for KC fans who watched inconsistency destroy their team’s chances of a playoff run.
  6. Favre comes back for one more season (even if Nathan does hold a ton of animosity toward the guy). It’s just a gut feeling.
  7. I like Michael Vick; he’s one of the most entertaining players in the league. He also doesn’t belong in the Pro Bowl. His quarterback stats are, to be generous, mediocre and his team tanked in the last half of the season. His gaudy rushing stats are all well and good, but a QB who can’t pass consistently and doesn’t guide his teams to wins isn’t a guy who should be in the Pro Bowl.
  8. For the Broncos, Jason Elam missed another short field goal and through most of the season Shanahan has been hesitant to let him try the 50+ yarders. Sadly, it seems that Denver’s best-ever kicker is coming to the end of his career.
  9. I am convinced (or, more accurately, I have been convinced) that the Broncos made the right move in sending Clinton Portis to Washington for Champ Bailey. Not only has Bailey played brilliantly, but he’s the best possible role model for Denver’s handful of young players in the backfield. But Washington probably made the right move, too. Portis had a difficult season last year (although he still ended up with over 1,300 yards) but really hit stride this year. He’s another player that could potentially see a 2,000 yard season if he stays healthy; good for him and good for a trade that made a bunch of sense for both teams.
  10. Lastly, how cool is it that Doug Flutie converted a drop kick? I wish I’d seen that live.

It Just Turned Out That Way…

Sorry about that.

See, I didn’t expect to be silent for over a week. I had started--but didn’t finish--a “2005: Best and Worst” post and even a post about the proper job of public schools called “The Educated American” (which started out as “The Indoctrinated American”, but that was tossed since I didn’t think it wasn’t really accurate and the negative baggage rightly associated with the word “Indoctrinated” was definitely contrary to what I wanted to get across).

One of the things I almost came out of hiding about was the recent Web site cookies stories breathlessly reported in the newspapers. I was going to note just how cookies are domain (and, I believe, server) specific and that the only cookies that can “track” a person’s travels through the Internet are set by ad companies and can only track a person through the sites that have contracts with that advertiser. But then I figured that someone else was probably covering the information just fine.

What really got me close to poking my head out was Steve Green’s recent daddy-hood. I’m thrilled for Melissa and him (although I wonder just how this will effect his partying abilities for future Rocky Mountain Blogger Bashes). Congratulations are in order for those two on their beautiful baby, Preston.

I almost wrote posts about how The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe didn’t disappoint, but The Producers sure as hell did. I almost wrote a Merry Christmas post followed up by almost writing a Happy New Year post.

But then I didn’t.

It wasn’t planned and it wasn’t really a matter of self-discipline. It just sort of turned out that way.

Now it’s a new year and a new week. I’m heading back into the office today for the first time since before Christmas and all of the stress of the holidays (driven mostly by parties, dinners, gifts, out-of-town drivers) is receding. Somehow, I think that means it’s time to start posting again.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season filled with great Christmas loot (the g-phrase sure hooked me up), some good rest, and all of the happiness that is supposed to come with the season. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and, hey, it’s good to be back.

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