Monday, June 30, 2003

GOP Lip Service Blows

This ArmyTimes editorial comments on Republican lip service to "Support Our Troops" while they practice "Screw Our Troops." And, surprisingly enough, it only deals with the money. Nevermind the lying about why they were sent to kill and die ... which I, personally, would be more pissed off about as a soldier than the piddly pay increase.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

C-Dog's Day Long Trawl of the Net Yields...

An entertaining bit of historical perspective on the Patriot Act by way of John "The Little Sh!tbag Federalist" Adams, and the Alien and Sedition Acts. (For a fun little contest with no reward, see if you can find one of C-Dog's ancestral cousins in the article! Hint: On my swamp yankee side of the family tree, I have a great uncle who is the the proudly self-proclaimed Mayor of Griswoldville.)

Thanks to an earlier post by Crypto-Comrade The Fish Who... I am going to be getting a check in the mail. Someday. Maybe.

New Krugman [NYT reg req'd]. Excerpt:
Last Thursday a House subcommittee met to finalize next year's homeland security appropriation. The ranking Democrat announced that he would introduce an amendment adding roughly $1 billion for areas like port security and border security that, according to just about every expert, have been severely neglected since Sept. 11. He proposed to pay for the additions by slightly scaling back tax cuts for people making more than $1 million per year.

The subcommittee's chairman promptly closed the meeting to the public, citing national security — though no classified material was under discussion. And the bill that emerged from the closed meeting did not contain the extra funding.

It was a perfect symbol of the reality of the Bush administration's "war on terror." Behind the rhetoric — and behind the veil of secrecy, invoked in the name of national security but actually used to prevent public scrutiny — lies a pattern of neglect, of refusal to take crucial actions to protect us from terrorists. Actual counterterrorism, it seems, doesn't fit the administration's agenda.
And, finally, I started looking into the business dealings of one Albert Yeung Sau Sing today after reading a rant posted to a message board at AICN. I'm a little concerned at what I'm finding. As many of you know, I've always been a huge Jackie Chan fan, what I'm reading as I comb the online archive of Australian newspapers and the english versions of some HK news sites is making me feel a little concerned. I'm well aware of Jackie's marital issues and have never paid them much attention; he's been a vocal opponent of triad intrusion in the HK movie business and done quite a bit for a charity, which I felt balanced out some of his personal problems. I'm starting to think there may be much more darkness and complicity in some pretty awful crap lurking around in his business dealings. More to come...

Monday, June 16, 2003

Corporate Firewalls Getting In The Way?

For whatever reason, Blogger doesn't let me log in from the pc at work anymore, nor will it let me log in to Sports Takes any at all, so you get all three of my links as a one-shot:

Snoring kids do worse at school -- and snoring adults do worse at work. Don't need a study to tell me what I know all too well. I know I need to do something about it, I've known for years. But, even now I think, "I've lived the last 20 years without being able to concentrate for most of the day because I can barely keep my eyes open, but I've made it this far, I'll just wait until money's not quite so tight ..."

This poll showing that one third of Americans deserve what Mega so aptly calls the @ss-f#cking that keeps on giving, courtesy the Shrub. Makes you wonder why people bother to express an opinion at all instead of just saying, "I like when people lie to me and trash America in the name of creepy corporate fascism, let's go kill us some more Ay-rabs!!"

I'm also glad to see the meth addict that attacked KC's first base coach last season has found work where he can get within striking distance of Male Professional Golfer: the world's laziest, whiniest athlete. Thin the herd, Ligue, they're weak and they won't do anything but cry like babies when you attack them. Plus, you won't have to worry about any coming your victim's aid! They're afraid of women and flashbulbs; they'll wet themselves when they see you coming.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Rocket Notches 300

300 for Clemens tonight. For all that Pedro, Maddux, and Johnson have accomplished, you've got to give Roger the nod as the greatest pitcher since 1973 (when the American League rolled out a DH), if not since WWII. Amazing.

Monday, June 9, 2003


Newport Grand Seeks Permission to End Jai-Alai. I've been going every other week or so this season, having a great time each outing. Been making modest gains overall, despite one utter loss of a trip, with my 1-2-3 Q box and occasional 4-1-8 Trifecta wagering strategy. I love jai-alai. I was bummed I missed out on the Whack the Wall competition last week and can't wait for the chance to make an easy hunny next time they run it. If there is a next time. Stupid slot monkeys are killing me -- killing jai-alai. Why sit there and pump quarters into a ching-a-ching-a-ching machine when you can enjoy an evening of watching an exciting sport and still get your wager on? C'mon, get into the fronton! Mace, portliest of the players, needs you! And Hoey, strong armed but so maddeningly inconsistent! And Jaime, who lays it out for every point! These guys are living the dream and it's great fun to watch 'em play.

This is it for the Northeast. Hartford, Bridgeport, and Milford are gone already. If Newport dies, jai-alai is consigned to grainy monitors in scumbag holes like Lincoln Park. Stupid Rhode Islanders, the greatest live entertainment value in the state is wasted on you.

Shame on Newport Grand for failing to promote their product. I think I've seen one ad for it in all the time I've lived here. All they needed to do was get one infomercial on opposite the Set It and Forget It Rotisserie guy to draw a crowd. But, no. They let it languish in obscurity and put up slot machine billboards instead. Nice move.

Gambling's not for everybody. Some people should never get near it. I feel a bit like the guy who drew up Joe Camel as I sit here and pimp for jai-alai. But, it really does meet an entertainment need. It's wagering for people who think slots are for zombies and dog racing is a brutal and revolting display of animal cruelty staged for degenerates. Having a few beers and a slice of pizza while watching and wagering on a couple hours of quality jai-alai doesn't have to cost more than $30 bucks. It's not a wicked expensive night out, especially if you did nothing but bet the quinela 1-2 in the last ten games of the night -- most nights you'd get at least some of your money back, if not come out ahead on the deal.

Follow Up: Jai Alai Players Protest for Jobs, The Pawtucket Times. Mike Warner, an announcer at the fronton, said the Newport Grand owners are "virtually sabotaging the game. They purposely tried to tank the operation." Asked for details, Warner said he wanted to wait until there are legislative hearings on the question of eliminating the live games. He said jai alai could be made profitable again "if they used a more aggressive and creative (advertising) campaign." He could have said, "if they used any kind of advertising campaign at all."

Sunday, June 8, 2003

The Cognitive Dissonance Engine

Thanks to a tip off from Mega, I just caught a hilarious exchange between Molly Ivins, Bill O'Reilly, and Al Franken on CSPAN2. I think it pretty well encapsulated what they each stand for as individuals and what their respective schools of thought stand for: progressivism, which is seeking to apply principled reasoning to problems in the context of searching for truth and justice under the rule of law; and, right-wing corporatism, the goal of which is to remove any obstacle (ie., the rule of law) which hinders the wealthy from plundering the resources of the world for the personal gain of a privileged few, hypocritically appropriating the language of democracy and reason without any intent of practicing what they preach. It was a giddy pleasure to watch Franken call O'Reilly a liar, back up his assertion with facts (actual facts, not Orwellian "no spin zone facts"), and then to watch O'Reilly flounder, spout his propaganda, and use his empty rhetorical bullshit to try and spin his way out of facing the truth. O'Reilly kills me. He'll stand there and say he's above ideology and name calling then immediately turn around and start name calling in the service of a his warped ideology. I'm trying to imagine how Rupert Murdoch was able to secretly abduct and blackmail the world's greatest scientists and engineers and coerce them to make such an astounding leap forward in metallurgy that they were able to forge titanium/diridium skull plating capable of withstanding the Strong Bullshit Forces whorling around in O'Reilly's head generated by the Cognitive Dissonance Engine that powers his mouth. I'm afraid for anyone within a mile radius of the Doomsday Singularity perched on his neck that isn't protected by at least twelve feet of steel-reinforced concrete barrier. When the energy of that many lies and contradictions compressed into such a small, pin-shaped object is finally and catastrophically released, I expect it will have the destructive force of all the WMDs Bush and Rumsfeld instructed intelligence gathering agencies to fabricate the existence of in Iraq.

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Foreign Policy in the Crossfire

I wouldn't normally think, "I should make sure I catch the next Charlie Rose." Tonight though he's got Eric Alterman and Christopher Hitchens on. Might actually be interesting. I'm sure Charlie will find a way to drag the conversation down to his usual level mind-numbing banality ... still, the potential for engaging debate is there.
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