I'm not a rap star, and I don't have an entourage.
However, it seems to me that the purpose of a trusted entourage is to hold your stuff while you're performing, lest it get stolen. Your entourage should be able to guard your $150,000 tennis bracelet while securing your diamond encrusted "DERRTY" pendants. I mean, they're all armed, right?
Thursday, October 30, 2003
I'm not a rap star, and I don't have an entourage.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
The Secret Service recently found an armed man following President Bush's daughter also had a lot of ammunition in his car. However, since it's legal to carry a licensed gun and to have crates of ammunition in your car, this is no problem.
What if the Bush Administration's policy of proactive intervention were applied to gun laws?
In the name of safety, we're content to occupy a foreign power. When worried that a country might bring some future harm, we intervene.
In the name of observing an outdated amendment, we endanger our populace by allowing almost anyone to carry a firearm. When worried that a person might bring some future harm, we stand by and wait.
While we silly, hairless monkeys are busy consuming products and killing one another, the Sun's busy ejecting one of the largest solar flares ever recorded. Go out tonight and tomorrow night and look for auroras.
Update: Now that the flare effects have come and gone, we can appreciate tongue in check headlines like Space Storm Hits, Earth Survives.
Monday, October 27, 2003
Friday, October 17, 2003
With each passing day, our military resembles the military in Starship Troopers a little more. This movie's military, with its cool feel and unquestioning loyalty to questionable tactics, is similar to the Army of One marketed to us post-9/11.
One of the ways to keep our military full of grunts is to step up recruiting in our cities, adapting the cool Army message in audience-appropriate ways.
I'm not sure whether or not I support urban army recruiting, for though military service may often represent a path to a better life, our enlisted military is dispropotionally staffed by minorities. Grunts in the line of fire are too frequently Grunts of Color.
All that said, I'm fully in favor of articles with titles like Salon's The Army be thuggin' it.
US Lt Gen William "Jerry" Boykin has made the extremely helpful claim that the Christian God put Bush in charge. However, former Secretary of State and Friend to Truth Madeleine Albright has countered that Bush's foreign policy "is not good for America, not good for the world." How can both be factual?
There's really only one way.
My problem with construing President Bush's ascendency as indicative of the End of the World is not the 1,000 years part of the Revelation verse above ...maybe a process that began in 1003 A.D. just ended. My problem is that I don't see the nations of the world being deceived.
The world doesn't seem deceived at all. The power of Bush's deception seems to peter rapidly once you pass America's borders. Even here, only half the population is deceived, though Fox News is working on the other half.
That's really the only reasonable conclusion I can reach in reaction to John Galliano's Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Misbehaving sports fans are generally granted anonymity by the press, nameless hooligans who emerge from gameday scrapes to regular life without their exploits trailing them close behind.
Not so for the hapless Cubs fan who contributed to their Game 6 NLCS meltdown. I'm surprised that the articles demanding that peeved Chicagoans leave him alone insist on repeating his name as if it were a vindictive mantra.
A guy who wears headphones to a sporting event so that he can listen to a radio account of the game is a real fan. Please return him to the anonymity that he now craves so dearly.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
More than ever before, US workers are finding themselves marginalized in our new and education-intensive economy. With manufacturing jobs quickly moving overseas, this condition is a sad (but perhaps temporary) outcome of America's shift to Information Economy in a globalized environment. Unless these unfortunate workers land in blue collar employment, many will find themselves in the service sector ...independent of whether their personalities work well in a service setting.
The Smoking Gun highlights the humor created some of these service personnel, NY toll attendants, go bad.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Monday, October 13, 2003
Though the majority of voting Californians chose Arnold as their pick for the next governor, the Bay Area (and LA) voted against the recall. A glance at the recall map and a perusal of Bay Area recall comments and you'll see how different the Northern California coast is from the rest of California. Though Federal secession has already been tested, what are the prospects of large areas seceding from states?
Sunday, October 12, 2003
If you watched Saturday's 4th inning fracas between the Red Sox and the Yankees, you probably saw a young, angry Pedro Martinez throw 72-year old Don Zimmer to the ground. Pedro looked atrocious, executing an Aikido move to direct Zimmer turfward. However, he never would have had the chance to upset Zimmer had the Yankee coach not charged him, flailing a pathetic left cross to Pedro's chin.
Mayor Bloomberg has said that Pedro should have been arrested, but I find the situation much more uncertain. After yesterday, the only thing I'm really certain about is that Don Zimmer looks like the offspring of Don Rickles and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Update: Don Zimmer is having a tough ol' time. It's too bad, for his public persona is that of a likeable fellow. Plus, you've got to have sympathy for any 72-year old with a job.
Friday, October 10, 2003
It's hard to misconstrue Jesus/Joshua's ideas about the poor.
The poor must be treated well.
It's hard to get him wrong regarding how to treat your neighbor.
Love your neighbor.
Would Jesus blow up the State Department?
Pat Robertson thinks it's a definite maybe.
Since 9/11, America's been terrified by religious extremists from only one religion. All religious extremists pose a threat to us in one way or another, for all religious extremists consider themselves sacred and view the rest of us as hopelessly profane.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Though all reasonable people stopped getting their science news from the Catholic Church around 1624, the Vatican still feels it proper to deceive AIDS-stricken Africans, telling them that condoms don't stop AIDS.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Don't ask me how, but I stumbled across these PhD's at Loyola Chicago. Scroll the page. These faces make the perfect cast for an American Pie knock-off film. You've got heroes, villians, friends, crushes, assorted students from abroad. It's got all the elements. All they need is a producer and they've got a hit.
In my youth, I associated The Gallup Organization with an unbaised read on what Mom and Pop America were thinking. Since the 2000 Election, in which Gallup presented an election day poll in which >60% of respondents said they would vote for Bush, I've come to see Gallup as frequently presenting numbers skewed in a conservative direction (On that day, Gore won the popular vote by ~500,000 votes). Today's poll results are even more depressing. This poll, titled Are the News Media Too Liberal?: Forty-five percent of Americans say yes, could just as easily have been titled A Majority of Americans Believe Media is Either Even-Handed or Too Conservative.
In this Fox News/James Carville world, I feel that the financial rewards of reaching a partisan audience are forcing journalists & pollsters to choose a side. Impartiality is an impossible ideal, but the quest for impartiality now seems a worthy cause all but abandoned and forgotten.
Though 90% of the keys on my keyboard are subject to everyday use, some keys are never touched (and, quite frankly, they scare me a little). The Straight Dope unlocks the mystery of Scroll Lock and other strange, leftover keys that reside on our grubby expanded keyboards.
[I'm glad to discover that these sacred keys are not harmful. In my heart of hearts, I'd always suspected that the Sys Rq key was the reason that my keyboard bore the ominous "Warning: Some experts believe that the use of any keyboard may cause serious injury."]
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Monday, October 06, 2003
Don't you think the current Chinese space exploration plans are a little ambitious? The emergence of China as an international player is inevitable, but their pursuit of a vigorous space program smacks of a Cold War-esque nationalism. Doesn't China have bigger fish to fry?
Update: While getting a space program off the ground is a priority for the Chinese government, serving as a playground for Japanese Sex Tourists is not.
Another Update: I really hope they don't accidentally kill these guys. Take a glance at a prospective astronaut. I don't know whether it's the sacrificial lamb look on his face, or the 1950's look to the entire picture, or that the caption refers to him and his compatriots as "spacemen," but it just looks really risky.
Final Update (10/17/03): He lived. Whew. However, he did mess up his only job.
In the race to rational business models during the past 4 years, companies have devoted considerable time and energy toward transitioning consumers from free services to fee-based services. Though Yettie staffers abound, it appears that Cerulean Studios doesn’t have any employees who learned how to conduct this process in an organized fashion.
On September 26th, Trillian’s products were rendered partially operable by a change in Yahoo’s messenger protocol. Within hours, the Cerulean staff had a patch available for their paid product. Moreover, their familiarity with the new protocol allowed them to help GAIM (an open source interoperable chat app) return to full functionality. Despite these successes, a patch is still unavailable for the free version of Trillian (.74E), and the userbase is starting to grumble.
By alienating their unpaid userbase, Cerulean risks failing to convert millions of unpaid users into thousands of paid ones. Each passing day without support for their free product is a day in which Cerulean’s PR machine – their free users – is offline.
I hope Cerulean Studios will soon learn the error of this strategic play and return to supporting the users who are most likely to become their future customers.
Update (10/9/03): A patch is available and my geeky grumbling ceases.
Saturday, October 04, 2003
Doc Gooden's son has been charged with crack possession. I learned it from watching you, dad!
Friday, October 03, 2003
Conflict is in the air, and it's tempting to describe most every dialectic as a "war." Sure, there's the War on Terror and the Culture War (Domestic US -- Conservative Christians vs. everybody else). But what about my favorite, the War between Mold and Our Stuff?
Since 9/11, the US has been sprinting toward panic-fueled madness. Meanwhile, Canada has been overtaken by reefer madness. How'se a-boot some more of that kind bud, eh?
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Just in case you felt comfortable flying again, the military regularly rehearses shooting down hijacked airliners.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
"We have to be on time for the sake of God, of the country, our people and our consciences," said the Ecuadorean President. Absolutely. You know, the Almighty's not peeved about genocide, profound disrespect for our fellow men (and women), or the wholesale destruction of the environment.
Heavens, no. Lateness, people, lateness. That's what gets stuck in his (or her) craw.