Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Canyonero, anyone?

Why Oil Sheiks Love A Good Hummer

Go Read.
Let's play a game

Did John Ashcroft really say this?

There is a concern that the Internet could be used to commit crimes and that advanced encryption could disguise such activity. However, we do not provide the government with phone jacks outside our homes for unlimited wiretaps. Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web?

Well, yes, but it was about the Clinton administration, so I'm sure he really meant it.

Via Tom Tomorrow.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Plucky the Misanthrope

The more I hear about...well, pretty much anything these days, the more my disgust for human nature increases.

Let me explain. When I was a little kid, I remember seeing a news broadcast concerning the war between Iraq and Iran. Growing up in the 80's (and having a Muslim father) gave me a chance to see alot of Middle East conflict on the news, but a particualr image haunts me to this day.

The image was of an infant and its mother, lying dead in the street from poision gas. I seem to remember it was an Iranian mother and child, but that doesn't really matter. I remember being horrified, and glad that such stupid acts of hate would never occur in American society, where people were calm and rational.

I was brought back to that thought today, when I read this article and really realized how wrong I was.

I'm probably being a drama queen. I think I have a big dark cloud over my head today.

*UPDATE* While we're at it, let's go ahead and add this, this, this and this to my list of why people suck. Anyone with happy news feel free to let me in on it.
Who needs actual news, anyway?

Disappointed by the slowness of our government to declare war on Iraq, MSNBC has decided to pretend that they've done it already.

Secaucus, NJ, Nov. 18 — In a unique special event, MSNBC presents “Wargame: Iraq,” a look at how President George Bush and his top advisors might decide to attack Iraq. “Wargame: Iraq,” airing Monday, Nov. 25, 10 p.m.-12 a.m. ET, is an intense, dramatic look at simulated meetings of the National Security Council, enacted by veterans of past administrations and experts in foreign policy, as they decide the parameters for going to war.

Is this news-o-tainment or what? I used to think that MSNBC was slightly more legitimate that Fox News (and admittedly, I was glued to the channel during the 2000 election debacle, and again in the first few days after 9/11/2001) but they have officially fallen off the deep end for me.

Plus, the movie geek in me is irritated that they didn't hire real actors. Imagine the crappy performances these people are likely to give. Ha ha.

I wonder what fake outcome this fake National Security Council will come to. Actually, I don't.
Playing in their Reindeer Games

The Rittenhouse Review has a well-written article concerning the treatment Al Gore has recieved at the hands of the media "Heathers".

When the subject is Al Gore, each of the pundits named here, each member of this gaggle of giggling geese can be counted upon to reveal him- or herself to be the quintessential 17-year-old Alpha Girl: immature, insecure, dishonest, manipulative, selfish, developmentally stunted, and desperate for the approval and affection of others.

Too bad Winona Ryder is on probation.

(BTW, I hate Winona Ryder, just to be clear.)

Sunday, November 24, 2002


I'll never understand the logic of people who are abusive to you and think that will make you do what they want.

To the anonymous person who just called my unnamed place of employment, if you tell someone "f**k off, you stupid idiot who can't do anything right", they're not very likely to bend to your wishes, that by the way violate the policy of the company they work for.

I hope their next waiter spits in their food.

Bunch of savages in this town....
Oh My...

My friend and loyal reader Christopher just sent me an email in response to a post from earlier that is worth reprinting in its (near) entirety. In fact, it made me laugh so hard (in the middle of work, even) that my cubicle drew stares.

I realize of course, that my response to your concerns is slightly delayed,
however, I hope that you will take the time to read a little common sense and
perhaps correct your earlier, irrational, inappropriate, propaganda spreading

First, requiring American’s to be able to determine where a country is on the
map before bombing it, is a lesson in inefficiency. In the fast-paced modern
world of revolutions, counterrevolutions, coups and separatist movements,
countries come and go at lightning speed. The precious time spent trying to
locate a particular country on the map may close the window of opportunity
forever. For example, in the Vietnam war, if the United States military had
taken the time to try and find out where Burma was, they could have ended up
bombing Myanmar. Just think what a diplomatic mess that would have created!

Second, American’s are already required to memorize more information than any
other citizens on the planet. This means that there is relatively little space
available for additional facts, especially when the utility of such information
is minimal at best. Say for example, that I memorize the location of Eyerack.
If two weeks later, the end result is the annihilation of the bloody place, then
that fact becomes completely irrelevant. Valuable brain space has been used up
on out-dated and irrelevant information that could have been used to try and
puzzle out who the father of Rachel’s baby is on Friends. This is bolstered by
additional facts that you left out of the survey in question, while only 13% of
young American’s could find Eyerack, only .04% cared where the country was
anyway. America is a big country, filled with busy, productive citizens. We do
not have time to compartmentalize the rest of the world into nice little regions
and specific areas, let alone give each one of the places a name.

Third, teaching American’s how to read a map often requires teaching them how to
read. The additional money such an ethereal and impossible program would
require can only result in a significant reduction in resources available for
bomb making. America’s bomb making capacity is already less than 154% higher
than any competitor. Furthermore, teaching everyone who might enter the
military to read, could easily lead to mass education and if we are going to
engage in such communist driven, bleeding-heart hand-outs, then Americans have
already lost the war.

Fourth, many countries have crazy and weird sounding names like,
‘Campoocheeah’, ‘Leyebeereeya’, ‘Canuhduh,’ and ‘Noo Meksicoh’. Americans
often feel uncomfortable trying to sort out such foreign sounding devil talk.
To put added pressure on our brave bombadiers, already giving 110% for their
country is in pretty poor taste. Furthermore, recent CIA evidence suggests that
many of these names may contain subliminal messages, greatly endangering any
American mind that is exposed to them. A study, conducted by a very well known
institute, determined that after being asked to examine maps of a certain
‘Tie-Land’, 35% of subjects tested, “felt mildly inclined to purchase neck
ties.” Standard practice follow up questioning determined that an alarming 98%
of the subjects, “lived predominantly on the land.”

Finally, even the briefest glance at our foreign policy demonstrates that
there is no need to find out where particular countries lie on a map.
American’s do not bomb countries because they are somewhere, we bomb them to
demonstrate the superiority of American ideals, ideology and life style.
Statistics show these values are almost completely absent outside the 30 or 40
States. Such a massive threat to our way of life, does not require labeling, it
requires action.

Irate reader,

Oh, and in case you couldn't tell, he's being sarcastic.
Girls Kick Ass, as the t-shirt says

I'd like to take a moment to recognize all the butt-kicking blogs penned by women.

Ann Salisbury
Jeanne D'Arc
Kim Osterwalder
Mad Kane
Sisyphus Shrugged

And of course a million more that I don't know about.

On a similar subject, Ampersand has had some excellent posts in the past few days concerning feminism and the men's-rights movement.

And Body and Soul is conducting an interesting discussion on women's rights and cultural imperialism.

Stop reading my drivel and go read all of them.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

They call it Jackass for a reason.

The Art House isn't dead, it just smells funny.

Stumbled upon this interesting article from Salon a few days ago on the advent of DVD home video.

"Movies as they were meant to be seen." To film purists that has long meant one thing only: on the big screen. It's also a phrase used by the premium cable channels that run movies without the cuts imposed by the major networks, and by DVD manufacturers who have raised the bar on the quality of movies available for home viewing.

There's a little Art House theater in Albuquerque called "The Lobo" that has unfortunately been closed for the past few years. I do sigh deeply every time I drive by it. Lately, even the "For Sale" sign is no longer displayed. (If someone has bought it, they're taking their sweet time doing anything with it.) However, given the choice between seeing "The Philadelphia Story" at home on DVD, and seeing a scratchy, skipping, faded print that catches on fire (I never saw a film catch on fire until I regularly attended screenings at The Lobo), or now not at all, I choose DVD. I always loved the scratchy, faded look of old movies as a kid, but it was quite a revelation to find, first through laserdisc projections in film studies class and later in DVD at home, that they weren't really meant to look that way. They have as beautiful an asthetic as anything more modern.

It sounds stupid, and it's really of those things you know intellectually but don't really realize. I think that rather breathtaking realization was when I went from curious movie buff to proud cineaste.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Why don't I read Mad Magazine?

Once again, the world of satire has provided a more accurate representation of the news than anyone in journalisim ever could.


Via Maxspeak.

A big gold star to the first person to tell me why this is weird and creepy and wrong.

Gene scientists Craig Venter and Hamilton Smith hope to create a single-celled, partially man-made organism with the minimum number of genes necessary to sustain life in a project funded by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Energy Department, The Washington Post reported in its Thursday editions.

If the experiment works, the newspaper said, the microscopic man-made cell would begin feeding and dividing to create a population of cells unlike any previously known to exist.


For more human sliminess, read this article about a New York class-action lawsuit against McDonald's.

In federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday, a lawyer alleged that the fast-food chain has created a national epidemic of obese children. Samuel Hirsch argued that the high fat, sugar and cholesterol content of McDonald's food is "a very insipid, toxic kind of thing" when ingested regularly by young kids.

This is very, very true. McDonald's food is very bad for children, adults, dogs, anybody who eats it. There are many things in this world that are bad for children. That's why they have PARENTS that are supposed to KEEP THESE THINGS FROM THEM. Or so I've heard.

On the subject of big fat dumb kids, is this cheerful revelation.

The society survey found that only about one in seven -- 13 percent -- of Americans between the age of 18 and 24, the prime age for military warriors, could find Iraq. The score was the same for Iran, an Iraqi neighbor.

Although the majority, 58 percent, of the young Americans surveyed knew that the Taliban and al Qaeda were based in Afghanistan, only 17 percent could find that country on a world map.

Here's a proposal for a new U.N. resolution...before we are allowed to bomb a nation we have to know how to find it on a map!

Didn't I tell you the news was pissing me off lately?
What Would Jesus Drive?

Apparently, a hybrid vehicle.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

And I'm back

Had a great vacation with the Cubano side of my family down in Miami. Discovered that my grandfather makes a great Cuba Libre (or, as he called them, "Fidels"), realized I can't dance to that kind of music, got to show off my husband to everyone, and played on a real beach for the first time in years. I didn't even get "wanded" at the airport, though my father got the same "random" search he happens to get everytime he flys anywhere. When we got back I realized that the reason I couldn't browse to this page was that my computer had the Klez virus (removed, no severe damage done), my kitchen sink was draining onto the hallway floor, and my place of employment had scheduled me for a day when they knew I was out of town.


So, I don't really feel like blogging yet. Everything in the news is just pissing me off. Maybe I'll write something personal, though I swore that when I started this blog I would avoid that like the plague. Whichever, I'm not going to do it now. Now I'm going to watch all three zillion hours of special features on the "Fellowship of the Ring" 5-disc DVD I just bought. It came with bookends.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Well, Anyway...

If I'm not the only one having problems accessing this page, this won't matter. But, I'm going on vacation. Going to Miami. So no blogging for a few days. When I come back I'll tell you all about how I was randomly given an anonymous search at the airport.

Every time I try to access this page I get a DNS error. Can anybody hear me????

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Why Al Gore should be President.

Because he said "Peace Out Y'all" on tonight's episode of Futurama.

Anyone willing to play their own head on TV gets my vote.

Friday, November 08, 2002

What the...?!?

Okay, I don't know why it was on. I wasn't really watching Hardball on MSNBC. It was just on in the background. I wasn't really listening.

That is, until former Congressman Bob Dornan said something that shocked me so much I had to rewind it on my TiVo.

He said, and I quote verbatim,

One third of all abortions, 35 percent of all teenage abortions, end in killing a child with a soul.


I'll put aside my punkgrrl indignation that an old man has the gall to say anything about what happens in my uterus and I'll take this statement as meaning, at least in part, that prenatal fetuses have souls. Fine. But to say that only one third of abortions involve souls means that the other two thirds don't involve unborn souls. Are those abortions okay? If no (which, somehow, I think I can safely say is Dornan's position) then why not? Is it more than a soul you're protecting? Could it be your patriarchal need for control? And at what point in fetal development does "the soul" happen? I'll have to ask my OB-GYN.

Seriously, If American politicians don't stop acting like the Taliban then I'm moving to Canada.
The Land of Bubonic Enchantment

Only in New Mexico, folks.

Two tourists were hospitalized in New York City after they likely contracted bubonic plague in their home state of New Mexico, health officials said.

People come down with Black Death in New Mexico all the time. Sad that they had to go to New York to get it noticed. I love my state, really I do.
The Burqa and the Damage Done

Jeanne over at Body and Soul makes a point about "The Veil" that I wish more people would hear.

.Afghan women are no more empowered taking fashion orders from French feminists than they were taking them from the Taliban. How they dress effects our comfort level. We look at them and think, how can they be free if they're still in those sacks? But it's not about how we feel, it's about how they live

I wore "The Veil" for a certian brief but significant portion of my life. And although I take issue with many core beliefs of Islam (mostly the same issues I take with, say, Catholicism, and pretty much all religions for that matter) "The Veil" is not one of them. The head-to-toe burqa is an extreme example, and most Muslim women do not wear veils like these, nor does the Koran call for them to.

Besides, they're perfect for covering a really bad hair day.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Monday, November 04, 2002

Funny, but not Ha-Ha Funny

John Stewart of the Daily Show was interviewed by CNN's Howard Kurtz. The transcript would be a funny read if it were The Daily Show, and not CNN that had aired it.

KURTZ: You're going to be on live election night with..."Indecision 2000," live on election night...

STEWART: We're probably not going to go with 2000. We're going to go with 2002. We're going to stick with the year that it is now.

Kurtz goes on to reveal the shocking truth behind The Daily Show's reports.

KURTZ: I went to one of your tapings this week.

STEWART: Yes, you did.

KURTZ: And I can reveal -- can I say this?

STEWART: By the way, I didn't care for the heckling.

KURTZ: All right. I can reveal that all those -- you go to those live correspondent reports standing in front of the Capitol, out in North Carolina.

STEWART: That's exactly right.

KURTZ: They're right on the stage there with you.


KURTZ: Isn't that kind of dishonest?

STEWART: Our budget is to the point where we can only afford the picture of North Carolina. We can't actually afford the trip. So we put them in front of a just a green screen of that.

KURTZ: So you don't, you're not confusing yourself with a quote, "real journalist"?

STEWART: No. You guys are...

KURTZ: You're just making fun...

STEWART: You guys are confusing yourselves with real journalists.

I don't know, maybe Kurtz was joking and I just had to be there.

What is this "Rac-ial Pro-fi-ling" of which you speak?

Novelist Rohinton Mistry cancelled a US book tour because he was sick and tired of being "humiliated" at US airports.

"As a person of color he was stopped repeatedly and rudely at each airport along the way -- to the point where the humiliation to him and his wife (with whom he has been traveling) has become unbearable," said a statement from Mistry's publicist.

My favorite part is this, though.

Canada issued a travel advisory last month urging such citizens to avoid travel to the United States, but Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham said he has since received U.S. guarantees that all Canadians appearing with a passport at a U.S. border would be treated equally.

I bet Maher Arar would disagree.
If I were Like Ann Coulter...

If I were like Ann Coulter, I would say that this is evidence that Christianity causes terrorism.

Kony is a former altar boy and was part of an earlier Christian fundamentalist rebel movement, the Holy Spirit Movement, which was founded in 1986 by a former prostitute, Alice Lakwena.

Of course, I am not at all like Ann Coulter, so I'm just grateful for my Atheism.
Movie-Geeks Unite!

Just stumbled across this interesting piece from Salon a few days ago. Go read if you're as sick of politics as I am.