Friday, July 19, 2002

Inactivist Activists Unite!

Jonah Goldberg at NRO has been talking about his Inactivist movement in the Corner lately. (Do all those links seem like an obvious, desparate attempt to get him to backlink to my Blog? Good!) I'm wondering if he would consider David Rice Atchson to be one of the founding fathers of the inactivist movement. In his presidency, he did nothing. Of course, his presidency only lasted one day, between the end of James Knox Polk's presidency on on Sunday, March 4, 1849, and Zachary Taylor's inauguration the following day. The 4th fell on a Sunday, and as a deeply religious man, Taylor refused to be inaugurated on the Sabbath. When asked what he did during his one day presidency, he replied:
"I went to bed. There had been two or three busy nights finishing up the work of the Senate, and I slept most of that Sunday."
I personally think we could use more politicians with that kind of mindset. Incidentally, we need to get some sort of "Inactivist Activist" button to adorn blogs, websites, etc. I'd be glad to put one up on my sidebar here, except that I have a horrid lack of skills when it comes to photoshop! If any of the inactivists get motivated to do this, please let me know!

Trafficant threatens to stab people in the crotch

Quotes from his appearance before the House ethics comittee. (Found this link via Fark.com)
I will break out of prison and I'll make a neck tie out of some these bureaucrats.
Well, there are plent of snakes in congress, so they would be about the right shape...
I'm disgusted, busted, can't be trusted.
Is he about to start up a new career in rap??
I will take with me a file, a chisel, a knife, I will try and get some major explosives, try to fight my way out, And then when I get out I will grab a sword like Maximus Meridius Demidius and as a Gladiator I will stab people in the crotch
Thats probably the first time that particular phrase was used in the congressional record!

Whoopsie!

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher called the terror attack on Israeli civilians near Emmanuel an "accident" that proves the futility of Israel's military presence in the West Bank.
Two cars crash into one another? Thats an Accident. Someone falls down the stairs? Thats an Accident. Religious Fanatic straps C4 and a few boxes of nails as shrapnel bombs to their torso and detonates it all in a public place with the intent of killing as many Israeli Jews as possible? Thats an "On Purpose", not an "Accident".
Instapundit stumbled across an interesting story about Ted Turner. Apparently, he is trying to swipe 68 Acres of land from a group descended from slaves on the SC coast, so he can develop it. I bet most people haven't heard of it, I know it definately hasn't been in my newspaper, or on the news. Can you imagine the outrage if someone not on the left did this? Just imagine how many protests there would be if this had been done by Rush Limbaugh, for example...

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Slightly less dangerous than a Potato Gun!

Paper Blowgun Darts I'm not sure if it qualifies as Geek stuff, but all the geeks around here sure seemed to think it was a cool idea.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Worldcom? Enron? Global Crossing? Blame them on Congress!

Accoring Daniel Gross' recent article in Slate, it appears that government regulations and tax law are responsible for the accounting shell games that have been going on over the past several years. The long and short of it? 1990s changes in the tax law made it very unattractive to pay executives more than 1 million in base pay. However, incentive based rewards, such as stock options were exempt from this punitive tax on income. Therefore, a huge amount of executive compensation was shifted to non-base salary means. Unfortunately, this created a huge incentive for the executives to artificially inflate stock prices, by doing some very shady accounting. It just goes to show the pitfalls of unintended consequences. Jonah Goldberg from NRO has a nice column on the whole issue. Sometimes, we would be better off if Congress stayed out of the kitchen, and quit spoiling the stew.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Blue Screen of Death, the T-Shirt!

Ok, this is hands down, the best geek T-Shirt that i have ever seen. I have a few, including a windows error popup reading: "Please bang Head on Keyboard to Continue" and a black shirt with white text reading: "No, I will not fix your computer." I'm tempted to get the "Guru Meditation Error" shirt, but most of my Geek friends wouldn't even get that one... (Yes, I had an Amiga 500, and thought I was the coolest kid in town when we upgraded to a full meg of ram.) Hopefully my wife will read this post, and remember it until my Birthday...
Tarheel Pundit has the following to say in a recent post.
...I saved the best two things about North Carolina for last: the best college basketball in the country (whether you are a Heels fan, a Duke fan, or a State fan you always have a good basketball team to cheer for, even if their season last year wasn't as good as you hoped it would be) and the best BBQ anywhere. Ya'll come visit North Carolina and you'll see what I mean, and if you are ever in my neck of the woods, stop by for a drink. If you do, you'll probably come back... And by the way, Eastern North Carolina BBQ with a little of South Carolina mustard added to it is the best you can get...
Sorry, have to point out a couple of errors there. For starters, you forgot about the Deacons in your list of good Basket Ball teams. The Deacs did better than two of the teams listed for Basketball, and well, they at least beat Duke in Football. Ok, beating Duke's record at Football isn't exactly hard to do, I admit... Also, Lexington Style BBQ is far better than eastern style In my not so humble opinion. But anything from the Carolinas beats that third rate BBQ from elsewhere, right?

Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil

It appears that Finnish police are taking their training from the same source as the FBI. A Car Bomb explodes outside a a Synagogue, and they say this doesn't appear to be terrorism.
"We are treating this as an isolated incident," said Detective Chief Inspector Olli Toyras. "We don't believe there are any terrorism or political links."
This sounds a lot like the FBI's announcements about the LAX shooting. In case you aren't familiar, an Egyptian Muslim with possible ties to Al-Qaeda members opens fire into a crowd of Israeli Jews at an airport. The FBI claimed that was't terrorism either. They aren't willing to see what the truth is, and even if they did, they wouldn't be willing to speak its true name, Terrorism.
Just this past Sunday, my son was christened. Or Baptised. It really depends on who you are, and what you call it. I got into a discussion with my Father-in-law about how it was always called a "Christening" when he was growing up, but now it is called a Baptism". Technically, the event could be called either in the case of an infant, but they aren't exactly interchangeable. Both my parents, and myself to a point were brought up Baptist. To the baptist denomination, Baptism is something that can only be done by an Adult. Only once someone has come of age, and is doing so of their own free will. Currently, my wife and I attend a Methodist Church. (Actually, we both joined this Sunday... Figured as long as we are going in front of the congregation, may as well kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak.) The methodist Church believes in Infant Baptism. However, a Christening is not merely a baptism. As I found out with some reading in the past few days, Christening is also a dedication. The Idea is that a child is dedicated to "Christendom", or the Christian Faith, in much the same way a ship or church was historically dedicated when it was christened. Anyway, it was a beautiful service. We actually had my whole family and a large chunk of my wife's family all together under the same roof. My son Logan, all dressed in white. He acted perfectly during the service, and it almost brought tears to my eyes. I know these days, a lot of people aren't very big on these kinds of ceremonies, but It is a very meaningful one to my wife and I.
Just doing this nonsensical post to add my Blog to Blogchalking. Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United States, Belews Creek, Salem Quarters, Tony! If it doesn't make much sense, don't worry, Its not supposed to.
On Friday, June 12th, The Winston-Salem Journal had an editorial entitled "A Rerun Worth Watching" I will copy/paste the text below, because their content is only online for a limited amount of time.
For most people, the thought of thousands of unwanted pets being euthanized a year is an abstraction, sad, but not anything needing action. That is why BJ Barnes, the sheriff of Guilford County, aired a video in 1998 of a dog being put to death. The video attracted considerable controversy. It also apparently did some good. Euthanizations at the Guilford shelter are down 20 percentage points. Of course, the video isn't solely responsible. But the airing and publicity might well have awakened some consciences. Maybe that's why Barnes is planning to air it again on his Sheriff's Beat program, televised in Guilford County. This time it's attracted less fuss (so far). Maybe that's because it's not a new idea; maybe it's also, in part, because recent attention paid to local shelters has made the problem of unwanted animals more immediate. Barnes seems to realize that blunt education of the public is one way to cut down on the number of unwanted pets. Thousands of animals in the Triad are euthanized; thousands more die on roads or of starvation or disease. Barbara Cassidy, the director of Forsyth's shelter, isn't joking when she says that she'd love nothing better than to put herself out of business. She says unequivocally that 100 percent of the problem of unwanted pets is because people don't spay and neuter; if everyone did, the problem would vanish in a couple of years. Meanwhile, the shelter has to euthanize 80 percent of its animals, the national average. Officials say they're hoping that a new shelter sometime this fiscal year, at a better location, will encourage more adoptions and reduce that percentage. They're also hoping to have the computer support soon to offer differential licensing through which a license for an unneutered animal is considerably more than for a neutered one. That's fair. All taxpayers bear the burden of unneutered animals. Stray animals are a health threat. Rabies has grown to epidemic proportions, with more than 15 cases in the last six months. In addition, tax money goes to rounding up strays, temporarily housing them and even killing them. Yes, showing a video of a dog being put to death is shocking. But people don't have to watch, and many of those who most need to probably won't. Getting the word out that spaying and neutering pets is everyone's concern is important. And if showing people the life-and-death consequences of carelessness will make more people be more responsible pet owners, the video will be a public service.
I am wondering why this same principle couldn't be applied to Abortion. There are a number of factual videos out there that document what actually occurs during a typical Abortion. How many people would actually follow through with an abortion if they really knew ahead of time what happens, and were informed about the pain felt by the unborn child, the fact that their heart is beating, or told how well developed they are at an early age. Alternatively, I have another Idea. Instead of just showing a pre-recorded video tape, why not show the mother an ultrasound of the baby inside them. Let them see the heartbeat, see the arms moving around, see the detail of the nose, the shape of the head, the tiny little feet. For any other procedure, our laws demand informed consent, so that the patient knows what the risks, and details of the procedure will be. Why don't we give expectant mothers all the facts prior to an abortion?

Monday, July 15, 2002

Ever think your job is boring? These guys have you beat.
Kasprowicz says one physicist at Argonne has done nothing for the last four years except sit in an office without a computer--and hasn't talked to his supervisor in six months.
Incidentally, these are federal employees, and the reason they are sitting idle like this is because they are white men. I'm a white guy, and I could really use the time to catch up on my reading... Where do I send my resume?
Johnny Jihad plead guilty, and could send him to jail for about 20 years. I'm curious to know what exactly he plans to do after getting out. To put it mildly, there would be more than a few people who don't think that this is punishment enough. Out of those, there would be more than a handful willing to inflict an additional punishment themself. In other words, I don't think people are going to forget about him lightly. Be it Mike Spann's family, the family of a killed serviceman, or the families of someone killed on 9-11, There are bound to be a few out there not willing to let treason and the taking up of arms against the US be forgotten easily, especially when their loved one was one killed as part of Taliban/Al Qaeda's actions. (I'm not saying their action would be right, just that it would be inevitable if Johnny Jihad was released into the general population.) Heck, for that matter, even if he was released into the general prison population, I don't see him lasting very long at all. Prison Justice would probably be just as hard on a Taliban member as it is on child molesters, etc. But short of sending him overseas (send him to a Muslim country that still supports terrorists like Al-Qaeda? A more moderate one wouldn't likely want him...) or trying to hide him in the witness relocation program, (Unlikely, because his face is known all over.) I'm not sure what they could do. Radical plastic surgery? Keep him hidden somewhere away from the public? A shack in Montana? (I think there is an opening, the former owner's name was Kazinski...) All in all, the odds of him getting out alive in 20 years are slim, and the odds of him staying alive after that are even worse.
Fearing that there may still be some viewers left, It appears that some networks are now planning popup ads on television. Even with popup X10 advertisements, I'd rather be online than watch TV. Adding those same annoying advertisements to my televison screen might just encourage me to drop cable altogether. What's next? Spam and 404 errors? Perhaps router problems when we try to see our favorite shows! The television industry should be copying the best parts of the online experience like interactivity, and customized content on request. It definately should stay away from the most annoying features that the online world has to offer.
An article in The Sun says that the Eurocrats now want to ban Happy Hour.
BRUSSELS killjoys want to wipe the smiles off drinkers’ faces by BANNING pub happy hours. Euro MPs will vote next month on outlawing the practice of cutting booze prices for an hour or two to attract punters. Scandinavian socialists in the European Parliament claim big pub firms lose money on happy hours simply to crush rival bars that can’t afford discounts.
Of course, I'm surprised they haven't already banned the UK from selling beer by the pint. Anyone up for 0.5683 liters of Beer? Just doesn't roll off the tongue as well. Edit: Found this thanks to Tim Blair