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(no subject) [Sep. 17th, 2011|12:19 am]
[mood |annoyedannoyed]

A story in the news pissed me off (yeah, I know, "shock" and all...) Anyway, some longshoremen stormed a port in Washington and held guards hostage and broke stuff. No one was arrested.


America is not a third world country. Things like this shouldn’t happen here, especially unpunished. If there are so many dumb thugs together on one area that the police can’t deal with them, send in the National Guard and shoot them. Peaceful protest in this country is great, but as soon as you become a violent mob intimidating people, you lose all rights and sympathy. That’s the way it should be in this country. We don’t want to be like Europe where people riot for days unabated because we’re too weak-willed to stand up for ourselves. People get this idea they have rights to everyone else’s stuff and can take and smash what they want, and then we end up with, I dunno, a Democrat congress.

Besides: notice how the longshoremen violence is getting little coverage? Now imagine if people identifying themselves as Tea Party members did anything similar. It would be the lead news story for weeks.

Theoretical right-wing violence still gets much more press than actual left-wing violence.

That reminds me: Anyone introducing one of the Republican presidential candidates should refer to the Obama administration and say, “Let’s take those sons of bitches out!” as it’s now been established by Obama that’s acceptable speech.
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Civilization as we knew it [Sep. 9th, 2011|09:23 pm]
[Current Location |Bunker under my house]
[mood |cynicalcynical]

My family lives in San Diego, so I thought I'd "liveblog" what was going on during their Lost 48 Hours. All times local, in 24-hour format. Events happen in real time.

1538: Crap! I just lost all electrical power at my house! So much for liveblogging tonight. My netbook and 4G modem work though.

1550: Can’t get to the SDG&E web site, or through on the phone. Odd.

1605: Liveblogging president’s jobs speech. Streaming video from White House via 4G modem on my netbook with its tiny screen. Inconvenient. Like being a settler in a covered wagon. Will the power ever come back?

1724: I’m learning how people lived in Oldy Days without electricity. This sucks. Why do these things always happen to me?

1745: Power outages throughout San Diego County, reports of outages in Mexico, AZ, NM. Millions without power. Trolleys dead. Massive traffic.

1840: Went out on my motorcycle for a pack of smokes. Stores closed, smokes hard to acquire. Had to go to 2 stores to find them. Civilization is breaking down. Loading my rifles now.

1930: Darkness is falling. Dinner time approaching. Must resist cannibalistic urges.

2018: So, ONE GUY can cut off power to three states in two countries? One guy? Seriously?

2100: SDG&E says, "If you have a personal family emergency plan, activate it now." My personal family emergency plan is to kill my neighbors for their food. Too soon? Or do they already suspect my plans?

2140: No power for 6 hours. Veneer of civilization crumbling away. Typing on a netbook via 4G in candlelight like some sort of animal.

2230: 7 hours without power. My white wines are perilously close to room temperature. We’re just living like wild beasts now.

2316: Must go to bed and try to sleep now. All windows are open to try to cool the house. Temperature must be approaching 80°. May start sweating at any minute. Physical torture affecting my thought processes.

2330: With the candles out, it’s pitch black. Strange noises outside the windows. What was once civilization may now be infested by wolves and mountain lions. Or possums.

2340: Must try to sleep. Thank God for the protection offered by my four large cats. If I am alive in the morning, it is thanks to them.

0230: Am awoken by lights, television. Air conditioning back on, so I have to get up and close all the windows. That sucks, ’cause I have to be up at 0700. Will this horror never end!?

0231: Oh, wait…
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House LOLcat [Aug. 31st, 2011|07:33 pm]
[mood |amusedamused]

I picked up a new fermenting bucket today, only to find this about ten seconds after setting it down.

I also made one with "I'm in ur furmenter, killin ur yeastz." Anybody come up with another one?
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Is it 2012 yet? [Jul. 6th, 2011|02:13 pm]
I know, random title...we were talking about time machines at work and someone mentioned that they'd use it to go to 2012 to make sure America did the right thing.

Me, I'd probably wind up getting drunk and going back to the early 90's to ask Tia Carrera to the prom. I'm just as patriotic as the next guy, but c'mon, can you blame me?
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(no subject) [Apr. 10th, 2011|06:09 am]
[mood |enragedenraged]

Although lost in the budget battle (more on that later), I really don't know what to say about this nutjob in Florida, except that in this country, he has every right to do what he's doing.

I don't like it. I also don't like "Piss Christ" and the Westboro Baptist Church. I don't support it; in fact I formally renounce them all. I see it as unnecessarily inflammatory. Then again, the same can be said of my previous three examples as well. His activities are no more provocative than my two.

The tough thing about rights and freedoms is that they apply to actions/speech we don't like (as long as they don't violate any of the caveats to those rights). I know lots of people who would say this assist's actions were tantamount to shouting fire in a crowded theatre. This is not the case. Shouting fire in a crowded theatre would cause panic and irrational behavior by people in said theater because of a lack of information and a fear of one's life. It is an immediate reaction to an immediate threat. Panic ensues, everyone rushes to the nearest exit at once, and some people get killed in the stampede. It can and will cause immediate injury and death.

From what I see, this is not the case in Afghanistan. Don't misunderstand; I am not at all pleased by the deaths of UN workers there, but it was at the hands of a mob that was whipped up there (not, I add, by the act in Florida at the time it occurred) and *chose* (important word, there) to act murderously. Yes: they CHOSE to attack people who had absolutely nothing to do with the event, well after the deed was done.

I'm pretty sure there was a "Law and Order" episode along these lines. Guy catches his wife in flagrante delicto with another man. Dude comes back a week later with some over-engineered scheme to kill the two of them and pleads temporary insanity by the emotional distress caused by the act. Jack McCoy, no imbecile, calls bullshit, saying that that excuse might work had it happened at the time of discovery. It does not work after you've had a week to figure out the legal loopholes you might use.

Some might wish to use the "fighting words" doctrine. Nope. The only "fighting words" I can think of would be from whatever Afghani that decided it would be a good idea to incite the mob to violence (I'm looking at you, President Karzai). My guess is that nearly everyone in the crowd had never before heard of Terry Jones, let alone Florida, until that day.

Don't mistake this for a defense of Jones. I think he's a complete waste of perfectly good carbon. What he does adds nothing positive to the world around us. But...and again, this is the hard part...he has every right to do it.

I'll denounce him every chance I get and be grateful for the chance to tell him to his face that his actions hurt the very moral authority he purports to represent: Christianity.

Meanwhile I put the blame squarely where it belongs: on the forehead of the murderous barbarians. This is nothing more than the Danish Cartoon debacle writ large. Lest you forget, Cartoon Network censored episodes of South Park because of "threats" from Islamists. No such censorship took place when the same cartoon portrayed Jesus Christ and God. The lady who started "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day" has had to enter a self-imposed (and self-funded) witness protection program. And speaking of the Danish cartoonist, oh yeah, he was murdered in the street.

Free speech has offended Muslim sensibilities. I'd like to offer the same advice given to me when the same has offended Catholicism: Suck it up. Jones is not in the least bit culpable for the actions of others. Yes, he was warned that violence might ensue. We, however, are not responsible for the evil, illegal actions others might take in response to our freely expressing our thoughts. Even if...scratch that. ESPECIALLY if they are half-baked, idiotic thoughts.

If we allow the possible reactions of the most evil people who would respond to our thoughts to dictate our thoughts and words, then we do not have freedom at all. We have the veto of murderers.
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National Anthem [Feb. 8th, 2011|10:11 pm]
[mood |amusedamused]

So yeah, Christina screwed it up. Whatever. It happens every couple of years. Besides, this is still the paragon of Anthem screw-ups:

This, OTOH, is a much better example of how it can be done:
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VW [Feb. 3rd, 2011|08:54 pm]
[mood |amusedamused]

Volkswagen has been coming up with some great commercials lately:

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And while I'm ranting... [Jan. 30th, 2011|10:23 pm]
Thanks to Obama's feckless permatorium on drilling, dozens of Gulf rigs are pulling out of the area for good."
Some of the 30-plus deepwater rigs that were in the Gulf of Mexico have moved to other markets, first because of a U.S. halt called last May after BP Plc's (BP.L: Quote) well blowout, and then because of the lack of permits once the moratorium was lifted.

Below are rigs contracted to work in the Gulf of Mexico that have been or will be moved to other regions.

Two rigs are going to Egypt (of all places), others to the Republic of Congo, Nigeria, the Mediterranean Sea, French Guiana and Brazil, all stable, non-corrupt areas the lot of them. So remember that when the President decides to talk about job creation (usually when unemployment numbers go up "unexpectedly!"), he ought to be honest and tell the people he’s creating jobs overseas, at the expense of American workers. Here at home, he and his cronies will keep throwing more money at windmills and solar panels that aren't nearly ready for primetime. The price of gas will continue to rise, no one will peep about the "windfall profits" of the eeeeebil oil companies, and the media will refuse to connect the dots to the actions of this administration.
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In lighter news... [Jan. 30th, 2011|08:21 pm]
People are debating Christina Hendricks' ethical body.

To which I can only say this:

That, and "Whoa. Good bible."
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Internet "kill-switch" [Jan. 30th, 2011|06:37 pm]
I'm sure you've been following the Egyptian protests. There's a lot to say on the subject, but for now I'd really just like to concentrate on one aspect. When the protests started to seriously threaten the existing government's continued existence, what was the first thing it did? They shut off the internet. They ordered that turned off along with cell networks in order to prevent the protesters from communicating with each other and forbidding email, Facebook updates, Tweets, and everything else from getting to the rest of the world.

But hey, it's a borderline Third-world country, right? No way that could happen here.
A controversial bill handing President Obama power over privately owned computer systems during a "national cyberemergency," and prohibiting any review by the court system, will return this year.

It's back. And the same asshats who tried to get it through Congress the last time are at it again.
Internet companies should not be alarmed by the legislation, first introduced last summer by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), a Senate aide said last week. Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

"We’re not trying to mandate any requirements for the entire Internet, the entire Internet backbone," said Brandon Milhorn, Republican staff director and counsel for the committee.

Instead, Milhorn said at a conference in Washington, D.C., the point of the proposal is to assert governmental control only over those "crucial components that form our nation’s critical infrastructure."

Uh huh. Anyone else notice that those are the same "crucial components" that Egypt used to cut its people off from the rest of the world? Yeah, we're supposed to trust our government not to use its power in ways not yet imagined and certainly not wanted.

I don't think so.
Portions of the Lieberman-Collins bill, which was not uniformly well-received when it became public in June 2010, became even more restrictive when a Senate committee approved a modified version on December 15. The full Senate did not act on the measure.

The revised version includes new language saying that the federal government’s designation of vital Internet or other computer systems "shall not be subject to judicial review." Another addition expanded the definition of critical infrastructure to include "provider of information technology," and a third authorized the submission of "classified" reports on security vulnerabilities.

I don't know about you, but given this Administration's overreach in the last two years, I see nothing here that should give anyone a warm fuzzy. And I certainly do not want a bill that supercedes the inherent checks and balances, e.g. powers not subject to judicial review. That is how rights get trampled.

And yes, it's all about protecting you from, er, well, something:
"For all of its ‘user-friendly’ allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," he said.

Hey Joe. I'm a grown man. I can and do take care of myself. Hands off the internet.

But they won't. We all know it. The 'net is here and since it's here, it must be taxed, regulated, and controlled by our betters in the government. Despite the fact that it's worked fine for the last twenty years without any of it.

Here's the initial criteria for the supposed "vital internet or other computer systems":
Under the revised legislation, the definition of critical infrastructure has been tightened. DHS is only supposed to place a computer system (including a server, Web site, router, and so on) on the list if it meets three requirements. First, the disruption of the system could cause "severe economic consequences" or worse. Second, that the system "is a component of the national information infrastructure." Third, that the "national information infrastructure is essential to the reliable operation of the system."

It's been said that the example of computers at a nuclear power plant (which is a retarded example to begin with; I'd assume they're on the same separate, hardened networks used for classified material, not "www.rodcontrolsubsystem.com") is just the start. Senate aides have admitted that "the legislation does not foreclose additional requirements, or additional additions to the list."

Yeah. "Just give us this little bit, we won't use it to justify taking more later." And did I mention that it's not subject to judicial review? Let me stress that again. NONE of this, if passed into law, is reviewable by the judiciary. And, of course, once passed, they won't decide other parts of the infrastructure belong on there, will they? Of course not.

Berin Szoka on TechFreedom said "blocking judical review of this [...] essentially says that the rule of law goes out the window if a major crisis occurs."

Well, duh. And guess who gets to decide what is a "major crisis"? Without judicial review.
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