October 31, 2004

Mark of the Beast

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelations 19:20

That verse is what sprung to mind when I read about this on CNN.com a while back.

CNN.com: FDA OKS implanted medical info chip

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved an implantable computer chip that can pass a patient's medical details to doctors, speeding care.

VeriChips, radio frequency microchips the size of a grain of rice, have already been used to identify wayward pets and livestock. And nearly 200 people working in Mexico's attorney general's office have been implanted with chips to access secure areas containing sensitive documents.

I don't know if my dad has heard about this, but I just know he is totally freaking.

Me? Oh, I'm not worried about the beast or anything like that. Christian mythology, fascinating though it may be, is still just mythology.

But I'm still not down with getting microchips put into my arm just yet. In principle, I think this is a fabulous idea. I would personally like to have a tv remote and maybe a garage door opener in my arm. That way they never get lost and I don't have to fuss with them. I would also like to mount laser cannons to my roof and control those, too.

We're a ways out from having this technology to my satisfaction, but I am pleased that we're advancing in that direction.

Back to the chips, though. There is a ton of information about me available out there in the world. The Federal BI probably has a huge file on me stashed away in a warehouse somewhere in Area 51. And as much as that bothers me, this chip thing bothers me because it links my person to that information.

Sure, the same could be done with DNA. It's been done with finger prints. But you can't get my DNA or finger prints from satellite or wireless internet cloud.

I don't like the notion of me not being able to get away. I don't like army guys being able to find me so easily when I'm trying to hide. I'm not saying I need or want to hide right now, but I'm still very young and things could go to hell pretty quickly.

So, please don't put me on the chip in the arm list right now. I'll continue to carry credit cards in my wallet where god intended them to be.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:51 PM | Comments (2)

Fire Chris Tucker

I'm listening to WUOG 90.5 right now and the DJ is playing almost ALL of the new William Shatner CD -- without commercials!

IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, FIRE THIS DJ!!!

This DJ's name is Chris Tucker, by the way.

Update: The DJ is now complaining about the fact that there are time zones. S/he is also advocating blowing up the sun to do away with daylight savings time. Drastic, sure. But it beats moving to that one place in Indiana.

Update 2: William Shatner is so not a musician. He talks through every song and leaves everyone else to do the singing. He just talked about some woman who committed suicide. Earlier he told me I was going to die.

Dear, William Shatner: You are cruisin' for a bruisin'. Shut the F!bomb up.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:19 PM | Comments (7)

More of My Halloween Genius

More pictures from my Halloween!


This is a picture of one of the pumpkins I made
for the office pumpkin carving contest. The other
is a little cow and they're both on remote control
trucks! This picture was taken before the cowboy
was complete.


Here's a picture of them complete! (We didn't win.)


This is me in costume at work. Scary, no?


All together, now! Notice the rodeo theme?


This is my jack-o-lantern on the front porch!


I also made three of these little pun'kin bats and
hung them around my porch!

Happy Halloween!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

Take It Easy. Better Slow Down, Girl.

I'm listening to ABBA today while I work.

I know that this is more than just a little bit stereotypically gay, but ABBA is totally boss. I love it.

This song is dedicated to Monica White who likes GM everything like I like it. (I would like one with laserbeams, too.)

Does Your Mother Know?

Well I can dance with you honey
If you think it's funny
Does your mother know that you're out?
And I can chat with you baby
Flirt a little maybe
Does your mother know that you're out?

Take it easy (take it easy)
Better slow down girl
That's no way to go
Does your mother know?
Take it easy (take it easy)
Try to cool it girl
Take it nice and slow
Does your mother know?

I can see what you want
But you seem pretty young to be searching for that kind of fun
So maybe I'm not the one
Now you're so cute, I like your style
And I know what you mean when you give me a flash of that smile

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:24 AM | Comments (1)

Terrorists: Stupid or Crazy? You Decide.

So, terrorists implicitly want to destroy freedom all over the globe and subjugate the world to their violent, irrational beliefs. What I have a hard time figuring out is what they want explicitly at any moment.

Sammy bin Laden says he wants everyone to leave muslim folk alone. Some terrorists say they just want da Joos to get off of their pile of rocks. Lots of terrorists recently have been saying they want John Kerry to be president of the United States.

Really?

I mean, even if you're a terrorist, you should be able to figure out that an endorsement from a terrorist will not help the candidate you endorse. So, would it not make MORE sense to publicly endorse the one you DON'T want to win?

If you look at it that way, Mucktard al Sadr endorsed Kerry, but he REALLY wants Dubby to stay. Right?

That makes sense to me. Kind of.

Terrorists are not reknown for making sense. I looked up terrorist and there was no mention at all of sense making.

So, it could be that terrorists really do want Kerry to win.

*sigh*

I can never figure those guys out. Let's just kill them all.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:09 AM | Comments (3)

Patronizing?

I was scooting around my blog and found some link love from Irregular Verbiage. Over there is a post on some legislation that has been proposed in the UK to allow the prosecution to introduce a defendent's past criminal record in as evidence.

This is the first I've heard of this and it is an outrage. I hope this gets stopped and never comes up in any country ever again.

If you're trying to prove that I committed a particular crime, what relevance does my other activities, good or bad, have to do with it? None. Any defending attorney would be well within reason to object on the grounds of relevance.

This isn't about giving the accused the benefit of the doubt. It's not patronizing the jury. (Point of fact, many would not discount recidivism as irrelevant to the case.)

I don't know if the UK uses the same rigors when regarding the burden of evidence in trials, but here in the states you can't (in theory) get a conviction based on conjecture, misdirection, and speculation.

What if our doctors took to diagnosing disease this way? What if engineers opted to certify the viability of our machinery that way?

Such legislation is a thinly veiled attempt to give the prosecution license to act as propagandists. I, for one, would not want the defense of my person and property to be decided on the balance of who can manipulate public opinion better. And if anyone complains that trials can be bought, this legislation would only make it worse - marketing firms are pricey!

Frankly, I'm surprised to hear about this sort of thing outside of France or the Middle East.

Oh wait.

Do they do trials in the Middle East? With the exception of Isreal, I thought they just threw big rocks up in the air and whoever is struck must be guilty of something per the guiding hand of Allah.

Ok. Well, I'm surprised to hear about it outside of France. How's that?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2004

Comment Spam

When Jim asked me if I was getting much comment spam, I said, "No, not really."

This morning, I checked my email and found out that a comment spammer hit my other blog with over 200 spam comments.

So, Jim, I lied.

Update: I just got my first comment spam on this blog! So, I've banned IP 64.141.68.16 for putting an online poker link in my comments.

Take that, you dastardly comment spammers!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:36 AM | Comments (6)

October 29, 2004

Halloween Fun Links!

Carve a Jack-o-Lantern!

Go Bowling for Cats!

Anna Nicole Smith!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

Advanced Voting in Georgia

I voted in the Presidential election on Wednesday. I LOVE the advance voting idea. It's so convenient! Last time, I had to stand in line for two hours (a short time compared to some stories I heard) but this year I was in the polling place for less than 27 minutes!

Anyway, one of my coworkers wrote this:

No joking around. Here's an important heads up ...

Yesterday a friend voted early at a polling location in Austin. She voted straight Democratic. When she did the final check,lo and behold every vote was for the Democratic candidates except that it showed she had voted for Bush/Cheney for president/vice pres.

She immediately got a poll official. On her vote, it was corrected. She called the Travis County Democratic headquarters. They took all her information, and told her that she wasn't the first to report a similar incident and that they are looking into it.

So check before you leave the polling booth, and if anything is wrong, get it corrected immediately. Report any irregularities to your local Democratic headquarters.

Make sure you pass this along to your friends ...
hopefully this is all over the airwaves by tomorrow ...
check your ballet, regardless of who you vote for.

Obviously there is the implication that there is some sort of corruption at play here. I, personally, like to be more optimistic about things: See? Democrats can walk upright and work a touch screen voting machine -- more or less -- without pounding the equipment to bits with a club.

Alas, there is yet insufficient evidence to say the same about Republicans at this late date.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2004

Now for Some Good News

HoustonChronicle: Top state court throws out Georgia hate crime law

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously threw out the state's hate crimes law today, calling it over-broad and "unconstitutionally vague."

The four-year-old law calls for stiffer criminal penalties for crimes in which a victim was chosen because of "any bias or prejudice."

[...]

Originally, the legislation defined a hate crime as one motivated specifically by the victim's race, religion, gender, national origin or sexual orientation.

That language was removed by the Legislature and replaced with a section defining a hate crime as one in which the victim or his property was targeted because of bias or prejudice.

I wish that I could say that 'having no sensible relationship to reality' is what the Court means by "unconstitutionally vague," but unfortunately it would appear that the absurdity of hate crime legislation has not come to the realization of the high court of this delightful state of Georgia.

Let's listen to a story I will make up right now:

Once upon a time David Duke is walking in a dark alley in Atlanta, Georgia when he lays upon some hoodlums. In the darkness, he cannot see them but he starts shouting the N-Word as he guns them down. They turn out to be white.

Poor David Duke. He's going to jail for a hate crime. Everyone knows he was in the KKK. He thought he was attacking black folks, so it's a hate crime.

But what if they turn out to be black? Doesn't matter. The N-Word and Davey's KKK history make it clear: a hate crime happened here.

Let's listen to another story:

Once upon a time Mother Theresa is walking in a dark alley in Atlanta, Georgia when she lays upon some hoodlums. In the darkness, she cannot see them but she starts shouting the N-Word as she guns them down. They turn out to be white.

Oh, Mother Theresa. You silly goose! That's no hate crime. You're just a bad guy! Shame on you. tsk. tsk. You're going to jail!

What if they're black?

Everyone knows Mother Theresa is no bigot. Look at how many black people she knows! Oh, Mother Theresa. You silly goose! That's no hate crime. You're just a bad guy! Shame on you. tsk. tsk. You're going to jail!

What's the difference?

You have two people of different opinions on the matter of race but commit the same action. The reason I know that Mother Theresa would not be convicted is due to her street cred as a helpful person and not a bigot. The reason I know David Duke would be locked up and the key thrown away is because of his reputation.

This is the problem with ALL hate-crime legislation. They create a class of thought-crimes.

I think a better system is to simply hold people strictly accountable for the actual, objectively definable and falsifiable crimes they commit. Heaven forbid we treat the burden of evidence with any sort of scientific rigor!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2004

Sam Walton Did Not Sell His Soul to the Devil

Someone recently remarked to me that they were scared of Wal-mart because it has grown so fast. They told me that Wal-mart is the fastest growing company in the world right now. They said they were scared because if it gets too big it will have too much pull in our government.

First of all, the growth item. The person I was talking to is no expert in business and I have not done any financial analysis on Wal-mart, but I have to question that assertion. A start up business may have one customer. If they get 5 customers, they've grown in that aspect 500%. Small businesses have a much higher growth rate in proportion to businesses like Wal-mart. If we're talking about net earnings or something that that, then I can see how that's possible. But that's not how growth is typically measured.

I didn't want to talk about that though.

I want to talk about this idea that businesses should be kept small because they may gain too much clout in government. My rebuttal to this person was, "That is a problem of government, not one of business." But he would treat it like it's a problem of business. As if Wal-mart has no need to be so big.

Ummm... Hi. It's business. Not charity. It's not some enterprise in altruism. It's a business. It operates by trade.

That people actually fear big business because of its influence on government is a sign that people do not understand their rights, our government, or business.

The Constitution was written to restrict the powers of the government and assure the citizenry of its rights. If business can some how buy our rights away from us, it can be safely said that the people running our government are not observing the Constitution.

Obviously, I can understand the outrage there.

But that's not a problem with business. From a political perspective, the size of a business it irrelevant. It's simply not important how rich people are just so long as no one tries to deny them their riches by force or fraud.

But for some reason this young Conservative (Yes. He describes himself as 'VERY right-wing' and a Republican) sees it as a problem with the business.

I hope his way of thinking does not catch on.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:13 PM | Comments (4)

October 23, 2004

Cooperation is Not a Sin

I was reading over at Ebon Musings about atheism and came across an essay on ethics in which there is the following passing on Objectivist ethics:

Ayn Rand: Objectivism

Author Ayn Rand's philosophical system, known as Objectivism, holds that the ultimate value upon which all other values depend is the individual's life, and that ethics ultimately consists of self-interest, each individual doing whatever benefits his or her life the most. Objectivist moral philosophy rejects altruism, instead arguing that each person should do only what is best for that person.

However, as should be obvious, the glaring problem with Objectivism is that it fails to accommodate Prisoner's Dilemma-like situations. If two or more Objectivists were placed in such a situation, each would immediately pick the option that was best for him individually, and the result would be a poor outcome for all. If all the individuals in this situation are rational (and rationality is a key tenet of Objectivism), they would all soon realize that the only realistic way for any of them to attain a good outcome is for each of them to cooperate and pick the less selfish course of action, i.e., to be altruistic. But this is a contradiction with the basic Objectivist tenet of selfish behavior. The fact that the selfish interests of rational individuals very often conflict, and the fact that doing what is best for us individually sometimes requires acting in altruistic ways, cause the entire system of Objectivism to collapse. To find a workable universal moral code, we must look elsewhere.

The first paragraph is, by my estimation, essentially correct. The Objectivist hierachy of values begins with one's own life.

The Prisoner's Dilemma is loads of fun. It is an illustration of the underlying principles of microeconomics even. Basically, without being able to communicate, two parties are ostensibly given the option to act in their own interest or in the in interest of the other party. Cooperation by both results in the best outcome for the pair. If one betrays the other, the cooperating party loses big time while the betrayer wins big. If they betray one another, the two share the pain, so to speak.

Objectivist ethics does not actually address prisoner's dilemma situations unequivocably because the dilemma lacks context.

How well do the prinsoner's know one another?
Did they not plan for this contingency?
What are the stakes exactly?
What are their chances after the outcome of the game?

At first blush, it's easy to say, "Objectivist ethics requires that each individual act in his own self-interest." But is it not clear that it would be in his best self-interest to cooperate with his partner?

That's the other thing. Objectivist ethics does not permit each individual to completely ignore the contextual information that IS available - namely the benefits of cooperation.

It is not un-selfish, for lack of a better term, to work for your own greatest profit by helping others work to theirs and in the Prisoner's Dilemma it is actually required in order to succeed. Being selfish does not mean that you're bent on the destruction of others; if it did THAT would be a contradiction because one's own success is not defined by the success of others. Putting it more simply, just because someone else succeeds does not mean that all others fail. Just because one helps another does not mean one is being altruistic.

This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions regarding Objectivist ethics. It's probably honestly earned, but it has been addressed many times over in Objectivist literature.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

The Most Useless News Story Ever

AZOnline: Relativity prediction is correct

key prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity has been confirmed by an experiment showing that the Earth's rotation drags the surrounding fabric of space-time along with it.

The phenomenon, known as frame-dragging, was one of the last untested predictions of general relativity. A NASA satellite, Gravity Probe B, was launched earlier this year to test the same effect.

"Frame-dragging is like what happens if a bowling ball spins in a thick fluid, such as molasses," said Errico C. Pavlis of the Joint Center for Earth System Technology, a leader of the international research team that measured the effect.

That's it. That's the whole story.

Kind of makes you wonder why they even bothered if they weren't going to explain anything. Like I'm suddenly Einstein or something.

Hat tip to Another Matt

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

Allow me to Clarify

Although I was greatly impressed with a certain CEO who came to speak to one of my classes, he passed out a copy of his annual report which incorporated a theme of "Survival of the Fittest." The report was decorated with pictures of Darwin.

"And while the law (of competition) may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department"

Ummmmm...

That is a quotation by Andrew Carnegie. Chuck Darwin didn't push the idea of survival of the fittest. Carnegie probably isn't as well known as Darwin... umm... in that particular context, I guess, but we're all educated folk. It would not hurt us to be historically accurate and not say that Darwin posed the notion of survival of the fittest.

Oh, and Carnegie was talking about business, not evolution, but he was a fan of Darmin's theory. It seems to me that not only is it more accurate to put Carnegie on the report, it's more appropriate.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004

I'm Sorry, What Did He Mean By the Hair Comment?

I haven't told y'all this, but I'm in love.

Yeah, there's this hottie-Ruskie-Aussie-Brit-something girl just over the pond gettin' me headsprung. Not with me?

Here she is:

Th-Inkwell

See that luxurious hair? Those lucious lips? Those eyes with a defiant look that just dares you to say something? How can anyone resist?

Apparently, someone named 'Todd.'

Todd says of the lovely Monica White at Th'Inkwell, "I should have guessed from the hair-do that you’d turn out to be a right-wing bean counting nut-job."

Monica is an entrepreneur, as I understand it, and her business skills are not aimed in anyway, directly, at beans, but I still have to ask: What the hell are beautiful women doing to their hair where Todd lives?

Oh. Todd lives in La-la land. I see. Never mind. Forget I asked.

Let's talk some more about how much I love Monica for reasons in addition to her being both stunning and exotic.

She's a businesswoman. Pardon while I squeal like a school-girl about greedy ladies. Ooooo!! I LOVE some greedy ladies.

And she's smart. Please go read this post. It has DIAGRAMS!! A woman who makes diagrams. Have you ever in your whole life ever heard of anything more sexy?

Where you thinking maybe something like this:

I do absolutely nothing to hide my ideas. As the old saying goes – I wear my heart on my sleeve. One better, actually, as I wear an American dollar sign around my neck...I wore it when I worked in government, I wore it when I worked in a factory, I wear it when I walk into parties of people I know are openly hostile against Americans.

There's so much more. But perhaps you wanted more provocative photos. Me, too.

Dear, Monica:

1) I would like to see pictures of you in your suit. I remember the old picture -- the one with the glasses -- I would like to see more of that.

2) I would like to see you turning someone into a pretzel. I know you can do it, Monica. Stop holding out on us.

3) I would like to see you turning someone into a pretzel whilst wearing a leather skirt, boots, and a not-TOO-clingy shirt. You know. Just for kicks.

So. If there is anything I can do to help make this happen (Sorry, I don't do hair) please let me know.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

I Even Asked At the Front Desk

But I went looking for the "anal intrusion" that was promised in the advertisement and I didn't see any.

I did, however, happen across a black, fetid, old cunt. Pardon. But I did.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:33 PM | Comments (1)

I Am A Halloween Genius

I started making my Halloween decorations the other day. I'm not really one to go ALL OUT or anything, but I must say that I am very proud of what I've done so far. I have a ghost, some bats, and an arched cat. I will make some jack-o-lanterns this week and get some spiderwebs to finish it all out.

But I thought I would give y'all a little preview. Check it:

Here's the window with the bats and the cat:

SCARY!

But the thing I am REALLY proud of is the ghost. It glows eerily and everything! Peep this:

BOO!

Here's the view from the street so far. (I added a few more bats after this photo was taken.)

Welcome to the Monster Mash!
Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:17 PM | Comments (1)

October 21, 2004

I Am Better Than You

Anyone who tells you that they aren't better than anyone else is right. I firmly believe that.

It's a fact of reality that some people are better than others and anyone who goes through the effort of saying they aren't better than someone else must be aiming to be the lowest of the low in some way or another.

Did you catch that? Not all men are created equal.

As human beings, we all have a rational capacity that allows us to deal with reality. Broadly speaking, most all human beings share this same capacity; it's what makes us human! But 'the force' just isn't as strong with everyone.

Did you catch THAT? Some men are more able than others.

That's right! The most critical aspect in which people differ is in ability, and most importantly in their mental ability.

If you're a person of superior mental ability and you're preoccupied with not appearing to be better than anyone else, how likely do you think you will be to apply your superior ability?

The important lesson to get from all this, though, is that there is very little value in trying to compare yourself to everyone else. Surely you have something better to do with your time and energy. Your ability, however great or small, is not established by comparison, but by demonstration.

So, get off of your butt and stop talking about how better or worse you are has a human being and show us.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2004

Overheard in a Meeting

Coworker 1: This table is like the last supper.

Flibby: I'm Jesus! Holding my arms out wide

Coworker 2: No, you're Judas

Flibby: I can't be Judas. Judas believed in god.

Coworker 2: I think Jesus believed in himself, too.

Flibby: (to myself) I wouldn't be so sure.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004

Be a CEO: Step 1

Throughout my MBA program CO's and executive level businesspeople have come to talk to my classes and there is one quality that all of them have shared. The more successful they are, the more they show it in spades.

What is it?

They are articulate.

Each and every one of them was able to speak extemporaneously with ease. I deal with so many people who misuse words and expressions that this quality impresses me greatly.

So, step 1 in becoming a CEO is to learn to speak clearly and effectively.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:29 PM | Comments (3)

Random Acts of Ultra Violence

Crackhead terrorizes town

And Cheney is worried about nuclear weapons...

Seriously, folks. The wise strategy if your car is attacked by a crackhead is to run him over. I'm not joking. Knock his ass into the pavement.

Just know that I will adopt that strategy if you attack my car.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

It's Raining Men

Somehow the word "men" got entered into Munuviana's blacklist the other day, but it has now been removed.

LW, you may now continue writing pornographic comments.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2004

Overheard on Instant Message

Her: Hi! Wanna chat?

Me: Doubt it.

Her: Why not?

Me: Because women who IM you out of the blue on the Internet always want you to help them hook up the webcam the bought when their boyfriend dumped them and their sorority sisters came over to cheer them up.

Her: Ha ha! No. I'm a real woman. There's a picture in my profile if you doubt me.

This is a dude.

Loooonnnng pause.

Me: Um.

Me: You appear to be male.

Great. 'Stupid' is written on my head on the Internet, too.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:20 PM | Comments (3)

Turns Out It's NOT the Child of God


Houston, we have a problem.

Thanks to Mama Laverne!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:10 PM | Comments (1)

'Zzz' means 'Yes! Take Me Now, You Beast! Take Me in a Frenzy of Nightie-rending Passion!'

New Scientist: Sleepwalking woman had sex with strangers

Sleep medicine experts have successfully treated a rare case of a woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking.

The behaviour had disrupted the lives of the woman and her partner. At night while asleep, the middle-aged sleepwalker - who lives in Australia and cannot be identified for reasons of confidentiality - left her house and had sexual intercourse with strangers. The behaviour continued for several months and the woman had no memory of her nocturnal activities.

"Okay. I know what this looks like. But I SWEAR I'm asleep. And if you don't believe me, wake me up and see how distressed I am." From JD

~or~

"Let's play good news bad news. The good news is that you have sex with strangers while you're asleep. The bad news is... well, there is no bad news right now since you dosed off in the waiting room of an ED clinic. People are calling you a miracle worker."

~or~

Maxim Magazine adds a new pickup line to canons: You are getting sleeepy... veerrrryyy sleeepy.

~or~

Dear Diary

An angel visited me in my sleep last night and I am now carrying the child of God. Unfortunately, I am carrying his holy syphillis, too.

I'm afraid this could go on for quite some time.

A friend of mine comments:

I like how the one section caries the subhead "sleep driving" and yet the most notable sentence includes the words "where he strangled his father-in-law unconscious, and stabbed his mother-in-law to death"

But, he DROVE there in his sleep!

Remarkable!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2004

What Temperature Is It?

I've been battling a cold that past few days as you all know. So, I've been wearing my fleece and bemoaning the excess coolness of the tempurature out and about. But then I would get too warm and that would bother me.

You know how it is when you're sick: you just can't find a good temperature.

As my cold clears, I had a revelation this afternoon. It is entirely too warm for a fleece. I'm uncomfortable because I'm wearing clothing that is inappropriate for the temperature.

I still have the unsettling feeling that maybe the temperature my body is saying it is does not correspond to the temperature outside (of my body) but after several days of testing, I believe my conclusion is sound.

And also the thermostat says it's 72 degrees in here. I think it's perfectly scientific of me to say that the parka I'm wearing is overkill.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

Sob Stories

I try to remind people as frequently as possible that I am a heartless bastard. The truth of the matter is that I'm really just not stupid enough to be so generous that it hurts. Sometimes being smart means that you have to make some tough calls.

I'm listening to a radio show right now called Handle on the Law. Bill Handle is the host and he gives out "marginal legal advice" to callers. I don't really like listening to him much because he yells a lot, but on the other hand he does give out "marginal legal advice" and where else can I get that?

Anyway, a caller just told him that her father died one week after his $100K life insurance policy expired. She wanted to know if she had any legal recourse for making a claim against the policy. Bill told her 'no.' I would add 'duh.'

It's most unfortunate that the man died and it is even more unfortunate that his timing (and financial planning) was so bad. But what difference does that make to the insurance company? They weren't paid to write $100K check out to strangers and when the policy expired that poor man essentially became a stranger to the company. His estate has as much claim against his company as they would any other company out there.

Insurance companies aren't charities. If that lady wants money because her dad died, why doesn't she go ask a charity? Because there's no guarantee that they will give it to her either. She sagely recognizes that no one owes her any money at all and the only way she can be sure to get a payout is if she takes it by force.

I object to this.

I don't object to people giving their time, money, energy, and ideas away for free if they want. I have a problem with forcing people to do that, though. There's a word for taking money from people: stealing.

It's just a fact of reality that unfortunate things, like fires, tornados, earthquakes, meteor impacts, and stock market crashes, will happen to people. It's also a fact of reality that some people insist on being incredibly stupid and they get hurt for it. Examples of stupidity exist in infinite permutations.

Either way a great need is created but everyone's rights are intact.

Let's make sure we're clear on that point before we proceed; rights can only be violated by the action of another person. The Laws of Physics cannot violate your rights. Your jaw-dropping idiocy does not violate your rights. Even being in a state of ignorance is not a violation of your rights.

Nevertheless, there are people who suffer and they suffer greatly. Most people are not immune to having their heartstrings yanked by images of great pain and misfortune. Most people want to help other people out when trouble comes their way. They do so not out of complete altruism but also out of a hope that if something bad happens others will show compassion and generosity in return.

Fine.

But there is no reason any individual must help those who suffer.

When the government steps in to force citizens to practice generosity it is more than simple political stupidity at work; a case can be made for malice.

In politics, there is no addage more chilling than the one coined by Marx. "From each according to his ability to each according to his need." And when the government comes to practice enforcing generosity it is no surprise that the number of sob stories across the board sky-rocket. Once suffering becomes something rewarded ability become scarce. Like stupidity, there is no end to need.

Update: I was just reading an article by Thomas Sowell with this very apt line:

California has long had more than its fair share of busybodies with a vision of the world in which it is necessary for them to force other people to do Good Things. That is not just a vision of the world, it is a vision of themselves -- a very flattering vision that they are not likely to give up for anything so mundane as facts or logic.
Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:58 PM | Comments (9)

October 16, 2004

Totally Not My Business

You know how some people like to have sex with animals? Do you suppose that some of them want to have sex with snakes? Lizards? Goldfish?

I don't want a demonstration or anything, but I wonder if the Kinsey Institute has written anything on that...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Some People...

I am not accustomed to people fervently believing that it is the government's proper job to wipe your butt for you.

I ran into one such person last night.

I'm sure he's a nice enough person, but I came to the above conclusion when he asserted that the Social Security Program is a legitimate extension of governmental power.

I'm not entirely certain why he is opposed to privatization of said program really, especially since that would require that the managing entity take reasonable steps to ensure that funds paid in can be paid back out. That nuance is something the government did not have the foresight to plan into the program, you know.

I'm not sure if people know it, but there is no actual social security account out there with your name on it and containing the money you paid into it. There just isn't. In fact, when you pay money into the Social Security Program, the money goes to the government and is spent in myriad ways.

When asked, the person with whom I was speaking said that the reason he wanted social security is because when he gets old or if something happens to him, he wants to make sure that someone is there to help him. He agreed that he is competent enough to invest his own money wisely enough to provide for those situations but he also said that most people are too stupid for that.

I tend to think better of most people, but my question to him was, "Why is it your fault that so many other people are so stupid?"

I didn't even get a chance to talk about the complete injustice of my property being siezed and used without my approval in ways contrary to my well-being totally without my permission.

But seriously, why is it anyone else's fault when some individual makes a rash of idiotic decisions with their life? Why should everyone else be held accountable when one individual flatly refuses to handle their own business properly? In a country founded primarily on the idea of individual rights, where do these people get off?

I just don't get some people.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:00 PM | Comments (26)

October 15, 2004

I hab a code

Also, I tought you should know, dat I hab a code.

Tank you, LA. Tank you bery, bery much.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:13 AM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2004

So... Tired... Must... Sleep

I flew to LA Tuesday night. I arrived there at midnight local time and got to my hotel and got to sleep around 2 local time. For me, that's 5am.

I slept for about four hours before getting up and going to the office.

I worked all day.

I then went to the track and ran some 800 meter intervals with my west coast office mates.

I had dinner. I went back to the airport. My plane left LA at midnight PDT/3am EDT.

I got to my house around 8 this morning and slept for four hours before getting up and going to the office.

So, it's been a long, rough couple of days.

I'm going to sleep now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2004

I Am SO Excited

Ok. Netflix has me on the edge of my seat. I can't WAIT until the movies start showing up!!!

I've checked my account like 247 times since I signed up to see if they had shipped movies yet, knowing very well they wouldn't ship until today.

I checked again just now and my first three movies are on their way! WEEE!!

I'm getting:


  • To Catch a Thief

  • Single White Female

  • Dark City

Now, I can watch movies of significant positive repute AND stupid movies without it costing me any more per month! YEHAW!

Next up:


  • The Pelican Brief

  • Vampire Hunter D

  • Fatal Attraction

  • The Godfather, Part II

  • The Godfather, Part III

  • Basic Instinct

  • Crimson Tide

  • Witch Hunter Robin: Vol. 1: Arrival

  • The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

  • Chinatown

  • Taxi Driver

  • The Firm

  • An Affair to Remember

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

  • Scent of a Woman

  • How to Marry a Millionaire

  • Vertigo

  • Blade Runner

  • Rain Man

  • Psycho

  • Time Bandits

  • Kramer vs. Kramer

  • Dial M for Murder

  • 12 Monkeys

  • The Maltese Falcon

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much

  • The Graduate

  • Laws of Attraction

  • From Dusk Till Dawn

  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

  • Adaptation

  • Being John Malkovich

  • The Hours

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:57 PM | Comments (4)

Kerry's Global Test a la 1776

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world for comment and approval.

Hat tip to a caller to the Neal Boortz radio show for that one...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

Market Capitalization: What's That?

This is awful to admit, but I am less than three months away from graduating with a Masters in Business Administration and I found out just this morning what Market Capitalization is.

It's one of those concepts that has been thrown around in my classes since Day One, let there be light, but no one has really stopped to talk much about it.

Anyway, I have a midterm today in my Financial Analysis class and I though it important to learn what Market Cap is.

Behold the power of Wikipedia:

Market capitalization, often abbreviated to market cap or mkt. cap, or referred to as just capitalization, is a business term that refers to the overall value of a company's stock. In essence, it is the price one must pay to buy an entire company. That is, if one multiplies the number of shares of the company by the current price of those shares, the result is the market cap.

The total market capitalization of all the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange is greater than the amount of money in the United States.

Market cap is an important measure of the performance of a company's stock, as opposed to the company itself. It is not uncommon for a company's market cap to greatly exceed the book value of the company itself due to stock market oddities. For instance, in the late 1990s the shares of internet-related companies was highly valued by the market, and tiny companies with almost no sales had market caps of billions of dollars.

One reason for high market caps is that the price of a stock is determined by trade (supply and demand) on the market. However, the amount of shares outstanding (i.e. available to outsiders for trading) is less than the total number of shares, and many shares will be owned by large institutional investors who don't trade often. As a result, on any given trading day only a tiny percentage of shares is actually traded. If all available stock became available on the open market all at once, the price would plummet.

In large corporate takeovers, the buying company usually either buys a controlling interest from institutional investors or venture capitalists at a discount (in cash), or, more commonly, pays for the shares of the second company in kind; i.e. in shares in itself. This allows the former owners (who now own stock in the controlling company) to sell off the shares bit-by-bit, so as to not ruin the price by dumping.

The opposite case, the book value of the company being more than the market cap, is typically more rare (selling shares is a method of raising money, after all). However, periodic dips in the market and other effects can result in such inversions of the market cap, making the company in question a target for the corporate raider.

And now we know.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

Russia: Land of New Opportunity; Land of Stupidity

CNN: Iran, Russia nuclear deal 'close'

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran and Russia say they are close to finalizing a long-delayed protocol on returning spent nuclear fuel to Russia, paving the way for the launch of a Russian-built nuclear power plant in southern Iran in 2006.

Russia has said it will not ship nuclear fuel to Iran until both countries sign an agreement under which all spent fuel would be returned to Russia. The agreement is intended to prevent Iran from using spent fuel to make nuclear weapons.

A little known fact about me: I have a nasty mental condition that prevents me from entering into international diplomacy -- it's called memory.

Does Russia not remember who Iran is? Apparently not.

What incentive does Iran have to uphold the agreement once they have the nuclear powerplant of their dreams?

Seriously.

If Iran wants both nuclear power AND spent nuclear fuel to make weapons, what will stop them? The paper they signed? Might that paper not look similar to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?

It's IRAN!!! Come on, people! Axis of Evil!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:33 AM | Comments (2)

October 10, 2004

File This Under 'What the F!Bomb?'

CNN: Libya gives human rights prize to Venezuela's Chavez

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) -- Libya Sunday awarded its annual Moammar Gadhafi human rights prize to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez for resisting "imperialism" and being a champion of the poor.

A citation accompanying the award, named after Libya's leader, Gadhafi, was read by a Libyan delegation attending a live television and radio show hosted by Chavez.

It praised the Venezuelan leader's "brave heart, intelligent mind, eloquent oratory and firm hand."

That is wrong on so many levels.

First of all, LIBYA has a Human Rights Prize?

Named for MUAMMAR AL-QADDAFI?

And past winners include FIDEL CASTRO?

And now HUGO CHAVEZ?

My head hurts too much right now, so I really need someone to go bitchslap Libya for me, especially Muammar al-Qaddafi. While you're at it, smack Hugo Chavez, too.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:31 PM | Comments (1)

I'm About to Give Birth to Athena

When I got up this morning, I thought I was getting a caffeine headache. It happens sometimes near the end of my weekend because I've spent a couple of days in my house eating regular people food with little sugar and no caffiene whatsoever.

So, I ignored it and I've gone about my day.

Now it's getting worse. I'm listening to the radio right now and there is a constant high-pitched whine that my station emits and it's like a powerdrill into my skull. Fun.

I looked on weather.com and this is what I found:

Don't know why I didn't see that coming, but now I realize that this is just one of those headaches I get when the barometric pressure changes faster than my body is able to adjust to it.

The rain should get here any minute and hopefully a fully grown woman in body armor will not have burst from my head before then... unless she gives backrubs, then it might be ok.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:50 PM | Comments (1)

Brace Yourself

I just signed up for Netflix.

Clark Howard says this is all the rage and I figure that if I just watch 3 movies a month and don't go to the theater, then I will get my money's worth and get my movie watching fix.

I should start hosting movie night at Flibby's house!

Give me a holla if you want to come over and watch movies with me.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:45 PM | Comments (1)

Question

Exactly how many "Best of" albums has Blondie made?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

George Bush Pulls a Peter Popoff

Some wingnuts are out there claiming that Dubby was wired during the debate.

I wouldn't even believe a claim like that about John Kerry and I think almost everything he says is a lie.

Call me naive but I find it difficult to believe that anyone outside of an evangelical ministry could be so blatantly and concretely dishonest.

On the other hand, the ideological lies that Dubby and Kerry are constantly trying to feed us are pretty blatant in themselves. hmmm..

PS The title of this post is not supposed to sound that dirty.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:04 PM | Comments (7)

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

I just saw this movie. It was fine. I wouldn't say it was great largely due to specifics in the film that ruin the effect. Here's a list of things that bothered me:

  • Jude Law cheated on Gwenyth Paltrow?
  • I'm not sure why he went out with her in the first place considering the fact that she's a whiney, manipulative hooker-lady.
  • All of her film was ruined when they went into the uranium mine. So, all that fuss really was for nothing.
  • The whole "old film" thing was totally superfluous and unnecessary, which made it really obnoxious that the film was so monochromatic and blurry.
  • They tried to make it overblown but failed to hold that tack for the duration.

Personally, I love the stories about saving the world from a madman. I like it when the hero is so awesome you want to be him when the film is over. And his girlfriend is so awesome, too, that you want a girlfriend just like that when it's over. And the madman is SO mad that you hate anyone who even reminds you of that guy.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is not a film like that. I can't really tell if the makers are making fun of hero films or not, but they aren't able to pull it off successfully and the end result is a fair, but sometimes flat, imitation.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2004

I'm Takin' This Mug Over

I just got this email from Trey Givens:

O Flibbertigibbet! What I would not give to be half as talented and funny and handsome as you! I have read your blog and must concede that I have absolutely no business blogging any more. I have brought shame upon the Internets.

Please, take all the titles that I have inappropriately claimed as my own along with their privledges and praise.

As I trudge off into the sunset, I will be contemplating by what method I can right the wrongs I have committed in my woeful ignorance of your talent and superiority.

That's right, bee-otch.

So, look out, y'all. In the eternal words of Wyclef Jean, "You sucka MCs you got no flow."

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)

What Do I Know?

I am of the opinion that Cheney lost the VP debate. I am also of the opinion that Bush won the second presidential debate.

People say that Cheney won, though.

And on the radio just now I heard that people are saying Kerry won last night.

Then again most people think that taxation is a legitimate function of government and many people have a list of things they claim as 'rights' that I don't recognize. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised to have a dissenting opinion...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2004

Live Debate Blogging: Nexus of Hate

"Nexus of Hate"

Really. Need I say more?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

Live Debate Blogging: Results are in!

Kerry lost this debate. HARD.

Kerry talked a lot about the secret plan. Dubby body slammed him and even took a couple of dives from the high ropes. Dubby did land on his head a couple of times, but all in all Kerry went home crying. I even heard the audience laugh at the Kerry once when Dubby made a joke.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

Live Debate Blogging: Economics and Property Rights

"Speed the production of generic brands [of medicine]"

The only way that I can fathom this taking place, Mr. President, is by restricting owners have on claims to their intellectual property or their material property.

You can either say that people do not own their patents or you can offer not to take so much of their money (tax incentives) if they give up their patents.

That's not just bad economics. It's immoral governance.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

Live Debate Blogging: Mind Your Business

"Equal pay for women"

What if no one wants to pay women equally?

Where does the government get off telling people what they will pay to whom and whether or not anyone is allowed to accept it?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:23 PM | Comments (1)

Live Debate Blogging: Bush Offers Kerry Gay Sex

"Need some wood?"

I'll give you wood, big boy.

A cry is heard from the back of the room and John Edwards is seen storming out in a flurry of tears and mascara...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:13 PM | Comments (9)

John Kerry's Voting Record

I hope that no one is disputing the notion that John Kerry is Liberal. Actually, I think the only person disputing that is John Kerry and perhaps some other Liberals.

Anyway, I got this email today and I have to play the devil's advocate a bit:

These ratings by 6 liberal and 6 conservative organizations indicate the percentage of times Senator Kerry voted for the organization's position. For example an 85 rating means that 85% of his Senate votes supported the interest of that particular group. The nonpartisan Political Junkie Handbook gives ratings of 15 organizations for all 535 Senators and Congressmen. http://www.politicaljunkie.org/


Please share this interesting information with your readers.

Thank you,
Michael Crane
Editor
The Political Junkie Handbook

Senator John Kerry's Senate Voting Record According to Various Interest
Groups:

Name of Group And Kerry's Lifetime Rating/
The Group's Interest:

American Conservative Union: 5%
Conservative Causes

Americans for Democratic Action: 92%
Liberal Causes

Human Rights Campaign: 100%
Gay Rights

Chamber of Commerce: 0% (2003 rating)
Business Concerns

National Taxpayers Union: 14%
Low Taxes

American Association of University Professors: 100%
Labor & Progressive Causes

Citizens Against Government Waste: 25%
Less Waste, Fraud & Abuse in Government

Public Citizen: 85%
Consumer Rights

Family Research Council: 0
Maintaining the Traditional Family Structure

Gun Owners of America: 10%
Second Amendment Rights

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: 100%
Gun Control

NARAL: 100%
Abortion Rights

What is unclear to me is how many votes came up in which these groups had interest. I am assuming that NARAL took no official position on a large number of items since most things don't have to do with adortion.

Soooo... If I started the Flibbertigibbet club and took an interest only in one particular vote and John Kerry voted against it, I would report 0% for that single vote.

I'm sorry, but although I do not have a doubt that John Kerry is both irrational and Liberal I am skeptical about how these statistics are presented.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:47 PM | Comments (7)

Fun with Spam

I just got a spam email that said:

'THE ANTIDOTE'

Kills ALL known deadly Viruses & Bacteria in the body that keep diseases, namely: Influenza, SARS, Cancer, HIV etc.

A disease must be made DORMANT to stop infection.
'The ANTIDOTE' is the answer.

*link*

WE ARE THE ONLY COMPANY IN THE WORLD WHO HAVE DEVELOPED AND ENHANCED THIS PRODUCT FOR SALE.

Check Here For More Information

*link*

How come the New England Journal has not heard of these people? Where is their Nobel prize?

I do not think we should keep our top scientists in such a sorry state that they have to resort to spam to get the attention they deserve for their inventions. THIS is why there is so much trouble with medical care.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2004

How To Win Friends and Influence People... PSYCH!

So, my birthday was a while back, you'll all recall. To celebrate I made plans with an acquaintance of mine. I don't know him very well, but we hang out every now and then. He's the lonely sort and I was looking for company on my birthday so we made plans to go out on the town.

He never showed. He didn't call or email or anything. He just disappeared and turned up two weeks later to say that some stuff had come up and that he was sorry.

'Scuze me?

You don't leave your buddies hangin' for two weeks (on their birthday) and just show up with 'sorry.' All he would have had to do is call or write an email. I wouldn't have minded, but he didn't do anything.

Here's a transcript of our last conversation, which is taking place as I type these words.

Audacious Stander-Upper: hey . . .

Flibby: Hey

Audacious Stander-Upper: you doing okay?

Flibby: I'm fine.

Audacious Stander-Upper: am I forgiven?

Flibby: The question is if you're doing ok.

Flibby: I don't think so.

Flibby: What have you done to warrant forgiveness?

Audacious Stander-Upper: um . . . I have asked

Flibby: I'm not your fairy tale god.

Flibby: I'm the person you stood up a while back.

Flibby: I'm the person you didn't even have the time or energy to call after you did so.

Flibby: I want to be your friend but I don't have time to be treated like that.

Audacious Stander-Upper: you are right

Flibby: So, go on. Find some other people to abuse.

Flibby: You haven't earned enough of my patience to work past that.

Flibby: Bye.

Audacious Stander-Upper: is there nothing I could do then at this point?

Flibby: Why do you think you deserve any leeway?

Flibby: All you had to do was pick up the phone or dash out a quick email. "Dude. Something has come up. Sorry. I'll have to catch you in a couple of weeks."

Flibby: You did not show the least bit of conscientiousness.

Flibby: Instead, you wallowed in your own self-pity. That's your business.

Flibby: But why do you think I should put up with it?

Audacious Stander-Upper: all I can say is that I understand why you are angry . . . I wish I could take it all back or relive that night . . . I was really looking forward to reconnecting with you . . . you do challenge me to be better and I don't have anyone in my life that does that. I have never been able to have really good friends, which I am sure that you understand. But I am willing to admit that I made a huge mistake, followed my several more that has cost me your friendship. I am trying to be a better person, but self-pity is not where I wallow anymore. I don't have time for that either. So I guess you should not put up with it. No, I am sure you should not put up with it.

Flibby: Good answer. For once you're thinking properly.

Flibby: Maybe next time you make a friend you won't treat them so badly.

Flibby: Bye.

I just don't know where some people get off.

As I told someone else very recently, there's a reason courtesy is common.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:50 PM | Comments (1)

CNN Instapoll Madness

Today's CNN Instapoll asked:

Do you believe Saddam Hussein intended to produce weapons of mass destruction?

Of course, I voted 'yes' because no duh.

The results showed, however, that only 58% agreed with me while the other 42% said 'no.'

I'm sorry. I don't understand how ANYONE voted no on this, but let's entertain the notion that some didn't read the question the way that I did.

What if the question meant "Do you believe Saddam Hussein EVER intended to produce weapons of mass destruction?" Because at one point in time he did, in fact, have weapons of mass destruction. He even used them. I really doubt that Saddam accidentally produced those weapons so we have to conclude that it was his intention to do so when he did. The answer then is "yes."

What if the question means, "Do you believe Saddam Hussein intended to produce weapons of mass destruction at a later date in time like after sanctions were lifted from his country?" That new CIA report said that Saddam had nascent weapons programs in place. Evidence discovered during the War in Iraq corroborates this idea. Bits and pieces of WMDs have also been found.

Is it the contention of that 42% that Saddam also had these things accidentally?

Is anyone really that stupid?

The question is about SADDAM HUSSIEN, people!!! As yourself: Would I trust Saddam Hussien to be President of my country? If your answer is 'yes,' you're a dolt. If you answer 'no' then it's probably because you found out that he was a dictator who killed and tortured people in his own country on a regular basis.

42%. That's just crazy. Pure crazy.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:23 PM | Comments (1)

"Should?"

On CNN.com today the instapoll asks, "Should the basement where Lee Harvey Oswald was gunned down be turned into a tourist attraction?"

I find myself unable to answer the question.

I wouldn't want to see that. I also wouldn't want to run such a tourist attraction even though I'm sure that there is a certain segment who would pay good money to see it.

On the other hand, I see no reason why it can't be a tourist attraction. If someone wants to do that, go for it. What do I care?

But the question is "SHOULD" it be that way?

How do I know? I'm neither a person who wants to own a tourist attraction nor a tourist who is attracted by things like that.

SHOULD it?

Suddenly readers of CNN are encouraged to make proclamations about what someone else might do with their property for whatever reason.

This irritates me because though I might think it's a bad idea, there isn't any reason why some other people might think it's a good idea and proceed. Frankly, it's not my business.

But we live in a day and age when folks think they have a right to tell other people what to do with their bodies, property, and even minds. CNN isn't the cause it's a symptom of that sort of thinking.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2004

Economic Pet Peeve

I was listening to the radio on the way home this evening. Specifically, I was listening to the Communist Broadcasting Network AKA NPR.

They were playing the BBC and talking about Howard Stern leaving so-called commercial radio and signing up with Syrius, a satellite radio company.

The announcer ended the show by saying that the BBC radio is "free."

BBC radio isn't free. SOMEONE is paying for it. And guess what: anyone who pays income taxes here in the US and the the UK are paying for it, which is just about everyone.

US taxes pay for NPR. NPR pays BBC radio to broadcast their show. etc.

It's not free.

There's no such thing as a free lunch, y'all. I'm serious and I really want people to stop saying there is.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

French People Aren't All Bad

Lest this post give you the impression otherwise, I do want to say that I firmly believe that there are some decent, rational French folk in this world somewhere.

This is a conversation I had tonight with a second-generation French person. I now refuse to talk to him as a result of this conversation.

Flibby: Hey HEY hey! I’m drinking Freedom Wine tonight!

Flibby: What are you up to?

Frenchie: gross.

Flibby: What’s gross?

Frenchie: ‘freedom’

Flibby: Aww… You’re Freedom, aren’t you?

Flibby: One day I hope to visit the country of Freed and eat lots of Freedom food and maybe even learn to speak Freedom!

Frenchie: It’s French, thank you.

Flibby: You can say that if you want, but I will be spreading a different rumor.

Frenchie: Vous êtes un exemple parfait de pourquoi les français détestent des Américains

Flibby: I don’t care what the French people think about Americans. If they’re smart, they’ll love me when they meet me.

Flibby: I don’t know why the French are bothering to hate Americans anyway.

Flibby: I, for one, give very little thought to French people.

Frenchie: Maybe Americans are jealous of the French because Americans are fat and ignorant.

Flibby: I’m American and I’m not fat and ignorant.

Frenchie: I can’t tell with the way you’re talking tonight.

Flibby: Maybe you need to get your sense of humor about you.

Flibby: You should be tickled that the word “French” has been equated with the word “Freedom.”

Frenchie: Well, I’m not.

Flibby: Fine. Give me a shout when you get your head out of your ass.

Frenchie: what is your problem tonight?

Flibby: I could ask you the same.

Frenchie: you think its funny but my entire family is french, my parents and sisters were born there

Frenchie: and your making jokes

Frenchie: i hear enough about it

Flibby: Do you believe that being French has anything to do with your quality as an individual?

Frenchie: no but it's my heritage

Frenchie: and my family is proud

Flibby: So?

Flibby: I don't care about your family.

Flibby: I don't care about the whole country of France.

Flibby: I am interested in YOU the individual.

Frenchie: ok.

Frenchie: well part of me

Frenchie: is that i am french

Flibby: And if being French means you have to think like a member of the herd, then I want you to stop.

Frenchie: i'm not thinking like a member of the herd

Flibby: Then you should be able to take a joke.

Frenchie: i am thinking just as you would if you came from another country

Flibby: Much in the way that I can joke about fat, stupid Americans.

Frenchie: whatever

Flibby: Exactly.

Frenchie: no not exactly.

Frenchie: you're just trying to make me look stupid

Flibby: You're acting stupid right now.

Frenchie: no i'm not

Frenchie: i'm not in a good mood. and you pushed the wrong button

Flibby: I can tell you're not in a good mood.

Flibby: But that's not my fault.

Flibby: At this point I'm not even interested in the fact that you are in a bad mood because you're behaving like an ass to me.

Frenchie: there is a lot you don't know about me AND my family and i've led on before that i don't appreciate you making jokes about france, and anything to do with is

Frenchie: it

Flibby: Again, stop thinking like a member of a herd and think like an individual.

Flibby: France doesn't control how you think.

Flibby: Neither does your family.

Flibby: So, think for yourself.

Flibby: De-nationalize yourself or something.

Frenchie: well mine does. i was also raised a lot differently than you.

Frenchie: so maybe our opinions differ.

Flibby: This isn't really an opinion. An opinion is like your favorite color.

Flibby: This is a difference in epitemology

Frenchie: and it's epistemology

Flibby: Yeah. It's a typo.

Frenchie: i think that there is nothing wrong with me being proud of my country. and my family.

Flibby: No. There isn't.

Flibby: There is a problem with you behaving like you are your country and your family.

Flibby: There is also a problem with you not getting a joke.

Flibby: And finally there is a problem with you being rude to me.

Flibby: replacing the word "French" with the word "Freedom" is absurd

Flibby: It's completely ridiculous.

Flibby: If you can't see the absurdity in that joke, you're hurtin', bro.

Frenchie: you're ridiculous

Flibby: This is a perfect illustration of why you're so conflicted all the time.

Flibby: You can't think about yourself.

Frenchie: please, enlighten me

Flibby: France was the birthplace of the Enlightenment. By your thinking, I should be getting lectures from you on that.

Flibby: Look, do whatever you gotta do.

Flibby: If you don't want to talk to me, that's fine.

Flibby: But if you are going to talk to me, one of the rules is that you can't act like a spoiled brat.

Flibby: If we are not in agreement on those things, then it's best if we part ways.

Frenchie: you're just offensive sometimes

Flibby: You don't know the meaning of the words.

Frenchie: but this constant nescience is obviously a contrivance of your upbringing, i can't blame you.

Flibby: Have you considered the option that perhaps I'm the product of my own devices?

Frenchie: maybe.

Flibby: Well, that is the case.

Flibby: And you should treat me as such.

Flibby: That's how I treat you.

Frenchie: regardless

Frenchie: you do not

Flibby: I do, too.

Flibby: I do not treat you as if you are the seedling of some country or the spawn of some clan.

Flibby: I treat you as if you think for yourself as yourself and yourself alone.

Frenchie: you are so inconversant it's sick.

Flibby: If you want me to consider the feelings of Frenchmen everywhere when talking to you, I'll have to concede that the task is beyond my ability.

Frenchie: a typical southern american

Flibby: Now you're treating me like I'm a member of the herd. You haven't basic courtesy.

Flibby: Good bye.

What kind of damn fool thinks that changing the word "French" to "Freedom" is at all insulting? Criminy.

I will point out that this is a young person of 20 years in age. I worry for the children.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

Tonight's Vintage: Routas Syrah 2000

I just opened a new bottle of wine to carry me through the rest of the week:

Routas Syrah 2000

My wine encyclopedia says of the Syrah grape:

Syrah: A variety whose name, derived from Shiraz, the capital of Fars, a province of Iran, causes most people to believe that the vine must have originated in Persia, possibly as far back as 600 BC. In Hermitage, in the northern Rhone, the grape makes big, rich, tannic wines with a good deal of fruit.

I chose this bottle because of the pretty purple lable. I also knew that Syrah is the same as Shiraz but for locale and I've really enjoyed Shiraz in the past. There's also the cute subtitle, Cyrano, that I found charming. How nice to drink Freedom Wine!

The lable reads:

Cyrano de Bergerac was famous for his nose and for his passions. Syrah is a dark and fragrant grape that is also famous for its nose, and for the passions that it inspires when accompanied by flavorful and spicy foods. Cyrano is made entirely from particularly rich Syrah grown in the heart of Provence. It can be a serious pre-dinner drink but it is even better with steak or chicken cooked in a wine sauce.

I'm having Broccoli and Steak Skillet Sensations.

Since I just opened the bottle, I now take pause to inspect it. The color is indeed dark. It's more brown that the malbec I had this weekend. It's oddly not very fragrant.

My first sip is woefully underwhelming. I've had terrible wines before and this doesn't count as one of them. Initially, I taste nothing. I swish it around and I can pick up a taste that reminds me of spice and a background flavor of berry, which is why I've always liked Shiraz. It is definitely "tannic" meaning it makes me pucker; my oral epithelium feels raw as the wine passes.

pucker... oral epithelium... ummm... moving along...

All in all I am not terribly impressed with this one. I expected a bigger taste to it but I also suspect that my disappointment lies in the fact that this is a freshly opened bottle. I'm usually more impressed once it's had a chance to sit for a little bit in the air.

I'm now on my fifth sip and it is definitely improving...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2004

Darth Vader Loses Veep Debate

Ummm... Are y'all Democrats sure you didn't mean to pick John Edwards as the presidential candidate?

I'm listening to John Edwards debate Dick Cheney right now and he is mopping the floor with the old coot.

If Edwards was running for president, Bush might not be getting my vote today. His voice is strong. He is clear and direct. He is convincing with his citations AND (most of the time) he's addressing the question that was asked.

Update: Since I'm listening to this on the radio, I asked someone who is watching it on TV. They said they think Cheney is winning and that he's "pulling gravitas." The radio broadcast makes Cheney sound like he's pulling an IV stand...

Update II: I'm now listening to clips from the debate and there were some real zingers both ways.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:11 PM | Comments (2)

October 04, 2004

Tonight's Vintage: Budini Malbec 2002

Tonight's wine is the 2002 Malbec by Budini vineyards, which is in the Mendoza region of Argentina.

Budini Malbec 2002

I decided to buy a Malbec because I wanted something different and I was standing in the South American section of the wine store. I bought this particular brand because of the funny cat on the bottle. The lable on the back says:

Budini, the rare and beautiful wild Pampas Cat of Argentina, has always been elusive, both in the open grazing lands and in the Andean foothills. our delicious and reasonably priced Budini wines from Argentina are far easier to track down. Using great care and attention both in the vineyards and winery, we produce wines that are bursting with ripe fruit flavors and easy to enjoy.

I am by far no expert, but I believe that those kitties do not have legs that long. But the first thing I taste with this wine is spice. Lots of spice, then a deep fruit flavor.

Since I only drink one glass of wine a night, it takes me a while to finish a bottle. Tonight is the last glass of this wine and so the flavor has changed a bit since I first opened it, late last week.

As I recall, the fruit flavors were more pronounced at first, but it had the tang of a freshly opened bottle. I would say it is still very good even though it was stored at room temperature and has been open for at least four days. Now, the spice of the wine is more prominent, but the finish lasts in a nice way.

My Wine Encyclopedia says of the Malbec grape:

Malbec: This grape is traditionally used in Bordeaux blends in order to provide colour and tannin. It is also grown in Loire, Cahors, and Mediterranean regions, among many others, and was the grape responsible for "The black wine of Cahors" -- a legendary name, if not wine, in the 19th century. However, Cahors is now made from a blend of grapes and is an infinitely superior wine to its predecessor.

I'm sure I know nothing about that except to say that this wine has a very pretty color; it's a nice, clear, bright purple-red.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

Customer Service Training

TRY SAYING: I think you could use more training.
INSTEAD OF: You don't know what the f___ you're doing.

TRY SAYING: She's an aggressive go-getter.
INSTEAD OF: She's a ball-busting b__ch.

TRY SAYING: Perhaps I can work late.
INSTEAD OF: And when the f___ do you expect me to do this?

TRY SAYING: I'm certain that isn't feasible.
INSTEAD OF: No f______ way.

TRY SAYING: Really?
INSTEAD OF: You've got to be sh__ing me!

TRY SAYING: Perhaps you should check with...
INSTEAD OF: Tell someone who gives a sh__.

TRY SAYING: I wasn't involved in the project.
INSTEAD OF: It's not my f______ problem.

TRY SAYING: That's interesting.
INSTEAD OF: What the f___?

TRY SAYING: I'm not sure this can be implemented.
INSTEAD OF: This sh__ won't work.

TRY SAYING: I'll try to schedule that.
INSTEAD OF: Why the h___ didn't you tell me sooner?

TRY SAYING: He's not familiar with the issues.
INSTEAD OF: He's got his head up his a__.

TRY SAYING: Excuse me, sir?
INSTEAD OF: Eat sh__ and die.

TRY SAYING: So you weren't happy with it?
INSTEAD OF: Kiss my a__.

TRY SAYING: I'm a bit overloaded at the moment.
INSTEAD OF: F___ it, I'm on salary.

TRY SAYING: I don't think you understand.
INSTEAD OF: Shove it up your a__.

TRY SAYING: I love a challenge.
INSTEAD OF: This job sucks.

TRY SAYING: You want me to take care of that?
INSTEAD OF: Who the h___ died and made you boss?

TRY SAYING: He's somewhat insensitive.
INSTEAD OF: He's a pr_ck.

Thanks to Trey Givens' Mama Laverne for this email funny

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

I'm Getting Old

After an evening of cartwheels, back bends, and throwing children into the air my back is KILLING me.

I've never had back pain before. This is a sure sign that I'm almost dead, I just know it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)

October 03, 2004

Movie Night - Part I - Wendigo, Revisited

I couldn't stand to let a movie I rented go unwatched, so I forced myself to sit through Wendigo.

I don't even know where to begin describing how terrible this movie is. Is the acting bad? I can't tell because the script was unwieldy and unnatural. The story was stupid. The plot was obtuse and ponderous.

Wendigo is a thoroughly awful movie.

To make matters worse, I picked up this movie because I thought it was a different, bad movie.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

A Serious Question

In the movie The Shining, what does a man being fellated by someone in a warthog costume have to do with anything?

I hate it when movies just throw something like that at you and never bother to offer some explanation.

Or maybe the explanation is "Hey, The Roaring 20's were CRRRRAAAZZY!"

Update: Apparently I'm not the only person who was befuddled by this and I found an explanation.

The "bear scene" is a brief moment in The Shining when Wendy, beginning to see the same "1920's Party" events that Jack's been seeing, is wandering through the halls of the hotel. As she looks around a corner, she sees two shapes huddled over the edge of a bed. As she looks, they are revealed to be two men, possibly engaged in oral sex. One is wearing what looks to be a bear costume. The scene is taken directly from Stephen King's novel. In one of the novel's scenes set in the 1920's party, Jack is dancing with a beautiful woman. He notices that at one table, there is a young man behaving like a pet dog for the amusement of others, including a tall, bald man.

The bald man is Horace Derwent, a Howard Hughes-like figure who poured millions into restoring the Overlook Hotel in the 1920's. (Jack has learned this by reading a mysterious scrapbook earlier in the novel.) The younger man has a romantic crush on the bisexual Derwent, and Derwent has said that 'maybe', if the man dresses like a nice doggy, and acts like a nice doggy, he 'may' be willing to sleep with him.

Later on, in the novel, as Wendy is warily navigating the corridors of the Overlook, she begins to see the visions of the 1920's party. And at one point, peering around a corner, she sees the two men on a bed, one in a doggy costume. The two men are Derwent and his extremely dependent lover.

It's difficult to say why this second scene remains in the film; as it's somewhat confounding without all of the set-up that King provides in his book. Perhaps its jarring incongruity is reason enough for its inclusion, illustrating as it does Wendy's extreme disorientation at that point in the film. Another explanation is that the background on Derwent may have been scripted and filmed, but excised in the final cut.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:35 AM | Comments (0)

Movie Night - Part III: The Shining

It's 3 AM and I just finished watching The Shining, which might be the most confusing movies ever made. And also scary.

It is a movie about one woman's descent into madness while stuck out in isolation taking care of a big huge hotel. The hotel is in the middle of Nowhere, Colorado, and she has only her husband and little son to keep her company.

The crazy lady is played by Shelly Duvall and if looks are any indication of mental stability she is perfect for the part.

But the movie is confusing for just that reason. Is anyone surprised she went crazy? She looks like that and all the signs were there from the beginning.

Will any of us forget those fateful lines, "My favorite colors are pink and gold."

Hello. Rule of life numero uno: If someone says their favorite colors are pink and gold or peach and blue or anything like that, they're insane and sooner or later they will leave you to freeze to death out in the snow.

And what happened? She left her husband to freeze to death in the snow.

Perhaps you didn't catch the pink and gold remark. Think back, though. What was she wearing when you first see her in the movie? An outfit that looked like this:

From the DKNY 'Gone Crazy Collection' Winter 2004

Considering the fact that the movie was made in 1980, the most flattering thing we can say is that Shelly Duvall was a crazy lady ahead of her time.

So, the at the end of movie night, I got my wish: I saw a movie with a psychopathic woman.

I'm going to bed now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:24 AM | Comments (3)

Movie Night - Part II: Bruce Almighty

Bruce Almighty has some REALLY funny parts. Jim Carey may not know it, but his comedic talent doesn't really lie in his ability to do good prat falls.

The writers of Bruce Almighty wrote a movie that is as cute, though formulaic, as it is absurd and conflicted.

I can't say it's good. I can't say it's wholly bad -- although it reeks of altruism.

What I can say is this: There's a movie out there with someone from the cast of Friends that doesn't make you want to poke your eyes out.

Up next: The Shining.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:36 AM | Comments (1)

October 02, 2004

Movie Night - Part I: Wendigo

I decided instead of doing homework, I should watch movies this evening.

So, I ordered a pizza and went over to the Movie Gallery to rent Single White Female.

They didn't have it.

So, I went to get Fatal Attraction.

They didn't have it.

I asked the girl behind the counter, "So, why don't y'all have any crazy lady movies?"

She said, "I know. We don't even have the Wizard of Oz."

So, I rented Wendigo, Bruce Almighty, and The Shining.

The first ten minutes of Wendigo were so uinbelieveably bad, I couldn't stand it, so I turned it off and put in Bruce Almighty.

I am now pissed off because Bruce Almighty makes you watch the trailers for other movies before you can watch the feature. It's a DVD, for crying out loud! We shouldn't have to put up with this stuff any more!

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

Fun with Conservative Wing-nuts

Sometimes I find it difficult to distinguish between liberals and conservatives. Both have their own brand of mysticism. Both tend toward philosophical subjectivism. Both want the government to do things they ought not do.

So, it doesn't come as a surprise to me when I encounter conservative bloggers acting a lot like what I expect out of liberal bloggers: name-calling, misleading statements, and even outright lying. I recently had occassion to observe a conservative resorting to these tactics and more.

I won't name him and I won't give him a link because he is so intellectually dishonest and malicious that he has relegated his commentary to the depths of absurdity; he's not worth the attention.

BUT, I do want to show you one of his tactics so that you can be prepared to address it when it happens to you.

He posed this to his audience:

What are the defects in Rand's character, her novels, and her philosophy? Your evasion of this question is starting to make a lot of you appear like pod people. It's not like I'm asking you to condemn Rand. I'm just asking for one thing in three categories--her character, her novels, and her philosophy--that you find flawed. Do you have minds of your own, or have you leased them out to Objectivism? Answer the question.

Now, if the question was as simple as it is put in the first line, many Objectivists and students of Objectivism might pause give it some consideration. They probably would respond by saying they lack sufficient insight to comment on her character as a private individual but what they do know indicates that she was a living hero. The topic of her novels is broad and would likely require analysis on an individual basis. There are likely some technical issues in each that are worthy of comment, but the themes of each are sound. And her philosophy is wholly consistent.

The nefarious individual in question, however, isn't apparently deft enough to hide his motivation because his next sentence threatens his audience with his condemnation. You don't want to look like a pod person, do you?

(I don't want to get started on how ineffective it is to threaten Objectivists with appearances.)

Then we get the classic trick: "It's not like I'm asking you to condemn Rand." If you haven't gathered just from what I've said so far about the context of the discussion, you should know that he is actually trying to condemn Ayn Rand. What started the discussion was a post that called Ayn Rand an "intellectual moron" and he attempted, but failed, to offer effective criticism of his own. Now, he wants to enlist her supporters to do his job.

What a maroon!

But one of the logical fallacies he demonstrates and the one I want to discuss is bifurcation.

The presentation of only two alternative where others exist is called the fallacy of bifurcation.

In this case, either you think that Ayn Rand had a flawed character, wrote flawed novels, and offered a flawed philosophy and you have a mind of your own...

~OR~

You're an intellectual moron, a brainwashed pawn of Objectivism, and a pod person.

There are all sorts of ways to illustrate this insulting error of rhetoric.

Either you like okra or you're the devil.
A vote for Kerry is a vote for the terrorists.
A vote for Bush is a vote for Jesus.
Either you're completely insane or you've lost your mind.

It really is that ridiculous, but what tops it all off is that a refusal to answer the ridiculous question is then called an evasion and a sign that you're all the bad things the speaker has said about those who oppose him.

The writer who remains here nameless actually published a whole book pushing the notion that anyone who believes in anything is a moron. Actually, he would probably say that his position is that "ideology--not Left ideology or Right ideology, but all ideology--makes smart people fall for stupid ideas."

I'll stop now but only after highlighting another logical fallacy:

Argumentum Ad Temperantiam

If fallacies were assigned to the nations of the world, the argumentum ad temperantiam would be allocated to England. It is the Englishman's fallacy. The argumentum ad temperantiam suggests that the moderate view is the correct one, regardless of its other merits, it takes moderation to be a mark of the soundness of a position.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:39 PM | Comments (1)

Just Damn

Well, Trey Givens is back - kind of. But he's throwing in the towel.

This was the straw has broken the camel’s back, kicked it in the gut, and pushed him down the stairs. Then, dragged him out into the street, beat him with a crowbar, and talked bad about his mama the whole time.

That sucks. It's kind of like Superman died. Or is he Clark Kent?

I was starting to think he was the real deal, but I can't ken to this quitter talk. It's just a little server problem, dude, and your site is back up now, right? In spite of that pretty face looks like Trey Givens doesn't have what it takes.

Pansy.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

What's Up with Trey Givens?

His blog seems to be down. Has anyone heard from him?

Update: Trey wrote me and said:

I don't know what's going on with my site. I've contacted my hosting company, Fat Cow, whom I do not endorse since Chip Gibbon's bad experience, and I haven't heard anything yet. Of course, I can't check email or FTP or anything right now, so I don't know how I would hear from them if they tried.

Thanks for getting the word out, though. Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)