July 26, 2007
New York Times: Vick Faces Day in Court on Dogfighting Charges
Michael Vick, the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, is due in court in Richmond, Va., later today to respond to charges that he was involved in a dog fighting conspiracy on property he owns in rural Surry County.
I've killed animals before. I eat animals almost all the time. I wear animals and I support their continued slaughter for my benefit and comfort.
I ALSO support the keeping of animals for my entertainment and comfort. Animals like puppies and kittens and maybe a fish.
When I am able to inflict death on a spider, I am greatly pleased because those things skeev me out.
So, let's talk about killing, torturing, and abusing animals just for sport. This includes dog and cock fighting as well as having sex with whatever species of animal ewe prefer.
In politics, my position on this matter won't come as a surprise to my regular readers. If you own the animal or animals in question, you should be permitted to do with them as you please in the eyes of the law.
Animals do not have rights because they do not have the same sort of volitional, rational consciousness as human beings and as such can be granted no other consideration under the law above that of any other property.
Legally, you should be allowed to kill, torture, or molest your animals as you see fit.
If you're so inclined, you should be permitted to enter your dog into fights with other dogs, so long as the owner of those dogs agrees to the match as well. Naturally, you accept the risks associated with such an activity and would have little standing in the eyes of the law should you sue for damages to your property (dog) in the event that you lose the match.
In ethics, however, the wanton, pointless destruction of animals may be regarded as foolish, barbaric, and wrong. (Of course, it depends on the situation.)
I will go a step further: the wanton, pointless destruction of anything may be regarded as foolish, barbaric, and wrong.
I would equate killing your own cat for no other reason than to watch it die with throwing paint all over your furniture. It's totally your business because it's your cat, your paint, and your furniture, but I have very real doubts that such actions could be undertaken to achieve or maintain any rational values in your life.
Basically, my question would be: What good does it do?
The actions you undertake in life ought to be done to the end of improving and maintaining your life as a human being. You work to produce wealth so you can afford things you need for survival and comforts that will make your survival enjoyable and fulfilling. You take vacations so that you can rest, break out of your routine and experience a broader perspective on the world.
But destruction for the sake of destruction can't possibly produce anything that could be rationally defended as happiness.
I suppose if you weren't quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, you might find yourself in a position where dog fighting is a means of acquiring wealth on which you could survive, although I would expect a rational person to abandon that occupation as soon as is feasible just because it is more satisfying for the rational individual to do something productive and not merely destructive.
Some might argue that watching dogs or chickens fight is entertaining. I fail to see the amusement there. I've seen dogs fighting and it's horrible. An attempt to defend dog fighting as a wholesome, life-affirming way of entertaining one's self would be patently absurd. The whole notion flies in the face of the meaning of the word "life-affirming."
Basically, I stand here in moral condemnation of dog fighting, animal torture, and the senseless destruction of any property for mere amusement.
Maybe it's because I had a horrible Spanish teacher on semester in college from Venezuela, but I'm pretty sure that it's actually because it's a jackass.
Seriously, someone, Pat Buchanan, anyone, go shoot that man in the face.
And speaking of Cox & Forkum, why doncha go buy their books?
July 23, 2007
JK ROWLING'S next major project is set to feature a charismatic hero who uses magic powers to overcome diabolical and grotesque adversaries.
Yet the next chapter of the author's literary career is expected to focus on Orpheus rather than Harry Potter.
Edinburgh-based publishing firm Canongate has offered Rowling the chance to retell the adventures of the legendary Greek hero, who is best known for attempting to rescue his wife Eurydice from the underworld.
Rowling has already expressed an interest in covering the classics after her studies in Greek and Roman mythology at Exeter University in the 1980s, and now Canongate has invited her to become its latest celebrity writer to contribute to its best-selling Myths series.
Penning a book based on the classics might bring critical acclaim for Rowling, but the fee, which normally doesn't reach much higher than a five-figure sum for such works, would be a barely noticeable addition to her estimated £545m fortune.
A host of characters in the Harry Potter series - from Chiron the centaur to Fluffy the monstrous three-headed dog - were directly inspired by Rowling's love of ancient mythology.
A literary insider said: "She has expressed an interest in updating the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, but the whole thing is being kept under wraps so not to overshadow the launch of the final Harry Potter book."
It is understood that the invitation was made personally to Rowling by Canongate owner Jamie Byng. The publisher launched the acclaimed Myths series in 2005.
Mister Bookworm can't fool me. I know that he is completely and utterly unrepentant. Adding to the litany of sins and deviant behavior, this article only tempts me with more books to read.
An entire series of modernized myths? Sounds like fun!
But he knows that I am not supposed to add books to my book list (he's added four books to my pile already) until I reduce the size of the pile significantly.
Yes, this one is quite wicked and will have to be punished.
July 19, 2007
NEW YORK (CNN) -- No asbestos was detected in the air Thursday after a steam pipe burst in Midtown in Manhattan the day before, killing one person and wounding 26 others as the ruptured pipe sent thick plumes of smoke and ash into the air.
The New York Fire Department said three firefighters and one police officer were treated on scene for minor injuries. The other 22 injured were transported to various hospitals, a fire department spokesman said.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the person who died suffered from cardiac arrest.
The New York Fire Department said it received a call reporting an explosion at 5:56 p.m. More than 170 firefighters were dispatched to the site at Lexington Avenue near 41st Street.
Hundreds of people fled as dozens of police, fire and utility workers arrived. Officials said the explosion was not related to terrorism.
I was in Chinatown last night when all of this went down. The Bookworm and I were shopping for cologne and shoes as I mentioned yesterday. We stopped in the H&M down on Broadway & Spring to look at clothes. I wound up getting some socks and undies there.
Anyway, the clerk at H&M informed us that there was a bomb in the Times Square subway station and all the subways on the east side were shut down.
This greatly vexed me because 1) I don't like bombs and 2) I need those trains to get home.
So, Mister Bookworm and I went back down through Chinatown to sup at this vegetarian dim sum place he had heard of. (He's veggie. I don't know if I've mentioned that.)
Thinking that train service would be improved, we went to try to N/R/W uptown, but when we got to the station, there was a train there but it was out of service, so we walked further west and got on a 1 train to Times Square.
After he and I parted ways, I went to the N/Q/R/W tracks and found that service was restored and I made it home safe and sound.
I found out later that it wasn't a bomb, but a ruptured steam pipe that caused the explosion.
Today, I'm wearing my new shoes, socks, cologne and underwear and I have one complaint: these underwear from H&M, while quite comfortable, have a long tag right in the back which dangles down the cleft between my buttocks. It is a MOST disconcerting sensation so I went to the bathroom just now to cut it out. Sweet relief.
July 16, 2007
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German bus driver threatened to throw a 20-year-old sales clerk off his bus in the southern town of Lindau because he said she was too sexy, a newspaper reported Monday.
"Suddenly he stopped the bus," the woman named Debora C. told Bild newspaper. "He opened the door and shouted at me 'Your cleavage is distracting me every time I look into my mirror and I can't concentrate on the traffic. If you don't sit somewhere else, I'm going to have to throw you off the bus.'"
The woman, pictured in Bild wearing her snug-fitting summer clothes with the plunging neckline, said she moved to another seat but was humiliated by the bus driver.
A spokesman for the bus company defended the driver.
"The bus driver is allowed to do that and he did the right thing," the spokesman said. "A bus driver cannot be distracted because it's a danger to the safety of all the passengers."
These are the days of our lives.
July 09, 2007
MADRID (Reuters) - Women in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, world-famous for its ferocious bull-running festival, are demanding their own version complete with cows instead of bulls.
A student website, www.estudiln.net, set the ball rolling with its campaign "Cows want to run" which asks for a separate encierro, as the bull-runs are known, where only women are allowed to take part.
Women have been allowed to take part in the San Fermin bull-running for some years but they still represent a tiny minority of the thousands of runners who attempt to dodge 600-kilo bulls along an 800-metre course through the streets of Pamplona.
The students say it's only logical that women should have their own bull-run.
Except that it's not logical at all.
Why should there be another, separate run when women are perfectly welcome in the one that exists?
My understanding is that the bulls are run to the arena where the bull fighting happens and they are slaughtered. They don't run cows because the cows aren't involved in the bull fighting.
As usual, this goal of sexual equality reveals itself to be ridiculous and superfluous.
July 06, 2007
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Hong Kong woman who blinded her boyfriend in one eye in a fight six years ago has been jailed for jabbing a chopstick into his other eye, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Last November, Po Shiu-fong, 58, accused long-time boyfriend Kwok Wai-ming, 49, of having an affair, the South China Morning Post reported.
During the row, Po stabbed a plastic chopstick into his left eye, which she had already blinded six years ago when she poked it with her finger.
"Po became hysterical when she saw the wound and mopped it with a towel. The pair then went to bed," the paper said.
"The next morning they had another argument in which she grabbed a chopstick and stabbed Kwok's right eye," it said.
"If I forgive her, God would not forgive me," the paper quoted Kwok as saying. "No matter what, nothing could compensate for the loss of my eye."
My favorite part is that he won't forgive her.
I hate when people do horrible things and then their victims are like, "Oh I forgive them." That is a hideous betrayal of justice.
If someone jabs out your eyes, you don't forgive them. You call the police to have them restrain you from jabbing their eyes out in return. Smite! Smite! Smite!
Orange Beach police arrested an 11-year-old girl Tuesday night and charged her with driving under the influence of alcohol after a high-speed chase that ended when the child flipped the Chevrolet Monte Carlo she was driving.
According to Duck: The Monte Carlo exceeded speeds of 100 mph in the ensuing chase, which flew west along the beach highway through Orange Beach, past Gulf State Park and into Gulf Shores -- a distance of about 8 miles. The Monte Carlo eventually sideswiped another vehicle and then flipped over near the easternmost condo towers of Gulf Shores.
While the legal blood-alcohol content for adults is .08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, the limit for anyone under 21 is .02. Without disclosing her blood-alcohol content, Duck said the 11-year-old had enough alcohol in her system that she could have been charged with DUI even if she had been an adult.
Though the child's weight is undisclosed, a 140-pound adult would generally have to drink four beers in one hour to achieve a blood-alcohol level of .08.
Finding an adequately written article for this story that I originally heard on CNN Headline News this morning was a pain! I'm so frustrated with how poorly written these news stories are that I can't even comment on this insane story.
I will say this: my favorite part of the story is that on CNN they reported that the girl said that she was on her way to pick up her sister.
In trying to find this article to cite for you guys, I came across this report of the incident on WKRG.com: Drunk Driver In High Speed Chase Only 11-Years Old. I couldn't use it because the article is such a poorly written news story. Seriously, what kind of lead is that? Why are the details buried in all this needless narrative?
On CNN Headline News this morning, they gave all of the relevant details in about three sentences. Of course, I couldn't find the story on CNN.com.
Who is teaching people who to write the news these days? Come on, people! Does the AP have to do everything for you?
Update: Reader Netbuzz brought this to my attention. It's kind of tragically hilarious.
July 05, 2007
BEIJING (AP) - China warned the media Tuesday against exaggerating its food safety problems and stirring consumer panic, even as officials announced dozens of snacks for children had failed standards and more fake blood protein was found in hospitals.
China's dismal product safety record - both within and outside its borders - has increasingly come under the spotlight as its goods make their way through global markets. Major buyers such as the United States, Japan, and the European Union have pushed Beijing to improve inspections.
``I think it would be better if the media would stop playing up this issue,'' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular news briefing. He warned the widespread media coverage would ``lead to panic among consumers.''
Fears that China's chronic food safety problems were going global surfaced earlier this year with the deaths of dogs and cats in North America blamed on Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine.
U.S. authorities have also turned away or recalled toxic fish, juice containing unsafe color additives and popular toy trains decorated with lead paint. Chinese-made toothpaste has been banned by numerous countries for containing diethylene glycol, a toxic ingredient often found in antifreeze.
Qin acknowledged there are ``some illegal and unscrupulous retailers'' and also attributed the problems to differences between China's monitoring systems and those of other countries.
I heard about this story on CNN Headline News this morning and I was struck again by China's preoccupation with their image, but of course they couch it in terms as if they are concerned about "panic" among the public.
Riddle me this: Who cares if the public panics and stops buying products made in China?
Do you think it's the public? No. Do you think it's the government of any relatively free countries? No.
It's a China!
If you read the rest of the article, they cite NUMEROUS examples of how products made in China fail minimum standards for health and safety. And we're not talking about band aids that are just a little too sticky. We're talking about toothpaste that contains poison and bad blood plasma. We're talking about acts of criminal negligence and fraud.
Consumers have a right to know about these things and should be left to manage their panic on their own.
The other part of this story that strikes me as odd is the use of the term "warned." "China warned the media"
Warned them about what? What will happen if they don't listen?
Typical of The People's Republic of China to threaten the media for reporting on the very real threat their products present to consumers. Lest we forget: China is a communist state, a tyranny. They maintain their power only by violence and fraud and millions are suffering the consequences.
Freedom-minded companies should not do business with Chinese companies or the Chinese government.
Some people disagree with me on that, but I really hated her character in that movie and ever since I've found it hard not to see her in that light.
It's either that light or the one in which her bangs are held upright by dried semen. Take your pick.
well, she was on the internet today and she is quoted as making a remark that really bought her a lot of points in my book. I'm actually a little impressed at this very small display of a backbone.
Cameron is quoted in new book 'The Green Book - The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time' as saying: "I don't want to be running around barefoot, pushing my car like Barney Rubble. I don't want to go back to the Stone Age. I just want to maintain what we have for a long period of time - forever. How nice would that be? I'm very selfish."
Of course, I agree with most of what she said there except I don't want to maintain. I want to progress. Get me a nuclear-powered flying car, dammit!
The article points out that she was called out earlier last month for carrying a purse with the political slogan of a tyrant written on it.
"Last month, the actress came under fire for carrying a bag bearing the political slogan of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong in Peru."
So, she's not consistently of the right mind of things, but for what it's worth, I still have to applaud her environmental selfishness there.
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Brazilian woman whose estranged husband held her hostage at gunpoint on a bus for 10 hours along with dozens of passengers last year has decided to reunite with him.
"I forgave him out of love ... I believe it was an irrational act and that we can resume our life in peace," Brazil's Globo news agency quoted Cristina Ribeiro, 35, as saying on Monday, eight months after the nationally televised hostage drama.
That is totally grounds for break up in my book.
July 02, 2007
- One of my coworkers played with it in the store this weekend and loved it.
- Sales over the weekend are estimated to have broken 500K units. Impressive! Apple "has set a goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008, and analysts are generally looking for it to sell about 3 million units this year."
- A friend of mine said that a friend of his played with it and found the means of dialing fussy. I don't know what he's talking bout. The demo made it look rockin' and I haven't heard that from anyone else.
- HNN reported this morning that some users reporting problems getting their accounts activated.
- Another friend played with it and said it's pretty cool but he's waiting for the second generation because the data speed was slow (Edge network) and the hassle of having to zoom in on a page every time he clicked bothered him.
- In California, most stores sold out, but here in NY, NJ, and CN, only one store actually sold out of the weekend. Is that a portent of doom?
- I might have to drop in to play with one some time, but here's my question for you: Did any of my wonderful readers take one for a spin this weekend? If so, what did you think? Did any of you actually buy one? How is it?
I'd love to hear what you think so far.
Update: WOOHOO!!! Diana went and bought herself an iPhone! Please give us a review, Diana!
Reuters: India looking for "Mr Condom"
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India, struggling to promote greater condom use among its population, is looking to hire its own "condom man" to follow the example of a former Thai cabinet minister who successfully pushed for safer sex, the Times of India reported.
"He has to feel passionately about the cause as Mechai does ... have a dynamic personality to change both government policy and public perceptions about HIV/AIDS, sex and condoms," [National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) chief Sujatha Rao] said.
India is the home of people who protested Richard Gere's affectionate, but closed mouth kisses, with Shilpa Shetty not long ago. Male-female contact in public is regarded generally as impolite and inappropriate at the very best.
Periodically, India makes the news because of the "hundreds, if not thousands" of honor killings each year. An honor killing is where a woman's relatives may kill her to preserve family honor in the event that it is suspected that she has had sex outside of marriage or committed some other "sin" related to sex.
Homosexuality is illegal in India and some see that as "not likely to change in the near future because the society is based on religious traditions where procreation is an obligation for the performance of various religious rituals." Violence against gays is said by some to be relatively common in certain areas and even condoned by law enforcement officials.
But now they're going to have a man who is going to campaign "passionately" for the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS?
Methinks this is an uphill battle for Mr. Condom.
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