One Of The Most Important Websites You’ll Ever Come Across (NO KIDDING!)

Seven Points of View: From Left to Right And The Muslem View, Too

Very key in comparing the points of view. While it’s biased towards New York and Britain, it’s still a very good view of the biases out there. Plus I like the inclusion of the Muslim view; as I believe they’ve taken the Russian’s place as the USA’s (and The West’s) main enemy.

(At least I hope it’s like that. I’d hate to think we’ve taken the Soviet’s place and Islam has taken our place. After all, you remember how the cold war turned out…)

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Overloud Blowhards Win Their Fight Against Free Speech

Just heard that George W. Bush (our President, as I’m ready to state) just signed a law banning protests at “Military Funerals” in order to stop a group of lame idiots with too much money and time on their hands from doing their “Die America, Die” chants. (Actually it’s more for stopping the motorcyclists protesting these idiots, but nobody want to think of that. After all, we’re talking about people supporting our men in uniform; and we can’t come out against THEM, can we?)

Just what I need to find out: Bury someone in a military fashion and the place becomes a speech-free zone where only those who are expected to speak can speak.

Where’s the ACLU when you need them? With this precedent the idea of free-speech free zones can expand to include every aspect of governmental action, even when there’s no sign of federal, state or local government around.

A Jolt Back Into The Past

Ever listen to the radio (or to your collection of mp3s) and hear the song that jolts you back to when the song first came out?

I just turned on my iPod (while new to me, it’s actually a refurbished 40 Gigabyte 4Gen iPod) and turned it to my collection of Tori Amos tunes (all legal, as I have the CDs they come from). The third song in the list was “Silent All These Years.”

When “Silent…” came up, everything stopped. I remembered first driving a cab around Lansing Michigan and she would come up on the “Women’s Show” on WDBM Sunday. I’d listen to that show just for her; and when the radio station stopped doing their “Women’s Show” I ended up buying her CDs. Both the first two CDs of hers, plus the “Crucify” single (the one with the Garlic Necklace and her kick-ass version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”).

I lost track of her right after Boys For Pele (her third album). I actually went to a coffeehouse to listen to it on its release night; found myself turned off by the music (the repetition of the piano parts turned me off). Don’t ask me about the words, all I remember is her bawking like a chicken at the end of one of the songs (Oh Yeah; and “Caught A Light Sneeze” was an OK single)

Been a while since I kept up with her. I’m sure the library has plenty of her stuff, maybe I can catch up with her there.

No Longer The Detroit Baseball Putty-Tats

I’m looking at the Major League Baseball Standings, and I notice the team atop the American Central is Detroit. Not Chicago (although they’ve got a better team than last year’s), not Cleveland and certainly not Minnesota (the team that’s bedevilled Detroit, even before they got consigned to that Dome).

I would have been happy had Detroit been doing mere .550 ball (and they may drop to that level before the year is through). As long as we have a team able to win more than lose and what looks like a strong future, I’d have took it. However, this is a definite plus.

If this keeps up through the end of the season, the Tigers will have finally gotten out of the doldrums they were stuck in since the second half of the 1988 season. While Detroit came in second that season, the team stalled to a halt over the second half, and went to fall totally apart in the nineties and the early years of this new century.

And now? At the very least, I can call them the TIGERS!!! Yes, the Tigers. No longer the “Detroit Baseball Putty-Tats” (musn’t confuse them with their football bretheren, who’ve perfected the art of sucking in another league), but now the “Detroit Tigers!”

Yes! Finally!

(Yes, it’s been that long since I could point to my baseball team with pride.)

The Day After Roe

Interesting article. Jeffery Rosen (the author of the article) predicts that there would be a battle upon the repeal of Roe v Wade and that, should there be an end, we would settle on a middle ground that would give all early abortions a pass while putting restrictions on later abortions that grow stronger until the fetus is pushed out of the body by the mother-to-be.

I’m not sure I buy that.

First off, don’t be too sure that such an outcome would occur. Remember, the anti-abortion side has been more organized and active all these years. They’re not about to roll over and play dead over popular opinion; indeed they’ll likely be emboldened by such a ruling, especially in states that still have abortion bans on their books (Michigan is one of them, let’s remember). Don’t be surprised if the Republicans, in desperate need of captive votes to continue their corporatista rampage, pass and enact national anti-abortion laws. Don’t be surprised if secretly encourage Cuba to start providing abortions on its soil for Americans (why else are they offering Free Doctor Training to Americans? Ever think of that?)

Second, don’t be too sure that the Supreme Court can only keep the South Dakota law legal by revoking Roe v Wade. Don’t be surprised if they rule that the law fits in with the rulings of both Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton. That would do more to limit abortion than a full reversal of Roe and Doe, as what South Dakota allows would work out to be a full ban (fact is, “danger to the mother” is too little to allow for abortion; at those levels it’d be easier, less costly and simpler to merely give last rites to the mother and pray the last rites were unnecessary).

Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time a Supreme Court ruling was given flexibility with the OK (stated or implied) of the Court. Probably the most notorious was Plessey v Furgeson; the phrase “Separate But Equal” was readily redefined as “Separate allowed, Equality Impossible” by the states. The “Corporations Are People Under The Law” interpretation has been run with until it reads “Corporations Have Rights, People Don’t (when they go against corporation rights).”

Something else to consider.

I Still Say New Orleans Was “Benign Neglect”

And according to this article, it looks like EVERYONE’S responsible, from the federal government to the local crews constructing the dikes. From shoddy design to stuff built in too tight a space to knowing corner cutting, New Orleans was left to hold on with too little margin for error, and the margin was quickly passed through.

Some areas are improved, of course. New locks make the smaller dikes less open to breaking; some areas are actually rebuilt to proper standards.

I still say the best thing to do would be to rebuild New Orleans elsewhere. Like on the Achafalaya, forty-fifty miles to the west. Use the present Mississippi as a spillway for excess water; something is VERY wrong with a city when the city’s high point is a riverbank.

Now I Know Why The Right Hate Hillary:

S 2725; The Bill, The Minimum Wage…

That’s right, Hillary put up a bill to link the Minimum Wage to the Congressional Pay.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Congress will wildly inflate their pay over the first part (where the minimum wage goes up by its own) then drop it with a Congressional Pay Plummet, making the minimum wage useless (or making illegals legal wage earners). (or more to the point, they’ll likely ignore it. After all, it’s not just her, but too many democrats and not enough republicans sponsoring this)

But at least someone’s making an attempt to make government work.

Which explains their hatred of her (after all, when government doesn’t work, corporations lord it over the people).

Christianity, Celibacy and "The Ring Thing"

Saving Grace (must register to read)

About time someone said sense about celibacy. And not “How Hard It Is Not To F%ck In Today’s Society.”

Thing is, I remember when I was a practicing Fundamentalist Christian. I was celibate. Not necessarily by choice, but I wasn’t exactly hurting, either. I desired sex and connection, but I can’t say that my life was missing things because I didn’t get naked and swap body fluids with the girls around me. In short, I was celibate, and probably blessed by it.

Probably the one thing missing from this is the idea (pointed out by the story) that maybe Celibacy is a blessing. A blessing in that you’re allowed to live a leaner life, unencumbered by spousal and parental duties, with more of your attention able to be turned to God. No distractions, no worry about whether you’re about to raise children that would have been better destroyed in the womb (God Forbid(tm)!), less of a need to focus on money and things, more an ability to focus on the important things in life.

It’s actually one thing I miss from those days. What with all the other stuff I pay attention to nowadays, I look towards the days when I readily rode my bike across town to do church activities. And we’re talking about across Flint, Michigan. Across the northern part, the poor black part, by the olde Buick Factory and across neighborhoods that probably don’t exist (certainly a large part of the neighborhood just north of downtown doesn’t exist anymore except as fields viewable from Saginaw Street).

And “The Ring Thing?” It can’t work. That ring is a reminder that you’re not supposed to F%CK. And guess what: enough reminders that you’re not supposed to F%CK will lead to F%CKING, with lots of pre-F%cking activities beforehand. Remove the ring and instead meet once or twice a week with like-minded people and you’ll find your celibacy more than a vow made in the heat of the moment (with all the arousal THAT implies).

Interesting Note: Coppertone Girl Painter Dies

Joyce Ballantyne Brand, Creator of the Coppertone Girl, Dies

Remember the old Coppertone ads? Not the recent ones, the ones with more buttocks?

Yes, those ads used to run. Well into the seventies and eighties, even up to the start of the new millennium.

Thing was, back when the painting was in advertisements and on the packages people didn’t think of a young girl’s buttocks as sexually exciting. We were able to take the picture in context and understand what was being said.

Look at the old picture, and you’ll see a girl looking at a dog who’s biting her bikini bottom down. Her hand’s holding onto the front of the bikini, and she’s got a mortified look on her face. No sign of wanting attention of any kind, instead she’d rather disappear into the woodwork.

Not only that, but in a beach scene you’d understand that the girl was properly dressed. (She needs a top; but the bottom piece would not be out of place had it not been being pulled down by a dog.)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Admittedly, this was before the Internet and the present day hyperawareness of pedophilia. Before priests and scouting and junior high-school gymnastic coaches became objects of strong watchful surveillance. Before we understood that college wasn’t the only place where teachers were bedding students (and that in college, the teachers are being logical about it).So maybe it’s better that there’s less of the bottom shown, and that the image is smaller. Anything to not signal to pedophiles and their ilk that their predilections are gaining any acceptance.

Still, there’s something to be said about a society that could accept such a picture, knowing full well what was meant (and what WASN’T).

Worries About the Macintosh Platform

Ctrl+Alt+Del Parody of The Macintosh “No Viruses” Commercial

I’m not so much laughing as cringing. Not so much at the idea of “Listen to the crowd yell out ‘Look At These Suckers Trying To Get Noticed, They’re Too Pitiful To Even Be Pitied’ then walk away” cringing, but in the way of “Listen to the hacker crowd say ‘Look At These Losers Act Like They’re A Real Platform, Let’s Crush Them Out Of The Internet And Out Of Business Once And For All’ then walk to their computers to pilfer the Operating System” cringing.

Probably one of the blessings over the past few years has been the utter absence (sp?) of virii aimed at the Macintosh. Sure there’s spies and similar items, but nothing meant to take the platform down.

And, sadly, I think this is because we’ve been blessed with an invisibility. We’re still the standard for graphics related stuff and a favorite on colleges (and there’s the iPod, natch) but there’s a small enough group of us for the hacker group to ignore us. Makes things much easier.

But now with the commercials, I’m sure there’s enough hackers out there ready to take aim at the Macs. Worse, they now know how to make things really bad for computers, having figured out ways to make people suffer and really damage things at the same time.

And with the Macintosh so long unattacked and open, watch out…it could get as ugly as letting loose a fourteen year old redhead among a bunch of college-aged football players. (Me: I’m glad I’ve just read about the problem so far…)