Cardiologists in Greece, in a recent study, have found that chocolate has a number of health benefits that might help you live longer. Among other things, it's high in flavonoids, natural antioxidants that help fight cell damage.
The scientists were quick to point out, however, that eating too much chocolate can lead to obesity - offseting the health benefits. D'oh!
Stephen Baldwin is a hottie nut-job
So I'm watching Crossfire today (I know - but I ran out of bamboo to cram under my fingernails). And they go through all of the yelling/shouting/ignoring-each-other, and they tease the last segment with a comment about "...a Baldwin brother who threatened to leave the country if Bush was elected. Now we have one that supports the President." And it turns out that Stephen Baldwin is like this big Bush fan.
So obviously the fact that he supports Bush doesn't wind me up. But he goes on with his reasons: he's "a big Bible guy" and is supporting and voting for the biggest Bible candidate. Eek.
Sensitively done, including excerpts from Dick Cheney's recent comments on same-sex unions, this is finally an HRC ad that I can support. Not that it will change the mind of people like Jerry Falwell and Rick Santorum or those who support them, but I think it's the kind of ad that will actually make a difference in fly-over country.
If I do, I'll vote for George Bush for the same reasons that (former mayor of New York and lifelong Democrat) Ed Koch gives for doing the same.
But I'm doing so [voting for a Republican] this time because of the one issue that trumps everything else: international terrorism. In my judgment, the Democratic Party just doesn't have the stomach to stand up to the terrorists.
Today's slap is Adrian Armas. Most recently he's the cover guy on instinct magazine (I know - another Instinct guy. But they're HOT!). So thinking he looked familiar (wasn't that his head on the pillow next to mine the other night?), I actually read the article about him. Turns out he was the total hottie on that old "Gap Swings" commercial. Remember him? Umm, let's just say my rewind button got a good workout on that one.
Fuck. It wasn't "Gap Swings". It was "Khakis Swing". Sorry - it was late.
August 29, 2004
So, I almost did my first 3-way last night. Well, I shouldn't say almost - it never really got off the ground. My friend A and I were all set for the triple, but the guy we had picked said, at some point during the evening, "I'll never do another 3-way." Whatever. So I could tell he was all up in A's stuff, so I bailed out - didn't want to fuck up (ha!) a nice two-way for A. So having had more than one drink, I headed home and went to bed.
Got up this morning and A was on my caller ID at like 10 minutes after I left them alone. HUH?? I KNOW they weren't thinking that I'd participate with them over the phone. So finally reached A this evening. He had bailed out like 10 minutes after I left. Why, you ask? Apparently the guy whipped it out and only had 1 nut. And Andy freaked and headed for the hills.
I must admit, I can sympathize. I've never been asked, but I'm not sure I could do it with a 1-baller - no offense to all of you out there. And, p.s., why not get a fake ball put in? Then it's not an issue for anyone - you certainly don't have to tell. This I don't understand.
This also gives me a chance to say that I don't think Paul should give his gold medal back. It doesn't look like either the IOC or the gymnastics federation is going to change the result officially, so he should get to keep it.
Wow. Air Force 2 had a close call with a private plane over New York on Aug. 7.
Apparently, both planes were flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules) - which requires pilots to see and avoid other traffic - and both pilots had been given a "traffic advisory", where the air-traffic controller gives a pilot a bearing and distance to any other planes in the area. The alert system on the Vice President's plane seems to have sounded, telling the pilot to climb to avoid a collision.
This surprises me. As a general aviation pilot, I'm used to traffic advisories when approaching or leaving an airport (as Air Force 2 was), but the article indicates that Air Force 2 was flying VFR. It seems like AF2 would always operate under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), which requires air-traffic controllers to maintain separation between planes.
As a side note, it doesn't surprise me (sigh...) that the air-traffic controllers' union is using this as a way to get more members.
No one better say anything about me but me!
George Bush plans to recruit John McCain to put a stop to political advertising by outside groups, or 527s. Bush suggested in an interview with USAToday that he and McCain "join together in a lawsuit to make all activities ... of these soft-money accounts illegal", and that if court actions are unsuccessful, he's willing to help McCain find a legislative solution.
I find this absoltuely disgusting. Let's stipulate for a moment that SwiftBoat Veterans for Truth (the group that started the latest commotion) is not in any way tied to the Bush Campaign, since that's actually illegal under current law. If there are no ties, what's the problem?
Why shouldn't an individual or a group be able to spend private dollars on any kind of publication they want? Be it TV ads, print ads, or sky writing, these are PRIVATE entities making PRIVATE business arrangements. If the communication is libelous, it could be dealt with in the traditional way: take the offender to court. Other than that, I can't see how the government should be allowed to regulate such things - does the First Amendment not apply to political speech? If not, why not?
John Kerry has not been quite as vehement as Bush that ALL such advertising should be eliminated, but he's been especially noisy about the Swiftees' commercial and oddly silent about the anti-Bush ads from MoveOn.org.
I frankly don't have any sympathy for either candidate - these groups, in my mind, have every right to advertise for or against any and all candidates. If you don't like the rules, don't play the game.
Today's slap is Blair Shepard. Blair was profiled in Instinct Magazine'sMarch, 2004 issue - as the cover guy. In France as an exchange student, Blair managed to get a song to #1 on the French charts. Now he's back in the States, trying to duplicate that success. Bon chance, Blair!
Houses are expensive and not every person can buy it. However, personal loans are created to support different people in such kind of hard situations.
August 27, 2004
Either this will ring bells for you, or it won't. A printed banner has appeared on the concourse of a petrol station near to where I live. "Come inside," it says, "for CD's, VIDEO's, DVD's and BOOK's."
If this satanic sprinkling of redundant apostrophes causes no little gasp of horror or quickening of the pulse, you should probably put down this book at once.
Thus begins the newest addition to my library, Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I have to confess, signs like that induce in me exactly the symptoms that the author, Lynne Truss, describes.
A runaway bestseller - well, OK, maybe "runaway" is a bit strong - in the U.K., I am reading the American version. Extremely well written, I was laughing aloud as I read. Yeah, yeah, I know - "What kind of weirdo laughs aloud while reading a book about punctuation?" Bite me.
So, if you too, gasp in horror at signs like "BOB,S PETS", I urge you to buy your copy immediately.
This on what's wrong with the Republican Party. A bit polemic for my tastes, but I agree with the thesis. The Republican Party has been hijacked by the likes of Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer and Rick Santorum; Bush is the President, but it's people like the ones mentioned that are in control. I honestly don't know if I agree that it was Newt Gingrich that was the beginning of the end, but he may be as likely a candidate as any.
He ends up making some interesting points:
The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics.
But blows it with the angry rhetoric he just pinned on the GOP:
The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of ... people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico
... it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security.
I can't agree with this. 9/11 was the date that the terrorists brought the war to us. We had been stumbling about complacently; 9/11 was the wake up call. Whether the solution is to take the war to them (Bush), or to end all "foreign entanglements" (die-hard libertarians, Dean?) is the issue here. We cannot simply call 9/11 an "event".
Our beloved land has been fogged with fear—fear ... And in a time of vague fear ... lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.
This is just typical Democrat ranting and doesn't speak at all to the problems with the Republican Party.
He starts with an interesting idea, but descense into partisan ranting that makes him hard to take seriously. Too bad, because his thesis, in my opinion, is right on the money. The GOP has been taken over by whackos. I just hope there's a way to take it back before it descends into political irrelevancy.
The RNC is not who looks like an ass here (aside from making the ridiculous request in the first place -- as if repressed queens in the GOP don't want to see big weenies dangling to remind them of the male prostitute they paid for the day before). It's the NYC Tourism board for not telling the RNC to go fuck themselves. Ah yes, the GOP's God Complex strikes again.
W (not the president -- he wishes)
Does this one belong in Politics? I dunno. Anyway, Mike Adams is apparently having some problems with speech codes on the UNCW campus these days. I for one am with him. No, I don't have personal experience with campus speech codes these days, but I remember the whiners when I was in college. Virtually the only thing anyone was allowed to talk about was the weather - I can only imagine how much worse it is now.
I'm going with the Bush camp on the foolishstunt that the Kerry campaign pulled yesterday. It was absolutely juvenile - on all sides. But it looks to me like, to borrow a phrase from 3rd grade, "Kerry started it".
come on! There can be no winner in a game when the playing field is a sandbox and all the players are threatening to take their toys and go home. Bush and his minions are so much worse than a veteran in a wheelchair trying to make a statement that it makes me sick to think about. The bottom line is that Cleland was trying to bring attention to a group of people claiming to know the truth about events they did not witness and know nothing about. That is a worthy cause, no matter what you think of the way it was executed.
The whole "veteran in a wheelchair trying to make a statement" is part of the nonsense! It was strictly a media ploy, hoping the press would pick up on Bush's victimization of poor Max Cleland, triple-amputee. And, no, I don't believe that his patriotism was attacked in 2002 - I think that's strictly spin from the Democrats.
It can't go below zero
The broadcast networks continue to worry about their decline in viewership. As far as I'm concerned, it CAN go on forever if they continue to develop the crap they've been creating lately.
Way to go Rob! An awesome slap. Of course, nothing like Stevie Sandvoss, but he'll do. :) I wonder what that dude's tatt stands for... woo hoo!
Yowza. Craig is one of the hottest young athletes around. Tight and muscular from head to toe. I hear he's trying to get into modelling work too. Let's hope Craig's chiselled looks and smooth ripped body are put to good use really soon. We need to see more of this amazing muscleboy.
I wonder if he realises just how homoerotic his sport is? When he competes, does he know that half the audience will be watching him flexing and straining on the mat - hoping that the lad's judo kit will accidentally get pulled off...
CRAIG HAS DONE SOME MODELING FOR HUGO BOSS. NOT SEEN ANY PHOTOS YET THO.
LOVE IT WHEN THE TOP HALF OF CRAIGS JUDO KIT GETS RIPPED OPEN. HE'S GOT AWESOME PECS AND ABS AND BIG SUCKABLE NIPS TOO! I REMEMBER SEEING ONE MATCH ON TV WHEN SOMEONE YANKED OFF CRAIGS BELT AND WAS DRAGGING HIM AROUND BY HIS JACKET UNTIL THEY'D PULLED IT OFF HIM COMPLETELY. WITHOUT HIS BELT CRAIGS JUDO PANTS STARTED SLIPPING DOWN REALLY LOW AND YOU COULD SEE HIS LITTLE WHITE BRIEFS!
MY FANTASY WOULD BE SEEING HIM BEING STRIPPED LIKE THAT AGAIN IN FRONT OF A MASSIVE CROWD! FIRST HIS BELT GETS PULLED OFF, THEN HIS JACKET GETS RIPPED RIGHT OFF HIS BACK. SOON HIS JUDO PANTS START SLIPPING DOWN HALFWAY THROUGH THE MATCH UNTIL HES LEFT FIGHTING IN NOTHING BUT HIS BRIEFS!
Heh. Like I said, judo is seriously homoerotic to watch - especially when Craig's kit starts to come off. Maybe they should change the rules and make guys compete in just their judo pants...
I'd love to see Craig in a 2-against-1 no-holds-barred match, on his own against two really massive guys. Imagine watching this hot young muscleboy being overpowered and taking a real beating as the two bigger guys work him over from head to toe. Naturally, Craig's judo kit would "accidentally" get ripped off during the match...
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Cool site. But we both know that a Craig Fallon gallery would make it even better... Let's see some shots of this muscleboy barefoot, bare-chested and straining on the mat. Someone must have screencaps of him - it'd be cool to see the fight when Craig lost most of his judo kit!
Or maybe MatBattle could add some Craig Fallon fiction, with our hot young hero getting into some sticky situations...
August 25, 2004
It's All Relative Redux
Here we go again. Abercrombie & Fitch is poking fun at West Virginia with another t-shirt. And the governor is complaining again. I think this one is kinda funny too. I just hope that Wise realizes his best defense against this kind of torment is to shut the hell up. Didn't his mommy teach him that in 3rd grade?
Could this campaign get any more childish??
Good god - this is so beyond pathetic. I'm watching CNN right now, following the kerfuffle (I just love that word...) over the letter that Max Cleland is trying to hand deliver to George Bush.
Apparently, it's a letter from various Vietnam Vet supporters of John Kerry, demanding that Bush call for a halt to the Swift Boat Veterans commercials. Cleland flew to Crawford, TX and anticipated being able to hand it to the President personally.
The Bush campaign didn't want to go down that road, and designated someone to receive the letter and to deliver to Max Cleland a similar letter from Bush supporters, decrying the double standard that Kerry is applying to these 527 commercials. When Cleland arrived, the designated person met him, but Max refused to deliver the letter to anyone but the President or the Secret Service.
So now we're all waiting - breathlessly, of course - to hear Max Cleland show up on camera to denounce George Bush for refusing to meet with him. The Republican dude is, from what I understand, not far behind.
This is the most childish stunt, on both sides, that I can remember in any political campaign. I'm sure there have been worse, but I can't recall them now.
Today's Slap of the Day is Steve Sandvoss. Steve cameburst onto the scene recently in the gay Indie film Latter Days, about a Mormon boy on a mission in Los Angeles that gets seduced by one of those evil gay boys.
This is a quiz from LibertariansForBush.com - but don't let the name of the site put you off, take the quiz anyway. :)
My Economic Issues score is 75
My Social Issues score is 95
--------------- UPDATE: I've been worried about my economic score all day. So I poked through the quiz to try to determine where, exactly, my score went wrong. I was marked down substantially for my answer to the question about "Should the FDA allow the sale of prescription drugs from foreign countries?" I answered "No", but let me explain.
The reason that most politicians want to bring in drugs from Canada and elsewhere is because the prices are in many cases lower than U.S. prices for the same drugs. The primary reason for the discrepancy is price controls. So, no, I do not support damaging our pharmaceutical industry by artificially undercutting their pricing. But if the thrust of the question is more accurately reflected by phrasing it as "Do you think that foreign-produced drugs are safe and should be available to U.S. consumers?" the answer would be yes - I have no problem with foreign-made drugs - as long as they meet the appropriate safety standards. I have a problem with price controls.
I'm voting for whoever Alice Cooper says I should!
This from Alice:
If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.
Now don't get me wrong - I have no problem with entertainers coming out and supporting whomever they choose for President. And if they want to attend either convention, that's swell. What I JUST CAN'T UNDERSTAND is why so many people think that it is in some way important who Madonna endorses for President?
to Bradley Smith, chairman of the FEC. I don't know if he's Republican or Democrat, but apparently he has weighed in on 527's:
I think it's great we live in a country where 260 average guys can go out and put their point of view out there before the public and influence a major presidential race. I am not one who agrees it is illegitimate for citizens to take a stand on these kind of issues and only the politicians should be able to say what they want about the issues they want to talk about.
Thank you. Neither Bush nor Kerry sees it this way. Why, in their minds, is political speech not protected by the first amendment like most other kinds of speech?
You are a RSIT--Reserved Sentimental Intellectual Taker. This makes you a Archetypal Older Child.
You are a hard nut to crack. You have a wicked sense of humor. Despite your reserved nature, you are more comfortable (and successful) in the meeting and courting mode than you are in a long term relationship. You feel misunderstood, and usually you are.
When you're in a good mood, you're funny, fascinating and a sexy firecracker, but when you're in a bad mood you are moody, broody and impatient. In courtship mode, you don't have to let anyone see your moody side. If you had your way, even in a long term relationship you would have enough time apart to deal with your bad moods yourself; unfortunately, it rarely works that way.
You stifle *a lot* of anger and frustration -- from all areas of your life -- so when it comes out it comes out nasty. More than any other type, your conflicts tend to turn on one tiny thing -- the dishes, the laundry -- that's really a scapegoat for your larger dissatisfactions with your relationship. You're baffled that your partner just can't do the dishes -- your partner is baffled that it's such a big deal. The only way around it is to let the dishes go entirely and try to get at the real root of what's bothering you.
I'm making you sound like a bear, but the fact is that you're so warm and charming most of the time that it effectively offsets the times you're unhappy.
You will make a weirdly good parent.
Don't pair up with someone who'll make sexual demands of you. That's just not going to fly at all.
"My general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want," Cheney, 63, said in response to a question at a campaign "town hall" meeting in Davenport, Iowa.
Unfortunately, this doesn't really make me any more optimistic about a 2nd term for Bush and how the administration would handle the issue of same-sex marriage because Cheney, as he should, defers to his boss on policy.
...the president makes basic policy for the administration. And he's made it clear that he does in fact support a constitutional amendment on this issue
While I'm not more optimistic about another term for Bush, this still gives me some basic hope, because someone as fundamentally conservative as Cheney is agrees with us.
He went on to say that states should be able to handle this issue for themselves, but I read his comments as saying that he would not agree with any states that chose to limit such relationships.
The left-leaning talking heads are spinning this as the President wanting to have his cake and eat it too. He's afraid he alienated too many people by pressing for the FMA and he wants to do what little he can to bring them back. Cheney, with his lesbian daughter, is the obvious choice for that duty. I figure the heads are right, but I still appreciate Cheney's voice. As I said before, it doesn't make me any more optimistic about a 2nd Bush term - and it's less likely every day that I'd vote for him.
Mutuals.comVice Fund continues to outperform the market. Invested primarily in alcohol, gaming tobacco, and aerospace/defense (huh?), the fund returned 25.26% for the last 12 months, compared to 13.17% for the S&P 500.
Come on, people! Keep boozing, smoking and throwing those dice!! We have to keep the economy afloat!
Here is the best explanation I've seen of why Google's shares climbed so much after the IPO.
Why should they have climbed at all? The IPO shares were allocated at a "Dutch Auction", meaning people bid on them and the highest bids were allocated the shares. So, in contrast to traditional IPOs - which allocate the shares based on a "friends and family" method, and set the IPO price arbitrarily - Google's IPO price was supposed to be set at the auction clearing price - that is, the price that sells all of the shares. And if that's the case, then there really shouldn't have been any demand for shares at the open, right? Anyone who wanted shares could buy them at auction - so all demand was filled.
There's the rub - Google, for various reasons, set the IPO price below the clearing price. Wonder why?
Dennis Hastert apparently feels confident that the Republicans can hang onto their majority in the house. At least, if John Kerry gets elected, we could count on gridlock. In many respects gridlock would be far preferable to the absolutely irresponsible spending going on these days in Washington.
I still have my reservations about John Kerry's ability to conduct the war on terror, but there would be at least something good to come from a Kerry win.
Did anyone watch the mens' rings final last night? That Greek dude Dimosthenis Tampakos won - and I don't think he should have - but anyway, did you see his reaction when he saw that the last competitor hadn't beaten his score?? I'd swear he had just learned that he won $10 in the lottery. He needed a slap - and not in a good way.
OK, so as I've posted on here before, my friend W and I are completely insane. This will probably reduce (or eliminate) any potential anonymity among people who know me, but W likes to say that "he's so cute, I just wanna slap him!"
So a couple of years ago, we started trading e-mails every day called "The Daily Slap". I'm going to recreate that tradition here - starting now. But please don't yell at me if I miss a day.
With that said, here's the first slap. You've seen him here before, but he deserves another post.
How about some photos of Nathan Gunn, the baritone who is currently receiving rave reviews in opera circles? The directors of each of the productions in which he has appeared have made certain that he is bare-chested sometime during any given operatic production.
The latest in iPod fashion is the offering from Charlotte Ronson of iPod covers designed "...to resemble cozy hoodie sweatshirts... They even have a drawstring and little pockets for an added dose of playfulness."
I'm in favor of the Electoral College system. I think it provides some very valuable benefits that we discard at our peril. For the same reason that every state, regardless of size, is represented by two Senators, I think it's good to keep the Electoral College - it prevents the most populous states from running roughshod over the smaller ones. It protects the rights of the minority from the passions of the majority.
Paul Greenberg argues that we should keep the Electoral College too, and points out several reasons why, citing liberally the law of unintended consequences. One of his arguments, however, at least in my mind, trashes the Electoral College system:
Jettison the Electoral College, and you undermine the two-party system.
This sounds, to me, like a GREAT reason to be rid of the Electoral College.
I think that the two-party system is one of the very worst features of American politics. I would venture a guess that the vast majority of people in this country feel that they are NOT well represented by their chosen party - and honestly, most people are probably unaware that there are alternatives to Democrats and Republicans. Were other parties able to compete in the political process, people would be more free to choose party affiliations - and candidates - that share their own values. As it stands now, a Democrat or Republican who may or may not share my values must sacrifice many of his positions in order to make headway in his party and appeal to party leaders who control the party pocketbook.
This is not to say that I've changed my mind about the Electoral College system - I still think it's valuable, but it's nice to daydream occasionally about what is possible. :)
So all John Kerry wants is for Bush to "denounce" the ads of the Swift Boat Veterans? He "knows" that Bush didn't pay for the ads or endorse them, but he thinks Bush should criticize them for criticizing Kerry. Well, how did the Kerry campaign respond to these recent statements?
Bush "scrambled and used his family's influence to get out of hearing a shot fired in anger."
Retired Adm. Stansfield Turner:
"[Bush] used his family influence to get into the Air National Guard and avoid going to war."
The Kerry campaign's response?
"These are veterans who earned the right to their opinion," said a spokeswoman. "John Kerry speaks for John Kerry."
A Catholic Church in Manasquan allowed an 8-year old girl to take her Communion with an illegal wafer, according to the Bishop of Trenton, John M. Smith.
Haley Waldman suffers from celiac sprue disease that makes her genetically intolerant of gluten - so she can't have the traditional wheat wafer. When her own priest refused to allow her to use a rice wafer for communion, a priest from a nearby parish agreed.
But last month, the diocese notified the priest that the communion had been invalid, because it used a rice wafer, not the traditional wheat wafer. According to Trenton Bishop Smith, “This is not an issue to be determined at the diocesan or parish level, but has already been decided for the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world by Vatican authority."
Incredible. Haley's mother has appealed to the Vatican, hoping for an exemption from the wheat rule. At least she didn't sue in federal court.
This is so amateurish - Kerry's people let him flip-flop again. In a speech three weeks ago Kerry indicated that he would drastically reduce our troop deployments overseas, specifically in Europe and Korea.
So when Bush announced exactly those reductions, Kerry went on the attack, charging that such troop reductions are irresponsible. Perhaps, again, there is some nuance to his position. Asked to defend it, I assume he would aver that he would only make such reductions once the threat from North Korea was defused. That's going to be a tough position to get across in a 30-second sound bite.
I love roller coasters, but the thought of being stuck on one, hanging upside down or sideways for an hour, makes my skin crawl. Fortunately, most coasters are not subject to such potential problems because, except for hill climbing, they operate by gravity.
It continues to amaze me that a company like Google could be worth $23 billion. How can anyone justify such an absurd valuation? I know the company is profitable, which is unusual in the online space, but what kind of earnings multiple is this?
Update: I found it. This is a valuation of 216 times earnings.
will not have his eligibility for intercollegiate athletics reinstated. The NCAA based its decision on his "multiple and willful violations of NCAA rules regarding endorsements."
We can quibble about whether or not the NCAA should have allowed him to accept endorsements in the first place. But when he lost the court battle he was waging - trying to force the NCAA to allow him to accept money to assist with his skiing training - he accepted those endorsements anyway. Isn't that just asking a regulatory agency like the NCAA to punish you?
Bloom has already filed "one last appeal" - we'll see how that works out.
I can never decide what to think of "Price Gouging". Firstly, laws regulating prices - even during an emergency - go against my libertarian instincts. If you regulate prices, you change the normal supply & demand equation to a "first come first served" equation. Is that better?
Is renewing the assault weapons ban really as important as Nicholas Kristof says?
I honestly don't know. Kristof makes several claims in his column that support the argument that the ban should be renewed, but to me they have the fuzziness of someone pushing an agenda. At least he partially concedes the point:
While gun statistics are as malleable as Play-Doh, they do underscore that assault weapons are a special problem in America.
Regardless, it seems likely to me that the ban will actually end up being renewed. This is a hugely political issue in an election year, and you can be sure that John Kerry will make everything he can of any Bush failure to get the ban renewed.
As Kristof points out, Bush is trying to have his cake and eat it too:
These days Mr. Bush still says that he'll sign an extension of the ban if it happens to reach his desk. But he knows that the only way the ban can be extended on time is if he actually urges its passage, and he refuses to do that. So his promise to support an extension rings hollow - it's not exactly a lie, but it's not the full truth, either.
But I don't think that's going to end up working and he'll have to change his tune. The Republican Congress may still dodge the issue, but I don't think so.
I overestimated the anticipated fortune of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Due to recent filings, Larry and Serge will be worth substantially less than previously anticipated. Heck, it may not even be $2 billion.
So Shawn Gementera stole mail, looking for checks, from mailboxes in San Francisco; he was sentenced to serve two months in jail and to spend one day wearing a humiliating sandwich board stating "I stole mail. This is my punishment."
Boo hoo. Before he could serve the sandwich board punishment, he stole mail again and served two years in prison. Now he's supposed to spend his day wearing the sandwich board - and he's appealing.
Fine. You don't want to wear the board? We'll lock you up for 15 years instead. Have fun in there.
No, I don't always support the Bush Administration
Back in 2002, the Bush Administration made a "small" rule change - redefining as "fill" the mess generated by the coal industry practive of "mountaintop removal". It had formerly been classified as "waste" and subject to substantial regulation.
This is the kind of crap from the Bush Administration that really bugs me. I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'll be supporting him - I still think he'll prosecute the war on terror better than John Kerry. But stories like this, and the totally unnecessary attack on gay people that was the proposed FMA really give me pause. I just don't know if I can cast a vote in support of a president with whom I so fundamentally disagree on so many things.
Honestly, I think I'd really like to see this: John Kerry wins the Presidency and the Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress. This, in my mind would give us a couple of benefits, in my mind:
1) The current spend thrift congress would close the pocketbook. Even if it's for partisan reasons only, they'll spend less.
2) We'll have a Democrat making Supreme Court nominations.
Just for clarification, I can't see any benefits at all if Bush wins and the Republicans retain control of Congress. There's still the nagging doubt about Kerry's ability to take the fight to the terrorists, but that's slowly fading.
I went to one of the bath houses here in town for the very first time. My friend A dragged me (he had never been either) saying he just wanted to "take a tour". And that's all we did. For now. :) It was mid-afternoon, so there weren't many guys there, but I did see a couple that I would have liked to play with. :D
The Federal Reserve will begin using an internet-based system for transferring the nation's money supply from one Fed bank to another. Until this month they have used a closed system with an entirely private network, but apparently are looking for more flexibility, thus the switch. The new system will be expected to transfer nearly $2,000,000,000,000 (yup - all those zeros belong there) every day.
This worries me. I'm sure, to be fair, that they have evaluated the security of the proposed system. I expect that it will be as hacker-proof as possible:
"Of course, we will not discuss the specifics of our security measures for obvious reasons," she said. "We feel confident that this system adheres to the highest standards of security. Without disclosing the specifics, it is important to note that our security controls include authentication, encryption, firewalls, intru sion detection and Federal Reserve conducted reviews."
The real danger here, however, seems to be a denial-of-service attack. A DoS attack doesn't have to break into any system - all it has to do is flood the network with enough traffic that legitimate traffic can't get through. Having been, indirectly, subject to one myself recently, it's a real danger. What happens to our banking system if, all of a sudden, money can't get from one place to another? What a tempting target for terrorists.
OK, I'll admit it - I think Bush has been unfairly criticized for his now-infamous seven minutes in that classroom in Florida on 9/11. But it's not a slam-dunk for me - I can certainly sympathize with the other side. I do think, however, that John Kerry's quip that "I would have told those children that the President of the United States has something he needs to attend to" was unfair. Regardless, here is Kerry's comment on his reaction - and the reaction of his colleagues on the DLC (I'm assuming from the way that it's worded in the article that it's the DLC they're talking about).
We watched the second plane come into the building...And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon.
It's all nonsense - and just another symptom of the lack of civility in politics today.
I opine that to get the personal loans from banks you must have a firm reason. However, one time I've received a secured loan, because I was willing to buy a building.
It's about time
I'm not a person who endorses trade protections. I didn't support Bush when he added extra tariffs to steel to protect the U.S. steel industry - I think trade should be free. But that also means that other countries (and economic blocs) need to treat us fairly. So I'm glad the Bush administration is finally challenging the absurd relationship that Airbus continues to have with its sponsor governments.
Normally I would link to this story, but I don't ever want this one to get lost, so I'm including it here in its entirety, as found on wftv.com.
STUART, Fla. -- A dramatic rescue ended tragically in Stuart, Florida, a rescue so difficult firefighters say they have never seen anything like it.
It happened late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning at the home of a 600-pound woman who was having trouble breathing. Rescuers went in not knowing how difficult it would be to get her out. 40-year-old Gail Grinds was literally stuck to her couch and had to be removed surgically at the hospital.
Authorities estimate she had been on the couch anywhere from two to five years.
Martin County Fire amd Rescue crews faced what seemed to be an impossible mission. Everyone going inside had to wear protective gear. The stench was so powerful they had to blast in fresh air.
They tried to cut out the front door, but at four-and-a-half feet wide, it wouldn't work. They had to cut plywood since a normal stretcher wouldn't do.
An ambulance was too small, so they brought in a trailer to get her out. While rescue crews came up with a back-door rescue plan, detectives secured what had become a crime scene, questioning family members about how it got so bad.
Using planks, they loaded the woman on to the trailer, still attached to the couch. Removing her would be too painful, since her body is grafted to the fabric. After years of staying put, her skin has literally become one with the sofa and it must be surgically removed.
Detectives are investigating whether they have a case of neglect, or if it is simply a very sad story.
Grinds was taken to the Martin Memorial hospital where doctors removed her from the couch, but she died in spite of all the attempts to save her life.
Ryan Seacrest's lackluster talkshow is finally being cancelled. Not that I don't like Ryan himself - he's very cute and I love him as the host on American Idol. But he's a lousy talk show host. Plus, it was aired in Denver such that the local Fox affiliate had cancelled one of the syndicated episodes of the Simpsons in the afternoon.
I haven't thought about this in nearly a year, but I was chatting with my friend W today on IM - and we were gushing about these pics of Tim Henman and Andy Roddick. YUM.
Anyway, I saw that Jan-Michael Gambill was listed as the #2 hottest tennis player. W and I invented the acronym PFC last year to describe JMG when I complained that JMG wasn't as cute (to me) as he used to be. W commented "You wouldn't kick him out of bed for crapping on you." This was totally hysterical to both of us for reasons that I'll have to explore in another post - suffice it to say, we are both totally insane. Anyway, the sentiments expressed had to be encapsulated in a nice acronym - to wit JMG would get a "Pass For Crapping". So today we're chatting after I sent him the links to these zesty pictures and I made this comment:
Me: and p.s. - jan michael gambill no longer gets a PFC from me. he's still fairly hot, i'm just not as wound up any more. he craps on me, he's gone. W: LOLOL!
Andy Roddick, of course, falls elsewhere on the xFC scale - he gets an AFC (think about it...). Like I said, we're both insane.
So my latest crush is John Mercurio, Political Editor for CNN. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to track down a picture - just a video that required a premium RealOne SuperPass. Anyway, he's hot. Guess I'll have to do a capture from my ReplayTV and post that. Stay tuned.
This kind of proceeding seems to be where the rubber meets the road on the issue of granting marriage (and by implication, divorce rights) to gay couples.
The story involves lesbians from Vermont, one of whom was artificially inseminated, and their two-year-old daughter. The women are now "divorcing", and under Vermont Civil Union Law both were named "co-equal" parents.
Here's the catch: One of the women, the biological parent of the child and now a "former" lesbian, moved to Virginia, where she is suing for full custody. Given Virginia's recent passage of a "super-DOMA", it seems unlikely that the court would award the other woman any kind of joint custody - but a Vermont court, where the two filed for divorce, has already awarded temporary custody to the biological parent with court-ordered visitation for the other woman. So the real question is will Virginia recognize the ruling of the court in Vermont?
"The real showdown will be in Virginia, because giving any decision based on the civil union legitimacy would be the equivalent of exporting Vermont's law outside state borders, which is a dangerous precedent," said Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel (a conservative group, based in Florida, that opposes gay marriage).
The biological mother's use of various conservative legal groups to pay her legal costs is especially offensive to me. I suppose she could really be a "former lesbian", but I suspect she's simply using these groups to get her legal fees paid.
These really sum it up for me. Thanks to a friend of a friend on Connexion.
~In a perfect world spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra, and are looking for a new relationship.
~The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
I still haven't decided who I'm voting for - and I'm still leaning Libertarian - but I'm tempted to vote for both Bush and Kerry for very different reasons. I won't go into the details here, save for one: Wouldn't it be nice to have a commander-in-chief who can speak?