Nov/09
2005

One Track Rant

Ok, I had reasons to hate Wisconsin before - but now they're refining my disgust. They really need to stick to what they know: cheese and stfu on everything else. MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Doctors would have to tell women seeking abortions in their 20th week of pregnancy or later that their fetuses might feel pain -- an assertion debated in the medical community -- under a bill passed by Wisconsin lawmakers. I'd be more pissed if it weren't for the Govenor - who apparently is a bit more sane than the rest of the local government... ''Medical decisions should be made by you and your doctor, not you, your doctor and the Legislature,'' said [Governor] Doyle spokesman Dan Leistikow. No shit. So apparently in Wisconsin you can be elected to a medical degree. What's next - samples of viagra in every campain flyer? Promises of a CPR machine in every home? You people are fucked up. I have a better idea, argue about if the cheese feels pain when you melt it over nachos....
Nov/09
2005
America the Land of the Free and home of the Brave? Not if you're a pregnant teenager looking for an abortion. Not even in California. California is voting on a measure to require parent be informed when a teenager goes for an abortion. The rat-bastard conservatives have also included language to define abortion as the "killiing of an un-born baby" which is as technically correct as "killing of a amphibian level pre-human". I will end this bit of distraction with - embryos are NOT human ... YET, they are POTENTIAL humans. If you are willing to grasp that difference then you probably already understand that abortion is a necessity in a world where women are entitled to choose their own future. Back to the topic. So what's wrong with notifying a parent that a teen is going to have an abortion? Try re-phrasing the question. What benefit is it to the girl to have her parents know she got pregnant and has take steps to get un-pregnant? See the difference? Look through the eyes of the girl, who got pregnant. She's already freaked. She needed to confront the emotionally devistating situation, and has found the strength NOT to let things just happen to her, she is chosing to take control. She needed to find a clinic, make an appointment, get the money, get to the clinic. As a teenager that's just fucking tremendous effort. You have no idea, what that takes at a high school age, but it's phenominal. Now on top of that they want to tell her parents. Fucking assholes. Does NO one understand that if she's gotten that far -without- telling her parents it's because she knows that they're NOT going to help? How is having her mom crying and her father screaming at her going to help? How is the dad going after the boyfriend with a shotgun going to help? How is being kicked out of the house going to help? How is having uncles and aunts at the next holiday gathering giving her the evil eye going to help? Why can't America understand - pregnancy is a PRIVATE matter, between the woman and her body. Just because a woman is pregnant does NOT suddenly make a portion of her body public property. In terms of parental notification there's only two possibilities - if the parents are for her getting the abortion then what's the point in telling them? She's already doing what they would think is right. If they're not for her having an abortion - then you've just decided to make the kids life a living hell.
Nov/08
2005
If you remember when you or someone you knew were hired, generally they're treated with deference and respect. It's part of the enticement to want to come work some place. You're chosen, we want you, be part of us, etc.. That's expected, and as it should be. But what about the other end of the rope, I'm talking about when the company can no longer afford to keep you, I'm talking about layoffs. Why is it that layoffs in America are conducted like public trials? The victims shoveled through the halls, covering their faces. It's dirty. It's ugly. It's unnecessarily emotionally abusive to everyone within the building. A layoff means it's NOT the person's fault, that given better times they would still be employed by the company. So why do we treat people being laid off like they're losers? Corporate America should be ashamed, and maybe - if they made salaries in actual proportion to the value they brought the company they would be. Instead it's greed from the top. Power corrupts and Absolute Power turns you into a filthy, scrabbling, bastard ready to steal a bottle from a baby if it would give you a few dollars more into your personal checking account. I have seen CEOs and VPs buying themselves vacation homes and 3rd and 4th cars as layoffs are going on. Yay Nero. It's not to say that I haven't heard about decent layoffs. Places where the people leaving were given enough notice to get things together, help with new placement, allowed to use the company copier, phone, computer, desk. But that's so fucking rare it might not as well ever happened. The typical scenario is when the employee is suddenly faced with dour looking managers and told to "come into their office and close the door". That's it then - the kiss of death. They're giving a short time (some times to the end of the week, some times to the end of the day, sometimes they're booted out with their keys and wallet) and told BYE! HR chatters through the limited health insurance to cover them and their family as they numbly try and absorb it - sign this, we're taking that back, we're yanking your options, you owe us for the vacation time your borrowed... My point is simple, it doesn't NEED to be like that. We treat people with respect when they join, we should at a MINIMUM treat them with the same respect, if not one of friendship for people we now know and worked with. It's not going to be pleasant, true, but at least managers and HR can be nice, apologetic and tell them that they appreciated what they ~did do for the company while they were here. There's nothing anyone can do about greedy, sleazy bastards at the top - but there's no reason the people in the middle can't have a sense of solidarity. Especially since they're as vulnerable as they guy being laid off.
Nov/07
2005
Setting up for the next election? But of course! Do the republicans want to still be at war two elections later? No that's not a trick question... WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon on Monday announced a troop rotation for Iraq that will number at least 92,000 soldiers through 2008, although officials said it likely will be considerably larger than that.
Nov/07
2005
PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) -- President Bush on Monday defended U.S. interrogation practices and called the treatment of terrorism suspects lawful. ''We do not torture,'' Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas.
Nov/04
2005

stop it, Stop It, STOP IT!

Hey you. Oh wondrous friend of mine! Yeah, you. Could you do me a favor? Don’t forward me inspirational email messages. I know, it seems like you care. But in reality, you’re about a hair away from ending up on my spam sender list. I hardly ever get real emails from you. But for some reason, you send me poems about walking in the footprints of god and how great life is now that we’re friends. Stuff that drips with the kind of sentimental bullshit that makes me throw up a little bit in the back of my throat. Or better yet, the TRUE chain letter crap. Please forward me to 5 billion people and you’ll find a cookie on the sidewalk. I mean, come on. You have to be really fucking superstitious (read: gullible) to buy into that crap. I know you’re not the smartest person I know by any means, but you should fucking know better than that. Oh, and another fucking thing. Check out this site: http://www.snopes.com Most of the warning emails you send me about how my cell phone will explode in a nuclear catastrophe are long since disproved on that site. Before you forward some insane email about Bill Gates needing users to test his ‘email tracking software’, pop over to that website and check it out, ok? I get enough spam from the professional ass pirates out there. I don’t you helping them out.
Nov/03
2005
Over 2000 Americans dead. Now... where are those weapons of mass destruction you told us about?
Nov/03
2005
Imagine that I have a life-like, flesh colored dildo - only the size of a Louisville Slugger. Next imagine that I have the freedom to walk up to the fuck-tards of the world and slap them with this oversized, silicon penis right to the head. Great, now you have the image - this is my list of candidates for cock-saultification in no particular order.... Lets begin: 1. Herr Bush - for Stupidity, Selfishness, Arrogance, Ignorance, a complete inability to make use of the English language without major assistance. 2. The Pope - for saying stupid things like "Large families are great, have more babies!" without thinking about overpopulation, starvation, ignorance and disease. 3. People with anti-abortion stickers on their cars - for being self-righteous assholes with no understanding of what it means to be a pregnant high school student with an abusive parent. 4. Fundamentalists of any sort - for being so goddamn ignorant that they actually can BELIEVE the obvious bullshit their uneducated and manipulative clergy dish out. 5. Everyone in Texas who still believes that it's better to have their idiot in office than someone who might actually do the job right. 6. People who support Walmart - for being too damn lazy to find what they need at smaller stores before they're driven out of business. 7. Anyone who ever was drunk/drugged and drove - for putting other people's life at risk due to your own stupidity. 8. The Israelis and Palestinians - for acting like infants and never figuring out how to get along. 9. Jack Thompson - for not killing himself immediately. 10. The fuel industry - for fucking raping people at the pumps, making record profits then getting government funding for "hurricane disasters". You bastards have no fucking conscience.
Nov/02
2005
In their vain attempt to combat piracy, many media companies have resorted to a large number of underhanded and complex protection methodologies. For the most part, it has been totally ineffective. Not just a little bit. Totally ineffective. Mostly because the industry simply doesn’t understand that the problem is entirely of its own making. The consumers are pissed off after years of obvious overcharging. Regardless of motivation, the industry has resorted to a number of draconian measures to try to prevent people from ripping them off. This particular rant is about one particular method employed by Sony Music. In an attempt to protect it’s music, it releases CDs with a copy protection software built in. If you run it on your computer, you have to use the provided media player. Along with that media player, you get a special prize. Oh, and what a prize it is. In order to explain it, I have to get a bit technical, but I’ll try not to delve too deeply because the technical details aren’t really the needed to understand the anger. Basically, the CD installs software on your computer. Not shocking, I know. But it installs TWO pieces of software. The first is the player. The second, is the bonus. This part hides itself in your system. Literally. It hides itself from everything. The directory it’s in is hidden from nearly all examination. It doesn’t show up in process lists. Your OS doesn’t realize its running. What does it do? Hard to say. But it’s badly coded, that’s for sure. First off, it scans your process list eight times a second. It’s eating up about 1-2% of an average PC’s CPU, while NOT reporting that to the process list. I’m assuming it’s to see if you’re doing something to rip music. Second, in its attempt to conceal itself, it opens several problem areas that could cause a driver to execute code outside of its memory allocation, which is potentially a ‘very bad thing’™. Third, it doesn’t just hack into your OS. It goes further and buries into the safe-mode calls. So if there IS a problem, it is impossible to get past. Reformat. Fourth, it has some very funny ideas about its importance. For example, it hacks into your CD drive and places itself above the imapi driver, which has the net effect of making it so that if you do find the code and delete it without knowing what it does (or thinking rightly that it is a rootkit that is illegally installed on your computer), it removes your CD-Rom drive. When the hacker who discovered it really pried into the deep coding, it claimed it was a “Plug and Play Device Manager”, which is totally incorrect. The gist of all this is that it’s very well hidden, very determined not to be removed, and very badly coded. The problem is that when it hacked in new ways to conceal software on your computer, it opens up hooks for less ethical (than the RIAA? HA!) hackers to exploit the code to conceal malicious code. The EULA doesn’t mention any of this hidden software, nor is there any typical method of removing said software. Short of being a real hardcore XP guru, you’re more or less screwed. At no point did the software readily identify its purpose or intentions. So, how much is that crappy $15 CD worth to you now? Funniest part? The full CD can be gotten off LimeWire in less than 10 minutes. Good fucking game.
Nov/02
2005

Apocalypse Now

It’s the end of the world!!! Stock up on food, and water! Grab your guns and boxes of ammo! Wait… What? Ok, I know, I know… I’m once again attack the religious nutcases out there. But flipping through the radio I discovered this talk radio asshole that I was simply incapable of turning off. I have no idea what he normally talks about, but it didn’t sound like a religious show. Just a 7am morning radio guy. Today’s topic was the end of the world. Apparently, all the tsunami’s and hurricanes are signs that God is preparing the world for the apocalypse. Especially when you combine that with a war in the Holy land, and the avian flu and any number of other idiotic reasons. Ok fine… you have your reasons for deciding that God has decided that the end times are nigh and He will smite the earth. In doing so, you believe that He will rescue the saved ones and damn the rest to eternal suffering. Ok, good. Let’s assume you’re right. Why do you need a gun? Or water and food for that matter? Planning on shooting the devil? Or taking potshots at angels? I mean… come here. It’s the END of the WORLD. Not ‘Anarchy in the UK’. If you believe your deity is all powerful and has decided to destroy the universe… why do you believe your shotgun matters? I mean, when your talking about planetary destruction, a little bit of buckshot seems awfully ineffective.
Nov/02
2005
So Prince Big-Nose and Duchess Horse-Face are visiting the US. Well really, who the fuck cares (title repeat). That's a statement, not a question. The press, in yet another distract-the-public-from-real-issues maneuver, has decided to bark at the heels of the Royal-dinosaurs from across the ocean. So the fuck what. Oh there will be lively discussion on what Camilla is wearing (what she really needs is a brown bag). And probably more focus on the culinary efforts of the new whitehouse chef. Personally I think that's fucking wonderful - we're handing out MRE's to the hurricane victims and the president get's fucking 5 star meals for him and his guests (feed THEM the damn MRE's and send the chef out to cook for the voters). So they made a pilgrimage to NYC to view the crater. So what. Is this going to be an international ritual now? Foreign dignitaries go to the US to view the remains of the twin towers to win over public sympathy ("oh look, they really care..")? What's the damn point - I don't see Americans and Europeans going to Hiroshima or Nagasaki. So this is evidence of more "we're not here for any reason other than self-aggrandizement" on their part. In the end the whole - 'follow the royals' thing is little more than a "remember Diana" theme. The news has already bluntly stated that this is a test to see how well ol'Schnozzle-puss and Duchess of apricot-face can overcome the American sympathy for the beatified Princess. In the end it's still who-the-fuck-cares. I hope they hurry up and leave, they're wasting valuable news space.
Oct/28
2005
The pledge; the pledge; the pledge. What to do about that pledge? No, I’m not about to go off on the ‘under god’ bit. More like, everything else. Growing up, I recited the Pledge of Allegiance 180 times a year, for thirteen years, from kindergarten until 12th grade. Or at least, that is the theory. In actuality I stopped saying the words at all before 6th grade. The one time I was told to do so in middle school, I flat out refused. I got in trouble, but it was worth it. It’s not that I don’t love my country or anything. It simply that I don’t find the rote regurgitation of its words to have any value. They should. But they way they were put forth in school took all meaning from them and turned it into a monotonous daily droning. The first time they told me to say the words, I was five years old. I didn’t know what they heck I was doing or why I was doing it. I didn’t even start to understand what it meant for years. Once I did though, I started having a problem with it. I love my country. But I think the mumbling stumbling repetitious way we teach our children to honor it is despicable. It doesn’t enforce any kind of loyalty or respect for our country. By the time most kids understand the words, those words have already lost all meaning after years and years of cold, unemotional, and trite recitation. You can’t teach a pledge and not explain what it means. And the kids can’t understand it when they’re five. They can’t understand what is great about this country and why they should pledge allegiance to it. Maybe the idea is just to brainwash it into the heads of our youth, but I think the message is far more powerful if they let it stand on its own. The pledge is meaningless if it's not understood and done willingly.
Oct/27
2005
As much as we like to believe that truth and honesty will prevail, you can't reach adulthood without realizing that it's a complete lie. I believe in part that's why we have religion, because people ~need~ to believe that someday, somehow, someway there will be a reward for basically being a sucker. Yes, on a very personal level it's probably easier to be honest, trustworthy and all that crap with people you need or are compelled to trust. But this isn't a rant about personal honesty, it's a rant about the value of standing up for what you believe in. And my point is simple, if you have the chance to "make a difference", to defy the big dogs and "take a stand".... just don't fucking do it or you'll suffer. At best they might make a movie about you some day, but that's pretty fucking useless if you're dead or living under a bridge sucking down Boones Farm. Someone is broken down on the highway in the dark with a flat? Dive by or you'll get killed helping them change their tire. Someone in a third world country starving or suffering? Leave them, or you'll be taken hostage or just shot out of hand for your watch. Little old lady being mugged? Look the other way or the convict will hunt you down while he's on bail and murder you. Understand this: revenge is far, far greater than gratitude, and also understand this: what you choose to do for others chances are no one would do for you. If I have learned only one thing in life it's "shut the hell up". Carrying on about abuse, injustice, intolerance, etc. is fine if you're part of a crowd - but when you decide to stand up alone, and "fight for what you believe in", well prepare to be slapped down. I think it's funny that we spend all the time teaching our kids about these "values" when we know full well just what a load of bullshit it really is. Maybe it's on the same level as Santa and the Easter Bunny, but by the time your a teenager you've grown out of the latter. There's no blame involved, I'm not saying that people are inherently evil. What I'm trying to convey is that people are what they are and trying to live up to a fantasy ideal is great in movies but suicidal in real life. No matter who you are, or what you do, innocents will be tortured and die. No matter how powerful you are, injustice will remain unpunished. Warlords and Mafia will be wealthy and prosperous and the ordinary cop will have a shitty car and a crappy medical plan. Politicians will lie to get what they want, change the rules to keep their power, and pay off rich benefactors who get them elected. Graft is a given. Nepotism is a given. Remember the quote "We have seen the enemy and he is us"? Understand this quote, believe it, because it IS the truth.
Oct/27
2005

Cryptic Procedures and Insider Bullshit

You know, I have very few things that really and truly drive me up a wall. One of them is secrets. No, I don’t pry into people’s lives to find out their deepest darkest fears. I don’t generally want to know anything about other people they don’t want me to know. It’s not that kind of secret that bothers me. It’s the other kind. The kind that affects me. The kind of secret that people around you know, but you don’t. You know it has something to do with you, but no one wants to clue you in. I particularly hate it when this happens in the workplace. And it specifically involves my work. For example, today, we received a written command form the up highs that we were to watch out for a specific event. If we see it, we’re to investigate it immediately and determine if its ‘unusual’. If so, go through all the bells and whistles to let everyone know. One problem. I don’t know why they’re worried about this alert, so I can’t tell if it’s ‘unusual’. So, we send out the team leads and managers out to get us an answer. They come back, and say ‘Can’t tell you.’ Ain’t that some shit? So now, more people know, but still not the only people that need to know in order to do our jobs. I HATE being told to do something with enigmatic reasons and lots of nudges and winks and ‘insider’ bullshit. My feeling is it’s not unusual if I don’t know what’s usual. Fuck em.
Oct/26
2005

Follow the Code

There is a code. Oh yes. And it must be followed. The rules are set in stone, and may not be re-written. There may not be much in the way of penalties, but it must be followed none the less. What code do I speak of? The Urinal Code. Technically, bathroom code would be more accurate as it covers all interaction in the restroom, but it does not apply to women. Why, I do not know, but it doesn’t and that is enough for me. The cardinal rule of the urinal code: SILENCE. The mob calls it Omertá: The code of silence. While at the urinal, all communication is stopped. Between strangers, it is as if they do not exist. No eye contact. Nothing. Between close friends, a conversation will stop entirely, and the only acknowledgement may be a quick head nod. I have heard females indicate that they have actually talked to one another between stalls. Such an act in a male restroom is unforgivable. The second rule is selection. This is complicated. There is a large and diverse collection of rules governing which urinal and which stall you may choose. If you are the only occupant, the rule is simple. Furthest from the door. The second occupant must then choose from there. You see, unless every other option is unavailable, you never take the urinal next to another guy. It’s not right. From there, there rules get more complicated. You can take this one but not that one. Not too close, but not too far. Frankly, most men don’t bother beyond the first part. It’s understandable. There are a number of minor ones that accompany those, but those are the major points. Don’t talk, and don’t stand next to me. I’m mystified whenever I encounter a person who violates those rules. For all the women out there, I know… the rules may seem odd. But trust me, it’s right up there with ‘Don’t date your best friends ex-”. They’re simple rules. Everyone knows them. Or so I thought. Which is why today, I was struck by the oddity of not just one person, but two people talking when I entered the bathroom. They carried on merrily and ever tried to drag me into the conversation. Very strange. But they weren’t done yet. One of them entered a stall and continued talking while sitting on the can. Then.. we ventured well out of the norm. The guy on the can received a call on his cell. And beyond that, ANWSERED the damn thing. WTF. I mean, eww. Come on people, even if you disrespect the Urinal code, that’s going too damn far. Ok, let me give you a lesson here. If I ever call someone in the bathroom, I’m OK with them not responding until they’re finished. End of lesson. Très bizarre.
Oct/25
2005

Fat Kids

Ah yes, another rant worthless parenting. So the current mantra is "woe unto us, for our kids are fat little slugs that lie around shoving fatty snacks into their chops while basking in front of the tv". Yeah, it's the SCHOOLS fault for not making the kids exercise more, and providing vending machines with soda and chips. Yeah it's the evil food industry at fault for making tasty yet fattening edibles and advertising them. Yeah it's the video game industry's fault for making GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT video games that need to be rated M... oh wait, off track there for a sec. What I meant to say was that the video game industry needs to be blamed for making the games that the kids sit in front of. What else, blame clothing manufacturers for making fat kids clothes? Ok, it's stupid to start with, so it's hard to go to an extreme when you're already there. So lets take this a point at a time. Yes kids are fat. And the only people to blame (unless your kid has a thyroid problem) are the parents. They buy the food the kids have at home. They provide the money the kids have at school. They own the TV and pay for the cable their kids watch. They buy the games the kids play and they are the ones SOLELY responsible for kicking their little asses out into the yard, or taking them to the playground, or signing them up for a sport. Yes you fucking lame-ass parents are the ones making your kids fat, and there is NO ONE ELSE TO BLAME. omg, why should that even need to be said. It's fucking astonishing that adults need to be lectured in cause and effect. Apparently fucking and reproducing is something everyone can take for granted, but concept that you're the one responsible for raising a healthy child and NOT society, NOT tv, NOT the school system is beyond the grasp of the ordinary citizen. I suppose given the number of ass-falling-out-of-the-pants fat parents out there it's no big surprise. Yes, in general the middle and south of America has an eating problem, and yeah, they wouldn't know a healthy diet if it forced its self onto their plates. But that's not everyone, and the "childhood obesity" news hasn't been limited to just that geographic section of America. It would be my opinion that even if I were fat, I sure the hell would make certain my kids weren't (again, barring legitimate medical problems). Further, there's a big difference between kids who are fat with muscle and those that aren't. Most of the kids that are being discussed don't stand a shot at tying their shoelaces without breaking a sweat, as distinguished from ones who only get a "sub-average" on the presidential fitness test. To all you parents who are buying junk food for your kid to eat, who are giving them money to spend on snacks, who are letting your kids sit for hours in front of the tube, it's YOU who are choosing a life of medical problems for your child - NOT society. Take the fucking HoHo out of your goddamn cakehole and wake up. It's fine to crap your life away, but for fuck sake, have a care for your kids.
Oct/24
2005
So I was moseying along past the TV when a classic horror-style flick caught my eye. As one might readily imagine the plot involved 2 young kids (late teens) encountering the first corpse of the evening. Cut to scene of older black lady saying "Every 23rd year for 23 days it gets to EAT... don't MAKE me explain that to you...." Naturally perturbed, the youngsters take themselves off to the first house they see with lights and clamor at the screen door to use the phone. Cut to scene of dimly lit house, crawling with cats quaintly referred to as "babies" by senile old woman living there. "My babies don't LIKE strangers..." Now if you go back 15 years and back even farther, this effort to 'phone for help' was an established procedure. Of course back then people were used to being incommunicado when physically out of reach of a land line. The quest to find a phone was always a key element, and one that became an essential part of all horror genre. (Remember the one where the babysitter finds out that the creepy calls were coming from INSIDE the house? Oooooooo.) So, my question is, since the advent of the cell phone - what do horror movies do now? I mean sure, you see the dead body on the road, flip open your motorola razor, hit emergency, report the weirdness and never skip a beat. Do the creepies that call at night to suck you in through the phone line get thwarted by the fact that your phone doesn't ring when it's charging? And what about caller ID? Call waiting? Or text messaging? On the whole these advances in telecommunications seem like a bit of a downer for the diabolic elements. I mean having to TYPE in the message, sans lisp or heavy breathing just rather lacks the je-ne-sais-quois (in terms of evil portents). True I'm not a great aficionado of the horror movie. But without the cell battery dyeing, the car charger failing and the lack of a backup battery... I just can't imagine the plot cliches as ever being the same.