Again, in the frivolous lawsuit category, another waste of oxygen has decided to make himself known to us. This time it's John Kiel Patterson of Louisiana. This particular loser has decided to bring a lawsuit against Apple on the basis of the following logic: If you listen to very loud music over an extended period of time it can damage your hearing. Yes. Lawsuit. Yes. Moron wasting precious time on earth. Now it's not like he's actually lost his hearing as a result of using an iPod. No. It's that he COULD lose his hearing. His issue is that he decided to buy a product which could hurt him if he was stupid enough to use it in a specific way. Further he wants to make this a class-action suit against Apple. This is what the John K. Moron's Lawyer had to say: ''He's bought a product which is not safe to use as currently sold on the market,'' Berman said. ''He's paying for a product that's defective, and the law is pretty clear that if someone sold you a defective product they have a duty to repair it.'' I don't know - it's pretty clear that the only thing defective is his client. You know Apple does ship each iPod with a warning label;"permanent hearing loss may occur if earphones or headphones are used at high volume." But this apparently isn't enough. In France Apple was forced to pull iPods and upgrade the software to limit sound output to 100 decibels (right now an off the shelf iPod can put out more than 115). Which is probably where our boy got his idea. But when it comes down to brass tacks, the fact is that while an iPod could hurt Mr. Patterson's hearing, I'm betting it could do far more bodily harm if it was shoved up his asshole sideways at 35rpm. Of course this is just speculation... the best idea would be for him to try it and find out.


So, I'm browsing the web, minding my own damn business... well... as much as a professional Ranter can mind his own damn business. And I settle on a page to read an article about… global warming or some such. Anyway, this site has an ad for Pizza Hut. Not just a banner, but a video much like a normal TV commercial with a Jessica Simpson jingle and all. This commercial bothered me on two levels. The first is the product. The second is the song. We'll come back to the song. The product is Cheesy Bites Pizza. The basic gist is that instead of pizza crust, they surround the edge of the crust with a bunch of mozzarella stick/ cheese stick little… bites. Ordinarily, I approve of adding cheese to food. But I have to say that as months go by, Pizza Hut seems more and more desperate to add it in new ways. And quite frankly, adding it in unnecessary ways. Pizza is not a complicated meal. Pizza requires no frills. In its base form, it has dozens of potential toppings. It can be served hot or cold. It takes little effort to procure. You can even get a quality frozen It’s simplicity in food form. The “crust replacement” that Pizza Hut has been pushing recently just seems to be a tactic to distract the target audience from the fact that as a brand, they have failed to create decent pizza. And really, pizza isn’t that tough to get right. Maybe less time of stupid frills, more time on the basics. Onto part two of this rant. The jingle they chose. You see, Jessica Simpson bastardized “These Boots Are Made For Walking” in her recent movie release. And has further bastardized it into “One of these days these bites are gonna pop right into you” Now, think about that lyric a little. Not too much, your head might explode. Think of the number of ad execs, writers, managers, and such type that looked at it. And none of them thought to mention that it’s fucking stupid? I should be used to that given my management here, but somehow, that still hurts my head. Beyond the stupidity of the lyric, is the irony of the spokesperson here. Jessica Simpson. AKA Ms Pencil. Advertising for a pizza that contains over 2 times your daily recommended dose of fat per SLICE. Yes, I understand the marketing reason for it (coughBOOBScough), but the irony amazes me. But to sum up my main point: Pizza is a remarkably simplistic food item. Things like this… just seem tawdry.
... that is if you're underage. And that means with anyone, not even someone your own age. It's just bizarre how there's a threshold where suddenly you inherit all the rights of an American citizen, whereas just the day before you had none. In this case the issue is the protection of privacy. Kansas wants medical professionals to report all cases where a minor is sexually active. All. This means that prosecutors will have legal prerogative to attack minors who are having consensual sex. No lie. The assistant attorney general made it quite clear when he said "Minors cannot consent to illegal sexual activity,''. I suppose this guy never had sex as a kid. I'm betting he still doesn't get any... but that's just my opinion. Currently, pending further appeal, the case stands in favor of Kansas. The last appeal ruled that the privacy of minors is not more important than the state's interest in their sex life. Simply, if you're under age, and you screw, and you tell your doctor or the doctor finds out, then everyone, including the state gets to find out about it. And prosecute you for it. I'm not clear exactly why this dark age mentality went as far as becoming a law. Kids in my high school were screwing as young as 7th and 8th grade. It's not terribly unusual to find sexually active kids girls just over 13. Hormones turn on you know - what are you going to do? Apparently the idea of giving the kids the privacy to talk to their doctors isn't going to be one of them. Instead of treatment and birth control, high school sex is going back to the dark ages in Kansas. The only thing Kansas can genuinely expect is NOT an imposition of octogenarian morals on teens, but instead an increase in STDs and pregnancy. I have a message for the legislation in Kansas: You fucking people don't have a clue. Kids WILL have sex, if you can't remember back that far then maybe you should get some exposure to people who do. And do this first, before making half-assed laws that only hurt and not help. Making health-care professionals your morality-police isn't the answer. Being a better parent IS. Legislate that. Fuckers.
An oversimplification would be to say the newly elected government of Palestine has one hand outstretched for alms and the other waving a large caliber gun. It's completely understandable to me that First-World nations are queasy with the thought of their dollars going directly into the savings accounts of potential suicide bombers. But before delving into this - back up a sec, is there a place where the US went wrong in pushing it's view of democracy? For some reason America is lead to believe that democracy is the solution to all the world's woes. I personally am not so sure about this. Taking a look at the places where democracy has been a recent imposition, certain social structures have not been quite so ready to adapt. And the results have been, well - sure disappointing from the pov of our cosy section of the world, but less than beneficial to those on whom it was imposed. Is Russia better off? As a Nation? As an individual in the population? What about Afghanistan? Is employment up in those nations? Is there more peace and stability? You don't need me to answer that. Not if you read the news on a regular basis. Lets look more directly at the Fertile Crescent however. A democratic process that "We" the US has pushed resulted in the election of a quandary. The Palestinians decided they didn't want Fatah, they wanted Hamas. Overwhelmingly. For whatever their reasons, this wasn't a radical handful - this was a clear and distinct message. But Hamas has its basis in fundamentalist roots, espousing the destruction of Israel and violent death over discussion. There is simply no way that the sugar daddies that have spent billions to keep the machinery of the Palestinian state moving will fund that message. No way, no how. So what happens next? Two easy scenarios come to mind: 1. Hamas pulls an about face, much in the style of Sharon himself, and decides to shake hands with the devil. They renounce terrorism and acknowledge the existence of Israel in exchange for legal recognition within the international community. They basically trade bombs for business suits - bad boy all grown up and ready to get married and support a house, a wife and a family. 2. They decide to stick to who they are, and their message. The money dries up and they find themselves clinging to the neck of a runaway horse. How do you control people if you can't pay them to do their jobs? You can threaten to shoot them, but if you don't have money for bullets, much less medicine or food, you can't wield a hella lot of influence, can you? You have to wonder what the voters were thinking. I don't think they understood that the only reason they have a government is because the rest of the world is willing to pay for it. Yes, they made their point, but the people they elected can't do the job they were elected to based on the platform they were elected from. Someone, somewhere will have to change. What will be most interesting in this show-down will be to see who twitches first. Given the fact that they are out of money now, today, there's not a lot of time for them to decide if they'll be negotiating from a chair in a meeting room, or from a sandbag in a bunker.

Emailing Maryland

It's hard to have any sympathy for email spammers, given the gymnastics we go though tuning our filters to prevent getting shit every time we open our mail client. Thus the news today that Maryland has ruled in the favor of the user and against the spammer is all the better received. To be precise, a court of special appeals has rejected an argument by a New York based spammer that he could not be held accountable for violating Maryland anti-spam laws. His argument was that he had no way to know where his emails might be opened, no way of telling that someone on Maryland might be on the receiving end of his crap. Amusing as that seems, the Judge made the analogy to accountability of a criminal shooting blindly into a crowded room. If you shoot, you're responsible, even if you never had a specific target. The best part of the ruling was that it overturned a previous ruling from a lower court that had been in favor of the spammers. The lower court had stated that the law was unconstitutional because it tried to regulate commerce between states. In my mind what that lower court failed to realize is that the internet has no borders. I fail to sense the difference in my data when it travels through the physical wires across state boundaries. The idea of applying the same standards to trucks carrying merchandise from California to Boston, on roads managed by the states, doesn't carry through with electrons in privately managed cables. Back to the topic however, our spammer is deeply upset because he feels that people could now "make a living out of suing e-mail marketers". Really. And the cherry? The spammer in question would like to fight the ruling but can't.... because his company is now out of business.

Ah, the irony....

I really don't have a rant here. In fact, this news left me smiling and happy. What could cause such glee in a curmudgeon such as me? Well, you see, there is this independent film being release shortly, entitled “This Film Is Not Yet Rated.” The entire concept of this documentary is the over-importance of sex, under-importance of violence and unaccountability of the Motion Picture Association of America and their movie rating system. He pulled a lot of dirty tricks and got a lot of key members to say things they shouldn’t have. And he got his hands on a number of memos that are equally damning. All and all, it seems like an amusing movie concept. That’s good, but that’s not the best part. You see, he submitted his film for official MPAA rating. And they copied it and sent it around their offices. That’s right. The Motion Picture Association of America… who have forced me to sit through dozens of their anti-piracy ads before movies… have committed that very act. Movie piracy. And dumber still… admitted it. Which reminds me of a great quote froms a book I read once: "Make sure the shadow you chase is not the one you cast." Let’s quote them specifically though:
Manufacturing, selling, distributing or making copies of motion pictures without the consent of the copyright owner is illegal
They didn’t ask for consent. They copied it. They admitted it. They fucked themselves. It’s a good day.

President Coathanger

Yep there's nothing like the person who is supposed to be representing ALL Americans, coming out blatantly for a select, vocal, obnoxious minority. By telling anti-abortion fascists that theirs is a "Noble Cause" and to predict that they will prevail is typical of his open-mouthed bigotry. There probably is no more singly divisive topic in America, much less the World than abortion. For the president to open mouth with a quote like ''We're working to persuade more of our fellow Americans of the rightness of our cause,'' is just more last-term arrogance. The president isn't "Our" President, and he certainly isn't "My" President. He's the president and representative of only those that fit his narrow set of ethics ("You believe, as I do, that every human life has value".. except oh in the case of the Death Penalty or invading other nations). I saw something really funny and poignant on the highway today. It was a white panel truck with the small logo "Death and Crime Scene Cleanup" and a hand gripping a red sponge. Under that were several pro-Bush stickers. All I could think was... "How Apropos...".

Go Go Gadget Google!

Everyone loves Google. Honestly, from the first moment I saw the search engine's simplistic front page; I knew there was goodness there. The fact that it's highly accurate just sweetened the deal. Now, Google has faced a number of criticisms. Privacy concerns. Financial shenanigans during their IPO. Other little missteps from time to time. However, the company does tend to live up to it’s motto: You can make money without doing evil. Now, recently Google made an announcement. It said it was going to get into a fight with the Federal government. WHA? But why? It turns out the Department of Justice is a little bit sore. You see, the Supreme Court smacked them down a little while ago saying that Child Online Protection Act was a tiny bit unconstitutional. Silly thing that. It was an effort to protect children from being able to find porn online. Specifically the court said the that “filtering’s superiority to COPA is confirmed by the explicit findings of the Commission on Child Online Protection, which Congress created to evaluate the relative merits of different means of restricting minors' ability to gain access to harmful materials on the internet”. Basically, if parents want to block access to such things, there are already ample ways to do it without federal regulation. Oh, and this law also made things like breast exam information and Greek statues illegal without some form of adult authentication. A+ law, really. Oy. Well, DOJ has never been one to worry about things like the SCOTUS’s opinion. So, it’s fighting it out. But it needs help. So, it issued subpoenas to MSN, Yahoo, AOL, and Google. It wanted a whole bunch of data. Search terms were recorded over specific time periods. The results of those searches. And a number of other minor details. Now, three of these company’s bend over and let DOJ take them like a Thai street walker. Google responded by saying no. DOJ had to look up what no meant, but once they did, they were really mad. How dare someone deny them anything? So, it got a court order demanding that Google help them. At this point, I asked myself: “Why should a private company provide the government with data for no reason?” Google isn’t involved in the case. It’s not a criminal investigation, it’s just a court proceeding on the basis of a lawsuit that DOJ has already lost. If they want the data, hire someone to do your research for you. Private companies are not there to service DOJ lawsuits. What did the government want the data for anyway? Well, you see, it wanted to prove that the law it tried to pass would be better than Net Nanny-type filters. However, I’m totally lost on how this request gets them to that point. I mean, if you want to prove that, the obvious way to do it is to take a PC with a filter and try to search the internet. Then, take a PC configured to follow COPA guidelines and run the same searches. Repeat as needed. Take results and compare. The worst part is that the data isn’t even useful. It wouldn’t give the feds the age of the surfer, just the terms search on. Which means that it doesn’t demonstrate how COPA is better than filters. It also doesn’t include ranking info. So if the 500th hit for toothpaste is porn, the government wouldn’t see the difference between that hit and Colgate’s site. Once again, not useful data. What they asked for from Google will cost Google a lot of money to produce, will give away information about the infrastructure Google’s search engine, and will potentially give up a lot of data about what you or I do online. Not specifically, but it will hand over a lot of info to the government that I don’t much think I feel they should be able to just demand. If they want it, hire someone to do your research for you. Private companies are not there to service DOJ lawsuits. So to sum up this long winded rant, I say the following: Good job Google. Kick some DOJ ass. AOL, MSN, and Yahoo can go suck a cock for giving the info without even thinking about it. The DOJ should shut the fuck up and let the law go; SCOTUS said it sucks, get over it. And Congress…. die in a fire for writing the damn thing.
It's so stupid that it really doesn't deserve a post, but then again if the AP reported on it I guess it's worth mention. For starters I have this personal message for the dumb-ass bitch in Massachusetts who is suing Nickelodeon and Kelloggs (YES I MEAN YOU SHERRI CARLSON): If you're so fucking stupid how did you manage to reproduce in the first place? You must have the biggest rack to offset your obviously small brain. Her beef is that TV and the food industry are responsible for her kids diets. Not her has a "parent". It seems that when her kids watch TV they want the foods that are advertised. When she takes the kids with her shopping they want it in the store. Somehow the ability to explain to her kids that junk food isn't the best for you, or just the outright concept of saying "NO, YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT" escapes her. What a woman. Can you imagine the scene at her home? The kids must run around with knives and chug cleaning fluid all day. Ok so she doesn't have the ability to control the TV, somehow. The kids watch these shows and want the snacks and cereals. But when she goes to the store what happens? The kids run down the isles pulling off every box that has Spongebob on it? And then she takes them to the register? And she pays for them? Wtf. What she's really saying is that she's the fucking victim of the commercials - and that through her kids - she's being forced to buy them things they want. Personally I want to be her kid. I want a new computer NOW mom, NOW NOW NOW. And I'd get it. Or else. Sherri, fucking get a grip - you and your other plaintiffs are so out of touch with your responsibilities as a parent I'm surprised your kids are even still alive. The idea that you want to sue the channel you kids watch cartoons on and the sponsors that make those cartoons is so freekin ridiculous it's not even funny. I've got a suggestion for you, block the cartoon channels - let your kids watch sex and violence instead. Then maybe you'll really have something to worry about when they want something....
There are few things that upset me more than fallacious arguments and flawed reasoning. I can’t count the number of times I’ve listened to someone go off on some subject or another with some of the worst logic I’ve ever heard. Sometimes they’re doing it just to shame opponents into giving up the debate. Sometimes they don’t know they’re doing it because they don’t understand the subject matter. Sometimes, they just don’t understand why some of the things are flawed reasoning. Take for example, some of the following: If this just saves or helps one child, we’ve done the right thing - Sounds good. Tough to argue against because it means you want the child hurt. The problem is, it doesn’t mean anything. That’s not really a line of reasoning. It’s an appeal to play on your sympathy and prevent any opposition. Of course, horrible injustice can be done in the name of saving children, but they never seem to think about that. That’s just un-American - My teeth grind just thinking about this one. Has ever there been something more myopic? If so, I’m honestly at a loss to think of it. As if there was some rulebook by which all Americans live. This is in the national interest - Because that way it’s not selfish, it’s for the greater good. If it was in MY interest, my FAMILY’S interest, or my GROUP’S interest, it would be selfish. But when they make statements like this, be it national, state or community, it’s supposed to be ok then. And if you disagree, you’re hurting your neighbors. Those are just a handful of examples of course. I could probably go on for years. The simple fact is that people use things like this to frame debates and silence opposition. But they don’t support their position, and they don’t confront criticism. When people can’t frame their argument properly, it just sends me into attack mode. Even if I agree with the basic principle, I slip into devil’s advocate mode. And we somehow let them get away with it. I don’t understand that apathy in so many people. Maybe they’ve just never heard a good debate.
''We conclude the (law's) prescription requirement does not authorize the attorney general to bar dispensing controlled substances for assisted suicide in the face of a state medical regime permitting such conduct. The government, in the end, maintains that the prescription requirement delegates to a single executive officer the power to effect a radical shift of authority from the states to the federal government to define general standards of medical practice in every locality. The text and structure of the (law) show that Congress did not have this far-reaching intent to alter the federal-state balance and the congressional role in maintaining it.'
In essence, the 6 - 3 ruling said that the attorney general does NOT have the authority to punish doctors in states that have declared assisted suicide legal. Again, it's taken years and money to prove what's been proven before: that the current administrations is more interested in meddling in the lives of citizens according to their beliefs rather than respecting the rights of the voters.

Too Old to Die?

I swear to gob, the real news becomes more and more like satire the longer we crawl this earth. A seventy five year old inmate on death row is now saying that he's "too old to die". The lawyers say that to take a man who is bound to a wheel-chair, nearly deaf and blind, and strap him down for some lethal injection, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. How obvious does this need to be? I guess we'll have to spell it out for the nth time. 1) He wasn't in this state of health when he committed his crimes. 2) His victims really didn't have an option when it came to his decision to take their lives. 3) If he's on his way out, let's just give him a hand. One of the many things I lack compassion for are the dregs who play the part of the victim even though they themselves couldn't empathize with anyone but their own asses.

Alt-Friend Signing Off

I would venture that probably everyone has experienced it at one time or other in their life. "It" being the Alt-Friend status. What's an Alt-Friend? It's the person you turn to when all your primary friends are busy or unavailable. It's the fallback friend. It's the last person on your list to call when you just HAVE to tell someone. You can be an Alt-friend for lots of reasons. Sometimes you're an Alt because you're on the hazy edge (or firmly outside) the social circle. Sometimes you're an Alt because your social overlap is very limited (same science class, after-work sports). Sometimes it's because you're not directly related at all - the friend of a friend situation. Usually those aren't such a big deal. We know they're only friends for that short time you interact with them, and when they choose to initiate something with someone else... it's no big deal. Generally Alt-friendships are temporary, not something that spans decades. They're not people you've known since childhood, into and out of wild youth. If you do see them decades later it's at a reunion, or bumping into them in your old neighborhood. You look each other over, go "Hey I know that person", chat about a few people you might or might not remember and move on. But what happens when you find out someone you thought was a "true friend" turns out to be using you as an Alt? I've got a former buddy like that. Over the past 2 decades we've been pretty close. We generally get in touch pretty regularly, and hook up several times a year. Most of the time it was even, I would call and arrange to visit - then they would. 50/50, host and guest. However, back when we were younger there had been times when a new friend would knock me off their radar. I would call, they wouldn't call back. I would offer to visit, and get no response. Eventually I would shrug and move along and after a year or so *poof* they would suddenly re-materialize and demand my time, want to catch up and it would be back to the way things were. I would guess this happened about 3 times in 20 years, not bad over all... until of course it happened again. Now I value my friends. When people call, or make an overture I take it seriously. If I have a conflict between multiple events I feel honor bound to let both sides know that I screwed up and do what is right to make it up to the person I have to blow off. I try to remember birthdays. I'll take the time to listen to gripes and woes. I treat people as I'd like to be treated. So it becomes irksome when my former buddy suddenly treats me like an Alt because some shiny new person has suddenly come along. Now again, I know from history, that this will only last a year or so because this friend will drive an unprepared person insane. They are very demanding. They have lots of quirks that need to be catered to. They have strong opinions that can't be questioned. Eventually this buddy -will- be back. But you know? This time? I'm not going to pick it back up. Twenty years is a long time, and just because I've been willing to be being sidelined in the past doesn't mean that I should blandly accept it.... unless I want to be putting up with it for the rest of my life. It will be an interesting event when they finally do call me back. Chances are they'll be all upset because this new person is now a demon for rejecting their attention or getting into a conflict with them. They'll want to talk and get together. Show me what's happened in their life since the last time we hung out, want to be consoled and reassured. Well you know I do that for my friends.... but it's not in my job description as an Alt.

Don't piss me off!

Link: http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance%2C+go+to+jail/2010-1028_3-6022491.html?part=rss&tag=6022491&subj=news

Those little words seem harmless. They are uttered thousands of times day. And they are probably posted onto forums, blogs, IRC and instant messages even more often. But, hey, some people will annoy others. It’s a fact of life. It’s not like they’re breaking the law. Oops. Turns out, that all changed recently. You see, on Jan 5th, Bush signed a new law. It’s a relatively normal law. It’s the “Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005”. The problem is a small section entitled “Preventing Cyber-stalking.” Check this out:
Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Nice, eh? The word annoy is too imprecise. It’s not practical. I mean, on this site alone we’ve annoyed readers. I annoy people on Prounreal all the time (because I’m right and they suck). People read my blog, and I’m sure they’re annoyed from time to time. Hell, Steeler and Bengal fans aren’t really chummy this week. And I’m willing to bet that almost none of the conversations on their bulletin boards involved people signing their real name. Now, I’m sure that’s not what our lawmakers intended. Far from it, I’m sure. But that is what they wrote. And in a court of law, the law is exactly what is written down. The idea behind this well intentioned strike against the freedom of speech is supposed to be a nice way to help prevent someone from stalking a woman over the internet. Or more accurately, punish them more. It’s already illegal to stalk someone internet or not. This is just an extra crime to tack onto the list. The problem is that they suck at phrasing. This isn’t a well placed law. It’s a huge net cast over more or less everything in an attempt to catch a few select criminals. Vague broad wording in laws are almost always cause bad laws. This one is no exception.

Link: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WARM_BEER?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US

… and back away slowly. That’s right, you little rectal warts. Leave the fucking beer alone. That means you Sen. Alter. You see, over in Missouri, this piece of excrement has decided that the best way to curb drinking and driving is simple. Make a law that prevents the sale of cold beer. He decided that all beer sold should be over 60 degrees. That way, you can’t drink it right away. And he’s serious. The little ass spelunker believes that bullshit so much that he’s submitted the bill. Will this reduce DUIs? Fuck no. I can’t even imagine a situation where this could do any real good. How many DUIs are caused because a guy drank a cold beer he picked up at the liquor store? Gut Check Survey says… it can’t be fucking many. I mean, how many people go from sober to drunk on the ride back from the store? I just don’t see that as a large segment of the DUI arena. And the people it would cover… will probably just drink warm beer. This won’t reduce drinking and driving. It will just piss me off when I can’t grab a cold 12-pack 30 minutes before my buddies drop by. But hey, he’s a state senator. I’m sure he studied and researched the idea carefully before he decided to put the bill up for consideration, right? I mean, it’s not like he just asked some random ten year old kid for an idea and took it. Wait, what? What was that? Oh………..He did? Uh-huh….. You know, that actually explains a lot. You read that right. He asked fifth graders for ideas for new laws. Sen. Butt-munch here looked at the top three answers, and picked one. Wrote it up into legalese and tossed it into the state senate. Un- Fucking- Believable. By the way, dillhole here is supposed to be a conservative. I don’t much care about political affiliation, but what the fuck ever happened to the idea of small government anyway? Does that just not fucking exist anymore? Jesus Fuck Christ. People… work with me here. At least pretend you’re not making up laws just to pass the time. In case all of the above wasn’t clear, let me close with this final though. Get your god damn dirty government hands off my cold beer.
Rise is perhaps the wrong word. It's not a new thing. It's just on a larger scale now. All of the old game shows and variety shows were sponsored. Before and after commercial breaks, they'd mention the sponsor. They'd work into sponsor products where ever possible. Nothing new really. Over the course of my life, I've come to accept that. It's ok. But the past decade has seen new levels of sponsorship deals as the tentacles of corporations reach farther and farther trying to bury themselves into our consciousness. For example, think back to all the movies you’ve ever seen. How many Macs have you seen out in the movie universe? To judge by movies, most people use Macs. Because Apple puts a lot of money out there to get sponsorship deals with movie producers. The other thing that gets me is sports advertisements. Now, I’m not talking about green-screening ad behind the batters during a baseball game. I’m talking about the sponsorship of the Rose Bowl. Or should I say, the ADT Rose Bowl, and the winners will receive this trophy of their victory (don’t mind the ugly ass ADT insignia that we’ve etched onto it) When I first got into football, certain stadiums had names that commanded respect. Mile High Stadium. RFK. Candlestick Park. What do we have now? Invesco Field. 3Com park. Fed-Ex Field. McAfee Coliseum. RCA Dome. Lincoln Financial Field. All over the country, in every sport, honored venues sell their naming rights for vast sums of money. Recently, I think I heard the worst example. This year, due to the horrific damage done, Mardi Gras will have a sponsors to help offset the cost to the city. Not just one, but several. For 2 million a pop, four or five companies will get to plaster their name all over the famous city. In doing so, not only do they get the good press of “aiding the city”, and the massive revenue generated during the enormous celebration; they get to set a precedent. If there is anything we have learned from sponsorship deal in the past it’s this: once a new area of sponsorship is opened, it is almost never revoked. So, most likely, Mardi Gras will be branded yearly with new corporate identities. I understand the reasoning to an extent. They want to raise name recognition to help sales. Movies, sports stadiums, and apparently even world famous parties are all just means toward that end. But I can’t help but think that Mile High Stadium inspires the soul more than Investco Field. That our lives are better off without Smirnoff Ice’s Mardi Gras Extravaganza. That maybe, in the pursuit of profit, we have given up a little too much ground.


On the current stroke suffered by Sharon. Apparently there are birds of a feather on different continents...
''God considers this land to be his,'' Robertson said on his TV program ''The 700 Club.'' ''You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.''' ... Sharon ''was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU (European Union), the United Nations, or the United States of America,'' Robertson said.
Iran's president said Thursday he hoped for the death of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the latest anti-Israeli comment by a leader who has already provoked international criticism for suggesting that Israel be ''wiped off the map.''
How you guys ever made it as far as you did should be a fucking clue to the rest of us.