Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Rendell's stupid act feels the smackdown!

So, let me get this straight. The stupid electorate of Pennsylvania (Auskunft and I are excluded because we voted against Rendell, you idiots) decided it would be a great idea to elect Fast Eddie Rendell to the state governorship because, you know, he demonstrated exemplary qualifications in corruption and incompetence as the mayor of Philadelphia, so he'd be ideal to lead one of the largest states in the Union.

Oh, and if Pennsylvania keeps being such a socialist haven and driving away residents, we soon won't be one of the largest states in the Union. Just FYI, in case anyone in the state legislature cared about, you know, tax revenues and having people actually stay in your state.

But I DIGRESS! Rendell was elected largely on his promise to reduce property taxes by seeking alternate ways of funding public education. It turns out that his great plan was to use revenue generated from slot machines to fund public schooling. Because, when I think of a morally upright way to fund education, I think of tempting poor people with the promise of quick, easy cash through gambling. Yeah. Anyway, school districts are not a fan of the idea for a couple reasons. First, and DEFINITELY most important to school officials, is that Act 72 placed certain restrictions on the taxing authority of school boards. That is, school boards would have to submit tax increases to a public referendum unless those increases were meant to fund certain well-defined projects. In other words, the school districts wouldn't be able to raise local taxes for no other reason that to bleed you dry. School districts don't like being told that, you know, it's your money and if you are going to be forced to give it up to the government, you should have some say in how it's spent. You people who want to keep your own money and freedom sicken me.


But, the second problem with Act 72 was the fact that schools would have to depend on slots revenue to compensate them for their decreasing take of property taxes. And, apparently, the consultants Rendell got to work for him (I'm sure they're totally unbiased) said that the slots would generate a billion dollars of revenue, which would be distributed among schools to help fund education. Apparently some rather ignorant *cough* people thought, "Hm, could Ed Rendell, the corrupt, lying, union-cock-sucking-former-mayor-of-Philadelphia be lying to us? Maybe we should think twice about depending on his phony gambling revenue numbers." And, oops, Rendell's act got served.

It's cool, because apparently Rendell never meant for school districts to get a choice in the matter, since he's about ready to force them to accept it anyway.

Don't you love Democrats?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Sith, Jedi, Heresy...Confusion

The excrement squeezed out by George Lucas over the past six years has been gnawing on me all that time. Actually, the special edition versions of the original trilogy had already broken the seal of quality on Lucas's masterpieces, and, long before those obscenities were released, Lucas did, after all, give us the Ewoks.

Has it really been since 1980 that the series could be swallowed by anyone with taste? That's depressing - I wasn't even alive.

But anyway, let's take this whole Sith/Jedi business and examine its bases. I take it that, despite Obi Wan's clusmy anti-Bush (Bush was a Nazi a long time ago, even in far away galaxies, don't you know!) claim that only Sith deal in absolutes (that absolute claim being excepted, I guess), the Jedi seem to require absolute fealty to their principles, and will label anyone who is not a Jedi, but who partakes in the Force, a Sith. So, a well-meaning rebel who doesn't accept the restrictive code of the self-important Jedi is a Sith.

All right.

So, the Force is a natural essence that unites all living things into a biotic whole. Except, well, there are many aspects to this Force, one such being the "Dark Side of the Force." But since the Force is what unites all life, and life is apparently a Good Thing, then the Dark Side is a necessary aspect of the Force - it wouldn't be the Force without it, and without the Dark Side, life would not exist. The Dark Side isn't properly evil, because the Force simply is, irrespective of the uses to which it is put. There is no Good Side or Bad Side, but sides that reflect different aspects of life. The Dark Side contains such things as fear, anger, hate, selfishness, and so on. But surely, if life were not driven by a desire for self-preservation, and fear of what will harm life, and anger at injustice, &c., then life would cease to be. The Dark Side contains things just as vital to life as any other part of the Force; so let's not take "Dark" to mean "evil," because that would be calling the Force itself evil.

And that, even a Jedi can admit, is naughty.

So, the Sith, as I said, are those who do not restrict themselves to the Jedi code. They may not be evil - all that makes them Sith is that they are not Jedi. But they clearly accept more of the Force, that all-powerful thing that the Jedi apparently revere...so, the Sith, then, have a more complete, open-minded, tolerant view of the Force than the narrow-minded, dogmatic Jedi.

The Sith are heretics from the dogmatists of the Jedi Order. So much worse for the Jedi, I say. Did Lucas intend to portray his heroes as such ignorant religious zealots? Or is his storytelling just getting that bad?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Annan Reputation Apparently Untarnished by Scandal

Children seek food from UN's Annan in south Sudan - those poor kids are so hungry, they actually think Kofi Annan will bother to help them! Maybe they should pick up a newspaper and read a bit about the UN's track record of providing food to starving people, or of actually ending oppression and conflict instead of propping up petty dictators.

There is hope, though:
The southern conflict that erupted in 1983 claimed 2 million lives and spread across the south of the country, which has substantial oil reserves.
Sudan has oil! Awesome. Kofi can set up a phony Oil for Food program to drain the precious black gold out of the country, then. Not that it really helps the starving kids, though. UN humanitarian aid tends to be like that - a way to stuff already bloated bureaucracies while doling out nothing but pretty words and tender, heartfelt, but empty promises to those actually in need.

Let's make Sudan another Iraq! That is, the UN can totally fail and cynically profit off the suffering of its people, and then the US will come in and do the right thing.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

New Fischer Random Rules!

Bobby F. is in the news again, trying to make a comeback playing his pet chess variation, Shuffle Chess. Some are under the mistaken impression that the correct name for this variant is Fischer Random, but, in fact, Fischer Random's rules are quite...different. Let me outline them below.

Activate your funny bone.

Before each player's turn, that player must roll a six-sided die. The number that comes up on the die will determine certain conditions that must be met in the subsequent move(s). Additionally, the players will play with a deck of specially-made cards. The die rolls:

1 - Your opponent is George W. Bush and you are a pawn in his diabolical game. If he draws "Japanese prison" within three moves, you lose the game (unless you counter with "Surprise Icelandic asylum")

2 - You make a disparaging comment about female players. Remove your opponent's queen from the board, then make your move. If your opponent shows you the card "Judit Polgar" before his turn, he may replace his queen on the board; otherwise it stays captured.

3 - International Zionist neocon Judeofascist conspiracy strikes! All players must donate five dollars to FIDE. White loses his next turn.

4 - You and your opponent must play the Poisoned Pawn variation of the Sicilian Najdorf. Add six hours to each player's clock. Balance the playing surface on a knife's edge.

5 - Your opponent's rooks have been attacked! Express inappropriate glee. Remove both your opponent's rooks from the board; then he searches his deck for a card named "Moral High-ground" and puts it in his hand.

6 - Your entire game has been fixed by the CommieJewKasparovKarpovBotvinnikSpassky traitors. To ensure fairness, randomly change the position of each piece on the board, then continue the game as normal.

Booster packs of Fischer Random cards will be available in your nearest FIDE outlet for $3, or if you wish to use fake money, 2 Euros.

Friday, May 27, 2005

United States Prepares for War

In a shocking development, the rogue nation of the United States of America has openly and brazenly promised to give aid to the Palestinians, money that will probably be diverted in part to aid terrorism.

In light with Bush administration policy regarding those who aid terrorists, experts fully expect the United States Congress to begin drafting legislation to declare war on itself, though the precise terms of such a bill are being checked for constitutionality. "It's very difficult, you know, to follow proper procedure when enacting legislation that declares the very institution that enacted the legislation to be void," one befuddled analyst was heard to say. "We've heard 'You're either for us or against us' so given this new development, we think logic may just collapse into a singularity or something."

Indeed, the Supreme Court of the United States is currently hearing a case to decide whether the law of the excluded middle jibes with current international laws and customs.

Justice Scalia commented to a reporter, "The tendency of European countries to cry out about human rights violations and to call for multilateral cooperation while abusing international organizations to the detriment of human rights has made us aware of a shift of global opinion. Logical consistency and moral uprightness are obviously no longer sanctioned in the world at large, and the United States must revise its backward institutions to save face." Besides mulling overturning the law of the excluded middle, the Court recently voted 5-4 that modus ponens is a violation of Equal Protection.

Reports that cats and dogs were lying together could not be confirmed at this time.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

France Does Something Right!?

Yeah, that's what I said. Read the title again, just to let it sink in. True, the Red Socks won the World Series, but that pales in comparison to what we have here: France set to decree, as a nation, that they DON'T want to take it up the ass from the so-called EU.
THE leader of France’s ruling party has privately admitted that Sunday’s referendum on the European constitution will result in a "no" vote, throwing Europe into turmoil.

"The thing is lost," Nicolas Sarkozy told French ministers during an ill-tempered meeting. "It will be a little 'no' or a big 'no'," he was quoted as telling Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Prime Minister, whom he accused of leading a feeble campaign.
Well how about that? Despite the vicious campaigning, people saw this so-called constitution for what it was: a farewell note to their national identity and independence in the name of political correctness and liberalism.

While I am happy to see this thing go down in flames, the sadistic part of me almost wanted to see it succeed at the ballot box so that it could fail miserably in the real world. Europe couldn't compete with the US, in ANYTHING, since... when? The early 1800's. Screw them all anyway.

Hat tip to Drudge for the link.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Well, That Wasn't Satisfying. At All.

Wow we all decided to take a break at once. Odd? Yes. Lazy? Yes. Productive? Ummm... no.

Anyway, that's really of no importance. What does matter is that I am back, and I am pissed as hell about the RINOs' selling us out. Of course everything that could be said (and is sensible at all) already has, so I will just refer you to here, here, here, and here for starters. All that happened was that the so-called moderates sold out several nominees without securing ANYTHING AT ALL from the Democrats.

In other news, I went to visit Verny and several other friends from college, for the purpose of allowing Lucas to finish his raping of my childhood. Yes, this movie had lots of fighting and death, but there is no sane person who could believe that this movie leads to the original Star Wars. It is as if Ocarina of Time were further advanced by A Link to the Past, only to be advanced further still by the original Legend of Zelda. OOPS no. Shigeru Miyamoto is apparently Japan's George Lucas. Sucks to be Japan, apparently.

Oh, and thanks, Lucas, for removing all of the surprise from the original trilogy by showing the birth and naming of Luke and Leia. In theory, anyone who watches the series from this point on will not be shocked and surprised by the dramatic revelations in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

What utter garbage Lucas turned his movies into. I have a feeling that the next few posts, at least, will be bitching about the inconsistencies abundant in this latest heap of special-effects. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Bolton Obstructionism

Do we really need a UN ambassador? I mean, if Democrats insist on blocking the confirmation of Bolton with their stupid tantrums, we could just take the issue to its logical conclusion and stop dealing with the UN entirely. Since the Dems are obviously so concerned about the UN's illegal and immoral acts that they don't want us and Bolton to have anything to do with the corrupt and evil body, we should immediately cut off all funding for the UN, kick them out of their rented property in New York City, and take diplomats directly from foreign countries instead of hearing anyone through the mediation of the UN.

Really, I applaud this principled stance by the Senate minority. Screw the UN!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Judges > You and Your Votes

Well, they just did it. A federal judge, appointed by that rat Clinton (whichever one was President that day) overturned a State Constitutional Amendment approved by the voters of Nebraska.
LINCOLN, Neb. — A federal judge today struck down Nebraska's ban on gay marriage, saying the measure interferes not only with the rights of gay couples but also with those of foster parents, adopted children and people in a host of other living arrangements.
What utter, utter bullshit. Nebraskans voted overwhelmingly for this amendment. But one federal judge trumps all those voters.
The challenge was filed by the gay rights organization Lambda Legal and the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Project.
And where is that sick and twisted organization from? That's right: New York. It wasn't even challenged by a Nebraskan organization.

Wow! What did the courts just use to wipe their collective ass? Oh that's right -- the State's rights.

Props to Michael Savage for breaking this story.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Just How Abnormal is Homosexuality?

Everyone seems to be concerned with this recent research report that gay men's brains react differently than those of straight men. This is used to support the theory that homosexuality is biological, not learned. Too bad the research is a load of crap.
May 10, 2005 -- WASHINGTON — Gay men's brains respond differently from those of heterosexual males when exposed to a sexual stimulus, researchers have found.

The homosexual men's brains responded more like those of women when the men sniffed a chemical from the male hormone testosterone.
This is of course great news to the pro-homosexual crowd. However, as the article will show us, it is a horribly flawed conclusion. For an actually in-depth and practical look at the arguments for and against biologically based homosexuality, read this article by NR/NRO’s John Derbyshire.

Onward to this new and flawed study:

"It is one more piece of evidence... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
Well, is that so? I hate hearing supposedly educated people talking like this. Words mean things, and the order in which this expert put her words implies rather strongly that homosexuality is biological. Of course there is no definitive answer at this time, but with phrases like "one more piece of evidence... showing that" the researcher's bias is revealed. She has already made up her mind, and any study will verify to her that she is right. This makes for terrible research.
They exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals derived from male and female sex hormones.

These chemicals are thought to be pheromones — molecules known to trigger such responses as defense and sex in many animals.

The researchers divided 36 subjects into three groups — heterosexual men, heterosexual women and homosexual men.
I do have research experience, and my current occupation is in research labs; I will draw on these experiences in this analysis, basically by pointing out all the flaws.

Let’s assume a regular breakdown; this gives us a study of twelve gay men, twelve straight men, and twelve straight women. Where is the group of homosexual women, you might ask? Well, I was wondering the same thing. But, since this study is skewed from the beginning, there would be no need to include them. After all, these researches don't want real results based on unbiased science; they want very specific results based on sloppy science. Disallowing any classes of subjects that may threaten the desired results is the easiest way to proceed.

Also, in attempting to verify a hypothesis about all humans, wouldn't one think that this sample is laughably small? The results have yet to be reproduced in other labs across the scientific world. In short, this publication is still worthless in scientific terms.

Furthermore, this study is designed to test whether or not homosexuality is chosen or biological, yet all the subjects are over the age where they would have presumably made that choice. Why was this procedure not made on infants who have yet to show a sexual inclination? Then, if these different responses are observed, the subjects can be followed throughout their lives to see if they do indeed become gay or straight as the research predicted. An argument against that procedure could be that pheromone response is learned, but then of what value is the study at all? Gay men could have learned to respond to the male pheromone differently, and the study confirms nothing.

Finally, the study does not address the environments in which homosexuality is over-represented. If there is an over-representation of homosexual males in, for example, theatre, how does this work with the pheromone hypothesis? (I am not disparaging theatre, in which I have been personally involved for years. I merely use it as an example of another avenue this flawed research did not address.) Does this brain response lead one to the arts in the first place? Does such an environment slowly alter brain functions so that it becomes more susceptible to male pheromones? Was the homosexual sample in this research unsuitably small and perhaps abnormal?

Or was this research in general just crap?

Bush & Yalta - A Cynical Perspective

So Bush called FDR on being a Commie-appeasing coward. (Thanks RWN) John Hawkins points out that there's nothing particularly controversial about stating the truth, or shouldn't be except for the FDR-barning liberals, not to mention the Stalin fans that are still lingering, unable to give up on history's greatest monster.

Stalin fans like this guy!
“First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” Putin said. “As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.
Fellow citizens?!? That's right, Eastern Europe, you've apparently been Russians this whole time. I guess it's only natural for you to feel kinship with the people who invaded you in the 1940's, raped your women, murdered thousands of you, and declared themselves to be your masters.

Yeah. It's also real shame the Third Reich fell, because now Austria has to be free. Poor guys.

So, when Bush talks about how horrible Yalta was, then plays nice with Putin, I get a little cynical. Bitter. Pissed-off. How about we stop helping Commies?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

ACLU Attempting to Screw States Again

This is quite the interesting story. North Carolina doesn't want unmarried couples to live together. As someone who is planning to soon cohabitate with romantic intent, I can't say that I agree too readily with the law, but is it unconstitutional, as the ACLU says everything is with which it doesn't agree?
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - There are some 144,000 unmarried couples living together in North Carolina, and they are all breaking the law - a statute that has been on the books since 1805.

The law against cohabitation is rarely enforced. But now the American Civil Liberties Union is suing to overturn it altogether, on behalf of a former sheriff's dispatcher who says she had to quit her job because she wouldn't marry her live-in boyfriend.
I am not aware of any provision in the Constitution that says the states must grant the right to live with whomever you please. In fact, in the Tenth Article of Amendment, the Constitution explicitly states that:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
So, let's assemble the pieces here. The Constitution says nothing about granting or limiting living arrangements. It does say that anything not covered by the Constitution is left to the states. The state of North Carolina (and also Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi and North Dakota) has decided to prohibit such behavior. This isn't just a horribly outdated notion, as the story confirms:
In January, the North Dakota House defeated a challenge to its cohabitation law on a 52-37 vote.
At least one state has actively decided to keep this law on the books. That must mean something right?

Let's get something straight though. I have no doubt that this law will be overturned by the courts. The ACLU has a history of somehow strong-arming courts into such actions; I am personally of the opinion that the ACLU needs to be broken apart. But in the wake of Lawrence v. Texas (and Griswold v. Connecticut for that matter) I am left with little doubt that these laws will soon disappear.

The States just died a little more.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kramnik Sucks

Kramnik - whoops, worthless!

I am in a foul mood, so you must make do with quotes:
I know the opinion that there is totalitarian rule in Russia. I don’t like it too much that Kasparov is now proclaiming that he wants more democracy in our country. Sure there are problems, without a doubt. But I live in this country and can see that things are handled in a more or less democratic fashion. There are lots of people who speak out against Putin, and nothing happens to them. A large part of the Russian press is oppositional, but they continue to exist and nobody does anything against them. It is clear that it is quite easy to find support for Kasparov’s position in the West. But I think he is not in any personal danger.
Yeah all Putin did was say he misses the Soviet Union.
Back to chess. You call yourself the “Classical Chess World Champion”. Can you tell us who invented this title?

Neither me nor my management, as some people claim. We did not need to invent something new. This title exists practically since the days of Wilhelm Steinitz. He was the first official world chess champion, even if Morphy and Anderssen played earlier matches in an attempt to determine who was the strongest player in the world. Since Steinitz there is a classical line of champions, and I am standing at the other end of this line. Whether you call it the classical world championship or simply world championship doesn’t really make a difference. The exact name is secondary. The important thing is that a great tradition that has lasted for more than a century should be continued.
I know that certain people accuse me of making too many draws. But that is not based on the facts. They should study my tournament statistics.
You played like a coward in a match for a world title. Deal.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Common Sense? No way!

Looks like John Hawkins agrees with Auskunft! Great minds &c.

In other news, ChessBase continues its love affair with Bobby Fischer by claiming he invented shuffle chess:
Fischer Random Chess (also called Chess960, Chess 960, Fischerandom chess, FR chess, or FullChess) is a variant of random chess defined by Bobby Fischer and introduced formally to the chess public on June 19, 1996, in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tim Krabbe has already totally owned that idea (Krabbe has a great site, by the way; check out the whole thing):
How Fischer ever got the chess world to accept tying his name to this old idea, is a mystery. Shuffle chess has been known for over 200 years under various names, such as Pre-chess, Baseline Chess, Varied Baseline Chess, Meta Chess, Array Chess and others.
In other mythological news, Bobby Fischer's victory over Boris Spassky in 1972 overthrew the Soviet Union; Bobby is a target of Bush's ninja assassins; and, wait, a breaking story! Bobby was just seen slaying the Lernean Hydra!

I'll own FIDE's stupid world championship cycle later.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Enough Already!

Laura Bush's stand up routine wasn't all that bad. Honest. I am sick of hearing about it. Michael Savage, for whom I have great respect, and who happens to be my favorite conservative talk show host by far, has dedicated about NINE hours or so already to discussing how utterly disgusted he was with her performance. While that is certainly his right, I just think that perhaps he is reading a little too much into the whole ordeal.

Now, as I understand it, there was a dinner for all the media types at which the President is more or less expected to give a humorous little speech. To shake things up this year, Laura Bush took the microphone from her husband and gave her own little stand up performance.

Allow me now to address the two biggest points Dr. Savage raises.

First of all, Dr. Savage claims that Mrs. Bush betrayed her core constituency by claiming she watched filth like Desperate Housewives and attended male strip clubs. Never mind that it came out essentially immediately afterward that she indeed does NOT watch that show and that you would have to be basically insane to believe she attended a Chippendale's show.

Essentially, Mrs. Bush made a joke by claiming things that obviously weren't true, but could possible be viable for someone else but certainly not her. That is, you know, how humor works. Wow, it's sarcasm! Imagine that I am wearing a shirt with a large picture of Reagan on it (not difficult at all to imagine, I would hope). Should, say, Verny comment on how much he likes it, it would be possible for me to make a joke, saying, "Yeah, well, I had to wear this because my Che Guevarra shirt was in the wash." That would be funny (I hope!) for the same reasons Mrs. Bush's comments were funny: they are obviously false and still contradictory in light of the fact it could be a true scenario. I would hope that my "core constituency" of friends and fellow conservative bloggers wouldn’t label me as some manner of traitor to my conservative beliefs because of a sarcastic comment like that.

Dr. Savage is often sarcastic himself; is it too difficult to imagine him making a sarcastic comment about having misplaced his headscarf if someone compliments him on his hat? I do not think so. It is a joke.

Secondly, Dr. Savage took issue with Laura Bush's comment that President Bush had tried to milk a male horse. Of course, it was not presented that way at all, but humor is nearly always much less appealing when its witty phrasing is removed and all subtlety destroyed.

The press, as I am sure you are well aware, like to make fun of the President’s intellect. They were also present at this dinner. One of the easiest ways to disarm people so often hostile is to emasculate yourself a little before they have the chance; they have no strategy left. Everyone chuckles, and life goes on. President Bush did this himself to great effect during the debates and various town hall meetings he has hosted. When someone makes fun of my receding hairline (and recede it does!), I agree and make a witty remark of my own. Both of us can laugh, I am not concerned with the insult, and life goes on without anyone needing to be upset at anyone.

Dr. Savage disagreed, however. All he could see was the horrific sexual implications of the statement. President Bush trying to milk a male horse!! In fact, only once have I heard him quote Laura Bush when describing this statement; from then on out he talked about Mrs. Bush's claiming her husband was playing with a "horse's phallus." This is obviously NOT what Mrs. Bush was intending, and to read into it this much is slightly over the edge as far as I am concerned. Humor works when something is unexpected; everyone knows you milk cows, so the mention of the horse was unexpected. Everyone knows that milk comes from females, so the male comment was unexpected. We have nothing more than unexpected sarcasm, with perhaps the slightest subtle sexual overtones. Dear God, it’s the end of the world as we know it!

Laura Bush's comedy worked exactly the way it was supposed to. She delivered everything well, and she didn’t write any of it herself, remember. She was fresh and unexpected herself, and her ribbing of her husband and many others in Washington was appreciated and applauded by all attendees. Conservatives who feel alienated from her and from the President because of this are overreacting. A lot. And people who feel that this action should alienate conservatives are also a little over the top themselves.

Lighten up and laugh!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

True Colors?

Can someone please tell me why the AARP, which supposedly exists to represent “Retired People” (hence the name) is opposed to Bush’s Social Security plan that wouldn’t change one lousy tiny itsy-bitsy little thing for anyone 55 or over, as well as ALL retired people? So, the AARP, which recognizes the long term financial problems with Social Security, doesn’t want to even take a second to consider the President’s plan to fix it, knowing full well that NONE of their members would be affected. I wonder why that is. It couldn’t be because the AARP is just another left-associated special interest group, analogous to the groups they wildly claim cloud the President’s judgment, could it?

I heard an excerpt from the latest AARP Bulletin read on the radio this morning, but cannot find a link to the actual quote. The quote was basically, “Bush is allowing special interests to push him to privatize, these special interests being the banking industry and mutual funds and the like.” If I do find the actual quote I will link it later.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Rendell Redefines “Choice” for Act 72

Ever since Philadelphia elected their former worthless mayor to be governor of Pennsylvania, Rendell has done his absolute best to force gambling down the throats of his constituents. Gee, thanks buddy. Not even mentioning the possibility of increased crime in the already crime-ridden metropolitan areas Rendell would like to see slots implemented, these slots parlors would simply be a de facto tax on the lower income brackets.

The whole idea was for the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania to lower property taxes and lose much control over raising or lowering them in the future. Property taxes are currently their chief source of (local) revenue. Schools would be given money from the state’s gambling revenue to make up the difference. This is known as Act 72. Act 72 was to be completely optional. If a school didn’t want to participate, that was fine. The theory was supposedly that the school districts, based on input from the locals, would decide whether or not to lower property taxes or to decline gambling revenue.

Something is funny here though; if property taxes are lowered, as Rendell wants, the very rich property owners, who own very valuable estates, would have their tax burden lowered. These are the very people who voted for Rendell. The lower and middle classes, who will be raped by the slot machines, are the ones being forced to pay for the rich’s tax cuts. Many of these lower income families don’t even own property at all (e.g., me). But aren’t Democrats opposed to tax cuts for the rich!? I mean, these wealthy people can afford to pay these taxes! The lower income shouldn’t shoulder the rich’s burden!

Well, wouldn’t you know it... only 10 of Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts have opted in for Act 72. So, what does Rendell do? He threatens to make it mandatory.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is ratcheting up the pressure on school boards to sign on to a one (b) billion-dollar property-tax relief program.

Rendell says state lawmakers might otherwise make the program mandatory. School boards, which have until the end of May to opt in to the plan, have been slow to participate. In exchange for a share of future slots revenues, they give up some power to raise property taxes. Rendell spoke before the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Rendell says that Democratic legislators might introduce a bill on Monday that forces school boards to participate in the tax relief program, or Act 72.
Some “choice”, huh? Rendell is of course “pro-choice” but only when you choose to go along with his ideas. How pathetic is this? Fortunately, Pennsylvania has a friend in the PA House Majority Whip Brett Feese. Feese (from my former home of Lycoming county!) is Chairman of the PA House Appropriations Committee, and he has vowed to stop this proposed legislation making Act 72 mandatory.
He [Feese] says the governor failed to convince communities to take his slot money, and is now trying to force it down their throats.
Way to be! Thank you Congressman Feese for standing up against this ridiculous plan. Rendell’s Act 72 was optional, and it should be kept so (if not outright discarded with those worthless slots); it will be so much fun watching it fail.

Hey, ABC News - Stop Giving Comfort to Our Enemies!

Italy Expected to Challenge U.S. Report

Italy is challenging a U.S. report that cleared American soldiers of wrongdoing in the shooting of an Italian agent in Baghdad, a case that has sorely tested one of Washington's staunchest allies in Iraq.
Why would it test Italy's loyalty to us that an ultra-liberal journalist from that country faked her own kidnapping and supported terrorism, and then felt she was too good to slow down and got the person who "rescued her" shot up? I don't blame Italy for that - I blame the media. Like ABC! ABC is testing me, and as with all tests, I broke the curve.

What a ridiculous article. What a treasonous article.
The U.S. investigation said the incident might have been prevented by better coordination between the Italian government and U.S. forces in Iraq. It also said that the vehicle failed to slow down as it approached the checkpoint and that the soldiers who fired acted according to the rules of engagement.

The Italian report contends U.S. authorities were informed of the operation several hours before the shooting and were told of Sgrena's release 25 minutes before Calipari was killed, Italian newspapers said.
Yeah when I see a vehicle barreling towards me at 60 mph in freaking Iraq, it's only logical for me to conclude you're a terrorist trying to overpower my checkpoint. Time to melt some machinegun barrels! But, of course, since the U.S. was informed of it, it was cool for the Italian idiots not to follow protocol.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Another Example of "Shut Up Please"

Now, I know that LiveJournal is for, essentially, those of us with an IQ below 70. That is well established, and can be verified by ever reading any of them. However, I do occasionally come across something that either depresses me more than usual, or angers me..., umm..., more than usual. This is an example of one of those, from someone I used to know and used to respect a little.
The Big Deal?
What is the big deal about letting gays be just like anyone else.
Well, isn’t this first sentence already the epitome of irony? First of all, if they are gay, then they are in a minority, and as such, they are already NOT like everyone else. That’s, you know, the idea behind a “minority.” Furthermore, what’s with this “letting them” nonsense? Is he claiming that he, or everyone for that matter, is in the position to let gays be something?
It doens't hurt anyone and yet I see people on tv blasting gays, expecially republicans and religious wackos.
At least he had the courtesy to differentiate between Republicans and these religious “wackos.” Not that we have any examples of prime-time gay bashing or anything to that effect, but if citing sources was all that important, blanket claims such as this one couldn’t be made in the first place anyway. However, contrary to this here “blasting” of the Republicans, there are many examples of Republicans who have no problem with homosexuals or homosexuality and have no problem letting that be known. Dick Cheney, anyone?
Leave them be.
Exactly the Republicans’ point. Quit dredging up homosexuality as some sort of political issue.
If they like to do something that you don't, then let them have the freedom to do that.
Again, my exact point. People make the choice to smoke, and I don’t care. People choose to drink, and I don’t care. People choose to believe in any supreme being they want, or none at all, and I don’t care. People choose to be with someone of their own sex, rather than follow the pattern of nature, and I don’t care. That is not to say that I agree with all or any of these activities. However, I am not actively preaching to you a way to act, and I expect the same in return.
I've seen pastors preach about tolerance and blast gays in the same sermon.
Well, as this goes on, I become more and more curious about the meaning of “blasting.” I can safely assert that this individual never once saw a pastor in the years and years I knew him, but even still, I am willing to bet that the pastors in question said that homosexuality is a sin. And, of course, said pastors would be correct, since that is what the Bible says. If you don’t like the tenets of Christianity, that is your choice. However, it is NOT your place to tell Christians what they can and cannot believe. All these pastors also preach to “love the sinner yet hate the sin.” Homosexuality is viewed as a sin, but homosexuals are people in need of guidance, just like everyone else.
I'm not gay but it pisses me off how just because they don't get arroused at the same things other people do, that makes them unbearable.
I could repeat everything I just said, but what would be the point? Apparently, though, our author friend is holding tight to the belief that if you cannot make a point, don’t make it over and over and over.
I'm going to be just as intolerant and say that anyone who is against gay rights in any way secretly thought of butt fucking the Jesus statue hanging in the front of the church on sundays. No, Jesus doesn't need another 9 inch nail anywhere, sicko.
Wow! We sure go out with a bang. Does anything in those sentences make sense? No. It isn’t even intolerance to just make a wild and unfounded accusation about a group of people. At least hate them or something; that would prove your intolerance. And, of course, no idiotic rant would be complete without some blasphemous remarks out of left field. I guess the thought is crazy non sequiturs like this will confuse you and shock you so much that you would ignore the incoherent hateful ramblings in the above paragraph. Better luck next time.

Oh, and with the pitiful way that you actually penned these “thoughts” I am sure the pro-homosexual lobby would rather do without your support. And we wonder why the government finally thought it might be a good idea to hold the schools accountable to certain standards as far as mathematics and language are concerned.

North Korea Has Missles; How About Nukes?

On Eve of Talks, North Korea Thought to Test Missile

If you can't stomach the NYT (who can?):
North Korea apparently launched a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan today, raising tensions on the eve of a United Nations conference on nuclear nonproliferation.

Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, confirmed that a missile appeared to have been fired into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency, warned Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea had the ability to mount a nuclear-tipped missile on a long-range missile able to strike the United States.

His comments caught some senators by surprise, and Pentagon officials later sought to soften Admiral Jacoby's prognosis.

Mr. Card, asked today if Kim Jong Il could field nuclear-tipped long-range missiles, said, "We don't know that he can, but there is increasing evidence of capability."
There is the meat of the article. North Korea has or is close to having missles that could reach the United States. They may have nuclear capability. Kim Jong Il is a desperate tyrant and I don't think he'd shy away from causing a crisis: what does his impoverished, backward country have to lose?

Can we get missle defense yet? PLEASE?

I Told You So

Kramnik to shun FIDE championship

Vladimir Kramnik has nothing to gain by participating in FIDE's charade, and for once he actually has a case for ducking a strong tournament (that's not to say he's not motivated by fear...). The FIDE championship will be played with a bad format for comparatively little money, so no one has a great motivation in playing - if you win, you have a title that most people don't consider a worthwhile world champion title anyway. Players would risk a loss of rating points and a substantial interruption to their schedules for a title manifestly not worth the effort...and the money's pathetic to boot. FIDE doesn't even know where it's having the tournament, and the whole thing sounds profoundly amateur.

But besides that, Kramnik has a world champion title. It's not FIDE's, but it's a title, and he agreed to play for the unified world championship under very specific terms. FIDE's newest debacle of a world championship wasn't in the deal, and Kramnik rightly refuses to play.

In other words, Kasparov retired and Kramnik won't play for FIDE's title. The top rated player and one of the two players with a world champion title (Kasimdzhanov has the FIDE title for now) aren't playing. If you don't mind, I'll avoid watching the FIDE championship this year - there's probably better chess on Yahoo.