Friday, July 29, 2005

Urban Legends is the place on the web where urban legends are proved true or false. They get some odd (bizarre!) questions sent to them.

Check them out: IS IT TRUE PEARLS BRING SADNESS ??? Warning: You will laugh.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This Kinda Says It All

From the AP:

WASHINGTON - The House by a wide margin approved a mammoth energy plan for the nation Thursday that sends billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to energy companies, but is expected to do little to reduce U.S. oil consumption or dampen high energy prices, at least in the short term.

“This is a good bill for America,” declared Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, a key author of the legislation. “It is for America’s future.”
He later added, "By the way, I'm rolling in money thanks to bribes from big energy companies!! Hoo Hoo Hah Hah Hah." Barton then turned into a bat and flew away before answering any further questions.

It says a lot about Republicans... well, er... all of Congress, when, in the midst of an energy crisis (high gas prices, big talk about dependence on foreign oil), and a huge deficit, our leaders are more concerned with making sure the CEO's of big oil and electric companies get to keep their Porsches. And have some money left over to buy some for their kids.

"Daddy, I want two Porshes!!!"

"Hold on, son, daddy's on the phone arranging payment to a congressman."

It's sick stuff. Here we have congressmen taking trips to London to meet rich Saudis and then they come back $30,000 richer. ("I won it gambling," Rep. Bob Ney says.) And meanwhile, they pass a new bill that provides $2.7 billion for oil and gas, $3.1 billion for electric utilities, $2.9 billion for the coal industry.

$2.9 billion for the coal industry!!!!!

I thought we were supposed to be developing NEW energy sources. Is Congress crazy??

Well, they did "authorize" $10 million to promote bicycle riding.

Which is what we all may need to do if this sh*t continues.


P.S. Speaking of Senators who take suspicious trips... Tom DeLay has some 'splainin to do about the energy bill as well: 1.5 billion slipped into bill for DeLay

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I've Created A Dialogue!

MSNBC's Alterman posts responses to Yours Truly's comments from yesterday. This is exciting!

Name: William
Hometown: Lansing, MI

...Second, to Adam from New York, New York; while I agree that affirmative action is a redress for past wrongs, how is it a proper redress when some of whom it benefits are affluent African Americans? Does that help those that need it? Rather, shouldn't any affirmative action be based upon the relative economic standing of the person, rather then their skin color? For example, when and if Tiger Woods has a child, that child may be just as eligible for affirmative action as an African American child from the inner city. Do we think that Tiger's future child needs affirmative action?
Interesting point. And a valid one. We should be helping out the poor, regardless of skin color. And certainly, affirmative action could be helping out wealthy African-Americans. Although, I'd be interested in seeing a study that shows this phenomenon. I can't imagine that wealthy African Americans are in a position to take advantage of affirmative action. If they're wealthy, they're not looking for an affirmative action aided job, no?

Name: Brad
Hometown: Arlington,VA

Dr. Alterman,
Your respondent Adam insists that affirmative action is necessary to overcome the social and economic disparity caused by decades of slavery. While I agree with Adam that there are serious social issues that give rise to the concept of affirmative action, I was attempting to direct the argument to the fact that the constitutional basis of it is flawed, or at least worthy of serious debate. The question of constitutionality cannot be simply dismissed because there are deep-seated social issues involved. A small point of order, I do not support the party of Strom Thurmond, nor do I support the party of Robert Byrd. Conservative only equates with Republicans in the minds of ideologues (on both sides) who can't or won't accept independent thought. I suggest Adam do a little research on who filibustered a great deal of the civil rights legislation during and before the movement. It might be eye-opening.
As far as a constitutional basis for affirmative action goes, I look at Article IV, Section II, which states, "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." This article of the constitution was amended by the 13th amendment, ending slavery. Meaning, that the article, in general, grants equal rights to all citizens, under the law. However, it is important to note the language here. "Privileges" is a key word. As viewed in the light of the Civil Rights Act and the 14th amendment, those privileges are more broadly defined. Congress cannot make a law denying these equal rights. The 14th amendment, furthermore, adds "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"-- the infamous "equal protection" clause. If societal and economic forces in America force an imbalance of rights, then the affected citizens are denied their "entitlement" granted by Article IV, Section II. Doing nothing to remedy this is akin to not enforcing the law... in other words, not "protecting" all citizens equally-- breaking the 14th Amendment. The question up for discussion is, does the law merely bind the government to creating the opportunity for equality, or does the law give the government the responsibility to create (or "protect") equality? So I agree that it's up for constitutional debate. But don't say there's no, or little basis, which is what Brad originally implied. The constitution is not deep, in fact, it's pretty vague (I would argue, on purpose). It's up to the courts, the lawmakers, and the people to define the specifics the constitution doesn't get into. (Spoken like a true liberal)

As for the Strom Thurmond thing, yeah, it was a cheap dig. We got bigots on our side too. Sorry Brad.
Boy Scouts Terror Organization, Says Con Host


Racists Love Bad Analogies

A Washington talk radio host, Michael "I Put the Con in Conservative" Graham, angered Muslims with some comments on his radio show that could be interpreted as, well, slightly prejudiced...

"Islam is a terrorist organization"
Then, defending his comments...

"If the Boy Scouts of America had 1,000 Scout troops, and 10 of them practiced suicide bombings, then the BSA would be considered a terrorist organization. If the BSA refused to kick out those 10 troops, that would make the case even stronger. If people defending terror repeatedly turned to the Boy Scout handbook and found language that justified and defended murder --and the scoutmasters responded by saying 'Could be' -- the Boy Scouts would have been driven out of America long ago.

"Today, Islam has whole sects and huge mosques that preach terror. Its theology is openly used to give the murderers their motives. Millions of its members give these killers comfort. The question isn't how dare I call Islam a terrorist organization, but rather why more people do not."
Wow. Talk about your insane, illogical rants. Let's dissect this, one bizarre statement at a time.

First of all, 10 out of 1,000, for those of you not good at math, is 1%. So by Graham's logic, is 1% of a group does something, the entire group is guilty of doing the same thing as well.

One percent of the Texas population is in prison(according to 1999 statistics). Since George W. Bush lives in Texas... he must be... gasp! A criminal!!!!! How'd he get out!!!??

One percent of all homes are worth over 1 million dollars. You know what that means... you guessed it, YOUR HOUSE IS WORTH OVER ONE MILLION BUCKAROOS!! Time to sell baby!!!!!

((Yes, I "Googled" "One percent."))

Obviously, we wouldn't consider the above statements to be true (except maybe the Bush being a criminal part).

As far as "kicking someone out" of a religion... how exactly do you go about that? I mean, yeah, the pope excommunicated some folks back in the day, but how do you stop a guy from practicing religion? Assuming you knew a guy was a terrorist, perhaps you could refuse to let him enter the mosque. But can you stop him from practicing his religion? Could you stop abortion clinic and Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph from practicing his unique brand of blow-em-up Christianity?

Boy Scout Motto: Be prepared.


I interpret this as "Be prepared... to KILL!!!!" The vagueness of "Be prepared," certainly lends itself to that interpretation. Of course, so does "Eye for an Eye." That of course, appears in our bible, and dozens of other passages used by extremists to justify everything from genocide to slavery. How many ultra-conservative preachers are there who say "Could Be" to these interpretations? They've spoken out in defense of Rudolph and other abortion clinic bombers, and want homosexuals ("sodomites!") to be executed.

A recent poll showed, yes, millions of people in Muslim countries (mainly Jordan and Pakistan) support terror. But millions more, the vast majority, do not. There are Christians like Rudolph, Timothy McVeigh, and others who have blown up Americans. It was a Jew who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was Karl Rove who leaked the name of a CIA agent, undermining the war against terror. It was American officials who leaked the name of a terrorist double agent, hurting our intelligence efforts and possibly letting the London bombings occur. The Communists put Falun Gong followers in tiny torture cages. We photograph Muslims naked and flush Korans down the toilet. Christians have burned crosses and hung people for the color of their skin. Jews have launched missiles into civilian neighborhoods, killing children. Muslims have bombed discos. Christians have bombed abortion clinics. I don't know much about the activities of the Buddhists, but some of Richard Gere's movies could be considered terrorist attacks.

The point is, terror comes in many forms, from many different religions. As long as innocent people die for someone else's questionable cause, the definition of terror will always be defined by the victims. The people who attacked us on September 11th were Muslims, but it's important to recognize that some of those who died in the towers that morning were Muslims as well. Some of our soldiers in Iraq right now are Muslim. Islam is not a terror organization. Al Queda is. Hamas is. The Muslims would say Mossad is, the Conservatives think the ACLU, and Greenpeace are.

Analogies are fine on the SATs. But too often, people using them to make a point come out sounding stupid. Michael Graham, conservative talk show hosts everywhere, take heed.
How Do You Stress Out A Worm?

Do they surround it with birds? Dangle fish hooks in front of it? Force it to watch a speech by President Bush? A perfect example of unanswered questions in a news story. Lazy journalism!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Hell Yeah, I'm Smart

My letter to good guy blogger Eric Alterman is posted, in part, on his MSNBC blog today. How exciting! I was responding to a contributor's comment that affirmative action is well... as "Brad" put it, "a perversion of MLK Jr.'s dream." In other words, he states that affirmative action is somehow unfair, to both white and black people alike. I argue differently. You can go to the blog and read my genius comments.

Ironically, my Dad and his partner argued against affirmative action in a fairly high profile case where a black schoolteacher got a job over a white schoolteacher. It's a complex issue. I certainly wouldn't be too happy if I lost my job, or didn't get one, because I was the wrong color. But who am I to complain? My ancestors weren't whipped and forced to pick cotton for over two hundred years. (Well... we were forced to build the pyramids, but we already got our payback for that. Ten plagues anyone?)

Plus, if my background was equal to the black person who got my job, then its my own damn fault I didn't do better than him and seal the deal. I bet the black guy worked a lot harder to get the similar resume I got.

The bottom line is, we white people benefitted from affirmative action for hundreds of years. The jobs went to us, and not black people, simply because of the color of their skin. If the current form of affirmative action can help erase this inequality, we have to deal with it. There will be a time when affirmative action isn't necessary. But we haven't reached it yet. It hasn't even been 50 years since the civil rights movement. It's too soon to stop being proactive.

Anyways, enjoy my name appearing on MSNBC. Hopefully it won't be the last of my brilliant comments to warrant attention.

UPDATE: Perhaps I'm not smart after all. I just realized I used "site" instead of "cite." Mom, I'm sorry.


Sunday, July 24, 2005


Number of American soldiers killed in the Iraq war +1.

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