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July 30, 2007

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Two weeks worth of good stuff:

Iron Fist #7 - I thought this was pretty good until min showed me otherwise. I thought it would be cool, kind of like a Sandman thing, for them to tell stories of Iron Fists throughout the ages. I thought the story was interesting but that it ended kind of abruptly. I liked it over all. Then min showed me that the book had three different artists (i need to start paying more attention to the art), and the one who did the last half of the book was just terrible.

Mighty Avengers #4 - No help with the New Avengers continuity issue here, but this is still a good one. Poor Sentry. Does anyone remember seeing the Sentry's wife in World War Hulk? That would help with placement. Ugh, there i go talking about continuity issues instead of doing a review again. Hey, it was good, what can i say?

Captain America #28 - I love Sin's Serpent Squad although i think she's been a little loose with the snake theme. I mean, she's not dressed like a snake at all and another guy on the team is an Eel. Eh, she's an anarchist, so i guess i shouldn't expect attention to detail. The rest of this issue was great as well. I was a bit surprised to see Sharon Carter vamping a bit on the rooftop with Falcon. That's not like her. Is this the start of a Sam/Sharon romance? A bit soon after Cap's death, no? Update: It turns out the Eel was a founding member of the original Serpent Squad. My bad!

Amazing Spider-Man #542 - great way to resolve the Kingpin conflict without having Spidey actually kill. Decent story. While i've enjoyed JMS's run on ASM, it's time for him to move on.

Super-Villain Team-Up #1 - Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaah! MODOK! Nicely done, and even a line making sure the Armadillo's chronology is in order.

Quasar #1 - This has the unfortunate distinction of being the first comic in this pile that i read, so even though i remember it being Very Good, min had to remind me what happened in it. The one thing i'll say is that something happened along the way with the Super-Adaptoid. Intially he could absorb the powers of anyone he was in the vicinity of. Now he's just got the powers of the early Avengers. I guess it's a good thing for Quasar, though. Oh i just remembered: i really like the idea that the quantum bands are somehow corrupted because Annihilus wore them.

Starlord #1 - Similar to Super-Villain Team-Up in the sense that it is mining the backwaters of Marvel continuity in order to make a motley team. This one went for the truly bizarre, though. Groot? Now i have to go back and update the historical significance rating of Tales To Astonish #13. "First appearance of Groot". Rocket Racoon was great, too, and i've always loved the *tic* Bug. Very well written, too.

WWH: X-Men #2 - good god, someone get Gage an X-book permanently. Better yet, make him the main X-Men writer. I haven't enjoyed the X-Men this much in years (Sorry Morrison and Whedon, but it's true), and he does an awesome job of filling me in with these new people i'm not familiar with, and making me like them. And what he did with the Juggernaut, in like 3 panels, was just fantastic. Plus: super cool fight scene.

Iron Man #20 - Only problem with this is i think Dugan already ran SHIELD for a while after the last time Fury 'died'. Maybe not. I'm having conflicting memories of it being him and/or G.W. Bridge. But still, this was excellent (oh, and it's Gage again). I loved Dum Dum bringing in the agents that have had experience with the Hulk and getting their analysis and then making a decision. Unfortunately it's Iron Man's book so we had a little bit of a Deus Ex where the final decision was made by Stark but i still thought it was a great look at a guy who's been in a permanent #2 spot suddenly being put in charge.

Hulk #108 - Some unnecessary water treading, although is it possibly showing that the Hulk is being manipulated by the Rick Jones analogue (perhaps without the bug even knowing it)? I'm confused and annoyed by all the bug people, as evidenced by my refusal to learn their names. And was Gary Frank only drawing the one issue? Oh well.

World War Hulk #2 - This, on the other hand, rocked. I like how it looks as though Rick or the Sentry (but not She-Hulk) could potentially have reached the Hulk through his rage but Illuminati members screwed up the chances of that. Beyond that, great fights!


By fnord12 | July 30, 2007, 10:01 AM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link



July 27, 2007

Dems showing spine?

Harry Reid wrote a letter to the Washington Post:

On reading the July 21 editorial "The Phony Debate," it became clear why The Post's editorial writers have been such eager cheerleaders for the Bush administration's flawed Iraq policies -- the two share the same disregard for the facts en route to drawing dubious conclusions.

The editorial was an inaccurate commentary on the nature of the Senate debate, the reality in Iraq and the president's stubborn adherence to failed policies.

Your editorial wrongly asserted that "a large majority of senators from both parties favor a shift in the U.S. mission." While a majority of the Senate voted again last week for a plan that would keep U.S. forces in Iraq for counterterrorism and troop protection and launch a diplomatic effort to help stabilize the region, Democrats were joined by only a handful of courageous Republicans -- far from a majority of Republicans and not enough to break the Republican leadership's filibuster. And if the president truly supports changing course, as your editorial implied, he needs to do much more than tell us "it's a position I'd like to see us in" -- he must drop his irresponsible veto threats and tell Republican leaders to stop blocking votes on proposals to carry out this change.

Finally, it was disingenuous to assert that Democrats are using Iraq to stir voters' passions; the American people are sufficiently disappointed on their own. Three-quarters of Americans recognize that the war is going badly, three out of five support further funding only if it includes a timetable for transitioning the mission, and nearly all expect their president to work with Congress to do something to change course.

More like this please. I sent him an encouraging email.


By fnord12 | July 27, 2007, 12:46 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link



Wikipedia tells me everything

I've got a number of blues songs that mention "John the Conqueroo". For years i wondered, who is John the Conqueroo? Now i know.

P.S. Nowadays, "I can make love to you, woman, in five minutes time" isn't something you'd want to brag about.


By fnord12 | July 27, 2007, 12:05 PM | Music | Comments (1) | Link



July 26, 2007

I am in a dark place

I am likely to be eaten by a grue.


By fnord12 | July 26, 2007, 9:31 AM | My stupid life | Comments (3) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

In League With Satan by Venom

I'm in league with Satan I was raised in Hell
I walk the streets of Salem
Amongst the living dead
I need no one to tell me
What's wrong or right
I drink the blood of children
Stalk my prey at night

Look out! Beware!
When the full moon's high n'bright
In every way I'm there
In every shadow in the night

Cause I'm evil in league with Satan
Evil in league with Satan
I'm in league with Satan
Obey his commands

With the goat of Mendes
Sitting at his left hand
I'm in league with Satan
I love the dead
No one prayed for Sodom
As the people fled

I'm in league with Satan
I am the Master's own
I drink the juice of women
As they lie alone

I'm in league with Satan
I bear the Devil's mark
I kill the new born baby
Tear the infant's flesh


By fnord12 | July 26, 2007, 8:45 AM | Music| Link



July 25, 2007

Vegans Using A Much More Effective Strategy

I've long claimed that PETA must secretly work for the meat industry. Their radical, attention getting campaigns often seem designed to widen the rift between animal rights activists and the average person - burning effigies of Colonel Sanders, handing out Unhappy Meals full of torn up and bloodied stuffed animals, writing letters to Timothy McVeigh to convert to veganism before his execution - rather than increasing awareness of the inhumane conditions farm animals are subjected to. No reasonable person would expect to do this kind of stuff and expect anyone to be in the least interested in anything they might have to say afterwards, regardless of the truth of the message.

It's either this or they're just not very good strategists and also a bunch of freaks.

However, at long last, some shred of sense has surfaced from other groups.

Farm Sanctuary and other groups still know how to make the most of gory slaughterhouse footage from hidden cameras. The animals they call "rescued" -- some abandoned, some saved from natural disasters, some left for dead at slaughterhouses -- clearly started life as someone else's property.

But in recent years they have adopted more subtle tactics, like holding stock in major food corporations, organizing nimble political campaigns and lobbying lawmakers.

...

They don't demonize meat -- with the exception of foie gras and veal -- or the people who produce it. Instead, they use softer rhetoric, focusing on a campaign even committed carnivores can get behind: better conditions for farm animals.
...

"Instead of telling it like it is, we're learning to present things in a more moderate way," Baur said. "When it comes to this vegan ideal, that's an aspiration. Would I love everyone to be vegan? Yes. But we want to be respectful and not judgmental."
...

Temple Grandin, the animal science expert from Colorado State University who first led McDonald's executives on a tour of their suppliers' slaughterhouses, believes that activists had plenty of impact on changes in how farm animals are cared for.

"Activist pressure starts it because heat softens steel," she said.

Tank goff.


By min | July 25, 2007, 1:18 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link



GE Greenwash?

GE is going to offer a credit card where instead of the 1% cash back rebate, you earmark that money for use towards greenhouse gas reducing projects. It's called the GE Money Earth Rewards Platinum MasterCard.

GE will keep a running tally of the amounts, and each Earth Day it will use the total to buy offsets of greenhouse gas emissions. The offsets will be purchased by GE AES Greenhouse Gas Services, a joint venture between GE Energy Financial Services and AES, a power company.
...
"It's ironic," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network. "GE supplies parts for coal-fired plants, so its credit card offsets emissions it helps create."

Others worry about more direct conflicts of interest. At the new card's Web site, myearthrewards.com, consumers can calculate their carbon footprint and read tips for reducing it, like buying compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances, items that GE sells. GE is also a big player in carbon offset projects, both directly as an investor and indirectly as a maker of wind turbines and other alternative energy devices.

Kevin Walsh, managing director for renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services, said GE was supporting only projects that were certified by third parties to be effective and that would not have happened without carbon offsets.

The GE joint venture will buy offsets from projects that capture methane from landfills and coal mines, adding reforestation and alternative energy projects later.

...

GE is keeping everything about the card as green as possible. It is spurning paper applications, insisting that people apply online or by phone. Although by law it must send paper bills when asked, it is encouraging cardholders to receive and pay their bills online. It plans no direct mail.

While i agree with the environmentalists who are skeptical of GE's motives and methods, i also think that when companies do stuff like this, we should encourage them so that they continue to do so. If something's profitable, they will do it. That's what a corporation's all about. Making profit. Also, when a big company does something like this successfully, it can lead to others following suit. That's the whole point of targeting a company like Coca-Cola. Yeah, it's more than likely that every other soda company is doing the same awful things Coke is doing, but if you push Coke to make the change, it will influence how the smaller brands choose to operate.

I've got the cash back gas card from Discover right now. It's always a good idea when you get the company to give you money. But now i'll have to seriously consider making a switch.


By min | July 25, 2007, 10:25 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link



July 23, 2007

Marvel Sales

June


By fnord12 | July 23, 2007, 4:23 PM | Comics| Link



You people have been holding out on me

You know i love Mystery Science Theater. Why didn't you tell me about this?

In recent years MST3K head writer and longtime performer Michael J. Nelson has resurrected the show's comedic sensibility through RiffTrax (http://www.rifftrax.com/). These are MP3 commentary tracks, written and performed by Nelson and often some of his former MST3K cohorts, mocking various movies. For an inexpensive fee, you can download a RiffTrax MP3 from the site, and then play it on your computer or iPod or whatever while watching a DVD of the film that is RiffTrax's chosen victim. When the MP3 and the DVD are properly synchronized, the comments by Nelson and his colleagues will pop up in between lines of dialogue in the film that is under attack.

Since this format doesn't require obtaining the rights to the film being skewered, Nelson and company have been able to move upward to a better, bigger budget class of bad movies to heckle.

Found on one of Peter Sanderson's weekly columns. He also gives a great review of Lee & Kirby's original Galactus trilogy and compares it to the FF sequel (It doesn't hold up).


By fnord12 | July 23, 2007, 4:21 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (1) | Link



Space Junk

Link:

[Astronaut] Clayton Anderson... heaved a 1,400-pound, refrigerator-size ammonia tank away from the station. His first toss was a 200-pound camera mounting.
...
NASA normally tries to avoid adding to the orbiting junkyard, but officials felt they had no choice in this case. The equipment had to be removed, and because of a looming 2010 deadline for ending all shuttle flights, NASA does not have room on its remaining missions to return the tank to Earth.

More garbage floating around the earth. But that second paragraph, about no more shuttle flights, makes me sad.


By fnord12 | July 23, 2007, 12:50 PM | Science| Link



July 21, 2007

Transformers

I had low expectations for this movie and those expectations were met, so i wasn't actually disappointed in it. The robots had features that resembled bugs more than the blocky robots from the cartoon i loved but they got the transforming sound pretty close and they looked generally ok. Ofc, because of their bug-like faces, it was hard to distinguish one Decepticon from another.

However, i had 2 major issues with the movie.

***SPOILER***

1) why why why why why were there Decepticons that transformed into cars? Everybody knows that Autobots are the cars and Decepticons are planes. Duh.

and

2) what is the deal with all the humans? i'm not interested in the story about the Secretary of Defense trapped in a bunker with the computer nerds. i'm not interested in the Marines running around the city shooting ineffectively at the giant robots. i'm here to watch a movie about GIANT ROBOTS KICKING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER. as Wanyas at SuperMegaDio points out, if there's going to be a fight between giant robot leaders, you should show the fight. and most definitely from a pulled back, wide shot, not a partial view thru the window of an SUV. gah!!

***END SPOILER***

Now, the important question is should i order the Chinese boxset of the entire series now or should i wait til it's released piecemeal in the U.S. and watch them when they're available on Netflix, knowing that the cartoon is prolly awful (but i just didn't notice when i was a kid)?


By min | July 21, 2007, 12:30 AM | Movies | Comments (4) | Link



July 20, 2007

Pray he does not alter them further.

Bush alters rules for interrogations.

Best line:

The White House declined to say whether the CIA currently has a detention and interrogation program, but said if it did, it must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the executive order.

Bush then goes on to offer exactly no details behind the change (i.e., is waterboarding allowed?). This is not news, people. There is nothing of substance here. This is propaganda. Stop reporting on it.


By fnord12 | July 20, 2007, 2:51 PM | Liberal Outrage & Star Wars| Link



We are the robots

Took this personality defect test (You have to sign up for some dating service or something to see the results, so only do it if you're really, really bored at work, ok?). My results seemed to be in alignment with certain criticisms i've heard over the years. Click here to see my results.


By fnord12 | July 20, 2007, 2:23 PM | My stupid life | Comments (1) | Link



More Webcomics for you

From the "Keeping You Occupied at Work" Department: Jesus and Mo


By fnord12 | July 20, 2007, 1:15 PM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link



For All You Fantastic Chiropractors Who Aren't Dio

The owner of a Rogers chiropractic clinic doesn't offer drive-through services, it just seems that way. For the second time in four months -- and the third time since setting up shop -- Bob Ziegler has had a motorist drive into his clinic.

"I'm just thankful there were no patients in the waiting room," said Ziegler, owner of the Ziegler Chiropractic Clinic. "If it had happened five or 10 minutes later, there would have been patients sitting in the waiting room."

Wednesday's accident was the second this year. In both instances, the vehicles were driven by elderly women "totally embarrassed" by the accidents, Ziegler said. The women were not ticketed. Rogers Police Lt. Mike Johnson said officers have the discretion to not write tickets when cars hit buildings.

Ziegler said that when his office was in Prairie Creek in 1995 or 1996, a car ran into that clinic, too.

No injuries were reported. Ziegler said he would talk to his landlord about erecting barriers in front of the clinic to stop cars.

Link


By min | July 20, 2007, 12:59 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link



You Know What's a Good Word?

Troika. Troika is a very good word. Say it. Isn't it a good word? It is.

troi ka [troi-kuh] -noun
  1. 1. a Russian carriage, wagon, or sleigh drawn by a team of three horses abreast.
  2. 2. a team of three horses driven abreast.
  3. 3. any group of three persons, nations, etc., acting equally in unison to exert influence, control, or the like.
[Origin: 1835-45;

By min | July 20, 2007, 11:35 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (2) | Link



Big Brain Academy and other assorted Wii rants

Wanyas recently got us Big Brain Academy for our birfdays and it's a really good game. EXCEPT for the mulitplayer aspect. First of all, like Wario Warez, AND Raymond's Raving Rabbits AND baseball on Wii Sports, the games aren't truely multiplayer. You take turns playing the games, passing the stupid controller back and forth (which means you aren't wearing your safety strap!). I don't know why anyone would make that decision, but with so many games acting the same way, i can only assume it is a deliberate attempt to make me feel hated.

But Big Brain Academy went a step further. In order to play the game with your Mii, you have to enroll yourself as a student. Generally we've had our friends first take the exam and get their brains measured as a way to familiarize themselves with the mini-games before playing "multiplayer". But then we found out that you can only have 8 students enrolled at one time. Which meant in order for my 8th friend to play, we would have had to delete someone else's record. What the hell?

Oh, and Super Paper Mario had way too much "plot" and not nearly enough arcade action, and Red Steel gets pretty repetitious after the 3rd level. And the mini-games in Monkey Ball suck and/or are impossible to control.

Looks good on you, though.


By fnord12 | July 20, 2007, 10:01 AM | Video Games | Comments (2) | Link



Metroid

They should make a Metroid game that's exactly like this Zelda game i'm playing on the Wii except more open ended. And then i could play it.


By fnord12 | July 20, 2007, 10:00 AM | Video Games| Link



July 19, 2007

The Vegan Death we all deserve

Atrios:

I'm really trying to figure out why the fact that Dennis Kucinich is a vegan is relevant to the story of his getting food poisoning. It's an innocuous detail, but it is basically there to imply some sort of contrast or irony. I don't know why Dennis Kucinich is a vegan, but I doubt "because it'll make me less likely to get food poisoning" is especially high on the list of motivations. Poorly washed and contaminated vegetables are a common culprit in food poisoning cases, including e. coli.

For the record, I eat everything, including Panda veal.


By fnord12 | July 19, 2007, 2:22 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link



Kids! Preserve Your Stickiness!

"You have to look at why sex was created," Eric Love, the director of the East Texas Abstinence Program, which runs Virginity Rules, said one day, the sounds of Christian contemporary music humming faintly in his Longview office. "Sex was designed to bond two people together."

To make the point, Love grabbed a tape dispenser and snapped off two fresh pieces. He slapped them to his filing cabinet and the floor; they trapped dirt, lint, a small metal bolt. "Now when it comes time for them to get married, the marriage pulls apart so easily," he said, trying to unite the grimy strips. "Why? Because they gave the stickiness away."
[emphasis mine]

Link


By min | July 19, 2007, 1:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link



The Plot Thickens

The cardboard pork buns thing -- all a lie.

Or mebbe the government is saying the reporter made it up in order to protect their already ailing food safety image. Hmmm...

However, according to Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, food safety is a problem in both developed and developing countries. But at least China's politically motivated to do something about it right now.


By min | July 19, 2007, 12:39 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link



Don't tell min

I've always been in love with Ladybug from Digable Planets. I've never seen her other than a few black and white photos on Allmusic, but her voice from her all-too-brief-and-infrequent appearances on the Digable Planets albums is just perfect - mellow but tough with a cadence that bounced so well over the Planet's funky jazz beats. Unfortunately she was just on those two albums and never did anything else. But i just found out that in 2005 she released a solo album!


By fnord12 | July 19, 2007, 10:59 AM | Music | Comments (3) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden

I'm waiting in my cold cell when the bell begins to chime
Reflecting on my past life and it doesn't have much time
'cause at 5 o'clock they take me to the gallows pole
The sands of time for me are running loooooooooooooo-
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow

Running loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! YEAH!

When the priest comes to read me the last rites
I take a look through the bars at the last sights
Of a world that has gone very wrong for me

Can it be there's some sort of error
Hard to stop the surmounting terror
Is it really the end, not some crazy dream?

Somebody please tell me that I'm dreaming
It's not easy to stop from screaming
But words escape me when I try to speak
Tears flow but why am I crying
After all I'm not afraid of dying
Don't I believe that there never is an end

As the guards march me out to the courtyard
Someone cries from a cell, "God be with you."
If there's a God, why does he let me go?

As I walk, my life drifts before me
Though the end is near I'm not sorry
Catch my soul, its willing to fly away

Mark my words, believe my soul lives on
Don't worry now that I have gone
I've gone beyond to seek the truth

When you know that your time is close at hand
Maybe then you'll begin to understand
Life down here is just a strange illusion.

Yeah-eeeyeah-eeyeah
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Yeah-eeeyeah-eeyeah
Hallowed Be Thy Naaaaaaaaaaaaaa-
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame

Yeah-aaaaah-oooooooo-ooooh


By fnord12 | July 19, 2007, 9:00 AM | Music| Link



July 18, 2007

A Little Extra Something

Have you examined your life and figured out why it is you've never been accidentally shipped free money?


By min | July 18, 2007, 2:22 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link



British Courts Doffing Their Wigs

It's a sad, sad thing indeed. I love those wigs.

Ending (at least for now) a long, hot debate over whether and how to modernize and simplify the elaborate standards of formal court dress, Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, decided to dispense with the wigs and with court robes entirely in all civil and family cases, and to simplify them in criminal court.

Also gone will be the especially elaborate full-bottomed wigs worn on ceremonial occasions; the smaller, cheaper and much less uncomfortable bob wigs that will still be worn in criminal trials will do. And a single, simple robe design will replace the five different sets of formal robes that judges had to maintain for different court sittings and times of year.

The white, curly horsehair wigs have been in use in court since the 1600's, when they were fashionable in society as well, and they long ago became the visible emblem of the British legal system. The Times of London reports that they remain popular with the public, and especially with defendants, who are said to favor being represented by "a proper lawyer with a wig."

Some feel that the wigs are elitist, emphasizing the distinction between solicitors and barristers. I just love them because they're British.


By min | July 18, 2007, 10:33 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link



Whoodwin
Gamera vs.Blastoise vs. Bowser
Gamera Blastoise Bowser


Yep, a three-way all-turtle Whoodwin.


By fnord12 | July 18, 2007, 9:33 AM | Whoodwin| Link



Avengers continuity snafu

The current story arc in Mighty Avengers has the team forming and immediately having to go out and deal with a Mole Man incident. As they first respond to the Mole Man monster, they mention the fact that they hadn't even had time for a training mission before going on active duty. That threat directly morphs into the Ultron story with no rests in-between.

However, in New Avengers, the underground team has been pursued by the Mighty Avengers. I assumed that those NA issues simply took place after the initial Mighty Avengers arc. But in the most recent issue of New Avengers, they are affected by an EMP generated by Ultron, meaning that the current NA story takes place simultaneously with the Ultron story.

So there is no time for the Mighty Avengers to fight the New Avengers after they've formed but before they face Ultron.

That's a real mess. This isn't geeky "Why doesn't Banana Man remember that he can defeat the Flaming Artichoke by funneling mustard gas through his loin cloth, like he did in Tales of Anticipation #13?" continuity. This is very basic "where are your characters" continuity that any writer of fiction needs to keep track of. And if Bendis (who i love), the writer of both books, slips up, why doesn't his editor Tom Brevoort (who i also love) catch something like that?

Hopefully this will be resolved somehow. Is there time in the Mighty Avengers story where they can go after the New Avengers that i missed somehow (the issues are currently in the borrowing chain)? Does Ultron release a second EMP in a future issue of MA? Were the Mighty Avengers in the New Avengers story actually Skrulls?

If there is no answer, i'm gonna have a hard time placing these comics in my collection.


By fnord12 | July 18, 2007, 8:37 AM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link



July 17, 2007

Ineffectual

Power of Narrative:

This past week, the United States Senate passed unanimously -- 97 to 0 -- what amounted to a declaration of war against Iran. A few weeks ago, the House passed a resolution -- 411 to 2 -- that similarly provided an alleged rationale for war against Iran. In this manner, Congress, nominally controlled by the opposition party, has granted the Bush administration advance approval for the commencement of hostilities against Iran. Since the Senate has announced, with no dissenting votes at all, that Iran is itself responsible for acts of war against the United States, and the House has stated, with only two voices in opposition, that Iran is illegally and clandestinely developing nuclear weapons, no prominent Democrat will be able to offer any principled, significant policy objection when Bush announces that the bombs have already begun to fall.
...
Several days ago, I offered some harsh words about the lack of sustained protest to these developments on the part of those who say they are deeply opposed to the current administration. The truth appears to be still worse. In looking over some of the major liberal and progressive blogs last evening and this morning, I see that several of them have not even mentioned the Senate resolution from several days ago. Are these bloggers truly so unintelligent that they fail to see the significance of this action? I don't think so. So what explains this silence? Is it simply that they refuse to criticize the Democrats on a matter of such grave significance? Is their tribal loyalty the value of greatest importance to them?
...
Perhaps people think that nothing they do at this point can alter what seems close to inevitable. It may be that even large-scale, continuing public protest would change nothing -- but we don't know that. Since it hasn't been tried, it is impossible to predict what the effects might be. And permit me to offer a recent example, an instance where activism on the part of a large number of "ordinary" Americans did in fact change an outcome of some significance.

In terms of substance, I view the example as a profoundly unfortunate one, for it has to do with the defeat of the immigration bill. I viewed that bill as a terrible one, but for reasons directly opposed to those offered by its loudest opponents...

...
I listened to a number of conservative talk radio shows during both recent periods when the immigration bill came up for consideration: Limbaugh, Hannity, Al Rantel here in Los Angeles, Mark Levin, and several others. On both occasions, all of the shows talked about the immigration bill all the time. They discussed what they viewed as its inevitable awful results, why it was "unAmerican," how it would destroy our country, and included the other standard rightwing talking points on this subject.

And they all did something else: they told their listeners to call and email people in Congress, and to call and email various Republican organizations, including the Republican National Committee, and to take all these actions repeatedly. They provided phone numbers and email addresses, and they indicated the general message that should be conveyed. They didn't do this only once in one show: they did it throughout their shows, on every show, for over a week both times. The message was unceasing and unrelenting. It was repeated over and over and over. You couldn't listen to one of the major conservative talk shows without hearing it within five minutes of tuning in. It went on all the time.

One part of the message deserves particular note, and all of the shows I heard made the same point: they condemned those Republicans, including Bush, who supported the bill without mercy. They told people to inform the RNC and all the appropriate Congressmen and Senators that they would receive no further support of any kind, including financial support, unless the bill was defeated. In their view, support of the bill was a betrayal of core conservative principles. They therefore maintained that any such alleged "conservatives" did not deserve to be in office. As one, they said that these betrayers of the conservative faith should not hold power any longer -- and that the principles they believed were imperiled were more important than the continuation in power by the Republican party.

As a result of all these shows hammering the identical theme without interruption, in every hour of every show on multiple shows for days at a time, Congress was inundated with calls and messages from deeply angry Republicans. And here is the point to take home: it worked.

...
I also listen to a number of liberal talk shows. Over the last few years, I have never heard anything similar on the liberal shows. Never. Not about the Military Commissions Act, not about the Roberts, Alito or Gonzales nominations, not about ending the immoral and criminal occupation of Iraq -- and not about preventing an attack on Iran.

Not on any of these issues. Never. Nor have I ever seen a similar kind of effort on the liberal and progressive blogs. Never. Every once in a while, the liberal blogs will urge action on perhaps on a single day, maybe two -- and then the issue vanishes until some new development (not brought about by the bloggers themselves) might catapult it into public consciousness again. Such tactics are sporadic, severely limited in time and scope, very infrequent, and completely ineffective.

I hesitate to say that the conservatives who worked so hard to defeat the immigration bill are "serious" about their ideas. That word grants them a stature that is entirely undeserved, particularly since the reasons for their opposition are so viciously ignorant. But I will acknowledge that they care about their ideas and that they are committed to them, in a way that it appears liberals and progressives are not.

With the exception of Kucinich's proposal to defund the Iraq catastrophe entirely, not one of the Democrats' proposed plans for "redeployment" will end the occupation of Iraq: all of them allow for the presence of tens of thousands of American troops into the indefinite future. Do the liberals and progressives have any serious, sustained objection to that? Apparently not.

But much more significantly: do the liberals and progressives seriously object to an attack on Iran? The Congressional Democrats obviously don't. Do the liberal writers and bloggers? To judge from their actions, it doesn't appear they do either -- and certainly not when compared to the recent sustained assault mounted by conservatives.

I can only conclude that most liberals and progressives care only about maintaining and expanding their control and power, and that they are determined not to "rock the boat" too much before 2008.

He may be on the dramatic side, and he's probably discounting the difference in power between the right and left's propaganda machines (and who is behind them) a lot more than he ought to, but i think he's more right than wrong.


By fnord12 | July 17, 2007, 1:45 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link



July 16, 2007

Perspective

People from Western cultures such as the United States are particularly challenged in their ability to understand someone else's point of view because they are part of a culture that encourages individualism, new research at the University of Chicago shows.

In contrast, Chinese, who live in a society that encourages a collectivist attitude among its members, are much more adept at determining another person's perspective, according to a new study.

...

The researchers tested a hypothesis that suggested interdependence would make people focus on others and away from themselves. They did that by having people from the same cultural group pair up and work together to move objects around in a grid of squares placed between them.
...

The Chinese subjects almost immediately focused on the objects the director could see and moved the correct objects. When Americans were asked to move an object and there were two similar objects on the grid, they paused and often had to work to figure out which object the director could not see before moving the correct object. Taking into account the other person's perspective was more work for the Americans, who spent on average about twice as much time completing the moves than did the Chinese.

Even more startling for the researchers was the frequency with which many of the Americans ignored the fact that the director could not see all the objects.

"Despite the obvious simplicity of the task, the majority of American subjects (65 percent) failed to consider the director's pespective at least once during the experiment."

Link

I wouldn't call the results of one test conclusive evidence that Americans just suck at seeing someone else's perspective because of our society, but the results are interesting. Must be all the pork buns*.


*don't worry. i'm sure when they find the guy they'll shoot him in the head and tell all the other food stall owners not to do what the dead guy did and it'll all be fine again. besides, if your pork bun doesn't contain recognizable pieces of meat, it's prolly an inferior product anyway and you shouldn't be eating it. duh. go home and do some more dittos.


By min | July 16, 2007, 2:37 PM | Science| Link



Birfday utensil

spork!

That's pure titanium.


By fnord12 | July 16, 2007, 9:38 AM | My stupid life | Comments (2) | Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

New Avengers 32 - i enjoy all-dialogue issues but i'm sure there will be howls in racmu. Bendis writes a very funny Spider-Man. this Skrull stuff is going to be very cool. i also like the 'casket of ancient winter' type cross-over, with the New Avengers' plane losing power due to events in Mighty. Also means that the Tony Stark that Spider-Woman is taking Elektra-Skrull's body to is currently possessed by Ultron. But if you're dealing with Skrulls, why wouldn't you go to Mr. Fantastic?

Punisher War Journal 9 - ... No really, it's not over yet? This was actually slightly better than the previous issues and has more of the 'Punisher fights Super-Villains' angle (the whole point of this series) since the Hate Monger is using... hee hee... H-Rays, which means he is a real Hate Monger and not just a racist in a costume. But the pacing is still glacial.

Omega Flight 4 - It took 4 issues (out of 5?), but we now have a team. Good full-issue fight scene but action sequences aren't this artist's strong suite (God help me i like Yu's fights better, although Kolins is a better artist overall).

Nova 4 - this was good, but not good enough to make me regret not getting the first three non-Annihilation: Conquest issues. I don't think the Phalanx are being written correctly. They are machines; they would be much more menacing even if they were dispassionate even when they are losing. We shouldn't see them saying things like "Incredible!", and they shouldn't ever use exclamation points.

Wraith 1 - rumors about Wraith actually being ROM don't seem to be based on much. Sure he's got a gun which could be a new type of Neutralizer, but he isn't using it like one. The name obviously could point to some sort of Dire tragedy that happened to the character but scans are showing him as human. And what's with the darkforce-like powers? Dark sorcery? If he's not ROM, I hope there is some sort of twist to this story since it's looking pretty generic right now (i'm down on this writer after the Super-Skrull series so i'm probably being unfair). The Phalanx complaint i had with Nova applies here, too. Moreso, actually.


By fnord12 | July 16, 2007, 9:01 AM | Comics| Link



July 13, 2007

Pope Ratzinger Making Friends

It's good that the new Pope is all about openess and acceptance of others.

Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.
...
The new document restates key sections of a 2000 text the pope wrote when he was prefect of the congregation, "Dominus Iesus," which riled Protestant and other Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the "means of salvation."
...
The other communities "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense" because they do not have apostolic succession -- the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles -- and therefore their priestly ordinations are not valid, it said.

The document said Orthodox churches were indeed "churches" because they have apostolic succession and enjoyed "many elements of sanctification and of truth." But it said they do not recognize the primacy of the pope, a defect, or a "wound" that harmed them, it said.

Link

He's also reinstated Latin masses which certainly makes it all much more ceremonial, but much less comprehensible. Although, i don't know how many people actually are awake during mass anyway.

From 1962-1965, the Roman Catholic Church held a Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) commonly held to be a big step towards building bridges between the Christian religions. Ratzinger was present at the time as a theological consultant. Why in a council full of religious heads you need a theological consultant is beyond me, but there it is.

Now the Pope is saying that people have been completely misinterpreting what Vatican II was really saying. That's completely possible. Most of the speeches were in Latin, ferchrissakes. Who the hell knows what they decided. This is what happens when you don't have a summary of the bulletpoints at the end of every meeting. Everybody starts interpreting the results in their own way.

This has totally peeved off....well, every Christian who isn't Catholic, basically. He's saying they're not real churches and can't really offer anyone salvation. Besides all the religious stuff they're doing "wrong," they don't recognize the power of the Pope. It's lines like that that make me wonder if he and Cheney are related.

I'm sure as far as Catholic law goes, he's completely right. But they're not Catholic. So bugger off.

On the other hand (as pointed out by fnord12), there's all this hoopla by the Protestants over the Pope taking a step backwards from Christian unity, but are they equally outspoken against Pat Robertson and the 700 Club which contantly talks about Catholicism not being a true Christian religion?


By min | July 13, 2007, 8:10 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (9) | Link



July 12, 2007

Random Lyrics Thursday

Binario by Komeda

Good morning, my darling
I'm choking, I'm falling
Easy come easy go
Never thought of it so

My glory is in lack of hope
It is so
Of knowing what has made it so
Where is hope
I know not what they do
I know not what they do

Shame on you
Tomorrow, baby, you do right
Shame on you, loser, you do right
I'm turning it over to do right
(All do right)

I'm human, so are you
I'm choosing, I'm losing
Easy come, easy go
Is this how it will be

My glory is in lack of hope
It is so
Of knowing what has made it so
Where is hopee

Is this how it should be
Is this how it should be
Is this how it should be
Is this how it should be
Is this how it should be
How should it be?



By min | July 12, 2007, 9:10 AM | Music| Link



July 11, 2007

Widows in India Shunned

Found this article CNN had from last week.

Ostracized by society, thousands of India's widows flock to the holy city of Vrindavan waiting to die. They are found on side streets, hunched over with walking canes, their heads shaved and their pain etched by hundreds of deep wrinkles in their faces.

These Hindu widows, the poorest of the poor, are shunned from society when their husbands die, not for religious reasons, but because of tradition -- and because they're seen as a financial drain on their families.

They cannot remarry. They must not wear jewelry. They are forced to shave their heads and typically wear white. Even their shadows are considered bad luck.

...

"My son tells me: 'You have grown old. Now who is going to feed you? Go away,' " she says, her eyes filling with tears.

It's disturbing that a person could say such a thing to anyone, let alone their own mother, and simply because she outlived her husband.

In the U.S., we don't shun our widows. We shun all the old and infirm. We're a more equal opportunity sort of culture.


By min | July 11, 2007, 2:04 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link



July 10, 2007

Contempt for democracy

Carl Levin has proposed legislation that will remove some or most of the troops from Iraq by April 30th, 2008, leaving plenty of the troops still in Iraq to get shot at in a hopeless situation. By absolute standards, this is wimpy legislation, but it's the strongest we've seen so far so i guess i should be glad to see it.

But look at Bush's response:

Rebuffing all such talk, President Bush said he won't succumb to political pressure. During a visit to Parma, Ohio on Tuesday, he reiterated that troop levels in Iraq "will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, D.C."

"I fully understand that this is a difficult war. It's hard on the American people but I will once again explain the consequences of failure," he said.

Two points (and i know none of this is new; just bear with me and let me rant):

  • In a democratic republic, all decisions are made by political "figures", also knows as "representatives", not military leaders. When military leaders make the decisions, that is called a military dictatorship.
  • '*Sigh*. Once again, i will explain to you ignorant peasants the consequences of failure.' This from the dumb stooge who got us into this mess in the first place. The man who doesn't know a Shia from a Sunni is going to lecture me on the consequences of actions in the Middle East?

By fnord12 | July 10, 2007, 1:40 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link



Taking over

Cindy Sheehan is threatening to run against Nancy Pelosi. This is what we need. More challenges from the left. I think she'd have a very good chance.

Update: Don't expect Daily "we support people who call themselves Democrats no matter their views or effectiveness" Kos to support Sheehan if she runs.


By fnord12 | July 10, 2007, 11:57 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link



Sinkholes

"Sinkholes" have always been a problem in the reclaimed swampland of Florida. Now they're opening up in places like Portland, where one swallowed a sewer-repair truck, Brooklyn, N.Y., where firefighters rescued a grandmother who fell into a hole that opened up as she walked down the sidewalk with her groceries and an SUV plunged nose-first into the abyss, and in Hershey, Pa., where a 6-foot-deep hole nearly caused the cancellation of the local New Year's Eve celebration. An 11-foot-deep one is dominating the intersection of Cherry and Franklin Streets in Palmyra, Pa., as I write.

These all were entirely preventable. They happen when century-old sewage pipes and mains spring leaks and erode. The ground above them collapses.

It used to be that when a new national problem became impossible to ignore, the federal government galvanized resources to fix it. But there isn't even a nationwide tally of how many sinkholes there are. The Environmental Protection Agency has projected that half the water pipes in the nation will be in either poor, very poor, or "life elapsed" status within 13 years. The EPA has sprung to the rescue this way - by telling municipalities to spend more money, like it's not a national problem at all. Like Howard Dean said in 2004: that means they'll have to raise taxes.

But conservatives keep telling us: Taxes are evil.

You know what's more evil? Last summer, in a suburb near Dallas, a 2-year-old boy, Elian Majano, disappeared. A bloodhound traced his scent to a sinkhole in a public park caused by a broken sewage pipeline.

The American Society of Civil Engineers tells us the situation hasn't been healthy for some decades; their first "Report Card for America's Infrastructure" gave wastewater pipes a "C." That was 1988. Now that George Bush's tax cuts have been added to Reagan's, their latest grade is "D-minus." You would think a great nation would be able to afford, you know, to keep children from drowning in crap. It would cost, the civil engineers tell us, about $390 billion.

These are the basics, people. When your government can't handle the basics, you are a third world country.


By fnord12 | July 10, 2007, 11:52 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link



Fantastic!

Shmoo alerted me to this fantastic new product.

Although, i think i still prefer my pickle juice as an ice cold, refreshing beverage rather than a frozen treat.


By min | July 10, 2007, 11:25 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link



Whoodwin?
Gary Busey vs.Nick Nolte
Gary Busey Nick Nolte

By fnord12 | July 10, 2007, 8:54 AM | Whoodwin | Comments (7) | Link



July 9, 2007

That which does not kill me...

Received a nice note in the mail today. Here's some excerpts:

Public NoticeViolation of Microbiological Standard

The Franklin Township Water Department, as is required by law, provides the following notification that it violated the Total Coliform Rule by exceeding the maximum containment level (MCL) for E.Coli during the month of April 2007. In addition, Franklin Township Water Department violated provisions for timely reporting of the MCL violation to the appropriate State agency and for providing public notification within 24 hours of the MCL violation.

Fecal Coliform and E. Coli bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems. Fecal coliforms and E.coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaces, or other symptoms.

...Normally, as a precaution, you would have been advised to "Do Not Drink the Water without Boiling First" until corrective actions were implemented and additional tests showed no bacteria...

On the one hand i'm grossed out and mad at the Water Department for screwing this up. On the other hand, at least this shows that there is some kind of testing going on, whereas with bottled beverages it is my understanding that there are no such requirements.

Still, it's gonna be a few days before i can drink cold tap water again (even through the Brita, which does nothing for E. Coli).


By fnord12 | July 9, 2007, 10:44 PM | My stupid life | Comments (1) | Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Runaways - not the funniest issue so far and i'm not thrilled to see a ton of super powered people living in 1907 but still pretty good. Chase's reaction to the Gert hologram was a good scene, and i'm looking forward to the confrontation with Gert's parents. The 1907 Punisher was cute.

Ms. Marvel - MODOK is gone and so am i. This issue was a mess and i'm not interested in any of the plotlines they are setting up.

Thor - Three panels worth of story stretched out over 22 pages. This was awful. The art was terrible. And i don't like Donald Blake on a good day, let alone when he's yammering on and on about pseudo-mystic nonsense.

Ant-Man - This was cute but i'm sort of relieved it's being cancelled. It's right there on the cusp of being interesting enough to keep getting. Some issues are funny and/or a good character study of a non-heroic superguy, and some are just kind of blah. This falls more into the second category. I feel sorry for anyone who bought this because of the World War Hulk crossover.


By fnord12 | July 9, 2007, 9:26 AM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link



July 5, 2007

Anger Management Issues

A Hong Kong woman who blinded her boyfriend in one eye in a fight six years ago has been jailed for jabbing a chopstick into his other eye, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Last November, Po Shiu-fong, 58, accused long-time boyfriend Kwok Wai-ming, 49, of having an affair, the South China Morning Post reported.

During the row, Po stabbed a plastic chopstick into his left eye, which she had already blinded six years ago when she poked it with her finger.

"Po became hysterical when she saw the wound and mopped it with a towel. The pair then went to bed," the paper said.

"The next morning they had another argument in which she grabbed a chopstick and stabbed Kwok's right eye," it said.

[--emphasis mine]

Link

How do you just mop up the blood and go to bed? And then it took the guy 2 more days after she stabbed him in his right eye before going to the hospital. Mebbe he couldn't find the hospital...


By min | July 5, 2007, 1:30 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link



Ozzy Involved in Foreign Politics

After 14 failed attempts at joining the United Nations using media campaigns and presidential appeals, Taiwan is turning to a local goth-style rock band backed by Ozzy Osbourne in its quest for membership to the world body.

The band, named ChthoniC, will travel to at least 80 cities in four countries by the end of the year, supported in part by the Taiwan government, which is providing pro-U.N. literature and a slogan-painted truck.

The band will visit Canada, Germany, Britain and the United States.

Link

All i have to say is "Not enough DIO".


By min | July 5, 2007, 1:16 PM | Liberal Outrage & Music| Link



This Made My Balls Hurt

And i don't even have any.

Abigail Taylor was severely injured Friday when she sat over an open drain hole in a wading pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club.
...
Taylor said as Abigail was getting out of the pool, she fell.

"She more or less blacked out, she passed out, fell face-first onto the pool decking," he said. The family thought it was a seizure.

An ambulance rushed her to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Several hours later a surgeon said Abigail was lucky to be alive.

"The suction had caused a two-inch tear in her rectum and had basically disemboweled her by pulling out her small intestines, almost all of it," said Taylor.

Her father said a search of the pool filter turned up Abigail's intestine.

...

Abigail will have to be fed intravenously for the rest of her life and will have to have a colostomy bag.

Link

You can all thank my sister this. *shudder*


By min | July 5, 2007, 10:17 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (4) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Souvenir From A Dream by Tom Verlaine

You were living five lives in one
Taking everyone's coat,
Why can't you show them
What you've got in your cloak?
Cold hand on my shoulder,
A star begins to beam,
That's when you show me
Your souvenir from a dream

Empty handed, I awake,
Just when I thought I had
So much at stake,
Seems you've got something to say,
Why don't you say it?

(No mister, this is Plattsburgh...
Gotta go back to the junction
About five miles...
I think you've come the wrong way...
You were supposed to make a right turn)

Thirty lights in a row,
Every one of them green,
How it reminds me
Of your souvenir from a dream.

Empty handed, I awake,
Just when I thought I had
So much at stake,
Seems you've got something to say,
Why don't you say it?

You were living five lives in one
You were living five lives in one

(Mister, you went the wrong way...
I think you better go back...
Should have made a right turn...
I don't think this is where you want to go...
No, you better just go back...
I think you made a wrong turn... somewhere.)


By fnord12 | July 5, 2007, 8:34 AM | Music| Link



July 3, 2007

Who Says Robbing Banks is Outdated?

FBI agents worked Monday to identify burglars who burst through a bank's wall and then made off with the bank's one-ton safe. A gaping hole in the rear wall of the First Community Bank was reported at about 8 a.m. Sunday, police said. Investigators and a bank security expert said the bank's safe was missing when they entered the building Sunday morning.
...
The burglars apparently stole a forklift from a construction site near the bank, then used it to hoist the safe out of the bank. Police aren't sure yet if the burglars used the forklift to ram into the bank, creating a hole, or if they used another vehicle or method to get in.

Link

I have to say, that's pretty impressive. A one-ton safe. That's way better than handing the teller a note.


By min | July 3, 2007, 2:10 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link



Save Us From the Immigrants!!

Clearly, it's just "cleanliness" we're concerned with here. You understand.

Since Katrina, the population of immigrant Hispanic laborers has increased significantly in New Orleans. As a result of that, lunch trucks run by Mexican and Central Americans have also appeared in numbers. As you might expect, this is not exactly a welcome turn of events to some.

Still, the Jefferson Parish councilman who restricted the trucks characterized them as unwanted residue from the hurricane.

"We've been trying to handle blighted housing, FEMA trailers, abandoned housing," said Louis Congemi, whose zoning ordinance takes effect this weekend and is expected to clear the parish of taco trucks. "This is just one more thing we're trying to get under control to make sure we bring our parish back to normalcy."

Congemi added: "You have to be concerned about the cleanliness of these vehicles."

Ahhhh.....normalcy and cleanliness. How wonderful. We just need a quote from him about "those people" to make it complete.

They were banned for being "eyesores" and "health hazards". There's no picture of the trucks in the article or of how much space they take or anything, so i can't speak to them being eyesores. However, as far as being health hazards,

Louisiana state records show licenses for about 40 taco trucks in Jefferson and Orleans parishes. They are inspected annually, like all street vendors.

"They're up to speed with their licensing," department spokesman Bob Johannessen said. "We haven't received any sort of complaint about food quality, anything that would indicate a public health concern."

And also

"It's better than Taco Bell. I can tell you that," said Michael Gould, 53, who lined up at Fuentes' truck during a recent lunch hour.

Ok, if you've got a Taco Bell or a McDonalds open in the area, you cannot seriously be making the "health hazard" claim for banning the trucks. That dog won't hunt.

Anybody who has ever worked in any type of food service industry can attest to how disgusting the kitchen of any restaurant is and they're inspected regularly, too. So, if these trucks are up-to-date on their inspections and licensing, i don't see how they should be categorized as health hazards over any other restaurant.

The mayor had previously made a bit of a snafu when he commented that businesses were concerned about making sure they weren't overrun by Mexican workers and had to back-track on that during his re-election campaign. So, trying to steer clear of controversy, Nagin's spokesperson had this to say:

"I'm more than sure it is welcome in the city," said David Robinson-Morris, a spokesman for Mayor Ray Nagin. "It is providing a service, and it is a part of our sales tax revenue."

As one lunch truck owner is quoted as saying, "I'm looking for an opportunity. That's why I left my country, and that's what led me here...That's what they call the American Dream, isn't it?".

That is what they call it. However, i'm not sure if they meant that to include everyone.


By min | July 3, 2007, 1:28 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (4) | Link



Gay Leader Quits Homosexuality

I have no idea who this guy is. I got the link from gmac. Apparently, he was an influential proponent of gay rights. He was the founder and editor of Young Gay America magazine, received the National Role Model Award (where the hell is my award, dammit!), and was often quoted in the media.

Well, no more! He got better. Now he's straight, and he wants to get the word out that you, too, can be saved from your sin.

Homosexuality came easy to me, because I was already weak.
...
Homosexuality, delivered to young minds, is by its very nature pornographic. It destroys impressionable minds and confuses their developing sexuality...
...
I'd developed a growing relationship with God, thanks to a debilitating bout with intestinal cramps caused by the upset stomach-inducing behaviors I'd been engaged in.

Soon, I began to understand things I'd never known could possibly be real, such as the fact that I was leading a movement of sin and corruption -- which is not to sound as though my discovery was based on dogma, because decidedly it was not.

I came to the conclusions on my own.

It became clear to me, as I really thought about it -- and really prayed about it -- that homosexuality prevents us from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we're blinded by homosexuality.

...

God came to me when I was confused and lost, alone, afraid and upset. He told me -- through prayer -- that I had nothing at all to be afraid of, and that I was home; I just needed to do a little house cleaning in my mind.

I believe that all people, intrinsically, know the truth. I believe that is why Christianity scares people so much.

I think that what scares us about Christianity is that some guy calling himself "God" keeps coming around whispering in my ear and telling me shit. I don't know about you, but i consider that stalking.

How come when people hear voices and say it was God, it's ok? I mean, really, if someone told me that they heard a voice speaking to them in their head, i'd tell them to get help.

I'm uncertain just based on his article what it was that made him go from a gay rights activist to "if it ain't about making babies, it's just plain wrong". Every sperm is sacred, afterall.

Can we go back to making Logic and Reasoning required curriculum? If crazy people want to present an argument, i'm all for it. I just wish it would at least make sense and follow a logical progression. Is that really so much to ask?

Who wants to lay odds on hearing a story sometime in the future about him being arrested at a rest stop?


By min | July 3, 2007, 11:38 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link



July 2, 2007

SuperMegaSpeed Review Marathon

Three weeks of comics! Plus several recent back issues of Ms. Marvel.

World War Hulk #1 - This is gonna be good. Pak is a good writer - he's got some funny lines and good characterization and also makes the Hulk sufficiently menacing. And i love a good Hulk buster armor. But if the Hulk is serious, why didn't he kill Black Bolt?

Avengers #31 - God help me now that i'm used to Yu's art i actually kinda like it. Yeah it's scratchy and distorted but it has personality. Anyway, everyone is up and arms about the Avengers just fighting ninjas. In their earliest appearances the Avengers spent a fair amount of time fighting communists and men from forgotten cities who just used swords and a lot of other types of non-powered grunts. So i don't see the problem. If you only fight other super-powered types you forget why your characters are special. The ending is interesting, but let's see where they go with it.

Punisher War Journal #8 - Looking at the most recent sales chart, Marvel had a huge spike for this story due to what people thought was going to be a tie-in with the death of Captain America. It's a shame that it wasn't. A story about Punisher going up against the Red Skull's goons would be a lot more interesting than this slow-ass Hatemonger plot. The point of this series was supposed to be the Punisher taking a more active role in the mainstream Marvel universe. This doesn't fit the bill and it is taking way too long. Ironically the only thing keeping me from dropping it is that it won't ever end!

Iron Fist #6 - I'm liking this quite a bit. I enjoyed Luke, Misty, and Colleen. No complaints.

Amazing Spider-Man #541 - Like i said last issue, if this is supposed to be Peter lashing out in irrational anger over the injury to his aunt, it is taking way too long and we are losing the immediacy of it. And we know in the end that Peter won't kill the Kingpin because he already appears in other stories that take place after this one (I do appreciate the footnotes letting me know where this takes place in relation to Daredevil).

Annihilation Conquest Prologue - I'm glad i decided to follow this. It's quite good. I'm enjoying watching the new Quasar adjust to her new powers, i'm very happy to see the spaceknights, and i love who the bad guy is going to be. Now i'm going to have to pick up some crappy x-men back issues to figure out how the Warlock/techno-virus stuff i'm familiar with ties into the Phalanx stuff they did in the 90s. Real nice art, too. But i don't know why they're trying to pretend it's a mystery who Quasar has to find in order to save the galaxy. It's obviously Rocket Raccoon.

Daredevil #98 - Nice fight issue.

Fantastic Four #547 - This was very good. I love the Frightful Four and this is a good incarnation. Pelletier's art is really nice except he draws people with gigantic lips. McDuffie's got a great knack for witty dialogue and humor. Good stuff.

Captain America #27 - Super fantastic. And thank you for leaving the Black Widow's origins in the Cold War era, whatever the explanation for her youthful appearance is.

World War Hulk: X-Men #1 - My one problem with the WWH stuff is that i feel like i keep reading the same damn thing over and over again. Is anyone picking up this spin-off book not familiar with events in the main series? Did i need another recap? One panel could have done it, not half a page. But that's a minor complaint. This was very fun. I haven't been following the New X-Men but Gage does a great job introducing the characters and making me care about them. The question of how Xavier would have voted was an excellent one. And i don't care how much of a loser fanboy it made me, i got giddy when Wolverine showed up.

Iron Man #19 - Again, too much repetition with the main World War Hulk series, but at least this is the ongoing so people that just read Iron Man need to be filled in. Nonetheless, i like Gage a lot and this is nice art as well.

Hulk #107 - Gary Frank's art is awesome. I like that the Hulk series seems to be focusing more on the Hulk's supporting cast while World War Hulk proper will be following the Hulk himself. It seems like we might be setting up Mr. Perfect Amadeus Cho to be wrong for once as the Hulk will turn out to not be what Cho is expecting, but we'll see where that goes. Last issue it seemed like Mr. Fantastic was using Angel and Hercules as plants but in this issue they seem genuine. Hercules isn't that good an actor, even if Angel is. Again, we'll wait and see.

Ms. Marvel #14-16 - I picked these up because i couldn't resist the lure of MODOK and i'm glad that i did. This series has improved quite a bit from the early issues i've read. It may be due to the change in artist - i'm actually enjoying this art - but the writing seems improved as well. MODOK is awesome, even if he is dying - that scene where he hovers into the room with his henchmen and says "Kill anything that moves", that is cool.


By fnord12 | July 2, 2007, 7:19 AM | Comics| Link



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