Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Confessions of an Insider

The L.A. Times has an Op/Ed contribution from Lawrence B. Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from 2002 to 2005, entitled the White House Cabal. To say that he sticks it to Cheney, Rummy, and Bushy is putting it mildly. This piece is yet another confirmation of the incompetence of this administration.

The administration's performance during its first four years would have been even worse without Powell's damage control. At least once a week, it seemed, Powell trooped over to the Oval Office and cleaned all the dog poop off the carpet. He held a youthful, inexperienced president's hand. He told him everything would be all right because he, the secretary of State, would fix it. And he did — everything from a serious crisis with China when a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was struck by a Chinese F-8 fighter jet in April 2001, to the secretary's constant reassurances to European leaders following the bitter breach in relations over the Iraq war. It wasn't enough, of course, but it helped.

More American than Apple Pie

Just found this little fun fact from Scientific American's website.
Q: How many pets in the U.S. are obese?
A: According to a report published last month by the National Academies of Sciences's National Research Council, 25 percent of pets in the U.S. are now obese.

Even our pets are obese. America... FUCK YEAH!

The quote contest.

Ok, so here is the game. We've all dated a Republican at some point in our lives. Come on, just admit it. There is no shame in it. You were young, horny, maybe a little drunk, and what the hell, right? Well, what's the best quote you heard from either the person you dated, his/her friends, or his/her family. Here's mine:

"All those damn homo liberal politicians want to take away my guns"
-Dad of a girl I dated in early college.

Note: This particular guy has a massive gun collection. Must have had at least around 40 guns. Nice enough guy, just had a bit of a crazy conservative streak.

Ok, so now its your turn. I want some good stuff in the comments section for this post.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Must be the catchy title...

Because it sure isn't my quality writing, or massive blog traffic. Go figure.

My blog is worth $33,872.40.
How much is your blog worth?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Laziness leads to Random iPoddery

Here's what happens when I hit "Party Shuffle" on iTunes

1. Se A Cabo - Santana
2. My Girl - Temptations
3. Bye Bye Bird - Sonny Boy Williamson
4. Refugee - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
5. Rocky Mountain High - John Denver
6. The Gauntlet - Dropkick Murphys
7. Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
8. Know - System of a Down
9. The God That Failed - Metallica
10. Spiders - System of a Down
11. Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
12. Get Dis Money - Slum Village (Hooray Office Space Soundtrack)
13. Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
14. The End - The Doors
15. Mrs. Robinson - Simon & Garfunkel

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Debate over the Iraqi Constitution

Scanning my usually news sites today, I found a couple of good op/ed pieces on the Iraq Constitution and the possible consequences of it passing the referendum. The first one I found is an editorial in the N.Y. Times by Hatem Mukhlis, the head of one of Iraq's Sunni political parties. He makes some interesting points about the dangers of the current Iraqi version of Federalism.
It is a tacit understanding in every civilized state that the whole country joins together to defend itself from an outside threat. But not under this Iraqi constitution; the state Parliaments would probably have to approve. In case after case, provincial regulations would overrule federal laws when there is a dispute. The Iraqi Army would not even have the right to enter a state without the approval of that state's Parliament.
In Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria counters such arguments by pointing out that the Iraqi constitution is a success because of the clause that was negotiated at the last minute that allows amendments to the constitution.
The constitution can now be amended at will by the next Iraqi Parliament, which will be elected on Dec. 15. In other words, if the constitution fails, it will be rewritten, and if it succeeds, it can be rewritten.
Mr. Muhklis does address the issue of amendments by stating that divisive damage to the Iraqi people, caused by this constitution, will already be done by the time amendments are passed to fix some of these issues with federalism. Who is right? Who knows. I suppose we will find out over the next fews months.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

There's a whole lot of Chinese over there, so we're bugging out

I remember hearing that phrase when I was watching a documentary about the Korean War. The phrase was coined to describe a massive, disorganized retreat of the American army in the face of an overwhelming Chinese force that was approaching from North Korea.

Now, China and India are coming right at the U.S. with a new overwhelming force. Except this time, they are hitting us right in the area which the U.S. has dominated since the end of the Cold War, science and technology. This article details a warning from the National Academy of Sciences which details how quickly China and India are becoming major players in science and technology. The numbers are devastating...

70,000 engineers were graduated in the United States last year, compared with 350,000 in India and 600,000 in China, the committee said in a new report.
When I see numbers like this I can't but think "sounds like the U.S. is bugging out" when it comes to science and technology. Stop cutting the NSF budget asshole.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fact of the day

Republicans eat babies.*

Just look at this guy! Tell me he doesn't eat babies.

*I have no evidence, but just look at him!

Milestones and victories

My Blog reached 5000 hits over the weekend. Nothing like milestones to make you feel like you accomplished something. Is this now the hottest blog on the internets? No, I still haven't managed to take that title from the champ.

In other news, Texas finally beat Oklahoma after a five year losing streak, which means that I was drinking before noon on Saturday. Hooray BEER! I'm just glad that Texas beat Oklahoma and is now on track to make a run for the National Championship. Next target: Colorado. My prediction: Colorado stays within a touchdown of Texas for the first half and gets beat by roughly 21 points in the second half.

Also, the Astros made the second round of the playoffs. Time to beat the hell out of the Cardinals. I know what I'll be doing at 5pm today. Beer and baseball. Life is good.

So, in case you haven't realized why the posting has been light the last couple of weeks, my life is consumed by work (yesterday I built case from Duct tape and plexiglass) and sports. Can't we just impeach Dubya already so I can fully focus on football and baseball?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So that's how it works.

Sure we all know how sex works (at least I hope we all do). But how does Pregnancy happen? Find all the answers here and in cartoon form as well.

My favorite Podcast

A few months ago, I discovered this podcast called Skepticality. If you love science and critical thinking, then this is the podcast for you. The show usually consists of a small story that the hosts, Swoopy and Derek Colanduno, discussing some random science topic, and then doing an extended interview with scientists and sometimes even musicians. I really enjoy this podcast and highly recommend it for all the skeptics out there. If you have Itunes, you can get it through the podcast service.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Next comes the hanging chads

So, I read the Chemist's post on how the Iraqis are learning our form of (mis)representative democracy, which is disturbing enough. And then half an hour later, I read that the U.N. has now condemned Iraqi Government for this change to the constitutional charter.

This must be the flowering democracy that ole Dubya was talking about. See if this story sounds familiar. A majority party, ruled by religious conservatives, impose their will on the rest of the country. Sure sounds like a U.S. style democracy.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Remember that whole middle east peace thing?

Oh yeah, the whole universe isn't just about the United States. Well, things are looking really bad in the Gaza Strip right now. Hamas is getting in gun battles with the Palestinian Authority police in the streets of Gaza. It is starting to look like a civil war is going to break out between the P.A. and Hamas. Palestinian police stormed a session of Parliament to demand a crackdown on the militants they are fighting in the streets. They claim the government lacks the will to bring down the militants and enforce the law.
"Our commander died in front of us, and we were running out of bullets," said an officer. "Give us at least bullets to protect people and to protect our stations."
I really hate to admit this, but I think maybe Sharon was right about one thing. Maybe the Palestinians really do need to clean up their own house before a real peace can be achieved.

Warning, incoming Baseball post.

The MLB playoffs have finally arrived! Time to talk some baseball.

American League: Blah blah blah Red Sox. Blah blah blah Yankees. No one outside of the Northeast GIVES A SHIT! The only way this will be interesting is if the Angels beat the Yankees. The White Sox will likely get their asses handed to them on a silver platter. Still, it would be great if they beat the Red Sox. If I have to put up with the Yankees-Red Sox bullshit again, I may shoot myself.

National League: The Astros will beat the Braves. The Astros have the best pitching, by far, and will face the Cardinals in the NLCS. The Cardinals will sweep the Padres. Why? Because the Padres suck. They shouldn't even be in the playoffs. The NL West is an embarassment to the National League. So, the real question is who win the NLCS? I like the Astros, because they essentially will have a starting pitcher for every single game who would be the ace on 90% of the teams in baseball starting every single game. No team in baseball can match the playoff rotation of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, and Roy Oswalt. Oh, and there is that Brad Lidge guy who is as automatic a closer as they come. Go Astros!

Who the hell is that?

Who? That is the collective question being asked across the country after Dubya announced his latest supreme court nominee Harriet Miers. Once again, Dubya is hooking up one of his buddies with a sweet post. Congrats Harriet, unlike the rest of America, you've now got job security for life. But is she even qualified for such a difficult and important post?

At least we'll still have a woman on the court. (Here I expected another old white guy. Or maybe a Hispanic that looks kinda white)
Well, she's never been a judge before. Hmmmmmmm.
She is Dubya's personal lawyer. Ugh!
Some conservatives don't like her at all. Hooray!
Because she could be completely incompetent for the job. I feel conflicted.

So, will the Democrats rip her to pieces in the confirmation hearings, or will they pull a Roberts (not doing jack shit). I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Let the bloodsport begin!

Update: Firedoglake gives a thorough account of that Republican dirty word: CRONYISM!
Update II: Slate offers a bipartisan selection of blogs screaming CRONYISM.