Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A different angle on choice

I've been reading How the Republicans Stole Christmas, by Bill Press, and last night I hit a passage that really made me think. The exact passage from Press goes...
Make no mistake about it: If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a nonissue. Men would never let anybody take away their right to choose.
The more I think about it, the more I realize the undeniable truth in that statement. While debates about when life begins, and the morality of abortion are important, they are secondary to the core issue of this debate, which is equal rights. I can guarantee that if the U.S. government tried to regulate sperm, you'd have the 150 million man march showing up in D.C. ready to burn the politicians at the stake. Ladies, you gotta fight for your rights, because the U.S. government wants to regulate your ovaries.

I just worked out for the first time in 6 months

My preferred form of jello.

And my body feels like jello. Really, really tired jello.

Monday, January 30, 2006

State of the Union: Let's all ride magical hydrogen ponies in the land of Gumdrop Rainbows

You'll always be my bff.

CNN reports that George W. Bush (douchebag extraordinare) will focus his State of the Union address on U.S. energy policy. Am I the only one who finds this hilarious, in a severely depressing way? President Douchebag, the failed Texas oil businessman and the best friend a Saudi oil king could ever want, is telling us that he has figured out how to fix U.S. energy policy.

Here are a few real solutions to help the U.S. break its dependency on Foreign Oil...
  • Force the big car companies to produce more hybrid vehicles through forced quotas and incentives.
  • Make large scale investments into mass transits systems in the largest cities in America. How about using that $50 billion we are wasting on missile defense?
  • Introduce a large gas tax (50 cents per gallon) to force a reduction in demand. Use that money to invest in mass transit, road maintenance and alternative fuels.

Guess how many of these Bush will mention in his speech? If you guessed zero, then you win the prize.*

No, ole Georgy is focusing on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Now, hydrogen fuel cells have the potential to one day replace gas powered cars. However, the best estimates put the first practical hydrogen fuel cell car being introduced no earlier than 2020.

So why would Georgy push technologies that, at least for now, have zero practical application to reduce the current demand in foreign oil? My guess is that Dubya is a little busy making sure his buddies at Exxon are making some money and doesn't have time for energy solutions that will have an immediate impact. He would rather talk about the magical hydrogen ponies in the enchanted land of Gumdrop Rainbows and privatized Social Security.

*There is no prize

Update: I've been cross posted on Shakespeare's Sister and AlterNet Peek. Big thanks to Shakespeares Sis for the cross posts.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Beat them without becoming them

I understand that an insurgency is difficult to beat and that unorthdox tactics might be needed in order to defeat them. However, this just crosses the line. MSNBC reports that the U.S. military has detained the wives of insurgents, in order to leverage their husbands into surrendering.
In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family’s door telling him “to come get his wife."
This is one of the more disgusting tactics I have ever seen from the U.S. military. Doesn't the Geneva Convention prevent us from using such tactics? And just a little food for thought...

U.S. Military
No, we let state governments handle that
And the U.S. is trying to convince people that we are the good guys?

Friday Quote of the Day

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual
Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Changing the look

So I put up a new logo for the blog. I'll probably be tweaking some other things on the ole blog over the next several days. Throw me some feedback and let me know what you think.

And thanks to The Disgruntled Chemist for helping me figure out some of the blogger template shit.

Summing up 6 years of douchebaggery

Marie Antoinette just did a post yesterday that eloquently summed up Dubya and the Republican controlled Congress. I enjoyed it and recommend giving it a read. Here's a preview...
In 2000, Bush ran as an outsider who would usher in "an era of personal responsibility." In six years, he and most of his party have done nothing but dodge questions and pass the blame. It took Bush two months to admit that maybe Brownie didn't do one heck of a job after all

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If you give me your privacy rights, I'll give you this SHINY quarter?

Fuck with me and I will karate chop your ass!

Attorney General Gonzalez has been giving speeches all around the country trying to support the administration's illegal domestic spying on U.S. citizens. He laid this insight in a speech at Georgetown University...
Gonzales told his audience: “You may have heard about the provision of FISA that allows the president to conduct warrantless surveillance for 15 days following a declaration of war. That provision shows that Congress knew that warrantless surveillance would be essential in wartime.”
Some might interpret the explicit 15 day time limit on warrantless surveillance as a stringent control on warrantless spying because it is a grave threat to civil liberties. Others might interpret the 15 day warrentless surveillance as an emergency power that is only to be enacted if the country(and I mean U.S. soil) is under attack during the initial declaration of war. Gonzo's statement that warrentless surveillance WOULD BE essential in wartime is gross misinterpretation of the FISA law. A half dozen students listening to Gonzo's speech held up a banner summed up my viewpoint on the matter, Ben Franklin style
“Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”
I think this spy program comes straight out of 1984 and every other novel about a totalitarian government using technology to spy on its own citizens. So to Bush, Gonzo, and the NSA employees participating in this illegal program: Suck it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shit + Trash = CW

I thought UPN and WB were the worst networks on network television. Honestly, do they produce even one show that doesn't make you more stupid by watching? Fuck No. But now, the brilliant minds that brought you these two networks has decided to combine them into one unholy network that will be called "CW".

CW will feature the best shows (ok, I'm trying not laugh as I wrote those last two words) from the UPN and WB, includings suchs gems as "Smallville","Gilmore Girls", "America's Top Model", and of course "Smackdown". I imagine the effect watching a few hours of CW will be something along the lines what Mad Cow Disease does to your brain: turning it into Swiss cheese.

Monday, January 23, 2006

And he streched forth his hand, and darkness fell upon the lab

Today I had two encounter with some of the forces of darkness at a University. The network administrators and the safety administration.

Apparently, as my labmates and I installed a new router for the lab, the computers in our lab began blasting the school network with large amounts of data. So either some hacker took over our lab computers and used them for a denial of service attack, or we wired a loop into our lab network and this led to bad things. Either way, the network administrators shut down our ports and showed up at our lab. I've attempted to accurately reproduce the experience in the diagram below.

To be honest, giving the guy a columbian necktie popped into my mind, but then I realized that he was just a sad little man. Besides which, he stood between me and high speed internet access and thus I just ignored him. The funny thing is that the network engineer was nice, it was just his crony that was being a jerk.

The laser safety guy showed up in the afternoon and that went well. Apparently, he was quite impressed that our lab bought safety glasses. Apparently, people using high powered pulsed laser that can burn through skin and blind you don't really think that much about using safety goggles. Go figure.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Deep Thoughts

I've been considering for a long time a question that is rather important to me: What is the perfect pre-drinking food?

For a long time, I would just pack anything into my system that I could. Pizza, beef fried rice, and Freebirds burritos were the college favorites. Back then, I thought sheer volume of food was the key to victory. I quickly learned however that massive amounts of food can work against you. I ate 5 pieces of fried chicken before attempting to join the century club... hilarity did not ensue. Vomiting did.

Grad school has introduced a far greater variety of pre-drinking foods. I think I've had everything from fish tacos, to sushi, to meatball subs. My birthday this last year taught me that soup, even beef barley soup, is no match in a head to head contest with whiskey.

Last night, however, was an epiphany. I've discovered the perfect pre-drinking food. And it was right there in front of me all this time. Thoebrama, thy name is Double-Double meal (animal style )from In-N-Out burger. First of all, it is delicious. But it has all the essential elements that a good predrinking food needs.

1. Meat. Good predrinking food needs meat. It forms the backbone of the meal.
2. Bread. That delicious spongy bun for the In-N-Out burgers gives you a little extra alcohol absorption.
3. Vegetables. You need to have some veggies for a hard night of drinking. The nutrients and water in veggies will help you when you get to that 8th beer.
4. Fried potatoes. The fries provide bulk and salt, both of which are good for drinking.
5. Cheese. Is there ever a bad time for cheese? Is there? (no)
6. Correct amount of food. Not too much but enough to keep the drunkeness at bay for a while and keep the hangover stomach damage to a minimum.

So, anyone else have special pre-drinking food?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Called out by one of their own

I enjoyed this N.Y. Times OP/ED by Charles Marsh,Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and Evangelical Christian, on the how Evangelical Christians have lost their way. I recommend reading the whole OP/ED, but the last paragraph of his OP/ED really stood out to me(emphasis is mine).
What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness.

Friday Quote of the Day

With the rise of the Christian right (which is neither Christian, nor right as a good friend of mine used to say), and their zealot President, I thought this little gem from Thomas Jefferson might be appropriate.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or Worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", thus building a wall of separation between the Church and State

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The truth about Dick Cheney

From the health the U.S. economy to the latest in the War on Terror, Neil sits down for a powerful one-on-one interview with Vice President Cheney. Got a question for the vice president? Drop us a line to: cavuto@foxnews.com and maybe Neil will ask it!
Hat tip: Newshounds

So here is the email I just fired off to Cavuto. I decided to keep this one short and direct.

Here is my question for Dick Cheney.

Mr Cheney. Are you a robot or zombie?

Rob the dirty liberal

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I'm having an Emergen-C

One of the undergrads in my lab has been pushing me to try this Emergen-C for the last week. Emergen-C is this nutritional supplement that you gives you some nutrients and 10 times the recommended daily dosage of Vitamin C.

So I finally tried some Emergen-C, mixed with my gatorade. I can only describe the feeling afterward as buzzed. But not like a beer buzz. Closer to a caffeine buzz. But not quite. My muscles definitley felt kind of tingly, but I don't think I really felt energized. Just like something was off. Anyone else encounter this stuff?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Acceptable error

The Scientific American blog did a short but succinct post on error rates in the death penalty. The main point of this article is that innocent people have been executed by the state. While most Americans (66% at the moment) are in favor of the death penalty for murder, what levels of error is society willing to accept so that we can execute murderers.

To humanize this statement a little more, let me put this another way: How many innocent people are we willing to kill for the satistfaction of executing the worst criminals? No matter how far forensic science advances, innocent people will die if we have a death penalty.
But we can estimate. The error execution rate has to be at least 1 in 1,000--the "1,000" being Kenneth Boyd and the "1" being Ruben Cantu, who the Houston Chronicle seems to prove that he died for a crime he did not commit. The Death Penalty Information Center lists another eight people as "executed but possibly innocent." That pushes it to about 1 in 100. Estimates for the number of people on death row who have been exonerated range from 25-30 from a prosecutor's estimates to 73 from a University of Michigan study. The maximum possible error rate, depending on very loose assumptions, then surges up to 1 in 30 to 1 in 12. These rates are undoubtedly too high, but they help to establish an upper bound.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Corporatization of American Youth

I went to a UCI basketball game on Sunday afternoon with some friends. Basketball games involve drinking large quantites of beer (76 ounces for this game), yelling at the other teams players, and terrifying the generally passive population of Southern California that goes to UCI basketball games.

And yet, my friends and I weren't the scariest thing at that basketball game. The Corporate plush whores were in full forced on Sunday, determined to push subliminal messages to all little children of So Cal. Let their indoctrination begin!

Worship the Red Robin. Buy more Hamburgers or you will foresake me!

Don't forget to buy cookies too! Consume, Consume, Consume! And now they pacify any further resistance with their hypnotic plush dance. Come on kids, you're not real Americans unless you buy stuff.

It's enough to drive someone to drink.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

If you can't beat them...

Find someone else to beat them. The U.S. military has been trying to crush the Iraq insurgency for going on 3 years now and had, at best, mixed success. However, the N.Y. Times reports today that many of the local Sunni insurgents are now fighting the Al Qaeda in Iraq's foreign fighters. According to the times these reports of infighting within the insurgency have not been confirmed by independent sources. However, there appears to be substantial anecdotal evidence that in many areas of the Sunni Triangle, local Iraqi insurgents are attempting to push out foreign fighters. If this is true, then this is the best news we've had from Iraq since the insurgency began after Dumb Fuck's declaration of "Mission Accomplished".

Samarra, north of Baghdad, had been infiltrated by Al Qaeda's fighters. In desperation, a local sheik, Hekmat Mumtaz al-Baz, traveled to Baghdad in September to meet with Iraq's defense minister and ask for help, said one of the sheik's aides, Waleed al-Samarrai. A few weeks after the visit, the sheik was shot dead by Qaeda gunmen in his yard.

The account was confirmed by a member of the tribe, and a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Baghdad. Mr. Samarrai spoke in an interview in Al Wasat Hospital in Baghdad, where his brother, Salim, the sheik's bodyguard, who was wounded in a fight with Al Qaeda, was convalescing.

The tribe was furious, and its members tracked down the three men who carried out the killing. Elders from the tribe held a trial in a local farmhouse and interrogated the men for days. They said they worked for a fighter from Saudi Arabia who bankrolled the attacks, Mr. Samarrai said.

The Samarrai brothers said Al Qaeda's appeal was based less on religion than on money. The Iraqis who killed the sheik were believed to have received $500 to $1,000 for the job, and the same amount for dozens of other similar killings, Waleed al-Samarrai said. He said local insurgents had changed allegiances, lured away by Al Qaeda's money.

Members of the tribe swept the town and arrested 17 people they suspected were associated with the sheik's killing. In one house raid, the tribe found men from Sudan, Morocco, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, a member of the tribe said.

Al Qaeda's fighters struck back during the tribe's offensive. A foreign Arab believed to be a Saudi wearing in a suicide belt blew himself up at the sheik's funeral, killing one guest and wounding two, said Salim al-Samarrai, who said he witnessed the attack.

As a lesson to all those associated with the sheik's death, the tribe staged a public killing. While the sheik's father watched, men with machine guns shot the three men who carried out the assassination, the Samarrai brothers said.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dirty Colin avalanche

My blog has been getting many google searches looking for "dirty colin" as illustrated below.

Apparently, Colin Farrel now has a sex tape out. Here's the scoop from What Would Tyler Durden Do :
"DirtyColin.com arrived online today, offering to sell the Colin Farrel sex tape to anyone with 14.95. The tape, made almost two years ago with Playmate Nicole Narian, is rumored to be extremely explicit, and based on the preview pictures on the site, that definitely seems to be the case. Of course, I didn't get to be the big success I am today by paying retail for my porn, but I promise I'll post the tape as soon as I find it, or crack the sites source code. 15 dollars? What do I look like!"
However, apparently the Dirty Colin website is now shut down. Sorry everybody, but you'll have to wait for the bootlegs to appear on Napster or the current flavor of the month Peer to Peer program. So how did these people get to my blog? Well, if you google "dirty colin" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button on google, you go to a post I did previously on Colin Powell's appearance on the Daily Show.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Allison Dubois responds

Allison Dubois, the psychic whom the series "The Medium" is based off, has responded to my previous post about her appearance on Rita Cosby's Show. If you want the facts on Allison Dubois, Two Percent Company did a fantastic series of posts on her. Here is the response from Allison Dubois (or someone claiming to be her)...

Mr. Rob the dirty Liberal- Get your fucking facts straight ASSHOLE!!! It's shitheads like you that give the world a bad odor. Here is the truth about Allison Dubois you pathetic imbecile!!!

I would like to add a note regarding my appearances on local and national television programs. I have had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by some great people in the news industry. Once these clips are taped, they are often available for other producers to use. Although I am proud of what I say, I do not want anyone to be misled by my appearances. In most cases I have not even been informed that these shows are going to air. If I happen to be on a show that includes another medium or a researcher, I do not want it to imply that I endorse these people. In most cases I have never met these people and I do not have an opinion one way or another. I was warned that when you become a public figure that people will come out of the woodwork to profit from you. Well I guess I'm no exception.

One person who has been included on shows with me that I do not endorse is Dr. Gary Schwartz. I was disappointed to find out that the four years that I spent in the lab for "science" are, in my view, being misused by Dr. Schwartz -- even after I expressed my disapproval. Some critics posting to Amazon.com suggest that my disappointment stems from the fact that I am not sharing in the profits of Dr. Schwartz’ book. I never asked for a cut of any project that Dr. Schwartz sold because money wasn't the issue.There's no money to be had anyway, ha ha! just kidding. The issue has always been trust. That trust has been broken. Gary says that I asked him to write a book about me which is a figment of his imagination. I actually asked him to NOT write a book about me which his publisher Hampton Roads is well aware of since they were served by my attorney before it released.I was not asking for any money but rather that he correct the falsehoods in his book. He still continues to say that I endorse his book even though I've made it clear that I don't. He points to an e-mail from a year ago that he cut and pasted and only shows part of the e-mail trying to make the argument that I said I'd endorse his book. This was in response to a coversation where I told him that I would not write a foreword for a book about me because that would be ridiculous. Further more I was not comfortable with him writing a book about me at all. So my e-mail was to say that if he wrote a book about "science" and included all the mediums studied in a scientific manner that I'd write a blurb for his book. Weeks after that e-mail I resigned from the board at the lab, found out his book was being sold on my name and saw him fully in a different light. So there you go, an endorsement that was never written is his argument, go figure.

Participating in lab studies with Dr. Schwartz was never to be a for-profit venture. I always understood that we were participating in scientific studie

This posted was signed with the name Disgustedw/dipshitdems. Doesn't Allison realize that Republicans would burn her as a heretic and/or witch? Guess Not. Go here if you want to here Allison Dubois' site. Allison, if you are out there, then feel free to finish your response, and I'll post it up.

For the record, I believe that all psychics do not have any powers. I would say that all of them fall into one of three categories: con artists, entertainers, or mentally ill. In any case, the only powers that these so called psychics and mediums seem to have is separating ignorant people from their money.

Update: It appears that someone just copied the editorial page of Allison Dubois website. Too bad, but I'm emailing the poster as we speak to see who they are. Perhaps it is Allison Dubois, but probably just some poor soul who actually believes in psychics.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Picture Blogging

It's been a while since I put up a new post. So, I thought I'd do a little picture blogging. Enjoy.

The Rose Bowl on the day of the National Championship was absolutely crazy.

My friend Nick and I celebrating the Longhorns winning the national championship. Krista was the only other person in the entire bar/restaurant that was also rooting for Texas. And she was pretty cute too.
That is a very funny man. Too bad he was rooting for the wrong team.

Group picture. Texas fans getting drunk and rowdy in Hollywood.Texas fans took over a bar on Hollywood Blvd. My friends and I convinced these Texas girls to get up on the bar and dance. Hooray Texas girls!
This is me rewarding these girls for all their hard work with some hard cash.
Picture of my fellow Texas fans getting fucking wasted in Hollywood. $10 for 101 ounces of beer. You'd get wasted too!
One last Hook'em Horns for the road. Texas Longhorns. 2006 National Champions!