Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reidey, you got some 'splainin' to do!

The Associated Press is reporting that Senator Harry Reid has collected nearly $68,000 in Abramoff-related donations, and even wrote four letters on behalf of Abramoff clients in the past. This surfaces after Harry himself went on camera and proclaimed proudly that this was a Republican scandal, and that he'd never met Jack Abramoff.

This whole thing stinks, but now it's in stereo, with the odor wafting up from both sides of the aisle. Will you hear about this with the same amount of zeal and fervor as before, or will the MSM sweep this under the rug?

Revisionism on Capitol Hill

Wikipedia, the popular online free-content encyclopedia, is a wonderful example of the goodness that ordinary people can create on the Internet. It's a great source of information on nearly every subject on the planet, and if it's lacking on a subject you happen to know something about, you can go in and start educating the world by adding your information.

But the BBC is reporting that the staff of members of Congress have been making partisan changes to the Wikipedia biographies of many members of the American political scene. In fact, so many changes were made to George W. Bush's entry that it had to be locked down to prevent further updates.

In one example, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman's biography was changed so that the word "liberal" was replaced with "activist". Staff also deleted references to Coleman's voting record in 2003 (he voted with President Bush 98% of the time in 2003, even though he ran as a moderate).

And who could forget about Senator Tom Harkin's imagined combat missions over North Vietnam? You won't read about that in Wikipedia any more either - his staff has removed all mention of it and his recantation.

So now we have to add Congressional staffers to the list of folks we can't trust in Washington, D.C., though they were probably there in the first place.

Google is everywhere (George Orwell, call your office)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google Inc. is offering a new tool that will automatically transfer information from one personal computer to another, but anyone wanting that convenience must authorize the Internet search leader to store the material for up to 30 days.

<snip>

"We think this will be a very useful tool, but you will have to give up some of your privacy," said Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience. "For many of us, that trade off will make a lot of sense."

Why in the world would I want the contents of my PC stored out on the Internet?! If I wanted my old tax returns, bank statements and family photos out on the web, I'd put them there myself.

I love Google, I really do. Well, maybe not in the physical sense. Maybe more like the love you might feel for a pet or a sibling. But even the people we love deserve a slap across the face from time to time, and I think Google's is coming very soon.

These same people are pissed at George W. Bush for wiretaps. Unbelievable.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A fool and his life, parted

Timothy Treadwell
1957 - 2003
Spent a couple hours watching Grizzly Man, a film about a misguided and naive animal lover who ultimately is loved (savored even) by the very animals that he wanted to protect from humanity's sprawl. The story is gripping and confirms several theories that I've held for a long time:

  • Nature can kill you
  • Humans who ignore this fact and try to make friends with it are stupid

The movie is about Timothy Treadwell, a recovering alcoholic wannabe actor with no formal training in the area of Ursus arctos horribilis, who spent thirteen summers living among wild grizzlies in an attempt to understand and protect them from poaching. Using video cameras that he carried into the wilderness, he would document his brazen attempts to humanize these bears. To him, they weren't dangerous, only misunderstood. The footage shows him within inches of these half-ton behemoths, sometimes touching them and always talking to them in a sing-song voice.

Do you suppose those bears looked at him the way that Wiley Coyote saw the Road Runner? In a few scenes the bears would swipe at him or otherwise make it known that they felt threatened, but you never really see any fear in their faces. To a thousand pound bear, a hundred-weight human is but a morsel.

So, to sum up, the movie isn't really about bears, but more about human stupidity. We live in this world and we pretend that we're the dominant species, but take us out of the cities and we're just another prey animal.

The folks who pretend that nature is the Coca-Cola polar bears-love-seals commercial are doomed to be dinner.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I'm a nerd (betcha didn't know that)

I am nerdier than 98% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!Found this intriguing quiz page on the web that rates your nerdness after answering some questions. As you can see, I scored well (depending on your perspective):

Amazing what amuses me these days. I can remember a time when I would have laughed at someone who scored well on this test (or even took one to begin with). Maybe you're laughing right now.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Like they say, pimpin' ain't easy

From this Associated Press article:

MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) -- A married couple pleaded no contest to charges they ran a brothel across the street from a Concord police station, Contra Costa County authorities said. Debra Watts, 52, will serve one year of home detention after pleading to three felony counts of pimping and pandering, prosecutor Jose Marin said Monday.

Doing something this stupid takes balls. Or a total lack of brains.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why 200 lawyers on the bottom of the ocean is a good start

Look no further than this article. The NFL works very hard to make sure that advertisers refrain from using the phrase "Super Bowl" in their ads this time of year.

Don't those people have anything better to do? I think we should pass a law that says a lawyer (and the plaintiffs) must perform community service each year with the number of hours contributed equal to the time they spent working on frivolous lawsuits.