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LAST 10 ENTRIES

Disconnected
Congratulations Are In Order
Geronimo!
What Do You Get...
Fear of a Boob Planet
Canned Spam
Hey, It Was Good Enough for Isaac
Giddyup, Giddyap or Whatever
From the Bookshelf
Kiss Your Rights Good Bye




« February 2004 | Main | April 2004 »



March 31, 2004

Disconnected

Yes, that's right, I am disconnected. From being wire-bound when it comes to networking that is. The replacement router arrived this afternoon and is running along fine, allowing me to post random and essentially pointless items like this from anywhere in the house:

In the grand bazaars of twelfth-century Arabia, it was occasionally possible, if you knew where to look and you had a lot of cash and a tote bag you didn't care about, to procure an item known as mellified man. The verb "to mellify" comes from the Latin for honey, mel. Mellified man was dead human remains steeped in honey. Its other name was "human mummy confection," though this is misleading, for, unlike other honey-steeped Middle Eastern confections, this one did not get served for dessert. One administered it topically and, I am sorry to say, orally as medicine.
Mmmm, pass the mellified man, please!

*burp*

Posted by Andy at 06:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Congratulations Are In Order

Someone just turned four years old.

Posted by Andy at 08:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Geronimo!

Splat.

An elderly man recently diagnosed with a brain tumor leaped to his death from a vintage airplane he rented to celebrate his 88th birthday, officials said Tuesday.
Too bad no one had Joseph Harold Frost on their Amish Tech Support Dead Pool list - not that he would have been worth that much.

Anyway, I can understand wanting to end it all while you're still of relatively sound mind and body, faced with the prospect of painful suffering and decline, but...

"I think that was Dad's idea, to go out in a flash of glory," said Robert Frost, who had helped his father arrange the chartered flight on a biplane similar to the ones the elder Frost flew in World War II.
Yep, nothing yells "glory!" quite like endangering the life of the pilot as he tries to stop you and the lives of those on the ground when you land on someone's apartment patio, probably providing a fair bit of mental distress for them in the near future. Yep, glorious indeed.

Idiot.

I've been saying that a lot lately. Is the world getting more stupid?

Posted by Andy at 08:50 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




March 30, 2004

What Do You Get...

...for the man who has everything?

Well, if he's a complete idiot, maybe this fine piece of software from Download.com:

An advanced radionics and electronic magic program that protects you against black magic, sorcery, sortilegies, and psychic attacks. Based in powerful rituals of ceremonial magic and the properties of Sun divinities, and taking profit of the occult power of the computers. It comes with two modes: normal protection mode and extreme protection mode. Make your computer protect you now while you are making your normal life. Are you in a period of bad luck, in a short time a lot of illnesses have taken you or your family, things go wrong suddenly? Do you suspect some person is making black magic over you or your family? Well, probably you are being attacked magickly or psychicly; Ultra Spiritual Protection is the solution to your problem. It will give you full spiritual protection and with the continued use of the program, a psychic wall of unpenetrability will be built around you.
Once you're more-than-satisfied with the amazing magical powers radiating from your CPU, you'll certainly want to visit the Tifareth.com website to get some of their other quality products.

If they make anything off of this, I am so in the wrong field. I should be out helping some fools part ways with their money.

(found via D.C. Thornton)

Posted by Andy at 01:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Fear of a Boob Planet

I'm not sure what else can explain a post such as this, in response to this story:

Hey, never let it be said that I have anything but love, honor and respect for women's breasts (1,2,3,4). But there's a time and a place for everything, including suckling your baby.
I agree, and that time and place is "when the baby is hungry."
No doubt proponents would indulge in flights of near-orgasmic prose extolling the beauty of Nursing a Child. OK. Then why would one choose to deny the public a chance to share in the beauty? If a woman isn't discreet enough to cover up in public during the process it's clear that she craves attention, and I think she should have it. Don't the rest of us have the right to stare, comment, or perhaps even critique?
Or perhaps the woman thinks that most men aren't slope-browed troglodytes who get erections anytime they see a tit out in the open, especially when being used in a non-sexual manner. Sorry, but this yabo-phobia* being exhibited says more about those who have a problem with a woman breastfeeding than it does about the woman herself.

Are we such a sexually-repressed society that the mere thought of a naked breast, even when being used in its most natural, life-giving manner, gives us all giant woodies that then require us to self-flagellate before the Lord for forgiveness? Isn't this a greater indictment of the back-asswards views on sexuality and women's breasts held by the offended than of the desire of the woman to feed her child?

I guess so. That's sad.

My wife breastfeeds the wee Fiona in public regularly. We usually have a small blanket with us, but not out of any sense of modesty or decency - more to avoid the harsh stares and complaints of people with screwed up sexual proclivities. Thankfully, most people see it for what it is: simple nourishment for the child, with the added bonus of encouraging bonding between mother and infant. There's a jackass in every crowd though.

No law against being a jackass though, so keep on jackassing on. And snickering at the word "breast."

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for the right of a property owner to dictate what behaviors will and will not be allowed on his own property. We certainly don't need more laws dictating how property must be handled by its rightful owner.

That doesn't change the fact that people who are offended by the site of a boob, any boob, completely regardless of context, are - quite simply - idiots. I'm only surprised they have yet to compare it to pedophilia and animal-humping, a favorite tactic of those with "uber-conservative views on human sexuality."

Give'em time. Give'em time.

Update: J Bowen responds in the comments (with my selected responses):

You and I both know that there are a lot of people who'd rather not see this, for reasons of their own, and if they're "yabophobes" makes no difference....
I'm willing to wager that those reasons have something to do with the sometimes sexual nature of the female breast. Unless they suffered some childhood trauma, attacked by a raging horde of boobs, or simply hate children and think they should starve, I can't come up with many other reasons to be breastfeeding-averse.
It doesn't strike me as much of a concession to cover up, especially when you probably have a spit rag handy anyway.
And, like I said, we generally do, but only to avoid having to hear another comment from some old woman who knows that back in the day a proper baby was bottle fed like God intended. Now, that said, I don't think a woman should have to cover up in a public place if she's comfortable with the stares and furrowed brows of J. Bowen and company.
Do you scratch your crotch in public? How about picking your teeth? Both are perfectly natural.
Well, it's not pedophilia or bestiality, but comparing breastfeeding to scratching one's crotch strikes me as, at best, sloppy, and at worst, bizarre.

Anyway, if my crotch itches? Yep, I will take care of that itch. Nothing says it has to be a Stifler-inspired over-exaggerated tug-of-wiener-war. Something in my teeth? If the tongue can't get it out, and it's uncomfortable or unsightly ("Hey, you've got something in your teeth."), you can bet I'm going to take care of it - but again, that doesn't mean I'm going to over do it by pulling at my lips, sticking out my tongue, and using a dentist's scraper to fetch ye olde food particle.

I happen to believe in respecting the wishes of that large group of people who would rather see the breasts covered discreetly. I won't speculate as to their reasons and I don't believe that they owe me an explanation. I do know that the only ones who demonstrably are thinking about sex in this context are the ones who are making charges about "screwed up sexual proclivities".
So, are you offended by the sight of a mother changing a diaper? How about a picture of your 2-year old niece (if you have one - if not, play along) in the bathtub? If not, why not? I'm going to say that everyone I know would have no problem with the above, based on what I know of them. Why is that? Is it because an infant or toddler is not yet a sexual object to a normal individual? Wouldn't this then imply that to take offense at a woman breastfeeding has everything to do with the sight of the breast itself, and one's own inability to assign a positive, non-sexual context to it?

I agree we're debating about what is and what isn't offensive, which are matters of opinion and custom. However, that doesn't mean I'm ever going to understand why someone cannot see a woman breastfeeding as a beautiful thing or how they can compare it to having something half-chewed and soggy protruding from one's teeth.

Finally, there's more here.

* Yabo-phobia: fear of yabos. Yabos being my favorite grade school playground name for that wonderful anatomical creation, the female breast.

Posted by Andy at 01:02 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack (0)




Canned Spam

And the tin looks remarkably like a Porsche Boxter:

Internet giant AOL has ratcheted up the war against unsolicited e-mail with a publicity-grabbing coup - an online raffle of a spammer's seized Porsche.

AOL won the car - a $47,000 Boxster S - as part of a court settlement against an unnamed e-mailer last year.

There is some bad news though:
The Porsche sweepstake lasts until 8 April, and will be open only to those who were AOL members when it was first announced.
Darn, and I was hoping somebody smart might win.

Posted by Andy at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Hey, It Was Good Enough for Isaac

From the World Wide Rant "voices in your head" bureau:

In opening statements Monday, a Texas prosecutor described how a mother smashed the head of her infant son with a rock and then led her two older boys outside and did the same to them, killing the two oldest boys...

[Attorney] Files said Laney believed that God had told her the world was going to end and "she had to get her house in order," which included killing her children.

"The dilemma she faced is a terrible one for a mother," Files said. "Does she follow what she believes to be God's will, or does she turn her back on God?"

Files said he would present witnesses who would corroborate Laney's love of her children as well as her belief "that the word of God was infallible."

"It destroyed her ability to discern the wrongness of her act," he said.

Naturally, the non-murdering Christians among us will proclaim that this was not the voice of God telling her to do this. Unfortunately, they have absolutely no grounds on which to say that other than their sheer distaste for wanton slaughter, a distaste which Yahweh - if you believe the reports from days of old - has never really seemed to share.

If you believe in God, no one bats an eye. If you believe in God and claim he says nice things or impresses upon your heart that you should pet puppy dogs and feed the hungry, some might think you're a bit off, but generally no big deal. However, if you believe in God and go out and do his apparent bidding, which happens to involve bludgeoning children with rocks, suddenly you're a pariah among the religious.

But how do you know it wasn't God telling her to do it? Obviously, as an atheist, I think she's a right looney - but on what rational ground can a Christian say it wasn't the Big Guy Upstairs encouraging her to do this? Disgust won't cut it. Faith? Not much of an argument, at least if we're looking for reason. Morality? If good is whatever God says it is, then killing can be good (and God, as I've said, has shown a penchant for spilling blood).

If it all boils down to "God wouldn't do that," on what basis can one make that claim, particularly about the all-powerful creator of everything? Who are you to judge the Lord your God?

Just askin'.

(yes, I'm in one of those moods - why do you ask?)

Posted by Andy at 08:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




March 29, 2004

Giddyup, Giddyap or Whatever

You've probably already visited, but the newest Rocky Mountain Blog Roundup is available here.

Posted by Andy at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




From the Bookshelf

Going to be a busy day here in the the land that provides Andy a living wage, so instead of being delightfully entertained by my wit, banter, and intelligent commentary on various topics du jour, I trust you shall find favor with a space-taker-upper list of the books currently being consumed by my beautiful mind.

OK, get back to work. That's what I'm doing.

Posted by Andy at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Kiss Your Rights Good Bye

At least that little one about unlawful search and seizure:

It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone: Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business.

Leaders in law enforcement say it will provide safety to officers, but others argue it's a privilege that could be abused.

The decision was made by the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Two dissenting judges called it the "road to Hell."

I've not read the decision, but I am wondering if their "road to Hell" comment was preceded by something about "good intentions." Remember, anytime the government looks to increase its power and decrease yours, it's "for your own good."
New Orleans Police Department spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo said the new power will go into effect immediately and won't be abused.
I have my doubts, but whether or not something will be abused is hardly the issue. Stomping on "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" is the issue.

But that's ok, I trust the powers that be to know what is best for me.

* Obligatory Echelon-friendly closing to throw them off the trail of the blog resistance.

Update: Mike points out another Fourth Amendment issue over at Talk Left.

Update Two: A comment by Eric sparked me to re-read the article in question, only to find that it has now been updated with much, much - and much - more detail about the case, which casts it in a new light. I still have concerns about the extra powers provided down the road, but in this case, it looks like the guy asked for it. Thanks, Eric.

Posted by Andy at 08:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




March 28, 2004

Condi and the Brain

Maybe it's just me, but for some time now I've noticed a striking similarity between Condi Rice and The Brain (of "Pinky and the Brain" fame, naturally). Granted, one is white, the other black, ebony and ivory together in perfect harmony, but still...


condiandthebrain.gif

OK, yeah, maybe it's just me.

Sorry, folks, that's the best you're going to get tonight.

Posted by Andy at 07:52 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




March 27, 2004

What Does TSA Stand For?

The Transportation Superstition Administration, apparently.

A self-described psychic's tip that a bomb might be on a plane prompted a search with bomb-sniffing dogs that turned up nothing suspicious, but forced the cancelation of the flight.
Unbelievable. Well, not the fact that they didn't find anything, that's to be expected - but that they actually took the *ahem* psychic seriously.
The purported psychic's call was "unusual," conceded Doug Perkins, local administrator for the federal Transportation Security Administration director.

"But in these times, we can't ignore anything. We want to take the appropriate measures," he said.

The appropriate measure to take when a psychic tells you anything about the future is to roll your eyes, walk away, and lament the sad state of reason in America.

Posted by Andy at 01:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




March 26, 2004

Ooh Baby Baby

...it's a wired world.

But only because, last night, our Linksys wireless router went to the big Linksys wireless router depot in the sky, where its spirit is presently frolicking about with other Linksys wireless router spirits as Linksys wireless router spirits are wont to do (when they're not taking time out to haunt wired LAN computers, waving their translucent 802.11 antennae and leaving trails of ecto-packets).

Um, so - anyway - yeah, it died. Tits up. Gone. Gone. Gone, baby, gone.

Linksys is sending us a replacement, though, so all will be well - however, it was a bit of an annoyance to get to that point.

Let it be known that I have absolutely no problem with outsourcing jobs. Free trade, free markets, rah rah sis boom bah and Bob's yer uncle. I do, however, have a problem when those jobs are outsourced to (best I could tell) Indians and South Americans who:


After much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and careful listening (which is difficult after six years of marriage) - after pushing this button, changing that setting, clicking this and ok'ing that - after having to spell "Colorado" for one of the helpful foreigners - finally, finally, he asked:
Sir, is the power light blinking on and off very quickly?
To which I replied:
Yes, indeed it is.
To which he then replied:
We have to send you a new device.
All of that to find out what could have been discovered with but a simple question. So, let me add to the list that I hate expert systems that have all the expertise of John Kerry being modest about Vietnam.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. Linksys, if you're going to outsource jobs, how about outsourcing some training and talent as well? Lowering costs is great. Lowering customer headcounts isn't so much.

Update: (and welcome, Instapundit readers) ... the new router arrived yesterday and is working fine. Next issue will be whether Linksys will accept the returned router without the original receipt.

You see, when I initially bought the router, there was a rebate available on it. So, I had my 3-foot long Circuit City receipt all ready to be addressed and sent packing to Linksys for my money; however, life, as it sometimes does, gets in the way and the receipt sat in my drawer until well past the deadline for getting said refund.

Noticing that was the case a couple of months ago, I instead sent the receipt packing - next stop: Thornton landfill (or perhaps it was recycled, my moods are varied and often influence that decision; much like my wife asking me to take out the trash, the more you bother me, the less likely it's going to happen - eco-nuts be warned). I suppose I could direct Linksys to the landfill, but they might not be up for the adventure.

Anyway, if they aren't pleased with my offering, they'll charge my credit card $84 for the new router. This, of course, will ensure that I bad mouth them repeatedly and never buy another one of their products. So far though, all is well. I'll keep you posted.

Update for Mocking: Apparently some village with a work-release program for their idiot decided to send him my way:

Hey asshole, when you dont comply with the express terms of a warranty, why don't you just take the hit instead of being a repugnant, irresponsible, and sniveling fuckwad?
Ummm, well, stay with me here, this answer is going to be complex:

Because that would be stupid.

Why would I not try to get a replacement, especially for a product that died a mere 5 months into use? Why would I not use my consumer power to influence Linksys to keep me happy? Why not?

Because that would be stupid.

Sit back and take it? Are you running for Spanish Prime Minister or something?

Posted by Andy at 04:20 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




March 25, 2004

Laci's Law

You might have read that Laci and Conner's Law has been passed by both the House and the Senate, and is on its way to the desk of the President. I have some thoughts on the law that I might get around to posting tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime, however, I leave you with this blast from the past. Shudder.

Update: OK, some brief thoughts on the law and how, despite protests to the contrary, it is clearly a step toward trying to make abortion illegal in this country.

The bill states that an assailant who attacks a pregnant woman while committing a violent federal crime can be prosecuted for separate offenses against both the woman and her unborn child, "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."
So, what the bill is saying is that - regardless of the level of development - the embryo or fetus is a human being entitled to the right to life and protection under the law. But...
It specifically excludes prosecution of legally performed abortions — a fact supporters cite in arguing that the bill would not undermine the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision affirming a woman's right to end a pregnancy.

"The criminals who commit these crimes are not committing abortions," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee (search). "They are depriving these unborn children of the right to life. It's a separate issue related to the right to life."

Absolute nonsense.

Does an abortion not deny "these unborn children...the right to life?" As defined in the bill, it most certainly does, and this "exclusion" - while an apparent compromise - is philosophically indefensible in light of the wording of the bill's protection of the embryo or fetus.

Further, what is the greater crime? The criminal who, while robbing someone, injures the fetus knowingly or unknowingly - or the woman who, deciding she can't support or doesn't want a child, willfully goes to a clinic to have her "unborn child" denied its "right to life," and in fact pays for the killing to be done? Not to be too blunt, but in the first example, the death is effectively collateral damage - and in the second, the death is premeditated murder (if we're going to be philosophically consistent).

Please note, I'm not against abortion (up to a point, somewhere in the second trimester - Google away for "Sagan" and "abortion" and you'll find Carl's thoughts which are similar to my own). I'm simply demonstrating that, well, those who say this isn't a veiled attack on Roe v. Wade are either idiots or liars.

With politicians, it's often hard to tell the difference.

Posted by Andy at 09:02 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




Of Abortions and Boobies

Newsflash, the pro-life-at-all-costs crowd just lost another argument:

Miscarriages and induced abortions do not increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer later in life, according to a study of 83,000 women worldwide being published on Friday.

The study's authors, from the University of Oxford in England, said it was the largest to examine the issue, which has been highly charged politically and scientifically.

Naturally, one more study isn't going to sway the opinions of those whose minds are firmly entrenched in the "every sperm is sacred" camp, those who equate lying to protect an undifferentiated blastocyst with lying to keep the Nazis from finding Anne and her family in the attic.

They will argue that several other studies, albeit smaller ones, have shown a possible link. This, however, is much like arguing that if you pull one letter out of your mailbox to find it's from Arizona, that everything else in your mailbox must be too. Anyone with a functioning, honest brain would know that when it comes to samples: bigger is better (assuming each is a good, as-random-as-possible sampling of the population to which you hope to extrapolate).

So, the breast cancer argument is - for now anyway - laid to rest. I doubt they'll let it rest in peace.

Posted by Andy at 07:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Charlie on the Chopping Block

Well, parts of him anyway:

Charlie, a boisterous 7-month-old Belgian Malinois, has changed quite a bit since Saturday.

He is happier, heartier and now a girl.

It's not that Charlie had spent the last 7 months (that's 49 months to you and me) feeling like a girl dog trapped in a boy dog's body, but rather that his unfit owners left him outside, exposed to the elements, continually, since he was some 10 weeks old. Freezing temperatures aren't kind to exposed skin areas, particularly of the pee-pee variety. Not that I know from personal experience or anything, but one can imagine.

Anyway, the good folks at Double J Pet Ranch Companions took Charlie in and raised a couple thousand dollars for his "transformation." There will be follow-up expenses as well. We're doing our part, as my wife is a regular volunteer* there - but I'm sure that any donation you care to make (through Paypal on their website) would be most appreciated.

* She also volunteers for Cavy Care, a no-kill guinea pig shelter. Stop laughing. Guinea pigs need love - and money - too.

Posted by Andy at 10:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




What Are the Chances...

...of god actually existing?

A "scientist" says the probability is about 67%.

Dr Stephen Unwin has used a 200-year-old formula to calculate the probability of the existence of an omnipotent being. Bayes' Theory is usually used to work out the likelihood of events, such as nuclear power failure, by balancing the various factors that could affect a situation.

The Manchester University graduate, who now works as a risk assessor in Ohio, said the theory starts from the assumption that God has a 50/50 chance of existing, and then factors in the evidence both for and against the notion of a higher being.

One million points to the first person who can identify where the good doctor's methodology jumped off the Science highway, waved goodbye to rationality, and started off-roading in Pulled-It-Out-Of-My-Ass country.

Naturally, the Raving Atheist has done his own calculations, with somewhat dissimilar results.

“So the ultimate answer is 4%,” said TRA. "Multiplied by zero."
Heh.

(found via fellow doubter Strange Doctrines)

Posted by Andy at 09:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)




Not So Slow After All

It's scary when a mentally-challenged Palestinian boy is smarter than those "normal" ones who blow themselves up:

A mentally slow Palestinian boy told Israeli soldiers he did not want to die after he was caught approaching them with a bomb strapped to his body yesterday.
Even scarier is what little respect for life - even the life of their fellow Palestinians - these terrorists have:
Israeli officials claimed the boy was paid about $20 and promised sex in heaven to carry out an attack at West Bank's Hawara checkpoint.
At worst, we make tasteless jokes about "very special forces" - these people make them a reality. Culture of death, indeed.

Update: The child's brother provided his own commentary:

Hosni Abdo said he was furious with whoever persuaded his brother to strap on the bomb vest.

"The ones who sent him are stupid, because the army will give him two slaps and he will tell them who sent him," Hosni Abdo said.

Note: he wasn't incensed that they had convinced his handicapped brother to wear a bomb to kill innocent Israelis and Palestinians at a checkpoint. He was angry because his brother would so easily name the terrorists behind it.

Disgusting.

This is a battle that Western civilization must win.

Posted by Andy at 08:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Confused Christian

That would be Jen over at the Greatest Jeneration, speaking about the Pledge of Allegiance being argued on the floor of the Supreme Court:

Hope your prayers are going up with mine that the USSC decides this dreadful case in the right way!
Hmmm, to whom are you praying? If you're praying to the Christian god that the line "under God" should remain in the Pledge, then you've just made the case that it's clearly an endorsement of a specific religion. Or are you hoping that Muslims pray to Allah? That New Agers rub their crystals good and hard? That Wiccans dry hump a tree?

No?

Point made.

I'm also praying for the black heart of Michael Newdow (the atheist petitioner), too, because I know it's not right to hate someone but without Heavenly assistance, I can't help it!
The logic of the kooky mind:
No, no, don't try to follow that logic. It's futile.

What I find most interesting is that Jen actually HATES the man for this - either for being an atheist, making a legal case about two simple words, or both - none of which justifies hatred in a rational mind. Of course, "rational" is the operative word in that sentence.

I'm also confused as to why she would accuse Michael Newdow of having the black heart in need of a-changin', when she's the one consumed by hatred. I dread to imagine a life of such petty bitterness.

Ed. note: While I hate to double her traffic by directing four of you over there, this kind of idiocy just boggles my mind - and makes for fun blogging!

Posted by Andy at 08:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




March 24, 2004

Silly Blog Songs, Part III, Kinda Sorta

So, Michele said that the last challenge, the Six Song Medley o'Goodness, was too difficult, the songs too obscure, the bands too non-commercially viable and/or defunct. She's probably right, but I was hoping someone would shock me.

But no! I remain unshocked!

OK, fine, something a little easier then. Twelve snippets of songs you should probably know if your vinyl/cassette/CD collection expands beyond the ends of the FM radio spectrum (yet includes some of its contents as well). Same rules: honor system, maybe a prize, general admiration for this blog and myself from all you pretty young thangs, whatever.

Click for the MP3

Ready - set - go!

Posted by Andy at 02:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




21st Century Homesteading

The new frontier for pioneers is in our own backyard:

MARQUETTE, Kan. (AP) - Dean and Jennifer Krehbiel are modern-day pioneers on the prairie. The couple are building a home in this small rural town after being offered free land as part of a giveaway aimed at revitalizing Marquette.
I'd jump at the opportunity, except that it's Marquette, Kansas. Of course, maybe that's not so bad since Salina is just 30 miles away. Not that Salina is really much more than a place to sleep between St. Louis and Denver.

OK, nevermind.

Posted by Andy at 08:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)




March 23, 2004

La Incoherencia

Venezuela has a bad case of it:

The Venezuelan government on Tuesday denounced Israel's assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), and urged a peaceful solution to the conflict, said the Foreign Ministry in a statement,

The Venezuelan government expressed "its deepest grief over Yassin's death and its solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian National Authority at such a moment of great consternation," said the statement.

Venezuela opposes the use of violence to achieve any objectives while hoping the two sides can pursue peace negotiations, the statement said.

Deepest grief? Over the death of a terrorist mastermind?

Solidarity with the Palestinians and the PA? When they apparently support terrorism, or at least refuse to speak out against it (ok, the PA does, and then engages in it, but bear with me)?

Nice to see our friends down south engaging in "war is not the answer" idiocy. Apparently, in their effort to denounce "the use of violence to achieve any objectives," they overlooked Yassin's habit of planning the deaths of innocent Israeli men, women, and children.

Good lord (not that I'm a believer), what is the world coming to?

Posted by Andy at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Explode Like The Wind

Hamas wastes no time picking a new leader:

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has named Abdel Aziz Rantissi its new leader, following the killing of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, Fox News has confirmed.
Rantissi was selected for the job after failing to land a gig as the drummer for Spinal Tap.

Posted by Andy at 12:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Name That Tunage

Alright, a medley of six songs for your listening pleasure. Guess the artist and song title, and leave them in the comments.

Name Those Tunes

I'm going to eat lunch now, then attend a few meetings, and then see what wonders you people have worked. We're on the honor system here - no Googling (or OtherSearchEngine-ing) unless you want to be haunted by your conscience for the rest of your days, forced to wander the Earth - listening to a duet between Clay Aiken and The Black Eyed Peas - until the End of Time.

Oh, and apologies for the 64KB quality of the recording - bandwidth and all, you understand.

Update: Crikey, people, nary a comment. Really, it's not THAT hard - I can name every single one of the songs. With my eyes closed. And one hand tied behind my back.

Posted by Andy at 12:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)




Silly Blog Songs

Inspired once again, this time by this post, I give you ten random songs from my MP3 player. They are:

  1. Twiddly Dee - Soul Asylum
  2. Lover's Cross - Jim Croce
  3. So Whatcha Want (Cypress Mix) - Beastie Boys
  4. Sweet Marie - Hothouse Flowers
  5. Stories of Me - Paul Kelly & The Messengers
  6. Rockin' the Suburbs - Ben Folds
  7. Can't Help You Anymore - Sugar
  8. Theme for the Scientist of the Invisible - Masters of Reality
  9. Walk on the Ocean - Toad the Wet Sprocket
  10. Me and You Vs. The World - Space

Not only that, but for a limited time (act now! operators standing by!), you can download a two minute MP3 file giving you a taste of each of the songs! No, I don't know why you'd want that, but what the hell, we're all about giving until it hurts!

Ouch!

You never know, maybe it'll break you of that nasty Linkin Park / Christina Aguilera thing you've got going on!

Update: Michele says I should make a game of it - ok, I shall. Look for a new MP3 file of 5-10 songs sometime today, and you get to guess the artist and song. The first person with all the correct answers wins, well, who knows what. Maybe my admiration. Maybe a shirt. Maybe a thong!

Posted by Andy at 08:58 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)




March 22, 2004

Mythbusting

John Stossel is back with ten more myths to investigate and debunk.

Now if he would just tackle this whole Jesus thing... of course, he might then have Michael Powell breathing down his neck for showing the Savior in naught but a loincloth.

Posted by Andy at 09:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




So Young, So Gay

If ever we needed proof that homosexuality is a case of nature over nurture, here it is:



18-month-old Lukas Mazurczyk rests in his stroller during an anti-war demonstration in New York, March 20, 2004.
OK, OK, fine, so it's just some kooky moonbat exploiting their child in yet another idiotic anti-war protest. My take on it was more entertaining.

Posted by Andy at 08:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Shock And Awwwwww

Playing catch-up after a week away from work at a conference. In the meantime, the wee Fiona - America's happiest baby and don't you forget it - says hi to all of you.

I know what you're thinking - "How is it that this adorable baby will someday grow to rule the world with ruthless might and menacing mayhem?" One of the mysteries of the universe, folks. Don't ponder it too hard or she might think you're an intellectual and you'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Posted by Andy at 10:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




He Who Lives By the Explosive Belt

Dies by Israeli missile strike:

Thousands of Palestinians jammed the streets of Gaza City for the funeral procession Monday of Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, killed earlier in the day in an Israeli missile strike.
Good riddance. Not everyone is pleased:
Britain condemned Israel's killing of Palestinian Hamas movement leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on Monday and said it was unlikely to help fight terrorism.
What? I'm sorry. Excuse me. What? Now Britain is condemning the targeting of terrorist leaders for assassination?
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on arrival at a European Union foreign ministers' meeting that Israel had a right to defend itself against terrorism but had to act within international law.

"It is not entitled to go for this kind of unlawful killing, and we therefore condemn it," he told reporters.

Uh, but if we knock off Osama and his cohorts, it's perfectly acceptable? If we march into Baghdad and plug Saddam's sons, hey, no worries? But if Israel dare defend itself against the same kind of bottom-feeding human refuse, they're in the wrong?

I don't think so.

Did Spain suddenly annex the United Kingdom?

Other EU ministers made similar comments, voicing fears that retaliation by Hamas supporters could spread to Europe.
Yes, it looks like they did. How very, very sad.

Posted by Andy at 06:52 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




J'Accuse- The Conclusion

"Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism… Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research"

- from an official memorandum of the American Sociological Association, full-text printed in “Sociology group criticizes work of Paul Cameron” (1985, September 10). Lincoln Star.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 02:58 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)




March 21, 2004

Gerald McDermott & Robert Benne: J’accuse! J'accuse! J'accuse! Part 1

The online version of Christianity Today has the following disclaimer:

Viewpoints published in "Speaking Out" do not necessarily represent those of Christianity Today.
While this begs the question of "then why do you allow them to be published there?", I'll nevertheless make the following disclaimer:
Viewpoints expressed (and defended) by me, Jon Darby, do not necessarily represent those of The World Wide Rant or its owners, of who I am not one. I absorb complete and absolete responsibility for the views that I am about to publish and assert that they were not formulated or influenced in any way by Andy, Tom, or anybody else.
I state this because my comments about Benne & McDermott, which in previous postings ranged from bitchy to ironic, are about to get really nasty. However, I believe that I will document my research sufficiently well that nobody will be able to accuse me of misrepresentation of any factual statements I will make.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 11:21 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Freedom of Speech

...naturally includes the freedom to be a complete idiot.

(via Michele)

Posted by Andy at 09:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




March 19, 2004

The Birthday Blog

The World Wide Rant officially turned two years old this morning - and the war in Iraq began a year ago. Coincidence? Doubtful.

Ah well, happy birthday to the blog. Here's to another year. Break out the party hats. And the beer. Mmmm, beer.

Posted by Andy at 01:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (3)




Bloggers Meeting Bloggers

Just spent a nice evening out with Mr. and Mrs. Inscrutable here in Scottsdale. We met up in the lobby of the resort, then went across the street to El Chorro Lodge for food and drinks. We discussed religion, guitars, and various aversions to voting for either Bush or Kerry.

We found out the hard way that the restaurant in questions considers $5.25 to be a fair price for ONE FAT TIRE BEER (nevermind that I can get a case of TWENTY-FOUR for twenty dollars back in Denver). Three people having appetizers and drinks should not have a $104.00 tab unless some exotic animal died to be a victim of their carnivorous natures.

Anyway, all done now. Winding down and soon off to bed for one last half-day of meetings, and then it's back to Denver.

Regular blogging will resume shortly. Your long wait is almost over. Whether that's good or bad is up to you!

Update: I've fooled another one! Brent says:

I'll simply reiterate what others before have said. Andy is a genuinely nice guy
I've judiciously edited the bit about my potential voting choice in 2004 (still undecided, but leaning more than a certain Italian tower), but the point remains that I've duped another person into thinking I'm a kind and gentle soul.

Seriously though, I enjoyed the evening and found Brent to be a good guy as well (but that could just be that we atheists are polite around each other while incessantly mocking others and their beliefs - only one way to find out: buy me a drink, people!).

Posted by Andy at 12:02 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)




March 18, 2004

Gay Marriage the Second

being the Second installment and of Length projectedly the Greatest of the Projected Four Dispatches, and the beginning of the Reduction of this Article from Christianity Today and Elsewhere


Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 04:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




Gay Marriage the First: Standing Ground

being a Rambling and Annotated Screed of some Length and in Multiple Portions. this Being part I of a Projected Three, on the Efficacy of Gay Marriage intitiatives, whether Pro or Counter

by

Jon'n. Darby, late of Weokahatchee

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 03:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)




Lesson of the Day

Nokia mobile phones and hot tubs do not go together. Well, they do, but with very unfortunate consequences for the phone. It no longer can make calls, but it sure does look pretty as it randomly lights up and vibrates for no reason.

Oh well, good excuse to upgrade.

Posted by Andy at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




March 16, 2004

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted...

...but a business trip is fine too.

The view from my room. You may hate me now.

Blogging will be sporadic until Friday night when I return the beautiful city o'Denver.

Update: Steve Green reminds us that Colorado isn't half bad either.

Posted by Andy at 04:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




March 15, 2004

Bags A-Packed and A-Ready to Go

Well, almost packed. Need to throw in the battery charger, the shaving kit, and any books I mistakenly think I'll find time to read over the next few days. What I do know is that I arrive in Phoenix prior to lunch and have nothing on the schedule until the evening (although, I could be wrong). So, it'll be Resort Andy with Resort ActionTM until then - digital camera in tow, so perhaps some pictures for the masses. Or not. We'll see.

Blogging will be behind the curve, yet still entertaining beyond the belief of mere mortals for the rest of the week. God bless us everyone.

Posted by Andy at 11:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




An Ode to Animals

On this, International Eat an Animal for PETA Day, I would like to present you with a bit of poetry:

To chickens, cows, and fish everywhere:

I do not eat you out of hate.
I just prefer you on my plate.
Rest assured that your dear life
Has aided that of me and the wife.
And the wee Fiona, though to a lesser degree.
Amen. Let's eat. On that we all agree.

Touching, I realize.

Tonight's meat portion was brought to you by the letters C-O-W. We had Steak Hache' au Poivre, Pommes de Terres "O'Brien," and mixed vegetables (click on the photo above for graphic detail). You can get the recipe here if you're interested, bored, or just like to click through from blogs. The meal was accompanied by a Hedges CMS Columbia Valley 2001, for those keeping score at home.

Here's wishing you a happy and joyful International Eat an Animal for PETA Day!

Update: Laurence Simon goes photo happy with his wanton carnivore ways.

And Aaron beats Bill with his Kosher weenie.

Posted by Andy at 08:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)




On The Road

Or in the air, really, as tomorrow morning I am off to the Phoenix / Scottsdale area on business. Blogging will, if anything, be a nocturnal emission of my keyboard, as I'll be in meetings during the day. At least one evening will be spent drinking beer with the owner/operator/self-flagellator of Unscrewing the Inscrutable, Brent. If you're in the area, why not join us and buy a few rounds (or if you won't join us, just buy a few founds anyway).

Posted by Andy at 11:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




And Your Point Would Be...

Just when I thought that the demonstrations of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had become completely incomprehensible, they've gone and outdone themselves:


Lisa Franzetta, clad in a fur coat, drinks from a toilet in New York's Times Square during a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protest, March 12, 2004.

Errr... ummm.... ok.

So, the message would be: animals drink from toilets. Anyone with a dog knows that already. Thanks, brainiacs!

And don't forget - today is International Eat an Animal for PETA Day! Hooray! That reminds me - I need to call the wife and have her defrost some formerly-known-as-cow slabs for us!

Posted by Andy at 08:51 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (2)




The Terrorists Have Already Won

Sure, it's a line we've all used jokingly since September 11, but this time it's for real, at least in Spain:

Pulling a major ally from the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, Spain's prime minister-elect will withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq in the coming months, a Socialist Party spokesman said.
After the Madrid bombings, many in the blogosphere wondered whether this would swing the tide of opinion in Spain toward one in support of the war on terror, or further toward a "maybe if we put our head in the sand, they won't blow us up" attitude.

So, how does that sand taste, Espana?

On the Iraq front, pulling troops out while we work to stabilize the country is also a mistake. It's one thing to contend that the war should not have happened; it's another thing to abandon the Iraqi people to anarchy as the feeble roots of democracy are trying to take hold.

Odd how people who consider themselves "progressive" tend to only take steps that drive us backward.

Muchas gracias to outgoing Prime Minister Aznar - and thanks for nothin' to incoming Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero. Just remember, America won't forget (unless, of course, John Kerry becomes President in which case it's highly likely that we'll invite you over for tea and cookies and pretend none of this international hoohah ever took place because: multilateralism good - unilateralism bad!).

Update: Rodriguez Zapatero had this to say:

"My immediate priority will be to fight all forms of terrorism,"
In a speech planned for later today, he'll tell us how he plans to fight domestic crime by having Spaniards hand over their wallets.

Posted by Andy at 07:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)




March 13, 2004

Belated Blogiversary

Or Blogaversary. Or whatever.

No matter, a big World Wide Rant shout out to our homegirl Lynn over at Reflections in D Minor - she's two years in and counting.

And, while I do try to make a point of not using words like "shout out" and "homegirl," some times a special occasion calls for it. Word yo.

Or something.

Blogiversaries also serve to remind of us our own blog mortality. The World Wide Rant will be marking another year of the calendar on March 19. It'll be a thrilling retrospective, highlighting your favorite posts, and lots and lots of semi-clad dancing girls and beer.

An alternative plan is just to make mention of the day and move right along. Our people are in talks to decide which will happen.

Anyway, happy blogiversary to Lynn again!

Posted by Andy at 11:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




March 12, 2004

Greta van Fearmonger

From Greta Van Susteren's FoxNews internet poll today:

Which statement below best describes your view about the lack of security on trains, and subways?
Odd, what's missing from the list of choices? Oh, I don't know, let me think about it (think along at home). How about something like:

"I ride them and read my newspaper because pointless scare tactics like this stupid poll annoy the holy crap out of me, Greta."

At least Fox let's us in on this: "This is not a scientific poll."

No kidding, and as far as unscientific polls go, it's a big piece of dooky.

Posted by Andy at 01:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




It's Written in the Stars

Or not, depending upon whom you ask. If you ask me, I'll say astrology is rather useless except as a lark. If you ask Joe, you'll get the opposite answer.

So, in the grand tradition of open-mindedness* that you've come to know and love here at the World Wide Rant, when Joe offered to do a reading for me, I naturally said, "Is it free?"

And when he said yes, I said ok. And so he did one.

I don't have time to write a blow-by-blow, side-by-side, rack-em-and-stack-em, and other hyphenated action phrases comparison, but my general thoughts are: a lot of it is applicable to me. And a lot of other people. Some of it's off the mark (Joe, I'll point those out later if you remind me). I'm still standing firmly in "lark" territory, although I can see where the questions it provokes (say, as a Tarot deck might) can be useful for self-examination (mental, not physical, although both are kind of fun).

The scientist in me just spoke up and said a better experiment would have been to provide false birth information, and then see how much it sounds like me. Oh well. Maybe Joe will get amnesia and we can have a go at it!

* Except on the issue of god(s), because they simply don't exist. Move along, now.

Posted by Andy at 12:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Differing Opinions

While it's not an answer to the questions I asked below, perusing comments by Spaniards in the BBC's Talking Point section on the Madrid train attacks shows that, no matter where you go, there are sensible people:

Barely a few minutes saved my sister-in-law's life on Thursday. I can't imagine the excruciating pain in 190 Spanish homes while I am writing these lines; my heart is with all of them, as more than ever I am proud of being Spanish, European, and no sick terrorist will have the slightest chance to change that.
And another one:
In this moment of sadness I just remember the words of Winston Churchill: We shall go on till the end, we shall fight them on the seas and oceans, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall never surrender.
Naturally, there are the not so sensible people:
I have not words to express what I feel now. Innocent people have paid someone's mistake.
Why is it that those who condemn the actions of the Coalition (as is their right), never see fit to condemn the terrorists who perpetrate these horrendous and malicious acts against innocent people?

Oh, and let's not overlook the strangely bizarre:

If it wasn't a leap year it would be 911 days since 911.
Hmmm.

Update: And some of them keep on getting more stupid by the hour:

Arabic terrorists? No way! Why would they attack the general population of Spain - most of whom opposed the war in Iraq - instead of official targets?
Oh, I don't know. Maybe the same reason they crashed two civilian airliners into two civilian towers killing thousands of civilians from the "general population" of the United States.
And just before election time, too: how convenient.
Up next - "Bush did it to help Aznar's party!" Idiot.
If it was Al Qaeda, I think that our president should feel responsible for what has happened, because people shouted on the streets against the Iraq war.
That's right - it's Aznar's fault. Not those who knowingly planted explosive devices under the feet of innocent Spaniards going about their day. Absolution from the Euroweenie left, Allahu akbar.

Posted by Andy at 08:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Fit Parent

Or not.

A pregnant woman who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a Caesarean section to save her twins was charged Thursday with murder after one of the babies was stillborn.
Charming.
The doctors had warned that without a C-section, the twins would probably die, authorities said. A nurse told police Rowland said a Caesarean would "ruin her life" and she would rather "lose one of the babies than be cut like that."

"We are unable to find any reason other than the cosmetic motivations" for the mother's decision, said Kent Morgan, spokesman for the district attorney.

Not to be mean (well, ok, to be mean), but, darling, looking at your mug shot, a scar on your belly should be the least of your worries.

Update: She's a right looney.

Posted by Andy at 06:39 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




March 11, 2004

Crime and Punishment

That'll show those terrorists!

UN Issues Strongly-Worded Resolution Condemning Spain Train Bombings
...in closing, Kofi Annan also said that if it happened again, those responsible would go to bed without any dinner.

Posted by Andy at 06:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)




One Word

To quote the San Francisco Examiner's headline from 9/11:

BASTARDS!


Posted by Andy at 03:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




The Guilty Parties?

Was today's attack the effort of the usual suspects, ETA, or was it our friends, Al Qaida? An independent think-tank in Belgium is leaning toward the jihadists.

First, ETA generally warns Spanish authorities moments before launching their attacks in which civilians are likely to be harmed. This, obviously, was not the case on Thursday.

Second, ETA traditionally targets representatives of the government or the administration, such as policemen, the military, magistrates or even journalists who oppose them.

Third, ETA customarily selects "symbolic" targets, such as military barracks and administrative buildings. Although ETA's largest attack to date was in 1987 against a supermarket in Barcelona that killed 21 people, this was the exception rather than the norm.

Fourth, ETA always claims its attacks. Following any ETA bombing, ETA militants call in a claim to Spanish authorities. This failed to happen this time.

Fifth, ETA has never in the past carried out multiple attacks. According to some sources, at least 10 bombs were detonated almost simultaneously on Thursday.

On the other hand, these murderous attacks bear the traditional hallmark of al-Qaida: multiple bombs detonating a few seconds apart and programmed to cause the largest possible number of human casualties.

They also mention the lack of popular support for the Basque party in Spain - and intentionally blowing up innocent civilians is not the way to win the hearts and minds of those whose support you need (listen up, Palestinians).

If it does turn out to be Al Qaida, I am curious if this will increase Spanish sentiment for supporting the war on terror, of if it will instead increase popular discontent with the already embattled Aznar (90% of Spaniards polled opposed the war in Iraq).

Will they see these senseless deaths as a reason to destroy this global menace in our midsts, or will they cave in to fear of further retribution? The Moors brought Islam to Spain in centuries past - perhaps they'd like Al Qaida to do it again.

Update: Looks like Al Qaida is claiming responsibility. If that's the case, then, Spain, welcome to the other front-line of the war - may your head-in-the-sand population catch up to the sensibilities of your government.

Update Two: According to the Spanish daily, El Pais, they are also operating under the possibility that ETA is attempting to misdirect authorities. Possible, but I'm not sure how not claiming responsibility makes sense, unless the death count was more than they anticipated and maybe they've realized they've just made a Taliban-sized mistake.

Update Three: The e-mail letter claiming responsibility also has a warning for the United States:

"We announce the good news for the Muslims in the world that the strike of the black wind of death, the expected strike against America, is now at its final stage — 90 percent ready — and it is coming soon, by God's will," the claim said.
Allah must like George Bush, because if we have another catastrophic attack, I'm willing to bet the wartime President will be in for Round Two. (Hat tip to Colorado Conservative for the first info on this.)

Posted by Andy at 12:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)




A Victim of Terror

By now, everyone with access to any reliable communications medium knows about this:

A series of co-ordinated bomb attacks on Madrid's commuter train system killed at least 186 people and wounded over 1,000 at the height of the city's rush hour, Spanish authorities tell CNN.
I happen to have a good friend in Spain. Correction, I had a good friend in Spain.

No, it's not what you think. He wasn't a victim of this attack. He was a victim of something else entirely - the mindset of the left-wing Euroweenie.

We had been friends since the 11th grade, when he was studying in the States as an exchange student. In the years since, I had traveled to Spain to visit; he had done the same, but in reverse. Despite the distance, we kept up a lively correspondence and I counted him among that group of people who I suspected I would know until my final days.

September 11 changed all that. After seeing the twin towers crumble into dust, debris, and human remains, I became a staunch supporter of unilateral action against any and all violent threats to this country and to Western civilization. Afghanistan had it coming. If Iraq leads the way in reshaping the Middle East, I won't be upset.

Little did I know that the war on terror would claim our friendship as a victim. Not by my choice, of course. I can accept (yet disagree with) the pacifist and isolationist who, for their own reasons, oppose our actions - my friend was not the sum total of his view of this war. In his eyes, I was. I was told we were no longer friends. I was told that my views were unacceptable, immoral, and that I should count him among the dead of our war on terror.

Now, I hope he's not among the dead of today's terror. And that maybe, just maybe, he'll now have a better understanding of even a fraction of what I have felt. Given how the wacky way-left within our own borders has forgotten that clear, sunny day in the fall of 2001, I have my doubts.

But I do have hope.

Posted by Andy at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




March 09, 2004

I'm in Love

With this site:

Welcome to the Live Music Archive. etree.org is a community committed to providing the highest quality live concerts in a lossless, downloadable format. The Internet Archive has teamed up with etree.org to preserve and archive as many live concerts as possible for current and future generations to enjoy.
If there be a god above, may he bless these good folks for their existence. And if there be not a god above, I shall bestow my royal World Wide Rant kudos upon them to make up for it.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I have many an Emmet Swimming show to download, convert, and burn.

Woohoo!

Posted by Andy at 11:18 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)




Shocking New Discovery, Again!

First it was anti-bacterial soap not killing nasty viruses, and now it's incredible discoveries like this:

McDonald's Salad Has More Fat Than Cheeseburger

"You can choose your salad, topping and dressing. You can mix and match to suit your diet and lifestyle," said a McDonald's spokeswoman...

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) told Reuters it welcomed the salad menu but warned that salad dressings bought in fast-food outlets or supermarkets could be very high in fat and calories.

Um, yes, like every other salad dressing made from oil of one kind or another. Well, duh, thanks for the heads-up on that one.

Next the BNF will tell us that British cuisine is generally uninteresting.

* Let it be known though that simple things like balsamic vinegar make fine dressings, and others can be whipped up with a base of plain fat-free yogurt. Always looking out for you, that's me, your Andy. Which is not to be confused with the homo-erotic overtones of the relationship between Frodo and Sam in which Sam says things like "It's me, your Sam." Now, if you're of the female persuasion, we can make small talk about the hetero-erotic overtones that aren't really present, but might be if you ask nicely. Or whatever.

Posted by Andy at 05:22 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)




Job Opening

Did Hamas hire former Iraqi Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, to handle their public relations? What else could explain this?

JERUSALEM - The chief Hamas bombmaker and No. 1 on Israel's most-wanted list said Israel had lost its battle to destroy the radical Islamic group and was leaving the Gaza Strip in defeat...

"If we look at the results of our Jihad (holy war) and our resistance, we will find that the enemy entity is collapsing," Deif said in an audio file posted on the group's Web site.

"The Israeli collapse is near. With God's help, it's closer than they imagine. We will witness the victory with our own eyes."

Ah... yeah. Right. Gotcha, hombre.

No mention, though, of how long until Allah will be roasting Israeli stomachs at the hands of Hamas.

Posted by Andy at 12:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Isn't It Obvious?

ABC News asks:

Wrestlemania XX Is Coming — What’s Behind the 20-Year Love Affair?
Oh, I don't know, maybe millions of people lacking any sense of refined taste?

Just a guess.

Elitist? Me? Never. Perish the thought, Commoner!

Posted by Andy at 11:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Site o'the Moment

Take a wide array of blogs, aggregate their latest posts, convert them to speech, and then pump them out via the web - and you get Radio Vox Populi.

Interesting idea, but a bit difficult to listen for long given the quality of text-to-speech synthesis. Other improvements would be slowing down the speech just slightly and pushing the name and URL of the blog in question to the MP3 player.

Posted by Andy at 08:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




I Love the 80s

...or at least the games.

(found via Josh Claybourn)

Posted by Andy at 12:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




March 08, 2004

AAA Says Hop in Your Car and Get Married

Not that AAA (though I definitely endorse them- I also endorse AARP, who sent me a complimentary membership on my last birthday [not sure why as I'm in my 30s, but I definitely like the benefits]).

The American Anthropological Association, a very distinguished society comprised of experts in the field of long and short range analysis of human relationships and their place in societies, has issued the following statement on same-sex unions:

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




From On High

While posting on an atheism community on Orkut* tonight, the one true and great Creator of All Things** bestowed upon me his latest divine floppy red shoe revelation:

My son, the mystery of the Holy Binky Trinity is how I am able to manifest Three Rings under one Big Top.
The BinkyHead, if you will (and even if you won't, because with his Binkiness, your opinion is not of any great import).

I should make t-shirts. And take donations.

We're gonna be big.***

* What, you don't belong to Orkut? Why not, got no friends? Just kidding. Your friends just didn't think you were hip enough to be there.

** Binky the Magic Space Clown, of course.

*** Local chain, silly commercials, that's their tag line.

Posted by Andy at 07:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Denverites Do Good

At undoing the bad.

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- About 300 people of different faiths turned out to clean up a synagogue vandalized with swastikas and Nazi symbols on the eve of the Jewish holiday Purim.

So many people showed up Sunday at BMH-BJ Congregation, where vandalism had been discovered the day before, that people had to stand in line for a turn with a brush and a can of paint thinner.

"This is a place for everyone," said Doug Mix, who is not a member of the congregation. "That is why everyone is here. There are Christians, Jews, Muslims and people who are not religious. We all came out here because America is still America, and we don't tolerate this."

Indeed. Before hearing about this, I had actually thought about driving down there (I pass it everyday on the way home from work) and seeing if they needed any help. Now I feel kind of ashamed that I didn't.

Well, then, next time - but here's hoping there isn't one.

However, while the spirit of community is alive and well in my fair city, I've no reason to think that pockets of sheer idiocy aren't hiding out there still.

Posted by Andy at 02:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




The Award for Best Lede

...goes to:

You'll have to excuse the lack of postings. I've been a little preoccupied. You see, I got shot the other day.
It's not quite what it seems, but click through for the drama of a civil servant, a street-level view of domestic violence, and some angry politicking, all swirled up into one.

Welcome back, Jody!

Posted by Andy at 11:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Non-Story of the Day

Comes courtesy of Drudge:

Sen. John Kerry's official election website is riddled with obscenities, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

The Democrat nominee-in-waiting recently said radio stations are within their right to pull Howard Stern off the air if they object to the shock jock's racy show.

But an investigation reveals Kerry's own website is filled expletives, setting the standard for a new wave of 21st Century campaigning!

First, what's with the "can reveal" line? Since when are the contents of a public website a top-secret, super-special, earth-shattering story that must be held until a precise time?

Second, why is this a story? There is absolutely no disconnect between Kerry's position and the presence of some four-letter words on his website.

One can believe that the owners of a broadcast medium have the right to decide on what content they will allow, while at the same time one can be putting out content of which said owners might not approve. Gosh, and that's exactly what Kerry said:

"Howard Stern does have the right to say whatever he wants anywhere, but he doesn't necessarily have the right to say it on that station if the people who run the station don't want him to," Kerry said while campaigning in New York, where Stern's show is broadcast.
So, Drudge, where's the goddamn* story?

* See, if my host disapproves of this, they have the right to let me know and correct things as they see fit. Hey, maybe if they reprimand me, Drudge will give me a write up too!

Posted by Andy at 10:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Like Father, Like Son

Ted Williams' son, John Henry Williams, has died of leukemia.

You might remember Ol' John Henry for his battle against his sister to have their father turned upside down and frozen like a fishstick via Alcor. Looks like he's following in his father's footsteps:

According to published reports citing family sources, John Henry Williams' remains were delivered to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., where his famous father's body has been stored since his death.
Despite my skepticism, here's hoping that their bet on a real life after death pays off. I'd happily drop a few dollars Alcor's way if I was convinced the technology was well-developed, and that the act of freezing wouldn't damage every cell in my body beyond repair. However, I won't be paying a penny up front for a very, very uncertain future - I might as well be tithing.

Posted by Andy at 09:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




March 06, 2004

The eHarmony Mr. Limpett

Has anyone else noticed that Dr. Neil Clark Warren, the spokesman for eHarmony.com, looks a little too much like Don Knotts?

I know that when I think of love, I think of Barney Fife and his bud nipping.

Posted by Andy at 04:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Please Help the (Soon to Be) Single Mother

As part of our "The World Wide Rant Cares {but expressing it makes us uncomfortable} Campaign", we will be taking donations of canned food and spare change to help lessen the plight of a soon-to-be-suddenly-single mother of two.

I really don't like to preach, but if Diane Ritchie doesn't get a sympathetic judge then how is she going to be able to explain to her children that they can't bring their friends over because she doesn't have the $20,000 for this year's cosmetic surgery and her wardrobe is almost a month out of date because she doesn't have the $15,000 for Versace's April line? Diane puts a face to the plight of single mothers everywhere.

(Somedays it's easier to understand Bolshevism than it is others.)

Posted by Jon at 10:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




March 05, 2004

Artistic Merit

The file I'm about to link to has little to none, but posting it will make it look like I've updated today with my usual wit, eloquence, and pizazz. Have you ever wondered what happens if you take Sonar, load up some Soundfonts, and then add the Session Drummer MIDI effect to each of them rather than actually trying to write something musical yourself?

Well, I wondered. And I got this.

Now you can make it your very own! As always, at the World Wide Rant, you get what you pay for.

Update: And, in case you missed it the first four to five times it's been mentioned, you can still get my and Tom's "we drank how much?" July 4, 2003 celebration of America independence song: Patriot Act Woo.

Stay tuned, more tunage in the future, if you're lucky!

Posted by Andy at 10:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




March 04, 2004

Night of the Living Jeff

It looks like Jeff Goldstein has found his blogging mojo again.

Posted by Andy at 02:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




The Same Place Lost Socks Go

I'm in favor of arming pilots in the cockpit. I'm also in favor of said weapons not getting lost on a regular basis.

"In the last 60 days, we believe 300 weapons have been misplaced," said Dean Roberts of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance. "We don't know where those weapons will end up."
And why is it happening?
Pilots blame TSA policies that require them to check their weapons with passenger luggage when they deadhead, which means to fly as a passenger between routes they're scheduled to pilot.
The article goes on to state that even the National Zoo Police are allowed to do concealed carry on the airlines; I suppose it brings me great comfort to know that should Al Qaeda ever threaten our giant pandas with a 747, we'll be able to foil their fiendish plot.

While I'm not thrilled by the idea of pilots walking down the aisle with a gun at their side, if only because of the ease of a non-readied weapon being taken from someone whose attention has drifted, surely the weapons could be stored in the cabin, rather than at risk in the wild of the luggage handler's realm.

Posted by Andy at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Spit Or Swallow?

Spit.

Wine is an essential component of any culinary or hospitality student's education, but what happens when that student is under 21?

That's a quandary culinary schools across the country face, and one that several institutions have lobbied to solve.

In Colorado, the state Senate recently passed a bill that would allow underage students to taste wine with their older classmates. Senate Bill 82, introduced by Sen. Ken Kester (R), would allow students between the ages of 18 and 21 who are enrolled in accredited culinary programs to sample wines -- as long as they spit them out after tasting.

Ah, yes, eighteen - old enough to vote, to go to war, to get married (unless you're an evil homersexural), to start a family, to do hard time - not old enough to enjoy a drink.

I think our priorities are a bit off, with the result that we have to add more laws to get around the laws we already have, and then maybe a couple more to fine tune those. Ridiculous.

Posted by Andy at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Free the Pledge!

This Spring, the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance. Will those two little words, "under God," pass muster? Given the intent behind their addition in 1954, I imagine the honest answer would be "snowball's chance in Hell."

Now, whether the Court will provide such an answer and send the Religious Right into another round of foaming fits of blaming gays, atheists, and Bill Clinton for the demise of America is to be seen.

Robyn Blumner, writing in the St. Petersburg Times, has another idea: dump the Pledge.

So here's my modest proposal: Stop directing schoolchildren to say the pledge or any rote recitation of national fealty -- not because of the roiling "under God" debate but because loyalty oaths are a backward approach to generating allegiance and are beneath us as a nation.

Instead, we should be imbuing young people with a thoroughgoing understanding of the genius of the American experiment, steeping them in a historical and philosophical understanding of our Founders' vision and investing in civics classes that teach the meaning of "liberty and justice for all" and how this country -- sometimes fitfully -- expanded individual rights and the franchise to all its citizens.

That is how you inspire loyalty. Daily oaths and pledges of allegiance are for nations that don't have as much to be proud of as ours. We have freedom; we don't need a pledge.

She continues by providing an interesting background on the Pledge, its author, and its origins. Francis Bellamy's socialism and ethnic bigotry. His intolerance for certain huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. The original salute, more akin to "heil, mein Fuhrer!" than to "America the beautiful."

So, count me on board for the effort - dump the pledge:

Apparently you are not a patriot unless you believe that government employees should lead schoolchildren every morning to profess a belief in God and declare how this nation loves liberty.
Of course, the people who can't see the irony in that are the same ones who probably support moves like flag burning amendments, spending all of their time and limited thought defending an outdated oath, a piece of cloth, or "sacred" institutions (separation of what and what?), all in the name of defending our freedom by limiting it.

Screw'em. Free the pledge!

Posted by Andy at 08:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)




March 03, 2004

Stephen King's Kingdom Snoop Dogg Hospishizzle

Two observations about this new show:

First, any show that has a middle-aged, type-A doctor listening to The Gourds' cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin & Juice" is ok by me. Wait, I think maybe the group of thugs is listening to it - somehow I think they might stick to the original.

Second, amusing how they worked King's hit-by-a-van accident into the show.

That's all. Damn that's a fine song.

Posted by Andy at 10:28 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




A Toast to the Newlyweds on their 51st Anniversary

One of the frequent oh-me-oh-my-ohs of the "ban-gay-marriage-or-the-sky-will-fall" crowd concerns the issues of infidelity and instability in gay relationships. I wonder what their justification for denying this wedding (roughly similar to a Miss Jane Pittman march down the aisle) would be.

Of course the marriage isn't legal and following a brief honeymoon the two will burn forever in a hell of everlasting fire, but at least for a day they got a rebate on all the damned toaster ovens and china they've given other newlywed couples for fifty years.

Posted by Jon at 09:55 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




Poor Choice of Words

Today's unfortunate headline is:

Spitting match among virus creators making everyone wet
I can promise you, with absolute certainty, that virus coders in a pissing match don't get me excited. Annoyed? Sure. Pissed off? Sometimes. Bordering on orgasm? Um, well, are they hot?

OK, back to my pizza and Bodega Norton Malbec Mendoza 2002. Not bad for a $7 wine - given 89 points by Wine Spectator, with the following plug:

Nice sweet fruit, with lots of black cherry, blackberry and mocha, with a round, easy texture. Ripe and very forward, this focuses on clean, modern fruit. Pure and delicious.
I'm not up to the level of picking out 14 fruits from the aroma without a second thought, but to my slowly-being-cultured tastes, this is right up there with Boone's Farm.

That's a joke, college-aged people. Boone's is fine, for what it is - and what it is, is - well - fruity-flavored liquid poop. Sorry to crush your Crush party dreams.

Posted by Andy at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Attack of the Porn

The Bush administration is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold an online anti-pornography law - for the children:

Solicitor General Theodore Olson told the justices on Tuesday that indecent material is "persistent and unavoidable" and causes "substantial psychological and physiological damage on children."

To illustrate his point, Olson said he went on his home computer over the weekend, typed in "free porn" on a search engine and 6 million Web sites popped up.

If that passes as illustrating one's point, hang it on the fridge with the work of the other six year olds.

No question about it, porn is all over the internet, but I'm curious how he can say it is "persistent and unavoidable," and to prove his point, had to proactively key words into a search engine.

That sounds more to me like "not on my computer and I tried not to avoid it."

Further, this seems like another case where the law isn't even trying to keep up with technology:

The act, passed by Congress in October 1998 and signed into law by President Clinton, would ban making "any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor and that includes any material that is harmful to minors."

To deal with First Amendment concerns that the law would be too narrow, the bill's authors defined "harmful material" based on "contemporary community standards."

First problem I see - with just a couple of words, he found six million web pages potentially dedicated to hot monkey loving. Good luck with enforcement on that one - but, hell, maybe it'll be another chance for the Bush Administration to swell the ranks of the Federal government.

Second problem, "contemporary community standards." As it seems rather clear that the Bush Administration isn't very keen on the complex aspects of things (e.g. science), perhaps they aren't aware that the internet is a global network of machines, crossing political boundaries, each with its own standards across and within. It's not a lone PC in an attic pulling bare boobies out of the ether.

How exactly do you (rationally) hold a porn vendor in France guilty for violating the sensibilities of Deacon Fred in Backwater, Alabama? Especially when Deacon Fred had to type in the words "Mary Magdalene hot naked" to find the site in the first place?

I don't think children should be watching MPGs of silicone-sluts humping anything that moves, particularly things with freakishly large sausages attached; however, sorry, but from what my untrained eye can tell, the law is too vague, unconstitutional, and unenforceable.

Posted by Andy at 07:11 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)




March 02, 2004

God Hates Copycats

And we already have one Fred Phelps.

First it was Jews killing Jesus, and now it's this:

ELYTON, Ala. -- The controversial sign at New Era Baptist Church in Elyton reads, "AIDS is God's curse on a homosexual life," and despite much protest, the pastor who put the sign up says it won't come down.
Apparently the pastor of the church has about as much knowledge of AIDS as Thabo Mbeki, since the disease afflicts a broad spectrum of people, be they gay, straight, or the unfortunate victim of a bad blood transfusion, a dirty needle, or a medical mishap. However, given that God punished America because of homosexuals by killing 3000 people in a couple of towers, I suppose it wouldn't be all that surprising for his aim to suck this time around as well.
Jordan said God inspires his church signs. When God tells him something, he puts it on the sign. If God doesn't tell Jordan anything, the sign is blank.

Jordan says this message will stay up until God tells him to change it.

Pastor Jordan has a personal relationship with Jesus, apparently.

Posted by Andy at 06:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




I, Adam, Take Thee, Steve

Janus Online continues the discussion on gay marriage, with a particular focus on hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and not just waking up one day to find you think other guys have nice bottoms.

Posted by Andy at 01:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




(Insert Charlie Brown Theme)

Aside from my being of the boy persuasion, this seems about right:


Lucy
You are Lucy!


Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Found at ResurrectionSong.

Posted by Andy at 12:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Mars in the News

NASA apparently has some big news:

The Opportunity rover has apparently found something on Mars that's got scientist buzzing back on Earth.

NASA plans to announce Tuesday "significant findings" involving the six-wheeled rover that has been searching the dusty Martian landscape since January for any history of water.

I suspect it will be something along the lines of there being solid evidence that water once flowed on the red planet; however, the uber-geek with the overactive imagination that lives in the recesses of my mind is hoping that it's some evidence of life, something other than mathematical guesstimates that we are not alone (even if our neighbors turn out to be single-celled).

But evidence of water would be an exciting start as well, although perhaps not for the same reasons Dan Quayle once espoused:

Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.

-- Vice President Dan Quayle, 8/11/89 (reported in Esquire, 8/92)

C'mon, NASA, what's the scoop?

And please don't say "The Martians are pissed and their entire fleet of Planet Annihilators is on its way." I mean, that'd be cool and all, but it would really put a damper on my evening.

Posted by Andy at 12:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




March 01, 2004

Just a Friendly Reminder

I have the cutest baby girl in the world:




Presently, the wee Fiona and Mrs. World Wide Rant are visiting the in-laws in England. I'm spending my evenings thinking of ways to undo any silly accents she might begin to pick up.

OK, back to whatever you were doing.

Posted by Andy at 06:40 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




Shocking New Discovery!

Today's "well, duh!" headline is:

Antibacterial Soap Doesn't Prevent Viral Infection
You don't say!
In a new study, people who used antibacterial soaps and cleansers developed cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms just as often as people who used products that did not contain antibacterial ingredients.
I wonder why!
Since most common infections, including colds and flu, are caused by viruses, the lack of an effect on symptoms "is not surprising," according to study author Dr. Elaine L. Larson at the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York.
With ground-breaking studies like this, it can only be a matter of time before we learn that stepping on a crack will not, in fact, break your mother's back, and that putting it half-way in, boys and girls, can still get you pregnant.

Posted by Andy at 05:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Blog, Blog on the Range

The Front Range that is.

Walter's got the Rocky Mountain Blog Roundup, errrr, rounded up, this week. Slap on your chaps, saddle up behind on your horse, and have a look.

Posted by Andy at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Immaculate Heart of Glass of Mary

Remember that office building in Florida that had these amorphous, Rorshach blobs on them that many people thought were the spitting image of the Virgin Mary (and not, say, Jesus, a shepherd, or Joseph and his technicolor dreamcoat)?

Well, they're no more:

CLEARWATER, FL (AP) -- Office building windows that thousands of visitors believed bore the 60-foot tall image of the Virgin Mary were discovered broken Monday, police said.

The three top panes that showed what appeared to be the Virgin Mary's veiled head were destroyed, with just shards of glass remaining in the window frames.

While I firmly believe the perpetrators should be found, tried, and convicted of destruction of property, it also boggles my mind that I breathe the same air and call the same planet "home" as those who think a horrible affront to Yahweh has been committed.

Back in the days before videotape, photographic plates, and other convenient forms of evidence, God went all out with his mighty miracles - parting seas, feeding thousands with but a loaf of Wonder bread, fire and brimstone, rah rah rah!

Glass experts believe the image was created by a chemical reaction and corrosion of the metallic elements in the glass coating, but they could not explain why it took the shape it did.
It's not so much that the corrosion took any certain shape, but that the human brain is a pattern seeker - stare at the popcorn-imprints on a ceiling, the clouds in the sky, the holes in a cork board - oh my gosh, faces and bunnies and puppy dog tails!

Do believers honestly think that if the all-powerful, most-fabulous Creator of Everything (Yet Responsible for Nothing) - or even his mother (who he created, and then let give birth to him - no, no, don't try to figure it out) - anyway, do you think they'd go about such readily explainable phenomena as smeared glass?

If I'd spent years plopping down my 10% tithe for such a Vaudevillian god, I'd ask for a refund.

A crime was certainly committed, but not a crime against anyone's god.

(found via The Colorado Conservative)

Posted by Andy at 03:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)






MONKEY BUSINESS








THE BLOGROLL