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New Blog on the Block
Beer, It Does A Body Good
Once Again Stealing Goldstein's Little Movie Review Meme Because I Can and Because He Steals From Me the Bastard But Anyway None of That Is Important, So Anyway, Here It Is "Film Reviews in 5 Words Or Less"
Half-Way Through the Weekend
RMBB III: Abridged
Do They Hate Bloggers?
Mmmm, My Favorite!
Your Attention, Please
Cinema Contraste
On Sale Once Again

« April 2004 | Main | June 2004 »

May 31, 2004

New Blog on the Block

It's Monica White's new blog. That's right, kids, THE Monica White. Yes, I said it once and I'll say it again, speaking truth to power, Monica White has a blog!

You might remember Monica White as the... uh.... errr....


Well, she's tall and she's Aussie and she lives in London and she's smart and she has even less patience for idiots than I do.

You should go say hello. Unless, of course, you're an idiot.

Posted by Andy at 09:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Beer, It Does A Body Good

Why, it can get you all the way to 114 years of age:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan, who at age 114 was recognized as the world's oldest person, has died after a bout with pneumonia, her family said Monday...

She enjoyed a beer with meals, Matos [a great nephew] said.

"Even when she was over 100 years, every time we took her out to a restaurant, she always like to have a beer, a small beer, a seven-ounce beer with the food," he said. "That was the first thing she asked for when she got to a restaurant."

Brings a tear to the eye, no?


Posted by Andy at 08:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

May 30, 2004

Once Again Stealing Goldstein's Little Movie Review Meme Because I Can and Because He Steals From Me the Bastard But Anyway None of That Is Important, So Anyway, Here It Is "Film Reviews in 5 Words Or Less"

Swimming Pool: Saw it coming mile away.

Odd how five words or less can turn a movie review into something a Native American, or perhaps Japanese tourist, might say. Of course, I could just add an "s" to the word "mile" and then it would be proper - but not quite fitting, as there were some elements of the story that still caught me a bit.

Also, Jeff's review:

Boobies boobies boobies boobies! Twist.
...has some truth to it as well.

Posted by Andy at 10:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Half-Way Through the Weekend

Day-trip out to Rocky Mountain National Park. Much fun was had, until driving up Trail Ridge Road it went from being 65 and sunny to being 35 and blizzardy. Actually, that was rather fun too.

Why, yes, it is beautiful out here in Colorado, and - yes - you do wish you lived here.

Enjoy your weekend - back later...

Posted by Andy at 06:42 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

May 29, 2004

RMBB III: Abridged

Finally feeling almost back to normal after recovering from the liver-blasting, memory-swiss-cheesing event that was the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash III. Slept until 1pm, went out to get my RDA of grease, and took Fiona to the park to go on the swings - no matter how sad, angry, or just plain crappy I feel, one smile from my wee lass and the world is, however briefly, perfect.

Anyway, about the party. Much fun was had. Many bloggers were in attendance.

First, a huge thanks to Denver Press Club President John Ensslin and Chef Daniel Young for allowing us to hold the event at the club, and for making the motley bunch of bloggers feel welcome.

Second, an equally huge thanks to the Oskar Blues Brewery for their very kind donation of beer for the event. It's not often that free beer is good beer, but this was one of those precious, cherished moments where the stars aligned themselves in the third house of Mercury with Venus rising and Mars going down. Mmmm, beer.

If you want the big scoop, the full story, the honest-to-God truth of what happened last night, you can find it all right here. Sort of. More or less.

I'm off to be immobile on the sofa as my brain tries to turn over and start up again. See you all at the next blogger bash next year whenever the mood to drink it up strikes one or more of us.

Posted by Andy at 04:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

May 28, 2004

Do They Hate Bloggers?

I hope not! Otherwise the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash might be a death trap for us all!

The FBI office in Denver has received "numerous" calls about the seven people believed to be associated with al-Qaeda pictured Wednesday in newspapers.
But, you know, even if they ARE in Denver and ARE targeting downtown for a massive attack sometime tonight, I feel safer just knowing that our astute, dedicated, and priority-focused FBI is working it big time.
Samuel Mac, manager of the Denny's in Avon [where two of the suspects might have dined Wednesday], isn't happy with the response he got from the FBI when he reported that two of them ate at his restaurant Wednesday.

When he called the FBI in Washington, D.C., Mac said the man who answered the telephone said he had to call the Denver office and declined to take down any of the information.

When he called the Denver office, he was shuttled to voice mail because the agents were busy, Mac said. It was five hours before a seemingly uninterested agent called back.

Yep, feeling safer already.
Kelso said the Denver FBI office has received at least a dozen calls about the pictures. The calls are all taken seriously and "we follow up on every lead," she said.

But she said the FBI has no reason to believe any of the seven are in Colorado or traveling through.

Um, right, except that maybe they are and maybe they ate at a Denny's in Avon, Colorado.

God* save us from ourselves.

* Not to be construed as an indication that I have found the Baby Jesus. To my knowledge, he is still very much missing, although I've yet to check between the sofa cushions. So, you never know.

Posted by Andy at 05:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 27, 2004

Mmmm, My Favorite!

Ricky is asking Atrios how his crow tastes.

Atrios apparently doesn't want to share.

Posted by Andy at 11:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Your Attention, Please

Those of you who are making death threats against Michael Moore, stop it.

You are all bigger idiots than Mr. Moore could ever hope to be.

Posted by Andy at 09:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Cinema Contraste

Last night was movie night at the World Wide Rant household, courtesy of our friends at Netflix and the $20 a month I send them for the honor of their friendship. Here are the less than helpful reviews:

Kill Bill: Vol. 1: Enjoyable. Fun. Cartoonishly violent, so I don't understand all the hubbub about the blood. Uma, who I don't normally find attractive, suddenly looks good when pissed off, bloody, and sword-wielding. A film noir that easily moves between live action, anime, color, and black and white, with a bizarre soundtrack of such gems as 70s Shaft-inspired Mexican music. Ending was a bit anti-climactic, but that could have been the beer.

The Muppet Movie: Shut up, you - it's a likeable musical of a movie with all its Muppety goodness. Notably absent are blood, explosions, and naked people (or puppets, if that's more your speed).

Next up on the list? Swimming Pool, which apparently is chock full of naked people, but not puppets.

Posted by Andy at 08:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 26, 2004

On Sale Once Again

Told you he'd be back.

They always come back.

Posted by Andy at 07:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

The Shape of Things

Oh no, say it ain't so!

BERLIN (Reuters) - The universe looks like the Eiffel Tower topped with a never-ending spire, a German physicist said Wednesday.

Researchers in Ulm, birthplace of Albert Einstein, have developed a model of the universe as an elongated triangle like the Paris landmark, but with a spire going on and on.

I suppose this means that all of us (aliens included!) have to find a fear of regular bathing, a love of cheese and surrender, and an inexplicable Jerry Lewis fetish.

On the bright side, we all get to seductively rub up against Laetitia Casta (or, for the ladies, perhaps Marcel Marceau).

Posted by Andy at 04:04 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Enemy Among Us

Following up on the mention of a high threat of terror attacks, the FBI is asking everyone to be on the lookout for these seven people. Go on, have a look.

Notice anything about them? One looks white, one looks of Indian descent, and two look black. As I've said, if we start looking for Arabs only, we're looking for trouble. The idea seems to have finally dawned on Ashcroft too:

He also warned that terrorists may not have a typical look and that "the face of al Qaeda may be changing."

Ashcroft said the group adapts quickly to new security measures and may be recruiting operatives in their late 20s or early 30s and "may travel with families to lower their profile."

"Our intelligence confirms al Qaeda is seeking recruits who can portray themselves as Europeans," he said.

Or as Americans. Or who ARE Americans. Religious fundamentalist lunacy of any kind is not going to be bound by the color of one's skin or the country of one's birth, but by the weakness of many human minds. And, trust me, I've talked to plenty of humans in my thirty-two some-ard years, and weak minds abound (but not YOU, dear reader, YOU are superdoubleplusgood special and delicious like a solid milk chocolate bunny!).

An attack is coming. Hopefully far, far away from Denver (although, if they ask nicely, perhaps we could let them just annex Boulder in order to avoid the attack altogether).

Uh, anyway, I believe it's coming. I believe it will be big. I believe many of my countrymen, maybe even me if God decides to aim for atheists for once, will perish in the attack. And I believe our nation will weep. We will be shocked. We will be angry. We will ask "How could this happen?" We will demand revenge. We will demand action and justice and blood for blood.

And we will go after it. And we will grow complacent. And we will forget. And we will decide that, hey, it's been a while since we've been attacked, let's forget about this silly homeland defense thing, bring the troops home, hugs and bunnies in the Middle East. And we will bicker like children and worry about which candidate fell off a bicycle and who made more money for their campaign this month. And we will wonder if American Idol voters are racist, if Harry Potter's new book is a tool of the devil, if Michael Moore really can eat an entire buffet in one sitting.

And then more shit will blow up. More Americans will die.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Unless we, as a nation, wake the hell up.

Posted by Andy at 03:00 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (1)

May 25, 2004

They're Ba-aa-ck...

So says the chatter:

U.S. officials have obtained new intelligence deemed highly credible indicating al-Qaida or other terrorists are in the United States and preparing to launch a major attack this summer, The Associated Press has learned...

"There is clearly a steady drumbeat of information that they are going to attack and hit us hard," said the official, who described the intelligence as highly credible.

Summertime, and the terror's easy...FBI is jumping, terror alert is high...
There also is concern terrorists might try to mount an attack to coincide with the November election.
I might be wrong, but I am inclined to think that another attack would make Bush a sure thing in November. But then, perhaps most Americans aren't like me and when they think "Kerry," they think "tough on defense." I shudder to think. I still shudder to think about where the hell to cast my vote, given that I'm a walking enigma to the parties that call our political spectrum home.
The political fallout from the March 11 train bombings in Spain taught al-Qaida that an attack timed to an election can have a major impact. Spain's former ruling party was ousted in the voting that followed the bombing, which killed 191 and injured more than 2,000.
Muchas gracias, nuestros amigos!

I'm pretty sure another attack is coming, but no idea when or where or how. The why is all to clear: "Allahu Akbar and death to the infidel!" Al Qaeda is patient, if nothing else. America exists in the "I Want My MTV" space-time continuum, while Osama and Company think, plan, think some more. You'd have thought that September 11, 2001 would have been a wake up call, but it seems largely forgotten when it comes to the political landscape.

So, let's see what summer brings. Here's hoping it's a safe one.

Posted by Andy at 09:41 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Martyrs One and All!

Watch as offended Catholics bravely defend the faith against a popular work of fiction.

Stay tuned next week as a dazzling line-up of pagan witches get their panties in a twist over Harry Potter.

Ooh, ahhhhh!

Posted by Andy at 08:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Daily Updates

For those of you who might have forgotten, my daughter is absolutely adorable:


Told you so.

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Andy at 08:43 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

Supply, Demand, Tomato, To-mah-to

Uh, help me out here.

Kerry's campaign said Bush's mishandling of the war in Iraq (search) has contributed to the increase in gas prices.
So the "war for oiiiiil" has resulted in higher gas prices?

What's the next chant going to be, "Dubya can't even get his selfish misguided wars right! Ha ha smirk smirk smirk chimp bicycle wreck abu-gha-rape?"

As my grandmother would say*, "Andy, people so dumb."

* To my knowledge, my grandmother never actually said that. But since I can't know everything she ever said, there exists the possibility that she did say it, somewhere, at some time, in this big universe of ours. So, you can't prove she didn't say it - thus there's no reason for you people who believe in God believe she said it to stop believing so just because some atheists a-she-said-it-ists said so. You go on with your bad self. This ramble brought to you by the letter "47."

Posted by Andy at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Good News!

You know what this means, don't you?

Bacteria in the mouth can latch onto the AIDS virus and prevent it from infecting cells -- which could help protect infants from catching the deadly virus from their mothers, researchers reported on Tuesday.
More anonymous oral sex with beautiful women lurking in local men's rooms, that's what! Oh yeah!

Well, they did have dresses on and they did say "No, no, call me Betty." Beyond that, yeah, it's kind of a crapshoot.

So to speak.

No offense to my gay friends and readers.

"None taken, Andy!" - Andy's gay friends and readers.

Aw, thanks!

Posted by Andy at 04:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Skill Development

Avril Lavigne could use some in the "personal assessment" department:

Avril Lavigne knows her image: a moody, teen rock star with an acidic tongue, steely stare and tough-girl attitude.

"I have been labeled like I'm this angry girl -- I'm like, this rebel, I'm like, punk, and I am SO not any of them. It's so funny, and I'm actually really shy," the petite, Canadian-born Lavigne says in typical teenspeak.

Acidic? Tough? Rebel? Punk? Like, did anyone who, like, had to endure the 14 bazillion hours of airtime her last album got think she was any of that? OK, did anyone who knows who the Sex Pistols are think any of that?

This world is simply spiraling to the deepest pits of Hell, clearly.

Posted by Andy at 01:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash III is almost upon us.


When: May 28, 2004 - 7pm or whenever

Where: The Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80204

Cost: Only whatever you eat and drink, or however much you pay Jeff Goldstein for his "special services"

Walter's is the place to RSVP,
if you feel so compelled

Posted by Andy at 08:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 24, 2004

The President's Speech

I'm off to bed, but I thought I'd direct you over to the Atrios Fun House to read the deep, cutting commentary provided by his commenters.

No, no, wait - I'll save you the trouble and paraphrase:

dummy smirk chimp drool abu-gha-rape? abu-gha-rape! abu-gha-rape! idiot drool abu-gha-rape! abu-gha-rape! abu-gha-rape! smirk Halliburton abu-gha-rape! bicycle accident smirk abu-gha-rape! heh heh smirk smirk abu-gha-rape!
Powerful insights to be found over there. I'm in awe.

I'm no huge fan of the Bush administration (as anyone who reads this site AND who has more than three operational brain cells knows), but if Atrios' popularity is a sign of the new face of powerful political discourse, someone tell that ugly mug to look away.

Oh yeah: None of the smugly superior commenters noted that Bush said "calvary" instead of "cavalry." They're sooooo dumb! Idiots! Smirk smirk!

Update: Jeff Goldstein, knowing a good thing when he sees it (although, to his credit, he has rejected the many saucy advances of Steve Green), decided to emulate his favorite blog here. Imitation. Flattery. Copycat. Whatever, traffic is cool, baby, cool.

Posted by Andy at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Lies and the Lying Lefty Liars Who Tell Them, Part 49

Lying seems to be a pathological problem for Michael Moore:

Dressed in a T-shirt promoting his own Kill Bill films, which screened as a four-hour whole on the final day of the festival, Tarantino said: "I made a statement early on that I didn't want politics to be involved.

"All that mattered was the reels of film. I told Michael Moore last night we all agreed that Fahrenheit 9/11 was the best feature in competition."

Moore's response, according to Tarantino, was "that means more to me than anything. If I wanted to make political statements, I would have run for office. I want to make movies".

Or, if you wanted to make political statements, you might turn the Oscars into your soapbox:
Whether it is the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts, we are against this war, Mr Bush.

Shame on you, Mr Bush. Shame on you.

Or perhaps at Cannes itself:
"We had a president who was asleep at the wheel," Moore said.

"I do think it is important to care at times like this. This time I was the straight man and Bush wrote the funniest lines," he added of a film that constantly mocks the president. "The fish rots from the head down."

Now, perhaps it's just me, but when one criticizes a standing President, his administration's policies, and makes movies about the same, to say that one has no interest in making political statements is just so much - oh, what's the word - merde?

Posted by Andy at 09:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 21, 2004

What If I Was Heathcliff?

It's no myth - I've read all of the books below in bold, from College Board's 101 Great Books list.

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Andy at 10:07 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (1)

Riding the Coattails of the Dead

A well-respected psychologist - who oddly resembles me and isn't really a well-respected psychologist, but plays one on his blog - has come to the conclusion that terror victim Nick Berg's father, Michael Berg, is a raving kook of the highest order, and is thus eligible to receive the whenever-we-feel-like-it World Wide Rant "Raving Kook of the Highest Order" award.

My son, Nick, was my teacher and my hero.
Although, judging from what follows, you paid about as much attention to Nick's lessons as Alan Neese did in Mrs. Burrough's 4th grade class at Oak Hill Elementary.*
People ask me why I focus on putting the blame for my son's tragic and atrocious end on the Bush administration. They ask: "Don't you blame the five men who killed him?" I have answered that I blame them no more or less than the Bush administration, but I am wrong:
I'll use my creative blockquoting to pause here and say that, yes, Mr. Berg, you are wrong. Also a wee bit on the dopey side.
I am sure, knowing my son, that somewhere during their association with him these men became aware of what an extraordinary man my son was. I take comfort that when they did the awful thing they did, they weren't quite as in to it as they might have been. I am sure that they came to admire him.
Yep, I know that when I think of people I admire, my first inclination IS TO CUT THEIR GODDAMN HEAD OFF!

No, dumbass, you see, murder is what you do to people you don't particularly care for - and your son, an American Jew, fit the bill. His generosity didn't matter. His stoicism didn't matter. His screams as they began to slice into his neck didn't matter. He was the enemy - the infidel - that mattered.

And I am sure that these murderers, for just a brief moment, did not like what they were doing.
Uh, yes, that would explain all the hoopin' and hollerin' as your son screamed and breathed his last agonizing breaths.
So what were we to do when we in America were attacked on September 11, that infamous day? I say we should have done then what we never did before: stop speaking to the people we labelled our enemies and start listening to them.
And I say you're a damned fool of a man. If you want to listen to Al Qaeda, here's what you'll hear: "become Muslim or die, infidel pig dog, Allahu Akbar!"

Now, maybe it's me, but I don't see a whole lot of wiggle room in that for understanding or active listening and hugs and bunnies and puppy dog tails and lord you are about as thick as they come, aren't you?

The greatest tragedy in all of this, Mr. Berg, is the loss of a good man, your son, at the hands of murdering terrorists. The second greatest tragedy is that it's given you a global soapbox for your mad, far-lefty kook incoherence and insanity.

Someone let me know when his fifteen minutes are up.

* Alan Neese had some sort of attention deficit disorder and had to wear ear plugs during class so that the talking of other students would not destroy his focus. He was strange, but this other kid - Michael White, I think his name was - was even more annoying in that, because he was completely anti-social and engaged no one in conversation, he never had to write out his spelling words 20 times as punishment for too much talking like the rest of the class. Yes, I still remember that sort of stuff. How sad is that?

Posted by Andy at 04:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (2)

Religion of Peace

Wait, sorry, that should be religion of "grease."

A woman is accused of pouring boiling oil on her boyfriend's face in an argument over a Bible verse...

The two were reading the Bible at the boyfriend's apartment May 13 when Morris went to the kitchen to prepare french fries, police said.

Morris told police that they continued to argue and that her boyfriend grabbed her from behind. Police said he then went to his bedroom to lie down. Morris followed and threw the oil on him, police said.

Kind of gives anointing with oil a whole new meaning. Ouch.

Posted by Andy at 08:59 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1)

Stealing This Title from Jeff Goldstein Because, Hey, Why The Hell Not. So Without Further Ado, It's "Film reviews in 5 words or less"

Mulholland Drive (2001) Directed by David Lynch. Stars Naomi Watts and Laura Harring.

Five Words Or Less Review: What did I just watch?

Or: Hot women kiss each other.

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

May 19, 2004

No thank you very much- stay dead please

There are two camps on Andy Kaufman: those who view him as a brilliant performance artist who took entertainment to new levels, and smart people. Personally I consider him a masturbatory no-talent horse's bum- I even thought Latka was one of the most annoying characters never to have sprung from the minds of hack creators Miller & Boyett.

But one part of the "Kaufman Legend" that was remotely intriguing was this: he always swore to friends and family that one day he would successfully fake his own death and reappear twenty years later to tell the tale.

So is he back?

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Jon at 03:20 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (2)

The Path to Peace

In the Middle East, it's apparently to be found by the Palestinians embracing Arafat's bold leadership, blowing up innocent civilians, and remaining in a political and economic Dark Age. So sayeth The New York Times.

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

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

twister.jpgIn an imaginative effort to bolster the coffers of the U.S Treasury, the government on Tuesday announced the sale of a new game for kids and adults of all ages: Threat Condition Twister!

Just imagine the wacky and compromising positions in which you'll find yourself when you spin for "right hand - Guarded" and your friend gets "left leg - Severe!"

Tom Ridge is standing by to take your order! Don't delay!

Posted by Andy at 07:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

May 18, 2004

What Media Bias? Part 827

World Net Daily lets its readers know about this:

Muslims have slaughtered an estimated 600 Christians this week in Nigeria, according to the Christian Association of Nigeria.

The carnage in Kano, in the country's mostly Muslim north, began with a protest in retaliation for Muslim deaths hundreds of miles away in Yelwe, said the British-based monitor of persecution against Christians, Barnabas Fund, the Assist News service reported.

What this internet mouthpiece of the uber-conservative, religious right leaves out is that the "Muslim deaths hundreds of miles away" were at the hands of (drum roll, please!)... CHRISTIANS!

Yeah, minor detail when your agenda is an anti-Muslim smear campaign, huh fellas?

Dishonest pricks*.

* Ed: My, my, such language, Andy lad.

Aw, to Hell with the lot of ya.

Posted by Andy at 08:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Requiescat Felix

Most celebrity deaths don't bother me, but this one did. Eighty-four certainly is a respectable run, but growing up a lil' queer boy in Weokahatchee, AL I always felt a major bond towards Felix and later towards Sidney Shorr (while he was gay- they later changed him to Felix with a different name and more Jewish).

I met Tony a few years ago and was surprised that he was super-nice in person. Of course at the time he was 76 with a 26 year old wife who had just learned she was pregnant so he was pretty happy, but even so I would have expected arrogance and pomposity on epic scale and instead he was extremely courteous, jovial and personable.

It'll be odd for his kids (7 & 5 years old respectfully) to grow up with their father's very long life caught on video*. Perhaps his widow will do the right thing and marry David Hyde Pierce so it'll be as if nothing ever changed. (Odd that Tony, a rabid non-smoker and exercise freak, died before Jack Klugman, the former 5 pack a day smoker who by his own admission never did a push-up after WW2 basic training.)

In any case, we'll always Love Sidney.

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Jon at 10:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Prepared for the Predictable

London, fully prepared to readily deal with terrorists who are not the least bit creative.

Terrorists target London with multiple attacks. It's a nightmare scenario devised by Panorama with the help of security experts to test how well Britain would cope. But the government condemned the exercise as "irresponsible" and refused to co-operate...

We said that a fictional terrorist attack warranted "thinking out of the box" and that it would be a good thing to examine the civil contingency efforts of government since the shocking events of 9/11.

Our scenario centred on a series of suicide bombs on the London Underground followed by a chlorine tanker exploding in the east end of London.

However, they said they were unlikely to help us if we insisted on this "irresponsible" scenario.

They said it would give ideas to the terrorists because terrorists watch television.

Were I a Londoner, I'd feel safer already.

Or not.

Clearly, the way to win the war on terror, then, is to let UPN take over all television programming worldwide, since nobody watches that crap.

(found via Dial M for Max)

Posted by Andy at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Amish Crap

Laurence Simon has moved homes. No worries, he's still full of it. But not so much as, say, Ted Rall.

Posted by Andy at 08:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Ballot Box Blues

Sigh. Everytime I start to think that I'll cast my vote for Bush, he has to open his mouth*:

"The sacred institution of marriage should not be redefined by a few activist judges. All Americans have a right to be heard in this debate," the president said in a written statement.

"I called on the Congress to pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. The need for that amendment is still urgent, and I repeat that call today."

The need is urgent? We're fighting a war against terror, effectively occupying two foreign countries, trying to maintain the momentum of an economic recovery, and stopping two adults from committing their lives to one another is urgent?

I swear, some days I think Kerry is the sensible choice**.

What is a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-war on terror, anti-war on drugs, privacy advocating, atheist, libertarian with neocon highlights supposed to do?

* OK, so it's a written statement.

** Note: "days" is probably an overstatement. It's usually more like "some nanoseconds." And I realize Kerry is against gay marriage, but he's not endorsing an amendment - yet. He probably will next month, and then deny he ever did the month after that.

Posted by Andy at 08:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 17, 2004

Yay Me!

I'm positively dreamy. And enjoy talking to myself by the looks of things. Aw, to Hell with the lot of ya.*

* This will soon rival Jeff Goldstein's "that's really freaky, man" as the catch phrase of some woefully under-represented corner of the blogosphere. Probably a corner that does itself in with Tylenol, Diesel 180, purple shrouds and white Reeboks. I swear you always were a bunch of right fuck-ups.

Posted by Andy at 11:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Compassionate Conservatism

Oliver Willis says it isn't pictures with black folks.

Of course, if Bush just had pictures of himself helping white people, it'd be "Racist Good Ol' Boy Stops for Photo Op." And if Bush had pictures of himself helping a mixed-race crowd of individuals, it'd be "Bush Being All Things to All Races."

The man can't win. Unless, of course, he does come November.

And, for the record, no, I don't know for whom I am going to vote yet.

Posted by Andy at 08:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

You Say "I-Beam Girder"

I say "sign."

An hour before a huge girder collapsed onto I-70, killing a family of three, a motorist called 911 warning that the girder appeared to be unstable...

The caller said, "The bridge over C-470 and I-70 looks like they hung a new I-beam girder in the last couple of days, uh, it's rolled and it looks like it's structurally unsafe over the freeway."

The dispatcher responded, "So there's a sign actually hanging down?"

Um, no, he said there's a "new I-beam girder" that has "rolled" and looks "structurally unsafe over the freeway." Lo, he was right.

I realize that hindsight (hindhearing?) is 20/20, but having actually heard the conversation that was recorded, I still can't figure out where the dispatcher got the word "sign" from - but, regardless, a family of three is dead, and they didn't have to be.

Sometimes this ol' world just sucks.

Posted by Andy at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Abstinence Only Education

It works a little too well:

A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless - they weren't having sex...

A clinic spokesman said: "When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?".

"We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate."

I'd say this couldn't possibly be true if I didn't know a particular young woman who got pregnant because the guy told her it couldn't make a baby if he only "put it in halfway." She wasn't retarded either - just woefully and religiously ignorant.

Update: Great minds, yada yada yada.

Posted by Andy at 09:37 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

May 16, 2004

The Boy Who Cried Bush

Michael Moore is throwing around allegations:

The White House tried to halt the making and release of Michael Moore's new film Fahrenheit 9/11, the film-maker alleged in Cannes on Sunday.

The director told a Cannes audience the Bush administration wanted to keep the film off screens in the run-up to November's US election.

He then told the audience that he isn't overweight, he's undertall.

The most frightening thing is that the French will probably believe his nonsense. This would actually matter if the French were half as important as they believe themselves to be. Or if, uh, Michael Moore was.

Posted by Andy at 09:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Child's Play

Or not:


An action adventure platform cum shooter, featuring a rodent, hardly seems to have the makings of a classic game.

Yet the title by developers Rare has exuberance, a visual flair and sheer energy unmatched by any other game. An online blaster, the game reeks of quality.

As an "action adventure platform cum shooter," I doubt that quality is all it reeks of.

Look at that. In one sentence I was both laughingly immature and grammatically murderous. That felt good.

Posted by Andy at 04:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 15, 2004

Just One Question*

Why is it that some Christians, the followers of a supposedly loving Christ, a Savior who freely associated with so-called sinners rather than mocking them, have cornered the market on being mean-spirited hatred?

Was I really this big an ass when I was Catholic? Go on, be honest.

Oh, and I should point out that another Catholic ass thinks it's a hoot too.

And, no, Mark, I won't be apologizing for the name-calling this time. You've earned it.

* Edited for moral and linguistic clarity. New sections are italicized. God bless.

Posted by Andy at 06:50 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0)

Rapid Reviews

Just a few notes on the movies we've watched this weekend, courtesy of our friends at Netflix. Well, not so much "courtesy of" - more like, "in exchange for our $22 a month." But I digress.

"Lost in Translation" - we loved it, and not just because Oscar said we should. I consider a performance to be great when I am able to forget I'm watching Actor X portraying Character Y, and instead only see the character. Bill Murray pulled it off on this outing - a remarkably subdued performance that is perfect for the character. Additionally, you can see through the backside of Scarlett Johansson's panties in many a scene. Booty call! Seriously though, do rent it, do watch it, and if you don't like it, you're a shmuck.

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" - you might think the story is a bit out of date, but then you've probably never lived in Alabama. Also, how could you not love a movie with "Weezy" Jefferson? And did Katherine Hepburn really look that old in 1967? (quick IMDB check) - crikey, she was already 60? Wow. I feel young.

"Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" - enjoyable, albeit predictable. I swear, reading all these screenplay-writing books has damn near ruined the movies for me. Lots of cannons and blood and one shot of a cute monkey. Still want to know what happens after the final shot - did they get the bloody Frenchmen or not? I suppose that's left to us - or the sequel writers.

OK, back to our weekend. Enjoy yours!

Posted by Andy at 06:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

We're Fine, Thanks for Asking

Thankfully, no, the Clan WorldWideRant was not caught in the overpass collapse in Denver this morning.

A 40-ton steel support girder on an overpass west of Denver, Colorado, collapsed onto Interstate 70 on Saturday, killing three people and blocking eastbound traffic on the interstate, a state official said.
A tragedy, to be sure. Up until I heard about this in the middle of the afternoon, I was actually thinking what a lousy day we had had at a group yard sale where we made all of $1 (but that one dollar was pure profit, baby!). Odd how life can put things into perspective for you.
"So far we have no idea what caused the collapse, whether it was the result of some sort of collision with a vehicle or not, but it is under investigation," Stegman said.
My unscientific vote goes to "gravity" as the cause of the collapse, but then again, I'm just a blogger. Anyway, our thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed - and with the insurance company of the contractor who installed that girder, 'cause they're about to be hurting.

Posted by Andy at 06:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 14, 2004

What The World Needs Now

Pope John Paul II has a message for the European Union:

Pope Says Enlarged EU Needs Christianity
The pontiff went on to say that the EU would then need "a hole in the head." He continued, "...and it needs Islam like a hole in the head AND a swift kick to the groin. Repeated kicks at that."

Posted by Andy at 12:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

An Experiment - Call for Volunteers

A new report from Emory University suggest that, with regard to money, "It's nicer when you actually earn it."

Lottery winners, trust-fund babies and others who get their money without working for it do not get as much satisfaction from their cash as those who earn it, a study of the pleasure centre in people's brains suggests.

Emory University researchers measured brain activity in the striatum - the part of the brain associated with reward processing and pleasure - in two groups of volunteers. One group had to work to receive money while playing a simple computer game; the other group was rewarded without having to earn it.

The brains of those who had to work for their money were more stimulated.

I say let's put this to a rigorous, strict test right here on the World Wide Rant. All you have to do is click on that PayPal link to the left and give me money for no particular reason. After a few days, I will count up the money and provide - free of charge! - my subjective analysis of how I feel about having your money in my possession in exchange for absolutely nothing.

Got it? Good! OK - who's with me? Do it for science!

Posted by Andy at 11:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 13, 2004

Hmmm, The Plot Thickens

From CBS News:

U.S. officials say the FBI questioned Berg in 2002 after a computer password Berg used in college turned up in the possession of Zaccarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative arrested shortly before 9/11 for his suspicious activity at a flight school in Minnesota.

The bureau had already dismissed the connection between Berg and Moussaoui as nothing more than a college student who had been careless about protecting his password.

But in the wake of Berg's gruesome murder, it becomes a stranger than fiction coincidence -- an American who inadvertently gave away his computer password to one notorious al Qaeda operative is later murdered by another notorious al Qaeda operative.

Berg's body was found Saturday in Baghdad. Two e-mails he sent to his family and friends show he traveled widely and unguarded throughout Iraq, an unsafe practice rarely done by Westerners.

Very odd indeed. Make of it what you will, but I hope this isn't the part where we find out that Nick Berg was a traitor - or, worse, that his family is less than patriotic (what with the senior Berg's anti-Bush and anti-Rumsfeld rantings, rather than blaming those who took the head of his son).

Bizarre. This is one to watch.

Update: Wizbang is watching it.

Update 2: From the comments -

Berg Senior may be a crackpot, but "anti-Bush and anti-Rumsfeld rantings" hardly qualify one as "unpatriotic."
Quite right, and not my intention to portray anti-Administration comments as unpatriotic. I was merely hypothesizing based upon this new twist, Berg's death, and his father's reaction, taken as a whole - granted, assuming the worst. I sincerely hope this is all nothing but a strange twist of fate.

Posted by Andy at 07:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Closing Up Shop

No, not me, silly.

But it looks like the U.S. government has its sights on Jeff Goldstein, aiming to put him out of business.

Can't they leave a brother alone?

Posted by Andy at 11:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Forces of Darkness

That evil, dastardly ACLU is up to their old tricks!

A school district agreed as part of a legal settlement to apologize to a high school valedictorian whose yearbook quote was removed because it was a Bible verse.

The ACLU said that under the terms of the settlement, the school district agreed to place a sticker with Moler's original entry in copies of the yearbook on file at the high school; ordered current yearbook staff to not censor other religious or political speech; to train its staff on free speech and religious freedom issues; and to write Moler a letter of regret.

Oh, wait, you mean the ACLU went to court to defend a Bible verse? You mean to tell me that they aren't just out to oppress Christians and line them up against the wall?

Crikey, I bet the Religious Right is all confoozled now.

Note: I'm sure some of you will quickly proclaim this is just window dressing, a means for the ACLU to hide their real agenda of turning us all into god-hating homosexual communists. Unfortunately, to do so would mean you're a complete dumbass. Please avoid such behavior. It's very unbecoming.

Posted by Andy at 09:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

What The?

It's May 13.

Can someone please explain to me why I woke up to it snowing outside?*

* No, I really don't want a lesson on the weather, smartass.

Posted by Andy at 08:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Creative Headline Writing 101

From The Independent:

Ice age movie is realistic, says Britain's chief scientist
He's speaking, of course, about the upcoming, end-of-the-world, kiss-your-ass-goodbye flick, "The Day After Tomorrow," in which the Gulf Stream comes to a screeching halt (water can screech, it's true!) and the planet goes into a deep freeze, resulting in all sorts of computer-aided special effects sequences.

So, which parts of the gloom-and-doom-fest are realistic? Should we really be worried about New York becoming bitterly cold...errrr, colder? Well, no, not quite:

Sir David said the film, by the Independence Day director, Roland Emmerich, accurately portrayed the difficult real-life discussions that have taken place between climate scientists and politicians, particularly those close to the Bush administration, which is sceptical about global warming.
Ignoring the irrelevant jab at the Bush White House, that's right - the gritty realism of the movie can be found in the political discussions. The. Political. Discussions.

This is about as meaningful as saying that "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is realistic because British people really do talk kind of funny.

Posted by Andy at 08:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 12, 2004

Strengthen the Good

Even if we do track down those responsible for Nick Berg's death, killing them won't chalk up a positive in the karmic score box - it'll just neutralize the negative the killers created. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for neutralization of the negative, particularly with malice beyond compare. However, while our government and our troops pursue that goal, those of us Stateside can be working for an active good.

So, Go here. Let's roll.*

* Please don't sue me, Lisa Beamer. Please?

Posted by Andy at 09:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

BBC Talking Point: Nick Berg

Whenever you need to see just how badly the human brain can malfunction when contemplating an issue in the news, BBC Talking Point is a fine place to scout out examples. In the most recent, regarding the death of Nick Berg, we quickly learn that Abdul Average is apparently a lot brighter than Joe Average. To wit:

I am a Muslim and I am shocked at the killing of an innocent civilian. This is a very ugly murder and these people should be punished. The atrocities of some American soldiers in Iraqi jails doesn't give anybody an excuse to murder civilians. - Riad El Fadel Raad, Tripoli, Lebanon
Compared to:
Is it possible that these men consider Mr Berg's death sacrificial and if so then honourable even if we see it as murder. Do they see what was done to prisoners by US troops as worse than death? Is this a matter of perspective? - Matthew Iles, Naples, FL, USA
Uh, no, Matthew, it's a matter of a cruel murder. You see, when you take a civilian and kill them against their will, that is what civilized people call "murder." Did you also look at the people jumping from the top floors of the World Trade Center and think "Gosh, maybe this is all just a matter of how we look at things?" The only perspective I have is that you need a brain exchange - and fast!

Anyway, back to our pal, Abdul:

Can these criminals really be Arabs and Muslims? Do they pray in our mosques and speak our language and suffer like we do? Their hearts have turned into stone. What we need is tolerance and wisdom, not blind revenge. Blood cannot be washed off with more blood. - Mohamed Bin Bandar, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
And then Joe:
Frankly, I see no difference in this brutality compared with the brutality of some of the troops, just a rather different way of doing it. Yes, it's tragic, but what on earth do we expect when we cannot behave in a civilised way ourselves? This won't be the first. - Jean, Devon, UK
Hmmm, having a woman point at your pee pee or having your head slowly removed with a knife - yes, I see the similarity. Just a rather different way of doing it, indeed. Please take a moment to explain your rather different way of thinking to the rest of us, because you sound like a damned imbecile.

P.S. pumpkin, it's "this won't be the last." At least not so long as the gods of moral equivalency are pulling the strings, huh?

There's more, and naturally the sentiments pro- and con- can be found on both sides. I expect to see MORE of the anti-Americanism from the Middle Easterners, what with their having been raised to hate the West, having never tasted the fruits of democracy, having never known freedom as we do. What I don't understand is how absolutely, positively, completely, beyond comprehension many of the Westerners are in their assessments - where did they learn to hate the West? How do they continue to live in a magical world where everything is puppies and bunnies and no one wants to kill us just because we love our civilization? In short, how can they be so patently stupid?

The mind boggles.

Posted by Andy at 08:57 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (3)

May 11, 2004

Scout's Honor, Allahu Akbar!

I can't wait to see the merit badges:

Now, scouts in Iraq are facing a resurrection with the help of an American, who has sparked a scout reunion of sorts while at the same time putting together an organization of about 350 former scouts among U.S. coalition members based in the "Green Zone" in Baghdad...

Scouting with help instill "a sense of values" and education in a new post-Saddam generation, he [Gabr] said. "That is what scouting is about."

Fantastic, now instead of just Islam, they'll have Scout guidelines to convince them that gays and atheists are immoral. I'm sorry, aren't we supposed to be helping these people progress out of the Bronze Age?

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

Are We Screwed?

Interesting show on PBS right now, NOVA: Magnetic Storm:

Like the plot of a sci-fi B movie, something weird is happening deep underground where the constant spin of Earth's liquid metallic core generates an invisible magnetic force field that shields our planet from harmful radiation in space. Gradually, the field is growing weaker. Could we be heading for a demagnetized doomsday that will leave us defenseless against the lethal effects of solar wind and cosmic rays? "Magnetic Storm" looks into our potentially unsettling magnetic future.
I blame Bush!

Seriously though, losing the magnetic field would suck in a major way. Well, for those of us who are around when it happens. I plan to be long pleasantly dead. Don't worry, you will be too.

Update: Good news, people of Earth: false alarm! Looks like the worst that is going to happen is a reversal of the magnetic field, meaning your compass will point the wrong way and birds will be really confused when they fly to the North Pole for winter. Oh, to be a fly on an ice floe when that happens!

Posted by Andy at 08:10 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

I'm Outraged

Yes, about the Iraqi prison abuse. But even moreso about this:

Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq beheaded an American civilian and vowed more killings in revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, an Islamist Web site said Tuesday.

A poor quality videotape on the site showed a man dressed in orange overalls sitting bound on a white plastic chair in a bare room, then on the floor with five masked men behind him.

"My name is Nick Berg, my father's name is Michael... I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah," said the bound man, adding he was from Philadelphia.

After one of the masked men read out a statement, they pushed Berg to the floor and shouted "God is greatest" above his screams as one of them sawed his head off with a large knife then held it aloft for the camera.

Now, that is contempt for human life in the extreme. We should show these Al Qaeda assholes no mercy. None. At. All. Destroy them where they live, eat, and sleep. If they are Al Qaeda, they are on the wrong side. Make them pay.

Update: And just to show I'm not a right-wing kook (as some dimwits have proclaimed in the past - and you know who you are. Yes, we're talking about you, lefty looney), I give you this bit of sheer idiocy from the Freeper Brigade:

You can thank your friendly neighborhood Democrat or CBS (ghoul TV) for this death.

Thank you CBS.
Thank you Senator Ted Kennedy.
Thank you Hillary Clinton.
Thank you John Kerry.
Thank you General Taguba.

Remember, folks, stupidity isn't the sole province of any one party. As evidenced by this bit of tin-foil hat happiness from the Democratic Underground:
Sorry. Bull-shit alert. My theory right now. with the little information we have? Nick Berg knew something (Photos? What?), was in hiding, and was lured out to be executed by people on our side who are going to cynically exploit this beheading.
Or, uh, this one:
Oh yeah, now that Abu Graib prison photos are coming out the damn Nazis bring out a video of an american being killed. If this doesn't say Propaganda then I don't know what is.
All we need now is a Libertarian to chime in with how this is surely the work of someone in the DEA, and the circle will be unbroken.

Oh, and Michele has some thoughts too.

Posted by Andy at 01:58 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

Air (Parts of, Sometimes) America

Seems the big, bad entry into the liberal radio market just can't catch a break:

Jacqui Rossinsky has become the latest top executive to resign from Air America Radio, the liberal talk radio network that lost its broadcast outlets in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Rossinsky was executive vice president of sales and marketing. "I no longer want my name associated with that company," she told Inside Radio.

Her departure closely follows those of Air America Radio's chairman, Evan Cohen, its vice chairman, Rex Sorensen, its chief executive officer, Mark Walsh, and its executive vice president of programming and operations, Dave Logan.

Inside Radio reports, Air America just signed a new radio affiliate -- in Anchorage, Alaska.

Is this thing on life support yet?

Posted by Andy at 10:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Indeed. Heh.

Photo by Instapundit

You know, if you believe in God and that sort of thing.

Posted by Andy at 08:45 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

MISYS love you long time

If a gay web-site had printed this headline, I'm guessing they'd be declared indecent, but Asians get a pass. Shameful double standard.

Posted by Jon at 01:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 10, 2004

Buy MSFT At The Opening Bell!

Well, this story is sure to send Microsoft stock soaring:

Outlook Good for Most Prostate Cancer Patients
It certainly can't be any worse for you than GroupWise.

Shut up, I'm allowed to be cheesy. I'm also delicious when spread over piping hot French fries.

Posted by Andy at 07:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

And Live Long And Prosper Too

Overheard today in an Orkut community re: the war in Iraq, when someone asked if anyone who originally supported the war had since turned against it:

My gut feeling has always been with the U.N., having grown up watching Star Trek.
I suppose we should count our blessings that it wasn't the A-Team, or this guy would be looking to pity the fool that liberates a country, fool!

Posted by Andy at 06:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Fifty Years?

Hell, I'd give her a public service award:

An Iowa woman who shot her abusive husband, then left his body in their home for more than a year, was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison by a judge who said the mandatory sentence was unjust.

Dixie Shanahan, 39, must serve at least 35 years under the state's mandatory sentencing law.

"The mandatory minimum sentencing structure imposed on this court is in my opinion wrong," District Judge Charles Smith said at the sentencing. "It may be legal, but it is wrong."

This would be a fine time to spark a fiery debate over jury nullification. I think I'll sit on the sidelines if anyone feels so inclined.

Posted by Andy at 01:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Quote of the Day

Found in an Orkut discussion forum:

This thread reminds me of the old answer to why there aren't atheist social institutions like there are theistic ones: that it would be like getting together to celebrate the fact it isn't your birthday.
Happy un-birthday everyone (except those of you born today, that is - ya freaks).

Posted by Andy at 08:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 09, 2004

Gay Rights = Abu Ghraib Prison Torture

Hey, don't ask me - our pal, Walter, has the details.

Posted by Andy at 09:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 08, 2004

Diagnosis o'the Day

Doctor Unheimlich has diagnosed me with
Andy Oitis
Cause:mobile phone radiation
Symptoms:flatulence, excessive shoulder pain, Hitler moustache
Cure:fresh air
Enter your name, for your own diagnosis:

Found via superdupedoupleplusgood pal, Michele.

Posted by Andy at 06:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Yet another activist judge mocks marriage

From here:

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) -- A couple has been ordered not to conceive any more children until the ones they already have are no longer in foster care....The mother was found to have neglected her four children, ages 1, 2, 4 and 5. All three children who were tested for cocaine tested positive, according to court papers. Both parents had a history of drug abuse. It was not immediately clear if the father had other children.

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Jon at 11:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Importance of Proofreading

I heard this last night on CNN. Today I got it on tape when it was repeated.

Rumsfeld admitted that there were more photographs and videotapes that have not been released and that he has not viewed, some of which depict prisoners being beaten and forced to masturbate. Rumsfeld's critics charge that such bad news should not be allowed to dribble out.

They evidently feel the photos of masturbating prisoners should be released in great bursts instead.

Posted by Jon at 11:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tip of the Iceberg

But Rumsfeld warned the committee that the worst was yet to come. He said he had looked at the full array of unedited photographs of the situation at Abu Ghraib for the first time Thursday night and found them “hard to believe.”

“There are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence towards prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane," he said. “... It’s going to get a good deal more terrible, I’m afraid.”

Rumsfeld did not describe the photos, but U.S. military officials told NBC News that the unreleased images showed U.S. soldiers severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi female prisoner and “acting inappropriately with a dead body.” The officials said there was also a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys.

American or Iraqi, make these so-called liberators and defenders of freedom pay dearly for their crimes.

Spring break, indeed - dumbass.

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

May 07, 2004

Spring Break Foolishness? Or Just a Fool?

With regard to the humiliation and faux torture tactics used against Iraqi inmates in Abu Ghraib prison, "journalist" Jen Taliaferro had this bit of sage input:

You'll probably think I'm hard-hearted, but I refuse to get upset about this.

The pix to me don't look too different from some college student's photos of "Spring Break" when they all got loaded on tequila down in Padre and drove to Mexico...of course, naked hijinx ensued.

Yeah, I remember those wacky Spring Break trips we used to take. Hooboy! There was nothing like that one time, when we got Billy drunk, and then put him up on a box with wires attached to his penis, telling him that if he stepped off the box, he'd be electrocuted! What a riot! He stood there for hours shaking with fear! Ha ha ha! Fear and humiliation rule, baby, rule!

It takes a bizarrely twisted and sick mind to see any similarity between the despicable photos we've been shown, the reports of American soldiers actually murdering a couple of inmates, and a bunch of college students voluntarily getting their freak on in a hotel room.

Woman, what the hell is wrong with you? The only reassuring thing is that you are on the lunatic Freeper fringe of the Republican party, and thus no more a reflection of American mental prowess than the yahoos at Democratic Underground.

To your benefit, Jen, you do go on to say that those responsible should be punished accordingly - but after the idiocy prior to it, it's about as meaningful as the phrase "I'm not racist - I have lots of black friends!"

Posted by Andy at 11:18 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

National Day of Deceit by Omission

That's what the National Day of Prayer should have been called anyway, based upon this:

Ed Smart's account of nights spent sobbing and days spent praying [for the return of his daughter, Elizabeth Smart] also brought tears to the eyes of some of the 400 attendees at a breakfast organized by the Huntington Beach Interfaith Council to celebrate the National Day of Prayer.

For many it was the first time hearing Ed Smart tell his story, the ideal anecdote for the day, which was celebrated by thousands of communities across the country Thursday.

"We were looking for someone who had an event in their lives where prayer probably was meaningful to them," said Dave Garofalo, co-chairman of the Huntington Beach gathering.

Yeah, Mr. Garofalo, I imagine having someone speak about how prayer failed miserably wouldn't do much for the cause. Sorry, folks, but it was a sharp-eyed, imperfect human and not an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god (who, inexplicably, still allows such horrors) who brought Elizabeth Smart home to friends and family. Humans, despite their flaws and missteps, have proven themselves time and time again better at helping others than any god -although the gods do seem to have a knack for destroying the puny humans, so maybe that counts for something.

(found via UTI)

Posted by Andy at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Help! Help! I'm Being Censored!

Am I the only one who finds it sad when the editors of the supposed "paper of record" have no idea what they're talking about?

Give the Walt Disney Company a gold medal for cowardice for blocking its Miramax division from distributing a film that criticizes President Bush and his family. A company that ought to be championing free expression has instead chosen to censor a documentary that clearly falls within the bounds of acceptable political commentary.
First, a corporation refusing to distribute a movie is not censorship, at least not in the "fear the government / work is freedom / crushing of dissent" sense. This is what censorship looks like. When the Bush Administration trumps up charges against the New York Times, shutters it, and denies Jayson Blair the opportunity to lie in the mass media, then they'll have something to cry foul about.

Second, does a belief in the power of freedom of speech necessarily mean that Disney must give anyone who has something to say the power to amplify their message through the use of its money? I don't think so.

But it is clear that Disney loves its bottom line more than the freedom of political discourse.
Attention, New York Times editorial staff: first, go back and read what I wrote above (come on, I know you folks visit here in droves - right? Hello? Anyone?). Now, combine that with the obligation of a corporation to generate value and returns for its owners. Mix well. Bake at 350.

And get a clue.

P.S. Let us not forget that Michael Moore is a big fat liar liar pants on fire doodyhead.

Posted by Andy at 09:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Enemy Within

Well, this is certainly interesting:

A lawyer and former Army officer who converted to Islam was arrested as a material witness in the deadly train bombings in Spain, federal authorities said.

Brandon Mayfield was taken into custody Thursday by FBI agents, who also searched his home in the Portland suburb of Aloha.
If this is true, it simply highlights for me the long-term futility of such concepts as racial profiling in the war on terror. If we subject only Arabs to extra scrutiny, they'll use any non-Arab zealot they can find - and they clearly exist. Falling for the idiocy of fundamentalist religious hatred isn't limited to people with dark skin who talk funny.

Posted by Andy at 08:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 06, 2004

Good and Evil and Oh What Fun

Rocky Mountain News editorialist Linda Seebach interviews Michael Shermer on ethics, morality, and evolution.

If you other atheists can take a break from all your raping, pillaging, and wanton killing due to the lack of a god-given morality, perhaps you'd enjoy the read.

Posted by Andy at 10:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Religions of Peace

Six of one, half dozen of the other:

Nigerian Christian leader said on Thursday the killing of hundreds of Muslims by Christian militia in the town of Yelwa on Sunday was the product of "a state of war" between the two faiths in Africa's most populous nation...

The attack followed the killing of almost 100 Christians in Yelwa in February, including 48 massacred in a church, and brought the total death toll in three months of fighting in the region to at least 1,000.

I know, I know, they aren't Real ChristiansTM.


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You Oughta Be in Pictures

But not like this:

Family members of an Army reservist photographed with naked Iraqi prisoners said Tuesday she was merely a "paper-pusher" who was in the "wrong place at the wrong time."

Pictures of Spc. Lynndie England, 21, and other soldiers have sparked an international outcry over the U.S. military's handling of Iraqi war prisoners.

Spc. England, if you'll recall, was the one with the cigarette, the grin, the pointing fingers, and a naked Iraqi prisoner standing nearby.
"It's ridiculous," said Destiny Goin, 21, who has lived with England's extended family since high school and considers herself England's sister.

"It's her picture that you see more than anyone else's, and she really wasn't involved. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Perhaps we see her picture more than anyone else's simply because she's in more of the pictures. I wonder what that could mean. Hmmm.
England was trained to be a "paper pusher" who helped process prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, said Goin and England's brother-in-law James Klinestiver. She was in the area where the photos were taken to visit friends in the 372nd who served as guards, the two said.
Of course, just a paper pusher who happened to be in the area. Judging by the photo to the right, I suppose she really was just in the neighborhood, simply out walking her "dog."

We shouldn't be surprised by the protestations though, as it was Spc. England's mother who last week whined:

"Oh, my God,'' she told the newspaper from the stoop in front of her Fort Ashby, W.Va., trailer home. "I can't get over this.''

The alleged abuses of prisoners were "stupid, kid things - pranks,'' Terrie England said. "And what the (Iraqis) do to our men and women are just? The rules of the Geneva Convention, does that apply to everybody or just us?''

There's an old saying - you've probably even heard it before, Mrs. England. Two wrongs don't make a right. Keeping it to just one wrong is what makes us better than the enemy. You insult every proud, upstanding, and honorable soldier in the field with your comments, just as your daughter insulted them with her actions.

Like mother, like daughter.

Update: Looks like one of the other "pranksters" must have been Photoshopped into the pictures, because surely a God-fearing Christian wouldn't do such a thing:

At Graner's house in Uniontown, a stone with white lettering sits in a weedy flowerbed. "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to see the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you," the inscription says.
OK, granted, it doesn't say anything about humiliating the non-believer. Jesus will understand.

Update Two and Three: Kate has thoughts - and so does INDC Journal.

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Es El Seis de Mayo

So, did everyone have a grand Cinco
de Yo Quiero Taco Bell yesterday?

¡Si, señor!

¡Que bueno!

The World Wide Rant household celebrated in traditional Mexican style by having roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, and veggies. We then sat down to watch the 1975 classic, Three Days of the Condor, as we'd not seen it. Aside from the "You are there: 1975!" sax soundtrack, that was one fine conspiracy movie.

Best line, biggest understatement:

Joe Turner
I don't remember yesterday.
Today it rained.

Best line most applicable to Michael Moore:

Joe Turner
Boy, what is it with you people? You think
not getting caught in a lie is the same
thing as telling the truth?

I hope to write lines like that in the near future, sell the screenplay, have it go through the "development process," and then see it in the theater without recognizing it as my own because it's been so stripped of character and meaning. At least, I think that is how they do it these days.

Oh, yeah, anyway - Happy Day After Mexican Independence Now Tainted by Corruption on a Massive Scale Day!

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Lies and the Lying Lefty Liars Who Tell Them

Michael Moore a dishonest louse? You don't say!

Disney has accused Michael Moore of engineering the furore about its refusal to distribute his new anti-Bush film Fahrenheit 911.

The company, which says it stopped Miramax from releasing the film on the grounds that it did not want to become embroiled in politics, said yesterday its decision was made back in May 2003.

The firm said Moore had only raised the matter now to boost the profile of the movie ahead of its debut screening at the Cannes film festival next week.

Such accusations are probably shocking to those who consider Moore to be a brave, upstanding, and valiant fighter for the downtrodden. Of course, those same people were probably surprised that the big boat sank at the end of Titanic, and are similarly surprised each time they watch it.

Seriously though, I'm sure Moore is just using this media-agitprop so he can make millions and millions of dollars enabling him to really understand the plight of the lower class. Or something. It works via the same logic that allowed Clinton to be the "first black President" I guess.

Update: Looks like now he's sneaking in the truth.

Almost a year ago after we'd started making the film, the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, told my agent that he was upset that Miramax had made the film -- Disney owns Miramax -- and he will not distribute this film.
Unfortunately, this makes his current role as "the boy who cried censorship" even more pointless and a clear sign that he's just trying to gain publicity through controversy - call it the Passion of the Couch Potato.

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May 05, 2004

Hypothesis Confirmed!

Wizbang guest blogger, Jay Tea, bravely undertaking a bold scien-blog-tific experiment, confirms that the Democratic Underground is largely comprised of boneheads.

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Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot

Holy cripes, every once in a while, Al Franken is right.

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Open Mic Fun

I've had mine over at A Small Victory.

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Oh Give Me A Home

Where the ignorant roam:

Former state senator Ken Miller, who is now seeking the governorship of Montana, believes teaching of creation in the classroom should be basic and should not include biblical scripture verses.
Good thinking, sport. Given that the angle behind it all is one of "Bible uber alles," that's about the same as teaching a literature class without mentioning books.
He feels it is important that information about creationism be presented scientifically so that students and their parents can make a fully informed comparison between it and Darwinism.
Present creationism scientifically? OK, now that's kind of like asking someone to present movies in Braille.
"If we're going to present the theory of evolution," Miller says, "then we also need to present the theory of creationism..."
And then we'll present a Powerpoint presentation on how the would-be governor of Montana doesn't have a clue what a scientific theory is. Ooh, pretty! Be sure to use lots of sounds and animation since the intellectual approach is so overrated.
"...and then allow both of them to be presented to the children. And then they with their parents [can] decide what they believe to be true and what they want in their lives."
They already can, my gubernatorial goober - parents and children have the freedom to believe whatever they like about the origin and diversity of life, no matter how ridiculous. However, the schools should focus on actual science and not the collected, didn't-know-any-better ideas of millennia-dead men.
But on the other hand, the gubernatorial candidate says, "If we don't want creation at all, even the mention of God, we need to take evolution and Darwinism out of the schools also."
In a follow-up, he also stated that if we aren't going to teach the geocentric view of the universe, then we need to remove heliocentrism as well. And, hell, so long as we're at it, if we're not going to teach that plaid-clad elves watching Ol'Yeller cause the rain, we should remove all that fancy shmancy weather talk too.
Another Republican candidate for governor, former state senator Tom Keating, also supports the teaching of creationism in Montana schools.
Which does little but remind me that I'll probably never look to the Republicans for an informed opinion on science.

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May 04, 2004

Little Known Fact

Just saw one of the ads in the John Kerry media blitz. It was most informative; who the heck knew he had served in Vietnam?

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May 03, 2004

"Dr. Qaeda... Dr. Al Qaeda, Report to Gynecology"

Karen Hughes: pandering dumbass*.

* Note: I think that the "every sperm is sacred crowd" is dumb. I think that the "a fetus has no rights until it's born" crowd is dumb. I think there's a smarter middle-ground to be held in the name of reason and humanity. If you disagree, then, clearly, you're dumb. Move along, now.

Posted by Andy at 08:39 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Bibliosaurus Rex

From our pal and yours, Phil Dennison, comes this delightful story on America's newest family fun center:

Dinosaur Adventure Land, a creationist theme park and museum here that beckons children to "find out the truth about dinosaurs" with games that roll science and religion into one big funfest with the message that Genesis, not science, tells the real story of the creation.
Science, bad. Ancient metaphorical story that when taken as literal fact is demonstrably false, good!

Kent Hovind, park liar founder, had this to say about his approach:

"There are a lot of creationists that are really smart and debate the intellectuals, but the kids are bored after five minutes," said Mr. Hovind, who looks boyish at 51 and talks fast. "You're missing 98 percent of the population if you only go the intellectual route."
I'd say something pithy here, but Phil beat me to it:
Translation: Go after the ones who are too ignorant to know why we're full of crap, and get them early. Of course, it used to be that you'd be called a bigot for saying that religious fundamentalists were generally dumb people. Apparently it's taken for granted within the community.
Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark.
A Kentucky creationist group called Answers in Genesis says it is building a 100,000-square-foot complex outside Cincinnati with a museum, classrooms, a planetarium and a special-effects theater where moviegoers can experience the flood and other events described in Genesis.
Scientists estimate that when the complex opens for business, resulting in an influx of young earth creationists, the collective IQ of the Cincinnati metropolitan area will drop by 50%. While this would normally be seen as a bad thing, the companies owning the syndication rights to idiotc shows such as "Full House" and "Family Matters" are ecstatic, expecting a huge rise in viewership in the area.

Click, read, there's more. Lots more. I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry.

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What Media Bias?

Certainly none present in this story:

Halliburton Truck Driver Hamill Escapes Captors in Iraq
Surely, the focus of a story on this American's fortitude would be the kidnapped truck driver, how he got away, and the relief involved in his safety.
Halliburton, formerly headed by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, has received about $5.7 billion during the past 13 months for work in Iraq. Some members of Congress have said the company had an unfair advantage in getting contracts because of its connection with Cheney.
...oh, sorry, and a completely irrelevant slam on the Bush administration.

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May 01, 2004

How's Your Weekend?

Mine is outstanding, so far.

The weather has cleared up nicely - it feels like Spring now, rather than the dead of winter like it did a mere 24 hours ago. Ahhhh, Colorado.

Blogging will be light; there's something nice about taking the weekend to yourself. Think we're going to settle in and watch The School of Rock this evening. We watched House of Sand and Fog last night - depressing, but a good movie - and I'm not just saying that because of Jennifer Connelly. Because when I say something in light of her presence, its usually "hubba hubba."

The wife and I just had a nice, quiet dinner - she had a wine steamed halibut steak in a passion fruit / papaya sauce, while I had a lime-and-garlic-basted baked chicken breast. Sides included mixed greens, roasted new potatoes, and green beans, with French vanilla ice cream for dessert. I was supposed to have made some sage brushed French bread as well but got carried away with the cooking (and laundry and feeding Fiona) and forgot. Oh well, one can't complain about a husband who spends his day off caring for house, baby, and bellies, can one?

Speaking of Fiona, my wee lassie turns one year old tomorrow. If you're nostalgic or bored, you can relive the moment here. Updated photos sometime tomorrow I would imagine, post-party-mess.

Have a great weekend!

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