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Hey, Four Eyes
Racism: A Capitol Offense
Matthew 25 : 40
Reason versus Religion
Maybe Wishing on a Star Would Work Better
All Yours Rights Are Belong to Us
American Idol Recap, Part 405
Los Estados Mexico?
Oh, Yes, I'm Alive
Bible Literalism

« February 2006 | Main | April 2006 »

March 31, 2006

Hey, Four Eyes

It started off as a little blurry vision. Fine, contact lens must not be sitting right, I'll blink a lot. Still blurry. Now it hurts. Take it out, soak it, put it back in to go to a meeting - hurts so much you take it out right in the middle of the event and then proceed to apologize for your eye that is tearing profusely. Now it hurts even without the lens. Hmmm, wait it out.


Nope, still hurts. Still lots of tears. Eyelid swelling up too.

Should probably go see the doctor. So, go see the doctor.

Scratched cornea. Possible infection. Antibiotics and no contacts for ten days.

That means: glasses. Twenty years of wearing contact lenses and I've had nary a problem; now I'm wearing a pair of glasses (the cheapest ones they had - I look like an accountant).

How do you four-eyed people do this? It sucks.

Posted by Andy at 10:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Racism: A Capitol Offense

U.S. Representative, and certified crazy kooky person, Cynthia McKinney claims that race was behind her being stopped by Capitol Police on Wednesday, an altercation in which she attacked the officer:

s U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia, faces possible criminal charges for a Wednesday altercation with a Capitol Police officer, one of her lawyers said Friday that the real issues were "sex, race and Ms. McKinney's progressiveness."

In a news conference featuring actor Danny Glover and singer Harry Belafonte, McKinney said she would be exonerated and that "this whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female, black congresswoman."

mckinneyhair.jpgWere other women assaulted? No. Were other blacks assaulted? No. Other black women? No.

And how the hell does someone tell that you're a progressive just by looking at you? It's not like she was puking on the sidewalk in protest of the war.

Wait, your Honor, I withdraw the question - just look at the crazy lady's hair. I can only be thankful that my PC doesn't have Progressive Smell-o-vision too.

But, yeah, so anyway, it's all about race:

Glover and Belafonte refrained from addressing the facts of the case and said they were there to support McKinney. Belafonte said he did not know what happened during the Wednesday incident but wanted to make sure the matter was handled on "a very fair and very square basis...".

Added Glover, "We're not here to judge the merits of the case, but here to support our sister."

Oh, yes, it's all about politics and race, but not on the part of the Capitol Police.

Posted by Andy at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Matthew 25 : 40


The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Looks like Jesus just got kicked in the goolies:
A youth minister was charged with assault for allegedly knocking down a 16-year-old boy and kicking him in the groin after taking a head shot from the teen in a dodgeball game.
However, it was also Jesus that got mad enough at an inanimate fig tree to curse it unto death... so maybe there's precedent for a holy overreaction after all.

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

March 30, 2006

Reason versus Religion

It's always amusing (and saddening) to watch people of a religious bent engage in breathless condemnation of something with which they disagree, when all evidence indicates that they - well - are pretty damn clueless.

To wit, RightwingSparkle on the latest RU-486 deaths:

10 years ago Charmain Yoest of Reasoned Audacity wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal asking how many women needed to be guinea pigs for RU486? I guess seven dead aren't enough.
...which leads us to see what Ms. Yoest has to say on the subject:
Seriously: How many more women??!! A total of SEVEN women have died from using this drug here in the United States. Seven.

And how is the FDA responding? They are planning to hold a workshop. In May.

Now, pushing the nonsense out of our minds, wishing it back behind the church doors for a moment, let us see what the voice of reason would say:
Dr. Michael Greene, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, estimates that the risk of death from infectious complications of RU-486 is about 1 in every 100,000 uses.

Compare this to pregnancy in the United States, which at least in the mid-80s, had a maternal mortality rate of 14 for every 100,000 pregnancies. A 1994 study in Utah put it at just over 12 deaths per 100,000 pregancies.

By this reckoning, I'd be more stupid to let my wife get pregnant than to let her use the pill.

That voice of reason is yours truly, in RWS' comments, demonstrating that her outrage is nothing but self-righteous moralizing in the pursuit of her religious agenda. Either that or a complete lack of mathematical ability. But, hey, the uber-religious ignore science when it contradicts the Good Book, so why should math be any different?

Besides, math is, like, hard and stuff.

Update: You really ought to click on over to RWS and read the comments. It's like a textbook on logical fallacy.

Update 2: RWS has responded to this post (as my comments are down for the time being). I'm afraid she hasn't really helped her case, as I demonstrate in the comments.

Update 3: Flashback.

Posted by Andy at 06:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Maybe Wishing on a Star Would Work Better

Well, so much for folding one's hands and talking to the air.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.
Valid reason, I think, that when someone asks if they may pray for you that you reply "Heck no, are you trying to kill me?"
The work, which followed about 1,800 patients at six medical centers, was financed by the Templeton Foundation, which supports research into science and religion. It will appear in the American Heart Journal.
While I'm happy that such a large study shows nothing fails quite like prayer, it's equally saddening that we have to waste time and money on such nonsense and that we actually publish the results in a scientific journal. Maybe next year we can research whether voodoo chicken blood rituals cure impotence.

I fully expect that Christians will now trot out the line about "thou shall not test the Lord thy God." However, I don't recall any of them being concerned about that when smaller studies indicated some possible beneficial effect (I guess their memory of the Bible ranks right up there with their knowledge of statistically-valid sample sizes).

Update: I wished upon a star tonight and suddenly a pony, led by a clown, walked up to my front door. Woohoo!

Posted by Andy at 03:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

All Yours Rights Are Belong to Us

I continue to be convinced that the Stop the ACLU blog is, in reality, a sham: a blog so chock full of poor argumentation endorsing neo-fascist moralism that its true purpose must be to make conservatives look like complete nutters.

I wonder how one gets a gig like that... and what does it pay?

Heck, I'd be willing to tell you that Jesus loves you and wants to be your buddy for a fiver.

(found via Walter in Denver)

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

March 29, 2006

American Idol Recap, Part 405

Katharine McPhee in the bottom three? What, are boobs and beauty invisible to you people?

Update: Well, at least some of you appreciate a hotty who can sing... and one with the boobs... and that butt... and...errr... hey, happy Wednesday to you.

Posted by Andy at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Los Estados Mexico?

Being married to a resident alien (my wife is from across the pond), I'm pretty sympathetic to the plight of those wanting a better life in America (not that Britain is, say, Upper Bunga Bunga or anything, but - really - all that boiled food and the horror of socialized healthcare!).

So, this whole anti-immigration debate has been on my mind (in between thoughts of Katharine McPhee and Kellie Pickler engaged in nude mud wrestling live on the American Idol stage)... whatever the proposition, be it a wall on our border, an amnesty program, or some massive bureaucratic Federal solution that will help cement Bush's legacy as a veritable miser with our tax dollars, I'm not sure what the right answer is.

But I know that this is the wrong answer:

Whittier area students from Pioneer, California and Whittier high schools walked out of classes to protest the proposed federal immigration bill March 27, 2006. The protestors put up the Mexican flag over the American flag flying upside down at Montebello High.
Is there a handbook on idiotic protest tactics that those on the left side of the aisle pass around, all dog-eared and tattered from one failed demonstration after another?

Chapter 1: when protesting the war, vomit on public sidewalks - powerful symbology!

Chapter 2: Failing that, sell out your dead son's memory and align yourself with other anti-war groups, regardless of whom they may be - socialist and communist groups are especially good for this!

Chapter 3: To really win the hearts and minds of average Americans, make it clear you want to turn the United States into an annexation of Mexico and that you hate the flag that represents their nation! Awesome!

I welcome those that want to move here, to contribute to American society, to live out their own pursuit of the American dream. However, if think you're a modern day Santa Anna that will replace Mom and apple pie with tu madre and a burrito, let me help you find a bus heading back south.

(P.S. Don't forget, kids: comments are down - feel free to e-mail me your thoughts and I'll include them in the post)

Found via RWS.

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

March 26, 2006

Oh, Yes, I'm Alive

...just playing around with my free trial subscription to the Rhapsody music service.

My vote: I'm lovin' it (please don't sue me, McDonald's - I didn't even include your cheesy ass jingle when I said it!).

In short, for $10 a month, I'm effectively leasing a ton of tunes and storing them, and their respective digital rights management mumbo jumbo magic, as 160kbps WMA files. I can also stream any of the 1.5 million songs they have, create personalized radio stations, dream up playlists, and - best of all - search for the arcana of college radio from years ago, items no longer in print and beyond the reach of a Torrent search.

So, my Rhapsody library now ranges from old Alice in Chains to the Beastie Boys to Concrete Blonde to Eddie from Ohio to Finley Quaye to House of Love to Matthew Sweet to Sisters of Mercy to Suzanne Vega to Willie Nelson. A bit of a shotgun approach to music, I suppose.

Now, back to my downloading...

Note: Don't forget that comments are down for right now... they'll be back soon. Don't you worry your pretty little head.

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

March 22, 2006

Bible Literalism

Look, kids! Noah's Ark!

Posted by Andy at 11:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 20, 2006

Just Stuff

Yeah, so, like I said: busy.

But here's some stuff you've probably already seen elsewhere:

That's it for now.

Oh, I'm in the market for a new PC, something to use for home recording as well as moderate gameplay when the mood strikes. So, it needs to be fairly fast, have a decent soundcard and good graphics capabilities, and not sound like a 747 roaring down the runway. Anyone got suggestions? E-mail'em to me (link above and to the left of here).

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

March 15, 2006

No Comment

Hullo. Just an FYI that I'm going to disable the comments script on the site until I can update my MT installation or move to another piece of blogging software. With the one-minute job killer that runs on my account to prevent spam attacks, I'm also unable to effectively run programs like MT-Blacklist to clean up the crap that does make it through. The end result isn't pretty, and the clean up I'll have to do in a couple of weeks if I leave comments open would make the time cost of blogging a little too high, even for me, your faithful servant.

So, that's that. If you want to comment on something, drop me an e-mail and I can add your comment to the text of the post. That's about the best I can offer until I get around to fixing things on the site - and with my current work projects, my folks in town, and Ewan being needy like babies tend to be, that could be a few weeks.

I hate to do it, because the interaction with all of you is what makes this so fun and enjoyable - especially because I'm right! So, anyway, feel free to e-mail me your comments and I'll make sure they get posted sometime that day, so long as they're relevant to the post or other comments.

See you soon.

Posted by Andy at 07:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 13, 2006

Manna from Heaven

Beer from the kitchen tap:

A woman said she thought she was in heaven when she turned on the kitchen tap to find a plentiful supply of beer.

But two flights below, workers in a bar faced the more disappointing realisation that water was flowing from their beer taps.

A worker had connected a beer barrel to the apartment water pipe by mistake.

Ah, sweet nectar of the (non-existent) gods.

Posted by Andy at 09:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Big Money, No Whammy!


A former TV game show host and his wife were killed Monday morning when their small plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay, authorities said.

The bodies of Peter Tomarken, 63, host of the hit 1980s game show "Press Your Luck," and his wife, Kathleen Abigail Tomarken, 41, were identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Like many of you, I grew up watching "Press Your Luck," enjoying the tension and the drama and the awful 80s haircuts and fashion that we inexplicably thought were rockin'. Oh wait, those last two are what I do when I watch it in reruns on the Game Show Network.

Adding to the tragedy:

The plane was on its way to San Diego to ferry a medical patient to the UCLA Medical Center, said Doug Griffith, a spokesman for Angel Flight West, a nonprofit which provides free air transportation for needy patients.
Only the good die young, except, uh, when they die old.

Posted by Andy at 09:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 11, 2006

Close, But No Cigar

Here's my, uh, "personal DNA:"

It's almost accurate except that I don't think I'm as extroverted as they think; being around a large group for too long just wears me out, and I definitely need time to be alone with my own thoughts (and maybe Cinemax...). I figure that having taken enough of these tests, as well as understanding my own personality, I've been able to adapt my behaviors in specific, short-term situations in order to get what I want. Thus, when I answer some of those questions, it's answered from the vantage point of having memories of both behaviors.

Or maybe I'm just makin' stuff up.

Posted by Andy at 03:34 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

My Whereabouts, Again

Hi there - going to be busy getting the house ready for the impending visit of my folks next week, playing with my bass guitar and direct box that should arrive on Monday, working the usual amount at the office, and trying to find time to update the MT installation I'm using so the spam doesn't piss off my hosting company so much (e.g. if you've tried to leave a comment and gotten an Internal Server Error, it's because every minute a job killer runs and shuts down the process to hold off the spammers).

So, I'll try to amuse you or irritate you or just simply confuse you soon. Until then, hugs and kisses.

Also: It's the second anniversary of the day the Spanish had their backbones removed. Mourn the dead, certainly; and remember the appeasers.

Oh, and: How about the season finale of Battlestar Galactica? I wasn't too sure about it when they pulled the "one year later" stunt, remember how the same approach killed Alias, but now I think it's created a lot of potential for the next season to be really great (or completely sucky, but let's be positive, shall we?).

Posted by Andy at 10:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 07, 2006

Your Cultural Moment for the Evening

Toilets of Helsinki.

No, I don't know why either.

Posted by Andy at 10:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Singin' the Blues

Moving away from the pretty pop confections of American Idol to an artist of true merit, I just saw where African musician Ali Farka Toure has died.

One of Africa's best known musicians, Ali Farka Toure, has died after a long illness in his home country of Mali, the culture ministry has announced.

He was one of the pioneers of "Mali Blues" and his 1994 Talking Timbuktu album produced with US blues guitarist Ry Cooder was widely acclaimed.

That's where I first heard Ali's music, borrowing the Talking Timbuktu CD from former WWRanter Tom* after hearing Ry Cooder's later work with the Buena Vista Social Club.

You should check out both albums if you have the chance; you won't be disappointed.

Well, unless your taste in music sucks.

In the meantime, enjoy the song "Soukora" from the Talking Timbuktu album.

* Uh, Tom, I still have your CD.

Posted by Andy at 09:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

American Idol Recap

OK, who's with me on this? If it comes down to a competition between Katharine McPhee and Kellie Pickler, I say we forget about the singing thing and just settle it with hot oil wrestling. Forty-three rounds of hot oil wrestling.

You know you'd buy the DVD.

And let me copy it.

Notes: Did Simon really call Kellie a "naughty little minx?" And does Kellie actually have to know what it means for it to apply? And why can't she pronounce "salmon" properly?

My wife thinks Katharine has too much junk in the trunk. I beg to differ. Vehemently.

Posted by Andy at 09:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Take One For the Homeland!

Because the PATRIOT Act is all about terrorism, see.

Besides terrorism, the bill takes aim at the production of methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that cannot be manufactured without a key ingredient of everyday cold and allergy medicines. The bill would impose new limits next month for how much relief a person can buy over the counter.
The government's argument is that a nationwide policy on control of such substances would prevent the meth labs from jumping from one jurisdiction to the next, as happens with the current patchwork of laws. There are, however, two minor flaws with this:

First, it has nothing to do with terrorism and the PATRIOT Act is continually sold as defending the homeland against those darned evildoers.

Second, this additional law is just to control the damage wrought by the laws that make meth illegal in the first place. It's rather like the doctor kicking you in the nuts so you don't feel your backache; it almost makes sense, until you think about it.

I feel safer already.

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

March 06, 2006

Idiots Need Not Apply

Hey, anybody looking for a job?

Position: Biology
Salary: Unspecified
Institution: Liberty University
Location: Virginia
Date posted: 3/6/2006

Biology: Liberty University invites applications for: Faculty member with Ph.D. and compatibility with a young-earth creationist philosophy.

I'm tempted to recommend they just talk to some of the large rocks out back of the university, but even they would fail the "compatibility with a young-earth creationist philosophy" part of the test. Guess they'll just have to hire some dumb ol' human full of magical delusions instead.

I think I'd rather have my kids taught by a rock.

(found via Pharyngula)

Posted by Andy at 11:53 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

March 05, 2006

My Sunday

Sure, I could be blogging copiously right now, but why would I when I'm rockin' out to some random tunes while steam cleaning the main floor carpet, doing some laundry, and researching the style of Tuscany for some home enhancements I'm sure we can't afford anyway?

Of note: those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are pretty nifty. Up to a point. Then they just kind of smear the grime around. Rinse often.

Also of note: it's March 5 and Denver is in the mid-60s. Nutty. This does not bode well for the next snowstorm (in other words, I bet we get buried).

Of note, still: the mind boggles at how much dirt and dog hair a 16x20 section of carpet can hold. Oh, and the main floor is more than 16x20: the rest is hardwood (which could use a good refinish thanks to the dogs, but I'll pay someone to do that).

Posted by Andy at 04:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Ann Coulter is Still an Idiot, Part 1E+82

Awesome, almost an entire column of gay bashing passing as humor. Man, right-wingnutter mouthpieces sure are a riot.

I should have known better when she opened with this:

This is my first annual Oscar predictions column, for which I am uniquely qualified by not having seen a single one of the movies nominated in any category.
How exactly is she different from a left-wing kook like Ted Rall? I mean, they're both vitriolic, both ignorant of the topics about which they write, and they both have penises (although Ann's might be slightly larger and more turgid).

Posted by Andy at 02:10 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

March 04, 2006

So Sorry

But I'm busy, busy, busy, and the busy pays better than the blog (as should be the case with hobbies, mind you).

Back soon; perhaps tonight...

Posted by Andy at 05:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)