Friday, June 30, 2006

Chan-tastic.

Posted by Codemorse


From CNN.com:

Former "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff had surgery after severing a tendon in his right arm in an accident in a London gym bathroom, his spokeswoman said Friday. The 53-year-old actor, who played lifeguard Mitch Buchannon on the TV beach drama for 11 years, was shaving at a gym in the Sanderson Hotel on Thursday when he hit his head on a chandelier, showering his arm with broken glass, his publicist, Judy Katz, said.

Yes, that sounds likely. How low was that chandelier hanging, anyway?

And just how fragile was it, to have "showered" his arm with glass to the point that it required surgery?

Either Michael Knight is covering up some sort of secret skirmish with Garth and Goliath, or he's been doing a little restroom solicitation. Kick Garth's ass, Michael!

The Business Of Equal Rights

Posted by Codemorse

From CNN.com:

Thanks to private sector employers, our nation hit a milestone this year in its march toward equality.

While protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans are stalled in Congress, corporate America continues to surge ahead. This isn't a Democratic or a Republican issue. It's an issue of basic fairness and good business.

For the first time, more than half of all Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner health insurance benefits to their employees, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's annual "State of the Workplace" report. This survey also found that 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies and 10 times the number of Fortune companies cover gender identity today compared to 2001.

The private sector continues to be far ahead of the political debate. While elected officials continue to dwell on the "politics" of equal protections and rights, business leaders are encouraging fairness for their employees.

Too often, I'm guilty of whining about Corporations (see directly below for just one example of my crippling whine-disorder) but the fact is, like most things in life, it ain't that simple.

While a business may have certain human qualities (and a cold, murderous psychotic psychological profile according to the makers of The Corporation), they exist only to make money and continue to grow. Like viruses, with upward mobility ambitions.

And that's a plus from time to time. Businesses don't care about whether being gay is "wrong." They care about productivity. Happily undiscriminated-upon employees work harder. And they're less likely to sue you and hurt your bottom line.

Weasling Out Of Things Is What Separates us From The Animals! ...Except For Weasels.

Posted by Codemorse

From the Wall Street Journal:

President Bush, among others, has since assailed the press for revealing the program, and the Times has responded by wrapping itself in the First Amendment, the public's right to know and even The Wall Street Journal. We published a story on the same subject on the same day, and the Times has since claimed us as its ideological wingman. So allow us to explain what actually happened, putting this episode within the larger context of a newspaper's obligations during wartime.

Codemorse Translation:

"It's okay that we printed the same apparently-classified details because, unlike the New York Times, we did it without knowing that the government didn't want us to.

Sure. And David Hasselhoff hurt himself on a chandelier.

I'm not educated enough on the whole bank-monitoring thing to float an opinion on it. Not that this should stop me, really. It isn't as if Debbie Schlussel lets knowledge of a subject deter her from weighing in on it.

But that's not my point in posting this link, or this excerpt. My point, such as it is?

I question the necessity and ethical validity of the Journal's editorial explanation. It's convoluted, and it's weirdly childish, despite a surfeit of ten dollar words scattered throughout. Now, childishness is something I'm all-too-familiar with here at Codemorse. It's practically my stock in trade. But this is a blog, not a venerated newspaper.

The Brilliance of Kos

Posted by Jabawacefti

Love this.

Yep, Republicans and conservative are just evil racists. Doesn't this make everything more simple?

A Pension For Buggery

From the Wall Street Journal:

To help explain its deep slump, General Motors Corp. often cites "legacy costs," including pensions for its giant U.S. work force. In its latest annual report, GM wrote: "Our extensive pension and [post-employment] obligations to retirees are a competitive disadvantage for us." Early this year, GM announced it was ending pensions for 42,000 workers. But there's a twist to the auto maker's pension situation: The pension plans for its rank-and-file U.S. workers are overstuffed with cash, containing about $9 billion more than is needed to meet their
obligations for years to come.


Another of GM's pension programs, however, saddles the company with a liability of $1.4 billion. These pensions are for its executives. This is the pension squeeze companies aren't talking about: Even as many reduce, freeze or eliminate pensions for workers -- complaining of the costs -- their executives are building up ever-bigger pensions, causing the companies' financial obligations for them to balloon.

Companies disclose little about any of this. But a Wall Street Journal analysis of corporate filings reveals that executive benefits are playing a large and hidden role in the declining health of America's pensions.

Even as executives' pensions grow, many companies are curtailing those for the rank and file. In one move, hundreds of employers, including
Boeing Co., Xerox Corp. and Electronic Data Systems Corp., have switched to pension formulas known as "cash balance" plans. One effect is to slow the growth of older workers' pensions or halt it altogether.


Liberals hate corporations. You hear that all the time. Liberals hate corporations and they don't want corporations to do well. Speaking only for myself, I've got nothing against corporations. What I hate is wanton, irresponsible greed.

Corporations should feel free to make as much money as they'd like. But when they've issued promises to employees regarding pensions and future earnings, and then "freeze" or completely eliminate those benefits, I'm outraged and disgusted.

It isn't as if the executives in question are not well-paid. They're very fairly compensated. In some cases, they're so compensated that they throw bacchanalian parties that include hoisting their wives around a vast, pillared room on a bed carried by serfs. That should be hyperbolic, but it's not. That's an Enron party.

If you promise your employees, and they work in expectation of that promise, and you then renege, that's pretty much the definition of a broken contract. Companies should be held responsible for the employment agreements it enters into. Is anyone really of the opinion that business will not exploit its advantages if able? All the more reason to make accountability a priority. What good is a flourishing economy if the workers are broke?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hamdan Finally Wins

in the United States Supreme Court.

I have yet to read the decision, but promise to give a full accounting soon...

Posted by Jabawacefti

Spectacular Spider-Spoilers

Posted by Codemorse

Click here if you want to give in to the dirty need for spoilers on Spider-Man 3. I've already succumbed. I invite you to join me in this special, spider-specific, circle of hell. What can I say? I was a child of the Venom years.

Do NOT click if you wish to retain your girlish innocence regarding the plot of Spider-Man 3. I cannot be held responsible for you regretting your decision in the morning.

Quick! Before it goes away!

Head over to the Washington Post's article on JK Rowling, which Codemorse's Jabawacefti wrote on the other day.

Scroll down a bit on the article page, and check out the "Who's blogging" section.

Damn right. We're in the Washington-freaking-Post.

Booyakasha.

Too Much Free Time!

Posted by Codemorse

In checking out who's visited us here at Codemorse, it's often amusing to see what sort of searches people have done to end up here in our hallowed (stale-beer-scented) halls. They range from the odd to the deeply disturbing. Here are a few of the most recent:

Looking for "partial foot amputation? (and who isnt?)" Try Codemorse! (Here's the post those search words brought up)

Searching for that elusive "soltanec?" Codemorse, of course! (Here's the post those search words brought up)

Can't find that "evil buffett" you've been looking for? Codemorse! (and is that "buffett" as in Warren Buffett? Or as in "sinister open-spread of food?") (Here's the post those search words brought up)

Searching for others who agree that "yoga is an unreligious thing to do?" The answer rhymes with Toad Horse! (Here's the post those search words brought up)

Looking for the "'That's My Bush' lyrics?" K-K-K-Codemorse. (Here's the post those search words brought up)

Did you really enjoy listening to the soylent green band in new orleans? Want to find their t-shirt? Why look! It's Codemorse! (Here's the post those search words brought up)

Searching for someone to "take a giant * on?" Cooooooooodemorse! (Here's the post those search words brought up)

Superman Seen

Posted by Codemorse

Tonight, I saw Superman Returns.

After the film ended, my friend and I waited through approximately sixteen billion screen credits to see if there was a sneaky after-the-credits final scene (there isn’t). My friend’s the laconic type – a good guy, but not prone to running off at the mouth unless he’s been drinking – so the two of us were sitting in relative silence.

This afforded me the ability to listen in as the woman seated directly behind me deconstructed the film we'd just seen. Thoroughly.

She combed through it, citing specific scenes which she'd thought had gone on too long, character beats that seemed "off," and all sorts of amazingly detailed stuff like that.

It annoyed the fuck out of me.

The trouble with criticism, as has been pointed out by the smarter and handsomer than I, is that at some point, what "art" really comes down to is whether or not you appreciate/enjoy the art you're observing. That's the root of the matter, especially when it comes to film. Listening to that woman this evening made me realize that I truly didn't care about what she was saying. None of the problems she had with the film resonated with me in any real way.

You can defend a film on many fronts, but in the end, what it comes down to is this:

Did you like it?

And yes, I did. I liked it very much. I liked it a lot. Were I forced by some mysterious and threatening Opus Dei of film criticism to sum Superman Returns up in one word, I think I could do it.

Magnificent.

That sums up Superman Returns rather nicely, I think. And that’s really all you need to know about it, if you care at all about my opinion to begin with. And considering how often you send me flowers….well, it’s pretty clear you don’t care much at all.

The prospect of a World's Finest film, starring Christian Bale and Brandon Routh, has me salivating. Copiously. Routh literally channels Christopher Reeve for his scenes as Clark Kent, and brings a calm, zen-like attitude to his power. He's amazing.

Kevin Spacey? Amazing. Parker Posey, whom I like and loathe in equal measure? Amazing. James Marsden, the sensationally silent Cyclops? Amazing. Kate Bosworth? Very good.

Yes, I can nitpick. Yes, the ending is somewhat anti-climactic. Yes, there's some fat that could have been cut. Yes, Bosworth is far too young to be playing the character she’s cast as.

But I liked it. A lot. The scene in the baseball stadium (“Statistically, it’s still the safest way to travel.”) had me grinning like I haven’t grinned in a film in forever. The comedy is often laugh-out-loud funny.

It’s long. It’s over-stuffed. But I liked it. A lot.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reportage, MSM-Style

Posted by Codemorse

Watching the nightly news is a bit like sitting through trailers in front of a horror movie.

You get gory, frightening flashes of murder/death/kill (John Spartan, you have been fined one credit), shaky eyewitness accounts, and some shiver-inducing narrative, usually framed as a movie-trailer voiceover:

"Johnny Thompson was an eight year-old boy from Greenwich, Connecticut...Little did he know, that when he stepped onto that bright yellow school bus, he'd be taking a ride....with DEATH!"

So when I saw this article on CNN today, I couldn't resist rewriting it, for the fear-mongers on the six-o'clock news....






SNAKES!


Cold-blooded. Reptilian. And out for baby's blood.

The discovery of a new, LETHAL, POSSIBLY FLESH-EATING, STEALTH SNAKE has the international community in an uproar.....and some experts fearing for their very lives!

"The discovery of the 'chameleon' snake exposes one of nature's best-kept secrets. Its ability to change color has kept it hidden from science until now," said amusingly-named BamBang Supriyanto, a WWF specialist who wrestles in his free time.

The snake's ability to change it's skin color has some leading scientists SOUNDING THE ALARM, and describing a very-real future wherein America is invaded by chameleonic, venomous, DEADLY reptiles! Are your children safe? Do you own Anti-Venom?

Yes, while the deadly, venomous, possibly-communist Chameleon snake appears to be confined to Borneo...for the time being...can it be long before one of them slithers its way aboard an in-bound flight....to YOUR HOMETOWN?!?!

(cut to clip of Sam Jackson: "Get these muthafuckin' snakes off my muthafuckin' plane! Muthafucka!")

Fox, gimme a job.

Go. Fly.

Posted by Codemorse




Seeing it tonight. Watched the original last night for the first time in a while, and I'm all hopped up for the film - like a kid on pixie stix.

Outsourcing: The Next Generation

Posted by Codemorse

It occured to me, while commenting in a recent post on minimum wage, that we're going about this outsourcing thing all wrong.

Why should we be worrying about saving the equivalent of small change by hiring out to other countries for "unskilled" labor, when we can be saving the big bucks on "skilled" labor?

For instance, Congress recently voted itself yet another pay increase. Because they "work" so "hard." Clearly, we're paying far too much in our new global economy for what is, pretty inarguably, a fairly pokey way of running the country.

Why not outsource our Congressional needs to India? Surely there are people there willing to work twice as hard for half the pay in order to run an efficient government?

And what about all these golden-parachute CEO's? The one's loading up their retirement plates as Joe and Jane Sixpack figure out a way to turn their collection of Burger King collectible glasses into something resembling a pension?

Surely China, with it's monstrously-swelling economy and inhuman productivity, could provide stellar CEO's for a mere pittance of the current domestic rate.

Why should jobs like Doctor, Lawyer, Hedge Fund Manager and Mtv programming coordinator be safe from the threat of international competition? It's not as if the people doing these jobs are that much better than those doing them in, say, Micronesia. And it's soooo much cheaper!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

So Pretty It Makes My Teeth Hurt

Posted by Codemorse

Get Behind me, Satan! I'm Goin' To Congress!

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

As if beating a five-term congressman wasn't hard enough, John Jacob said he has another foe working against him: the devil. "There's another force that wants to keep us from going to Washington, D.C.," Jacob said. "It's the devil is what it is. I don't want you to print that, but it feels like that's what it is." Jacob said Thursday that since he decided to run for Congress against Rep. Chris Cannon, Satan has bollixed his business deals, preventing him from putting as much money into the race as he had hoped.

Jacob, who like Cannon is LDS, said he is not the only one who is being opposed by Beelzebub. He said both Cannon and Sen. Bob Bennett have lost millions of dollars since going to Congress, and he believes their adversity is rooted in the same dark origins.



I have absolutely no idea whether Jacob is a good, hard-working guy, or a nut-job opportunist. It's very possible that he's simply a religious man who's tired of telling the papers what they want to hear. The tendency, with stories like this, is to make fun of the person in question, but that's a mistake, in my opinion.

Jacob's beliefs, if sincere and not simply a canny manipulation of truly religious voters, are simply one part of his moral and ethical makeup. They may sound kooky, but is believing that Satan influences your campaign any more ridiculous than believing that God favors America? Or that God has a hand in everyday life, for that matter?

Myself, I don't subscribe to the notion of a literal prince of darkness. If anything, "satan" is the human tendency toward selfishness, cruelty and harm. But articles like this offer an opportunity to think about how faith influences action, and what place it has in the realm of politics.

My favorite quote from the story?

Cannon's campaign would not address whether Lucifer is opposing either
candidate.

(Story courtesy of Two Guys From Quantico, a site that likes to pop by Codemorse once in a while)

Something Of A Hypocrite, But At Least Self-Aware

We've posted twice on Andrea Yates, and its resulted in some really interesting discussion.

In doing so, we're guilty of taking this woman's tragedy and mulling it over as if it's affected us in some personal way. That's kind of creepy, when you think about it, but also somewhat "normal," as the tragedy of human life has historically been a source of amusement and entertainment (see: Gary Condit, Paris Hilton).

But this? Ugh.

From CNN.com:

Yates sobs, jurors teary at sight of kids' bodies

That's the headline. Yes, it's that big. And, yes, that's the entire article, summed up.

Tragedy-porn. We've all indulged. But it's time to start weaning ourselves off that bitter teat, no?

Andrea Yates will now join A** C******* on the list of people who shall be mentioned by Codemorse no longer, except in veiled, allusive form.

Who Will It Be?

Apparently, J.K. Rowling has informed readers (and the public at large) that two of the main characters will die by the end of Book 7, the final chapter in her seven part Harry Potter series.

Who will it be?

If I were to venture a guess, I'd say Harry and Hagrid.

Thoughts? Guesses?

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Evil Corporation

Posted by Jabawacefti

Much of the purportedly "progressive" agenda focuses on the alleged evils of the Corporation, or the CEOs or the "Man."

The class warfare is always a lot of fun, but seemingly perverse. We encourage hard work. Innovation. Intelligence. But when individuals reap the benefits of their hard work, suddenly they become evil. It always felt distinctly un-American to me to denigrate success. Nevertheless, there you have it.

But we learn, from time to time, that not all CEOs are alike. Rich people are people too. And some of them are exceptional. Namely, Warren Buffett.

You see, Warren Buffett is or was the President of Bershire Hathaway, one of the most profitable Corporations (insert "boo" or "hiss") in the entire world. And just this week, he decided to give most of his fortune away. To solving disease, helping the poor and the uneducated. All in all, he's decided to give away almost $30 billion to various charitable causes.

All despite the fact that he's a rich, white, CEO.

I only mention it because we always complain about enriching the rich. Frankly, I'd rather the $30 billion come from Buffett, and tell the government to pound sand when they take my stuff. I guarantee that this will do more good than any Government or Governmental organization will ever do.

I can just hear Buffett now: Golden Parachute this!

Mondays = Horrible

No postings today. Job interviews and Codemorse's first official book review should keep me busy til' tomorrow morning or so.

Be good to one another.

(If you're realllllly bored, check this out. But you'd better be bored.)