Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jack's Back

Posted by codemorse

You and everyone you know watched the season premiere of Lost last night.

And you loved it.

I know I did.

Fishbiscuits! The Others - fans of Stephen King! Jack's best flashback yet! Brunch on the beach! "Then you don't get any coffee." The Dharma aquarium! "I'll kill her!" "...Okay."

Discuss the show's opener in the comments section! And check out this link on YouTube - a video pieced together from all the random portions of the "Lost Experience" game they ran this summer. Since we have lives, we weren't able to play along. Instead, we get to jump on the bandwagon at the end and reap the sweet rewards of other people's hard work. I should warn you that the video appears to explain the purpose/existence of Dharma and the Numbers. I've no idea if they'll explain these things in the show itself. If you want to remain unspoiled, don't watch it.

P.S. - My girl is an enormous Grey's Anatomy fan (and so is your girlfriend/wife/sister/mother, probably). It's her favorite show. As a result, I'll be voluntarily skipping the season of "Supernatural," which is in my top three (along with Lost and Battlestar). If anyone knows where I can get the episodes online, I'd appreciate a heads-up.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Our Country Has Gone Insane

Posted by codemorse

I ain't no doctor, but I've been curing what ails ya' for over a year now and I can confirm the veracity of my diagnosis - our country is drunk-on-the-dark-blood-of-kali INSANE right now.

In the wake of Rep. Foley's and the GOP's youngboyapalooza, people have been justifiably venting their anger and bewilderment - not simply over the behavior of a grown man seducing teenagers, but over the clear and willfull efforts of GOP members to cover up for him and then to play down that cover up.

But that's the good news - people should be good and riled up over this.

Here's the part that tells us how insane America is right now:

I want to see a full investigation into this and do not want to blame anyone (Hastert or whoever) until we know who knew what when. But in any event, I have to say that I am ashamed of my party today (yes, I am a Republican). At worst, they knew about this, and at best, they had enough clues to investigation. That anyone would have an inkling of this and do nothing is just disheartening. I think I am sitting this next election out. I won't vote for democrats, but can't vote for republicans right now. Gross. -Mary P.

Yes, apparently pedophilia has convinced "Mary P." that the republican party is, momentarily, as bad as the Democrats. Not worse, mind you. Were that the case, perhaps Mary could put aside her partisanship to consider individual candidates based on, say, merit.

But no. Apparently this scandal is cause to just...stop voting.

That's insane.

I don't mean that in the hyperbolic, ha-ha funny way. I mean that in the "these people have voluntarily lobotomized themselves" kind of way.

Let's take a deep breath and deal with a little something that I like to call "reality." Some folks may not recognize that word right away, considering that we've learned to live without it over the past few years. Still, "reality" remains important, and something that should - from time to time - be examined. So, let's focus on certain realities by answering some comments from Average Joes and Janes on this whole unfortunate mess:

Why is ABC News, and Brian Ross specifically, drip drip dripping these IMs so slowly? This is why people think this is more about politics than the public's need to know. These are all IMs between Foley and the same 2 pages but, for some reason, it has taken 5 days, so far, for ABC News to leak this out? Why not release it ALL at once? Why is ABC intentionally dragging it out so that they have a BREAKING NEWS headline everyday? JUST RELEASE IT ALL! Or is this all simply for ratings?? -Christine

I'm going to assume that Christine isn't being witheringly rhetorical here and treat her question as sincere. I'm also going to refrain from being witheringly condescending. Is ABC News' "drip drip dripping" of these IMs "simply for the ratings"?

Does a Grizzly defecate in the woodland?

There's an ugly sheen to Christine's question which goes unspoken. It speaks to how these creepy IMs allow us to indulge our fascination for the forbidden (something that Rep. Foley now stands publically accused of) without getting in trouble for it. Who cares how many of these things ABC has? Isn't one creepy/kinky IM exchange enough for Christine?

Apparently not. She displays the sort of impatience that fans of 'Lost' tend to show between episodes. When is the next installment coming? What happens next? How dare they withhold entertainment for political purposes!

...only this isn't entertainment. If ABC's drip-drip approach to IM release offends you then don't pay attention to it. I needed to read only one page of Foley's IM exchanges to know that I'd never, ever, need to read any more.

i am wondering who has also endangered these kids. Ross is saying he had the emails back in AUGUST! Several FL newspapers had the bad on Foley as well back then. Foley is not to be excused one bit, but looks like this was also a nicely conducted Oct political surprise that was surpressed! what about that, aren't these people also endangering kids if they knew earlier as well? My guess dems/liberals are giddy as a school boy page over this now! Politics have been played over this at the expense of getting FOley out and away from male pages by all parties!

While there's a point to be made here about making sure that it isn't simply the GOP who's blindly savaged by this scandal (if there were democrats that knew then they should be removed from office. Immediately.), it's kind of overshadowed by the shock this person displays over the withholding of personal information for political gain.

And here I thought that the "October Surprise" was something Republicans looked forward to - like Christmas or a new war. Evidently, that's the case only when that "Surprise" is something they can control.

Where was the Republican outrage over Rove's recent comment that there was an October Surprise coming to help win the elections?

I'm not sure how you don't politicize something like this. Or, more accurately, how you go about even beginning to try and correct something this distasteful without being accusing of "politicizing" things. The man held a public office and is (in theory) accountable to the people. People therefore have the right to know that he's betrayed their trust.

More importantly, we have the right to know if our representatives are covering up for illegal activities.

Most interesting to me is how several conservatives have implied that they hadn't wanted to let this information go public for fear of "Gay-bashing," which would be hilarious if it weren't so straight-faced.

The same party that wants to remove the rights of gays to marry and openly calls them an abomination in the eyes of God - indeed, a threat to our American way of life - is suddenly concerned about "gay-bashing"?

Dudes...I hate to be the one to tell you this...but you ran the last election on a big ol' plank of gay-bashing rhetoric.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gadget of the Week - Keyboard Pr0n

posted by Scott Roche

This is probably the sexiest keyboard I've ever seen. Okay so that's not really saying much, but it's pretty dang cool. It's the Logitech DiNovo Edge Bluetooth Keyboard. It's a mix of black plexiglass, brushed aluminum, and hi-tech. The round thing is a "touch disk" and above that is a volume slider and some zoom keys. When you hold down the FN key, orange backlights above the top row of keys give you secondary commands.

Computers that already have built in Bluetooth don't need any connection and if you aren't blest by the BT gods then a little micro-receiver plugs into your USB port. Using Bluetooth gives the keyboard greater range so you can control your media center from across your spacious home theater setup. And that stand it's in is the charger. Don't worry two hours of charge time gives you two months of usage.

All this sexiness will be available next month for just $200.

From Geekzone

Abramoff - Lobbyist, Criminal...Psychic?

Posted by codemorse

From DailyKos:

Newly-disclosed e-mails from the Minority Chair of the House Government Reform Committee Henry Waxman provide new areas of insight into Jack Abramoff's closeness to the Bush administration. Most shocking of all (at least of those I've been able to read so far) is that Abramoff off-handedly mentions "the upcoming war in Iraq." The date--March, 2002:

"I was sitting yesterday with Karl Rove, Bush's top advisor, at the NCAA basketball game, discussing Israel when this email came in. I showed it to him. It seems that the President was very sad to have to come out negatively regarding Israel, but that they needed to mollify the Arabs for the upcoming war on Iraq."

As is pointed out in the linked article, this email was sent just about a year before there was a war in Iraq - seven months before Congress authorized the President to go to war.

This email was written four days before the "Downing Street Memo," while President Bush was still claiming that we wanted to pursue a variety of options to war.

This is significant, because in March of 2002, many citizens already believed that the U.S. was committed to the Iraq invasion, and were opposed to the invasion on a number of substantially-factual, reasonable grounds.

When we expressed our concern over the apparent craving for war, we were called unpatriotic and anti-American. We were accused of aiding the enemy.

And we were, apparently, right.

Which begs the question, considering that our war has increased the global threat of terrorism...Just who was aiding the enemy again?

I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane - Don't Know If I'll Be Searched Again

Posted by codemorse

Thanks to Scott, I've been pointed toward this gem of an article on CNN. Since 9/11 I haven't traveled much by airplane, and it isn't because I'm scared of dying in a terrorist attack (I'd have more luck accidentally drowning in my bathtub, according to all available statistics). It's because flying has become the equivalent of a Prison-themed carnival attraction.

"Experience what it's like to feel guilty until proven innocent!"

"Have your cavities searched!"

"Be treated as though you must earn the right to call yourself a human being!"

It's "Terrorists of the Carribean," and we're the attendees.


A Wisconsin man [Ryan Bird] who wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a plastic bag containing toiletries said he was detained at an airport security checkpoint for about 25 minutes before authorities concluded the statement was not a threat.

....A TSA screener saw the bag and went to get a supervisor, who grabbed it and asked Bird if it was his.

...."It was obvious that he was already angry," Bird said, adding that the screener told him, "You can't write things like that."

The supervisor told Bird he had the right to express his opinions "out there" -- pointing outside the screening area -- but did not have the right "in here," Bird said.

...."My level of frustration with the TSA and their idiotic policies has grown over 2 ½ years," he said. "I'm frustrated that poorly trained TSA people can pull random passengers out of line and pat them down like common criminals. The average traveler has no recourse."

Damn straight.

On every trip I've taken post-9/11 I've been specially flagged for 'screenings.' I am taken to a holding area and made to remove shoes, belt, and sometimes my pants (luckily, I've not yet been strip-searched - unlike others I know). These 'random' searches have succeeded in singling me out each and every time.

Which tells me one of two things:

Either the very 'randomness' of these things is off, or I'm on some sort of 'flagged passenger' list. I have never committed a felony. I pay my taxes on time. And the full measure of my political extremism is this blog.

Yet on six different trips (both coming and going) I've been treated, as Bird says, like a common criminal.

And that's both humiliating and anger-inducing.

Foley Ickiness, Batman!

Posted by codemorse

By now, everyone and their mother has heard about Rep. Foley's unsavory communications with an underage D.C. staffer.

I can't contribute anything substantial to the discussion of the 'crime' itself (and is it a crime when no actual contact may have taken place?), so instead I'll make one comment about the way we've recieved and treated this disturbing information about Mr. Foley.

If it is wrong/distasteful/some sort of crime to communicate with an underage boy in the manner that Mr. Foley communicated, why is it not wrong/distasteful/some sort of crime to reproduce those conversations for a general audience to read and gossip over (as we're doing right now)?

Why is it wrong to write what Mr. Foley apparently wrote, but not wrong to consciously choose to read it?

I ask, because on ABC news you can pick up a transcript of one of Mr. Foley's conversations with this mysterious boy-staffer. You can read exactly what was written by Foley, and what was responded to by the boy in question.

How is that, in any substantial way, any less of a questionable activity than writing it is?

What Mr. Foley wrote may, in some sense, be a crime. If Foley had physical contact with underage boys then it's definately a crime.

But what ABC news is peddling is underage pornography - and the last time I checked, that was definately a no-no.