December 31, 2005
What a year it's been. i almost hate to see 2004 go. But it's time to celebrate an even more exciting year to come. Wow, 2005 already!The same message is appropriate today, except for the part about hating to see this year go. 2004 was a tough year to top, and 2005 didn't do it, blog-wise.
Have a great NYE everybody! Be safe. You know the drill: designate a driver and don't forget to bundle up when you're out in the weather. Don't want to start the year off with a nasty cold.
Thanks for all your many kindnesses this past year, and for just stopping by to read my nonsense. i love you all and i'll see you next year!
i think 2006 will be a lot more exciting, both personally and for current events to write about. Good luck to all of you in the new year too! i look forward to continuing this electronic relationship we got going.
Until next year!
Thanks to the passage of Assembly Bill 646, children can no longer put holes in their heads without parental permission. The measure by Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R_Lancaster, bans body piercing of a minor without a parent being present or sending notarized consent.and
Assembly Bill 1474 Bans new teenage drivers, their first year, from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by an adult 25 or older or traveling to school, work or to a medical appointment.Poor kids. Having to tell your parents before you get your ears pierced or go on a beer run can be quite a hassle. What if they say no?
On the other hand, you can still kill a baby anytime you want without telling anyone, so it's not all bad news for the kids. And really, it's all about the kids ain't it?
December 28, 2005
Dear Peter Jackson.
i love what you guys are doing with claymation these days, but three hours of watching a monkey grimace is a bit much, don't you think?
p.s. i mean, there's only so many ways an ape can make a sad face, you know what i mean? Geez, Roddy McDowell figured that out back in the seventies.
p.p.s. The dino stampede was nice, but Spielberg already did one. Remember? Plus, i don't think a .45 caliber tommy gun is going to do much against a velociraptor, let alone
a brontosaurus an apatosaurus, except make it madder.
p.p.p.s. Me again. Sorry, i just don't get the whole "girl loves monkey" thing. You know, Adrian Brody may not be the handsomest dude out there, but he does have a certain charm. At the very least, a cute blonde with a nice figure like Naomi Watts, shouldn't have to settle for a simian.
p.p.p.p.s. i thought about my last p.s. and i should have added that i did find myself having feelings for the big furry primate by the end of the deal. Why'd you have to kill him?
p.p.p.p.p.s. Who knew Jack Black could carry a whole picture? Oh, and if you wanted to cast Nicole Kidman, but she was unavailable, you couldn't have found a better facsimile than Naomi Watts. There were moments when i thought i was looking at Nicole for a second. Interesting that the two of them grew up in Australia and are actually close friends.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s. The biplanes looked totally fake. It kind of ruined it for me. Biplanes move a lot slower in real life than you showed them. Maybe most people wouldn't notice that, but i'm kind of a biplane nut.
p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. i swear this is the last one. i thought the original KK was overrated. i've actually heard it referred to as the "greatest American film" ever, which is ridiculous. Like nobody's made a better movie since 1933? Come on. Your remake certainly was better. And you outdid the De Laurentiis version too. (But then De Laurentiis's sucked.) In all honesty Peter, i think you are a modern day DeMille. Keep making epics, you're good at them. i'll keep seeing them.
This King Kong was like three movies in one. The first hour was a trip through depression era New York. Nicely done. i love imagining what different periods of history looked like, and you really brought it alive for me.
The second hour was an action thriller, with monsters and lots of creepy-crawlies. It was fun, although it almost succumbed to the "Temple Of Doom" syndrome (too much action) in places. Not to worry though, i figured i could afford to miss at least one perilous escape to go relieve my bladder, and i was right.
The third act was the tragedy. No surprises there, and it may have been the weakest part of the movie. Like i said, the whole gorilla - blonde love association thing is just not believable. They must have known they couldn't have a future together. i mean, how would they do it? It's a stretch.
But overall, i'd give your KK a 3 stars on the Netflix scale ("liked it"). Definitely worth seeing, although it's an hour too long.
December 26, 2005
Interestingly, i just got done listening to "Night Prowler," by AC/DC, which ends with the words "nano nano." How cool is that?
December 25, 2005
December 23, 2005
i give up. i really give up.
Why don't we just propose a new law next year to quiet all the critics? The Unconditional Surrender Act of 2006. It might look like this:
To restore the United States of America to the safety of its pre September 11, 2001 status. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 101 FINDINGS
Congress makes the following findings:
(a) Life in the United States of America was easier when we didn't realize that there were people out there trying to kill us.
(b) Protecting the citizens of the United States from future terrorist attacks necessarily requires that difficult choices be made.
(c) Certain interest groups, including the news media, are very quick to criticize
anyevery action taken by a Republican president, no matter how sensible such action may be.
(d) The elected members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America lack the collective guts to do the right thing in the face of media criticism or opposition by various nut-jobs such as Michael Moore or Cindy Sheehan and their ilk.
(e) By returning to a strategy of doing nothing and ignoring its enemies, Congress can invite a future attack on the territory and citizens of the United States of America.
(f) Such a future attack can be blamed on the President of the United States of America, thus allowing the Senate and House of Representatives to escape blame and responsibility therefor, and making it more likely that a change of political party control will occur in the executive and legislative branches of the government of the United States.
Section 102 SENSE OF CONGRESS
It is the sense of Congress that:
(a) People who have nothing to hide, generally do not complain about surveillance as much as those who do.
(b) People who oppose the use of the United States military are generally louder than those who support the United States military.
(c) Critics in the media, academia, and the entertainment industry will be satisfied only when the government of the United States gets out of the way of the people who want to kill us.
Section 201 USE OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY
(a) Effective immediately, all operations by all personnel of the United States Department of Defense shall cease.
(b) All personnel and equipment under the authority and control of the United States Department of Defense, and located outside of the territory of the United States of America, shall be returned to locations within the United States of America as soon as practicable, and in no event later than thirty days from the date of enactment of this law.
(c) Hereafter, the use of any personnel, equipment or assets under the authority and control of the United States Department of Defense shall be limited to either of the following:(1) The distribution of food, medicine and currency to the heads of state, or their representatives, of the following countries only: Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Brunei, Chad, Comoros, CÃ´te d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. For purposes of this subsection, the phrase "heads of state or their representatives" shall include warlords and/or members of the executive branch of the United Nations General Assembly.
(2) The evacuation of American citizens under violent attack or after release from hostage captivity in the above listed countries.
Section 202 FOREIGN POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES
(a) Effective immediately, all diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the state of Israel shall be severed and all diplomatic officers withdrawn and returned to their respective states.
(b) The 1949 Recognition of the State of Israel by the United States, is hereby rescinded, revoked and withdrawn.
Section 203 HOMELAND SECURITY
(a) The United States Department of Customs and Border Protection shall be renamed the United States Department of Welcome and Transit.
(b) Every person located within the United States of America, or within any of its territories or possessions, either now or at any time in the future, who is not already a citizen of the United States, shall be deemed a citizen of the United States with all the rights pertaining thereto. Citizenship conferred to any person under this section shall:(1) automatically extend to all members of said person's family, whether located within or outside the territory of the United States, and(c) No person travelling on a commercial airliner within the United States of America shall be searched or in any way impeded or delayed from entry into any airport terminal or airplane, unless he or she:
(2) shall remain irrevocable in perpetuity, regardless of any criminal acts, including treason.(1) is over the age of 70 years, or under the age of 10 years, and(d) No interception of any electronic communications by anyone shall ever be conducted upon anyone, ever, for any reason whatsoever.
(2) cannot claim ancestry from any of the countries listed in Title II of this Act, Section 201, subsection (c)(1), and
(3) is not carrying any weapon, explosive device or apparatus for remote detonation of an explosive device.
(e) No person shall ever be arrested, investigated, kept under surveillance, watched or glanced at in a sideways manner if that person:(1) is an immigrant from, can claim ancestry from, or ever spent time in a terrorist training camp in any of the countries listed in Title II of this Act, Section 201, subsection (c)(1),
(2) advocates or encourages any act of terrorism against citizens of the United States, or contributes money to any terrorist organization or enemy of the United States.
Section 204 TREATMENT AND INTERROGATION OF PRISONERS
(a) No person shall ever be taken prisoner by any member of the United States Military, or any agent of a United States intelligence service, or any officer of any law enforcement agency operating within the United States if such person has committed, planned or conspired to commit a terrorist act, or in any way taken up arms against the military forces of the United States or those of any ally of the United States.
(b) All persons currently in custody for the above listed acts shall be immediately and permanently released, without interrogation, and after a full meal.
(c) All persons so released shall be provided legal counsel, at government expense, for the purpose of pursuing civil recovery for torts committed upon them while in government custody.
i'm still trying to think of an acronymic title for this bill.
December 22, 2005
These days, whenever something goofy turns up on the news, chances are it involves some fellow called Mohammed. A plane flies into the World Trade Center? Mohammed Atta. A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet. A sniper starts killing gas-station customers around Washington, DC? John Allen Muhammed. A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri. A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed. A British subject from Hounslow, West London, self-detonates in a Tel Aviv bar? Asif Mohammed Hanif. A gang rapist preys on the women of Sydney? Mohammed Skaf.Via Shelly.
Maybe all these Mohammeds are victims of Australian white racists and American white racists and Dutch white racists and Israeli white racists and Balinese white racists and Beslan schoolgirl white racists. But the eagerness of the Aussie and British and Canadian and European media, week in, week out, to attribute each outbreak of an apparently universal phenomenon to strictly local factors is starting to look pathological. "Violence and racism are bad," but so is self-delusion.
For more background on Sydney's problem, see The Rise Of Middle Eastern Crime In Australia.
Via A Western Heart.
December 21, 2005
by Charles Wesley
Hark! how all the welkin rings
Glory to the King of kings!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
Christ the Lord is born to-day!
Christ by highest Heaven adored,
Christ, the Everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgins womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th Incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to appear,
Jesus our Immanuel here!
Hail! the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail! the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home!
Rise, the Womans conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpents head!
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore,
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine!
Adams likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place;
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love!
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the Heavenly Man:
O! to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart!
i love near-rhymes. This is an Eighteenth Century hymn, so it may be that those near-rhymes are due to archaic pronounciation.
I spent a lot of years as a line prosecutor at the Department of Justice, and as the head of the Criminal Division in this building. Many of the tools which we are talking about using in the patriot act against terrorists are tools that have been used for years in the decades against drug dealers, or people involved in white collar crime. And they've been used effectively and they've been used without there being a significant impact on civil liberties.Well put.
The question I ask myself when I hear people criticize roving wiretaps, for example, is, why is this something that we use successfully and prudently in the area of dealing with marijuana importers, but yet a tool that people want to deny us in the war against people who want to import chemical weapons or explosives. That makes no sense to me.
Why is it, for example, that delayed notification search warrants, which again, we use in all kinds of garden variety criminal cases, with the supervision of a judge, why should that tool be denied to our investigators when they're seeking to go into a house with a search warrant to see if there are explosives there, or other kinds of weapons that can be used against Americans.
[It's] Common sense [that] the tools that have been used without any significant impact on civil liberties in a wide variety of cases over the last 10 or 20 years, ought to continue to be available here against perhaps the greatest threat we face in this country, which is the threat of terror.
December 20, 2005
Apparently ignoring Washington's extradition request for Mohammed Ali Hamadi, German authorities have secretly released the Lebanese Hezbollah member who was serving a life sentence in the country for the hijacking of a TWA jet and for the murder of a US navy diver.Nice going krauts.
German prosecutors confirmed the release of Mohammed Ali Hamadi, now in his late 30s, to the Associated Press and said he was flown back to Lebanon last week.
Hamadi was convicted in 1989 by a German court of killing US Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem during the 1985 hijacking of a TWA flight diverted to Beirut. He was sentenced to life without parole. His sentence is one Germany reserves for the most serious and cruel crimes. It is difficult but not impossible to release someone who receives such a sentence after 15 years.
Two observations occur to me. One, this secret release is not so secret, is it? Nice to see that leaks are not something unique to the American government.
Second, this guy was supposedly sentenced to the worst sentence you can get in a place without the death penalty: life without the possibility of parole. Except NOW HE'S FREE!
That's kind of an argument for the death penalty, don't you think? At least in cases of international terrorism, where the continued earthly existence of the criminal becomes a blackmail opportunity for terrorists.
Germany, an entire nation with no balls.
December 19, 2005
"Which one did you have in mind?" she asked.
"How about Good Night and Good Luck?"
"Never heard of it. What's it about?"
"Edward R. Murrow."
"Um, do you know who McCarthy was?"
"Sure, he was like some communist, right?"
"Um, not exactly."
Betty later claimed she was kidding. Anyways, she couldn't go because tonight was tae-bo night for her. i got stood up for Billy Blanks himself. Only in L.A.
Next, i called Lori. But she and her boyfriend are total homebodies. Even though they work in the business, the last thing they want to do after work is go see a movie.
My brother was a last resort, but if it doesn't involve a car chase, he's not interested. Also he got home late from his job and was too cranky and tired to go out again.
The one consolation to staying home was a big plate of my Mom's Labskovs stew, which we all ate while watching the latest Raymond DVD. What's my Mom's Labskovs stew like, you ask? Holy crap, as Frank Barone might say, it's awesome!
My parents are completely addicted to Raymond. They buy each DVD set the very day it goes on sale. i must say, i've gotten to appreciate the show a lot too. This latest DVD, of season five is the funniest so far. It's too bad they went and bought it because i still have no idea what to get either of them for Christmas.
Oh, on a completely unrelated topic, my car is angry with me. She's threatening to go on strike because i've been driving with the check engine light for the last oh 10,000 miles or so. So now she's started sputtering and coughing when i first turn her on. It's just a form of protest, but i'll have to placate her by taking her in to the shop this week if i can.
When the check engine light first came on i took her in right away because i heard that you should never drive a car with the check engine light on. i ended up paying the dealer $100 just so they could tell me it was the catalytic converter. Cool, i thought. i can ignore that, no problem.
i continued to ignore it for several reasons:
#1: from what i understand, the CC is made of solid platinum, and therefore costs about $50,000 to replace.
#2: i'm supposed to smog the car this year, so they will obviously insist that i fix the CC before they re-register me. i'm now late on re-registering, by the way. i just couldn't afford the smog check, the new CC and the fee all at once.
#3: until now, there was no discernable difference in the car's performance, except for the annoying orange light on the dashboard, which i got used to. Actually the light itself was not as annoying as having to hear every single passenger in my car say "hey, did you know your check engine light is on?"
i call it a sacrifice because the quality of Hollywood movies in recent years has not given me much hope that this will be an enjoyable experience. Plus, i intend to blog about each one, and lately, wringing a decent blog post out of my head has been a difficult task.
i am in Los Angeles until after the new year, so i will have the advantage of being able to see a lot of the limited release films that are already creating a buzz, such as Spielberg's Munich and Woody Allen's Match Point (a must see for me, since i love tennis.)
The boyfriend will be joining me next week, and he has indicated that he will help me cross the finish line on this goal, as long as "that cowboy movie" isn't one of the ten films.
i hope my Advent sacrifice, and the blog posts it generates, will be of some interest to you all. Besides, it's Christmas break, and what else have i got to do with my time? Otherwise i might spend it playing videogames with my bro, or eating and drinking way too much.
December 18, 2005
Christiane Amanpour delivered the Democratic response to the president's speech on the Iraq War tonight. In a nutshell, she said we're losing.
Other democratic responses included the following:
Halliburton Halliburton. Bush spied, people died. Iraqis flying kites. Need specifics specifics timetable timetable pullout pullout. No WMDs.
blah blah blah blah zzzzzzzzz clunk.
i was wrong, because she was about to move into phase two of her $6 scheme.
The first thing i noticed was her voice, because she sounded so much like Roseanne Barr, that i truly thought it might have been her. She had bright cinnamon colored hair, cut in a bob, which temporarily obscured her facial features. When she turned in my direction momentarily, i realized it couldn't have been Roseanne, unless Roseanne had recently been involved in a horrible accident.
The lady's teeth were a disaster. Every other one was missing, and the remaining teeth were pointed in every direction except proper. She looked like a mako shark, it was quite an array.
The checker and in fact all of the grocery store personnel were beyond professional throughout the whole ordeal. i was really impressed by them. The controversy that developed involved a reciept that the lady wanted to apply to her purchase. The slip of paper apparently indicated a credit left over from a previous gift card purchase.
The lady said that she threw away the actual gift card after her last visit, even though it still had $6 on it, because a manager had told her she didn't need the card. This mysterious manager said that the receipt could be used instead of the card.
The checker explained that you actually had to have the gift card, and that he couldn't accept the receipt. The lady then began a string of expletives. If a manager said she could do it, she should be entitled to do it.
Of course the lady couldn't identify the particular manager, who apparently wasn't working that night. She also refused to go speak to any other managers unless they came over to her, while she held up the checkout line.
This was the key part of the scam. She needed to create an inconvenience to the other customers so the store employees would just give her the $6 so she could go away. After all, it was only $6, and look at all those people waiting.
Anyways, they opened another aisle and let me check out, so i never found out if the store caved-in to her demands or not. i hope they didn't.
* Pumpkin pie, Reddi-Whip, Kerns Pineapple-Mango juice, hot dog buns, six Anjou pears in a bag, vanilla ice cream, salsa
On the other hand, i am considering legally changing my name to "the evidence queen."
See that girl, she knows the F.R.E.,Oh yeah!
diggin' the evidence queen!
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