Thursday, May 27, 2004

Cell Spam, Celluar Spam, Text Message Spam: Keep Away From My Phone

I have a lot of animosity towards spam. It’s a basic nuisance that we all deal with, and wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t take up a large part of your email box most of the time. The horrible part is that spam continues to evolve. There are spammers who offer free access to porn sites, and use the images that hotmail has for security as the signup key. They then get the image code, enter it into the hotmail confirmation signup (automatically) and tada, another spam account is born, beating the new MSN security practice.

But a new annoyance has begun. I’m now getting spam as text messages on my cell phone. I’m not talking like I get one a month; I’ve gotten 5 in the last two days. Previously, I always got excited by text messages, because they were usually from some of the really cool people that I know, sending me a little tidbit about their day, or just saying hello. Now, I’m getting messages like: “learn the juicy details on anyone GO TO:” or ”get all skeletons on your wife!” or ”check out the juicy details on inlaws” or get all the hot facts on your lover” or ”read all the hidden secrets on friends! GO TO:”. It’s like they really know me! Wait, I’m not married, nor do I care about all the rest. Coincidentally, all of these text messages come from… you got it, MSN accounts.

Granted, this is all very aggravating, so I decided to call my carrier, ATT Wireless (a.k.a. ATTWS. I was expecting some resistance and difficulty and a long time on the phone. Miraculously, after dialing in all the info required, I got an operator in one ring. This is unheard of in the cell phone circle. I was almost totally unprepared. Usually, I have time to formulate what I’m going to say, how I’ll say it, wonder what tune is playing on the hold playlist, get mad that I’m waiting so long, wonder what I forgot to do today, and finally get a non-English speaking operator who tells me they have to transfer me to the correct department, and then the process repeats.

But surprisingly, my operator was prompt, offered me upfront a new package deal promotion (I declined), and asked me how he could help. I told him I was getting spam and all the details, including the websites promoted and that all of the spam came from MSN accounts. I asked if I was paying for these, and he told me that everything was ok, I’m only charged for text messages I send, not receive. He then took my account (there are two numbers on it) and told me it may take up to twenty days, but that he sent it in for processing. And that was it. I was done. Incredible.

Luckily, I’m not getting porn spam yet, but at this rate, I assume it’s not far away. This website suggests adding your cell number to the do not call list, but I would advise against that. I’ve heard rumors that illegal spam promoters actually peruse that info for prospective calls.

I have to give my thanks to ATTWS for being so pleasant. Although I’ve heard otherwise, I’ve never really had any large complaints about them, and I get better service than most. Thanks again, ATTWS, for being a provider I choose to stick with, although you’re probably going to be Cingular soon anyway.

And to the spammers: leave us alone on our phones. Stick to your regular means of advertising. I will further let it be known that I choose to boycott any text message websites that I receive as spam. Although it doesn’t mean much, it’s my little fight against the shadows, and I’m still naïve enough to think it means something.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Silent Conversations

I think of myself as a generally honest, straightforward person. Sure, sometimes I slip down the slope of moral corruption momentarily, but so do most (that slope is slippery!). I always find, however, that the greater part of my dishonest side always shows itself when I see a friend I haven’t seen in awhile. It's not, however, purposeful, but rather more of a reflex. It comes from the initialization of a conversation, and we all do it. It’s funny that the question most people ask yet don’t ever want to hear the answer to is derived from one simple question:

“So how have you been?”

When was the last time anyone ever really thought about that? Usually the first response is, “I’m good, how are you?” or “I’m freakin’ FAN-tastic!” or some other trivial, subversive retort that all mean the same thing.


In math, a simplistic definition of a derivation (I can’t believe I remember this) is a dynamic representation of the tangent at all points along a graph. With this visual representation comes many rules: chain rule, quotient rule, inverse rule, etc. It’s a whole semester of stuff that I’ve just cut down into a few sentences.

Anyway, conversation derivations are much the same. They’re dynamic tangents based upon a single question or statement. Basically, they don’t follow what the ACTUAL path is but the path that has one single point in common with the beginning question.

“So how have you been?”

“I’m good, how are you?”

“I’m good, thanks.”

Occasionally, I like to throw something different in the mix, just to see how people react. The fastest way to lose their attention is to say, “Eh, I’m ok, but it’s kind of been a hard day…”


To check for friends: “I’ve had the worst day…” Friends will say, “What happened?” while others will say offhandedly, “That sucks.” It’s interesting to observe the reactions of others, and something that’s fun to try. Give it a whirl; throw something different in the mix, because it’s at the very least entertaining, and sometimes enlightening.

I have one friend, a female, who sometimes, however, just won’t respond to questions. It’s not that she isn’t bright (she is), or that she didn’t hear it (she does), but she just zones for awhile. I can understand this, as I have a bit of ADHD myself, but the manner in which she does it is unique. I can’t figure it out at all, and it’s rare that I get thrown off that profoundly.

“How are you doing?” I’ll say.


It’s so weird, and maybe this whole post doesn’t make sense, but people who pause in odd places TOTALLY throw me off. I've always felt (and maybe The Celestine Proficy has something to do with this) that conversations work by themselves, and if you pay close attention, a group will always subconsciously realize who should talk, so long as there aren't any power struggles within said group. Has anybody else had this experience, or am I just totally crazy?

Sometimes silence is golden, and sometimes silence says more than any words ever could. But when the natural flow of conversation doesn't just ebb, it actually dries up, it's a strange and disconcerning moment.

Or maybe I'm just annoying and she's ignoring me. Who the hell knows?

Note: I've been sick for a few days with a fever and stuff, so this may actually not make any sense to anyone but me, and me only at this moment. Or maybe it's the hotest epiphany EVER. I'll figure that out when my head clears up, or when the comment(s) rolls in. Right now, I'll go with the egomaniacal delusion of grandeur, because I live in the land of make believe, and in my land, I write real goodly.

Friday, May 21, 2004

The Last Straw

The Administration's Little Piggy house of cards, surely made of lesser stuff than even straw, has finally been blown completely over. With the news today and yesterday that Ahmad Chalabi has passed pivotal U.S. intelligence to Iran, the cancer infecting the infrastructure of this mesmerizingly flawed WarHawk policy has finally metastasized. Let's take a look:

First, they pressed for war against much opposition (i.e., millions of people across the globe rallying together against the war). They got the resolution to strike based on evidence that they possessed WMDs (so far, ... one dirty bomb of sarin agent more than a year after invading); that they were an imminent threat to Americans (well, no, but, yes, cuz (well done!) you put thousands of Americans in harm's way there!); and all this evidence (as it turns out now) was dished to them from the mouth of a self-interested turncoat who's now giving top secret US information (and why in hell is HE getting top secret information!?!?) to Iran. ... Now they'll probably insist on invading Iran to get that information muzzled up again!

Second, some higher-up, perhaps even the very highest up, authorized the use of law-breaking procedureson prisoners of war. [See some of my earlier posts for more information on that.] Not to mention that they used those procedures on law-ABIDING, innocent civilians, in most cases.

Third, they fashioned a BUH-FUCKING-RILLIANT exit plan involving, well, no planning whatsoever, or rather, planning with such extreme, faith-based, and downright delusional optimism that there was no inkling of damage control should certain variables NOT turn out absolutely positive in Iraq. And, well, nothing has turned out positive at all.

In my humble opinion, this is just the last straw. All the blood, the lives, the money, the credibility we've put into this war, and it was mainly based on information provided by an unreliable man who was once "convicted of fraud in absentia" and is now trading in US secrets, and all the while receiving $340,000 a month from the US government. Talk about flaws in policy. This Administration...OfFICially. Gets a vote of ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING CONFIDENCE.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Creeds, Colors, Tastes and Tales

There are certain rare occasions when my hometown NYC actually feels like a tight little community. The cataclysm of 9/11 was one such event--the throngs united in grief and action. Last year's rally against the war in Iraq and against the Bush Administration: hundreds of thousands taking to the Saturday streets to raise voice together: another such event. Even the first day of this spring, when Central Park became home to hundreds of lunching folk in rolled-up trousers and Hanes as outerwear, all of us in awe at the budlings and warmth.

Yesterday, Sunday, I took part in another such event: the AIDS walk. The annual march meanders through Central Park before exiting onto the streets above the park, over to and then down Riverside Drive until veering back into the park to its finish line roughly six miles from the start. I haven't seen reports yet of this year's turnout or fundraising, but last year's Walk grossed over $5 million for AIDS research, garnered from over 45,000 New Yorkers joining together with their networks of sponsors. This year's, I'm sure, will have similar, if not better numbers.

At first, it feels like a cattle herd, trudging slowly and restricted by the sheer density of entities. I tripped on others' heals and stepped on others' toes, even swung my arms into another's smiling face when I got excited about the glorious weather (No, I am not a quaking shaking Quaker!). But as the route extends north, the pace quickens, and walkers are afforded a little more breathing room. I was struck immediately by the diversity of the crowds (well, not immediately, but after shaking groggy eyes awake--the Walk requires a treacherous 7am alarm). My team (called the Street Walkers--the organizers of our team live in the West Village near a reputed tranny/hooker hangout), comprised mainly of gay men, and me and my girlfriend, were flanked by men and women of so many different creeds, colors, tastes and tales, I couldn't possibly enumerate them all. But the bottom line is that we were all there for one over-arching purpose: to raise awareness and aid for the ever-growing global crisis that is AIDS.

In a city where it is so easy, by force of the sheer and variant multitudes of people, to simply put on blinders to others and live in one's own little bubble, thru one's own tunnel vision, it is a real inspiration when an event like this comes your way and enables, in fact, forces those blinders and that tunnel vision away from you. And all we did was get together with friends and walk through New York on a beautiful Sunday morning!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Yes, I Took An Online Quiz On A Saturday Night

I went out tonight to play some more pool, which only really lasted for a few moments. I was told that my friend Alex had a blog, so I went to check it out, and I discovered another friend's (Matt's) blog, and that he had taken a few funny quizzes. His results are rather amusing. So I figured I would take a crack at it as well. Here's what I got:

Imagine this:dominant
You have a dominant kiss- you take charge and make sure your partner can feel it! Done artfully, it can be very satisfactory if he/she is into you playing the dominant role MEORW!

What kind of kiss are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Better yet, check this out:
PASSIONATE LOVER. You love to love, always looking for a relationship. You cannot live without it. Your lover must be passionate and you want that you and your partner melt into each other. He/She should not try to take the domination. You dont want a relationship without passion, and the sexuality plays a big part. The first moment you meet him/her is one of the most important. There has to be something between you, you cannot explain. From the first moment on everything must fix. But when this passion disappears you disappear to. For you it is better to leave than to see your love restrained.

~THE big LOVE TEST!! What do you need? With PICS! For girls and boys!~
brought to you by Quizilla

Wow, I just need to stop there I should say. Alex's blog has extensive movie reviews and literary commentary, which I will read so as to raise my IQ beyond that of a common primate. Matt's blog is just straight up funny.

Since I'm refering blogs tonite, I can't forget to mention TJ's place, especially this entry Kev wrote about his neighbor's dog:

I find myself aiming a lot of anger at Patches, this ugly little dog whose name I wake to every morning. He is creepy and sickly and small (or, as my dad used to say, “I’ve laid turds bigger than that dog.”). He runs up to you and barks, but zips off if you try to pet him. He is a master of the piss and run, whereby the dog races up to some property of yours that you would rather not be peed on, lifts its leg and pees for one second, then races away.

Poor Kev, it must really be annoying, but damn does it make a great story and a good laugh. Thanks again Kev.

Ok, that's it for now, I think that I ought to try to sleep more often, but it really is just a big waste of time. Besides, I can always write totally useless blog entries which amuse me and prevent me from sleeping anyway.

What's A Year In Forever Redesign

You might notice a little bit of difference in... ummm the entire site design. This seems a lot more readable and a little more straightforward. Considering how little you're allowed to modify things because of the template design, it's nice to have some rounded edges and things to work with. A few little things to mention:

I copied the relevant comments except for ones that didn't have any text. I also transfered the names. However, we have a new commenting system that is limited to 1000 characters or less, so some of you wordy people (like Tracheotomy man) will have to split it like I did for him. It also allows for others to trackback if they want to blog about a specific post and they're Haloscan members too. It just serves as a better way of linking up and networking.

The design has a few little flaws right now, but I'm done trying to work it out. Speak up and let us know what you think. Remember, this is a forum for everyone, we're just the topic moderators. Ok, so a little more than that, but your comments inspire us to write more, so be heard people.


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Short Skirt

I’ve used aliases (bad ones) here for the sake of anonymity.

I got a phone call from a girl tonight (no, that’s not so unusual), and she wanted to see if I wanted to go to a bar with them (a few girls) that’s 25 minutes from my house. Granted, that doesn’t sound so bad, except for a few little factors:

  1. The bar is filled with people I don’t know, generally younger than I am, and they all look like they just decided to start their frat/sorority here

  2. I like the bars that are actually 3-4 minutes from my house

  3. My buddy wanted to play pool, and again, that was a lot closer

  4. The girls tend to flirt with guys a plenty, and I wind up twiddling my thumbs

  5. I’m not taking them home

I told Sasha I was tired (I was) and that I was going to play pool with a buddy. All of a sudden, her friend Isabel gets on the phone, and asks me to come out. Again, I repeat my story, and she says to me, “Sasha told me to tell you that she’s going to wear a really short skirt tonight, and that you should come out.” Well, that’s dandy, except that I’ve definitely become the “nice guy” of their little group, and that’s not self-proclaimed, because I’ve been introduced that way.

For those of you who don’t know, a “nice guy” introduction is like a death sentence before a trial. I’m like a practical car for someone in their mid-life crisis, or a eunuch in the Bachelorette; I’m there, but serve no purpose. It’s neither good nor bad, it’s purgatory. It’s a question without an answer. It is, apparently, me.

This is all no big deal, because it’s important to have female friends to get objective perspectives, get a little womanly comfort, and to remind you that you’re not a leper. I realized this awhile back, and they’re nice girls, so I don’t protest.

The funny thing was, they thought a short skirt would make me more likely to come out, but it is useless bait. Even if I happened to be attracted to Sasha, going out because she had on a short skirt, realizing my identity to her, would be like banging my head into a brick wall to remember not to bang my head into the brick wall, and I need that like I need a hole in the head.

However, it is interesting that they thought it would sway me. And maybe it shows that they don’t exactly hold the highest opinion of me yet, which is precisely the reason I went out to play pool, and why I’m not sitting here feeling bad for a hot second.

Friday, May 14, 2004

The Horror Returned

My compadre has officially encouraged me not to watch the video of Nicholas Berg's beheading, as it's proven to have caused nightmarish hauntings upon his psyche. I saw stills and my imagination filled in the rest--the moving image of his head being severed, the sound of his curdling scream--and that might be enough for me.

But it is not enough for me to sit and accept from the Department of Defense, or from the CIA, or from any institution, the conclusions that have been purported in many waves of media in the last couple of days. I accept that Nick Berg was murdered, and may God have vengeance on the souls of those responsible for it; I accept that he was decapitated on video, and may some strong manner of human jurisprudence be smitten upon those who did it for the political statement it shouted out.

A number of articles have come out in the past day or two exploring some intense discrepancies, (perhaps mere) coincidences and overall very interesting tidbits that belie the seemingly black and white conclusions of guilt and meaning behind the murder.

First, there's some confusion about who Nicholas Berg was. Yes, an American, a Philadelphian, a 26-year old male. The interesting hitch in the tale begins when one considers how it is that "the FBI questioned Berg in 2002 after a computer password Berg used in college turned up in the possession of Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative arrested shortly before Sept. 11 for his suspicious activity at a flight school in Minnesota." Nicholas Berg's father explained this striking coincidence by saying, first, that there was no wrongdoing on his son's behalf and that Nicholas had "met Moussaoui while riding the bus to classes, and had allowed the suspect to use his computer." FoxNews also highlights this merely "coincidental" link between Berg and Moussaoui.

This connection might explain why Nicholas Berg was detained in Iraq prior to being abducted by his killers. The details of his detainment are in dispute right now, as the US Government claims that the Iraqi police picked him up first. A recent article, on the other hand, includes statements from the chief of Mosul police who blatantly counters that allegation: "The Iraqi police never arrested the slain American," he said. "Take it from me ... that such reports are baseless." Nicholas Berg's father contends that the US Military and FBI had questioned Nicholas in Iraq, disclosing correspondences with all parties to that effect.

A research dig into Nicholas Berg's father brings us to another interesting crossroads in this murky situation. This article details that "on 7th March, 2004, just three weeks before the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, an 'enemies' list of anti-war groups and individuals was posted on the Free Republic forum." It seems that Nicholas Berg's father, Michael, was ardently against the war in Iraq and consistently suspicious of the current Administration. His son Nicholas on the other hand was diametrically opposed to his father and vehemently supported President Bush and the war on terror and the war in Iraq. That enemies list is on the internet; hell, it's posted right here. You can rest assured that the "enemies list"--which includes predominatly a wide variety of law-abiding, utterly upstanding organizations that happen to fall on the progressive side of the spectrum--was also safely in the hands of the FBI and CIA. This article suggests that the reason why, "during his detention, [Nicholas] Berg was questioned by FBI agents three times," is that the FBI were suspicious of Berg for his father's political views and that it was a simple case of mistaken identity.

And speaking of mistaken identity: the suspected murderer of Nicholas Berg is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a militant linked to al-Qaida. A recent NY Times article indicates that the CIA believes with "high probability" that the killer on the videotape was indeed al-Zarqawi, despite a number of rather blatant discrepancies on the videotape: such as (a) al-Zarqawi is reported to have lost a leg in a bombing, yet the tape shows no limp from a prosthetic; (b) al-Zarqawi's appearance is widely recognized around the globe (with photos of him circulating on a WANTED ad in which the US government offers a $10 million reward) and is therefore not tending to mask himself in public appearances; (c) the murderer's accent is arguably NOT from the same region of Jordan as that from which al-Zarqawi hails. Now, why should I be suspicious of the CIA's allegations against al-Zarqawi? Why would the US come to that conclusion if it were faulty? Consider the following: the reasoning for war in Iraq included (a) allegations of WMDs (which don't exist) and (b) Iraq's ties to al-Qaida (which, UNTIL NOW, don't exist). Pinning this heinous crime on al-Zarqawi (an al-Qaida operative) and placing him in Iraq suggests for the first time that there is a link between al-Qaida and Iraq, and therefore justifies the War in Iraq, for the first time. All of a sudden, then, it starts looking like a sunny day in Washington with al-Zarqawi's prints on this murder.

Now, from all this, where do I stand? I'm officially unsure about who murdered Nicholas Berg and why, and why it was videotaped and sent out as a political statement as repercussion for American transgressions at Abu Ghraib. I'm thoroughly unconvinced that it is as black-and-white as the CIA is purporting. Furthermore, I'm leery of anything that inspires as much emotion and ire in the American psyche as an American being brutally beheaded on video; rash conclusions run rampant with such intense emotions. I'm also suspicious to the Nth degree of any governmental institution offering stringent conclusions in the face of gaping shadows of doubt. I'm also increasingly suspicious of the Administration. I'm still looking for the truth behind it all, and it's safe to say I would not be surprised by any actual truths that may come out.

Add this to the mix: "Berg's body arrived Wednesday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. His parents had requested permission to be at the base when the coffin arrived, but that request was denied. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, said Thursday that refusal came from the Department of Defense." Strange to deny parents their God-given right to see their son's body.

Thursday, May 13, 2004


I'm generally someone who sleeps very little for a multitude of reasons, but I'm adding this tidbit because it's different this time.

I'm afraid to sleep.

The basic reason behind this is because of the video I watch today for my Where Is Your Rage article. Let me make something decidely clear:

DISCLAIMER: Do NOT watch the video!!!!

I'm sure I'll be fine for those that feel that's of interest, but let me tell you, I'm affected, and it's not something I will pass on to anybody I know. I say to watch the video for the purpose of the argument, knowing that most of you will be intelligent enough not to proceed down that road. Just trust that it's not something to see, and that I'm among many people (including most journalists) who recommend not watching it and wished they had never seen it.

And for me especially, had never heard it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Where Is Your Rage?

The contrasting viewpoint on Grife's article, The Horror...The Horror.

Remember the SAT? Morals are to war as oil is to water. We, as a country, walk on a very slippery slope at this point in time. With the mistreatment of prisoners, according to the Geneva Convention delineated rules of war, the public cries out about how inhumane we are being.

Guess what? I don’t blame anyone. If I saw my friend’s head blown off right next to me, and managed to capture that guy and had a few minutes in a room with him, humiliation would probably be light treatment. Typically, sleep deprivation is used by psy-ops in order to learn information from prisoners, and that’s considered within the bounds of the Geneva Convention.

I’ve had some friends that have gone to serve, and they’ve definitely changed. Life over there is not easy, and the public outrage is beginning to bring up memories of Vietnam. Remember what our public did to Vietnam vets? They were spit upon, yelled at, and denounced, all by the country who raised them.

I don’t condone the actions of these troops, because what they did was depraved and a perverted, and probably unnecessary, despite claims of psy-ops orders coming down, but I don’t blame them either. I’m not over there, wondering if I’ll see my family again, under constant anxiety of bombings, shootings, and various other attacks. Under that much stress, people are prone to do things to relieve pressure, and they’re not always pretty. In Vietnam, some soldiers were known to cut off an ear from each kill and put them on a necklace. Depraved in regular society, sure, but when you’re out in the jungle, it doesn’t seem so strange.

What’s really the problem is the media hype, which led to a “retaliation” execution. These 5 executioners are animals. Pure, unadulterated animals. It’s been hours now since I downloaded and watched this video, and I’m still nauseous. Watch the video, you can get it from Kazaa, Limewire, or another p2p, but watch it only if you have the stomach. It isn’t Hollywood, it isn’t photo editing, that’s a real person. His name was Nick Berg. He was 26 years old, a civilian, and lived in Philly.

And don’t think they just guillotine him either. He’s beheaded, and slowly, with a machete. They start on the side of his neck and don’t chop, but carve through, and the screams actually made me physically recoil… I’ll leave it at that, because the description is grotesque and inappropriate. I wish that I had never even seen it, because I don’t know if I can ever forget. This is like concentration camps; it’s so bad you almost can’t believe it’s real… you don’t want to believe it’s real.

To the people who sit and criticize from their nice comfy leather chairs I reiterate: morals are to war as oil is to water. How do you fight an enemy who lacks courage, dignity and morality? A faction with no discernable trace, these people float like shadows and stab into backs. We have to hit hard, and sometimes morals take a backseat to the goals. It’s sad, it’s wrong, and it’s not something that should be publicized with tabloid-like zeal. I used to think that the war against “evil” was a really lame line, but I’m a convert. I believe we are fighting evil. I never thought I could see a human be truly demonic… I was wrong. I’m sorry Mr. Berg.

And to the leather chair types, I have but only one thing left to say:

Where is your rage?

Watch that video, and tell me how you truly feel.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Horror... The Horror

It's disturbing, to say the least, that the world is watching right now as photos and videos of our troops and commanders humiliating, sodomizing and torturing prisoners in captivity leak out. The repercussions of this incredible travesty may very well echo out for untold lengths of time, as these indelible images (of "American inhumanity") burn into the psyche of detractors of American foreign policy around the globe.

Just yesterday, the boldest repercussion was made manifest, as a group claiming to have ties to al-Qaida beheaded a Philadelphian man on video and sent it up on a militant Islamic website. The savage murderers attributed their actions explicitly to the abuses in Iraq now being publicized. Disturbingly graphic stills from the video just appeared on an the Drudge Report website today.

What's disturbing even further today is that there are actually people in the American government who look at the many photos circulating now (proof of torture and humiliation by American troops against peoples we are told we are liberating) and don't see anything reprehensible about it. United States Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, is "outraged by the outrage" flying about in papers these days. He claims that a great majority of these prisoners "have American blood on their hands" and so deserve no special care from their captors and questioners and, in fact, are being justifiably punished. Rush Limbaugh even goes so far as to compare the abuses to "fraternity hazing."

Well, firstly, it certainly violates the Geneva Convention to inflict harm of any inhumane nature (including, of course, torture) on any persons, even insurgents, who have been placed out of combat by detention or injury. Yes, this means that it is illegal, by internationally recognized mandate, to do what these pictures show American troops doing.
And secondly, strapping a college kid to a tree by wrapping him head-to-toe in saran wrap, while humiliating, I'm sure, is kind of a whole load of fun while drunk, as compared with being stripped naked and having vicious barking dogs unleashed to your nether regions. People line up for hazing rites like those saran wrap antics, not for having legs devoured by dogs.

There's also a report going around that 70 to 90 percent of Iraqi captives were erroneously arrested. You do the math, folks. That means that most of the men depicted in these pictures were, according to the Red Cross crew and their authoritative, authentic report, innocent Iraqis mistakenly arrested and held captive, for sometimes months, and subjected to untold lengths of depraved maltreatment.

The question now stands: what do we do now? It seems to me that, if the latest conclusions are true--that the abuses were delegated from high-up commanders--then this is only further proof that the planning for this war was and still is just atrociously, reprehensibly faulty, and that the Secretary of Defense should get on his knees and beg for a wiser international coalition to come and save this situation before even greater repercussions bear their fruit.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Get Your Knowledge On Part II...

  • Sun Microsystems is working on a 3D version of Linux called Project Looking Glass (you can see picture examples here if you’re too lazy to read). I’ve been hoping for something like this for awhile. Windows might finally have legitmate competition from Linux, and this might even persuade me to throw my copy of XP out the window (snare -> crash).

  • Update: 100 bar and restaurant owners gathered a week ago to pool the $10,000 retainer needed to hire an attorney to fight the Connecticut smoking ban:

    Bar owners claim they are losing as much as 60 percent of their business as smokers flock to establishments where they can light up.

    Casinos and private establishments are exempt, however. Big Brother… but(t) out. You know, there’s a VFW one town over and the casinos are about an hour away…. Perhaps it’s time for a change of venue.

  • $50 million in back royalties are being paid back to artists in back royalties.

    Some of the leading record and music companies have agreed to payout almost $50 million in unpaid royalties to thousands of musicians under a settlement agreement. The royalties were not paid because the record companies supposedly lost contact with the artist and were unable to disburse payments. Artists that were shortchanged include big names like Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan, Dolly Parton and David Bowie.

    You have GOT to be kidding me. This may be a rant in the making for another post.

  • Dentists, beware: You can use your own stem cells to regrow your own teeth. Healthier, and all natural instead of implants or dentures, they grow at a normal rate and are actual teeth. Cool! And guess what country has discovered this….

  • The chief executive of CVS called for the legalization of imported prescription drugs. It’s about time. With competition from imports, the pharmaceutical industry will actually have to cut it’s exorbitant prices.

  • Google is going public, but they’re doing it a little different (of course). With their clout, they can actually hold a Dutch auction. How this will pan out is really up in the air, but it definitely is an interesting idea. Note, however, that are keeping control of the company by having two tiers of stocks, retaining controlling interest.