Friday, November 21, 2003

Cop killed; suspect actually expected to turn himself in to police
Hundreds Attend Funeral of Burbank Officer
When a cop is killed, the suspect has zero motivation to turn himself in to the police, as they will most certainly either kill him when he "resists" or will at least beat him to within an inch of his life. I'm not sympathetic to what this guy did, but he'd be crazy to do anything other than flee to South America. Even if the cops did not kill him through a seriously uncharacteristic bout of restraint, he'd get the death penalty, because as we all know, cops' lives are more valuable than the rest of our's. Get out of the country, buddy. Run for your life! There's no shelter in the U.S. for you. There are no authorities who will give you one iota of protection. They will turn on you and give you a violent, painful death.

Seven shopping days left
And only six if you figure you can't really shop on Thanksgiving. That's right folks, my birthday (the event of the year) is one short week away: Friday the 28th!

Some astrological stuff
The big Sagittarius weekend is upon us. Tomorrow morning the Sun enters Sag, and the Moon follows early Sunday afternoon , when we'll have the big Solar eclipse. Mercury & Venus are already in Sag, waiting for the Sun & Moon to join them for the convergence. Sagittarius is a sign of welcoming, comforting, warm, fiery energy. It's a time of optimism and adventurousness. It's like a fireplace in a cozy cabin while the cold fall weather beats outside. Enjoy this time! And send your favorite Sagittarian a gift for their birthday!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Don't worry. You can trust the cops.
story on the court order
The FBI is using onboard security systems to spy on car owners. The 9th Circuit recently ruled that, to the extent the FBI's surveillance disables the systems, they cannot be used. So long as you can still call for roadside assistance, they can continue to listen in on your conversations in your car. The people who voluntarily have such systems installed in their cars? Idiots.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Okay - another thought on the Jackson case
Who the hell let's their prepubescent son sleep over or even visit the house of someone who has previously been accused of child molestation? "Oh, yeah. Today, I'm letting my son go to the highly secured estate of someone who has put a zoo and an amusment park there in order to lure children. Those previous allegations of child abuse and the admission this year on TV that he liked to climb into bed with little boys don't concern us." What kind of parents do these kids have? Are they so blinded by Jackson's fame and money that they'll put their own kids into harm's way? I think today, I'll let Sebastian play in traffic, just because, and then act shocked when someone dares hit him with their car.

Just a quick note on the Goodridge decision
Salon.com Life | Romney to challenge gay marriage ruling
"Tuesday's ruling was denounced by President Bush and the Roman Catholic Church."
Okay - so what the hell is the Roman Catholic Church doing opposing equal protecion under the law? How exactly does that harm the Church in any way? There is nothing the court can do to force the Church to marry people they deem lessor individuals, unworthy of God's love, etc. If they want to be bigoted fucks, they have Constitutional protection to be bigoted fucks. But the State liscenses have to be passed out to citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, and the Church should keep their child molesting asses out of it.

Please stop shopping at Walmart!
Report: Wal-Mart kicks off toy price war - Nov. 19, 2003
After they put everyone else out of business, where are you going to get those low, low prices? Think ahead, people. Don't shop at this den of evil. "And it reported that some of Wal-Mart's retail prices are below wholesale prices. For instance, it is charging $29.74 for the Hot Wheels T-Wrecks Play Set, which has a wholesale price of $42, and $19.46 for the Sesame Street Hokey Pokey Elmo, whose wholesale price is $24." Do you all not see the problem in that? Do not support predatory business practices. Shop at shops owned by families. Shop local. Hell - buy it on ebay.

The Michael Jackson News
CNN.com - Arrest warrant issued for Michael Jackson - Nov. 19, 2003
I'm not going to rip good ol' MJ a new one for being an [alleged] pederast. But you gotta wonder how he's going to do in the clink.

Snow Day! The best day in hte history of Springfield!
So I get up this morning and make my way to the bathroom and open the blinds and it's snowing! Not little wimpy snow, either, but huge chunks of wet stuff floating down from the sky. So I run back to the bedroom (after a hurried pee) and wake Sebastian up and open the blinds and race to get clothes on the two of us (speed brushing of the teeth) and bundle our butts up. We go outside and go for a walk and this is literally the first time in Sebastian's life he's ever seen snow. (It snowed exactly zero times all last Winter.) We walked up and got me some coffee! It was an adventure, I tell you. Snow!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Massachusetts ruling: a mixed bag story another story
The Supreme Court of Massachustetts has struck down the ban on same sex marriage in the case Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.

Here is a link to the opinion. Apparently, there is no immediacy in implementing the decision. "The Supreme Judicial Court's 4-3 ruling ordered the Legislature to come up with a solution within 180 days." (AP) It's possible the state leg could respond not by giving people equal rights, as the court asked, but instead, change the state constitution to overrule the court. Not creating a solution and volleying back to another branch of government is probably the compromise necessary to get the 4th vote in a 4-3 decision. Mass. joins Vermont, Alaska, & Hawaii in ruling in this way. Alaska & Hawaii responded with constitutional amendments which clearly defined homosexuals as lessor citizens, while Vermont put forth a weak Civil Unions bill. I doubt gay persons will be married in Massachusetts anytime soon.

Oklahoma!
Today, the Salon click-through ad is for the new PBS production of Oklahoma! invading your home November 22nd. Now, I might recognize some of the songs from Oklahoma! if I heard them, but right now, after being subjected to a picture of Hugh Jackman dressed up like a coyboy, I just can't get the theme from The Beverly Hillbillies out of my head.

Ruling very soon on Same Sex Marriage in Massachusetts
I'll post when it comes up.

Nothing says 'tax break' like being one of W.'s buddies
$23 billion in tax breaks to Energy companies, with none of it ties to doing what we actually need to be doing - developing alternative, sustainable energy sources. But coal burners scored big! Woo!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Absolutely Brilliant!
In Utah, Public Works Project in Digital
This is really fantastic. Other cities and state governments should follow suit. I love the idea of public corporations to deliver necessary services, such as power and phones, and this is ideal. Cities can step in to this high speed ISP market in this manner without any competition, because no private corporation will do what needs to be done. The quotes from the Qwest folks in SLC (The speeds to be provided "are way more than what most consumers need in their home," Mr. Fenn said, adding, "Why provide a Rolls-Royce when a Chevrolet will do?") demonstrate how the private sector, long falsely worshipped as the solution to everything, is filled with narrow minded fools who will never actually give consumers what they want. In fact, it goes beyond that! The private companies are actually interfering with the municipalitis' ability to provide basic services to their residents. They are meddling where they shouldn't be, frustrating community benefit. They did so in this case by getting their purchased legislators in the Utah leg to block the cities' attempts to install the lines. This is because their outdated, inferior business models are threatened, so they intend to frustrate progress and force us (the consumers) to keep sending them money. I think it's ironic that Utah, which has a reputation as perhaps the most backwards of places, is blazing this trail. Goes to show you that Utah isn't so much backwards as it is of a completely different mindset on almost everything. I hope this succeeds brilliantly for them, especially because other localities will follow suit. Portland should do this right after taking over the power company!

College athletics, and the problems therein
Salon.com News | King Kaufman's Sports Daily
King Kaufman has a great perspective on the world of sports, and he's a wonderfully skilled writer. Today's column is especially worth reading if you are concerned about NCAA athletics, which I am. [This column requires a day pass to read, but it's well worth looking at a click-through ad.] My thoughts on sports have become increasingly negative, to the point where I've greatly deemphesized them in my life. I think that the NBA especially really needs to put together a quality developmental league for all those 17-20 year olds who really have no place going to college, but who need to develop before taking any realistic stab at the pro's. That alone would clean up college sports tremendously, because those kids that don't want to be in college (eg Maurice Clarett) could get paid a reasonable sum and not pretend to give a damn about Philosophy 101. The kids who still go to college would be slightly more genuine students for not having chosen minor league hoops. This seems to work in baseball and hockey just fine, and despite the popularity of those sports in our society, they don't seem to be rotten spots on college campuses. Football is a little trickier. There are places in this country where Saturday football is part of the fabric of life. Columbus, Lincoln, Ann Arbor, & South Bend come to mind. These places are too invested to just walk away. The stadiums are bigger than any NFL stadiums. (like the 20 biggest football stadiums in the country are at schools.) If I come up with any solutions, I'll post them here.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

A few Sunday morning thoughts
Zupan's the nearest grocery to our house, has by far the cheapest price on organic milk in gallons. The catch? They have the stuff that expires in 4-8 days. This morning, I ran out and got milk for $3.59. Other stores are all over $4, with some approaching $5. But their milk is way fresher. It's a pickle.

When I got home, I came back to a mess. I had set the coffee machine to make the coffee while I ran to the grocery store, but I had failed to dump out the remains from yesterday. (I know - yech) It's so uncommon for us to leave coffee in the pot that I'm out of practice checking for that. So I got back, and there was coffee all over the counter top and the floor and I had to mop up. There's worse things in life, but that was gross.

Extreme political thought of the day...
Why are our state and national borders so inflexible? Take Oregon, for example. We have an enormous mountain range, the Cascades, running North-South down the middle of the state. The eastern and western part of the state have nothing in common - except that because of outdated political boundries, we are forced to deal with each other. We have different climates, different economies, different religious views, and strikingly different political views. When a ballot measure comes up that would elevate Oregon's community in beneficial ways (with transportation, education, or environmental protections for example) the easterners completely frustrate us by shooting them down. And I'm sure they see us as wacky dressing city folk who don't properly worship Jesus and who want to raise their taxes.

The easterners have everything in common with Idaho. Idaho - that wild west place where the cops are armed to the teeth but they won't spend a dime to get poor kids to see a doctor. The place that welcomes bizarre white supremesist militia groups, but looks at me like some sort of threat. Don't you think that the folks in Eastern Oregon would be happier electing a state legislature with the Idahoins rather than Portlanders? So why don't we just sell everything east of the Cascades to Idaho? I mean, come on, Idaho, make us an offer we can't refuse! Three dairy cows? You got it! Ta-Da! Everyone's happier. I suggest Washington does the same. Idaho would be significantly bigger geographically, and slightly bigger in population. And Oregon could avoid the embarassment of having Gordon fucking Smith representing us in the US Senate. Idaho could still have their right wing freaks, and they'd even get more house rep's.

The only thing standing in the way of my most sensible plan is dogmatic adherance to the randomly drawn political borders. My plan gets even weirder, with the newly expanded Idaho being forced to merge with Montana into one super state of right wing demigogory. Perhaps someday I'll draw up some maps and make some plans for world domination... er, I mean political persuasion.