Saturday, November 08, 2008

Japan, why are you so stupid sometimes?


[and btw, "not a citizen" in this article means a Zainichi Korean, who... ah, screw it, here's Wikipedia:
Zainichi Koreans, also often known as Zainichi for short, who are the permanent ethnic Korean residents of Japan. The term "Zainichi Korean" refers only to long term, permanent residents of Japan who have retained either their Joseon (old, undivided Korea) or South Korean nationalities, not Korean-Japanese (Korean: 한국계 일본인/조선계 일본인, Hanja: 韓國系日本人/朝鮮系日本人, Japanese: 韓国系日本人/朝鮮系日本人), or ethnic Koreans who have acquired Japanese nationality through naturalization.]

Korean teacher sues over rules restricting promotion of non-citizens | Japan Probe:
"Just found this Hankyoreh article from October 28th about a public school teacher in Kobe who was stripped of a promotion because he was not a Japanese citizen:
…..the city’s educational commission has told him that a Korean who is not a Japanese citizen may not hold the position of “associate head teacher.” The school has also removed him from its school affairs committee and from his position as the vice chairperson of seven other school committees.

Kobe education officials and Han’s school are quoting 1991 Japanese Education Ministry guidelines that say a foreigner in Japan may only be promoted as high as a “full-time lecturer without time limit on appointment” who is entrusted only with “assisting” a Japanese teacher."

More: In Japan, S. Korean teachers push to gain recognition as full-fledged teachers : International : Home:
"...Kobe education officials and Han’s school are quoting 1991 Japanese Education Ministry guidelines that say a foreigner in Japan may only be promoted as high as a “full-time lecturer without time limit on appointment” who is entrusted only with “assisting” a Japanese teacher.

...In 1991, Korea and Japan signed a document called the “Memorandum on the Results of Agreement Based on the Pact on Korean and Japanese Legal Status,” and Japan soon started allowing the appointment of Korean citizen school teachers. The Japanese Education Ministry, however, without legal basis, drafted its own internal guidelines limiting citizens of foreign countries to the position of full-time lecturer. There are about 200 foreign citizen teachers in Japanese public schools today..."

"The evidence is starting to add up. Start Trek references, disdain for overt stupidity, possible Beastie Boys reference..."- Barack Obama, ONE OF US?

A geek, that is. Somehow this fills me with more hope than anything else... [And it also explains how the man could blow a Sanford and Son reference. Which made Redd Foxx cry. In Heaven.]

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Barack Obama, Super Dork:
"The evidence is starting to add up. Start Trek references, disdain for overt stupidity, possible Beastie Boys reference.

Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US."

Nestled deep in the third chapter of the seven piece story in Newsweek about the election, titled How He Did It, is this little nugget:

“That’s an interesting belt buckle,” he said to Michelle, mischievously. She feigned offense and said, “I am interesting, next to you. Surprise, surprise, a blue suit, a white shirt and a tie.” Obama grinned and bent down until he was almost at eye level with her waist. He jabbed a playful finger toward her belt buckle, and let loose his inner nerd. “The lithium crystals! Beam me up, Scotty!” Obama squeaked, laughing at his own lame joke as Michelle rolled her eyes.

In part one of the Newsweek piece, there was this:

“...I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ Instead of being appropriately [the tape is garbled]. So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f–––ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

In the comments to the Beastie Boys thread the other night, someone noted the following:

The wife and I were just saying the other night that we’re pretty sure Obama listens to the Beastie Boys. We saw an interview with Jeff Tweedy that taught us that Barack likes Wilco, so that kind of narrows down preferred musical era. Then, we saw an election eve clip of Obama talking about feeling nervous enough to have a heart attack in which he screwed up the famous Sanford and Son “I’m coming Elizabeth” quote, substituting Weezie for Elizabeth, just as Mike D does on Shazam from To the Five Boroughs!
More evidence!
Leonard Nimoy recounts an encounter with Barack Obama at a political function in which the Sentator said, "I heard you were here" while giving the Vulcan salute.

Barack Obama, our geek-pimp philosopher-President for the 21st Century.

"All blacks are Muslim... we just weren't allowed to say that shit before the election... yeah, yeah, whatever scares you the most. "

Hilarious. Been too long since I checked out some Get Your War On.
"In the wake of the Obama win, Accounts Receivable gives Accounts Payable a little heads up about exactly what kind of "change" Obama was really talking about all those months on the trail. Payable is NOT going to like this. Not one bit. But he needs to know. And Accounts Receivable is the man to tell him. Accounts Receivable is a really good friend, you know?"
Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Get Your War On - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Get Your War On is a series of satirical comic strips by David Rees about political topics — originally the effects of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City but quickly switching focus to more recent ones, in particular the 'War on Terrorism'. The series achieved a cult following on the Internet, and in particular on discussion forums and blogs, very soon after debuting on October 9, 2001.

From a technical standpoint the strips are very crude, being assembled from about a dozen simple clip art pictures of office workers (with a few exceptions, most notably Voltron) that recur continually, often in the same strip. Almost all are in red on a white background. Owing to a heavy emphasis on dialogue there is almost no action. Highly disillusioned and cynical, it is heavily laden with expletives.

...In 2008, Get You War On began running as an animated series on the comedy site 23/6."

Via BeaucoupKevin(dot)com | “America’s new flag is just a white flag…”

Adam and Eve were totally getting stoned.

Otherwise, how do you explain this?

The aminita muscaria, if you don't know, is a psychedelic shroom.

And no, this is in no way proof of anything, of course. But it is indicative, if you care to look into it, of the long standing historical link between psychedelics, altered states of consciousness and religion throughout history.

When you see and talk to Gods and snakes, and then "suddenly" notice things that have always surrounded you [like, for example, being naked] what else is that but being high and stoned out of your head?

Seriously though, there are lots of links between drugs and religion throughout history. ["Eat of my body and drink of my blood" takes on a slightly different meaning, yes?] And there are more than a few writers/scholars/etc who even think the ingesting of psychedelics, and how they re-wire the brain, may have been one of the factors that kick started the development of language and the increase in evolutionary brain capacity.

Now whether these naturally occurring substances that have existed and been used throughout the history of life on this planet actually transport your psyche to other dimensions to where you communicate with higher entities... or whether it just fucks up your brain chemistry for a while... well, that's a question for another day.

Pic from Konkrete Junkyard via the esteemed Dedroidify.

The Internet is Awesome - More Motivation.

What I've Read - the "I need to post this and stop procrastinating" edition.

Haven't done one of these in a while... time to clear out Blogger Drafts folder... plus, in in the middle of something like 4 other books, so there's never gonna be a clean "break" to get this done the right way. And I've been procrastinating posting this up, so time to nip that in the bud, even if I end up making the reviews briefer than normal...

Life's a Bitch and Then You Change Careers: 9 Steps to Get Out of Your Funk and On to Your Future by Andrea Kay - Actually bought this for the Mrs, but in ruminating about my post-JET Programme future, I grabbed this off the bookshelf. From the intro it felt that it might be a more female-skewed text, but overall I found it really quite good. Well done and worth a read if you're trying to figure out your "future."

Re-read Patriot Acts by Greg Rucka. Because it was summer vacation, I had the time and it's an awesome suspense/action/thriller.

Rex Mundi Volume 4: Crown and Sword
by Arvid Nelson and Juan Ferreyra. In for the long haul on this one. Alternate history, religious conspiracy, magic and comics. Thumbs up. Great read.

Demo by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan. I didn't dig this as much as some of Wood's other work, but it was still an entertaining read.

The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, Book 6) by Eoin Colfer. Yeah, it's a "kid's" book, but I still dig on 'em. Funny, smart, highly entertaining. "Die Hard with Fairies" remains the best, and the funniest, description of the series.

Legion of Super-Heroes: 1050 Years of the Future
by Various Authors. The Legion of Super-Heroes is a great comic book concept. This "best of" from the last 50 years was a fun read. Good summer airplane travel reading.

The Innocent Man
by John Grisham. Non-fiction by Grisham about the life and times of a pair individuals wrongly convicted, sentenced to death row and ultimately exonerated by DNA evidence. Well written, and you're left with the undeniable conclusion that our legal system is incredibly fucked up. Recommended.

Rules of the Game by Neil Strauss. The follow up to the the entertaining The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. Less of a novel than the original, but some entertaining stories nevertheless. Most of it could be considered a basic "NLP for Dummies" intro. Which is pretty cool if you're into psychology/NLP.

Booster Gold, Volume One: 52 Pick-Up by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz and Dan Jurgens. Easily some of the most entertaining, well-written and fun comic books being published today. Highly recommended.

Showcase Presents: Booster Gold, Vol. 1 by Dan Jurgens. Adventures of Booster Gold from his comic in the 1980s. Nostalgic fun and holds up well, appearances by President Reagan and Vice President Bush notwithstanding.

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2008: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles. Another book picked up for the Mrs, snatched off the bookshelf during summer vacation's time off/future rumination. Deservedly the "go-to" book for what do for a career. Really good.

The Question: Five Books of Blood by Greg Rucka. Consistently, anything by Rucka is good. The new Question - Renee Montoya - in her first adventure since taking up the mantle from Vic Sage in 52, tracks down the cult of the Crime Bible. Which is as awesome as it sounds. Great comic, even if the ending was a little open ended.

Checkmate Vol. 3: Fall of the Wall by Greg Rucka and Outsiders/Checkmate: Checkout by Judd Winick and Greg Rucka. Superhero Espionage. Two thumbs way up.

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens. Like it was written for me. Hitchens is hilarious, and on point 99% of the time. He gets a little lost in the trees on some of eastern philosophy, imho, and gets a little "fundamentalist materialist" [to quote Robert Anton Wilson] but overall, a book everybody should read. Even if just to wash your brain-palate of your western-judeo-christian upbringing.

The Art of True Healing: The Unlimited Power of Prayer and Visualization by Israel Regardie and Marc Allen. Not bad, but didn't really resonate with me. Kabbalah Tree of Life stuff doesn't click with me.

Re-read The Boys Volume 1: The Name of the Game by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson because sometimes you need to take the piss out of comic books and the superhero genre. And Ennis is hilarious. And Robertson's drawing I've loved since Transmetropolitan - one of my favorite series of all times, by him and Warren Ellis.

Read this year's JET Journal. The Journal is a collection of essays and photos from various folks on and involved in the JET Programme. As with any essay collection, some were good, some bad, some "eh." But overall, I didn't think this year's was as strong as the ones I've read the last couple years. Looks like you can download the Journals from the last couple years at the link. Interesting reading.

Re-read TSOG: The Thing That Ate the Constitution by Robert Anton Wilson. In this silly political season, it's worth reading and touching base with what America is supposed to be, how far we've drifted and what we can do about it. RAW is, as always, unreservedly recommended, and the best way I know to kick yourself in the brain. [And that's a good thing.]

Iron Man: Beneath the Armor by Andy Mangels. I was sucked into the movie hype. With this volume you can learn all about the history of the character and the comics. Entertaining.

The New Destroyer: Killer Ratings by Warren Murphy and James Mullaney. I usually really enjoy the satirical, pulp, action comedy of the Destroyer novels. This one, not really as much, though I can't put my finger on why. I think maybe the satire seemed less sharp and fun, and more broad and mean spirited. Maybe.

Champions Body-for-LIFE by Art Carey. Much need inspiration and motivation as I try to get kick my sorry butt back into shape.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Sandy's class is reading this, and she recommended it to me. I had never actually read it before. Though I knew every plot beat. I think I used to see a theatrical version that used to air on HBO during the summers when I was young. [That and Rocky III were on permanent rotation.] Though I couldn't peg down which version I'd seen, even using the mighty Google and IMDB. A literary classic. Great book.

The Genius of Flexibility: The Smart Way to Stretch and Strengthen Your Body
by Bob Cooley. I have got to start adding some flexibility and mobility training. This book's concept of resistance stretching is pretty interesting, and I'm definitely going to give it a shot.

The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer. When you can find a way to tie together the murder of Abel by Cain and the creation of Superman, plus Nazis, ancient conspiracies and mysteries, that's an automatic win. Meltzer writes a great thriller. A lot of fun. Recommended.

Training 215-216/BFL 68-69.

215/68 - 5 meals/3L water/lower body wkout
216/69 - Rest/free

Inspiration: - Female Transformation Of The Week - Female Transformation Of The Week - Kassandre Harper-Cotton!:
Age: 33
Weight: 185 lbs
Waist: 36'
Hips: 42'
Size: 14/16

Age: 34
Competition Weight: 128-129 lbs
Waist: 26'
Hips: 35'
Size: 4

Today I learned something interesting about my wedding. [+ Bonus Biblical Lesbianism!]

Sandy and I in our pseudo-Christian non-denominational ceremony from 12 years ago used a quote from the Bible that lots of folks use during their wedding, apparently. [Probably second only to the "Love is patient..." spiel from Corinthians. Man, do I know too much Bible stuff from my youth...] It's from the Book of Ruth and goes like this:
"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried."

I don't think we used all of the quote, but Sandy and I always got a kick out of the "your people will be my people" line.

But what I did not know, and learned today - thanks Internet! - was that that quote was actually an exchange between two ladies, Ruth and her daughter in law Naomi. And this little exchange is a point of controversy because some folks think it, and other parts of the book of Ruth are indicative of a lesbian relationship between the two.

Would Jesus Discriminate? - Ruth loved Naomi as Adam loved Eve:
"The same Hebrew word that is used in Genesis 2:24 to describe how Adam felt about Eve (and how spouses are supposed to feel toward each other) is used in Ruth 1:14 to describe how Ruth felt about Naomi."

[That word is generally translated as "cleave," btw.]

And here as well... Lesbianism and the Book of Ruth « Schmitz Blitz

Of course, more conservative Biblical authorities disagree... but as always, and as with everything, whatever biblical scholars "see" and interpret from the text has far more to do with them than the text...

And ultimately, the writings of a small, Middle Eastern, semitic tribe from 2500 years ago has little to do with my life anymore... even less than it did 12 years ago... but as I appreciate subversion and non-traditionalism in all its various forms, I got a kick out of this.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Flobots are wicked brilliant. [Universal Music Group, otoh, are idiots.]

Don't even remember where I came across them [such is the ways of the internet] but Flobots are brilliant.

Flobots - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Flobots are an alternative rock/alternative hip hop group from Denver, Colorado, formed in 2000. To date, they have released two albums and one EP. Flobots found mainstream success with its major label debut Fight with Tools (2007), featuring the single 'Handlebars', which became a popular hit on Modern Rock radio in April 2008."

I'd have loved to put up a couple of their clever and extremely smart official music vids, but the idiots at Universal Music Group, while putting them up on YouTube, disable the embedding function. Keeping them from going viral, increasing their popularity and thereby selling more CDs and downloads. Brilliant business model. Morons, I swear.

But here's a couple unofficial vids. Gonna have to pick up this CD.



Wow, even FoxNews is talking about how dumb Sarah Palin is.

Via Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The Wasilla Wingnut

Waaaay behind the curve, but this is funny - "Broke Trek - a Star Trek Brokeback Mountain parody."

Toy Story 2 - The Dark Knight.

I don't know how I missed this. Hilarious.

[Why yes, it is YouTube spiral Saturday, why do you ask?]

Todd Diamond on Retirement - "Pivot, then stab!"

Too funny.

"Todd is sleepy and wishes to retire. But how? Let this informative and information-filled video show you how YOU can retire with almost no real money to speak of!"

Todd Diamond | Video | Multimedia | National Post:
"Todd Diamond is a self-made potential millionaire who doesn't need to admit when he's wrong because he's never wrong and, more importantly, always right. His self-published self-help books include 'Diamond Nuggets: 96 Ways To Change My Life,' 'Blood Diamond: My Year in a Street Gang And How It Taught Me About The Market And Friendship' and 'A Dark Knight Over The Federation: When Batman Met Captain Kirk, Part 4.'

Todd would love to help you with your problems for a nominal fee."

Via Warren Ellis.

This was alternatively cool, funny and touching - "from52to48withlove" via

You can check out many more kinda awesome photos here - from52to48withlove ::

We got a President with game - "The Barack Obama Basketball Mixtape."

That fact amuses me to no end.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Power corrupts.

Pretty much all the time...

Daily Brickbats > Big Brother is Watching - Reason Magazine:
"Someone posted a warning about a possible police sobriety checkpoint on a message board devoted to goings on in Rockland, Massachusetts. A few weeks later, Rockland police Lt. Barry Ashton went on that same message board to say an investigation had revealed that the warning came from a computer in the home of the local school committee chairman. Ashton admits that the warning was not illegal. He also admitted to local media that he did not get a warrant or subpoena to get information on who posted the message."

Possibly too much to hope for, but it really sums up a lot of the problems of the last 8 years.

Safety at any cost is cowardly, weak, and yes, UnAmerican.

The Heart of the Matter: America's Victory; California's Shame:
"Listening to President Bush's remarks after the election, I was struck -- not for the first time -- by the president's argument that 'the most important responsibility of the US government is protecting the American people... this commitment will remain steadfast under our next commander-in-chief.' I hope Bush's retirement will mean the end of this kind of inaccurate, dangerous, and hypocritical rhetoric. Inaccurate, because the Constitution doesn't provide for the importance of Bush's claimed 'most important responsibility.' In fact, what the Constitution requires the president to swear an oath to protect is the Constitution: 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' Dangerous, because in implying that the government might have to choose between protecting the people and protecting the Constitution, this kind of rhetoric creates an unnecessary temptation and a a possible excuse. Hypocritical, because the party of rugged individualism and personal responsibility ought not to demean itself by suggesting people are so in need of its protection that the Constitution comes second."

Reminder to self - "Excuses are the epitome of failure."

Yes indeed.

Via The Simple Dollar » Excuses, Excuses:
"...Excuses are the epitome of failure. Every time you come up with a weak or unjustifiable reason for not doing something you know you should be doing, you’re choosing failure over success."

Better late than never: "AP - Obama adds North Carolina to White House win."

I am still just shocked and amazed he carried my home state of NC. Things do change, I guess.

The Associated Press: Obama adds North Carolina to White House win:
"President-elect Obama won North Carolina on Thursday, a triumph that underscored his political strength as he turned nine states that President Bush won in 2004 to Democratic blue.

The Associated Press declared Obama the winner after canvassing counties in North Carolina to determine the number of outstanding provisional ballots. That survey found that there are not enough remaining ballots for Republican John McCain to close a 13,693-vote deficit.

North Carolina's 15 electoral votes brings Obama's total to 364 — nearly 100 more than necessary to win the White House — to McCain's 162. Missouri is the only state that remains too close to call, with McCain leading by several thousand votes.

...Obama ran an aggressive general election campaign in North Carolina after his wide primary victory in the state over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested he could win a trove of electoral votes that most assumed would belong to McCain.

The Obama campaign's focus on the state's two-week early voting period was critical. Obama won more than 1.1 million early votes, giving him a 180,000-vote advantage heading into Election Day — a gap too great for McCain to overcome.

...North Carolina's growing population includes a booming urban corridor from Charlotte to Raleigh along Interstate 85, while retirees from northern states — who are more willing to vote for Democrats — are filling the state's coast and mountains.

Exit polls also showed that some 30 percent of voters considered race a factor in their decision, with the numbers split evenly among voters who backed McCain and Obama. Nearly one in five voters considered race an important factor.

The economy also played a role — with 60 percent of voters considering it the top issue, with those voters breaking slightly to Obama. The state's manufacturing industry has been devastated by competitive imports, and the state's banking economy centered in Charlotte was struck by economic turmoil that led to the downfall of Wachovia Corp., in the weeks before Election Day..."

Training 214/BFL 67.

20m cardio [shadowboxing]/5 meals/2.6L water

Frustration... the only answer to frustration, today anyways, is consistency. That is all.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Who's more racist, black people or white people? Black people!" - Chris Rock.

Two steps forward, one step back.

[No, not a race, but it's the same closed minded, discriminatory bullshit.]

Hit & Run > Jane Elliott, Call Your Agent* - Reason Magazine:
"...last night was of course a historic chapter in America's long and sordid history of race relations. Unfortunately, another civil rights issue—gay marriage—went down to sweeping defeat.

I don't think the government should be in the business of giving its blessing to committed relationships of any kind. But to confer preferred tax and right of contract status on straight marriages but not gay ones simply isn't consistent with the principle of equality under the law.

Sadly, that concept seems to be less clear to black Americans than it does to other races, even as the country today celebrates the symbolic achievement of electing America's first black president.

In California, the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage actually failed among white voters, 51-49. It was the 70 percent support from black voters that put the measure over the top.

Florida's ban would have passed among white voters 60-40. But it passed among blacks 71-29.

The exit polling data isn't yet ccomplete in Arizona, but that state's ban passed with 56 percent of the vote, but with 55 percent from white and Latino voters. So it seems likely that blacks were more enthusiastic about banning gay marriage than other ethnicities in that state, too.

Kind of a sad irony if in helping achieve one civil rights milestone, last night's historical black turnout also helped perpetuate state-sanctioned discrimination against gay couples who wish to marry."

To sum up, via one of my favorite thriller/suspense/comic writers, Greg Rucka:
"And for those of you who might've voted 'yes' on California's proposition 8, just a thought for you - substitute the word 'Jewish' or 'Catholic' or 'black' or 'Japanese' for the words 'same sex.'

And yes, it is exactly the same thing."

And now, back to our regularly scheduled stupidity.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Training 213/BFL 66.

Upper body wkout/3L water/5 meals

This John McCain might've gotten my vote.

Of course, this John McCain kind of sold his soul to appease the base of his party. Which is really too bad...

Nice concession speech though.

Hit & Run > McCain's Classy Concession - Reason Magazine:
"Aside from the speech's almost astounding graciousness, note McCain's visceral disgust at the anti-Obama/Biden sentiments in the crowd. Sentiments he knows, on some basic level, that his campaign–especially the Sarah Palin wing of it–whipped up..."

President Barack Obama.

At elementary school today, and it was still the topic of the day. Teachers asking me "Did you vote?" "Could you vote?" "Who do you like?"

It was after lunch and recess, and during cleaning time, when they turned on the TV in the teacher's room and I saw that Obama had the electoral votes.

The first black man elected President of the United States.

I'll be damned.

I'm so cautiously optimistic. I mean, I'm still pissed at his flip and his vote on FISA. And his support for the bailout doesn't make me like him any more...


There's so much potential there. There's so much that he could mean and do for America right now, where, honestly, it feels like it's struggling for its place and its purpose in the world. I'm probably the least patriotic person I know [well, except for Jr... Hi Jr!] but still, I want an America that lives up to the promise of its potential. I really do.

There's something... I mean, I'm watching the acceptance speech, catching what I can through the Japanese translators talking over him, and I've Japanese elementary school kids in the room saying "ometetou Obama!" [congratulations Obama] This has a chance to mean quite a bit, for America and for the world even, and I sincerely I hope they don't fuck it up. [Yes, that's my version of being optimistic.]

Regardless, whether I agree with the man on every aspect of policy, he really has had to be the Jackie Robinson of politics. They always say that Robinson wasn't the most gifted or talented guy playing in the Negro Leagues at the time, but he was the only guy who had the right mix of talent and temperament to be the first guy brought up to the majors. And Obama has certainly had the required discipline, panache, gravitas and patience to weather what he has, and the man got it done, no doubt.

I mean, a black man won the state of Virginia in the Presidential election. [That's right, my vote counts.] And as of now, is tied 50-50 in my home state of NC. And having grown up there, that's just freaking phenomenal. The only way I could be more surprised is if Obama won Texas. [Which yes, would never happen.]

And last but not least, let's not forget to take a moment to thank GWBush and the GOP, who so fucked up and fucked over the country for the last 8 years, that a majority of Americans said "You know what? I'm gonna vote for the black guy with the Muslim name. Who they say is a socialist who hangs around with terrorists. Because he couldn't possibly be any worse." Your incompetence has been matched only by your venality. You shall not be missed.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Live Election Results.

Your Voting Update.

East coast polls start to close in an hour and a half... Until then...

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Red City Update:
"I work in Alpharetta, Georgia in a very Red area. I just went out for lunch to get the emissions tested on my car. Took it to a place where, when you walk in, the first thing you notice is a copy of the Ten Commandments on the wall.

Outside: Old white man who is testing my car sees the “GLBT For Obama” sticker on the back of my car.

“That sonofabitch better win!” says he, with a smile.

Maybe there is hope. Of course, I’m sure he didn’t know quite what the GLBT meant."

Splash Page » How Would Comic Book Characters Like Iron Man, Hulk And X-Men Vote? Their Writers Respond!:
" would our real-life candidates fare in the comics world?

We posed that question to various comic book writers, asking them how some of the characters they’re well-known for scripting would’ve voted in today’s election. Here’s how they responded:

“All of the X-Men voted early either in person or by mail for Barack Obama,” said “Uncanny X-Men” writer Matt Fraction.

“Astonishing X-Men” writer Warren Ellis didn’t exactly disagree with Fraction’s assessment, but he did tell MTV, “God, you wouldn’t want those people to vote. Have you seen how they dress?”

However, Ellis said that there wasn’t any doubt about the candidate of choice for one of his most popular characters, the gonzo-style journalist Spider Jerusalem from DC/Vertigo’s “Transmetropolitan.”

“Spider Jerusalem would in fact vote for Obama,” explained Ellis. “If for no other reason than damage control and the fact that John McCain will sell his wrinkly ass to anyone who looks like they might be buying.”

...Fraction, who also scripts the ongoing adventures of several other top-tier Marvel characters (including “Invincible Iron Man,” “Punisher: War Journal” and “Thor: Man of War”), weighed in on the voting style of a few more familiar heroes.

“Iron Man/Tony Stark would be 100 percent for Obama. Men of vision always recognize their own,” the writer explained. “Thor would post OBAMA/BIDEN signs on every yard in Asgard if he could. He’d respond to the careful and reasoned leadership this great young man shows, as he understands those same pressures, and has faced them himself triumphantly. And as a warrior, he’d despise any so-called leader that exercised sabre-rattling as a tool of diplomacy.

Lest you think every character was firmly entrenched in the two-party system, Fraction added that Frank Castle, Marvel’s gun-toting vigilante known as Punisher, wouldn’t be favoring Obama or McCain.

“Frank’d vote way down ballot,” said Fraction. “Starting with Bob Barr, libertarian, for president, and heading into arcane party territory from there. Not sure he’s elligible to vote with his record, though. He probably wouldn’t risk it, but should check on that via an anonymous Internet connection at, say, the public library.”

...Across the pond, however, Ellis has always had a slightly different take on politics and government — especially US politics — than many of his stateside peers. As he pointed out, for many of his best-known characters, the question of where their votes would be cast isn’t relevant for one reason or another. But that doesn’t mean he he shied away from explaining where they’d stand on today’s options.

“The Authority would in fact have banned voting by this point and Jenny Sparks would be choosing our local leaders for us,” said Ellis of the team in his wildly popular superheroes-as-government series. “However, Obama would stand a good chance of being selected as America’s community organizer. Mind you, Jenny Sparks was an infamous drunk, so, frankly, so would Jesse Ventura, John C. McGinley or Bubbles from ‘The Wire.’”

Ellis noted that John Constantine, the star of DC/Vertigo’s long-running “Hellblazer” series, is not only a British citizen but also “an old Labour man.”

“He’d be rooting for Obama just because he’d want the GOP thrown out of power,” said Ellis. “However, Obama would be somewhat to the right of John Constantine, and many things about the man would irritate John, not least his avowed opposition to gay marriage. See, what you guys call a leftie, we call a centrist.”"

Training 212/BFL 65.

20m cardio [shadowboxing]/5 meals/2.7L water

I don't watch much football anymore, but this sounds awesome.

Hit & Run > Not About the Election - Reason Magazine:
"Fascinating story in the California Bay Area, where Piedmont High School football coach Kurt Bryan has exploited a loophole in the rulebook to develop an entirely new offensive scheme, which he has dubbed the "A-11." The wide-open formation features two quarterbacks, and makes every offensive player on the field receiver-eligible (they all wear uniform numbers in the receiver-eligible range).

Because both quarterbacks stand seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, and because there's no one under center, the formation is under the rules a legal kicking formation. But you don't have to actually kick the ball when you line up in a kicking formation (otherwise, fake kicks would be prohibited).

The offense has befuddled both defenses and referees, and has allowed tiny Piedmont to stay competitive with much larger high schools. The genius of the offense lies in the number of options it opens up for the offense, which makes it much more difficult to defend. From the New York Times:
According to Scientific American magazine, a standard football formation permits 36 possible scenarios for taking the snap and advancing the ball; with the A-11, the possibilities multiply to 16,632, providing a controlled randomness to the offense and potentially devastating chaos to the defense."

Penn Jillette speaks wise. And funny, too. - "We have to leave open possibility that other side is right. Even as we call them assholes!"

I can't watch his show "Bullshit!" anymore, cause he kept, to me, coming off as too arrogant and didactic [never leaving open the possibility, as he says, of the other side being right] but the man gives good interview. And I'm totally with him in his basic libertarian view of things.

Hit & Run > Penn Jillette on Election 2008 - Reason Magazine:
"Penn Jillette: Bob Barr is not crazy enough for my taste. Harry Browne had a kind of purity to his craziness. I couldn’t find anything in Harry Browne’s platform or his books that I disagreed, which didn’t seem exactly right in a presidential candidate.

...I do wish Barr had been more in agreement with me on sex and drugs. That always bothered me a bit. I’m for gay rights, boring monogamous rights, but I’m also for two guys fucking on the floor of my office. I don’t think Barr is. Although I don’t do drugs I’m ok with shooting heroin, and I don’t think he is. Someone smarter than me—I want to say it was P.J. O’Rourke—said if you’re going to go with a Republican or a Democrat, the person isn’t important. If you go with a Libertarian, you go with a nut, because if we do win somehow the first 16 years of Libertarian rule will be spent at the barricades, just rolling back stuff. is a really good way to talk about libertarianism. Do you think people have the right to bet on card games with their own money? If you say yes, you are a libertarian. Poker is a better example for people, to me, than drugs or sex: it’s a pure intellectual argument. It’s a really good entry point. My mom, if you asked her if she was interested in whether or not people gambled, would say no.

Every poker player is smarter than me. I’m not sure if that’s true of every serious drug user. Poker is one of the smaller issues, and it doesn’t really matter like the drug war matters, but symbolically you have to ask: Does somebody have the right to go into room and win or lose money with a group of like-minded people? It’s a really good test. It’s a real easy one.

...I believe in individual rights so much that I don’t like any sort of “what’s good for the cause”-type question. A little while ago I was at skeptics, atheists conference and a question like that came up. How do we best win people over? As soon as we ask that question, we’re pigs. We have to leave open possibility that other side is right. Even as we call them assholes!


reason: Both Barr and Paul ran on the premise that our liberties were disappearing, fast. Do you agree with that?

Jillette: I am the most optimistic person alive who says “motherfucker” on a professional basis. There are more optimistic people out there, sure, but they don’t do that. I think the individual American culture of freedom and rights is very, very strong. There’s no doubt it’s being eroded by the people in charge right now. Our vigilance is always required. But our culture still includes basic lip service to individual liberties.

I don’t worry too much about this because I don’t want to live a life based on fear. I will not counter the insanity of the PATRIOT Act with an overblown fear of my rights being taken away. Bush had more power than he should have had, but I won’t go through the hate thing that Kerry and Gore used to rev us up against him..."

Things are complex.

From a front yard in Indiana.

Hit & Run > The New South In the Shell of the Old - Reason Magazine:
"Spotted on Ben Smith's blog: a Confederate flag and an Obama sign share a yard."

Gut punch.

Powerful image. Sure to provoke a reaction, one way or the other. [And if this guy's still on active duty, and this gets even more around, he's fubared.]

Via riotclitshave

First line/last line - "The Pentagon, methinks, is out of control... We are going to pay for this."

The entire article is fascinating, and fairly spot on, illuminating further on the the military industrial complex and economy that President Eisenhower warned us all about.

But the observations made on the difference between the civilian and military mentality, particularly in the officer corps, struck me as particularly on point, in my limited 9 years of experience at USNA and in the USMC.

Fred On Everything:
"...Soldiers are truculent by nature, think quickly of military solutions, and need enemies to justify both their existence and their budget.

...We would do well to bear in mind the dangers of excessive military influence in national life. Professional soldiers have little in common with the rest of the country. We like to think of them as Our Boys in Uniform, the brave and the true and the patriotic, defenders of democracy, and so on. It isn’t so. The officer corps is authoritarian to the roots of its soul, has little use for democracy, and prides itself on blind obedience. Soldiers do not readily distinguish between dissent and treason. Further, they regard civil society as an unworkable anarchy of weaklings who lack the will to fight.

The gap between military and civilian consciousness is huge. The ideal officer goes to a service academy where, in late and impressionable adolescence, he learns to walk in squares, always obey, and regard the polish of his belt buckle with insane concern. Thereafter the only answer he knows is “Yessir.” To a civilian, the conformism, the lack of independence and, yes, the pride in the lack are incomprehensible. Then, for thirty years, the soldier spends most of his time with similar people and comes to believe that it is not just a reasonable but the best way to live. Like cops, soldiers tend to socialize among themselves because they fit awkwardly into civil society. Watch a colonel at a civilian cocktail party. He isn’t sure whether he is “Sir” or “Bob.”

And soldiers seek war. They will say they don’t, of course. Can you imagine Tiger Woods spending thirty years practicing his golf swing without wanting to get into a tournament?

The military mindset is not American, not consonant with the ideals the country stands for and to some extent achieves. Most imperfectly, yet genuinely, America has cherished dissent and eccentricity and freedom. Yes, I know about the intolerance of small towns and I grew up in the South. But compare America at its worst to any military dictatorship.

Which is where we seem to be heading. Today the Pentagon—again, Mr. Bush is the Pentagon—openly seeks domestic power. For example, Army combat troops will now be assigned on a permanent basis to engage in numerous domestic functions—including, as the article put it, "to help with civil unrest and crowd control.’”

...Recall further that the Pentagon has been calling for the power to conduct domestic surveillance of the general population, as for example in its program of Total Information Awareness...

We are going to pay for this."

Joss Whedon is one smart dude.

Vice Magazine - JOSS WHEDON -:
"...I don’t think we’re trapped in the Matrix, or trapped in the way that the Matrix actually means, where this isn’t really happening. But I do think that our idea of what life really means and what we are is different than what we’ve become. And how much of us is made up of what’s expected of us, how much of us is made up of our actual free will, is a lot to pin on people, especially in this country.’s what interests me. I get less and less subtle. It’s the thing I want to talk about: What are we? Why? And why aren’t we better? In what ways are we being held accountable for things we’re actually OK about, and in what ways are we being let off for things we really should be dealing with? Because we deal with repurposing sex and what people want from each other we see right upfront the scariest parts of us, and some of the nicer parts as well. What those are are not necessarily what you’d expect...

What do you think makes an ideal villain?

Perspective. An ideal villain is partially right."

That is a brilliant line. And what's more, Joss Whedon is responsible for Time magazine's 15th best invention of the year.

15. The Direct-to-Web Supervillain Musical - TIME's Best Inventions of 2008 - TIME:
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon conceived and produced the online video Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog during the writers' strike. It's hard to imagine a studio green-lighting an idea as weird and ostensibly uncommercial as a 43-min., three-part online supervillain musical.

But in a medium that rewards the unconventional — the Web — Dr. Horrible was a hit. After its July debut, the series reached No. 1 on iTunes' video chart, with 2.2 million downloads a week. Now there's a sound track, Web comics and a dvd on the way. Cue the maniacal laughter."

Monday, November 03, 2008

"Forget About Privacy. Embrace Openness." - Louis Gray

"Live never to be ashamed if anything you say or do is published around the world, even if what is said is not true." - Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach.
Welcome to the internet.

Training 209-211/62-64.

209/62 - Free Day/No PT
210/63 - 20m cardio/shadowboxing, 5 meals, 3.2L water
211/64 - lower body wkout, 5 meals, 4.7L water

The Internet Remains Awesome.

Click to enlarge.