Thursday, September 30, 2004

More Debates

Let me just start by saying I want John kerry to win the election, and I want the perception to be that he won the debate. I'm rooting for him 100% ok?

I've just listened to the opening minutes and I already feel like someone just vomited in my shoes and waited until I put them on to laugh and point. This is effin' ridiculous. The rules...ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? I mean, because of all this, both candidates are reduced to regurgitating their talking points, which will continue for 90 minutes. Then we'll get the elegant thrust and parry of meaningful analysis of body language, skin tone, and whatever other garbage our wretched excuse for a political class decides to bumble on about(a bunch of mindless jerks who will seriously be the first against the wall when the revolution comes - see last graph). Finally both sides will declare victory(I'll be listening to Air America tomorrow, because I like the Kerry Wins version better). God, I feel like an effin' cliche even writing these words, because it's been said, and will continue to be said by other people more eloquent than me.

Nadar voters, I understand, I really do. I hate this as much as you do, but we can't mount an offensive from the left until we move the effective terms of debate from between neo-facist and center-conservative to something more reasonable, and we can't do that with this bunch in power. It's either this way, or we really do man the barricades.

Crap. I don't even own a barricade to man. Note to self: buy as many barricades as will fit in the basement.


Just as I finished writing the above I got a call from a friend who's watching on C-SPAN and he said "You've gotta watch it on the feed tomorrow. It's just like you predicted. On the networks they're just cutting from one guy to the other guy, but on C-SPAN you can see Bush grimacing, shaking his head, smirking and getting flustered while Kerry talks. It's fucking funny as shit."

This is, as we all should know, a fave tactic of W, and he doesn't want the rest of the country to see it. I'm sure Kerry knows better than to be flustered by this kind of garbage having been in the Senate. Still, it's perfect. The whole thing is a joke, and we don't get to see the punchline.

The Debates

Anyone else think we ought to 1) get rid of conventions and 2) get rid of the debates? I think we'd learn more about the candidates if they had to duel with water pistols filled with urine - at 10 paces of course.

Battling With Monsters

Man the barricades! Dig the trenches! And on into the abyss!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The People's Party Of....

Atrios has a post today about Cheney, which reminds me of something our next door neighbor said right after the RNC.

"You know, I was watching Bush's speech, and they kept panning the camera over to this fat, stone faced man who just applauded when he was supposed to and grimaced the rest of the time. And I realized what I was watching. It was an old Kremlin speech, and Cheney is really the perfect aparatchik."

Seriously, he's right. We've got a government composed of Trostskyites and Stalinists who keep getting elected by dupes who believe that 3 + 15 = 12. I knew they called them "Red States" for a reason.

Update: Actually, re-reading this makes me think some alignment of terminology is in order. When I say Trotskyite I really mean Neo-Trotskyite, which is what I use to describe the neocons, because they ain't cons. As I've said before, they've replaced the ends of Trostskyism with some weird free market ideology, but they still love the means. So hey, let's stop calling it the user friendly term neocon and start using Neo-Trotskyite.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Even Crawford Hates Him!

My brother in law (Josh Shaffer- a bona fide journalist at the Raleigh News & Observer) sent this along. I think its rich. Our Man of the People can't even get a hometown endorsement. Is it just cause they're Iconoclast or is it because Bush has betrayed all the middle and working class people in this country in an uncountable number of ways? Actually, they say its because they feel, after endorsing Bush in the last election, that they've been duped into "following yet another privileged agenda."
So, the question is, if Crawford's wised up, what the fuck is wrong with the rest of the fucking country?

ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? Its a serious problem - the left (and even the center, as exemplified by Kerry) has so alienated itself from working people that we're losing the whole war. The Crawford Iconoclast has come around to see that despite the rhetoric, the neo-cons are in it for the money and not for the "values," but the rest of the country is split roughly down the middle, and the left isn't even putting up an decent argument. Republicans are winning the values war and the left is just sitting idly by, ignoring 50 years of social theory and playing patsy to the republican spin machine... I'm drunk - read the fucking article.

The Associated Press

CRAWFORD - A weekly newspaper that bills itself as President Bush's hometown paper endorsed John Kerry for president, saying the Massachusetts senator will restore American dignity.

The Lone Star Iconoclast, which has a circulation of 425, said in an editorial dated Sept. 29 that Texans should rate the candidates not by hometown or political party, but by where they intend to take the country.

"Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding Iraq," the editorial said.

The Iconoclast, established in 2000, said it endorsed Bush that year. It also said it editorialized in support of the invasion of Iraq, and publisher W. Leon Smith promoted Bush and the invasion in a British Broadcasting Corp. interview, believing Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

"Instead we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda," the editorial said.

The newspaper praised Kerry for "30 years of experience looking out for the American people" and lauded his background as "a highly decorated Vietnam veteran."

Hey, O'Reilly

Where's my effin' pizza? Speak English or die you "traditionalist" blowhard.

I should point out in case it is not obvious that as a former Californian(and generally as a thinking person) I am quite in favor of multi-culturalism and would be multi-lingual myself if I had enough room in my head to carry more than part of a single language. The intention is, of course, that one traditionally looks words up in the dictionary if one wishes to offer their traditional definition, especially when one is doing so in public.

Another reason I'm glad I live in Baltimore

God doesn't just hate Florida. See what you jerks in CA have wrought with your electing the Terminator? And now it's spreading north. Good job!

Pretentious Nitwit

That would be me. Would it be too much to say that Debord predicted this in 1969? I mean, I know he's French and all, but....

Screw Hitch Again.

Sorry for the run-on, but
Kevin Drum, who is a journalist and writer by trade, says it much better than I.


Screw you, Hitch. And while we're at it, did you even read the damn article? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

I can't let this go, as he was at one time a pretty big hero of mine. He's even written great stuff since his "defection" - unfortunately mostly about dead people he admires. Yet, every time I read something thought provoking about Said or Trostsky it's countered by yet more idiocy about current events. If he were half as observant and contrary as he likes to give himself credit for, why the hell does he play thought police during an effin' presidential campaign? I'm sure he feels he has to offer a counter-weight to all this bad press that Bush has been getting(ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME???), and remind us all of the "seriousness" of the war in which we are now engaged, but this is just getting tiresome.

He's more of a courtier than anything else. The Bush Administration is already in power, already has pretty much all the power they need in order to accomplish whatever the hell they(and he) want, so they don't need polemical aid. But hey, why offer real criticism of the administration IN PRINT when you can attack a magazine with a circulation of 100,000? I wish he'd quit trying to be the "conscience of the left"(Orwell, you ain't, chickenshit-Orwell actually picked up a gun when the time came, remember?) and either write something worth reading or stick to book reviewing.

Oh yeah, any thoughts on the rumor floating that St. Wolfowitz wants to get out of Iraq? Why not a column either quashing the rumor or attacking him for being spineless? Oh yeah, because Hitch = Hack.

People, Mcluhan is Dead

Marshall Macluhan has now managed to infiltrate culture to an absolutely annoying degree. Of course, I'm talking about the fact that almost every single one of my favorite blogs(and there are 20 of them) has devoted at least one lengthy post to the significance of blogs and blogging. ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

Can I just point out that it wasn't the fact that "Common Sense" was a pamphlet that made it revolutionary? Imagine how far the Constitution would have gotten if they'd stopped to take the time to contemplate what it all meant that they were, you know, writing it down with quills and ink instead of carving it in stone. And was it just me that thinks the Situationists got REALLY BORING when they started arguing about the medium and not the message? Christ, it's why Baudrilard was so dull.

I mean, really people, to complain about co-option in yet another media form is just irritating. We live in a society where nothing thrives without either mad love or profit motive(and sometimes a combination of both). So pick which one you care about, quit with the talmudic meta-responses about what it all means and just get back to the ranting.

And Finally

Monday, September 27, 2004

So Teddy reads Harpers...

Nice to see Naomi Klein's Year Zero article make into someone's talking points.

Dear Jenna

You are clearly in the wrong city. We might be geographically north of DC, but culturally - well, you so belong in Hampden, hon. It's a much better place to be young and irresponsible, or even just plain irresponsible. And Boh is cheaper and better tasting the Bud, I promise.

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Poseur Alert: Ok, so SullyWatch We Ain't

But since I seem to be taking real issue with the whole "bloggers are the future" bit, and for some stupid reason I visited Sullivan's site today, can I just ask one question? Come on Hampden, I think you know what I'm thinking.

He's talking about the latest Boondocks strip("Can a N****A Can A Job?"), and how the WaPo has pulled it.

To Sullyize, Money Quote:

"I laughed and learned something. Why couldn't the tired old p.c. souls at the Post? Anyway, here's the strip. It carries on all week. See, Big Media? You can't stop us any more, can you?"

He helpfully provides a link to some comics page or other. ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

Let's put aside the asinine idea that somehow there is this big media that is trying to stop Sully, of all people. Let's leave aside the fact that the real big media that would be trying to stop this kind of thing is a product of the de-regulation of which Sully is so fond. Let's leave aside the fact that it's not big media Sully objects to, it's big media that prints stories he doesn't like. Yes, let's do that and get right to the snark.

And to that end:

Yes, the revolution in freedom of information and the subversion of that nasty ol' big media paradigm starts right here at Yahoo News, that upstart tiny little media franchise that has TV advertisments, makes huge money in advertising, and has AN EFFIN' 35 FT TALL NEON BILLBOARD RIGHT OFF OF MARKET STREET. Watch me subvert the dominant big media paradigm.

Sullivan, remember what your iron lady said. "There is no society, only individuals." So quit claiming you're one of "us"(I don't include myself in "us"- I'm just a lowly software engineer, not a "web journalist").

I don't see a Creative Commons license anywhere on your page, and you use a Mac, so you're not using Open Source - unless you're using OSX, but I trust you don't know the purpose of the BSD License anyway.

See, long before there was your blog revolution, there was a large community of scientists, engineers, researchers, artists and (gasp!) lawyers in your much hated academia who decided that the best way to benefit society with technology was to make it easily available, to place it in the public square. The challenge offered by these people is a far greater challenge to big media and big everything else because it challenges the traditional business paradigm. Oh yeah, by the way, it was risky offering that challenge. You're not on the vanguard if you aren't taking chances, and shooting your mouth off on the computer isn't taking chances.

Get over yourself and stop all this revolution business, because it ain't a revolution. Just because nitwits like you keep calling it one doesn't make it so. Imagine what garbage we'd have to put up with if it wasn't just curious suburbanites and truckers using HAM radios and CB's.

Higher Ground

Lucky for me no one's found any crash bugs today. Unlucky for you.

Go read this from Wolcott.(He's from Bawlmer. You mean you didn't know? I knew there was a reason I liked him). I totally agree with him. There ain't no high ground people. The "high ground" argument has always been the last refuge of the incompetent intellect and charlatans, a rhetorical twitch from gasbags who know they don't have anything left to say.

Look at, oh, Robert "No Facts" Novak. The guy is a known liar, an apologist for criminals, and more than likely a criminal himself who committed an act of treason just because he could. When he isn't on camera he curses like a sailor. Yet whenever he might get caught in a lie, have an inconvenient fact thrown his way, or have anything happen that might cause him to lose a debate, he immediately rushes to the "high ground". "Oh, that's low. You don't have any decency. Blah blah blah." He'll even attempt to frame debates in terms of the "high ground", as he did with a picture in the Nation a few months back that depicted George Bush eating a baby. It was a modification of some famous painting that was really quite clever. "Now I know people don't like Bush, but THIS is just indecent, don't you agree?". No I don't. There's this glass house, and you're holding a rock, and...ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

Now I admit I would prefer a debate about policy to a debate about who did what in Viet Nam. I admit I'd prefer a debate on a plan on how to get us out of Iraq to a debate about who snorted more coke in the 1970's(although we all know who did, don't we?). My concerns with that have everything to do with my preference for discourse on issues of relevance to the country and my life. It has nothing to do with abstract notions of "higher ground" or decency.

Disagreement is fundamentally indecent, and very often rude. Democracy is a fundamentally dirty business. You get enough people together and they're going to find something to disagree about, argue vehemently about. So let's ditch the higher ground, where there's only room for a few gasbag nitwits. Let's get in the valley where everyone can stand. Let's get in the public square and argue with people. Who knows, maybe later today, I'll confront that lady who keeps parking her ugly ass Bush/Cheney stickered Mercedes SUV in front of my apartment. I'm sure I won't change her mind, but at least she'll get a piece of mine.

Influencing the Election

So Dennis Hastert and others have gone on record saying that they think Al Queda wants to influence this election "like they did in Spain". Go to Media Matters to read their documentation of more garbage like this. I won't link it directly because Dennis Hastert is politician, a Republican, and a hack - three strikes and you're effin' out. ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? Can we just make a law that says: "If you open your mouth without knowing what the eff you're talking about I get to come to your house and smash you in the groin with a meat tenderizer while your hands are held under frying bacon fat"? I mean ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME???

Luckily, he goes on to say that Americans won't let that happen. Damn straight. After all, ShrubCo needed 9/11 to justify the Iraq war. ShrubCo needed 9/11 to justfiy any of their policies, in fact. Al Queda was the best thing that ever happened to ShrubCo because it influences elections in their favor. Anyone remember 2002? So I say, Damn straight Dennis.

We AREN'T going to let Al Queda influence our elections. We're going to effin' well vote out the guys that let 9/11 happen, the guys who got us into this mess in Iraq based on stupid effin' ideology rather than sound policy, the guys who piss on the memory of Americans who died, the guys who insult the honor of our Armed Forces, the guys who created a recruitment tool for Al Queda, the guys HATE THIS COUNTRY(don't forget it. They HATE THIS COUNTRY. ALL OF THEM). Say it with me: "Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Dashcle, President Kerry(and Govenor Duncan if you're in Maryland)".

And by the way, Dennis, there's a table for you at "Groin Crushers Diner", right next to effin' Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist. Hope you like your fingers flat and crispy. Sorry fellas, that's just how I cook it.

Thankyou and God bless America. Now where the eff did I put my cigarettes...

Some blog notes

Hey, Dave G(enius)! Welcome to the party!

Please post as often as you can. Your posts are a joy to read.

By Way of A Disclaimer

I just re-read my really pretentious post from last night. Eek. Pretty grandiose, if I do say so myself. However, now that I've used the phrase "WHERE'S MY EFFIN' PIZZA??" more than once, I feel some clarification is in order.

In no way is that statement meant to denigrate the importance of pizza delivery or the greatness of its practicioners. I do realize that, just like teachers, historians, soldiers, programmers, and tons of other people, pizza delivery practicioners(PDP) work hard, provide an important societal function, and generally contribute to the health of our democracy. Think of all the times you were too busy to cook, working a late night, cramming for a test, whatever. Who bailed your ass out? It was pretty likely a PDP, and they deserved that >15% tip you gave them. Although the qualifications are in some sense low(and in fact the essential one is one I happen to lack), PDPs rock, and I thank them for all the times they bailed MY ass out.

The same can not be said of loud mouth jerks(LMJ). LMJs make millions of dollars a year for doing nothing so much as running their mouths on topics in which they have no expertise, no understanding, and therefore have nothing to contribute. But for some reason, they still get paid, and even have an influence in society that is not comensurate with their competence in anything useful or interesting. ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

So when I'm referencing an LMJ and say "WHERE'S MY EFFIN' PIZZA?", I am simply pointing out that their worth to society is FAR less than that of a PDP, and that they might consider giving up their LMJness to do something useful, like becoming a PDP.

I apologize to any PDPs who might have taken offense. And I hope I can offend some LMJs.

Go Buy a Gun!

Since I'm on the topic of right-wing zealots who want to kill you, I'll relate the following tale. A few years ago, I worked at a non-profit org. in Annapolis, Maryland, where we took volunteers. Mostly they were older, retired folks, but occasionally we got a couple of homeschool kids. Usually this was ok, they were always pretty smart and they didn't make any trouble.

One pair of kids, a brother and sister, started to come in pretty regularly. The brother, we'll call him Kevin, was a pretty annoying kid. Used to getting whatever he wanted, he would get manipulative and whiney if things didn't go his way. I hate to say this about an eleven-year old, but I grew to really dislike him. It didn't help that he and his sister brought Jesus into everything that they talked about and made us listen to Christian Pop music on the radio. (I pulled the plug - that shit is horrible.)

One week, Kevin announced that he was going to "Christian Camp" and wouldn't be coming in the next week. I was elated for the reprieve, and spent the week relatively unbothered, assuming that was Kevin sitting around a campfire, spinning godseyes and singing "Sarasponda".

I was a little surprised, then, when he gave me a full report the following week.

ME: (trying to be friendly) What did you do at Christian Camp, Kevin?
KEVIN: (enthusiastically) OOH We wet hiking! And we did survival! and shooting!

At this point, I'm thinking "shooting...hmm, they must've given these kids BB guns or .22's at the most..."

ME: Shooting? What guns did you shoot?
KEVIN: My friend's dad brought his AK47 and an UZI...

AN UZI!? ARE YOU EFFIN" KIDDING ME? The point of this little vignette is that these assholes are teaching their kids to shoot assault rifles at a very young age. The question you have to ask yourself is "why?" If you think its so they can kill demons when the rapture comes, yer deluded.

The conservative christian movement, while not as scarey as the neo-cons ala Wolfowitz, want to take over the country and disenfranchise all non-Christians. They want to dissolve the separation of church and state. They want to take away a woman's right to control her reproductive life. Read the Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood) for a vision of what their new nation would look like.

They've been working on it for years, getting elected to school boards and state legislatures. Four years ago they got one in the whitehouse and he made one attorney general. Fine - they're good at manipulating the republican system - but they're also teaching their kids to fire assault rifles. Why? So that if their attempts to legislate themselves into power don't work, they can ram their arch-conservative dogma down your throat at gunpoint. My advice? Congress just failed to renew the assault rifle ban. You can buy an AK-47 with a folding stock. Go do it.

"I'm Going to Kill Him and Tell God He Died"

When I heard about the following news item, I felt compelled, as a historian, to dust off my Pop-Pop's Masonic Edition of the King James bible and do some fact checkin'. It less took less than ten minutes to find out what I wanted to know. Its true - the bible does - sort of - proscribe "lying with another man" (LEV 19:22). It also gives us some pretty nifty suggestions for curing leprocy by killing a bird and dipping another bird in its blood along with a piece of wood (LEV 14:1-5).

It also proscribes - in no uncertain terms- killing (Deut 5:17 - its one of the Ten Commandments). However, in the topsey-turvey world of George W. Bush's America, anything, including the most fundamental tenets of the Judeo-Christian tradition, can change as long as the change serves the political aims of the right. This now includes the Bible. Apparently, as of last Sunday the biblical scripture against homosexuality trumps the one against killing. If anybody had any doubt about the right's intentions for queer folk, this should clear it up for ya. Could the Focus on the Family Crowd have a better mouthpiece than Jimmy Swaggart, who gave the following sermon last Sunday (David Batstone, Read all the way to the end, where he thanks God for George Bush. But don't forget to stop at the part where everybody laughs when he says he'd kill a gay man. ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?


I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry."

(shouts, applause)

"And I'm gonna be blunt and plain, if one ever looks at me like that I'm going to kill him and tell God he died."

(laughter, applause)

"In case anybody doesn't know God calls it an abomination. It's an abomination! It's an abomination!"


..."I'm not knocking the poor homosexual. I'm not. They need salvation just like anybody else.... I'm knocking our pitiful, pathetic lawmakers. And I thank God that President Bush has stated we need a constitutional amendment that states that marriage is between a man and a woman."


He's not knocking the "poor homosexual", he just wants to kill him. In ol' Jimmy's defense, he did apologize for his "tongue - in - cheek" phraseology after the press picked this item up two days ago.

Ok, Metroworks, you ever seen the Limey?

You bastards on the PS2 IDE team know who you are. And if you know'em, tell'em I'm coming! Tell'em I'm effin' coming!

(PS Can you guys PLEASE write a debugger that doesn't crash every 3 hours? Also, how effin' hard would it be to write a dependancy generator that doesn't require manual updates? I mean, UNIX EFFIN' MAKE has had one since, oh 1986. People use this product by choice? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Do you want blogs or do you want the truth?(With apologies to Watt)

So I've been reading tons of blogs for the past few months. When I first heard of the blogging phenom, my stomache turned. "Great, yet another way for solipsistic meanderings to masquerade as culture. Besides, they're more or less newsgroups lite." The worst part of it was/is the "we are the future" platitudes coming from the likes of Andrew Sullivan and Arianna Huffington. Having been in the computer industry for 12 years, I've ssen enough future to know that the real uses of technology, and the real revolutions, are gradual. The internet, as an example, sat around nearly useless for 25 years before someone figured out how to make money with it. And the basic usage patterns haven't really changed that much, it's just the availablity coupled with successive refinements has made it more attractive for non-technical people.

Most irritating is that the people who champion the revolutionary aspect are people who least understand it or its history, yet insist that what amounts to a hyperthyroid telegraph machine is going to somehow revolutionize our culture. It's like they spotted the middle car of a very long, very fast moving train, and decided without knowing anything about the train that it was that particular blur of a car that's making the power behind the train. My, doesn't it have nice racing stripes. Andrew Sullivan is by far the most offensive in this category. His ravings about how Dan Rather just "doesn't get it", and that's why he screwed up with the Killian memos, and the triumph of the "blogosphere" in exposing it are not only infantile-they're misguided.

It's the "internet generation" triumphalists that never get it. They can't build it, they can't create it, they can only use it in whatever it's current phase of development happens to be. It's unlikely they'll ever be able to advance it on their own, and they can't create their own disruptive innovation. So they're left with their ridiculous cultural revolution, like Reagan's revolution, like Gingrich's revolution like the end of history. And it always leads to the same conclusions(markets and small government are good, everything else is bad). Ever notice that the same people who theorize this stuff have no particular competence in anything else? Every time some new thing that SOMEONE ELSE BUILT comes along, they jump all over it, claim it's "the end of" something, that it's a revolution. Sorry, we can't participate in your end of history buddy, we're too busy building your future. Why don't you get an effin' job? WHERE'S MY EFFIN' PIZZA??? And yes, I would like fries with that.

oh good lord...

Cat Stevens deportation

It was all over the news yesterday, but I was too busy engaging in ridiculous anger and geekishness to think about it.

Juan Cole suggests somewhat sardonically that it's a case of just deserts due to Steven's support of the fatwa against Salmon Rushdie. Me, I think it's a case of just deserts due to Stevens having written and continually performed "Wild World". Why he wasn't in chains years ago for that is a complete mystery to me.

Send me to effin' geek prison

Today I called the junior programmer who is sort of my underling "young Skywalker." ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME??? There are so many things wrong with that, I cannot even begin.

Why I gave as much as I did to the Clark campaign

Even lefty friends of mine think John McCain is cool. Sometimes I do too. I might have even voted for him against Gore. But ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? Go here, and click the most recent speech which, I must point out, was given in Baltimore. The first 20 minutes is a bit dull, but the last half of the speech and the Q&A that follows pretty much settles it for me. I've even heard people ask why the left doesn't have a McCain. Whatever.

The left has a total badass general(shot six times, got up and continued giving orders) with the most respect for and understanding of our democracy a person could have. For eff's sake the guy taught courses in political philosophy, and I don't think that meant bible study with a quick refresher of Ayn Rand. I know why he didn't win the nomination, and given my generally low opinion of people who decide to run for office, I'm sort of glad he never had to get in the mud with Bush. But damn.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A Must Read

Now I tend to get irritated reading other people's blogs when the majority of their posts are to yet other people's blogs. But Juan Cole has a post that is a serious must read.

Thought I'd never say it...

Terry Gross, you go girl!(Scroll down) Now I know you're thinking, "Terry Gross? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?" I know. I used to think she was lame just because she changed her last name - doesn't she know we(left wing jews like her and me) control the media? But this is great. Eagerly awaiting full transcript, but that candy ass bitch O'Reilly never posts full transcripts of shows that make him look bad.

More candy ass bitches

Got this off of Wonkette. Clearly constructed by candy ass bitches. What have THEY done for the war on terror besides make a stupid effin' poster? Oh, that's right. Nothing. Did I already say candy ass bitches?

Speak English or be a Talk Radio Host

So Michael Weiner(Savage), three time loser, talk radio host, and general moron heads up the Paul Revere Society, which is concerned with taking back our borders, culture and language. I'm not sure who he thinks took them, but he wants to take them back all the same. This little quote from his show just pretty much says it all as far as that goes. Note to moron: IF YOU'RE SO CONCERNED WITH THE LANGUAGE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO LEARN TO SPEAK IT FIRST. Dipshit.

This post will begin my new theme of "candy ass bitches on the right". Every single one of the right wing talk radio guys is an abject failure in the system they advocate. They have no skills other than their big mouths and even bigger asses to offer the marketplace, so they get on the effin' radio and talk boatloads of garbage. It's like affirmative action for the weak minded and skill-free. My new project is to call every single one of these shows at least five times a week and ask them why they haven't brought me my effin' pizza yet. I respectfully ask you to join me.

Register a slacker day

Every day till it ain't legal is "register a slacker" day. At a party the other weekend we managed to get two. We need more. Let's find slackers, get them registered and get them to the polls.

I've been told by certain well known xenophobic jingoists who manage a certain bar that they are sure "Baltimore will go for Bush. Don't worry, we're going to take care of it." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but either way, it's a bit on the scary side. I'm wondering if maybe some of us shouldn't volunteer to be poll watchers. That b.s. that went on with the gubenatorial election in 2002 ought not be allowed this time. One day of sobriety vs 4 more years of this garbage should be an easy choice to make.

P.S. Maryland is still in the white. Be afraid, then be angry, then let's GOTV yo!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What the...???

Maryland isn't totally blue??? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME???
I thought we were all solid dixiecrats down here.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A small correction...

Laura Rozen posts some excerpts from a Salon interview with Sy Hersh. I find them terrifying. First off, Hersh's analysis is flawed in that back when Kissinger WAS in charge, the realpolitik managed to justify the madman theory, which brought us Pol Pot. The second point is that he refers to the "believers" in the administration as "like Trotskyists". ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? They ARE Trotskyists. The PNAC, which drives this ridiculous policy is made up of either ex-Trotskyists or descendents of Trotskyists. Personally, I think that's why Hitchens loves them so much. It was never worldwide socialism that attracted these people to Trotsky, it was the idea of worldwide revolution. The ends changed, the means didn't. And now you can even read Hithcens describing Wolfowitz in flattering tones as a "troublesome Jeffersonian".

Which reminds me, does Hitchens even listen to himself anymore? His whole thesis in his Jefferson lectures earlier this year was that Jefferson was the worst kind of cynical pragmatist - preaching lofty democratic ideals when he wanted to impress the French, but when it came to the REAL issues of state(the projected Empire, slavery, whatever) he was perfectly happy to drop the ideals. At least that's what I got from listening to them. You can happily contradict me. Listen to them here . I think he's effin' kidding me.

Thinking globally, acting locally

So the product I am currently working on has three seemingly irreproducible crash bugs in it, test coverage that is pretty weak, and a ship date for the end of the week. The producer on the product continues to say, however, that we're "looking good to ship on friday!"

Sound familiar?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

from a conversation:

Question ensuing from a description of the cultural prescriptions in The Bell Curve:

"So, I get what they want to do with all the stupid poor people, but what if you're stupid and rich?"

"Evidently you get to be president."

Saturday, September 18, 2004

and if you're feeling retro...

God I'd forgotten how much I love Galaxie 500 until I just watched a bit of Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste this morning before work. And guess what? Damon and Naomi are on Yo La Tengo's Swing State Tour. Rock, rock, and rock! Too bad Maryland ain't a swing state. If they haven't played in Pennsylvania yet, I'll have to somehow forge a road trip. I haven't seen Damon and Naomi since 1999, and I never actually got to see Galaxie before they split(Eff You, Dean).

some things we might all agree on...

Anyone sick and tired of the pure illogic of the bias critique? Me too. Bias isn't measurable, because in order to measure something, you have to have objective criteria by which to measure, and NONE of the bias crowd has managed to provide that, especially since bias is a subjective phenomena. You can argue all day and all night that media is obviously "biased" and I can argue right back all day and all night that you are obviously "a moron" and we don't get anywhere, because they are both subjective arguments. "But I'm right and you're a jerk!" you might reply. Well, I would only be able to respond in kind, and eventually we will come to blows, and since I've got a better left than anything you can throw at me, you will fall down and cry like a little baby. Then you will go home and get your gun and shoot me. And where does all this violence get us? You look like a sissy and I look like a corpse. Hurray!

The same people who complain about media bias are the same folks who want the wisdom of the market to decide what succeeds and what fails. So HEY, DIPSHITS if you don't like the news, exercise your market freedoms and CHANGE THE FREAKIN' CHANNEL, QUIT BUYING THE PAPERS THAT REPORT NEWS YOU DON'T LIKE. And for eff's sake quit complaining about the supposed bias of the media. Be entrepreneurial, start your own damn magazines, newspapers, TV stations - oh wait. You're the ones who wanted to lease the airwaves to major conglomerates so you CAN'T start you're own TV station. Oops, this is what's the matter with Kansas(and every place effin' else).

This was supposed to be a thoughtful post. Damn. Anyway, the real reason this post got started is because Andrew Sullivan - whom I've not been able to stand since well before blogging was in vogue(and no, I'm not trying to do a SullyWatch, but there's a reason they're first on my blogroll) - wrote something today about not being able to trust Iraq body count because their "biases are blatant", or something. I'm sick and tired of people saying just because a political bias may exist in certain reportage, it means that people forget how to count. I mean, if Ann Coulter were to suddenly write that in order to prove an assertion the premises must first be true and also 2+2=4, I'd be forced to agree with her, despite the fact that everything else she says is complete garbage. Once we get into the bias argument on things like this, you may as well forget reasoned discourse - which I gather may be the point of the bias critique anyway. The bias critique is the first refuge of the tiny tiny lazy mind, because you don't have to do the grunt work of investigating the quality of the sources, the quality of the reasoning, or the quality of the arithmetic. So the next time someone complains about bias, just say, "Hey, lazybones, ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?". And then hit them with a strong left. They won't be expecting that either.

Friday, September 17, 2004

christ, what a day

Who's up for a case of Boh?

Oh yeah, just to get my "third culture" bona fides up and all:

I didn't give a fuck about Monica. Every time I heard Henry Hyde's voice on NPR, I immediately thought of this guy at my church who got sent up for child molestation. Plus, I was too busy shipping product. I didn't give a fuck about what CNN and NPR told me about Florida - once it became contested, you knew who was going to win anyway, and in any case I was too busy shipping product. I don't give a fuck about Dan Rather, liberal media bias, the Killian Memos or the whole "the blogosphere is changing the media landscape!" horseshit. If I had a nickel for every time I heard some stupid wannabe "we are the future!" platitude from some poseur with an asymmetrical hipster haircut, a pair of Converse and a "tech savvy outlook" back in SF, I would not only own all the bandwidth these assholes use, I'd have a personal security force large enough to hunt them all down and put them in the private prison I'd own with the change I didn't spend on the security force. It would be called "SuperMoronMax". This blog, of course, is totally unique. Dan Rather has never spoken to me or for me, and more often than not has insulted my intelligence, but I still don't like the Bush presidency any more than I did before this garbage went down. I'm not a liberal, I hate you just the way you are. My dog just died, and I'm too busy shipping product.

You think the media marginalizes YOUR point of view? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?


PS. The self imposed curse-word ban is hereby lifted, at least for today.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

even after the crash...

So, as one might guess I'm a huge fan of the good ship Baffler and all who sail upon her. I love their superb critiques of the over-heated pseudo post-mod cult stud style of managment theory and market populism that Tom Peters evangelized in the 1990's. They also did a wonderful slash'em up on the culture of the tech bubble, but I always thought that they'd missed a crucial part of it: software methodolgy.

Having been a programmer inside a tech company in Northern California during the boom, I saw firsthand how much of the same mumbo jumbo was internalized by the workers. The combination of that along with the various flavors of kool-aid served up by the "software methodology theorists" made for a heady brew indeed. The scary thing is, unlike in the managment or investment communities, it's still being ingested by practicioners today.

Take for example Grady Booch. Booch rose to prominence in the 1990's as a "software methodolgist", promoting what amounted to a really pretentious re-invention of notations used in the early days of computer science. He later formed Rational, a company specializing in software assistance with his methodology, renamed from The Booch Method to the Rational Unified Process. Rational was purchased by that corporate rabble rouser IBM in 2002. If you read the article linked above, you notice he likes to refer to himself as "A Designated Free Radical". Also notice the article was published last month. A Free Radical? EMPLOYED BY IBM. ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? I'm sorry, but the most radical thing this guy has done has been to guarantee himself permanent employment just for managing to create a cult of personality(and a very profitable one at that).

Software methodolgy is one of the few forms of insanity dressed in the nauseating combination of pseudo science and rebellion still thriving 4 years after the tech bubble burst. It has it's own lingo, it's own cultural trappings, and it's own arcane narratives. And it's still going strong. The best critique from a scientific standpoint is probably here, written in late 2000(Dijkstra had lots to say on the subject 20, even 30 years previous, but this is a nice summing up). The aformentioned cultural trappings, however, would probably provide tons of red meat for a real culture critic like Thomas Frank to ravenously devour. It's a little late now, of course, but maybe after the election. It's a subject I'd like to tackle myself at greater depth, and it's one of the best reasons I can think of to have a blog no one will be reading.

Is Tom Verlaine next on this year's list?

I sure as hell hope not. First Robert Quine and now Johnny Ramone. Crap. Like so many other suburban dorks in Northern CA, the Ramones were the first band other than The Velvet Underground I heard that weren't "classic rock". "I Wanna Be Sedated" was the track, and after I heard it, I realized that my dreams of playing guitar and having a band weren't dead just because I couldn't play "Stairway To Heaven" or the solo to "Comfortably Numb".

David Brooks is an effin' jerk

Brooks never fails to piss me off. It's not his conservative ideology or his irritating lip-smacking prose style. No. What just makes me want to jam pencils into his temples is his insistence that the fictions he creates are valid sociology. I've always figured that Paradise Drive and the rest were just a conservative's Lake Wobegan. They don't exist, but they can occaisionally provide insight into the human condition. The problem with Brooks is he never bothers to point out that what he's talking about is almost entirely made up, whereas everyone knows Lake Wobegan never existed. In fact, Brooks actively ignores and or distorts facts that don't fit his narrative. That's not sociology sir, that's fiction, and I wish he'd just cop to it.

Today's column is a perfect example of one of his favorite tactics - make up a non-existent dichotomy, then show how it manages to fit the usual "sensible people like Republicans, whimsical people like Democrats" stereotype.

I have so many beefs with this column, but I'll stick to one, because I think it's illustrative. "There is less intellectual diversity in academia than in any other profession". ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? The claim is absurd on its face. There may be less political diversity(which is what his numbers are showing), but political affiliation is one tiny sliver a person's intellectual makeup. Yet this logical jump allows Brooks to do a very polite version of the standard issue "tenured radicals/liberal tyranny of the academy" riff. Just because Brooks can't seperate his politics from his intellectual pursuit doesn't mean other people can't. Even Noam Chomsky, probably the quintessential tenured radical doesn't mix his politics and his linguistics(I defy anyone to find a "liberal bias" in Aspects of a Theory of Syntax). But Brooks isn't a scientist or an intellectual, he's a polemecist trading in the worst sort of left/right cliches. Just because he's more polite than Rush doesn't make him any better.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Some minor corrections to some widely held opinions

I. Hey, jerks at Fox and all you war bloggers! Having been on the "far left" for most of my adult life(and having only recently decided that Noam Chomsky's greatest contribution is not to politics but actually to computer science, and that by accident), I'd like to point out that Paul Krugman, George Soros and Hillary Clinton do NOT represent the "far left", not by a long shot.

They are, respectively:
1) A neo-liberal free market economist.
2) A Billionaire international financier.
3) The wife of a president who presided over the spread of globalization/a US senator.

This is far left? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? All of these things immediately disqualify anyone from being on the "far left". In case you missed it, being on the "far left" means being in opposition to things like globalization and international financing. That puts Krugman, Soros and Clinton right out. Also, being on the far left means you believe in direct democracy, not representative democracy, and you refuse to participate in representative democracy. That's strike two for Hillary.

Of course, I know it's important for the Hannitys of the world to paint these moderate types as far left. The whole notion is to move the acceptable realm of debate into the space between McCain and Delay.

II. The strength of the technology industry in the US did NOT DERIVE from the application of free market principles. Almost all the major advances contributed by Americans were done in either academic institutions being underwritten by the DOD - IE TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED(at least in the 1960's and 1970's when most of the good stuff was done), or at AT&T when it was a government protected monopoly(again, not exactly free market). The free market principles came into play when all of this R&D and innovation was put into the public square for people to try and turn into profit machines.

III. If your state makes money off of having defense contractors, you're not participating in the free market - you're participating in state capitalism. I'm not sayin' it's bad, I'm just sayin' it happens. Grow up and live with it.

Yeah, this is disconnected, and to a degree old news, but it's all memes that are still out there. And if the right can, after 3 years in power, STILL blame Clinton for everything that's going wrong, well, I can still complain about the lame ass memes that go around.

Never send an idealogue to do a politician's work

So I just finished Naomi Klein's article "Baghdad In Year Zero" in the September 2004 Harpers, and let's just say I'm apalled but unsuprised. Everyone saying "they didn't have a plan" in reference to the administration is sadly mistaken. They DID have a plan, and they executed it - nearly perfectly too. The resulting chaos certainly gives the appearence of not having a plan, but that's just because the dorks who created the policy live in a Straussian dreamworld, and they always have.

One could have seen this coming. My old roomate in SF and I did, back when Bush was first selected. I turned to him and said, "Well, it looks like we going to invade...". "Iraq, and probably Afgahnistan," he interupted. These people were totally and utterly open about what they wanted to do from the get go. All you had to do was watch C-SPAN late enough at night to catch some forum or other from Heritage, or surf the PNAC website, or read Dick Cheney's letter to Clinton from 1998(I don't think it's online anymore, but it was back during 2000).

On the nightly news the causes of the insurgency have taken a back seat to the sheer spectacle(duh), but it really would be nice if just one reporter pointed out that the reason there are so many people with guns and truck bombs pointed at our troops might just have something to do with policy decisions we made at the begining of the occupation. But really, why bother? Doesn't make for good TV.

Now I can hear Hitchens or Horowitz or someone saying, "You're taking sides with the jihadists, you're making excuses for them you're a traitor like Michael Moore blah blah blah". I'd probably answer similar to the way Horowitz did when he was at the Commonwealth Club a while back. "Bwmuuh."(Unfortunately it's not in the written transcript, but you can hear it on the audio. He was answering a question he himself posed as to what "the liberals" would say if he told them they were all communists). But, me I prefer butchered English to butchered Cave-Man(everyone with half a brain knows that the proper Cave-Man expression in that situation is "Hngrurrr", but, like so much else, Horowitz gets that wrong). So I'll say instead that everyone has a choice, and I agree that I'd prefer someone didn't choose to pick up a gun and start hating my country. However, I also think if these folks were supposed to be the enlightened invaders shouldering the white man's burden, it's incumbent upon those supposedly superior intellects to investigate the best way to win the populace over peacfully. Otherwise, you just make more terrorists. It's that whole "dealing with people" thing. See, the war on terror is kind of a numbers game. You'd think Wolfowitz, the mathematcian, would understand that. You have to starve the freakin' beast. But that takes analysis, cultural insight, interest in the human and psychological factors, and compromise. In a word, politics. And these folks have never been any good at it.

it begins...

I once told someone I'd never have a blog, but then someone discussed having a 'zine. A blog is cheaper(yeah yeah, over 30, so?). I guess the first question should be, "A blog? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME???"