Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Once More with Feeling - Impeach Bush & Cheney

One of the unparalelled joys I have online (get your minds out of the friggin' gutter, you perverts) is DrunkCyclist.  Big Jonny, the dude who runs it, is passionate about a great many things, but he is especially driven to expose bullshit in politics.  I believe that Big Jonny would be as equally vocal against a Democratic President who screwed over America as he is about Bush & Cheney.  

I have RARELY if ever seen a group as eloquent, angry, and direct as DrunkCyclist when they air their grievances against the government.  The only other people I trust to give me the straight poop are Bill Maher, Lewis Black, and Jon Stewart.  Even when DrunkCyclist simply throws up links, it's usually dead on target, funny as hell, or sometimes both.  In this case, there's a great YouTube video that adds to the damning call to punish the Bush Administration  across the board.  Check it out here.  Forward it to everyone.  

Get angrier than you've ever been before, and do something about this bullshit.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Robert Byrd is a Racist Moron, but He's Right

To quote the great philosopher Larry the Cable Guy, "Lord, I do apologize."  I've had just about all I can take with Michael Vick, and while I made a conscious effort to try and reign in my usual levels of profanity, I just don't give a fuck.  If this offends you, I'm genuinely sorry, but I hope you see the strength of my convictions.  

That having been said, I want to hurt Michael Vick in a way the dumb fuck will understand: take away his money. This asshole has a history of displaying the kind of behavior one would expect from a common thug. In March, 2005, he knowingly gave Herpes Simplex 2 to a woman without telling her. On November 26th, 2006, he had flipped the bird with both hands. He made some lame-ass apology, and the NFL fined him $10,000. On January 17th, 2007, he had hesitated in giving up a water bottle at Miami International Airport. He eventually gave it up. It had a hidden compartment that may have had drugs in it, but the bottle and Vick were cleared. His excuse was that the bottle was something he used to hide his jewelry. Riiiight. This isn't lockdown, and he doesn't have to keister stuff to avoid inspection or theft.

He has enjoyed a shitload of money coming from both a lucrative NFL contract worth $130 million over 10 years with a $37 million dollar signing bonus, but from endorsment deals with companies like Nike, EA Sports, Kraft, Coca-Cola, and Rawlings. He was ranked 33 in Forbes Top 100 Celebrities in 2005. Vick is such a dumb fuck that his own behavior had caused all but Nike to drop his ass. He's still rich, and he's living proof that a dumbass with money is still a dumbass. His recent criminal indictment could change all that, and he is not only facing serious accusations and potentially equally serious jail time, He is surely going to be branded as a pariah in the public's eye. There are simply somethings you do not do. NEVER fuck with children, and NEVER fuck with animals. As Nike has stated, Vick deserves the same rights of due process as would befit any US Citizen, and his day in court will come. It's gonna cost him a shitload in legal fees, because it's going to take a fucking miracle worker to make him look like anything but an evil, malicious punk-ass bitch.

Currently The Humane Society is the only organization running an online letter writining protest to Nike to plead with them to drop Michael Vick. You can sign it here. Pass it along to everyone you can. Michael Vick may get his day in court, but make damn sure Nike knows that as long as they continue to do business with him, it's going to cost Nike a shitload in lost revenues.

You want proof of how fucking evil Michael Vick is? Take a look at Diane Jessup's site. She's passionate about Pit Bulls, There's a shocking section with photos of the victims from dog fights. You can click on it here, but be warned - it's truly fucked up. I'm still in tears from seeing it, but it MUST be seen.

Now getting to Robert Byrd.

As you can imagine, this has generated a shitstorm of protest. One voice has been that of Sen. Robert Byrd. Senator Byrd is the longest serving US Senator,...and he's also a former Klansman. He didn't attend a few rallies or make a couple of off-color jokes - he is a heinous motherfucker. He has gone on record in 1945 that the reason he dodged the draft in WWII was that he didn't want to fight alongside blacks. It's ok, he worked as a ship welder instead of defending the US. In 1964, he filibustered for 14 hours against the Civil Rights Act. He's voted against Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, the two African-American Supreme Court Judges. As of March 2001, he made a lame-ass apology that using the word "nigger" may have offended people. I don't give a dry fuck if he's sorry. He continues to make lame-ass apologies, and he continues to say and do shit that's unequivocably racist and stupid. He's a racist motherfucker, and it says a lot about the people of West Virginia that they would continue to elect the same racist goober to the US Senate or not fight enough to get the asshole out of office. I am simply stunned that this racist motherfucker continues to live off taxpayers' dollars, and yet he is right about Michael Vick. Dog fighting is barbaric.

I am really uncomfortable about the fact that I have to agree with a cornpone-eating, banjo-playing former Klansman like Sen. Byrd.

I sincerely wish I could take the moral high ground and hope he sees the error of his ways, but I truly want to fucking cave in Michael Vick's skull in front of his family. I want him to die in ways that the Marquis de Sade would describe as "fucked up." I hope Michael Vick dies alone, destitute, and criminally insane with nobody to care for him and his only activity to pass the time being "Connect the Dots" with the track marks up and down his body.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What an Idiot

According to a ComputerWeekly.com article (via P2pnet.net), some dumbass cop in Japan installed Winny, a P2P application, on his computer, and was unaware of the fact that his computer and anything on it was being shared for one and all to see on the Winny network.


What's the damage? Over 6,600 documents have been compromised including interrogation reports and the locations of automatic license plate readers. It gets worse. The personal information of 12,000 individuals related to criminal investigations has also been compromised.

Oh lordy, it gets a LOT WORSE.

The names, addresses, and personal information of 400 members of the Yamaguchi-gumi, the oldest and largest Yakuza gang have also been compromised. Actually, "gang" is an understatement. The Yamaguchi-gumi are more of an empire, raking in billions in drugs, the sex industry (in Asia, that's saying a lot), stock market manipulation and lots more.

I am not condoning violence towards police, or endorsing organized crime, but considering what this idiot has done, I have a feeling he's not going to be around long enough to collect his unemployment checks.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What Would Frank Castle Do about Michael Vick?

This has been one of the hardest things for me to write about. I love animals. For any number of reasons - health, environmental, compassion - I have tried my damnedest to give up eating m meat or for that matter using anything harvested from an animal. This isn't exactly easy, but it is without question the compassionate thing to do.

I love a good barbeque. I was raised on a Korean dish called Bulgogi - thinly sliced, marinated beef. Give me some of that, rice, steamed bean sprouts, and some kimchee, and I'm happier than a pig in shit. But I'm trying to give that stuff up. Rather than get on my soapbox about why it's the right thing to do, I wanted to say that I am trying to do the right thing. So, when I see some stunningly evil piece of shit like Atlanta Falcons' Quarterback Michael Vick and what he's done to dogs, I have to think, "What would Frank Castle do?"

Frank Castle is one of my heroes. I know he's fictional, but as Marvel Comics' brutally cold and righteous anti-hero The Punisher, he does what we'd all love to do. Go ahead. Click on the link. I'll wait.

When we see someone who runs a criminal enterprise for years as well as knowingly infecting a woman with Herpes Simplex 2, what do you think someone like Frank Castle do? Michael Vick not only bet on dog fights, he (along with 3 other assholes) set up "Bad Newz Kennels" on his 15-acre property (valued at over $700,000) near Smithfield, Virginia. Bad Newz Kennels would bring dogs across state lines to fight in seclusion. On top of that, whatever dogs did not die in matches were executed by gunshot, electrcution, drowning, strangulation, and/or hanging.

On April 25th & 26th, 2007, police had raided his property and found overwhelming evidence including 60 dogs (including pit bulls) scarred up and in generally poor condition. For this alone, he and the three other assholes face $350,000 in fines and up to 6 years in prison if convicted. Additional state charges are being pursued, and this case has generated an overwhelming amount of public protest. I'd love to see Michael Vick and the three other people responsible for this travesty suffer like the same animals they saw suffer. I'd really love to see them die slowly, painfully and loudly. They did this to animals commonly thought of and feared as aggressive and deadly. The sad reality is that domesticated animals like dogs want nothing more than love. A little food, walking, playing, and a hug doesn't cost all that much, and the payback is a buddy for life. Dogs aren't born evil - it takes pathetic losers like Michael Vick to turn them into killing machines. How long will it take those surviving dogs to come to trust people again? Will they ever trust someone to be their buddy?

I can think of a lovely punishment for these guys involving epidurals, strategically placed mirrors, and wood chippers. This not being possible, we need to do whatever we can to make their lives an unending Hell. PETA has a petition that they're presenting to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. You can sign the petition here. Currently Michael Vick is still raking in a lot of dough from his deal with Nike. While the Air Zoom Vick V shoe was scheduled to be released from Nike this summer, they're holding off, and waiting until all he's enjoyed due process to determine if they should sever their relationship with him. This is not good enough. The Humane Society is currently running a petition they're sending to Nike CEO Michael Parker. You can sign it here. Inquire why the ASPCA and PETA aren't running similar petitions.

Make sure that Michael Vick and the rest of the Bad Newz Kennels receive the same compassion they showed dogs.

Giant Rubber Duckie Sighted in France, Godzilla Overjoyed at Lost Bathtub Buddy

It's takes a lot to distract me from some of the heinous acts against humanity committed by Bush & Cheney as well as comparatively minor things like drug abuse in sports, or more pervasive problems like how to repair the environment. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a fetal position. Most times, I get angry and go off on a rant about whatever is pissing me off and hopefully do something to help.

I still get depressed, and while I wouldn't normally care or notice a story about an art exhibition in France, one aspect of the Loire Estuaire 2007 almost brought a tear to my eye and made me feel like a kid. The same kid who believed in Santa Claus. The Loire Estuaire 2007 is an outdoor art exhibition along a 40-mile stretch of the Loire River from Saint-Nazaire to Nantes. It highlights work from 30 different artists across the globe. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has stood out with a piece that manages to cross cultural boundaries with the same sense of wonder, whimsy, innocence, and joy - his 105-foot tall rubber ducky.

Here's another shot to give you a better idea of the size.

Now you could try to go to Florentijn Hofman's website, but I'd be willing to bet good money that you're gonna get some kind of choked bandwidth error message. In a nutshell, this means that more people are visiting his site than his website host can accommodate. I sincerely hope that he gets significantly more bandwidth, because this is too precious and too delightful a creation to fade away into obscurity. While not everyone may not be familiar with Ernie's ode to his friend "Rubber Duckie" on "Sesame Street," Mr. Hofman's creation is unadulterated joy.

Mr. Hofman put it best on his website with this description:

"A yellow spot on the horizon slowly approaches the coast. People have gatherd and watch in amazement as a giant yellow Rubber Duck approaches. The spectators are greeted by the duck, which slowly nods its head. The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn't discriminate people and doesn't have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages! "

I'm sure the Rubber Duckie has growing legions of fans, and my girlfriend and I would dearly like to see him make a world tour. How cool would it be to see him putter by the Statue of Liberty? I thought that he should be named Peep after the marshmallow candy. This little bundle of joy can't go through life without a name, right?

If Jobs is greedy, what does that make Stringer?

One of the first things I do when I get up in the morning is to check the news on a handful of different tech sites like Endadget, Gizmodo, AppleInsider, as well as general news sites like CNN. I'm always stunned at the level of moronic stupidity some people when they open their mouths without considering their perspective and how their very position grossly undermines any credibility they may have.

Apparently there was a media conference in Sun Valley Idaho this week with a roundtable discussion led by Anderson Cooper. Among the panelists were the founders of Amazon (Jeff Bezos), Google (Sergey Brin), Media mogul Barry Diller, and Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's CEO. The focus of the panel was changes in multimedia delivery technology for entertainment and news. Sir Howard has a bug up his ass about Apple. This is not entirely surprising as Apple has questioned the use of DRM software and has taken great pains to appear as consumer-friendly as possible by trying to eliminate DRM through their iTunes service. Never mind Apple's FairPlay software or the fact that their CD-quality download options come tagged with your personal iTunes account info. In the event that you should hypothetically copy or distribute these tracks, you could be nailed for it.

So where was I? Oh yeah - Sir Howard's comments.

Sir Howard had called Apple Chairman Steve Jobs "greedy." He felt that it was disingenuous of Mr. Jobs to accuse record companies of being greedy because they want to get paid a percentage for music downloads. Sir Howard's basis for this accusation was that with the recent launch of the iPhone, Mr. Jobs wants a marketplace where only he makes money.

Let's take a look at a few facts, shall we? While Sony was one of the first companies to embrace digital media for music, they had used proprietary technology like SonicStage and the ATRAC codec. Any piece of Sony hardware that plays digital music defaults to ATRAC, and it usually comes with SonicStage as well. The only problem is that ATRAC and SonicStage suck. ATRAC file sizes may be smaller than other audio codecs, but Sony has been grossly reluctant to embrace other standards and hardware from competitors. To be fair, this was not on Sir Howard's Watch. At the time ATRAC came out, Sir Howard was busy as CBS President. He had his hands full getting David Letterman to move from NBC to CBS.

Also to be fair, Sony has their hands full with a really shitty couple of years. Sony laptop batteries have been known to overheat and catch fire. Immediately before the PlayStation3 came out, Sony was the proverbial 800-lb gorilla in the video game market. Thanks to the raging success of the PlayStation2, and the launch of the PSP (PlayStation Portable), Sony was riding the gravy train with biscuit wheels. The PS3 was supposed to be not only a shitkicker of a video game system, it was supposed to be the new center of home entertainment with next-gen Blu-Ray DVD playback. The problem was an exorbitant pricetag, gross hardware shortages, underwhelming software - shit I could go on, but for now, let's focus on Sir Howard.

Sony has all but a stranglehold on life. While they make some products that live up to their hype, It is grossly hypocritical of Sir Howard to bitch about Apple getting a larger share of consumers' wallets. Sony Ericsson phones, Walkmen, TVs, DVD players, Vaio computers, software, video games, toys, music, and movies are just some of the examples of Sony's penetration into our lives. Am I complaining? Hell no. Apple is trying to get as big a piece of your wallet as they can. This is simple marketing. If you have any doubts as to this fact, try your best to dislodge your heads from the sand.

I absolutely love my PS2, but if Sir Howard is going to go on record making inflammatory remarks about ANYONE much less alone a competitor, he better damn well be able to take the heat. Apparently Sir Howard lacks the courage to even stand by his remarks, because when Anderson Cooper and Barry Diller called him on his statement at the panel, Sir Howard backed away from his jab at Steve Jobs. And what the Hell is with his Knighthood? Maybe I'm being overly romantic about this, but I thought that a British subject was knighted for their service to or defense of the British Empire. If making sure that I can get "TJ Hooker, Volume 1" on DVD is a suitable defense of Balmoral, then all I have to say is "God Save the Queen."

Monday, July 9, 2007

Impeach Bush and Cheney

I've been trying hard to turn over a new leaf and try not to be as angry as I have in the past, but every so often, I get monumentally pissed off, and I remember why I wanted to blog in the first place. President Bush's commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence reveals his contempt for the American public and his gross understimation of what we are capable of. It isn't enough that Libby was conviced for his part in the treasonous crime of revealing the identity of a CIA operative. It isn't enough that we will probably never see all the guilty parties be convicted and punished for their part in this crime. Bush assumes that we are just as stupid as him because some of us voted for him, and that we won't instinctively know that something is heinously wrong here.

I wasn't qute sure how to put it into words, but thankfully Big Jonny over at DrunkCyclist threw up a link to Keith Olbermann's special commentary on "Countdown" from 7/3/2007. I thought Mr. Olbermann was just another sports journalist who made a career change to be taken more seriously.

I'd like to take a brief moment to apologise to Mr. Olbermann for grossly underestimating him. He has perfectly captured my disgust with Dubya. Instead of going for the easy shots, Mr. Olbermann exemplified the kind of grace under fire that one would expect of a seasoned diplomat perpetually thrust into crises. He starts his commentary with a quote from a grand American hero, and he ends his piece with the five simple words of another American hero. "Edward R. Murrow's iconic "Good night and good luck." have rarely been more poignant than as the coda to Mr. Olbermann's impassioned plea to Bush and Cheney to resign.