To Punish And Enslave

Via Reason: Hit & Run:
This is what happens when you try to videotape your neighbor’s warrantless search and arrest in Portland:
http://www.brightcove.tv/playerswf
The moral to the story? I’m not sure… but the complete and total abuse of force by the State (see previous post on Blackwater, see the “Don’t Tase Me, Bro!” kid a week or two ago) are starting to get more and more common.
It’s worth pointing out, at the very least, that these sorts of abuses of authority, attacks on civilians by the ruling powers-that-be, attempts to control foreign lands, etc., were pretty prevalent in the late eighteenth century. And it didn’t turn out so well for the bastards, then, either.
I’m not, at all, advocating violent overthrow of the government (that, my friends, would be a crime). However, I’m not ashamed or afraid to predict it. Neither party has a great track record on this front (the Red Team has Iraq, the Patriot Act, and Guantanamo Concentration Camp X-Ray… the Blue Team had Waco, Ruby Ridge, and others), so don’t look to “the 2008 Election Cycle” to solve all your problems. It’s not going to.
It’s going to come down to, eventually, the population getting seriously pissed off at its leaders in both parties, and voting the bastards out whenever they try that crap, or it’s going to come to an American Revolution style showdown… and the verdict really isn’t in, for me, as to which outcome is more likely.
(Title is a reference to the paint job on the Decepticon “police-car” named Barricade from the Transformers movie)

Why Homeschooling Is On The Rise

Take this situation from my old home town…
A sixth grade boy asks a fellow sixth-grade girl to go out. Girl’s ex-boyfriend, and five other sixth-graders, hatch a plot to literally slash the boy’s throat. They build little weapons out of the blades from pencil sharpeners and come up with a whole plan to isolate him from other people, surround him, and then slice his throat open to kill him.
The kids are suspended, put on trial, get probation essentially (WTF on the judicial system there), but then — are sent right back to school with their fellow students the following fall (now).
The victim is positively scared to go to school. Go figure. He’s going to private school now. Who’s paying for it? His own parents, because the school district insists there’s no danger. Other parents are scared for their kids’ lives, and those kids are scared to go to school as well. No fucking shit, man, especially since they’re too young to be allowed to carry concealed for self-defense. *grin*
What amazes me about all of this is how fucked up the priorities of school districts are…. You don’t have to hunt hard to find stories of kids who were sent-home, suspended, or expelled, because their attire was “disruptive to the educational process” (read there, “it annoyed the old people”). Never mind that 99% of their fellow students probably wouldn’t even have noticed or cared, it was disruptive, damn it.
But students having a real, legitimate, founded, fear for their lives from their psychotic fellow students? No, that’s not disruptive! Those psycho-kids have, and I quote from the article:

[Superintendent] Rhau said the children involved in the plot deserve an education and a chance to move on with their lives.

How come that logic doesn’t apply to those kids who occasionally have a piece of profanity on their shirt? Or wear some shirt that’s got divisive political speech on it? Seriously, if the educational process is so important, so sacrosanct, that conspiracy-to-commit-murder can’t be allowed to interfere with it, then someone needs to explain to me how a shirt that says “Meet me at 4:20”, or “Impeach Bush”, or even “Fuck The Police” is somehow fair game for denying the educational process to a kid.
If you ever needed concrete proof that the public school system is simply fucked up beyond repair and needs dissolution, this is it.
(Contact Info: Richard Rhau, Superintendent, 845-247-6500)

Oh, No! Male-on-Male Lip Contact!

Via IMDB News, although I’m sure it’s just a feed from somewhere:

The Snickers ad that ran during last month’s Super Bowl in which two mechanics munching at each end of a candy bar end up mouth to mouth and then register their disgust, offended not only gays but also religious conservatives, it turns out. The Smoking Gun website on Monday posted numerous complaints filed with the FCC over the ad. One wrote of feeling “violated” by the ad, writing “God knows, I didn’t turn on the superbowl [sic] expecting to be tricked into watching gay sex.” Another wrote that the spot violated “our religious beliefs and exposes our children to obscene and disgusting material they are taught are wrong.” Other letter writers complained about Prince’s performance during halftime likening it to gay porn. In all, the FCC received about 150 complaints about the telecast — a far cry from the tens of thousands of letters that rained down on the commission in the wake of the Janet Jackson “Nipplegate” scandal three years ago.

First, is this the best the homophobic right has to send to do battle for television decency? People who can’t differentiate between “two clearly straight men who accidentally kiss” and “gay sex”?
I understand that it’s been previously established as a matter of law that “oral sex is sex”, but I’m not aware of anyone anywhere in the world that categorizes “kissing” as “oral sex”. If the ultraconservative freakazoids who write the FCC do, well, seriously, I’m forced to wonder if their significant others are really all that satisfied.
And, what the hell, dude? A commercial spot “violated your religious beliefs”?!!? Christ, every Sunday morning I see hours upon hours of programming which “violates my religious beliefs”. I think that talking about a guy nailed to two boards up on a hill is disgusting, and I don’t think children should be exposed to that kind of graphic imagery on television every Sunday morning, but you don’t see me writing the FCC about it. What I do is change the fucking channel.
But now I’m actually seriously considering surfing the web every Sunday morning, and pointing out every time I see the use of a crucifix with some guy nailed to it and say “Hey, man, that type of torture is R-rated level material! Get that shit into the late-night hours where kids can’t see it!” You should too. Let’s start a letter-writing campaign to get the graphic imagery, and the shows which “violate our religious views” out of Sunday morning television. Put that crap on cable where it belongs: CNJN – Conservative Nut Job Network

Fuck The Grammy Awards

As I commented to D last night, “I love the Grammy awards. They’re an excellent reminder to me each year of how much I loathe and despise the state of the music industry.”
Of all the live performances, there were really only two that I liked: Gnarls Barkley’s rendition of Crazy, and the opening song by the Satan-Is-Now-Ice-Skating-To-Work Reunion of The Police.
Now, what clinched it for me — what burned into my heart an absolute hatred for all things Grammy — is the fact that they were only given a one-song set. Carrie Underwood? Three songs for her — hell there was about fifteen minutes there where it stopped being an award show and just became a Carrie Underwood/Rascal Flatts concert night. Mind you that there’s no evidence Ms. Underwood will have any kind of long-term staying power, she could be flash-in-the-pan gone in two years. Who knows?
Justin Timberlake? Yeah, he was on for three songs. I understand that the Boy Band Refugee is all the hip rage these days, but c’mon. Did we really need three songs by him?
Oh, and the clincher? “Whoever that random chick off the fucking street was”? Yeah, she got TWO fucking songs. Yeah, that’s right. Some no-talent assclown off the fucking street got to do more songs than a reunion of The Police. What the fuck is that about? Some chick who – literally – the only people who know her name are her family gets more airtime than a band who literally defined music for part of a decade?
I wanted to walk away and go do something – anything – on the computer for hours, but I sat through hours of tripe hoping beyond hope that, well, since they’re bringing performers back later in the evening (Justin and Mary J. Blige both did “repeat performances” hours after their original stint), that maybe they would close with some Police tunes or something. But, nope, no love for the Police.
So, that’s it. I’m done. Next year, I’ll just let D watch them on her own. Fuck ’em.

Wow Does The New Yahoo!TV Suck Fetid Moose Balls or What?

tv.yahoo.com has been one of the few Yahoo services that they had left well-enough alone with. The front page UI had some basic information, a schedule-grid for most of the major-networks for the prime-time period, and was an excellent resource for just going there “quick to see what’s on TV tonight.”
But, like all things Yahoo that don’t completely suck, they’re not content if they’re not ruining it, so some product designers got their hands on it, and now if you go there, you will get “Yahoo!TV Beta”. Unlike with Yahoo!Mail and others, though, there’s no way to say “Let me continue to use the non-suck-ass interface as long as possible please.”
What are the specific complaints?

  1. The front-page no longer has a really convenient schedule grid.
    It used to have a prime-time schedule grid, in static HTML, that was infinitely useful. Wanted to see what was on for the entire prime-time window on the major networks? You don’t even have to sign in, it’s just right there — useful. Now, you get this … abomination… that only shows you like 90 minutes worth of TV, and instead of prominent placement “above-the-fold” where it’s useful, it’s buried down on the second page of the site so you have to go looking for it. Very un-useful.
  2. The Ajax interface to the “regular” listings page is retarded.
    Alright, so let’s go look at the “big grid”, customized to my needs…

    This is after I’ve slid the little pointer-thing to something that “looks close” to what I want. So it’ll start at 9:00. However, 8-9pm is in prime-time. Can I slide that bar back just a smidge so it’ll show me 8-11pm instead of 9-midnight? Short Answer: Nope. The granularity appears to be that the shortest move to the left that I can achieve will move the bar so that the window shows 6-9pm. In other words, because they want it all to just be nice clean “three hour window segments”, they’ve completely gimped the interface so that it’s impossible to see “prime-time”. Also, you can’t easily even see “what’s coming on from now forward?” For example, right now it’s 8:10 in the morning. What do I see on the screen?

    Yeah, because I care so much about what was on from 6-8 that it I would gladly give up the ability to see what’s coming up in order to know what I already missed. And, again, like primetime, if I’d like to see “from 8am-11am”, I’m shit outta luck.
    Wanna know what’s going to be on when you get home at 4:30 this afternoon? Yeah, you’re shit outta luck, too. Have fun hopping back and forth left and right in their interface.

Anyone got any suggestions for places a guy can go to answer the simple question “what’s on TV tonight?” without having to leap through stupid hoops to get the useful data?

Pies Are Dangerous — But We’d Like To Feed Them To Our Soldiers

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has an article which says:

“In the last two days, we have taken a dozen baked pies,” he said.
Pie filling apparently is banned from carry-on luggage, too. But the pies didn’t go to waste. They were taken to the airport’s United Service Organizations lounge, where soldiers passing through can relax and eat.

Wow… where to begin?
First, if the pies are so dangerous, and might be a threat, why aren’t they being destroyed in a secure facility?
Second, if you’re going to feed them to anyone, why would it be the soldiers? I mean, after all, aren’t they the ones you should be shielding from this extremely hazardous threat?
Personally, I think it looks a lot like the following, teeny-tiny minor little clause to the Constitution has been violated:
Amendment V… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation …
Seems to me that by confiscating them — and then using them as a food product for other people (e.g., consumption by others, as opposed to simple destruction) — the private property has been taken for public use, and everyone who had a pie taken in Cleveland airport is due a check for the fair market value of the pies.

I Wish I Was Someone’s Boss…

… so I could fire them if they didn’t show up to work on Monday.
I just wish they’d stop calling it “A Day Without Immigrants”, since they’re trying to also sucker American “supporters” and students to join in.
Why are they doing that? Because the ones we’ll really miss are the ones who are here legally, doing really productive work and making good on the American dream — legally.
Nobody will notice if some shit-job doesn’t get done for a day, and that “nobody noticing” doesn’t make for good headlines.