Monday, October 29, 2007

More reasons to fear a Giuliani administration

Today we have even more information on Rudy and his authoritarian tendencies from that wild-eyed democracy-loving, radical anti-authoritarian, Dr. Steven Taylor over at Poliblog. Check it out!

All joking aside, it is a serious issue and something that potential voters should make themselves acutely aware of before casting their votes.

Quote of the day

This quote doesn't come from one of those massive quotation database site, but from another blogger, Matthew at Like Cooking a Small Fish. The quote comes from his post that explains the name of the blog.
The story of the 20th century might well be that despite our self-conception as rational beings, most “rational” plans for ordering society produced undesirable results, whereas stable political and economic outcomes were generally obtained naturally and democratically, without constant top-down control.
The quote originally caught my attention because it uses the word "rational", but I really think he makes an excellent point about the importance of democracy and the limitations of rational action. Maybe in a democracy, the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

h/t: Poliblog

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Truth in advertising?

Tonight for dinner we had the stuffed flounder pictured below. I just had to share what I thought was amusing.

The front of the package says "Proudly Made in the USA" (I know it's a little blurry, but I did the best I could).

Then when you turn the package over, you get the punchline, so to speak.

It says "Product of China, Further Processed in USA." Somehow that just doesn't seem like something that should be allowed to bill itself as "Made in the USA". What do you think?

More TV News

This should come as no surprise to anyone who struggled through watching the first episode of Viva Laughlin, the show was canceled after only 2 episodes. I have to think that if the show had debuted in its intended normal time slot and the next episode had been a week away instead of just 3 days away it wouldn't have made it to two episodes. I really hadn't intended to watch the show at all, but I was out of town and in the hotel room for the night and wanted to stay up to watch the local news. The musical-type nature of the show was something I couldn't imagine would last. There was a point when my husband thought that the two cops were going to bust out into song, but thankfully they did not. It was just so totally lame and the main character was such an ass, I would have been greatly surprised if it had lasted any longer than it did.

My thoughts on Bionic Woman

I finally got around to watching Wednesday's episode of Bionic Woman (full episodes available here). It is probably my favorite episode so far. As I was watching it I was thinking that I liked it better but I couldn't put a finger on why. Then about 3/4 of the way through it I realized what it was: no Sarah Corvus. In the last episode or so I've just felt like Sarah confused the storyline instead of adding anything positive to it. I don't have anything against Katee Sackhoff and I think the character of Sarah could be an asset to the show if they could ever decide how they want to play it. Until they do, however, I'd be happy for them to keep her written out.

Another thing I liked about this episode was the fact that there were not problems with the bionics. She's brand new for heaven's sake, just let her use the bionics and discover all that she can do. If they want to have the bionics start failing, they should really wait till the end of the season and have it be some kind of cliff hanger. I feel like they are doing it at this stage to try to make some sense of what they've done with the Sarah character, but it really just isn't working for me.

I do still have a few issues with the writing in this episode. They just make Jaime seem so naive. It would seem to me that someone with her life experiences wouldn't be quite so trusting at this point in her life.

Also, the scene with Antonio and the terrorist currier in the apartment didn't seem too realistic to me either. If he was willing to kill an American citizen just because he knew about bionics, it seems unlikely to me that he would be so understanding of a terrorist who is doing what he's does because his family was killed.

There is definitely some moral ambiguity in the practices of the company that Jaime now works for, but that doesn't really bother me at this point. It is sorta like HRG (Claire's dad) on Heroes. Sometimes he seems like a bad guy and you are rooting against him and then the next thing you know you are rooting for him. I think that is how the company is going to be on here too. I think it is illustrative of the ambiguities in real life. No one is all good or all bad.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

FOX News and the "Don't Tase Me Bro" video

On Thursday I was at a local auto dealership having my new car serviced. I was waiting in the waiting room reading a book while they serviced the car. Like most local establishments in my hometown that show news channels, the television was tuned to FOX News (Ugh!). I was generally trying to ignore the TV and read, but then a news story came on about the "Don't tase me bro" incident in Florida and it caught my attention. The story was about the fact that the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement had found that officers to be within their rights to use a taser on the student (Andrew Meyer). As part of the story they replayed the latter part of the video where Meyer is being dragged off and then shocked with the taser. The news caster (I don't know who he was, but it was around 10:15ish in the morning) who was telling the story commented that he could just watch that video all day long and commented that Meyer should have "taken it like a man" instead of yelling like that. I was thoroughly disgusted. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the video (or are just like the news caster and enjoy watching it) here is the whole video:

Now I know that the video went viral and obviously many, many people enjoyed watching it, but I certainly couldn't imagine watching it all day long or even over and over multiple times. And particularly the tasing scene is something I don't want to watch again. What strikes me about the commentary is that if that guy were to be tased I have a hard time imagining that he would "take it like a man". My guess is that he would be suing the cops that did it just like Meyer is doing.

Now I can see that Meyer was over stepping the bounds a bit with his questioning (or his introductory commentary as it were), but John Kerry said that he wanted to answer the question. Plus, if his commentary was totally out of bounds then people like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh ought to be tased as well. They talk over people and make wild accusations all the time. If anyone who is rude or just has ideas that conflict with the mainstream should be arrested and tased then shouldn't we all just get to walk around with tasers all the time and tase most everyone we see?

It seems to me that if Meyer wants to be a journalist some day he is going to have to refine his questioning skills, but it hardly seemed like behavior that deserved being arrested for. Plus, if they weren't arresting him for it, how could he be charged with resisting arrest?

Friday, October 26, 2007

For anyone who mistakenly thought the CIA was made up of civilized human beings. . .

Via the BBC - Lock of "Che's" hair sold at Dallas auction
A lock of socialist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara's hair and related items were auctioned on Thursday in Dallas to a Houston-area bookstore owner for the very capitalist sum of $119,500 (52,000 pounds).

[. . .]

The curious collection had belonged to Gustavo Villoldo, 71, a former CIA operative who helped hunt Guevara down in the jungles of Bolivia in 1967 and who claims he cut off the lock before burying the guerrilla fighter with two of his comrades.

[. . .]

A scrapbook containing what Heritage says are previously unpublished photos of the dead guerrilla went with the hair. One shows a group of rag-tag soldiers brandishing rifles and standing proudly around his corpse like hunters posing with a trophy. Others show his corpse propped up, eyes wide open.

And Europeans had the gaul to say that Native Americans were savages for taking scalps over a century ago. Well, tell me how this is any different. But then again, what's more civilized than taking "fun" pictures with a dead guy? Puleez!

H/T: Yvette via e-mail

Friday, October 12, 2007

12 years and counting!

Today is my 12th wedding anniversary and I couldn't be happier. I'm married to a wonderful man who loves me dearly and whom I love dearly.

I looked back at my post from today a year ago and I am happy to report that today is indeed a much better day. No trips to the hospital for tests and no soccer games to get kids to. I don't even have to go to work today. In addition to that, it is a beautiful fall day with nice fall-like temperatures. I couldn't ask for a better day to celebrate my anniversary on.

Today we are again planning to have a nice quiet dinner for two in Montgomery. We are actually planning to spend most of the afternoon in Montgomery today. We were going to stop in and visit some friends, but since they are a little under the weather today, we will have to miss out on our visit, but I still anticipate a very nice day.

And the Nobel Peace Prize goes to. . .

Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Via WaPo - Gore, U.N. Body Win Nobel Peace Prize
Former vice president Al Gore and a United Nations panel that monitors climate change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for their work educating the world about global warming and pressing for political action to control it.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee characterized Gore as "the single individual who has done most" to convince world governments and leaders that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and poses a grave threat. Gore has focused on the issue through books, promotional events and his Academy Award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."
And if, like me, you are wondering what global climate change has to do with world peace, here's your answer:
As with last year's award to Bangladeshi banker Muhammad Yunus, whose pioneering use of small loans to the very poor contributes to the stability of developing nations, this year's prize focused on an issue not directly involving war and peace, but seen as critical to maintaining social stability.
I have to say that there is something a little ironic about the fact that the man who won the office of President in 2000 started a war and the one who lost the office won the Nobel Peace Prize. Interesting.

Voluntary Infant Cold Medication Recall

If you have small children (under the age of 6) you should check out this list of recalled infant cold medicines from Consumer Healthcare Products Association. It is especially important for children under 2 but also affects children up to age 5.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Don't send your toddler to Arkansas

Via CNN - Misplaced 'not' in Arkansas law allows babies to marry
An error in a new law that allows Arkansans of any age -- even toddlers -- to marry with parental consent must be fixed by lawmakers, not an independent commission authorized to correct typos, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The law, which took effect July 31, was intended to establish 18 as the minimum age to marry, while also allowing pregnant minors to marry with parental consent.

An extraneous "not" in the bill, however, allows anyone who is not pregnant to marry at any age if the parents allow it.
I just couldn't resist clicking on that headline. As it turns out, the law could stand until 2009. So if you just happen to have a toddler you want to marry-off, now's your chance.

I'm Mystique

Your results:
You are Mystique

Mr. Freeze
Poison Ivy
Dark Phoenix
Dr. Doom
The Joker
Lex Luthor
Green Goblin
Sometimes motherly, sometimes a beautiful companion, but most of the time a deceiving vixen.

Click here to take the "Which Super Villain are you?" quiz...

H/T: PoliSciFi

Well, at least he's tall

If you are not a big fan of Republican Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson, then you have to read this Op-Ed column by Gail Collins in the NYT. This was one of my favorite parts:
But at least the Democrats who nominated Kerry did not imagine that they were choosing him for his down-home personality. What exactly is the point of Fred Thompson? He once got elected to the Senate by driving around Tennessee in a red truck (which, critics carped, he ditched as soon as he was out of sight of the last voter).

He persuaded people that his opponent was wrong when he claimed Thompson was nothing but a “Gucci-wearing, Lincoln-driving, Perrier-drinking, Grey Poupon-spreading millionaire Washington special interest lobbyist.” Of course, that was some time ago, and things have changed. Thompson is now a Gucci-wearing, Lincoln-driving, Perrier-drinking, Grey Poupon-spreading millionaire Washington special interest lobbyist and actor.
It is not especially informative, but it is awfully funny.

However, if Thompson is YOUR MAN, then move on along, there's nothing for you to see here.