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    Wednesday, May 31, 2006

    Blog Motto

    The new blog motto was spoken, then sung, sometime during last Saturday's poker night. Not really remembering how we got to it, but the conversation it sprang out of began as such:

    Side Notes: Every year my grandmother puts out

    Tanman and Dweeze (interrupting simultaneously): Your grandmother puts out?

    Greenman: Should have seen that coming

    I Am Dweeze

    I am Dweeze, destroyer of tadpole nation. I am Dweeze, whose name in the ancient tadpole language means “Cleaner of the Pool.” Tadpole wives grieve for their husbands lost in the pool attack of 2006. Tadpole mothers mourn sons they outlived. Tadpole children ache for fathers they will never see again.

    I am Dweeze.

    Somewhere, wherever the tadpole war crimes tribunal sits, they are writing a bill of particulars against me. My main crime is chemical warfare, dumping eight gallons of liquid chlorine into what was once a thriving tadpole metropolis. This chemical attack wiped out an entire tadpole colony, leaving no survivors.

    I am Dweeze.

    My name will be used to frighten future generations of tadpole children. Lamentations will be sung, horror stories told, nightmares created due to my efforts.

    I am Dweeze.

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Chatting With Barbaro

    Via Deadspin, here’s a link to a chat robot that pretends to be Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Here is a chat I did:

    Q - What was it like working with Gabe Kaplan on Welcome Back Kotter?
    A - Much the same as working with Gabe Kaplan on Welcome Back Kotter would be for you.

    Q - Oops, I'm sorry. That was Barbarino. Who are you again?

    A - Oh. Do you really mean it? I thought it was too. Once more? I am Barbaro. Who are you?

    Q - Dweeze. I am Dweeze.

    A - I lost my train of thought. What are you wearing? Good gossip: you are Dweeze.

    Q - Why do you want to know what I am wearing? What kind of sicko are you?

    A - My prime directive is to collect new knowledge. What kinds of sicko are you are there?

    Q - The usual kind. You know, tentacle hentai.

    A - Is that a fact. I know very little about tentacle hentai. Tell me more.

    Q - Well, it's, uhm. Well. Can we talk about something else?

    A - How about that. Really. uhm is? Well what? Sure we can talk about whatever you want.

    Q - Who do you like in the Belmont?

    A - It's going to be a tough race for me. It's a little farther than I'm used to.

    Q - That and the whole broken ankle thing...

    A - Let us try to break it down into parts.

    Q - Too late for that, huh? Know what I mean?

    A - Yup. Too what? Oh I get it. Thanks for explaining that. What.

    Q - You know what they say, a nudge is as good as a wink to a blind horse...

    A - That's a good question. OK I will say "a nudge is as good as a wink to a blind horse" to you.

    Q - You're with me, Brittle Ankles...

    A - I will tell my botmaster you said I am with me Brittle Ankles.

    Q - I'm sure he or she will appreciate that. Bye now!

    A - I get it. User or she will appreciate that. Right now? Thanks for chatting, User.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Chicks Coming Home To Roost

    The new Dixie Chicks cd, Taking The Long Way, was released today. Buy it. You'll be glad you did. Pick up the Wreckers Stand Still - Look Pretty too, while you're at it.

    Chicks Coming Home To Roost

    The new Dixie Chicks cd, Taking The Long Way, was released today. Buy it. You'll be glad you did. Pick up the Wreckers Stand Still - Look Pretty too, while you're at it.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Chickens Coming Home To Roost

    You know, the chickenhawk line really seems to work young conservatives up. The following is a transcript of a conversation between Randi Rhodes and Ben Ferguson, a young conservative pundit.

    RHODES: Listen, you should be in Iraq. You’re 22. When I was 22, I was in the military. Why aren’t you there?

    FERGUSON: I’m 24 years old.

    RHODES: Why aren’t you there? Then go.

    FERGUSON: And just because I support something doesn’t mean I have to always go fight.

    RHODES: You go. You go. Go ahead. You go and then you come back because you know what happens when we come back?

    FERGUSON: I support the Yankees doesn’t mean I wear their uniform.

    Here’s what I would have said back. First, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he meant to say “Just because I support the Yankees doesn’t mean I wear their uniform.”

    Here’s the thing. You can’t join the New York Yankees. You can’t. There isn’t a local New York Yankees recruiting office where you can go, fill out the paperwork, take a physical, pass the intelligence tests, and then join the Yankees.

    On the other hand, you can join the Army. Or the Navy. Or any of the other divisions of the Armed Services. If you are of the proper age range for military service, there is a local recruiting office where you can go, fill out the paperwork, take the physical, pass the intelligence tests, and then join the military. Now I can understand why the physical and the intelligence tests might scare you off. I understand that completely. But they are getting pretty lenient about that stuff these days. Hell, there was an episode in Oregon recently where a recruiter got an autistic kid to sign up and then, when his parents complained, the recruiter refused to release him from the commitment. So, if they will take an autistic kid, I’m sure they will take you.

    Here’s the further thing, the reason for the chickenhawk appellation. If you truly believe that the threat posed by Islamofascism is the greatest threat facing our country, and you are of proper age to serve in the military, and you choose not to do so, you choose not to face the greatest threat posed to our country, then, well, the word that comes to mind first is coward.

    Quote Of The Day

    From the Rude Pundit:

    Watching the President is a little like watching the last marathon runner at the Special Olympics. Gosh and darn, you want the limping fella to make it to the finish line, but mostly we just want him to give up so we can go home and get on with our lives.

    Strange Days Indeed

    So I'm driving home at noon the other day, going down Front Street. In the distance I can see a woman pushing a stroller and walking an animal on a leash. As I get closer, I can tell that she is older, somewhat heavyset, and that the animal on the leash is a cat. As I get even closer, I can tell that there are two more cats in the stroller. And as I drive past her, I see she is wearing a bay carrier with a fourth cat in it.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    For Your Reading Pleasure

    It’s been a while since I linked to him, but John Rogers has a great post about the NSA scandal. Here’s a nice long section from near the end.

    Oh, and to save some time in the Comments section:Comment: You can't ask the President to protect us, and then not let him do his job!

    Answer: There is nothing stopping the President from doing his job. That law may well be the easiest law in the world to follow, subject to the loosest court in the land. To boil it down mathematically, if you had an arrangement by which you could fuck other women, then three days later tell your wife, and 98% of the time your wife said "Sure, whatever," you would still be working under stricter rules than the FISA law.

    To extend the metaphor, if you told me you can not get laid enough under that relationship, I can only surmise that is because you are up to some very, very dodgy stuff. The legal equivalent of furries. Trek Furries. Scat Trek Furries. With Electro.

    Comment: "This is no big deal, and you have to trust the people in power to do the right thing."

    Answer: Ahem. The entire FUCKING POINT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS THAT YOU DON'T "JUST TRUST SOMEONE" BECAUSE THEY ARE IN POWER. Thomas Jefferson would stab you in the neck with a spoon if he heard you say that.On a more specific note, there may be some Administrations I would barely consider trusting with this sort of behaviour. The one with Karl Rove in it? Not so much. Even if there's no malice aforethought, these are the people who fucked up New Orleans. These are the people who fucked up Iraq. They are just very bad at their jobs. If they were at least efficient, I would sleep better. As far as I know, a list of all my phone calls are currently sitting in a dumpster next to the name of the guy carrying the nuclear football.

    Comment: "We need to catch the bad guys, and anything is worth --"

    Answer: Have you secured the ports yet? Secured the chemical plants? Figured out a way to scan all the luggage on US flights? Worked out the kinks in the retarded "No Fly" list? Started buying up some of the 2,000 loose nukes in Russia? Gotten first responders the equipment they need in case of emergency? Fixed FEMA and Homeland Security? Caught Osama Bin Laden? Tell you what, nail down the jobs that don't require you to wipe your ass with the Constitution first.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    The Evolution Of Dance

    Via Side Notes, who is, by the way, a very fine poker player. Are we playing this week?

    Be sure to watch with sound on.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Etiquette Question

    What's the appropriate number of times to thank someone for sending you information? That is, I requested several pieces of data about printing capabilities from a colleague. The colleague responded with three separate emails. Do I say "Thanks!" three times? Or just once? I'm leaning towards once, but don't want to offend.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    The Wages of Fear

    Matt has a great post up about fear and how it has driven the country. Nice post. Within in it, he quotes a Bush supporter.

    First, you need to understand my one fundamental assumption: that Islamic Fundamentalism must be stopped now, and that any price we pay now will be less than the price we pay if we do not confront immediately and aggressively....

    Going back to my fundamental assumption, you have to understand that I feel we're in a time where we may have to do a great many shitty things to come out of this alive. You're worried about moral high ground, and I'm worried about Americans everywhere still being able to suck oxygen.Any temporal, ethical, or spiritual price we pay will be terrible, but it will be infinitely less terrible than the price we have to pay if we continue to ignore the wolves at our door. All in all, it would seem that my willingness to do the exact opposite of what I was taught would make me a pretty poor Christian. I'm not happy about that, but I accept it. If it means that the next generation can finally have a chance to grow up in an era without fear, then I'll support any number of ruthless deeds without hesitation.

    Two problems here. First, this shows a basic misunderstanding of Islam and the threat posed by Bin Laden and his forces. Simply put, there is no monolithic Islamic threat looking to tear down the west. None. Never has been. Our actions, including torture and abuse, have done far more to grow the size of the threat against us than anything Bin Laden ever did. W. is the single biggest recruiter for Islamic terrorism in the history of the world. He couldn't have done more to create and incite an enemy against us if he had tried.

    Second, the statement shows a glaring lack of knowledge of U.S. history. There has never been a generation to grow up without fear, and there will never be a generation to grow up without fear. Further, the threat we currently face is nowhere near as significant as threats we have faced in the past, and yet we didn't have to resort to these sorts of measures (at least not on this scale) to prevail. There are no wolves at the door, at least not any wolves more dangerous or more frightening than the wolves that have been at the door in the past. For just one example, no one with any sense or knowledge of history can reasonably claim that the threat from Islamic terrorist is greater than the threat of nuclear destruction posed during the Cold War. And yet we didn’t completely abandon our principles and freedoms to fight that threat. We didn’t need to; we don’t need to now.

    Further, it’s not just that going against what you were taught is proper conduct makes you a bad Christian, it also makes you a bad American. The freedoms and rights in the U.S. Constitution don’t just make America different from other nations – these are the things that make us the greatest of all nations. How can one sell out these freedoms and rights and still make a claim to being an American? There is no America without them.

    Shortly after 9-11, the popular statement was that the terrorists hated us for our freedoms. It's not true, obviously not true. It was our actions, not our beliefs, that made us a target. (Let me insert the mandatory disclaimer that our actions around the globe did not justify the attacks on 9-11.) The past few years have shown that the people who truly hate our freedoms are the Administration and their supporters. But if the terrorists truly hated us for our freedoms, wouldn't we want to do all we can to support and celebrate and encourage and protect those freedoms? If they truly hate us for our freedoms, isn't restricting or eliminating those freedoms actually a form of caving in to the terrorists?