Sunday, February 27, 2005

One Boob, Two Boobs --
The Razzie winners are out: worst actor and actress are George W. Bush for Fahrenheit 9/11 and Halle Berry for Catwoman.
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Friday, February 25, 2005

Worst Lawsuit Ever? --
According to this story:

Phillips accuses Dr. Sharon Irons of a "calculated, profound personal betrayal" after their affair six years ago, saying she secretly kept semen after they had oral sex, then used it to get pregnant.

In arguing, the principals of the case refer to sperm as property or as a gift. There is something wrong with an attempt to turn everything into a matter of property rights.

Property rights are not the end of government, nor are they the most important rights on the books. Government exists primarily to protect human beings. Property rights, being able to own a roof to keep you safe and the means to earn a living, should be protected only so far as they don't interfere with a basic right to life. If a man's home is his castle, then government is obligated to warm up the siege engines in the case of a clear, direct threat to life.

And what is with the need to label everything property? It seems a bit anal retentive to insist that everything must belong to someone. And then, they have to come up with the semi-bogus concept of "intellectual property." I suppose that IP is a useful term to describe a group of non-corporeal things that are similar, but equating it fully with physical property is going a bit too far. Yes, IP does require some protection, but not to the current extent (though IP rights need not be rolled back as far as the Slashdot crowd wishes).

But, man, I'd hate to have to be the judge who has to claim: "She asserts that when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift - an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee. There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request."
(11:33 PM) 2 comments

Bad things come in threes, they say --
First Dutch Boyd says his girlfriend broke up with him (after a manic episode sent him to the hospital), now Daniel Negreanu has broken off his engagement.

So poker fans, who is the next player to have a failed relationship?
(4:00 AM) 0 comments

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

On Hunter S. Thompson --
I've never read anything by the recently deceased Thompson. In online chat, Howard Kurtz discussed Thompson thuss:

Washington, D.C.: Hiya Howard
Thanks for having the chat. I think journalism lost a gem Sunday with the passing of Hunter S. Thompson. His acerbic wit and no holds barred manner of writing made his prose race across the page. You couldn't devour his articles and stories fast enough. Do you see a place for someone of his tenor in today's magazines or features? I am afraid with his passing we may not see the likes of him again. There does not appear to be anyone on the horizon to speak as he spoke. Whaddya think?

Howard Kurtz: We're not allowed to do drugs anymore. One of those annoying corporate media rules.
(1:07 AM) 0 comments

Friday, February 18, 2005

Self-Assessment Is Good --
According to Daily Kos:

Today, while teaching an Internet Activist Seminar, Mike Krempasky told his conservative youngens, "Daily Kos is a site built by the hard-left. There is no doubt, they are effective - they are freighteningly effective...It's probably bigger than the Washington Times right now."

He was less sparing about Atrios:

"Atrios is a raging left-wing blogger. He actually hates America. He hates apple pie, he even hates his own mother."

While the commentors, predictably, laugh at this statement, it's not too far off.

Daily Kos is the sort of thing that the right has to be afraid of. It's effective at getting a clear message out. I feel that my side, the left, lacks great propagandists. Kos is one of the exceptions. (So is Michael Moore). And DK should be troubling conservatives because it can tap into that communitarian instinct which is inherently anathema to the Republican Party. We need to feel that we're in this together. Yes, it is a bit of an echo chamber and not a place for rational debate, but that is not the point of the site (or at least, it shouldn't be).

Now, on to Atrios. Let's call a spade a spade. Atrios is, quite bluntly, the blogging Ann Coulter of the left. Now, he doesn't hate America any more than the Coulter does, but they are both fruitcakes who think that extremism is a virtue.
(11:17 PM) 0 comments

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Maybe the Top 40 Won't Suck Now --
Billboard is now including download sales in figuring the Hot 100.
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Friday, February 11, 2005

Symbolism and Gay Politics --
According to Reuters:

A plan by a German zoo to test the sexual appetites of a group of suspected homosexual penguins has sparked outrage among gay and lesbian groups, who fear zookeepers might force them to turn straight.

"All sorts of gay and lesbian associations have been e-mailing and calling in to protest," said a spokesman for the zoo in the northwestern city of Bremerhaven on Friday.

He said the zoo concluded the penguins might be gay after seeing male penguins trying to mate with other males and trying to hatch offspring out of stones.

German media reported that female Swedish penguins would be brought to the zoo to test the theory, but when word got out about the plan, the phones started ringing.

"Nobody here is trying to break-up same sex pairs by force," the zoo's director Heike Kueck told public broadcaster NDR. "We don't know if the three male pairs are really gay or just got together because of a lack of females."

What are afraid of, that penguins aren't really gay and just happen to be so horny that they will screw anything? It seems more like insecurity that a symbol like gay penguins might turn out to be a false idol.
(4:53 PM) 0 comments

Who gets to wear that cool hat and drive the cool car? --
American Prospect Online lists the favorites (well, not really).

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

But when will it be available on Playstation? --
According to this story:

Many Oklahoma City residents were shocked Thursday to learn about a new online game that features convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh as its hero.

Oklahoma City Escapade is a game based on the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people. The goal of the Internet-based game is to buy bombs, rent a Ryder truck and blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building

Yeah, this will be just as great as SimConcentration Camp. (Sarcasm, folks!)
(11:44 PM) 0 comments

Monday, February 07, 2005

Re: MyDD :: This Pipe Is Not a Pipe --
In response to this post, I wrote in the comments:

Let's not kid ourselves. What we are about here is the formation of a progressive narrative that might not necessarily accurately represent reality completely but which is useful for garnering support to advance a progressive agenda.

We are faced with two separate issues; what should that agenda be and what narrative will best advance that agenda without being too far removed from reality as to not be credible to a sufficient number of people. We need to start with the narrative and then prioritize the progressive agenda to fit the narrative. And we need to rebuild the progressive narrative from the ground up the same way we need to rebuild the party structure under Howard Dean.

Dean has progressive credentials despite being opposed to gun control unlike many left-of-center types. We should also be capable of dropping issues like gun control if they don't fit the new progressive narrative (and I think it is problematic if civil liberties are a part of that narrative) and we need to examine honestly every bit of our agenda, be it abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action. Sure, we are unlikely to dump anything major, but we need to be open-minded as part of some brutally frank self-examination.

One key problem that many people thought John Kerry faced in 2004 was that he didn't really seem to be for anything and was merely anti-Bush. The worst thing would be for a progressive narrative to have a similar tone. It can't just be anti-conservative. That just leads to a shrill messianic complex in which leftists cast themselves as the saviors of humanity standing firm like Roland against the cultural barbarians of conservatism. And that's pretty much the most off-putting attitude that one can have for swing voters who don't drink our Kool-Aid. (I don't mean to sound demeaning, but I understand the nature of ideology and a progressive ideology will have its versions of Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter, and dittoheads. I fully accept that necessary part of reality.) A progressive narrative can't be an explanation of what is wrong with America, it has to be an explanation of what can go right with America.
(4:36 PM) 0 comments

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Christian vs. Lion --
I played poker online with this guy at my table today. It was only a brief overlap we weren't in any pots together.
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Someone Please Give This Man a Nobel Peace Prize Before He Dies --
The pope is in the hospital. I am well aware of how the flu can be deadly for an older person, but he's been in relatively good health the past year and his fever has apparently subsided, so I doubt it is time to start writing the obituary just in case. But if you do, make sure that his efforts toward peace, especially in the struggle against communism, get top billing, not the battle on conservative-liberal social grounds.
(7:18 PM) 0 comments

Torture and the Rhetoric of Democracy --
Something I posted to this Daily Kos thread:

Sometimes I think there are people on the left who oppose torture from a purely self-interested viewpoint because they consider themselves strong opponents of George W. Bush and ultimately fear that torture is a tool that will be used against them.

Torture in and of itself is not a sufficiently strong enough talking point. We must take up a rhetorical stance that (correctly) paints this administration as one that does not love democracy but only uses the rhetoric of democracy as propaganda.

The confirmation of Gonzales is a slap in the face of the Iraqi people. How can the United States expect them to have love democracy when the American example rewards the culture that produced Abu Graib.

This talking point should be expressed to the Arab world on their television. Citizens in other countries should demonstrate not against the general but against this man. Let his face be displayed on signs and let there be an unprecedented international furor over such an appointment.

Let's talk about torture, but let's talk about it in context.
(4:07 PM) 0 comments