Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Cashew, Brazil, Keyes

Alan Keyes is a certifiable nut job. Seriously.

If you're in Illinois (and since it's mostly my friends that read this blog, you are), you probably are already aware the Alan Keyes is carpetbagging to run against Barack Obama for the Senate. What you may not know is that he's a complete freak. ArchPundit links to this Keyes interview by a FOX News anchor. It's an 11 MB download, but worth it. In it, Keyes:

  • accuses Democrats and Obama of "corruption" eight times
  • accuses Democrats and the interviewer of "lies" and "distortions" ten times
  • questions whether the interviewer is working for the Democratic party four times

All that is in a clip only seven minutes long! I also love how he monopolizes the interview and tries to prevent the host from asking questions by constantly repeating himself and his points, and not letting the host get a word in edgewise.

How anyone can consider him a serious candidate is beyond me. Maybe the GOP should have considered running a white guy, rather than scouring the country for a Republican that just happens to be the same race as Obama.

Gmail

Does anyone want a Gmail account? Total geek chic. Drop me a line.

Yet another one?

An anti-gay Representative from Virginia, Edward L. Schrock, abrupty withdrew from his race for reelection amidst allegations that he is gay. Funny how this hasn't gotten much coverage, but Governor McGreevey's resignation was all over the airwaves.

Found this on Eschaton.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Are you kidding me?

The Republican Convention just opened with a series of showtunes.

There are apparently some gay people still working in the Republican party.

Ugh

I think it's ragweed season or something. Yesterday, my vengeful allergies came by to say hello. At first, I thought it was the flu or a cold, but I'm pretty sure it's allergies. Ugh.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Bush and gay rights

Dubya's big campaign slogan in 2000 was "compassionate conservatism." Well, in the four years since then, we've seen a lot of conservative, but not so much compassion. The Federal Marriage Amendment didn't get nearly enough votes and died in Congress a few weeks ago. Bush, not surprisingly, supported it.

"I am mindful that we're all sinners, and I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own," he said. "I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country.

Which doesn't really say much about his position. He claims to be a tolerant person, and that an individual's sex life is his private matter, and that he supports "equal rights, but not special rights for all people."

Ann Richards was the governor of Texas when my home state's sodomy law was enacted. In her defense, the bill came to her with a veto-proof majority, so there's not really a damned thing she could do about it. When running against her for governor, Bush promised to veto any attempt to rescind the sodomy law, which specifically targeted gay sex; heterosexuals could bugger each other as much as they wanted.

In the interest of full disclosure, Bush never called for actual enforcement of the law. He claimed it was valuable as a symbol. Which makes it rather unusual in my mind. I'm not familiar with any other aspect of criminal law that exists only in a symbolic manner. I'm not clear if the $500 fine for sodomy in Texas would be accepted by the state in symbolic money, or if they would insist on the real stuff.

What I think the best part of this whole thing is that it shows exactly how unconservative the Christian ultra-Right is. They like to call themselves conservatives, but they're anything but. Rather than try to write it in my own words, I will turn things over to this excellent explanation, which sums it up better than I ever could: (emphasis mine)

[Bush] promised to veto any attempt to repeal the Texas sodomy law, which he defends as "a symbolic gesture of traditional values."

Yet Bush has never called for actual enforcement of the law.

Implicit in Bush's endorsement of the sodomy law as a mere "symbol" and "gesture" is the idea that it should not be enforced. This soft defense is disingenuous. It says to the religious right, "I share your values." It then winks at everyone else and whispers, "But I don't really mean it." It's the kind of politics that promises something with its fingers crossed behind its back. Is this compassionate conservatism in action?

"A penal law not ordinarily put in execution seems to me to be a very absurd and a very dangerous thing," Burke argued during a passionate speech urging tolerance for religious minorities. He reasoned that if the law at issue punishes a genuine evil it would be irresponsible not to administer it.

However, if its object is not the suppression of some real wrong, "then you ought not to hold even a terror to those whom you ought certainly not to punish." If it is not right to enforce the law against an offender, Burke argued, then "it is neither right nor wise to menace" him with it. "Take them which way you will," he said of unenforced criminal laws, "they are pressed with ugly alternatives."

Not that this will matter. The GOP is trying to save America from the International Godless Homosexual Conspiracy, and rhetoric like this plays directly into the closed-minded, family-values, Christian-nation-or-bust mindset that they pander to.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Fun with bots

The gay.com chatrooms are getting increasingly overrun by advertising chat bots. Brought to you by the same industry that brought you spam and telemarketing, these send you a private message, pretending to be a real person, then hit you with the ad for their porn site. The recent twist is that there is some Eliza-like coding in these and they'll respond if you accuse them of being a 'bot. But it's not done very well. It seems to only look for "bot" in your statement then reply with a canned response. So I had a bit of fun with one:

oursecretkept_-: sup
[me]: bot, huh?
oursecretkept_-: a bot? hahaha no
[me]: yes you're a bot
oursecretkept_-: yeah right im no bot man
oursecretkept_-: i'm bored, let's get on cam or just watch me, pics & cam at www.dudepages.com/ogfactor
[me]: stupid bog
[me]: stupit bot
oursecretkept_-: uhh me a bot? dont think so dude
[me]: uhh, yes you a bot
oursecretkept_-: uhh me a bot? dont think so dude
[me]: you're a bot. you dont think at all
oursecretkept_-: a bot? hahaha no
oursecretkept_-: i'm bored, let's get on cam or just watch me, pics & cam at www.dudepages.com/ogfactor
[me]: argle bargle bot boom wakka wakka
oursecretkept_-: uhh me a bot? dont think so dude
[me]: garbage text bot just greping for the word bot, huh?
oursecretkept_-: Im 26 man, you can see pics & my cam at www.dudepages.com/ogfactor
[me]: you're a 26 year old bot, huh?
oursecretkept_-: Im 26 :). pics and cam up at www.dudepages.com/ogfactor
[me]: freaking bot
oursecretkept_-: uhh me a bot? dont think so dude
oursecretkept_-: i'm bored, let's get on cam or just watch me, pics & cam at
www.dudepages.com/ogfactor

Of course, the dudepages.com page is just a shill for ifriends.com / webpower.com porn cams. iFriends is well aware of the fact that their service is massively abused in this sense, they just refuse to do anything about it. This is assuming they're not part of the scam themselves. They are well-known for their spam friendliness, and have even been in certain blacklists for ages. May they rot there forever.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Electablog

It's sad that some of the best political writing I've seen in quite a while has been in blogs. The press isn't really interested unless it's been released as a White House talking point (They're true because they're said a lot!) or your garden-variety soundbite. It's as if, as a nation, we are uninterested in having serious debate about the (yes, complicated) issues that face us today. Instead we get: nonstop claims that Kerry is the most liberal Senator in the US (false); we get lurid photos of Abu Ghraib prisoners, but no discussion on whether or not we are willing to accept tortue in extraordinary circustances; hell, CNN spent time talking about changes to the stage at the DNC before Kerry's speech.

One of the excellent political blogs that I've come across is Electablog, written by Dave Pell. His site puts my little exercise in navel-gazing to shame. He's smart, funny, well-written, and actually sensible. And now I find out he's cute, too! Check him out on CNN. Cute and, unfortunately, married. Oh well, at least the good guys have another one on our side.

Update: Followup post here after I noticed the aboutablog.com link

Friday, August 20, 2004

The collective IQ of Kansas just went up a notch

Fred Phelps and his jolly band of inbred wankers will be visiting Bloomington this weekend:
Fred Phelps to Bloomington

Phelpsie-poo's pamphlet is amusing in a depressing sort of way. I especially liked, "Sweden: Land of the sodomite damned." Where's my passport?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Show them the money

[Argh! Just deleted his blog entry by mistake. Starting over...]

Now that I have a real job and everything, I'm renewing my membership / continuing my contributions to the Human Rights Campaign and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The HRC was iffy, after they "disinvited" Margaret Cho from the UNITY 2004 event (oh, so ironically named) at the Democratic National Convention after the outcry from Whoopi Goldberg's comments on Bush. (By the way, did you know that Dennis Miller made jokes at a Bush rally calling Kerry and Edwards gay lovers? Neither did I. So much for the liberal press.) Anyway, I figure if Margaret can be big about it an continue to support the HRC, who am I to say no?

And so, for the first time, I'm thinking about supporting a political candidate as well. I'm thinking about sending money to Kerry or to the Obama campaign. Probably not both, as I'd rather send a larger check to one than a smaller check to both. They say it's better to do that, because your money can get used more efficiently. I'm not talking about a lot, just maybe $50 or so.

So I'm torn. The Presidential race is probably more important. But I'm not in a "swing state" so we've pretty much been written off as going Democratic (probably correctly) so my money wouldn't be used here. Obama is running for a more local office, so the outcome is probably more likely to affect my life, if even in a small way. But since his opponent has only recently moved to this state, and is a fairly wacko Right-wing candidate, hopefully he's a shoe-in. I'm torn and am looking for suggestions.

Got any?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Keyes to the city

Here's a good quote for you:

I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there, so I certainly wouldn't imitate it.

-- Alan Keyes, Fox News, March 2000

Last week, Keyes moved from Maryland to Illinois to run for Senate. I wonder why the press isn't picking up on this Republican flip-flop?

Saturday, August 14, 2004

It's a small world after all

I just found out that I went to the same high school as Jon Stewart. We missed each other by a couple of years, though. How cool is that?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

@#$^&$

I'm trying to write a paper on the project I'm working on. The problem is that the rough draft was written by the guy that had my job before me (until he got a real job and left), and he was not a native English speaker. Here's one of the sentences from the original:

It should note that the current design takes the advantages of the insulating layers on surfaces.

The whole thing is written like this. I'm basically having to read each paragraph, decipher what he's trying to say, and completely rewrite the paragraph.

Tedious and frustrating. ARGH!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Liberal bias, my ass

A number of big media are owned by particular conservative organizations and people. It's odd that the "liberal" media like CNN actually tries to maintain some degree of impartiality, while the "non-liberal" media are so conservatively biased it's not even funny. The problem I have is that I can never remember which ones are which.

The other day I ran across a link on Wonkette to the Washington Times. When I brought it up, here's what I saw:
No liberals allowed

I've tagged some of the interesting parts:

  1. A link to The Conservative Book Club. Their slogan is probably, "Why think? Read Ann Coulter instead."
  2. Look, Sean Hannity has a new book! I'll bet it's very fair and balanced.
  3. Reads: "Learn how Democrats exploit our national crisis for political gain -- and how we can fight back to defeat terrorism, despotism and liberalism!" Yeah, those damn bomb-planting, prisoner-torturing, liberals. Because, we all know that the Republican administration would never exploit our national crisis for political gain.
  4. Remember, kids: a good conservative is a Christian conservative! Preferably one that believes the end of the world is nigh.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Poker

If you ever get a regular poker game going, remember to never invite Dick Cheney.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Stargate: Recycled

I've been watching Stargate: SG-1 for a while now, first on Showtime, now on the Sci-Fi channel. It's a fairly innocent piece of fluff. It's diverting, and it's on Friday nights, when there really isn't much better to do. Now entering it's eighth season, it's just spawned a spin-off series Stargate Atlantis. The build-up to the season seven finale set up the premier of Atlantis, and would have replaced SG1, but SG1 was renewed for at least another season, so we've got both.

I'm not sure how good an idea it was to have both series running at the same time and in back-to-back time slots. It just emphasises the fact that Atlantis is complete copy of the SG1 formula. Even the cast is basically the same: female scientist, slightly stiff; male scientist, the nerdy, talking one; male military figure, irreverent and distrusting of authority; and the token black guy. Atlantis does add one more person to the central group of characters, and mixes up the power structure a bit (the female scientist is in charge), but the basic structure of the show seems to be the same. Group visits a random and previously unexplored world, group experiences alien weirdness, hijinxs ensue. There's even an overwhelmingly powerful alien race bent on the destruction of humanity, that humanity manages to outwit at every turn. Just a different one from SG1.

There is, however, a bright light in all this. Paul McGillion plays Dr. Beckett, a supporting, but recurring, character. Hunky, and that (Scottish?) accent.... Woo. Screenshots here and here.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

For crying out loud

I think there's a weirdo convention in town. Poor David was cornered by a guy in the chatroom last night that just would not take, "No I don't want to date you after chatting for five minutes" for an answer. That and the masseur/escort/hustler that's been making the rounds lately. So, of course, Needy Guy messages me too this morning and is pressing me for a date before I'm done with my coffee. Thankfully David had told me about him, so I was wise for imminent weirdness.

Then, some guy messages me, and his first words to me are -- swear to God -- "So it's 8 inches. That's nice." [*] Surprised, I looked around to see if I had misplaced a cucumber somewhere. After that intro, he seemed friendly enough, if needy, pushy, and dumb as a hammer. His last words to me were, "Take care, Steve."

This is why I gave up on dating.

[*] OK, those weren't his exact first words to me. I compensated for the complete lack of spelling and punctuation.