Wednesday, June 21, 2006

dear parents of children on airplanes

Please, for the love of sweet fucking
jesus on a pogo stick: don't let your kids run up and down the aisle of
an airplane for the entire fucking flight. Especially when the vast
majority of the passengers have asked you to get them under control,
and have even asked them directly to settle down just a little bit.

See, while you may be totally cool with your kid treating the world
like it's their playground, some of us would like to grab a nap, or do
some writing, or play some Hot Shots Golf on our PSP while we fly. Yes,
I know it's a crazy concept to accept, but not everyone thinks it's
just so adorable that your little hellion is having such a great time.

Oh, and  once you get them to sit down? Yeah, it would just be awesome
if you could convince them that slamming the tray up and down, kicking
the seat in front of them (let's just say, for the sake of making this
personal, that I'm sitting in it and trying really hard to be patient)
and shouting about Dora the fuckin' explorer at the top of their lungs
is pretty much the opposite of acceptable behavior on an airplane. Or,
now that I think of it, any-fucking-where that's not your house or a
Chuck E. Cheese's.

Have a nice flight,


Monday, June 19, 2006

reprehensible, but not ignorable

Greenwald on Malkin, Coulter, Limbaugh, et al:
It would be nice and all if we had a political culture where extremists and those who traffic in character smears in lieu of substantive political arguments could simply be ignored, so that they would disappear. But the reality is the opposite. Our political dialogue, especially over the last five years, has been shaped primarily by those who specialize in demonizing political opponents as fringe lunatics, depicting disagreement as treason, and deliberately papering over complexities in order to spew misleading political slogans designed to propagandize rather than persuade. The lesson of the Swift Boat debacle, more than anything else, was that to ignore those individuals and those tactics is the best thing one can do . . . for them. It is surprising how many people seem not to have learned that lesson.

Friday, June 16, 2006

just a number

2500 American soldiers have been killed in George W. Bush's war of lies. How does White House spokesman Tony Snow mark this tragic milestone?

He says, "It's a number." He must have realized how callous and disrespectful that was, because he quickly followed up with some rambling comments about how Bush feels the pain the families of fallen solders feel (Yeah. I'm sure he does), but his first comment is very telling. When they aren't being used a backdrops or props for political gain, these men and women are just numbers to this administration.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

AOL-Netscape Launches Massive "Digg-Killer"

On Thursday, AOL's Netscape property will no longer be just another portal - it's being converted into a Digg-killer.
I wouldn't call this a Digg killer, at all. This isn't a zero-sum situation where Digg must fail for Netscape News to succeed, or vice versa. If you're in ad sales, of it you have some personal vendetta against one company or the other, I guess you could view it that way, but from a user standpoint, what's the big deal?

Complaining about the interface is a little silly, too. Clearly, Digg is doing something right, if another site wants to use a similar design, because that makes it _easier_for_the_users_. How is that a bad thing?

Ultimately, the users will go where they're happiest, and where they feel their time is best invested. For some, that will be Digg; for others, it will be Netscape News. I suspect that, for most, it will be a combination of them both.

Disclosure: I write for, which is a WIN blog.

read more | digg story

Monday, June 12, 2006

some people are never happy

I really wanted to attend YearlyKos, but alas, my schedule didn't permit. I guess Mark Warner, a possible Democratic contender for president, was very high-profile at the event, and some people (usually people who have sworn a blood oath to another candidate) are really complaining about it.

Markos made a great rebuttal to their complaints, that comes down to this: don't bitch when politicians ignore us (in the netroots) and then complain when they do pay attention to us.

This prompted John in DC to write a list at AMERICAblog, that concludes with the following points, which are very useful and should be remembered by anyone who has to deal with grumpy whinebags:
  • Fourth, some people are never happy.
  • Fifth, someone is always going to be unhappy, so sometimes you just have to say "whatever."
  • Sixth, just because someone complains doesn't make them right.
  • And seventh, just because someone complains loudly doesn't make them representative of anyone more than themselves.


Where is the team I've been watching in World Cup qualifying for the last two years?

What an embarrassing, humiliating defeat.

NASA admits Deutsch muzzled science

NASA has sent a letter to two Senators saying George Deutsch, a White House political appointee to NASA, did indeed try to suppress science in NASA. Deutsch is no longer at NASA -- he resigned shortly after this story first broke in January. This is good news-- but political suppression of science elsewhere continues.

read more | digg story

Friday, June 09, 2006

the finest things in the world were written on an empty stomach

"I heard you had some talent."

"That was last year. This year, I'm trying to make a living."

       -Sunset Boulevard.

network neutrality defeated by republican whores, with help from democratic whores. god i fucking hate congress.


Net Neutrality shouldn't be a partisan issue. There should be Republicans who see the value in having a free and open Internet. But unfortunately, that's not happening. A grand total of 11 voted with Markey, who championed Net Neutrality along with Reps. Rick Boucher, Anna Eshoo, Jay Inslee and John Dingell.

More disturbing for TPM readers, however, should be that 58 Democrats sold out the Internet. You can see the vote results here. We know Democrats are not a monolithic party, but this was ridiculous. And not only did they flock to vote with the Bells, many of them signed on as cosponsors of the telecom bill (HR 5252).

With all of that support, the Bells, and the cable companies, got everything they asked for. Bells get streamlined entry into the cable business. Cable gets out of much of its obligations to renew local franchises. And neither has to worry about keeping the Internet open. This result can come about because there are no penalties for voting against the Bells. Neither the corporate backers of Net Neutrality, nor the enthusiastic but diffuse public who supports it are yet in any position to wield the political power to change a politician's mind. That will have to change.

Does it surprise anyone that most of the Democrats tried to keep equal access available to everyone, while all but 11 of the Republicans did everything they could to ensure that a few hand-picked corporations can ruin the Internets?

Next up is the Senate, where I understand we have a better chance of protecting network neutrality, but only if we seriously commit to putting pressure on our senators:

The Bells control the inside game. They spent millions on TV ads, newspaper ads and, most important of all, lobbyists. Bell lobbyists are on the Hill every day, in every office of every member of Congress and Senator. Contrasted with that up-close-and-personal presence, an email petition with 800,000 names has no significance whatsoever. It is an abstraction. Sad, but true.

We can blog forever, and it won't make a difference, except as a vehicle to informing those who want to read about these important issues. If you want to make your voice heard, you have to do it in person. Not everyone can come to Washington, but every politician has to go home. You should find out when your House member or Senator has a town meeting and attend. Or schedule a meeting with a group of friends. Put Net Neutrality on the agenda, whether the politicians want it there or not.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wii's classic virtual console games to be priced less than US$10

Iwata revealed that games for Nintendo's "virtual console" that will allow Wii owners to play old titles on their consoles will be priced at ¥500 and ¥1,000, roughly US$4.50 to US$8.99. For reference, classic retro games for the Nintendo GameBoy sold for upwards of US$35 for some titles, US$19.99 for others.

read more | digg story
I also have some thoughts about this at the SG Geekwire.

Friday, June 02, 2006

You know you're playing too much Guitar Hero when . . .

. . . you hear Killer Queen on Big Tracks, and instead of thinking, "Dude! Queen!" You think, "Man, this song kicks my ass on hard."

why a goat?

"The fact that it admits that it's a joke proves that it's the only honest religion."

    - Most Reverend Ivan Stang, regarding the Church of the SubGenius.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

pull on your hair, pull on your pout

The Cure is stalking me today. It started with Lullaby when I took the kids to school, then I ran into Jumping Someone Else's Train shortly after I got home, and now it's Fascination Street.

When I was about 19 or 20, a bunch of us got up the nerve to go to a strip club for the first time, and some girl whose stripper name was Cinnamon danced this incredibly sexy, slow dance in a long flowing white dress to Lullaby, and then later did a passionate, harder dance to Fascination Street. I've since retired from strip clubs, but that night was really cool, and whenever I hear The Cure it reminds me less of that dancer, and more of that turbulent time in my life just before I realized that I didn't like who I was becoming, and needed to do something about it.

I wonder if I'd still love The Cure as much as I do today, if things had turned out differently, and I hadn't fled to Kansas to work my shit out?