April 30, 2010
It's been a while since I had a good old fashioned rant. Today, I feel the need for one.
I don't think anyone here is unaware of the fact that I am an athiest. I don't think anyone here is unaware of the fact that I believe in gay rights. I also don't think anyone here thinks that because of those two issues, I am not a conservative. What continues to shock and amaze me is that there are people out there who really, honestly, sincerely and completely believe that because I am not Christian and because I beleive in homosexual rights that I am not, cannot be, will never fucking be a conservative.
I know that I am never going to move or sway the social-cons. I know that there is nothing I can say that will change their minds. But, damnit, I still fucking have something to say about it.more...
April 27, 2010
April 26, 2010
My personal theory is that anyone who has ever read Atlas Shrugged feels a burning need to get revenge on the society that allowed it to be published but thats just me. Matt Taibbi has a more nuanced view:
When the globe was engulfed in the flood of defaults and derivative losses that emerged from the collapse of the US housing bubble two years ago, few understood that the crash had its roots in the lunatic greed-centred objectivist religion, fostered in the '50s and '60s by ponderous emigre novelist Ayn Rand.Maybe we can burn her in effigy.
This was based almost entirely on the Randian belief system, under which the leaders of Goldman Sachs appear not as the cheap swindlers they look like to me, but idealised heroes, the saviours of society.
In the Randian ethos, called objectivism, the only real morality is self-interest, and society is divided into groups who are efficiently self-interested (the rich) and the ''parasites'' who wish to take their earnings through taxes. Rand believed government had virtually no natural role in society. She conceded police were necessary, but refused to accept any need for economic regulation.
I admit that I am not a Rand fan but that is because I find her entire philosophy amoral and at the same time hopelessly utopian. It's not because the idea of efficient self-interest, which is central to almost every economic school, except Marxism, is wrong.
There is a chance that some additional regulation may have avoided the worst of the abuses associated with the CDOs, but that isn't a given. If the banks were truly engaged in fraud and not just being criminally stupid they would have found another way to proceed.
But, if you read to the end, you might get a reward anyway.
Anyway. In the interests of blogging integrity, I will start with a disclaimer that I work in the video game industry. I'm also an avid gamer, so, aside from gaming being near and dear to my heart because it keeps the paychecks rolling in, I also just like to game. So I pay attention to gaming stuff.
Several states have tried to pass legislation regulating the sale of Mature rated games to minors. Every state that has tried to pass such legislation has been, in turn, bitch-slapped by State Supreme Courts, who have overturned the legislation under First Amendment protections. The working theory is, if we can't regulate the sale of movies, or music, or books, then we can't regulate the sale of video games. It is a protected form of speech. And, frankly, gaming is becoming more and more the societal norm. Not all gamers are pasty virgins living in Mommy's basement any more.
Let's take a look at that, shall we?more...
April 25, 2010
Possibly. I don't see how you can lay odds on that. All we have is a sample of one.
I do know that I wouldn't want to be on the planet where Earthlings landed.
We are not to be trusted.
Just ask the Iroquois. They thought they'd made some new friends.
I also don't know if they'd just plunder the Earth.
Gabe at Ace's is right, there are better places to get stuff, places like asteroid belts without hostile aliens (us) and a gravity well.
I think Gabe's wrong about space being too big. First, multi-generational, interstellar travel is possible. What if they sent a probe thousands of years ago, it checked out Earth and saw a nice planet without intelligent life, it sent something back with the message and now they're almost here?.
Or maybe faster than light travel is possible. I hope so.
Or they send something in suspended animation.
You can't really place odds on what they'll be like, but there's a few possibilities it seems to me.
1. They want to live here. That means they live with us either peacefully or enslave us, kill us; eat us or any or all of the 4.
2. They're interstellar traders and they just want to trade for stuff.
3. They're raiders. Imagine if the interstellar equivalent of the Dread Pirate Roberts just happened to end up here? They'd have a blast and we wouldn't know how to dial interstellar 911.
4. They're the galactic version of Jehovah's Witnesses and they just want to talk to us about Jesus.
5. James Hogan has a book about aliens sending out robotic factories that use the resources to make a lot of factories, spread across the planet and then send stuff back to the home world. Hopefully an alien civilization who made that would have the scruples to make sure it doesn't plunder places with life, but who knows?
I'm absolutely sure there's lots of aliens out there.
I think the universe is infinitely large so there are an infinite number of planets so there are an infinite number of planets with life on them so there are an infinite number of planets with intelligent life on them.
When we meet the ones close by, I want it as equals, not with us as planet-bound inferiors.
April 24, 2010
Speaking of the financial crisis: For some interesting viewing watch The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Warning and then compare the players in the Enron scandal, the 1998 problems and look at who got bailouts. To me there seemed to be some correlation. If you watch "The Warning" one of the things that jumps out is just how intellectually dishonest Lawrence Summers is.
Finally, I don't know if anyone ever participates in these things but this year The Big Read is "The Things They Carried" which is about infantrymen in Vietnam. I don't think I will be doing any of the discussion groups but I am going to read the book just to be part of the cultural zeitgeist (didn't think I knew that word did you).
*Disclosure - the book links go to my Amazon page. If you buy anything there I get a kickback.*
April 23, 2010
Fuck censorship. Fuck your stupid limitations on human expression.
Grow up. Get over it.
Send any submissions to dpudtips -at- gmail -dot- com. Don't be overly offensive. That's not the point.
I don't know how the author of this diabolically brilliant plan is going to feel about me pimping said diabolically brilliant plan on a foul-mouthed conservative blog, since the descriptor on her blog is that she is a "liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist trapped in Indiana," who has written at least one post about evil teabaggers. I can't help it, though, because it's fucking brilliant, and, damnit, all the wimmins should participate.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you - Boobquake.
This brilliant experiment is designed to combat the obviously fucking stupid prattling of a senior Iranian cleric who decided to finally connect the dots and say that earthquakes are 'cause women dress like whores. (I think he may have used the word "immodestly" in place of "like whores". Maybe.) The idea is that women throughout America wear "immodest" clothing on Monday, 4/26. (She wisely points out that what you deem immodest and what I deem immodest might be different things. Since I have been paid to pose in a corset and a tutu on a stripper-pole, she's probably right.)
In the name of SCIENCE!, she will monitor the number of earthquakes that occur on 4/26 to see if, in fact, the 112,000+ women who have committed to the Facechimp event caused more earthquakes to happen.
Ladies - just remember. It's for science.
Well, Amazon came through. it was in the mail.
I haven't seen it since the mid 80s at the latest so I didn't remember the movie so much as remember that I loved it.
I had a girlfriend who "lost" a lot of my favorite stuff when she moved in. It still pisses me off.
It's not quite Megashark vs Giant Octopus, but it's the movie Sci Fi wishes they could make.
The plot is silly, Tawny ran away from her convent with her friend in a crate because of a dream (you learn that in the first 5 minutes) and ended up in a crime-ridden Asian cities with slavers, cutthroats and loose women and then set off through jungles, rivers, swamps, murderous pirates, savages and the worst desert in the world to get a rare butterfly after her father disappears on just that mission
The fight scenes are poorly choreographed and acted, Tawny Kitaen cannot fake cry to save her life and the hero is about as cheesy as cheesy can be.
It would actually be a good Sci Fi movie if not for the R rating.
I'd rate it as definitely above Sasquatch Mountain and Ogre, it's up there with Pteradactyl (which is high praise from me).
But....It's not a TV movie, it's very early Skinemax.
We learn that Tawny can fake having sex as well as, if not better than, Meg Ryan and that she has spectacular breasts.
She doesn't flash them the way every other of the dozens of actresses do. Except for here and there you have to work for it with Tawny, surprisingly enough. Maybe she still had fantasies of being an actress at that time.
The rest of the actresses aren't so reticent.
This movie has one of the highest breast/frame ratios I've ever seen and its hot-butts in thongs/frame ratio is nothing to sneeze at either.
I can also say, without hyperbole, that it has absolutely the greatest chariot race ever filmed. It's absolutely stunning.
I sincerely hope it was based on a Charlton Heston/Hugh Hefner party.
4 or 5 chariots were each pulled around a track by 3 half nekkid women as the half nekkid drivers fought. They actually crashed just like horses would and the chariot would tumble over them.
It was obviously meant to resemble Ben Hur except it was a lot less dusty and hairy and a lot more breasty, assy and leggy.
As good as I remember. It was slow at times with some laugh out loud moments. Well worth the effort if for nothing but the chariot scene.
Three thumbs up.
April 21, 2010
April 20, 2010
April 19, 2010
It was very darn good, I'm not into slasher films so this got a little much for me occasionally, especially the last episode, but the story and characters were all excellent.
Below the fold because there are spoilers.
Update, I changed the pic. Now it's safe for work.
April 17, 2010
I placed in 7th but, most importantly, beat Alice H. IN YOUR FACE!!!!
* - Can only be people I can get pictures of and that's not everyone.
April 16, 2010
I was surprised at how unpopular the teachers unions were; this filled me with hope for the future. Unfortunately I immediately started to listen to the preceding debate (iTunes loads them in reverse order for some reason) on whether America should sever it's special relationship with Israel and my hope turned to dismay when the side advocating abandoning Israel managed to convince 16% of the audience that they were right.
The next in the series on May 11th is whether Obama's foreign policy is screwing America.
What might Machiavelli have made of the 44th President of the United States? Barack Obama set out to change the tone of US foreign policy. And he did. By virtue of his personal story, by dint of his not being George W. Bush, he arrived in the White House as both object of fascination and source of relief to a world grown accustomed to resenting the US itself. Here is a president who acknowledges that we hold no monopoly on the legitimacy of our interests, who aspires to finding the common ground in resolving disagreements with friend and foe. His caution, his deliberativeness, his stated willingness to at least try to negotiate even with our bitterest enemies and to cool down the rhetoric – played so well out of the gate, that they gave him the Nobel Peace Prize – after just 262 days in office.
But is love enough to lead? Or might the president need some wins along the way? For the most part, they’ve been hard to come by. None yet in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Iran’s mullah’s don’t seem to feel an urgent need to end the nuclear standoff. Seeking a new balance in America’s dealings in the Middle East, Obama asked Israel to stop building settlements, but the building goes on. And the Chinese seem to understand his less than aggressive stance in pressing for human rights as a green light to change nothing. Even when the stakes were less than life and death – his bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago – he was denied.
Not that any of this is easy. And it may be that some of these more serious challenges would by now be more difficult still if Obama had not set a new tone.
But might the opposite be true? Might our adversaries see the president’s coolness as uncertainty and his deliberativeness as weakness? Can they exploit his affinity for common ground, by pushing to gain more ground for themselves? By acknowledging that all sides can have legitimate interests, as well as legitimate grievances, is the president yielding the high ground? Most importantly, are we safer now that we are living in the era of president number 44?
It comes down to being respected, which is not the same as being liked. Americans have always aspired to have it both ways. Machiavelli would have us choose.
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