February 29, 2008
McCain ineligible to be President?
Could it be that John McCain is actually ineligible to be President? This year, politics have finally gotten interesting...
February 28, 2008
Billboard Liberation Front
February 18, 2008
Wikileaks is still Alive
WikiLeaks did something very smart and placed a site on the .onion net. If you simply download The Onion Router and install it, configure your browser to use it, you may visit WikiLeaks at http://gaddbiwdftapglkq.onion/. I should note that it is quite possible that the WikiLeaks folks didn't actually set up this site (noone can determine the location of the webserver, after all, nor who runs it). This particular version of the site is anonymous though: theoretically, no one should be able to detect that you are visiting it, and also no one should be able to figure out where the site is being hosted. Doing either is strictly possible, but it would involve a massive amount of collusion on the part of ISPs (or your local machine/their remote server would have to be compromised). TOR is definitely turning into one of my favorite things...it protects privacy, evades censorship, and even makes you breakfast.
Hillary and DFC?
My sanity questioned by my girlfriend at supporting Obama, I thought I'd dig up a little story about my old pal DFC and Hillary. To set the stage: the year was 2000, the place was Syracuse University's campus. The Clintons came to Syracuse in order to promote Hillary as a candidate for a New York Senate position. DFC was milling about in protest. As a native Central New Yorker, he was upset at an interloper waltzing into the state to represent it.
He was, as the story goes, detained by the Secret Service throughout the media event. Years later, I would remember this story in disgust -- it is quite similar to how to the Bush Administration treats its critics: free speech is okay, but if you want to practice it you'll have to do so in a dark room surrounded by Guys with Guns, and your speech will probably consist of answer their questions.
February 17, 2008
African-American Presidents in the Media
While discussing the Democratic primaries at work, I came to an amusing epiphany: African-American presidents as portrayed in Hollywood are actually treated fairly poorly. They are often portrayed as Presidents in crisis situations. While you could argue that the movies are playing African-American presidents in a positive way (many step up to the plate quite successfully in their plots), I find it easy to see veiled racism -- why is that whenever a president in a movie is just some talking head in the background (like, say, Contact), they're caucasian, but when the president is portrayed in a situation in which America is in Great Peril, they are African-American?
Take my most recent favorite, Idiocracy. President Comacho, five time Ultimate Smackdown champion and porn superstar, is president. Race: African American. Distinguishing characteristics: Beefy, brawny, virile, extraordinarily short on brains. State of America: in deep decay due to genetic degradation. I'll say that again, when America is in deep decay due to genetic degradation, an African-American is portrayed as being leader of the state. Yikes! It sounds as though William Shockley had some role in the movie.
Next on the list is the television series 24. I gave up watching television on about 12 September 2001, but from what I hear this show has an African-American president. The country is in deep chaos due to repeated terrorist attacks on the United States. Hm...a pattern is beginning...
Then we have Deep Impact. Race of President: African-American. Distinguishing Characteristic: Played by Morgan Freedman (I mean, c'mon, who doesn't like Morgan Freedman? If the man announced his candidacy, he'd give Obama and Clinton heart attacks, and then he'd probably win). State of America: Country in crisis (actually, world in crisis). President must choose to save 0.5% of the US population while the other 99.5% will die in a meteor strike. The Onion is even running an editorial on this one.
That said, I did caucus for Obama in my state...
February 16, 2008
Every once in a while...
Every once in a while, I run into a comment on a message board that reminds me of what I'd like to do with the rest of my life. Work on fancy AI programs.
February 12, 2008
The US is getting incredibly screwed up. Even moreso than usual. Today, the senate passed Telecom Immunity legislation. What this says, in essence, is that AT&T and friends, who knew that they were wiretapping lines illegally for the NSA, are not liable for their behavior. As a take on AT&T's "___________ delivered" series of advertisements, I decided to beat their press to the punch with a logo of my own.
Be sure to call your representative and let them know how lame this is. Either the government or the corporation is responsible for violating the rights of its citizens, so either the NSA or the telecoms should pay (preferably both, but that's wishful thinking). Technically, there's nothing with asking a telecom to tap someone's phone, but the telecom shouldn't do it unless you provide a warrant (otherwise it's violating your 4th amendment rights and all that jazz), so putting the NSA on the hook really isn't going to happen.
February 6, 2008
Northeast Bat Die-Off
A great mystery is unfolding in northeast caves -- huge numbers of bats are dying. I caved a bit in the northeast, and bats are certainly an interesting part of the experience (awfully neat little critters, they are). I'm quite a bit curious about how the bat situation will turn out. If you've been living under a rock (pardon the pun), the latest news is for cavers to stay out of caves and mines in the northeast that house bat populations...
February 5, 2008
I wonder what the religious community thinks about the fact that the two states Mike Huckabee won primaries in tonight, Arkansas and Tennessee, had tornadoes. As an atheist, I naturally (pardon the pun) view these events as pure coincidence.