Monday, November 22, 2004

Open Season

An SKS rifle was used in the Wisconsin Deer Stand shootings. Another article here. Originally Russian-designed w/ Chinese and Yugoslavian variants, it's 10-round, semi-automatic rifle, predecessor to the AK-47 (used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War). The news report linked says the rifle had a 20-round magazine, which seems a little excessive for deer hunting.

[shooter] apparently got lost, asked for directions and later wandered onto a 400-acre parcel of private land where "he found an empty deer stand and crawled up and occupied it." Hunters often build platforms called stands from which they watch for deer to appear within shooting range.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Monday that Hmong hunters have complained about being harassed by other hunters in the past, and Minnesota has assigned Hmong officers to ease the situation. There may be a culture gap between other hunters and the Hmong, who were accustomed in Laos to hunt wherever they wanted instead of seeking permission to go on private property, the newspaper said.

Brawls everywhere...

Pacers-Pistons-fans melee.

Still looking for the Clemson-S. Carolina brawl footage...that was a wild scene, man.

Washington Nationals altercation (no video). BTW, the DC Statehood Green Party is not the same thing as the Green Party of the United States, although they are affiliated. And the "Nationals" w/ the obligatory red, white, and blue uniforms? Did they have to go w/ the blandest, most boring moniker? The Mayor was pulling for the Grays, which would have been the most interesting choice, especially in that market. The Senators has that old-school flair, but w/ DC not actually having any Congressional representation, I could see why the Mayor would be off it.

One of the best reviews I've ever read...

Just found this Pitchfork review of th re-release of Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted, one of my most favorite records from the 90s. Like Rocket from the Crypt's Circa Now, it was one of those records you just had to discover when it was initially released to really appreciate its greatness. This review, at least for me, does a great job of capturing that discovery.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Beware the Phisherman!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Another brilliant idea...

Bush's 'simplification' of the tax code (free registration). Yea, sounds like a great plan.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tara Reid

Red carpet mishap. Bit nipply out that night.

Dukes of Hazzard--first look pic!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

QOTSA vs. the Dwarves

"This one goes out to Queens of the Trust Fund/You slept on my floor/And now I'm sleeping through your motherfucking records."

Ah, a good ole' fashioned band rivalry brawl sparked by lyrical disses! The Dwarves vs. Queens of the Stone Age.

I didn't really get the Dwarves swipe when I first heard that song, since Nick Oliveri (who appears on the diss song, 'Massacre') was in QOTSA on all their records except the forthcoming one (due out in March), and Blag even showed up on Songs for the Deaf, but, whatever. It's the Dwarves, how serious has anyone ever taken what they say?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

New JSBX, er, I mean BX, video featuring Chuck D, mofos!

Hot Gossip

And if you haven't seen it, scope out the first single's video, the Ray Harryhausen-inspired Burn it Off

Also keep an eye out for the next uk import limited edition color vinyl 7", out 11/15

Tempering Voter Fraud Hysteria

"There is, in other words, simply no compelling proof that there were enough irregularities in enough areas affecting enough voters to cast doubt on Bush's commanding popular vote count lead, or even his thinner margins in key swing states such as Ohio or Florida."

"Given my current state of knowledge, it seems unlikely there will be enough bogus votes found to reverse the election," says David Dill, the Stanford computer scientist who's been leading the charge against paperless electronic voting machines for the past two years. At the same time, though, Dill adds that he's making "a highly qualified statement," and that he does not want to "declare the election over and done with." Odd things did occur last Tuesday, and even if the results aren't overturned, "it's extremely important that we seize this opportunity to review everything we can about this election," Dill says. "Having people comb through these results will give us more confidence in the legitimacy of this election. We shouldn't gain that confidence by resorting to the head-in-the-sand method we usually employ in the United States."

"Dopp's analysis does give one pause. For instance, about 70 percent of the 12,000 registered voters in Baker County are Democrats, but of the 10,000 votes cast there, more than 7,000 were for Bush. There are 11,000 registered voters in Holmes County, and 72 percent of them are Democrats -- but 77 percent of the voters in Holmes chose Bush. Considering that most voters across the country voted according to their party -- 90 percent of Democrats chose Kerry, and 90 percent of Republicans chose Bush -- why did so many Democrats in Florida's optical-scan counties go with Bush? And why was such a startling pattern not seen in counties that use touch-screen voting machines?

For anyone who knows Florida politics, the explanation is easy -- "Dixiecrats." Ansolabehere points out that in Florida, optical-scan machines are mainly in "rural areas or places with low population density, and those counties happen to be more Republican," even if voters there are registered as Democrats. These voters may keep their Democratic registrations alive so that they can participate in local Democratic primaries, but when it comes to national races they would never vote for the Democrat."

"This is not to say that nothing went wrong on Election Day. The Election Incident Reporting System shows that thousands of voters experienced registration problems such as the mysterious disappearance of their names from the voting rolls. In addition, David Dill points out that all over the country, voting machines broke down -- the most frequent mechanical problem seen on Election Day. Another frequent complaint: Very often, voters would attempt to select one candidate on a voting machine and for some mysterious, as yet undetermined reason, the candidate's opponent will have been selected. These errors, and many more, certainly contributed to one of the most pernicious problems seen on Election Day, the unconscionably long lines at the polls."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

NFL Week 10 Prognostications

It's Week 10 and time to update the Preseason Prognostications. None of this means a damn thing, of course, it's just to hear myself talk. Obviously the Dolphins claim was completely preposterous; 10 losses are imminent, and Wannstedt is out before the season is up.

Chiefs are the biggest bust of the year. Get some players on defense and try again next year fellas. They're not making the playoffs. Same defensive woes likely keep the Colts sitting at home in January for yet another year, but with McNair out and the Titans ailing, they'll win their division to make the playoffs. Steelers look like the surprise Team of Destiny this year and a return to the Super Bowl isn't out of the question. But, the upcoming road stretch will really expose whether they're the real deal this year. So, is the surprise ToD really the Chargers? Hmm. Vikings always look good early, but w/o Randy Moss they're not so Super, and can they avoid their usual late season choke? They'd be hard pressed not to win the NFC Norse. Rams' worst enemy is their head coach. Will he be back next season? Will they win the division with a 9-7 record? More likely Seattle pulls it together to win the division, leaving the Lambs out of the post-season. Injuries aren't helping the Jets or Jaguars. They might be banging it out for the Wild Card spot at the end, but I see whoever comes in #2 in the AFC West snagging that spot. Spoiler teams that might sqeak in and/or shake some stuff up: Ravens, Rams). No one will want to play the Chiefs down the stretch, and they could spoil some team's Wild Card run.

So, as of Week 10, I'm seeing this in my crystal ball:
Playoff picture, AFC: Chargers, Steelers, Colts, Patriots, W/C: Broncos
AFC Championship: Steelers @ Patriots
Playoff picture, NFC: Seahawks, Vikings, Giants, Falcons W/C: Green Bay
NFC Championship: Falcons @ Eagles
Super Bowl: Pats vs. Eagles (even odds)

Coaches on hot seat: Saints (he's gotta go this year, right?), Rams (could anyone else replicate the Greatest Show on Turf?), Browns (solidified powerbase in organization, but how many shots can he get?), 49ers (hot, hot, hot in the whiniest fan base this side of the Mississippi, but owners too cheap to replace him?)

With the lights out, entertain us...

The 41st anniversary of JFK's assasination marks the long-delayed and long-anticipated release of the Nirvana Box Set (click link to see the 'trailer.') About damn time. So where's the DVD releases of Unplugged in New York and Live, Tonight, Sold Out?!

Another Stolen Election?

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
-- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt ... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."
--Thomas Jefferson (1798)

So, it was fairly clear that the 2000 election was stolen and was hardly a legitimate presidency. Although, no one seemed to get too worked up about that one. But, did it happen again?

I spent way too much time in the Bush-Cheney placard/bumper sticker areas of California this election cycle, which pretty much encompassed anywhere 90 miles east of any beach and a large part of the central coast (even though Santa Barbara County, surprisingly, went for Kerry, SLO county went for Bush). The cultural divide and idiocy of the electorate cannot be underestimated. The alternative media sources I've seen so far have suggested that even w/ some irregularities being reported, the votes that really mattered in terms of electoral college swing votes came from precincts that didn't even use touch-screen machines (can't find the link to the article I wanted).

I think it's a bit of delusional lefty wishful thinking that the Republicans have this vast apparatus in conjunction with Diebold capable of stealing every election they were up for. What's that ak bar allahambra's razor deal? Simplest explanation is usually the correct one? I just think Karl Rove did a better job of getting their base out to vote to counter the gains made by Democrats, who ran a really piss-poor campaign. And, a large portion of the population are scared, ignorant sheep who get misinformed edutainment news from the likes of Bill O'Reilly.

Personally, I've yet to meet one Bush supporter (or, more often, anti-Kerry advocate) who knows anything about neo-con values or policies. It was all about superficial crap (only bad thing anyone could ever come up w/ Clinton was that he got sucked off in the White House) and Rove's branding of Kerry as a flip-flopper and shady character worked superbly. Not to mention that Kerry doesn't LOOK like a president (apart from the old white guy thing) and he talks too edumacated. Bush is the dude homies want to hang out with, maybe drink some beers, catch some fish. He's the prom king, the jock, the alpha male. That's really as deep as I think a lot of people get when it comes to voting for a president. Or, maybe, they have their hardcore pet issues, like gun control or abortion and it doesn't matter WHAT else is going on, they're going to vote solely on those issues.

With all that being said, I do find it highly suspicious that the exit polls were so far off. I mean, exit polls are what the UN uses to make sure 3rd world countries have legit elections. I found further amusement in the right-wing talking heads claiming that people were just 'embarassed' to admit they voted for Bush. That is so wrong on so many levels.

Anyway, just stand in awe of all we can look forward to in the next 4 years: Privatized social security. Permanent tax breaks for the rich and corporations. More deregulation. A really cool missile defense system (who cares if it doesn't work?). Ken Lay being pardoned. Jeb Bush in '08 campaign.

C'mon, isn't anyone a little bit curious to see just how far back in time a completely radical right-wing administration, Congress, and Supreme Court can take us? I mean, I still haven't got around to looking up whether one political party has ever controlled every means of checks and balances, but I would wager certainly never one so extremist.

More links:

black box

Friday, November 05, 2004

Rise, Lord Vader...

Episode III Teaser

I thought this was supposed to be showing w/ The Incredibles, but it didn't at the showing I went to this morning.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bush the Anti-Christ?

I wonder if all those die-hard Evangelical Christians who so support Senor Shrub so hardcore really read their Bibles and their Left Behind series. Now, I was raised Catholic, but that doesn't mean I buy into any of this mumbo-jumbo. It has just occured to me on a few occasions that Bush reminded me of what I remember the Anti-Christ being described as. Not in the jokey Bush-is-Satan/Republican bashing, but in the literal intepretation of the Book of Revelations description of what the Anti-Christ would supposedly look and act like.

Pope thinks Bush might be the Anti-Christ

Bush is the Anti-Christ

Is Bush the Anti-Christ?

Could George Bush be the Anti-Christ?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Good job, America

The mood here is somber, downbeat, and bitterly disappointed. Record turnout at the polls (most since 1968 anyway) and still Bush gets re-elected. The youth vote did get out in huge numbers; only problem is so did every other demographic. 18-29 year olds were 17% of voters, same % as 2000.

I'm not at all surprised, but it's mind-boggling how people could vote for that guy plus give the GOP control of the House, Senate, and the Supreme Court. I mean, has that EVER happened before? I need to look that up.

Anyway, the part of me that isn't recoiling in absolute horror is intrigued at just how much crazier it's going to get in the next 4 years and if this might ultimately help 3rd parties gain some ground. The Democrats really botched this one good. Lost the election and Kerry/Edwards' seats went to Republicans. The Democrats are just a debacle right now (and who's running that party now anyway? Daschle got handed his ass too).

This column pretty much sums it up.