Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Fox News has no integrity - what else is new?

Via Hesiod, comes this gem:

[Commentator and former Green Beret J. Keith "Jack"] Idema, a former U.S. Army Special Forces commando who figured prominently in Robin Moore's best-selling book "The Hunt for Bin Laden," returned to Afghanistan in October 2001 at the age of 45 to engage in combat and humanitarian operations after a failed attempt to reenlist, according to his lawsuit.

During his nine-month stay, Idema said he became an adviser to the United Front Military Forces, better known as the Northern Alliance, and obtained copyrights to a videotape of an al Qaeda training camp.

Idema said he gave Fox a 52-minute "clip reel," depicting al Qaeda trainees practicing drive-by assassinations and hostage-taking, on the conditions that Fox agree not to copy or broadcast the tapes until a usage agreement was reached.

Idema said he planned to use proceeds from licensing the tapes to purchase medical supplies, food and to support relief efforts in Afghanistan.

However, Fox televised "hundreds of minutes in excerpts" from the clip reel without finalizing a licensing or use agreement with Idema, the lawsuit said.

Read that second to last paragraph again.

I mean, holy shit, Fox is keeping money away from people suffering in Afghanistan! Oh, and I'm sure Rupert Murdoch sure cares.

Well, I guess we'll have to start bombing Washington

From The Guardian:

The good news for the Pentagon yesterday was that its investigators had finally unearthed evidence of weapons of mass destruction, including 100 vials of anthrax and other dangerous bacteria.
The bad news was that the stash was found, not in Iraq, but fewer than 50 miles from Washington, near Fort Detrick in the Maryland countryside.

The anthrax was a non-virulent strain, and the discoveries are apparently remnants of an abandoned germ warfare programme. They merited only a local news item in the Washington Post.

But suspicious finds in Iraq have made front-page news (before later being cleared), given the failure of US military inspection teams to find evidence of the weapons that were the justification for the March invasion.

Link via Tom Tomorrow.

You know, the US, like Iraq, did sign that treaty that was supposed to ban chemical and biological weapons. I'm not saying that we're the only country that's violating the treaty, but it's at least as ridiculous to assume that the US is all high and righteous as it is to assume any other country is.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Invading Iran sure makes sense

Neal Pollack explains.

Monday, May 26, 2003

I'm not sure if I want to laugh or seathe with rage

I guess that's what makes Kevin Moore's cartoons so good.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Neil Young on W

From The Guardian:

It is difficult to find supportive things to say about George Bush unless your construction company is rebuilding Iraq, but it would be a droll irony if it was him we have to thank for Neil Young's latest creative renaissance.
"The US is like a baby with a bomb," he barks, his eyes blazing with the famous stare. "The reaction to France that the administration allowed to happen is so immature. These people have their own opinion - they're French! They're not fuckin' Americans, they're French ! Vive la difference, hello? And this big deal about Bush landing on an aircraft carrier? Talk about a six-year-old kid with a Tonka toy - we got it here."

After a string of less-than-awesome albums, it is excellent news that Young has found himself a new itch to scratch. He has never been a political songwriter, unless you count his 1970 hit single Ohio, but the songs from his new album, Greendale, take a critical squint at Bush's America through a small-town keyhole.

He tells his story about the fictional town of Greendale through a variety of characters, including three generations of the Green family, but the dominant themes reflect Young's personal concerns. He seems especially fired up by issues of media intrusion, ecological conservation and illegal surveillance by government agencies.

"I think the world today, at least the US and to some extent Britain now, is experiencing this kind of Big Brother thing," he ruminates, the day after completing his string of solo performances at London's Hammersmith Apollo. Close up, the Toronto-born Young looks lined and weatherbeaten, but his mental focus is sharp.

"It's not what we thought we were gonna be doing, a lot of the people's civil rights have been compromised, and we don't know what's going on. If I keep speaking my mind, will I be deported? I'm not very happy with the state of things. Music is being banned, and we have people in control of the radio stations who are the same people in control of the concert halls. They're also tied into the [US] administration and are sponsoring pro-war rallies. It's not good. It's interesting ."

All right, so the gyst of it is Neil Young's coming out with a protest album this August. That is so cool.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Sunnis and Shi'a - or Why we'd have to be completely out of our fucking minds to attack Iran

Bob Harris over at This Modern World offers this this informative post:

Iran is predominately Shi'a (like much of Iraq), while Bin Laden and crew are basically Wahhabi, from an extremist offshoot of the Sunni tradition. In short, Al-Qaeda and Iran are whole different religious deals.

The Sunni and Shi'a factions split centuries ago on a fundamental issue (who speaks for God?), much as Catholics and Protestants did, except the split has existed for over twice as long. Sunnis and Shi'a recognize each other as Muslims, but with only periodic efforts at ecumenicism, just like in Christianity.

The Shi'a have a hierarchical clergy, with a divinely-inspired supreme Imam, sort of where Catholics have a Pope. Sunni clergy is much less formalized, somewhat like our Protestantism. Within each tradition are a whole variety of sects and offshoots, just like in Christianity.

There's more. Read it.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Keeping Journalists Out

Article from Reason Online. Go read it.

Via Cursor.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Warren Buffett rules!

From Tom Tomorrow, here's this reminder that not all rich people are evil self-serving assholes:

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Renewing his criticism of the dividend tax cut laid out by the Senate last week, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett called the proposal "voodoo economics" that uses "Enron-style accounting."
The Senate's plan for dividends to be 50 percent tax free in 2003, 100 percent tax free in 2004 through 2006 and then face the full tax in 2007 would "further tilt the tax scales toward the rich," Buffett wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.

Buffett posed a hypothetical situation in which Berkshire Hathaway, which does not currently pay a dividend, paid $1 billion in dividends next year.

Through his 31 percent ownership of the company, Buffett said he would receive an additional $310 million in income that would reduce his tax rate from about 30 percent to 3 percent, while his office secretary would still have a tax rate of about 30 percent.

"The 3 percent overall federal tax rate I would pay -- if a Berkshire dividend were to be tax free -- seems a bit light," Buffett wrote.

Instead of the Senate's tax cut plan, Buffett proposed that it provide tax reductions to those who need and will spend the money in the form of a Social Security tax "holiday" or a tax rebate to lower-income people.

"Putting $1,000 in the pockets of 310,000 families with urgent needs is going to provide far more stimulus to the economy than putting the same $310 million in my pockets," Buffett added.

You must check this out!

The News in Type illustrates one headline every weekday. Check it out.

Well, I'm back in Flagstaff

And on the one hand, I'll have more time over the summer to do potential blogging and other internet stuff. But on the other hand, I won't have as good web connection (only dialup) so I really don't know how much I'll post over the summer. We'll see. I'll try to be fairly regular with the world's events and so on. The one more year left of college. Egads.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Hmm, interesting

I was just thinking that the Reagan/Bush I years are the longest period of a single party controlling the White House since Roosevelt/Truman. And since then, we've had a pretty stable fluctuation of ruling parties:

Right now, we have Bush the younger and dumber.

Preceded by 8 years of Democratic control with Clinton.

Preceded by 12 years of Republican control with Reagan/Bush the elder and slightly less evil.

Preceded by 4 years of Democratic control with Carter.

Preceded by 8 years of Republican control with Nixon/Ford.

Preceded by 8 years of Democratic control with Kennedy/Johnson.

Preceded by 8 years of Republican control with Eisenhower.

Preceded by 20 years of Democratic control with Roosevelt/Truman.

Preceded by (at least) 4 years of Republican control with Hoover.

I'm not sure of before that, since I'm unsure of particular parties, besides it's not too much earlier that we're dealing with Whigs and other now-defunct parties. (Bull-moose anyone?) Just thought this was interesting.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Beating logic until it screams for mercy

Ken Adelman offers this theory as to what happened to the WMDs:

"It's just very strange," said Kenneth Adelman, a member of a Pentagon advisory board who had predicted weapons would be found a month ago. "There will certainly not be the quantity and proximity that we thought of before." Adelman says Hussein may even have launched "a massive disinformation campaign to make the world think he was violating international norms, and he may not have been."

Provided by CalPundit who adds this:

The weird thing is that I might even buy this theory if I had a couple of drinks in me. The idea that Saddam no longer had WMD but couldn't stand the thought of fessing up to this — well, it kinda fits his personality, doesn't it? He just had to be the biggest, meanest kid on the block. And who knows? Being the out of touch guy that he is (was?), maybe he never believed that we'd actually invade.

It is truly an Alice in Wonderland world we live in, isn't it?

Okay, my previous statement about CalPundit still stands, I still like him, he's a good blogger and writer, but I have to ask: Excuse me? If I were simultaneously drunk, stoned, on acid and lobotomized I'd still at least be somewhat skeptical of this theory. Are we so sure that Bush wouldn't lie that Saddam suddenly retroactively gained control over global media? And if so, isn't Bush privy to intelligence? Isn't our government at the very least skeptical of the media even if it didn't control it? Wasn't Bush the one constantly saying Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?

Either the administration is lying or this is the second massive intelligence failure since Bush was president. I'm beginning to think it's more than a mere coincidence.


Just taking a note of what happens when I enter "Raznor" in a Google search. I notice both descriptions that google links to starts with the phrase "Damn you . . ." as in "Damn you fate" or "Damn you enticement of the internet". I must say "Damn you" a lot here. I rule.

But I'm not sure how highly ranked I am, but I'm more highly ranked than the Nine Inch Nails fan sites that spell Trent Reznor's name wrong, and also, this blog is more higher ranked than my comments on Ampersand or Cal Pundit, or the specific post where Amp adds me to his blogroll. Go me.

Just thought this was interesting.

Interview with Dean

Over at Liberal Oasis. Check it out.

Link via Atrios.

Various notes on bigotry

J over at Silver Rights wrote a good post about bigotry which includes how white bigots exhibit physical signs when confronted with people of color, the ignorance of Eugene Volokh and recounts an old Hesiod post about how Conservative politics kills. Go give it a read.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Bill O'Reilly is resigning!

Unless of course he's a dirty liar. But, hey what are the odds of that?

Atrios has the details.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Latest blogs I'm getting into

Atrios is always linking to Counterspin Central, and I'm finding it to be an enjoyable blog that I've been checking daily. Plus it's maintained by someone whose internet name is Hesiod Theogeny, so it's like he's going straight after a Reedie's heart. (Ah HUM110, so many memories)

And he's already pretty popular, but Cal Pundit is a pretty good centrist Democrat mind, plus a good writer. Even if he is a Lakers fan. But then so is my brother, and my brother does kick ass, so there.

It takes some time for me to get into a new blog, blogging is a pretty personal thing, and it's the individual voices of the bloggers that keeps me reading, so when I add bloggers to my "List o' Blogs" it says a lot of their whole blogging ability.

Of course none compare with this totally awesome blog I found. You should totally go check it out, like all the time. And give the blogger lots of money. Somehow.


Okay, this story's a bit old, Atrios and Tom Tomorrow already posted on it, but this has to be mentioned.

You remember about the The Texas democrats fleeing the country (love having the permalinks workin' again), well here's the latest:

According to a partial transcript the customs bureau released late Thursday, the DPS officer told the bureau's tracking center, "We got a problem, and I hope you can help me out. We had a plane that was supposed to be going from Ardmore, Oklahoma, to Georgetown, Texas. It had state representatives in it, and we cannot find this plane."
The urgent phone call set off a scramble at the customs bureau's Air and Marine Interdiction Coordination Center near Riverside, Calif.

"I don't begrudge a federal agency for doing its job," Mr. Laney said Thursday from Ardmore. "My concern would be with who caused their activation."

In Washington, Rep. Jim Turner of Crockett, the ranking Democrat on the House committee that oversees homeland security, denounced the effort to use the nation's security apparatus in such a manner.

Many Democrats blame the chain of events on U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, who has pushed for redistricting.

"That domestic intelligence capabilities would be used for partisan political purposes should be deeply disturbing to this committee and to all Americans," Mr. Turner said.

DeLay aides have said there was no contact between his office and the Homeland Security Department or the FBI.

The only problem I have with those Texas Republicans is they're not quite evil enough. I mean, sure they're using a government agency that was devised by their party in order to "fight terrorism" for their own political purposes, but maybe they could kick puppies while they do it, then go out for a night of nun-beating with Robo-Hitler.



Spent today cleaning my room and starting the packing for the summer, so I wasn't able to really get to the blog. I'm done for the day, and did a lot of work. I can see my floor now - like, most of it. Isn't that great?

Anyway, I'll see if I get to posting some cool stuff later tonight.

Permalinks working

Okay, I just republished my archives, so the permalinks should be working fine again. All you many, many very popular bloggers who wish to link to my very, very amazing words of wisdom may now do so!

Update: Yeah, I just have to republish every time I post. Which is a slight annoyance, but hey, until I switch blog programs it'll do.

A test

All right, people. So, Amp's given me another html lesson via e-mail, and now I will attempt to add a picture to this blog. If this works, this post will include a picture of my sexy self standing on a boat on the Danube that was taken last September. If it fails, the world will be destroyed.

So here goes . . .

Update: Yes! Success! Raznor's Rants shall now enter a new, more visual, picture-full stage!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

My God, how good could that song possibly be?

Someone has been listening to "God Gave Rock And Roll To You" for the past half hour, loudly, occasionally singing off-key. And I've determined that that song sucks a lot. I mean a lot. It's the same tune over and over, and maybe that's good for the three-four minute duration of the song, but when repeated several times is annoying as hell. Right now, the remedy I'm using is listening to "Let Down" by Radiohead sufficiently loud enough to drown it out. Hope people like Radiohead. Although it is a much, much more interesting melody.

Update: And if you're unconvinced that the song "Let Down" doesn't sufficiently roxorz, here's a sample lyric:

One day,
I am gonna grow wings
A chemical reaction

Does that not blow your mind?

Html question

Anyone know how to post pictures on a blog? And if history is a lesson in this, making out the question to "anyone" will likely mean it will be answered by Ampersand, and believe me, Amp, I appreciate it.

Double Grrrrrrr

I just finished writing this post and because of problems with blogger (DAMN YOU BLOGGER!! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!) I lost the post and have to write this again.

Which double sucks since the subject is enraging in and of itself.

Joe Conason wrote a good article in the New York Observer on Bush's judicial nominees. Here's a sample:

The conservatism of the Bush judicial nominees is plain enough, if "conservative" is defined as synonymous with the attitudes and objectives of the religious right. One of his most recent choices for a federal appellate nomination, Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, filed an amicus brief in the Texas sodomy-law case currently pending before the Supreme Court that compares gays with those who practice "necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, incest and pedophilia."

In other words, Mr. Pryor is the kind of devout busybody whose overwhelming desire to intervene in other people’s private sexual conduct defines him as a "conservative" in the White House lexicon. Other Bush nominees apparently share these prejudices masquerading as conservatism. But in what sense can the President’s judicial selections be described as compassionate? Only, perhaps, if that word’s definition has been twisted to mean absolute solicitude for corporations and bureaucracies—and none for ordinary citizens.

Read the rest. Link via Cursor.

When you've lost Arnold, you're really in trouble

Yep, one of the most unapologetically Republican action stars of all time is speaking out against Bush (via Atrios):

Arnold Schwarzenegger says he couldn't have become all he has become -- championship bodybuilder, presidential fitness adviser, "The Terminator" -- without mentors early in life.

Yet many kids would lose that kind of support under the Bush administration's plan to cut $400 million in after-school spending, Schwarzenegger told a Senate subcommittee Tuesday.

"If our children are our future, our future is in jeopardy every afternoon between 3 and 6 p.m. when unsupervised children are roaming the streets," Schwarzenegger said

Take that Bush.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

I guess that's kind of offensive . . .

For the hell of it, and because apparently I'm a glutton for pain, I read through Ann Coulter's latest column the other day entitled, "American Women to Kerry: We Don't Think You're So Hot". Here's a sample:

Moreover, as long as liberals keep loudly proclaiming that they support "the troops" -- while simultaneously running sneering articles that portray the troops as coarse, semiliterate cads -- a tax-and-spend Massachusetts Democrat like Kerry could finally provide them with one "troop" they really do like. (Meanwhile, for the first time ever, I find myself in favor of the war but against the troop.)

Okay, Ann Coulter would be offending me a lot more right here if she actually knew how to write. She's not holding a cohesive idea during any consecutive sentences, and her word mangling is downright hilarious. I could try to argue with her point by point, but why? It's a bunch of meaningless tripe.

So I just thought I'd give you guys this little bit of amazing wisdom from the right and leave you to discuss.

All right, give me some of that

Check out Flag-O-Rama, unless your a Saddam-lovin', terrorist hippie.

August is graduating

He offers this, his final post as an NYU student with his final XQYZYPHR & Overboard comic. I've mentioned earlier here that August's site was the amin inspiration that convinced me to start up a blog here. Go read his stuff.

Doctored Photos

The Memory Hole has the details. Go.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Frightening words?

Atrios points to this lovely quote:

If you are a Democrat with a compulsion to run for president, this would be a good time to find a detox program for the ambition-addicted. President Bush's popularity is at Founding Father levels. The Republicans have a cassette full of your doleful prewar words about Desert Storm, ready for media man Roger Ailes to pin to your hide. Meanwhile, Bush's Warthogs . . . are softening you up from the air, impugning your toughness if not your patriotism. Even if you voted for the war . . . you still have to answer for your party, which opposed it almost en masse. "They're fair game," says Ailes.

Seems hopeless, right? Except for we're not talking about George W Bush, this was written in 1991 by Howard Fineman. And we all know about how Bush won that election right?

You notice how a Bush has not won the presidincy in nearly 15 years?

Further reason why Teddy Roosevelt was the ass-kickingest president of the 20th century

This quotation (via Chicken Hawk Cards):

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.

You tell it, Teddy!

Finals update

So I'm working on my history final. I'm ahead of schedule enough to do a quick update to my blog, being almost done with the first of two essay questions after merely an hour of a three hour exam. Take that, fate.

I'll either blog more this afternoon when I'm done, or crash. We'll see.

Update: Done. Take that semester.

You know, I did give my history prof the url for this page. I don't think he's reading this, but if he is that could prove quite awkward. I'll try to counter this awkwardness by mentioning how much he rules, which as it turns out is a lot.

This is insane

So, because of my history final, I'm waking up much earlier than I'm used to. I get up, go to my computer, and see what's going on in the world. And what news do I wake up to?

Texas Democrats are fleeing to Oklahoma, and the Republicans are seeking their arrest.

Outnumbered by House Republicans determined to pass a congressional redistricting bill, all but a few Democrats went into hiding today to keep the House from meeting. The House's GOP leader responded by ordering state troopers to find and arrest the missing lawmakers.

The House walkout not only blocked the redistricting bill but also action on all other bills on the calendar. The House cannot convene without at least two-thirds of the membership, or 100 members, present on the House floor under legislative rules.

Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick locked down the House chamber so that lawmakers already present could not leave, then he expressed his disgust with the Democrats.

"It is a disgrace to run and hide," Craddick said. After the roll call, he ordered that missing lawmakers be arrested and brought back to the chamber.

House Democrats said they were taking a stand for fair treatment of the minority party. They blamed U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay, R-Sugar Land, for pushing the Texas House to take up redistricting against the wishes of Democrats and some GOP state lawmakers.

I heard about this from Atrios and Bob Harris (posting over at This Modern World). Bob had this to add:

Texas has always been a nice preview of what the rest of us have coming under Bush -- a lack of respect for human life? check; sweetheart deals and the pillaging of the treasury? check; partisanship so extreme it leads to the complete breakdown of government? stay tuned...

Monday, May 12, 2003

Required Reading

If you haven't heard about Jayson Blair, or even if you have, go check out Calpundit's post on the subject. It's well worth the read.

After your done with that, go and read Neal Pollack's hilarious take on the whole issue.


I just learned that my theater final paper, that I thought was due on wednesday, was due half an hour ago in theory, but due before tomorrow morning in practice. As such right now I'm frantically trying to get it written. It won't be too hard, fortunately, and I have no doubt that I'll be able to finish it in say 3 hours, still, whereas my plan was to do some light to medium blogging tonight as I casually got started on this paper, now, my plans involve doing no blogging, and sitting at my computer until this is done so I can get to bed and get enough sleep before a 9 am history final tomorrow. Damn you cruel fate.

So, yeah, probably won't be much more blogging today. Sorry, Raznor fans.

Update: I'm done. Ha ha ha. Choke on that fate.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Monica Lewinsky is right!

Monica Lewinsky wrote an editorial for Mother's Day in the LA Times in which she makes this important point:

Few people are aware that, in our country, parents can be forced to testify against their children and vice versa; there is no parent-child privilege under the aegis of the federal government. We have a husband-wife privilege, a doctor-patient privilege, an attorney-client privilege and even a privilege between priest and penitent. But no comparable confidential boundary is recognized for parent and child.

All of these existing privileges place value on certain relationships in order to foster and then protect them. Their inviolability is deemed more important than the truth-finding function of the courts. Isn't the parent-child relationship every bit as important, if not more so?

Talk Left has more. (Via Atrios)

Saturday, May 10, 2003

An Interesting Day

This site attempts to offer a comprehensive account of Bush's actions on September 11. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's well worth a read. Go now. You don't have to read the whole thing right away, but at least bookmark it and read it later.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Life is Great

Now that the new Get Your War On comics have been posted. Check it out!

Cartoons are okay

Check out Mikhaela's take on Santorum's remarks.

I think I need a day off

Looking at various news stories today is just pissing me off too much. I think I'll spend today relaxing and maybe starting my last final paper.

So, likely some slow blogging today. Or maybe not. We'll see.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

But I could use that $29.50

In case there was any doubts Gorilla-a-Gogo provides visual aid as to how the Bush tax plan will disproportionately help the wealthy. Check it out now.

Why are you still reading this?

Go look at the chart.

It's a damn chart it's not like it will take you any time.


I won't be posting anything important for the next few minutes anyway.

One more before heading to the math center

An enjoyable list over at Fatty Patties to celebrate International Day to give up dieting.

Top Ten Reasons To Give Up Dieting

10. DIETS DON'T WORK. Even if you lose weight, you will probably gain it all back, and you might gain back more than you lost.

9. DIETS ARE EXPENSIVE. If you didn't buy special diet products, you could save enough to get new clothes, which would improve your outlook right now.

8. DIETS ARE BORING. People on diets talk and think about food and practically nothing else. There's a lot more to life.

7. DIETS DON'T NECESSARILY IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH. Like the weight loss, health improvement is temporary. Dieting can actually cause health problems.

6. DIETS DON'T MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL. Very few people will ever look like models. Glamour is a look, not a size. You don't have to be thin to be attractive.

5. DIETS ARE NOT SEXY. If you want to be more attractive, take care of your body and your appearance. Feeling healthy makes you look your best.

4. DIETS CAN TURN INTO EATING DISORDERS. The obsession to be thin can lead to anorexia, bulimia, bingeing, and compulsive exercising.

3. DIETS CAN MAKE YOU AFRAID OF FOOD. Food nourishes and comforts us, and gives us pleasure. Dieting can make food seem like your enemy, and can deprive you of all the positive things about food.

2. DIETS CAN ROB YOU OF ENERGY. If you want to lead a full and active life, you need good nutrition, and enough food to meet your body's needs.

And the number one reason to give up dieting:

1. Learning to love and accept yourself just as you are will give you self-confidence, better health, and a sense of wellbeing that will last a lifetime.

Great new comic over at Ampersand

Right here. Dang, Amp's given us three cartoons this week. Ain't we lucky?

Dancin' a jig

Via August comes this little bit of happy news.

The Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel, whose determinedly patriotic stance during the Iraq conflict brought it critical notoriety but commercial success, is under investigation by television regulators in Britain for alleged bias.

The independent television commission is investigating nine complaints by viewers of the channel, broadcast on Sky Digital satellite, also controlled by Rupert Murdoch.

If the network is found to have breached the ITC's "due impartiality" rules, it could be forced out.

In 1999 the ITC revoked the licence of Med TV, a channel aimed at the Kurdish diaspora, for failing to conform to the impartiality rules.

Julian Petley, chairman of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, called on the ITC to act against Fox News: "I'm not in favour of censorship, but Murdoch would like to do with British television news what he has done with newspapers, which is to force people to compete on his own terms.

"So if we allow into Britain the kind of journalism represented by Fox, that would bring about a form of censorship ."

So Fox News may be kicked out of England for being too biased. I wish America was more like England, only minus Bush's pet warmonkey at the helm.

So apparently the Nobel Peace Prize is like a Grammy

Why else would you nominate a couple of lying, self-aggrandizing warlords?

Via Hesiod.

Damn Liberal Media

Here's an interesting article by Kyle Williams:

As I was walking through Barnes and Noble earlier this week, I noticed a book by Nation columnist Eric Alterman, titled "What Liberal Media?" I picked it up but quickly put it back down. I'm sure Mr. Alterman is very sharp and intelligent, but I can't imagine anything refuting media bias, considering that organizations like the Media Research Center and many authors like Bernard Goldberg have documented this as a fact.

He then goes on to give some examples and then finishes with this kicker:

These two examples of journalists failing to report the truth are disgusting. I wonder how Mr. Alterman would respond. (emphasis mine)

You know, maybe he'd learn how Mr. Alterman would respond if he would, like, read the book!

I wouldn't get away with something so sloppy as refuting something I haven't read if I was writing an essay for class. I don't see why Mr. Williams should be treated differently.

No X Chromosomes

Earlier, I wrote regarding a procedure that derived an egg from mouse embryo cells, and the possibility if that could be extended to humans (damn my permalinks):

The only problem with making the jump to the last paragraph that I see is what happens if an embryo has two "Y" chromosome? From what I know of biology/genetics (which admittedly is not much) I would suspect that the Y chromosome is a dominant, so it could be nothing except just another male, or possibly some sort of crazy uber-male. But then, nowhere in nature do we have examples of animals with two Y chromosomes (as far as I'm aware), so it could potentially have negative, unforeseen effects.

Well, it appears that Instapundit has the answer to that. Go read it. In the meanwhile I'll hang my head in shame at my general ignorance regarding genetics in writing the above paragraph. (Hey, I never said I knew what I was talking about)

In the meanwhile, this marks the third e-mail I got from someone who doesn't know me, and the second far more popular blog to link to me. Go Raznor, go Raznor!

Update: Okay, so this isn't the famous Glenn Reynolds, but rather dipnut over at Instapundit or something like this. This may create a conflict of interest, as sooner or later I may have to refute some of his conservative crap, but in the meanwhile, I'll still revel in the whole being linked to thing.

A side note

I'm working on a paper in my History of Vietnam class on Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, and while copying the following quotation into my text, I was suddenly struck by its beauty and impact and was moved to the verge of tears. I thought I'd share it with you.

What stories can do, I guess, is make things present.

I can look at things I never looked at. I can attach faces to grief and love and pity and God. I can be brave. I can make myself feel again.

"Daddy, tell the truth," Kathleen can say, "did you ever kill anybody?" And I can say, honestly, "Of course not."

Or I can say, honestly, "Yes."

For those who haven't read The Things They Carried, I strongly advise you do so. For those who have, do so again. Tim O'Brien is a genius.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

More on Todd Jones

Derek Zumsteg wrote a good article over at Baseball Prospectus on the whole Todd Jones controversy involving the Rockies pitcher's homophobic remarks. (This particular article is available without premium subscription, still I'd recommend a premium subscription for anyone who's a baseball fan, it's well worth the money) In it he makes this important point:

Keli McGregor, Rockies president, ran a statement on their web site that started out well: "The unfortunate comments made by pitcher Todd Jones in (The) Denver Post in no way reflects the views, opinions or attitudes of the Colorado Rockies." And then: "As an organization and as a part of this community, we are committed to providing an environment for our employees and fans that is free of discrimination and prejudice, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, or status as a veteran."

Quick test, though. What's not in that list?

Yup. Isn't it strange that in responding to a furor about a player's statements on homosexuals, the Rockies managed to issue a statement that--had it stopped at "free of discrimination"--would have been much better than one that lists some common causes, but conspicuously skips over the one at hand?

Senator Byrd

Here's an excerpt from a recent speech by Senator Byrd, (via Hesiod):

In my 50 years as a member of Congress, I have had the privilege to witness the defining rhetorical moments of a number of American presidents. I have listened spellbound to the soaring oratory of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. I have listened grimly to the painful soul-searching of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Presidential speeches are an important marker of any President's legacy. These are the tangible moments that history seizes upon and records for posterity. For this reason, I was deeply troubled by both the content and the context of President Bush's remarks to the American people last week marking the end of the combat phase of the war in Iraq. As I watched the President's fighter jet swoop down onto the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, I could not help but contrast the reported simple dignity of President Lincoln at Gettysburg with the flamboyant showmanship of President Bush aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

President Bush's address to the American people announcing combat victory in Iraq deserved to be marked with solemnity, not extravagance; with gratitude to God, not self-congratulatory gestures. American blood has been shed on foreign soil in defense of the President's policies. This is not some made-for-TV backdrop for a campaign commercial. This is real life, and real lives have been lost. To me, it is an affront to the Americans killed or injured in Iraq for the President to exploit the trappings of war for the momentary spectacle of a speech. I do not begrudge his salute to America's warriors aboard the carrier Lincoln, for they have performed bravely and skillfully, as have their countrymen still in Iraq, but I do question the motives of a deskbound President who assumes the garb of a warrior for the purposes of a speech

So how is this being covered by the liberal media?

Wolf Blitzer posts a pool that asks Was Sen. Byrd right to blast President Bush? and MSNBC has a poll that asks Byrd's Bush-Bashing: Did Byrd go too far?

Quick question, can you possibly get more disgusting than this? I'm heading back to the angry dome.

Drugs at Reed, and Attitudes toward drugs in general

When Ampersand added me to his blogroll (which is still so amazingly awesome) he made this off-hand remark:

Also, he's a Reed student, so I assume he's on drugs.

I don't begrudge him this joke. It's funny. I laughed at it, I still laugh at it. It's an amusing satire that neither targets myself nor Reed, but rather Americans' rather unenlightened attitudes toward drugs.

What can be lost in all this, however, is how dangerous these attitudes can be.

The prevailing (exaggerated) attitude toward Reed among outsiders is that Reed is just a school full of druggies, that drugs are unusually prevalent here, and really is full of druggies. This is of course a ridiculous view, of course. But the reasons behind this view are alarming.

First of all, people on campus often talk about the Reed bubble, a sort of impenetrable barrier separating Reed from the rest of the world. There are two reasons as I see it for the existence of this bubble:

First, Reed is among the most academically rigorous undergraduate institutions in the nation, if not the world. I felt the blunt of this first-hand this semester, as my course load was just slightly over my personal threshhold. My friend Alex told me one day, "You know, the sad thing is I'll come back to this campus someday after maybe ten or twenty years, and I won't remember the dorms I lived in or the commons [dining hall], but I'll remember the library. Like, 'hey look, that chair. I remember sitting there.'" And it's true. I barely left campus at all this past semester. I managed to visit my family in Beaverton once, and I haven't been downtown at all.

But, the second reason is that Reed College is a rather autonomous, self-contained community. We are governed by the Honor Principle, which is a complex, rather lucid guideline that is very hard to explain and is essential in understanding the Reed Community. The difficulty in explaining the Honor Principle is the main reason I almost never write about the goings on about Reed, and am rather offended when an outsider attempts to make a blanket judgment about the Reed Community. The guiding principle is that we, as college students, are adults and deserve to be treated as thus. We are empowered to make our own decisions in our lives within and outside Reed College, and take responsibility for the consequences of those decisions, whatever they may be.

Which brings me to the subject of drugs. Reed College does not officially condone drug use, but there aren't any strong antidrug statements in Reed College policy either. I'm not sure what Reed's drug policy is exactly, but in practice it means that official employees of Reed College intervene only where necessary, which amounts to if public or individual safety is the concern, or law enforcement is involved. What this brings about is not necessarily more drug use than in most colleges, but certainly more open use of drugs.

But this openness, far from being a problem, I would contend makes the inevitable campus drug use considerably safer. First of all, I should note that the only prevalent illiegal drug is marijuana, which, despite what the ads say, is not dangerous in occasional recreational use, and is in fact far safer than alcohol, but that's a separate issue. Harder drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, acid and so on are around, but are very rare and mostly used for special occasions.

So what do people mean when they say that drug use on Reed Campus is prevalent? There's alcohol and tobacco, but since almost all the students are over 18, and maybe about half are over 21, so these are legal, and therefore can be ignored. There's marijuana, but the state of marijuana today is pretty close to the state of alcohol during prohibition. Frankly, although I don't want to get into this argument right now, I would say that the damage caused by making marijuana illegal far outweighs the damage that could come from legalizing it. And besides, you'd be hard pressed to find a college in the country where marijuana is not prevalent, so I'll ignore this. That leaves the harder drugs.

And this is where Reed's more lax attitudes toward drugs foster a safer environment. Let's face it, college is a time where many people will experiment with drugs. As the South Park episode says, "there's a time and place for everything, and it's called college." And no matter what the rules are, or the environment, if someone really wants to get drugs, he/she will.

So let's consider the following situation as it would occur on a campus with a zero-tolerance policy. Two friends try tabs of acid to celebrate passing some test or something. One of the friends is fine, but the other reacts adversely (now mind you as I continue to extrabpolate, my general naivete regarding most drugs may create a not exactly realistic situation here, but this is all hypothetical anyway, so eat your heart out). Now the first friend has a situation - his friend needs medical attention, but if he calls for help among campus authorities, he and his friend could be expelled as part of the no tolerance policy. One would hope that this person would risk it and get help, but the fact that this creates an ordeal is the inherent danger.

Now let's transpose these friends to Reed. The first friend knows that if he calls the Community Safety Office, they'll send someone to help his friend so that his friend will receive medical attention as appropriate, and moreover, unless the police want to be involved (which is unlikely) he won't be punished for bringing this to the attention of the campus authorities. There is no ordeal, no incentives to do anything but help his friend, and that is why things are safer.

The beauty of Reed is that everybody is looking out for everybody else. In events like Renn Fayre this past weekend, it makes for an unusually controlled environment in seemingly uncontrolled circumstances. Let's face it, Reed has to be doing something right here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Good Krugman column

And this marks the first time that Raznor's Rants links to a a column by Krugman. (I never bothered reading his stuff before because I was instantly sick of his "Bush is wrong but he's right about Iraq" stance) Here's an excerpt:

Gen. Georges Boulanger cut a fine figure; he looked splendid in uniform, and magnificent on horseback. So his handlers made sure that he appeared in uniform, astride a horse, as often as possible.

It worked: Boulanger became immensely popular. If he hadn't lost his nerve on the night of the attempted putsch, French democracy might have ended in 1889.

We do things differently here — or we used to. Has "man on horseback" politics come to America?

Some background: the Constitution declares the president commander in chief of the armed forces to make it clear that civilians, not the military, hold ultimate authority. That's why American presidents traditionally make a point of avoiding military affectations. Dwight Eisenhower was a victorious general and John Kennedy a genuine war hero, but while in office neither wore anything that resembled military garb.

Given that history, George Bush's "Top Gun" act aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln — c'mon, guys, it wasn't about honoring the troops, it was about showing the president in a flight suit — was as scary as it was funny.


But U.S. television coverage ranged from respectful to gushing. Nobody pointed out that Mr. Bush was breaking an important tradition. And nobody seemed bothered that Mr. Bush, who appears to have skipped more than a year of the National Guard service that kept him out of Vietnam, is now emphasizing his flying experience. (Spare me the hate mail. An exhaustive study by The Boston Globe found no evidence that Mr. Bush fulfilled any of his duties during that missing year. And since Mr. Bush has chosen to play up his National Guard career, this can't be shrugged off as old news.)

Read the rest. Really, you've already read close to a half of it above.

Let's face it, Bush is acting like an Imperial dictator, not a President. If you want to see another President who so brazenly flaunted his military service, you have to go back all the way to 1789, when George Washington showed up to his inauguration in a full General's uniform. But this latter act can be forgiven because:

1) There weren't any Presidential traditions yet, and Washington was enstated President because of his military leadership.

and 2) Washington actually served his country by leading the Rebellion that led to the country's existence. Bush couldn't even show up to the National Guard, even though the only reason he was in the National Guard was so he wouldn't have to serve in Vietnam.

Frankly, the military shouldn't be sucking up to this man, they should be court martialing him.

And you know what, if it were someone else I wouldn't care. If Bush was never a public figure, then I could understand him letting his privelege get him out of Vietnam, I'd do the same thing in that position. And it's not like I'd necessarily condone him going AWOL, I'd understand the military's need to prosecute this, but what would I care if some rich kid didn't show up for his military service.

But when he flaunts a military record that doesn't exist and uses the US military as a political tool, and spends huge Defense dollars on a campaign stunt, that's where we look at his past and say, besides being a militant tyrant, he's a liar and hypocrite. And let's not forget that.

Well, what were they supposed to do, actually read the sign?

From The Memory Hole:

On 30 April 2003, the Associated Press newswire carried the photo above and a related article headlined, "U.S. Troops Fire on Iraq Protesters Again." The story concerned the second time US forces had shot Iraqis engaged in anti-US protests, this time killing two of them and wounding 18.

Funny thing is, this article misreported the banner pictured above. As you can see, AP's own photograph shows the sentence: "Sooner or later US killers we'll kick you out." But this is how AP reported it:

"Sooner or later US killers we'll kill you," read an angry banner in English unfurled in the faces of GIs on guard in the central city.

I mean the banner was in plain English, for Christ's sake. This is outright propaganda at worst, sloppy editing at best, my guess is a combination of the two. I mean, didn't some editor somewhere notice before this went into print, or after it went into print that the quotation in the story contradicts the accompanying picture?

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the angry dome!

One thing I learned about myself this weekend

Some people are angry drunks, some people are sad drunks. Apparently when I'm drunk, I act under the assumption that anyone who exists deserves hugs. And going further than that, maybe people who don't exist should deserve hugs too.

I'm so cute.

Just a reminder

Iraq Bodycount now estimates between 2233 and 2706 civilian deaths. Even if the Deserter in Chief says the threat to America is over, this war is far from finished.

Technical difficulties

I just now realized that my post on Kent State was posted twice, somehow. This is just further reason for me to get off Blogger (whether or not the program is responsible).

This one makes me want to vomit

Via Hesiod again:

PARIS - Two men attacked the director of a Paris theater Sunday, punching him and slashing his face, apparently because of a play he is staging that criticizes President Bush (news - web sites), the theater said.

Attilio Maggiulli, director of the Theater of Italian Comedy, was attacked in the building's entrance on Sunday, said Claudine Simon, his assistant. One man held him down, while another cut his face. They also splashed paint on the theater's walls, she said.

Rest of the article here. Fucking thugs.

Mmmmm, Martial Law

Tom Tomorrow posts this letter he received from a reader:

I'm a graduate student here at Kent State, and I'm a touch shocked and alarmed at what the weekend has brought to this little town.
First, as you may or may not realize, May 4th is the yearly commemoration of the shootings back in 1970. Fittingly, the campus anti-war movement scheduled a rally for Sunday to follow the normal ceremony... which was of course denied for "safety reasons." (What, the ROTC on maneuvers this weekend?)

Then, as the weekend rolls around, the town falls under martial law. Saturday and Sunday afternoon, access to the campus is severely restricted (think police officers guarding all of the roads on campus). Kent Ohio is, literally, a 15 minute drive from east to west. In 5 minutes on the road Saturday night, I see 5 police cars (do we even HAVE 5 police cars in this po-dunk town?), 2 of which have pulled an offending vehicle off the road. Add to this an inexplicable raid on a townhome complex that evening...

Finally, the big day comes, and somewhere between 100 and 200 armed police, many in full riot gear, meet the relatively few protesters (I can't find an estimate of how many anywhere...) who decided to assemble anyway, under belief that the first ammendment actually means something. 12+ arrests insue (add these 12 to the 7 already arrested in the past month for peaceful protests). One individual who was arrested was sitting in the parking lot in which students were gunned down in 1970, sitting beside one of the monuments to the deceased. Just sitting there.

I'm not going to say that the protesters were completely well behaved--some were not. But 200 ARMED police in riot gear at a peace demonstration here at Kent State? Did someone lose their mind, or is it just me?

Perhaps I'm just overreacting. Perhaps. But why didn't any of this make the evening news? I've only found 3 local Ohio news links to the story... and, let me tell ya, I was more than a little afraid of "the law" this weekend. Welcome to America.

Plus there's this article from the Kent State paper.

Okay, and in case your not scared enough by this, just picture John Ashcroft masturbating to this complete lack of respect for civil liberties. If I can't scare, then by hell, I'll disturb you!

Mmmmm, Martial Law

Tom Tomorrow posts this letter he received from a reader:

I'm a graduate student here at Kent State, and I'm a touch shocked and alarmed at what the weekend has brought to this little town.
First, as you may or may not realize, May 4th is the yearly commemoration of the shootings back in 1970. Fittingly, the campus anti-war movement scheduled a rally for Sunday to follow the normal ceremony... which was of course denied for "safety reasons." (What, the ROTC on maneuvers this weekend?)

Then, as the weekend rolls around, the town falls under martial law. Saturday and Sunday afternoon, access to the campus is severely restricted (think police officers guarding all of the roads on campus). Kent Ohio is, literally, a 15 minute drive from east to west. In 5 minutes on the road Saturday night, I see 5 police cars (do we even HAVE 5 police cars in this po-dunk town?), 2 of which have pulled an offending vehicle off the road. Add to this an inexplicable raid on a townhome complex that evening...

Finally, the big day comes, and somewhere between 100 and 200 armed police, many in full riot gear, meet the relatively few protesters (I can't find an estimate of how many anywhere...) who decided to assemble anyway, under belief that the first ammendment actually means something. 12+ arrests insue (add these 12 to the 7 already arrested in the past month for peaceful protests). One individual who was arrested was sitting in the parking lot in which students were gunned down in 1970, sitting beside one of the monuments to the deceased. Just sitting there.

I'm not going to say that the protesters were completely well behaved--some were not. But 200 ARMED police in riot gear at a peace demonstration here at Kent State? Did someone lose their mind, or is it just me?

Perhaps I'm just overreacting. Perhaps. But why didn't any of this make the evening news? I've only found 3 local Ohio news links to the story... and, let me tell ya, I was more than a little afraid of "the law" this weekend. Welcome to America.

Plus there's this article from the Kent State paper.

Okay, and in case your not scared enough by this, just picture John Ashcroft masturbating to this complete lack of respect for civil liberties. If I can't scare, then by hell, I'll disturb you!

Monday, May 05, 2003

Holy CRAP! Bill O'Reilly is an anti-Bush Thug!

According to this post over at Free Republic. (Link comes via Hesiod, I don't have the stomach to actually look through Free Republic)

You know, I was originally going to write a bit refuting some of the idiotic points in this post, but there was a point where it exited the realm of criticizable, and then just became funny. Here's the kicker for me:

It's like Teddy Kennedy calling Charles Pickering a racist (Pickering sent his son Chip to Afr. Amer. majority schools in Mississippi, and Pickering also fought the Klan long before it was popular (and safe) to do so), while he , no doubt, sent his coke-head children to all-white boarding schools. Hypocrisy.

Then I just started laughing. Man oh man, these guys are masters of comedy.

Baseball and homosexuality

Some of you may have heard that Rockies pitcher Todd Jones recently said in a Denver Post article, "I wouldn't want a gay guy being around me." and various other homophobic remarks. But the cool thing about this is Mark Grace's comments:

I think the perception in the clubhouse would be one of, for lack of a better word—fear... Fear that they'd be stared at or (that a gay player might fall) in love with them. But I think if you're intelligent at all, you'd understand that homosexuals are just like us. They don't think everybody's attractive. Just because this guy's homosexual doesn't mean he's attracted to me.


I've played for 16 years, and I'm sure I've had homosexual teammates that I didn't know about... If one out of six or seven men are homosexual—do the math.

Of course, what Grace says is obvious, but hey, no one else in the game is saying it. And it just further proves how much Mark Grace kicks ass.

You know, while I'm at it

Also, Sunday's Doonesbury was brilliant. If you haven't read it yet, do so now.

A couple more comics

Kevin Moore and Tom Tomorrow have good cartoons this week. Check them out. (You need the free Salon day pass for Tom's, deal with it)

Slippery Slope revealed

Amp's new cartoon is early this week.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Baseball blogs

When I started this blog, I had the idea in my head that it would to some extent deal with issues about baseball. But eventually it just dampened down to a left-wing news oriented blog with very little baseball involved at all. But not to worry, Doug Pappas the genius of baseball economics has a blog that's worth a read for any baseball fan. Particularly interesting is this post on the evil, EVIL practices of the Tribune Company, who own the Cubs (and apologies for inserting an entire post here, I justify it because the point is to introduce Pappas' blog):

Want to buy front-row seats for the Yankees' visit to Wrigley Field this summer? A $45 ticket will cost you $1,500 from "Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services." If the bleachers are good enough, WFPTS will sell you a $30 ticket for $155.

WFPTS sits a block from Wrigley Field, on land owned by the Tribune Company. Its President, Mark McGuire, is also a Vice President of the Cubs. Its books are handled by the Cubs' accounting department. It sells tickets which the Cubs have never made available to the general public. According to McGuire's deposition in a lawsuit brought by fans challenging the practice, these are "VIP tickets" which would otherwise not be available to the public at all. Yet a WFPTS spokesman insists, "We're not related to the Cubs ticket office."

Of course not. Illinois law requires the Cubs to sell their tickets at their stated face value. The Tribune Company thinks it can avoid this law by establishing WFPTS as a separate corporation, selling many of the club's most popular tickets to this corporation at face value without ever offering them to the public, then allowing WFPTS to resell them at scalper's prices. A more contemptible treatment of the Cubs' die-hard fans, the ones who stand in line for hours during a freezing Chicago winter to obtain single-game seats as soon as they go on sale, is hard to imagine.

And MLB has every reason to crack down on this practice, too. Like the Cubs' "negotiations" for TV and radio rights with commonly-owned WGN, this related-party transaction allows the club to move revenue off the team's books, where it would be subject to MLB's revenue-sharing formula, into another of the Tribune Company's pockets. If MLB is serious about reducing the financial disparity between clubs, increasing the portion of shared revenues isn't enough. The next step must be greater auditing of club books to ensure that all money properly attributable to baseball operations is shared.

Daschle's a little bitch

Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle - who bitterly accused President Bush of failing "miserably" on Iraq just before the war - has done a total flip-flop and now says Bush deserves "great credit" as war leader.

"In 21 days, we eliminated somebody [Saddam Hussein] who for 20 years has repressed and tortured his own people and posed a serious security risk," Daschle added in a conference call with reporters in his home state of South Dakota.

Daschle's about-face comes as he's gearing up for his 2004 Senate re-election bid in a Bush-loving state where polls show him a few points behind a potential GOP challenger, ex-Rep. John Thune.

Sources tell The Post Daschle consultants recently conducted focus groups of rural South Dakota voters and tested their reaction to a video clip of Daschle attacking Bush on the eve of the war and all but blaming him for any deaths.

Well, good thing Daschle is doing this then, because the one thing we need in an opposition party sure isn't opposition to the president. And of course this just shows the effectiveness of the Republican propaganda machine.

Article here. Via Hesiod.

In unrelated Raznor's Rants news, in honor of Ampersand's not so subtle request for some extended analysis here when he added me to his blogroll, I was going to write a piece, either going into issues of domestic violence that has been the subject for a few discussions at Amp's page, or a continuation on an earlier post arguing against the logical validity of pro-life arguments. But not today. Today will be spent in recovery from Renn Fayre, even as Renn Fayre continues. I'm heading to the cafe area to relax probably in a bit. Maybe I'll add a post about some of the cool stuff that happened here over the weekend, if I get a few e-mail requests for it (hint hint).

Anyway, have fun.

President Gore: A Look Back

Ted Rall has written an excellent, ingenious column. Anything I can say about it wouldn't do it justice. Just read it.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Those wacky theocrats

This from Pickering's website (via Hesiod).

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today Congressman Chip Pickering participated in the 13th Annual U.S. Capitol Bible Readathon leading up to Thursday's National Day of Prayer event.

"This project is patterned after the spiritual blessing and renewal that came to the people of Israel through the reading of the Word of God," Congressman Pickering said. "It is a way for Americans to exhibit their faith, receive the blessings of God through his Word and recognize the spiritual heritage of our nation."

But wait it gets better.

Beginning Monday, April 28, at 8:00 a.m. and continuing around the clock for 80 hours until the National Day of Prayer (Thursday, May 1) at 4:00 p.m., people of every age, race, occupation, denomination, social, political and economic group have taken turns reading portions of Scripture.

See this is what annoys me so much about these theocrats. They think that including every denomination of Christianity is the same as making it inclusive for all. Frankly, it's just disgusting.

This is far more frightening than it should be

But the Supreme Court's at it again.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fate of a sweeping new campaign finance law aimed at taking big money out of politics now rests with the Supreme Court.

A special three-judge federal court panel on Friday struck down much of the law's cornerstone: a broad ban on the use of corporate and union ``soft money'' contributions by political parties.

In two 2-1 votes, the panel ruled that political parties can raise corporate and union contributions for general party-building activities like get-out-the-vote drives and voter registration, but cannot use them for issue advertising or candidate-specific activities.

In another major finding, the court also ruled as an unconstitutional violation of free speech sweeping new restrictions on election-time political ads by special-interest groups and others. But it said other ad limits the law's sponsors included in the legislation as a backup were constitutional.

The panel made its ruling effective immediately. The nearly 1,700-page decision clears the way for an immediate appeal by the losing parties to the Supreme Court. The high court, which may not hear the case for months, will lay the ground rules for the 2004 elections and beyond.

Sorry, just remembering last time the Supreme Court layed down the ground rules for elections.

If you can't trust the high court anymore, who can you trust? Yoda?

Friday, May 02, 2003

Some hot man on dog action

Via August, here's some comic relief.

Gay people can't have babies . . . or can they?

Via Atrios who got it from Signorile:

Scientists in Pennsylvania yesterday said they had turned ordinary mouse embryo cells into egg cells in laboratory dishes -- an advance that opens the door to creating "designer" eggs from scratch and, if repeated with human cells, could blur the biological line between fathers and mothers.

The work undermines the standard model of parenthood because the scientists made egg cells not only from female cells, but also from male cells, indicating that even males have the biological capacity to make eggs.

If the science holds true in humans as in mice -- and several scientists said they suspect it will -- then a gay male couple might, before long, be able to produce children through sexual reproduction, with one man contributing sperm and the other fresh eggs bearing his own genes.

The only problem with making the jump to the last paragraph that I see is what happens if an embryo has two "Y" chromosome? From what I know of biology/genetics (which admittedly is not much) I would suspect that the Y chromosome is a dominant, so it could be nothing except just another male, or possibly some sort of crazy uber-male. But then, nowhere in nature do we have examples of animals with two Y chromosomes (as far as I'm aware), so it could potentially have negative, unforeseen effects.

Still if this works, it would be such a punch in Santorum's face. Take that, face!

Update: Ha ha ha ha ha , the whole indenting of quotations works. (thanks to Ampersand for telling me how to do it) Now Raznor's Rants shall enter a new age of more easily readable quotations.

And I'm moving on up!

Just found out that Ampersand has added me to his blogroll. I am so overjoyed. One thing this reminds me is I'll have to get off blogger. I'll see about this if I have time next week.

Renn Fayre in a few short hours . . .

This is sooo exciting. I still haven't left my room but I can't wait to see how the front lawn has transformed since last night. Soo, we'll see if I have time to do blogging this weekend, I may or I may not. The difference between this and previous weekends isnat baing able to blog will be indicative of me having too much fun, as opposed to working my ass off.

Oh the joy.

Update: Got my $7.00 bottle of champaigne to pour on the heads of seniors as they turn in their theses! This will so rock!

Thursday, May 01, 2003

That's not aspirin, that's one part of a chemical weapon

This would be funny if it weren't for all that evil.

According to Dr Rice, the weapons programs are "in bits and pieces" rather than assembled weapons. "You may find assembly lines, you may find pieces hidden here and there," she said. Ingredients or precursors, many non-lethal by themselves, could be embedded in dual-use facilities.

She had a new explanation too for Iraq's ability to launch these weapons that were not assembled. "Just-in-time assembly" and "just-in-time" inventory, as she put it.

That's where I stopped reading. My brain was trying to escape from my body.

Via Bob Harris posting over at Tom's site.

US says Canada cares too much about civil liberties

Damn those Canadians. (link via Tom.


What are you doing to celbrate Loyalty Day? So far all I could think of was projectile vomitting.

This is what liberation looks like?

Via hesiod there's this article from The Mirror:

IT started when a young boy hurled a sandal at a US jeep - it ended with two Iraqis dead and 16 seriously injured.

I watched in horror as American troops opened fire on a crowd of 1,000 unarmed people here yesterday.

Many, including children, were cut down by a 20-second burst of automatic gunfire during a demonstration against the killing of 13 protesters at the Al-Kaahd school on Monday.

They had been whipped into a frenzy by religious leaders. The crowd were facing down a military compound of tanks and machine-gun posts.

The youngster had apparently lobbed his shoe at the jeep - with a M2 heavy machine gun post on the back - as it drove past in a convoy of other vehicles.

A soldier operating the weapon suddenly ducked, raised it on its pivot then pressed his thumb on the trigger.

Mirror photographer Julian Andrews and I were standing about six feet from the vehicle when the first shots rang out, without warning.

We dived for cover under the compound wall as troops within the crowd opened fire. The convoy accelerated away from the scene.

Iraqis in the line of fire dived for cover, hugging the dust to escape being hit.

We could hear the bullets screaming over our heads. Explosions of sand erupted from the ground - if the rounds failed to hit a demonstrator first. Seconds later the shooting stopped and the screaming and wailing began.

One of the dead, a young man, lay face up, half his head missing, first black blood, then red spilling into the dirt.

And it goes on, if you can tolerate it, go ahead and read it.

But not to worry, according to Bush we've removed the threat to America.

Even without the discovery of any chemical or biological weapons, Mr Bush will use a speech, broadcast in prime time to the American people, to declare that the threat to the United States has been removed. After arriving on a four-seat US Navy jet and making a jolting, cable- assisted landing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, Mr Bush will say that significant combat in Iraq is over and that it is time to focus on the reconstruction of the country.

He will stop short of claiming outright victory, partly because of pockets of fighting in Iraq and partly because such a statement carries implications under the Geneva Convention. Once war is declared over, the victorious army must release all prisoners and stop targeting specific enemy leaders.

Well, nice. I feel much better now.

Stuff over summer and the future of Raznor

There's a million things I want to do over the summer that I'll have time for since I'm not working in classes so much, but I may not get around to if I end up just crashing for three months. There's certain things I need to do, like research grad school programs, and learn to write in LaTeX (a text-writing program), and I will do that. Somewhere lower on my priorities is a revamp of Raznor's Rants, which will likely include a new website like www.raznor.com or raznor.net or something like that, which will be easy, and then maybe a new visual style and a good links page with all sorts of other blogs and cool sites, and maybe have a cool picture of me that was taken in Budapest, hence revealing my incredible sexiness to those who haven't met me (I've gotten two e-mails from people I don't know through this blog, not counting the Nigerian con-e-mail, go me) maybe a comments section, but I fear that that may prove depressing when no one bothers to comment. But we'll see. So stay tuned loyal Raznor readers. Classes are almost done here, and tomorrow starts the weekend long party here at Reed known only as Renn Fayre, so probably very light blogging this weekend, but we'll see, my friends, we'll see.