January 07, 2008


SEC: 9
Ohio State: 0

Congratulations to LSU on beating Ohio State for the National Championship.

I was actually at one of Ohio State's nine attempts to win a bowl game against the SEC (the Citrus Bowl on New Years, 1996, when UT beat OSU 20-14).

Posted by Mike at 11:20 PM | Comments (2)

April 04, 2007

Go Vols!

How I love the Lady Vols.

Once again, Tennessee's women's basketball team is the National Champion.

And there was much rejoicing :)

Posted by Mike at 09:36 AM

January 17, 2007

Bumper Cars video


The first person showcased in this is just an idiot. Why s/he kept gunning the engine is beyond comprehension.

Posted by Mike at 09:13 PM

January 05, 2007

He learns quickly

This morning, as I was putting on my shoes:

"Daddy go work now?"

"Yes, I'm about to go to work."


"Daddy go fix bugs?"

Posted by Mike at 10:19 AM | Comments (2)

December 28, 2006

Bobby Knight is NOT about to set the college basketball record

I keep seeing articles such as this one, which includes the sentence "Bob Knight says he doesn't care about breaking Dean Smith's record for career college basketball coaching victories."

The only problem is: he isn't about to break the record for college basketball coaching victories. It's been done. Pat Summit did that coaching the Tennessee Lady Vols in March, 2005.

Knight is about to break the record for men's basketball. Not all of basketball. Pretending that women's basketball doesn't even exist is offensive.

Posted by Mike at 09:41 PM

November 30, 2006

Why I hope to never live under a Homeowners Association


Posted by Mike at 05:42 PM

November 27, 2006

Driving in the snow - not so fun

Driving home in the snow

Weird snowstorm today. I left work about 6:15. By 7:30, I had driven 0.9 miles. At that point, I gave up and turned into Redmond Town Center and had dinner.

An hour later, I left for home, and it still took me over 20 minutes to get home from there. There were dozens of cars that had just given up and were parked on the side of the road. I'm not sure what they did. Walked?

I'm hoping that tomorrow is better.

Posted by Mike at 10:37 PM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2006

Zune web site live

At http://www.zune.net

12 days until it's in stores.

Now I can start sleeping again :)

Posted by Mike at 01:18 PM

November 01, 2006

Kerry: please just be quiet

After John Kerry's bang-up job running for President two years ago, it's baffling why anyone thinks he should come rally the troops now, on the eve of what looks like it could be a major turning point for the Democrats. Sure, he got 49% of the vote, but Pee-Wee Herman could have gotten almost that just on the platform of being not-Bush.

And after Kerry's idiotic 'study hard or be stuck in the military' comment, Republicans should send him a thank-you gift.

Posted by Mike at 10:34 PM

October 30, 2006

Santorum says US is where the Shadows lie

Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (a man who inspires me more than any other politician ... to donate to the HRC) had this to say recently about the war in Iraq:

"As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States."

OK, sure, the first reaction is: what the hell is he talking about? But I tried to work past that reaction.

In the Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Sam are walking across Mordor to take the ring up to Mount Doom, and the Eye of Sauron (Eye of Sauron, Eye of Mordor, whatever) is drawn away from Mordor to the gate, where the forces of Good mass outside the great gate ...

So, let's see ... the Eye is drawn away from the US, which means ... The United States is Mordor?

"One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, in the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

And Iraq, I guess, is at our gate.

Remind me -- how did this man get elected to the Senate?

Posted by Mike at 11:05 PM

October 27, 2006

Limited government sounds good

Doesn't sound like Bush agrees with limited government.

From CNN.com's home page:

Posted by Mike at 11:15 AM

September 28, 2006

HRC Corporate Equity Index & Microsoft

I'm happy to see that the Human Rights Campaign has given Microsoft a perfect ranking in their annual Corporate Equality Index, which "examines and evaluates corporate policies affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees throughout the country."

Click here for the full report (PDF), which lists 138 US-based companies that scored 100.

Posted by Mike at 08:44 PM | Comments (1)

September 09, 2006

GOP fundraiser: Dove Shoot on 9/11

Boing Boing: Shoot doves with Republicans!

Posted by Mike at 12:12 PM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2006

"Black mark" for your PC

CNET reports a new approach to stopping fraud by blackballing PCs.

"First, when a users first registers and opens an account on a Web site that employs Iovation's service, the site inserts a bit of code on the new customer's machine.

So far this sounds like getting a virus or piece of spyware. Yay!

"If and when fraudulent activity occurs, the code loaded onto the machine during the registration process becomes a permanent black mark. Individuals can re-enter the network by getting a new PC, but being forced to buy (or steal) new hardware slows them down."

It isn't explicitly stated, but presumably this thing is supposed to work even if you reinstall the OS. Maybe it uses the MAC address of your Ethernet port to try to uniquely ID the PC? I wonder how that would work with Virtual PC, which, as I recall, allows you to create virtual NICs with any MAC address.

"Still, he speculated that the service could be marketed as a positive. When opening an account, a new user could specify the exact computers and exact credit cards he or she will use on that site. If a different PC tries to complete a transaction with one of the specified credit cards, the Web site can send questions to the prospective buyer that will help authenticate her."

"Marketed as a positive" -- dream on.

Posted by Mike at 07:53 PM

July 27, 2006

Not yet the kingdom of idiots

News reports are saying that the Bush administration is considering sending US troops to Lebanon.

So, let's see, in the war on terror, that would give us:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Iraq
  3. The National Guard on our borders
  4. Lebanon

And, of course, saber-rattling at Iran.

"Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts." -- Londo Mollari, Ceremonies of Light and Dark (Babylon 5).

*whew* -- we're not up to twelve.

Posted by Mike at 01:58 PM | Comments (1)

July 20, 2006

Quadruple Homicide

It's a little disturbing when something like this happens within half a mile so of your own house. 

Posted by Mike at 07:28 PM

July 17, 2006

THIS is a slow news day?

With everything going on in the world, CNN leads with the news that Bush was <gasp> caught uttering an expletive.

Who cares?

Posted by Mike at 11:34 AM

July 15, 2006

Dumbest lawsuit ever?

Allen Heckard of Portland, OR is suing Michael Jordan and the founder of Nike for a total of $832 million because Heckard is often mistaken for Jordan.

I’ve heard of some stupid lawsuits, but this has to rank in the top 5 ever. What a retard.

Posted by Mike at 07:56 PM

July 08, 2006

Teenage drivers are the problem, eh?

Some recent headlines about teen drivers:

Limits on teen drivers may reduce deaths

Teen drivers need more restrictions

Some other recent headlines:

Elderly Driver Ploughs Into Crowd, Injuring 27

Elderly driver 'hit the wrong pedal'

Probation recommended for elderly driver in fatal crash

Elderly driver crashes into Tustin hospital, critically injuring wife

Odd that I couldn’t find any recent headlines about groups urging restrictions on old people driving…

Posted by Mike at 10:00 PM

June 22, 2006

Don't steal ... uh ...

From Stephen Colbert's recent interview with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), discussing Westmoreland's co-sponsorship of a bill that would require the display of the Ten Commandments in the House and Senate (watch the video here – this part starts around 3:26): 

Colbert: What are the Ten Commandments?

Westmoreland: What are all of them? You want me to name ‘em all?

Colbert: Yeah. Please.

Westmoreland: Don't murder. Don't lie. Don't steal. Uh... I can't name 'em all.

Colbert: Congressman, thank you for taking time away from keeping the sabbath day holy to talk to us.

Posted by Mike at 09:13 PM

June 07, 2006

If the shoe fits...


“The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution,” said Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, whose state legalized gay marriage in 2003. “A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law.”

Hatch responded: “Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?”

Posted by Mike at 07:55 AM

June 06, 2006

Jesus and homosexuals

The Gospels are full of stories of people who didn’t manage to understand Jesus’ parables when he taught them without Jesus sitting down and explaining them using small words. Of course, even the more obvious of his statements can be ‘misunderstood’ by idiots people trying to prove a point.

Over the weekend, CNN’s home page showed a picture of someone holding a sign that read “Jesus said marriage is between one man and one woman”. Most people acknowledge that Jesus actually never said anything about this one way or another – the typical scriptures that are quoted come from the Old Testament or Paul’s letters. So I looked up the scripture reference cited on the sign: Matthew 19:4-6, which reads:

4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Of course, if you read it in context, it’s clear what this is actually about:

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

So why aren’t conservatives pushing for a constitutional amendment to ban divorce?

In the spirit of this debate, I’m going to quote President Bush to “prove” that he supports a constitutional ban on divorce:

“For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them.”

There you have it.

Posted by Mike at 08:17 AM

April 05, 2006

Idiots Out There

In the NY Times, John Markoff writes, in a column titled "Software Out There":

Mr. Ozzie, who used the Firefox browser (an open-source rival to Internet Explorer) during his demonstration, said, "I'm pretty pumped up with the potential for R.S.S. to be the DNA for wiring the Web."

He was referring to Really Simple Syndication, an increasingly popular, free standard used for Internet publishing. Mr. Ozzie's statement was remarkable for a chief technical officer whose company has just spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars investing in a proprietary alternative referred to as .Net.

.NET is an alternative to RSS? Yes, like Ben & Jerry's ice cream is an alternative to a pair of comfortable shoes.


Posted by Mike at 09:15 PM | Comments (2)

March 14, 2006

Movie industry and cell phones

I see that the movie industry is planning on asking the FCC for permission to jam cell phones, believing that people talking on cell phones during movies is a reason why movie attendance is down.

If they succeed, I will probably wind up going to movies even less. People talking on cell phones during movies isn't a problem for me — I'm not sure I've ever seen someone doing it. But I do, on those few occasions that I make it to movies now with Meredith, rely on a babysitter being able to call a cell phone in case something does happen.

The movie industry is on crack.

Posted by Mike at 09:52 PM | Comments (5)

February 24, 2006

Goodbye, G'Kar

I just saw that Andreas Katsulas, who played G’Kar on Babylon 5, died on February 13. G’Kar wasn’t supposed to be one of the primary characters of B5, but he and Londo Mollari, played by Peter Jurasik, made that show. Katsulas was an amazing actor in that role.

Posted by Mike at 09:24 AM | Comments (1)

January 23, 2006

Role reversal

Well, this is something of a switch. The Tennessee men’s basketball team (unranked) beat the #2 ranked team (Florida), and the women’s team (#1) lost to the #2 team (Duke).

Now I’m on the lookout for a white horse carrying some rider with a bow and crown.

Posted by Mike at 10:15 PM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2005

Attention to detail


The local Fox station aired a segment on the news tonight about the story that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to spy on US citizens.

And here's a picture from the newscast.

Look at the graphic carefully.

Posted by Mike at 11:08 PM

August 17, 2005

The idiocy that is our airport security

CNN reports on people who are finding that they can’t board airplanes because their infant children’s names are on the TSA no-fly list.

There are so many examples of how absurd our airport security has become; this is just one. With this, as with many such stories, one has to wonder if the people implementing TSA policies are (a) so micro-managed that they aren’t allowed to apply even the hint of common sense to what they do, (b) so in love with being able to apply power that they can’t resist given the opportunity, or (c) sheep that can’t recognize the absurdity of blocking someone from boarding because an 11–month-old child’s name shows up on the no-fly list.

I’m not sure which of the above three possibilities is more depressing.

Posted by Mike at 12:16 AM

July 25, 2005


The Bush administration is, according to recent reports, “lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.”

Posted by Mike at 09:57 PM

May 30, 2005


I see in the news that Cheney is offended by Amnesty International’s claim that the United States is commiting human rights violations.

He also said he believes that the insurgency in Iraq is “in the last throes.”

Lastly, Cheney added that he absolutely believes in the tooth fairy.

Posted by Mike at 10:04 PM

May 28, 2005

Tennessee state senator arrested

CNN.com had a headline about a Tennessee state senator being arrested. Before opening the link, I correctly guessed who it was. Even back when I lived in TN, it was obvious that this guy was dirty.

Some things never change.

Posted by Mike at 09:50 PM

April 11, 2005

March 29, 2005

Good Ol' Rocky Top!

Certain people in my family, notably my wife and my father-in-law have been quite fond of giving me a hard time about Stanford being ranked ahead of Tennessee in the final regular season poll.

Ah, the last laugh is sweet.

The Final Four consists of LSU, Baylor, Michigan State, and Tennessee.

Hey, I’m sure that Stanford can catch the games on TV.

Go Vols! :)

Posted by Mike at 08:50 PM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2005

Terri Schiavo and spousal rights

I cannot believe the political circus that the Terri Schiavo case has turned into. I cannot believe that congress and the President have decided to intervene in this case.

It is a slippery and dangerous slope to start down the path of letting parents overrule spouses in decisions concerning a married adult. I cannot believe the editorials I’ve read suggesting that because Michael Schiavo now has a girlfriend, we ought to treat his every word on his wife’s wishes as suspect. If ever I am out cold for 15 years, I would certainly hope that Meredith would find someone in that time. Life has to go on.

And let us be clear on my wishes: if something happens to me, Meredith gets to decide on my care. Not my father, not my siblings, and not the United States Government. Meredith does.

What a zoo.

Posted by Mike at 07:26 PM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2005

880 wins


Pat Summitt tonight won her 880th game as head coach of the UT Lady Vols, surpassing the record of 879 wins set by Dean Smith, former coach of the North Carolina men’s basketball team.

She hit that in just 31 seasons. With only 171 losses, she has an 83.7% winning average.

The Lady Vols have made the NCAA tournament every year since it started for women in 1982. For that matter, they’ve never once lost in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Of her players that have finished their eligibility at UT, 100% of them have graduated.

Pat is amazing. I’m proud to be a Tennessee alum. Go Vols!

Posted by Mike at 09:46 PM | Comments (3)

February 28, 2005

It's good to have priorities

MSNBC reports:

"New attorney general says he'll pursue obscenity cases
"Gonzales also lists violent crime, human trafficking as priorities”

It’s good to hear that violent crime and slavery will be worked on, but let’s not let that overshadow the critical importance of shutting down smut!

Posted by Mike at 04:27 PM

January 18, 2005

Please let Enterprise die

Slashdot is reporting:

"There seems to be no avoiding it this season: TrekToday is reporting that the Enterprise production crew has been told they will all be fired in March, after completing filming on another four episodes. If true, that leaves only very little time to participate in the Save Enterprise campaign.

Save Enterprise?

Of all the stupid ideas I’ve seen promoted on ./, this might be one of the worst. And that’s saying something. Please, please, let this horrible travesty of a Sci-Fi show die. Enterprise has got to be one of the worst Science Fiction TV shows I’ve seen. It’s an insult to the Star Trek franchise. How this show has lasted for this long when Firefly got canceled after one season is beyond me.

Posted by Mike at 03:32 PM

Google blog and invalid Atom feed

After seeing Scoble’s post about an upcoming announcement from Google, I tried to add the Atom feed for Google’s blog to RSS Bandit.

But it reports that the feed is invalid. As does Feed Validator. Umm … OK.

Posted by Mike at 10:26 AM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2005

Is there a worse way to do layoffs?

Oracle is laying off 5000 jobs following their merger with PeopleSoft.

In what has to be one of the more appalling ways of handling layoffs I’ve ever heard of, Oracle intends to inform affected employees by mail, rather than telling them face to face. I guess this way Oracle managers can completely avoid having to think about the impact of the layoffs on people at all.


Posted by Mike at 05:12 PM

January 12, 2005

Stupid proposed report-your-miscarriage-or-go-to-jail law dies

In good news, the proposed legislation in Virginia that would have mandated that women report any miscarriages to the police within 12 hours has been withdrawn.

The author of the bill, Delegate Cosgrove, insists that he was the victim of ‘misinformation’ being spread on the web about his bill. It’s worth noting here that ‘misinformation’, in this context, means ‘reports on what the bill actually said, instead of what I, its author, chose to tell you it said.’


Posted by Mike at 05:31 PM

January 07, 2005

Have miscarriage in VA? Go directly to jail; do not pass go.

I found links on Chez Miscarriage and This Woman’s Work about a proposed bill in Virginia that would make it a misdemeanor to fail to report miscarriages to the police within 12 hours of the miscarriage.

Women would be required to report their age, education, marital status, and prenatal medical history.

It’s somewhat hard to imagine a more horrific invasion of privacy than this.

Good God.

Posted by Mike at 02:01 PM

December 30, 2004

Some perspective

Some perspective on the relief efforts for victims of the tsunamis in Asia:

  • Microsoft has pledged $3.5 million (source).
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: $3M (source).
  • Pfizer: $35M ($10M cash, $25M in drugs) (source).
  • Coca-Cola: $10M (source).
  • Exxon Mobil: $5M (source).
  • Random people who gave through Amazon.com to the Red Cross: $5.4M (source)


  • The US Government: $35M

Not so much.

One last piece of perspective:

Oh well.

Posted by Mike at 11:06 PM

December 13, 2004

MSN Desktop Search

The MSN team today announced the Beta release of their new Desktop Search tool.

This tool is great. I've been using internal builds of it on my laptop for a couple of months now. Being able to instantly find anything on my computer, whether it's a document, a note in OneNote, or an email, is fantastic.

What's also great is that after the inital index is built, it uses notifications to watch for new updates. So whenever you edit or create a file, or get a new email, or move an email from one folder to another, the search engine instantly gets the notification and updates its index. So the index is always up to date.

Posted by Mike at 11:23 AM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2004

More on SBC and IPTV

For more on SBC and IPTV, check out SBC's page, complete with a link to a Flash demo of "some of the planned features and future capabilities of SBC IPTV."

And for the ranting, check out Slashdot.

Posted by Mike at 09:44 PM

November 16, 2004

SBC and Microsoft IPTV

"SBC taps Microsoft for TV software"

Posted by Mike at 11:27 PM

Computer-savvy rednecks, rejoice

CNN reports on one mans plan to offer remote-control hunting via a web site.

The web site, according to creator John Underwood, will allow you to sign up and remotely control a camera and rifle, so you can remotely shoot deer, antelope, and wild pigs.

My favorite quote in the article:

"We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck and my friend said 'If you just had a gun for that.' A little light bulb went off in my head," he said.

I think that says it all.

Posted by Mike at 11:14 PM

November 04, 2004

Everything's just fine here

Leigh forwarded me a poll from CNN showing that, "Americans by and large appear to be happy with the results of Tuesday's elections and are hopeful the country will be drawn together during President Bush's second term."

That reminds me of this exit poll I saw once ... let's see, when was that? Oh, right, it was two days ago. The one that showed that Kerry was going to take Ohio.

Those polls are really something, aren't they?

Posted by Mike at 09:34 PM

November 02, 2004

Last thought of the night

You know that something is wrong with journalism in America today when one of the most rational sounding persons talking about the election results on TV is Pat Buchanan.

And with that, I am going to bed. It's obvious that we won't know who the next President will be for a while.

Posted by Mike at 11:43 PM

Zell doesn't count

CNN and MSNBC are reporting that Republicans have picked up a senate seat by winning the position being vacated by Georgia Senator Zell Miller.

Zell Miller counts as a Democrat? Please. He's been hanging out with the Republicans for years now.

Posted by Mike at 07:47 PM

Prelude to a recount

The Daily Show is probably one of the more entertaining ways to watch the election results tonight.

Best exchange so far:

"The President is thrilled that he will be leading the country for the next four years."

"It's a little early for that, isn't it? The numbers aren't really in yet."

"Numbers? Jon, this is not a man who is going to let the 'numbers' stand in the way of moving America forward!"

Driving home, I listened to someone on NPR talking about the division between Kerry and Bush supporters, and how voters who put values first support Bush. This drives me crazy. How can this possibly be?

Posted by Mike at 07:17 PM


It took me 50 minutes to vote this morning. There were a LOT of people in line. I've never had to wait this long before.

Hopefully we'll actually know the results of the presidential race tonight. My fear is that it will drag on a month like last time.

Posted by Mike at 10:57 AM | Comments (2)

October 21, 2004


Glad I gave up on tv... (Score:5, Interesting)
by Yaa 101 (664725) on Wednesday October 20, @09:04PM (#10581812)
(Last Journal: Tuesday June 01, @06:25PM)

Time proves over and over again that things can get worse, and they do... I can't wait for the first stale DRM'ed virus stuck in their systems...

Sweet ... my work project finally made /. -- see the anti-Microsoft rants here.

Posted by Mike at 09:48 PM

October 20, 2004

Yay Red Sox!

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for finally beating the Yankees! Now the Sox go to the World Series. Go Sox!

Posted by Mike at 10:39 PM

More on Jon Stewart thrashing Crossfire

Two of my favorite responses to Jon Stewart's thrashing of Crossfire:

Reuters wrote: "Stewart might be biting the hand that feeds him, annoying the same media-elite crowd whose enthusiasm for "The Daily Show" has helped give him the platform he now enjoys." Umm ... right.

Slate wrote this about the event: "When Carlson goaded Stewart to 'be funny. Come on, be funny,' Stewart responded, 'I'm not going to be your monkey.' The audience laughed uncomfortably." No they didn't — the audience was into it. They ate it up. Go watch the clip.

Posted by Mike at 10:28 PM

October 17, 2004

Jon Stewart v. Crossfire

For a truly surreal read, check out this transcript from CNN Crossfire with guest Jon Stewart from the Daily Show. There are also links to the video here.

Stewart took the opportunity to berate the media, and Crossfire in particular, for contributing to the decline of American politics.

STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys. Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America. ... See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns."

It was almost embarrassing watching this, as Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson tries to defend his show by repeatedly insisting that The Daily Show doesn't ask politicians hard questions. Yes, CNN is now defending its journalistic integrity by insisting that they are no worse than a comedy show on Comedy Central.

The media needs help.

Posted by Mike at 10:49 PM

September 30, 2004

My vote for President

After watching tonight's Presidential debate, I realized that the choice for President of the United States is clear. America needs a President who:

  • Is a strong leader
  • Never wavers -- isn't a flip-flopper
  • Holds people accountable for their actions
  • Doesn't allow outside powers to have a veto when it comes to fighting terrorists
  • Will take the fight to the terrorists -- will fight them where they are, and not wait for them to come to us
  • Believes in a strong military
  • Is a strong, hands-on Commander-in-Chief
  • Means exactly what he says

The choice is clear.

Darth Vader for President.


Posted by Mike at 11:19 PM

September 15, 2004

Marion Barry: he's back

I see that Marion Barry, crack-head, has won his comeback bid for Washington D.C. city council.

The best quote was this, from one of his supporters: "This man has devoted 40 years of his life to changing the character of this city."

Hard to argue with that.

Posted by Mike at 07:36 PM

September 14, 2004

Robert Novak: Congressional Medal of douchebag

Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, who earlier gave Robert Novak the title 'Douchebag of Liberty' (video), last night gave Novak a new award: the Congressional Medal of Douchebag. The award was for Novak's statements this weekend that CBS should, of course, reveal the source of the disputed Bush National Guard memos. This would be the same Robert Novak who for months has steadfastly refused to identify the Bush administration official who told him that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative. Well, sure.

From Crossfire:

ROBERT NOVAK: CBS, which broke the story, should reveal where it got the documents, to be blunt, who forged these documents. ... All I say is, all CBS has to say is where do these documents come from.

From Capital Gang:

NOVAK: I'd like CBS, at this point, to say where they got these documents from. They didn't get them from a CIA agent. I don't believe there was any laws involved. I don't think we'll have a special prosecutor, if they tell. I think they should say where they got these documents because I thought it was a very poor job of reporting by CBS. Why did CBS not go to the -- to Killian's family and get -- and ask them about it, as ABC did, and got these quotes, and they said they think they're phony documents -- I thought -- I thought that the "60 Minutes" thing by Dan Rather was a -- was a campaign operation, rather than an attempt to get to the bottom of the truth.

HUNT: Robert Novak, you're saying CBS should reveal its source?


HUNT: You do? You think reports ought to reveal sources?

NOVAK: No, no. Wait a minute.

HUNT: I'm just asking.

NOVAK: I'm just saying in that case.


NOVAK: I think -- I think it's very important. If this is a phony document, the American -- the people should know about it.

HUNT: So in some cases, reporters ought to reveal sources.


HUNT: But not in all cases.

NOVAK: That's right.

At some level, you have to admire someone who can say such things without his head exploding. It's really a skill.

Posted by Mike at 09:56 PM

September 05, 2004

I never said that my opponent had sex with a goat

Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House (and therefore second in line for the Presidency), took it upon himself the other day (August 29) on Fox News Sunday to offer up some views on where George Soros, billionaire Democrat supporter, gets his money:

HASTERT: Here in this campaign, quote, unquote, "reform," you take party power away from the party, you take the philosophical ideas away from the party, and give them to these independent groups.

You know, I don't know where George Soros gets his money. I don't know where — if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from. And I —

WALLACE (interrupting): Excuse me?

HASTERT: Well, that's what he's been for a number years — George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he's got a lot of ancillary interests out there.

WALLACE: You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?

HASTERT: I'm saying I don't know where groups — could be people who support this type of thing. I'm saying we don't know. The fact is we don't know where this money comes from.

A few days earlier, he offered this gem on The Brian Lehrer Show:

Brian Lehrer: What do you think of the Swift Boat veterans ads, and John Kerry's calls for the president to denounce them?

Dennis Hastert: Well, you find out that if you look into the record, I was against the Campaign Finance Reform Act because that's what I felt that would happen, that you would push into guys like George Soros, who's dumping in $16 or $20 million. We don't know where that money comes from. We don't know where it comes from, from the left, and you don't know where it comes in the right. You know, Soros' money, some of that is coming from overseas. It could be drug money. We don't know where it comes from.

When Soros demanded an apology, Hastert responded:

"... Chris Wallace said, "drug cartels." I did not. ... I never implied that you were a criminal and I never would, that's not my style."

Well, I think it is, in fact, criminal to profit from illegal drug transactions, and it seems fairly clear that Hastert did at least imply that Soros was doing just that. But this shouldn't be surprising: this is all part of the newest political tactic. Another great example was last month, when Fox News regular Michelle Malkin appeared on Chris Matthews' Hardball talking about John Kerry's time in Vietnam and the Swiftboats Vets controversy:

MALKIN:  Well, yes.  Why don't people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg.  They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you mean by self-inflicted?  Are you saying he shot himself on purpose?  Is that what you're saying? 


MALKIN:  There are doubts about whether or not it was intense rifle fire or not.  And I wish you would ask these questions of John Kerry instead of me. 

MATTHEWS:  I have never heard anyone say he shot himself on purpose. 

I haven't heard you say it.

MALKIN:  Have you tried to ask — have you tried ask John Kerry these questions? 

MATTHEWS:  If he shot himself on purpose.  No.  I have not asked him that. 

MALKIN:  Don't you wonder? 

MATTHEWS:  No, I don't.  It's never occurred to me. 

On her website, Malkin goes ballistic on Matthews:

I repeated that the allegations involved whether the injuries were "self inflicted wounds." I DID NOT SAY HE SHOT HIMSELF ON PURPOSE and Chris Matthews knows it. ... Well, guess what? This foaming jerk Matthews, who called me irresponsible and kicked me off the show admitted that ... b) he was not interested in asking Kerry about the specific doubts raised by vets about his wounds, and c) he had not and would not question Kerry about these specific allegations.

No, no, not me: I never said that Kerry shot himself. I just said that there were people who had raised questions about it -- but not me.

It's basically like suddenly saying, "Well, no, there's no proof that my oponent has had sex with goats. I'm certainly not saying he did." But suddenly there's a conversation started about whether or not someone sleeps with goats. "Hey, did you hear that the Democratic candidate got it on with a goat?" And then, if someone says that it's a stupid charge, you can say, "But why won't you ask him? What are you trying to hide by not asking him about that goat?"

And what's amazing is that it works. Even when, as in the Malkin example, the media crushes the person for being unhinged, it still starts a conversation with people. The Swiftboat Vets group has been debunked by almost every major media outlet in the country (except, of course, Fox), but it's still worked: polls show that since their ads started, and all the media coverage that ensued, more and more people question Kerry's service in Vietnam.

This -- the lemming-like behavior of people willing to go along with anything they here -- is the scariest part, and it's the part that I don't know how to imagine fixing.

Posted by Mike at 11:35 PM

GOP Delegates mock the Purple Heart

CNN reported a few days ago on Republican Delegates wearing bandages with purple hearts on them to mock Kerry.

This is the party that's behind our military? The party that repeatedly attacks Democrats for not supporting the military? And they show this by mocking a decoration given to Veterans who were wounded or killed in combat?

Real nice.

Posted by Mike at 08:01 PM

August 31, 2004

Decisiveness is not necessarily good

Yesterday, at the RNC, Bush was widely praised for his "decisiveness" in the war on terror.

Decisiveness is not inherently a good thing. It can be, but it can also just mean stubborn.

Two-year-olds are very decisive.

Posted by Mike at 10:27 PM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2004

Swisscom to start MS IPTV trials

Check out this CNN article about Swisscom starting public trials next month of the Microsoft IPTV system. 

It's great getting to work on this.

Posted by Mike at 11:02 PM

June 22, 2004

SBC to use Microsoft IPTV

SBC announced today that they are going to use Microsoft's IPTV technology to deliver television over SBC's broadband lines.

Having been working on said IPTV project for the last 16 months, it's nice to see news like this :)

Posted by Mike at 12:30 PM

April 20, 2004

Don't like a judge's ruling? MA says: throw 'em out!

In the latest affront to the separation of powers between the three branches of government, a Massachusetts legislator is sponsoring an act to remove the four judges from the Massachusetts Supreme Court that recently ruled that a ban on gay marriage in that state is unconstitutional.

Can the judges issue a ruling to remove this idiot legislator?

What insanity...

Posted by Mike at 08:21 AM

March 31, 2004

Phone-in strip searches

The rental car I got into this week had a Wall Street Journal sitting in the front seat. While Patrik drove us from Sea-Tac to Microsoft, I read through the paper. By far and away the most bizarre article was about the problem that fast-food restaurants are having with hoaxes that compel the manager of a restaurant to strip-search an employee or customer (read here).

The way it works is evidently something like this: someone calls the manager of the store and claims to be a police officer. He describes someone, and tells the manager that the person is suspected of stealing, and so the manager needs to strip-search this person. If the manager doesn't, the caller explains, the person will be arrested. It's happened to men and women.

The sherriff in the county where this most recently happened, when the manager of a Taco Bell strip-searched a 17-year-old customer, was quoted explaining his absolute astonishment that anyone would think that a a real police officer would call a private citizen and order that person to conduct a strip-search.

I'm with him on that. What the hell? These people are just stupid. Certainly they are far too stupid to be running a restaurant.

And what's up with the people submitting to this? When I was a teen, no fast-food manager on this planet could have convinced me that he had any kind of right to strip-search me.

We need to stop raising a nation of sheep.

Posted by Mike at 08:55 PM

February 18, 2004

Imposing your own values

As could be predicted, various conservative groups are falling over themselves condemning and trying to stop San Francisco's decision to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Here's my favorite quote, this one from Randy Thomasson, executive director for the Campaign for California Families: "The renegade mayor of San Francisco is violating the state law. He's pretending to be a dictator. He's imposing his own values upon the citizenry, and he is really out of order." *

Hmm. Perhaps he means these citizens?

"The line to get a marriage license has at times stretched through two floors of City Hall, out the front door and around three sides of the stately stone building. Gays and lesbians have come from around California and 22 other states, including Texas, Hawaii, Alaska and Florida." *

Clearly not them. Maybe this group of citizens?

"As newlywed couples emerged Monday from the rotunda of San Francisco City Hall proudly holding their marriage licenses, they were greeted by trumpets, a mariachi band and showers of bubbles. Cars driving by often honked their horns in support and the crowd outside cheered." *

Probably not them, either. If you're driving by honking your horn in support, you probably don't feel like it's something that's being "imposed" on you. Could it be business interests he's referring to by "citizenry"?

"And it has been great for business as newlyweds throw their money at the neighborhood's florists, jewelry stores, liquor shops, bookstores and photo processors." *

Oh well. Beats me. Guess he's just a bigot.

Posted by Mike at 08:31 AM

February 13, 2004


I see that there's an article on VeriSign's plan to bolster their profit margins by exploiting parental fears online safety for children.

"The token, which plugs into a computer's USB port, will allow children to encrypt e-mail, to access kid-safe sites and to purchase items that require a digital signature, said George Schu, a vice president at Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign."

So I suppose that if you have a kid-only web site, the idea is that this would prevent child-molesting adults from logging in.

Sounds like a great idea. All you have to do is insure that not a single USB dongle given to a child (all ~48 million of them in the US) is lost or stolen. Oh, and that Verisign never gives a key to anyone that isn't a child. Of course, they've previously given out keys for microsoft.com to someone fraudulently posing as as a Microsoft representative -- and there's only one Microsoft, not 48 million -- but they've probably worked the bugs out of that process by now.

This really sounds like a problem that Verisign has invented. Even if you think this is a real problem, it's really hard to see how this can possibly have any positive real effect.

Posted by Mike at 11:55 PM

January 23, 2004

New flash: anti-gay activists are stupid

Wired news is reporting on the dismay of the "American Family Association" on discovering that a poll they placed on their web site on whether or not gay marriage should be legal, was then discovered by "homosexual activists", who then voted.

So ... let me see if I understand this. This group posted a poll on their web site, which they say that wanted to take to Congress, to show that most people are against gay marriage. They posted this on their web site, hoping that only members of their organization, who presumably are against such an idea, would vote.

And now they are shocked, shocked and appalled, that, instead of getting the skew they wanted in the results, they are getting a different skew.

Posted by Mike at 08:05 PM

December 06, 2003

Who cares?

An article in the Washington Post last Thursday noted that the turkey platter that President Bush was shown holding during his surprise Baghdad visit wasn't actually intended for eating.

In the most widely published image from his Thanksgiving day trip to Baghdad, the beaming president is wearing an Army workout jacket and surrounded by soldiers as he cradles a huge platter laden with a golden-brown turkey.

The bird is so perfect it looks as if it came from a food magazine, with bunches of grapes and other trimmings completing a Norman Rockwell image that evokes bounty and security in one of the most dangerous parts of the world.

But as a small sign of the many ways the White House maximized the impact of the 21/2-hour stop at the Baghdad airport, administration officials said yesterday that Bush picked up a decoration, not a serving plate.

The story has been linked to by lots of other sites on the web, many of them using it as further proof of Bush's deceptions.

This is a news story? Please. Maybe if you've never eaten in a cafeteria in your life it is. At the Microsoft cafeteria in Mountain View, they set out plates of food on actual real dishes, but then serve the food on disposible plates. Cunning deception? Give me a break. Almost every cafeteria I've been in in my life has something like this.

There are plenty of things to criticize Bush for. Picking on something like this cheapens all of the legitimate arguments against him.

Posted by Mike at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2003

Point / Counter-point

Ignorance never settles a question

President Bush

Posted by Mike at 10:32 PM

November 12, 2003

Government at its finest

CNN reports on the Republican party plans to stage an all-night event in the Senate to protest the Democratic party's block of four of Bush's judicial nominees.

The article states:

Because Senate rules require agreement from both sides to quickly confirm a nominee, the GOP cannot force a confirmation vote as long as a Democrat is present on the floor to object.

But if they fall asleep or stop paying attention, the GOP will immediately confirm the nominees, said Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.


In turn, Daschle said, if Republicans stop paying attention, they will immediately pass Democratic legislation such as a bill to raise the minimum wage or one to create a tax credit to stimulate creation of manufacturing jobs.

I would say something witty and funny about this, but, really, I can't think of a thing to add to it.

Posted by Mike at 10:55 PM

November 06, 2003

A woman's issue

President Bush recently signed legislation banning partial birth abortions.

Here is a picture, proudly displayed on the whitehouse.gov web site, of Bush, surrounded by nine smiling men, signing this legislation that has such important ramifications for women.

Hmm ... it seems like something is missing from the picture ... if only I could put my finger on it ...

Posted by Mike at 07:49 AM | Comments (1)

November 05, 2003


Microsoft today announced that we are offering $250,000 each for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the writers of the Sobig and MSBlast viruses.

To paraphrase a movie: "So congratulations, you've just become a $250,000 lottery ticket... except the odds are much, much better. Do you know anyone that wouldn't turn you in for a quarter of a million dollars?"

Posted by Mike at 09:58 PM

November 02, 2003

A small step forward

The Episcopal Church today consecrated Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as a bishop in that denomination.

I rejoice in the news that a major Christian denomination has recognized that homosexuality is NOT incompatible with Christ's teachings — and that it therefore follows that homosexuality is not incompatible with church leadership, either.

I rejoice that so many in the Episcopalian church have supported this move.

I am hopeful that my own denomination, the United Methodist Church, will some day heed the call of numerous local churches, including my own, for full acceptance of ALL of Christ's children.

I grieve for the divisions this is creating. From reading various news reports, it seems highly likely that some Episcopal churches will split from their denomination. Some bishops have stated their intent to refuse to recognize Robinson as a fellow bishop. There is, clearly, still much to be done, and much healing that must happen.

But this is a beginning. Like all such beginnings, it is not, and will not, be easy. But from such steps, great things can follow.

Thanks be to God.

Posted by Mike at 09:27 PM | Comments (1)

October 28, 2003

Damning the world for a cause

For years, Microsoft has had an annual giving campaign where they encourage employees to donate money to their favorite charities. Microsoft matches 100% of employee donations to qualified charities up to $12,000 annually. Last year, employee contributions, Microsoft match, and corporate donations resulted in over $39.9 million in cash and $207 million worth of software being given to charitable causes around the world. In 2001, it was over $36.7 million in cash and $179 million in software.

At the upcoming Microsoft annual shareholders meeting, shareholders will be voting on the following proposal:

Resolved: The shareholders request the company to refrain from making direct charitable contributions. If the company wishes, it could pay a dividend and send a note to shareholders suggesting they contribute it to their favorite charity.

This proposal was put forth by an individual shareholder, not the Microsoft board. Why would she -- or anyone -- want to stop this kind of giving to needy charities?

Because some charities -- such as Planned Parenthood -- support abortion. So, to make sure that no money goes to charities that this person doesn't like, she has proposed that it is best to just stop the entire $247 million/year flow. Sheez.

Microsoft's board of directors has sensibly recommended a vote against this vindictive and destructive proposal.

Posted by Mike at 07:34 PM | Comments (1)

October 24, 2003

Ah, politics

The next time you're wondering why the political process seems so polarized and rancorous, consider this week's news about the act of a San Francisco member of the Board of Supervisor's move to appoint two members to that city's Public Utilities Commission while he had temporary mayoral powers.

Mayor Willie Brown was traveling out of the country, and had appointed Supervisor Chris Daly as the acting mayor for the day. Daly decided it would be a good time to fill the two vacant slots on the PUC.

Regardless of the whether or not the two appointees are good choices, it's hard to imagine how this kind of moves helps anything. The clear lesson for Brown, and for politicians everywhere, is to never give a political opponent a single inch or they'll take a mile. And stab you in the back while they're at it.

For all I know, this may even be a good thing for San Francisco in the short term. Many people seem to think that the two appointees are positive choices. But this can't be a good thing for the political process in our country in the long term.

Posted by Mike at 11:34 PM

October 05, 2003

The Cubs finally win one

Well, the Chicago Cubs finally won a playoff series. By beating the Atlanta Braves tonight, they advance to the National League Championship Series. It's the first time the Cubs have won a postseason series since 1908.

I haven't followed baseball in years, but when I was a kid, I watched it all the time. I collected baseball cards, kept scorecards, the whole bit. And my favorite team? The Chicago Cubs. Making their victory even more special tonight: the team I loved to see lose was the Atlanta Braves.

It's good to see the Cubs finally win.

Posted by Mike at 09:34 PM

October 04, 2003

The depressing race for Governor

Next Tuesday, I get to cast my vote in the California gubernatorial recall election.

Ooh, what a privilege.

A mere 2 1/2 days until the election, and I still don't know how I'm going to vote. I am disgusted by Gray Davis' so-called leadership of the state of California. His blatant interference in the 2002 Republican primary for governor's race, basically engineering it so that he would face the ultra-conservative Bill Simon instead of the more moderate Richard Riordan, was deeply disturbing. (Of course, equally disturbing was the manner in which Republican voters let themselves be led like sheep into nominating a candidate that Davis knew he could beat. Davis may not have deserved to win that one, but the Republicans certainly deserved to lose it.) The only thing less impressive than Davis' handling of the budget deficit has been the astonishing lack of information on how bad the budget really was until just after last year's election. His sudden flip-flop on the bill to allow illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses is political pandering at its worst.

But the choices to replace him are even more depressing. Schwarzenegger has run an entire campaign based on saying as little as possible. It's hard to say where he stands on anything. Even his apology after the LA Times article about his alleged sexual misconduct managed to not say anything -- essentially, "I'm sorry for anyone I've offended even though I didn't do the things that article said." Huh?

Bustamante may be even worse, though. Rarely do you see a candidate quite so transparently bought and paid for by special interests. He managed to solicit enormous contributions into a 2002 re-election fund set up when he ran for Lt. Governor next year, in blatant violation of campaign finance reform laws passed to limit donations to $21,200 per donor -- or, at least, he did until a judge told him to knock it off. Where Bustamante has professed an actual position on something, I usually disagree with it. But lately he seems to be managing to say even less than Schwarzenegger. A Mercury News article earlier this week had the candidate's responses to questions about various immigration issues. Bustamante's responses were all between one and four words long. The only time they were longer than a single word was when the phrasing of the question precluded any chance of answering with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. While this certainly minimizes the chance of his being quoted out of context, it certainly does nothing to tell me where he stands on anything, either.

For the first time, I am sufficiently disgusted by the election that I am seriously considering walking into the polling place, collecting my ballot, and turning it back in untouched. I really don't know what to do.

Posted by Mike at 11:30 PM | Comments (2)

When you hire a yapping dog...

Imagine, for a moment, that a news program hired an annoying yappy dog to take part in the newscasts. (Given some of my experience, I imagine a Chihuahua, but feel free to imagine whatever you like.)

Now the dog is sort of cute sometimes, and mostly behaves for a while, but then one day, the dog, true to its nature, starts barking and yapping like mad, and no one can shut it up.

What is the real story here? That the dog yapped and barked and was generally an annoying pest? Or that someone thought that hiring the yappy little dog was a good idea in the first place?

So Rush Limbaugh said on ESPN that the Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is overrated just because people wanted to see a black quarterback do well. Three days later, he resigned over the controversy.

But who thought that hiring him was a good plan??

Posted by Mike at 10:58 PM

September 25, 2003

"Maybe it's time to start a state lottery"

CNN.com ran something this week where they invited readers to send in their responses to various questions asked of California's gubernatorial candidates in last night's debate.

Here's my favorite:

Question 2. How would you propose enhancing revenue and/or what specific cuts would you propose to achieve a balanced budget?

Maybe it's time to start a state lottery. Virginia funds education with its lottery.
-- Patrick McConnell, Spotsylvania, Virginia

What a great idea!

Posted by Mike at 10:20 PM

September 16, 2003

Wildcard domains???

I mistyped a domain name today and ended up at a Verisign page. Thinking that was odd, I tried another random domain name. And another. It seems that every domain name in .com (at least) that isn't registered now resolves to Verisign, instead of returning an error.

$ host skjfwiejfwjf3i2j4fiwjf.com
skjfwiejfwjf3i2j4fiwjf.com has address

This is just wrong. What the hell is wrong with Verisign? Damn crackheads...

Posted by Mike at 09:34 PM | Comments (4)

September 10, 2003

Oh, right, that's how we do it...

In an article about PowerPoint in the Mercury News last Sunday had this quote, on the history of PowerPoint:

"PowerPoint ... only reached market dominance when the software giant bundled the program with its Windows operating system."

Is this just a standard quote that lazy journalists include now anytime they are writing about Microsoft?

"[fill in the blank here] reached market dominance when the software giant bundled the program with its Windows operating system."

PowerPoint is NOT bundled with Windows.

Posted by Mike at 03:19 PM

July 28, 2003

Mike for governor?

I think I should run for governor.

As has been pointed out numerous times (e.g., here), all it takes to run for governor in the current recall election is $3500 and 65 signatures of registered voters. That's it.

That's EASY!

When else would I have the chance to get my name on a state-wide ballot? All I need to do now is come up with some campaign promises.

The only problem: Meredith is quite sure that she can think of better things to do with $3500. And she said she wouldn't vote for me. Alas...

Posted by Mike at 11:31 PM | Comments (3)

Like fooling parents is hard...

I awoke today to find lots of news reports on the latest developments in the legal fallout from the Columbine school killings of four years ago: now the parents of the two murderous teens are to be deposed as part of a civil suit alleging that the parents knew or should have known what their boys were planning.

Does no one remember being a teenager? My parents believed me when I would show up a few minutes after curfew, explaining that I would have been on time except that, because of all the rain outside, I had driven really slowly home from Knoxville because I wanted to get home safely. Beaming with pride at my safe, responsibile attitude, they'd let the lateness go without another mention. Of course, the reality was that the reason I was only a few minutes late is because the friction between the tires and the roads is so much less when you're hydroplaning straight down the Interstate at full throttle. I could have been plotting to blow up the Sunsphere; Mom and Dad would never have known.

Over a year ago, I wondered how long the lawsuits over Columbine would drag on. I'm still wondering.

Posted by Mike at 10:20 PM

July 11, 2003

Pat Robertson is an abomination unto the Lord

"So we're undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country." -- Pat Robertson, defending indicted war criminal Charles Taylor of Liberia -- while forgetting to mention his $8 million investment in a gold mining venture with Taylor's government.

"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." -- Exodus 20:7

Pat Robertson is a walking violation of this commandment.

Posted by Mike at 10:56 AM

June 24, 2003

Fuzzy on that whole separation of power thing

By far the most disturbing comment I've seen about the Supreme Court case on affirmative action came from US Congressman and Democratic Presidential hopeful Richard Gephardt.

At a candidate forum sponsored by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Gephardt is quoted as saying, "When I'm president, we'll do executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day."

Excuse me?

The whole point of separation of power is to prevent one branch of government from having absolute power. Gephardt would seem to be in need of Civics 101, where he would hopefully learn that even the President of the United States does NOT get to 'overcome' ANYTHING the Supreme Court does. It's not about whether it's right or wrong, or who you think holds the moral high ground. It's about not giving absolute power to one branch of government -- or, in this case, to one man.

Imagine the President saying, "The Supreme Court is wrong to uphold the 4th Amendment. I've issued an executive orders to overcome this wrong decision and give our police the power to seize the houses and other property of anyone who has protested our foreign policy." I would imagine that Gephardt would be one of the first to attack such a notion -- except that, fundamentally, it's not any different than what he himself promised.

When a candidate assures us that he will undo our entire system of government, he can be assured of not getting my vote.


Posted by Mike at 09:10 PM

June 20, 2003

Hypocrisy, thy name is Hatch

Wired News reports on the fact that Orrin Hatch, who this week advocated "destroying" computers of persons engaged in copyright violations, is, in fact, a software pirate.


Posted by Mike at 10:54 AM

May 28, 2003

Driving is not a right

I am sick of hearing about the Florida court battle involving the Muslim woman who refuses to remove her veil for a driver's license photo, yet wants to keep her license. She says that her religion forbids her face from being photographed. Fine -- I have no problem at all with someone deciding that they can't have their face photographed. But that choice, like many choices, may carry consequences. In this case, the consequence is that you don't get to have a driver's license.

An ACLU attorney is quoted saying, "This is about religious liberty. It's about whether this country is going to have religious diversity." I couldn't disagree more. Separation of church and state goes both ways -- the state can't force you to have your picture taken with your face uncovered, but nor can the church force the state to grant a license to someone who would otherwise be denied one just because of a religious belief.

This whole thing seems even sillier when you realize, as the CNN.com, article notes, that out of nine Muslim nations listed, all but one require women to uncover their faces for ID pictures. The one nation? Saudi Arabia. Why? Because women can't drive there at all, so they clearly don't need ID cards. Well, that would be another rant...

Posted by Mike at 09:31 PM | Comments (6)

April 25, 2003

More on Santorum

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post has written a column on Santorum's remarks. It's really funny, and very well written.

Posted by Mike at 11:30 PM

April 24, 2003

When conservatives drive me crazy

After dinner tonight, we browsed for a bit in the local bookstore. My favorite find was a new book about the about the "Left's assault on our culture". Hard as it was to pass up a book endorsed by both G. Gordon Liddy, Convicted FelonRadio Talk Show Host, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, general hate-mongerRadio Talk Show Host, somehow I managed.

Speaking of right-wing lunacy, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) just sounds like an idiot. First he compares consensual gay sex to incest and polygamy. He also says, "I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts," which has always seemed like one of the most chicken-shit things you can claim to believe in. Then he says "Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman," which displays such a colossal ignorance of history that I don't even know where to begin. Maybe if he had said, "a man and some number of women," he wouldn't have sounded quite so ignorant. One man and one woman is not exactly the historical norm.

And I do not, can not, understand how gays having consensual sex is somehow "antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family." Like somehow my marriage is going to fall apart because of someone else is having sex with a member of the same sex. How does that work? One common explanation seems to be that you need to have heterosexual marriages because that's how you get children. Santorum says "Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children." So not having children is a threat to the sanctity of marriage? Someone better round up those Nuns...

Santorum is now claiming both that he was taken out of context, and that he stands by his comments. Umm ... yeah. That seems to be the favorite defense of politicians these days: "I was taken out of context." At the White House press briefing on Tuesday, a reporter asked Ari Fleischer for a comment on Santorum's remarks. After Fleischer responded, "I have not seen the entire context of the interview...", the reporter asked "Do you need context?" Good point.

Here's the transcript of what Santorum said -- complete with context.

Ah well ...

Posted by Mike at 10:56 PM | Comments (1)

April 14, 2003

More fun with al-Sahaf

An entire site dedicated to the (former) Iraqi mis-Information Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf: http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/

The site was down for a few days after getting linked to by everyone (even cnn.com), but now it's back up.

Posted by Mike at 10:28 PM

April 10, 2003

If al-Sahaf were there...

After running across a hysterical site posing the question "What if Fox News were around during other historical events", I got to thinking about the Iraqi Minister of Silly Walks Information Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, and what would he have said at various events.

Sherman is lying

The Black Knight always wins!

It's just a few Indians

See, the Infidels have even left us a peace offering!

Ah, if only...

I actually miss his daily briefings. He was always good for a laugh.

Posted by Mike at 10:10 PM | Comments (2)

April 08, 2003

War is ... surreal

Minister of Silly Walks
"I have no gate key"
One of the strangest parts of all the media coverage of the War on Iraq has got to be, without a doubt, the Iraqi (Mis)Information Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. First he insisted that Coalition forces were making no headway into the country at all. He referred to a car bomber (that did, in fact, kill four US soldiers) having blown up four or five Abrams tanks, a few armored personnel carriers, and a bunch of soldiers (perhaps the car bomb was a nuke ... no, wait, Iraq doesn't have those). Then, as US forces began rolling onto the runway at Saddam International, he insisted that US troops weren't within 100 miles of Baghdad and were all "nailed down". OK, well, they were at the airport, having evidently dropped several tanks from passing airplanes (since they couldn't have travelled the 100 feet miles that quickly -- and, after all, they were nailed down), but were being "destroyed" by Iraqi forces.
A very clever illusion indeed
A US tank in front of a clever mock-up of one of Saddam's palaces
Even now, as US troops recline in one of Saddam's palaces, he insists that there are no US troops anywhere in the city. Of course, he had to give that briefing at a hotel. He couldn't give it at the Information Ministry building, because US troops had taken it over it was closed for renovation and remodeling. One report I read noted that he had to speak loudly to be heard over the gunfire. Presumably someone in the city was using an AK-47 to shoot a chicken for dinner.

Seriously, what's the point? He's going to give a briefing soon about how there are no US troops in Baghdad that will be interrupted by the sight of an Abrams tank rolling by in the background. His briefings have become surreal beyond words. Is it just that the government there is so used to lying that they don't know how to do anything else??

Posted by Mike at 12:16 AM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2003


In a column in Slate a few weeks ago, the author posed the question: since everyone in Iraq seems to own a gun, how did it ever become a dictatorship? After all, the NRA has been assuring us for years that the constitutional reason for citizens to bear arms is in case they ever need to take up arms against their own government to keep it from becoming as repressive as Iraq's. How come this failed in Iraq?

A few days ago, a followup column posted the best responses to the question. The best response: "Iraqis are very poor shots."

Entertaining reading...

Posted by Mike at 08:26 AM

March 31, 2003

Journalists behaving badly

What a bad weekend for journalists. First Peter Arnett, a journalist for NBC currently in Baghdad, gave an interview to Iraqi state-run TV in which he said that the US "war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance", thanked the Iraqi government for giving him and other reporters a "degree of freedom which we appreciate", and "it is clear that within the United States there is growing challenge to President Bush about the conduct of the war and also opposition to the war. So our reports about civilian casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back to the United States. It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments. " (See the transcript.) NBC first issued a statement of support, then later realized that they were supporting an idiot, so fired him.

Now Arnett, claiming it was a 'midjudgement', is whining about how he is "still in shock and awe at being fired." He's already been hired again, too, by the staunchly anti-war British tabloid "The Daily Mirror".

I can understand having opinions against the war, and have no problem with stating such opinions. But stating them in a public interview with the government-run TV station of a country that the United States is at war with is awfully close to "giving [the enemy] Aid and Comfort."

Next up on the journalistic idiot parade is Geraldo Rivera (now there's a shock). Rivera, who is embedded with the 101st Airborne, gave his report for Fox News complete with diagrams in the sand of where he was, and where the 10st was going next. The New York Times reports "'At one point, he actually revealed the time of an attack prior to its occurrence,' Lt. Mark Kitchens, a spokesman at Central Command, said yesterday morning." Bye, bye, Rivera.

Posted by Mike at 11:13 PM

March 24, 2003


The Mountain View-Whisman School Board is trying to get a $2.5 million parcel tax measure passed in Mountain View at an election this coming June.

The school district (which has not, curiously, updated its web site with any information on this issue) is facing, like many California schools, crushing budget cuts because of the enormous California budget shortfall. Their solution is to try for a rather unique parcel tax: unlike many such measures, which tax some fixed dollar amount per parcel of land, this one taxes 5 cents per square foot on buildings and property improvements for each of the following five years.

The result of this is that businesses will end up footing an incredible portion of the bill. Articles in the Mountain View Voice 3/14 and 3/21 issues have noted that SGI, Microsoft, and HP combined will probably end up paying over $97,000 each year -- almost 4% of the total.

From the standpoint of wanting to pass the tax, I can understand the strategy of the school board. By forcing businesses to bear the lion's share of the tax, individual residents will have a much lower tax burden and are, therefore, more likely to vote for the measure. Large businesses tend to have a lot of people who live outside of Mountain View, and therefore can't vote on the issue (for example, I'm hard pressed to think of anyone else that I work with here at Microsoft who actually lives in Mountain View).

The articles mention the polling of 400 Mountain View residents about the tax before the school board placed it on the measure. I was one of those polled. The questions were about whether I would support the tax, whether I agreed that schools were having financial problems, how I would want the money spent, and, finally, a series of 'would you be more likely to vote for / no more likely to vote for the measure if X were included'. Note that 'less likely' wasn't a choice I was given. An interesting choice in polling methodology.

Do the ends justify the means? I don't think that businesses should be devoid of any fiscal responsibility to the communities in which they are based, but having just three companies pay 1/25 of the total bill, and not give those companies any real chance to have a voice in the issue, seems like taxation without representation at its worst. Further, having the tax paid so disproportionately seems fiscally foolish -- what happens to the school district's funding if one of those companies closes a building in the next five years?

In the end, I am torn. I do think the schools need more money to function at even basic levels. But I am alarmed by what seems to be a 'whatever it takes to pass it' mentality of the measure's backers. I could have supported a parcel tax measure, but I'm not sure that I can support this particular measure.

Posted by Mike at 07:46 PM | Comments (1)