Thursday, June 26, 2008

That'll never be abused.

Apparently, ICANN is talking about the open creation of top level domains.

That's right. Anyone who wants will be able to create one.

I call dibs on .onmyface and .inbedwithachicken

I just think it has the potential for hilarity *giggles*

Current mood: amused
Current music: Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Treating people like people is bad for business?

The local paper ran a story today about a proposal that would force employers to offer seven paid sick days a calendar year.

On the whole, I think this is a positive thing. Far too many people go to work sick, not taking any time to recover (and making other people sick in the process) because they can’t afford to take the necessary time off.

Tony Fiore, director of labor and human resources with The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, however, has a differing opinion. It seems that he is traveling around the state to talk to business owners in order to convince them to vote against it, and, from the looks of it, spreading quite a bit of FUD while he’s at it.

From the article:

"We're looking to make the state a competitive place to do business," Fiore said. "We've got a minimum wage and worker's compensation laws. How many regulations before people say, 'Ohio isn't the place I want to do business.'?"

Am I the only one who reads this and hears something more like “Don’t complain and get back to work, slave! You should be glad we don’t have you flogged!” going on in what passes for this man’s greedy little brain?

A minimum wage and worker’s compensation laws? You mean we actually comply with federal regulations!!?? HOW TERRIBLE!

It’s a great example of employers showing quite plainly that they want to own employees instead of pay them for their services and treat them as, you know, people.

Of course, the locals are against this measure. It never ceases to amaze me that they worship the people who want to screw them over. (My theory is that they secretly want to *be* those people and so have created a sort of cargo cult around it)

Is it possible that some people will abuse this? Sure, but you get that with *anything*. The thing is that they’re trying to turn it into a boogey man in order to scare people into thinking that they’ll all lose their jobs if this law passes (which just isn’t true).

Let’s face it – for a “first world” country, we treat our own people more like they would in a “third world” one. Take a look at Europe (or even Japan, where they actually have a word for “death from overwork”) and then look here. We’re behind in life expectancy, quality of life and a great deal of other things. We even work more, on average, than they do (even Japan).

Wake up and smell the coffee, folks. If you don’t take a stand, nobody will.

Current mood: pondering
Current music: Fall Out Boy – Thnks Fr Th Mmrs

Monday, June 23, 2008

Farewell, our acerbic friend.

At around 6pm PDT June 22, 2008, George Carlin died of heart failure at the age of 71.

If you know me, you know that I was influenced far too much by this man in the sense of humor department. (That hasn't gotten me in trouble before. noooooooooo lol)

Let's all say the seven words in his honor.

He will be missed.

and just remember - you can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick =]

Friday, June 20, 2008

3 a.m Haiku

The moon shines brightly
Light reflected from the sun
Not made of green cheese

Cat contemplates world
Leaves gift for us to step on
Hairball in the night

Ice is found on Mars
Intelligent life there too?
Certainly not here

Incoherent words
Drool pooled upon my keyboard
Typing while asleep

Writing bad haiku
Great distraction from boredom
Words torture reader

Don't read my haiku
Bad poems are much like yawns
They are contagious

I write bad poems
You shudder as you read them
I laugh at your pain

Hand reaches upward
Splitting wide the rich black earth
The zombies return

Zombie bites your head
Looking for a brain to eat
He dies of hunger

Can't breathe during night
Furry monster on my chest
It's only the cat

Scuffle at the door
Cat wishes to sleep with me
But he hogs the bed

I must get some sleep
But I can not quit writing
Make the poems stop

There is quite thin line
Between genius and crazy
I cross it daily

Why bad poetry
Comes so easily at 3
I have no idea

Compelled to write more
But I really need to sleep
This is the last one:

World is full of strife
To quote Edward R Murrow
Good night and good luck

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Help, we're being repressed!

As an example of what I was talking about with regard to trying to make policy and law based on religion being a problem here, there is a story in the local paper about a small town near here that received a letter from the ACLU to stop opening their council meetings with a sectarian prayer because it gives preference to one religion over others.

Personally, I agree with the ACLU on this one. The locals, however, have a different view. Apparently telling them that they can't put themselves before everyone else is somehow taking away their "rights" and that the separation of church and state shouldn't apply to them.

That's right. In their mind, they're being repressed because they're being stopped from discriminating on the basis of religion.

From the comments:

"Intervention by the ACLU only adds to the problems of our country. Statistically, there are more Christians in America and it is time we become more of a voice instead of just a number. We need to take back our liberties and stop letting these extremists continue to stick their noses in where it don't belong, never did. To start, just as the Council in Greenfield does, we need to go to the Lord in prayer and earnestly pray for the people and organizations who want to take God out of everything. And I agree Just Dale about what you said concerning the ultra liberal candidate for our president. Truthfully, I'm still hoping there's someone out there better qualified than all of our choices, that will throw their hat in the ring!"

  • EDIT: It seems that the paper has decided to pull the entire story. Before the change to the website, when the comments on an article made the city look bad, the editor would kill the comments on the story (He has a habit of pandering to the Chamber despite the fact that he denies it). Now, it appears that he simply un-makes the news, so I guess this particular event never happened now [/sarcasm]
  • EDIT 2: Okay, I finally found the story again. They not only removed all of the comments, but they *changed the URL*, *removed it from the day's news page*, and made it possible to find it only by doing a search of the archives. So, in essence, the first edit was correct; they killed the comments and tried to bury the story.
  • They're starting to comment again. I wonder how long until those are erased. One of my favorites - "One GOD one JESUS one HEAVEN one hell. I don't want to be in the aclu's position on the day of judgement. YOU WILL KNEEL BEFORE THE ONE GOD." You have to love the peace and tolerance. Personally, I think the ACLU would be viewed more positively than the people who are trying to force their faith on everyone else. =]

Current mood: frustrated
Current music: AFI - Love Like Winter

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Change? Who needs that!?
James Opens Another Can.

I've really cut back on the posts about the local political landscape, and I've done it on purpose. I find that it tends to make me more negative, and I'm trying to improve in that area.

However, this is about the presidential election, so I'll post for this one.

The post which follows is in response to a blog entry on the local paper's website. The person making the post claims to be a retired janitor with "100 hours of graduate study beyond an M.A. in U.S. history." (anyone else's bullshit alarm going off yet?)

I'm going to do this in a quote and response style. The blog entry is linked above, so feel free to read it if you like (some of his other posts are real winners too).

"Sen. Barack Obama's campaign slogan "Change We Can Believe In" is a nonsense phrase. It has no real meaning.

Am I the only one who thinks that it doesn't make any sense to believe in "change"? I can see believing in religion or love or maybe even music, but believing in "change" makes no sense."

While I don’t think it’s wise to seek change simply for the sake of change, after the last almost 8 years of Bush in office, you bet your ass I’m ready for change in a positive direction. We (at least the sane among us) don’t expect everything to happen overnight, but we do bloody well think it NEEDS to happen.

“Bill Clinton suggested "It's time to change America" when he ran in 1992. I don't recall him changing much of anything, although two years later voters changed Congress by replacing many Democrats with Republicans.”

For someone who claims to study US history, you don’t seem to know a whole lot about it. Under Clinton, we actually had a budget *surplus* which Bush decided to squander when he came into office.

That was quite a change from the previous administrations as well as the current one.

Then again, I’m responding to someone who thinks that Clinton got off from lying to a federal judge because he was the President when the truth is that he was found not guilty because the question had no bearing on the case he was testifying about and therefore had no place being asked.

And this guy claims to have a master’s degree in US history?

“The slogan "Change We Can Believe In" sounds like something a child might consider impressive, but it has no real meaing.”

No, the slogan is a rallying cry for everyone who is sick of a government that is of the Exxon, by the Halliburton, and for the Wal-mart. It is a blatant statement that things need to CHANGE and that if they don’t, the downward spiral we are currently in will only get WORSE.

“Not surprisingly, Obama has more appeal to inexperienced young voters than to wiser older voters who have seen a lot of fast talking phony politicians.”

You have to love how he defines wise people as people who think like him and are in his age group when he shows a decided lack of wisdom. Granted, I may be a wiseassed 20-something, but I’m a politically savvy one (and certainly not gullible) who realizes that THIS IS MY COUNTRY TOO AND *I* NEED TO HELP STEER IT BECAUSE IT IS PART OF *MY* DUTY AS A *CITIZEN*.

Sorry, kiddo, but I’ve been involved in politics since before I was 18 and did it using my own mind instead of making snap decisions.

Guess who I’m voting for. It certainly isn’t McCain, who, despite trying to look like a moderate, is a conservative in the shape of our current “leader”.

That’s something that laughing boy doesn’t seem to get. Then again, he’s also a member of the generation that has the funny habit of deciding that a program is no longer needed after they’re done using it (but that’s a whole other rant).

“Obama a few months ago commented about the psychological state of small town people who believed in religion, etc. What is the psychological state of people who believe in some vaguely defined "change"? “

Religion is a fine thing. However, it has no place in public policy. It is a private, personal matter and should be kept that way.

What Obama was talking about was the fact that people in the Midwest (especially in the rural areas) often try to get their elected officials to pass laws based on their religious convictions.

Try running as a person who is openly non-Christian around here even if you *are* the best person for the job and see if you get elected. In all honesty, you would not only have a huge smear campaign leveled at you but also possibly death threats, physical violence, your property defaced, etc.

As an example, our current governor was smeared for not being the right *kind* of Christian (he’s not Baptist, which seems to be the common denomination here).

Was it poorly worded? Sure. However, it was both sad and true. I should know. I grew up around it and continue to be surrounded by it. The sad fact is that a lot of people are trying to use religion as a political tool and that needs to STOP.

There are plenty of nice people around here, but there are far too many that want to make laws based on their religion, to the detriment of everyone else.

“Obama's supporters must have very empty lives to believe that some vague "change" is going to make their lives better. Do they expect the president to provide them some type of psychological satisfaction?”

No, we expect a change from the way things have been under Bush. Possibly back to something that actually looks and behaves as though it were at least sort of “Of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

However, that is going to require “change” and involvement – most notably from the younger generations which he derides as being naive.

“As an historian I am inherently suspicious of politicians who rely on oratorical ability to reach people on an emotional level.”

This is a good stance to take. However, *all* politicians rely on oratorical ability to reach people on an emotional level. The question is whether or not they can and will work to affect positive change.

“How can we be sure the that Barack Obama is not talking about a "change" designed to reduce the level of democracy in the United States?”

Apparently he really isn’t much of a student of US history. Despite the shenanigans of the current “president,” the answer to that question would be “separation of powers” (i.e. “checks and balances”) and THE CONSTITUTION.

I hate to tell him this, but this is our world as well and will be long after he and his kind are gone.

On second thought, I don’t hate to tell him that. I just wish I could do so to his face. Of course, I’d also be sorely tempted to tell him that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about and that it really shows (not to mention doubting the degree that he claims to have).

Current mood: annoyed
Current music: Tonic - Open Up Your Eyes (it seemed appropriate)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Magnetic Poetry Sea

I'm a magnetic poetry addict. Have been since college. A certain someone got me into it, and, well, it went from there. The fact that I love word games and language probably doesn't help.

Recently, I got a few new ones. I found them on American Science & Surplus of all places. Since they were only $2 each, I splurged and got all four sets - Alien, Ghost, Therapy, and Gross & Weird.

This has lead to a number of weird and amusing, even by my standards, strings of words on my marker boards. Among them are the following:

"What would Jung do?"
"Vomit, by Freud"
"I possess repressed overbearing pathological sanity!"
"You can't destroy her invisible codependent goblin cloud"
"Smile you're having an anal probe!"
"They let me eat his eyes at the ritual"
"The stormy corpse flew on frightening Halloween instinct"
"Subconscious knife rain"
"Fantastic diagnosis or wicked extraterrestrial meds?"
and "Beta-powered sexual meteor!"

I have no idea where that last one came from. I basically just pulled words out of my tub and there it was. Go figure.

I refer to the collection as The Magnetic Poetry Sea because it's really starting to get fairly large. I wasn't kidding when I say there's a tub of it. If I get a house, I have a feeling that a wall of one of the rooms (or at least a significant portion of it) will be magnetic for the Mag Poetry Sea.

The Sea just keeps growing. Some companies even feed my addiction because they give sheets of the stuff as swag. =]

I really want a set with programming words, though. I may end up having to get a printable magnet sheet and making my own.

Current mood: amused
Current music: Backyard Babies - Pet Semetary

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who Will Meet The Press Now?

Tim Russert, moderator of Meet The Press, passed away today of a heart attack.

He was quite possibly one of the last of the real political journalists in this country. He was fair and balanced, but wasn't afraid to ask the hard questions and keep asking until they got answered.

The frightening thing is that he did it politely and, despite being raked over the coals, almost nobody he talked to was upset at the end of the show.

From all accounts, he was even decent as a person (which I can believe).

In addition, he was yet another marker board addict =]

I can't help but think that this is probably not the time that he would have wanted to go if he could have chosen, considering the history making election that we're in the middle of. However, at least he got to celebrate his son's graduation.

To be honest, the election will not be the same without Tim, because he played such a large role in political reporting. His will be very large shoes to fill.

He will be missed.

Current mood: pondering
Current music: Ivy - Edge of the Ocean

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hello and welcome to last week.

After more than a little pestering, I mean encouragement, from a few people, I've finally set up a twitter account.

I thought I should put it on the sidebar for my blog and on my site so people could, you know, actually find it. If you're wondering about the username, it's an old nickname that I use on a few different accounts (slashdot, among others).

Feel free to follow my feed, but be sure to check your sanity at the door. =]

Current mood: tired
Current music: They Might Be Giants - We Want A Rock

Monday, June 02, 2008

Back on-line.

Well, my site and email are now back up.

However, I have to apologize.

If you sent me anything in the approx 36 hours that the site was down, I didn't get it.

Please feel free to re-send any emails, and I will do my best to get back to you.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Three Dog Night - Mamma Told Me

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Well, It's Better Than The Dog Ate My Homework...

I went to check my email on Sunday, and couldn't connect to the mail server.

Not a big deal, really. It's Sunday, so most of the stuff I get is of the personal variety. Besides, my hosting provider is pretty good about getting things back up fairly quickly.

Several hours later, still no email.

It's odd, but as I said, not a big deal since it's Sunday. I go off for a few hours and come back this evening.

The mail's still down which is really unlike the guys there.

Reading Slashdot, I find out why.

It turns out that there was an explosion at the data center where their servers are housed.

Thankfully nobody was hurt, and it seems that no servers were damaged, but you have to love the excuse for the downtime.

We're sorry you can't reach your website or email, but our building exploded.

As I said, it's certainly better than "my dog ate my homework." =]

Providing that incoming mails aren't just being bounced or dropped into oblivion, it means that it should take a little bit to wade through my emails when the server is back online hopefully today. I'm waiting to see "downloading 1 of 1500 messages" lol

Current mood: wow
Current music: Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet - It's 5 O'clock Somewhere