DTM Home
 October 24, 2001

 8:06 am CST - GORDON - Pop Up Hacks.

So I'm doing some random surfing yesterday, and hit a freeware-EZBoard.  Any internet user worth his or her salt knows that when you use the free version of an EZBoard message board, you are inundated with pop up advertisements.  Or, pop-unders, to be more precise.  It is annoying to see all of those new browser sessions appear minimized on your taskbar, but no more annoying than to see a commercial for a product promoting "intimate feminine cleansing" during the new episode of "Enterprise."

But I digress.

I finish reading the EZBoard, and begin closing the 5 ads that popped under.  My personal operating procedure is to maximize all of them, and then close them.  I make it a game to try and close the ad window before I actually get a sense of the identity of the product being sold.  "Damn the Man," as it were.

I don't always succeed.

In one of the windows I closed, I managed to read the first sentence before the computer could catch up to me.  It read, "The software you requested has been installed."  Knowing these marketing types to be tricky fellows given to making ads look like windows error messages and such, I discounted the advertisement as just so much subterfuge.

About five minutes later, this icon appears in my system tray.

Though much smaller, of course.

I'm a system tray nihilist.  I prefer as little as possible to be in my system tray using resources.  This probably stems from my DOS days, when I was doing my best to load software into 604k of conventional memory.  The rule back then was...."if you don't need it, don't put it in memory."  So, aghast, I uninstalled the program before even doing any research as to what it was.  I knew I didn't install it, and therefore I didn't need it.

I made a little message board entry about it, marveling at the gall of gator software to actually load a program onto my system through a pop up ad.

Like a virus.

And that was pretty much the end of it until this morning.

Fresh reboot while I'm grinding my coffee beans.  Immediately...IMMEDIATELY I see another icon interloper in my system tray.

This time I fought the rising of my gorge and took the time to see what it was, and who wrote it before I started scraping it off my hard drive.  It was an application called "Offer Companion."  Hmmmm....sounded dubious.  I little more digging uncovered it was written by "Gator Software."  What is "Offer Companion?"

OfferCompanion is a software program that delivers Pop Up Banner windows that float over Web pages as you view them. But these are not just everyday banner ads. OfferCompanion Pop Up Banners deliver information that match your interests based on the Web sites you visit. You'll often see information and special offers from top merchants that only OfferCompanion users can take advantage of. Best of all, like any window, you control how the banners are displayed, allowing you to design your own Web experience. We sponsor the Pop Up Banner windows that you receive, not the underlying Web sites that you visit when you receive them.

It helps you see more pop up ads.

The line has been crossed.

As far as I'm concerned, my system integrity has been illegally compromised.  At no time did I grant permission for software to be installed on my system, not once but twice.  At no time did I accept a licensing agreement....which most people don't realize works in two directions.  There's only one other time when software gets installed on your system without your knowledge, and that's with worms and virii.

With that in mind, my email barrage is beginning.  I'll contact Norton and McAffee, and I'll consider the FBI, depending on what their FAQ's determine what constitutes hacking.

If it is possible to install an executable file onto your hard drive and alter the system registry with nothing more than a pop up ad, then we're all in a lot of trouble.

I moved this thread from General to Feedback.

 October 22, 2001

 10:56 am CST - GORDON - Deep thoughts.

I've been thinking a lot about the "Big Business runs America" theory lately.

Here's the direction in which my new opinion is forming:

I'm going to call it "Gordon's Theory of McDonald's Proliferation."

It relies on the assumption that we want to do business everywhere, with as many countries as possible. i.e., a McDonalds in every country.

In order to have a McDonalds on every street corner, there needs to be stability. Daily riots and stone throwing breaks windows, and that angers Ronald McDonald. So, the US Government has to take steps to ensure stability.

Now, people in other countries need to have money in order to buy tasty McDonalds hamburgers. In order to do that, it helps to have a good capitalistic economy going. So the US Government pressures people to do that.

So, connecting the dots, America maintains a worldwide presence in order to make the world safe for McDonalds. People get all riled up because we want to build a McDonald's in their capitol city. "Western influence! Western influence!" Boo hoo wah.

Put another way, 5,000 people died recently in NYC because the Taliban doesn't want people eating fast food.

This is all original thought.  The Insanity is mine alone.

 October 17, 2001

 1:39 pm CST - GORDON - American Heroes V.

It occurred to me to wonder who was the most decorated soldier during World War II, and I quickly learned with a little research that it was someone named "Audie Murphy," and he went on to become a movie star after the war.  But then I went on to wonder about the less "glamorous" war, Vietnam.  Here's what some research uncovered (cut-n-pasted as-is.).

Joliet Herald-News, Joliet, Illinois January 22, 1986


Joe Hooper was the most decorated soldier during the Vietnam War

He walked as tall as Alvin York and Audie Murphy. But they earned their combat records in World Wars I and II. Joe earned his medals in that unpopular war. That place called Vietnam.

At the age of 17 Joe enlisted in the Navy. He liked the service life and planned a military career. But when it was time to reenlist in 1961, he changed to the Army. Joe ended up with the 101st Airborne Division and went to Vietnam where he earned The Congressional Medal of Honor.

...Company D. was assualting a heavily defended enemy position along a river bank when it encountered a withering hail of fire from rockets, machine-guns and automatic weapons. He rallied several men and stormed across the river, over running several bunkers on the opposite shore.

.....With utter disregard for his own saftey, he moved out under the intense fire again and pulled back the wounded, moving them to saftey...Joe was seriously wounded, but refused medical aid and returned to his men. With the relentless enemy fire disrupting the attack, he single-handedly stormed three enemy bunkers, destroying them with hand grenades and rifle fire, and shot two enemy soldiers who had attacked and wounded the Chaplin....

Finding his men under heavy fire from a house to the front, he proceeded alone to the building, killing its occupants with rifle fire and grenades By now his initial body wound had been compounded by grenade fragments, yet, despite the multiple wounds and loss of blood, he continued to lead his men against the intense enemy fire....

He gathered several grenades and raced down a small trench which ran the length of the bunker line, tossing grenades into each bunker as he passed by, killing all but two of the occupants... He then raced across an open field, still under enemy fire, to rescue a wounded man who was trapped in a trench. Upon reaching the man, he was faced by an armed enemy soldier whom he killed with a pistol... He neutralized the final pocket of enemy resistance by fatally wounding three North Vietnamese officers...

Joe was wounded seven times that day. But he wouldn't allow himself to be removed from the battlefield until all his men were safe. He finally passed out from loss of blood.

He regained consiousness in a field hospital. But Joe was still worried about his men, young men who depended upon the experience of the 29 year old sargent.

The next day he stole a rifle and hitched a ride back to his outfit. Technially, he was AWOL. But by the time the Army found him two days later, Joe had been wounded again.

President Richard Nixon pinned the Medal of Honor on Joe, who had been comissioned a 2nd Lt. He went on a speaking tour across the nation.

Then he asked to go back to Vietnam.

After two combat tours in the war, Joe had received 37 medals. They included two Silver Stars(one of them had started out as another recommendation for a second Medal of Honor), six Bronze Stars and eight Purple Hearts.

Joe returned to duty at Fort Polk, La. where he was training recruits. But he didn't fit in well with stateside duty and he resigned his comission in 1972.

Joe was disillusioned by the Army and its lack of discipline. He believed that discipline and training were what paid off in combat.

Joe's wife said he cried that day as he watched the news films showing the last of the American forces being pulled out of Vietnam. He told her all those lives and all those broken bodies had been wasted. He said we had accomplished nothing.

Joe made many speeches about his combat experiences. He told a reporter he could smell the enemy.

If someone asked, he would tell them about the day he won The Medal of Honor, "I had no choice that day, " Joe would say, "I did what I had to do."

That was Joe Hooper's philosophy in life. You do what you have to do at the time and face tomnorrow when it arrives.

Joe was in Louisville, Kentucky for the running of the Kentucky Derby, when he died on May 5,1979. He was found in a hotel room. He was 40 years old. He died a quiet death from a cerebral hemorrage while sleeping.

Heroes Thread.

 October 15, 2001

 10:14 am CST - GORDON - American Heroes IV.

Borrowed from here.  Two time Medal of Honor winner, Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler.

 by Joseph K. Leach

Who was Smedley Butler? Sounds like an English Professor. Hardly! He was a career United States Marine Officer, who earned two Congressional Medals of Honor. But he was also a bit of a maverick and an enigma who made enemies in high places. I'll put forward what facts I know and let you be the judge.

He was born in Pennsylvania on July 30th,1881,and was raised a Quaker. Though small in stature, Butler was a leader of kids his age in school. He did'nt show any leanimg toward a military career until the Spanish American War broke out with the sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana Harbor on Feb.16th,1898.

Butler tried to enlist in the army immediatly but was turned down because he was only 16. He then had his father (a US Congressman) get him an appointment as a Navy Apprentice. He went to Washington DC, took a competitive exam for prospective officers, and aced it. He also lied about his age (he said 18) and was then commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Soon afterwards this short, skinny, stoop shouldered teenager found himself being shipped to Cuba after the barest of training.

Butler's career was started, and what a career it was. Here was a most un-military looking man that would become a brilliant officer, serve our Country all over the world, and rise to the hghest rank available at the time. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The war ended before he saw any combat and Butler was shipped back to the States. It wasn't long though before he tasted combat. He was sent to the Philippines as a lst Lieutenant. He saw some skirmishes and then was sent to China in June of 1900 to relieve the Foriegn Legations in Peking that were under seige by a group of Chinese Nationalists called the "Boxers." They were called this because of their raised fist salute. This group wanted to rid China of all foriegn influences.

Smedley landed with a force of Marines at Taku, China and was in a battle right away. They were ambushed and had to pull back. When he realized a wounded man was left behind, Butler and five others fought their way back to the man and carried him out of harms way. Then they carried this man 18 miles through hostile territory to a hospital. The four enlisted men in this group got the Medal of Honor. Smedley and the other officer got breveted to Captain (Officers were not eligible for the MOH in those days)

After this, he was leading a Company of Marines in an attack on the walled city of Tientsin, and again carried a wounded man to safety. He himself had been shot in the leg doing this. He refused aid until other wounded men were taken care of, and even then only submitted to a bandage and rejoined his men in the attack. Despite his leg wound, a fever, and an absessed tooth, Smedley exposed himself to enemy fire and dragged a Brirish soldier back to safety. He was even sruck by a bullet that glanced off one of his tunic buttons. The British army wanted to give him a medal, but he had to refuse it, due to regulations forbidding a U.S solldier from getting medals from a foreign service.

In his weakened condition, Buter was shipped back to the States with Typhoid Fever in 1900. Here he was, a Marine captain, a bona fide hero of a tough military campaign and he was yet to see his 20th birthday.

18 months later he was shipped to the Island of Culebra, off Puerto Rico. It was here he was to have his first brush with the higher ups. His men were ordered to fortify the 400 foot hills on this island. In the heat it was back-breaking work. Any water and supplies had to be shipped in. They were then ordered to dig a canal from the ocean to the lagoon in the middle of the island. This work in the horrible heat started to affect the men, and they started dropping with exhaustion and fever.

Concerned for his men, Smedley wrote to the Navy, but received no help. When his father found out about the conditions he used his influence in Washington to rectify the conditions and the Navy was reprimanded.

Smedley never forgeve the Navy Brass for the way they treated his Marines. In 1903 Smedley was sent to Hondoras with the Marines to protect American interests from rebels. After this he was put in garrison in the Staes and got married in 1905 (Bay Head, NJ) This same year he was sent again to the Phillipines and again had a run-in with the Navy.

Working on gun emplacements in the hills surrounding Subic Bay, the men found themselves out of supplies. Every day they saw a supply boat pass within hailing distance and they tried to contact it The boat never acknowledged them. Finally, Smedley took a native boat and some Marines and headed for the supply camp. It was a harrowing trip through a violent storm, but they made it after 5 hours. They then commandeered a tug, filled it with supplies and went back to their base enduring another storm. The navy was furious and sent Butler home wth a "nervous beakdown", and gave him 9 months to recuperate.

In September,1908, he was tested and adjudged all right to re-enter the Corps. A month later he was promoted to Major. In December, 1909 he was sent to Panama as Commander of the 3rd.Marine Battalion as protection for the men building the canal. He was also sent at various times from Panama to Nicarauga, in 1909, 1910, and 1912 to protect American interests against bandits and revolutionaries.

When the canal was fnished Butler was sent to Mexico. There was a lot of anti Americanism going on there and American interests and citizens were in danger. He first went to Mexico City dressed in civvies to look over the situation. He later landed with the Marines at Vera Cruz and won the Medal of Honor for bravery under fire. He brushed off any praise of himself, considering it was his job to do it,and refused the medal. He refused to accept it until a few years later when he was ordered to accept it, and he did. His was the attitude that he only did what any Marine would have done in his place.


Left to right - Capt F.H. Delano, SgtMaj John H. Quick, LtCol W.C. Neville, Col J.A. Lejeune, and Maj S.D. Butler (MCU Archives)
Next came Haiti for him. Both Germany and France were threatening to send troops to Haiti for unpaid debts. To counter any foriegn intervention in the area, President Wilson sent in the Marines in 1915. It was here that Butler won his second Medal of Honor. With only 100 men, Butler led an attack on a rebel stronghold called Fort Riviere. It as reputed to be impregnable, but Butler had it destroyed in one afternoon. He was the 3rd.person to enter the fortress, and with these two other Marines held off the rebels in violent hand to hand combat until help arrived.

Capture of Fort Riviere, Haiti, 1915, by D. J. Neary; illustrations of Maj Smedley Butler, Sgt Iams, and Pvt Gross (USMC art collection)

Interestingly enough, Butler was a fairly strong advocate of "Damning the man."  In the Heroes thread, I linked an interesting article about his post-military opinions.

I followed in his footsteps when I was part of the 2nd Haiti Invasion in 1994.

Heroes Thread.

 October 13, 2001
 4:42 pm CST - GORDON - Little Rock Airport to Gordo:  Own3d.

Being the true and faithful friend I am, I scheduled a trip to and from Ohio for this weekend, in spite of that Arab cocksucker's terrorist war on America.  Best airline rate I could get was out of Little Rock, so that's what I did.  I left work early on Friday for the two hour drive from Memphis to catch my 7:30 pm flight.  Changing planes in St. Louis had me arriving in Detroit a little after midnight where I had arranged for a car to meet me.

My plane arrives a little late into Little Rock, but we still pulled out of the gate on time.  Pulled out about 15 feet where we stopped.  I made small talk with the lumber industry consultant in the seat next to me while we waited for word.

About 30 minutes later, the absolute longest we could have been delayed and still made my connection, the Cap'n gets on the mic and tells us that there's a security issue, we're pulling back up to the gate, and we'll all have to disembark and wait.

After another 30 minutes at the gate, we're told we all have to go through security again.

Since I had only been planning on being in Ohio for 36 hours, and as I'd just missed the last connection out of St. Louis, and there was no guarantee I'd get out of STL first thing in the morning, I made the decision to abort the operation.

At the gate I tell the attendant that as I was going to miss the wedding anyway, so I'd just cancel the trip.  I was told NO.  No refund, no voucher until they determined the flight was definitely cancelled, and I had definitely missed my connection (which had left STL 15 minutes prior.  I wasn't going anywhere but into the long line at the metal detectors.  Ok................  So we're all in line at the metal detectors....which were shut down and gated and closed.  And no airport employees in sight.  It was about 20 minutes later an announcement was made over the airport intercom:  "All passengers and airport employees must leave the airport immediately."  This was repeated a few times.  Shops started shutting gates and turning off lights.  Things got pretty quiet.

And we in line were told by security to stay put.

I made the whole line laugh when I told the unhelpful security guy that "this airport is getting a scathing review on my web page."

I made a few cell phone calls to people who expected to see me up north, and after a bit people started filing back in.  It was about this time that I ordered some poor TWA girl to get out of my way because I'm going home.  And that I did.

It was now about 11pm, and I took a look at the nearby hotel suites, and their open bar, and decided to just stay in Arkan-fucking-sas overnight.  It is now officially my least favorite state.  It's only redeeming quality is that even though you have to argue awhile, they eventually let you leave.

We should have sold Arkansas to Texas while they were briefly their own country.

 October 12, 2001

 10:14 am CST - GORDON - American Heroes III.

Two-time Medal of Honor winner, Marine Corps SgtMaj Dan Daly.

Born on Nov. 11, 1873 at Glen Cove, Long Island NY. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on Jan 10, 1899 at the age of 25. His professed reason for enlisting was to participate in the Spanish American War, however soon after completing boot camp, he was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet.

On the evening of Aug. 14, 1900 then Private Daly and Capt. N.H. Hall occupied a barricade in the city of Peking China during the Boxer Rebellion. Set between the Ch'ien Men and Hata Men gate, it was a solid defensive position.

As night fell, the Capt. returned to get reinforcements, and Daly volunteered to stay at the barricade. His position was assaulted by the Chinese all through the night, but the Marine held through attack after attack.

On December 11, 1901 Daly was awarded the Navy issue Medal of Honor.  The citation for his first of two awards of the Navy Medal of Honor reads; "In the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 14 August 1900, Daly distinguished himself by meritorious conduct."

Daly's next action saw him at Vera Cruze during the Mexican American War in 1914. This was followed smartly by action in Haiti during the first occupation of that Caribbean country.  By now a Gunnery Sergeant, Daly was part of a patrol which was pushing the bandit Cacos into an old French fort in an attempt to consolidate and destroy the remaining rebels.

His patrol of 35 Marines was ambushed by an approximate 400 Cacos. While fording a river, the rebels opened fire. All the Marines made it to the bank safely, however, the horse carrying the machine gun was killed and abandoned in mid river, along with many others. During the night, the embattled Marines were again attacked and the patrol leader called for the machine gun. Daly immediately volunteered to return to the river and retrieve the weapon.

Making his way back to the river through enemy patrols, he found the dead horse, cut the gun from it, and strapping it to his back returned to the Marine Position. This action earned him his second Navy issue of the Medal of Honor. A place in Marine Corps history shared by only one other Marine, Smedley D. Butler. Both men earning these second awards during the same action.

Daly's citation reads; "Serving with the Fifteenth Company of Marines on 22 October 1915, Gunnery Sergeant Daly was one of the company to leave Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a six day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from three sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort. The Marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position, which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak, the Marines in three squads, advanced in three directions, surprising and scattering the Cacos in all directions. Gunnery Sergeant Daly fought with exceptional gallantry against heavy odds throughout this action."

By now, at age 44 Daly was looking to the clouds of war in France and soon he shipped "over the pond" as First Sergeant of the 73rd Machine Gun Company. His many actions during this conflict were to net him his, as he said, "hat full of medals." One of which was wiping out German machine gun nests alone with grenades and a .45 Colt pistol and another time capturing 13 enemy soldiers.

At Lucy li Boucage, on the outskirts of Belleau Wood France, Daly made a comment which still thunders with the Marine spirit today. Outnumbered, outgunned and pinned in a poor position, the Marines were soon to be chopped to pieces by the German Machine gunners. Daly ordered an attack, leaping forward and yelling to his men. He is purported to have said, "Come on you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?" Later Daly told a Marine Historian, "What I really yelled was: For Christ's sake, men-COME ON! Do you want to live forever?"

Regardless of what was said, he and his small group of Marines surged out of the position and captured the town of Lucy li Bocage.

Daly remained single his entire life and retired from the Corps February 6, 1929 as a Sergeant Major. At age 65 on April 28, 1937 Daly died at Glenade L.I, New York.

Heroes Thread.

I'm out of here for the weekend; flying to and from Ohio for a friend's wedding.  Keep the home fires burning.  If I'm not back in 3 the President.

 October 11, 2001

 2:33 pm CST - GORDON - American Heroes II.

Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, and the Black Sheep Squadron.

Gregory Boyington was born in Coeur D'Alene Idaho and in his early school years became recognized for his aggressiveness and skill in sports. He became intercollegiate wrestling champion while attending college in Washington. His interest in flying and competitive spirit caused him to join the Marine Corps where he became a flight instructor. His desire to fly combat and need to pay off some old debts led him to volunteer for the "Flying Tigers" AVG group in China where the pilots were promised $675 a month plus $500 for every enemy plane they downed. Fighting bugs, scorpions, injuries, P-40 engine problems, bad weather and general Chenault's incompetent staff as well as the Japanese, Boyington knocked down 6 enemy planes becoming an ace.

Prefering the Marine Corp's brand of bureaucracy to that of the Army's, Boyington went back to the states awaiting reinstatement into the USMC. He spent over 3 months working as a parking-lot attendant in Seattle until he sent a "smoking" telegram directly to the Assistant Sec. of the Navy demanding to know why he had not been reinstated. In 3 days he was back in the Corps and headed for his first assignment. He spent much of 1943 jumping from one job to another until he met Group Commander Col. Sanderson who was a long time pilot himself. Sanderson listened to Boyington's idea about forming a temporary squadron using unassigned pilots and some spare F4U corsairs.

Borrowing the designaton VMF-214 and a variety of flyers from the pilots "pool", Boyington the oldest combat pilot in the marines, assembled the famed BlackSheep Squadron in just three weeks. On his first combat mission as a BlackSheep "Pappy" shot down 5 zeros. The BlackSheep under Boyington's guidance went on to score 97 confirmed aerial kills-*95 of these were against enemy fighters*- in just under 4 months.

The constant stress of the tropical climate and combat took its tole however, and suffering from exhaustion and skin disease Boyington flew his last combat mission on 3 January 1944. He and his wingman George Ashmun got separated from their flight by clouds when attacking 10 zeros. After shooting 3 down, the Marine pilots were attacked by 20 more zeros from above. Boyington managed to down another zero trying to defend his wingman but Ashmun crashed and "Pappy" bailed out of his burning F4U with just inches to spare. He had made 28 kills in the air. Boyington was taken prisoner and was sent to a Japanese POW camp in Japan. Even after enduring near starvation, beatings and dysentary at the hands of his captors he gave the Japanese credit for keeping him sober for 20 months.  For some reason the Japanese didn't want his location known, and therefor never reported him as POW.  The Marines listed him as MIA.

A few days after the cease fire in 1945 some of his POW mates painted "PAPPY BOYINGTON HERE!" on top of the little tin shack that they were living in. Boyington was rediscovered and in a few days on his way back to the states. Life in the states was not always easy for him as the press frequently criticized him for his excess drinking-but then press writers never had to fly 7 tons of metal, fuel and explosives at 400 mph with people shooting real bullets at them and then have to write letters to the families of the pilots who would not return home by the dim light of a kerosene latern. When asked how he accomplished putting together such a good fighting squadron in a short time he commented that he was just a good coach. "My BlackSheep taught me that you get along fine with the American boy if you lead him and show him and do not try to order him or drive him". Something that corporate CEO's and bureaucrats should take to heart. When asked how he felt about being a hero he said " Just name a hero and I'll prove he's a bum".

Heroes Thread.

 8:59 am CST - GORDON - From the inbox.

Received the following in email.

On the left is Katie Harmon, Miss America, wearing the swimsuit she chose for the competition.
On the right is a typical Afghan girl, wearing the heavy smothering burqua required by the Taliban regime.

Miss America is a junior at Portland State University, hoping to eventually get a Master's degree in Bioethics.
Miss Afghanistan is forbidden from receiving any education at all, and cannot read or write.

Miss America has worked as a lab assistant at both the Oregon Health Sciences University and the University of Puget Sound.
Miss Afghanistan is forbidden from working.

Miss America's father is an engineer. Her mother is a teacher.
Miss Afghanistan's father was shot by a gang of Taliban militants. Her mother begs for bread scraps since she cannot work or remarry.

Miss America wowed the judges by singing a Puccini aria, "O Mio Babbino Caro".
Miss Afghanistan is forbidden from singing or even listening to music of any kind.

Miss America will be traveling the nation nonstop during her reign.
Miss Afghanistan cannot leave her house without a male family member, cannot drive, and cannot be out after dark.

Miss America is an advocate for breast cancer research.
Miss Afghanistan cannot be treated by a male doctor, and for all practical purposes has no access to medical treatment of any kind.

Miss America can date, marry, or divorce anyone she chooses.
Miss Afghanistan will be stoned to death if caught in the company of a male outside of her family. She is likely to be sold into an arranged marriage to a man who already has two wives.

Miss America wears sunscreen on the beach to keep from burning.
Miss Afghanistan cannot live in a house with windows unless they are painted black. Since she must wear a burqua outside, her pale translucent skin has not seen a ray of sunlight in years.

Miss America could have been disqualified if her swimsuit did not meet pageant standards.
Miss Afghanistan can be flogged if the holes in the mesh covering her face are too large.

Miss America will decide how many children, if any, she wants to have.
Miss Afghanistan will be pregnant 3-4 times more often than Miss America. Unfortunately, her babies are 25 times more likely to die in the first year. One out of four will not see their 5th birthday.

Miss America is majoring in speech communications at PSU.
Miss Afghanistan is forbidden from speaking in public.

Miss America is 21. Since the U.S. life expectancy for women is 80, she's still a very young woman.
Miss Afghanistan is also 21. But since the life expectancy for an Afghan woman is 43, next year she will be "over-the-hill". (Besides having a shockingly short life expectancy overall, Afghanistan is one of the only countries in the world in which women have a shorter life expectancy than men.)

Miss America is a beautiful, intelligent woman and everyone knows it.
Miss Afghanistan could be a beautiful, intelligent woman... but nobody will ever know it.

I know I pick on women a lot, but it's mostly in jest.  These crazed wackos are so far past insane that it will take the light from "insane" a million years to reach them.

 October 10, 2001

 8:42 am CST - GORDON - American Heroes I.

I started a thread the other day dedicated to Sgt. Alvin C. York, because October 8 was the Anniversary of his killing of 25 and capture of over 100 Germans in World War I.  It later occurred to me that a "Heroes" series would be a good thing for the front page.  I know that I, at least, take comfort from the example of these brave Americans in a time of cruel adversity.

Feel free to add your own submissions to the message board.  Good ones will make the front page.  One need not be famous to be a hero; just inspiring.

So, I'll begin the series with probably the most famous U.S. Marine of all time, Chesty Puller.

Another fresh-faced kid entered the Virginia Military Institute in 1917. In August 1918, he dropped out and enlisted in the Marine Corps, hoping to join the fighting in Europe during the World War. He never saw combat. Instead he was appointed a Marine Reserve lieutenant, only to be placed on the inactive list 10 days later due to post-war drawdowns. Determined to be a Marine, he rejoined the Corps as an enlisted man, hoping this time to take part in the fighting in Haiti.

Born June 26, 1898, in West Point, Va., the young man grew up hunting and listening to tales of the Civil War told by his relatives. He also had a heavy appetite for reading, pouring through count-less books of military tales and history.

Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller would go on to earn five Navy Crosses, the nation’s second highest award for valor, and spend 37 years in the Corps, retiring at the rank of lieutenant general.

Jungle Combat

Puller’s service in Haiti allowed him to cut his "battle teeth," leading patrols and engaging the Caco rebels in more than 40 engagements. He witnessed Haitian discipline during drill and patrols, observations which no doubt influenced his own distinct style of leadership.

After Haiti, Puller was again commissioned a second lieutenant. In 1930, he and his Marines found new action patrolling the jungles of Nicaragua with Guardia Nacional troops against rebels led by Augusto Cesar Sandino. His actions there earned him his first Navy Cross.

Puller’s growing reputation gained him a seat at the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. During one of his classes, which was peppered with future notable Army and Marine Corps generals, Puller engaged in a heated discussion on volumes of fire with the instructor. One of his most famous quotes came from that discussion, culminating with Puller yelling, "You can’t hurt ‘em if you can’t hit ‘em."

In July of 1932, Puller returned to Nicaragua, where the newspapers heralded his arrival with the headline: "Marines Bring Back the Tiger of Segovia to Fight Sandino." Sandino welcomed the news by putting a bounty of 5,000 pesos on Puller’s head. Puller earned his second Navy Cross during this tour in Nicaragua and was known thereafter as the "Tiger of the Mountains."

To say that "Chesty" was already a Marine Corps legend might be too strong. Certainly, he was very well known. A San Francisco newspaper dated Feb. 11, 1933, was headlined Most Decorated Marine Will Go to Shanghai."

In early 1933, Puller joined the China Marines at the American Legation in Peiping. He served mainly as the commander of the "Horse Marines," a unit of 50 men who rode magnificent Manchurian ponies on patrol and parade duties. While there, he had the opportunity to observe the Japanese infantry in training and to learn the sport of polo.

After several more tours, including sea duty, he was reassigned to China as commander of the 4th Marine Regiment until August 1942.

Another War

Returning to battle in October 1942, Puller, now a lieutenant colonel, commanded 1st Battalion, 7th Marines during the battle for Guadalcanal. Nearly 1,400 Japanese were killed and 17 truckloads of equipment taken while Puller’s battalion defended a mile-long front against an estimated 3,000 attackers. Puller was awarded his third Navy Cross.

During the fighting, Puller could often be seen at the front leading his Marines. He often disregarded enemy fire while others chose to duck and cover. At one point, a grenade landed within eight feet of Puller. While others hit the ground, Puller is alleged to have said, "Oh, that. It’s a dud."

Shortly after the battle for the ‘Canal,’ Puller became the executive officer of the 7th Marine Regiment. In January 1944, on the island of New Britian, he took command of two battalions whose commanding officers had been taken out of the fight, reorganized them while under heavy machine-gun and mortar fire, and led the Marines in an attack against the enemy’s heavily fortified position. These actions earned Puller a fourth Navy Cross.

As commander of the 1st Marine Regiment, he led his Marines in one of the bloodiest battles of the war on Peleliu during September and October 1944. King Ross remembers Puller vividly.

"I was a radio operator on Peleliu with the 3rd Battalion. During the battle, we’d captured a Japanese machine gun. He walked up to us and asked ‘What the hell is that?’ We told him, and he asked us if we could get him one," recalled the 71-year-old Ross. "Two days later we got him his machine gun.

"We had all heard that he had issued an order that all officers would eat after the enlisted. We got the idea that he never forgot that he was a sergeant. That’s why we all would have gone to hell with him if he’d asked us," said Ross, "and we just about did!"

In the battle for Peleliu, Puller’s regiment sustained a 56 percent casualty rate while going up against the toughest section of the island, a series of hills, caves, and jungle known as "Bloody Nose." Puller’s battered and bloodied 1st Marines had to be removed from the fight and replaced by the 7th Marines.

In his speech notes from 1978, retired Brig. Gen. Edwin Simmons, director emeritus, Marine Corps Historical Division, described seeing ‘Chesty’ for the first time when Puller came to talk to officers candidates at Quantico, Va., in 1942.

"This was the man we were going to hear speak ... not very tall, he stood with a kind of stiffness with his chest thrown out, hence his nickname ‘Chesty.’ His face was yellow-brown from the sun and atabrine, the anti-malaria drug that was used then. His face looked, as someone has said, as though it were carved out of teakwood. There was a lantern jaw, a mouth like the proverbial steel trap, and small, piercing eyes that drilled right through you and never seemed to blink."

Puller was then 44 years old. The four-time Navy Cross recipient would not see combat again during World War II; instead, he was assigned back to the United States in November 1944.

He was sent to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in August 1950 to take command of his old unit, the 1st Marines, which was gearing up for Korea.

Cold Hell

Puller landed with the 1st Marines at Inchon, Korea, in September 1950. Aboard his landing craft was Lt. Carl L. Sitter, who would earn the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, for his actions during Nov. 29-30, 1950, at Hagaruri.

"I was on his landing craft that day. I’d been given responsibility for the headquarters section and later acted as liaison with the 5th Marine Regiment. Sometime after we were at Tent Camp 2, I had to go to his tent to talk to him. When I went inside, it was dark, and it took my eyes awhile to adjust. When they did, I noticed him sitting on the ground snapping in with his pistol; he was pointing it right at me.

"He was ramrod straight with a stubby pipe in his mouth all the time. He was approachable. He’d often say ‘Hello son, how are you doing?’ when he came across a Marine."

While "attacking in a different direction" at the Frozen Chosin Reservoir Dec. 5-10, 1950, Puller earned his fifth and final Navy Cross. Ten Chinese Divisions had been sent to annihilate them, but the Marines smashed seven of the divisions during their retrograde to the sea. Facing attack from all sides, including two massive enemy attacks on the rear guard, Puller’s direct leadership ensured all casualties were evacuated, all salvageable equipment was brought out, and ensured there was enough time for the column to reach its destination.

In addition to the Navy Cross for his actions during the breakout, he was awarded the Army’s equivalent — the Distinguished Service Cross. In January 1951, Puller was promoted to brigadier general and appointed as assistant commander of the 1st Marine Division.

Promoted to major general in September 1953, Puller assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune in July 1954. It was here he suffered what was originally described as a mild stroke. After many examinations, Puller was declared fit for duty by his military doctors aboard the base.

But Puller’s state of health remained a controversial subject and led to his forced retirement. Thwarting tradition, he had a sergeant major who had worked for him in more glorious days, pin on his third star before he retired Nov. 1, 1955.

His 14 personal decorations, excluding those from foreign governments, certainly are part of Puller’s enduring lore, but perhaps the stories of his leadership, courage, honor, and fighting ability are his most important legacy. They serve as reminders and inspiration to generations of Marines that leading by example is the most important trait we can possess.

Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller died Oct. 11, 1971, at the age of 73.

Heroes Thread.

On a completely unrelated note, why does the US Post Office actually have instructions for packing a hippo on their website?  Funny, but funny.

 October 8, 2001

 10:11 am CST - GORDON - Ostrich Syndrome.

Terrorists promise us they'll attack us in our "softest parts."  They research crop duster technology for, we surmise, the deployment of biological or chemical weapons.  Then, in Florida, there are two cases of Anthrax within a week, something that's happened fewer than 20 times in the last 100 years.  The official word is that it is coincidence.

Coincidence it may be, but come on.  Let's keep our heads out of the sand.  If someone promises you on national TV during primetime that they're going to shoot you in the head....and then you're found with a bullet in your brain, do you call it coincidence?

Fact 1:Osama bin Shithead made a home video with really bad sound.  It is a fact that it wasn't made after our air strikes started because it is daylight in the video.  It is theorized it was made on the day of, or possibly even right before, the WTC destruction. 

Fact 2:  The Taliban has claimed from day 1 that OBL didn't organize the attacks.  They claimed they have him on a short leash.  They claim he doesn't have the technology.

Fact 1 + Fact 2 = As the Taliban had that video since the attacks, their claims of OBL's innocence have been beard faced lies.  They had a videotaped confession the whole time.  They are lying worms.

Gordo's message to global terrorism:

Here is Afghanistan struck by God Almighty in many of its vital organs, so that its air defense facilities are destroyed. Grace and gratitude to God. Afghanistan has been filled with horror from north to south and east to west, and thanks be to God that what they are tasting now is only a fraction of we have tasted.

        God has blessed a group of vanguard Americans and Englishmen, the forefront of civilization, to destroy the monsters. May God bless them and allot them a supreme place in heaven, for He is the only one capable and entitled to do so. When those have stood in defense of their weak children, their brothers and sisters in all civilized nations, the whole world went into an uproar, the infidels followed by the hypocrites.

A thousand innocent civilians are dying at this time as we speak, killed globally without any guilt. We hear worldwide outrage, we hear edict from the noble rulers. In these days, Israeli tanks defend against car bombers, in Ramallah, Rafah and Beit Jala and many other parts of the land of Islam, and we do not hear anyone raising his voice or reacting. They know the evils of cowardly terrorists as well as any western leader.  And when the worms fell upon America, civilization raised its head up high bemoaning those killers who toyed with the blood, honor and sanctities of of the innocent.

       The terrorists have been telling the world falsehoods that they are fighting American terrorism. In a nation at the far end of the world, Japan, hundreds of thousands, young and old, were killed and (they say) this is not a world crime. To them it is not a clear issue. A million children (were killed) in Iraq, to them this is not a clear issue.  Because they were fighting a declared war against a known enemy.  Bin Laden's group lack the courage to not only stand and face like men those they would fight against, but also to even admit when they've acted against soft targets.

But when a few more than ten were killed in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Afghanistan and Iraq military targets were bombed .  Attacking civilians will  never be considered acceptable by any nation.

        I tell them that these events have divided the world into two camps, the camp of the sane and the camp of terrorist worms. May God shield us and you from them.
        Every human being must rise to defend his freedom. The wind of faith is blowing and the wind of change is blowing to remove evil from the globe.
        As to global terrorism, I say to it and its people a few words: I swear to God that you will not live in peace, ever.

No more.

No more.

 October 5, 2001

 10:11 am CST - GORDON - Constitutional Crisis of the Soul.

What is my problem.

On the one hand, these peace protestors make me want to vomit in my collard greens.  They seem to be anti-American to the point of being pro-terrorist.

On the other hand, I realize that the "right to protest" is one of the biggies that makes America great.

But on the left foot, it's my right to disapprove of their protests.

Now, on the right foot, I realize that not all Muslims in the USA are my enemy. (racial profiling = bad)

But on the left kidney, I realize all my enemies lately have been Muslims.  (racial profiling = good)

On a fairly unrelated right kidney, I think the airlines might need a little help to stay in business.

But the Adam Smith in my left cerebellum says that if they can't ride out the storm, then they're not seaworthy enough to stay afloat.

My right lobe says that another of America's strengths is our racial diversity, and our acceptance of your tired, poor, and unwashed.

But now my left femur is telling me that maybe we've had enough "open borders" for awhile, and it's time to get the house in order before hosting more guests.

My right femur is strangely quiet, but appears to be deep in thought.  No word at all from neither the endocrine nor circulatory systems.  Nervous system has been missing for years.

When does it become morally acceptable for a "prudent" person to override being a "good" person?  How much can you change your actions without changing your basic nature?

These are the times trying my soul.

 October 4, 2001

 1:44 pm CST - GORDON - I hate feeling compelled to do crap like this.

The RIAA is at it again, sicking lawyers on their perceived "21st Century Piratical Bazaar" of file sharing programs.  Right or wrong....and I lean heavily toward "wrong," I'm getting sick and tired of seeing companies with deep pockets sue innovative startups out of existence, while coincidently offering their own services at the same time into the same niche. 

We at DTMan strongly disagree with the legal bullying tactics that are the method du jour for gaining market share in the Recording Industry.  It must be brought to the RIAA's attention that we as consumers will not stand for such practices.  That we as consumers feel we have a right to access and use software in a legal manner, even though the same software could be used illegally.  That we as consumers have a right to play a new CD on a personal computer if we want to.  That we as consumers have a right to convert songs from a CD we've purchased and convert the files into a compressed and easily portable format.

To that end, I'm starting a grass roots campaign to accomplish what price fixing and collusion convictions against the RIAA have not.  I submit that starting Monday, October 15 through Sunday the 21st, you purchase no CD's, cassettes, or records not from independent labels.  If the album was produced by a RIAA affiliate, boycott it.  As consumers we vote with our dollars.  A week of drastically lowered sales may or may not make a difference in their perception of the market.  But at least you'll be able to say you helped take a poke at a lawsuit-happy organization.

Right before I started advertising this movement, I emailed the following message to every RIAA email address I could find.  I recommend you contact them here.

To whom it may concern.

I am a webmaster of a little known website called  Over the past two years my readers and I have followed lawsuit after lawsuit of your litigation against software designers, and we watched time and again as your organization was convicted of using unfair business practices, collusion, and price fixing.

It is because I am sick and tired of your calling me and many others "pirates at a 21st century bazarre" for using these applications legally (meaning I own the CD for every mp3 I acquire) that I am starting a grass roots campaign to get your attention at the only place to which you pay attention:  your bottom line.

I am advocating a boycott of all RIAA products for one week starting on October 15th.  Participation in this boycott will be entirely voluntary.  And though my personal website only gets about 200 unique hits a day, my email list is very long.  I hope a copy manages to find it's way into your email inbox in the next week or so.

Good day.

Suck it up and don't buy any CD's for a week.  Remember....protest is very American.  The Founding Fathers would be proud of you.

Copy and paste the above and email it to your address book.  Spread the word.

 10:21 am CST - GORDON - Different things.

Russian airliner explodes after leaving IsraelUh oh.  Bad guys just spraying the target, pissing everyone off.  Good plan.

The American stock market had a good day, yesterday.  I'm doing my part for the economy by taking a somewhat extraneous round trip flight in a couple weekends.  Interesting factoid:  I live in Memphis but am flying out of Little Rock, because of extremely cheap fares to be found there.  A flight out of Memphis on Northwest....where they have a hub....would have costed in the thousands.  If the airlines are in such trouble and are requiring a bailout, where does Northwest get off charging such outrageous fairs while other airlines are slashing rates to get passengers?  I have to assume people are paying.  Saying anything else about Northwest's near monopoly in Memphis is merely speculation, and you all know I never do that.

College kids.

I was actually mentioned (slammed) on another forum because of my views that college kids are, in general, idiots.  Specifically, he..."Daydreamer"...was responding to my comments of October 2.  Why he chose to address my comments there instead of here is beyond my ken.

So, let me make myself clear.

I think college students are, in general, idiots.  I get to base this opinion on something called "wisdom" and "life experience."  When I was in college I thought I knew it all.  Several years later, I can look back and say "what an idiot I was."  Ten years from now I might do the exact same thing about the person I am today....hell, I hope I can.  It will mean I haven't stopped learning yet.

Another reason they're idiots is....because they're young and stupid.  They're called "students" for a reason....because they're still being schooled.  If they "knew it all" they would be out there changing the world instead of just bitching about it in "protests" in between their "Composition 101" and "Madonna's Effect on Popular Culture" classes.

And yet another source of their stupidity is....they're just children.  And children should be seen and not heard.  Why?  Because they have nothing worthwhile to say.   HUSH!  The grownups are talking, now.

Who thinks the voting age should be bumped to 21, and driving to 18?

Well, that's about all I have for now.  I'm spent.

Here's a general catch-all thread for everything I've mentioned here.

 October 3, 2001

 10:10 am CST - GORDON - Motivation.

This was allegedly written by Tom Clancy.

It was a friend of mine formerly of the Royal Navy who first pointed out that the casualty count on this incident exceeds that of Pearl Harbour.

Yes, my country has taken a big and costly hit, and somewhere, perhaps in South Asia, some people are exchanging high-fives and having themselves a good laugh. And maybe they're entitled to it. Like Pearl Harbour, it was a well planned and well executed black operation. But, you know, they've made the same mistake that Japan made back in 1941.

It's remarkable to me that America is so hard for some people to understand. We are the most open of books, after all. Our values and customs are portrayed on TV and movie screens all over the world. Is the character of my country so hard to grasp?

Japan figured that they could defeat us not physically, but morally, that America was not tough enough to defeat their death-seeking warriors, that we would be unwilling to absorb the casualties. (In this they were right: we didn't absorb all the casualties they tried to inflict - but that was because we killed their samurai much more efficiently than they were able to kill our men.)

An enemy willing to die in the performance of his duty can indeed be a formidable adversary, but, you see, we've dealt with such people before. They die just like everyone else. Perhaps the American sort of patriotism, like the British sort, just isn't bombastic enough for our enemies to notice.

We don't parade about thumping our chests and proclaiming how tough we are, whereas other people like that sort of display. But they don't seem to grasp the fact that they do it because they have to - they evidently need to prove to themselves how formidable they are.

Instead, our people, like yours, train and practise their craft every day, out in the field at places like Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Irwin, California. I've been to both places and seen our people and how they train.

The difference between a civilian or a common ruffian and a soldier, you see, is training. A professional soldier is as serious about his work as a surgeon is about his. Such people are not, in my experience, boastful. If you ask what they can do, they will explain it to you, usually in quiet tones, because they do not feel the need to prove anything. Off duty they are like everyone else, watching football on TV and enjoying a quiet beer with their pals. They read books, shop at the local supermarkets, and mow the grass at home. They all enjoy a good laugh. They make the best of friends. They look physically fit - and indeed they are physically fit - because their job requires it, and every day they do something tiresome in the field, working at some more or less demanding field exercise, again and again and again until every aspect of their job is as automatic as zipping one's zipper is for us people in civilian life.

But, you know, inside all of these people, such as the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, or the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Steward, Georgia, there burns a little flame. Not a big one; instead like the pilot light in a gas stove. And when you put more gas there, the flame gets bigger, enough to cook with.

Inside every one of these people is something else, something you have to look for - pride. They know that they are good at their work, in the event they ever have to do it for real. This doesn't happen very often, and indeed they do not ordinarily lust to do it because it's a serious, nasty job.

The job is the taking of life.

Military organisations exist for only one mission: killing people and breaking things. This is not something to be undertaken lightly, because life is a gift from God, and a lot of these people - kids, really - can be found in church on Sunday mornings. But their larger purpose - the reason these kids enlist, both in my country and in yours - is to preserve, protect, and defend their nations and the citizens who live there. It's not an easy job, but someone has to do it, and typically the hardest jobs attract the best of us. Mostly they never have to kill anybody, and that's okay with them. It's knowing that they are able to do something difficult and dangerous that gives them their pride.

This purpose, defending their country, is something they don't talk much about, but it's always there, and with it comes a quiet, steely look in the eyes. Especially when something like this happens. That's when their sense of self is insulted, and these are people who do not bear insults well. They are protectors, and when those whom they are sworn to protect are hurt, then comes the desire - the lust - to perform their mission. Even then it's quiet. They will not riot or pose before TV cameras or cry aloud for action, because that's not their way. They are the point of the lance, the very breath of the dragon, and at times like this they want to know the taste of blood.

Their adversaries just don't appreciate what they are capable of. It's something too divorced from their experience. This isn't like hosing civilians with your machine-gun or setting off a bomb somewhere, or killing unarmed people strapped and helpless inside a commercial aircraft. This means facing professional warriors at a time and place of their choosing, and that is something terrorists don't really prepare for. The day of Pearl Harbour, the commander of the Japanese navy told his staff not to exult too much, that all their beautifully executed operation had accomplished was to awaken a sleeping dragon and give it a dreadful purpose.

Perhaps alone in his country, Isoroku Yamamoto, who had lived briefly in America, knew what his enemy was capable of, and for that reason, perhaps he was not surprised when the .50-calibre bullet from a P-38 fighter entered his head and ended his life.

Whoever initiated last week's operation is probably not quite as appreciative of what he has begun as Yamamoto was. Because the dragon is now fully awake, and its breath is too hot for men to bear. America is now fully awake. Our quiet patriotism is a little louder now, but it will not get too loud. Why spoil the surprise?

 9:01am CST - GORDON - Of course his last wishes should be honored.

Turns out one of the terrorist's wills was found in a piece of luggage that didn't make the flight.  It really gives us an insight on the poor, misunderstood* minds that carried out the attacks.


"Those who will sit beside my body must remember Allah, God and pray for me to be with the angels," the will says. "I don't want pregnant women or a person who is not clean to come and say goodbye to me because I don't approve of it."

It adds: "I don't want women to go to my funeral or later to my grave."

I vote we cremate him, put some pork rinds in the urn, mix well, and bury the urn on the front lawn of the National Organization of Women.

But I'm vindictive like that.

Do we forgive and forget, or are even last wishes too good for them?

* Crazed wacko.

 October 2, 2001

 8:32 am CST - GORDON - War, what is it good for?  Keeping airplanes from killing accountants and mailroom people.

First things first, I am a "Violence does, in fact, solve some problems" type of person.  That being said, I've been chomping at the bit since September 11, wishing I was again an Active Duty Marine.  Sometimes I miss being the Fiery Sword of America's Wrath.  Actually, I often miss it.  And at times like this, I absolutely long for it.

But those days are gone, and I am relegated to using information to do my part.

7,000 people were killed in an unprovoked attack a few weeks ago, and yet there are still people protesting the idea of our making sure this never happens again.  For some reason, these protests happen mainly on college campuses where the participants have very little actual life experience or wisdom.  For some reason, these people don't actually know anyone who was killed in the attack.  For some reason they think the "Peace on Earth" they advocate can be achieved while people who like destroying office buildings at the beginning of the work day still exist.  I am chalking this up to idealistic youth.  In the 60's these kids would have been spitting on soldiers returning from Vietnam.  Why?  Because it was the cool thing to do, and it really seems to impress that cute girl over there.

"These college kids lack the life experience to understand the situation" - Anonymous.

The most ironic part is, these kids wouldn't be allowed to protest in the countries about to suffer our wrath.  They'd be killed, public square-style.  Which is exactly the point.

The other venue for a lot of the peace-at-all-costs types are internet message boards.  I've seen some real gems recently from people safely behind keyboards.  See, I'm allowed to claim moral superiority over them because I actually volunteered once to be a part of something bigger, for the good of my country.  Not everyone has the same brand of intestinal fortitude.

Here are some examples:




YAY THAT IT MAKES US FEEL BETTER" - llamasex, and his or her webpage.

A nice overly simplified statement for an extremely complicated problem.  Which does, in fact, only address 5% of the overall issue.  Even an old warrior like me regrets the necessity for more bloodshed.  Truly.  I only choose, when my back is against the wall, to shed the blood of my enemies before they shed that of my countrymen.  Nothing will stop them short of America's complete withdrawal from the world.  And even then it wouldn't stop them.

Here's another winner:
"I don't care about the people in NYC. Hear that! I just don't give a flying fuck. Too bad for them. They all should have called out for a sick day." - EDX200.

Isn't that lovely.  A complete lack of compassion, empathy, class, or anything resembling a human soul.  I hope that comment was only intended to provoke a response (trolling).  Thinking like this belongs to the people who crash planes into buildings.

Another, commenting on how shitty it must be to give up hope on a rescue of a loved one, and have to file a death certificate:
"Oh no. They have to file for death certificates in order to get insurance money. The horror!" - helstegt - no email on record.

There's a scene in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" where the fellows crisscross the country and kick the asses of punks with big mouths who hide behind keyboards.  That scene was funny because it was so true.

Here was my only response to those people:
I'm trying to convince myself that you always have a "10% Factor."

In this case, about 10% of the American people mistakenly feel "violence never solves anything."

And of that 10%, there is another 10% trolling unempathetic cocksucker subset who say things like "haha owned WTC should have taken a sick day."

I can't imagine the extreme wacko population 10% of THAT group is comprised of.

If you want to disagree and look like an idiot, do it here.

 September 30, 2001

 3:41 pm CST - GORDON - Remember this?

My web host is still, two months later, screwing over my scripting and databases, so I've devolved the page back to straight HTML.  I feel like a second semester web design student, again.  If anyone knows a decent host supporting PHP and MySQL, drop me a line.


I've heard that the following essay was written by Orson Scott Card.

When we find ourselves in a war we can't win, we must either capitulate or change it to the kind of war we can win.

If we find and destroy the perpetrators, we only make them martyrs and guarantee that others will attack us again. But if we absolutely defeat their goals and punish those who support and protect them, we can put an end to this sort of thing once and for all.

Those who attacked us are not terrorists. They are soldiers, and we are at war.

We have been at war for years, and it has been only the stupidity and selfishness of our leadership and the complacency of the American people that prevented us from recognizing this after the bombings in East Africa or the attack on an American warship in Yemen.

We can't fight terrorism using terrorist methods. If we were the kind of people they are, our response to 11 September would be to destroy the holy sites of Islam in Saudi Arabia and to nuke Baghdad, Teheran, and Damascus. Those would be monstrous acts, crimes against innocent people -- the kinds of things our enemies do.

We aren't like that.

America's leaders are calling for patience, for a measured response to the acts of war we suffered on 11 September. They are right.

There is no excuse for any kind of attack on or abuse of Arabs or Muslims. Give it a moment's thought, and realize that American Muslims and Arabs who have chosen to come live among us here in the United States are not our enemies and are as grieved as we are. Most Muslims throughout the world, except where they have been systematically lied to by fanatic leaders, do not hate America and do not have murder in their hearts.

But when America's leaders call this a "terrorist act" and promise that we will find out who is responsible and punish them and only them, they are completely wrong.

First, there is some likelihood that we will never get legal proof of who did it, and strong likelihood that even if we do, we won't have any way of finding the perpetrators and striking against them in any meaningful way. Useless attacks like the famous Monica's-dress bombings of Khartoum and camps in Afghanistan will accomplish nothing.

And if our response reveals us to be helpless or weak-willed, we can expect more and worse terrorist attacks in the future, as rival terrorist organizations take courage from this action and try to outdo each other in the violence and symbolic power of their attacks on the U.S.

But let's say we actually confirm that Bin Laden masterminded this. Suppose we actually find out where he is and send military force against him and kill him and his followers. What have we accomplished? He would forever be a martyr and hero to the fanatics and fundamentalists of the Islamic world, and in his name such attacks would go on and on.

These fanatics do not fear death. Killing them accomplishes less than nothing. It actually advances their cause.

The appropriate response is not to punish them, but to deprive them absolutely of the objective they desire.

We Only Win by Making Them Lose

What do our enemies want? They want the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state. They want to have all of the Muslim world ruled by Islamic fundamentalists under strict Islamic law.

So what is our response?

In consultation with Israel, we stop pressuring them to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority. It is obvious now that the Palestinian Authority has neither the ability nor the will to control its supporters. It is not ready to take its place among the nations of the world, and the Palestinian people have no leaders that can be negotiated with for any purpose.

Therefore, as a direct response to the attack of 11 September, the United States and Israel should jointly undertake the immediate and complete occupation of all Palestinian territory, the arrest and imprisonment of all Palestinian leaders to await trial after a thorough investigation of their role in the acts of war that have already taken place against Israel, and the permanent incorporation of all Palestinian territory into the state of Israel. No Palestinian self-government should be allowed at any level, and Palestinian territory should be under martial law.

At the same time, the United States should announce that any nation that harbors or funds the activities of any of the active anti-American groups, including but not limited to bin-Laden's, will be considered to be in one of two conditions: Either they are unable to govern their own territory, in which case we will send troops to govern their uncontrolled territory for them; or they are in support of these activities, in which case we will regard ourselves as being in a state of war with them.

Then we must act, as quickly as possible, accordingly. No more of the childish, dangerous, and cowardly kinds of responses that typified Bill Clinton's disastrous presidency. No more bombings from high altitudes. No more withholding of our troops for fear of casualties.

Our enemies have shown us that we will suffer casualties no matter what we do. Indeed, while our losses of 11 September are not yet known as I write this, it is possible that we may have suffered as many deaths as our troops sustained in an average year of the Vietnam War.

So instead of tolerating civilian casualties on our own territory, we will risk suffering casualties among our troops and send them into active combat -- because our troops, at least, can fight back.

President Bush should make his best effort to win the support of NATO and other pertinent nations, and at least the noninterference of others, like Russia.

Terrorist-harboring and terrorist-sponsoring nations like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria should be given twenty-four hours to declare whether they wish to be at war with us, or to stand aside while our troops enter their territory to obliterate the terrorist installations we know are there. Those would be their only two choices, and if they don't respond we will consider ourselves to be at war with them.

We Can Only Win If We Wage War

Such a program of war would not be easy. We are talking about a widespread war at the level of World War II. Even though our enemies control only a few governments, it is likely that such actions would virtually force other Islamic nations to give at least lip service to the idea of joining in a war against the U.S.

We should not be surprised to find Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for instance, declaring war on us. However, we should recognize that they have their political constraints and we will take no action against them, despite their declaration of war, until and unless we see that they are providing financial aid, military support, or sanctuary to our actual enemies.

It is also quite likely that China would immediately offer support to our enemies or try to take advantage of our preoccupation with them by making some attempt against Taiwan. Therefore we will have to strengthen our defenses of Taiwan and be prepared to shut down China's international commerce -- and let them know that we will act against them if they make the slightest attempt to support our enemies.

Then, using our best planning and taking normal appropriate care to preserve the lives of American soldiers, we should select one or more of these nations as a first objective to invade and control. There are reasons for and against each of the nations I have listed, and no campaign would be easy. We have heard far too much about being "the world's only superpower" while being told of none of the costs of such a role.

But we are no longer going to worry about being "the world's policeman." We are a nation under attack, and we will defend ourselves by destroying our enemies' ability to make war against us. We will allow them no haven.

Most important, however, is to turn this into the kind of war we can fight. An investigation to find individual perpetrators and bring them to trial would be a stupid as it would have been to try to fight Hitler that way. We cannot defend ourselves that way. We only look weaker and weaker if we try to act like police in areas where our government has no local control or cooperation.

Our strength is military and economic. Economic sanctions, however, are useless in this case. We can only win if we turn this struggle into the kind of war that our military can deal with.

We must make it clear that when a government encourages or supports terrorism, we will remove it as the government of its people, and when a people encourages or supports terrorism, they will soon find themselves conquered and strictly ruled by the Americans they thought they could attack with impunity.

The people of all of Islam should be made to see clearly that the anti-American fanatics and fundamentalists who attacked us in their name bring down nothing but losses -- of land, of independence, of livelihood, of military forces, of nationhood -- on the people they claim to support.

They must see that if the Palestinians had lived up to their agreements and sustained the negotiation process, they would still have some degree of self-government -- but because of the actions of these fanatics, they have lost all hope of nationhood for generations to come.

It is possible that such a declaration of war against some states would succeed in uniting the Islamic world against us. But the will to make war against America will not, in fact, be widespread among the people, and fanatic fundamentalist governments will, after a brief rush of overwhelming support from their people, become less and less popular until they are finally hated by their own people.

At the end of such a war, if we wage it as war must be waged -- not gradually, not with arbitrary limitations, but with all our strength and will over a sustained period of time -- we and our allies will be able to establish democratic governments under our occupying forces, to rule over people who have come to detest the former leaders who brought disaster upon them.

It is almost certain that American life would be seriously affected by such a war -- with oil rationing guaranteed from the first day, putting severe limitations on our travel domestically and abroad. The draft will have to be reinstituted and a lot of industries that we have exported -- particularly steel -- or limited -- especially energy production -- must be brought to a high level of intensity within our borders. This would certainly mean a temporary suspension of some environmental regulations and other luxuries that cannot be afforded by a nation fighting for its survival.

But we're going to have sharp limitations on our travel anyway, in the effort to make further such hijackings and bombings impossible. Our environment will not be secure anyway, and our luxuries will seem foolish indeed. Isn't it better to suffer those limitations as part of an effort to destroy our enemies' ability to make war against us, so we have a hope of returning to normal when the struggle is over?

We may find that we have few allies, for Europe has not been marked by courageous leadership in recent years, and fear of terrorism or oil embargoes might keep them from taking action in cooperation with us.

But we must also remember that our enemies have no naval forces worth noticing, air forces that can quickly be overwhelmed, and (usually) poorly trained and poorly equipped military forces.

Our greatest dangers are the lack of unity within our own nation and American leadership that attempts to wage a war without asking for sacrifices from the American people. Special interest groups that are accustomed to demanding that things be done their way no matter how inconvenient it might be will need to step aside and let the military use time-tested methods of training and organization in order to win this war. Our current president, unlike his predecessor, should forget the question of reelection and do what is necessary to win the war that has, in one form or another, been going on for many years. President Bush must also avoid the mistake his father made at the end of the Gulf War, leaving our enemy's military power largely intact in some misguided effort to maintain "balance of power." Incomplete victories are not victories. Unfinished wars do not fade away.

Anything short of open, declared war with the whole-hearted involvement of the American people will ultimately fail. If we do not have the will to fight to defend ourselves against our relentless and fanatical enemies using the kinds of weapons we can actually use to achieve the kinds of military goals that are within our reach, then we should recognize that we do not have the national will to survive and declare our immediate surrender. For that is the only other response that makes any sense -- to capitulate immediately and completely, withdrawing all support from Israel except for whatever help Israel would need to evacuate all its Jewish citizens.

When I speak of all-out war, however, that still means the kind of war Americans can bear to wage. No attacks against Muslim holy sites that are not being used for military purposes. We will wage war against the military and governments of our enemies, and we will avoid causing civilian casualties where we can do so. But our supreme goal must be to destroy our enemies' capability and will to make war against us or anyone else, and to deprive our enemies of any of the objectives that they were trying to achieve by attacking us. If that is not our goal, we have no right to ask our soldiers to risk their lives in the first place.

When fanatic Muslim nations cease to wage war against us by harboring or financing those who attack us, then we will gladly make peace, because we have nothing against the religion or people of Islam. But as long as they use the pretense that our enemies are terrorists that they just can't control, then their protestations of innocence are confessions of complicity. King Hussein of Jordan showed years ago that when a Muslim government truly resolves to rid its territory of terrorists, it can do so. So any Muslim government that does not do so must be held accountable for its choice on the field of battle.

I write this, by the way, as the father of a military-age son. I do not want my son to be put in harm's way. But our enemies have made it clear that all our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers are at risk, and at such a point a nation that refuses to take up arms to defend itself has decided to cease to exist. And that means that all of us must bear the burden and the risk equally.

The soldiers who seized our unarmed aircraft and attacked civilian and military targets within our borders carried out cowardly assaults -- but they were personally courageous, for they knew from the outset that they would give their lives in these attacks.

If we do not have the courage, as a nation and as individuals, to risk American lives -- our own lives -- in making an effective response, we do not deserve to prevail.

Sooner or later, we will certainly end up fighting precisely the kind of war that I am talking about now. It is better to begin it now than to wait until more American civilians are killed. How many Pearl Harbors does a nation need to lose before it realizes what is necessary?

But maybe this wasn't another Pearl Harbor, which united our country in a great struggle that defined our national soul. Maybe this was another Hiroshima, and will lead to capitulation. Ultimately, those are the only choices we have, and any other plan will only lead us down the road to one or the other.

As always, your opinions are valued.

 August 1, 2001

 9:21 am EST - Leisher - Driving Dullards.

Will the man driving the vehicle with Michigan plates 4427 HX please explain to me why its necessary to run a red light by 7 seconds and then do 35 in a 45? You’re a fucking moron and more proof that Michigan has the worst drivers in the nation.

I spent the weekend driving around Michigan and I have questions: 

Do you people not go to driving school? (On a side note, I actually DON’T think the state requires it…no shit.) Do you not realize that the left lane is for passing only, and not for cruising 5-10 MPH below the speed limit? Isn’t it true that you rank number 1 in the nation for unpaved roads? Who taught you all that pulling out in front of cars and forcing them to slam on their brakes is a good driving habit? I saw this behavior constantly all weekend.

After dodging morons on the road, watch out for this when you get home.

Seriously though, what’s the deal with Michigan drivers?

 July 26, 2001

 10:11 am CST - GORDON - I've been busy.

I first heard of this story a couple weeks ago, and I saw it popping up on other websites a couple days ago.  I dislike jumping on the bandwagon late in the game, but it's a classic "Damn the Man" situation, so a jumpin' I go.

Man arrested for proving the existence of security holes in software.

On 16 July 2001, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov was arrested by federal agents in Las Vegas, Nevada. His crime: pointing out major security flaws in Adobe PDF and eBook software.

Under the ambiguous wording on the Millennium Digital Copyright Act, "circumventing a (software) flaw is a felony."  This means it is legal to tell the software's authors there is a flaw, but in the event that nothing is done about it, it is illegal to tell the public about it in order to get something done.

Sklyarov was in Las Vegas to present a paper at a convention on eBooks Security: Theory and Practice. In this paper, he disclosed that Adobe's security features in their eBook and PDF software was woeful. According to Sklyarov's paper, Adobe charges upwards of $3,000.00 to secure documents in this shoddy and insecure manner.

Rather than thanking Dmitry Sklyarov and sending him and his company a healthy-sized check, Adobe instead decided to call in the FBI to prosecute him under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA.

To quote Nicolas Cage from Face Off, "Well Brav-fucking-o."  Adobe has managed to arrest someone who said they are producing a craptastic product.

Using relatively new and heavily lobbied for laws, a business has gotten someone incarcerated for not liking their product.

Land of the free, home of the brave, just don't criticize someone with more lawyers than you.

 July 20, 2001

 10:38 am HST Jesus - I can't make this stuff up.

Taliban!  The word has become a punch line here in Heaven.

I truly believe those wacky nuts had good intentions, but somewhere along the line they lost their brains.  Or perhaps their beards grew inward and replaced their brains with hair.  Yes....that sounds about right.

We here in the Administration....and you know who we are....were somewhat vexed when the followers of Mohammad went around defacing the very statues whose creation we had inspired thousands of years before.  I mean...who are THEY to determine what would displease Us?  They preach "everything on Earth is the proof of God," and somehow think that statuary somehow snuck in under our radar, and it isn't Our work.


So, they other day I started emailing some Taliban officials, under a pseudonym.  After all....if they knew I was Grand Master J, they'd just get pissed off or something.  So, impersonating a "devout" Muslim, I explained how Mohammad would be pissed about greeting cards with representations of people on them, because by merely drawing a little light around the head area, the image could be construed as false idolatry.  I figured that such an over the top statement might bring them to their senses.

Imagine my chagrin when I saw they agreed.

I had been out-moroned.

So here's what I propose.

If they want to revert, let's help them.  Contact the Afghanistan Embassy at

Embassy of Afghanistan in  Washington DC  2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW  Washington, DC 20008  Telephone: 202/234-3770  FAX  202/328-3516

Tell them about how Mohammad would hate electricity, because of all the sin it causes.  It allows people to have electric lights....if Allah had wanted people to be able to see at night, he'd have made it day.  Electricity enables things such as radio....there's the off chance that someone will own a radio, and hear someone else say "Freedom and liberty are good things."  There are many ways we can twist electricity usage to be sinful.  Lets help them along their path of stupidity.

So sayeth the Shepherd.

So sayeth the flock.

 July 19, 2001

 10:21 am CST - GORDON - Another Road Warrior Story.

Asshole du Jour!  Mr. Red Jeep Cherokee, Tennessee tags JCL-371.  His time is much more important than everyone else's, so he feels he's justified in using the breakdown lane as a passing lane.

That's about it.  He's a dick.


Hey, you here the one about Mr. President wanting to grant amnesty for 3 million illegal Mexicans living in the United States?  He's kind of jumping the gun on his reelection campaign, methinks.  He has all kinds of time now to screw up and lose the immigrant vote before the next election.  Of course, he just lost the vote of every legal American who don't think the way to solve the illegal immigrant problem is to change the definition of what makes one illegal.

That's about it.  He's a dick.


Going to see Jurassic Park III this weekend.  Will it suck?  Will Planet of Theapes suck?  (Not a typo)


I found the link about the deadbeat dad in Wisconsin that I couldn't find for the July 11 post.  Here.  I'm not saying that I disagree with the judges' ruling, but I seem to recall a lot of controversy surrounding a proposal to make women be on birth control in order to be on welfare.  If it's wrong to restrict a woman's reproductive rights, why is it ok to restrict a man's?  Maybe because men don't have a group like "N.O.W." to back them.  Or not.  Whatever.

Whatever.  WHAT-EVER.

 July 12, 2001

 10:21 am CST - GORDON - Why are taxes inevitable?

My present home state of Tennessee is contemplating, yet again, instituting a state tax.  The same thing has happened every year I've lived here (all two of them).  The current Governor was elected into office after publicly swearing an oath that he would never push for a state oath he recently rescinded, when he starting pushing for the tax.  "Sometimes when we're trying to get elected we say things that aren't necessarily right."  While it's refreshing that he owned up to his lie, all he was really doing was being truthful about being a scumbag.  What a guy.

Polls indicate that 90% of the state population oppose a state tax.  The alternatives for the state to raise more money for its bloated beaurocracy are raising the current 8.25% sales tax, or adding a "luxury tax" of sorts on new car sales.

I'm starting to realize I have problems with all of these ideas.

Have you ever stopped to consider how much of your money is already going to taxes?  We're all familiar with the obvious things....a decent percentage of your paycheck goes directly to The Man, for one.  In mine it's roughly 33% between Federal Tax and Social Security. 

Of every hour I spend at my job, 20 minutes is for free.

But taxes go way beyond that.

I spend about $30 per week on gasoline.  Fuel taxes in Tennessee are roughly 30%.  That means I'm getting $20 in fuel, and donating $10 more for The Cause.

I've mentioned that sales taxes are 8.25% here, and that includes groceries.  A monthly $300 grocery bill equates to $275 for actual food, and another $25 for the Kroger Fairies.

My phone bill has at least $15 in strangely named taxes added on to it.  Another $10 or so on my electric bill.

I'm not sure of the exact property tax rates, but my estimate is at around 8%.  This means of the $1k I pay in rent per month, roughly $80 is tax.

$80 per year tax on my car tags.  About $9 per month.

Anything else I buy during the month is hit by the sales tax.

God forbid if I smoked......a pack of cigarettes is at least 50% tax.  The Federal Government would be in trouble if Phillip Morris actually got sued out of existence....which is why it will never happen.

Tax on my beer.

Tax to go to the Mississippi River and pull a catfish out of it.

Tax to die.

I'd be very interested to know how much of my take-home pay actually gets spent on goods and services, and how much becomes tax revenue for various levels of government.


 July 11, 2001

 2:37 pm CST - GORDON - Stuff.

1.  Matt Carolan is an idiot.  More cell phone opinion.

2.  I just heard a rumor that Wisconsin passed a law concerning dead-beat dads:  If a guy is currently behind in child support and gets another woman pregnant, he's going to jail.  Hmmmmm.  I've not yet been able to find a news article to which to link.

3.  "Cowbell" is the funniest word that exists.  "Pants" is a close second.  I had a link proving this, but can't find it.  (edit - Found it.  Click Here.  Navigate "Screening Room," "Season 25," April 8th Episode.)

4.  It's bloody hot in July in Memphis.

5.  I think dark meat is better than white meat.  In any circumstance.

6.  It is better to be good and kind than to not.

7.  To Evil; I say beware.  To Good, I say dress warmly and eat your vegetables.

(Edit 2 - A feedback thread, by request.  But don't EVEN question the hilarity of COWBELL.)

 July 6, 2001

 9:07 am CST - GORDON - Calling Larry Flynt.

Who has read George Orwell's "1984?"  It introduced the concept of Thought Police and "un-words...."  a daily updated list of words that had become illegal to utter, write, or think.

Yes, "think."  Because what are thoughts but a jumble of images, icons, symbiology, and words?

Now, America's First Amendment rights, including the Freedom of Speech.  The exact Amendment:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Notice the line concerning free speech, "Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech."  Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are no provisions or exceptions in that statement.  It doesn't say all speech EXCEPT.....

Now.  Read this.

Feeling nauseous at all?  If so, why?

Lets look at some specific passages.

COLUMBUS, Ohio –– A man who wrote in his journal about sexually abusing and torturing children has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, even though the stories were fictitious.

"Even without passing it on to anyone else, he committed a felony," Domis (assistant county prosecuter) said.

Private thoughts, private journal, unpublished. 

In jail for thinking and recording thoughts.


I was unable to quickly find any court precedents on obscenity rulings, but I seem to recall that "community standards" play a part.  But...those rules apply to publicly disseminated media.  This was a man's private journal....I'm curious as to how it was made public in the first place.

So tell me, could you be arrested and jailed in Ohio if your private thoughts were known?

 July 3, 2001

 9:50 am CST - GORDON - Against my better judgement.

I was reading the news looking for a subject to post here, and read the following article on welfare limitations.  I wasn't going to comment on it...capitalizing on human misery isn't my thing.  Personally, I think this country should have a safety net for Americans down on their luck.  The fates can touch any of us at any time, and it should be comforting to know that if the worst ever happened to you, you'll have time to pick yourself up and brush the dirt off before you lose your home.

So I'm reading this article, and found this snippet:

Most of these Cleveland families are not as shaky as the Vaughs. Marquita Chisholm, 27, may be more typical. She was working at McDonald’s when she was cut off welfare last fall but left her job when she had her third child. Now she wants to go back to work - and McDonald’s wants her back - but her child care fell through.
       “My biggest fear is not being able to make it with my kids,” she says, her voice cracking.
       And she’s angry that no one at the county welfare department ever suggested that she voluntarily leave welfare while she was working and bank her time for an emergency.
       “Naturally if I could have saved it, I would have. That’s common sense,” says Chisholm.

Marquita pissed me off.  First, good for her for working.  There is no shame in making an honest buck, even at McDonalds.  But she starts being "angry the county welfare department" because they didn't do the research she should have done for herself.  What really ticked me off was her "common sense" line.  Excuse me, but it's also common sense that when one is supporting two kids on welfare and a McDonald's paycheck, one SHOULDN'T BE HAVING MORE KIDS.  Common sense, indeed.

It's a tough call.  I have compassion.  I give to charity.  If someone ever came to my door and needed food, I'd give it.  But where does my responsibilty as a taxpayer end?  How many kids belonging to other people am I morally obligated to support?


 June 28, 2001

 9:36 am CST - GORDON - No, because God said so.

Stolen from the Opinion page of the Toledo Blade:

Cowardice trumps advocacy

If your ticker is marching to a savage drummer, don’t be sure the American Heart Association will offer help. Under pressure from anti-abortion forces, the organization has folded, failing to advocate the use of federal funds for promising stem-cell research and suddenly backing down from its own stem-cell program.

Only a few months ago, the agency had decided to invest in promising research on stem cells, which show up in embryos several days after sperm and egg join. Officials saw their potential in replacing diseased portions of hearts. They pulled back under pressure from the archbishop of St. Louis, donors opposed to abortion who don’t want embryos destroyed for any reason, and others.

This is reminiscent of Galileo’s time, in 1633, when know-nothing clergy insisted, contrary to Copernican theory, that the sun revolved around the earth and not vice versa. Worse yet, inquisitors in Rome forced Galileo to recant Copernican views he knew made sense, and sentenced him to life imprisonment for writing about them. That’s what happens when dogma trumps science.

Here it is rising again to stifle science; and people, who should be sure-footed on the boulevards of rational inquiry in this, the 21st century, are caving as old, sick Galileo did, without half the excuse.

Now a President known for willful ignorance of science and a commitment to stay connected to his religious fundamentalist base is to decide if federal money should be invested in embryo-cell research. And the American Heart Association, the second largest patient advocacy group, will not mobilize its 4 million volunteers to persuade him to favor heart patients.

The American Cancer Society, the largest patient organization by donations, has also avoided the coalition of other disease interest groups that are trying to win Mr. Bush’s support for this research.

Shame on them both. How fecklessly have they sold out their mission!

Sitting on their hands, they tell those who look to them for advocacy that their lives are worth nothing when stacked up against undifferentiated embryonic tissue. Call their constituents’ demise death by dogma.

Such abortion foes as Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch have praised stem-cell research which, besides helping with heart disease, may help cure cancer and other maladies such as juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injury, and Parkinson’s disease.

The practicality of their view parallels those of science and the market. New discoveries get global exposure. They won’t be sat on. Though Mr. Bush appears likely to sell out the majority of Americans to cosset a dogmatic but supportive faction, the rest of the world will move on. Stem-cell therapies will be developed and marketed, and if the work is not done in the United States, many Americans, will be out of luck. They will die, courtesy of the President, and the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, which wouldn’t fight for them.

Yes, I am pro-stem cell research.  I don't believe that a clump of cells the size of the period at the end of this sentence has any self awareness or is any more capable of sustaining life than any other cell in a person's body.

Stem cell research can possibly fix many terrible health afflictions, nobody can argue that.  "God People" only argue an opinion that it is murder.  I wonder how fast any given "God Person" would change his position when he acquires an affliction stem cell research could have cured.  Some will claim, "it's God's will."  Well, it's also God's will that humans have enough intelligence to solve the problem ourselves.

"I'm pro-life, therefore I must kill abortion doctors."  Morons.

 June 26, 2001

 1:32 pm CST - GORDON - A completely irrelevant post.

Fast Food Fried Fowl.  Err, chicken.

About a year ago in the Atlanta airport between changing planes, I ate at Popeye's Chicken for the first time.  It was the best fried chicken I'd eaten since "Sneaky's" in Sioux City, Iowa.  KFC is ass compared to Popeye's.

Actually, KFC is ass in general.

But I digress.

Yes, slow news day.

The next time I encountered a Popeye's was when I moved to Memphis.  For almost two years I had wanted to try it determine if the experience in the Atlanta airport was a fluke, or whether it was JUST THAT GOOD. 

Today my curiosity got the best of me.

Popeye's is just that good.

Go there, eat chicken.  Tell them sent you, and you'll get 20% off.  They have a good sense of humor and may pretend to not have heard of dtman....just stick to your guns and you'll all share a good laugh.

Laughing is good for digestion.  This post is complete ass.

 June 22, 2001

 10:20 am CST - GORDON - No Coke.  Pepsi.

The following linked story of political corruption and injustice makes me feel physically ill.

One man vs. Coca Cola.  And the United States government by proxy.

I can't even paraphrase it.....the surrealism is not to be believed.  It's a long read, but read it all.  Get to the end, and take action.  I'll be firing off emails as soon as I'm finished posting this.

The American Ideal is dead and gone if its citizens don't wake up and make themselves heard.

 June 19, 2001

 10:22 am CST - GORDON - Accounting for my whereabouts.

MUCH of my free time in the last week has been spent working on the behind-the-scenes stuff of dtman.  I'm taking the page in a completely database-driven direction.  This will reduce the amount of time needed to update the page, and hopefully the ease of use will bring the more timid updaters out of hiding, and there will be more content.  If I do it correctly, you'll see only minor changes to the layout....meaning it will still suck, but will suck more often.

One of the first pages I've converted is the "Movie Reviews" page on the left.  It's minimalist, but functional.  It will get prettier, time permitting.


Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars.

I'd refused to buy Episode 1 on VHS.  I wasn't going to pay twice for the same movie.....that wasn't that good.  Looks like my waiting paid off.

"Fox will announce today plans for the Oct. 16 DVD release of "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace." The 1999 picture is the first of George Lucas' "Star Wars" films to be distributed on the digital format.

A confirmation of sorts, Oct. 16 has been bandied about on several unofficial "Star Wars"-related Web sites as the projected date of release. "Phantom Menace" is the third-biggest theatrical release of all time, with $431 million in U.S. box office receipts. An additional $176 million has been generated in consumer spending on the pic's video rental and purchase."

Yes, there will probably be a big box set released a year after Episode 3 is released.  Oh well.  I hate being the only kid on my block who's only seen the movie once.

 June 15, 2001

 10:40 am CST - GORDON - Woohoo, payday.

It's always the BMW drivers, isn't it.

And I love you can see the guy's license plate number.  Those are California tags, by the way.

 June 12, 2001

 9:15 am CST - GORDON - Semper Fidelis.

This morning on Neoflux, my favorite source of news about high school graduations, I read an article about a couple kids who graduated early, went to Marine Corps boot camp, returned in time for graduation, and were not allowed to graduate because they wanted to wear their Dress Blue uniforms under their graduation gowns.

According to officials, the uniform did not meet a dress code requiring a tie.

The agreement states that males must wear socks, a shirt with collar, tie and slacks, said school Superintendent Fred Bechtold.

"We didn't mean any disrespect to the uniform. (The military) is an honorable undertaking. But we have a uniform too for about an hour and a half (at graduation)," Bechtold said.

Some of you may know I'm an ex-Marine.  I can state with first hand knowledge that the Dress Blue uniform is considered a "dress" uniform for formal occassions.  This incident is a slap in the face to every active duty person and veteran everywhere.  Those two men had already accomplished more in surviving boot camp than any of their classmates....they can no longer be considered peers.....and most likely a lot of the school faculty.

Principal Cook claimed her staff didn't escort them out.  Right.  The graduation fairies did.

Angered by this?  Let them know.

2608 California Road
Elkhart, IN 46514
(219) 262-5600
Fax: (219) 262-5625
Carolyn Cook, Principal
Dan Nommay, Vice Principal
Jerome Calderone, Assistant Principal

Those ignorant assholes.

 June 11, 2001

 3:37 pm CST - GORDON - Uh oh.

Europe doesn't like us killing McVeigh.

Good thing they're largely irrelevent anymore in the grand scheme of things, otherwise their opinion might actually mean something.


 June 6, 2001

 1:30 pm CST - GORDON - Bicameral-government-loving-babes.

So.  The twin babe daughters of Mr. President have been getting in a little trouble in college.

My personal opinion:  so what.  They're college girls, and these things will happen.  Better to be a little crazy at that age than in the real world where actions have real consequences.  Funny, though, how Jenna will end up getting slammed on the zero-tolerance underage drinking law her Father signed into law while governer.  Karma's a bitch sometimes.

But I must address the comments of the right-wing morning show dj's on the only radio station in Memphis, TN playing anything remotely similar to rock and roll.  They were going off on the "evil liberal media" for making a big deal about the Bush daughters, when they didn't make a big deal about the picture of Chelsea Clinton a couple years ago smoking a ciggarette while at college.

The difference, brainiacs, is that one action was illegal, and the other wasn't. 

 June 5, 2001

 9:09 am CST - GORDON - Can a female be an "asshole?"

Asshole du Jour!  Ms.  Cadillac, Tennesse tags HWE 733 expiring September 2001.  All I saw in my right side mirror was a car attempting to bypass traffic by driving up the breakdown lane.  I don't stand for silliness, so I pull a cut-off maneuver.  The car honks at me, but merges back into traffic 2 vehicles behind me.  100 yards later, there is an on ramp onto our highway, and the same car cuts over onto it in an attempt to get around me again.  I had to gun the V-8 this time, but I cut the car off again.  The car attempts to get back into the lane and cut ME off, but again, I make her wait in line with everyone else.

By now, traffic is starting to move, and she gets in the middle lane and legally passes me.  I can see it is a "she" now, and we make eye contact as she zooms by me.  I see her cut back into my lane about three cars up.  Everyone had to hit their brakes, slowing down traffic worse than it was.

She gets off at my exit, and since my heart rate hasn't even increased at all, I pull right next to her in one of the two lanes turning left.  We make eye contact for about four seconds when she breaks off and pulls up a few feet.  It is now that I have a moment to take note of her license plate, and take a look at the passengers in her car.  Four children all about the age of three.  None of them in car seats.  Being driven by a woman who enjoys weaving through traffic and driving on the breakdown lane.

By the time the light turns green, I see her punching numbers on her cellular phone.

Now, I often wonder if the car I'm blocking while enforcing traffic laws is actually a bleeding person trying to get to a hospital.  I would feel bad about that.  My reasoning is...they should have called an ambulance instead of getting on the highway and risking lives.

I also expect I'll do this to a gang member's car one of these days, and get shot in the face at the next red light.  I'll not live my life in fear and allow the ignorant to have their way.

But in this case, the woman pulled into a gas station/convenience store, so the worst I could have done would be to delay her chocolate doughnut by 45 seconds. 

 June 1, 2001

 10:15 am CST - GORDON - Damn the Man.

Three Common Laws Passed by Big Business.

Suicide is illegal.  Why?  I've always wondered about this one.  It never made much sense to me why the government cared that someone was in a world of shit deep enough to want to end their own suffering.  By making it "illegal," maybe it will scare someone *just enough* that they don't try it...because if they try and fail, they get locked up.  And then their life is deeper in shit.

Who profits by making suicide illegal?  Life Insurance Companies.  One of the largest lobbies in Washington.  Home of the Best Law Money Can Buy.

Seatbelt/Helmet Laws.  This is another one that puzzled me for a long time.  It seemed kind of nice that local governments cared enough about people to make them buckle up.....but the pieces never seemed to fit.  It seemed similar to the above suicide example...why does government care if you're not hurting anyone but yourself?

Then recently in Memphis, there was started a "Click it or ticket" campaign.  Their flashy TV commercials show a patrolman writing a ticket to a motorist.  He looks at the camera and states in a clear and commanding voice, "We ARE going to save lives."


They are going to save lives by issuing fines to motorists with no visible seatbelt, and hope the threat of another monetary fine makes them buckle up.  Increasing their own revenue is an unfortunate side effect.

Why don't they make the law breakers attend a Saturday class, or something, about the dangers of not wearing your seatbelt?  Educate the public instead of fining them.

But no, wait, that would reduce local revenue through loss of income from seatbelt fines.

Who profits from seatbelt laws?  State and local governments who make money by "upholding the law."  A law that nobody can remember voting for.

Cellular Phone Driving Laws. 

This one is going to be interesting to watch play out.  A few random communities throughout the country have already made it illegal to drive while holding a phone to your ear. 

On one side of the issue, this has raised the ire of the cell phone manufacturers, who state the laws are unfounded or unconstitutional, and quote numbers that tell half the truth about cell phones being just as dangerous as hamburgers.  On a more simple level, this angers cell phone drivers who like talking and driving, even though it decreases the attention they can pay to operating a two ton hunk of metal at 70 mph.  It's worth the risk to them.

The other side of the issue has car insurance companies, who will profit by not having to pay out on cell phone related accidents.  The costs will be passed on to consumers either way, so you don't hear too much gnashing of teeth from them.  On a simpler level on this side, people who want cell phone laws are those who've been hit by a cell phone driver, lost a family member to a cell phone driver, or are daily witnesses to poor driving by cell phone users.  These people just don't want to die.

So who profits from cell phone laws?  Car insurance companies, and people who don't want to die at the hands of a guy talking to his girlfriend on the highway because his wife at home wouldn't appreciate it.  Or a guy ordering a pizza.  Or a woman calling her husband asking what the plans are for dinner.

None of those things can wait.....lives MUST be endangered.

I bet someone disagrees with me.

Oh, and damn emenem to hell for showing up in the newspapers the day after I said good riddance to him.  Apparently, he has problems with his court ordered child support.  And I have to hear about it.

 May 31, 2001

 9:52 am CST - GORDON - A moment of clarity.

I had a realization this morning.

I haven't heard a thing about Eminem in the media in about two months.

It feels gooooood.  He's an idiot.

School's out across the nation.  Good point, bad point:  Now the little retards have all day to goof off.  That's bad.  But, a happy side effect is that there is much less traffic and traffic accidents on my morning commute.  Yes, I drive past a high school.  So that's good.  The ungratefull little yuppie larva should be made to take the bus to school.

Also, 9 years ago today I was on a U.S. warship crossing the Atlantic on my way to the Mediterranean Sea.  What were you doing?

I almost got arrested in Greece, you know. 

Six months, and the subject of three Naval Investigations.  I win.

 May 30, 2001

 3:00 pm CST - GORDON - The Corporate Whore Strikes Back.

Bush Wants to Renew China Trade Status

In a speech to the World Affairs Council of Los Angeles, Bush made clear he wanted free trade with China despite strained relations with Beijing triggered by the communist-ruled nation's holding of the 24-member crew of a U.S. surveillance plane in April.

``Open trade is a force for freedom in China, a force for stability in Asia, and a force for prosperity in the United States,'' Bush said. ``And this is not just my personal view.

Not just his personal view.  That's right.  Dubyah's personal view is whatever is spoon-fed to him by Cheney and Big Business.  Big Business is what fills campaign coffers, after all.

Who didn't see this coming?  No matter how shitty China behaves, no matter how much they hate the Western World, no matter how much they spit on our country and our way of life, our "Leaders" feel that in spite of what a majority of Americans say they want in poll after poll.....Dubyah wants to have double happy free trade with the poster children of third world human rights abusing wackos.




Next thing you know, he'll stand in front of a Sequoia Tree and say he loves the environment.

Pardon me?

Talk about it here.

 May 29, 2001

 1:48 pm CST - GORDON - Comparing apples to doorknobs.

Cell phones are less dangerous than hamburgers.

I just stumbled across the above opinion piece.

ONE OF THE REASONS cell phones are such a hazard is that people hold them, keeping one of their hands from the wheel. That’s why many of the proposed laws ban hand-held cell phones. But that’s just a start. If holding a cell phone is dangerous, so is holding a hamburger. That’s why a law should mandate that McDonald’s sell only hands-free Big Macs in their drive throughs.
       But that’s not enough. Dialing the phone is also a problem because pressing buttons is a distraction. So our third law will ban anything in the car that might have switches or buttons, like car stereos and those distracting air conditioners.

The sad thing is, he's serious.  He claims the fact that only 1.5 percent of the annual 284,000 vehicle deaths each year can be directly related to cell phone use is a very obvious and telling sign that nothing should be done about cell phone drivers.  Apparently, the risk of he or his wife or his kids being one of those unfortunate but very expendable 4260 deaths is worth the risk of having the right to order a pizza while weaving through city traffic.  I need to state the fact that not only do the great majority of states not require an inquiry as to whether or not a cell phone was a factor in the accident, but that most people would lie about it even if asked.  So 1.5 percent is more than likely an extremely conservative estimate.

Mr. Elliott Zaret is either a cold hearted bastard or a fool if he thinks otherwise.

Ten short years ago, before the popularity of cell phones, this was a non-issue.  Now, pundits are claiming that a mere 5000 deaths a year is a very acceptable margin of risk for the right to talk on a phone.  I wonder....if we could eliminate all cell phone related deaths over the course of a year by lining up 5000 random people on January 1st and executing them, would that be acceptable?  Why not?

It seems to be perfectly fine to execute them slowly over the course of a year.

Personally, I think anti-cell phone laws are more valid than seatbelt/helmet laws.  At least with the seatbelt laws, you're only putting yourself at risk.

7:14 pm CST - It was just brought to my attention that I misquoted "284,000 vehicle deaths" from 284,000 vehicle accidents."  I misread.  My bad.  Everything else stays.

 May 25, 2001

 6:08 pm CST - GORDON - Zero Tolerance Idiocy.

 Today on Neoflux, I found the following article:,2933,25641,00.html

ESTERO, Fla. — Friends of a National Merit Scholar who was suspended and banned from graduation after a kitchen knife was found in her car are petitioning other seniors to skip graduation.

Lindsay Brown's friends are pushing the boycott of the May 29 graduation at Estero High School because they believe school officials are going too far in enforcing a campus weapons ban.

"We won't walk unless she walks," said Brittany Scherer, who started the petition drive.

"We've all pretty much grown up together," said Adam Devine, also a senior. "If one person can't walk, the rest of us won't want to."

Principal Fred Bode suspended Brown, 18, for five days and told her she could not participate in school activities, including graduation.

Bode said he hadn't seen the petition and did not think there would be a boycott of graduation. He said he will not change his mind about Brown's punishment.

Bode on Thursday tried to explain himself to about 320 graduating seniors at a breakfast.

"As a public servant, I raised my right hand and said I would follow Florida law and Lee County policy, even if it isn't popular," Bode said he told the students.

Brown was arrested on a felony weapons possession charge after a deputy spotted the kitchen knife in her parked car. Brown said the knife was accidentally left there when she was moving during the weekend.

Bode said that he had no choice but to give Brown the same punishment as other students would get under the school's policy forbidding weapons on campus.

Parents were quick to object to the school's handling of the situation.

"This whole thing is ridiculous," said Jens Romer. "She should be allowed to graduate with the rest of her class."

Parent Sharon Scowden said special consideration should be given in this case.

"It's outrageous," she said. "She was a good student, not a troublemaker."

Bode said there normally would be an appeal of Brown's suspension, but it's a time-consuming process that can't be expedited.

He said the matter is finished, adding Brown "took her finals and we are all going to get on with life."

"It has not been a good ending to what had been a really good year," Bode said.

This seems like a classic Damn the Man situation.

I did some quick web slinging, and found some interesting information.  Namely...

Principal: Fred Bode
Phone: (941) 947-9400

It is so rare that we have something as cool as an email address to let the brainless bureaucrats know what the intelligent people think.  I've already written him and called him an idiot, and I know many others have joined the campaign.  Let him know.  

Let Lindsay graduate.


 6:31 pm EST - Leisher - Without the freedom of speech, you wouldn't be reading this...

Do you enjoy your freedom of speech? If so, then thank Vince McMahon.

Just in case you don't know who the PTC is, they are the Parent's Television Council. They believe they know what is best for America and like to try and boycott advertisers for certain television shows, which they deem, inappropriate. Their hope is that the advertiser will get the hint, stop advertising on that show, and then the show would go off the air without financial support. Shows that have made this list, include: Family Guy, Ally McBeal, WWF Smackdown, Will & Grace, etc.

This is censorship and this group should be put out of its misery. It has no place in a country based on personal freedom.

Judge Rejects Parents Television Council Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 25, 2001--A federal judge today rejected a motion by the Parents Television Council to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the PTC and others by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWF).

U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin in New York concluded that there was a sound legal basis for the WWFE suit and that it should go forward. ``Assuming, as I must, that the allegations of the Amended Complaint are true for purposes of this motion, I conclude that WWFE has stated claims upon which relief can be granted,'' wrote Judge Chin.

WWFE sued the PTC in November 2000, charging PTC founder L. Brent Bozell III and others with, among other things, defamation, tortious interference with business relations and copyright infringement.

As part of these activities, the PTC claimed that ``WWF Smackdown!'' could be linked to the deaths of four children, and that more than 30 to 40 advertisers had withdrawn their advertising from WWF SmackDown! The suit says the defendants made such false claims to WWFE advertisers in order to damage the company and, at the same time, raise money for themselves and promote their organization.

Judge Chin wrote that the PTC and the other defendants may not make false and defamatory statements under cover of the First Amendment. ``The First Amendment does not protect statements that are false and defamatory, even if they are made in the context of a public debate about issues of general concern,'' he wrote.

Judge Chin's ruling on the motion is available through the court and WWFE's corporate website,

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with sales offices in New York City, Chicago and Toronto. Additional information on the company can be found at and

Censorship is evil by nature.

 May 24, 2001

  6:29 pm EST - Leisher - Gonna let her in...mmm hmmmm.......

I really don't know how to add more comedy to this, so I will just point out some things:
-This guy made this CD, not as a joke, but rather because he thinks he can really.
-This CD cost a lot of money to make. You know how much studios charge for time and staff? It's a lot.
-Once again I'd like to point out that this guy is serious...

 I can see his brain.

Tune 1. "I am an idiot."

Tune 2.  "I am Retarded."

I want to hear your comments on this one.

AND YET MORE archives!!!!!!!!!!