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Any ideology that can carry out, endorse, excuse, or ignore the deliberate murder of civilians, including women and children, in order to further their cause is sick and twisted, and the complete annihilation of that ideology is fully justified.


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Page mirrored 7/29/2005

September 29, 2005

Ten things that are really funny but will not amuse your woman while she is giving birth to your baby:

Learned the hard way:
  1. "Hurry up and push that thing out... I got the three of us tickets for a movie, tonight."
  2. "You call that pain?  Try Marine boot camp, honey.  That's real pain."
  3. "Shouldn't the baby's real father be in here for this part?"
  4. "Hang in there trooper... I'm going out for some pizza.  Back in a bit."
  5. "Hey everybody, come here and check out this vagina!"
  6. "What's that smell?  Oh... ewwwww.  You're gross, woman."
  7. "God this is making me so f'in HORNY."
  8. "Hurry up and get this done... I want to catch the end of the Star Trek marathon."
  9. "Was anybody planning on eating that?"

And finally:

Doctor: "You really do these contractions well... you stay controlled, and you push hard."
Me: "Hey Doc... that's just good coaching, right there."

GORDON  | 1540 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 23, 2005


  • CO2 is a so-called "greenhouse gas."  CO2 has the ability to trap light energy from the sun and keep it from radiating back into space.
  • Atmospheric CO2 content can be measured, and levels seem to be increasing over 100 years ago.
  • For the most part, the total amount of CO2 on Earth (and in the atmosphere) is constant.


  • The stuff that keeps trees hard and upright is called "cellulose," and it is contained in the cell walls of the plant
  • Cellulose is very resistant to digestion, which means that when a tree falls down in the woods, it tends to be visible for a very long time, as opposed to animals... which don't have cell walls.
  • It has been discovered that fungi are probably the best suited to digest trees than any other critter, because most fungi are able to secrete an enzyme that "unglues" cell walls from each other.
  • There isn't any evidence of fungi in the fossil record over 300 million years ago.  Fungi are a relatively new life form on Earth.


  • 300 million years ago, Earth was in a Carboniferous Period.  Plant life exploded (not literally), which locked up a lot of CO2 which had been in the air.  The reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere caused temperatures to cool by as much as 10 degrees, since it was no longer in the atmosphere keeping the light energy from the sun from radiating back into space.
  • These plants did what plants do, lived and died.  The lack of fungi in the environment meant that they were slow to decay... and release their CO2 back into the atmosphere.  Instead, all kind of other interesting things happened, and they turned into coal and oil, depending on local conditions.


  • God created fungi (or whatever).


  • 10,000 years ago, humans start large scale agriculture at various places on the planet.

  • 100 years ago, humans start burning these fossil fuels they found that were lying around since the Carboniferous age.  This releases the CO2 that had been locked up for almost 300 million years.

  • Present-day plants (and oceans, rocks, etc) absorb this CO2, but the actions of fungi quickly decay them after they die, releasing this CO2 back into the environment.  

  • As this ancient CO2 is released back into the atmosphere, all things being equal (which they aren't), average global temperatures should rise... historical trends suggest by as much as 10 degrees.


  • We can't stop the world from using fossil fuels and releasing all this CO2 which was unnaturally pulled out of the environment 300 million years ago, so the only solution is to destroy all fungi on Earth in order to keep it from decaying dead vegetation, and leaving all that CO2 locked up in the Earth.

Fungi wasn't here from the beginning, and therefore it isn't natural.  

Have you stepped on a mushroom, today?  No?  Why do you hate the Earth?

GORDON  | 1902 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 22, 2005

Rita Predictions.

If Rita does little to no damage...

The press and liberals will report:

  • It shows what the federal government, and George W. Bush in particular, is capable of when the affected are not all poor black people.  And Kanye West said Bush hates black people, in case you forgot.
  • George W. Bush, personally responsible for hurricane generation with a combination of Rove Satanic ritualism and the failure to sign the Kyoto Protocols, decided that the GOP can't stand any more heat... so he called the hurricane off.  This is obviously a sign that Bush, Rove, and the Republicans care about nothing but politics, and not about citizens.  Or black people.
  • Citizens (and black people) will be reminded that as well as everything went this time, hurricanes, which never existed before the year 2000, obviously highlighted the failures of George Bush's government with the embarrassment of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

If Rita does lots of damage...

The press and liberals will report:

  • It shows that the federal government, and George W. Bush in particular, is incapable of learning from their mistakes, i.e. Katrina in new Orleans, which badly and deliberately mistreated black and poor people.
  • George W. Bush, personally responsible for hurricane generation with a combination of Rove Satanic ritualism and the failure to sign the Kyoto Protocols, decided that the price of gasoline was falling too sharply, and another disaster was needed in the oil producing regions of the country in order to fatten the wallets of his oil business cronies.  And Halliburton.  Halliburton needed bigger, fatter cleanup contracts.
  • Citizens will be reminded that hurricanes never existed before George Bush's inauguration in 2000, after a hotly contested election in which the Supreme Court blocked poor Al Gore from challenging the recounts in Florida with allegations of fraud in poor black neighborhoods while simultaneously taking a shovel and digging weak spots in the levees on New Orleans near the poor, black neighborhoods in anticipation of the initial use of Karl Rove's hurricane generation machine.

The editorials are already written all over the country. 

GORDON  | 2101 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 21, 2005

Say 'Howdy' to an Old Tradition.

Back in the days when I was commuting through Memphis I was exposed daily to stupid, ignorant, assholish drivers.  I would take note of these people and tell their story and post their license plate numbers on this website (see the post for June 5, 2001, for example) as a way of shaming them.

Then I moved from Memphis to Nebraska, and the average driver on the road around me changed from dangerously reckless to, if anything, insufferably polite.  I can't actually remember encountering a single asshole driver during my year in Nebraska, and I was usually the fastest person on the road.

Then I moved to a military town in North Carolina, and I experienced what I quickly termed "testosterone driving."  In a town of 40,000 Marines the streets have an aggressive, but not reckless, vibe.  Fast driving and sharp maneuvers are the rule, but not really to the extent where anyone needs to get out of their way to avoid a collision.  I see the occasional "ricer" idiot who has dreams of being on Fast and the Furious, but really, nobody has been worth commenting on.

Until today.

Two days ago I was running an errand.  A jacked up white Dodge 4x4 pickup truck was weaving through traffic, and ultimately cut across two lanes to cut me off right before a red light.  I called the driver bad names out loud at my dash board.  I could see it was a young woman driver with her hair pulled back, and in the passenger seat I could see the makings of a baby seat.  On the back gate of the truck were many stickers.  One that said, "The other half of my heart is in Iraq."  Another that had a single star... the old sign that one member of your family was at war.  Several oversized stickers that looked like ribbons.  Two yellow, one which said, "Pray for my husband overseas" and the other which said, "Pray for my daddy overseas."  One ribbon had a camouflage pattern.  There were two other ribbons, but I can't remember what they were supposed to accomplish.

By itself, the incident was forgotten.

But then today, running an errand.  Ahead of me I see a white truck weaving through traffic, and it ultimately cuts me off right before a red light.  It was driven by a young woman, there was evidence of a car seat on the passenger side, and the back end was covered with stickers.

Memory jogged.

The license plate of this white Dodge 4x4 pickup truck is TWS 5900.  The plates expire May, 2006.  If any active duty Camp Lejeune Marines currently serving in Iraq happen to read this and this sounds like your truck, you'd better call home and tell your asshole wife to slow the fuck down before she kills herself and your child.  And, she's covered your truck with stickers.

Semper Fi!

GORDON  | 1639 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 19, 2005

Voting Fraud in New Jersey.

Shocking, I know.

New Jersey Republicans yesterday called for a review of the state's election rolls, saying a four-month investigation by the party uncovered widespread irregularities.

More than 6,500 voters cast ballots both in New Jersey and another state in last November's election, while 4,755 ballots were cast by deceased voters, Republican State Committee Chairman Tom Wilson said.

In addition, 54,601 people are registered to vote in two New Jersey counties, and 4,397 of them cast ballots in both places last fall, Wilson said.

NJ.com Search

There was a time when college students actually acted as self-appointed watchdogs to make sure voting was fair. Their actions got the secret ballot made law in the late 1800's... before then, ballots were public, and subject to coercion.  It was the secret ballot that brought down Boss Tweed's political machine.

Where are these college activists now?

Do they no longer care because the fraud is typically in their favor, now?

For all the accusations of "Kark Rove fixed the election," amazing that the evidence always seems to point in the other direction.  But, as we saw in Louisiana after the hurricane, when you know you're in the wrong, start blaming the other side as soon and loudly as possible.

GORDON  | 1733 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 18, 2005

Massive, colon cleansing linkdump.

My bookmarks are getting unwieldy, and it's time to thin them out.  I can't remember why I originally bookmarked most of this crap.

Media Lies.  "Dedicated to exposing what the media lies about, what they won't tell you and what they don't want you to hear."

A Google search for "Illegitimati non carborundum."  The forum's 'Thibodeaux' said it to me one day, and it's a phrase I wanted to remember.

Music group Tool's website.  I was thinking of putting this on the Music Page, but to be honest the website is 95% inside information.  I usually don't have a clue what they're talking about.

Media Slander.  Don't remember.

Article: The Muslims groups who wouldn't join the march on terror.

Conservative Grapevine.  Kind of a Fark for righties.

Everything Tarantino.  Rarely updated.

Blogshares entry for this website.  We're worth a little over $7k, at the moment.

Heinlein quotes.

Motor Vehicles Consumer Complaint Form for North Carolina.  They aren't responsive.

Ebonics translator.  Yes, that's how I did it.

Robot assisted human motion.  I wondered if this would have utility to those with nerve damage.

Islam: The Religion of Peace (And White Knuckle Terror).  List of terror attacks since 9/11/2001.

Some forum.  I have no memory of bookmarking this.

A Cool Web Shredder, last updated in June, 2005.

Albert Einstein quotes.

Yankee Flipper.  Spins squirrels off of your bird feeders.  With video.

Article:  "The End of Treason."

Article: "The Congress Speaks."  Facts on the "Bush lied" belief system.

Article: Levees not Designed for Katrina-Strength Storm.

Article: The Secret Life of RNA.  I just found it interesting.

And that's about it.

I'll make a common Feedback thread... if you want to discuss any particular link in detail, start its own thread.  Registration required to do that, of course.


GORDON  | 1326 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 16, 2005

Vegetarians: An Epiphany.

For many years I've had the idea that "I've never met a vegetarian that I could trust."  I've known many, and with the exception of a single vegan every one of them has been a jerk (pun).  The biggest jerk I've ever met was, in fact, a vegetarian.

But ordinarily I am not so quick to label and generalize that way.  I may joke or even speak angrily about it at times, but the plain fact is that the vast majority of black people I've personally known are honorable people, as are the Muslims with whom I've personally crossed paths.  Additionally, I've met many complete assholes who were white... the fact that most of them were from Pennsylvania notwithstanding.  So I don't have the attitude that all black people are thugs, and all Muslims are terrorists... because I have first hand experience that it is not true.

So why do I generalize about vegetarians?  I've always wondered that.

Until the epiphany I had about 20 minutes ago.

One initial disclaimer: if one is eschewing meat (pun) for some type of health reason, that is not included in what I am about to say.

Only in a soft life of plenty can one decide to limit their diet like that.  I know what it feels like to be thirsty enough to drink from a toilet.  Hungry enough to eat an insect, and any other thing slower than me that I could catch.  I've been in both situations.  I've felt real hunger (granted, it was something I volunteered for).  I'd love to see the vegan Moby in that situation.  

I'm also intelligent enough to know that humans are heterotrophs and are meant to ingest proteins produced by other animals.  God, evolution, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster all agree on that point, and that's rare (pun).

It is my opinion that if you've lived a life soft enough that you need to deny yourself meat in order to feel alive, or your priorities are such that not eating certain foods available to you due to some imagined higher moral purpose is something you actually expend energy to abide by, then I don't trust your judgment.  Therefore, I've never met a vegetarian I could trust.

GORDON  | 1517 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 15, 2005

Movie Review: The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Steve Carell plays a 40 year old man who has never had sex. This fact is eventually discovered by his friends and they all work to change it.

From start to finish, this movie is hilarious.
I saw it with the wife and we both agreed it's the funniest movie we've seen in a while. So don't think your wife or girlfriend won't enjoy this film.

The main thing that makes this movie work is the writing. They really spent time working on the minor details so that this movie had it's own identity that the audience could relate to. The humor is not over-the-top and it's not the same joke repeated again and again. More importantly, all of the characters were "real".

Steve Carell is great as the virgin, Andy Stitzer, in that he's just "off" enough to believe that he could have gone through life without getting laid. He's got that slightly creepy vibe about him, but also a sort of weird innocence.

Romany Malco steals several scenes as Jay a salesman where Andy works. I can't say enough good things about the work this guy does in this film as he really makes Jay come to life. He is helped by the writers as they gave this character a lot of depth and funny lines. It's obvious that this character wasn't written as just a "generic" friend or the "black" friend. They spent a lot of time with Jay and it paid off.

Paul Rudd plays David and I don't want to spoil anything about David for you, so I'll just say this is a different role for Paul, but he's good in it.

The last friend is Cal played by Seth Rogan. Seth kind of gets the short end of the stick here as he is the one friend who doesn't get the backstory or character development that the other two friends get. He does still get some good lines and scenes though.

Andy's love interest is played by Catherine Keener and she's perfectly cast for this role.

The storyline opens nicely, has the proper pacing, and the expected obstacles to Andy's journey. It's a little bit cheesy right before the end, but it still manages to get a few good laughs out of you after that.

The writing, the acting, the casting, etc., everything about this film was done with a perfect touch.

One thing you'll want to remember when you go see this film: When they wax Steve Carell's very hairy chest, there are no special effects. It is all real. His reactions are legit, as are the rest of the cast's. Watch the girl's face who is doing the waxing. She is freaking out as she does it.

Maybe this film caught me in the right mood, but I loved it.

9 out of 10. 

Spoiler-Free Discussion Here.  (Violators will be prosecuted.)

Leisher  | 0946 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 13, 2005


Like most websites similar in purpose to DTMan I did not observe the anniversary of the sneak attacks of 9/11.  Others who observed it are far more eloquent than I, and I've decided that when it comes to the murder of over 3000 people in the name of religious fundamentalism that you either get it, or you don't.  No amount of reposting pictures of toppling buildings on this webpage is going to change any minds.

You either get it, or you don't.

However, a very long time ago I found an website of archived pictures from 9/11/2001, and I've had it bookmarked ever since.  I've never seen a more comprehensive source of images.  Today I was organizing the bookmarks and found it again.  It's a good source of photos and video from that day.

Mirror it, if you can, for posterity.  Someday someone will try to convince you, or your children, or their children that it never happened.


GORDON  | 1920 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


Larry King Style.

If you don’t get this then you’ve never read a USA Today. 

Not that I’d hold that against you…As we move farther away from the day Katrina struck it is becoming more and more obvious that most Americans don’t have a clue about how their government works…I am addicted to Su Doku…One good thing about Katrina: Does anyone remember Cindy Sheehan?…Not to jinx them, but if the Atlanta Braves hold on to win the division this year that’ll be 14 in a row. That’s amazing, but even more so when you consider that this is being done in the free agency era and the Braves are getting it done with their farm system…”Racism” equals money for the media and votes for the Democratic party. Do not fool yourself into thinking those two organizations don’t know that. See Gordon’s “The New Slavery” post below for more on this topic…Why is John Roberts being forced to answer questions that Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn’t have to answer?…Good game last weekend between Texas and Ohio State. Ohio State had the game won and in fact were dominating it, but let Texas sneak out with a win due to a dropped touchdown pass, a missed field goal, and two turnovers all in the fourth quarter. If these teams meet again this year in a bowl I predict Ohio State will win by at least 14 as Texas won’t be able to force OSU to kick fields goals instead of getting touchdowns next time…Why the hell was Sean Penn allowed to go out on his own (with a personal photographer) in New Orleans after the hurricane? Why do celebrities in this country get a free pass like that where other citizens would have been stopped? Does anyone honestly believe he was there helping people? If so, why isn’t he still there? It was a photo op and he’s a ghoul…Speaking of Hollywood, I hated the idea of yet another Kong remake, but after seeing the trailer I’m thinking Peter Jackson may have made this a must see…Which is worse? A government not reacting immediately to a crisis they didn’t know existed and before the state even asked for help or a mayor who spent levee money on casinos, sent the evacuation order too late and well after Bush asked for it, and who didn’t bother to evacuate his citizens because the buses they had available were just school buses and not Greyhounds? For people who can see past skin color, the choice is obvious…Gamestop is selling an X-Box 360 bundle for $1999.69. For that much money it had better blow you while you play games on it…That’s all for now.

Leisher  | 1337 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 11, 2005

Birthin' Babies, 21st-Century-Style.

I have mated with a woman, and she is fixin' to give birth to my heir sometime between now and the end of the month... at which time she transforms from my boo to my baby-momma (GFY, kanye).

 Over the last 8.5 months there have been many routine doctor visits.  Unlike the old days it is now considered irresponsible to not see your obstetrician every 2 to 4 weeks throughout your pregnancy, and we've done so as many times as the doctor required.

Every visit was priced anywhere from $150 to $400, depending on which tests were performed.

There have been many ultrasounds and we found out early on that the kid had a monster penis... chip off the ol' block (whomever that may be).

Besides that, the only input the doctor ever had was "you have no diseases, and you should follow a good diet through the pregnancy."

Now, one doctor said she had gestational diabetes, about four visits in to the process.  Up until that point her blood sugar was just fine, and for that visit she was tested in an entirely different building with an entirely different blood-sugar-checker-machine.  That machine said she had really high blood sugar levels, and from that test it was determined she had gestational diabetes.  Every other machine said her blood sugar was just fine.  I suggested that perhaps she was just fine and the machine needed to be calibrated... but what do I know?  I aint no obstetrician, and I was blown off.

So out of many expensive doctor and nutritionist (because she obviously has gestational diabetes...) visits, the only input the professionals have had were:

  • You don't have any diseases (beyond the GD... uh huh).
  • Eat nutritious foods.
  • It's a boy.

To which my response is...

  • We already knew that, and she still wouldn't have had any diseases if she hadn't been to a doctor.
  • Some of us learned about good nutrition in grade school.
  • Knowing the sex of the baby ahead of time probably wasn't worth what it cost to find out.

I don't know.  I'm pretty under whelmed at this process, so far.  Lots of money, and no real return on investment.

Medicine is a good racket when they can turn a process that has occurred naturally for a million years into 20 office visits capped by a ten thousand dollar, two-day hotel room visit at the end.

Yeah, I know, babies used to die more, long ago.  But since nothing was done to her for this entire pregnancy there is literally zero-change in the survival chances for this child, in spite of all the doctor visits.  

Must be For the Children.


GORDON  | 2033 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 7, 2005

Government Charity.

I mentally burned out on about Day 2 of the New Orleans flood, and I've been overwhelmed since then by intellectual lethargy.  So I've been to the beach.  Lately the wind is up, seas are rough, and there's a killer rip current pulling you south, so watch out if you go.

I've been hearing a lot lately about how the federal government is supposed to be helping hurricane victims.  I won't even get into whether or not these people are using a disaster for political posturing, but there's something people seem to forget about the national government: it was never intended to be a public aid service.  Yeah, FDR/New Deal, and 'times change,' and all that.  Something most people don't know, though... the New Deal didn't work.

Here's something I posted almost a year ago to the day, but today it makes a point far better than I have the energy to do:

Originally published in "The Life of Colonel David Crockett," by Edward Sylvester Ellis.

One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:

"Mr. Speaker--I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it.

We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I ever heard that the government was in arrears to him.

"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:

"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but as I thought, rather coldly.

"I began: 'Well friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates and---

"Yes I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine, I shall not vote for you again."

"This was a sockdolger...I begged him tell me what was the matter.

"Well Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting you or wounding you.'

"I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest.

But an understanding of the constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the honest he is.'

" 'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake. Though I live in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by fire in Georgetown. Is that true?

"Well my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just the same as I did.'

"It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means.

What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he.

If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give at all; and as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. 'No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity.'

"'Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this country as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have Thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.'

"The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from necessity of giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.'

"'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'

"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

"Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'

"He laughingly replied; 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'

"If I don't, said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.'

"No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. 'This Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.

"'Well I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name."

"'My name is Bunce.'

"'Not Horatio Bunce?'


"'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.'

"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence, and for a heart brim-full and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him, before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before."

"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him - no, that is not the word - I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted - at least, they all knew me.

"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

"Fellow-citizens - I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only."

"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

"And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

"It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.'

"He came up to the stand and said:

"Fellow-citizens - it affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.'

"He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.'

"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.'

"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. "There is one thing which I will call your attention, "you remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men - men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased--a debt which could not be paid by money--and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $20,000 when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."

This country's taxation system is ass-backwards.    Typically with income taxes a lot goes to Federal, and a little goes to State.  Reverse it.  Have the national government cut all of the programs that the states should handle, which is about 90% of it, and then the states have the funds to pick what they deem are necessary programs... more efficiently.  This way Louisiana has their own money with which to take care of her cities when the inevitable finally happens, and nobody looks to Washington 1000 miles away to fix their problems.  This way people in California don't pay FEMA to take care of hurricane victims, and people in North Carolina don't pay FEMA to take care of earthquake victims.  Each state has their own power.  Imagine that.  There should be some kind of law.


GORDON  | 2232 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


September 1, 2005

The New Slavery.

I am prefacing this post by declaring that I am so concerned with the innocent people of New Orleans that I feel physically ill.  I'd give anything to be able to go there and help out.  It seems that there is a severe lack of decent people on the scene with even meager leadership ability.  Meaning, none.  I'm a novice and I can see major mistakes are being made in the city.

That was the disclaimer, because the following post is going to seem rude as it is.  It isn't intended that way.  If I didn't care, I wouldn't think about it and I wouldn't write about it.

Begin post.


"I'm poor and should stay in school, but fuck it, the government has welfare for me.

"I can't afford a car to get around, but fuck it, there's public transportation I can use.  I am completely reliant on it, but that's ok.

"I have a cheap apartment full of expensive clothes and appliances but I have no money for insurance. But fuck it... the government has money for me in case of disaster.

"I live in a city that's like a bathtub surrounded by water and a mandatory evacuation order has been issued. Fuck it, I'll stay and ride it out and I'll be fine.

"Water is lapping at my front door and the power is out. Fuck it, how bad can it be? If it was that bad the government would have come to get me.

"The refrigerator is under water and I'm trapped on the roof with no food to eat. Wait, where's the fucking government?

"The government finally picked me up at took me to the shelter. Where's the fucking air conditioning? The government better take me someplace better.  And feed me.  I'm hungry.

"I've now done nothing and lost everything and why does everyone try to keep me down? Why isn't anyone holding my hand and wiping my ass?  Why am I in a region that gets massive amounts of rainfall and is situated on the 3rd largest river in the world, yet I am completely incapable of finding a drink of water?  Poor me, poor me."


What does your life have to be like to become completely helpless like this?  How can one make it to adulthood and just have no idea what to do with themselves once the rented house and XBox gets washed away?  The majority of these people ignored warnings to evacuate up to 48 hours ahead of time, and ignored direct orders to evacuate at least 12 hours ahead of time (I'm cutting slack to the aged and infirm... those are the only victims in New Orleans, as far as I'm concerned).  Now they are stuck sitting on freeway underpasses if they're lucky, and in a sports arena if they're unlucky, and they're trying to get to a sports arena in Houston... but for what?  How long are they going to be allowed to squat there?  If they had any capability of taking care of themselves they wouldn't be there at all.  There are going to be a lot of sob stories when these people are finally kicked out of the shelters, because a lot of them do not have the mental ability to get out of them on their own.

When you let the government take care of people from cradle to grave, some people have no reason to ever learn to take care of themselves.  We have millions of people in this country who have never had any reason to better themselves because they are content to let momma government take care of them.  And now in New Orleans you see what happens when this security blanket is pulled off of them.  They are completely unable to take care of themselves, and the conch shell has shattered all over Bourbon Street.  Time to upgrade the TV.

This government has a lot of problems, but keeping the poor and stupid shackled in dependence is not one of them.  The government does that just fine, and even when the consequences of such a system are highlighted otherwise intelligent people suggest that more aid is obviously needed, and the government isn't distributing it fast enough.

So keep the uneducated fat and happy, and keep the welfare for the AC and television flowing, and just hope you don't lose power.  Once the morphine drip is cut off, they tend to notice and then you need to deal with them.

In a sensitive and politically correct manner, of course.


A lot of people right now are thinking, "Yeah Gordon, just let them all starve, you fucking asshole."  Which is fine, because some people will miss the point no matter how many pictures are included in the presentation.  I'm not saying to let anyone starve.  By all means, feed these people.  Keep them out of the rain.  Get them on their feet.  Figure out who is the bigger asshole... me suggesting that we don't allow this to happen again, or you suggesting we do nothing and fuck 'em, just send a few body bags and MRE's and throw more money at it when the time comes.

But fucking learn the lesson of what happens when people are kept helpless and useless.


GORDON  | 2226 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


Welcome to September.

Hurricane.  Death.  Destruction of an American city.  Gas shortages.  Gas station lines.  High energy costs.

Know what?  Screw all that.  Let the other guy sweat it.  This too shall pass.

Here at DTMan September, 2005 is "Post a GIF Month."

New gifs posted every day of September in this thread.

For the children.

GORDON  | 0010 ADT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Relief Organizations.

I generally dislike the idea of the federal government using public funds to provide charity to localized disaster areas, but that's because I think charity should be a private thing and not forced on the populace through taxation.

AS SUCH, a good list of charitable organizations can be found here.

There's even a dog charity there in case people aren't your thing.

GORDON  | 1401 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 29, 2005

"Complete Devastation."

I do not think that means what MSNBC thinks it means.

GORDON  | 1931 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 26, 2005

Pointless post.

Busy as hell this week as we moved into the new east wing of the house.  Between the fatigue of moving heavy stuff and doing yard work for 6 hours during a 116F heat index which resulted in dehydration, heat exhaustion and, I think, a minor stroke... I haven't had a lot of energy left for making posts.

Ever wonder what it looks like to drop a heavy-ass bookshelf on your foot that already has blood circulation problems which results in a broken metatarsal?

Wonder no longer.

Mmmmm... delicious contusion.

GORDON  | 2056 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 25, 2005

You just can't make this stuff up.

Toledo, OH made national news several years ago when then mayor Carty Finkbeiner suggested that to reduce complaints about noise around Toledo Express Airport the neighborhoods surrounding it should be populated with deaf people. The funny part is that he was dead serious. He was even interviewed on The Daily Show about it. 

That was Carty’s last term due to consecutive term laws and in the meantime Toledo has had its first black mayor, Jack Ford. Mr. Ford has become known for his ability to never be seen anywhere, get nothing done, and take credit for other people’s work and ideas. Don’t believe me? His campaign slogan is “Quiet and Effective.” Like I said, you can’t make this stuff up. Toledo hasn’t exactly prospered under Mr. Ford and if you’re wondering how he got the job, it’s because the only person he ran against was a drunk who worked for the county and was stealing money. 

It’s now 2005 and the mayoral elections are coming up. This year Toledo has several fantastic candidates to choose from and they all displayed their knowledge and expertise at a recent mayoral debate. The following is a brief background on the candidates, if not already covered, and the highlight of their speeches. 

Mayor Jack Ford (D) – His speech gave vague details on how he has brought jobs to Toledo and how the economy here is flourishing because of him. Interestingly, Mayor Ford was in D.C. less than one year ago for a conference of Democratic mayors. In his speech there, LESS THAN A YEAR AGO, he blamed President Bush for the bad economy and that it has cost Toledo over 16,000 jobs. Did I mention that Mayor Ford was a councilman before he was mayor and only attended 25% of the meetings he was elected to attend? Oh, and if you’re wondering, the Toledo MSM is universal in their bashing of Mayor Ford and the job he’s done. I guess hasn’t done is more appropriate. 

Carty Finkbeiner (D) – Yep, Carty is running again now that he can get around the law that prevented him from running four years ago. Carty actually started as a Republican and truthfully is more of an independent, but in Toledo you have to run as a Democrat if you want a chance of winning. After all, this is the home of JEEP. Now you may think his idea discussed above was stupid and I assure you there were other dumb ones, however this guy does bust his ass when in office. He does get things done, right or wrong, and believe it or not, he does have some great ideas like eliminating a company’s ability to build new buildings in new lots or where homes are and instead forcing them to build their stores where existing empty buildings currently are located. Take that Supreme Court. Anyway, Carty basically covered his past accomplishments in his speech and even talked about how he put Toledo on the map using a cover of Newsweek (or something similar) as an example. Do you think a guy who has a Trivial Pursuit card asking “True or False: The mayor of Toledo, OH said to move deaf people to the airport to reduce noise pollution complaints.” Should be taking about how he put Toledo on the map? 

Rob Ludeman (R) – Really, there’s an actual Republican in this race. Well, that’s what we’ve been told. You see, the Republican Party here in Toledo is back peddling after the Noe/rare coins scandal and Rob really has nothing going in his favor. To make matters worse, he’s basically done nothing to promote his campaign. He’s more invisible than Jack Ford, if that’s possible. If he said anything at the debate, I missed it. Interestingly, according to the polls, if nobody were in the race other than Ford and Ludeman, Ludeman would win. 

Keith Wilkowski (D) – About two months ago Mr. Wilkowski started a political group to back the re-election campaign of Mayor Jack Ford. He gave a speech talking about how Mr. Ford was the most qualified candidate and yada yada yada. The first polls came out later that week showing that Ford would get beat by everyone else in the race and a few days later Mr. Wilkowski declared himself a candidate. It’s been speculated that Mr. Wilkowski is running only to steal votes from Carty. See, the Democrats have no serious Republican threat here so they feud amongst themselves. Anyway, Mr. Wilkowski’s speech was all about how he couldn’t hire people from central Toledo anymore because they were unskilled, uneducated, had bad attitudes, and had bad hygiene. That’s about when he realized that this debate was being held in…wait for it…central Toledo. 

Now if you were to read the Toledo Blade to get details on this election, you’d see articles like this one. Well, you’ll notice that they showed the four candidates and only talk about them, however there was one more candidate at the debates that night. 

Opal Covey (?) – Opal’s back story is a mix of rumor and urban legends. I don’t think anyone knows who she really is other than she has a lot of cats and she has been running for mayor for a while now. In fact, if you happen to see Opal driving around Toledo in her station wagon, you’ll know it’s her by the cardboard sign on the side of her car that says Opal for Mayor written in black marker. There were two highlights from Opal’s speech. First, when asked why she was running for mayor, she stated that “she had a vision in which God told her if she doesn’t become mayor, Toledo will be destroyed.” The second highlight came when asked what her plans are for when she became mayor. Her response was simple and I suppose logical to her, “I don’t really know right now, but I’m sure I’ll have more visions to tell me what to do before I become mayor.” 

I’m seriously thinking of voting for Opal and then quitting my job to become a comedian. With her at the helm of Toledo, I’d never run out of material.

 If these candidates were in a comedy, the critics would say that they were over the top and unbelievable, yet here they are in flesh and blood.

 You can’t make this stuff up.

Leisher  | 2234 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 22, 2005

Things which I was told to Fear:

I was born in....

1971, Richard Nixon.

The Vietnam War.
Bees and Wasps.

1976, Gerald Ford

The end-of-the-world predictions of suicidal, kool-aid drinking religious zealots.
A silent spring and environmental collapse.
Nuclear power plant meltdowns.

1979, Jimmy Carter

Crazy arabs (yes, I mean Iranians) taking Americans hostage.
Global cooling and the pending ice age.
Man-eating Africanized honeybees.
Oil embargos by crazy arabs.
An economic recession.
Gasoline lines.

1983, Ronald Reagan

Nuclear devastation in war between the USA and the USSR.
The end-of-the-world predictions of Nostradamus.
The Evil Empire and the Iron Curtain.
Nuclear power plant meltdowns.
Evil recreational drugs.

1990, George Bush

Crazy Arabs and the first Gulf War, which was sure to turn into the Vietnam War.
Nuclear weapons in the hands of former Soviet states.
An economic recession.

1992, Bill Clinton

Some crazy Arab blowing up Americans and American stuff across the world.
People crazy enough to challenge the United States Marines.
Global warming and the pending desert Earth.
An asteroid that will destroy all life on earth.
Cum stains and phone taps.

2000, George W. Bush

The overthrow of the American government by Republicans and the Supreme Court.
Nuclear weapons from former Soviet states in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists.
Some crazy Arab blowing up Americans and American stuff across the world.
Religiously fundamentalist countries.
Man-eating sharks.


Nuclear weapons designed by crazy arabs showing up in a cargo container in New York.
A "worse ever" hurricane season, which hasn't yet seen a single hurricane in NC.
The end-of-the-world predictions of environmentalists and liberal extremists.
Nuclear waste being stored under a mountain in the middle of nowhere.
Americans being kidnapped and beheaded by crazy arabs.
Environmental collapse due to easing of EPA restrictions.
Iraq reconstruction becoming the Vietnam War.
Man-eating militants with AIDS in the Congo.
Global warming and the pending ice age.
Surging gasoline prices.

Nothing ever changes, but the fear persists.

GORDON  | 1324 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 18, 2005

Contracts + Athletes.

I’m not going to beat this subject to death since that’s already been done by the MSM due to people like Terrell Owens, Javon Walker, Heinz Ward, etc. 

However, for those who may not be privy to the dealings of the professional sports world, it boils down to this: Pro athletes are signing long term deals and then demanding that their contracts be re-negotiated in the athlete’s favor after only a few years. In Terrell Owens’ case, he demanded that his contract be reworked after the first year of a seven year contract. 

This really seems to be more of an issue in football rather than the other “big 3” pro sports. 

The players that demand new contracts in the middle of a current contract will frequently bash their team, coaches, fellow players, etc to the media and also holdout from training camps, and in extreme cases, from entire seasons. 

Their argument is always the same: they performed better than the abilities/stats they used to negotiate their current contract. 

Imagine you own a business and you sign a deal with FedEx for 10 years that makes FedEx the exclusive vendor for your deliveries. However, in the second year, FedEx refuses to deliver your packages because instead of the two day delivery time the contract stipulates, FedEx is getting your packages delivered in one day so now they want more money from you. You can’t get another vendor of equal service because they are already tied up to other companies, so now you’re stuck with Jim’s Package Delivery Service. 

That’s the same thing the athletes are doing to the pro franchises. It’s blackmail and it’s bullshit. 

I hear a lot of people saying the players should get what they deserve and I agree, however let’s not forget that these players are getting paid millions to play games and not work for a living. Most of their careers span only a few years and they’ll never really have to work if they don’t waste their money. This is true even for some of the lower paid players. 

Is there anyone reading this who can stay home from work tomorrow and demand more money without getting fired? 

So I say if we are going to continue to allow players to not fulfill the stipulations of contracts they agreed to and signed just because they had one good season then I say let’s make the playing field fair for both sides. 

Start putting clauses in their contracts that state when the player doesn’t live up to expectations the club can get money back. How many millions have clubs pumped into 1st round draft picks who weren’t worth a tenth of the contract they signed? 

Or how about spreading the guaranteed money out over the length of the contract and replacing the difference with money available through incentives? This would be easy. A superstar could get $1 million in base salary and then get millions more based on performance instead of getting millions while sitting out with a sore toe. 

Oh, the player is hurt and can’t get more than his $1 million base salary that year? Tough shit. If a million a year isn’t enough for you, then maybe you shouldn’t be buying your wife’s cousin’s sister’s baby daddy a fucking hummer. 

Look, I’m not trying to spoil anyone’s party by saying they shouldn’t get the maximum amount they can get, even though they may not be worth it, but fuck. 

To claim that you can’t feed your family with $49 million or to holdout for more money after the first year of a seven year deal and claim you don’t think it’s a fair contract just shows that you’re ignorant. What are you signing the contract for if it’s not fair? 

If athletes want to renegotiate all the time, then why are they signing long term deals? With short terms contracts they could renegotiate all the time. That’s not what they want though because then they truly would be based on their latest performances. 

Players used to play because they loved the game. Larger contracts and bigger money became an added bonus and meant a better life. Now players just want the better life without earning it.    

Leisher  | 0901 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 17, 2005

Time to vent, again.

Apologies in advance to Leisher, who still likes the police.

So about an hour ago I'm leaving one place out in town to go pick up some lunch and take it home.

I pull out into the seven lane city street (3/3/1), and as it was a left turn during noon lunch hour I kind of had to pull out really fast.  But, I had plenty of time, and I quickly cross the road and settle into my far-right lane well ahead of all traffic.  Glancing at my speedometer I saw that I hadn't exceeded 50 mph... which is good, because the speed limit was 45 and there was a policeman in the middle lane, about 25 yards up.  A few car lengths.

I glance into my rear-view mirror and see some car coming up on me fast.  I guessed he had to be doing about 60.  I inwardly smiled because I figured he hadn't seen the cop yet, and was about to get busted.

The car coming up behind me swerves into the middle lane, zooms around me, and I assume he sees the cop and then he zooms back into my lane, directly in front of me and damned near hitting me.  I give him the "you're an asshole" honk and wait for the cop to get him... but it doesn't happen.

Intersection and a red light, and the cop ends up in a line a few car lengths behind me.

Green light and my fast-food joint is coming up on the right, and I see the cop cut his way into my lane a couple cars back.

I pull into the fast food joint, and the cop follows me in.

(Now taking bets on where you think this story is going)

I pull up to the microphone, and the cop pulls up to the other side of me, window open, signaling for me to open my window.  I think to myself mother-FUCK, you've got to be kidding.  He looked about 24 years old and skinny and had a scraggly trailer-park moustache.

I put down the passenger window, and this is the only thing nice I can say about him... he didn't arrest me when I got irate, and in fact kept his composure.

He said, "Sir, I just stopped you here to ask that you don't follow other cars so closely, because if he would have tapped his brakes you would have caused an accident."

I went right into angry mode.... couldn't help it.  I know that's bad, and need to work on it.  I said, "You didn't see him speed up to us, cut me off, and almost hit me?"

He said, "No sir, I didn't see that, and two wrongs don't make a right."

Me, continuing: "Because he did it right beside you, and I can't believe you didn't see it."

Him:  "No sir, but I saw you, and I'm asking that you don't tailgate other cars like I saw you doing."  He went off into a little mini-lecture about how I wouldn't be able to stop in time, but I didn't hear it... a curtain of red was falling over my vision.

I no longer trusted myself to say anything, so I just gave him the 'thumbs up.'

He said, "Have a nice day, sir."

I gave him the 'ok' sign, and he pulled away.

I'm surprised I didn't slip and flip him the bird.

Lesson learned: cops are obsessed with sports cars.  If you ever rob a bank, use a crappy beater as a getaway car, but have a buddy beside you in a sports car.  Have the buddy drive 6 mph over the speed limit.  The cops will forget all about you and the bank loot in the old Chevy Cavalier and pull over the sports car.


You know, if this kind of crap happened to anybody else, I'd never believe it.  I'd figure they were exaggerating.


GORDON  | 1306 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 16, 2005

One day in Texas....

Crawford, Texas, April 2005.  Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is meeting with President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Bush: Welcome to Texas, Ariel.  After we have some chili we'll hop in the pickup and drink some beers and shoot stuff.

Sharon: Thank you, George... I always feel at home in Texas, the only state in the world with a population as heavily armed as we are.

Both men laugh.

Sharon: But let me get to the point, George.  You and I both know the Iranians aren't stopping Uranium enrichment, even though they've told the EU they have.  And we both know that a country sitting on all of that oil doesn't need nuclear power plants.

Bush: Continue.

Sharon: We're going to make them stop, George, like in Iraq.  We're going to shoot first and call it self defense, because you know it is.

Bush:  Yeah, I know.  And you know.  But you know I already get a a ration of shit every time this administration supports you.  Hell, I agree with you.  You know I'd do it, in your place.  But how do I keep supporting you, after the fact?  Hell, I had actual UN resolutions backing me up in Iraq, but look at how that went.  Idiots still call it an illegal war.

Ariel: George, for some reason the survival of my own country is more important to me than the political future of the American Republican party.

Bush: I know you didn't come here without a plan.  Continue.

Ariel: Israel is blamed for most of the ills of the world, and for this reason we have no political currency to spend on the world stage for our own use.  Would you agree with this assessment?

Bush:  I would.

Ariel:  As such, I suspect that if we could gain some of this currency, we might be able to spend it on an action necessary for our survival, but will be seen by the islamicists and their supporters as evidence of our 'obvious evil.'

Bush: And where do you expect this currency to come from that will buy you a raid on Iranian nucular plants?

Ariel: I'm glad you asked, George.  For many years certain factions in the world have blamed our conquest and occupation of the Gaza strip as the source of the world's ills... if we were to pull out of Gaza, showing our good intent...


GORDON  | 0057 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 15, 2005

Movie Review: The Dukes of Hazzard.

Conclusion: It was brilliant.

Qualification: Everyone in the world, I don't care if you're 4 years old or live in AIDS stricken Zambia, know what to expect from The Dukes of Hazzard.  If you go to this movie expecting to see Laurence Olivier reading Tennessee Williams, then you are a dumbass and you deserve to have wasted eight bucks on a movie you never had any intention of enjoying in the first place.  If you're one of those assholes who went to go see it knowing you would hate it just so you could have some highbrow complaints about it to make yourself look superior, well you can bite my ass, too.

Dukes is about two things, and two things only: car chases, and good ol' boys from Georgia.  This is exactly what the movie delivers.  Now, there's a crapload more laughs than in the old TV show, but that's ok.  They tend to be belly laughs.

Johnny (oh god just stop doing that) Knoxville and Seann William (I have as many names as a presidential assassin) Scott play the Duke boys, and except that Scott adds an element of mental retardation to the character of Bo Duke, I am satisfied with their performances.  Actually, judging from Scott's past roles he may not be 'acting' slightly retarded... but that's ok.  He's always good for a laugh.

Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke.  Jessica Simpson.

She was so frikkin hot that she's going on my List, and that is saying a lot.  I was never a fan of hers before this movie... but every scene she's in, you just want to watch her.

Willie Nelson as Uncle Jessie..... he was cool.

Surprisingly, Burton Leon Reynolds Junior was quite weak as Boss Hogg.  I was not impressed.  But that's forgivable, too.  Hogg's actions definitely drive the story, but it isn't The Burt Reynolds show, so this weak performance is forgivable.

And Jessica Simpson made me have impure thoughts.  Her fake southern accent was rather pleasant.

There were several obvious continuity errors/mistakes, but again, who cares.  It's the frikkin' Dukes of Hazzard.

Three shots from the double-barreled shotgun out of two.  (Which you'll see.)

Because it's the frikkin' Dukes of Hazzard.

Dukes Spoiler Thread.

Dukes Non-Spoiler Thread.  Violators will be prosecuted.

Update (1:14 am, 8/16/2005): And for no good reason, here's three more gratuitous Jessica Simpson pics:

GORDON  | 2317 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


Hey Mom...

I know you weren't pleased with my decision to join the Marines, but for the most part you kept silent with your disapproval and let me live my life.  Over time, I think you accepted my decision, and perhaps even became supportive of it.  And fortunately you never had to get a visit from a member of the Ohio Marine I&I unit telling you I had fallen in the line of duty.

But if someday I volunteer for another cause in which I am risking my life in order to help others, and I fall, please don't pull a stunt like this.

GEORGE BUSH loves his Prarie Chapel Ranch in Crawford so much that he has spent almost one fifth of his presidency “taking the pulse of the heartlands” in this big-buckled, open — if not red — necked, beef-eating corner of Texas.

He knows this enthusiasm is not shared by everyone but apparently delights in forcing aides, journalists and, yesterday, even Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld, to do a stint of ranch duty. “I just checked in with the house, its about 100 degrees,” he told reporters with some relish on Monday.

Crawford would not even rate as a last resort for a summer holiday unless you happen to be President of the United States — or Cindy Sheehan.

She is one of America’s “Gold Star moms” after her 24-year-old son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in an ambush at Sadr City, Iraq, last year.

Ms Sheehan says that it was last weekend when she “spontaneously” decided to march up to the President’s gate for some answers. “I want to know what is this noble cause he says my son died for and why he doesn’t send his own daughters out there to fight for it.” 

I understand that she's a grieving mother.  Fine.  Whatever.  But I'd rather be remembered as a man who did his duty as he saw it... not as a bloody shirt to be waved to support a position that I disagreed with to such an extent that I gave my life in opposition to it.

I feel bad for her son more because of how he is being used in his death, not because he died doing something worthwhile.  We should all be so lucky.

GORDON  | 1309 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 12, 2005

Cleaning the Stalls V: Evolution.

For longer than anyone reading this has been alive there's been this burning question of the mechanics of life... either by Evolution, or some sort of divine tinkering that today goes under the guise of "Intelligent Design" ("Creationism" was sounding too churchy, so they had to change the name to make it sound less mythical).  Now, when I was about 10 and realized that in one place I was being taught about "survival of the fittest" and in another place I was being taught "God did it all in six days," I asked my Mom.  She said, "Well young GORDON, nobody really knows how long a day was, to God."  And that was enough to fill my glass of curiosity, for a while.

Later in high school I learned the actual mechanics of evolution, and I was always impressed with its elegant simplicity.  Now, I figured out years ago that it doesn't accomplish anything to debate people on whether or not God exists, no matter which side you're arguing.  You will never convince anyone, ever.  But what I still (probably shouldn't) respond to is when, when the subject of evolution comes up, someone dismisses it as "Evolution doesn't make sense... a monkey didn't turn into a man, and amoebas don't turn into tadpoles."  That bugs me, because that is stupid, because that's not the theory of evolution.

This post is not intended to attempt to kill your god, this post is intended to give a basic understanding of the Theory of Evolution, as Darwin proposed it.  As far as I'm concerned, the concept of God and the concept of evolution are not at odds.  It may be at odds with the Bible, but there's nothing wrong with the idea that God created life on Earth, and Evolution is how he did it.

So, in that spirit of helping you understand God better, if that's your thing, here's a basic evolution lesson.


Before I begin, I'll address the opposing viewpoint: just what is creation, or intelligent design?  Isn't it enough to just say "God did it?"  Well, God did what, exactly?  Fortunately, scholars of old pinned down what exactly is being talked about when you say God did it.  It's called Special Creation.... special as pertaining to species, not someone who has certain mental disabilities.  The idea of Special Creation is based on, obviously, old religious texts, and in some part on Greek Philosophy.  It states that all species were created separately and independently by a creator about 6,000 years ago.  Each species was created perfectly adapted to its environment and placed there at the beginning.  Species do not change over time, which is also known as Fixity of Species.

Now, before you start nitpicking, "Well, Intelligent Design doesn't necessarily have to mean this, or that..." allow me to describe the basic foundations of what makes something science, and then you'll see that it doesn't matter.

Conducting "science" is, by nature, very simple.  It begins with making an observation... seeing patterns in something.  This can be as basic as observing that whenever it gets cold outside, water freezes.  From an observation you propose a hypothesis, which can (and should) be as simple as... when water gets cold, it will freeze.  A hypothesis needs to be kept as simple as that, because the hypothesis prediction needs to be tested, and the easiest way to do that is to eliminate as many variables as possible.  "Water freezes when it gets cold" is a lot easier to test than "Stuff gets hard when it gets not hot."  Too many variables.

So, a valid hypothesis needs to be testable, and as such it needs to be falsifiable.  A hypothesis must be able to be disproved, otherwise it is not valid.  Louis Pasteur made some interesting predictions a while back, when he failed to spontaneously generate life in some bent flasks of sterile broth.  In fact, his experiments are still running to this day, and at any time his debunking of the Theory of Spontaneous Generation (life sprouts from non-life) can be disproved if any microbes do, in fact, pop up in those flasks.  This is why you can never actually prove anything, you can only disprove it.  Maybe it just takes a few hundred years for spontaneous generation to occur... we don't know yet.  Pasteur's work can't be proved, merely disproved.  So far, it's held up.

An experiment to test a hypothesis needs to be repeatable, with lots of replication and controls and randomization, all to eliminate variables.  When you put a glass of water in the freezer to make it cold, you also need a control glass of water kept at room temperature to make sure that all water in the vicinity didn't just spontaneously solidify... proving temperature was a factor.  You have to run the test with several different glasses of water to ensure you didn't have a unique, lucky batch.  And you have to do things like stagger the times you freeze the water, to ensure that it freezes both in daytime and nighttime.... randomization.  You need to test the hypothesis in different states and different elevations and different atmospheric pressures.... and uh oh!  you might might stumble upon the phenomenon of "supercooled" water, and then you need to throw out your hypothesis of "Water will freeze when it gets cold," because you've still left too many variables open.  Water does not always freeze when it gets cold.  You've proved your hypothesis wrong, but you've still gained knowledge from it.

That's science.

So, going back to the idea of Special Creation, and what makes good science... does Creationism withstand scrutiny?  Let's look at it.

"It states that all species were created separately and independently by a creator about 6,000 years ago."  If you give that as a hypothesis, is it testable?  Is it falsifiable?  Neither.  The Bible says it, and God Herself said that you just have to take it on faith... according to the Bible.  It is impossible to test, much less retest, include variables, etc.  Unless, of course, you can put God in a test planet and get Her into a cooperative mood.

"Each species was created perfectly adapted to its environment and placed there at the beginning."  If one believes in something as simple as the fossil record, this idea loses all credibility.  Dog fossils are never found in rock older than that which contains Tyrannosaurus fossils, ever.  If dinosaurs existed before dogs did, then obviously dogs weren't there at the beginning.

"Species do not change over time, which is also known as Fixity of Species."  I can think of several examples of a species changing within my own lifetime, off the top of my head.  In Great Britain there is a species of moth that comes in both black and white varieties (the same species, the same as black and white people are the same species).  The white moths used to reproduce more because when sitting on the lightly-colored bark of a birch tree, they could blend in and get eaten less.  Over time more soot-spewing factories appeared, which darkened the bark of the trees... giving the dark-colored moths an advantage.  In a very recent timeframe this species of moth has changed from being primarily light, to primarily dark.

There are many other points Creationists try to make, but none of the are testable.  "Spiders make silk out of two different glands... that's impossible to happen accidentally!  DNA is just too darned complex!  And what about eyes... how can eyes be all random and accidental??!!??"  But none of that is science, it's just pointing out different complex things.  I don't know about spider silk glands offhand, but I'd bet money that there's a chain of more primitive methods of insects producing silk that will show a logical progression of advancement, either currently alive or in the fossil record, if there are any traces left... squishy stuff doesn't fossilize well.  DNA is nothing more than simple, sequential instructions on how to make different proteins... period.  That's it.  It's not mysterious.  And I do know offhand that there are animals currently existing on Earth that have been observed to have light-detecting organs of varying complexity.  Any and all of these things can be explained, or observed, or at least questioned, through the use of the scientific method... saying "It had to have been designed purposely" cannot.  You can't test it, observe it, or otherwise make any conclusions about it.  Intelligent Design must be taken on faith.

I've now explained why Special Creation isn't good science, but what makes the Theory of Evolution good science?

The father of this theory is, as everyone knows, Charles Darwin... but to truly understand what he did you have to know upon whose shoulder he stood.

In 1665 Robert Hooke observed chambers in cork and called them "cells."

In the 1670's Van Leeuwenhoek observed single-celled "animalcules" in pond water.  These were bacteria and protozoa.

In 1735 Carolus Linnaeus devised the system for classifying and naming species, the binomial nomenclature (Homo sapiens), which brought about the tree of life.

In 1839 Schleiden & Schwann presented the Cell Theory, "All organisms are made of cells."  This can still be disproved, of course, as soon as someone finds a life form not based on cells.  Remember... one can't prove a theory, only disprove it.  It hasn't been disproved, yet.

In 1858 Virchow made the Theory of Biogenesis, "All cells come from pre-existing cells."  This has yet to be disproved... and can only be questioned in one instance (if all cells come from cells, where did the first cell come from?  Scientists have observed and studied this question, and have an excellent scientific theory, but this lesson is already long enough without going off on that tangent).  This directly opposed the Theory of Spontaneous Generation...

Which Pasteur put to bed in 1861 when he failed to produce life in his sterile, cell-less flasks.

In 1865 a monk named "Mendel" asked "Why do offspring resemble their parents?" and did some experiments with garden peas.  With his observations he came up with the Principle of Segregation, which stated that individuals possess 2 'particles' for each trait, which segregate into individual gametes (sperm or egg).  Mendel deduced the function of chromosomes 100 years before they could be observed.

Now, about the time that Mendel was cross-breeding peas, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace (who?) came up with the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, which stated that species come from existing species, and that species change over time.  Note that this is very similar to "cells come from existing cells."  The same patterns that Intelligent Design people cling to also occur in actual accepted science models.  Darwin observed that species adapted to new or changing environments.

It is important to note that the Theory of Natural Selection describes the nature of populations, not individuals.  Individuals do not evolve and pass on their acquired traits to offspring.  Arnold Schwarzenegger's kids will not be naturally muscle bound.  Populations, though, do change, adapt, and evolve.  I mentioned the moths in Great Britain, before.  No single moth changed color, but the occurrence of dark moths over light moths definitely increased within the population.  Before, the species would have been described as "primarily light in color," but that changed.  This has been directly observed, and supports Darwin's theory.  Another example is a certain fish in the Outer Banks area, where commercial fishing is heavy.  It is a law that fish under a certain size must be thrown back, as they are considered immature.  However, within that particular fish species, some were bigger as adults, and some were smaller... just like humans and most other species on the planet.  These larger adults are being taken out of the breeding population by fishermen, and the smaller adults are being released as immature, even though they aren't.  Before, it could be observed that the average size of members of that fish species were X inches long, today it can be observed that the average size is X-Y inches long, Y being equal to the decrease in adult fish size.  This population is growing smaller as a species, and this has been observed and recorded in the present day.  This has been directly observed, and supports Darwin's theory.

The fossil record supports Darwin's theory.  There aren't many present-day species found in the record more than a million years ago, but more primitive homologues, or similarities, are.  And farther back in the record, the same thing.  And so on and so on, for a couple billions years, give or take.

Other evidence that all species are related, and descended from other species, and not created in-place:

Homologies - similarities among species that are not functionally necessary.

  • Structural homologies: The forelimb structure of tetrapods.  From monkeys to humans to dogs to whales to fruit bats, the forelimbs consist of a single humerous, a pair of bones in the forearm, and the same phalange/carpal/metacarpal digit structure.  Why would this be, unless they were related?
  • Developmental homologies: Similarities in structure and development pathways of embryos.  For example, vertebrate embryos, early in development, have gill pouches and tails.  Why would this be, unless they were related to other things with gills and tails?
  • Genetic and molecular homologies: common sequences of proteins and/or genes.  Organisms inherit genes from their ancestors.  Species with the same genes have a common ancestor, and mutations occur over time.  Why would a pine tree need an identical genetic structure as people, unless they were distantly related?

Analogies - Similarities among species that are functionally necessary.  Arise through convergent evolution (different species evolve similar features because each has adapted to the same environment or way of life).

  • Dolphins and sharks are not closely related... one is a fish and the other a mammal, but both are torpedo shaped for speed through the water.

Biogeography - The study of patterns of geographical distribution of species.  Most species have restrictive ranges... there are deserts on every continent, but cacti only occur naturally in N. America, for example.  Why, unless species only come from other species, and plants only evolved into cacti in this one area?  Zebras only occur naturally in Africa, even though there are other climates across oceans where they could thrive.  Same for Kangaroos in Australia, and Venus Flytraps only occur naturally within a 100 mile radius of Wilmington, North Carolina.  This isolation of species is strongly suggestive that Special Creation doesn't hold water, and evolution by natural selection does.

The actual Theory of Natural Selection is as follows:

  • Individuals within a population vary in their traits.  Some people have brown eyes, some have blue.
  • This variation is heritable.  Barring a very specific mutation, 2 blue-eyed parents will always have blue-eyed offspring.
  • More offspring are produced than can survive, so there is a struggle for survival.  Only a small percentage of turtle eggs that are laid will produce turtles that will survive to adulthood, and this was true even before humans came along.
  •  Individuals that survive have traits that give them an advantage over others, and they pass these traits on to their offspring.  The smaller fish were thrown back, and they went on to produce more, smaller fish.
  • Frequency of adaptive traits increases generation after generation.  Those moths in England used to be mainly white, now they're mainly dark.

In a nutshell, the definition of Evolution is a change in the frequency of alleles (traits) in a population, over generations.

That's it.

It doesn't mean a monkey turned into a man, or an amoeba had paramecium babies.

And Darwin didn't just dream this stuff up, like someone did with the Bible's creation story... unless you think God's court reporter made a transcript of the first days.  Darwin actually traveled and observed and saw patterns and hypothesized, and came up with a working model to explain the similarity, yet diversity of life on an island chain off the coast of South America.  And his work has withheld unforgiving scrutiny for over 150 years.  Special Creation, or Intelligent Design, or whatever you want to call it has not withheld this scrutiny, because saying "God or aliens designed it all a long time ago, and we have to accept it on faith" cannot be scrutinized in any way, unless you find someone's signature written in DNA in some critter, somewhere.

It isn't science.

Now, I know there is room for questions here, such as how the first cells could have been formed from chemicals, and not cells.  And there are answers, I'm just not going to address them, here.

I may address those types of questions in the Feedback thread, if asked.  But then I'm feeling rather drained at the moment, and I may not.  In case you didn't notice, I just regurgitated a metric assload of information  ;)

GORDON  | 1606 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 10, 2005

Join the Army, become a Dick.

These new army recruiting commercials are on about 50 times a day on Spike TV.  

I've seen two: in one, this young veteran is joining some sort of helicopter mechanic outfit.  The boss in about to introduce him to his crew, and they're making their introductions and whatnot, and one asks, "Have you ever worked on anything this fast, before?"  Then the young guy has some sort of Post-Traumatic flashback of Army Apache helicopters, he focuses back to reality, and deadpans, "Yeah, I have."  No smile, no attempt to be congenial.  If I'd have been on that crew, I'd immediately have pegged him as some sort of uptight dick.

The other commercial is even worse: a group of buddies is sitting around discussing video games, and all of a sudden another guy walks in in this uniform and new black beret and starts by insulting all of them, "Some things never change," suggesting that he's outgrown... I don't know... shooting the shit with buddies.  He walks up and they all give him the stiff, cool-guy hug.  The guys are interested in his well-being... "How's the army treating you?"  He answers, "Good, real good."  They ask, "What do they have you doing?"  He deadpans, "Working with computers."  The room is hushed, like the guy just admitted to being Jesus raised come to take the faithful home.  Someone asks, "Couldn't you have done that around here?"  And again we see some sort of flashback to Nam or Grenada or something where they guy has visions of some hardcore data processing in a hectic combat zone.  He snaps out of his fugue, gets a blank look in his eyes, and deadpans, "No, I couldn't."  At that point his former buddies are wondering how to ditch the dickhead.

I suppose these commercials are designed to show how a boy becomes a man and a leader, or have confidence, or something, but they leave me cold.  It looks to me like the army jams a stick up your ass and turns you into an asshole.

This is a shitty recruiting campaign.  It doesn't surprise me that army recruiting numbers are down.  The "Army of One" campaign was shitty and stupid, too.  Nobody in the army works alone except for Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now.

GORDON  | 1233 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 9, 2005

Everything Except Being Themselves.

But that's not really accurate, is it... the problem is, being 'themselves' is losing elections.

Democrats, obviously.

Now, I'm not going to write an essay on why they're losing, I'll just sum up what everybody (except them) already knows:  they lose because they don't really stand for anything except themselves (a trait Republican politicians are taking on themselves the last few years).

But really, people, do you need to spend $80 million to try and learn how to think?

80 liberals each pledge $1 million for alliance
Donors hope to copy success of think tanks run by conservatives

On second thought, maybe that's what they need.  Problem is, the smarter you get, the more conservative you lean (that's my own two cents, obviously... I could have just saved them $79,999,999.98).  They are either spending $80 million to be more conservative, or they are spending $80 million to trick voters into thinking they are conservative.  Good stuff.

"I hate Republicans and everything they stand for..." so we will now spend $80 million to figure out how to be more like them.

I hope they get the brilliant Michael Moore, Al Franken, and Alec Baldwin for their "think tank."  No reason, of course.

GORDON  | 1955 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 8, 2005


"Some People Spend An Entire Lifetime Wondering If They Made A Difference...Marines Don't Have That Problem" - President Ronald Reagan, 1985

Some people join the military because they're forced to.  Even in my recruit training platoon in 1991 there was a guy who claimed the judge told him he could go to jail, or join the Marines.  He had the guts (or the obstinacy?) to join the Marines.

With some guys, I had no idea what they were doing there.  There were a lot of people who really didn't seem in their element when it came time for the hard stuff... I remember one of them falling off a high rope in the confidence course into a rope net, breaking both his ankles.  He had made it 2 feet down the rope, another 2 feet and he would have been over water.  Bye bye.  The rest of us made it the 100 feet to dry land.  Those who didn't injure themselves were the guys we'd end up dragging on the runs, because "nobody gets left behind."  Not many of these guys made it to graduation with our class.

Our platoon guide, a 30 year old unsuccessful professional golfer, told the Drill Instructors one day that he'd joined the military to get away from a woman.  We had a lawyer in the platoon, too. I have no idea why he joined enlisted, as a college degree allows you to join the military through Officer Candidate School... which is a psychological cakewalk compared to Marine enlisted recruit training.

Some of us, and I include myself in this last group, joined because we felt compelled to. I remember my own epiphany came the night the (first) air war started in Iraq. I was just screwing around with my life not doing anything, and I saw these other kids my age over there putting themselves in harm's way and standing against a tyrant. At the time nobody was sure of our military prowess in the post-Vietnam era, so Saddam's army was a very scary thing, then.

Choice of service wasn't even an option. I didn't spend a single minute deciding which branch to serve. There was never any other option besides the toughest.  I wasn't joining the military because it was easy, I was joining because it was hard, and I wasn't going to half-ass it. I enlisted in the Marines in 1991 the day after the Iraqi air war started.

I served my 4 years with distinction, being promoted faster than most of my peers.  Achieving the rank of E-4 in the Marines is probably the hardest promotion to get, because that is the line between, well, to put it in simple terms, at E-3 you're cleaning shitters, and at E-4 you're supervising the cleaning of the shitters.  It shows you can now handle responsibility.  In 1991 average time from E-1 to E4 was 48 months; I made it in 36.  There were others of us like that; the younger guys that the old crusty jarheads felt comfortable with.  They knew we could be trusted to follow the code, keep our heads, and get the job done.  Four years, and four rows of ribbons.  I'd been around. I guess I can thank the fact I'd gone directly into a grunt unit... meaning we were always packed up and on call to go to war. 

And we did.  Gladly.  Training gets monotonous and makes you want to scream... a Marine going to an actual war is like giving a thoroughbred horse his head in the final furlong.  It's what Marines were made for.

If you weren't there, you'll never understand.  You can be empathic and understanding, but you wont have the ten thousand memories of the sights and sounds of things exploding and smells of scored carbon and the sting of bloody feet and aching back and confusion and the general pastiche of the experience.

GORDON  | 1037 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 7, 2005

Just a little FYI...

Did you know there was more than one contributor of articles on dtman.com?  It's true.

The author of each post here on dtman.com always put their name at the bottom of their individual posts, which are clickable if you want to send that particular author an email.  But also, at the head of each post, is a personalized "avatar" which differentiates which author wrote which post.  This is a quick visual cue for the regular readers of this page to see who wrote what, at a glance, if the reader doesn't wish to scroll to the bottom of the post to see the author's name.

For the record,



There have been other contributors in the past, and there may be more in the future.  An invitation has been extended to one of the forum regulars, in fact.  Lately I've made the majority of the posts around here, but Leisher has always been skulking around in the shadows even when he was on posting sabbatical.

Ok then.


GORDON  | 0244 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 5, 2005

Reality vs. Self-Esteem.

Dove has come out with a new ad campaign for their creams and lotions featuring “real women” with “real bodies”

Dove claims that it’s a statement about women and how they should feel good about themselves the way they are and not feel bad because they don’t look like the normal models Dove would use. Essentially, they are trying to reach out to women who won’t ever achieve that “perfect body” and they’re telling them that it’s ok. Basically they’re doing this to sell a product. Not that I’m saying Dove doesn’t believe in women having a high self-esteem. It’s just that I doubt you’d be hearing this message if there wasn’t a product they were pushing. 

However, Dove’s motivations aren’t why I’m writing about this today. No, I’m questioning the message we’re sending to people. Is it doing more harm than good when we tell people to be proud of who they are physically? 

Think about it. 

On one hand, it’s fantastic that we’re telling people to be comfortable with who they are and how they look. On the other, we’re telling people to stay in an unhealthy state and not to do anything about it. 

Look, I’m not saying that someone who is fat should have low self-esteem. Nor am I saying that people should constantly strive for the “perfect body”. What I’m saying is that telling someone who is obese to it’s ok and they should be proud of it is ridiculous and dangerous for that person. 

These are our friends and people we care about right? So why should we be telling them to be ok with their obese frame? Do people normally wish their friends would die of heart disease? Do we want our fat family members to be obese? Is it ok that our kids can’t have a game of catch with their dad without getting winded? Hell, even if they’re not your friends or family, don’t they drive up YOUR insurance costs? 

I call “Horseshit!” It’s time to end this charade. This is yet another example of how political correctness is out of control and a danger to this country and those who live within it. 

We are telling our loved ones to suffer and die and be proud of it. 

Not buying it? Think about this, here’s some of what you’ve had hammered into your head since you were born:

  • Friends don’t let friends drive drunk
  • Talk to your kids about drugs.
  • Smoking causes cancer.
  • Store your guns and ammo out of reach of children and lock them up.
  • Give a hoot, don’t pollute.

Good stuff right? Makes sense as all that stuff it deadly and dangerous and all that crap.  Well according to the CDC, diseases of the heart were the leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2002. 

So where are the “Candy causes lard asses” and “Friends don’t let friends eat super-sized meals” campaigns? 

Why has our society accepted overeating, yet we turn our noses up at smoking? With nearly 800,000 deaths between heart diseases and diabetes, why is it that one kid who dies from inhaling Dust-Off gets mainstream press and email campaigns warning everyone, yet there is no campaign about overeating? 

Being obese gets covered every now and then by the MSM whenever it’s sweeps season and they think they can get people’s attention with it, but nobody makes it out to be a huge deal that MUST be dealt with like we do with smoking.

 Now before I finish up here, I want to point out that I do NOT think the girls in the campaign are obese. Nor would I even classify them as fat. In fact, the only negative thing I’d say offhand is that the tattoo is ugly on the one girl’s thigh.

 The whole point of this is that we should NOT be celebrating people who are out of shape or obese with the typical “Be proud of who and what you are” bullshit. 

Yes, be proud of who you are, but stay healthy because the people who love you want you around for a long, long time. 

And if you still don’t get my point, ask yourself this: Why are there no real obese women in that ad?

Because even Dove knows that “self-esteem” has a realistic limitation.

Leisher  | 2005 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink

Local government red tape.

Adding on to the house, and I'm getting a personal education on the... intrusiveness? of local government.

First step was, of course, filing all permits before I was allowed to do whatever I wanted on my own, private property.  If I'd lived in a planned community I'd have had to begin with asking permission from them, but fortunately, I don't.  So, city hall wanted floor plans and existing property line layouts before they would issue the building permits.  I gave them the copies of the actual documents I received from their own department when I originally bought the house 11 years ago.  If I had planned on building within 10 feet of the boundary of my own property, I'd have had to get an easement approved by my neighbor.

Once the permits were secured, construction could begin... intermittent construction, anyway, as we had to wait for a city inspector before any given next step could begin.  What follows is a list of what the city has inspected, so far.  Each inspection constituted at least one, and at times four days of construction delay:

  • Inspection of projected foundation lines and batter board.

  • Inspection of actual footer dig and reinforcement rod placement.

  • Inspection of plumbing before footer could be poured, including pipe pressure testing.  He nitpicked a small item, to be corrected.

  • Inspection of footer pour.

  • Inspection of block foundation.

  • Inspection of pre-slab pour.

  • Inspection of insect treatment.

  • Inspection of poured slab.

  • Inspection of the framing of the house.

  • Inspection of the roof trusses, pre-installation.

  • Inspection of the roof trusses, once installed.

  • Inspection of the house sheeting.

  • Inspection of the electrical rough-in (running the wires). He nitpicked a small item, to be corrected.

  • Inspection of heating and air conditioning, and duct work. He nitpicked a small item, to be corrected.

  • Final plumbing inspection... he wanted another pressure test, but the juncture to be sealed was now under the slab.  For a moment I was afraid he'd want the slab ripped up so the soil pipe could be tested.  He nitpicked a small item, to be corrected.

  • Insulation inspection.  That was this morning.  He nitpicked a small item, to be corrected.

By the time construction is done, he'll want to:

  • Inspect the nitpicked insulation issue.

  • Inspect the drywall.

  • Final inspections on electrical and HVAC.

At that point, the city might actually keep their noses out of my business for a little while.

Now, I understand that these inspections are intended to keep me safe from shoddy contracting work... but give me a break.  I neither need nor want their interference.  I know enough about construction to probably recognize if they are trying to cut corners.  As it is, building codes are a lot sturdier than they used to be, anyway, at least in these parts (a couple bad hurricanes landed here in the 90's).  In my perfect world the onus to secure a competent, honest contractor is on me, just as it is my responsibility to ensure quality control.  I don't like the city holding my hand and wiping my ass and supporting an entire city department funded by traffic fines and sales taxes and other public money.

Yeah, I realize that most people don't have my construction experience, but I don't really care and don't want my tax money to pay for their hand holding.  This reliance on the government to hold peoples' hands is the exact reason people don't bother to take care of themselves and educate themselves, any more.  Their problem, not mine.

Building a 50-floor office building?  Sure, regulate the hell out of it.  Me, adding 300 square feet to a house on my private property?  Stay out of my business.  Adding on a room to a house isn't rocket science, but it is regulated as such.

GORDON  | 1456 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink



GORDON  | 0139 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 4, 2005

Et tu, Walt?

Walter Disney, I thought I knew ye.

Last night I saw a DVD of Disney's new movie Bambi.  I thought it would make a nice addition for a kid's DVD library.  I popped it in the player and took it for a watch.

Boy, was I pissed by the end of the movie.  It's a broad and vast liberal indictment of America-hating anti-conservatism in a nice shiny package intended to indoctrinate children at a young age.

Oh, it starts out innocently enough... a newborn Bambi finding his legs in a nice, peaceful meadow under the tutelage of his mother (at least I assumed it was a "he..." the deer has a stripper's name, and no visible genitalia.  Obviously suggestive and supportive of male emasculation).  It seemed to hearken to what the hippies see as a "golden age" for their unwashed movement, perhaps the 1960's when they were all out at Woodstock making peace, love, and dope.

Goddam hippies.

But anyway, here's Bambi in the meadow with his Mom.  Obvious question:  where's the father?  This is obviously a message that males are neither needed nor wanted in the perfect hippy utopian world of happy bunnies and other woodland creatures.  The male in this movie is a dark, shadowy creature feared by all, not revered and respected like in a normal, Christian community.  Bambi lives his informative years protected by the apron of his mother, and befriended by the nature worshiping hippy skunks, one of whom was unashamedly named "Flower."  It's so obvious that it's ridiculous.  Bambi is a metrosexual.

Bambi gets a girlfriend, and they engage in premarital sex.  At least, one assumes they did, with the "tasteful fade to black."  There was no wedding ceremony that I observed, anyway.  Maybe the fade out was to hide the satanic rites they preformed prior to fornicating, in order to bring about the birth of a Michael Moore-loving offspring who would fawn over whichever Democratic candidate Howard Dean serves up in 2008.

But their perfect little life goes on all happily in their thinly disguised commune, where there are no property lines... a direct assault on capitalism and private property rights, by the way.  And when does the world all go to hell?  When the evil Second-Amendment-loving men with assault guns show up, obviously.  BAM, and Bambi's Mom takes one for the team... but it sure isn't portrayed that way.  It's supposed to be seen as an evil crime, or something.  I actually thought the movie might be turning around when the Father shows up, no longer kept away by Bambi's Mom's restraining order against him.... but what happens as soon as Bambi has a strong father figure?  That's right, their entire world is destroyed in a massive forest fire.  Message: Men in charge = the end of the world.

This is going to be a popular film among the moonbat community who will use it to baby-sit their tie-dye clad children in between taking them to drug legalization rallies and then the airport to spit on troops returning from Iraq.  The fact that this movie was released after the 2000 election lends great support that the creators have a strong anti-Bush agenda.  The only real question left to ask is... why does Disney hate America?

GORDON  | 0939 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 3, 2005

Crummy marketing.

FYI - There's quite the lively debate happening in Feedback in response to this post.


Last Saturday the wife and I had lunch at Applebee's, and they had an entire sub-menu dedicated to these new dishes they had, served in bowls.  Some were lettuce based, some rice, and some pasta... and all contained some meat, or another.

Whatever, right?

Well today I'm at the town's longest red light, and I'm just checking out these scenery... and on the Applebee's marquee (oooo... I spelled marquee correctly right out of the gate) I saw their little promotion for this new sub-menu... "Our new menu will BOWL you over."

Oh.  My.  God.


I wondered why they'd pick such a lame slogan, when so many popped into my head so quickly...

"We'll pack your bowls deep with hot, steamy goodness."

"You'll love eating out of our bowls."

"Our bowls and your mouth... a match made in Heaven!"

You know, sitting at that long red light it didn't seem like all of my slogans were just different plays on the same distasteful joke.  I too am lame.

GORDON  | 1631 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 2, 2005

No Child Left Behind.

The following short story is right out of my frikkin' head.


One year and one day after he accepted the newly created post of Director of Children, Clarence Mathews was not a happy man.  As he sat slouched in his overstuffed office chair staring at the oak top of his desk he knew he'd have to take action, or be seen as an utter failure by the President.  He considered the fact that he'd completely failed at the mission he had been assigned a year ago, and knew he'd have to act fast to try and recover the situation.  To do otherwise would mean his dismissal...of that he was sure.  He fingered the intercom button, and leaned forward to speak at it, "Miss Rogers, please assemble my staff in the conference room in one hour."  

The thin pink voice from the intercom answered, "Yes, Mr. Mathews."  Clarence leaned back in his chair and sighed deeply, staring at all those books on the shelves in his office.  He wondered to himself who could ever have time to read all those books, as he waited for the meeting to start.


Clarence Mathews, Director of the newly-created Department of Children, strode into his conference room ten minutes late.  Every chair at the long table was filled, except for the chair at the head.  He sat briskly and lifted his head to address the room.  Without making eye contact with any particular person he announced, "I apologize for my tardiness.  Today's crisis is a bussing issue in Phoenix... it's those Arizonans, again."  The room erupted in tittering laughter.  "The fact they've never embraced to government's education plan only illustrates why it is so badly needed there."  Mumbles of yes sir, and sounds about right filled the room.

Taking a glass of water from the pitcher on the table, Clarence took a drink and cleared his throat.  "As you people know, yesterday I received the results of the President's Education Plan for Year Zero.  The President won his office largely on his promise that he would ensure every child received an above-average education.  The school year ended last month across the nation, and 48,946 children were given the Debian-Mathews-Broad testing to see how we did the first year.  Results were, regrettably, across the board... the majority of children scored within the 70th percentile, with smaller numbers above and below.  What is most disturbing, though, is that exactly half of these children scored below average, for the group."  Mathews paused a moment to let the gasps die down.  "As you know, this is simply unacceptable.  Here's what we're going to tell the President..."


Two years and one day after he accepted the newly created post of Director of Children, Clarence Mathews was not a happy man.  His elbows were leaving smudges on his oak top desk as he leaned forward to rub his temples.  He pressed the intercom button and leaned toward it, "Miss Turner, please have my staff assemble in the conference room in one hour."  A pink voice responded, "Yes, Mr. Mathews."  Clarence leaned back in his chair, staring at the wall of books lining his bookshelves.  One of these days I need to see what those are, he thought to himself.


Clarence Mathews, Director of the newly-created Department of Children, strode into his conference room fifteen minutes late.  "Apologies for my tardiness... today's crisis is a community in Alabama who attempted to keep their children out of school to be taught at home.  At home!  They actually think they are more qualified that their government to educate their children!"  The room filled with hearty laughter, and smatterings of applause.  Holding up his hands to quite the room he continued, "I'm afraid we've had to invoke the Forced Learning Clause again... the Army has been dispatched.  You'd think these people would learn the first fifteen times.  But I digress..."  Clarence opened his attaché and took out some papers.  "As you know, yesterday I received the results of the President's Education Plan for Year One.  This, as we know, was the big one... after last year's results the President was able to get by by claiming he has the previous administration's incompetence to fix, but he promised results by this year.  The results are in.

"We adjusted the test by removing most science and math components in the name of removing racial bias from the tests..." turning his eyes to the room he quipped, "all the students can't be Asian, am I right?"  Laughter in the room.  "The revised Debian-Unger-Mathews-Broad tests were administered to 49,154 students last month, at the end of the school year.  It was encouraging to see that the majority of students scored in the 80th percentile... of that we can be proud.  The problem lies..."  Clarence stood up, fists on his desk.  He wondered if he looked tough.  "Exactly half of the children still scored below average for the group."  The room erupted in noise and confusion, drowning out Clarence's angry recriminations of this is not improvement, people.  "We should be able to keep our jobs by giving the President the percentile improvement, but he's going to expect that problem with 50% of American students scoring below average-thing fixed by next year.  Here's what we're going to do..."


And I really have no idea where to go with it.  I envision Clarence making his test easier and easier, and Americans getting dumber and dumber.  Eventually 50,000 kids will ace D.U.M.B. test, as soon as the provision went in that the kids too stupid to write their own names correctly would have their tests thrown out of tabulation.

But there it is.

GORDON  | 2032 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


August 1, 2005

Nebraska to Parents: Don't Worry About Raising Your Kids.  We'll Take Care of It.

As far as I can glean from recent news reports...

In Nebraska, a 21 year old man impregnated a 13 year old girl.  The couple discussed it with their families, and it was decided by all that the best course of action would be for the couple to cross the border into Kansas and get married, where it is legal for girls 12 and older to be married with parental consent.  Consent was given, they were married, and the newliweds went home to Nebraska.

Six months later, the state of Nebraska catches on, and the husband is thrown in jail for raping a minor.

The state of Nebraska has now shit on the rights of parents to legally give consent, and has shit upon the reciprocity laws concerning marriage.  Apparently Nebraska is now able to declare void any marriage from other states that they don't like... imagine Nebraska no longer recognizing a legal wedding in Las Vegas.

But what chaps my ass even harder is the fact that it was an unfortunate situation, and the girl's parents, probably after a sleepless night or two, decided it would be best for all involved to let their daughter get married and start a life with the new baby.  But, then Nebraska slams the brakes on that and throws the husband, and most likely the family's breadwinner, in jail... leaving a 7-months pregnant girl to fend for herself.

Is the girl better off at this point?  Will the kid be better off with its father doing 50 years on jail?  Will Nebraska cause this girl to be de-screwed by prosecuting the father?

I find the situation somewhat distasteful, but even 75 years ago it wasn't uncommon for 14 year old girls to get married, especially in the mountain and southern states.

On what I'm sure is a completely unrelated note, this Protecting the Children crusader in Nebraska, Jon Bruning, is up for reelection soon.  If you disagree with his decision to break up a family, let him know about it.  I have.  I hope he doesn't try to throw my Dad in jail, or something.

GORDON  | 2213 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink



So Congress wouldn't vote on his nomination before they recessed, so Bush made a Recess Appointment and now gruff, but lovable, John Bolton is now the United States ambassador to the United Nations.  He gets to keep the post until at least 2007 when the next session of Congress begins (as I understand it), at which time I guess they get to vote on him.

The main argument against him is that he isn't a very diplomatic person... he has a tendency to speak his mind even when he knows it will hurt peoples' feelings.  This is very different from being wrong, by the way.  No one has suggested that he isn't qualified, only in that he is prone to utter the occasional hard word when others would choose to acquiesce to politically correct appeasement or stupidity.

I have no problem with someone unafraid to utter the truth in spite of someone's feelings.  I once happily accepted a job when the CIO of the company at which I was interviewing actually threatened to personally kill me if I ever stole from the company... I figured boss like that wouldn't have a lot of use for corporate politics.  I hate corporate politics.

So, here's to hoping that Bolton is able to cut through the bullshit at the UN.  I'd love to see a weekly press conference by Bolton, aired during primetime, in which he gives his own personal point of view at what he's seen transpire that week... Food for Oil cover-up, UN peacekeepers running child prostitution rings, refusing to call the slaughter of millions of people, based on which tribe they belonged to, a genocide... and failing to enforce or even recognize their own resolutions.  That would be some must-see TV.

And in case John Bolton doesn't work out, here's another Bolton I'd support for the position:

GORDON  | 2033 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 29, 2005

16-Color Movie Contest II

Update (12:17, 8/1/2005) Turns out this contest was harder than I thought.  I'm going to call it CLOSED at 9pm today, eastern time zone.  Right now, approximately noon, I'm going to add a line from the movie for each scene.  I'm giving the lines out of my head, so they may not be exact, but I'll get it as close as I can.

Update (10:51 PM, 8/1/2005)  The contest is closed, and the winner is the DTMan forum's own Malcolm, with 8 correct answers out of 11.  The answers are now in the Feedback thread, so if you don't want to see them, don't look in the forum.


It was popular last time, so here's Round 2.

Again, give answers in the Feedback thread.  First person to list all movies correctly, wins.  I will say either "correct" or "incorrect" to submissions... I will not say which movies were correct or incorrect.

Winner gets mad props.

No fair looking at file names.


You lose it out here and you're in a world of hurt.  (or... in a hurt locker? I can't remember which)


But beyond that... smaller than the subatomic...in between the electrons and tachyons... that is where the ghosts live.


Gotta walk before you can crawl.
Reverse that.


Excuse me for being rude.

It's a snow cone maker.


Who's laughing now?


You run, and you get a set of chains.  You run again and you get two sets of chains.  Nobody gets a third set.


Type in all 9's, hit the square root button, and take the integer....


Just two-bits to see the dancing freak.


He isn't dead, and do you know why? Because I haven't killed him yet. 


Just funny looking in a general way.


 Here was the first 16-Color Movie Contest.

GORDON  | 1348 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 28, 2005

The Mysterious Mind of a Liberal.

Going to keep the commenting sort of terse... and mainly just highlight some comments from an anti-Bush website that posted a video clip of what looks like President Bush shooting the bird at some reporters.

 I personally have no problem with people shooting reporters the bird.

The site, and the comments in question.

It starts out tame...

Now that's what I call a class act!
Posted by: Mad Kane

But quickly crashes into the cliffs of insanity:

Norm, he's never had respect for the Office of President of the United States of America.
Posted by: Matthew 

Clinton used to get blowjobs in the Oval Office.

BushCo. - Where discourse is relegated to the gutter.

i wish that were an impeachable offense.
Posted by: watertiger 

Clinton used to get blowjobs in the Oval Office.

It goes on and on like that... and people even start arguing about whether it is his middle finger, or his thumb.  People claim to have examined every frame and say that as he lowers his arm, it's clearly his thumb... but then some "anon" person says it's his middle finger.

Ah well.  I go both ways on it... I like a President who can tell the dickheads to fuck off, but on the other hand it may not be "presidential."

Most liberals were only 12 when Clinton was getting impeached, anyway.  I don't really expect them to know what hypocrites they are.

Strange thing about that site... liberals claim to be all "tolerant" and stuff, but that site clearly slams scientology... just like I do.  I guess their tolerance doesn't extend to the spiritual.

As a great cat once said:

Conservatives object to behaviors-- promiscuity, homosexuality, taxation-- while liberals object to ideas-- racism, sexism, Christianity. So, to a conservative tolerance means allowing people to behave strangely, while to a liberal it means never telling anybody they're wrong.

I have no problem letting people know when they're wrong.

GORDON  | 2344 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


Website Stats.

According to the logs, DTMan.com has received over 3100 unique visitors for the first 28 days of July, 2005. That may be a record.

"Total hits" register over 300,000 for the month, and a lot of other sites use that number to brag, but it's never felt like an honest number, to me.  That number includes daily repeat visitors, each image that loads on a page, search engine indexing hits, and so on.

I'm happy claiming over 3k unique visitors in a month.

Onward and upward.

GORDON  | 1419 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 27, 2005

The AFL-CIO Split.

Regular readers of DTMan.com, all four of you, know that I am anti-labor union.  My opinion is derived from the belief in basic economic principles that the higher the wages of people producing goods and services, the higher the prices of goods and services.  A good setup for members of the union with their artificially inflated salaries, but bad for everybody else.  But then again, it's not really that good for the union members when their wages go so high that it becomes cheaper for the company to close their plant in America and move it overseas.  Labor unions were relevant during the industrial revolution in the 19th and 20th century, but today the labor laws that didn't exist then are in place, and the unions are a self-serving bureaucracy existing not to protect workers from employers, but merely to protect their own paychecks derived from dues received from workers.  With a business model like that, marketing is key.

Union leadership is very pro-Democrat, and anti-Bush... in spite of President Clinton's NAFTA treaty which removed all barriers to trade within in North America... meaning there is no protectionism of American jobs via tariffs.  Evidence of this bias is apparent in the AFL-CIO's webpage which prominently displays a "BushWatch" section.  There are some employment numbers under "BushWatch" that I find dubious.  Yet more bias is in an omission in their "Union History and Culture" section.  It contains a timeline of labor union philosophy from the 1600's to present.  It also leaves out all mention of Eugene V. Debs, one of the first labor union organizers in America, and who was more influential on organized labor in America than was Jimmy Hoffa.  He was also a president of the Socialist Party of America.  I wonder why the AFL-CIO no longer wants him to be remembered and associated with them?  My guess is the bad PR.  Hard to claim you protect workers in a capitalist system when your foundation is deeply rooted in the writings of Karl Marx.

Now, let me be clear about one thing... your typical union member is not a commie, or evil, or the devil.  Adam Smith himself said that people need to make the decisions that are in their own best interests, and for a lot of people that means taking a job in a union shop in order to put food on the table.  Again, this is directly in the best interests of the union employee; the effect it has on their future job security is an abstract that people with hungry kids can't base any decisions on.  Even if they'd be willing to take a particular job without union "protection," often times they can't due to the company being a "closed shop."  Many people are forced into union membership whether they desire it or not... and every union member has their dues withheld from their paychecks.  You can't even protest membership by withholding payment.  There is no more slave labor in this country; it has transformed into being slaves to Labor.

Today, the AFL-CIO is facing a major schism.  

Critics say the union should shift its emphasis from electoral politics to finding new members.

It seems that some union members no longer like being forced to pay dues to an organization that gives their money to Democrats who say things like, "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for."  Again, roughly half of union members, statistically, are registered Republican.  They are forced to give over money to those who claim to hate them.  I'd be pissed, too.

Because the AFL-CIO has played such a major role in supporting Democrats over the years, the rift is producing unease among top Democrats who have seen the control of both Congress and the White House slip from them in recent years.

Well I'd say so.  Watch for the Dems to try to gain more votes by, say, allowing felons to vote.  They typically skew liberal.  And tougher rules on absentee military ballots.  Military members typically distrust liberals who claim to support them to their face while simultaneously trying to hamstring them behind their back.

If you can't win, change the rules in your favor.

As for my opinion on this labor union schism, I don't find it surprising.  You can't pander to the extreme liberal left without pissing off your moderates and making your conservatives think the whole world is going to hell.... which is what the Democrats, and their supporters, have done since Clinton left office.  As I understand it union members vote on all major union decisions, so it stands to reason that if these relatively smaller unions are leaving the AFL-CIO affiliation, they must have reached a 50% tipping point that was dissatisfied with AFL-CIO politics.  And, since I find most people who vote Democrat to be mentally defective (wink wink), this gives me hope that even the most strident liberal can be shown the light of day that wisdom and experience has failed to shine upon them.

There... I went this whole post without once mentioning John Kerry's name.

Oh, damn.

GORDON  | 1700 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 25, 2005

Well hell.

Not sure what to write about, today.  

I'm not irritated.  I'm not feeling introspective.  I don't really care about Karl Rove today, nor Egyptians who say, "The Jews did it," nor MILITANT hippies setting funeral flags on fire.

Nobody screwed me over for money today, nor did anyone give me a bad customer experience.

I've promised myself this would not become a "GORDON's new-baby blog," so there will be none of that.

No hurricanes on the way, the summer has been neither too wet nor too dry, the tomato garden is doing fine this year, and house construction is coming along.

I had another military dream last night, but I don't feel like talking about it.

So hell with it, here's a picture of a cat taking a nap on my desk and using the speaker as a pillow while a Type O Negative song is playing.


GORDON  | 2110 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 22, 2005

More on the MSM’s inability to understand the Gaming Industry.

By now you’ve all heard about the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas controversy. If you haven’t, then read about it at USA Today, FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, the New Zealand Herald, or MTV

Before I get started, I want to point out that I reviewed GTA:SA back in November and was not impressed. I mean, its fun, but I expected a lot more. 

Onto the controversy, I’ve been following this story since it hit and I think it’s hilarious that nobody is paying attention to the details in this issue or the big picture. All we hear about is that this evil game lets children see cartoon characters simulate sexual acts and how Rockstar, the developer, cheated the ratings system. 

Well, here are the facts:

  • Yes, the “sex scene” was in the game, but was buried in the code of the game by the developers so nobody could see it.
  • The sex scene was only discovered after Patrick Wildenbourg created a “mod” that allowed the blocked content to be viewed. A mod is a piece of software, not created by the developer that alters a program’s original functions, features, and/or purpose. THE SEXUAL CONTENT CANNOT BE VIEWED WITHOUT DOWNLOADING THIS UNAUTHORIZED, THIRD PARTY MODIFICATION TO THE DEVELOPER’S ORIGINAL PROGRAM.
  • “Mods” such as this one are technically illegal. The EULA of any piece of software states that you do NOT have the right to alter the game. A mod does just that.
  • So keep in mind, that to view the sexual content one must go find the mod, download it, install it, and run it before anyone can see the sexual content.
  • The sexual content consists of a naked cartoon women with a fully clothed man simulating various sexual positions. The woman’s butt and breasts (with nipples) are shown, but at no time is public hair visible nor is the man’s penis ever shown. Remember, these would be all cartoon parts if they were visible.
  • Anyone with an ounce of brains knows that real women in various states of undress and doing various things from posing to having sex are easily found and available all over the internet. In fact, anyone can find at least some form of nudity within a few clicks of ANY webpage. Even fewer if they’re willing to type a word like “boobs” or “sex”.
  • Due to the media picking up this story, the video is now available all over the web and is becoming one of the most viewed clips. If you want to see it, you can do so by clicking here. That’s a thread in our forums and the link can be found in the first post. So for the vast majority of GTA:SA players who never would have seen this content, they are now able to thanks to the media letting them know about it.
  • GTA:SA was rated “M”, which means: “Ages 17+ Mature sexual themes, more intense violence and/or strong language.” This game is all about violence. You can use a variety of weapons to kill men, women, gang bangers, cops, etc. You can set them on fire, blow them up, shoot them, stab them, hit them with bats, etc. It's an adult game and says so right there in the rating. So what parents are letting their kids play this game? It HAS to be the same ones who are outraged, as anyone with a 17 year old has to figure their child has already been exposed to porn, masturbates, and/or has had sex.
  • Now the game is rated AO, which means: “Ages 18+ Graphic depictions of sex and/or violence.” Hello? Does anyone else see how stupid this is, we’re talking about 1 year here.

Those are the FACTS of this controversy, yet all you hear are the MSM and politicians saying these developers are evil putting this stuff in the hands of children. 

I have two questions regarding this issue: 

  1. Where are the parents? This game was rated for people 17 years of age and older. It is a violent game with a violent storyline. What morons are buying this for their child and then getting pissed when it has sexual content to go along with the violence? “Its ok if little Bobby kills old women at random with an Uzi or Molotov cocktail and hears gangsters saying “fuck” every other word, but I’ll be damned if he’s going to see a cartoon butt!!!”
  2. Has the MSM ever heard of research? All of the information above is out there and easy to get. Is it so hard to pick up a phone and call EBGames for a comment? Truth be told, they don’t want to do research. It is so much easier to base their stories on opinion rather than fact. Opinions sell because they’re based on emotions, while facts don’t sell because they’re real and they don’t involve scandal.

To back up my argument here and to back up Gordon’s from his “Ignorance in Media Writing about the Game Industry” post below, here are a couple more facts:

    • The Sims is the number one game of all time in terms of sales. The majority of its audience is women.
    • 50% of all people who play video games are women.
    • The majority of video games are purchased and played by people over the age of 18.

 (Those figures are from EGM, PCGamer, CGW, and Maxim or Stuff [they’re basically the same and I can’t remember which one it was].) 

So please MSM and politicians, keep fighting to keep these evil games out of the hands of the adults who play them. Forget the fact that irresponsible store owners and parents are really the problem here.

Leisher  | 2257 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


Movie Review: The Wedding Crashers

Owen (Tweedle-Dee) Wilson and Vince (Tweedle-Dum) Vaughn play a couple of guys who crash weddings to pick up women, which works just fine until one starts developing a conscience, and then falls in love.  I know, "Duh," but I need to have a broad overview as a topic paragraph.  Think you could do better?  I'd like to see you try.  Screw you, for judging me.  But anyway...

This movie is rated "R," and it definitely earns it.  For approximately the first 25 minutes of the movie it was almost nonstop hilarity intermixed with plenty-o-sex and boobies.  Good stuff.  There's a montage early on showing the boys in one wedding after another, getting more and more frenetic, and increasing pace, and building up steam faster and faster... and I was wondering what was going to happen to the film once this climax happened.  The answer is, "it slows down," but it was still good enough... and included one of the raunchiest comedy scenes I can remember seeing.  Without trying too hard to remember another one.

I recommend this movie to anyone who doesn't have a stick jammed up their ass.

Interestingly enough, we bought the last two tickets available, and when we walked into the theatre the only open seats were the two next to my general contractor and his wife.  Good thing we get along and he's doing a good job on my house.  They liked the movie, too, and I'd say they are in their mid 40's.

One last thought: this movie was rated R by the MPAA because of some adult-language, boobies, and sexual situations.  Fine.  Alien vs. Predator was rated PG-13 and it was full of violence and monsters and people getting slaughtered, but no boobies.  Priorities in this country are extremely screwed up.

I give this film 8.5 official rules to crashing weddings out of 10.

Spoiler discussion here.

No-spoiler thread.  Violators will be prosecuted.

GORDON  | 2239 EDT  |  |  Permalink


Ignorance in Media Writing about the Game Industry.

The AP says that women need to be targeted in the video game market:

"The perception is that video games are just shoot-em-ups with half-naked women running around," Borquez says. "A lot of women think that there isn't much video game content for them."

Marketing efforts by the software companies seem to reinforce that perception, Yap says.

"Game magazines have women wearing bikinis on the cover," she says. "They are obviously targeting men. There's nothing wrong with that, but that approach isn't going to attract many women."

Born in Singapore, Yap began writing software code at the age of 10, and grew up playing games from a more innocent era, such as Lode Runner, Burger Time and Pac-Man.

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she was approached by several large game makers but thought of getting out of the business. Being the only woman in her department made her self-conscious.

"Sometimes I felt like I had to prove myself," she says. 

1.  Like I've told many IT managers, perception is not, in fact, reality.

2.  What about the men who introduce their women to gaming?  That's what I did.

3.  Only sometimes she felt she had to prove herself?  I found most days to be like that, military and private sector.  Welcome to the grown-up world.

The AP doesn't understand the industry, and is riding the coat-tails of the "GTA scandal."  They interviewed one woman in the industry, and derive from her lone point of view that the industry is male dominated.

Here's a little hint for the clueless reporters trying to understand the game industry:  The top selling games of the last 5 years have been "The Sims" and "The Sims 2," games which my wife plays religiously and describes as "Computer Barbie Dolls."  The other game she plays a lot is Civilization III, which is also gender non-specific.  To suggest that the video game industry is skewed to men reveals a pretty basic misunderstanding of the industry.  On top of that, to suggest that women don't like fast-paced action games is blatantly sexist, and not very politically correct.  I can't begin to describe how offended I am by that.

GORDON  | 1303 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 21, 2005

Books-A-Million Sucks.

So my birthday is on the 23rd... and my mother-in-law sent me a voucher for the new Harry Potter book.  Very nice gesture, I thought.  She went to a Books-A-Million in Ohio (to those not familiar, it's basically a Barnes and Noble, including in-store overpriced coffee shop) and mailed me the voucher in a birthday card that I could use here in North Carolina.

The wife and I were out and about last night, so we decided to go book shopping and pick up my birthday present.

There was a big stack of the book near the front door, and we spent about a half hour browsing and picking up some other books we wanted.  There was a sticker on the Potter book that claimed it was 40% off, and I wondered if the bookstore would pay the several dollars difference between what was paid in Ohio versus what it cost in NC on sale.  I doubted it, but I never found out...

We put our big stack of books and other sundries on the counter, and gave the guy our voucher.  We probably had a hundred bucks of stuff, over and above the Harry Potter book.  He couldn't get the voucher to work, so he asked the girl next to him to try.  She couldn't get it to work, so they called the manager up from the back. The manager couldn't get it to work, so she made some phone call to someone... regional manager? and I guess they looked up my voucher number.  She told me, "This voucher has already been redeemed.  I'm sorry."

I was slightly taken aback... certainly she wasn't suggesting... 

I said, "Do you people take the voucher when you exchange it for a book?"

She said "Yes, we do."

I answered, "Well I just gave it to you.  So obviously it hasn't been used yet."

She just repeated that it had already been redeemed.  Which was beginning to piss me off, because she was accusing me of trying to scam their little system, and she wasn't being discrete about it.  Everybody in the front of the store is following right along with the action.  By now my wife is on her cell phone to my mother-in-law, trying to figure out if MIL did anything strange on her end.  The obvious answer is "no," but we're just getting our ducks in a row before we REALLY start getting pissed off.

I told the manager, "It seems to me you're having a problem with your database if it reads that the voucher I walked into the store with has already been redeemed by someone else."

She looks right at me and says, "No, there's no problem with our system"

Temperature is rising.

I asked the manager, edge entering my voice, "How could this voucher have been used if I just walked into the store with it?"

She said, "Well, someone could have claimed to have lost it, and if they can give the telephone number it was bought under, they'll honor a lost voucher."

I gave my wheels a moment to spin... and I followed up with, "So, while my mother-in-law was in the store purchasing this voucher, the person in line behind her only needs to listen while she gives her telephone number, and redeem the non-existent voucher an hour later?"

The bitch manager didn't have an answer for that.

By now my MIL was on her way to the store in Ohio to figure this mess out, and the wife and I left the NC store without buying any of the other books we had chosen.

An hour later the manager at the Books-A-Million in Ohio is on the phone with us, apologizing and promising to get it straightened out by today.

As of today, nobody has called us to straighten it out.  I waited to see if they would fix it before I wrote this post.  It's looking like Books-A-Million has pretty much stolen the cost of a hardcover book from an old lady.

Lessons learned:

1.  Buy books on Amazon.com.  It's fun to browse a store and everything, but damn.  Amazon's automated checkout process has never once accused me of stealing, or actually stolen from me.

2.  If you must buy from a brick-and-mortar joint, beware of the piss-poor system security of their voucher system.  Or, conversely, use this shoddy system to your own advantage and loiter near the counter listening for people buying book vouchers as gifts, and jot down their phone numbers.

GORDON  | 2015 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 20, 2005

Warp Speed, Mr. Scott.

James Doohan
1920 - 2005

(I guess they should have left him stuck in the pattern buffer on the Dyson Sphere.)

GORDON  | 1712 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 19, 2005

Communicating here, boss.

It's been brought to my attention that in order to reach a wider audience, I need to "write less white."  Ok, I'm willing to try that.  I am fully aware that the color of my skin is a detriment to me, and makes me not be able to dance and talk good and stuff.  So, in order to reach my readers in the San Bernadino, California area, here's the last post translated into ebonics.

Begin translation:

Yo buss dis. 

1. hoes be havin babies fuh thousands uh years, since de Earth wuz created 6,000 years ago... why all uh a sudden be hoes fooled into buyin de tons uh hippy crap, invented in de las 10 years, dat be marketed as "must-have" fuh mommas uh children? "Baby Massage" equipment comes to mind. Hippy crap. 

2. I nevuh wo a bicycle helmet growin up, ever. See what I'm sayin? I nevuh sustained a head injury while bike ridin. I went trough school wit, probably, 500 othuh kids. None uhdem wo helmets (because in de 70's a kid wearin a bicycle helmet wuz goin to git his ass kicked... daily) , an' none uhdem evuh came to school (or wuz hospitalized) because dey sustained head injury while ridin a bicycle. So why be dere now laws requirin kids to wear bicycle helmets? 

3. Why do some folk think dat I ain't need to own a gun/will commit a crime if I own a gun/are jus generally scared to death uh guns? 

4. Why will de guvernment give me a rifle at 18 years uh age an' sen' me off into harm's way, but dey won't let me purchase a beuh when I git back? 

5. Are turn signals really all dat hard to use? 

6.  Why do so many folk jus instinctively hate President Bush?

7. How can someone who has nevuh eaten Memphis barbecue tell me I'z wrong when I claim dat Memphis barbecue be de Kin uh All Barbecue? 

8. If a liberal wants to take care uh people, why will de same liberal want to ban DDT which could save thousands uh folk each year who die uh pest-borne diseases likes malaria? 

9. If environmentalists want to reduce pollutants, why do dey oppose nuclear powuh plants an' storin nuclear wuzte unduh a mountain in a desert in Nevada? 

An' finally.... 

10. Why do so many folk want to legislate an' force me to do what dey feel be bes fuh me? be I a child? likes de homey said while dey wuz pullin his guts out, "Freedom." Sheeit!

End translation.

 PS - Microsoft spell-check wants to capitalize the word ebonics.

GORDON  | 2033 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 18, 2005

Random Ponderings.

Can't really think of any good post fodder today (yeah, I know, like any of it is ever good)... so here's just a few things I wonder.

1.  Women have been having babies for thousands of years, since the Earth was created 6,000 years ago... why all of a sudden are women fooled into buying the tons of hippy crap, invented in the last 10 years, that is marketed as "must-have" for parents of children?  "Baby Massage" equipment comes to mind.  Hippy crap.

2.  I never wore a bicycle helmet growing up, ever.  I never sustained a head injury while bike riding.  I went through school with, probably, 500 other kids.  None of them wore helmets (because in the 70's a kid wearing a bicycle helmet was going to get his ass kicked... daily) , and none of them ever came to school (or was hospitalized) because they sustained head injury while riding a bicycle.  So why are there now laws requiring kids to wear bicycle helmets?

3.  Why do some people think that I don't need to own a gun/will commit a crime if I own a gun/are just generally scared to death of guns?

4.  Why will the government give me a rifle at 18 years of age and send me off into harm's way, but they won't let me purchase a beer when I get back?

5.  Are turn signals really all that hard to use?

6.  Why do so many people just instinctively hate President Bush?

7.  How can someone who has never eaten Memphis barbecue tell me I'm wrong when I claim that Memphis barbecue is the King of All Barbecue?

8.  If a liberal wants to take care of people, why will the same liberal want to ban DDT which could save thousands of people each year who die of pest-borne diseases like malaria?

9.  If environmentalists want to reduce pollutants, why do they oppose nuclear power plants and storing nuclear waste under a mountain in a desert in Nevada?

And finally....

10.  Why do so many people want to legislate and force me to do what they feel is best for me?  Am I a child?  Like the man said while they were pulling his guts out, "Freedom."

GORDON  | 1710 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 16, 2005

Music Review: Demons & Wizards - Touched by the Crimson King.

Yeah, I figured I'd better not let two full years go by without an album review.  Thing is, I tend to only focus on outstanding albums... and those are few and far between, methinks.

I first discovered Demons & Wizards when I was still on the honeymoon with my marriage to Blind Guardian's Nightfall in Middle-Earth album. I was so in love, then. Passion that burns with that intensity cannot be sustained, though, and while I still love it, I am no longer IN love with it. You understand.

Anyway, I was in love with all things Blind Guardian, and I was sniffing around trying to complete my Blind Guardian library when I discovered the BG singer, Hansi Kursch, had made an album under the moniker Demons & Wizards as a side project with the guitarist from the group Iced Earth, Jon Schaffer. At the time I'd never heard any Iced Earth tunes, but I went ahead and purchased self titled Demons & Wizards album on the strength and trust of Hansi's vocals.

I was not disappointed...

(Continue reading this review...

GORDON  | 0047 EDT  |  |  Permalink


July 14, 2005

Yes, You do have To.

Some time ago on the forums it was suggested that maybe if the non-insane section of the Muslim community would publicly speak out against terrorism and terrorist acts, then maybe the average person would stop thinking that there weren't, in fact, any sane Muslims.  Believe it or not, a Muslim or two actually lurk on the DTMan forum, and the response at the time was, "We're not all crazy but we don't defend ourselves because we feel we shouldn't have to."  While I personally disagree with that tactic - I think that if someone's reputation is being smeared in the mud that it should be defended - I can appreciate the go to hell attitude of that.  I don't always respond to personal attacks either, because the people attacking me are usually idiots and not worth my time.

But today, while out at lunch, I saw a TV showing a massive gathering in London at Trafalgar Square to remember the dead of 7/7.  What struck me about the images on the muted, closed-captioned television was that I was looking at a huge gathering of "white people" to remember the dead, and I am yet to see any gathering of Islamic people doing anything even remotely resembling gathering to make a public statement mourning the innocent dead, supporting any type of peace process, or anything.  

Also at this gathering of "white people" there was nobody firing guns in the air, holding up placards written in the language of the people holding the cameras (ever notice that when you see violent, anti-US demonstrations in foreign lands that they hold up signs written in English?  Do you think English is the primary language in the Palestinian territory, Pakistan, or Indonesia?), or otherwise looting and acting like animals.  It was a striking contrast to see a large gathering of calm, sober people.

So that's what I was going to write about today.... the fact that I never see any Muslims distancing themselves from the extremists in their midst.

But then I saw this:

QAYARRAH, Iraq: Citizens of the southern city of Qayarrah, of the northern province of Ninewah, gather to demonstrate their defiance against terrorism during the March Against Terror. Over 1,000 Iraqi citizens, including several influential political and religious leaders, marched alongside Iraqi Army and police officers in this first of several such demonstrations planned for the northern region of Iraq.

I tried to find a reference to this on the usual MSM websites, but couldn't find anything about it.  I was made aware of this on Black Five, a milblogger in the list on the left.  Why isn't this kind of thing being widely reported?  Even 11 people showing up to protest Bush in Belgium warrants a "Crowd Gathers to Protest Bush Visit" headline in the AP.  God forbid the MSM report that brown people hate terrorism, too.  Might make the USA look, you know, not like the bad guys.  If I were a sane Muslim, I'd be trying to do something about this public relations problem... you are being slighted by the MSM in order to smear the US.

A few protest pictures, for archiving purposes.  They were taken not by MSM reporters, but by servicemen who were there.  More in the above link (with some decent responses, too...).  Note the presence non-English signs.  One group even brought one asking the coalition forces for the release of a prisoner... and yet coalition forces didn't shoot them dead.  Amazing, considering our reputations for torturing Korans and reading Harry Potter books aloud.

In the silence from the Muslim community after 7/7 I was about to lose my faith in the idea that there could exist sane Muslims.  My faith is now renewed.  Thank you, Iraqis.

GORDON  | 2009 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 13, 2005

Words of Love from DU.

No, not Ducks Unlimited.

I don't ever visit the Democratic Underground.com website, because if I want to be around people who call me stupid I can just.... well, nobody besides hard-lefties ever call me stupid (more than every once and a while).  But every now and then some of their words of wisdom gets through my sanity filters and I end up being exposed to their hatred of everything American.

Here's what one really smart person on their forum has to say about the average American:

What we MUST realize in order to win - Americans are stupid and uninformed

This is very important because in order to win we must understand the way the average American thinks. I'm afraid WE have nothing in common with them.

I came to the two following conclusions when I saw the large number of people who voted for Bush back in 2000.

#1 - I would dare to assume that most of us here are in the upper 1%-20% of the population intelligence-wise. We must come to the realization that the majority of the population is in the lower 80% to 99% percent of the bell-curve. WE are not the norm. The Republicans understand that the average American is not very bright. They cater and pander to the masses. The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about "issues" that these people just don't understand.

I've heard it said that the reason that Clinton's sex scandal resonated so strongly among "the people" was because it was a scandal that the average American understood. The average person can't understand a financial scandal.

In addition, people of average or lower intelligence tend to not be as logical or reasoned as those of higher intelligence - they deal with emotion. Therefore they are more likely to get riled up about someone burning a flag rather than a illogical tax cut.

#2 - The majority of people do not read the newspaper OR listen to the news, CNN, etc. Therefore -they get their news from the Tonight Show, Letterman, Oprah and Saturday Night Live. Or, they get their news from talking to their co-workers at the water cooler.

Also, for the few people who DO listen to the news - who do they hear it from? Fox News and Bill O'Reilly are the most popular. Most newspapers and media outlets are owned by Republicans.

THIS is what we are fighting against people. In order to win we will need to start pandering to the masses.

There's just so much there, it's hard to know what to say.

If you visit that thread, be sure to read follow-up posts.  Lots of people there agree.

That thread is from October '03, and apparently the left realizes that MAYBE it isn't beneficial to them to accept all supporters, even the extreme nutballs.  Not because it is wrong to support their extreme positions, but because it isn't working for them come election time.  The center was turned off by the antics of the far-left in the last election, and the moderate left is beginning to realize it.  Recently the hard-left, self-described moderate, anti Republican organization "MOVEON" (remember when they put out that pre-election commercial comparing Bush to Hitler?  Yeah, that was them being 'moderate') had a little press party.  Drudge was invited:

In a desperate bid to sanitize his gathering and control how its attendees would be perceived by the POST, the MOVEON host emailed talking points to his guests. A copy of those talking points was obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

Fazio warned his guests: “Its very important that if you talk to the reporter, you stay on message. Remember, it is quite possible that our event will be the one the POST uses to represent the entire MoveOnPac effort this weekend.”

The key message for the event: “The momentum is finally shifting away from extremism. We will not accept a extremist nominee. This is not about conservatism vs liberalism or Republicans vs Democrats, this is all about extremism vs moderation and we're on the side of moderation.”

The MOVEON host reminded his guests: “We don't want to come across as leftist, liberal activists. We want to come across as we are- regular folks who are finally saying enough is enough to the extremists; that we're not falling for their extremist rhetoric anymore and we're finally going to expend the effort necessary to get our country back.”

Fazio: “Please stay on message and just know that ANYTHING you say can be taken out of context and used against the effort.”

One last suggestion from Fazio to his liberal MOVEON party-goers: “Oh, because a photographer will be here, might I suggest we put away our ‘Bush is a Liar’ t-shirts. Let's look like they do.” 

Most conservatives I know reject the rhetoric of the far-religious-right just as quickly as they do the far-nutball-left.  It's actually somewhat frightening to my anti-progressive self to see the left figuring this out.

Somebody put Howard Dean back in front of a camera, already.

GORDON  | 1744 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 12, 2005

Time is on Nobody's Side.

You know.... it has been over ten years since my honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, and I still dream at least once a month about serving.  I dream that I got called back... and in every dream I'm usually worried about the fact that I forgot to shave my beard before I reported for duty in uniform.

In the really good dreams I'm shooting bad guys.

I really wish I could reenlist. If not for that debilitating illness I had a few years ago, I would have by now.

I guess this is why I fight the war on terrorism on dtman.com.  The world is in turmoil and I feel like I'm supposed to be doing something about it.  I'd much rather do than talk.  I first visited a USMC recruiter and signed enlistment papers the week the Gulf War I air campaign started.

The service is 98% tedium and games, but the other 2% of the time you get to change the world.  Most people never know that feeling.

I guess instead of lamenting days gone by I should instead feel lucky I was brave enough to take the plunge in the first place.

But I'd still re-sign in a second.

GORDON  | 1958 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


Bringing Down a Nation II: Disinformation Overload.

Bringing Down a Nation: Part I

Some would say that it is a truism that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will begin believing it.

I'm not sure if I personally believe that, even generally (when I generalize, I always admit that there's 10% exception to everything... but I believe that greater than 10% of people are not gullible enough to believe an oft-repeated lie.  I know... unusually generous of me).  In my eyes this is a fundamental viewpoint to which one must adhere in order to trust people with freedoms of speech and press.  The press is certainly not censored by the government in this country (in spite of what some would have you believe), but would that be a wise policy if everyone believed everything they hear, all the time?  Absolutely not.  With 100% public gullibility, newspaper owners would tell their readers that they need to purchase the other products they own, that they need to.... well, you get the idea.

So we have a free American press that fancies itself the 4th branch of government, ensuring the government operates "above board" with complete accountability to the people it serves.  Great system, in theory.  Unfortunately, it's never really worked that way.

Since Ben Franklin (and his family) used their printing presses to speak out against and/or support their government instead of just reporting on it, the American press has been the untouchable 4th branch of government that actually has none of the accountability to which they claim to hold the Judicial, Legislative, and especially the Executive branches.  The only way one can actually hold a newspaper accountable for lying is to vote with one's dollars and not buy that newspaper.  Not overly effective.

In today's world several news sources are owned by single mega-corporations.  In itself, this is fine.  I am not anti-capitalist.  The problem I see, though, is what happens when a single person is in control of a sizable percentage of information that people receive?  What happens when that person decides he wants to sway public opinion?  There's not a thing to stop that person, be it Hearst or Benjamin Franklin, to lie all he wants.

I said before that not many people are gullible enough to believe everything they hear.  But if one person is fooled by lies, doesn't that make the source of the lie a liar?  And as the self-appointed 4th branch of government, is there absolutely no accountability for this?  If Rathergate and Eason Jordan taught us anything, it is that even competing "4th branch of government" news sources are afraid to be too critical of each other, as the next media scandal is never more than a news cycle away.

A few days ago terrorists targeted a bunch of women and children and other civilians using public transportation during rush hour in London, England.  The day of the attacks England's venerable BBC reported these as "terrorist attacks."  People were amused that they had changed their tune... before they hit the home of the BBC suicide bombers were referred to as militants, insurgents, or merely bombers.  Though we approved of the BBC taking off the kid-gloves, some of us were wondering how long it would it would take the BBC to return to their more cuddly, appeasing terms.

It turns out the answer to that question was, "It would take five days," and not only that, but they are trying to change history, too.  They've gone back into their archives and removed all instances of their usage of the word terrorist.

The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labelling the perpetrators as "terrorists", it was disclosed yesterday.

Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC's website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as "bombers".

The BBC's guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the "careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments".

Consequently, "the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding" and its use should be "avoided", the guidelines say.

Rod Liddle, a former editor of the Today programme, has accused the BBC of "institutionalised political correctness" in its coverage of British Muslims.

A BBC spokesman said last night: "The word terrorist is not banned from the BBC."

London Telegraph

The above quote is, of course, in English-English, not English.

The BBC doesn't want to make a value judgment on people who killed women and children and other civilians.  While this seems ridiculous to me... I GUESS I can see the point, if their goal were to report news and not sway public opinion.  I just wonder what all the 7/7 widows, widowers, and orphans think of the BBC's sensitivity to the animals who destroyed their lives.  No, I doubt they are making value judgments. *cough*

American press doesn't quite hold back so much when labeling people.

No, I don't mean terrorists, per se.  I mean American leadership, who have spearheaded the Global War on Terrorism and the terrorist animals who deliberately target woman and children in the name of their ideology.

Semi-regular USA Today columnist Julianne Malveaux said Monday that President Bush is "a terrorist" and that America is "a terrorist nation."

In an interview that began with Malveaux accusing U.S. troops of "beating" terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, the controversial author and economist told ABC Radio host Sean Hannity:

"Terrorism in the United States is as old as we are. You want me to give you a litany of terrorism? You want me to start with what's happened to the Indian population? You want to go on to what happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921?"

"C'mon now, Sean," Malveaux told Hannity. "We are terrorists."

Asked point-blank if the U.S. was a "terrorist nation," Malveaux shot back: "Oh, Absolutely."

In the next breath she added, "The chickens have come home to roost," in an apparent reference to the 9/11 attacks.

Asked if America was "a good country," Malveaux responded tersely, "We're a country." Pressed on why she omitted the adjective "good," she replied: "I can't answer that. I think we have some good and I think we have some evil."

As the interview was winding up, Malveaux went on a tear about the Iraq war and "the weapons of mass distraction."

"You know they weren't there. I know they weren't there," she told Hannity. "George W. Bush is evil. He is a terrorist. He is evil. He is arrogant. And he is out of control."


She even said "Bush is evil" twice.  I guess she really, really means it.

The press gives sensitivity to cold-blooded murderers, and the worst accusations in our nation's current mindset are reserved for the people fighting the murderers.  Continuous, relentless, repetitive disinformation.  That is how you sway a population.  Al-Qaeda couldn't do better if they themselves were in charge of the press and propaganda, and therefore the 4th branch of American government.

GORDON  | 1446 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 9, 2005

Saturday Night Observations, Haiku-Style.

Walking through Wal-Mart
Tired cranky kids, ten pm
Grocery shopping night.

Journey piped through store
Woman singing is ninety
Here, with open arms........

Ambulance coming
Nobody yields right-of-way
World is full of dicks.

Stuck behind a van
Fifteen MPH under
I hate white people.

Old car going by
Rusty and loud stereo 
But it has ground glow.

Just walking around tonight composing haikus.

GORDON  | 2258 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 7, 2005


Any ideology that can carry out, endorse, excuse, or ignore the deliberate murder of civilians, including women and children, in order to further their cause is sick and twisted, and the complete annihilation of that ideology is fully justified.

Most have forgotten, but the English played the Star Spangled Banner at the Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard on 9/12/2001.  I call on President Bush to order American flags at all federal installations to half-mast for the next three days in mourning for the losses of our closest friends across the Atlantic.

GORDON  | 1456 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


More mysteries.

  • In the 1950's a little book was authored by Betty Friedan called, The Feminine Mystique.  It stated, in a nutshell, that women were secretly unsatisfied in their traditional roles of wives and mothers.  Some say that this was the beginning of the modern feminism movement.  Women now felt obligated, even pressured, to leave the home for "real careers."  This continues to the present day.  In a large part because of this book stay-at-home mothers are seen as quaint, unable to handle 'the real world,' and even lazy.

  • If one were to believe current conventional wisdom, the self esteem of women is like wet tissue paper in the face of the assault by marketing companies and Cosmo magazine, which tell women that they should look, feel, and have sex better than will ever be possible for them.  Pop-psychologists and feminists call this "unrealistic goals" or "unrealistic body image."  If one were to believe conventional wisdom, self esteem is never an onus of the individual woman - it is given or taken by everyone and everything around the woman; that woman is a mere victim of the environment.  

  • Daytime talk shows are extremely popular, especially those that reveal, in front of cameras, which of the three guys her baby's daddy is.  

  • I recently saw a feature on the Discovery Channel about in-vitro fertilization.  The show followed a woman who was going to be fertilized artificially.  In her own words she said she was over 30, had never felt the urge to get married, had been in a state of depression for most of her adult life, and felt like she needed to have a baby to make herself feel complete.  She told her new boyfriend at the time that she was going to have in-vitro fertilization, "and I don't care what you think about it."  Exact words.

  • Since the 1950's we have evolved into a nation without stigma.  Drug addiction is now seen as a disease, not a personal failure.  An unwed, single mother is seen as brave, not 'in trouble.'  Being a promiscuous woman is seen as empowered woman, not a slattern.  Women who bear children without responsible fathers are seen as victims, not irresponsible.  Women who acquire a venereal disease are seen as victims instead of fools for ignoring all that advice to save it for marriage.

  • Conventional wisdom dictates that children today are more mentally screwed up that at any other time in American history.  A large number of kids are seen to be so abnormal that they are medicated with, basically, downers.  At more than any other time in history children are growing up in single-parent homes without fathers, splitting time between the homes of divorced parents, or no-parent homes during the day when both parents (or parent and step-parent) are at work.

What an interesting jumble of completely unrelated facts, eh?

GORDON  | 1329 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 5, 2005

A question of politics?

In light of the latest incident involving dead children and a child molester that was released from jail, I got to thinking about these types of crimes.

Before I begin, please understand that I’m not against homosexuals. I don't see how two consenting adults are hurting anyone else by being in love. In fact, I feel the Right needs to relax and let these people live their lives. Judge them by the person they are, not by the person they do.

However, whenever the issue of gay rights comes up, the general public is reminded by the Left that being gay is not a choice, but a natural thing. Gay people are born that way, and we need to accept that because they can't be changed.

I’ve very much ok with that statement.

Keep in mind though that the Left also believes in rehabilitating criminals such as child molesters.

Thus, it makes me wonder if homosexuals are born with their sexual preference, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that child molesters are as well? If homosexuals can’t be “cured” then why do we as a society believe child molesters can be “cured”?

How many more people need to die and/or suffer at the hands of these child molesters AFTER they’ve been released from prison before our society gets a clue on how to handle them?

Leisher  | 1534 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


No duh.

A while back I started a forum thread claiming that I was boycotting Pepsi, my soft drink of choice.  The CFO of Pepsi made a bunch of anti-U.S. statements at a commencement address at Columbia University, and I haven't purchased a Pepsi product (that I know of) since.

This thread was lost in the Easter server move.

Some folks in the forum agreed with me, some said that America did indeed suck and that they were going to drink MORE Pepsi to counter my personal boycott.

THIS is why I get sick and damned tired of ignorant people like the CFO of PepsiCo:

PRIVATE American citizens donated almost 15 times more to the developing world than their European counterparts, research reveals this weekend ahead of the G8 summit. Private US donors also handed over far more aid than the federal government in Washington, revealing that America is much more generous to Africa and poor countries than is claimed by the Make Poverty History and Live 8 campaigns.

See, I already know shit like this. This is why I don't hate my country like so many other people do.

I'm not sure how America can be the middle finger flipping off the world at the same time we are extending our hands with gifts.

I always said that this blind hatred - from liberals, extremist muslims, middle easterners, or otherwise - is fueled by ignorance. I stand by that.

GORDON  | 0937 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 4, 2005

Movie Review: War of the Worlds

Trying out a new idea, here... whenever one of the DTMan crew manage to catch a movie when it's still relatively new, we'll start a review here on the main page and finish it in the Movie Forum where peeps can add their own comments.


Steven (Remember when I Made Jaws?) Spielberg directs Tom (Scientology is My Life) Cruise in a remake of the movie based on H. G. Wells's 1898 story about invaders from the planet Mars.  I read the book in the 6th grade, and this movie stays faithful to the major themes of the original story.  The special effects are top notch, and a lot of the aliens have definite elements of alien-ness.  There were even some bits of the book that were omitted from the 1950's version of the movie that Spielberg put back in... of which I approve.  And the movie was, for the most part, shown from the point of view of Tom Cruise's protagonist, and as his character wasn't the center of the universe, not every single alien element of the movie was broken down and explained Sesame Street-style.  I approve of this, also.

Tom Cruise plays a character being ridden by his boss, his ex-wife, and his teen son, and Tom does a decent job of portraying a regular joe just trying to hold his fraying life together.  And then the big alien stuff starts.  This role isn't Jerry McGuire (Tom's best acting ever, in my opinion), but it isn't Joel-something from Risky Business, either.  

Tim Robbins has a significant role in the movie, and it felt to me like he was playing a caricature of what he thinks a paranoid, violent survivalist must be like.

And as the last bit of non-spoiler review, I'll just say that Spielberg kept the technical ending of the film faithful to the novel (of which I approve), but I don't like what he did with the wrap-up of the human story.  I'll say no more, other than make sure you buy the DVD as soon as it is released... in 20 years Spielberg will edit the film so the aliens are carrying walkie-talkies instead of death rays.

Two and a half legs of the tripod out of three.

Spoiler review here.

GORDON  | 1949 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 3, 2005

Live 8.

So  a bunch of musicians are doing their jobs another day under the guise of eliminating the debt from African governments.  Seems to me that President Bush suggested the very thing a few weeks ago.

If you tell these dictators they have a clean slate, it isn't really going to end any type of poverty for the average destitute African.  It isn't like these governments are going to just turn around and give the interest that have been (or haven't been) paying on this debt to their people.

Hey President Bush... how about some American debt relief?  I promise that if you wipe out my house, car, and credit card debt that I will turn around and pump 75% of that money back into the economy, which as we know will create more jobs.  Win/win for America and Americans, right?


GORDON  | 1547 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 2, 2005

Happy 2nd of July!

As everyone knows, today is the anniversary of the day most of the Second Continental Congress signed the final draft of the Declaration of Independence... with the president of the Congress signing it two days later.  Copies were then made and distributed on the 4th.

"The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
--John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776 

What's weird is that they have 2nd of July in England, too.

GORDON  | 1776 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


July 1, 2005

Movies, Movies, Movies!  And 16 color drawings.

Welcome to July!

I've been busy.... busy drawing pictures!  The following are scenes from various movies that I drew in plain, vanilla Microsoft Paint.  Can you figure them out?  No fair peeking at file names!














You can give answers in the Feedback thread.  The first person to name all the movies correctly gets the satisfaction of knowing you made me feel special by paying attention to my desperate pleas for affection.

Update: (1151, 7/2/2005) Troy from the DTMan Forums listed all the movies correctly.  If you don't want to see the answers, don't look in the forums.

GORDON  | 2057 EDT  | FeedbackPermalink


Older Stuff.



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2005 Q2

2005 Q1
2004 Q4

2004 Q3
2004 Q2
2004 Q1
2003 Q4
2003 Q3
(Casa de Smartass) 

Cleaning the Stalls
Dispelling the horseshit that is misunderstood as fact

The Clinton Impeachment
"Bush lied..."

The 2000 Election

Bush's "Unilateral" War

Bringing Down a Nation
How the United States will Fall

Reverse Patriotism

Gordo's travelogues

Memphis 2005
Myrtle Beach 2004

Orlando/FL/GA/SC 2004
Las Vegas/AZ, UT 2004
German American Festival, OH, 2003
NE to NC move, 2003
Black Hills, 2003
Sioux Falls, SD, 2003
Western NE (Carhenge) 2002
Western NE 2, 2002
Western NE 3, 2002
Western NE 4, 2002
Drinkin' Story: Put in Bay
Drinkin' Story: Puerto Rico

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