Saturday, November 25, 2006

"We support your war of terror!"

If you've got a strong stomach and a nasty sense of humor, go see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Finally we can have a laugh at how stupid bigoted Americans are!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An enormous vehicle

Wow. I thought the Space Shuttle transport unit was the largest land vehicle, but I stand corrected.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fucking fascists...

I respect the necessity of law and order, but negative stereotypes often exist for a reason. Fucking pigs. You can read more about this story elsewhere in the news.

The biggest problem I see in common between politics, police, religion and capitalism is that people are drawn to positions of power and superiority over others. There's a bit of nature/nurture debate to what causes this human condition, but the reality is that this is an area dominated by testosterone. I tend to avoid people who treat life as a zero-sum game, and sadly this means that to a degree I have developed a persistent distrust of men (though most of my close friends are men). I still naively give everyone the benefit of the doubt, my cynicism is a result of being hurt too often.

(story courtesy of Digby)

P-Mate, a.k.a "She-Pee"

Wow, this is potentially NSFW but quite amusing! This Dutch (of course) company has more details, and links to where you can find it in the US. I especially like their artwork, which resembles Apple's iPod billboards. Links all courtesy of Slashdot, "News for Nerds, Stuff That Matters."

I wonder if the product's directions include anything about leaving the toilet seat up?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Missed out on all the fun

I was sick with a nasty stomach virus and missed out on all the election night fun. Instead I've been trawling through the post-election summaries and I've posted the good ones below. I'll likely add to this list over the next couple of days.

  • Democrats take majority of governorships - This means more candidates to choose from for the '08 race for President.
  • Ohio has been one of the largest areas of turnover including Governor, a number of House positions, and Senator, ousting Mike DeWine, who helped Bush significantly in making illegal wiretapping retroactively legal. Ohio has long been seen as a battleground state and was considered key in reelecting Bush in '04.
  • Lieberman kept his seat in Connecticut. This may actually be a good thing in the long-term of setting Democrats straight in how they handle their whiny compatriots. It also allows Dems to distance themselves from the always-independent Lieberman whose voting record did not reflect well on Democratic principles. It really all depends on this.
  • A write-in Republican candidate to replace Tom Delay's vacated seat managed to get an astonishing 42% of the vote considering her name: Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. She still lost in the traditionally heavy Republican district thanks in part to Tom Delay's redistricting effort that pulled Dems into his district with the confidence that he could still win. Oops.
  • From this article:
    In a triple setback for conservatives, South Dakotans rejected a law that would have banned virtually all abortions, Arizona became the first state to defeat an amendment to ban gay marriage and Missouri approved a measure backing stem cell research.
  • 5 states have voted to raise their minimum wage higher than the national standard, which was also a strong contributor to Democratic efforts to get out the vote (a.k.a. a bridge issue).
  • A recount in Virginia for Senate is highly likely, though I suspect Allen (R) will still lose to Webb (D) who holds a lead of less than 1%. A recount, if demanded by Allen, could take weeks.
So that's my update for now. I'm still keeping an eye on the two Senate races that will determine control of power there, but I'm happy to see that the pendulum has swung in time to save our country from long-term damage by the neocons. This is the first time in 12 years that Dems have taken a majority of House seats and a majority of positions as State Governor, and it sends a very powerful message to the out-of-touch legislators (and the remaining out-of-touch Americans that continue to vote for shitheads like Texas Governor Perry).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Howie Klein calls the plays

Howie Klein's runthrough here is interesting. He leaves only half of one sentence for Texas in this multi-paragraph article: "...I don't think anything will pan out in Texas; even Bonilla looks pretty safe."

Sigh.

Also my loyal readers (comprised of my other personalities) might have noticed that I have been linking less frequently to my originally inspiring favorite, Firedoglake. I've lost interest in that site, even though I still greatly respect the work of Jane and Redd. But they've intentionally changed the course of their project and attracted a more mainstream audience. Jane's blackface incident (want to know more?) and the subsequent reaction demonstrated that Firedoglake is now considered a representative of mainstream liberal bloggers, not just the noisy fray. Even 9 months ago, Jane would have stood up for herself explaining the satire involved in her portrayal of Lieberman's pandering. I don't believe she apologized, but she withdrew her visuals and made little comment from that point. Ned must have some good hush money.

I prefer unabashedly bold, opinionated writers like the Jane of yore, Steve Gilliard and of course "the inimitable Digby." I don't read Kos or Wonkette, and I've stopped subscribing to Huffington Post for a while now. They got good at displacing mainstream journalists and became such themselves. I almost had forgotten why I started reading news online exclusively, but I've returned to my roots and I'm happier with the condensed format and angle of attack.

I've also noticed that Redd is helping guide a noticeable shift to appeal to religious voters. That's probably the second worst quality of the site now for my tastes. The worst is TRex. I can't place why, but I find his writing style revolting. Howie on the other hand is one of the best they have to offer, and is why I continue to read that site aside from distant fondness.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An interesting study on sex

This study has a few surprises and is an interesting read:

School-based sexual education delays and does not hasten onset of sexual activity.
Apparently I was well educated. I also found this interesting:
Monogamy is the dominant pattern in most parts of the world. Men report more multiple partnerships than do women. Such men are more likely to live in developed nations.
This implies one or more of the following:
  • Men have more bisexual experiences than women.
  • Men lie to inflate their numbers, women lie to deflate theirs.
  • There are a small number of very, very promiscuous women.
On that last point, I recall reading a paper discussing how legalization of prostitution can actually help reduce the rate of disease transmittal. The article was interesting in its dry approach to a subject that usually makes people... agitated. I'll try to find it. The premise was that in modeling disease control, a pattern emerges when assuming a fixed degree of male promiscuity whereby an increase in promiscuous women (for example, with increasing numbers of prostitutes) actually reduces STD transmittal by reducing the risk from any single encounter. If I recall correctly, the model had a few points of optimally reduced risk; it amuses me that prostitution can be defined and optimized mathematically.

Legalized prostitution is an interesting topic to discuss with feminists (myself included) because you never know how they may respond. My broad take is that above all else I wish to trust people with their own decisions, and that these personal decisions should only be restricted as it impacts the health and well being of others as it becomes a gateway to increased STDs, crime, etc. This pretty much mirrors my beliefs about illegal drugs (and why dangerous alcohol abuse should be prosecuted more aggressively than simple possession of marijuana).

The article concludes with a "controversial" assertion by the authors of the study that deserves broader attention:
"The greatest challenge to sexual-health promotion in almost all countries comes from opposition from conservative forces to harm-reduction strategies." [Wellings et al.]

The researchers call for providing sexual health services to unmarried young women, supplying condoms, decriminalizing commercial sex and homosexual sex, and prosecuting the perpetrators of sexual violence.
On a final note, I find it oddly serendipitous that as I type this, I'm listening to Underworld's "Moaner".

Lazy copy & paste, for your enjoyment

In case you don't read Pink Dome and rely on me to filter the good parts for you, here's another great post:

Governor Perry traveled up to Washington D.C. to take money from the same people he's been campaigning against. Jason Stanford's response:

"Maybe this is the first step of Rick Perry's first vice presidential campaign. Polling in the mid 30s in a Red State is a natural springboard to failing on a national scope."