A lot of people have been talking about this Houston Chronicle article ( http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4296181.html ) that puts Sekula-Gibbs within striking range of Nick Lampson.  This point of contention here is the percentage of people supporting a write-in candidate (35%) against Nick Lampson (36%).  Of those supporting a write-in candidate, 75% will write Shelley Sekula Gibbs.  When asked to choose between Lampson and Sekula Gibbs (and not 'a write-in' candidate), people responded 52% Gibbs and 35% Lampson.  That's not good for Nick or TX Dems.

All is not lost for Lampson yet.  Tradesports has him around 66% likely to win.  RealClearPolitics (a right-leaning politico site) has this race going to Lampson.  I expect it will, too.  But if he loses, it will be no fault but his own.  I live in the heart of TX-22, and I have been inundated with Sekula-Gibbs literature.  I'm not sure if I received a single piece of mail from the Lampson campaign.  I've seen all of two Lampson commercials.  I've heard that Lampson has quite a bit of money for this campaign, but not much was spent to grab the attention of people in my demographic.

Gibbs race will be determined by GOP GOTV efforts and the ability of her supporters to use electronic voting machines.  And this is where I see the real problem for Gibbs.  I consider myself a computer whiz, and I was even a little confused in the voting booth yesterday.  One of the volunteers kept telling people in line that we should not press the big red button for help because it will lose our vote, but that we are supposed to press the big red button when we have reached the end of the ballot.  I'd assume that there are a lot of people having a difficult time navigating to the appropriate screens, especially when writing in the candidate's name.  (I'd also mention that the booths were full yesterday evening, and it appeared that everybody was taking a LONG time to complete the voting process.)

It will be interesting to see where this election goes.  If Lampson wins, he needs a plan to win the hearts and minds of the people.  And I doubt that will even be possible in Sugarland.



I promised to talk about who I support for Texas Governor: Chris Bell or Kinky Friedman.

I've decided not to endorse either of them.

Chris Bell is the perfect example of the failed TX Democrat party. He is a failed Houston political candidate, and has ran a most unspectacular campaign. However, he offers a realistic agenda and has paid his working dues within the political machine.

Kinky Friedman offers a tempting fantasy of political overhaul. It's a pipedream, but it has a certain appeal to some voters. But running as an Independent is risky, and some of his supporters may be reluctant to cast a vote against their own party.

Neither of the two have the slightest chance of success, and it wouldn't matter if either dropped out of the race. With Grandma in the race at ~20% of the vote, Perry is guaranteed to grab a plurality of the ballots. Therefore, I recommend that you vote for the person that you like the most. Make this a feel-good vote. I'm satisfied with the person I cast my vote for. He won't win, but I can daydream of a better Texas under his guidance.


Who Cares What Osama Wants?

Aren't we all a bit tired of people putting words into bin Laden's mouth? The NYTimes offers a guest Op-Ed today that lets us know what's on Osama's mind regarding Iraq. Basically it sounds like OBL (as he's called on the street) desparately wants us to leave Iraq so he can turn it into a terrorist haven. Or something like that. If you'll recall, OBL is also very concerned about the upcoming election. He's projecting ideas into the heads of Democrats in order to help the Republicans get elected. Just like in '04 when he campaigned for Kerry.

Ech. Enough. I don't really care what Osama wants. I don't care what he's reading. I don't care about whether he eats carbs. (I'd be slightly interested in his iPod playlist, tho.) Honestly, if there's no chance of catching this guy then let's just drop him out of our vocabulary.

But, Tuna? What if Osama is *thinking* about some puckish caper? Wouldn't you like to know what he's *thinking* then?

OK. I'll make one concession. If bin Laden is thinking to himself, "Wow, I can't wait until I get out of this cave and travel to see my technical advisor at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway located in Mountain View, Pakistan at 3:15 on November 18." Then I'll care. But other than that, I really don't care what he's thinking about. Even if it is a puckish caper.

I only care about what OBL is actively *doing*. That's why I could argue the converse of this NYTimes Op-Ed. If withdrawing our troops was The Right Thing To Do, then we should do it. Screw OBL and what he thinks. If we need to leave, redeploy, or stay the course; then we should do it (and do it for the right reasons).

And what if OBL stops *thinking* and decides to start *doing* something? Well, our tax dollars are paying for the most bloated Intelligence organizations in history. And when they report that OBL is going to do something, then we need leadership that will take action to prevent it. The leadership we have now can't face asymetrical threats from bin Laden or any other freak that sits around *thinking* all day long. It hardly matters what bin Laden is *thinking* when the Bush Admin is on vacation, playing politics, or reading Shakespeares and My Pet Goat.

Atheists in America

I'd recommend reading the cover story from next month's Wired Magazine: The Church of Non-Believers. The article explores the multiple faces of contemporary Atheism. Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris present the provocative opinion that religion itself is dangerous to society, and are openly hostile toward religious believers. And on the other hand we have atheists like Daniel Dennett that are much less condescending and show a willingness to engage the devout in polite conversation.

Coincidentally, the Washington Post has a short feature on Sam Harris today:
Harris is straight out of the stun grenade school of public rhetoric, and his arguments are far more likely to offend the faithful than they are to coax them out of their faith. And he doesn't target just the devout. Religious moderates, Harris says in his patient and imperturbable style, have immunized religion from rational discussion by nurturing the idea that faith is so personal and private that it is beyond criticism, even when horrific crimes are committed in its name.

"There is this multicultural, apologetic machinery that keeps telling us that we can't attack people's religious sensibility," Harris says in an interview. "That is so wrong and so suicidal."

I absolutely agree with Harris' fisking of the moderates here. Our country's democratic principles are compromised whenever the subject of religion comes into play. Every debate should begin with an estalished baseline in reality; otherwise the debate can not be resolved. For example, the debate regarding the Al Qaeda / Saddam Hussein connection could never be resolved, because each side represented a disparate view of reality.

Religion is the ultimate wedge in our society. It represents two wildly contrasting worldviews, one based on the natural world and the other based on a supernatural world. (Un)fortunately, we live in the natural world. Whether the devout want to admit it or not, we live in a world that is defined by natural science and mathematics. I had faith in myself that I could build a computer, but that computer simply cannot run on faith. Most Atheists and the Devout want to make the world and our society better for the next generation. Unfortunately, we cannot debate how to improve our world when we live in different philosophical worlds. Atheists might be more inclined to address global warming and economic distribution because this is the only world and only life we will ever have; therefore we have to focus on improving life for everybody. The devout might be more inclined to ignore global warming because of a belief that they will live most of their life in a place without global warming concerns. The devout may be more inclined to codify a specific moral agenda in society's laws simply because it force others in society to subscribe to that belief (and its associated costs).

I find the issue of religion in America fascinating and disturbing. I enjoy exploring religious issues with intelligent people that understand the limits and (perceived) faults of a specific dogma. Unfortunately, I have had a difficult time finding people to engage in this debate. I'm definitely surrounded by a large group of devout people, most of them in their late 20's and early 30's. Unfortunately, their faith just seems so shallow. I basically call it Mah Daddy's Religious Syndrome because every single one of them attend the church their daddy attended. That's it. My daddy did it, so will I. Some of them literally believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old, and that's why I am so distressed. Because we, as scientists, are unable to look at the Earth and see the same thing. There is absolutely NO evidence that the Earth is 6000 years old, and yet I am told that is as acceptable as the theory that the Earth is several millions years old. And I can't mock it because it is politically incorrect to castigate somebody's opinion if it is grounded in religious doctrine. And that leads me back to the beginning of this post, Wired Magazine's cover story on Atheism, because it hold this choice passage:
Dennett gives no quarter to believers who resist subjecting their faith to scientific evaluation. In fact, he argues that neutral, scientifically informed education about every religion in the world should be mandatory in school. After all, he argues, "if you have to hoodwink – or blindfold – your children to ensure that they confirm their faith when they are adults, your faith ought to go extinct."
I couldn't agree more. If you belong to the Church of Mah Daddy, then your faith should go extinct. The sooner, the better.


Ten Seconds With Chris Bell

The title of this post says it all.  Approximately one year I had an opportunity to shake Bell's hand and ask a few quick questions.  This was at a fundraiser sponsored by the Bay Area New Democrats, and featured a ton of guest speakers.  Bell was the final speaker, and he had the misfortune of following David van Os.  Os is a guy who can give a real barn burner of a speech anchored by a core of populism.  He tore down the roof, and then gave the podium over to Bell.  (If you haven't met Chris Bell, basically he's an adult version of Cameron from Ferris Beuller's Day Off.)  Bell proceeded to give a speech tailored to win over the soccer mom community:  this was a speech designed to offend nobody, and offered only very loose suggestions for implementing his ideas. 

Bell was the final speaker of the night, and everybody began to leave once he concluded.  (Well, not everybody waited until he finished.)  I decided to ask Bell 1) how hard would he go after Rick Perry, and 2) if he could explain how position on the death penalty.  Bell said that Texans were ready to vote on the issues, and not how any candidate confronted each other.  This was shortly after the Kinky campaign was underway, and I felt that Bell was more concerned about Kinky than Perry. 

The second question was somewhat loaded, because the shutdown of the Houston Police Department DNA lab was still a big news item and the state had just executed somebody based on questionable DNA analysis from the lab.  I didn't like the response from Bell's first question, so I thought this would be a big of a softball for him.  Bell ignored the DNA lab issue, and basically said he supported capital punishment and would not make any changes to the system here in the state.  He could tell I didn't like that answer, and he quickly began speaking to somebody behind me.  I took the hint and left. 

Obviously, this isn't enough for me to completely write off the candidate.  But it was enough for me to reevaluate my feelings about the voting process.  Later today or tomorrow I'll explore that internal dialogue a little bit...


It's Zorak!!

Vote Zorak! Because Character Counts!


Gibbs V. Lampson Round Two

I've already taken a look at the claims asserted in Sekula Gibbs mail flyers. Now let's take a look at Gibbs' platform and constrast it to Lampson's platform.

The first thing I noticed is Gibbs' rather anemic platform. It's a single page, compared to Lampson's verbose positions. That's not a problem for Gibbs' supporters, because it hardly matters what her platform is. It's her job to go to DC and blindly support everything that Bush wants, and oppose everything the Democrats support.

Gibbs and Lampson share common support for the Second Amendment, NASA, Ellington Field, and immigration. These are big issues in TX-22, so basically taxes, tort reform, and abortion are the areas where you can find differences. However, I suspect that voters are likely driven by other factors this year. Iraq and Accountability is a bit more important than tort reform.

Homeland Security1. Supports Ellington Field
2. Demands accountability for faulty pre-war intelligence
3. Supports pay bonus for troops
4. Supports the extension of health care for Reserve and Texas National Guard troops
5. Wants to raise alarm bells in Congress regarding insufficient port security

1. Supports Ellington Field
Gibbs doesn't really have many ideas for Homeland Security. She supports Ellington Field, but so does everybody else in this area. That's like saying you support the Fire Department. But what else does Gibbs have to offer us? Nada, unless you happen to be a gun nut. Lampson offers a platform that indicates that he's actually spent time consider our District's homeland security issues.
Immigration1. Sympathetic toward those seeking amnesty and freedoms in America.
2. More Border Guards!
3. More Border Technology!
4. Border Fence? Sure, if it's feasible.
5. Crack down on employers that hire illegal immigrants by enforcing existing laws.
6. No Amnesty!
1. Secure our borders!
2. No Amnesty!
Again, Gibbs doesn't have much to say. In fact, her two points were pulled from a single line on her platform page. I don't see much different in her multi-faceted position when compared to Lampson's. Oh, except that he seems to have a firmer grasp of the issue.
NASA1. In 2002 introduced The Space Exploration Act. Many parts were accepted by the Administration.
2. Increase NASA Funding.
3. Stop 'Flight Gap' between Shuttle and CEV programs.
4. Support Manned Space Exploration.
5. Need a realistic 'Vision' of space exploration that is actually funded.
1. Longstanding advocate of NASA.
2. Supports Bush's 'Vision' of people on Mars.
Gibbs is a longstanding advocate of NASA. Basically, this means she doesn't go around calling astronauts 'nas-holes'. She also supports Bush's Exploration 'Vision'. Let's be clear about something here: Bush couldn't care less about manned space exploration, Bush cares about exploring our space defense options.

Lampson offers a position that is nuanced and informed. I work for an aerospace corporation, and I can attest that our water-cooler conversations are represented fully in Lampson's NASA platform. If I had to vote solely on this issue, then Lampson would receive my vote. Gibbs has shown absolutely NOTHING that indicates that she could support NASA better than Lampson.
Bay Area Traffic / Transportation
1. Supports light rail and Metro funding.
2. Served as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
3. Helped to pass the Maritime Transportation Antiterrorism Act
4. Doesn't like the snarled traffic in the Bay Area.
1. Traffic Reduction!
Gibbs is taking a stand on traffic in my area. No mas! No mas! Again, Lampson's position is just slightly more nuanced than Gibbs. But I'll give her a point for trying.
San Jacinto Railroad1. Did not support the San Jacinto Railroad.
1. Blocked the San Jacinto Rail line
Again, Gibbs has listed a position on her platform that is not different than Lampson's. She should consider writing in HIS name!
Tort Reform1. Not sure.
1. Pro Tort Reform through the Free Market!
Ahh, here's a big difference. Gibbs wants to use the markets to reduce any possible liability to the consumers. That's what this is about. Did you like Enron, Houston? Because Gibbs is making it clear that she's very supportive of Enron-style responsibility. That's what these key words mean in her literature. High health costs? It's because of lawyers, therefore we should limit the paths of recourse available to victims of fraud and negligence. I don't know Lampson's position on tort reform, but I'll assume that he is pretty tired of the Republican Record of irResponsibility.
Family & Life1. Not sure.
1. Supports Life!
2. Supports Family!
Gibbs is for life! Gibbs is for family! I will vote for Lampson since I hate life and family.
Second Amendment1. Received an A from the NRA.
1. Defend.
Yeah, they both want to defend the second amendment. That's fine. I guess that's something we should all embrace while Bush is still in charge of defending our country...
Federal Income Tax1. Leave it.
Replace it with Fair Tax
Poor Gibbs can barely make ends meet on her measly dermatologist's paycheck. I'm not too fancy on the FairTax, tho, because according to this chart it seems that my tax burden would increase. Actually, it seems like everybody's would increase unless you make over $200K a year. I guess dermatologists make more than software engineers...
Agriculture1. Supports Bush's Farm Security Act passed in 2002.
2. Continue looking for new markets for Texan agricultural goods.
3. Push for 'Country-of-Origin' labels for American food to compete with foreign food.
Gibbs has nothing on her platform page about agriculture. Lampson wins by default. I wonder if Gibbs knows about the agriculture industry in this district.
Education1. Congress must rededicate itself to education.
2. No Child Left Behind isn't perfect; continue supporting it, find more money for it.
See above. Well, I guess she mentions her spawn on the platform page. I guess that's some type of stand on education. Right?
Small Business1. Expand loans and funds available for small businesses with five or fewer employees and revenues under $500,000.
2. Wants 30% of Federal Contract work to go to small business.
3. Support refundable tax credits for business to help with medical insurance costs.
4. Reduce tax burden for small business.
You'd think that Gibbs would have said something about small business. Isn't that a Republican bread-and-butter issue? Looks like she was trumped again by the Democrat.


Super Fried Fish Pics


Gibbs V. Lampson Round One

I was going to take a look at the TX GOV candidates tonight, but instead I was inspired by something I received in the mail. Something that frightened me and left me with questions. Yes, I received campaign flyers from Shelley Sekula Gibbs. (These are actually paid for by the NRCC, because Gibbs really doesn't have the funds for this type of material.) Of course, I was frightened by Shelley's creepy face in my mailbox. And I was left with questions like "Is Nick Lampson the only issue she cares about?" and "What the hell does Shelley Sekula Gibbs stand for?".

Basically, Gibb's material features provocative statements like "Mr. Lampson, why wouldn't you keep our schools safe?" and "FACT: Nick Lampson voted against improving our health insurance." If you dig deep into the material, you'll find vague references to some of Lampson's votes. Specifically Vote 227 1999 and Vote 174 2003.

Why did Nick Lampson 'vote to keep our schools safe?' The ad says:
While in Congress, Nick Lampson voted against allowing school authorities to suspend or expel disabled students who bring weapons or illegal drugs to school.
From what I can tell, Nick Lampson voted against the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1999. I suspect there's a reason why he and the majority of Democrats voted NO. Basically Section 1201 that declares the State has the authority to display the Ten Commandments on its property. However, I guess it is possible Lampson was voting specifically Section 118, but surely the NRCC wouldn't be trying to mislead us, eh?

The second vote was against the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2004. It's a nice little piece of legislation that would create Associated Health Plans (AHPs) that would basically be exempt from all the usual consumer safeguard mechanisms and oversight. Basically, the NRCC is upset that Nick Lampson voted against Enron-style health insurance. I don't have a problem with that. Or in other words:

Shelley Sekula Gibbs would vote for Enron-style Health Insurance for all Texans.

That has a nice ring to it.

Tomorrow I will continue looking at a few more differences between Nick and Shelley...


Halloween Meltdown - Dallas

The Fresh Catch crew might be crashing the annual Meltdown block-party in Dallas this year....


Bush Has Been Giving Foley The Shaft For Two Years?

According to a Florida Newspaper Foley felt he had been on the receiving end of Bush's shaft...
Foley wrote to Gov. Bush on Sept. 29, 2004: "Have I done something to offend the White House ... I am always getting the shaft ... they came to ft pierce a few weeks ago and said I was not allowed to attend ... yet joe negron is there ...

In hindsight, this was probably the wrong euphemism for Foley to use.

How much uglier will this get? I don't know, but I was watching Hardball this afternoon. Tony Perkins was a guest of the show. If you aren't familiar with him, then I guess you could say he's another very concerned suburban white guy. And one of his concerns, of course, is homosexuality. I may have misunderstood or misheard Perkin's argument, but at some point he seemed to say that he didn't mind gay people as long as they don't participate in gay activities which includes fighting for equitable union and property rights.

So I hope that the Log Cabin Republicans understand their place in the Extreme Christian Fundamentalist Party. They should send checks to Republican candidates. They should stick up for the President and his crusades. And it's OK for them to exist in a state of celibacy. And that's about it. If not, then they will have to pay the price and get the shaft from Jeb Bush or his monkey brother. And nobody's gay enough to want Bush's shaft...


Carl Cox in Houston

Carl Cox touched down in Houston at Meridian last night after a very, very long abscence. I haven't seen Coxy since July 3 1999 at the State Palace Theater in New Orleans, and there's no way in hell a little rain and cold air was going to prevent me from catching him in my hometown. His travelling companion for the tour, Mark Lewis, warmed up the crowd with a slick underground house set that progressively went deeper and deeper; whipping the crowd into a frenzy for the Global himself...

Coxy came onstage a little after 1 AM, and his presence in the room ignited the crowd. He immediately served up a slamming new remix of Egyptian Empire's The Horn Track.

He progressed into some ultra-fat tech funk that I suspect is an upcoming Marco Bailey track. From there, he dipped into some recent Smith + Selway stuff which was likely their track Labryinth but I could be mistaken.

Carl appeared to be using Ableton on his Mac to cue up tracks, but I thought he was also playing off of CDs, too. He was using a standard console for his EQ effects, and it seemed like he may have been feeding his Ableton tracks through the CD players, too. Unfortunately I couldn't really tell because he was playing onstage and I couldn't get a good angle on it. I never saw him holding a CD or loading one into the player, yet he peppered the set with backspins and his infamous single backward beat cuts.

It's difficult to trainspot a Cox set, because he plays so many new and unreleased tracks. I believe I heard Chymera's Xcela, Mi Manera's Attractiva, and even threw in one of those popular Message in a Bottle remixes that are kinda sorta popular right now.

And how was the notoriously ghetto Houston crowd? Very high-energy, friendly, and ready to dance all night long. People were dancing on blocks, the breakdancers showed up, and some guys even showed up to do a little painting. There's nothing like seeing somebody dance on a platform AND paint a canvas. Mark Lewis and Carl Cox was definitely giving them some love throughout the course of the night.

I left a little before 3AM, and the crowd was still havin' it. Big time. I hope Coxy makes it down to Houston again sometime soon, because he's still my number one DJ of all time. Definitely the best DJ set I've heard this year.

Gay Republicans == Closet Democrats

Oh, those poor poor Republicans. The Mark Foley scandal has cracked them open like a rotten egg; filling the political void with the stench of homophobia. And where will this take the Log Cabin Republicans? They might want to consider Canada...

So are you ready for the newest Conspiracy theory? A very concerned white guy speculates:
If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick.

You see? It's part of a multi-decade effort by the Democrats to diabolically destroy the Republican party from within. (And I thought Democrats couldn't come up with plans!) And yes, if you thought Republicans were going to try and bury this story as quickly as possible then this very worried straight guy has some more news:
It's early in the probe, but we may be looking at emerging evidence of a homosexual recruitment ring that operated on Capitol Hill. It's time to get beyond partisan politics and follow the evidence wherever it leads. Our media should not be intimidated by charges of "gay bashing." They must lead the way in getting to the bottom of this terrible abuse of power.

Yeah, it's time to find out what those queers knew and exactly the timeline of when they knew it. The Republicans don't care jack squat about finding out where Osama is; they don't care about fixing our intelligence issues in the Middle East; they don't care about figuring out how to get us out of Iraq. But gays? Oh Lord, it's time to stop EVERYTHING and get to the bottom of *this* abuse of power.

Have you wondered how the Republicans would respond if this was a heterosexual sex scandal? Gosh, if only they had to worry about one of their guys receiving a hummer from a woman. That would make things so much easier.

And now it's time for the Log Cabin Republicans to figure out who they really stand with. Their party's foundation is comprised of the red meat Fundamentalists that not only believe gays will burn in Hell; they get a perverse sense of satisfaction daydreaming about it. Meanwhile, those of us that live in the real world will have to endure relentless quasi-"gay bashing" while the media looks for the bottom of this truth.


Bell to Kinky : Please Quit

Kinky Friedman received a telephone call from Chris Bell this week. The subject? Chris wants Kinky to drop out of the race for Texas Governor. Chris thinks that Kinky is siphoning off some of his votes. If the Independent quits, then Chris would gain votes. Probably...

I think Chris is correct. I also think that replacing Perry as Governor is a priority for Texan voters. That's why I'm a bit conflicted about my vote right now. So far I have committed to a Kinky vote. In addition I should add that I attended a Dem fundraiser that featured Bell as the final evening speaker. I was extremely underwhelmed with Bell's speech, and even more disappointed after speaking with him afterwards. But...

I'm going to sift through the Gov platforms in the next couple days and give Bell a chance to win me over. I hope Catfish will come along for the ride.

Energy Flash

Holy, holy shit.


Getting A Grip On The Page Issue


The WaPo offers a bit more detail about the source and timing of the release of Foley emails to news organizations.  The Republicans are arguing that they would not have done absolutely anything about Foley, especially since it's election time.  But the dirty, dirty Democrats have forced the issue.

Except that's not really the case here.  It seems that a Democrat was aware of the less vulgar emails, and had passed them over to news organizations at least five months ago.  Nobody was interested in the story except ABC News, and they had to keep putting the story off because of other news.  The former pages didn't send the explicit IM messages until ABCNews began reporting the story.

Now, there is something a bit fishy about all of this, and I'll post up on it a bit later.  But here's the problem for Republicans.  They are complaining that a youth predator in their own party was exposed at a time when they didn't want to deal with it.  And if that's the best argument that they have, then they are screwed. 

And you've got to love this final quote.  It seems like these pages are afraid they will be cannibalized by their own party, via the 101st Keyboard Division:

Two of the primary sources who delivered the instant messages came forward this week to clarify their motives. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear that exposure would leave them open to harassment, especially from bloggers.


The Naked GOP 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear

It sounds like the Red side of the Blogosphere is outraged again. This time they are pissy that the GOP is not running a political ad created by David Zucker. Drudge posted it to his page with the money quote:
One GOP strategist said "jaws dropped" when the ad was first viewed. "Nobody could believe Zucker thought any political organization could use this ad. It makes a point, but it's way over the top."

View the ad for yourself...

OK. Now are you done? Great. Because let's look at that quote again because it holds a major revelation.

The GOP actually made the right decision.

Yes, their collective synapses fired correctly. Yes, they realized that this was 'over the top'. Kudos to them. However, let's also focus on the point of this ad.

Basically, Clinton and Albright gave Lil' Kim a basketball which led to the Albright painting Osama's cave which led to the North Korean nuclear bomb which I assume is detonated by Lil' Kim slam-dunking the basketball.

Got it? Good. Because of the above 'facts', you should not vote for the Clinton/Albright party. Even though they actually haven't served office in half a decade. Even though the Republican party has had complete control for half a decade. It's all Clinton's fault because he came endorsed this crazy plan that replaced North Korea's Soviet Union nuclear reactors (capable of producing weapons-grade material) with safer nuclear reactors (not easily capable of producing weapons-grade material).

Meanwhile, this commercial seems to endorse the Republican party. You know. The people who are relying on CHINA to negotiate with North Korea for us. You know. The people who are allowing the Taliban to regain control of Afghanistan without confrontation. You know. The people who refuse to secure our ports. You know. The people who are allowing Iraq to slide into a very, very dangerous situation.

That's basically the Republican argument for this election cycle. "Never, Never forget that fateful day when the twin towers fell... on their knees and gave Clinton a blow job! Vote Republican or the terrorists will kill you and your family! Go Jesus!"

I honestly wish the GOP would have used this ad, because Independents and undecided Women see right through this bullshit. If this is the best the GOP can come up with this year, then they are FUCKED.

And you know what? I haven't even mentioned the 'comic' elements of this ad. I thought his movie BASEketball was bad, but it's a work of genius compared to this ad. This is actually worse than an SNL parody of a GOP ad. I bet Zucker could scrape up something funnier on a piece of toilet paper using a sideways wiping technique. This is just sad...

Progressing Toward Anarchy

I have finished working on my new DJ vinyl mix. I thought it would be completed around the beginning of the summer. Unfortunately, finger surgery and physical therapy hindered progress. (And losing two record shipments kinda hurt, too.)

But enough with the excuses. I'd really like to keep working on this and perfect the mixing, but I'm ready to move onto another music project. Specifically, I'm planning to use Ableton on the next one. Actually, I may redo this mix using Ableton, because I'd love to create a digital mix and analog mix using the same source material.

Where did the name of this mix come from? Good question. Earlier this summer I called it "How To Abort Your Stepchild" because the mix had become something like a sad stepchild and I was ready to cast it out of my life. Fortunately, I looked into its little heart and realized that I really loved it. So I had to come up with another name, and I decided to take some inspiration from the tracks. The mix was always designed to transition between clubby techno and harder dark techno. Since there are a few vocals that reference anarchy, I took advantage of it. The mix starts off in safe musical territory and shifts into something a bit more dangerous. However, I think you can find moments of happiness in anarchy, and that's why the mix bounces between two conflicting styles.

I hope you enjoy the journey.

Progressing Toward Anarchy -> Right Click, Save As

For a tracklisting or another mix, visit my download page.

BeliefWatch : The Dumb Zone


So, according to Newsweek "Forty-two percent in the [survey] said the souls protect the living by acting as guardian angels or spirit guides. "

Now, as an engineer I would take this to mean that 42% of the people in this survey are dangerously stupid.  But if I read the whole article, I'll find this wonderful counterpoint:

Deborah Blum, professor of science journalism at the University of Wisconsin, suggests that science might do better to try to explain paranormal activity rather than dismiss it. "We should never be so arrogant as to assume that one group knows everything," she cautions. "I don't think this interest [in talking to the dead] is ever going away."

Now, as an engineer I would take this to mean that Deborah Blum should not be identified as a professor of anything related to science.  Maybe Debbie Dumb should take a glance at the James Randi Educational Foundation : An Educational Resource on the Paranormal, Pseudoscientific, and the Supernatural.  http://www.randi.org/  This is an organization that does a good job of explaining paranormal activity vis a vis the scientific process.  Unfortunately, it all boils down to this:  Stupid people WANT to believe.  That's it.  Debbie Blum, however, is associated with Journalism.  This means she has no choice but to live in a reality created by her own delusions; and this probably includes Guardian Angels, Ghosts, and the occasional Undead Vice President...



I'm sure my many readers want to know what I think about the Mark Foley scandal, so here are my quick thoughts:

1. The young adults in the Page Program are not little innocent dolls; they are young adults. They are at the age where they are learning life's ugly truths, and this is one of them: Sometimes old men with power view teenagers as sexual objects. This isn't a political issue, it's human nature.

2. These kids are old enough to say "Stop sending me these messages or I will blackmail you with them for the rest of your life." This is a country where we prosecute fifteen year old juveniles as adults for criminal acts. That's plenty old enough for the kid to know how to stop this type of advance from an older man or woman.

3. The Democrats should use this as another example of the Republican's lapse of ethical accountability. In addition, the Dems should be discussing the broader issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and encouraging every victim to come forward.

It seems like the Democrats have been trying to say that this wouldn't happen under their watch. I don't think that's the case at all. I think this can and will happen to the Dems someday, and then they will be viewed as hypocrites. I'd much rather the Dems say that sexual harassment is a legitimate issue that affects straights, gays, women, men, old, and young. This is a nonpartisan issue, and the Dems should take this opportunity to show that they work for all of us, and not just the people on Capitol Hill.



Speaking of lame excuses, Mark Foley is in his own league. His excuse is a complete rejection of reality, and it's an attempt to distract us from the real story with multiple counter-stories. This isn't a case of a creepy old guy abusing the institutional trust endowed upon his position; no this is a story about an a man consumed by alcoholism and the need to run from an abusive past...

This man truly belongs in the Republican party. They attempted to ignore the reality of Foley's situation and tried to weave a counter-narrative that would allow them to sleep at night. Notice how everybody in the fallout is pointing a finger at somebody else.

"Oh, I told Mr. X about this issue. I did my job."

"I don't recall having that conversation with Mr. Y."

"I was told that the appropriate action had been taken within the parameters of our established ethics guidelines."

Doesn't this remind you of Katrina, Enron, Plamegate, Abu Ghraib, 9/11 Intelligence, Iraq WMD, and just about everything else that lies within the orbit of the GOP? You'd think that the Dems could weave this into a compelling narrative that would drive a November victory, but that's a little beyond their current capabilities.

Don't Ask Why: The Amish

So, I recently wondered why that freaky milk truck driver Cheney'd Amish school girls. Surely this guy must have been slighted by an Amish women in his youth.

Nope. This guy's story is much, much lamer.

Basically this guy molested some family members twenty years ago when he was 12. His wife had a miscarriage a few years ago, he's been dreaming of molestation, and decided that he had no choice but to find a coven of innocent young women, molest them, kill them, and then commit suicide.

What a fucked up thought process. This guy could have sought therapy and devote himself to living above his pyschological problems, or he could take the lame way out. Of course, he was probably raised like most country boys and was told that therapy is a form of liberal denial; real men solve their problems with guns.

So there's no real connection to the Amish here except they were in a vulnerable position.


Lying Liars

How does Fox News handle the damage control of the Mark Foley scandal? By labeling him a Democrat! Oh how clever you people are!

On a side note, I broke my arm and will be MIA for awhile - one-handed typing sucks.


Rocket Dope

J'Accuse! Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens doping? Evidently they didn't use enough to get them into the playoffs this year. :(

Seriously, I do want to say thanks to the Astros for a great end to a somewhat mediocre season. Please up the dosage and come back next year for another run!

Ask Why : The Amish?

It's never a surprise to hear that another school shooting has occured in America. And yet, this one is a little unusual. A milk truck driver in his thirties storms into an Amish schoolhouse, takes the young girls hostage, shoots them all, and then commits suicide. He claimed to be seeking retribution for some crime committed against him as a youth.

And I just have to wonder... What the hell did some young Amish girl to do this guy? Surely he had to have been slighted by somebody in the Amish community, because I can't believe that somebody would attack the Amish without prior provocation. I can't wait to hear more about this one.