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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Better Than Prozac

Within the hour, my family is arriving. and we're going camping.

  My mum, my sister and her kids, my bro and his wife. Trekking into the wilderness to go to an old campground nobody uses in the bush. There's a lake and fantastic trees, cliffs, and air. Pure air and nearly perfect surroundings that few people get to ever witness.

  No wifi, no cellphones, no electricity. Just 8 people and a dog in the bush.

  I have my notebook at the ready to lose myself in when my sadistic sister gets on her high horse and a first aid kit handy for when my mum drunkenly falls in the fire pit again. I have the script in my head to calm my brother's numerous neuroses and a few decks of cards for a spirited poker or cribbage match or ten. The canoe is on the truck and I'm just waiting for them to show.

  I think we all need to take a day or two to get away from technology and its stresses, to be distracted by beauty instead of what the latest extremist asshole is trying to sell people. we all need peace and tranquility found not in a bottle or pill, but in the truly breathtaking.

  Soon we go to explore and bond and get scratched up. We'll have some new stories and try to leave as little footprint on where we're going to find who we are. There's no use living in one of the Earth's most beautiful places to just sit at a keyboard watching the drunks go by.

  So here's to a new set of memories and a whole load of relief. If I post soon you'll know I didn't kill my sister.

Happy Trails!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

On A Serious Note : Glenn Beck and Goldline

Article first published as All That Does Not Glitter is Gold on Blogcritics
  Folks around the blogosphere rip apart Glenn Beck because they disagree with his opinions and the manner in which he deals with people. Folks see a genuine disconnect between Beck's preachings and his lavish lifestyle. He seems to have inflated his sense of importance and that rubs people across the entire political spectrum the wrong way.

  His latest project, called Restoring Honor, is a rally which Mr. Beck claims will celebrate America and her return to historical roots. It's also being pegged as a fundraiser for Special Operations Warriors Foundation, a very noble cause indeed. All in all this would be a fantastic unifying opportunity if it wasn't what it is - a chance for Glenn Beck to enhance his fame.

   The rally and the megalomaniacal adverts are sponsored by Goldline. While promoting his rally this week, Mr. Beck told listeners to have "faith" and buy gold, naturally from Goldline.

 What he's not telling you is that gold is a terrible investment, awful for the environment, and humanity-destroying. Yes, gold prices are higher now than before, and they are not going to stay this high unless people keep buying it thinking it is a good financial choice. Hence, why Goldline pays celebrities to endorse the shiny metal. Even if Goldline were not under investigation for ripping decent people off, gold would still be one of the worst things to sink your hard earned dollars into. And here's why:

  Gold has hit a value plateau and it will go down in value because gold is being found all over the place, from Africa to Vancouver Island. The gold marketers are trying to create a demand before the market becomes saturated and the monetary value drops dramatically. People bought gold because of illusions of financial security in an unsafe world and the price was driven to an unreasonable level.
  It pays companies to want to keep the public afraid for their future because they buy their product, be it duct tape, emergency food storage systems, or precious metals. That's why their advertisements continually discuss the financial collapse and the supposed uncertainty of our new world, and Glenn Beck is the perfect spokesman for a generation of fear.

  Secondly, gold mining is absolutely awful for the environment. If you have images of old, where men with pickaxes hacked out chunks, you are dated in your view. Large veins of gold have already been mined out, and now gold is found in very low concentrations. Nowadays your mine is considered a monumental success if you can extract anything in the neighbourhood of one-third of an ounce of it from one tonne of the Earth irretrievably destroyed. Gold is produced by vast open-pit mining. The rock is blasted away with nasty explosives (which have their own effects) and the rock is ground into a powder. The gold is dissolved out of the dust by turning it into mud and then dousing it with a cyanide solution.

  For those of you who don't know what cyanide is, it is an extremely effective poison; one that has the incredible ability to annihilate everything around it. While there are methods to prevent leeching of the nastiness into the groundwater, horrifying spills have occurred, including one which polluted most of Romania. (that was recently, not during the Bloc era) And cyanide is just one of the ugly chemicals used in gold mining. At other stages of the operation arsenic, sulfuric acid, and mercury are also used. Yummy.

  It's pretty obvious that open mines require space, and lots of it. To make a mine, all vegetation must be cleared, which causes the related effects of deforestation, namely erosion and loss of wildlife habitat. River dredging for mining has the obvious issues with a very human consequence- loss of an important food supply.

  If you care about the environment, gold is just tragic. Gold mining is one of the most ecologically destructive examples of human stupidity, but gold is pretty and it's a great investment haven't you heard? What's a great investment if there is no planet left and no people to inhabit it? Naturally, gold merchants choose to sponsor people and events that promote ecologically-destructive industries and abhor change. You know, their buddies Big Oil and the Tea Party.

  But what if you're stinking rich and don't care if gold loses 50% of its value and you hate those annoying trees because they're green and they have irritating birds chirping in them? What if you like gold because it is a shiny statement of wealth and human's domination over the planet? I have an image just for you.

  This is a Congolese victim of gang rape. "How does she relate to gold ?", you say. She is caught in a turf war over gold mines. Opposing greedy factions use rape of women and even babies to shame their new enemies and to force people out of their communities so they can expand operations.

  In Ghana and Indonesia, Western mining interests have displaced people, polluted their water supplies, and engaged in all kinds of atrocities that range from blocking off transportation to murdering local artisans. Massive cyanide spills in Ghana have caused refugee crises and the last major spill was only 10 months ago. These human beings lose their homes and businesses and sometimes their lives in the pursuit of a rock.

  At this moment, someone is being forced from his home and farm for a gold mine, whether he be in Peru or Africa or Eastern Europe. Right now a man is being beaten or languishing in a prison without trial or watching his 3 year old be violated by 6 men because he dared to say that $100 was not enough to make him relinquish his family farm.

  If someone found a metal in your backyard would you be eager to leave so they could rip apart your family life and lifetime of work? Would you protest if a billionaire came to you and offered a pittance for the statement of your efforts and foundation of your legacy?
Someone is suffering at this very moment for a few grams of gold. Someone like you. And that is the human truth that the rich and famous don't tell you in their commercials.

  To be fair to Glenn Beck and the other men who tell you that you must buy precious metals for your financial future, maybe they really do not know. Maybe they are blinded by the glitter and enchanted by wealth they can physically touch. But maybe they don't care. Maybe it doesn't matter whether a river is polluted in Romania or someone's wife and children are raped and murdered. Maybe they see themselves as more valid beings than the farmer in Peru or the craftsman in Ghana. After all, they've got gold and you should have some too.

To have faith in gold is to have belief in the gold producer, the belief that he will not destroy everything to get at a very small something. But allegiance without question is woefully blind. Glenn Beck frequently implores people to question what they think but offers up a commodity whose origins defy any form of reason as the symbol of prosperity and stability. Why doesn't Mr. Beck question gold with the fervour that he does everything else?

My suspicion is that if he did, he wouldn't like the painful answers.

Proverbs 8:11 "For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her."

Your Daily Weird

  A Venezuelan politician has found a novel way to score some campaign cash. He's holding a raffle. the prize- a new set of boobs.
  Breast augmentation is a pretty common thing in Venezuela and Gustavo Rojas thinks the titty lottery will get him enough cash to make a serious run at a seat in the National Assembly.

  In his own words, the hopeful thinks that raffling off an expensive surgery is just like offering a TV or smartphone, but I'm not so sure about that.
  Outside of that odd French guy who eats everything, people don't generally have electronics inside of their bodies. It's a pretty invasive procedure and people do die on operating tables all the time. Plus, a TV doesn't reduce a woman to a sum of her parts. There is no way this should or would fly up here, or I hope anyways.

  We'll find out if the boob(s) wins on election day, September 26th.

Time To Pet The Peeve (Again)

   Tonight's peeve is going to be quick and painless.

  My irritation du jour are those people who comprise roughly 25% of the people you know. Actually, the people may be just fine, but it's this one thing that rots my fucking eyesockets that I'll share with you.

  Everyone knows someone who pollutes social networks on a mass scale by keeping a shot of them trying to wrap their tongue around their mate's uvula as their profile picture. And if you don't know someone who does this, you are the visual terrorist who does this. And you need to really stop.

  Yes, I get it. You get laid; and judging by the fact that there are over 6 BILLION of us motherfuckers on the planet, I'm pretty sure a ton of other people do too. I'm fucking happy for you. I don't get why your girlfriend's moustache is thicker than yours, but whatever tickles your pickle.

  "but you're just JEALOUS that you can't get some ass." You're partially right here. I don't have sex, I masturbate. How about I post a shot of an urn of Astroglide and some bum beads? How'd you like THEM marbles?
  As for jealousy, most of the Facebook/Twitter teams that play tonsil hockey on their profiles are the teams that didn't quite make it to the pros. If I wanted to fuck an ugly bitch, I'd fuck myself. And tweet the gory details. End of story.

  So seriously stop with this abomination. Chances are your mother looks at your Facebook page and she doesn't need to see the evidence of your latest drunken hookup you can't get rid of. She already has to hear you blabbing about how great he is, she doesn't need a slideshow. And neither do the rest of us. For the love of humanity, please cease and desist.

  Or for you dense types, PLEASE FUCKING STOP.

  Thank you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Your Daily Weird

  Star Trek has some seriously hard-core fans and they live and breathe their alternate realities. They love coming up with new things to do with their man-made universe.
Nothing's too weird for those rare folks who are actually geekier than i am .

  So check this out- they are staging a Klingon opera in Holland. Apparently it is the first authentic Klingon opera on Earth.
  So prepared were the nerds, they send a radio message to where they thing Klingon home planet Qu'onos is located in April in the hopes of an interplanetary visit.

  The opera's website touts the following:

"Beauty in Klingon music comes from the impact of two opposing forces. To quote a well known Klingon proverb qa’ wIje 'meH masuv or 'We fight to enrich the spirit.’ "The Klingon orchestra is made up of various indigenous Klingon instruments, some that have never been heard on earth before."

  All told, the creators spent 3 years to come up with this bizarre entertainment spectacle that will be sure to draw Trekkies to the Netherlands in droves. (Okay, along with something else.)

  The project is produced by the stoner conglomerate KlingonTerranResearchEnsemble, which spends its time researching Klingon culture and history.

  I'm really not making this up.

  Since I know all of you are dying to go check this out, the official website is here.The music's not bad when you forget that it is adults dressed like characters from a Gene Roddenberry acid trip.



... . . I hate being right.  

  Back in June I wrote an entry about sports card investments, and poor ones especially.

  The main example was a transaction where someone purchased a rare Stephen Strasburg card for $16, 400. I extolled the young man's finer qualities, but that the force he used to pitch 100 miles per hour would damage his arm.  I also pointed out the amazing items from other Hall of Fame athletes that retain and increase in value, and that hype purchases often work out poorly. Excitement and competitiveness drives prices into the stratosphere.
  This is something I've seen time and again. You see, my dirty little secret is that I am sports card obsessed.

  Myself and friends have made and lost fortunes off of cardboard. In my case, I wind up with collections that are worth several times what I paid and some greedy girlfriend or room mate relieves me of my stash. I'll admit that I have a large collection again and I enjoy it. Sometimes I even share with the like-minded.
  I've also witnessed friends win and lose in the cardboard stock market. I've seen them buy overprinted "special" cards for enormous sums and lose thousands and win with graded, proven talent and pulling rookies from packs. We began meticulously studying cards long before they got into vogue in the late eighties and can spot any condition variable and I am an expert.

  I have no idea what forced me to discover the subtle variations when I was a kid and retain them; but that ability and the one that seems to know the best time to sell are nerd skills I have. If I started with money, i would be far wealthier in a short period of time. But since I was poor as a kid I discovered cards. This is something that doesn't matter to most people, but I'm very good at it.

  With this market knowledge and that of Stephen Strasburg's probability of trashing his arm, I came to the conclusion that spending $16, 400 on an oversaturated rookie phenom's cardboard image was a very bad idea. He has too hard of a throw and too awkward a style to risk the cost of a car on.

  I was absolutely ripped on for stating that this Bowman Strasburg was the next  Topps Tiffany Barry Bonds.

  And I was correct.

  Stephen Strasburg hurt his shoulder some time back, after only a few starts. Even though he was limited afterward by his team, he tore his Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his elbow. Badly. I have damaged this ligament doing stupid things and it doesn't tickle. This kid is screwed for roughly 2 years because he's scheduled for Tommy John surgery. Poor kid. I feel bad for him because he seems like a cool kid.

  Buy his cards in 8 months.

WTBlue Friday

  A Mississippi woman was arrested this week for taking pornographic pictures of her kids to send to her online boyfriend.

  41 year old Angela Shoemake was picked up for child exploitation after her real-life boyfriend found disturbing photos of the 6 and 8 year old boys on the family computer and the shocked man rightly phoned the police.
  While it is not clear whether or not she actually send the appalling images, she did indeed take the pictures to try to impress a weirdo she met on the interwebs.
  I don't know about you guys, but I'm high sick of these so-called mothers becoming so willing to volunteering their children for exploitation. Mums are supposed to fight and die for their kids, not offer them up to perverts.
  There are really distorted folks out there, and even if they aren't actual paedophiles, they are narcissistic enough to get a kick out of dominating someone so much that she'll offer up the innocence of her young. There are men so distorted in their thinking that they enjoy having absolute control; and the ultimate in power is to command someone's maternal impulses to cease. To own someone so much, she'll give up anything for your admiration.

  I hope this beast is incarcerated for a good long time and her kids are never permitted within a state of her. If it were legal to do so, I'd call for Angela Shoemake to have her uterus ripped out; but since it isn't, 20 years in the tank should be fine.
  As for this reprehensible stain who requested this abomination, when they track him down, I really hope he pulls a weapon so the cops can mow him down like the societal weed he is.

  This horrid case is just one appalling example of what is exactly wrong with us. We've raised people to be pathetic victims or sociopathic scumbags. And sometimes they are one and the same like this hideous wench above.

  Some people really should not breed.  Good on the boyfriend for reporting this before 2 kids became the next to wind up in early graves due to the ultimate in parental ineptitude.

  Watch your kids. You have no idea who may be watching them.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Silly Lawsuit Of The Weak

  An Illinois woman is suing Mcdonald's Restaurants because of burns related to one of their hot beverages.

  Vicki Larocco alleges that her daughter was burned by hot chocolate that spilled onto her leg. Last year, the mom purchased the beverage at a drive through and gave it to her young child, who was indeed harmed by the drink spilling on her. The suit claims that the lid was improperly secured and that Mcdo should have known the beverage was too hot for consumption.
  While I empathize with the girl's suffering, I'm going to place some blame where it should be. All McDonald's hot drink containers contain warnings about the temperature due to a 1994 lawsuit where a woman was awarded $600 000 (lowered from $2 million) after an elderly woman scalded herself. The mom should know that hot chocolate is indeed hot, and should have checked herself to see if it was safe to serve to her child.

  This case is also similar to one in Brooklyn, New York where a mum is suing Starbucks because her infant son was burned by her hot tea. A man is also claiming to have suffered third-degree (?) burns after spilling tea on himself at a nearby Starbucks.

  I don't want to sound like a sourpuss here, but when are we going to take personal accountability into consideration? I know from experience that being sizzled does not tickle, but this is ridiculous. This would be like me suing Rothenberger because I scorched myself with my roofing torch or attempting litigation every time I got painful gas from eating at Taco Bell even though I know I'm lactose intolerant.

  Human beings cook their food. This has been going on for tens of thousands of years or more and will not cease. And because we are funny apes that like it hot, we do get burned. It happens. If there is anyone who should be suing, it should be the kids suing their idiot stick parents. But mum isn't a multi-billion dollar corporation and that's what this is all about.

  I don't like McDonald's. They serve disgusting, genetically-modified addictive pseudonutrition that comes horribly abused animals. That being said, they don't deserve to be sued because some dingbat served her kid an appropriately named drink. Don't order hot chocolate if you expect Nesquik.

 I've become convinced that stupidity has become a new occupation.

I stole the image from because you can clearly see the warning.

Morning Quickie

  Joe Winett : " Have you ever noticed the fire on the right side of Roofer On Fire's blog looks like a woman?"

Me : "Holy crap it DOES!" (I had not noticed since my monitor is older than Adam and doesn't give as wide of a screenview)

What Joe's talking about below:

   Everyone needs a friendly weirdo. And that's not an advert, it's a tattoo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Public Service Announcement

  I read a statistic today that stated that 39% of Americans believe astrology to be scientific fact. According to loads of people and most of my female friends, the planetary alignment has an effect on everything from your personality traits to whether the dog pukes on the sofa.

  My friends' obsessions with astrology are a source of annoyance for me as much as my love of hockey is an irritation to them. We have different hobbies and I try to keep mine to myself, but because this is my blog, I'm going to express my opinion on the pseudoscience that confuses the hell out of me.

  To begin with, people ask me my sign. Apparently, being a Gemini is such a horrifying thing that I've been denied dates because of it. According to this mumbojizzle I'm only compatible with certain specific signs and I'm supposed to be a moody, indecisive, extroverted jerk who cannot commit. People also want to know about when exactly I was born and ascribe other judgments based on the fact that it was 3:20 AM on May 22nd. You will judge me before you know me because of some paperback you bought in the checkout line.

  But what if I said I wasn't the sign I was? Could you really tell? The answer is no. You would simply pick out the traits that you think suit me for "verification" because every person displays the entire spectrum of personality traits at some time or another. So let's say I tell you I'm a Taurus. It wouldn't be entirely a lie since I was actually born 3 weeks late and should technically have been born in the middle of Bullhead land.
  You'd assume that I'm a quiet, obstinate introvert with a jealous streak. Maybe you'd find me more attractive than the evil, two-faced Gemini.

 And our signs are also tied into planetary alignment. Apparently when this planet or that one does this thing that it doesn't usually do, it affects all of these zodiac signs in different ways. I think that's what people are telling me anyways. I'm confused. I also think this is complete and utter crap and at least as big of a waste of time as watching the New York Islanders lose their 9th game in a row.

  All I know is that ramming this annoying hobby down my neck will not make me believe it. I'm a believer in scientific fact. If my computer is acting funny, it's not because Mercury's in retrograde, but that it should be in a metro grave. Some defunct Greek God has absolutely nothing to do with my mood nor the fact that AMD processors have short life spans. I've had insomnia for months and you'd be bitchy too regardless of the planetary doohickeys. You'd also be a tad irritated if the tool of your trade was a geriatric, malfunctioning beast.

  Please, PLEASE stop forcing your weird waste of time on this atypical Gemini goofball and I will have a ton more respect for your actual patterns of thought. If you don't cease and desist I might be forced to give you a rising sign all my own.

  Thank You

Weird but pretty graphic that I do not understand the meaning of courtesy of

Fame: When the most sinister impulses become entertainment

Article first published as The Disease of Unwarranted Fame on Blogcritics.

The public anticipation over the possible Heidi Montag sex tape got me to thinking about how fame is acquired in recent years.

It used to be that the spotlight was garnered from doing something monumental. One could become known for scientific discoveries, political clout, or academy award nominations. There were those who attained notoriety for the most extreme in human wretchedness as well ; the peculiar circus that followed Leopold and Loeb would be an example. Back in the day, there was a reason (or multitude of them) why an individual may grace the cover of the New York Post.

Today, however is a different time. We live in the age of instant celebrity. It is fast and fleeting and often undeserved. Like a Max Headroom plotline, fame can indeed be bought and sold. All one has to do is come from the right family and attend the right nightclubs, and he or she can indeed become a star, even if only for a nanosecond. The ultimate fame-maker amongst young women nowadays seems to be the sex tape. Once a marker of shady character, the display of one's sexual acrobatics has become a stepping stone to stardom.

The wealthy have always been creatures of intrigue. Names like Rothschild and Getty were known amongst common folk, their tales of fortunes won giving the average person something to aim for. The superior genius displayed by Einstein and Curie were celebrated curiosities. There was a sense of entitlement to be sure, but behaving truly awfully could destroy public image and a career forever.

Our modern society now celebrates fame, but seems to have no concern for how it is acquired. The intellectual celebrity is fast becoming a thing of the past, with talented writers replaced by filthy gossips and innovative scientists with experiments in human decrepitude. Instead of admiring the exquisiteness of the debutante's mannerisms, we jealously pursue the inner workings of her reproductive parts.

In our age a politician may work tirelessly to pass meaningful legislation, but you won't know his name until he is caught with his pants down in the presence of someone not his partner. An athlete may be superior to his peers but invisible in comparison with his mates caught in scandal. The actor with the most DUI or assault convictions can garner more attention than those with enviable talents.

Fame has become a commodity that is bought and sold with little-to-no experience required. All one needs to do to be famous is have a few of the right friends and behave in the most reprehensible way possible.
And who can blame them? When you can make millions of dollars per annum drinking and sleeping with whomever you want, there is no incentive to be the better person. When you know that you don't have the talent of Leonardo DiCaprio, but someone offers you a chance to hang at the same nightclubs, many would jump at the opportunity. Most people want affirmation, and like eternal children, some have discovered that the only way to have a shot at the big time is to sell their souls to the highest bidder.

There will become a time, hopefully soon, that folks will become irritated by the spectacle. Everyday people will stop enjoying the train wreck and tune their attentions to things not on VH1 or TMZ. The body politic will become focused on those who make them feel joy in humanity's gifts as opposed to its seediest underlay. We will become sick of schadenfreude and embrace those who make us enlightened.

I dare to hope for the demise of the undeserving celebrity because I believe that we will culturally rebound. We are in an instant age, and with that comes the promise that trends will shift. Just like the era of selfishness was ushered in, it shall be shown the door. To think otherwise is to view humanity with permanent disdain and to give up on our beauty.

"While I breathe, I hope. " - Latin Proverb

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just for Fun

Watch the last 30 seconds and you'll find out the utter truth about life

What CAN You Do Today?

  Almost 200 women and young boys were gang-raped less than 20 kilometres from a U.N. peacekeeping post in the Congo.

  The attacks, which included the brutalization of a one-month-old baby boy were carried out by Rwandan FLDR and Mai-Mai rebels who are fighting with the Congolese army over control of mineral resources. The eastern congo is very mineral-rich, but everyone wants a piece of the windfall. Systematic rape is considered a valid privilege of fighting in an area where shame is a weapon and women and children are seen as property.

  The UN peacekeeping force numbers a mere 20,000 and has often been criticized for protecting goods instead of civilians. During the 4-day occupation and war-crime session, peacekeepers did indeed manage to protect people while they traveled to a commercial truck conveniently located near a mine. Somehow they also claim to have been powerless against the mob of rebel rapists. It is no wonder that the Congolese government wants the UN out.

  Adding fuel to my ire is the fact that IMF spokesman Will Cragin issued this comment: "There was no fighting and no deaths, just lots of pillaging and the systematic raping of women."

 Just the pillaging and raping? Just? There is no just nor justice here. The looting was given equal or greater importance over the gang-raping. I know I'm not a man living in a small Congolese town, but I'm pretty sure that every one of those guys would give up every material possession to ensure the safety of their wives and children. Just gang-raping of women and children by armies of AIDS-infected soldiers? As for no deaths, there will certainly be loads considering that only 3 people where given the post-exposure anti-infection regimen. If 60% of these soldiers are infected with AIDS , as some estimates suggest, this becomes a de facto genocide by rape. Pat yourself on the back for not fighting with these scumbags if you wish, but there will most certainly be deaths.

  So what to do? People must be told about this situation and UN forces increased. If people were aware of the thousands of people systematically tortured and given death sentences, they would actually volunteer to protect others. Also stop protecting mines . The Congolese army can and will protect their natural resources. They've said it all along that they only need the UN to help them combat atrocities against humans. Moreover, gold is a product- it has no thoughts or feelings. The lives of innocents are far more important than something from the ground that man thinks is worth something when it is really just a rock.

  Let the little boys fight over their pretty stones and protect civilians from very real terror. When Lester Pearson designed the modern peacekeeping force the mineral was not given a place above man; in fact it was the opposite, and for very good reason.

  Victims of war crimes are not only numbers, they are living, breathing, feeling entities crying out for our help.
 We must place the health and welfare of everyday people over trinkets. And some of you may think we have no place to be involved, that these people are somehow alien to you, inferiors, or savages. For you I have one question:

  What would you want done if it was your life and the lives of those closest to you were given a lesser value because of the discovery of baubles in your backyard?

  Click HERE for more information on how you can help innocent victims of the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It's Never Too Late For An Epiphany

Article first published as New America, Old Ideas : When Right Goes Horribly Wrong on Blogcritics by yours truly.

There is a lot of opinion since right-wingnut Pam Geller started the controversy over a mosque being built on private property in New York City, and some of those thoughts turn into actions.
I have weighed in on it before, and I'll admit that even I was caught up in having to re-evaluate how I feel about others. It's easy to jump on a bandwagon because strength seems to be reinforced by others. The debate about the mosque has brought out the worst in many folks on both sides of the coin, with many demonizing Muslims as terror supporters and others calling opponents of the mosque racists.

The mass hysteria encouraged by protesters was in full force in lower Manhattan yesterday as a man was harassed and physically threatened simply for looking different.

The man's name is Ken and his crime is his pigmentation and his taste in hats. Unbeknownst to the mob, folks other than Muslims wear tight caps; Jews and some other observant folks cover their domes, and athletes and construction workers frequently wear tight lids underneath their helmets. Ken is a long-time union carpenter who works at Ground Zero. He's one of the good guys.

The reality is that people are so blinded by hatred that they mistook a man for something sinister when he was just trying to live his life. And carpenter Ken is absolutely right in the fact that even if he were Muslim, the hate is not justified. There is already a mosque in Manhattan. The Manhattan Masjid has been around for 40 years and nobody seems too upset about it being there, with the exception of these new protesters, most of whom aren't even New Yorkers.

The new protests have not just come against the proposed Cordoba Center, but have now come against all mosques, all Muslims, and anyone who might look like a Muslim. Because of the blind nature of the fear, blacks and browns have been attacked and harassed by those afflicted with the new hysteria. A Canadian rabbi was even incarcerated because xenophobia is that stupid at its core. The new right wants to make being Muslim a federal crime and will confuse lay folk in order to meet their ultimate goal.

Muslims have replaced gays, blacks, and the Japanese as the new enemy. It's easy to point the finger at someone else in order to compensate for our own flaws. The Koran indeed holds a load of horrors, but so does the Bible. It's far more convenient to quote Surah 9:5 than Judges 19:25 because one of those books belongs to the Big Bad Them, and They are coming to get us.

The truth in the matter is the fact that Muslims often come to the West seeking moderation and freedom from societies that have bastardized their faith. Quakers and Mennonites and Jews have all come to America to escape religious radicalism and bigotry. Muslims who grew up in Iran and Syria have witnessed their religion used as a weapon against those with more open minds. America seems more like home than what their former homes have become. At least it did, until a demented propaganda-fueled segment of society saw the world change and them left in the dust.

There was a time not so long ago that Americans were controlled by scared men. Thousands of people of ethnic minorities were sterilized in Virginia under the guise that whites were ethnically and morally superior. People of Japanese heritage where taken from their families and Eastern Europeans were incarcerated as possible spies. Women could be forcibly raped and beaten by their husbands and gays were lobotomized. These horrors and more are stains on our past, but today's neo-cons seem very in love with the same ideals that inhibit progress and oppress citizens.

Building the Cordoba Center might not be wise, given the appalling political tenor of today, but the right to do so is ingrained in the constitutional documents referred to by the segment that wants to have the right to own rocket launchers. Hating a man because you believe him to be an inferior is contrary to a document that precedes the Constitution by a decade. The Declaration of Independence was indeed controversial, but held that the new union was to be different from the totalitarian monarchies. Moreover, the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom to worship whatever metaphysical overseer the citizen chooses.

Amendments 1 through 10 comprise the Bill of Rights. As much as people would like to mess with them, they are not the Bill of I'll Do What I Want To Whomever I Want. An American is permitted to worship a doorknob as a god, and while you're allowed to have an opinion about The Loyal Order of the Shining Knob, you are not allowed to infringe on your neighbour's right to call a brass doorknob God.

Americans enjoy freedom of assembly, but those powers are limited. One cannot promote hatred, cause mass disorder, or threaten the life of a guy because of the way he looks. There is indeed a fine line between free speech and hate speech and the far right has climbed over the wall into the pits of rancorous Hell.

If you think that your right to bear arms is more important than freedom of faith, open a history book or look at that Constitution hanging on your wall.

And if you think that the sweeping acrimony has nothing to do with you or people like you, Sunday's victimization of a common blue-collar guy like yourself is the reality check that we all need.

"Hatred is the madness of the heart" — Lord Byron

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Case Of The Ambulance Chaser Vs Jillian Michaels

Frivolous lawsuits are why insurance costs are atrocious and why herbal remedies will never get FDA approval. They affect everything from your dentist bill to the price of a loaf of bread.

  People sue if the close a door on their foot because they aren't paying attention, if they get a paper cut in the library, or their sissified nose is exposed to a funky smell. People are trigger-happy jacks when it comes to trying to get something for nothing and ambulance-chasing is one of the easiest jobs out there.
So check this out: A person is suing Jillian Michaels because her lawyer claims that the herbs in her liver detox crap (okay Triple Process Total Body Cleanse) are a potentially lethal combination of toxic substances.

The lawyer claims that Jillian Michaels and her team are fraudulently representing a dangerous product and that it can kill you. From what I've noticed by the fact that she is still alive, the product certainly did not end the plaintiff's life or disable her. Otherwise she wouldn't be around to hire a lawyer and file suit against Ms. Michaels. But I'd really like to find out if any of these herbs and spices are actually dangerous. I'm a nerd like that. Let me take you for a ride around the wild world of homeopathy and see where it leads. I offer to you an analysis of the "potentially lethal" components and will let the chips fall where they may.
Without further ado, let's boogie.

Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus)

The Claim: Causes gastrointestinal ulcers and is highly toxic

What It Is: Irish Moss is a sea algae that is found all over the place. It is used as a vegan gelatin and is used as a thickening agent in everything from ice cream to luncheon meats. You will probably know it as carrageenan and may notice it used as a clarifying agent for beers and wines. In addition it is often drank in the belief that it has a curative effect on impotence. It was consumed widely during the Irish Potato Famine as a source of cheap nourishment.

What It Does: Irish moss has anticoagulant properties and may reduce cholesterol which may indeed help the aforementioned impotence. It is used to treat coughs and infections and has anti-inflammatory qualities. It is commonly used to treat a slew of different gastrointestinal symptoms, including ulcers and chronic diarrhea. Because it can interfere with the absorption of food, it is found in all kinds of dietary products. There have been cases of stomach bleeding when taking high doses of Irish Moss in conjunction with anticoagulants in those prone to bleeding.
The Verdict: I'm going to side with the defendant here. Irish Moss does the exact opposite of what the plaintiff claims and is even indicated for it. The rare instances of bleeding have occurred in those who already have it and are taking far more harmful drugs like Warfarin. The amount that would cause bleeding in the most susceptible person is astronomical compared to the amount in this product.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

The Claim: Causes dermatitis and is highly toxic because it grows on your lawn
What It Is: Yarrow is a flowering plant that has been cultivated and used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It has been used all over the world for a litany of purposes. It has been used for millenia to treat wounds and health problems and varieties of it grow over the entire Northern hemisphere.

What It Does: First off, Yarrow is an astringent and can be used to stop bleeding and treat skin conditions. It is used as a weapon against allergies and asthma. It can act as a diuretic and purge toxins from the body. Yarrow has historically been used for backaches, headache, and fever sufferers and for good reason- it contains salicylic acid, which you may know as one of the two components of Aspirin. The idea of putting Aspirin on a toothache comes from Navajo chewing on this plant.
In very rare cases allergic skin reactions have happened in the wild in people with severe grass allergies. Basically you have to roll in wet Yarrow to induce a reaction if you are prone.
The Verdict: The case against Yarrow is absolute crap. Again, this plant is used to treat the very condition that the plaintiff's lawyer claims it causes. This plant will not kill you. The slight diuretic action would be most welcomed by someone on a detoxification plan. Lady, you need to find a new weed to blame.

Chinese Rhubarb (Rheum palamatum)
The Claim: It is a harsh laxative and dangerous diuretic that causes irreversible liver damage

What It Is: It's rhubarb silly, except this one grows in Tibet and is somewhat more powerful. It has been used not only for medicine but in liqueurs for around 5000 years.

What It Does: Like Senna, Chinese Rhubarb is used as a laxative in larger doses and an anti-diarheal in smaller ones. This is a known blood detoxifier that also calms stomach bleeding and may even lower cholesterol. It may even possibly fight cancer. Chinese Rhubarb is used medically to treat Hepatitis B and has been proven to slow renal failure in those with kidney disease.People who take high doses of Chinese Rhubarb for long periods of time may develop a form of laxative dependence.

The Verdict: This may be one of the least harmful proven treatments for any medical condition out there. While the leaves of the plant are indeed highly toxic, the part that is used is very safe. Those on short-term detoxification programmes would most welcome the diuretic effect. As for liver damage, that claim is absolute bunk. Hepatitis B is a liver disease which is slowed in progression by Chinese Rhubarb. While some anorexics will damage their livers, this will not cause it. Next.

Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
The Claim: Causes nausea and vomiting

What It Is: This berry grows on a rubber-like bush and even grows where I live. I actually thought this to be purely ornamental, but it is so much more. Bearberry has been used for a very long time to treat dozens of medical conditions and even contains flavonoids.

Tell Me More: Bearberry leaves are a urinary antiseptic that was used as an early diabetes treatment. It is uses as a tonic for all sorts of urinary problems including kidney stones and bladder infections. Bearberry tea was the first line of defense against venereal diseases brought by European settlers. As an antibiotic, it has been proven effective against e. coli and Staph infections. It is medically approved as a drug for urinary conditions in Germany. The side effect of too much Bearberry is in the belly and if you consume high amounts of it you will probably be nauseated.

The Verdict: Taken for a week or so at a time, Bearberry is absolutely safe. The amount one would have to consume in order to produce any side effects is simply not available in this product. It's almost a shame that there is such a miniscule amount in this supplement because it is pretty decent stuff. And even if it were to give you a sore tummy, you certainly will not need to make funeral arrangements.

Fenugreek Seed

The Claim: Interferes with digestion and causes diarrhea and gas

What It Is: Fenugreek is a yummy bitter spice that's found in curry and eaten on Rosh Hashanah. It is found in mixtures like Ras El Hanout and Chinese 5-Spice Powder and is used all over Africa, India, the Middle East, and Asia. In Afghanistan, it is made into a pudding that promotes strength. It is the basis for many sweet and savoury dishes, teas, and even hair conditioner. Fenugreek is used on our side of the pond to flavour fake maple syrup and is even used in candy. This stuff is everywhere, and it is awesome.

But Is It Healthy?: Absolutely! Fenugreek is found in all kinds of training supplements and lowers your cholesterol. Fenugreek has been proven to increase milk production several times over in nursing mothers and helps to reinvigorate the tired post-partum mama. Fenugreek seeds also are effective in treating diabetes and lowers triglycerides.
As for the dreaded diarrhea, routine consumption of more than a quarter-pound on a daily basis may incite the curry squirts or interfere with iron absorption. In the question of the unspeakable gas, have you tried to figure out what spice in the tagine made you fart?

The Verdict: My grandmother ate fenugreek all of the time and lived to be 86. I eat it and so do billions of people around the planet and we are all very much alive and well. The idea of fenugreek being a dangerous substance is one of the most absurd arguments I've ever heard. Even if through sheer masochism one wanted to consume enough fenugreek to give yourself the trots, you'd have to inhale 223 days worth of these Jillian Michaels pills in a single sitting to do it. If fenugreek is a drug, then every black, brown, and yellow person on the planet should be arrested for criminal possession of curry powder.

I have read each and every ingredient of Jillian Michaels' detox product and while I can't say you will lose any weight, it will not harm you unless you have a severe allergy to one of the ingredients. And if like me, you have a food allergy, you will read a label and contact the company if you have doubts. I am so confident that this will not harm you that I'd sprinkle it on my salad if it was vegan.

In order to consume any of these herbs in such a quantity as to cause you any distress, you would have to eat several bottles of it in a single sitting and if you fail to use a product as directed the company is not responsible. I would not be betting on paying the plaintiff ten dollars, let alone ten million. The only side effect I can come up with amongst all of the tasty things that make up these capsules is the possibility of an extra fart. While The 10 Million Dollar Fart might make for a black comedy video title, it doesn't make for a lawsuit.

Case dismissed.

Love Thy Neighbour

Most folks can see that  Toronto is easily one of the most diverse places on the planet, but locals know that it is pretty friendly compared to most big cities. It always surprises those from LA or Seattle, but Torontonians actually speak to their neighbours for reasons other than their grass needing clipped.

The spirit was in full force this weekend. A church group has made it their mission to make gay couples uncomfortable. Their harassment had actually driven one couple out and there is an older same-sex couple that has had to deal with picketing, loud praying, and continual badgering for years. 7 years, to be exact. 7 years of being stalked by people who don't even live in the area.

And one night, the entire neighbourhood united and drove the band of ideological interlopers out. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Public Service Announcement

Evangelical motherfuckers confuse me.

  Snakes are really rad critters, but apparently they are devil spawn. So who exactly said "yo Mr. Slither, you're evil?" Well it wasn't the Skyboss, because God doesn't fuck up, and when he does he turns everything into pillars of salt or makes them fuck their dads. (Lot)

  But snakes got a bad rap somehow. The bible says that some metaphysical dude took snake's legs, but for some reason Eve still wanted to fuck Snake (I can't figure out why) .

  Anywho, some idiot decided that snake was Satan in critter form. Nobody can explain to me why. They just say "it's in the Bible, idiot". But snake seems pretty awesome. He eats all the plague-spreading rats and can choke an intruder and he even sheds without you having to comb his ass. Snake is a pretty rad dude.

  But there are these weird evangelical motherfuckers claiming that they can tame Snake. They say they can control Snake and even charm Snake. This is crap. Snake is the Chuck Norris of the critter kingdom. Nobody owns Snake, he owns you.

  And we need to save Snake. Seriously. We need to preserve the integrity of this oft-stepped on beast.

  Why the fuck isn't PeTA on all these pseudoreligious twatwaffles' asses? This is clearly animal cruelty. I mean we don't want Biblical bullshit yarred down our yaws, so imagine Snake. He's defenseless. We NEED to do something about this.

  So stand up for the cool dude that lives on his belly.

  Let's save snakes from evangelicals.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quote Of The Day

” Only a rebellious woman, who deliberately disobeys the Word of God, would wear pants. It is clear from these unsaved singers why women should not wear pants. Pants on women are adulterous in nature, and cause men to lust and sin. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 5:28, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Women who wear pants deliberately cause men to lust, and commit the sin of adultery. It is this spirit of fornication which has caused tens-of-millions of unwanted pregnancies in the United States, and 48,000,000 abortions in America. Rock-n-Roll, Big Band, and the roaring 20′s are much to blame. Along with these swingy types of music came dancing, one of the biggest sins of all. Billy Sunday was right to preach against dancing, and by the way…

 ALL dancing is dirty dancing unless it’s between a husband and wife in the privacy of their home.
The average person today scoffs at the idea that Rock-n-Roll, Satanism, and immoral sex go hand-in-hand, but they certainly do. When Rock-n-Roll came to America, so did pants on women become mainstream. Naturally, feminism, witchcraft, abortion, and homosexuality came as well. Rock-n-Roll is straight from the pits of Hell. ALL rock-n-roll women wear pants”

David J. Stewart

  Yes, even Michael Savage's BFF  Dana Loesch is trying to corrupt good Christian men into lives of sin and the pits of Hell.

  God doesn't create morons. Religion does.

Look What I Found

  I absolutely LOVE looking at the array of strange treasure that my mother has amassed over the past few years, and here is the latest.

  Yes. That is an itty bitty functioning pair of slip-joint pliers with a lighter for comparison. They measure around 5 inches long and are quite old, as you can plainly see. They look like Channel-Locks for leprechauns.

  The only things I know about this very cool tool is that it was made after 1922 and before 1936 and may have been used as a radio battery wrench, but I could be wrong. They were manufactured by Indestro in Chicago and are mark No. 3411 and were likely sold at Sears Roebuck.

  I'm wondering if anyone has any information to add about this really cool piece of Americana, I'd love it if you dropped me a line. I really want to know the story behind one of the smallest tools I've ever seen.

Happy trails.


Yummy Treat

  I've spent my fair share of time in Toronto. It's a rockin city full of fun and excitement and all kinds of people doing all kinds of things.
 In the late summer, the CNE opens. It has all kinds of vendors and concerts and one of the largest wood roller coasters ever made. The CNE is like Coney Island, but with more Canadians and less annoying New York teenage douchebags and less awesome knishes.

  I Digress. The CNE is full of weird carnival food like poutine, mac and cheese, and bacon-covered everything. Greasy, hearty Canadian artery-clogging comfort carnival crap is the rule at the CNE.

  However, something strange has hit the famous Sweet Treats stand. A snack food  has popped into the fryer that is so bizarre that it necessitates this annoyingly drawn-out introduction.

Photo: Aaron Harris, Toronto Star

  Open your maw and get your colon ready for DEEP FRIED BUTTER.

   This deep fried regret is created by freezing balls of butter, dunking them in funnel cake batter, and frying the dignity out of them for 20 seconds or so. Once they come out of the fryer they are doused in caramel or a variety of other sweet toppings and given a liberal dusting of icing sugar.

  The owners of Sweet Treats are not the first people to deep-fry butter, but they certainly have been the most creative in their cholesterol-laded concoctions. Exactly how stoned would one need to be to think that taking a wad of dairy fat, soaking it in eggy crap, dropping it into hydrogenated fat, and coating it with sugary shit is a good idea? I'm serious. I want to see the mountain of marijuana and examine it for, you know, research purposes. I cannot conceive of this and I've consumed fondued Cheetos whilst under the influence of seductive sativa. (It was after designing and using an aquarium bong almost 20 years ago. Stop looking at me that way.)

  Are you as freaked out by this weird backlash against reason as I am? Do you want to belly up to the trough to stuff your pie with the abomination formerly known as bagel spread?

  For me, the concept of consuming fat coated in fat coated in fat is terrifying; but it is the latest trend in seeing just how far we can push the boundaries of culinary reason. If your kid is in school, advise him or her to become a Gastroenterologist and you'll be comfy into your old age.

Soon will come a day where service workers will sing a new, less familiar refrain that will be appropriate with their new catastrophic cuisine that will sound something like this:

  "Would you like a colonoscopy with that?"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Great White Liar : What The Indictment of Roger Clemens Says About Us

 Article first published as Baseball's Big White Liar on Blogcritics.

Former baseball star Roger Clemens was indicted Thursday for lying to Congress about his use of Human Growth Hormone, but the real reasons behind this colossal waste of time and money have very little to do with the actual lie.

  The famous are often seen as different from all of us. We often alter our opinions and expectations based on the reasons for the notoriety. Actresses are generally portrayed as mentally vacant party animals and Formula 1 drivers as vain and distant. The excusability factor is completely variant based on a person's occupation, and baseball has a certain set of rules that the public sets because it is a sport that most of us have played. It is considered wholesome because children engage in it and those who play it for a living are expected to further the image of America's great pastime.

Time to Pet The Peeve

 Each and every one of us are blessed with gifts and afflicted with faults. Often those of us who have the most prominent assets also have monumental shortcomings in other areas. The life of the party may be insecure, the shy one a genius, and the athlete illiterate. We all have great things about us and things we'd rather change.

  At the time of this writing, I am waiting for an article to be published on a rather large website. In my mind, the work is relevant and the editor is taking far too long to get around to approving it . While the rational part of my mind says that the sports editor is probably up to his eyeballs in op-ed, there is a  part of my brain that is slightly annoyed. Like so many of us, I am impatient.

 Each of us is possessed with a fuse of varying length that may grow or shorten depending on the situation. I am personally most easy-going around children or those who need me in one way or another. I'm tolerant of most people and situations, but to a point. There seems to be a preconceived time-limit on circumstances that I am not always aware of, or at least able to control. Combine this with the fact that the little bastard in my cranium thinks you should know when I'm starting to get irritated and I can come across as being a petulant ox.

  Like most people afflicted with impatience, I can play the role of the most understanding person on the planet when I secretly want you to stop inquiring about each of the cashier's 9 children and get the heck out of the way before I mentally throttle you to death with my imaginary garrote. The watched pot may never boil, but my blood will while I'm waiting for it to; impatiently of course. I also blame the victim of my impatience, which I realize afterward is absolutely self-centered but is my go-to weapon at the time.

  So if you are willing to be patient enough to get to know this selfish, impatient jerk until she can afford monumental amounts of therapy, I'll be highly grateful . Even better, I'll tell you what to do to bring out the best in me and how to not annoy the shit out of my prickly personality.

  #1: Your New Mate Is Not War and Peace

  While I'm sure that the aspiring waiter you met off of Facebook is a really great guy, going on about someone you have never met for 6 hours will inspire me to mentally murder you. The more adjectives you use to describe someone or something, the more I'm going to think you are full of shit. Nobody is that fan-fucking-tastic, and we both know it. I get it, he's wonderful. Let's move on please.

  #2: Your Ex Is Also Not War and Peace
  Yes, Jimmy is a douchebag and he cheated on you and peed on the toilet seat, but you also dated for 2 weeks. Going on for 3 days about how much of an asshole he is and every time he farted at the dinner table will not make anything better. If he's such a jerk, why are you wasting more words than are in the Talmud on him?

  #3: Your New Dog, House, and Car Aren't War and Peace Either

  Your 16-bedroom manse is really rad, and I do get it. You worked hard to get where you are and have the pedigreed Poodles and Maserati to show for it. But I am a visual person. I can process a massive amount of information in a short period of time. So don't talk about it so much- introduce me to your new toy or Bengal cat.
  See that vacant look on my face? That is me trying to not smash your face into one of the 62 individually-designed toilets in your castle that you insist on describing in intricate detail. Yes, you are vastly more successful than me. Making me feel insecure about that fact doesn't make you a better person, it makes you an asshole.

  #4: I Am Not A Political Point

  We are all different humans. Some of us are tall or short, some religious, some gay or straight. I do not speak for every gay person, every woman, every construction worker, or any of the other titles you saddle me with.
  I am me and you're free to ask me any question you want and I'm likely to answer you. Going on a broad-based rant about how feminists steal the jobs of deserving men will do you no favours here. Giving me an unsolicited spiel on how Jesus was a Jew or how I'm going to Hell for this or that will piss me off. I have zero time for preconceived notions based on what you think I should be, which brings me to..

#5: Keep Your Bible Off My Balls

  So you used to be a playboy and then you found religion. I'm really happy that you have found someone or something to give the responsibility of your life to. I'm really glad that you have decided to blame Godlessness instead of your own stupidity for the fact that you used to be an absolute bag of shit. Moreover, I'm thrilled with the fact that you want to give a metaphysical being the credit for turning your life around. Anything that makes you a better person now is absolutely awesome and I'm genuinely happy for you.
  That being said, just because I don't believe in your Spaceman doesn't give you the right to ram it down my throat. People have various belief systems and while I am willing to come to some understanding of what you believe in, there is no amount of blabbing about the glory of Jesus or Allah that will convert me to your faith. If you tell me that your newfound God is going to doom me to Hell, I'm going to tell you to go to Hell.

#6: You And I Have Different Sets Of Genitals

  Anyone who knows me for awhile knows that there are certain things that make me extremely uncomfortable. The major thing I cannot get my head around is the idea that other people have genitals. Your private parts should be kept that way in my presence. If I ask you where you were, just say that you were at the Gynocologist's. You do not need to qualify it with any explanation. I do not want to know about the primordial ooze that caused you to go there. I do not want to know the consistency, colour, or flavour of whatever has invaded your crotch, and certainly not while I'm trying to eat an enchilada.
  Be assured that there MAY be a time and a place for such discussion, but it's surely nowhere near me and not while I'm eating much.

Finally, #7 : Do Not Ask If I Am Listening

  I'm a thinker, and by that I mean thinking about something other than your ingrown toenail. In all seriousness however, if we are engaged in a conversation, it should be a given that I am indeed listening to you. If I tune you out for a brief second, I will return. Your voice is absolutely important to me and questioning it makes me feel like you think I'm a prick. If you poke me, snap your fingers at me, or kick me I will take it as an offensive gesture. Be nice to me and don't inquire about my sincerity and I'll be your friend til the end.

Okay, One Last Thing : Don't Take Food Off Of My Plate

  This is the thing that irritates me the most of anything I can think of. If you are over the age of 12, I may have a primal reaction to it. This may be rooted in some childhood baggage, so please do not test me. I cannot be held responsible for any action that may result. I have reflexively growled at people and stabbed one person with a fork. It is not cute and I will leave the table. This is a "thou shalt not EVER" thing. You have been warned.

  I have friends that I love dearly and they love me back. We all get under the skin of those around us from time to time and all have particular peeves. I hope you have had a little fun with the things that get on my nerves  and by all means, feel free to share the things that irk you most about the human conversation spectrum.

And here's a song to inspire you or cause you to perspire


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Rumors Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

  If you're near a newsrack, pick up a copy of Wired and take a peek. The cover boasts the supposition that the World Wide Web is in fact, dead. I'm sure that those of you who are reading this blog via standard means are confused by the supposition that you are merely viewing print on the visage of a ghost.

  According to the article, the WWW is being murdered by apps. The idea is supported by the statistic which states that a lower percentage of media is delivered via the WWW than was previously. However, the lower market share is misleading. The World Wide Web is far from her deathbed.

 This kind of technobabble grandstanding is not new to Wired or the geekosphere. The article claims that everyone lives in a sea of apps, and the funny part is that many of these applications and utilities are the very same ones that Wired and others have already announced the demise of .

  The first application mentioned in the article is e-mail, which nerd pundits have been proclaiming dead and buried for several years. Tech sources from Wired to Slate to the Wall Street Journal have all declared the demise of e-mail and have done so for years. They've blamed SPAM and text messaging, but electronic mail is certainly relevant enough for Wired to use it as the first example.

  The device used is the iPad, an example of a Netbook, which was declared dead this year. The iPad uses a Macintosh operating system, which was apparently killed off in 2006. It is manufactured by Apple, which was eulogized the same year. You may opt to surf with Firefox, but oops-that's dead too. There is a LOT of murder going on in the technological universe.

  Next, Facebook and Twitter are mentioned and, surprise! ; they're dead too. Apparently, we also cruise our favourite blogs via RSS feeds, which are also running from the grave. Subsequent postmortem apps like Instant Messenger and and Netflix also get mentioned. Yes, the information age is controlled by a sea of zombies.

  In recent memory, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Linux, Apple, and even the iPod have all been given funerals. This may come as a shock to the majority of you reading this article, because through Google (another corpse) I know that the vast majority of you are utilizing at least one of these to read this article.

 Your next job may come via a resume made on Microsoft Office, which as you may have guessed, is also deceased. The funky graphics you see here are courtesy of Java and Flash, which Wired says are especially passed their expiry date. On the subway you are probably reading, but it better not be a newspaper or a Kindle book, because those are long gone as well. After work you might want to kick back and watch the Red Sox game, but it won't be on that black ornament known as the television, which no longer exists, haven't you heard? And you best not plug a Wii into that plastic coffin, because it is just a fart in a windstorm as well.
  Bye the way, the Wired article is actually an illusion, because magazines ceased to exist half a decade ago.

  Wired enjoys the role of the Grim Reaper, but the thing is, they're almost always dead wrong. While people do indeed use the World Wide Web for less of their information, it still garners a huge market share. We also use more and more IT - we have more devices in more households with a greater percentage of our work and play spent using them. While the WWW does gain a slightly smaller market share than it used to, the market itself is infinitely larger. Technology is no longer the bastion of the businessman; everyone from your gruff uncle to aged grandmother is plugged in. And that will not cease regardless of who proclaims it.

  Wired and others need things to write about, topics that will garner our attention. This need for publicity combined with our desire to be one step ahead of the curve fuels the continual announcement that our information delivery systems are worm feed. Decades-old inventions like the World Wide Web are like that savvy grandmother- proof that advanced age does not render something useless.

  Then again you probably aren't reading this article, since it was originally published on a Blog, which is also a cadaver.

A Boatload of Problems

  As some of you may have heard, a ship was apprehended at CFB Esquimalt carrying 490 illegal Tamil migrants in their cargo hold. While it is estimated that many paid human traffickers as much as $50,000 for the voyage, Canadians will be stuck with a bill for far more than that.

  It is expected that the refugee claimants will desire to relocate to Toronto. As a massive city, Toronto is the ideal landing destination for 490 folks who paid vast amounts of money to a human-smuggling terrorist organization to illegally enter a country that is more than willing to dole out vast sums to others.

  While their claims are heard, they will enjoy welfare benefits as well as health and dental benefits that many citizens cannot afford. They have been promised front-of-the-line privileges for subsidized housing that low-income working people often have to wait years to possibly receive. They will also have access to top-of-the-line attorneys, with a low estimate being $22 million for legal representation alone. And you and I will be on the hook for every penny of it.

  This preferential treatment irritates me. To begin with, many of the men on that ship are suspected of having links to terrorist organizations like the Tamil Tigers. 378 of these claimants are grown men who know that they paid money to organized crime to escape a country that they likely committed crime in. It does not cost $50 000 for a plane ticket from Colombo to Toronto, but that is what these guys are suspected of paying to try to sneak into the country. You can be sure that for such a sum, they did not expect to be intercepted by the Navy. The entire migratory premise was illegal and they only made the refugee cry when they were apprehended.

  The nature of the attempted infiltration was not lost on the Canadian government, for those men will hopefully sit in prison  until their cases are heard. The 63 women and 49 children will likely be released to social housing or homes of legal immigrants once they are verified.

  While I support the idea of women and children possibly being absorbed into Canada, I cannot agree when it comes to the men. The Tamil Liberation Tigers are a secessionist organization that murders people. They engage in bombings, massacres and assassinations and are largely supported by the money sent from Tamil expats. This is a group that trained with the PLO and has ties to al-Qaeda and has absolutely no issue with using children as weapons. The ship that was used in the attempt to smuggle all of these individuals is the known property of the Tamil Tigers and they made around $20 million off of this transport.

  The LTTE has engaged in pogroms against Muslims in their own country as well as attacked Buddhists and anyone who generally doesn't support their criminal organization. They engage in arms smuggling, bomb manufacture, piracy, and drug running. Another big cash grab is human smuggling. These are not sweethearts nor political exiles. They are a network defeated by the Sri Lankan government in war that does not want to be held responsible for their actions.

  According to Canadian Government standards, no current or past member of the LTTE is permitted to reside in Canada. These men either are LTTE or know that they were traveling with terrorists. They knew that they were paying mass-murderers. These men are escaping Sri Lanka because they are afraid of being punished for their past actions, most of which are absolutely inexcusable. And they have no basis for being in our country for any amount of time. Stick them on a few DCH-6's and ship them back to Colombo.

  It may seem harsh to want to send 378 men back to a country without wanting to pay to hear their pleas. To some of the bleeding hearts, I'll be seen as a xenophobe, but I can assure you that is not the case. I am proud to live in a colourful country, one that is one of the most diverse and peaceful on the planet. The thing is, I'd like to keep it that way.
  It is an absolute disservice to immigrants to welcome men who have paid an organization that promotes genocide. Moreover, it is a grotesque insult to the thousands of disenfranchised refugees who choose our country because of its safety to import people who may have been responsible for killing their kin.

  Offer refugee status to children and young adults who were forced to be soldiers and offer the women safety. I have no problem with paying for the legitimate claimants, but am not comfortable subsidizing the escape of barbarians who sympathize with our enemies. Shiploads of men who threaten the health and safety of our nation and her denizens have no place within our borders. If they were the peaceful immigrants they claim to be they would have come by plane.

  We need to send a strong message to the TTLE and to all human traffickers that we will not allow them to set up cells in our nation and will never support mass-murderers.

  As insensitive as it seems, I believe that as a nation we have no choice but to send the Tigers back to their den.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy 33rd Birthday to Tarja Turunen

  There are a lot of famous dudes born today. Filthy stinking rich guys.

  Robert DeNiro was born today 67 years ago. Yes Bob, I'm talkin to you.

 It's also Sean Penn's birthday and Donnie Wahlberg's day.

  Wealthy beyond belief sports guys like Nelson Piquet and Jorge Posada and Dustin Pedroia get to blow out candles today.

  It's also creepy kid Montana Fishburne's 19th birthday and she'll get a birthday dildo or birthday cake or birthday cake shaped like a birthday dildo.Maybe she can share it with fellow porn star Ken Ryker, who's never been picky.

  Dudes who play with balls like Guillermo Vilas and Jim Courier and Christian Laettner get to have their balls played with today.

  There are a LOT of rich and famous and sometimes irritating people who get to enjoy August 17th, but this is my blog and I'll dispense the birthday wishes to whomever pleases me. And while Tarja Turunen may share a birthday and even year with a bunch of soccer nuts, I'm going to grace you with her presence because she makes me feel nice.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Media Moment

How much crap can you pack in a Jazz commercial?

Watch and then you'll know.

Ripped from Sofifii

WTBlue Fuck Of The Weak

  There are some seriously screwed up people on the planet, and today we turn our attention to Scandinavia.

  Sweden is home to lingonberries, reindeer, and one pervert who was stupid enough to be apprehended before he could cause actual harm to an innocent.

  A Stockholm plumber was arrested and charged with offenses including Attempting to Purchase The Sexual Services of A Child. The paedophilic pipedoctor met an unidentified 13 year old girl off of a social networking site and deposited 500 kronor (About $70US) into her bank account under the assumption that she would meet him for sex.

  She didn't show up, and this is where it gets really weird. The stain tracked down his target's father via telephone to demand that the girl show up or give him a refund. Naturally, the horrified householder phoned police immediately, but amazingly did not give the perv a refund of his plumbing in a jar.

  The weirdos defense-he thought she was 25.

I'm thinking that one guy is going to spend a few years getting his plumbing rearranged and one girl is going to be banned from the internet for the rest of her teenage.

  Watch your kids. You have NO idea who might be watching them.

In Dignity

  As much as I try to avoid blogging (or even thinking) about fame-monster Tila "Tequila" Nguyen, a few of my readers have asked me to weigh in on her latest incident. Since it's Monday, I'm suggestible, so I'll humour you here.

  So here's the deal- Tila Tequila was booked at the 11th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos, a party for Insane Clown Posse fans and other fans of mayhem. Nobody is sure exactly why she was booked, but she'll show up for anything that might draw attention to her failing career.

  The audience was not amused. They began tossing all sorts of things on stage, including human waste. (contrary to popular reports, there was not a single Tila Tequila fan for the shit to hit) Tila claims that ICP fans threw firecrackers and bottles at her and that two thousand people began chasing her, trying to kill her. I've seen the photos (you'll have to google them because I'm not entitled to use them under copyright laws) and they look like Tila has added to the appearance of her injuries.

  In the following video, you do hear Tila being heckled. She then takes her shirt off in the hopes that it will appeal to male party-goers. Some fans do indeed start throwing things at Tila, most of which are blocked by security staff. Noticing this, Tila repeatedly walks in front of the paid burly men despite the fact that they are trying to do the honourable thing and not let a woman get hit.

  While I'm not in favour of any woman being harmed on the job, no matter how despicable she is, Tila Tequila repeatedly put herself in harms way so she could complain about it later. While the Juggalos should have restrained themselves, Tila should have got the hell out of Dodge. No man should throw things at a woman, no matter how much of a douchebag she is, but at the same time nobody should intentionally put herself in danger purely for publicity.

  This incident makes everyone involved appear to be at fault. Tila appears to incite anger and the ICP fans are portrayed as a bunch of ingrates.

  Tila Tequila has cried wolf and played the victim so many times that she (hypothetical here kids) could have been attacked and nobody would listen. It is truly sad that there are girls who look up to this pitiful representation of femininity.

  Micromamas take note : When you treat yourself like a whore, don't complain when everyone else sees you as one. And if you name yourself after a most loathsome drink, people will vomit you up.

“One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered” - Martin Kondrake

Bullsh*t News Network

  CNN has released a report claiming that men cheat on women who make more money than they do, and name Sandra Bullock as being responsible for Jesse being a douchebag.

  According to this study of boy-men between the ages of 18 to 28, men who are financially dependent on their partners are more likely to cheat because having a financially dependent woman emasculates them. Naturally, women who are dependent on men don't cheat because their livelihoods are at risk. You know, because all female homemakers are incapable of earning their own incomes and male ones are innately more qualified.

  According to this "study", the perfect arrangement is a situation where the woman makes 75% of what the man does. Incidentally, that's exactly what women make for doing the same job as a guy nowadays anyways.

  Oh CNN, you are so far off here. To begin with, Jesse James in significantly older than 28 and you're just using his name to draw attention to your baseless claim that Sandra deserved it. The study was conducted on very young people and surprisingly, very few of them actually cheated regardless of their situation.
  This insane interpretation of a survey does not take into account the facts that women are less likely to admit cheating and uses marginal statistics. Surveys can be read in almost any way that one wants to, and it is clear to anyone with a brain that CNN has bought into a lie to promote their blog.

  It seems that according to this study, all you have to do is know your place as 75% of a human as your partner and not offend his ego and he will stay loyal. This concept is not only offensive to women, but to the vast majority of men who respect their partners as equals. No man that I know would be perturbed or insulted if their wife was given a monumental raise. But alas, the fellows I know are adults, men who were clearly not the focus of the study.

  CNN, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Not only did you stretch something for the purposes of more web hits, you blamed a woman because of information that just does not exist so you could boost your terrible ratings.

 My latest survey states that 67% of my readers believe the above graph is the only reason that CNN mentioned the study in the first place.