Thursday, December 30, 2004

AP: Associated Alternate Press

Growing tired of covering the real world, the AP is making moves to become the leader in alternate history reporting. While many have pointed out unofficial attempts to make the jump in the past, I believe that this is the first officially-recognized article in the press agency's 2005 agenda, tentatively titled the Alternative Timelines Initiative:

NEW YORK - Just think: Instead of exposing Janet Jackson's breast at the Super Bowl last Feb. 1, what if Justin Timberlake reached across her chest, fumbled with Jackson's top and .... The stitching holds! There is no malfunction!

That means no national discussion of showbiz morals, no drastic tightening of FCC restrictions — but the fallout is just as serious.

It goes on from there. Read it all, and just try to tell me that the AP is not insane.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Cheap Way To Burn CDs and DVDs

Check out 8-bit Joystick's method of burning copy-protected CDs and DVDs right here. Much cheaper than buying a DVD-RW drive!

Thursday, December 23, 2004


The LA Times reports here that the Democrats may be in the first stages of softening the number one reason I am not a Democrat: their support of abortion.

WASHINGTON — After long defining itself as an undisputed defender of abortion rights, the Democratic Party is suddenly locked in an internal struggle over whether to redefine its position to appeal to a broader array of voters.

The fight is a central theme of the contest to head the Democratic National Committee, particularly between two leading candidates: former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who supports abortion rights, and former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer, an abortion foe who argues that the party cannot rebound from its losses in the November election unless it shows more tolerance on one of society's most emotional conflicts.

Roemer is running with the encouragement of the party's two highest-ranking members of Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and incoming Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Dean, a former presidential candidate, is popular with the party's liberal wing.

If Roemer were to succeed Terry McAuliffe as Democratic chairman in the Feb. 10 vote, the party long viewed as the guardian of abortion rights would suddenly have two antiabortion advocates at its helm. Reid, too, opposes abortion and once voted for a nonbinding resolution opposing Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.

I can't believe it. Of course, it's nowhere close to definite, since Dean is a formidable opponent. But it sounds like there is a growing moevement in the Democratic party toward Democrats who are pro-life, or at least not rabidly pro-choice.

Of course, this isn't going to make me a Democrat overnight. There are still the issues of the war on terror, secularism, the economy, and general sanity :P. But if abortion gets taken off of that list, it definitely opens me up a little more to vote for Dems every once in a while, of course depending on the candidate.

So I suddenly have a dog in the DNC Chair fight. GO ROEMER!


Memo to New York State: It's F, not L.

Don't worry, the typo is being rectified as I write, and John Forbes Kerry will be receiving New York's electoral votes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

One Lawsuit That Seems Destined To Lose

So many great news stories today! Here's another one, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Gordon Maag is a former trial lawyer and appellate court judge who ran for an Illinois Supreme Court seat downstate, I assume in this past November election. He lost. Now he's accusing critics of maliciously painting him as a supporter of frivolous lawsuits. His response? He sues the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and other groups. For $110 million.

Right now my frivolous-lawsuit-meter is blinking red. If he's right that he was falsely smeared, $110 million is still way way overboard. So he's filing a frivolous lawsuit against those who portrayed him as supporting frivolous lawsuits, indicating that the accusations against him were likely correct.

I don't think I've ever seen a self-defeating lawsuit before.

Amy Grant Update

Read about Grant and Gill's Christmas Concert here.

Given Grant's earlier reign as the queen of contemporary Christian music, it was surprising that there was no hint of the religious dimension of Christmas until the end of the first set. The early selection reinforced the secular spirit of the season, with "Sleigh Bells" (featuring an onstage cameo by their 3-year-old daughter, Corrina), "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Winter Wonderland" setting the tone.

I've said this a million times, but I'll say it once more because I love repetition: I don't like Amy Grant.

Hat tip About Christian Music.

The Graphing Calculator Story

This is a really cool story about how a programmer (and eventually, a whole team) developed a piece of software clandestinely in the offices of a major American computer manufacturer. These are true hackers, even taking into consideration that all this was done for Apple.

Cornerstone Band List Up

Well, it's started, at least. Nine bands are listed here at the moment. I think the plan is to add a bunch each day for the next few days, in order to drum up more interest or something.

The current band list:

Day of Fire
Joy Electric
Seventh Star
the Crossing
Once Dead

Conspiracy Theory of the Day

For some reason, this is getting some play in the blogosphere. I think the focus is mainly as an object of ridicule. Go check it out and decide for yourself. Excerpt:

Paul Wofowitz will authorise the detonation of a nuclear payload in the Houston area on December 27, 2004. The Hidden Hand network (Mossad/al-Qaeda/SAS) of which he is the nominal controller has verified in advance every aspect of operational integrity - a failsafe job with zero chance of discovery.

Houston has been primed for months via deliberate mismanagement, incompetence, corruption and embezzlement at its FEMA-independent Emergency Center. The police and fire services have been deliberately and systematically sabotaged and thrown into administrative chaos so as to ensure maximum fatalities in the aftermath of the detonation. However, the existence of the center will provide the Bush administration with a "we did everything we could" excuse.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Rev. Schuller's Orchestral Conductor Commits Suicide

Story here. Please pray for the church, family, and all the viewers who may be affected by this.

The timing is weird, because I was just checking out this site, which criticizes Schuller, among other big-name evangelists. I might put up a post in the next few weeks relating this criticism to a couple highly-respected Christian musicians. . .

Credentialed Journalist?

I'm probably not going to get it, but I've applied for this. The Conservative Political Action Conference is having its annual gathering in February of next year, and is actively courting bloggers to attend and act as fully credentialed members of the press. It could be a step forward both in my evil plan to save the world and in my 2008 candidacy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Remember Those Magnetic Alphabet Sets?

Well, you can find everything online nowadays.

People In Glass Houses . . .

Would you take web design tips from this website? Well, that's what the article is meant to cover: how to reduce webpage clutter.

Let's Go See The Orchestra

Just found out about this.

Nick, can you add it to the concert schedule I sent you? I think it fits under option (3) we talked about yesterday.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Starships Online

Check out this site to see some great starship models.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

World Almanac Dismisses Last 2.5 Months Of The Year

This is absolutely silly. ABC 7 Chicago is passing on The World Almanac's Top Ten Stories of the Year. I thought it was a little wierd at first that the Almanac would pass such judgment with more than three weeks still remaining on the calendar, but check this out: the list was obviously compiled in mid-October. Qualifiers on the Top Ten list make this clear.

For example, "Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden remained at large as of Oct"; "As of Oct. 15, coalition troop deaths since the start of the invasion totaled over 1,227"; "By mid-Oct. an estimated 70,000 people had been killed [in Sudan] and 1.4 million displaced." The Almanac is dismissing two and a half whole months of 2005! And the most glaring example:

2. Polls showed Pres. George W. Bush (R) locked in a tight race for reelection against Sen. John Kerry (D, MA). Kerry had pulled ahead of the Democratic pack and effectively secured nomination Mar. 2 by nearly sweeping "Super Tuesday" primaries and caucuses. On July 6 he tapped as his running mate Sen. John Edwards (D, NC), his last serious rival in the primaries. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, an early front-runner, had failed to win any primaries. The Bush administration's war on terrorism-as waged in Iraq and elsewhere-and the economy were key issues in the Nov. 2 election, in which control of Congress was also at stake.

The list has been compiled before the elections, so the Almanac can't point to the election itself as one of the top ten stories of the year. Instead, it claims that the "tight race for reelection" is a major story, and talks about the election in past-tense, but doesn't mention who won. It's like one of those comedy bits where someone can't remember a name, and tries to hide the fact by mumbling and passing his face over his mouth.

"Who won the election, Almanac?"
"Well, it was krbsh."

Yeah, Almanac. We really trust you for our facts and history. One of the most important elections in the history of the United States, and you can't be bothered to wait it out before you complete your Top Ten list for the year?

Sunday, December 05, 2004


I saw The Forgotten yesterday, and then today I randomly landed on this. Coincidence? I think not. Just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Ted Rall, Uber-Isolationist

If you participate in a war of retribution, are you "fighting for your country"? There have only been four attacks on American soil by a foreign power. All were carried out by Japan during World War II: Pearl Harbor, the now-forgotten submarine strafing of a California oil refinery, balloon-borne bombs dropped without casualties on Oregon and Washington state, and an air raid on Dutch Harbor, a remote U.S. outpost on Alaska's Aleutian Islands, in which 43 residents died. Japan and Germany's declarations of war intuitively appear to justify the sacrifice of 291,557 American soldiers in World War II, but were those deaths necessary to defend us? There is no evidence that the Axis intended to invade the U.S., nor did it possess the logistical capability to occupy it. The defeat of Nazism liberated millions from tyranny, but that was a happy byproduct of a war we fought to expand our military and economic influence. Right or wrong, World War II was a war of choice against Germany and one of retribution against Japan.

Read the whole article here. Surprisingly, though, I can't post this on You've Lost, because although I think Rall's statements are wildly off the mark, his rhetoric is toned down quite a bit. There's a lot of conspiracy theorizing and idealistic isolationist speak, but very little out-and-out flaming. Good for you for once, Ted.

Which means I may have to do some actual debunking, rather than pointing and smirking. Okay, how about a Chamberlain comparison. Here's the British Prime Minister in 1939:

How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing. It seems still more impossible that a quarrel which has already been settled in principle should be the subject of war.

I can well understand the reasons why the Czech Government have felt unable to accept the terms which have been put before them in the German memorandum. Yet I believe after my talks with Herr Hitler that, if only time were allowed, it ought to be possible for the arrangements for transferring the territory that the Czech Government has agreed to give to Germany to be settled by agreement under conditions which would assure fair treatment to the population concerned. . . .

However much we may sympathize with a small nation confronted by a big and powerful neighbor, we cannot in all circumstances undertake to involve the whole British Empire in war simply on her account. If we have to fight it must be on larger issues than that. I am myself a man of peace to the depths of my soul. Armed conflict between nations is a nightmare to me; but if I were convinced that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted. Under such a domination life for people who believe in liberty would not be worth living; but war is a fearful thing, and we must be very clear, before we embark upon it, that it is really the great issues that are at stake, and that the call to risk everything in their defense, when all the consequences are weighed, is irresistible.


Since I first went to Berchtesgaden more than 20,0000 letters and telegrams have come to No. 10, Downing Street. Of course, I have been able to look at a tiny fraction of them, but I have seen enough to know that the people who wrote did not feel that they had such a cause for which to fight, if they were asked to go to war in order that the Sudeten Germans might not join the Reich. That is how they are feeling. That is my answer to those who say that we should have told Germany weeks ago that, if her army crossed the border of Czechoslovakia, we should be at war with her. We had no treaty obligations and no legal obligations to Czechoslovakia and if we had said that, we feel that we should have received no support from the people of this country. . . .

When we were convinced, as we became convinced, that nothing any longer would keep the Sudetenland within the Czechoslovakian State, we urged the Czech Government as strongly as we could to agree to the cession of territory, and to agree promptly. The Czech Government, through the wisdom and courage of President Benes, accepted the advice of the French Government and ourselves. It was a hard decision for anyone who loved his country to take, but to accuse us of having by that advice betrayed the Czechoslovakian State is simply preposterous. What we did was to save her from annihilation and give her a chance of new life as a new State, which involves the loss of territory and fortifications, but may perhaps enable her to enjoy in the future and develop a national existence under a neutrality and security comparable to that which we see in Switzerland to-day. Therefore, I think the Government deserve the approval of this House for their conduct of affairs in this recent crisis which has saved Czechoslovakia from destruction and Europe from Armageddon.

Does the experience of the Great War and the years that followed it give us reasonable hope that, if some new war started, that would end war any more than the last one did?

One good thing, at any rate, has come out of this emergency through which we have passed. It has thrown a vivid light upon our preparations for defense, on their strength and on their weakness. I should not think we were doing our duty if we had not already ordered that a prompt and thorough inquiry should be made to cover the whole of our preparations, military and civil, in order to see, in the light of what has happened during these hectic days, what further steps may be necessary to make good our deficiencies in the shortest possible time.

One can only wonder at the evil which could have been avoided if Chamberlain had taken a firm stance against Hitler's first act of aggression. Instead, he asked the same questions that Rall now asks -- why should we sacrifice in order to defend another country? The answer is obvious, at least to me: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. If we sit back and decide to wait for evil to come to us before we oppose it, rather than destroy evil when it appears, we are doomed as a civilization and we deserve to be doomed.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


ARTIST: Much The Same
ALBUM: Quitters Never Win

Well You're in control and I know it 'cause I'm miserable again
I don't understand how any of this makes me a better man
You know I always run to You for some help with my life
You know I always come to You for a little wise advice
And all I get is pain
Okay, so I'm exaggerating,
I'm just saying that's how it seems to me

If all good things come to an end, then what about the bad?
Am I cursed to never see the fruits of the life I wish I had?
And can I try, one more time, to be pleasing to You?
My futile efforts never seem to make my wish come true
What can I do?


I'll follow through with all these claims I never cease to make
A promise to myself is one I promise to break
But when I have You by my side then I can do what's right
I'll become the co-pilot and You control this flight
Then everything will be alright

If all good things come to an end, then what about the bad?
Am I cursed to never see the fruits of the life I wish I had?
And can I try, one more time, to be pleasing to You?
My futile efforts never seem to make my wish come true
What can I do?


How far are we going to take this, Da?

The question is not how far.
The question is,
do you possess the constitution,
the depth of faith,
to go as far as is needed?

This song's for me
A reminder of how I intend my life to be
Every word I sing
Is an anthem against my own hypocrisy
Let me be free
Let me be free

He's Back

Chris Muir is back from his hiatus. Go check out Day by Day. September 11 of this year is his last comic before the hiatus, btw, if you're interested in reading the archive.