Monthly Archives: March 2004

A Passion for Confession

Since yesterday there have been three news stories that I’ve seen about people confessing to crimes after seeing Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Jesus Christ” movie.

Regardless of what the critics are saying, law enforcement officials ought to consider showing this movie in holding cells.

Link Dump.

Some things I would comment on if I had the time. Expect the list to grow throughout the day.

Every Now and Then.

p>Every now and then Dave Winer drops a true pearl of wisdom. A lot has been said recently about TypeKey and most of what I’ve been hearing hasn’t been too good. Since I don’t use Movable Type my interest in the debate is only academic. Six Apart is Ben and Mena’s company and they have had to make a product decision. I see no problem with the route they have chosen to take. There may have been other ways to implement something like TypeKey that wasn’t centralized but Six Apart made a decision to go with a centralized system and there are some good reasons for doing this also.

The reason that I don’t use Movable Type is that I like to play with the software and most of the playing I was capable of doing had already been done in Movable Type when I decided to move from Blogger to a differnt tool. Blosxom fit that bill for me and I’ve been happy with my decision. The folks that seem to be complaining the most about TypeKey are the ones that like to play with the software. Perhaps Movable Type has evolved beyond the point of needing to play with it and it’s time for them to either stop playing or find a platform to allow them to continue to play.

Anyway, good call, Dave. You are right on in your analysis here.

Can’t Pierce That

Last night while driving home from doing a little shopping I was listening to the radio and heard a commercial for Starship Enterprises with something like 14 locations in the Metro Atlanta area. The commercial was for many of the adult items that they sell and was fairly tastefully done. It got me to thinking about how differnt we were from our neighboring state of Alabama where sex toys are illegal to sell, much less advertise on the radio.

This morning I discover that we aren’t all that much different that Alabama. Women can no longer pierce their genitals in the state of Georgia.

Actually this bill was introduced for a very good reason. Certain immigrants were practicing female circumcision on their baby daughters the way they did it in the old country. While I’m all for cultural diversity and all there are certain lines that I don’t want crossed. Female circumcision crosses one of those lines for me. This bill was introduced to make that practice illegal. It got changed a little when Rep. Bill Heath decided to add an amendment to the bill to add piercings to the things that can’t be done to the female genitalia.

Amendment sponsor Rep. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, was slack-jawed when told after the vote that some adults seek the piercings.

“What? I’ve never seen such a thing,” Heath said. “I, uh, I wouldn’t approve of anyone doing it. I don’t think that’s an appropriate thing to be doing.”

Well, Bill, genital piercing isn’t something that floats my boat either but whether appropriate or not an adult woman ought to have the say over whether she pierces or doesn’t.

Things in the retail world that just tick me off.

I’ve never been employed in the retail world. Oh, I had a job at McDonald’s when I was in high school but that isn’t really retail, it’s food. Isn’t it? Anyway, I’m sure that there are good reasons for this stuff but these things still tick me off when I’m out shopping.

  • Crowded aisles.

    Why is it that when a store is built they will have a nice wide aisle for me to walk down and give me room to back up and look at the merchandise on the shelves but not one week will pass after the store opens before they have all sorts of displays choking off the aisles, leaving barely enough room to get one shopping cart down, and hiding the stuff that I am looking for.

  • Never having my size in stock.

    Alright, I probably need to lose a few more pounds but I know from looking around that my size is not uncommon. I wear 40×34 pants and if they are cut for a loose fit I can wear a size 38×34. I can find size 36×34 fairly easily but as the waistline gets larger the inseams get shorter. What is this with the buyers? Do they think that people who gain wait get shorter?

  • Same styles shop after shop.

    I leave one store and go into the next because the previous store didn’t have what I was looking for. The next store has the exact same inventory just displayed a little differntly. Even when the brands are differnt I’m seeing exactly the same style. Don’t you think that stores would want to differentiate themselves by something other than the way they display their merchandise or the music they play over the store’s sound system?

  • Frozen food cases with merchandise displayed on the outside of the glass door.

    I’m trying to find a certain frozen food item and I’m having to look through all sorts of unrelated merchandise stuck on the outside of the freezer doors. If it isn’t merchandise some dummy has decided the door would make a great place to place some kind of advertisement for something in the freezer or maybe even on the other side of the store. I really detest this stuff because it’s difficult enough for me to see through the fog on the door from the last person holding it open trying to find what they were looking for. Now I’ve got to peer around this crap on the door or hold the door open and freeze my buns off to find the item I’m looking for.

  • Self-checkout lanes.

    On the face these sound like a great idea but they never work reliably enough for them to actually do anything more than frustrate me. And why do they have the voume turned up so loud on these things. I’m half deaf and they still make me jump when the first start talking.

  • Anti-theft sentries.

    Part of this goes back to the crowded aisle problem I have. I’m somewhat claustrophobic and I don’t like walking through these things to begin with but then also about once a month something I bought wasn’t deactivated in checkout and I set off the alarm. I’m going to start running when this happens.

Okay, I understand a lot of why the stores are doing this stuff. I know that they aren’t intentionally trying to tick me off but it seems like they could think this stuff out a little more. Especially the part about sizes and styles, it looks to me like with all the competition out there the retailers would look more toward niches in the market to fill. I’m big and I’m tall but I’m not big enough or tall enough for the big and tall men’s shop. Why hasn’t some retailer come up with a ‘good sized’ man’s shop?

And one last thing, have you ever tried to find someone to complain about this stuff to? The folks in the stores can’t help, they just refer you to their website or to an 800 number and there are no live people at either place. Maybe I understand now why I never went into retail.

Hello, my name is John and I am a Liberal.

I’ve often said that a person who can’t embrace who and what they are is a phoney and I can’t respect a phoney. That’s one of the problems I have with John Kerry. John Kerry is a liberal. There isn’t a thing in the world wrong with being a liberal if that is what you believe in. John Kerry needs to embrace what he is or else go into treatment for it if he doesn’t like that about himself.

If John continues to deny that he is a liberal, something the rest of us agree that he is, then he is only giving the conservatives credence in their move to make “liberal” a dirty word. On the other hand, if he says, “Yes, I’m a liberal and I’m proud of it because it is the right thing to be.”, He takes that weapon away from them. Walter Cronkite explains this much better than I do.

The conservatives understand this. They are proud of their conservatism, as they should be. The more you try to condemn a conservative for being a conservative the higher he will raise his flag of conservatism. They’ve taken away the ability to stigmatize the label. Liberal politicians need to understand this. Their liberal constituents are proud of their label, why can’t the politician be likewise?

And if you believe that I’ve got a book I want to sell you

As of this writing Google’s news search is giving 876 articles related to Richard Clarke‘s revelations about the Bush administration’s handling of the war on Terror. I think I’m going to pass, for now, allowing any of what Clarke has to say influencing my opinions. There are numerous reasons for Clarke to embellish his story and a major incentive to malign his character by the folks in the White House. I’m not sure I’ll hear anything credible from him or about him for, maybe, weeks to come.

I do know that his book will sell much better now that his name is in the minds of us all than it would have had he not gone on 60 Minutes saying what he said. I also believe that a book critical of the Bush handling of the war on terror will sell much better than a book praising this administrations efforts there. I’m always going to wonder exactly what his motivations are.

The Daily Standard brings up some questions about his motivations and the reality that Clarke lives in. This could be a hatchet job on the man but it does show that we need more than a weekend to determine the credibility of the people in the news.

Is It Really a Threat If They Are Going to Do It Anyway?

North Korea has threatened to expand its nuclear weapons programme if the annual US-led military exercises in South Korea go ahead next week.

Maybe I’m just numb to it all but sooner or later nuclear weapons technology is going to be as common knowledge as vulcanized rubber technology. You just can’t keep this stuff bottled up. We’ve been involved in these military excercises ever since the Korean War paused, I don’t see where that should change now just over this "threat".

What is a Right?

"I’ve got my rights," we often hear people exclaim, but do we all have the same understanding as to what a right is? I don’t think so. I’ve heard people express ideas about having a right to decent housing, a right to a living wage and a right to basic medical care. I’ve also heard people express ideas about having a right to free speech, a right to practice whatever religion they wish to practice, a right to think whatever comes into their minds and a right to be left alone.

What of the above, though, are actually rights? The first group I brought up are indeed necessities but are they rights? I need decent housing but if I don’t make enough money to afford that type of housing how is it my right to demand that someone else provide it to me? I need to earn a living wage but if I don’t prepare myself for the type of work that pays a living wage how can I demand those wages from someone else?

The second group, however, are things that I have a right to expect. No one has to do anything for me for those rights to exist. The second set puts no demands for the action of other’s, only their inaction. Those are true rights. None of these, however, are true necessities. If someone forces me into a religion that I have no real belief in I can still eat well, be well clothed and well sheltered and have all my medical needs looked after.

So, we don’t have a right to livable wages or decent housing or basic medical care. It’s the right thing to do for society to try to provide such things but there is no right of the individual to have them. By attempting to make those a right you have to take something away from others which infringes on their right to be left alone.

Those distinctions need to be made.

Giving In To Terrorism

Yesterday I mulled over the events occuring in Spain. The bombing last Thursday chilled me to the bone. My step-sister’s daughter is living in Barcelona and I was worried about her.

I listened to news reports come in telling of Spain’s government insisting that ETA was responsible for the bombings and I thought that claim was odd. I’m not all that familiar with ETA’s ways but it seemed to me more likely that it was an Islamist extremist group like al Qaeda that was responsible.

It seems the citizens of Spain smelled bullshit on this claim, also. On Sunday it became clear that Spaniards were not going to allow a lying group of politicians continue to rule their country. The Spanish People’s Party was out and the Socialist were voted in.

It is real easy to say that the terrorist were able to overthrow Spain’s government with bombs. So easy, I’m afraid, that the terrorist will see this as their victory. I’ve come to the conclusion that that isn’t the case. Spain’s actions may well have emboldened the terrorists to continue their bombings but I believe Spain reacted to being lied to rather than acting to appease the terrorist.

The BBC asked for opinions as to why Spain overthrew it’s government. Read some of the opinions from around the world. It’s very interesting.

Betraying a Confidence

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Until I feel that there is no danger of my government just snatching someone off the street and holding them without charges John Kerry will have my vote come November. However, that will not stop me from pointing out some of the numbskull things he’s doing during his campaign. He’s making it very difficult for me to maintain my commitment.

You don’t tell half a tale and then hold back on naming names in order to keep from betraying a confidence. Once the tale is started you’ve betrayed that confidence already. What John Kerry has done is just amplified his weasel quotient.

On top of that, whether I agree or disagree with our president, he is still our president until January of 2005 and possibly longer. You don’t go making deals with foriegn leaders, or even talk about your ideas for US foreign policy with them while you’re running against a sitting president. That’s undermining the office of the President.

If I’ve got to choose the lesser of two evils why can’t I have a decent pair of evils to choose between?

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A Couple of Things From the Bizarre

If you are a property owner of a ten-story building and have a leak in the winter on the roof causing a large accumulation of ice, you’d best take care of the problem. A New York couple is suing the owner of such a building owner over just such a problem. It seems that a three hundred pound chunk of ice broke loose from the ten story building next door and crashed through the roof of their third story apartment and landed in their bed while they were relaxing, reading the paper and sipping their coffee. Not something you expect on a leisurely Saturday morning. There was around seven hundred more pounds of ice waiting to break loose from where the last icicle came from.

And….

For those of you that love irony, the porn film director James DiGiorgio is teaming up with a Christian anti-pornography group to create a public service announcement with the message, "Parents, keep your adult videos and magazines out of the ands of your children." The PSA is being filmed for XXXChurch.com. I’ve got to say this guy must be doing the right thing because the project is drawing scorn from fans of pornography, who object to the criticism, and the religious right, who are complaining about the willingness of the sponsors to consort with pornographers.

Krispy Kreme Goes Healthy?

I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I allow myself to indulge in a Krispy Kreme doughnut about once a month and about once a year I’ll go crazy and eat a half a dozen in one setting. I was lucky to be raised in a town that had a Krispy Kreme factory back in my youth. I learned the goodness of those doughnuts eaten hot at an early age.

With that being said, I don’t know how to take the news of Krispy Kreme planning a low-sugar doughnut. I mean, what’s the point in this? Supposedly this is to attract dieters and diabetics but even at half the sugar content you still have a high-fat, high-glycemic index food.