Your First Place San Diego Padres!!

So I attended Sunday's Padres-Giants game, where the Padres came back from an eighth inning deficit to tie the game, and then win it in extra innings. The win put the Padres in first place in the National League West.*

It was my first chance to explore Insert-Phone-Company-Here Ballpark, and it is a fantastic place, and very conducive to walking around. . I love Petco in San Diego, but the proximity to the Bay gives AT&T the edge.

My only complaint was the emphasis on kid's stuff in the outfield. I understand why they do it, but I don't like it. If you're going to bring your kid to the game, bond with him or her, explain the game. Don't pawn them off on a playground.

*Okay, I'm choosing to ignore the fact that coming into the four game series, the Padres had a 2 1/2 game lead on the Giants. They lost the first three games to drop out of first place, and had to win Sunday in order to regain the lead. So all in all, a shitty series. But, you know me, I'm a very positive person, and try not to focus on the negative.


Embarrassing Failure

This week Bush has trotted around the G8 summit making an absolute fool of himself, and since he is the President and all, making a fool of you and me. Do you know how stupid we look in the eyes of the world? Sometimes I swear I'm watching some sort of comedy, where Ernest, or maybe Leslie Neilson from The Naked Gun, somehow gets elected President and bumbles around the globe, making an ass of himself. But in that fictional movie, the jackass President would redeem himself, solve some major crisis, and win over all the skeptics. Ah, a happy ending. That’s why it’s called fiction.

So let’s recap the week.

Framing all of this is the fact that Israel and Lebanon (via Hezbollah) are teetering near all out war. Israel is bombing Lebanon, Lebanon bombing Israel, Israel bombs Gaza, and the spectre of Syria and perhaps Iran getting involved looms large. All this and the situation in Iraq is getting worse each day. So how would our President respond to this chaos?

First, when asked about the situation in Lebanon, a very serious situation, Bush keeps making stupid frat-boy quips about eating pork.
"I'm looking forward to the feast you're going to have tonight. I understand I may have the honor of slicing the pig," Bush told Merkel at the outset of their joint news conference in Stralsund, north of Berlin.

A few minutes later -- after discussing Iran, the Middle East, the merits of press freedoms in Russia and progress on the Doha round of free trade talks -- Bush returned to the boar.

"Thank you for having me," he told Merkel. "Looking forward to that pig tonight."

Bush answered a few more questions before wandering back to the boar for a third time.

"I haven't seen that pig yet," Bush said out of the blue. Merkel laughed and said she had seen television pictures of the boar and could verify it was dead, adding she hoped it was on the spit and ready in time for dinner.

Near the end of the 30-minute briefing, Bush fielded a question about the Middle East with his fourth pig rejoinder.

"I thought you were going to ask about the pig," he told a reporter, who then said he was indeed curious about that too.

"The pig?" Bush said. "I'll tell you tomorrow after I eat it."
Either he deal with stress with food, or he's taunting Muslims with his enthusiasm over eating a pig. Or, he has the mindset of a 14-year-old. In any case, embarrasing.

Second, Bush tells Tony Blair, "What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over."

Um, okay, but who is they? And if "they" is us, do you actually have a plan to make them stop? That's deep thinking there, George. "Make them stop". Do you plan on doing anything during this crisis besides smirking, giving simplistic advice, and making bad jokes?

Next, discussing what to do about Lebanon, Bush tells Tony Blair, "She's going. I think Condi's (U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) going to go pretty soon."

You’re the motherfucking President, and you THINK Condoleeza is going PRETTY SOON? Who the fuck is in charge? Why haven't you already TOLD her to go NOW?

Finally, deciding he hasn't humiliated us on the international stage enough, Busg decides to give German Chancellor Merkel a massage. She, understandably, freaks out.
The scene, captured by a Russian TV camera, hit the Internet like a summer wildfire Tuesday, and it may be most memorable for the German chancellor's reaction. Bush applies his hands to Merkel's shoulders and neck while she's speaking with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi; the chancellor hunches her shoulders, then throws her hands up to stop the unexpected massage with a wan smile -- and an expression which can best be translated as "Ewwww."
Where are the adults? This is tragic. President Bush, you are incompetent, stumbling around the G8 like a reckless frat boy, acting like a jackass. Your incompetence, lack of seriousness, and lack of leadership now threatens the entire Middle East, and who knows what kind of blowback that will result in here in the future. You need to resign from office.


And Somehow, They Make Decent Money

The Israeli-Palestinian/Israeli-Lebanon issue is a minefield, no pun intended. I have strong feelings on the matter, which I’m trying to keep repressed because it may be the most volatile issue there is in politics. Most people’s opinions on the matter are strongly entrenched, and not likely to be changed by reasonable debate. Even in the best case scenario, charges of anti-Semitism or anti-Arabism get thrown about wildly. And I’m not really in the mood to be accused of anything like that.

That being said, whenever the issue does flame up, the stupidity that passes for educated analysis by morons is impossible not to comment on.

Exhibit A: David Brooks, who sez:
If you look at the jihadists, they had a victory in ‘79 by pushing the Soviets out of Afghanistan. They pushed the U.S. out of Lebanon. The pushed the Israelis out of Gaza and out of Lebanon. They’re probably pushing the U.S. out of Iraq. They are on the march.
“On the march”? David, do you realize every example you just gave involved the “jihadists” kicking out foreign forces? Is this concept that crazy? No doubt there is a “jihadist” element, but are you saying that Arabs have no sense of nationalism? And are you saying the kicking the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan was unreasonable? Are you saying resistance against an occupying force, whether you politically agree with the resistance or not, is beyond your comprehension? Can I have your salary?

Then we have Exibit B: National Review’s Andy McCarthy, who writes,
We have to kill al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and the rest. This is harder work than the administration’s rhetoric is preparing the nation for. We are not going to democratize these savages into submission.
Who exactly is “the rest”? Could you mean “Arabs”? Because frankly, you don’t really specify, and “the rest” is pretty vague. Given your worldview, I’m going to assume you mean Arabs, you racist dick. And I hate to break this to you, but Hamas and Hezbollah have political factions which were democratically elected. So, I know this is a long shot for someone as ideologically blinded as you are, but if you really want to weaken radical parties, you may want to look at the causes of the misery in those nations that leads to a radicalization of politics, and try to address that despair. Or, I guess, we could “kill al-Queda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the rest.” Can I have your salary?

And Exhibit C: Honky Michelle Malkin, who, in order to show you how crazy and evil Hezbollah is, cites the news that Hezbollah “crowed” after, get this, it struck an Israeli warship that had been attacking Beirut! Can you believe the nerve? I mean, to actually attack a ship that was attacking you? Who would do such a thing? Everyone know you’re just supposed to sit there and let it attack you. And then to brag about it? THE NERVE!

Can some remind me again why anyone listens to these idiots and their junior high “analysis”?


400 Blows

Went to see 400 Blows at Annie' Social Club in SF Thursday. The opening bands suuuuuucked. And you know how fun it is to sit through shitty opening bands. So I was thinking it might've been a bad idea to make this trip on a work night, but then 400 Blows came on and all was well again.

Highlights of the night included a dude coming up to me between sets, thinking I was a security guard, and asking, "So, uh, hey man, is it like cool and stuff to smoke weed in here?" Now, I know I'm pretty square, but am I that out of the loop? Are there now clubs where it is officially allowed by management to smoke weed? Anyways, of course I told him it was perfectly fine. Oh, and getting gut punched by a 100 pound girl was pretty cool, too. It fucking hurt like hell for three days. I'm a delicate flower, who knew?

By the way, 400 Blow's drummer, all 85 pounds of him, is a motherfucking madman on the skins.


A Picture Speaks A Kabillion Words

So many jokes here, I won't even try.

Fuck The Kids

With issues like illegal immigration, no matter how you feel about it, children of all people should not be held responsible for their parent’s choices, right? After all, the kids are powerless, they kids have no say in the matter, and they certainly never got to choose who their parents are. We all agree on at least that, right?

Apparently not.

When she found out a bill on illegal immigration would (gasp!) still allow the under-18 children of illegals access to food and healthcare…
Rep. Debbie Stafford, R-Aurora, said at the caucus that she was upset that the bill exempted children under 18. “We’re helping create the next generation of terrorists,” she said.
Health care and food for kids? FUUUUUUUCK THAT!!!!

I used to talk about how the way the direction the country is moving makes me want to move. Fuck that. I’m on the right side here. Those who want to punish children for their parent’s “sins” are wrong. They should move. They are not American.

Rich Dicks Got Each Other's Backs, Yo

Do you have any doubts about what the President is all about? About who he looks out for and who he shits on? Doubt no more.
President Bush’s most senior aides -- the ones who hold the coveted title of "assistant to the president" -- recently received a $4,200 cost-of-living bump-up in compensation and now earn a top pay rate of $165,200, according to an internal White House list of staff salaries.
Those at the bottom of the White House staff pay scale -- the folks answering phones and responding to the president’s mail, for example -- remain stuck at last year’s pay floor of $30,000.
"Calm down, Jerry, it's not like the President personally controls that sort of thing, sheesh."

White House salaries and job titles are largely controlled at the discretion of the president.

News Flash: The U.S. Has Immigrants

Does this sound like the leader of the free world, or a sixth grader’s oral report on immigration?
What’s interesting about our country is that we’ve got—we’ve had close ties with a lot of countries. My ranch was settled by Germans.

There’s a huge number of Italian Americans. A lot of Russian Americans. You know, Norm Mineta in my Cabinet is a Japanese American. In other words, so when you talk about relations with an American President, you’ve got to understand that there’s a—at least I have, I know my predecessors have, connections, close connections with people who have fond—either fond memories and/or great pride in their motherland.
Really? I had no idea. I thought my mom just didn't know how to talk. Turns out, she's a German American. Thanks for clarifying this Mr. President, it all makes so much more sense now.


Osama Bin Laden Vs. Nix's Check Cashing

If you want to know why I’m so cynical and jaded about the good 'ol U.S. of A, I guess this is as good of an example as I can think of to explain why.

As you may know, the Department of Homeland Security recently cut anti-terrorism funding to New York (after all, terrorists wouldn't target New York, right?). They did this because they did not list places such as Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, or the Brooklyn Bridge historical landmarks that might be targeted. Rumor has it they're not very smart.

So what kind of stuff did they include on the list? I am not making this up:
  • Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo in Woodville, Alabama
  • Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tennesee
  • Amish Country Popcorn in Indiana
  • Sweetwater Flea Market in Knoxville, Tennessee
Plus, there were vague references to such national treasures such as:
  • “Nix’s Check Cashing,”
  • “Mall at Sears”
  • “Ice Cream Parlor”
  • “Tackle Shop”
  • “Donut Shop”
  • “Anti-Cruelty Society”
  • ”Bean Fest.”
  • “Beach at End of a Street”
Ah, Bean Fest. There's some memories. I remember a Sears at the mall in El Cajon, but can't quite recall the Mall at Sears. And I guess there's a good chance that there are cops at any donut shop, so what the hell.

Furthermore, if you add up the total number of potential targets by state, California has 3,212 potential targets, New York has 5,687, and Indiana, yes, INDY FUCKING ANA, has 8,591.

The temptation is to laugh. But think about it a little deeper. This is sad. This is heartbreaking. Is this how you want your country run? When you think of September 11th, and then look at this kind of idiotic response, are you truly proud to be American?

Well, I guess if you live in Indiana...



Word of advice:

If you don't speak Spanish, don't watch the world cup on Telemundo.

Yes, it's funner, but some problems might arise.

Like, you might assume, like I did, that France was wearing Blue and Italy was wearing white. After all, France has blue in their flag, and Italy doesn't. Based on this assumption, you might tell your best friend that France won the World Cup, because you just saw with your own eyes the team in Blue win. That's France, right? Wrong. Italy won the World Cup.

Why the hell was Italy wearing blue?

Another reason to hate soccer.


Friday Shitlist

1. Old Sacramento Fireworks

Holy shit the fireworks in Old Sac were pathetic. Five minutes of uninspired fireworks and a weak money shot. Ex-girlfriends of mine, please refrain from making a joke at my expense.

2. Sony’s Racist Billboard.

Seriously, what the fuck were they thinking? Who green lighted this:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

3. My inability to trust people at the 'walk' button.

How come if I’m walking, and I come up to an intersection, and there are people already there, waiting to cross the street, I feel the need to press the walk button anyways? Do I think they’re that stupid to not have pressed it? And then to make it worse, if I’m there waiting, and someone comes up and presses it, I get insulted. “This motherfucker doesn’t think I’m smart enough to press the button?” I ask myself. “Asshole.”

4. Neo-Nazi’s in the Army.

Be all you can be.
A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists” to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.
The report said that neo-Nazi groups like the National Alliance, whose founder, William Pierce, wrote “The Turner Diaries,” the novel that was the inspiration and blueprint for Timothy J. McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, sought to enroll followers in the Army to get training for a race war.

An article in the National Alliance magazine Resistance urged skinheads to join the Army and insist on being assigned to light infantry units.
“Light infantry is your branch of choice because the coming race war and the ethnic cleansing to follow will be very much an infantryman’s war....It will be house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood until your town or city is cleared and the alien races are driven into the countryside where they can be hunted down and ‘cleansed.’ ”
5. Lieberman/Lamont

Holy Christ, enough already. Yes, Joe Lieberman sucks. I hope he loses the primary to Ned Lamont. But you know what? That’s for the voters in Connecticut to decide. They’re not electing a national Senator, but a senator from Connecticut. Yes, senators obviously impact national policies and politics, and yes it would be nice to have a more progressive Democrat than Leiberman in that seat, but it still seems weird to me to have all these people from outside the state donating money and giving Lamont such overwhelming support. If only they supported their own local candidates half as much.

Lieberman has been attacked so harshly by Democrats that if he somehow does win the nomination, it’s going to be really weird seeing everyone trip over themselves trying to reconcile a reluctant endorsement of Lieberman with their previous attacks. “Well, he’s the Democratic nominee" ain’t gonna cut it.

Here’s an idea: let Connecticut worry about who they elect, and nationally we’ll try and deal with whatever result occurs.


Ted Stevens: Internet Guru

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) explains teh internets (and Netflix, I think):
There’s one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn’t going to go through the interent and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let’s talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren’t using it for commercial purposes.

We aren’t earning anything by going on that internet. Now I’m not saying you have to or you want to discriminate against those people [...]

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says “No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet”. No, I’m not finished. I want people to understand my position, I’m not going to take a lot of time. [?]

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can’t afford getting delayed by other people.
Holy Christ.

Dead Or Alive....or not

2001, Bush re: Osama Bin Laden:
“I want justice, and there’s an old poster out West… I recall, that said, ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive.’”
A CIA unit that had hunted for Osama bin Laden and his top deputies for a decade has been disbanded, according to a published report.

Citing unnamed intelligence officials, The New York Times reported Tuesday that the unit, known as "Alec Station," was shut down late last year.


4th of July

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton


The Krypton Way

Never one to find a cause too trivial to be outraged by, now Michelle Malkin has her panties in a bunch because in Superman Returns, the phrase "truth, justice, and the American way" has been replaced with "truth, justice...and all that stuff."

I'm no Superman expert, but wasn't Superman born on the planet Krypton? How did he end up becoming a U.S. citizen, anyways? Couldn't it be said that he came here illegally? Is Superman an illegal alien. an undocumented worker*?

Did Michelle Malkin's head just explode?

*Special note to comic book nerds: I'm just being facetious. I'm sure there's some storyline that makes him legal, or his parents adopted him, so calm down.


The Deer Hunter

Just got done watching it again. What a great movie. It occured to me that it would be just about impossible to get that film made today. "It's too loooong", "It's too sloooow".

That makes me sad.