Monthly Archives: December 2004

DoJ Reversal on Torture

I am so behind on my political reading:

Ashcroft is gone. Gonzales is on the way. The acting Attorney General issued a statement reversing the stance on torture:

There is no exception under the statute permitting torture to be used for a “good reason.” Thus, a defendant’s motive (to protect national security, for example) is not relevant to the question whether he has acted with the requisite specific intent under the statute.

Extra: I’m about to lose it with the constant assertions that Muslim terrorist groups are scooping up orphaned tsunami children and bring them to fight for their cause? What – a jihad against plate tectonics?

Correction: Levin is the Assistant to teh Attorney General.

Loneliest Whale

For the last 12 years, a single solitary whale whose vocalizations match no known living species has been tracked across the Northeast Pacific. Its vocalizations have also subtly deepened over the years, indicating that the whale is maturing and ageing. And, during the entire 12 year span that it has been tracked, it has been calling out for contact from others of its own kind. It has received no answer. Nor will it ever.

Cusp

Anybody else totally not jazzed about New Year’s? I’m not saying jazzed about 2005 – but all the rituals surrounding the transfer of a digit?

I’m gonna go work on my ebook and my 2005 resolutions at the cafe until Ron wakes up.

Bally’s Teams up with YUM Brands

Another gem off MeFi:

Bally Total Fitness, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants announced today a holiday gift that will help Americans jumpstart their 2005 New Year’s resolution to get in shape.

What? No Bally’s members will be admitted to five of the greasiest and most ubiquitous feeding troughs on the planet?

Starting on January 1, customers that visit any one of the five restaurant chains can obtain a free, four-week membership from Bally Total Fitness by simply presenting a proof-of-purchase receipt (for any amount) at one of Bally’s more than 400 nationwide facilities. The offer is valid through January 31, 2005.

So go eat fat-laden, fried, artificially flavored, pre-cooked, salt-drenched, cola-chased pseudo-food and then go work it off at your favorite draconian contract fitness center? Why not:

Team up with area organic farmers and provide fresh produce and whole-food items in the snack bar. Ditch all the high-fructose soft drinks in said snack bar? Hang donuts by fishing wire in front of the PreCors?

This is as dumb as when I realized a Jamba Juice smoothie had the same calories (and lack of fiber etc) as a Baskin-Robbins milkshake.

It kinda reminds me of The Biggest Loser where the mansion is next to a 24 Hour Gym and the mansion’s lobby is stocked with cupcakes.

Tsunami Death Toll Tops 120K

During: (found via MeFi)

Satellite shot of tsunami sweeping in.

After:

Satellite shot of land damaged by tsunami.

Death toll reaching 120,000 mark. And this is before the malaria and cholera sets in.

George Bush pledged $35 million dollars of aid (this was after he was called a stingy bastard by some guy in the UN). He’s spending $40 on his inauguration ceremony in a month.

$35 million dollars is how much money we spend in Iraq every four hours.

The news features talking heads hyping about what a great change this is for the United States to make a goodwill gesture to countries that are pre-dominantly Muslim (because obviously all Muslims are just dormant terrorists). This isn’t a PR opportunity you assholes – it’s a fucking international disaster!

Occupational Therapy

I just got off the phone with my friend Michael. His boss had called him and said that if they don’t sign a new client by the end of January he’ll be losing his job. The company he works for has halfed it’s headcount (down to about 11) and cut the budget in half in the past year. He’s trying to stay out of the initial panic stage for now – or get through the initial panic stage.

He has a background in HR systems and organizational development, the company he may be leaving is a world-class leader in developing elearning technologies for distributing to global companies (unfortunately they are just coming out of a product development cycle and don’t have signed clients for the new product). He also has an extensive background in blogging, web design and internet marketing. If anyone has any leads email me.

Part of me thinks that this would be a huge opportunity to do something totally different – change industries, change cities, change entire mindset. I told him I think he should look into becoming a dominant. He could do that ‘young priest that beats you’ motif – he can be a pretty angry person. Another part of me says chuck it all and go to Sri Linka and help out with the tsunami. He’d love to work for an organization like the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders or Amnesty International.

Plus, there’s always porn. I think he’d like to blend his politically active themes with some good old fashioned erotica. If only escorting didn’t include possible STDs or kidnapping or putting the lotion in the basket.

Tsunami Kills Dozens of Americans

And up to 80,000 others.

Can Americans look any more selfish with all the hand-wringing about our own shores while these Asian countries are walled in by stacks of bodies?

I can’t imagine the health crisis in the next few weeks – if they have any disease outbreaks, this thing is going to double in size. An epidemic could total decimate the region even further. This is one of those events where I can’t begin to wonder the logistics of mobilizing teams to help the sick and dying.

Oh God – now CNN is talking about if the tsunami may have weakened the terrorist networks in the area. Thank God our Lord is striking down those Al Queda cells and the Muslim schools. That the U.S. should step up to use this disaster as a way to gain leverage in the region.

I think branding of disasters on news should be banned. There is no reason to have a fancy theme song, logo and intro for the death of thousands of people.

Updated: Robert Novak just called American aid to the tsunami victims as restributing wealth to the third-world. Now they’re comparing if the hurricane victims of Florida are getting their fair share in comparison.

Las Vegas: America’s Shithole

From Clusterfuck Nation, a blog found I found over on Dunner’s blogroll.:

[Las Vegas] is a pathological hypertrophic suburbanoid anomaly in the middle of a desert wasteland, analogous to a deadly tumor growing in a remote part of a person’s body, say the colon. The tumor of Las Vegas was established for the same reason that a tumor occurs in a body: exposure to toxins and broken DNA. In the case of Las Vegas, the main toxin has been a half-century of cheap energy. The broken DNA is present in the animating principle behind the gambling mecca, the idea that it is possible to get something for nothing.

Weetabix

Weetabix logo and package.

Found these at the grocery on Sunday night. They’re from the UK so if any readers from across the pond have service suggestions, lemme know. They are wheat and barley in kind of a thick cracker texture. Good with peanut butter.