Wednesday, November 27, 2002

new link about nuclear weapons added. Cool pictures.
I was summoned for Federal Jury duty recently. You have to call every sunday night to see If you are supposed to be there on monday for a month. I was looking forward to getting called but it did not happen.

I served on a Jury once before. No one esle my age that I know has ever served on a jury before. I was on summer vacation after my freshman year in college and got called for a workers compensation case. I was by far the youngest person (19) on the jury and even though I had only one year of college one of the most educated. The plaintive was a woman who used to work for a local police agency. She claimed work related stress had caused her so much anxiety that she had to quit. They had several psychologist who testified she was pretty psychologically messed up and all the jurors agreed on that. But none of us thought it was the result of improper workplace treatment (she claimed she was treated poorly by coworkers since she was a lesbian) or even work related stress. The plaintives presented no proof that work had messed her up. The plaintiffs lawyers tactics angered me. The insurance company (which was the defendent) seemed to be pretty polite and professional when dealing with her complaints, but the plaintiff claimed that they were just trying to screw her over even though they gave her some compensation already, she just wanted more. Plus he said that the defendents were relying on our prejudices againsts homosexuals to try to sway our verdict, even though they never brought up her sexuality, only the plaintiffs did. It took the Jury about five minutes to come up with a foreman and to read our instructions and about a minute to come up with a conclusion that the defendant was right and that this had been a waste of our two weeks. We waited around a few more minutes to make it look like we had spent a little more time deliberating, but there was no doubt in anyone's mind since there was no proof her work had caused any of her problems. We had a unanimous verdict, even though we only needed 9 out of 12 votes to make a decision. It gave me little more confidence in a juries that we were not fooled by the junk the plaintiffs lawyer spewed out and that we sided with the faceless insurance company over the poor messed up plaintiff.

Plus in all the down time I got through a couple hundred pages of Les Mis by Hugo.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

I do not know if you heard about this story, but a group of veterans was going to have a showing of Tora!Tora! Tora! in San Pedro CA for Peral Harbor Day. They were going to have it at a public museum, but the museum employee canceled it because he thought it would be insensitive to Japanese-Americans. You can get the story here Tora! Anyways, after much fuss and complaining they backed down and are going to let the Veterans have their show. Here is an exerpt from an email I sent to Councilwoman Hahn, (who was originally part of the forces of PC evil dedicated to stopping the film showing, until she realized it made her look bad) before she changed her mind:

"I am saddened to hear that you are encouraging the censoring of Tora! Tora! Tora!, a film that shows the treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Note I said "Japanese" not "Japanese Americans". You claim to care about the sensitivities of Japanese Americans. How exactly will they be offended by this film? If they are loyal Americans, (which I assume they are) I fail to see how they would be offended by this film, which is about Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, not some Japanese Americans attacking Pearl Harbor. Tora! Tora! Tora! has been widely praised for its accuracy and evenhandedness. Do you think Japanese-Americans are too sensitive to handle accuracy and evenhandedness?"

"Also, I am deeply saddened by the lack of sensitivity, not of the film, but your lack of sensitivity. You have shown no sensitivity to the hundreds of thousands of veterans who sacrificed their blood, sweat, and tears to defeat imperial Japan. You have shown no sensitivity to the thousands who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. You have shown no sensitivity to the widowed wives and orphaned children they left behind. You have shown no sensitivity to the POWs who were tortured and abused by the Japanese during WWII. You have shown no sensitivity to the loyal Japanese Americans who fought, sacrificed, and died against Imperial Japan and the other Axis powers during WWII. And finally you have shown no sensitivity to the freedom of speach and _expression that all of these people fought to protect. As an elected official you need to realize that the only reason you were able to be elected was that thousands of men, like the ones who died at Pearl Harbor, fought to ensure that we Americans can exercise the right to representational government."

Hopefully letters, calls, and emails like mind helped her to change her mind.
lots of new links!

Monday, November 11, 2002

superfly will be out of action for a few days posting. I will explain latter!
A question among some supporter of the U.S. in the current conflict between the West and Islamofascists terrorism is whether or not the left and democrats are "the enemy". I do not think all democrats are the enemy. But, I do think a lot of the "left" which includes part of the Democratic Party, has chosen to side with our enemies, both communist and Islamofascist.

Pre WWII there were a lot of Nazi/Fascist sympathizers on the right in America. But when WWII started it took about five minutes for the right to be completely on the side of America. No sympathizing with Hitler over the Versailles treaty or asking what did we do to deserve Pearl Harbor. The earlier Nazi sympathizers were either kicked out by the right or abandoned the Nazis when the U.S. was threatened. People like Charles Lindbergh, who had been an isolationist and a Hitler fan, volunteered to serve for our military in defeating Hitler. Now a days I think it is impossible find a right wing person who sides with Hitler in any position of authority or respect among the mainstream right in America (that is not true in Europe).

The left has chosen not to distance itself from communists and other enemies like Islamic fascists/terrorists (the PLO for instance), like the right did earlier with fascists. Earlier this year three Democrat congressmen went to Iraq and offered Saddam aid and comfort. One said publicly that he trusted Saddam's regime more than Bush's. All of this when they knew our country was probably about to go to war with Iraq. So far the democrats’ leadership has not publicly criticized them for doing this.

Stalinist groups that want to overthrow our government through violence lead the leftist groups protesting the war on Iraq. That means the groups organizing the antiwar protests want to kill you and me or else lock us up in reeducation camps to do slave labor. Other leftists, including at least one congresswoman, openly accuse our government of being the ones who attacked us on September 11.

And the Left is silent. As are most of the leaders of the Democrats (Zell Miller a conservative democrat being a notable exception)

Occasionally you will hear a Christopher Hitchens who says the real enemy is not the GOP, but Al-Quaida. Some lone voice crying out in the wilderness of the left who still thinks not everything that is wrong with the world is the America's fault. Unfortunately, it is the Hitchens who are forced out of the left not the Vidals or Chomskys, who publicly state that the U.S. government blew up the twin towers to build some pipeline in Afghanistan.

Too much of the Left (and some parts of the Democratic Party) hates America (or hates Republicans and conservatives) more than they love or hate anything else. As long as that part of the left sides with people who want to kill me just for who I am and what I believe, whether they be communists or Islamofascists or any other form of tyranny, I will see them as a threat. Not all democrats or leftist are like this, but a large portion of them are and the rest of the left seems to be doing nothing to hinder them.

I think it is good to have a loyal opposition party. But the loyalty to America and to freedom have been sorely lacking as of late.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

I recommend The Gospel According to the Simpsons to anyone who likes the Simpsons or is interested in the relationship between TV's favorite family, the media, and religion. Chapters of the book cover major characters and religious themes. Chapters are devoted to Reverend Lovejoy, Lisa, Ned Flanders, and Apu. As well as themes like prayer, morality, and views of the devine and covers Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism.

The author is Mark Pinsky, a Jewish newpaper writer from Florida, who started out as sceptical of the Simpsons as a lot of people who have not watched the show do. They assume it is antifamily, antichristian values, and shallow because it is a cartoon and because of its early controversy. After watching the show with his young son wanted to watch it, Pinsky started to realize that it has more depth and satire than almost anything else on television. I have had similar experiences in my own life. I have one very conservative friend from church who is in his late fourties who never watched the simpsons and assumed it was a morally bad and shallow show. On my recomendation he watched it and now loves it and because he has not seen most of the episodes he tries to watch it ever night. Of corse not with his children present.

The author also realized that it dealt with people's spiritual lives more than any other show on TV. The characters all go to church and the church is a regular settng on the show. They all pray when they need or want to. They have arguments about religion and morality. The show treats religion like any other subject that people deal with as a normal part of their lives. That distinguishes them from almost every other sitcom or drama on tv, save the intentionally religious ones like touched by an angel or 7th heavan..

The best chapter is the one on Ned Flandres, "the evangelical next door." Pinsky argues that Ned is the most well known example of evangelical Christians for young Americans and is probably also the best. As annoying as he is, he is not hypocritical, which is a major break from media portrayals of conservative Christians. He is also nice, prays, is generous, forgiving and tries to do the Christian thing all the time. Pinksy mentions the shows writers ask critics whether they would want homer (a pagan at best) or Ned as a neighbor. The answer is always Ned.

The first flaw of the book are that it makes a few misquotes and mistakes from the show that the diehard simpsons fan may notice. The second flaw is that he has not seen a good portion of the episodes and having a more in depth knowledge may have added some more depth. But all in all this is a quick and good read for people interested in these subjects.
U.S. electorate to Saddam:

All your base are belong to us.

You have no chance to survive make your time!

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

I finished the gospel acording the simsons the other day and will be reviewing it shortly. It is a good and perceptive book, but I noticed several errors in episode references. I recomend it for anyone intereted in pop culture, religion, the media, and how they interact.
I forgot to post after the Angels won the world series. I grew up going to Angels games (and the occasional dodgers game). My earliest baseball game memory was seeing Reggie Jackson (who was my favorite player at the time) strike out while pinch hitting. The Angels lost that game. It is especially good since I did not expect them to even make the playoffs before the season began and they stunk for the first few weeks of the season. I have always liked the dodgers a tad bit more. I was depressed when Lasorda retired from managing (partly because that was the end of lifelong managers) and usually followed the dodgers more because they were almost always a better team. One of my earliest TV baseball memory is Kirk Gibson's home run in Game 1 of 88.

In the past ten years or so I have been to 7 major league baseball games that I can recall, 3 dodgers, 1 phillies, 3 astros, and 0 angels. I have been to more clippers games (2) than angels games over the same period. But when I was a kid I loved Reggie and the angels and went at least once a year and my parents still go once or twice a year.

Plus this was a great series. I think 3 (maybe 4) games were decided by one run and two others were also close. Game six was amazing. coming back from a 5-0 deficit in the 7th inning of an elimination game. It does not get any better. And 7 was good too. I especially liked the guy who hit the giants right fielder with a thunder stick. but only because it did not hurt, did not really interfere and did not cost the angels an out. Also I am glad the Giants lost to the angels. They are the baseball team I hate the most. Mainly because I am a dodger fan and the giants took the Dodgers rightful spot in the plaoffs many times.. While in the past the angels usually just screwed up and cost it themselves.

What was with Baker starting such a bad pitcher against the best hitting team in baseball in game 7 of the world series? Mike Soscia changed his rotation when he was unsure of his starter, who was better than the giants. And all those kids in the dugout? That is just a disaster waiting to happen. Professional atheletes have been sent to the hospital after being hit by balls and bats in the dugout. Baker does not seem to be that great a manager.
It looks like the republicans will win for the most part tonight! Yeah! In Texas election news Tony Sanchez is acting like a sore loser (big surprise).

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

#28 a few years ago the voters of California passed a proposition making it a crime to slaughter horses for food. What business is it of the government if I want to eat a horse (not that I have any desire to do so)? That is my big problem with propositions (at least in Cali) is that issues that have no business being on a statewide ballot make it. Why does California even bother having a state legislature?

I prefer the Texas legislature, which does almost nothing and only meets a few weeks out of the year. Pretty much the only thing our government does here is capture and execute criminals. And that is the way I like it. One of our local columnists said Texas had the lowest per capita spending of any state government. I don't know if that is true, but I hope it is.
Check out some my new links. I recomend Little Green Footballs to anyone who wants the U.S. to win the war on terrorism and militant Islam. The stuph posted there will show you the real evil that we face.
It turns out that those Al quaida guys yesterday were blown up by the CIA. I think this is great. CNN thinks otherwise. CNN had a pole up asking if it was right that they did this instead of putting them on trial. Would CNN have put this poll up during WWII? "Was it right for Dolittle to blow up part of Tokyo without first putting the emporer on trial?"

We are at war. You do not try the enemy while you are fighting him in a war. You kill him. CNN, along with a great chunk of society like the academy, media, and some government institutions like the State department and congress do not realize we at are war.
Keith Oberman on Salon today had an article on how we should require people to vote. What a dumb idea. If people do not bother to vote now, what makes you think that they will inform themselves about the candidates? For democracy to work the voters have to be informed and care about the outcome. His propasal does not address these problems. Plus most people who do not vote are probably happy with the status quo. There not voting is a choice. But liberals only like choice when it results in actions they agree with.

Oberman also goes on to say that the president should not be allowed to campaign for other people. When does being president cause you to lose your first amendment right to freedom of speach? Oberman and his ilk love the first amendment for themselves, but do not think other people should get all of its benefits. Witness campaign finance "reform". Both the Washington Post and NY Times have run editorials in praise of the McCain Feingold campaign finance law, which basically says that journalist get to say whatever they want to in the media and spend as much money as they want to do so, but non-journalist types can not. I suspect Oberman was a big proponent on this attempt to stiffle free speach as well.

This all goes to show how liberals like those at Salon care more about controlling people who disagree with them than they do about freedom.
I like the Texas voting system better than the California system (punch cards) that they used when I lived there.

Both are better than the stupid touch screen blaots. What idiot came up with that idea? There is no physical record with touch screen/internet ballots. That is a recipe for disaster. What isf they computers are corrupted, hacked, etc. At least with paper balots this is obvious when it happens. Plus people do not know hoe to use computers. My wife had to teach a cowroker (who was in their her) how to use the A: floppy disk drive the other day. I do not want to even start with the stories of how I tried to teach my grandfather to use IBM's voice recognition software.

Texas (at least my area) has a paper ballot where you mark your vote with a sharpie pen. No chads, no corrupted files. And idiots can use it pretty easily. Plus we have early voting which eliminates the problems of crowding, bad weather, not enough ballots, etc. for the most part. And you have to show ID in the form of your voter card, which eliminates a lot of potential fraud. In some states you present no ID (I read maryland is like this over at junkyardblog) and that in Minnesota you can register on the day of the election. Why do the voters of these states put up with systems that just cry out to be abused? At least in Texas we avoid this nonsense.
Vote! or else!