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Archive for August, 2004

Good News and Bad News

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

Okay, the good news is that the new issue is done and it’s been sent off to Web Press. It’s not on the website because Jeremy and I are stupid and don’t know how to do it. Hey, (temporary) ignorance is as good an excuse as any … wait, no it isn’t. Anyway, Sho will post it online either tonight or tomorrow, so keep checking; it’s pretty damn good, if I do say so.

Here’s the bad news, unless there is another explanation that is more reasonable: One of our boxes is missing. It’s the box that was located by the Knight Library. As far as I know, we haven’t moved or scrapped any of our old boxes yet (am I right, Tim?), so this leads me to believe that those filthy, pedophilic, First Amendment abridging, fat ass, box-dumping vandals are back, and this time they’ve gone too far.

Dumping a few issues, although reprehensible, does not require us (read: University students) to spend a lot of money on replacements. Now I need to purchase a new box, which was a distinct possibility for next year, but now I’m forced to do it as a result of this immature behavior. Jesus, you’d think that we were publishing a serialized version of Mein Kampf illustrated with child porn.

If this continues, I will have little recourse other than complaining to the ASUO and asking for more money — perhaps a rainy day Vandalism Fund, or, better yet, an OC Armed To The Teeth Fund. My vote goes toward the latter.

So Long, Farewell.

Monday, August 30th, 2004

Steven Den Beste has apparently decided to stop posting. And, while I can certainly understand his reasons and sympathize with his worry about all the damn email, I have to wonder just what did he expect? Pedantic nitpicking is what people, and especially people on the internet, do. I’ll miss browsing his posts occasionally, and I will miss the usually insightful pieces he puts together, but I’m certainly not sad to see his annoying “oh woe is me” whining about getting email go the way of the dodo. The man is an engineer, the obvious solution is to stop taking pedantic nitpicking so personally. For Christ’s sake, it’s email from people you don’t bloody know, who cares what their opinion is? Maybe overly sensitive people shouldn’t have websites.

Fucking Finally.

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

A Seattle based company is brining us the future we deserve.

If You’re Going To Run A Puff Piece

Friday, August 27th, 2004

At least make it about Penny Arcade. [Via Lore]

One Other Thing

Friday, August 27th, 2004

I’ve been looking forward to Zhang Yimou’s “Hero” since first hearing about it what seems like a dozen years ago. Finally, it hits big screens in North America this weekend. Unfortunately, Stephen Hunter’s review at the Washington Post reveals that the movie ultimately is something a bit more insidious than mindless chop-socky — it’s an apology for totalitarianism.

    The movie, spectacular as it is, in the end confronts what must be called the tyrant’s creed, and declares itself in agreement with the tyrant.

No wonder the Chinese government was so willing to let him film where ever he wanted.

Is That A Big Tent, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Friday, August 27th, 2004

Armed Prophet is back starting tomorrow, where I’ll be covering the convention as much as I can — anecdotes, factoids and even a bit of on-the-scene reporting. In the meantime, here’s something interesting from Variety:

    Will the Al Jazeera logo appear in U.S. broadcasters’ shots of George W. Bush when he accepts his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention next week?

    The Arab newscaster has been vilified by the Bush administration for airing terrorist tapes and providing an outlet for stridently anti-American comments.

    But U.S. news net execs inside Madison Square Garden said Thursday the Al Jazeera banner, which is in English, was posted and visible above the stage of the RNC.

You’ll remember that last month in Boston, the Dems plastered a johnkerry.com banner over Al Jazeera’s logo. No fan of the Qatar-based news net am I, but the GOP has nothing to fear from letting their presence be known. Quite the opposite — look for Ed Gillespie to be citing this as an example of Republican openmindedness and Democratic intolerance by early next week.

Well, look for it if you can find any convention coverage on the broadcast network — I’m skeptical they’ll show much more than Arnold Schwarzenegger and (maybe) President Bush.

Play NationStates. Rule Your Own Country.

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

Jennifer Government is a novel published last year, which relates the story of one Hack Nike who lives in a satirical near future where American corporations own the world, except for holdouts like France, and organizations such as the police and the NRA are publicly traded. The employees of a corporation take the company name for their last name and you have to give out your credit card number before you can get an ambulance, which can be difficult if someone has shot you.

Anyway, the author of the book set up a free web-based game/simulation called NationStates where people can create their own country and decide on social, economic, environmental and other issues that face their nation on a daily basis. Want an ultra-libertarian/free market state? Crush the latest labor strike and get rid of all the drug laws. Want totally domination over your citizenry? Ban public protests and speech and install security cameras on every street corner. Like to be naked? Then forget banning public nudity laws and make nakedness compulsory!

Even better, you can join the U.N. and vote on issues that will affect all member states (be forewarned that the U.N. in NationStates usually approves anti-capitalist and pro-environmental regulations, just like in the real world). You can also join a region with other players, forming a community of countries who can elect a U.N. delegate (who gets more votes in the U.N.) and watch what the others do with their countries.

Of course, there are no winners; it’s only a simulation, thank goodness.

Here are my two countries (one of which Tim saw and commented, “Congratulations, you’re Norway.”)

Interested in joining a region? Then consider New Jefferson, home of HappyCorp, where the beer flows like wine, and the free market is the only god.

The best reason to vote for Bush

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

I was talking to my old man about this yesterday and I had never thought about it in quite this way. He said that the best reason to vote for Bush, especially for someone with libertarian leanings, is that Bush gets to appoint judges. In his view, any Bush appointees will be a lot more likely to leave the big social questions to the ballot, rather than deciding for us in the courts. I think that’s the most compelling argument I’ve heard so far.

The Right’s New Wing

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Here’s a somewhat interesting article in TIME about young political types such as we fancy ourselves. Apparently it’s way hip and counter-culture to be libertarian. Which of course is why I’m involved. That and the cocaine.

Under pressure from safety weenies, GM pulls kid-driving-Corvette ad

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Story here.

The ad, which depicts a “young boy driving a Corvette sports car so recklessly that it goes airborne” to the sounds of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” was deemed “the most dangerous” ad in years by the Center for Auto Safety.

Two observations:

1. I did not need an ad to tell me it was a good idea to take my grandmother’s car for a joyride when I was 14. Nor, at age 10, to go to the garage (closed) while my parents were out of town and start up the car, thereby simultaneously satisfying my youthful desire to sit in the driver’s seat and exposing myself to carbon monoxide poisoning.

These ideas may have been motivated by my affinity for “Knight Rider” and the Duke Boys, but that point begs the question. Why did I like those shows in the first place? Because cars are cool. Just like fire is cool, and kids were playing with matches long before Beavis had anything to say about it.

2. Are those children’s beds you see at the mall that are modeled after stock cars next on the chopping block?

Update on Max’s Tavern

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Chase has added a comment to the previous post on the closure of Max’s Tavern and gave a detailed update on the whole situation, which I am sure will be appreciated by many thirsty individuals. More details after the jump.

Okay kiddies, here’s the poop straight from the horse’s ass (as it were)….
We’ve never done any major renovations of the plumbing in my tenure (since ’93). There were two separate drain systems under the floor. One for the restrooms, installed circa 1970 and tied to the primary building sewer which runs under Little’s. This is in working order, and aside from a few obstructions, was not the problem. What was the problem was an independent drainage system that had been installed under the bar some time in the early 1980’s. You’d probably need to call your eighth grade science teacher to understand what happens to iron pipe when years of beer and (especially) Soda pop run through them. For those of us who do not need a primer in chemistry, suffice it to say there wasn’t much left of that plumbing to be found.
What we did find was about six and a half feet of sludge once we opened the floor, which had finally given into the bog. Now when I say ‘sludge’, Imagine the term ‘quickmud’ (relative to ‘quicksand’) and almost seven feet deep!
The next question is obviously, “what about the rest of the building?”
Ever hear of Helical Pier Technology? (research that one)
We had to shore up and restabilize the load bearing wall between Max’s and Little’s. They sunk (8 or 12) piers sixteen or so feet down until they found solid earth, then releveled the foundation.
Meantime the swamp was cleared, leaving a crater, where once there was a fine watering hole.
In this process,everything not at least three feet off the floor was quickly and forcibly removed, lest the swamp eat the whole building before we could stabilize it.
and there we are…
The state of the art drainage we have now installed is pretty much overkill and would be the pride of any submarine commander. It is also constructed of materials that do not succumb to petty chemical taunts such as Dr. Pepper or Red Hook. This system is built for speed and volume, and will (hopefully) not reek anytime during my life.
As to the rest of the room: I don’t want to give you any secrets or false hope, but we’re working on something, well, nice. I’m certain that term and Max’s seem mutually exclusive, but while we’ve got the opportunity, we’re working off the dream sheets we’ve compiled the last ten or more years…you can research your own dirty little rag to figure out what I’m insinuating…
Say ‘hi’ to the Oh Man for me, and if you’re looking for the exclusive on this story, all the fotos and the facts, and perhaps a play by play preview before the rebirth…I’m sure we could negotiate something.
You little jackals always have been entertaining.
Write on!
sincerely,
the asshole formerly known as chase

Know Your Rights

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

Though this handy pamphlet was designed to help protesters at the Republican National Convention deal with confrontations with the police without giving up their rights, it could be helpful for any of us.* However, we usually complain about the government while in the bar rather than out on the streets.

*Especially when getting hassled by an EPD officer while walking home from the bar doesn’t seem to be an uncommon occurance.

The Revolution Will Be…Marginal?

Sunday, August 22nd, 2004

If you’re not a regular reader of Marginal Revolution, you should be. The guys over there cover a very ecclectic range of topics, and most of the time it’s pretty interesting. The latest? This post on kidnapping in Mexico.

I can feel your prodigious engine stirring in the very centre of my vitals!

Friday, August 20th, 2004

Because I have nothing of substance to post, here is something mildly amusing.

Lynching in Alabama?

Friday, August 20th, 2004

Lauren e-mailed me a link to this post from a blog called Hungry Blues. Last week, a young black man in Tuskegee, Alabama was found dead and hanging from a tree. Police said that they were leaning toward suicide as a cause of death. There are other details that weren’t reported in the story that raise a few questions.

Like another blogger who read the post, I’m also leery of this story because it hasn’t had much coverage (although suicides are normally not reported by newspapers), but there should be more investigation into the death as the circumstances make it very unusual.