Saturday, November 01, 2003

Lucky for me, I fucking hate basketball, and as such won't be exposed to this.
I suppose I'm obligated to post any news I come across involving Catholic schoolgirls. Those girls really could stand to be more attractive, though.

They totally should have entitled this article "Catholic High School Girls in Trouble!" However, I'm pretty sure CNN isn't going to show titties on shower door glass.
Here's how my Halloween went:

"Okay, there aren't gonna be any trick-or-treaters"

"Fucking dick"

"No, this is Kelly"

"Fuck you, this is Kelly"

"There IS no Kelly"

"I'm gonna go look at this pie thing"

"Is anyone in shutdown?"
"Not my robot..."

"We can't take him anywhere"
"No, we don't go out because we hate everyone"
"We've been lying to you"

"Yeah, it's gonna be three words: Fuck Robo Rally"

"I'm just spinning"

"As I turn away from the flag... Yet again"

Friday, October 31, 2003

The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity has released a report focusing on the contracts awarded to U.S. companies in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to a look at the money changing hands over these two countries as well as ties to the Administration and others in government, there us an overview of general trends over the past decade or so when it comes to the government's outsourcing of work.

It took a while to get through all of the info, but it's a good read (well, depending on what you think is "good"). Although all of the links below are available from the link above, I've gone ahead and broken most of them out anyway.

This article gives an overview of a lot of the contractors being awarded government money, as well as the Center's difficulty in obtaining info on all of the contracts.

This article goes a little more in-depth into the challenges the center ran into trying to collect info under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Discussed here is the increased trend over the past decade to outsource government work to the private sector.

Executive Order 13303, which is related to Iraqi oil and was signed back in May is discussed here. If you are interested in reading the Order itself, you can find it on this page.

A closer look at one company, Sullivan Haave with government ties is covered in this article.

Another company of interest doing work in Iraq is Science Applications International Corporation, and discussion of there contracts is found here. In addition to the stuff about them from the "Winning Contractors" article (that is, how IRDC members are on SAIC's payroll), I found it interesting that SAIC's contracts were awarded in February, well before the war actually started.

Here is a look at some contracts that were handed out directly by provisional authorities in the two countries, instead of by the Defense Department, the State Department, or USAID.

Here is a table summarizing contractors and what information the Center was able to piece together about what they were paid to do and how much they were paid to do it.

Finally, contractors are ranked by total contract value, campaign contributions, and contract history.

War is good, isn't it? Well, if you're a well-connected American company, it is.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Perhaps it truly is a new day. I'm on the verge of starting a new job, the economy might (might) be on the road to recovery, and I finally got a hit from a Google search that was related to underage girls but wasn't someone looking for child porn:

getting rid of beauty pageants for girls under 13

This search, of course, hit on my beauty pageant-related rants from August 8th and August 9th.
No surprise here. Sure, it's progress, but we'll see just how much progress it turns into since the administration has shown its commitment to destroying the environment.
Krugman, always the pro-Bush optimist.
Line of the day, courtesy of JFR (Jim Fucking Rome):

"And if you don't hate reality TV, you're not smart."
Joke of the week:

A priest and a rabbi are walking through the woods. On their voyage, they encounter a young boy.

"Let's fuck him," the priest says.

To which the rabbi replies "Outta what?"
Like usual, good news and not-so-good news.

I'd be curious to know if indeed the tax cuts helped spur the increase in consumer spending, and how they're coming to that conclusion. Personally, I think the consumer spending boost was all on the strength of my con trip last month.
Maureen Dowd's latest column.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

So here's one thing I've never ranted about before - guns.

I have kind of a soft support for gun-control legislation. Nothing so far as the repeal of the second amendment, but background checks, shit like that. I say "soft support" because I know that gun control doesn't really do all that much to stop violent crime involving guns. If someone is going to commit a crime using a gun, chances are they're willing to go the full nine and acquire that gun illegally.

Still, some ideas aren't too bad. Maybe it's not wholly effective, but things like background checks might be able to catch a few crazies who try to purchase guns. Again, that might just lead them to getting one illegally, so yeah, soft support.

One thing I have a somewhat more solid viewpoint on is banning the sale of things like military assault rifles. What the fuck do people need these things for? Oh, I know, "collectors." Of course, I stand on shaky ground, since I collect plenty of shit that people would find useless. Still, the things I collect aren't designed to kill and maim. Yes, a child could pop the head off of my yellow dress Asuka resin statue, put it in his mouth, and choke on it. But if he does that, I'll fuckin' shoot him.

Continually falling back on the Second Amendment as a reason for allowing gun ownership to be a free-for-all does piss me off, however. When the founding fathers put that together, they had fucking muskets, and really couldn't envision what we have today. The Constitution is not perfect.

Honestly, and this is a totally non-solid foundation, but I tend to be sort of anti-gun just because "gun enthusiasts" just tend to be kind of creepy and scary. This is completely stereotypical and biased, but it's not completely without basis.

Either way, tackling the problem of violent crime involving guns needs to go well beyond gun control to the point where we figure out why the fuck people are so trigger-happy in the first place.

There's no real point or conclusion to this post, but I'll leave you with something from George Carlin:

"What kind of a name for a gun nut is Wayne LaPierre? 'Hi, my name's Wayne, and I'm a gun person. Bang bang!' This guy should have a name like Biff Webster. Or Spud Crowley; a man's name. Chuck Steak."
One thing that always pissed me off was complaints about the "liberal media." No one could answer me exactly who or what the liberal media was, and furthermore, where their headquarters was so I could go talk to them.

Yet another friend of mine is contemplating getting into this blogging nonsense, and I totally think he should, too. Furthermore, I think he should call his 'blog The Liberal Media, so that I will finally have some answers to my questions.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but for anyone out there who has taken the quiz, I too am a...

You're Perfect ^^
-Perfect- You're the perfect girlfriend. Which
means you're rare or that you cheated :P You're
the kind of chick that can hang out with your
boyfriend's friends and be silly. You don't
care about presents or about going to fancy
placed. Hell, just hang out. You're just happy
being around your boyfriend.

What Kind of Girlfriend Are You? brought to you by Quizilla

And no, I didn't cheat. I just have to run everyone's fun, don't I? In so many ways, on so many levels...
Apparently, there are some issues with comments. They have been down at times, other times people have left comments that never showed up (could be that the comment was left while the comment service was having issues). For the, like, four people who leave comments, if you post any comments, can you check and make sure your comment shows up? And it not, let me know.
I've been a little worried about the comments I've been getting since I added the comment feature. Mainly, that despite all the shit I write, I've gotten virtually no dissenting opinions in comments. It's nice to have people agreeing with me, for sure, but I expected to see a lot more people getting pissed off and calling me on my shit. Especially since I freely admit that I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about.

Someone, however, has stepped up and gone after me for my recent big "lies" post. I've repeated the comment below, and here's to hoping more people get in on this discussion, as well as future discussions, so that we can get more than just my opinion out there.

Finally, some shit I can get my teeth into. While I have to agree that we do indeed lie to ourselves all too often, are you not guilty of the same thing in this rant. Why is this a "war for oil"? So far we haven't gotten any. If american companies started get huge contracts it would be the biggest news on. Next: Are you saying that you didn't feel proud the day they freed those children from that friggin concentration camp? You call our motives for going in there "evil". That's bullshit. We certainly have done evil things. The formost of which is not stopping what was going on there before this and our continued lack of actively trying to support human rights around the world.

If you want us to stop lying lets start with the dumbassed theory that force is not the way to bring others around to your point of view. Fanatics can not be reasoned with. The very definition of fanatic precludes it. Also they only respect strength. The reason 9/11 happened is because America has done absolutely jackshit about stopping terrorism before then. Wipe out to regimes tho, and guess what... International Terrorism is at its lowest activity since 1977. Why? Because they woke america up and now the real power behind terrorism, people with money, are scared shitless that we are comming for them next. Fuck, have you seen the about face the saudies did when we traced money back to a princess? They are all but licking our asses now. Durring the gulf war they damn near kicked us out of the country. If you want truth the truth is others hate america because it is richer and stronger then them. Oh, and arrogant fucks like me don't help either.

And here's my response:

I'd say that nearly everything we do in the Middle East is related in some way or another to oil. In the case of Iraq, we don't have to physically take control of a single drop - having control and influence over that oil can be very profitable.

American companies are getting big contracts. Like Halliburton's multi-billion dollar no-bid contract. Things like this aren't the "biggest news on" because our media doesn't give them the attention they deserve. It's only recently that contracts are being seriously opened up to non-U.S. companies as the administration does some damage control to improve its PR numbers.

We have started a war, bringing yet more instability to the already beyond unstable Middle East, sent our soldiers to fight and die, killed civilians, spawned more terrorist activities both now and in the future, raised anti-American sentiments to alarming levels, and added to our already burgeoning deficit which future generations will have to deal with. All of it was for the political and monetary gain of Bush and those associated with him. How is that not evil?

I've already said that putting an end to Saddam's human rights violations was a good thing (and who wouldn't say that?). But do I feel pride that we did it ONLY because we stood to gain from it? Fuck no. As you pointed out, our lack of action in the case of other human rights violations is deplorable. I feel even less pride when I think that we will do nothing about those atrocities because we can't make any money on it.

Force does not bring others around to our point of view. It only makes them afraid of us. Most likely, it's going to cement their views which oppose ours. Sure, having people afraid of us has its advantages - for us. But is that the right thing to do? Also, keep in mind that oftentimes fear can give someone impetus to strike back. We've seen this effect in the past, we're seeing it now, and we're gonna see more of it in the future - all stemming from things like the Iraq war.

"Wipe out" two regimes is helping fight terrorism, huh? Well, dismantling Saddam's regime seems to have increased terrorism in Iraq. This is of course just the immediate effects; who knows what the long-term results will bring. And how about Afghanistan? Sure, al Qaeda has been hit hard. But that hasn't stopped them from continuing their activities all over the globe since we've cracked down on them post-9/11. The Taliban, while no longer in control, still has a lot of influence in that country. We've kept them in check, but that hasn't kept them from causing trouble.

Thinking that killing terrorists and scaring them into a docile state will prevent future terrorists from springing up is dangerous and short-sighted, and it doesn't look like they have that much respect for strength.

Oh, and don't discount our friends, the Saudis. Just because they're now making some token gestures to make it look like they're serious about fighting terrorism doesn't mean that they're really doing anything serious to stop the flow of cash to terrorist groups. This is just a hunch, of course, but we'll never know for sure since this country is terrified of pissing of the Saudi Royal Family by putting real pressure on them or doing any serious investigation of activities going on inside that country.

Out of curiosity, where are the "lowest since 1977" figures coming from? Sounds like I've heard something along those lines before, but I can't remember where.

I don't think that others hate America simply because we're "richer and stronger then them" (sic). No, they hate us because of how we treat everyone as being so far beneath us because we're richer and stronger. We flaunt our wealth and our strength, and that's bound to rub people the wrong way. They hate us for our crass and arrogant actions, for our wastefulness, for our disregard of anyone else when our interests are at stake. I think your statement that "arrogant fucks like me don't help either" sums things up nicely. That's just my opinion, of course, which is useless. But it's all I've got.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Runner up for the Google search of the day:

girls I could fuck in Boulder

Humorously enough, the very first result returned for that search is for "Male Boulder Escort."

Dude, Boulder is a fucking college town. Go find a frat house on a party night if you're looking to get laid. My suggestion to you is to get the fuck OUT of Boulder if you have any goddamn sense, which I suspect you do not.

Furthermore, how is Google supposed to make value judgements on who you would be able to fuck?
I'm working real hard to convince myself that this whole Bush administration thing is just all a bad dream. However, it is funny to see that stupid stunt come back to bite them in the ass. Sure, it doesn't really accomplish anything (missions or otherwise), but I'll take what I can get.
Google search of the day:

And now I know because you've done everything possible to me

Holy christ do I wanna know the story behind those search terms.
I have no idea why I've never posted this link, but once you see this flash movie you'll never look at soy sauce the same way again. It's not pornographic or anything, but it might leave you feeling a little dirty.
Okay, fine, so one person is riding a BMX. God damn it.
You're a PROFESSIONAL BMX RIDER. Exactly what "reputation" are you worried about being damaged?

Seriously, when's the last time any of us got on a BMX? When we were five?
Continuing the discussion in a more coherent manner... Tell it like it is, Paul.
Things like this are nothing new. Nothing groundbreaking here. The U.S. and its allies have a habit of supporting brutal regimes, sometimes even overthrowing democratically elected leaders to install a dictator. The situation with Uzbekistan is just one more nail in a coffin made of bullshit.

Like I've said before, acting in one's own self interest is pretty natural. I typically rail on the U.S. for it, but everyone does it. The U.S. just happens to be very good at it, and the actions of the U.S. are more visible to me since I live here (and, at least try and pay attention to what the fuck's going on).

The thing that pisses me off, the thing that insults me, is all the fucking lies and bullshit. I hate being told one thing when it's plainly obvious that it's another. Why do they bother with all the bullshit?

Well, because Americans need to be lied to. I think I'm even more pissed about not the lies that the government feeds us, but the fact that the populace is so fucking stupid that it actually buys all the lies. And of course it does! Saying that we fought the second war in Iraq for oil or influence sounds bad. We can't feel good about ourselves for something like that.

However, when you're helping to empty the torture chambers, when you're working to put an end to mass graves, that sounds important. It sounds noble. These deeds, in fact, are noble and important. They allow Americans to feel good about themselves and their country. Nevermind the fact that these good deeds are only getting accomplished because they're a lucky side effect of what we're really there for.

Well, maybe I'm just being an asshole fundamentalist. In fact, I'm going against my normally utilitarian nature. "Hey, Bitter Little Man, if something good comes out of it in the end, doesn't that make it OK? Don't the ends justify the means? Why not just leave it alone?"

Fuck that. Motives matter. Because, as I've pointed out, the good stuff is just a side effect. The good side effects don't erase all of the other evil shit that went down to produce those side effects.

Furthermore, I just think that all this lying to ourselves is beyond dangerous. Although I'm not always successful, I always try to maintain a policy of honesty, for lots of reasons. One of them is because I believe that lies are almost always exposed in the end. The longer the lies stay hidden, the worse off you're gonna be once those lies are exposed. So why not just get it out of the way as soon as possible? Well, because that's hard. The sooner we face the truth, the sooner we're going to have to do something about it. The sooner we might face change or loss. The sooner we might start feeling bad about ourselves.

We think we can run from things forever. And while we're running, we feel OK.

America has a pathetic self-esteem because it's all based on lies. Not just the lies our government tells us, but the lies we tell ourselves that allow us to feel good about what we do all over the world. Lies that allow us to keep living in ignorance, lies that allow us to avoid doing work that might lead to some true actions of nobility.

Of course, it extends well beyond foreign affairs into all aspects of American life. The Church is a force for good. It'll be okay as long as she doesn't find out I cheated on her. No one's gonna catch us cooking the company's books.

This fragile self-esteem has staying power, though. The Church continues mostly unscathed despite a rash of pedophile priests. That shitty boyfriend gets caught but weasels his way into staying with the girlfriend and keeps fucking around. The crooked CEOs get caught but don't go to jail. Because even when the lies and bullshit are out in the open, we just find new lies to tell ourselves.

The cycle never ends, and we never improve. We're still the same ignorant, ass-backwards little children that we always were, and we're never gonna grow up. And being a Toys 'R' Us kids sucks, because TRU is a shitty toystore.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Like always, fuck Fox News. Here's to hoping they sue each and every one of us so that we can become richer and more successful like Al Franken and his book.
... And yet more money spent.
On my way in to work today, I had the opportunity to kill what looked like a family of four. I couldn't see all of the occupants clearly because making sure that I didn't hit the asshole was priority one, but it looked like a full vehicle with some kids in the back.

I'm driving down the road, doing 10 over in a 40 zone, which is of course, speeding, but no more than everyone else. I'm approaching an intersection, and there's a car in opposing traffic getting ready to turn left. The light was solid green for me. Any sensible person would just wait for 3 seconds until I'm past, but oh no, this jackass couldn't wait. So he makes his turn, forcing me to hit the brakes to keep from having to buy a new car this week.

This motherfucker is in an old Dodge fucking Neon. He had no chance of making it through that goddamn intersection if I hadn't realized what he was doing and hit the brakes. Now, my Honda Civic is neither big nor powerful, but if I braodside someone at 50 I can do some damage.

People who are this fucking careless infuriate me. They're so goddamn impatient and arrogant that they don't pay any fucking attention to the world around them. I have to pay attention to and FOR these motherfuckers in order to keep all of us out of the hospital. It's extra infuriating when you have kids in the car but you still don't care enough to pay fucking attention to what you're doing. Nothing against the kids, unless if they're assholes too, but these cocksuckers deserve to see their kids die in front of them just so they finally learn to not be such a dumbass.

It isn't that hard to be a good driver. It's actually pretty fucking simple. I can be driving, listening to music, and talking on my bloody cell phone all at the same time, and STILL have enough road awareness to catch other people doing stupid shit.

Learn to drive, or get off the fucking road.
Yeah, Paul, I think they're trying to tell us (or maybe just you) something...
You know what'd be great? Is if the administration just kept pushing Rummy's buttons, and he got all pissed and just started spewing shit left and right to make the administration look bad. I've been waiting for a total Rumsfeld meltdown, and it'd be cool if he could take some of those other fuckers with him.
So I had a dream last night where Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees gave me some PayPal stickers. Christ only know what the fuck that was about.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

If you were involved in this - either as a competitor, spectator, organizer, whatever - go home tonight, draw yourself a nice warm bath, and drown yourself in it.
All right, New York, I think it's time we had a talk. This talk is necessary to save us all a bunch of fucking trouble.

I don't wanna hear any fucking crying or bellyaching because the Yankees lost. Yes, winning was "destiny" or some such bullshit that I kept seeing, but it didn't work out that way. And yes, you lost to the Florida Fucking Marlins. I mean, Florida. Honestly. That all really, really blows.

But you know what? You're still FUCKING NEW YORK. You guys have EVERYTHING. And it's not like you guys haven't seen the Yankees win before, and it's not like there are, I dunno, about a bazillion more World Series titles ahead in the future.

Seriously, you guys had it all a few years ago when you got your goddamn subway series. That really should have been it for you guys, because that was the last thing on the NYC wishlist that hadn't been handed down. Everything since then should just be icing on the cake. Because, again, you're New York. But oh no, that's not good enough. If you really feel bad about those damn Yankees, just go out and do one of the other, I dunno, 80 gazillion things there are to do in New York.

Oh, and don't give me that September 11th bullshit. Yeah, horrible tragedy you guys went through, I know. But the more and more I think about it, the more I realize that maybe September 11th wasn't an attack on America. It was an attack on the Yankees.

Of course, this doesn't apply so much to people outside NYC or Mets fans, but fuck it. I'm trying to minimize the damage. And if you think I'm just bitter because I'm a Cubs fan - save it. We're so used to losing that we don't even know what joy is anymore, so nevermind being capable of bitterness over lack of said joy.

Okay, so let's sum up. I've offended anyone from NYC, and I've trivialized September 11th. Oh fucking well.

But Christ, do you people even realize how much everywhere else sucks? Just get over it, and let's move on, shall we? If nothing else, just do what I do when teams like the Marlins win or the Super Bowl is disgraced by being on Fox - just pretend like this last season never happened. Someone says to you "Hey, tough break with those Yanks, huh?," you just look at them and say incredulously "What? There was no baseball season this past year. What the fuck are you talking about?" See how easy it is?
Apparently, I'm now expected to be an expert on any actress who happens to show up in a film as a uniformed schoolgirl. I don't see why having a fetish implies that I'm going to do a bunch of extraneous work, but whatever.

As it turns out, Go Go was in Battle Royale after all.