29 June 2004

Give players a dark environment with which to play in

And let them rape other players in an online "world".
Lord Foucault is an admitted rapist. He does it on impulse -- for the thrill of it and for the feeling of control he has over his female victims.

But he's not attacking women in real life. Instead, Lord Foucault is a character in Sociolotron, an online virtual world that gives players a platform where they can act out a wide range of fantasies.

Sociolotron, currently in beta, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The game offers fare such as battling monsters, questing and other fantasies familiar to players of games like EverQuest and Ultima Online. But Sociolotron differs by providing a way to indulge in sexual taboos like rape and bondage with consequences like sexually transmitted diseases and even pregnancy. And it is quite explicit in informing would-be players about what they may experience in-world.

Um, I think I'm getting too old for video games anymore…

28 June 2004

True fact of the day

KTAR David Leibowitz has bandied about on how Michael Moore can be loose with the truth (even though Fahrenheit 9/11 fact checking has been verified) so I thought I'd do some fact checking on one of Mr. Leibowitz's past screeds. From a column in the Arizona Republic in April, 2003:
Officially, you began holding your breath Wednesday at 10 minutes before 8 in the morning. This was the moment the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled from its concrete pedestal in Firdos Square in Baghdad. You could feel the statue's thud 7,500 miles away in Phoenix. At that moment, you breathed deeply and paused.

The question riding on that last sip of air: Did "they" feel that thud too?

"They" meaning the doomsayers and America haters who have so viciously opposed this war. If so, if they felt it and if they saw those jubilant Iraqis, sky-high and thrilled at their first sips of freedom, well then, when will the anti-war crowd apologize? Or, at the very least, acknowledge the glaring naiveté of their opposition.

Boastful and gleeful, the host chastised anti-war voices, yet Mr Leibowitz was the one playing loose and free with the factual record.

Yes, it's a year later and this is old news, but his article is falling off the Google cache and seemed relevant with Leibowitz's attacks on Moore's credibility, given his penchant for serving as unabashed cheerleader for war and his trumpeting of the "good news" in Iraq, despite the words of those living there.

27 June 2004

You've got to believe in what your scouts present to you

Phoenix Coyotes stun the crowd and floor the scouts of other NHL squads with their first round selection of Blake Wheeler.
The Hockey News, for instance, didn't even include him among its top 71 prospects, and the NHL's Central Scouting Service ranked 16 North American skaters ahead of him.

In addition, scouts at the draft reportedly used the words "amazed" and "floored" to describe their reactions to the pick.

I reckon the Coyote brass figures there isn't going to be a season this season, so why not nab a younger prospect. And what a thrill for a 17 year old entering his senior year in high school but he's still planning on attending the University of Minnesota.

Godwin's Law

I was thinking the same thing when I viewed a Bush Cheney 2004 presidential campaign commercial that suggests Democrats are the party of Hitler.
The Republicans' excuse for running an ad comparing John Kerry (and other Democrats) to Hitler is that the Democrats did if first -- when MoveOn ran an ad on Kerry's behalf comparing Bush to Hitler.

Except, of course, that MoveOn never did any such thing.

Watch the video and judge for yourself. I find it deplorable that the Republicans sink to a level where they liken their political challengers to Hitler.

The op-ed advertisement that selected to run during the Super Bowl (and which CBS did not permit to air) contained no Nazi references at all. This latest act by Team Bush Cheney is akin to Democrats running commercials that boast how the terrorists wish for George W Bush to stay in power or interviewing white supremacists gleeful in their support of Bush.

And the way the mainstream media reported this story is irksome.

Adolf Hitler's image has surfaced again in the White House race. President Bush's campaign is featuring online video of the Nazi dictator, taken down months ago from a liberal group's Web site and disavowed, in a spot that intersperses clips of speeches by Democrats John Kerry, Al Gore and Howard Dean.

One commercial is an official pronouncement from the party that is in control of all branches of government. The "online video" referred to in the ABC article was a contest submission left on the cutting floor. Good Gates, should the Republicans be lambasted

What is Godwin's Law?

25 June 2004

There were a lot more active contacts with Iran and with Pakistan than there were with Iraq

With Al-Qaida, according to the chairman of the 9/11 commission.
The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission said Sunday that al-Qaida had much more interaction with Iran and Pakistan than it did with Iraq, underscoring a controversy over the Bush administration's insistence there was collaboration between the terrorist organization and Saddam Hussein.

Thomas Kean made the comment even as he and other commissioners tried to steer clear of the debate over one of the administration's primary justifications for invading Iraq.

23 June 2004

If Bush wants to go to war, it's your job to give him a reason to do so

CIA caved into pressure applied from the Bush administration to go to war with Iraq, so says CIA veteran who ran the hunt for Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999 and is now blasting the current counter-terrorism campaign.

Even grimmer is his prediction of an imminent attack to ensure the Republicans stay in power.

Anonymous, who published an analysis of Al Qaeda last year, called Through Our Enemies' Eyes, thinks it quite possible that another devastating strike against the US could come during the election campaign, not with the intention of changing the administration, as was the case in the Madrid bombing, but of keeping the same one in place. "I'm very sure they can't have a better administration for them than the one they have now," he said. "One way to keep the Republicans in power is to mount an attack that would rally the country around the president."

Also stated was his assessment that Saddam Hussein posed no immediate threat to the United States.

21 June 2004

Party of Inclusion

Democrats opening up convention coverage to web bloggers.
Democrats say they'll offer media credentials to a handful of bloggers. The Republicans say they've yet to decide what to do about them — credentialing deadlines passed with no announcement on whether bloggers could even apply.

GOP spokesman Leonardo Alcivar said details are still being worked out, but some analysts believe the party is wary of bloggers, who tend to be less predictable than mainstream journalists.

More evidence of the myth of liberal media bias — Republicans are quite happy with the conventional media and are leery of open reporting.

19 June 2004

People are going to go on allowing this atmospheric carbon dioxide to build up, with consequences that we really can't predict, but are probably not good

The words of Ron Oxburgh, Shell UK executive chairman.
"The other major consideration that we have to take into account is the greenhouse effect and global warming," he admits.

"No one can be comfortable at the prospect of continuing to pump out the amounts of carbon dioxide that we are at present," he says. "People are going to go on allowing this atmospheric carbon dioxide to build up, with consequences that we really can't predict, but are probably not good."

He believes the solution is something called sequestration, in which carbon dioxide from cars and power stations is captured and stored. "Sequestration is difficult," he says. "But if we don't have sequestration I see very little hope for the world."

Things You Have to Believe to Be a Democrat Today

By Jay D. Dyson.

Just to balance out the Things you have to Believe to be a Republican Today posting that generated so many comments.

  1. Drug addiction is a disease that should be treated with compassion and understanding...unless the addict is a Conservative talk show host.

  2. The United States should be subservient to the United Nations. Our highest authority is not God and the U.S. Constitution, but a collective of tinpot dictators (and their appeasers) and the U.N. charter.

  3. Government should relax drug laws regardless of the potential for abuse, but should pass new and unConstitutional anti-gun laws because of the potential for abuse.

  4. Calls for increased security after a terrorist attack are "political opportunism," but calls for more gun control after a criminal's spree killing is "a logical solution."

  5. "It Takes a Village" means everything you want it to mean...except creeping socialist government involvement in the nuclear family.

  6. Disarming innocent, law-abiding citizens helps protect them from evil, lawless terrorists and other thugs.

  7. Slowly killing an unborn innocent by tearing it apart limb from limb is good. Slowly killing an innocent disabled woman by starving her to death is good. Quickly killing terrorists, convicted murderers and rapists is BAD.

  8. Every religion should be respected and promoted in public schools the name of diversity, so long as that religion isn't Christianity.

  9. The best way to support our troops is to criticize their every move. This will let them know they're thought of often.

  10. Sexual harassment, groping and drug use are degenerate if you're the governor of California, but it's okay if you're the President of the United States.

  11. Sex education should be required so that teens can make informed choices about sex, but gun education should be banned because it will turn those same teens into maniacal mass-murderers.

  12. Minorities are blameless for the hatred of the racist; women are blameless for the hatred of the rapist; but America is entirely at fault for the hatred of Islamofascists.

  13. Poverty is the cause of all terrorism...which is why the leaders of al Qaeda are typically U.S.-educated and were raised in wealth and luxury.

  14. The Patriot Act is a horrific compromise of Constitutional rights, but anti-Second Amendment laws and Franklin Roosevelt's Presidential Order 9066 must be regarded "reasonable precautions."

  15. We should unquestioningly honor the wishes of our age-old allies, even when said allies no longer act like our allies and have vested economic interests in propping up our enemies.

  16. Socialized medicine is the ideal. Nevermind all those people who spend every dime they have to get to the United States so they can get quality medical care...that their nation's socialized medical community can't provide.

  17. Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and Natalie Maines are perfectly qualified to criticize our leadership, but Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlton Heston, and Dennis Miller are just ignorant political hacks.

  18. John Lott's research on how gun ownership reduces crime is junk science, but Michael Bellesiles is still an authority on why gun control is good (even though he was forced to resign from Emory due to research misconduct over his book "Arming America").

  19. Bush's toppling the Saddam regime was a "diversion," but Clinton's lobbing a couple of cruise missiles at Iraq in the thick of the Lewinsky sex scandal was "sending a message."

  20. A president who lies under oath is okay, but a president who references sixteen words from an allies' intelligence report should be dragged through the streets naked.

  21. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning Second Amendment rights and shopping the courts for judges sympathetic to causes that wouldn't pass in any legislature.

  22. "The People" in the First Amendment means The People; "the People" in the Fourth Amendment means The People; "the People" in the Ninth Amendment means The People; "the People" in the Tenth Amendment means The People; but "the People" in the Second Amendment (ratified in 1791) means the National Guard (created by an Act of Congress in 1903).

  23. You support a woman's "right to choose" to kill her unborn child, but don't believe that same woman is competent enough to homeschool the children she bears.

  24. Proven draft-dodging is irrelevant, but baseless claims of AWOL status is crucial to national security.

  25. Threatening to boycott Dr. Laura's and Rush Limbaugh's advertisers is exercising Freedom of Speech, but threatening to boycott CBS's "The Reagans" and Liberal actors over their asinine anti-American remarks is censorship and McCarthyist blacklisting.

18 June 2004

Gary Webb, my friend, you are owed a huge apology

On today's KFNX Bob Mohan show, the partisan blowhard host scoffed at a caller reference to Gary Webb, and claimed that the journalist who broke the story on CIA drug running in the 80's was a "flake". It served as another vivid illustration of how great a grade A clueless moron Mr. Mohan is. While I find his show to be entertaining and enjoy his "Blow out the Phones" program, his grasp of factual historical record is deluded. Here is a written piece by a 25 year DEA veteran that collaborates Webb's investigative findings and claims, even further, that the scandal was bigger than even Webb had discovered and detailed.
The interesting thing to me, about the Webb article is that the CIA is  provably  (and now admittedly) responsible for much larger scale drug  trafficking than Webb alleged or even imagined in his report.   In fact, according to a confidential DEA report entitled "Operation Hun, a  Chronology" that I used as part of the proof to back up the undercover  experiences  detailed in my book The Big White Lie, (optioned for a movie by  Robert Greenwald Productions)  the CIA was actively blocking DEA from  indicting many members of the ruling government of Bolivia, from,  1980-83—during a time period that these same people were responsible for  producing more than 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States.

16 June 2004

Credibility of the officers and the tactics they used are so abhorrent that we believe the likelihood of conviction has disappeared

County attorney Rick Romley and Sheriff Joe Arpaio square off at eachother again, this time over undercover officers who crossed the line and used investigative techniques that "undermined prosecution", in a prostitution sting crackdown.
Records detail instances in which deputies or posse members fondled the breasts and genitals of the women and allowed the women to touch their penises with their mouths and hands — all in the hopes of convincing the women they were not law enforcement officers.

Officers going nude is unacceptable, said Barnett Lotstein, special assistant county attorney. Participating in sex acts is that much worse.

"This behavior is not appropriate. We don't approve of it and we never authorized it. I want to make that clear," Lotstein said. "I have never read a report where a law enforcement or a representative went as far as these people did."

Another colossal waste of taxpayer resources that Sheriff Joe has foisted on a duped Arizona public. And it seems to me that the officer behavoir was indeed criminal, and Mr. Romley should pursue charges against those individuals for solicitation.

Arpaio's reign is a disgrace and it's really time for him to go.

14 June 2004

Estimate what's the value to society if you just leave the water in the river

University of Arizona researcher says diverting the Colorado River from flowing all the way to the Gulf of California costs $2.4 billion per year.
When Colorado River water is diverted for human uses such as agriculture or drinking water, there's a hidden cost to society, Flessa said.

Flessa's calculation reflects the loss of benefits the river originally provided, including natural flood control, natural wastewater treatment and providing nursery areas for fish and other marine organisms.

13 June 2004

B.S. Enterprises

Former KFNX news director is arrested again.
Tom Simon (Avila, on the air at KFNX) is an experienced criminal whose record in other states goes back two decades and includes arrests for forgery, grand theft, obstruction of justice and assault on a peace officer. He moved to Arizona just after being paroled from an L.A. county prison last June and immediately embarked on a very busy schedule.

Although he's been in Arizona less than a year, Simon managed to fall in love in July, marry in September, lead police on a high-speed chase in November, get popped on 14 felony counts of forgery in December, reinvent himself as a journalist in February, get fired at the beginning of April, and arrested on 20 new felony counts by the Phoenix Police Department by the end of April.

How does an experienced criminal just walk in to a metropolitan radio station and become a news director?

11 June 2004

Reagan Legacy

Some contrarian perspectives on the Regan legacy, at least those differing from all of the glowing deification for someone who's legacy of goodwill is indeed debatable. Style over substance, image elevated over reality, …

9 June 2004


Some useful advice if you ever happen to stumble into a hive of killer bees.
We have Africanized killer bees out our way. In fact, several years ago some poor guy in Carefree was cleaning his pool and inadvertently bumped a hive in his back yard and when they attacked he jumped in the pool and dove under water. Big mistake. The bees, who have some peculiar rod and cone deal going, could see him perfectly, and massed above his head waiting for him to surface. When he couldn’t hold his breath any longer and surfaced, the killer bees nailed him in the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. In short, they killed him.

This is always on my mind (he lived five miles from my house!) when I walk to the creek, like this morning. I hear the bees in the blooming palo verde trees and as I walk by I’m always walking very lightly and looking for an escape route at the same time.

The official advice goes something like this: bees can only fly fifteen miles an hour and if you can run 16 miles an hour and zig-zag through the brush, you’ll easily lose them. So, I’m always alert and looking for the path of most resistance.

Imagine my horror this morning when I read in the Arizona Republic that a 20-year-old Mesa man backed into a hive Tuesday morning while using a leaf blower. He was immediately attacked by a killer swarm and started to run. So far, so good. Unfortunately, he ran into the street and was hit by a Salt River Project truck. He didn’t die but he has a fractured skull and compound fractures on both legs. The article didn’t say if they dispersed the bees, or not.

8,000 fewer computer jobs than a year ago and 223,000 fewer than in January 2001

Paul Craig Roberts chimes in again with a detailed breakdown of the "248,000 jobs created in May 2004" being touted by the Bush administration and it's troupe of apologists.
Here is where the May jobs are: restaurants and bars 33,000; health care and social assistance 36,000; temporary help 31,000; retail trade 19,000; transportation and warehousing 15,000; financial activities 15,000; real estate 9,000; services to buildings and dwellings 8,000; education 8,000.

This repeats the pattern of last month and, indeed, of every month in the new millennium. Our economy is not creating jobs that are part of the high tech global economy or that require university education. The jobs that made America a land of opportunity where people could rise are missing.

If we add the 37,000 construction jobs created in May, then 213,000—or 86%—of May’s jobs are in sectors that do not face import competition and cannot be outsourced. Neither do they produce exports to close the massive trade deficit.

The US economy might be part of the global economy, but jobs are not being created for the US work force in that part of the economy.

Roberts fires a few salvos at New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has eagerly trumpeted the joy of outsourcing.

It's disrespect to my game

Larry Bird's comments that the NBA needs more white stars drew some attention
Well, I think so," Bird replies, according to an ESPN transcript. "You know when I played, you had me and Kevin (McHale) and some others throughout the league. I think it's good for a fan base because as we all know the majority of the fans are white America. And if you just had a couple of white guys in there, you might get them a little excited. But it is a black man's game, and it will be forever. I mean, the greatest athletes in the world are African-American."

…but his comments about the "black man's game" are more noteworthy – the part where he felt disrespected if the opposing coach assigned a "white guy" to guard him.

"The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me," Bird said. "I still don't understand why. A white guy would come out (and) I would always ask him: 'What, do you have a problem with your coach? Did you coach do this to you?' And he'd go, 'No,' and I'd say, 'Come on, you got a white guy coming out here to guard me; you got no chance.' ... For some reason, that always bothered me when I was playing against a white guy.

"As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me -- red, yellow, black," Bird added. "I just didn't want a white guy guarding me. Because it's disrespect to my game."

Anyone remember the old FOX television show Roc? With the grandfather character that emphatically argued that "Larry Bird was black and they just painted him all up as white"?

Pontiff wishes he was younger and in better health to confront the possibility that Bush may represent the person prophesized in Revelations

According to freelance journalist Wayne Madsden, the Pope fears George W Bush is the anti-Christ.
George W Bush's blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs and his constant references to 'evil doers,' in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations--the anti-Christ.

8 June 2004

No peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people

Which president? That would be President Reagan, who often has been the recipient of media glory for his cutting taxes...
For many middle- and low-income families, this tax increase more than undid any gains from Mr. Reagan's income tax cuts. In 1980, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, middle-income families with children paid 8.2 percent of their income in income taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. By 1988 the income tax share was down to 6.6 percent — but the payroll tax share was up to 11.8 percent, and the combined burden was up, not down.

As far as search and rescue, that sounds really good to us

But the Border Patrol's new use of unmanned drone surveillance planes has displeased immigration advocates and others.
The remotely piloted Hermes 450 craft, which can stay aloft for 20 hours at a time, are not armed with missiles like the Predators that gained renown in U.S. military and CIA operations. Predator-fired missiles have killed several top al-Qaida operatives in Afghanistan and Yemen.

The Border Patrol drones will carry cameras with thermal and night vision capabilities that can detect movement 15 miles away as they fly over vast stretches of cactus, mesquite and scrub-covered deserts, mountains and sprawling grasslands.

Still, it won't matter if we can watch tragedy unfold, yet affect it not, if there is insufficient manpower to send a patrol to the destination marked by the drone. And what if weapons are added to these drones as part of future program enhancements?

7 June 2004

Police are swarming all over and I don't think they can stop him

Marvin John Heemeyer goes on a bulldozer rampage. And he was finally contained, and found dead in his welded shut command compartment.
A 52-year-old welder nursing a grudge against the town fathers and driving a bulldozer converted into a war machine ripped the heart of this high-country ranching town from its foundations Friday.

Among the structures destroyed or heavily damaged in a relentless 90-minute rampage were Granby's town hall and library, a bank, the town's newspaper, an electric cooperative building, Gambles Store, an excavating business and a house owned by the town's former mayor, as well as a concrete plant adjacent to the business of the man believed responsible for the bizarre assault.

Police fired away during the frenzy of destruction, to no avail.

"He's put armored plates all around it and it's impenetrable," said business owner Terri Hertel, her voice trembling as gunfire rattled in the background. "Armor- piercing bullets won't go through it. He's destroying the town of Granby."

Heemeyer was described by acquaintances as a happy-go-lucky snowmobile enthusiast. Vindictive Marvin was also known as "Marv the Muffler Man" from television ads.

4 June 2004

Bush administration has awarded the largest homeland security contract in history to a company that has given up its U.S. citizenship and moved to Bermuda

Truly outrageous.
Lately we witness our Dept. of Homeland Security awarding a $10 billion border security contract to a Bermuda company, Accenture LLP. The system known as U.S.-Visit requires foreigners to be fingerprinted and photographed upon entering the U.S. at a major airport or seaport. The technology also includes iris scans to identify people.

Accenture is the company formerly known as Arthur Andersen. You may remember them for these exploits:

On June 15, 2002, Andersen was convicted of obstruction of justice for shredding documents related to Enron. An added blow for the company may come from its role as the auditor for WorldCom.

In the past Andersen has been alleged to have practiced fraudulent accounting for Sunbeam, Waste Management, Asia Pulp and Paper, and the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, among others.

3 June 2004

Total Cost Even Higher If English Instruction, School Nutrition Programs, or Welfare Benefits for Displaced American Workers Were Added In

The Cost of Illegal Immigration to Arizonans
Analysis of the latest Census data indicates that Arizona’s illegal immigrant population is costing the state’s taxpayers about $1.3 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated tax contributions of illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to about $1.3 billion per year. The annual fiscal burden borne by Arizonans amounts to more than $700 per household headed by a native-born resident.

I would not have sanctioned or authorized releasing those people into the community

Yet 24 suspected illegal immigrants were released into a Mesa neighborhood.
A state Department of Public Safety officer on Tuesday noticed two full-size vans traveling together on the freeway near the Dobson Road exit, said DPS spokesman Steve Volden.

When the officer tried to pull them over on a traffic violation, one exited the freeway at Country Club Drive and crashed in a ditch. Nearly 30 people got out and began running, Volden said. Other DPS officers called to the scene caught 18 of them, he said.

The second van, which was packed with 25 people, tried to flee on the freeway but was pulled over. Two more DPS officers showed up and helped handcuff the suspects. One resisted, breaking an officer's wrist, Volden said.

The officers called ICE but were told no detention officers were available for at least four hours, Volden said.