Wednesday, October 01, 2008
October 1, 2008
A MoveOn.org Political Action ad plays the partisan blame game with the economic crisis, charging that John McCain’s friend and former economic adviser Phil Gramm “stripped safeguards that would have protected us.” The claim is bogus. Gramm’s legislation had broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Clinton. Moreover, the bill had nothing to do with causing the crisis, and economists – not to mention President Clinton – praise it for having softened the crisis.
A McCain-Palin ad, in turn, blames Democrats for the mess. The ad says that the crisis “didn’t have to happen,” because legislation McCain cosponsored would have tightened regulations on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But, the ad says, Obama "was notably silent" while Democrats killed the bill. That’s oversimplified. Republicans, who controlled the Senate at the time, did not bring the bill forward for a vote. And it’s unclear how much the legislation would have helped, as McCain signed on just two months before the housing bubble popped.
In fact, there’s ample blame to go around. Experts have cited everyone from home buyers to Wall Street, mortgage brokers to Alan Greenspan.
Full Text of FactCheck.org Article
Monday, September 29, 2008
So after addressing the nation on the urgency of the crisis, encourages Congress to pass the bill before them. But with public support at 95-98% against bailing out Wall Street - the House of Representatives does not pass the bill. If the President had as much authority - power - persuasion as people thought (or if there was a conspiracy - you'd think this bill would've passed).
The House Vote Roll Call
As I've said before - Presidents have very limited control over the economy. And merely ride the business cycle along with the rest of us.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Save the Single Mom's : Save the World
You probably had plans to go out to The Penthouse Club tonight, have a nice drink, chat with a perky young gal working her way through grad school by pole-dancing, pay her twenty bucks a for a lap dance, then head home to the wife and kids.
You're out of luck.
District Judge Mark Davidson has given the city a rare victory in its never-ending battle to crack down on Houston's most famous tourist spots, ordered the Penthouse Club closed immediately. (No "judge's special" for him tonight.)
Davidson ruled the club was violating several of the city's ordinances and was a nuisance to its neighbors.
The club had -- and you have to love the chutzpah -- argued it wasn't a sexually oriented business.
City officials have suffered a string of setbacks in their attempts to kill the "gentlemen's club" business, so we guess they'll be celebrating this decision pretty heavily.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
80 Proof (5 p.m.)
Nominated in: Best Cover Band
You never know what happens when you get on Craigslist. You might hook up for one of those infamous "casual encounters," or you might wind up in an '80s cover band that owns the Lounge on Montrose Saturday night, and the rest of the week can be found anywhere from Pearland to Katy. At least as far as we know, that's what happened to these five guys and one girl when they came together last year, and have been growing their song list ever since. Could this be the year Molly & the Ringwalds finally goes down? — C.G.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
80 Proof has been nominated for the best cover band in Houston by the Houston Press readers. By being nominated we also will be playing in the showcase this year. So for all you inner-loopers there is no excuse this time for not coming to check us out. We are playing at The Real Sammies at 711 Franklin St. July 27th, at 5pm.
Don't Forget to Vote.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
National Security Policy
1. McCain thought Bush's warrantless wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
2. McCain insisted that everyone, even "terrible killers," "the worst kind of scum of humanity," and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, "deserve to have some adjudication of their cases," even if that means "releasing some of them." McCain now believes the opposite.
3. He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."
4. In February, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.
5. McCain favored closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before he was against it.
6. When Barack Obama talked about going after terrorists in Pakistani mountains with Predators, McCain criticized him for it. He's since come to the opposite conclusion.
7. McCain was for kicking Russia out of the G8 before he was against it.
8. McCain supported moving "toward normalization of relations" with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.
9. McCain believed the United States should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.
10. McCain believed the United States should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.
11. McCain is both for and against a "rogue state rollback" as a focus of his foreign policy vision.
12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty's behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.
13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.
14. McCain recently claimed that he was the "greatest critic" of Rumsfeld's failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as "a mission accomplished." In March 2004, he said, "I'm confident we're on the right course." In December 2005, he said, "Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course."
15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good idea and a bad idea.
16. McCain said before the war in Iraq, "We will win this conflict. We will win it easily." Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was "probably going to be long and hard and tough."
17. McCain has repeatedly said it's a dangerous mistake to tell the "enemy" when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq. In May, McCain announced that most American troops would be home from Iraq by 2013.
18. McCain was against expanding the GI Bill before he was for it.
19. McCain defended "privatizing" Social Security. Now he says he's against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
20. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn't.
21. McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite.
22. He argued that the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party's policy making. Now he believes the opposite.
23. In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won't commit to supporting a regulation bill he's co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris' former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser.
24. McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona.
25. McCain's first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn't be "rewarded" for acting "irresponsibly." His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position.
26. McCain went from saying gay marriage should be allowed, to saying gay marriage shouldn't be allowed.
27. McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. before he supported it.
28. McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he's pro-ethanol.
29. McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.
30. In 2005, McCain endorsed intelligent design creationism, a year later he said the opposite, and a few months after that, he was both for and against creationism at the same time.
31. McCain was against Bush's tax cuts for the very wealthy before he was for them.
32. John McCain initially argued that economics is not an area of expertise for him, saying, "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues; I still need to be educated," and "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." He now falsely denies ever having made these remarks and insists that he has a "very strong" understanding of economics.
33. McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal. And soon after that, McCain abandoned his second position and went back to his first.
34. McCain said in 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were "too tilted to the wealthy." By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and falsely argued that he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.
35. McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
36. McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a "'read my lips' candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?" referring to George H.W. Bush's 1988 pledge. "No new taxes," McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, "I'm not making a 'read my lips' statement, in that I will not raise taxes."
37. McCain has changed his entire economic worldview on multiple occasions.
38. McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off economically than they were before Bush took office.
39. McCain supported the moratorium on coastal drilling; now he's against it.
40. McCain recently announced his strong opposition to a windfall tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
41. McCain endorsed a cap-and-trade policy with a mandatory emissions cap. In mid-June, McCain announced he wants the caps to be voluntary.
42. McCain explained his belief that a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax would provide an immediate economic stimulus. Shortly thereafter, he argued the exact opposite.
43. McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn't.
44. McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants' kids who graduate from high school. Now he's against it.
45. On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own bill.
46. In April, McCain promised voters that he would secure the borders "before proceeding to other reform measures." Two months later, he abandoned his public pledge, pretended that he'd never made the promise in the first place, and vowed that a comprehensive immigration reform policy has always been, and would always be, his "top priority."
Judicial Policy and the Rule of Law
47. McCain said he would "not impose a litmus test on any nominee." He used to promise the opposite.
48. McCain believes the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration's warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite.
49. McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade to saying the exact opposite.
Campaign, Ethics, and Lobbying Reform
50. McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn't.
51. In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving "feedback" on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.
52. McCain supported a campaign-finance bill, which bore his name, on strengthening the public-financing system. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation.
Politics and Associations
53. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist John Hagee. Now he doesn't.
54. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist Rod Parsley. Now he doesn't.
55. McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry's Democratic ticket in 2004.
56. McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church.
57. McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as "an agent of intolerance" in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans "deserved" the 9/11 attacks.
58. In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending "dirty money" to help finance Bush's presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.
59. McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.
60. McCain decided in 2000 that he didn't want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he "would taint the image of the 'Straight Talk Express.'" Kissinger is now the honorary co-chair for his presidential campaign in New York.
61. McCain believed powerful right-wing activist/lobbyist Grover Norquist was "corrupt, a shill for dictators, and (with just a dose of sarcasm) Jack Abramoff's gay lover." McCain now considers Norquist a key political ally.
And while I realize there are some who believe these constant flip-flops are irrelevant, I respectfully disagree.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Sometimes the photos end up in everyone's hands, via the Internet.
"It used to be that kids would make mistakes, and it was local and singular and everyone knew it was part of growing up," said Catherine Davis, who had a frank talk with her two sons after several students' nude self-portraits recently spread through the wealthy New York City-area suburb of Westport, Connecticut. "Now a stupid adolescent mistake can take on major implications and go on their record for the rest of their lives."
Such images are complicating the work of investigators whose job is to find exploited children. Authorities trying to identify youngsters in naked photos are increasingly discovering that the teens themselves took the shots, said John Shehan, a director at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
School administrators in Santa Fe, Texas, confiscated dozens of cell phones from students in May after nude photos of two junior high girls began circulating. The girls had sent the photos to their boyfriends, who forwarded them to others, officials said.
In La Crosse, Wisconsin, a 17-year-old boy recently was charged with child pornography, sexual exploitation of a child and defamation for allegedly posting nude photos of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend on his MySpace page. The girl had taken the pictures with her cell phone at her mother's home and e-mailed them to the boyfriend, authorities said.
"They were pretty graphic," said sheriff's Sgt. Mark Yehle. "I think they just do it to impress their boyfriends. When he breaks up, he `vents,' in his words, by posting them. He apparently didn't think there was anything wrong with it. He didn't know it was illegal."
Psychologists said the phenomenon reflects typical teenage hormones and lack of judgment, with technology multiplying the potential for mischief. It also may reflect a teenage penchant for exhibitionism, as demonstrated on MySpace and countless other Web sites and blogs.
Brianna Moran, 15, who attends the same school as the girl in the La Crosse case, said she is not surprised by such behavior. "They probably think they're hot or something. If you look at people's MySpace, all the pictures are slutty," she said.
In suburban Syracuse, New York, several teenage girls sent naked pictures on their phones to their boyfriends, only to learn that another boy had collected them from the Web and was trying to sell a DVD of them.
Some boys are photographing themselves, too. In Utah, a 16-year-old boy was charged with a felony for sending nude photos of himself over a cell phone to several girls. Four middle school students - two boys and two girls - in Daphne, Alabama, took photos of themselves on their cell phones and traded the images back and forth, authorities said.
Connecticut police Sgt. Jim Smith, who investigates cybercrime and online child pornography, conducts seminars in which he warns parents about the use of cell phones to send nude pictures.
"It's often so spur of the moment that they're not thinking about where those images might end up," Smith said. "They might think it's just fun and games at the time they do it, but these images can really spread like wildfire."
Found a Copy of the Pics Click Here - NSFW
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Looking for males and females to play some indoor volleyball on monday nights @ spike sport. We are looking for intermidiate or recreational players. Spike Sport is located off of South Gessner. Price is 260.00 per team. If you don't have a team you can also join individually for 65.00. The season is 7 weeks plus playoffs. Summer season starts June 30th. Please contact me if interested.
Plus we always go out afterwards and drink beer, play shuffleboard, poker afterwards.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Does sweeping AM/FM Radio Bands induce ghosts and demons to communicate from beyond. Several people on the web and youtube have claimed to create ghost boxes where they can communicate with the dead. Here's some background information:
** Background **
The argument has been made that Thomas Edison was working on a ghost communication device – a ghost box of sorts, to contact the dead. However, there are many Edison experts that would argue that it was only legend, a myth that is untrue. They will point out that he neither believed in the afterlife, nor did he believe spirits and ghosts could be contacted through an electronic device. Whatever the truth behind Edison, one has to believe it makes a good story and backdrop to the ghost box. Even more intriguing, some today claim they are in contact with Thomas Edison via the ghost box, but many respected researchers of the latest ghost box technology have yet to make contact with the famous, dead inventor.
That brings us to the latest development of the ghost box. EVP or electronic voice phenomena was discovered in the late ‘50s, and has become well known today thanks to numerous TV shows featuring ghost investigators. Many are not aware of the two-way communication devices called ghost boxes. Following on the heels of the Spiricom , a ghost box of sorts that many believe to be the first two-way communication device between the earthly realm and the spiritual realm, Frank’s box truly was the first of its kind. Frank’s Box is a ghost box that produces random voltage to create raw audio from an AM tuner, where it is then amplified and then fed into an echo chamber and recorded. In short, ghost boxes such as Frank’s box create audio bits and white noise that ghosts and/or spirits can then manipulate into forming words – real time two-way communication. Frank Sumption was the original inventor of the ghost box, as he conceived of the idea by experimenting with Stefan Bion’s EVPMaker software to record EVP, and was also inspired by an October 1995 Popular Electronics Magazine article that asked, “Are the dead trying to communicate with us through electronic means? Try these experiments and see for yourself.” Today Frank is experimenting on various improvements to his ghost box design. Most other ghost boxes are not random band sweeping, but linear sweeping of the AM or FM bands. That is not to say other bands, such as shortwave, weather, etc are not being experimented with by Frank and other Instrumental Transcommunication experimenters. Others since have developed their own ghost boxes, such as Paranormal System’s "MiniBox" and Joe Cioppi’s “Joe’s Box.”
Recently, in late 2007 to be exact, another discovery was made by a retired electrical engineer known as Sum Duc. His find has been dubbed the “Radio Shack Hack.” Here is his story:
“I was in Radio Shack looking for parts for a new type of device for ITC I’m currently working on. I saw the AM/FM 12-469 on the shelf and thought, ‘I bet I can make this work.’ I had no idea it would be so simple.”
Since that time, other researchers such as Mike Coletta have figured out how to alter the older version 12-470 AM/FM radio, too. Mike has posted many of his videos on YouTube to help others make their own ghost boxes. What has been great is the fact that so many have made their discoveries and research public, such as Frank Sumption, Joe Cioppi, Bruce Halliday, Steve Hultay, Sum Duc, Mike Coletta, and more. Links to their websites are at the end of this article as a big thank you.
The ghost box can be used for EVP, as it can be recorded, then analyzed for messages from spirits and ghosts. However, what makes the ghost box unique is that it can be heard audibly through either an external speaker or headset, where responses from the other side can be heard and responded to live – not unlike chatting with someone by walkie-talkie. It does require the user to train his or her ear to hear the messages that are brought forth, as the noise and audio bits can at times be somewhat distracting. But if one experiments long enough with a ghost box, it will become apparent that the audio sound bites and white noise will begin to be manipulated to form answers to questions, phrases and more. For this reason alone, we recommend recording all sessions and listening to them later. Upon playback, one might be amazed at what is captured in the audio.
The function of the ghost box and how it works seems to be affected by the strength of radio signals in an area. Poor signal quality reduces the ability for spirits and ghosts to make contact through the device. Perhaps there is not enough audio bits to be manipulated successfully for real-time communication. That would indicate that enhancing the antenna on these devices could improve results by the researcher, according to Bruce Halliday.
The biggest debate over the ghost box might be just who in the heck is coming through these devices? Are they spirits? Ghosts? Demons (the religious ask)? Aliens? Our own projected thoughts? The research continues in this area, but many believe both ghosts, spirits and beings from another realm are making contact through the ghost box. Experimenters have received positive, good messages, as well as negative and cursing messages. This would indicate that perhaps the range of messengers who are able to manipulate this device into audible words is broad. Some believe that there are spirits from the light called “controls” or “operators” who work to establish contact and can bring other spirits and ghosts forward through the ghost box. Some of these same operators have been recorded coming through different ghost boxes by different people in different geographical locations. This would lead one to think that operators are involved from the other side in order to try and organize a grid of control and functionality. Whatever the case may hold to be true, it does appear that one’s connection with the other side seems to influence how good and what type of results will be experienced through the ghost box. It just may be that those who are recording the best results might be psychic in nature, truly connected with the spirit realm prior to the existence of any ghost box.
*** End of background ***
*** Start of my rant ***
I'm not sure where to begin on this. So the box sweeps AM/FM radio signals and what we hear is supposed ghosts, spirits, and demons from beyond the grave. Do the guys who believe this stuff actually think logically and skeptically through what they are doing? Another example of people seeing and hearing objects in random data.
From the website for The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP):
"Speech is understood by humans, completely unconsciously, using phonemes. People use these basic building blocks to understand speech. We can identify phonemes at a rate 20 per second but can only follow similar non-speech sounds at a rate of around 1 per second. Clearly the phonemes are built into our memory for quick recognition (as are whole words). Interestingly, it is not simply a question of identifying each phoneme and constructing words. Phoneme sounds can be modified by the phoneme before and after them. They are also frequently slurred together. So the system of recognizing speech (which also has to work for different accents) has to be very flexible. The cost of this flexibility is that it sometimes makes errors."
Enough skepticism for one day.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
It's my birthday - along with me being born here's some other cool stuff that happened on this day in history:
585 BC - A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
1830 - President Andrew Jackson signs The Indian Removal Act which relocates Native Americans.
1863 - American Civil War: the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first African American regiment, leaves Boston, Massachusetts, to fight for the Union.
1892 - The Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco.
1936 - Alan Turing submits On Computable Numbers for publication.
1140 - Xin Qiji, Chinese poet (d. 1207)
1660 - King George I of Great Britain (d. 1727)
1887 - Jim Thorpe - Athlete, runner
1908 - Ian Fleming, English author (d. 1964)
1936 - Betty Shabazz, American civil rights activist (d. 1997)
1944 - Rudy Giuliani, American politician
1944 - Gladys Knight, American singer and actress
1967 - Glen Rice, American basketball player
1968 - Kylie Minogue, Australian actress and singer
1970 - Morgan Fox, Canadian model and 1990 Playboy playmate
1971 - Me
Thursday, May 22, 2008
8. Manager Who Refuses to Recognize the Words Small, Medium, and Large
I understand, you’re a corporate guy and thus must abide by company policies by calling the different sizes by their Starbucks Christian names of Venti, Grande, etc…. But if I ask you for a small, don’t act like I’m speaking to you in that Native American langauge we used in World War II to deliver coded messages. You’re familiar with the sizes small, medium and large, and if you’re not, then you might want to change underwear because there’s a good chance there’s a sizeable amount of shit in them due to your inability to grasp the concept of wiping your asshole after defecating.
7. Intern Who is Buying for the Entire Office
Wearing an all-white or striped button down shirt, this guy shows up with a legal pad full of hastily scribbled orders. “Yeah, I’m gonna need 24 tall skinny soy lattes with sugar free hazelnut extra hot…and 32 grande no caff cappuccinos with light whip cream, sugar free hazelnut and vanilla with white chocolate mocha. And 14 grande supremos with a triple shot, sugar free vanilla, extra white mocha, no whip, no foam and an extra drizzle. Oh, and can I get a smiley face on the bottom of all those?” And he knows if one of these orders is screwed up, it’s going to cost him a chance at the a full-time gig as assistant editor where he can bring coffee to even more important people. So instead of just grabbing his bags and leaving, he inspects all 70-odd cups in his 17 flimsy cardboard holders. If you get behind this guy, you may as well give up any hopes of getting a cup of joe in your lifetime. You’re better off flying to Columbia, slitting Juan Valdez’s throat and stealing his coffee-harvesting burro.
6. The Writer Who Wants You to Know They’re a Writer
Being a writer is a pretty cool occupation, but unfortunately you can’t tell someone’s a writer just by looking at them. And having to tell someone you’re a writer is way less impressive. Therefore, these people go to the busiest Starbucks and pop open their iMac, making sure their screen is clearly displaying a full page of text (or clear screenplay format for those in Los Angeles). Their next step is to make sure they’re facing away from where everyone goes to pick up their drinks while staring at the screen while remembering to take deep breaths which will indicate to others that deep and creative thought that normal minds are not capable of, is taking place. Who gives a shit if an asshole and his mac have spent six hours taking up a table normally reserved for four people, it’s important you know that they’re juggling a complex story about a boy in Alaska who comes of age and befriends a bear. That’s right, they’re creating that using only their minds!
5. Overly Happy Line Greeter/Order Taker
At some point, the Starbucks Corporation realized that their growing legions of employees didn’t have the best people skills. Their answer was to create their own version of the Wal-Mart Greeter who also takes your order. But since they don’t pay shit, you end up having some G.E.D.-havin’ dumbass or an excruciatingly-lonely elderly woman force their brand of corporate chit-chat down your throat. Instead of waiting to pay for your overpriced chai in peace, you have to deal with: “Goooooood morning today! How are you? Some kinda weather we’re having isn’t it? I wish I was outside in the park! Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s sooooo sunny! And what’s better for you than a nice big dose of Mr. Sun! Maybe some coffee? Ha! So, what can we get you today? Need a little pick-me-up? You do! I think we ALL could use one, yes we could! YES WE COULD! Anyway, I’ll get this chai order right up for you. What’s your name? Terry? That’s my cousin’s name! Small world. Yes. It. Is. Small world indeed….Hi! And how are you doing today?!?!”
4. Complicated Order Guy Who Needs his Coffee Right The F*&K Now.
When you order coffee, it shouldn’t sound like you’re giving the pass code to a missile defense system. If you’re lactose intolerant, on a strict diet, and can’t handle a full dose of caffeine, how about instead of ordering a “non-fat, grande, soy chai latte with a half shot of espresso and no foam” and then stand in front of the pick up window and pace like one of Michael Vick’s pitbulls watching Vick pull out the rape stand after losing a fight, you just grab a glass of god damn water and drink that. Last I checked that won’t give you exploding diarrhea or anxiety… unless you’re at the Starbucks in Tijuana.
3. The Guy Who Hates Starbucks But Goes There Every Day
Armed with armchair political rants, this guy is the world’s biggest bore and the world’s biggest hypocrite combined into one big uber-shithead. He won’t shut up about how Starbucks is bad for the environment and how they’re taking over the world and how their coffee totally “doesn’t taste like the gourmet stuff downtown.” But when you bring up the fact that he’s ranting about Starbucks while he’s actually inside a Starbucks, his crappy hippie-wannabe excuses just start piling up. “Well, here’s the thing, I just didn’t have time to make it over to my usual coffee place. You know the one way over on 2nd Ave? Yeah, it’s one of the last mom and pop coffee shops in the area. I toooootally love that place. It’s so real. I was on my way over there, but the traffic was a killer, so I was totally forced to get my fix at this place. I mean, the rich get richer, right? That’s the law of the land. I totally can’t stand that I have to come here, but that’s what they do. They tie your hands, man. These big corporations. They just own you. They’re everywhere. Can you hand me one of those Splenda?”
2. Study Groups
Hey, screw the library with all it’s “room” and “group space.” It makes way more sense to go to an incredibly busy and crowded Starbucks with tables that have insufficient space to lay your books. Everyone knows you have a poli-sci midterm, mostly because they can hear every fucking thing you’re saying because you’re yelling so that you can be heard over a frappucino being made. If you could, would you hold a study group session in a Turkish prison? Because Starbucks is basically the same thing, except with less gay sex, and a little bit better coffee.
1. The Person Who Peruses the DVD Section As If They Might Purchase.
It’s really great when you’re waiting in line behind somebody only to realize that they’re not in line, but instead deciding whether or not they want to purchase the “Pursuit of Happyness” DVD. “Gee what’s this movie Pursuit of Happyness about? I didn’t hear of it last summer when it grossed over 100 million dollars. Even though I’ve come here for coffee, I should carefully peruse the back cover to find out more about it!” Also, please don’t pick up a copy of “Akeelah and the Bee” as if you were going to buy it. No one buys that movie. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not even a real movie, it was just a box cover created by a group of white Starbucks executives so that customers could hold it in their hands and pretend to read the back, giving the impression to those around them that they’re progressive thinkers who seek out and enjoy films with African American casts.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
As if a natural disaster was not enough. :-(
--- Article Below ---
As the death toll in China's Sichuan province climbs, the nation’s bloggers have joined together in the search for a scapegoat.
Broadband connections across the country are pulsing with rumours of "earthquake omens" involving toads or butterflies - all allegedly ignored by the authorities. Some even talk of a vast pre-Olympic conspiracy.
One blogger from Shandong province, in eastern China, wrote that more than a month ago, he went to his local earthquake resesarch centre several times to report that his animals had been disturbed and restless.
But, he wrote: "They not only ridiculed me, they accused me of making up stories."
Other blogs link to Chinese newspaper reports of bizarre natural occurrences in the past few weeks.
The Chutian Metropolis Daily reported that on April 26, 80,000 tonnes of water suddenly drained from a large pond in Enshi, Hubei province. The province shares a border with Chongqing Municipality, which was devastated by the earthquake on Monday.
On May 10, a Sichuan-based newspaper, the West China Metropolis Daily, reported that hundreds of migrating toads descended upon the streets of Mianyang, the second largest city in the province which neighbours Wenchuan County, the epicentre of the earthquake.
The Chinese state news agency reported today that 18,645 people were buried under the city's collapsed buildings and 3,629 people confirmed dead.
In the city of Mianzhu, 60 miles from the epicentre, bloggers pointed to reports just weeks before the earthquake of a mass migration of more than one million butterflies.
Other bloggers seized upon an as yet unsubstantiated rumour that a Chinese geologist had predicted the earthquake in advance but had been stifled by the authorities, and by fear.
"On the seventh of May, a geologist predicted this [earthquake]," wrote one blogger. "But he didn't dare make it public."
Another blogger from Beijing wrote: “Everyone is talking about the rescue effort but they are not actually joining it.
“So, instead we should turn our thoughts to why [the authorities] didn’t forecast the earthquake and evacuate the people...
“Could it be that it was out of a desire for a peaceful Olympics?”
In an editorial in the Southern Metropolis Daily, the established journalist and commentator, Chang Ping, cited the growing tide of rumours and speculation surrounding the earthquake as evidence of the need for greater freedom of information in China.
He wrote: “As the phone lines went down, rumours multiplied...I understood that the vast majority of this information could not be verified and that the police regarded it as the transmission of rumours punishable by criminal detention.
“But as someone with relatives in the affected area, I could not stop myself from seeking whatever information I could ...”
He added: ”The information was clearly unreliable, and it was difficult to tell what was true or false.
“Together it all spoke of a single problem, and that is the people’s fierce appetite for information when faced with a public incident.”