31 October 2008

All that political kerfluffle is bad for traffic

Yahtzee explains why Saints Row 2 is superior to GTA IV. One of his reasons is that GTA IV tried to be realistic; so much so that you spent a lot of time driving around, running errands. That's not a game, that's adulthood.

Jesus has an official position on the issues

I drove by a bunch of Yes on 8 folks at a busy intersection yesterday. I thought honking the horn might be misinterpreted as a show of support.

In order to learn what all the fuss is about I decided to visit their official website for reasons why to vote "yes on 8". (Full disclosure: I filled out my ballot a week ago motherfucker! Obama/Biden in 08 fo' life!)

Here is their commentary in it's entirety (straight from their website), along with my rebuttals. Because I'm like that.

Proposition 8 is simple and straightforward. It contains the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000 by over 61% of California voters: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Okay so far. I don't see the why yet, but we'll get there. If your argument is that "the people" chose thus it is good then you're not off to a very good start. The People also chose to segregate (and lynch) blacks, intern the Japanese, and shoot Indians (among quite a lot else). Hell, they set OJ free. So let's not hang our arguments on The People.

Because four activist judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people’s vote, we need to pass this measure as a constitutional amendment to RESTORE THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE as a man and a woman.

Right and wrong are a matter of opinion in this matter, but still: why do we need to "restore" the definition of marriage? If the definition is not "restored", what happens? And why do you care so much?

Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it’s not an attack on the gay lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn’t take away any rights or benefits of gay or lesbian domestic partnerships. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits” as married spouses. (Family Code § 297.5.) There are NO exceptions. Proposition 8 WILL NOT change this.

That is good. What's the point then? And what is your motivation?

YES on Proposition 8 does three simple things:

It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and human history has understood marriage to be.

See prev. arguments re: 'the people'. Because a lot of people think something does not make it true. Or just.

It overturns the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.

Still with this 'will of the people' stuff? Schools would still be segregated if we went by the 'will of the people'. Our country fought a civil war over slavery and the 'will of the people'. This argument about the 'will of the people' is useless.

It protects our children from being taught in public schools that “same-sex marriage” is the same as traditional marriage.

I can see this being an issue if you feel strongly about it, but is there really a danger of this happening? And if it does happen, can't you tell your kids something different? I mean, they're going to learn evolution in science class, but when they get home you're going to tell them that it's just a theory (which it isn't) and that the earth was created 6,000 years ago (which it quite obviously wasn't). Still don't see it.

Proposition 8 protects marriage as an essential institution of society. While death, divorce, or other circumstances may prevent the ideal, the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father.

I don't necessarily disagree, but what does that have to do with protecting marriage?

The narrow decision of the California Supreme Court isn’t just about “live and let live.” State law may require teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage. (Education Code § 51890.) If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, TEACHERS COULD BE REQUIRED to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.

If you insert the words 'not' next to your qualifiers in the above (may, could), your argument goes out the window. You're suggesting I should be afraid of the possibility of this happening? Hrmm... how likely is this type of teaching to happen?

We should not accept a court decision that may result in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn’t be forced on us against our will.

Same as above.

Some will try to tell you that Proposition 8 takes away legal rights of gay domestic partnerships. That is false. Proposition 8 DOES NOT take away any of those rights and does not interfere with gays living the lifestyle they choose.

However, while gays have the right to their private lives, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.


Not strictly true. The original proposal passed 61/39, so 39% of the voters thought it was a bad idea. You could say that they 'voted for same sex marriage'.

If gay activists want to legalize gay marriage, they should put it on the ballot. Instead, they have gone behind the backs of voters and convinced four activist judges in San Francisco to redefine marriage for the rest of society. That is the wrong approach.

What is the right approach? It is the obligation of judges to overturn legislation that is discriminatory and/or violates our constitution. That's why you are pursuing this amendment.

Voting YES on Proposition 8 RESTORES the definition of marriage that was approved by over 61% of voters. Voting YES overturns the decision of four activist judges. Voting YES protects our children.

Protects our children from what, exactly? That they "may" be taught same sex marriage? From the evils of homosexuality? From atheists? From reason? Color me confused.

Please vote YES on Proposition 8 to RESTORE the meaning of marriage.

California Family Council

ROSEMARIE "ROSIE" AVILA, Governing Board Member
Santa Ana Unified School District

Coalition of African American Pastors

You guys have a regular rainbow coalition over there. Cute.

I remain unconvinced. The main arguments for this position are religious, but there is nothing religious in this manifesto. That's plain weird. Special bonus: I googled 'California Family Council'. I guess they're more than a little bit shady. Good at making money, though.

The religious angst over gay marriage and prop 8 is outlined in gloriously overwrought prose over at thecall.com. Here's a link. It's either inspiring or inspiringly funny, depending on your point of view. I thought it was hilarious bible-thumping craziness.

29 October 2008

Who is tired of all the election talk? I mean, besides me?

The newspaper of record weighs in.

You can't always trust them (see: shoddy reporting in the leadup to the Iraq war) but this is an editorial piece so it uses facts to support an opinion. I recommend reading the editorial while listening to Mike Rowe sing the national anthem. (It's surprisingly good. Seriously.)

As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.

In the interest of balance, John McCain also got a strong endorsement today. Hrrmmm... that can't be good.

And finally, please vote yes on proposition 8. Equality under the law is sooooooo last century. Why should everyone have the same rights? It just doesn't make any sense. We need one set of rules for gay people, and another set of rules for straight people. After all, they're different! How can they possibly expect to have the same rights as everyone else! Sheesh. I don't know where people get these crazy ideas.

28 October 2008

Don't mince words...

Ahh, Christopher Hitchens. He is smug, arrogant, and obnoxious. But he's frequently correct in his scathing analysis. And he's got a special place in his heart for Sarah Palin. Take it away, Christopher:

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.

27 October 2008

Metaphor for life

You have to click the picture to get a good feel for the genius.

Courtesy the Perry Bible Fellowship and not really used with permission but I'm not making any money on it so hopefully he won't mind.

23 October 2008

That explains a lot

Software and IP piracy is a huge problem in China. You can knockoffs of anything there: handbags, shoes, watches, clothes, software, DVDs, whatever. If it exists and someone buys it, then you can buy a knockoff in China.

Software piracy is epidemic. A lot of the spam you get comes from Chinese computers running pirated versions of Windows XP that don't have the security service pack and are easily hacked and unwittingly transformed into spammers.

MicroSoft put out a security notice in China that alerts users and blanks their screen once an hour when they are using pirated software. The Chinese are super pissed and think MicroSoft is infringing on their rights.

This is like buying a stolen car and then complaining to the original owner when it doesn't run right.

The people suggest that they should not be affected by the piracy; they're only the end-customer. Instead, they think MicroSoft should be go after the distributors and sellers of pirated software, not the actual customers. Why should they be inconvenienced in any way? They have rights as a consumer, don't they? I think they do. For example, they have a right to eat a dick because they bought something that was stolen and it doesn't work. I'm pretty sure "stolen shit" is not covered in the MicroSoft warranty / user agreement. Pretty sure.

21 October 2008

"I know what Eat, Pray, Love is like for fat women"

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

This is the best two minutes of your day. Unless you vote early, like I did (I'll be out of town on election day).

Audio NSFW. They use cuss words.

18 October 2008

Serious dog has serious costume

Big backlog of posts to work through over here in cyberspace.

My friend has dogs and she loooooves them like no other. She sent me the following email in early October:

They just could not control their excitement for halloween. They are going to be dressed like this until October 31st. They are very happy about it, as you can see.

If you can't figure it out, one is a bumblebee and the other is ladybug. They didn't get to wear their costumes every day because the ladybug tried to eat hers. And the bumblebee made the serious face the whole time.

17 October 2008

Which one of these is the professional athlete?

Some friends went to the Jay-Z concert a couple nights ago. I was invited but didn't have a date and didn't want to try and find one. So I passed. Here's some girls with some guy that was there. His ears stick out. Also he is good at basketball. I know this because I have seen him on TV. Derron Williams kicked his ass in the playoffs last year, though.


By "come back tomorrow" I meant "several days later". It's been a very busy week. Lots going on. I'm going to avoid political posts for a while. Besides this one, I mean.

I accidentally stumbled across the photo on the intornets. What kind of person goes searching for this kind of photo? Not me. It was a gift when I was browsing automotive forums. Thank you, automotive forums.

Captions are mine.

13 October 2008

Apoplexy [politics ahead - come back tomorrow for some humor]

Orange County's Most Eligible Bachelor does this thing where he forwards me his right-wing chain mails and laughs because I read them and they annoy me. He sends me idiocy and I'll craft a carefully worded essay about how he should think critically when he reads that stuff, and also that he should stop parroting what other people tell him and do some thinking for himself. If that's too much work I suggested he let someone smarter start doing the thinking because he sounds like an idiot.

All of which brings us to our latest "debate" about taxes. OC's Most Eligible is rich, so he believes that you should lower taxes on the rich because then they will spend more money and stimulate the economy. This economic theory goes by many names: supply-side economics, trickle-down economics, Reaganomics, and, most accurately: complete bullshit.
Here's some further reading:

I liked the Onion article the best. I think it really brings the point home.
McCain and Palin want to bring Reaganomics back. Unless you make over $250,000 a year, that's not going to be good for you.

As for McCain/Palin's current smear&fear campaign strategy, here's a veteran's thoughts (click through for entire essay):

When you say, as a candidate for vice president, that the opposition is led by a man who is closely affiliated with terrorists, no intellectual jump needs to be made on the part of the listeners. What you are asserting to your base constituents, those most inclined to believe your rhetoric, is that if they don’t elect you, America’s president will be one with close, disguised ties to terrorists. But the NY Times article Palin cited in this speech could in no way be construed as stating Barack Obama has the kind of relationship with Bill Ayers Gov. Palin suggested.

08 October 2008

the force unleashed

Friend Jeff took a time out from unleashing the force on his gf to buy The Force Unleashed video game. Then lend it to me (the game, not his girlfriend). He liked it. I thought it was okay for about an hour and then I lost interest.

Yahtzee played the wii version and if you want to know why the wii is great as long as you don't want to play any real games on it, watch the embedded video.

Audio NSFW.

03 October 2008

I understand what you mean...

This from the consistently excellent xkcd.

While we're on the subject, I also recommend the Perry Bible Fellowship.

01 October 2008

We've got good chemistry

I laughed.

I'd love to run some electricity through little miss Neon, see if I could get her excited. If you know what I mean. And I think you do.