Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NC Set To Host 1000th Execution

Kenneth Boyd is scheduled to die on Friday at 2 in the morning. Boyd would be the 1000th execution since the Supreme Court ruled to allow the death penalty again in 1977. Read the Reuters report here.

For a "Culture of Life" we sure do commit a lot of death. The death penalty, sending kids to war, not helping natural disaster victims (because they were poor and from minority groups), etc... We are acting like the Romans did in their days before a crumbling of an Empire. We too will crumble and fall. That is unless we right the ship before it's too late.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Hunt For The Xbox 360

Yesterday morning, I awoke earlier then normal. 6am to be in fact. I was on a hunt today, for video game supremacy, a system like no other seen before. More powerful, faster, and well newer. Microsoft released the Xbox 360 yesterday in limited quantities.

First stop Target on Lawndale. They open at 8. I arrived to a pretty short line. Two friends were already there and waiting. People were there at 6 am, and they gave out vouchers for the 32 systems they had. 16 core systems and 16 premium systems. I was SOL unless they had a no show. One of my two friends I saw in line paid a man $100 to get his voucher to be able to buy a core system. After the frenzy cleared, we left for destination number two.

Toys R Us, a long lost toy franchise that most people don't realize is still on High Point Rd. Pretty good line, found out they did pre-sales. Wish I would have known. Empty handed again, of for spot three.

Best Buy on Stanley Rd. There was no line, they chaos had already occurred. I have been running into the same line dwellers at every stop. They got 50 systems and had a line of over 200 the night before. Fat chance here. One lady apparently pulled out $1000 in cash and bought one off a lucky buyer. Not bad, $600 profit for waiting in line. He can buy two when they get more in. I had other shopping to do here though. Seinfeld Gift Box for seasons 5 and 6, complete with puffy shirt replica. That's what I was getting, along with War of the Worlds.

One more stop to make, Circuit City. No luck here either. Again, I had other motives. The new System of a Down record "Hypnotize", which came with a free System of a Down T-shirt.

The hunt actually started the night before with a call to the 24 hour Wal-Mart(employers of illegal immigrants and pure evil). They have 43 systems in and 43 people in line at 7 pm the night before.

My buddy who was along for the ride said, "This is like waiting in line for concert tickets." What I observed was the one day revolution that Microsoft had created. People of all walks of life, skipping work to buy a video game console. That's priceless.

There is a bidding frenzy at E-bay with the average price twice that of a store bought system.

Microsoft has created a craze. There is a shortage of systems and a lot of buyers out there. My advice: If you don't have enough gum for the whole class, then don't bring any at all. Microsoft has no idea when more systems are coming. One insider at Target said, "They will ship us more consoles when we sell all of the accessories we have in stock." If that's the case, it's plain wrong. They should have waited until they had enough systems to go around to launch, and if they have enough and are holding back, then I might just wait for the Playstation 3 due in 2006.

All in all, I enjoyed the experience, the hunt. I didn't get the kill, but the early morning conversation with complete strangers was well worth it. Bill Gates, you are a sly bastard.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A True Democracy Would...

So, the GOP calls a vote on the House floor to pull out the troops immediately. Of course realizing that they have control of the House, Senate and White House. This is in retaliation to John Murtha, decorated Vietnam Vet, and his comments about pulling the troops. I am glad the Democrats didn't take the bait. What the Republicans wanted was for the Democrats to vote to pull the troops, they themselves to vote it down, and finger pointing to ensue about the Democrats not supporting the troops or throwing around the unpatriotic threat.

I have one thing to say to a bunch who granted themselves raises right after cutting the food stamp program, if this is a true Democracy then call a special election and have the popular vote decide what your partisan politics can't. If the people want the troops home, then bring them home. If the people decide to leave them in Iraq, them leave them. That would be true Democracy in action, not name calling, finger pointing, and partisan bullshit. It is evident from all the polls I am seeing, on TV and the Internet, that this administration is losing steam and support from it's own base and party. If people want to point a finger at someone, then go to the top, that's how it works in every other company in America. Yes, the US Government is a company, run by companies, for the good of companies and the defense budget.

Late night rant complete. Shutting down system for sleep.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What Defines "Chemical Weapons"?

I first heard of the US use of white phosphorus in Fallujah from Lux.Et.Umbra a few days ago. The White house defends it's use here.

What is a chemical weapon? One would believe that a weapon using chemicals as an explosive or as an agent of some kind would constitute chemical weapon. Wikipedia defines chemical warfare here. Here is the opening of their definition: "Chemical warfare is warfare (and associated military operations) using the toxic properties of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate the enemy."

What is phosphorus? Wikipedia has a section on it here. Here is one particular quote from the wikipedia section on phosphorus labeled precautions: "This is a particularly poisonous element with 50 mg being the average fatal dose (white phosphorus is generally considered to be the lethal form of phosphorus while phosphate and orthophosphate are essential nutrients)."

So, with the admission of the White House on the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah, aren't they guilty of using WMD's in Iraq? Aren't we calling the kettle black once again? Shouldn't someone be held accountable for something in the White House?

It is pretty clear to me that we used a chemical weapon on the insurgents in Fallujah. The White House says "It's part of our conventional-weapons inventory and we use it like we use any other conventional weapon." The article via Reuters says, "A protocol to an accord on conventional weapons which took effect in 1983 forbids using incendiary weapons against civilians." Does the White House think that there were no civilians in Fallujah?

We used them on the insurgents they say. Isn't an insurgent technically a civilian? They aren't part of an organized military associated with a country, are they? They are no different then the colonial soldiers taking up arms against the British in the Revolutionary War. They don't agree and they fight that. If insurgents are soldiers and not civilians, then wasn't this country founded on a terrorist overthrow of British rule?

Ask yourself, what you would do if a foreign country invaded your country and imposed it's way of life upon you? A way of life that goes against many of your religious beliefs and undermines your society in every way imaginable. Just ask yourself, what you would do? I think any US Patriot would say they would fight to the death to defend our way of life. That is what I would do. That is what I am trying to do with our current administration, diplomatically of course. A war of words per say. Someone need to keep an eye on the Fascists running this country.

Just Look In The Mirror and Practice or I'm Rubber, Your Glue...

Cheney responds.

"A dishonest and reprehensible political ploy", he says. Using these words to describe the Democrats criticisms of the administrations justification to go to war. Isn't it Cheney himself who is dishonest and reprehensibile? Has anyone read this article in last August's Rolling Stone?

Cheney also says of Democrats in the Reuters article, "...opportunists who were peddling cynical and pernicious falsehoods to gain political advantage while U.S. soldiers died in Iraq." Is this his way of admiditng these very tactics or an empty accusation towards Democrats to try and save face? A face, which I might add, that has been through a series of swirlies in the White House shitter here lately.

This man has no room to judge others and might want to keep his corrupt and draconian mouth shut. The only reason Democrats, and some of his own Republicans, are questioning Iraq, is because we are there based on lies that stemmed from his office. The only reason over 2000 US kids have died in Iraq is because of lies that stemmed from his office.

If you haven't heard, his oil buddies might be in for a world of hurt because of him as well. Well, association with him at least.

Remember, I pointed out here, that Dick Cheney botched his inaugural oath. Is this man really our VP?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I Didn't Know I Could Still Be An....ARRR

This article gives the details on the pirate attack off the coast of Somalia. Yes, I said pirate. I have always had a place in my heart for the pirates of lore. Blackbeard and Captain Hook and all the peg legs asea in the stories I heard growing up as a kid. I just never realized that this was still an option.

Where as I first thought that, wow, the world is regressing; maybe it is not. Maybe, Africa is progressing. Maybe, they are now where we were in the times of the Caribbean pirates and the Spanish, English and Dutch raiders that took to the high seas only a few hundred years ago.

Things have changed for the pirate though. Instead of swashbuckling swords and rapiers, they now have rocket propelled grenade launchers and semi-automatic machine guns. I wonder with all this bird flu if they still have a parrot on their shoulders? Buried treasure could likely become oil instead of gold, and kings daughters are now the likes of Jenna and Barbara Bush. We best send the Navy. That way we can fight them other there so we don't have to fight them here. I say ARRR maties.

Now for those interested in becoming a Pirate, check out this site. There is always Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept 19th, for those that want to be part-timers. If those crap pick-up lines aren't working with the beautiful lasses at the bar, fancy some of the pirate pick-up lines available. My favorites:
Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.

How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder? And...

Prepare to be boarded.

Pirates. Who would have thunk it still be around today.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Arch

I was lucky enough to score tickets to the sold out Bryan Series speaking event this year, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They call him "The Arch". What a personable man. I have always said that when I walk into Yankee Stadium, I can feel the ghosts in the rafters. Dimaggio, Ruth, Mantle,etc... When I walked in tonight, I had that same feeling. The feeling of being surrounded by greatness.

Desmond Tutu is a short man. He is a man larger then most, though. When he took that stage tonight, his presence commanded attention and respect. He started out the evening with a moment of silence for Rosa Parks. You could hear a hair hit the floor.

He said he was honored to be here in Greensboro, NC. He talked about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission we have here, the first in the US. He was the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa when apartheid ended. He applauded Greensboro for taking this step towards truth and reconciliation.

Mr. Tutu told several stories about the horrors of South Africa, before it's people were freed. He then waved his magic wand over us all, turning us into South Africans, and had us applaud the people of the United States. He thanked our people for helping to give his people freedom and equality. He then waved the wand again turning us back into Americans. He said thank you over and over pointing to all sections of a packed house.

He talked about the two hardest words to say, "I'm sorry". This was in context to the Amnesty granted in exchange for the truth of what happened and was this right to grant Amnesty to the violators in South Africa?

Again, I can not stress how funny a man Desmond Tutu is. His delivery of every story had you grip your seat and then burst with laughter.

The quote of the evening, "Real peace will never come from the barrel of a gun". How true this is, especially with all that is going on in the Middle East.

He spoke for a little longer then 45 minutes. I think it is safe to say that I wasn't the only one on the edge of my seat, attention drawn and locked in on a man who can be compared to the greats, MLK, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, you get my point. I was honored for a second time in one night to be in the presence of greatness.

If you could not make it, keep checking the TV schedule at , they are going to air this at a later date. I will try to keep an eye out for a date and time so you all can enjoy what I had the pleasure of seeing tonight. Check out Chewie's site and Jeff Thigpen's site for more coverage, I ran into both of them at the event and I am sure they will have more to say.

A Hometown Hero

I am all moved. Now that that's out of the way on to more important stuff.

It was a very busy evening in Greensboro, tonight. I was lucky enough to score a single ticket to go see Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at the War Memorial Auditorium. Thank you JW. Before I went to go see Mr Tutu speak, I had one very important stop to make.

We have a hometown hero. A survivor and battler, like no other I have ever seen with these two eyes. One year and one day ago, David Hoggard posted on his site the horrible news that Jinni Hoggard had been diagnosed with cancer. One year and one day later, I drank champagne at the casa de Hoggard, celebrating Jinni's recovery. She is cancer free. I have watched the struggle with my own eyes, I have read the accounts in the News and Record and on Hoggs Blog. Tonight we toasted. I along with Robert, Mathew Gross and his wife Mel, Mebane Ham, Maria Johnson(N&R) and the Hoggards. Many others were there earlier in the evening.

Jinni, I am so proud of you. I am grateful to have you and David as friends. I can't wait to see you thrive in your bright future. You have inspired many and gave humanity hope. You beat that son of a bitch and you beat him good. Thank you for being my friend and thank you for your gift to all who watched you endure the year of hell you endured. You are truely one of a kind.
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