Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

Friday, December 31, 2004

Auld Lang Syne
by Lee

Well gang, I’m outta here for the New Year.  I just want to thank everyone for another great year here at the blog.  As of this writing we’ve had 3,879,936 visitors in the history of the site, which is just over two years now.  Holy crap!  So anyway, I’ll be back on Saturday sometime, sporting a massive hangover. 

Man, last year I got SOOOOOO drunk.  I met this totally hot chick, too, absolutely gorgeous.  It’s odd, I only seem to hook up with the real honeys when I’m so drunk I can’t see straight.  Anyhow, one of my friends actually snapped a picture of me hooking up with this dark-skinned sweetie, and he’s got it posted online for your perusal.  (Link not safe for work, children, or people with no sense of humor.)

This has been a difficult year for me, as you all know.  Thank God it’s almost over.  Everyone eat, drink, and be merry, but stay off the roads.  I want to see you all back here in 2005.  Be safe!

Your loving webmaster

Posted by Lee on 12/31/04 at 01:01 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, December 30, 2004

by Lee

I hear ads for CortiSlim on talk radio all the time, and now they’re all over the TV.  They are driving me nuts.  I hate the moron’s voice, and I hate the pitch he makes for his useless product.  Basically he says that weight management can be obtained through the right combination of “diet, exercise, stress management, and supplementation,” (i.e. CortiSlim).  Now, out of the four aspects he mentioned, which one do you think is totally unnecessary?

I can’t believe that there are people out there who actually pay money for this crap.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 06:16 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Meaning from Nothing
by Lee

I might take a little heat for this post from some of my readers but, hey, it’s what I do.  One of mankind’s oldest tendencies is to try and explain the world around him, and when something takes place that has no logical explanation the human mind will manufacture one.  Often times this quest for meaning is couched in religious terms.  So I find it interesting that in the wake of the tsunami disaster (pardon the pun), which devastated people of all faiths, various clerics are chiming in with their divine interpretations of the tragedy.

“This is an expression of God’s great ire with the world,” Israeli chief rabbi Shlomo Amar told Reuters. “The world is being punished for wrongdoing—be it people’s needless hatred of each other, lack of charity, moral turpitude.”

Pandit Harikrishna Shastri, a priest of New Delhi’s huge marble and sandstone Birla Hindu temple, told Reuters the disaster was caused by a “huge amount of pent-up man-made evil on earth” and driven by the positions of the planets.

Azizan Abdul Razak, a Muslim cleric and vice president of Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party, Parti Islam se-Malaysia, said the disaster was a reminder from god that “he created the world and can destroy the world.”

Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, a leading British Muslim cleric from Leicester in England said: “We believe that God has ultimate controlling power over his entire creation. We have a responsibility to try and attract god’s kindness and mercy and not do anything that would attract his anger.”

Are we not living in the 21st century?  God caused the tsunami because he was displeased?  This is on par with throwing a virgin into a volcano to appease the lava god.  Is there anyone out there reading this who actually believes that this was an act of God, in the literal sense?  That God was looking at the world, got pissed off, and said, “I think I’ll cause a disaster and kill a few hundred thousand people.”

Longtime readers of this blog will know that, while I am not a religious person myself, I am a very strong supporter of religious rights, and an oppontent of secular fundamentalism.  And if I were to espouse a belief in a Supreme Being, I would imagine that I would find myself sort of a deist, in the Founding Father tradition: God exists and created the universe, but He doesn’t meddle in day-to-day affairs.  I can certainly see why some people might hold a belief in a Supreme Being of some description, and the notions of forgiveness and piety that go along with it.  But the idea that God caused this disaster intentionally is ludicrous, and ranks right up there with Jerry Falwell’s post-9/11 idiocy about how God permitted the attack because of gays and lesbians.

Religion is one thing, but self-imposed ignorance in the wake of the sum of scientific knowledge is inexcusable, no matter what your faith.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 05:46 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Camera Never Lies
by Lee

Wow, this picture really puts things in perspective.


DigitalGlobe satellite images released on December 30, 2004 show the shoreline area of Banda Aceh on northern Sumatra in Indonesia, before and after the devastating tsunami that struck Asia. The top image shows the area on June 23, 2004 while the image below shows the area on December 28, 2004, with considerable damage.

Holy crap.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 05:19 PM in Etcetera  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

by Lee

I just got in from work.  I will toil no more in 2004.  Then, starting January 1, we get to work until April sometime in order to shoulder our share of the tax burden.  But, for now, I will enjoy knowing I have done my last labor of the year.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 02:55 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Marginalizing Kofi
by Lee

Damn that George W. Bush, trying to help tsunami victims!

United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.

The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response.

But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN.

“I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,” she said.

“Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme.

“It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers.”

Ms Short said the coalition countries did not have good records on responding to international disasters.

She said the US was “very bad at coordinating with anyone” and India had its own problems to deal with.

“I don’t know what that is about but it sounds very much, I am afraid, like the US trying to have a separate operation and not work with the rest of the world through the UN system,” she added.

This dunce is just terrified that, yet again, the eeeeeevil Bush is going to demonstrate the ineffectiveness, futility, uselessness, and impotence of the United Nations.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 11:33 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Drowning in Fear
by Lee

One thing you can always count on in a time of crisis is the US media writing stories about how the particular crisis could happen here.

Tsunami scientists and public safety officials are closely watching an earthquake-prone nation with thousands of miles of crowded coastlines for signs of an imminent disaster. Indonesia? Japan? Try the United States.

Experts say the West Coast could experience a calamity similar to the one they have been watching unfold half a world away.

“People need to know it could happen,” said geologist Brian Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast. They are a loaded gun that could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes — too fast for the nation’s deep-sea tsunami warning system to help.

A week ago I didn’t give tsunamis in California a moment’s thought.  And I still don’t.  I have much greater things to worry about, like giant asteroids, or being shot through the head with a spear gun, or zombies.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 10:06 AM in The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

What We’ve Come To Expect
by Lee

The UN and international relief agencies are showing the level of competence that we all have come to expect.

Hundreds of tons of emergency supplies of tarpaulins, water purification systems, food and medicines poured into Asia on Thursday, but little was reaching injured, sick and hungry tsunami survivors.

Some survivors have seen no aid since the tsunami struck on Sunday due to the inaccessibility of the worst hit areas, cut off from the outside world by flooding and downed bridges, and the sheer magnitude of the disaster affecting many countries.

Aid started pouring into Indonesia only to stop at the airport due to a lack of fuel for trucks to move it.

Rescue workers were still struggling to reach some cut off areas and many have been too busy recovering the thousands of disfigured and bloated corpses to help deliver aid.

The United Nations admits only a fraction of aid is getting to where it is needed as the death toll rose above 120,000.

“We are doing very little at the moment,” U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland acknowledged in New York. The United Nations estimates up to 5 million people need aid.

“It will take maybe 48 to 72 hours more to be able to respond to the tens of thousands of people who would like to have assistance today—or yesterday, rather,” he said. “I believe the frustration will be growing in the days and the weeks ahead.”

Basically, what they need is helicopters and heavy equipment, which the Aussies have agreed to provide.  And then there was this astonishing little nugget.

Oxfam said national aid groups were “rising to the challenge,” but called on the United Nations to lead the way.

“Given the scale and scope of this crisis, strong U.N. leadership is critical,” said Jasmine Whitbread, the international director of the British-based charity.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan cut short a holiday to oversee the relief operation from New York. The United Nations will launch a major appeal on January 6.

Our good friend Kofi was on vacation, most likely in France.  Let’s see if he can deliver the kind of critical, strong UN leadership that he’s never been able to deliver before.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 09:58 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink

The Toll from Home
by Lee

It looks like more Americans have been lost in the tsunami than died on 9/11.

The U.S. State Department is working to find thousands of Americans unaccounted for days after powerful tsunamis struck countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

No exact numbers are available, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, but “we’re working at any given moment 2,000 to 3,000 names now that we’re looking for.”

“We shouldn’t assume the worst. ... There are often Americans who are outside of the regions that directly suffered who might not have gotten in touch.”

Authorities have reported more than 80,000 deaths in at least 11 countries after Sunday’s tsunamis that were triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake.

Simply heartbreaking.  The death toll is somewhere up over 100,000.  Tragic.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/04 at 01:05 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Siege
by Lee

A Muslim terrorist?  Living and working amongst us?  Perish the thought.

Fox is under fire from at least one group for scenes in the Jan. 9 debut of drama 24 that portray a Muslim teen-ager and his parents as members of a terrorist cell plotting a mass attack on Americans. ...

Concerns about 24 were raised by a preview of the Jan. 9 season-opener in a DVD sent to some general entertainment magazine subscribers.

On of the villains is a Walkman-toting, bubble-gum-chewing teenager who fights with his conservative Dad about dating an American girl and talking on the phone.

The young man also helps his parents mastermind a plot to kill large numbers of Americans that begins with an attack on a train.

Over the breakfast table, the father tells his son: “What we will accomplish today will change the world. We are fortunate that that our family has been chosen to do this.“Yes, father,” his son replies.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group, plans to bring their concerns about the episode to Fox, says group spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed.

That group has previously received complaints about the depiction of Muslims on 24, but this episode is particularly egregious, she said.

“They are taking everyday American Muslim families and making them suspects. They’re making it seem like families are co-conspirators in this terrorist plot.” In another scene, she says, a terrorist is shown coming out of a mosque. The way the episode depicts Muslims creates an atmosphere in which many Americans look at all Muslims as suspects in the war on terror, she adds. “It’s very dangerous and very disturbing.”

Considering the indisputable fact that the 9/11 hijackers had lived and worked among us for years, I don’t see this as at all inappropriate.  Perhaps if Muslims were doing more as a comunity to fight against the extremists in their midst the banner of suspicion would not so easily fall upon them.

Posted by Lee on 12/29/04 at 04:35 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (6) TrackbacksPermalink

Quacking Up
by Lee

Remember the old Nintendo video game Duck Hunt?  You can play it online here.  Ah, does this bring back memories!

Posted by Lee on 12/29/04 at 02:38 PM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Bombs Over Sand
by Lee

Once again the Muslim freedom fighters strike against the Zionist infidel crusaders.

A large explosion went off in central Riyadh on Wednesday evening, witnesses said, and ambulances and police cars rushed to the scene.

Three helicopters were seen hovering over the area, as sirens were heard soon after the 8:35 p.m. blast. Al-Jazeera reported that the explosion was from a car bomb that went off at a building close to the Interior Ministry.

Police sealed off roads leading to the area.

Get US troops out of Saudi Arabia!  Oh wait, we already did that.  And hey, the Saudis aren’t Americans… what’s going on here?

Posted by Lee on 12/29/04 at 12:01 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Meet the Press
by Lee

Good for Bush for coming out swinging.

President Bush said on Wednesday a $35 million U.S. pledge for victims of the Asian tsunami was only the beginning and any suggestions America was stingy were “misguided and ill-informed.”

It was Bush’s first public statement since the tsunami struck on Sunday. The president did not announce an immediate increase in aid to the region where the death toll is now nearing 70,000 and could ultimately exceed 100,000.

The White House faced criticism on Tuesday over the fact that Bush, who is vacationing at his Crawford, Texas ranch, had not yet appeared in person to talk about the disaster.

“These past few days have brought loss and grief to the world that is beyond our comprehension,” Bush said.

“The United States will continue to stand with the affected governments as they care for the victims. We will stand with them as they start to rebuild their communities,” he said, adding that he had spoken by phone to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia.

“I assure those leaders that this is just only the beginning of our help,” he said.

At a briefing with reporters at an airport hangar near the ranch, Bush displayed pique at a comment by a U.N. official that rich countries had generally been “stingy” in aid to poor countries.

“I felt like the person who made that statement was very misguided and ill-informed,” he said.

“In the year 2004, our government provided $2.4 billion in food and cash and humanitarian relief. ... That’s 40 percent of all the relief aid given in the world last year,” he said.

You know what I find most repugnant about the criticisms of Bush, about not holding a press conference sooner?  If he had come out immediately for a big smiling photo op, these same chattering liberal asshats would have criticized him for piggybacking on the misery of the third world.  Bush sent Colin Powell out to put a public face on things, and this sort of thing is exactly what the Secretary of State does.  What it all boils down to is that, no matter what Bush does, his political opposites will claim that it was the wrong thing to do and criticiize him for it.

Posted by Lee on 12/29/04 at 11:09 AM in The Press Machine  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink

Cock A Doodle Jew
by Lee

There’s a a mystery a-brewin’ in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan wildlife officials are stunned—the worst tsunami in memory has killed around 22,000 people along the Indian Ocean island’s coast, but they can’t find any dead animals.

Giant waves washed floodwaters up to 3 km (2 miles) inland at Yala National Park in the ravaged southeast, Sri Lanka’s biggest wildlife reserve and home to hundreds of wild elephants and several leopards.

“The strange thing is we haven’t recorded any dead animals,” H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of the national Wildlife Department, told Reuters on Wednesday.

“No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit,” he added. “I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening.”

What they don’t realize is that the tsunami was not really an earthquake, it was a secret nuclear detonation by the Israeli government, the intent of which was to wipe out as many Muslims as possible.  And, showing their contempt for those of the Muslim faith, the Mossad warned the animals in advance of the attack.

It’s the Jews.  It’s always the Jews.

Update: A few people don’t get this post, so allow me to elaborate.  There is a widely-believed conspiracy in the Muslim world that 9/11 was not actually carried out by Islamic terrorists.  They believe it was an opertion carried out by the Mossad, and that all the Jews in the building were warned in advance not to go to work that day.  So, my joke here is that this wasn’t actually an earthquake, it was a Mossad operation, and the animals were warned in advance.

Update 2: Allow me to elaborate some more.  This wasn’t supposed to be a joke post.  It was to point out the idea behind the conspiratorial lunacy that grips so much of the world.  If the Islamic world was so eager to believe that the Mossad pulled off 9/11 to facilitate a war against Islam, and that they warned all the Jews in advance not to go to work that day, then surely it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to believe that the Israelis did the same thing in regards to the Asian animals.

Posted by Lee on 12/29/04 at 01:30 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wiggin’ with the Oldies
by Lee

My dad died of terminal heart disease.  When I go I hope it’s cancer.

The illegal club drug Ecstasy can trigger euphoria among the dance club set, but can it ease the debilitating anxiety that cancer patients feel as they face their final days?

The Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) has approved a pilot study looking at whether the recreational hallucinogen can help terminally ill patients lessen their fears, quell thoughts of suicide and make it easier for them to deal with loved ones.

“End of life issues are very important and are getting more and more attention, and yet there are very few options for patients who are facing death,” Dr. John Halpern, the Harvard research psychiatrist in charge of the study, said Monday.

The small, four-month study is expected to begin early next spring. It will test the drug’s effects on 12 cancer patients from the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in the Boston area. The research is being sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit group that plans to raise $250,000 to fund it.

I could see me in the cancer ward: blacklight in my room, Front 242 pumping out of the sound system, dancing around in my faggoty black Z.Cavaricci pants and linen Girbaud shirt, rubbing all the nurses on their backs and telling them how much I loved them.  (And for you newbies who haven’t read about my past experimentation with this wonderful drug, see here.)

Posted by Lee on 12/29/04 at 01:05 AM in Science and Technology  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink
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