Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. - George Burns

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Kid In Town
by Lee

Since the departure of Manwhore and Thrill (though Thrill is still welcome here), many people have emailed me with suggestions as to who they think should become the next replacement.  I’ve got a short list of about five people, but I’m interested in what you guys think.  So, use this post as a discussion for who you think may or may not be a good contributor.  I’m actually thinking about maybe adding two people, so let me know your thoughts.  Tell me who you think would be good, who you think might be a mistake, and why.

If you prefer to email me privately about it, I can certainly understand that.  You can email me

I’m also open to some totally new blood, so if you’re a longtime reader but not a frequent commenter, though you think you’d like to give this a shot, make your case.

Posted by Lee on 07/12/08 at 02:28 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nuclear Spam

Some people just have too much free time on their hands.

Hackers are deluging web users with malware-laden spam claiming that World War III has started following a US invasion of Iran.
Security experts warned today that spam emails with subject lines including ‘Third World War has begun’, ‘20000 US Soldiers in Iran’ and ‘US Army crossed Iran’s borders’ have been intercepted.

The emails contain links to a malicious webpage that displays what appears to be a video player showing the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion.

Text on the page reads: ‘Just now US Army’s Delta Force and US Air Force have invaded Iran.

‘Approximately 20000 soldiers crossed the border into Iran and broke down the Iran’s Army resistance.

‘The video made by US soldier was made today morning. Click on the video to see the first minutes of the beginning of World War III. God save us.’

However, Sophos warned that users visiting the webpage and clicking on the ‘video player’ run the risk of being infected with the Troj/Tibs-UO Trojan and a malicious JavaScript hidden on the website as Mal/ObfJS-AY.

At least it doesn’t ask, “Do you want to play a game?”

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/10/08 at 11:09 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Okay, I’m Sick of This
by Lee

I’m getting really tired of the “everyone has to agree with Lee” bullshit that has been spewed at me lately.  In the interest of setting the record straight, here is the initial email I sent to the first three guest posters:  GripeBoy, WVR, and Manwhore.  With the latter’s tenure here since terminated the other two (as well as JimK) can confirm that that this is, word for word, what I wrote on August 30, 2007.

Dear GripeBoy, WVR, and Manwhore.

You three, as longtime regulars, are the first three to be privy to a major announcement.  I trust that you will all keep this secret until I announce it on the blog.

If you’ll recall, recently I’ve asked if there were any readers in Sydney and Beijing.  This is why.  I have been offered two overseas jobs.  One is in Sydney, Australia, and the other in Beijing, China.  I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of both, and on the balance, the Chinese job pays me a hell of a lot more money.  So, it looks as if sometime in the next 6 weeks or so I am going to be moving to the People’s Republic of China.  I’m signing a one year contract, so this is a serious move.  I’m going to be selling my truck and most of what I own and getting the fuck out of dodge for a while.

Now, as you know, there are issues with China and the internet.  Since I got a response from Beijing it appears that getting to this blog past their firewall is possible.  Whether it’s possible all the time is another story entirely.  So, I have decided to turn Right- Thinking into a group blog.  You guys are some of the most prolific commenters, and we all seem to be generally on the same side of things.  So I’d like to offer you a permanent spot as bloggers on this site.

I probably will end up inviting more people.  The Contrarian would be a good choice, as would Brian from Tomfoolery, to give things a little kick.  But you guys were the first three that came to mind.  I’ll be making the official announcement about the move sometime next week.  At the same time I’d like to announce the switch to a group blog.  The name will just switch to “Right-Thinking” and we’ll come up with a new logo to reflect the changes.

The only thing I ask in the way of a commitment is that, if you agree to do this, you stick with it.  Don’t agree to do it then lose interest after a month or two.  If you write your own blog, I don’t mind if you do both at the same time, provided you also write original content for RT.

Interested?  Any ideas on who else might be good to invite?  I may put out an open call for people to volunteer.

Lee

Let me remind you, gentle reader, that it was Brian who recently said that the blog sucked and that I could “bleed for those motherfuckers in Gitmo,” to which Manwhore responded, “Brian is right!  Brian is right!”

On September 13, 2007, I sent the new authors instructions on how to use the blog software.  At the bottom of that email you can find the following.

You have the ability to edit posts, even posts by other people.  Most of this should be pretty easy to figure out.  If you have any questions, email me or Jim and we’ll get you straightened out.

Okay, you guys are the first four.  You’re cleared to start posting as of first thing Friday morning.  What you write and/or post is entirely up to you.  This is YOUR blog now.  You know all about the look and feel of the site, so while I don’t want to tell you what or how to write, do your best to keep the blog the way it’s been.

Oh, and just so we’re on the record, Jim and I still hold ultimate veto power over everything that goes on here.  Also, if you think someone should be banned, let either of us know and we’ll do the banning.

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know.  Otherwise, I turn the keys of the car over to you.  Just don’t drive drunk.  :)

Keep her safe for me, boys.

Note that there is nothing about always having to agree with me.  All I wanted was opinionated people who could write well and would keep the blog interesting.  And now, here’s the clincher, from the actual post where I announced the new contributors.

If you run your own blog and want to contribute the odd post here I’m totally cool with that.  However, this blog has a tone and a vibe to it.  It’s why it’s been around for five years.  If you feel like contributing, you should be more than familiar with the editorial positions I take.  You are completely free to write anything you like about any subject you like, even if you disagree with me.  But keep the vibe going.  Don’t try to change the site into something it’s not, because if I see that happening I’ll probably end it rather than let it become something new.

Manwhore was not booted for disagreeing with me.  Manwhore got the boot for acting like a fucking asshole.

Posted by Lee on 07/09/08 at 03:26 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, July 04, 2008

Gone On The Fourth Of July

Jesse Helms is dead.

Raleigh, N.C. — Jesse Helms, the firebrand United States senator whose outspoken, conservative views polarized North Carolina and U.S. voters for decades, died at 1:15 a.m. Friday in Raleigh, according to John Dodd, president of the Jesse Helms Center.

He joins the second, third and fifth presidents of the United States – John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe – who also died on Independence Day.

He was 86. His cause of death was not released. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming, Dodd said.

Helms served five terms in the U.S. Senate, retiring in 2003 because of his faltering health. During his 30 years in Capitol Hill, the North Carolina Republican became a powerful voice for a conservative movement that was growing both in Congress and across the country, and he used his position to speak out against issues like gay rights, federal funding for the arts and U.S. foreign aid.

“I had sought election in 1972 to try to derail the freight train of liberalism that was gaining speed toward its destination of government-run everything, paid for with big tax bills and record debt,” Helms wrote in his 2005 memoir, “Here’s Where I Stand.”

“My goal, when my wife, Dot, and I decided I would run, was to stick to my principles and stand up for conservative ideals.”

Jesse Helms was a former segregationist who carried his brand of politics over into the Republican Party. The guy could be a Southern gentleman even when you wanted to smack him. I think that’s why he lasted far longer than some of the old Dixiecrats did.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/04/08 at 01:27 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The “Write” Stuff

For a switch, I’ve been asked to entertain some reader commentary. Thrill emailed me with an idea and I have decided that it was a brilliant one. He suggested to pull topics from our talented readership, and take some requests. I totally agree, and consider this an ongoing series of reader requested topics. Today, we learn how to debate like a pro. A Thrillwhore pro. From Thrill’s email to me:

Last year on this blog, there was a post about what it takes to be a successful blogger.  I have noticed that there is not a whole lot of guidance for being an effective commenter on a blog.  Since britishcress called me one of the “Thunderdome heavyweights” a few days ago and was offered a contributor position by Lee over the weekend, I feel that I have some credibility in writing about this topic.  Therefore, I’m sharing my own little tricks for building good arguments and fisking posts with everyone here.  Manwhore has agreed to top-post it out of the belief that it will help elevate the quality of debate around here and encourage more of the readers to participate in the threads.

In the beginning of a series, reader Thrill explains how to debate like a pro. Let me be the first to say I need to brush up on spelling and grammar. It is a historical mistake of artists like myself to fall victim to this behavior. Read the fold, Thrill lays the blueprint for being a “heavyweight” debater. I’ll add that his style deserves a signature, and one which I have dubbed on my own:

the_more_you_know2.jpg

Posted by Manwhore on 06/22/08 at 10:29 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Day!

There’s something special I’m about to announce on the blog. I’m hoping and wishing that it’s going to happen today, and have been corresponding over the weekend over the matter. In honor of the person, I thought I’d post what his (and mine after watching the episode) wet dream Father’s Day gift might be. Ladies and gentleman, I bring you the coolest thing I have ever laid eyes on:

If you can’t guess which reader this is by the video, you don’t have much RTFLC intelligence. BTW, I don’t own a gun, but if there was one on my list to purchase it would be this wonderful peace enforcer. I would purchase it and dare Obama to come and get it back from me. Coolest. product. evar. I’ll keep us updated on the surprise. :)

Posted by Manwhore on 06/16/08 at 11:23 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Little Elian Comes Of Age

Remember when Elian Gonzalez was a cause celebre with conservative activists and how hated Clinton’s FBI was for sending him back? Well, little Elian is now a proud Communist.

Eight years after a headline making international custody fight which ended with his return to his father in Cuba, Elian Gonzalez has joined Cuba’s Young Communist Union.

In an article in Cuba’s communist youth newspaper, Juventud Rebelde, the 14-year old Gonzalez said he would never let ex-President Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro down. He joined more than 18-thousand others who joined the group on Saturday.

In 2000, Gonzalez’ mother was killed when a boat carrying them to the U.S. capsized in the Florida Straits. Elian, who was 6 years old at the time, and two other refugees were found clinging to an inner tube for survival. After his rescue the boy stayed with relatives in South Florida until a long tug of war over custody ended with armed federal agents seizing him from his great uncle’s Miami home. Elian then returned to Cuba with his father.

Well, maybe he can try to escape and the whole circus can start all over again.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 06/15/08 at 09:46 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, June 02, 2008

Passage To Bangkok

At first, it sounds like an open-and-shut free speech case:

A California-based blogger who allegedly accused a judge of “prostituting herself” has been arrested and charged in Singapore, his lawyer and a court document said Monday.
Gopalan Nair, a former Singapore lawyer who is now a US citizen, was arrested in the city-state Saturday and charged Monday with insulting a public servant, his lawyer Chia Ti Lik told AFP.

Nair, 58, was later remanded in custody for one more week as the authorities said they needed to investigate further, Chia told reporters.

He is due back in court next Monday.

“We can confirm that Gopalan Nair, a US citizen, was arrested on May 31,” a US embassy spokesman said, adding that “we are monitoring the case closely.”

But then there’s this:

In the blog, Nair strongly criticised a three-day legal hearing last week at which Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, testified.

In another post on his blog Saturday, Nair taunted authorities, saying he was in Singapore at a particular hotel, and also gave his phone number.

“I am now within your jurisdiction… What are you going to do about it?” Nair wrote.

Well, he found out. Justice denied-or just desserts for being a loudmouth in a foreign country?

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 06/02/08 at 09:05 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Unofficial NBA Playoffs Thread

We’ve been having some interesting talk on the boards about some controversies embroiling the NBA playoffs this year. Low and behold, the NBA execs are jumping to action, with yet another controversial move in response.

NEW YORK - The NBA acknowledged Wednesday that a foul should have been called on the final possession of Game 4 in the Western Conference finals, which would have given the San Antonio Spurs a chance to even the series.

Trailing 93-91 on Tuesday night, the Spurs inbounded the ball with 2.1 seconds left to Brent Barry, who was bumped by Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher on the floor. No foul was called, and Barry missed badly on a 3-pointer before time expired.

Spurs players and coach Gregg Popovich said a foul should not have been called, but the NBA disagreed with them after reviewing the play.

“With the benefit of instant replay, it appears a foul should have been called,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.

Had that happened, Barry would have gone to the line for two free throws and a chance to tie the game. Instead, the defending champion Spurs trail the series 3-1 and face elimination Thursday in Los Angeles.

This is important because as we have stated previously, the refs pretty much control the tempo of the game. Syddelish made a point that many people who watch sports echo throughout the sports world go back and forth over. Is the NBA headed down the path of professional wrestling? there is a wonderful case to be made that backs this up.

the officiating in the game has gotten downright piss poor as of late, and the players seem less concerned about playing good basketball and more concerned about generating highlights. I say this because the ball handling has also gotten pretty sloppy, and anyone who is an avid fan of the sport knows how this happens. “and 1” is a popular series of movies that has been sold as a revival of the Harlem globetrotter type antics that basketball creates. Of course, any of this types of plays are possible in these movies because they would be prohibited in an actual game due to the rules of the game. Big dunks and dazzling shots have always accompanied histories greatest moments in basketball history. It used to be that Michael Jordan dominated this behavior when I came into the game, although he certainly wasn’t the first.

What MJ did do for the game was promote a younger generation who thrives on these dazzling acrobatics. However, the difference between MJ and some of the newer guys is that the newer guys usually perform these feats in violation of the rules, or the rules have since been relaxed to allow for them. Officiating seems to come and go in any game and usually controls the tempo of the game. Many of the most notable coaches would say that the officiating is the dominant force in the game as of late, and eclipses the playing. That’s up for debate and I am not shy on opinions.

I used to play high school ball and contact was taken very seriously. In the NBA contact is usually disregarded, and defending has become downright pretty rough, as have offensive fouls in an effort to draw contact. I don’t think this bodes well for the game, and one highlight was the Pacers-Detroit kerfluffle that I feel changed the game forever. It all started with a flagrant foul that turned into a riot. This has become the state of the game, and is alive and well in this series of playoffs.

I bring these issues up because we are going to watch probably one of the most important playoff games of the series tonight, and one that shouldn’t have come down to this scenario had the officiating been set to some sort of standard of excellence. Unfortunately there needs to be some kind of review process for calls in the game of basketball as in many sports. It has simply dominated the game too much, and since basketball is a game that actually uses fouling as a form of strategy, the excellence of calls are going to be of further importance to the game. since this lst game was called so poorly, tonight’s game will probably be overcompensated heavily to favor the Spurs and is simply unfair. To the guys on the floor the game is played one at a time. If they feel they are being poorly officiated it will reflect in morale, and can ruin tempo.

Posted by Manwhore on 05/29/08 at 10:34 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sit Yo’ Ass Down!

I’ve been following the NBA Playoffs pretty closely, and I am very impressed with how the series is shaping up in both conferences. Even though I live in Los Angeles I am a huge Lebron James fan. It was a little difficult to watch the first two games of the Celtics series, because the Celtics did an amazing job of shutting Lebron down. They paired him up with bigger men, and forced him to take difficult shots. Lebron also suffered from pretty dismal shooting percentages of around 22 percent series to date with the Celtics.

Tonight he made a show of force, travelling inside of the paint and dunks on Garnett so hard it was demoralizing. I love watching this guy play, and at 6’9” going up and over a 7 footer with power and poise to spare is immortalizing in the playoffs. Those are the kinds of plays that kids dream of suiting up for thier conference games. Pulling the game winner out with some smart plays on top of this are just some of the reasons I think this kid can get Jordan status.

I often fight with my co-workers who say Lebron is overrated. I think he is a little streaky when it comes to shooting percentages, but I have to admit I officially became a fan (and bought his jersey, the fiscal symbol of fan support) last year when he single handedly (yes, I mean all by himself. he didn’t even have Ben Wallace last year) brought the mighty Detroit Pistons down. It was a series of bad luck when the Cavs faced off with the Spurs, but the series delivered some highlights, and glimmers of hope for the fledgling star.

I think the Celtics are overrated, and they are playing a game too slow to exploit Pierce. I also feel that the Hawks series exposed some major weaknesses in the Boston hype. I think that the Cavs will take Boston at home if not for both, at least for one and march back home for the series. If Orlando can hold out and squeeze a couple more games out of Detroit, Lebron can clean them up real quick to move to the championship.

I’m also hoping that the Hornets can knock San Antonio out of the box which will pave the way for a more exciting competitor out of the west. To be honest, I hate watching San Antonio play, but they have a formula for success. I don’t think that the Lakers or Utah quite frankly have enough of the goods to push through the seasoned vets. It’s going to take a couple of years before the Spurs are placed out of contention for the title.

These are just some of my thoughts on the playoffs, and to hint at the outcomes I’ll put my bid on the table. I think that on the east the Cavaliers will dominate, due largely to the talent of Lebron James. I feel like the West has already been predicted, and it’s not so fun. I really hoped Pheonix could’ve run through San Antonio, but seeing they didn’t made me a firm believer that the Spurs are probably marching right back into the winners circle. I certainly don’t hold much hope for the Lakers to do so because they can’t really make it through the Jazz. the Jazz are a good team, but not a great one. they heavily rely on home court to generate their victories, but are no match for the Spurs either.

I think the championships come down to the Cavs and the Spurs in a repeat performance. the Cavs have built thier team for a return to this match up, and we’ll see how strategic the decisions were. For now, all I can do is hope that Lebron and his team have learned from last year, and some of the veteran add ons can bring experience to the table, as in Ben Wallace’s experience dealing with the Spurs from his days in Detroit. I feel like the spurs are going to win again, but I’ll leave myself the out by saying that Cavs 2.0 hasn’t been really tested by the Spurs yet.

Think I’m right? (Kudos for anyone who guesses the title of the post)

Posted by Manwhore on 05/12/08 at 10:24 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted
by

Just a quick note to let you know I’m going to take a little vacacay with the family. I’ll be thinking about all sorts of things I’m sure. There’s a lot going on in the world to say the least. You all be nice to each other. You can never go wrong with that.

See you in a week or so.

Posted by on 05/11/08 at 11:18 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dead Man Tokin’

Talk about your deadheads:

Two men and a juvenile are accused of digging up a corpse, decapitating the body and using the head to smoke marijuana, according to court documents.

Matthew Gonzalez and Kevin Jones have been charged with the misdemeanor offense of abuse of a corpse, said Scott Durfee, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorneys Office.

According to documents filed in the case, Gonzalez, Jones and an unnamed juvenile on March 15 went to an Humble cemetery, dug up a man’s grave, left with the head and turned it into a “bong.”

Getting high off of a dead guy...that’s some bad karma, dudes.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/08/08 at 06:53 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Cyclone Revolution?

Will the aftermath of the disaster do what the monks couldn’t?

Will the Burma cyclone lead to political upheaval in one of the worlds’ most oppressive regimes? The indirect impact of environmental crises on politics is well established. Water shortages, flooding, nutrient-poor soils, and deforestation have all put pressure on governments and provided the backdrop to ethnic conflict. But it’s been speculated that as populations rise in environmentally, seismically, and climatically fragile zones, unexpected natural events may not only pressure regimes but topple them as well.
....

Last year, during the large-scale anti-regime demonstrations known as the Saffron Revolution, the Burmese army was on the streets attacking protesting monks, but so far it has been absent during the cyclone emergency. The Burmese democratic movement, though it has an icon in Aung San Suu Kyi, is highly disorganized, which is one reason why the Saffron Revolution failed to dislodge Burma’s generals. The days ahead will tell if the weather itself is any more effective.

One can only hope that something positive will come out of this-if there’s anyone left to celebrate the government’s downfall, that is.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/08/08 at 04:45 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, May 02, 2008

Thirty Eight
by Lee

Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday Dear Me-ee
Happy Birthday to Me

I am officially now old enough to be the father of a college freshman.  And I still dress, act, and drink like one.

Actually, my birthday is May 2.  But it’s May 2 in China.  So I’ll keep this post here, dated May 1, until it actually becomes May 2 in Texas, and then I’ll adjust the date.

Update: Oh, also, here’s my Chinese Zodiac.  I am a “metal dog.”

Posted by Lee on 05/02/08 at 01:50 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Play That A Funky Music A White Boy!
by

Damn! I just took a gig for which I must learn 24 songs in two days. I’m actually familiar with a few but damn, that’s going to be interesting. I’ve never done anything cold like that. I would have had a week and a half when they originally approached me but their regular bass player said he could do it. Now he can’t. Gotta help some friends out. Good Juju. I might need more than one shot of courage.

Update: I’m also playing a song I never thought I’d have to play and actually avoided, hence the title of the post.

Posted by on 05/01/08 at 10:26 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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