Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Logic from San Fran?!?

Hard to believe, but true... Seems I shouldn't have completely given up hope for the Left Coast.

A really good read about a journalist who took a deeper look at himself and the world around him. Everyone needs to take the time and really look at what you believe and why.

- Otter

Friday, May 27, 2005

Oh how I love posting over the top of Otter . . .

It's not a conscious thing, most of the time. I did feel bad that I laid three posts over the top of his post about Nathan Filion - I didn't mean to do that.

Anyway, here's the answer to the question: What Color is Your Lightsaber?

Sorry Otter (sort of)

Kid Handsome (yes "that Kid Handsome")

If you read ANYTHING this week...

Read this...

It's a great essay on unlawful combatants, freedom, and the direction America is taking... Really great stuff from Mr. Whittle at Eject!, Eject!, Eject!

Even if you disagree with the first couple paragraphs (Bob, Chuck, KH), keep reading. Theres a lot more going on in the middle and end than just military practical theory.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

As I've always known . . .

often, disobeying authority is good an necessary. Why should any "system" overrule my personal judgement (with respect to what I do that does not harm others). Sometimes, it even saves lives.

See link above.

Kid H.

Medical Beer and Prohibition

Congress just couldn't get anything right back then... Hmm... or now.

Anyway, it reminds me of one of KH's interests - The Virgina Pain Doctor. Also, it's about beer so that basically just kicks ass.


Interesting Article from Reason Magazine

Above is an interesting link to what I see as government abuse of the judicial system. The government has engaged in a continuous course of practice that makes it difficult for defense lawyers to represent their clients - worse, in many cases they actually create reasons to prosecute defense lawyers and even tamper with witnesses (in my opinion that's what it is to let off drug dealers for the sole purpose of testifying against others). Here's an excerpt:

--->The Justice Department’s ambitions can be seen in several prosecutions during the 1990s in which criminal charges were brought against defense lawyers in an apparent attempt to muzzle the government’s most formidable adversaries. Two notorious examples are the prosecutions of the San Francisco lawyer Patrick Hallinan and the Minneapolis lawyer Randall Tigue.
---> In the early ’90s Hallinan, ranked by The Best Lawyers in America as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the country, handed the Justice Department a streak of high-profile defeats, including a particularly humiliating partial acquittal and jury deadlock in the sensational prosecution of U.S. District Court Judge Robert Aguilar, who was accused of misconduct on the bench. Shortly thereafter the Justice Department cut a deal with one of Hallinan’s clients, a marijuana smuggler, allowing him to keep more than $4 million in forfeitable profits from drug dealing in exchange for his testimony implicating Hallinan in a drug conspiracy.
---> Hallinan was indicted, and the government pushed the case all the way to verdict, relying on the testimony of Hallinan’s former client and a number of other drug dealers who also received accommodations from the government for their help. Hallinan’s law practice was shut down for two years during the criminal investigation and six-week trial, while Hallinan fought for his freedom and reputation. Ultimately, it took a federal jury a few hours of deliberation to clear Hallinan of all charges.
---> Randall Tigue, a First Amendment specialist and former head of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union, made enemies at the Justice Department through his longtime successful representation of Minnesota’s "porn king," Ferris Alexander, owner of a string of sex shops in the state. Alexander was a perennial target of the Justice Department for alleged distribution of obscene materials and tax evasion, but for about 15 years Tigue managed to keep his client out of jail and in business.
---> Then, when federal prosecutors attempted an innovative use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in an obscenity prosecution against Alexander, they hit upon an effective tactic for assuring that Tigue could not defend the case: They had Tigue himself indicted, alleging that he conspired with Alexander by helping him set up corporations for some of his business interests. Minnesota lawyers, convinced that Tigue had committed no crime, started a collection and raised $100,000 for his defense. A federal jury acquitted Tigue of all charges. But Alexander, without Tigue to defend him, was convicted of racketeering and obscenity.

Read the whole thing - then read this from Hit & Run (where I found the article).

Kid H.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Interesting Article on Libertarian Support for Republicans

The way I see it, it isn't going to last.

Kid H.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I hate Delaware

No really I do. I'm on 95 right now. Using my PDA blue tooth to my phone. Any way, I haven't moved in over 15 minutes. 90 mph, and now I'm in a parking lot. Life is not cool now.


[Edit: It took me over 3.5 hourse to get back from Philly. Long day.]
[Edit 2: Ok Ok.. I fixed the spelling error.. or at least one of em.]

Friday, May 20, 2005

Does anyone want to save money while drinking tonight?

Eat some Kudzu. See link above.

Kid H

Pepsi, the choice of a ... well not me...

I absolutely love it when people speak their mind. Best thing for encouraging honest and open debate. At the same time, I would like to point out that when I stop supporting their opinions by exercising MY RIGHT to free speech (i.e. not buying their crap) it’s not a violation of their rights.

I exercise my freedom of speech all the time. Here is a list of things that “I’m just not paying for.”

Pepsi – Read the attached link in the title. Didn’t drink much of it before, I’m a Coke man, but now there’s even more reason to stay away from it.

Anheuser Busch Products - The give a whole shit ton of money to anti-second amendment organizations as well as certain social deviancy movements.

French Products - Nuff Said.

The WB TV Network – Canceled Angel, and then during the same season picked up a show called “Commando Nanny.” Screw them, none of their advertising getting into my subconscious.

Toilet Paper with either babies or angles on their wrappers – I’m just not paying for that. What a screwed up association.

Smith and Wesson – Sold out to the gun control movement by promising “smart” guns.

Various “prohibited actors” - Won’t see movies with an ever increasing number of stupid actors and actresses in them.

Boston Brewing Company – This one hurts me. I used to drink Sam Adams every night, over two cases a week. 1) Slowly shrunk and then removed the word “Patriot” from the bottles. 2) Sam Adams progressively went from a stoic proud founding father to a drunk frat boy in the logo. 3) Jim Koch founder and brewer swore he would never brew a light beer. Don’t lie to me. I drink it no more.

Anyway… you see the trend…

- Otter

Firefly BACK on TV

For all of you... Can't be many... Who haven't seen Firefly and are too lazy to rent or buy it, it's going to be back on TV soon. Keep an eye out and join the Browncoats!

FIREFLY (FOX) - The Sci Fi Channel has landed the repeat rights to all 15 hours of the short-lived FOX series (and basis of the upcoming "Serenity" feature film). The network's July schedule lists the series as joining its Friday lineup on July 22 at 7:00/6:00c where it will precede original episodes of "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis" and "Battlestar Galactica."

Info from the Futon Critic.


Did you know?

Darth Vader is carved into the National Cathedral. It's true, check the link.

Kid Handsome

Hat Tip: Hit & Run

Why I'm not a Republican

I never really was a republican, but I definitely identified with the ideas expressed in the above link. Too bad that party abandoned its principles. Maybe Lucas was right - maybe it is the Empire (only the Democrats are far worse, especially with respect to their expansion of government power). "that's what government is for, to get in your way" (Paraphrasing Mal - sorry for mixing my movies).

It may be time for me to organize the long discussed "Jedi Party." We'll all wear brown suits and speak in an oddly cadenced form of english.

Link via Insty.

Kid H

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Another Star Wars Review

On first impression the movie was the best of the prequels. Any real problems I have with the movie have to do with how it affects one's views of Episodes 4 - 6. If you choose not to overanalyze the movie, it is a really good film. The action sequences were really good - almost an overload. It definitely makes me want a light saber all over again - if only I could decide which color. (I might just wield two).

However, I had a couple of problems with some gratuitious references to characters in that appear in the final (time wise) three films (eg. Chewbaca, Antilles, etc.). It made it seem too much like some kind of weird multi-layered monarchy where the only characters with real influence have that influence because of heredity. To me, that lessened the impact of the conflict.

I guess my biggest problem is with the treatment of Vader. The movie makes him seem stupid and shallow, which bothers me because it failed to create the aura of power and intelligence that is necessary to actually fear him in the later movies. Vader as a dumbass is simply not the way to go. His power should have been caused by the depth of his reasoned internal conflict, not because of his mitichlorian count, the "prophecy", or his . . . aaack . . . virgin birth. A Vader with the true and righteous belief that his way was the "right" way is much more compelling - the movie didn't achieve that (or even come close). It also would make his ultimate conversion much more dramatic, as we would understand the scope of his conversion to the light, which in turn would lend real gravitas to his final betrayal of the Emperor. It would be much more painful and it would still allow him to "love" which is an emotion that can be much darker than his mere "anger." After seeing this film, consider how it changes your view of the "Luke, I'm your father" speech and how you felt when he threw the Emperor down the energy shaft at the end of 6. If you do that, I think you'll understand where I'm coming from with this line of reasoning.

Also, the turning of Vader is supposedly based on his genuine love for Padme (the weakest character in the final two prequels). That's not a bad idea in and of itself, but I never bought into the deep love they were supposed to possess. After the first movie she seemed like a weak-willed little girl instead of the powerful, intelligent woman who was worth "turning" for. Also, Vader seemed more like a futuristic overly-possessive, jealous wife beater than someone who was genuinely in love with someone. This will ultimately be the movie's fatal flaw.

Lucas also didn't do a good job with the Jedi v. Sith philosophical debate. That is what the film should have provided. Instead it was a bunch of meaningless plattitudes that were never explained or considered by the characters - it was this failing that made Vader seem like a petulant teenager instead of the powerful force I hoped he would be. His conversion should have demonstrated the depth of his feelings, but, again, he just came off as shallow and self-interested.

I guess I could quibble with some of the cliched death scenes and Vader's ultimate demise, which, while visually stunning, upon reflection were ill considered as a part of the story line. However, the real failing of the movie was its failure to recognize the real allure of the dark side and why it was so powerful. I'd love to see someone else write the prequel and let Lucasfilms make the movie.

Still, as Otter said, it didn't suck much. In fact, it could stand alone as a very good movie - only it doesn't stand alone. It is one of six, and it didn't do what it needed to do to tie them all together. For that reason, I think, I liked the movie a lot more an hour after I saw it than I do now (approximately 15 hours later)

Anyway, despite my criticism, it's worth seeing. Not to belabor the point, but the movie stands alone better than it does with the context of the 5 other movies.

Kid Handsome - wielding two light sabres (I'll let you guess as to the colors). Edit: to get this in before Otter, Badger, Pudge or the Right Wing Extremist comments - neither of my light sabres is pink or rainbow colored.

Otter's Review of REVENGE OF THE SITH

Didn't suck much.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

This post accurately summarizes my feelings about the movie Sideways

I didn't like the movie. It was an incessant, pedantic, pretentious, self-pitying, self-righteous, whine-fest (pun partially intended). What about the movie was at all clever, educational, insightful or, most importantly, entertaining. I had not seen the movie when I heard that the Academy had bypassed it for Oscar consideration (at that point, given the Academy snub, I figured it was worth seeing). After seeing it, my reaction was, "No wonder."

I'd watch Waterworld twenty times before seeing this again.

Kid Handsome

Most Whipped?

Apparently, at some school in Florida, one of the High School yearbook superlatives is "Most Whipped." The controversy is that the boyfriend is black and the girlfriend is white. I'm of the opinion that the baby boomers are up in arms due to their typically weird practice of self-congratulatory-self-flagellation (yeah it's strange, but they love it when they are able to publicly hate some aspect of themselves or the society that they [in their minds] created).

Anyway, read the comments to the posted link. They're pretty funny.

Kid H.

Just throwing this out there . . .

Go to these two links from Neal Boortz. Here's the first one and here's the second one. I also just linked to Neal Nuze (Click on post heading). You should give it a read on occasion.

Sorry for all the political posts. I didn't intend to do that today, but it's what I was reading.

Kid H.

People's Republic of New Jersey

More property seizures by the "government." It's for our own good.

The link is to Kim DuToit.

Kid Handsome

What (Idiocy probably) is your Congressman . . . wait Congressperson up to?

Just click on the link, look on the right sidebar for your state and take a gander.

Also does anyone else find it odd that "Gander" means to look and also means a male goose. I imagine that the expression could get you in a lot of trouble with a goose farmer (if there is such a thing)


Kid Handsome

Monday, May 16, 2005

I thought this deserved some attention

Apparently the L.A. police shut down an art show solely (according to the linked blog post) because someone disagreed with its content. Now, for the record, I disagree with the ideas that spawned the content of the show. In fact, it's grossly and obviously wrong from my perspective. However, there is no rational reason that it should have been shut down, and from the limited amount I read about this issue, it is a pretty clear-cut case of government censorship.

I hope this case gets more widely reported. I know it's cliche (I can't add a little accent thingy over the "e") but the answer to "wrong" speech is more speech - not enforced government closing of an art exhibit.

Kid H.

A Pretty Cool site for Star Wars Fans

Really well written and amusing. Check it out even if, like me, you have no plans to see the latest Lucas disaster (Revenge of the Sith).

Kid H.

More on the Virginia Pain Doctor and the underlying problems caused by the DEA's Ridiculous Abuse of Its Regulatory Authority

Even if this issue is not your "thing," read this post by Radley Balko, who absolutely debunks and discredits claims made by DEA administrator Karen Tandy. His post is a response to a letter she wrote that responded (poorly and dishonestly) to one of Balko's opinion pieces.

I know my continuing meme that the government has too much authority probably tires some readers, but it keeps happening, and the government keeps getting bigger and bigger and dumber and dumber. Just read the linked post.

Kid H.

Otter the Fan Boy...

On May 5th I was in Austin Texas. On May 5th so was Captain Malcolm Reynolds. More accurately, so was Nathan Fillion. Below is an account of how I spent 35 minutes talking with one of the stars of my favorite TV show (and upcoming movie).

Thursday I was laying off the Booze, taking in some of the local Austin flavor, without taking in the local Austin flavors (Shiner Bock is mighty popular).

One of the “must see” attractions in that Texas town is this bridge over the Colorado (ed. thanks for the correction KernelM) River which runs through the middle of the city. Under the bridge is a huge ass colony of Mexican Bats, the largest urban colony in the hemisphere. At dusk they all fly out at once and it ends up looking like a Meatloaf Album cover. Bats flying everywhere in these great clouds. Thursday, well Thursday they were late, and that was awsome.

Waiting for the bats and standing along the side of the bridge speaking with my boss and her husband, I see a face I recognize looking out over the water below.

“Something something something” someone was saying to me.

“Hey look, it’s Mal” is what my brain was processing. “Holy shit! That IS him! Nathan Fillion! Shiny!”

I pushed past my coworkers with barley an “excuse me”. I should have paused and thought about what I was going to say to the Captain. I didn’t.

What I thought I said was, “It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m a huge fan and can’t wait until your movie comes out.”

According to a coworker who overheard me, I said something like “Hi, me big fan movie soon, wow.”

At this point I need to make two things clear. 1) Nathan has got to be one of the nicest and most accessable people on the planet. 2) I’m not normally a fan boy, and I normally keep my shit together.

Nathan smiles and says “Follow me.” I must of made a scene because he said something about girls over hearing me and he just wanted to watch the bats. As we were walking down the bridge he reaches out to shake my hand and says “Hi, I’m Nathan, what’s your name?” I said “hehe I know… um I’m (Insert Otter’s real name).”

About that time I started regaining my composure. We walked about 30 feet down the bridge, found an empty spot along the railing and began looking for the bats again.

“I’m sure you are sick talking about the movie” I say. He replies “no what do you want to talk about?”

I find out that Nathan was in town to go the test screening that night. I’m shocked and appalled I didn’t notice I would be in TX during the first round of screenings. I didn’t notice this when I was on the “Can’t Stop the Signal Site” IN TIME to buy tickets. Ohh well. Nathan says something along the lines of it being “all the sweeter in September.” I’m not sure I believed him, but whatever.

Unshaven Otter and Nathan Fillion
How cool is that!

His thoughts on the movie were that he was very proud of the picture. It turned out better than he hoped it would. I mentioned that the trailer, which I had watched about 20 times, seemed more action oriented than having that Whedon wit the TV show had. He told me not to worry (he watched the trailer about 150 times), that there were plenty of funny moments. The movie was like the TV show “but bigger.”

I mentioned that it was going to be a success, and more than once he worried that “something still could go wrong.” It seemed to me that he was saying that to keep his hopes from getting up to high. He said that the movie was good enough “to be number one at the box office for 8 or 9 weeks” and that he wants to see it do that. Wanted it to be the "biggest movie this summer."

He had done his job. For his part, the movie was as good as he could make it. What's left was out of his hands.

His real concern was in marketing. He wanted to see the trailer on TV as soon as possible. Start getting the word out now. Selling it to the public would be a real challenge. The typical Whedon “drama-comedy-Sci-Fi” problem, now also with “western-war” thrown in for good measure, could be difficult to sell to the public. Nathan agreed that if only the fans come out, the studio would make it’s money back, but the movie should be more than that.

He didn't want to see a repeat of what happened with FOX and how much that hurt him.

We spoke of Star Wars and the other big Sci-Fi movies of the summer. He said early fall should be plenty of time so that people weren’t sick of space. With a smile on his face he said “I hope Star Wars sucks.” I told him that it probably would if the last two were any indication.

We spent a lot of time talking about the Bats, Austin, and he even asked me some questions about what I did and why I was away from Scaggsville. I didn’t want to be annoying and keep pounding away about Serenity. After all he was being extremely nice to some guy who just walked up to him on the streets of Austin.

I asked him about his other projects, and he told me about Slither. Sounds cool.

I told him a couple of times that I normally don’t act like that, but he has been in 2 of the 3 TV shows I ever really cared about. I hoped I was more-sane than the people he meets at conventions. I told him that I must have converted about 8 to 10 people into Fire Fly Fans. I told him that in Scaggsville when bored we just “pop in a Fire Fly.” He said thanks and that “Fans like you, made the movie happen. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.”

35 minutes after I rudely jumped in front of him and made a fool out of myself, the bats still didn’t fully take to the sky. He asked me the time (9:05) and told me he had to get to the screening. Trying not to be too much of a tool, I asked him if I could take a crappy PDA camera picture of him. He suggested I get in the photo as well. The picture turned out dark and he suggested I take a movie (Quicktime required) and he would use his camera to take a picture of us with it’s flash. It turned out ok, I only wish I shaved so I didn’t look like such a bum). From there we parted.

When he left. I left. Screw the bats. I got on my phone and started calling Browncoats within 30 seconds (one of which had a Firefly DVD on at the time). We crossed paths again as he back tracked down what must have been a wrong turn. He laughed and said “hey.” I’m sure he heard me say “and that was him again” as I talked on the phone. Meeting Nathan Fillion was one of the coolest things that's happened to me in a long time.

Best of luck to him and the rest of the Fire Fly cast.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kenyan Children going to the Dogs?

Pretty cool link (via The Agitator) about an abandoned baby who was cared for by a stray dog.

Kid H.

Real ID Act

If you want to be frightened by what the government is doing, look no farther than the ridiculous, unnecessary power-grab that is the Real ID Act. I linked to the Instapundit post, but you should follow his links.

Kid Handsome

Monday, May 09, 2005

More random thoughts

Bunch of little things I wanted to mention before I get back into the real Blog posting business again...

  • I'm going to be working on the Blog more soon. I got some of the Blog Roll up, been messing with the colors, trying to understand why my "padding" settings work when previewed but not when posted. Fun stuff like that. Hopefully the site will start looking as good as thecontent on it (no jokes allowed).

  • I just got back from a 5 day conference in Austin. I really love that town. It's got bars and music for as far as the eye can see. The food there is awesome. The weather (at least last week) was perfect. Girls, as hot as you could want. Everything was so chill. It was my second trip to Austin in 3 months, if I go once more and I might notcome back.

  • While in Austin, waiting for the bats, I met and spoke with Nathan Fillion for about
    35 minutes. Really awesome guy. Expect a full post about that later. Otter as a fan boy, ugly stuff.

  • I've started a Sober Month on the 8th. I expect to be a lot more productive in the up coming 30 days or so. Keep an eye out for more (and better) posts as well as a couple other projects getting done (such as updating the Slackers and Bourbon and Burn sites)

  • While I was on the plane home listening to some tunes I came up with a list of My Top 5 Greatest Albums:

    • 5 - 13 Above the Night - Thrill Kill Kult

    • 4 - Staring at the Sea, The Cure

    • 3 - Meddle - Pink Floyd

    • 2 - Jar of Flies - Alice in Chains

    • 1 - Quadrophenia, The Who.

  • The worst part about flying, is after you landed and it takes 30 minutes
    to get off the plane. I really hate that.

That's all for now...


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Men and Dancing

So I was out the other night at a couple of bars in Baltimore - this was during the time of my slow descent towards my ultimate demise.

Anyway, at one of these establishments, there was more than a little bit of dancing (I'm being generous). I don't dance. I have rhythym and all the necessary requirements for dancing, but I think it's unbecoming. Men shouldn't dance. They look silly. Unfortunately, women always pick out the non-dancers and try to encourage us to dance. The pressure is especially great after several drinks are consumed. In my case 6 Miller lights and two shots (on an unrelated note, I love drinking Miller light because you can drink so much of it with almost no effect - I bet Otter could drink a case and only barely feel it).

So these very pretty girls (who are part of our group) approach and then start to dance in front of my and my friend. More, it is with the stated rationale of making us dance. This puts me in an awkward position. I quickly run through my 25 or so excuses for not dancing, and then am still left to face the pressure of dancing and looking like all the other idiots out there. Look, I just don't dance. I don't enjoy it. I'm not concerned about looking like a fool (even thought that is a clear result). It just isn't fun - unless you are doing it to make sport of it.

Women apparently want a man who will dance - apparently women don't think they look like they are in the midst of a gran mal seizure. Why is that? It annoys the hell out of me. Women can be objectively bad dancers, but I still enjoy watching them move. Maybe they have the same principle (thought even women I know readily admit that women are just more graceful creatures).

What I want to know is how to get out of these situations gracefully.

Kid H.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Strange Arrests

I have noticed something really weird over the last few years, and I decided to post because I heard it again on the radio today.

A man was arrested and charged with resisting arrest - nothing else. Does anyone know how this happens? I'm just wondering, because it seems that it would be pretty difficult for someone to get charged with this offense, but I see it happen all the time.

I sort of get the impression that I would resist the police if they came to arrest me for no reason.

What gives?

Kid Handsome

I'm Back

Otter alluded to my brief absense in an earlier post. Not to worry, I was merely trying to kill myself slowly - in my own specialized manner. Apparently, I was unsuccessful - although it was close.

Anyway - Otter is out-of-town, so I'll be picking up the slack over here for the rest of the week.

Kid H