December 29, 2003

Busy busy busy

As you may have noticed, my blogging has been pretty anemic lately. I've been busy with other biz and haven't had much time to think up cool post ideas.
I'm gonna be pretty distracted by real world stuff for about another week to 10 days, so I'll just say right now that blogging will be extremely light or non-existant for a short while.
I'll still be lurking around other blogs now and then. I mean, I gotta keep my sanity somehow.

Of course, this means that I wont be doing much of a job of defending my crown in the King of the Blogs competition, and I'm sure to be a goner by week's end. Oh, well, *sniff* 'twas a brief but memorable reign.

Jim's Bestofme Symphony #4 is up. I haven't read 'em yet, but it's bound to be non-stop quality post after post! Woo hoo!
(Jennifer submitted one of mine (thanks Jen!!), and I submitted one of my own. The drink warning was written by Jim, not me, btw.)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:18 PM | Comments (2)

December 27, 2003

Media Research Awards: 2003

Media Research Center has their 16th annual Awards posted!
Scroll down and check out the cool categories; it's a fun read. (Quite an impressive list of judges, too.)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2003

Unseen Movie Review: The Matrix

[Dunno if this'll become a regular feature, but I shall now review a movie that I've never seen.
Just because I've never seen it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to form an opinion of it, does it?! Well, does it?!]

First up: THE MATRIX:

What the hell is this movie about?
I've seen a lot of ads and promos and heard a lot of chatter about this series and still, to this day, I have no idea if this thing even has a plot.

Oh, sure, it's supposed to have great special effects... I've seen those commercials where the frame is freezed and then the "camera" does a 45 degree "turn" to show the 3-D action frozen. But, is that all it is? I have no frickiin' idea!

I saw a promo where Keannu Reeves (I presume) is engaging in something that looks like it's supposed to be some kinda hand-to-hand combat. But, it looks to me to be something more like a crystal meth induced session of knick-knack-paddywhack. What the hell is going on here?!

I get the feeling that The Matrix is all style with no substance. But, I'm open to being persuaded otherwise by anyone who can gimme a clue about what the hell this mess is all about; 'cause the promotion department sure hasn't given me one.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:50 PM | Comments (2)

December 24, 2003

Life Is But A Dream?

So, I was talking to my friend Lawruh at work today and she was tellin' me about her guy problems (she has a complicated love-life).
Somehow I was stricken to tell her about a nightmare I'd had while back in High School. Not sure how it came up, but...

I had the fancy for Rebecca. Nay, I adored Rebecca. Rebecca had the hots for Jesus. Ibid.
And, as if we were in frickin' Pakistan, she was "dating" ("in the process of being betrothen to") a guy, seven years her senior, that her Dad had chosen for her.

So, anyway, I told Lawruh about this dream from Hell circa 1981:

Rebecca was having sex with everyone but me. I, angry and tormented, walked up to her as she sat on a tree branch with some guy who was fondling her with lustful abandon.

"Becky!" I said, "You're always off somewhere in plain sight having sex with everyone but me! You know how I'm suffering here... Why wont you have sex with meeeeeeee?!!"

As the guy was groping her and suckling at her neck she flipped her hair from her face.

"Bob," she said with desperate apologetic concern, "It's because you love me... I just can't!"


AAAAHH!!!!

"Oh my God!" Lawruh wailed clutching her hair. "
You understand women!!!!!!"

For any of you gals out there: What the hell did she mean by THAT?!!!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:57 PM | Comments (4)

December 23, 2003

Xmas Hiatus

BTW, don't waste yer time lookin' here for a couple o' days. I'll be pretty busy and I'm not likely to be posting 'til Friday. Unless, of course, I change my mind. ;)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:32 PM | Comments (1)

December 21, 2003

Crappy Anniversary

15 years ago tonight Pan Am flight 103 landed (unscheduled) in Lockerbie, Scotland. 200-some-odd people lost their lives.
Muhammar Qadaffi (or however we're 'sposed to spell his name) has finally agreed to officially 'fess up and get out of the terrorism game.

In rememberence of the bystanders in the terrorists' war on Civilization I post the lyric to a song I wrote in December 1988:

At the Pan Am ticket desk a man with a black briefcase said "One-way to New York."
Thr clerk gave the man a smile and handed him a ticket to a seat in the smoking aisle from the computer board.
He walked quietly to the gate where he would enter the plane.
Right behind him was a flight attendant who asked "Don't I know your name...?"
He shakes his head and goes to find his seat.
That's just part of the story to be
of Flight 103.

A mother and daughter in the lobby talk about the shopping they did for the family back home.
"London's sure is a lovely town" the mother said as the daughter asked "maybe we should look for a phone...
"This delay may be long one; maybe there's a diner in here."
"Don't be so difficult. We'll be lifting off at any time, my dear."
Ther daughter frowns "what could the hold-up be?"
A steward asked if she'd like a cup o' tea on Flight 103.

A serviceman in uniform was talking to his buddies sayin' "Hey, let's have a little fun...:"
They started lookin' around at the women-passers-by sayin' "Hey, ain't she a pretty one...:"
"We oughta be movin' soon. I can feel it; we're in for a smooth ride.
My folks back in Jersey will be at the airport when I arrive.
I always go home for the holidays."
Everyone smiled at the tiny Christmas tree on Flight 103.

The pilot told the tower that they're ready for take-off anytime that they'll allow.
The passengers have boarded;
some of 'em hate to be leaving from Heathrow right now.
But you can't remain wherever you want to everyday.
Sometimes you need to get back home to know you've been away.
But everybody knows theyve got to take their seat
as moving on the runway and getting ready to leave
goes Flight 103.

A newlywed in London's clothes looked out the window and said
"Here we go; next stop: JFK."
"Oh well.." her husband says, "I always wanted to see New York anyway..."
"I can't believe you did this!" she said as the clouds blew by the glass
"My parents will be waiting for us at the airport in Belfast!"
"I'm sorry," he said, "I guess that I should be."
And as he spoke up another thousand feet
went Flight 103.

A little boy goes up to a bearded old man and says "Yer not foolin' me; I know who you are!!"
The old man said "For everything we know there's a thousand thing we don't know" as he lit a cigar.
The pilot radioed the tower, said "you guys are getting on our nerves."
He turned off his microphone and asked when the dinner will be served.
The co-pilot says; "Too soon for me!"
while in back of him in First Class they're all glad to be
on Flight 103.

She didn't know just what to think when the expolsion kocked her off the seat and the room went black.
Everything stood still for a moment. Then she she knew that there was no time to act.

A man on the ground said, "Hey, now, look up at the sky at those stars!
Looks like they're coming down... Hey, wait a minute, stop the car!"
He leans forward and squints his eyes to see
as we land in the village of Lockerbie
on Flight 103.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2003

Link of the Day

Here I am trying to come up with a post that addresses my concerns about government, consent, economics and blowjobs only to discover that Don had already done it!

You go read now!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:34 PM | Comments (0)

New Blog Showcase

Slim pickin' this week, but I'm voting for Justin's My Word for this post. Lots of other posts there worth checking out!. (The link doesn't go to the post, but it still seems to register a vote at the New Blog Showcase.)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:21 PM | Comments (2)

December 18, 2003

MoveOn.org going global?

There may not be much anymore to this Drudgereport item that MoveOn.org would solicit foreign donations only to funnel them into Democrat campaign coffers, but one interesting point is made by the fact that the possibility seemed so apropos:

Foreign contributers -- who don't have the interests of the United States at heart -- support Democrats. Who'd a-thunk it?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

Trivia Question

The first person to correctly answer this question wins.. um... a link!

Q: What is commonly sold at a price that cannot possibly be paid?

There is only one answer that I'll accept. Have fun!

UPDATE: JenLars has correctly answered the question!
The answer is: A gallon of gasoline.
If the thing costs $1.61 and 9/10ths, you can't give the clerk $1.62 and get 1/10th of a cent in change. Nope, y'can't buy a gallon of gas; the price doesn't exist.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:12 PM | Comments (15)

December 17, 2003

The Wright Brothers Gustav Whitehead

On August the 14th, 1901 Gustav Whitehead (Weisskopf) of Bridgeport, Connecticut made the first powered flight of a heavier-than-air vessel nearly 2 1/2 years before the Wright brothers.

Why have you probably never heard of Gustav Whitehead? Because the Wright Brothers, in 1948, donated their "historic" airplane to the Smithsonian on the condition that the Institute never recognize or investigate any other claim to having been the first flyer.

Maybe most people think that the Wright brothers were first in flight, but we here in the greater Bridgeport area -- home of Sikorsky Aircraft -- know better.

And now you do, too!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

Judges Challenge

Week Two of the King of the Blogs competiton is underway!
The three remaining challengers have answered the Judges Challenge, provided by Harvey of Bad Money:

Your significant female other asks you, "Does this dress make me look fat?"

How do you respond? Details a Must.


So, here's my entry:

Y'mean, if I had it to do all over again? I'd pretend I'd gone deaf. Here's what happened the last time I answered that question:

"Honey," she coo'd from the bedroom doorway, "Does this dress make me
look fat?"

"Oh, yeah!" I exclaimed. "I love it! It makes you look so phat
that all the other guys are gonna wish they were me tonight!"

"WHAT?!" she shouted as she searched for something heavy to throw but
finding only magazines and cats.

"Babykins! I've never seen you look so phat!" I consoled. "The
way that dress hugs your form; those colors... You must be the phattest
chick this side o' the Mississippi."

"How can you say that to me?!" she whimpered causing me to look
away, "I don't wanna be fat!"
As the tears began to flow I knew that I had to give her a hug.

"There, there." I said as I stroked her hair. "Why don't you want to
look phat? Are we getting so old that we actually reject the current
"look"? Should we just resign ourselves to a safe non-descript
appearance? I want you to look phat, Honeybunch. Tonight and for the
foreseeable future I want you to look phat." .

"*sniffle* You do?" she said as she looked up at me.

"Oh, yes. Yes, Indeed, I do."

Now she weighs 280 pounds and spends her evenings sitting on the couch in
her underwear while scraping the bottom of a peanut butter jar with a
plastic knife. All to please me.
Word to the wise: Never underestimate the importance of making sure that
you and your gal are speaking the same language and, more importantly,
never speak in lingo that's too young for you.

Oh, the question! "Does the dress make her look fat?" Depending on the
dress, of course, the correct answer is either a "No"; or b
"Well, it does seem a little repressive..."


I'm probably toast in this round since Clarity amid Chaos and Vigilance Matters wrote excellent answers. Oh, well.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:19 PM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2003

Joke of the Day

(Just received this from a buddy):

Tom had been in business for 25 years and was finally sick of
the stress.

He quit his job and bought 50 acres of land in Alaska as far
from humanity as possible. He saw the postman once a week and
got groceries once a month. Otherwise, it was total peace and
quiet.

After six months or so of total isolation, someone knocked on
his door. He opened it and there was a huge, bearded man
standing there. "Name's Lars, your neighbor from forty miles
up the road. Having a Christmas party Friday night... thought
you might like to come... about 5:00."

"Great," says Tom, "after six months out here I'm ready to meet
some local folks. Thank you!"

Lars is leaving, he stops. "Gotta warn you... There's gonna be
some drinkin'."

"Not a problem," says Tom. "After 25 years in business, I can
drink with the best of 'em."

Again, as he starts to leave, Lars stops. "More 'n likely
gonna be some fightin' too."

Tom says, "Well, I get along with people, I'll be alright.
I'll be there. Thanks again."

Once again Lars turns from the door. "More 'n likely be some
wild sex, too."

"Now that's really not a problem," says Tom, warming to the
idea. "I've been all alone for six months! I'll definitely
be there. By the way, what should I wear?"

Lars stops in the door again and says, "Whatever you want.
Just gonna be the two of us."

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:47 PM | Comments (2)

Fun With pH Strips

For some reason I was getting a lot of ink hazing on the letterhead that I was printing this afternoon. I grabbed my pH strips to check the acidity of the press's fountain solution and found that it was 6.5 (ideal pH is about 4.5 to 5).

Bored with printing, I got the bright and productive idea to test the pH of other liquids that I had sitting around.
The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 (7 being neutral). 0-6.5 is an acid; 7.5-14 is a base.
Here are some results:

Vinegar: pH 2 (very acidic)
Amonia: pH 8 (somewhat of a base)
Tap water: pH 4.5
Anti-static spray: pH 4.5
Deglazing solvent (strong stuff): pH 4.5
Coffee: pH 4.5
B&G Hot Chopped Pepper Sandwich Topper Sauce: pH 3
Pepsi: pH 2 (same as vinegar?!!!)

I got nothin'.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:54 PM | Comments (5)

December 15, 2003

Intent is 9/10ths of the Law

Once upon a time in the Land of Make-Believe there was a small band of thieves that stalked a public park wearing KISS make-up. They would jump out of the bushes and snatch the purses of old ladies, take the watches from yuppie men, and the candy necklesses from little boys and girls.
"I have no idea who they were or what they look like," each victim would tell the police. "They were wearing frickin' KISS make-up!"

The local citizenry was outraged that common criminals would conceal their facial features and make it impossible to indentify them in a police line-up.
The town's Council passed an ordinance making it unlawful to wear greasepaint, or any mask, to conceal one's true identity while on public property.
The townfolk were very pleased with this new law. Until Halloween came around.

"Oh, no! We've killed Halloween!" one mother of four cried to the Mayor as she consoled her sobbing children in the Town Hall, "and the Council is out of session until January! Whatever will we do?"

"Go to the Courts!" one brave high school student roared.

"That ain't gonna work," said the local florist. "The law is plainly written: 'No masks in a public place'. I'm afraid there'll be no trick-or-treating this year."

But the moms and dads of the Land of Make-Believe took the case to court anyway...and won.
The Justices of the Court wrote this very brief opinion:

This court finds that the statute at issue in this case does not prevent the celebration, observance or practice of Halloween; nor of any festivities heretofore traditional and appropriate including, but not limited to: individual mask-wearing, trick-or-treating, bobbing for apples or any other similar produce, assembled masquerade parties, keggers or any other activities associated with Halloween at time previous to the enactment of said statute.

Why not?
Because the Court looked at the Legislative intent of the statute and found that it had been originally intended to stop thieves from hiding their faces during the commission of a crime. Since there was never any intent by the Council to interfere with the traditions of Halloween, the Court ruled (since the Council was out of session and could not clarify the law) that Halloween could go forward.

Determining the "legislative intent" of a law is one of the major tools of settling case law. In order to adjudicate the Law, a Court must know what the People -- via their elected legislators -- have intended that Law to be.

The Supreme Court of Massachussetts has recently ruled that the right of homosexual men and women to marry within their own gender is guaranteed by the Massachussetts state Constitution. They argue that to forbid marriage on the grounds of sexual identity is discrimination under the Law. But is it?
From Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:

mar┬Ěriage ('mar-ij) noun 1 a : the state of being married b : the mutual relation of husband and wife : wedlock c : the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family. 2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities. 3 : an intimate or close union
The word "marriage" meant to John Adams -- author of the Massachussetts Constitution -- just that: a legal union between a man and a woman. The fact that recent cultural shifts (and the resulting etymology) has resulted in our use of such terms as "same-sex marriage" is irrelevant to the Law. The intent of the Law's authors and ratifyers -- the People -- trump any foggy notions of what any altered usage of the language might, to the selectively undereducated, imply.

What the Massachussetts Supreme Court has done is to take the language of the People as it was (and intended to be) understood, and translated it into the modern colloquial usage.
Whether or not you or I support or oppose the legalization of gay marriage or civil unions isn't at issue. (I happen to support them.) The issue is: Who, in a republic of laws, not tyranny, writes the Law?

Judicial tyranny is the fine art of changing existing Law by redefining the words that already make up that Law. The rule of Whim -- of a few black-robed government appointees over the People -- is the most dangerous and insidious of the ways in which the rule of the People may be undermined because it imposes upon them a Law which they did not write and to which they have not consented.

Oh, and that Gene Simmons guy? That was me. (hey, Tongue is 9/10ths of the Kiss y'know...)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2003

One Fine Day in Iraq

Khrazi al-Jebra: Saddam, Life in Baghdad is returning to normal. The lights are on; the water is running crisp and clear out of the taps. The shops are open; traffic is smooth; children are playing. Life, for your people, is getting better all the time.

Saddam: Damn! My fedeyeen need to be inspired once again to destroy the resolve of the invaders. I need to release another recording. Fetch me the Panasonic.

al-Jebra: But, Saddam, the batteries in that tape recorder ran out last week while you were listening to the Dixie Chicks. Remember?

Saddam: Oh, right. Khrazi, my loyal aide...

al-Jebra: Yes, Saddam?

Saddam: You must go out and find me some batteries. There is a house only about four hours walk from here where there lives a man who has asome batteries, or at least a wall outlet adapter. If he will not hand them over willingly, tell him they are for me.

al-Jebra: Shall I kill him afterward?

Saddam: Might as well. Please hurry, I'd like to get a message out by morning.

al-Jebra: Yes, Saddam. Victory! (Khrazi al-Jebra leaves)

Saddam paces the room for a while until he finds the Panasonic tape recorder. He picks up the recorder, stares at it a moment, and heads for a tiny hole in the ground.
Climbing into the 4 x5 cell he sits and presses thr Record button. The wheels don't turn, and there is no tape in the machine.

Saddam: (into the Panasonic) My fellow Iraqis. A terrible plaque has descended upon our great Land. Yes: Our way of life -- the way that we have known for nearly 40 years -- is in danger of being swept aside from forces from without. But, the danger now is also from within.
While the infidels attempt to purchase your obedience with material prosperity, they will fail because the Iraqi people understand that physical health, personal happiness, freedom and clean food and water are the Devil's work. The only road to salvation is to reject the temptations of our own well-being, and the well-being of our families and countrymen.
I, Saddam, command you once again to fight to your glorious martyrdom to defeat the enemy by defeating his will to fight. We must expel the invaders from our beloved country by giving up of ourselves, our fortunes and our lives. I am Saddam, and I am Iraq. Never forget that the fight for your country is always a fight to the death. To lose the fight and live to tell about it is a disgrace that will....

a voice from outside: Hey! You in there! Are you Saddam?!

Saddam: Uh... no...?

voice: Bullshit! I know you're in there, I heard you talking into that tape recorder! Sgt Krucutt, U.S. Marines! Come on out, Saddam... Or do you want a fight to the death?!

Saddam: (stroking the handle of the pistol that hangs on his hip) Do you have any batteries?

Krucutt: Uh, yeah. I think we got some batteries in the truck! What do need, a couple of Ds?

Saddam: No, I need four Cs!

Krucutt: (to his men): We got some C batteries with us?

Cpl Hunter: Yeah, I got some in my flashlight...

Krucutt: Yeah, Saddam, we got some batteries for ya! Now, come on out before we drop a Daisycutter in there!

Saddam: Okay! Okay! I'm throwing out my gun! (He tosses out his pistol and crawls out of the hole on his knees with his hands in the air) I don't want any trouble!

Krucutt: Good God, stand up, man! (he stands up) What's the matter, lost you nerve? What happened to "Never forget that the fight for your country is always a fight to the death"?

Saddam: I never saw the fight to liberate Iraq as being fought to MY death.

Krucutt: You will. Here are your damn batteries.

Saddam: Yay!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:11 PM | Comments (2)

New Blog Showcase

My vote in this week's New Blog Showcase goes to Anti-Antiwar.
I didn't read it 'cause I've had a full day today, but the snippet of the sample post looked like it might be pretty good.
It has 30 votes so far and is in 1st place, so I'll assume everybody else read it and it was pretty good.

Also, Consent of the Governed is open for business blogging! The Bartender did (is doing) an awesome job with the design, so go have a visit and let me know what you think!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:17 PM | Comments (3)

December 13, 2003

INTRODUCTION

Here's what I came up with for an Introduction that will be linked on the sidebar over at Consent of the Governed. Comments and suggestions are appreciated!
UPDATE: Don't read this musty ol' version, read the latest tweaking HERE!

Throughout history, it seems, the natural order of States was that governments ruled the People. Tyrants crowned themselves as if they were convinced of their right to rule with Divine blessing -- or even that they themselves were Gods.
The divine right of kings was that they'd earned their station by being born into it. Order was bestowed to the great unwashed in society by their wise and literate betters.
All authority in the hands of the State, and the People were at it's mercy; always dependent on the kindness of the strangers who ruled them.

When the Law is taken into the hands of a powerful few who have no accountability to the People, then Liberty is in peril. There are, of course, many countries in the world today where the People's liberties are granted and lost at the whim of irrepressible tyrants.

The Declaration of Independence established that Americans had ceased to recognize a subordination of the People to a Crown. It stated that in order to secure to the People their inalienable Rights: "governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
The divine right of the People was that they'd earned their Rights by being born into them.

People have Rights, governments have powers; and only those powers specifically granted to them by the People.
The rule of Law, not of the whim of men in office, is essential to preserve if we are to protect the existence of "government of the People." The principle that a legislature, executive or court can not presume to have any authority that it has not been granted must be religeously re-enforced.
If we stand by silently as those who've been entrusted with power assume for themselves permission and authority that they have not been granted, then we, in America and in the free world, will simply be allowing tyrants to rule the People once again.

Congress may pass a law abridging the freedom of speech; a President may sign it; a Court may even uphold it (finding that the State has a "compelling interest" in abridging your Liberty), all without respect for the Constitutions proscribed amendment process.
It has happened, and it will happen again.

We here at Consent of the Governed are on a mission to preserve the rule of Law -- the rule of the People -- by exposing instances, great and small, where governments at all levels and at all branches excercize authority that the People have not granted to them in their Constitutions and Charters.
Hopefully we'll even spread the word to those who haven't heard -- or fully understood -- that if we allow one Right to be lost then that is a precedent in Law that can only mean that all Rights can be lost.

Tyrants will take power from the People until they are stopped, and so we must forever be vigilant in our proposition that "government of the People, by the People and for the People shall not perish from the earth."

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2003

Every Other Day It's The End Of The World

Since there'll be light posting this weekend as I work on the new site, I'll just go right on ahead and post a lyric that I wrote when I was 22 (aah, those were the days):

When the spaces between us
spread and divide us
into a bottomless pit we are hurled
While falling we're crying out
what we were ashamed to think about
that every other day it's the end of the world

If you really love me
you wouldn't be so obsessed
to take the time to take the time
to strengthen walls around your mind

Late. Later. Too late.
No chance for a chance of escape
We're both flapping and waving like a flag unfurled
No goal quite accomplished
Enough is never said
when every other day it's the end of the world

If you really loved me
you wouldn't be so impressed
Or race the clock to take the time
to strengthen walls around your mind

But don't cry if you've failed to kill it
or failed to defend it
Every day we can start it all again.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:59 PM | Comments (1)

December 10, 2003

I'm a gutless hackneyed shameful/shameless (whichever is more correct)selfish short-sighted procrastinating useless and insensitive bubblehead

Remind me to tell you why.

Just make sure I'm in the mood to tell ya.

UPDATE: Sorry for the cryptic post. It's just that I know that some if my friends and family occassionally check out this mess. Sometimes I wish I'd never mentioned to any of 'em that I have a blog. Makes it kinda hard to spill yer guts with fitting abandon, eh?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:44 PM | Comments (6)

your mission:

Get on over to King Of The Blogs and vote for me.

NOW!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:35 PM | Comments (3)

December 09, 2003

King of the Blogs

For some unknown reason I've decided to enter myself in the King Of The Blogs competition.
I don't think I have any chance of advancing for several reasons:

1) My number of posts in any given day is usually one (1).
2) I don't always post on every given day.
3) I don't care if I win or lose, I just want to have fun. Yay for fun!
4) My blog sucks.

But I've accepted the Host's Challenge anywho, and hyar 'tis:

You are marooned on an island with the rest of the contestants in the King of the Blogs tournament. How would you survive amongst the other contestants, and what strategies would you use to do this? Please explain in detail.
I would immediately assume command of the survival effort and assign tasks for each of us.


Romulus and I will build our huts. Pylorns and Anonymous (Vigilance Matters) will scout the island and collect food (muscular mammals prefered). Brian will pray for our deliverance.

If food is, or becomes, scarce then we will eat the vegetarians.
If there are no vegetarians among us then we will eat Brian. He's a Christian family man and probably has taken good care of himself. As there would be four of us and only one of him, slaughtering him should be easy.


After Brian we'll eat Romulus. He seems pretty competitive; so I think I could convince Pylorns and Anonymous that he's too dangerous to allow lasting until the situation becomes desperate. As there would be three of us and only one of him, slaughtering him shouldn't be too difficult.


If the rest of us are still stranded and hungry then we'll just have to target Pylorns next. He's kinda competitive, too, and has a pretty blog. I hate that. Seeing as there'd be two of us and only one of him, slaughtering him might kill one of us but not both of us. As I have no intention of dying, it would be Anonymous, and Pylorns and I could eat him/her. Only, shhh, I wouldn't eat.


I'd wait until Pylorns is well fed and sated on Anonymous and dozes off. That's when I get to begin preparing a nice Pylorns/Anonymous brine stew.

At this point I'd begin praying to be rescued. I just hope it doesn't happen during dinner.
Mmmm....stew......


Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:29 PM | Comments (4)

December 07, 2003

One fine evening in America

Lehrer: Welcome to the 142nd Democratic candidate's debate. I'm Jim Lehrer.
Joining us on our stage are five Democrats seeking their party's nomination. Why only five? We, here at PBS, have decided that Al Sharpton, Dennis Kusinich, John Edwards and Carol Mosley-Braun have been wasting our time. Originally we were going to invite them and ignore them; but, in the end, we decided that it'd be better for all concerned if we gave them a night off to meditate on just what delusions they are clearly operating under.

On our stage, from left to right, are Missouri congressman Dick Gephardt; United States Senator from the State of Connecticut Joe Leiberman; former Vermont Governor Howard Dean; retired General Wesley Clark; and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry; and...Well, now wait a minute. We have a sixth candidate up there...

Hillary Clinton: Hi, Jim.

Lehrer: Senator Clinton, you're not an announced candidate for President.

Clinton: That's true. But I refuse to rule anything out, Jim. That would be completely irresponsible of me.

Lehrer: Of course, all right. The first question comes from our guest panelist, Rush Limbaugh, and is for Governor Howard Dean. Rush?

Limbaugh: Governor Dean, You've repeatedly referred to yourself as a "centrist." Please explain the logic underlying that self-assessment.

Dean: Well, unlike every other candidate on this stage, and 70% of the American people, I believe that the war in Iraq is immoral and that we ought to cut and run and let the Ba'athists see if they can re-take their leadership. I believe that the way to stimulate economic recovery is to raise taxes. I believe that Americans should be forced to join labor unions. I believe that wild theories about the President being tipped off to the events of 9/11 by the Saudis are the most interesting. I think that these are -- clearly -- centrist positions. Don't you, Rush?

Limbaugh: What? I'm sorry, I have a vicatin-induced hearing loss. Were you talking to me?

Dean: I said that I think you should get used to submissive positions; don't you, Rush?

Lehrer: Senator Fudd..er... Leiberman; would you like to respond?

Leiberman: I'd just like to call on my colleagues to be honest and admit that we don't have a Chinaman's chance of winning this election. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

Lehrer: Thank you, Senator. Our next question is for Senator John Kerry, and it comes from panelist Molly Ivins. Molly?

Ivins: Senator Kerry, You were tauted early on as "the man to beat." Seeing as how you've not found any traction on the muddy road to victory, as well as the fact that you seem to resemble a musty artifact that might be spotted in a third-rate taxedermist's display window: when are you going to swallow your pride, bow out and let Governor Dean coast to the nomination?

Kerry: Having served in Vietnam, I believe that I have the foreign policy experience neccessary to govern that Governor Dean does not. To leave the race now would be to fuck up the future of the Democratic Party an' shit. I will not shirk my goddamn responsibility to my country for the sake of this bastard's poll numbers. I have some fucking dignity, y'know.

Lehrer: General Clark, do you have a response?

Clark: I've been fired from more wars than John Kerry has fought in, and my own plan to win the nomination is based on some very intriguing rumors I overheard in a bar by some truck drivers who were discussing Newsweek's covert intelligence operations in Sri Lanka.

Lehrer: And what is that plan?

Clark: It's a secret plan that I have.

Lehrer: Uh...

Clark: Don't question my patriotism like that, Jim.

Lehrer: Well, I wasn't...

Clark: How dare you sit there on your freedom-of-the-press-lovin' ass and accuse me of being unpatriotic! I have served my country in uniform for most of my adult life and I will not stand here and allow some lefty..er... right-wing shill to question my party loyalty!!

Lehrer: The final question for this evening is for Dick Gephardt, and comes from panelist Jonathan Alter. Jonathan?

Alter: Congressman Gephardt, What is your favorite song?

Gephardt: Well, I have to say that I've always been partial to "Dick Has To Win In Iowa (Or His White House Dream Is Dead)."

Alter: There's no such song.

Gephardt: I wrote it last night.

Lehrer: Time for closing statements. I say, it's time for closing... It's... What's that damn shrieking noise?

Clinton: Hel-lo-o-o-o-o!!

Lehrer: Good God, Hillary, would you just get out of our lives?!
The candidates will now give a closing argument as to why they deserve your vote -- in a word or less -- beginning from the left and moving left. Congressman Gephardt?

Gephardt: This satirical take on a Democratic candidates' debate has been a miserable failure. A mis-er-a-ble failure!

Leiberman: Four more years!

Dean: The South will rise again!

Clark: Who the hell am I?!

Kerry: Fuck. I mean... VIETNAM!! shit...

Lehrer: Thank you for joining us. Good luck, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:59 PM | Comments (5)

December 06, 2003

New Blog Showcase

Here are my votes for the New Blog Showcase

In the poliblog category I'm going to resist the jumping on the smackdown of Al Franken bandwagon and vote for Michael Froomkin's Discourse.
I'm kinda surprised that I'm the first blogger voting for this one. The entry is a well-written piece about waking up from the complacency of taking our freedom for granted.
He begins by telling of how he laughed of his German grandmother's warning that the Nazis might one day come to America. Then, while not hysterically asserting that a Nazi tyranny is coming, lists some potentially freedom-eroding policies such as Gitmo, the Patriot Act and other policies currently en vogue in the Ashcroft Justice Department.
I haven't read any of his other posts so I have no idea if he's a liberal, a libertarian or whatever, but I was impressed with this Showcase entry. So, there we are.

In the non-poliblog category I'm voting for fly killa's Ripe Bananas.
I guess this is in the "non-political blog" category because it's not wholey a poliblog, but there are some cool political posts there, as well.
I'm not sure why the "Vegan Marshmellows" post was selected for the Showcase (the entire post is "excerpted" on the entries page).
I'm voting for Ripe Bananas on the strength of the blog as a whole.
Go to the link and scroll down two posts and read her fisking of Amnesty International's UK Director, Kate Allen. It's "fiskalicious"!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:56 PM | Comments (1)

Consent of the Governed

We hold these Truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the Governed.
New project!! I'm looking for co-contributors for a new blog -- about one of my true passions -- to be called Consent of the Governed. We'll post essays (short, long, happy medium) about Judicial, Legislative and Executive tresspasses against the principle that governments, be they local, State or federal, have only those powers that are specifically granted to them by the People via their Constitutions and Charters.

The posts can be about recent events such as the Massachussetts Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, or historical Court rulings, acts of Legislatures or Executive branch initiatives and protocols.
The essays wouldn't be so much about policy per se, but about the process of governing under the rule of Law.

For examples of somewhat what I have in mind you can take a gander at THIS, THIS and/or THIS post from my archives.
Frequent citings from the Federalist Papers is encouraged!! (There'll be a link on the blog to a complete indexed collection of the F.P.s)

The posts don't have to be exclusive to the group blog. You can post your entry on your own blog, then copy/paste it over to Consent, using the group blog essentially as a repository for our "rule of Law" posts.
I'd like to get a bunch of us in on this so that none of us feels like we have to post more than a couple of times a week.

So who wants in?! Daniel? Noel? Tiger? Anybody out there?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:56 PM | Comments (4)

December 05, 2003

If Writers Went Metric

"I can see for kilometers and kilometers and kilometers and kilometers..."
--The Who

"Twenty-eight grams of prevention is worth .45 kilograms of cure."
--Benjamin Franklin (or, was it Thomas Edison?)

"Two centimeter worm, two centimeter worm, measuring the merrigolds..."
--traditional song lyric

"Gonna give it all away / to a registered charity/
Gonna give all away / All I need is .45 liters a day /
if we ever get outta here..."

--Paul McCartney & Wings

"If you give 'em 2.5 centimeters they'll take 1.6 kilometers."
--Ancient proverb

"15.5 decimeters / Eyes are blue / Could she could she koochie koo /
Has anybody seen my gal...?"

--I dunno

"...'Cep' for my Big 250 millimeter...Record...!"
--Aerosmith

"I wouldn't touch that with a 30 decimeter pole."
--ancient saying

"Whew...feels like 90 minus 32 times 5/9ths in the shade."
--cliche for a hot day

I got nothin'.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:10 PM | Comments (1)

SNOW!

Yay!!!

Okay, so it took me two hours to get home tonight, but, WOO HOO!
All along i-95 it was a steady drive, not stop and go at all, a steady drive at 11 MPH. We're supposed to get about a foot of snow overnight. I can only hope there's enough to build a SnowSphinx!

Welp, since, as expected, this post sucks: read THIS POST by Peggy Noonan about last year's first snowfall (published one year ago tomorrow). Trust me on this...Peggy rules!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2003

Brrr

Looks like one of the best Indian Summers ever is finally over.

I woke up this morning shiverring under my electric blanket and stepped onto the front porch and found a layer of frost. Dang!
I knew winter had to come eventually, but couldn't it wait 'til February?

Tonight I finally lifted up the screen and closed the storm window.
I guess this might be a good time to get a load of heating oil...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2003

"Nigger"

There, I said it. Get over it.

What is it about a word that gets people perturbed? Is it the meaning? Or just the sound? Maybe it's just the fact that people are free to move their mouths as they deem fit.

A University of Virginia employee spoke up at a meeting held somewhere that was nowhere to address something and said:

'I can't believe in this day and age that there's a sports team in our nation's capital named the Redskins. That is as derogatory to Indians as having a team called Niggers would be to blacks.'"

All hell has broken loose in Virginia and people (mostly white, it seems) are up in arms that "the N-word" was spoken aloud.
Ye can read the story here.

Now, I hesitate to say "some of my best friends are..." because that sounds like "I'm not a crook." But suffice it to say: I grew up (and still live) in a small city that has a very mixed citizenry; the largest town in Connecticut, only a few dozen miles from NYC.
What a wonder: you stick a bunch o' differant people together in a confined space they end up getting along swimmingly. Who'd'a thunk it?

Julian Bond almost got himself off the hook by beginning:
"My first impulse is that this should be a dismissible infraction -- but free speech protections I hold dear tell me that shouldn't be so," but he disappointed me by concluding that the administration "ought to disavow such language."

Maybe, having reached the age of 40, I've become an old fogie. But, there was a time when the word "nigger" was spoken aloud -- both with anger and with dismissal -- and was listened to either way.

I remember that Todd Bridges (of Diff'rent Strokes fame) once appeared in an episode of Little House On The Prairie. He played the child of black settlers who'd come across LandonTown (okay, I don't remember the name of the town off-hand).
He was the first black kid that the locals had seen. What an exciting experience for little Laura! But he was shunned by most of the town's kids. He made most of 'em feel uncomfortable for some reason, and he was made to feel like an outsider because of it.

He attended his first day of class in the schoolhouse and the teacher taught about things that the kids have to deal with but might not like.
She called on some of the kids and asked what they didn't like. Nellie's brother said he didn't like the way Nellie bossed him around or something. Some other kid mentioned how he didn't like the way his frogs jumped or the way his daddy beat the crap out of him every night or something.
The teacher then made a point of calling on the new kid (Todd Bridges), to get him involved in his new surroundings, and asked: "What about you...is there anything you don't like?"

He looked around the class a second and said: "Bein' a nigger."

It was a powerful moment in my own adolescent experience. Would that episode even be allowed to air today?
I'll weep for humanity on the day that a word cannot be spoken because -- regardless of it's context -- we think that maybe some idiot somewhere might be idiotically offended.

Some guy said the word "nigger" at U. Virginia in order to illustrate the problem with the nickname "Redskins" and now is facing disciplinary action for it. Maybe we ought to just burn the Constitution right now and hand the country over the speech-codists and be done with ourselves.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:08 PM | Comments (15)
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