28 July, 2008

In this post... lulz

I jst wonted 2 sai.. tat chtspk is rly, rly, rly anoing!!1 Ppl WHO tipe in chtspk, alwaiz sai itz ezier 2 reed... butt, TrUsT mee, iT iznt.......... N fct, if Ur reeding tis, U prblby h8 me lots, LOL!!!11 Now I g2g, beCuz i am annoing myself =) LOL !!11

No, Bush should NOT have a Magic Wand

George "Dubya" Bush "Douche" is rather keen on having a magic wand these days. Now, we all want a magic wand, but if you're a fucking world leader and you're making speeches about this - you probably shouldn't have one.

My Linguistic Kill List v. 1.0

Here is a partial list of words that need to be stabbed, shot, drowned, run over, electrocuted and made to suffer before being viciously killed.

1. Go-getter - unless your job is to fetch things for other people, in which case - human retriever sounds more fun.
2. Pro-active - I'm anti-active at this over-used piece-of-shit word, and it reminds me of the horrible ads for some face cream.
3. Dynamic - it isn't a bad word, just really over-used.
4. Judeo-Christian - no-one who is "Judeo" describes themselves as "Judeo-Christian," so kindly leave us Jews out of it.
5. Brangelina, Bennifer, and all the other combined first names - it is not cute, it is annoying, stop it.
more to come, I'm sure.

29 March, 2008

It's all about priorities - rant

I was flipping through the channels and saw this story on one of those wingnut religious channels - a frozen embryo "rescued" during Hurricane Katrina and now is a lovely white baby boy (of course) born to a proper wingnut white straight family. It also had a nice sidenote about how the courageous Douche administration is spending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to "adopt" frozen embryos. All set in this nice happy tone - it was absolutely sickening. This is what the religious right prioritises. That we should spend millions on these embryos and not millions on adopting the real children who are languishing in state facilities and waiting for a home, not millions on poor children in the US and around the world so that they can have a better quality of life, not millions on education or health care or anything else. Hell, they don't care if the stupid embryos die horrid painful deaths once they're "adopted" and born - people don't matter if they actually exist, especially if they exist as female and/or non-white and/or non-right-wing christian. This is the base of the fucking Republican party. People who gladly waste millions of taxpayer dollars "rescuing" a fucking clump of cells but don't give a fuck about the people of New Orleans stuck in their houses, stuck in the stadium, actually suffering. These are people who don't mind seeing women die in childbirth or be relegated to be permanent brood mares - after all, women are actual people, and their fetuses are potential males which makes them far more important. It really is sickening that people would prioritise this crap instead of addressing the suffering of actual people. There is sickeness and poverty and inequality and a whole bunch of other horrid things that this guy named Jesus really wanted people to work together to eliminate; but because of the priorities of those that call themselves moral and religious - our country's budget and priorities are all going to minimise the quality of life in this country and around the world.

21 February, 2008


Illegal wiretapping of American citizens.....................meh
Illegal war based on lies................meh
Rampant corruption & incompetence.............meh
Repeal of civil liberties....................meh
Using the Constitution as toilet paper.............meh
John McCain may have had a romantic relationship with a lobbyist............... OMG!!!!! BREAKING NEWS!!!!11 Here's a story worth covering!

In other BREAKING NEWS!!!!11 Barack Obama is not a virgin!!! Hillary Clinton has a vagina!!!
*giggles inanely and runs away*

17 February, 2008

2008, the perfect time to start campaigning for 2012

Meh, the 2008 elections are annoying, irritating and horrid - horrid as a train wreck that you can't look away from. Of course we have been following them closely and regretting every minute we spend on them. Out of all the candidates, Clinton is probably our favourite (right after Mike Gravel who, unfortunately, has as much of a chance of winning as Bush winning a spelling bee). We don't know why we like Hillary, we just do. Obama annoys us - having studied politics and history - worlds like "hope," "change," and "future" don't appeal very much. These things have always been promised, rarely delivered without a major public movement to achieve specific change on specific issues (like the Civil Rights movement). Right now, there's really no such movement, most of the country is anti-war, but is too apathetic to do anything about it, the country is complacent about lingering racism and misogyny..... Hell, we don't even get outraged about torture and there are some that condone it and if we can't come to a consensus about torture, then we're pretty fucked as a country. Of course Obama is tons better than the Republican candidates and if he's the Democratic candidate, we will support him wholeheartedly. On the Republican side, we have McCain, a hypocrite and a warmonger, Huckabee, who doesn't believe in evolution or mathematics, and Ron Paul who we'd never vote for even if we agreed with him on every issue just because of his supporters. Ron Paul supporters, if you've been lucky to avoid them, have this extremely annoying habit of inserting themselves in any discussion. For example, someone holding a televised debate on whether or not monkeys should wear raincoats will probably be assaulted by a Paulbot who will proclaim that Ron Paul isn't just a great candidate, but also better than a monkey in a raincoat.

The most annoying thing about the elections is the media. Its a great time to be a "journalist," no longer do you need to get news, or even fabricate news. Modern media is all about reading polls, pie charts and bar graphs - you know, stuff you learn in elementary school. All the other time is spend punditising and speculating. Is Obama a secret muslim or merely an alien from the planet Zorkon sent to Earth to gobble up all its delicious pineapples? Do Clinton's pantsuits make her look fat? What are the candidates positions on how to peel an orange? What do 43 1/2 year old white female voters who live in Cleveland and eat yogurt for breakfast think of Chuck Norris' endorsment of Huckabee? No - these aren't pointless, annoying wastes of time - they're "news" ("news" being defined as a pointless, annoying waste of time).

Alas, it seems to be our fate to become more and more cynical with every election, and with Bush still in power for nearly an entire year, we're seriously considering relocating to Zorkon (with a big batch of pineapples).

16 May, 2007

More on loyalty

Just a reiteration of my earlier post that loyalty is overrated. Not that I'm saying it isn't a virtue - it is - but it cannot replace competence. Guan Yu is often used to exemplify loyalty. Certainly he was loyal to Liu Bei. He and Zhang Fei stood by their brother through all of his struggles, from when Liu Bei was an unknown entity to when he was struggling to set up his own force surrounded by much more powerful warlords, to when his force was temporarily obliterated. Guan Yu's devotion to his brother is unquestioned but in the end, his lack of competence contributed to Liu Bei's death, a straining of an alliance that had the potential of curbing Wei and the overall weakening of Shu. Guan Yu's lack of diplomacy and refusal to see Wu as allies worthy of respect, especially given the already strained relationship between Wu and Shu over Jingzhou all contributed to Wu's attack on Shu and Guan Yu's execution. Had Guan Yu been more tactful, more smart, more..... competent as prefect over Shu's Jingzhou territories, he might have been able to keep the alliance with Wu intact. Instead he created a political mess because of his stubbornness and Shu suffered as a result. Loyalty cannot substitute for competence; although, ideally one wants to have both loyal and competent servants - it is better to put competence first and then focus on making the competent loyal, or at least give them incentives to act loyally. Betrayal may hurt and is something people actively try to avoid, but it is better to have the betrayal of one person than incompetent policies that lead to the revolt of the people or allies since the latter are nearly always more devastating to the state as a whole.

26 April, 2007

Extraordinary circumstances make for horrible law

This is a basic concept that attorneys, politicians and judges too often make. It is hard to separate law and fact when the facts are so overwhelming that correct application of the law creates serious iniquities. Also newsworthy facts are much like freshly dead zebras - they tend to attract vultures. Minutes after the VT shootings were publicised, gun-rights lobbyists took to the airwaves. Religious nuts swarmed the campus using a terrible tragedy to convert people to their religion (and political ideology). Now days and weeks later, seemingly everyone with an agenda has used the shootings to further their own goals (for a list of what's being blamed, see Cynical-C's blog entry). The vultures by now should be expected, the danger is giving them meat. I favour some gun control, but would hate to see a bill passed in response to the shootings - it is likely to be poorly written and ineffective because it is passed in response to an extraordinary situation, not to ordinary gun violence that could be reduced by gun control (provided that its actually enforced).

Extraordinary situations also are a threat to freedom and democracy. Concepts like freedom and due process seem to be petty in light of horrendeous harm, and it is hard to convince people who are in a state of panic that the liberties that they give up will cause them far greater harm in the long run. Nowhere is this clearer than in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. Fear, panic was overwhelming and we acted in fear and are now paying the price. The PATRIOT ACT which had provisions, carefully inserted by cynics, to dramatically expand executive power was passed with most lawmakers not even reading the bill. The war in Iraq was hardly given scrutiny - they were Muslims, we were afraid - truth didn't matter - the drumbeat of 9/11, 9/11, 9/11 did. Out of fear, we curtailed due process, legitimised torture, started an illegal war based on lies, gave an incompetent president nearly unlimited power, alienated the vast majority of other states and now we pay the price. Our international reputation is shot, corruption and incompetence run rampant, American soldiers and Iraqis die by the thousands in a theatre of war with no clear enemy and no way to win, and misconduct by the executive branch goes unpunished - because after all - we legalised it.

A deep breath and a step back goes a long way. Had we done it after September 11th, we might not be in the mess we are now. Maybe we would have had a comprehensive and effective counter-terrorism strategy. Maybe we would have had the assistance of the global community, so supportive of us before we told them to fuck off. Maybe we wouldn't be worried that the government is tapping our phones and torturing people. Maybe we would have acted rationally - that we will never know, because we acted in fear and this is the product of fear. Good law stands the test of time, bad law leads to disaster, therefore the only logical thing to do is to make good law and this requires thought and strategy, not rash judgments.

19 April, 2007

Loyalty, competence and the good of the state

It is clear that the Bush administration values loyalty over competence. After all, an incompetent but loyal person has multiple benefits. They won't point out the aspects of your regime that are detrimental to the state because they a) don't know better, and/or b) should they know better they are loyal enough to keep their mouths shut. They also make convenient scapegoats, working in such a regime, one is bound to acquire some complicity especially if one is not competent enough to realise it. However, loyalty is not all its cracked up to be. Take the example of Yuan Shao (all from the novel for the purposes of making this point). Yuan Shao had many advisors who were loyal to him. Shen Pei being the most dramatic example of facing North to join his lord after his lord, his lord's family and any power left was utterly decimated. Shen Pei also agreed with Yuan Shao's disastrous plan to attack Cao Cao despite lack of preparation (hmm... sounds familiar), Shen Pei also worked to silence all critics of the plan (eerily familiar) leading to Tian Feng's imprisonment. Shen Pei exhibited outward loyalty, but his incompetent advice led to Yuan Shao and his state's destruction making that loyalty utterly useless. What good is there, to pledge allegiance to a regime while enacting policies that destroy it? Is not the more loyal approach to investigate the situation and if a solution cannot be found, to recommend persons who can solve it? What good is an exiled ruler with many loyal followers when there is no longer a state to rule? I think loyalty to a regime rests in benefitting the state. When the state prospers, the ruler prospers with it. Therefore, the loyal approach is to make the state strong, this makes the ruler strong. It is a duty to disagree with policies, therefore, that weaken the state. It is a duty of the servant to not slander competent opponents when their work benefits the state. Otherwise you get Shen Pei, facing North, pledging allegiance to a past memory, to a ruler without power, to a state in ruin.

Quick random rants

1. Repeat after me - Iraq = Ee- rah - k, not Eye-rak; Iran = Ee-rah-n, not Eye-ran. There should be a law that one has to be able to pronounce the proper name of the country before invading it.
2. "Embolden" should be stricken from the dictionary. Its use should be punished by having to do a hundred grammar drills. Also include any merger of celebrity first names.
3. All trials should be like this.
4. Any Democrat who voted for Alito or Roberts is a douche.