Implied Dissent

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Things are looking very good for the Pats. Playing well, first-round bye, two home games. Sweet. I wouldn't be shocked if they lose, but I would be surprised. Later this week I'm going to attempt to make some playoff predictions and also review the predictions I made in September. I don't think I did well, and I didn't do well during last year's playoffs against the spread, but I did do well picking playoff winners, so maybe I can do okay this year....ok, probably not. Don't use my predictions as a basis for any sort of money bet. Not that you would, but I just want to be sure you won't.
Anyway, onto more serious matters, here's a good piece on Saddam's genocide, or lack thereof. I think people find it weird that I 'defend' Hussein, but I don't. I just want us to be clear on what the truth is. To the extent he murdered, tortured, abused, whatever people, I want it known. To the extent certain people and organizations make things up about him, I want it known so we know what we're dealing with, both in terms of them and him.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I'm discovering it is a lot easier to write about a movie that is flawed. Even easier to write about a movie I don't like at all. The third installment of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings triology, Return of the King, is as close to perfect as a movie can be. I simply loved it. It had a perfect blend of huge and small scenes, of action and intimacy, of good and evil. Even having read the books numerous times, I was holding my breath to see what would happen next. Brilliant.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Ladies and gentlemen, the 5%ers. Woo ha!
I know this is a few days late, but I wanted to put up some links after the death of Strom Thurmond. Certainly an interesting guy.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Here's an interesting story that's not received much attention for you to sink your teeth into. And The Onion's take. The Onion covering a real story? You know it must be good.
I fell for this next one when I read it. Unfortunately, it is a hoax, but I still love it, especially the mom talking about scouts. Great stuff.
Earlier this month The Supreme Court let stand the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform crap. I really don't know how someone can look at it and not think it violates the First Amendment. Greg Easterbrook has a pretty good breakdown of the situation.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I know it's hard to generate much sympathy for a piece of shit like Hussein, but the last I saw, The Geneva Convention is still in effect. See Art. 13. It's not just there for our enemies, it's also there so our POWs are treated humanely.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Today, federal officials will meet to discuss the possibility of offering Plan B, an emergency contraceptive pill, over the counter at drug stores and grocery stores. I am completely torn about this issue.
On one hand, the arguments for offering the drug are strong: (1) it is most effective when taken 12 hours after unprotected (or unconsented) sex and it is very difficult to get and fill a doctor's prescription in 12 hours; (2) many pharmacies don't stock it, making filling the prescription even more difficult; (3) women have encountered moral lectures by pharmacists when trying to fill the prescription; (4) many women who find need of the drug are young and uninsured, making it extremely difficult for them to get the prescription in the first place; and (5) the list goes on and basically comes to the same thing - as usual, it is easier for affluent and privileged people to deal with an unwanted pregnancy than it is for poor, uneducated people.
On the other hand: (1) this fuels the fire of anti-abortionists' arguments that after-the-fact termination of unwanted pregnancies is a "convenient means of birth control;" (2) the availability of this drug may de facto decrease the pressure on schools, community centers, families and the government to offer birth control and birth control education; (3) I don't know much about the short or long term health risks - but I have to believe that condoms are less dangerous than a drug that prevents a fertilized egg from attaching itself to the wall of the uterus. This confounds me.
I wish that the resources of NARAL and Planned Parenthood were being expended toward providing free clinics - with doctors and pharmacies on site that could dispense the drug. And toward getting effective and substantive sex education in schools. Not to mention providing better support for new mothers who may decide to keep an unplanned child.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Today is Bill of Rights Day. Thought you should know.
So the big news is that yesterday Hussein was captured and will be put on trial. I'd like to think that even people (like me) who think attacking Iraq was a really bad idea can agree that this is a great thing. While I do think Saddam's crimes and atrocities have been exaggerated for political gain and such, there is no doubt that he was a brutal, evil man. I'd like to believe that during his trial a lot of things the US government doesn't want out in the open will come out, but I won't hold my breath on it.
Anyway, we may have given up way too much for this 'prize' and we still are unlikely to pull out of Iraq anytime soon, but losing too much for something is better than losing that much and getting nothing. So we've got that going for us....

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I've been delinquent in posting of late - my apologies (to anyone who reads this).

So, I was listening to Top 40 radio this morning and that song "Invisible" by Clay Aiken came on. Now, I know he is some kind of media darling and beloved by millions, but I find him, and this song in particular, pretty annoying. Anyway, I really listened to the lyrics for the first time and was disturbed to discover that the chorus includes:
If I was invisible
Then I could just watch you in your room
If I was invisible
I'd make you mine tonight

Is he saying "If I had the ability, I would stalk you and then rape you"?
The song also includes lovely lines like:
I keep tracing your steps
Each move that you make

I am nothing without you
Great - he's an obsessive stalker/rapist. Fun.

Here's a good takedown of Howard Dean. I kind of liked him for a little while. Oh well.
And an excellent conservative dismantling of GWB.
I just want to remind you, buckets of unidentified liquid don't kill people, people kill people.
Ever wondered how good a match you are for Barry Manilow? Here you go.
I'm moving to Norway!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Radley on Neo-prohibition. Creeping fascism. Like this truly bizarre story from NYC. Herr Mayor Bloomberg's doing a great job!
I guess we have a new meaning for the term shit art.
Here's an interesting site that's supposed to measure your political orientation on a x-y scale, rather than a simple left-right continuum. Some of the questions kind of bugged me because they didn't allow for the answers I would give, or could be interpreted in a couple of different ways, but the result was fairly accurate in the end. Out of -10 to +10, I was 4.62 (Right) on the economic scale, and -3.28 (Libertarian) on the social scale, which both mean I am generally for getting government out of our lives.

Monday, December 01, 2003

I was just talking about this kind of thing with my brother, then I find this article. The lesson, don't let us men near the kitchen unsupervised. Or at least near a fryer.
Think you ate too much this Thanksgiving? Don't worry, you've still got a long way to go to catch these folks.
I don't really have a comment for this, other than to turn your volume up all the way. Really. Make sure the boss is walking by when you do it too.