Archive for June, 2006

Burning Ol’ Glory

June 29th, 2006 at 10:15 am by Mark
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     Media has reported over and over that the Flag Protection Amendment passed by the House and faces an “uphill battle in the Senate.”  They’ve claimed that this bill seeks to amend the Constitution and ban the burning of the US Flag.
     This is yet another load of horse-puckey by a media who are too stupid and lazy to investigate facts or give fair and balanced opinion about anything.

     Senate Joint Resolution 12 is a very simple, seventeen word statement:

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

     This amendment only gets rid of the Constitutional hurdle which has prevented Congress from passing anti-Flag Burning legislation before.  It doesn’t make anything illegal.
     Senators and Legislators who have come on Television decrying the Resolution simply have not read it.
     There is also a widespread belief that this is a Republican supported bill, which also cannot be further from the truth.  As it stands, it is a purely bipartisan measure, with as many people decrying it on either side of the political fence.

     Basically what we’ve ended up with is yet another bullshit stall tactic, where Congress is attempting to give itself a little more power, and wasting a lot of money and air time, when they’re not actually doing anything.  They’ve just secured their seats, and given themselves the power to debate another hot-button issue, which will most assuredly fail over and over again anyway.

     Swanky pointed out two polarized views about the flag.  Some people see it as a symbol of our Freedom and Democracy.  Others see it as reminder of the people who died to protect our Freedom and Democracy.  It’s both: Thirteen stripes representing the original colonies, alternating White for our innocence and purity and Red for the blood of those fought defending it, and a field of Blue with Stars to represent our fifty states in a night-time constellation.  I don’t foresee myself ever burning a flag.  But it’s good to live in a country that would allow me to do it.

     But… all this talk about Flag Burning is secondary to the real issue.
     This is a test case, where Congress is attempting to remove a legal barrier mandated by the Supreme Court and see if anyone will notice.  If successful, it opens the door for them to do it a few more times for good measure!
     Thus, I am firmly against the Resolution.  I’m firmly against Congress dictating its own power, and have nothing but contempt when they attempt to pass legislation for no other reason than to give themselves more things to do in the future.  It’s a waste of time and money that could be better spent fixing things that are actually wrong.

I am a Star Wars Dork

June 28th, 2006 at 12:49 pm by Mark
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     Most of my friends know that I’m a Star Wars dork.  Collected since the 70’s, comic books, bubble gum cards and toys in boxes have come in handy for making quick cash on more than one occasion.  I even have a small collection of Star Wars domain names.
     Needless to say, I don’t take it as seriously as some people.  For me, it’s something fun, and a good diversion.  And I get to make a little cash.

     But, as with many things Science Fiction, Role Playing or otherwise, there are people who go to extremes.  Swanky posted a photo a few days ago and sent me a link. 

Hospitality Staff on the Death Star 

     I couldn’t help but think, “Ahh, man, they might be doing that for the rest of their lives.”

     It’s not mine, but … Check out Dooku.net, and be sure to hit the white block under the movie for a little dorky humour.

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Fascination with Flight

June 28th, 2006 at 11:11 am by Mark
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     I always enjoy listening to stories about peoples’ Military experiences.  Everyone has a few things from their time served that stick out in their mind, whether good or bad.  They always make for interesting footnotes in history, especially where given events were overlooked or misinterpreted several years down the line.

     I’ve always had a special fascination with military aviation, which probably had a lot to do with the fact that my father was a Navy veteran back in the 60’s.  A few years ago, I started helping him build an online community for VF-14 so that he and his friends could keep in touch.
     My father worked on F-4 Phantoms back then.  In the 70’s, they were replaced with the multi-roled F-14 Tomcat.  All in all, the Tomcat was just a cool-looking plane.  It was fast and maneuverable, and sported one of the most versatile payloads the Navy had, allowing it to be a formidable air-to-air fighter on the front lines and an even more formidable surgical bomber when the mission called for it.

     A few years ago, the Navy decided to retire the F-14 Tomcat, opting for the inferior F-18 Hornet, which is not only slower, but has far less payload and flexibility.  That decision has brought a lot of Tomcat-era veterans out of the woodwork, with blogs and photos, reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” of the F-14.
     Of course, there are few stories of chaos and mayhem as well.  On the 18th, Pinch detailed one of those not-so-good days back in November, 1988, complete with flight deck video and photos.  Fortunately, no one was injured.  Still, I can’t help but feel bad seeing that Tomcat with its nose ripped off, and wondering what happened to Hooter because of it…

Night of the Rabid Weasel

June 22nd, 2006 at 10:37 pm by Mark
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     Ok, the freakiest thing just happened.

     I was lying here on the right wing of my sectional couch, computer on my legs, surfing the web and talking to a friend on Messenger, when I heard a little “ruff!” to my left to my left that sounded very much a small dog that suddenly realized something was not exactly right.
     I look over, and on the left wing of the couch is what appeared to be a Weasel.
     “Oh, shit!” I yelled.
     This apparently freaked the animal out, at which point it jumped to the floor, pounced onto my keyboard and clambored over the back of the couch towards the front door.  Glad I moved my hands!
     So I freaked out, tried to let my friend know what “;hklg'” meant, put the computer down quickly and jumped up towards the door.

     Standing on its hind feet, scratching frantically at the door, is not actually a weasel, but a solid red ferret — and a fat one, at that.  I cautiously leaned towards the door, expecting the little bastard to pounce on me, and opened it as far as the chain would allow.
     It ran outside without incident.

     In retrospect, I guess he came in when I got home a few hours ago.  I left the door open for a minute while grabbing some stuff outta the car.  A refugee ferret, escaped from one of the nearby neighbors in the apartment complex.

     I’m normally not afraid of animals.  But I have to say, right now, my heart’s finally calming down to a steady 120 bpm.  I just about had an accident on the couch here… *argh!*
     I can only imagine what could have happened if I hadn’t discovered him before he decided to curl up in bed..  *shudder*

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I Hate Commercialism

June 21st, 2006 at 1:45 pm by Mark
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     Someone sent me a link to an Ebay auction a few minutes ago….

     It just made me think … Job pissing me off?  I press the “Easy” button.  “That was easy!” it says.
     A moment later, I realize, the job is still pissing me off.  I press the button again.
     “That was easy!”
     Sooner or later, after numerous attempts, the chiding sound of “That was easy” begins to piss me off as much as whatever job I’m doing.  Yet, I press it again.
     “That was easy!” it mocks.
     I destroy the button with a closed fist, only to find that its plastic innards are sharper than expected.  A trail of blood drips quickly down my forearm.

     But there’s good news….

     I just saved a ton of money by switching my Auto Insurance to Geico™.

     Now if I could only find an “ouchless” Band-Aid…