"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Just say "Fuck no!" to religion

But vote for John Kerry anyway
It's been a long work week for me, so I haven't even seen much of John Kerry's speech before the Democratic National Convention on TV, but these are some quotes I particularly appreciated (according to a transcript on Yahoo! News:
* My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime.

* [T]here is a right way and a wrong way to be strong. Strength is more than tough words.

* We need to make America once again a beacon in the world. We need to be looked up to and not just feared.

* We need to lead a global effort against nuclear proliferation to keep the most dangerous weapons in the world out of the most dangerous hands in the world.

* Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism.

* Let's honor this nation's diversity; let's respect one another; and let's never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.

* I don't want to claim that God is on our side.

* What if we have a president who believes in science [...]?
I'd like to add to that, "What if we had a president who was bold enough to stop believing in that stuff that I threw out with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny so long ago?"

Bonus: A video of John Kerry's speech --including the awesome opening line, "I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty" -- can be seen here, via C-SPAN.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Never again!

If you are an American currently living outside of the United States, you can vote in the November election. You simply must! (This from an anarchist!)

In order to do this, you'll have to obtain an absentee ballot. Here's how:
1) Go to the Tell an American to Vote web site.

2) Enter any name and e-mail address, choose your real state and any country, then click "Go."

3) Download the Federal Post Card Application [FPCA] (PDF file) under "Step #1."

4) Download the specific instructions for your state (PDF file) under "Step #2."

5) Fill out the FPCA carefully and mail it to your Registrar of Voters. (The address should be in the file containing instructions for your state.)

6) Your ballot should arrive several weeks before Election Day, November 2. If you request a ballot and do not receive it, you can vote using an emergency write-in ballot. Contact your U.S. Consulate if required.

7) Don't forget to vote! Tell others that they can vote, too! Do it today!
Here are the instructions for an alternate site:
1) Go to the OverseasVote.com web site.

2) Choose your state from the dropdown menu.

3) Download the Federal Post Card Application [FPCA] (PDF file) under "Step 2."

4) Download the specific instructions for your state (PDF file) under "Step 3."

5) Fill out the FPCA carefully and mail it to your Registrar of Voters. (The address should be in the file containing instructions for your state.)

6) Your ballot should arrive several weeks before Election Day, November 2. If you request a ballot and do not receive it, you can vote using an emergency write-in ballot. Contact your U.S. Consulate if required.

7) Don't forget to vote! Tell others that they can vote, too! Do it today!
By the way, with Diebold being "committed" to delivering the election to Bush, it'd be a good idea for anybody to vote by absentee ballot, if at all possible. A PDF file of the state-by-state instructions for obtaining an absentee ballot can be downloaded here.

Use it, or lose it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Blogger workaround

For those of you who may be in a similar situation following Blogger's recent WYSIWYG "upgrade" (Mac OS 9, Mozilla 1.3, can't type anything in the "create post" window, Blogger functions in IE 5 and Opera 5 have been reduced from previous incarnation, etc.), my good friend at The Poison Dart has provided a workaround that'll suffice in the meantime if Blogger soon fixes the problems affecting me.

It's the "Blog this!" tool that can be added to Mozilla's Personal Toolbar.

If you're using Mozilla 1.3, drag the above link to your Personal Toolbar, and a new item will appear there. (If the toolbar isn't visible, go to the View menu and choose "Personal Toolbar" from the "Show/Hide" submenu, and it should appear beneath the Navigation Toolbar where you type in URLs.)

The way it's normally used is to post something related to a web page you're currently viewing. When you click the item in your Toolbar, a Blogger window will pop up. You may have to log in, but then you'll have a "nearly bare bones" editing window with the spell check, link, bold text, and italic Javascript functions, though the blockquote and preview functions won't be available. Also, you can't edit previously created posts using the "Blog This!" tool. (That'll have to be done in the "completely bare bones" dashboard available in the IE or Opera browsers.)

Hey, it's better than nothing, but I sure hope Blogger doesn't get throw that baby out with the bathwater!

Bill Clinton live

Arriving home from work, I found Bill Clinton on CNN in the middle of his speech at the Democratic National Convention. Here are some of the best quotes I heard:
* "They [the Republicans] need a divided America, but we [the Democrats] don't." (on the reasons behind the Republicans' portrayal of Democrats as "unacceptable")

* "Our way works better." (on shared responsibility, shared opportunity, and global cooperation)

* "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values." (on the Republicans' accusations that Democrats can't protect the U.S. from terror)
Patti LaBelle is now wrapping up the evening's events with a song. Wolf Blitzer says that Clinton "electrified" the audience while simultaneously wondering "how much good" he did. Can you say "clueless"?

Looks like I missed Al Gore's earlier statement about "Every vote must count." "mak[ing] sure that this time every vote is counted." (I blame CNN for the botched secondhand quote.) I hope they'll loop that one on video for at least the next 3 months and 6 days.

P.S.: Posting links is still a pain in the ass due to Blogger's so-called "upgrade."

UPDATE: The text of Clinton's speech is already online. (Note: it's not verbatim.) Gore's speech can be read here. (Also not verbatim.)

UPDATE 2: Videos of Clinton and Gore's speeches are available via C-SPAN. If the links disappear from that page, try these: Clinton video; Gore video.

Monday, July 26, 2004

DemoCon 2004 underway

No, I'm not there, but the bloggers who are at this year's Democratic National Convention just kicking off in Boston can be found via Convention Bloggers and Feedster. I'm counting on Atrios to give the media some real hell and expose some of the disgusting dirt emanating from their general direction.

Anyway, I just had to get those links posted, even though the blogging process has been made abnormally difficult due to Blogger's recent switchover to a WYSIWYG dashboard.

Happy Blog*iversary to Me!
In other news, this blog is just moments away from its one year mark. The biggest topics taken on over the course of the year have been an in-depth analysis of some of the testimony from the Hutton Inquiry (see September 2003 archives) and the Taiwan election -- including the pre-election assassination attempt on the president and vice-president as well as the opposition's riots and other insane misbehavior (see everything between March 19 and June 17 of this year).

Thanks to Scott Sommers' Taiwan Weblog, A-Changin' Times, MyBlagh, and especially my pal at The Poison Dart (who encouraged me to start this thing) for all the visitors they've sent my way. I'm still hoping for at least a slight increase in the number of visitors to this blog in its second year. Help spread the word!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Posting from Opera (or the dreaded IE)...

... allows me to input body text, at least, but Blogger's new WYSIWYG icons aren't there. In fact, there are no buttons for inserting links, bold text, italics, or blockquotes, or even a "preview" link like the most recent interface had. This isn't exactly what I'd call an improvement, leaving their only recommendation for many people (as per the "Known Issues" page) to be "Use another browser." Blogger has not responded to my feedback on either this or a previous problem (unless Hotmail has filtered their responses as "spam").

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Blogger is bloggered!

Where's the "Edit HTML" tab?

What you see ain't what I get (Unable to post anything but a title)

Friday, July 09, 2004

The cognitive dissonance of gay conservatism

As far as political debate is concerned, it's the stuff of red herrings, but Matt "Not Gay" Drudge's recent report on the "touching between two men" (soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and his newly-announced running mate John Edwards) does reveal volumes about him and his right-wing compadres.

Seeing how they are simultaneously squirming uncomfortably and privately "going wild with photos of the two Johns," here are some Google bomb recommendations for today:
homophobe, homophobes, homophobia, homophobic, hypocrite, hypocrites, hypocritical, Janus-faced, two-faced
I can only wonder if Drudge and the neocons are as deeply troubled by all that "male-to-male" touching, butt slapping, hugging, kisses on the face, full-on "mounting" and even symbolic fellatio that goes on in the professional sports (so admired by those rugged heterosexual types) as they are by such "indecent" things as hugging or Janet Jackson's breast!

If Drudge and his regulars are actually latent or closeted homosexuals, don't you think they'd feel a whole lot better about themselves if they admitted it to themselves and everyone else and stopped pretending that this "affection" stuff offends them (or would the cognitive dissonance simply cause their heads to explode)?

And even if John Kerry and John Edwards (who are both married to women) were either gay or bisexual, why should that bother me in the least?

UPDATE: (Tuesday, July 13, 2004) In a post last Friday titled "Matt Drudge is a Douchebag ," AngryFinger shows in a wonderfully parallel series of photos (mocking the Drudge post mentioned above) how "George Bush just can't keep his hands off every guy he sees!"


What comes around goes around. Fight fire with fire. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones...

Sunday, July 04, 2004

ID 2004

On this day in history (July 4, 1776), the founding fathers of the United States signed the Declaration of Independence, which states so eloquently:
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, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.


He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

[...] [Emphasis added]
That was King George they were talking about. Sounds a lot like our current self-proclaimed resident of the White House, doesn't it?

Here's Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore in the Roland Emmerich film Independence Day (ID4):
"We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!" We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
If you wish to regain a feeling of freedom and independence on this Fourth of July, go out and see Fahrenheit 9/11, help register some friends to vote, and encourage everyone you know to vote this November (verified by paper ballot, if at all possible) -- even if overseas.

AN ASIDE: The wake of Tropical Storm Mindulle (which has already killed at least 14 people in Taiwan) is still wreaking havoc here, despite already having been downgraded to a tropical depression and being located near South Korea. Within a 45-minute drive of where I live, there are floods, landslides, broken bridges, and trapped people. I can only hope that rescuers with the proper equipment (helicopters, boats, life vests, safety ropes, etc.) can help those in current danger.
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