07/29/06 12:00 - 79ºF - ID#24657
Watch Your Apartments
So I snuck up to the window (he couldn't see me through the fan) and shouted at loud and as startling as I could at him, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" He ran down the fire escape. I kind of wish that I would have waited to take the fan out of the window so I could have crushed his face.
I got out of bed, through on some quick clothes and took a little lap around the hood to look for the guy - nowhere to be found. However, the door to the carriage house is open and I'm afraid that someone's bike may have gotten stolen.
In any case, just a heads up for the locals. Keep your shit locked and watch out!
07/27/06 10:35 - 75ºF - ID#24656
... I got my first ever traffic violation. 10 FUCKING MILES from BWI airport! I was so close. 79 in a supposed 55 zone (no signage). The police officer was nice but he still handed me a $145 citation. Oh well... time to send in the money and forget it never happened. If I were in MD I'd defnitely contest it on several grounds but since I'll be home I am resigned to just spend the money and leave a note mentioning that there was NO signage at the point that I got gunned at... 15,000 feet away from the officer. Thanks officer for showing me the gun! I toasted to myself on the plane with a gentleman from California - scotch and soda, baby!
In general its not too much different than Georgia, except for the many hilly areas that you get to meander through as you wander up and down the highways. As always, the people in the south are extremely nice and are eager to make people comfortable. Today I told the people at the front desk of the hotel that if I ever get married it will be to a southern girl. Their response was, "You've got it - you'll never get any better lovin' or cookin' than from a girl from the south!" Not to toot their own horn, but they might be right so what is there to criticize? Ha.
07/26/06 11:50 - 78ºF - ID#24655
Uncensored "On The Road"
Here is a link to an article about it -
While working on an English minor I took a Beat Lit class - amazing. Except for Naked Lunch. Anyway, I'm thrilled about this... but I'm not sure if I can wait a year and a half for a copy of On The Road. Maybe I can find a used copy until then.
07/25/06 07:27 - 76ºF - ID#24654
Goings on, etc.
Ned Lamont, rich white guy, is running against Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary and is making hay over Senator Lieberman's staunch support of the Iraq war. This is primarily driven by national left wing activist organizations such as moveon.org, who are essentially hell bent on removing Lieberman from office and are willing to spend millions in donations and grass roots organizing in order to help achieve this. In essence, the national radicals on the left have hijacked the elections for the senate seat in Connecticut in order to attempt to prop up a guy more inclined to see things their way.
Where this gets intriguing is the polling numbers. My feelings on the accuracy of polling numbers is well known, but even these cannot be ignored. Polling suggests that Democrats are split directly down the middle betwen the candidates. However, since Senator Lieberman has said that he will run as an independant if he loses the Democratic primary, polling suggests that if Lamont wins the primary Lieberman will win the Senate seat by a 51% to 27%. Forget landslide - that is a bloodbath. Either way, Lieberman wins, which is truly a relief. How is this possible? If Lieberman runs as an Independant, CT state Republicans are going to bail on whatever New England RINO Republican is running and support Lieberman.
I applaud Bill Clinton for shunning the insanity that is marginalizing his party nationally and supporting one of the only politicians left in Washington that is honest and has integrity. The far left states that Lieberman "isn't really a Democrat" - that logic is hilarious to me and only proves that liberals' collective historical perspective starts at the day of their birth. Ever heard of JFK? There is no Demcrat left that is as close to JFK politically as Lieberman is... Lieberman is more of a Kennedy than Teddy ever was.
Another lefty, Al Gore, refuses to support Lieberman and also refused to support him during his bid for the presidency. The irony is that without Lieberman as his running mate in '00 he would have never garnered the moderate Democrat support that made it possible to be competitive against GWB at the time.
Cheers to the only sane politician in New England.
07/22/06 11:44 - 68ºF - ID#24653
Peace Movements And War
Read on - this article is absolutely brilliant.
July 21, 2006
Pacifists versus Peace
By Thomas Sowell
One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.
"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements -- that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war.
Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent.
Was World War II ended by cease-fires or by annihilating much of Germany and Japan? Make no mistake about it, innocent civilians died in the process. Indeed, American prisoners of war died when we bombed Germany.
There is a reason why General Sherman said "war is hell" more than a century ago. But he helped end the Civil War with his devastating march through Georgia -- not by cease fires or bowing to "world opinion" and there were no corrupt busybodies like the United Nations to demand replacing military force with diplomacy.
There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.
"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.
That has been a formula for never-ending attacks on Israel in the Middle East. The disastrous track record of that approach extends to other times and places -- but who looks at track records?
Remember the Falkland Islands war, when Argentina sent troops into the Falklands to capture this little British colony in the South Atlantic?
Argentina had been claiming to be the rightful owner of those islands for more than a century. Why didn't it attack these little islands before? At no time did the British have enough troops there to defend them.
Before there were "peace" movements and the U.N., sending troops into those islands could easily have meant finding British troops or bombs in Buenos Aires. Now "world opinion" condemned the British just for sending armed forces into the South Atlantic to take back their islands.
Shamefully, our own government was one of those that opposed the British use of force. But fortunately British prime minister Margaret Thatcher ignored "world opinion" and took back the Falklands.
The most catastrophic result of "peace" movements was World War II. While Hitler was arming Germany to the teeth, "peace" movements in Britain were advocating that their own country disarm "as an example to others."
British Labor Party Members of Parliament voted consistently against military spending and British college students publicly pledged never to fight for their country. If "peace" movements brought peace, there would never have been World War II.
Not only did that war lead to tens of millions of deaths, it came dangerously close to a crushing victory for the Nazis in Europe and the Japanese empire in Asia. And we now know that the United States was on Hitler's timetable after that.
For the first two years of that war, the Western democracies lost virtually every battle, all over the world, because pre-war "peace" movements had left them with inadequate military equipment and much of it obsolete. The Nazis and the Japanese knew that. That is why they launched the war.
"Peace" movements don't bring peace but war.
07/19/06 11:04 - 78ºF - ID#24652
Billy Bob and Earl in NYC
First of all, I heard a vicious rumor that a certain Manhattan resident by day/NJ resident by night is shooting me those evil chick eyes (you know what I mean!) because I have visited NYC and haven't been in contact. Allow me to assure you, mystery person, that when I get the chance I will redeem myself.
On that note, I did stay in the NJ side of metro NYC the past two days, but when I wasn't at work I was in the hotel room sleeping. Our travel rules have been becoming more demanding and more draconian so as a result I usually begin my work week extremely sleep deprived. I didn't get out AT ALL. We even ordered food in. On the bright side, I found a $120 per night hotel in Jersey that was across the street from a 20 min. bus ride to Times Square. The only thing that would have been better is a $120 per night hotel near a PATH train. Considering that I've paid more for shittier hotels in NYC, I think its a fair tradeoff.
I picked up our car at LaGuardia (pre-blackout) and the notorious traffic kept me waiting nearly an hour to cross the Whitestone Bridge. On the way bacy through I waited nearly an hour to cross the GW bridge... at 2 o' fucking clock. My friend that lives in Long Island City commutes to CT every day - after this week I don't know how he does it without sucking on an exhaust pipe. No, actually I do - its the FAT paycheck!
Ok - fast forward. I'm through with NJ and eventually drove to BWI to catch a flight. Flying out of BWI instead of Newark might seem extreme, but consider this - the flights were twice as expensive, Newark is a shithole airport, and my work day was 3 hours long. Taking a 3 hour afternoon drive on a sunny day to catch a cheaper flight out of an airport I like? Hello, do you hear that? Thats the sound of people stuck in office hell not feeling terribly sorry for me.
Have you ever heard of Yaffa Blocks... the stackable storage bins? Today I met Yaffa - she is a sweet lady and is a genius, but MY GOD was she neurotic. Goooooo Yaffa! This was the first time that I have visited a manufacturer whose product I remembered from old MTV commercials. Yaffa told me that it was cheaper to advertise on MTV than it was to advertise on "regular" channels. Anyway, her products were fairly cool and I definitely want some - if I had the storage space I would have bought some today. I also learned that Wal-Mart sells her products at more than double the manufacturing cost. I'm definitely paying retail to Aunt Yaffa - fuck Uncle Wally.
Tonight we are in Louisville, KY. Despite the lack of major pro sports, this is a very pretty city with a lot of economic prosperity. The state of Kentucky is simply gorgeous - at this point I've travelled to 35 states of the 48 continental and Kentucky, from a purely aesthetic perspective, is only behind California, Washington and Texas. We ate dinner at a Texas Roadhouse, and I saw a group of 9 (two tables, one for adults and one for kids) leave a TWO DOLLAR tip on an $81 check. What the fuck is that crap? General ignorance about courtesy and life is to blame. Lord knows that they have money left for cigarettes and beer! One of them looked like he'd been neck deep in liquor - I wanted to headbutt him Zidane style, except with a spiked helmet.
You deserve a final goodnight kiss so I will leave you with an anecdote about the most wicked redneck siting in history. It wasn't an orange charger with the "stars and bars" on it, but it was damn close. Think of an original 60's era red Mustang - absolutely beautiful. Then throw in a 120 pound white guy with a handlebar moustache and plenty of mulletude flapping as the 80 MPH wind whips through the hair. I was awestruck, like I was staring at a celebrity. The car at this point was like the bow, and the guy with the mullet was like the violin. One without the other and you cannot create beautiful music. It was magic. A guy like that must be pretty fucking cool, although he probably has shitty weed. Whatever - shitty weed is better than no weed!
07/06/06 03:37 - 72ºF - ID#24651
Or alternately, does anybody know where the best selection of used books are around here?
07/05/06 11:27 - 67ºF - ID#24650
Larson Vs. Larson
We have mentioned this in the past, but we are going to begin (slowly) some work on an internet radio show of some kind, and perhaps periodic short videos where we will do short skits, interviews on Elmwood and different cuts where we'll have dialogues with people about political and social issues.
The radio show will be called Larson Vs. Larson, and initially we plan on doing a (very) periodic offering involving interviews with people who we disagree on issues with, arguments/discussions between (e:jason) and I, as well as intermittant homemade "commercials." You are going to love the commercials. In fact, some of you just might be recruited for voices here and there!
The purpose behind this is simple - apathy is a major problem in our society these days, especially amongst my (our) generation. While things are definitely getting better, we have no better example than Buffalo to prove what apathy can mean to an area. Our generation is going to be running shit in 25 years and for people that are largely apathetic that is a scary thought. In some ways have we become so accustomed to our lifestyles that we're just too comfortable or distracted from the important things going on around us? Why is it okay and socially acceptable to simply not care?
This isn't going to be for the faint of heart - the disccusions are going to be deep, intense and involved. The forum is going to be completely open - left, right, center - we don't care. We want to illustrate and promote examples of Generation X on all sides who are NOT apathetic in the hopes that more people will engage in social and political issues. You will hear things that you agree with and you are going to hear things that will bring you to the boiling point. The goal is to allow listeners to be exposed to a variety of opinions because mainstream media has largely abandoned the full range. Pick any media outlet of your choice - you are not being given options, you are being preached to. Its time for this to end.
Will we abandon our own political beliefs in the interest of singing around a campfire and feeling good? Absolutely not. I fully intend on challenging people if what they say is conspiratorial non-sense. There will be parts of the show that feature Jason and I discussing a topic; what you will find is that we have a broad range of beliefs. The hounds will be released as needed on the people who articulate an opinion but cannot explain why they believe it - we don't care how you feel, we care about what you think. Otherwise what we want is for contributors to lay out what they think, how they think and why. "Bush is dumb" and "liberals suck" will never fly - people that don't bring everything to the table will be scrutinized, but rarely in a manner where anybody is hostile to one another.
The video idea is something that I thought about and would be somewhat of an extension of the radio show. We will hit the street with a camera and a mic and ask people about what they think about the issues of the day. Lets find out who cares, who doesn't and why. Lets compare strong opinions with depth of understanding. Lets go ask the lady at the deli if she thinks the minimum wage is too low. Lets go ask some people at Spot if they think about a nuclear North Korea. Lets go ask people who the Secretary of War is - yes, trick questions are allowed. Lets also dress in an Uncle Sam suit and ask people what the suit represents to them (no, I'm not kidding). Lets have some fun too, and create some short skits in between the more serious things to put a spotlight on the fact that it is indeed okay to laugh about how ridiculous some things and some people can be. Lets get ALL of this on camera and use it as a tool to illustrate who cares, who doesn't and why... and in the meanwhile we'll shake it up by throwing in some dark humor.
We're in the preliminary stages of constructing the first radio episode - likely we will be finishing the commercials first. (e:jason) has an idea for something he calls "the chop shop" - don't even ask. I have a chewing gum idea that makes people babble like Ted Kennedy when they chew it. We'll mock religious zealots and intolerance perpetrated by people who fear others race and sexuality. You know full fucking well that I'm going to mock Cindy Sheehan.
You'll be surprised. You are going to agree with us on occasion. You are going to be hissing at me when I go get coffee once in a while. In any case, we'll be getting your attention one way or another, even if we have to coax, embarrass or ooze it out of you. You will hopefully learn a little bit more about what you believe if you aren't sure about some topics. You're resolve will strengthen as well. We want you to be engaged. We want you to vote. We want you to care about your community and be willing to engage all sides of an issue. We want people to learn to respect each other and quit with the shouting matches.
We'll be testing the early stuff on close and trusted friends, then we'll see where we go.
07/03/06 06:16 - 78ºF - ID#24649
Illustrations of Absurdity
I said earlier that I wasn't going to make many, if any, political posts during the summer. After all, the good stuff won't start kicking up until late August/early September. However, the latest news cycle has forced me to address once again the gifts that keep on giving; the NYT and the Huffington Post. I'm going to illustrate why in the United States of America freedom of speech is NOT an absolute, nor should it be, in the context of the media.
Before I get into that however, I wanted to talk briefly about the emotional state of the American voter. I've had a theory that in general Americans are sick and tired of the animosity, the severe partisanship and the nastiness that has enveloped our politics since GWB got elected. At the 3's Company party I was talking with people about this and in general they agreed. After '04 I think we crossed a threshhold that many Americans find to be unacceptable.
What happened to the state of our discourse? 40 years ago William F. Buckley, one of the most brilliant and articulate political minds America has ever produced and the father of the Conservative movement, began a show called Firing Line on PBS. To this day I believe that it is the best politically oriented talk show that American television has ever produced. Why? Because Mr. Buckley constantly invited people he vehemently disagreed with politically, and *GASP* some incredible debates were produced as a result. No animosity - just people discussing their views, being challenged and arguing their points in a civilized manner. Our society over the past 30 years has become more and more willing to be hostile to one another over things we disagree on. Politics is emotional at times and people are going to have their disagreements, but what made it okay and socially acceptable to act like wild animals to each other? We shout at each other, we make things personal, we insult vast sections of American society. Its unexcusable. You can take this one to the bank - America is sick of it and in November the party that runs the most negative campaign will be severely punished by the voters. As a result, this is why I believe that the coming election will be more interesting than the last.
Ok - about freedom of speech and why it is not an absolute. Despite the media's constant whining about privacy and freedom of the press, the media consistently violates the privacy of others. Recently, NYT published a story with a picture of Don Rumsfeld's driveway and front door, and in addtion pointed out where the security camera is. The Huffington Post published the private information of several Swft Boat Vets, and eventually after pressure on the editor of the site the information was removed. Several moonbat fringe kooks actually called these guys and threatened their lives over "ruining the country" because John Fucking Kerry didn't get elected. One guy had to police his phone because he didn't want his grandkids to inadvertantly pick up the phone and hear that crap. The left's favorite bullseye, Rush Limbaugh, once again violated his privacy and attempted to damage him by publishing a story about him coming back from the Dominican Republic with a bottle of Viagra in his bag. I won't even bother with NYT's serial necessity to reveal classified information on the basis that something *might* be illegal - information and stories aren't vetted anymore precisely because the truth is less important than having the ends justify the means. Anybody with a brain understands that NYT and many other publications like it have attempted to undermine the current administration and even influence elections. I REALLY won't even bother about Rathergate - that pinata has been beat, broken and busted up.
So let me get this straight. Its okay to tell the world where Rumsfeld and Cheney live (Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink coming to a $1.5m home in Maryland soon), its okay to tell the world how we are fighting the war on terror and revealing classified information simply because of political objections of a few editors, its okay to knowingly publish false information, its okay to violate the privacy of private citizens. However, its definitely NOT okay to know who the sources of the false stories are and what goes on in the editorial room. The privacy of the NYT is untouchable and sacred. I'm still waiting for extensive photographs of Billary's property in Chappequa.
I've heard all the arguments that people who support NYT say in response. "If its illegal (big IF since all of the NYT's efforts have unmercilessly flopped), then the Times should expose it anyway," The recent disclosure of our government using financial databases to track and freeze assets of would-be terrorists? "Well, the terrorists already know that their money is tracked so this isn't big news." Oh really? Rathergate - "Well, the documents were false but the story is true." Freedom of speech - "the first thing that fascists do is try to control the media." This is why I love the platitudes that the media use to try to justify their immoral and techincally illegal behavior. In the end it doesn't change anything and exposes the fraudulent behavior that these people purport to be the behavior of legitimate journalists.
The plain truth of this sad story is that more journalists and politically involved individuals are going to be going to jail soon. The reason why freedom of speech is not absolute with respect to the media is because the media have abandoned journalistic integrity, as a result papers like the Times are knowingly committing felonies and in the end when you do commit felonies your ass is going to end up in prison like Judith Miller. People like Bill Keller believe that they are not subject to the law because, in their view, the media is the last check on government activities. Who is checking the journalists when its clear that they haven't been checking themselves? This is precisely why the freedom of speech argument will never hold up in a court if the Justice Department decides to prosecute. Nobody is above the law - ask Nixon.
If the government begins issuing subpoenas to members of the media, do not cry to me about how the media is being punished for conflicting political views - its absolutely farcical. Suggesting something so patently absurd only bolsters the arguments of those who say that the media are abandoning responsible journalism and shunning all responsibility for themselves. Crying about supposedly being punished rings hollow when you've commited a felony. If this happened during FDR's time, whatever you believe BushCo has in store for the liberal media would pale in comparison to what FDR was willing to do to people who knowingly acted against the government during a time of troop deployment.
Interestingly (and counterintuitively) members of the media in Europe are eating their own over the fictionalization of news stories - I never thought that Europe's media would be scrutinized before we began scrutinizing our own media. You all know how I am - I hate the word "progressive." However I'm compelled to note that it seems that Europe are in fact more progressive about keeping their own media in check. Print media is now vetted not by itself, like responsible journalists used to do. Print media is now vetted by online media, which of course is why the print media is constantly vilifying and questioning the journalistic integrity of online media. The irony is delicious.
07/02/06 05:33 - 77ºF - ID#24648
I had a good time at the party - it was good to see everybody and see how things are going along. (e:decoyisryan), (e:ladycroft) and (e:nejifer) were gracious hosts to the end, despite the fatigue. That house has got to be a mess. You three are sexy bitches!
Anyway - see you all again at the next party. Until then you may catch the occasional Larson siting at Spot, Globe or the Co-Op, or perhaps the porch on the 4th.
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