Drink Tank

Extra Aqua Vitae Nulla Salus


Lux :: Internet Record Book and Leader Board

Speaking of the election being a referendum on world domination...

So I actually bought Lux recently. It's fun, and you all should buy it to play against me. Take a look at #36 at the link above (at the time of writing).

An Un-Preasant Erection

We know the candidates. Some here at Drink Tank have made their endorsements (right Ivan and Miguel?). Recuperating from my reprised and all-too-realistic "Drunken Zombie Pirate" roll, I offer some prognostication for the final cataclysmic duel between Skull&Bones brothers.

I.) There are several reasons why voter turnout will be very high this year, higher than many recent presidential elections:
i.) Unprecedented moneys spent.

ii.) Unprecedented voter-registration movements.

iii.) Early voting is at an historic high, and the number of states where such early voting is possible has grown from 13 in 2000 to 23 today. If you count the states that allow for early submission of absentee ballots, that number balloons to 31 states. I think this early voting is an asset to more effective democracy since irrelevant last-minute candidate gaffes are somewhat damped. On the other hand, campaign organizers have cleverly ended recent rallies by herding their constituents into buses to ship them to early voting centers, where the mob, still foaming at the mouth and bleating mono-syllabic slogans, casts a less-enlightened vote.

iv.) Hammering the bases: Afro-Americans, union members, old Floridian Jews, suburbanites. Don't forget Karl Rove's magic number, juggled in his head for the last four years: Four Million---the number of registered evangelical Christians that didn't bother turning out for Bush in 2000. They will this time.

v.) Election 2000 voters had to grapple with the tough issues of drunken driving, what to do with the big surplus, and (even to a greater extent than now) on personality irrelevancies of the candidates almost everyone agreed were nearly indistinguishable. Fewer believe so now (I still do, for most part). Today the issues seem more pressing (terrorism, Iraq war, the place and future for American superpowerhood in the world), the electorate more impassioned and polarized.

vi.) The unusually long campaign (due to the atypically early effective nomination of Kerry on the Democratic ticket) has helped galvanize even the most commitedly apathetic among us, bombarded as we are by the daily political chit-chat in every corner of our casual lives. From my personal empirical experience, this campaign has infiltrated the hitherto apolitical recesses of the university lunchroom, restroom, and lines for the burrito-lady truck outside the David Rittenhouse Laboratory.
II.) Expect intimidation and some violence at the polls on Tuesday. With armies of lawyers and interest groups digging deep trenches around voting centers, expect the ultimate battle to shift to the courts again.
i.) Kerry's not making Gore's mistakes: he's got his lawyers ready, has made some preliminary cabinet choices already (Bush's early cabinet choices four Novembers ago--before the Supreme Court's ruling--gave an air of inevitability to his election), will not make any concession calls until the deal is done and set in cement.

ii.) Keep your eye on the legal battlegrounds: the Colorado referendum on proportional splitting of electors, some Florida counties still radioactive from '00, Ohio, etc.

iii.) Someone will win a drawn out battle in the courts, and faster than last time. America will again be ridiculed for its imperfect democratic institutions, its people will grow more obese and cynical. Still, no momentum will build to reform the electoral system on the national level, but some states will take matters into their own hands.
III.) A variation of the predicted UBL October Surprise: a talking head instead of a head on a spike. It was basically a clever PR message to the Arab Street, recruiting the disenfranchised young with the tried-and-true call-to-arms against the Israel-America Octopus (IAO). But read the transcript; it's as reasonable as you'll ever hear him.

What does it remind American voters? Bush supporters: "Holy shit, he's still alive, we gotta get that sucker and Bush is the man to do it!" Kerry supporters: "Holy shit, he's still alive because Bush 'outsourced' hunting him down to the raghead Northern Alliance! We gotta get that sucker and Kerry is the man to do it! Send Him!" There will be no net effect on the election. It's far too late for that.

What does it remind me? The aggression on American soil was perpetrated not by "haters of freedom" (abstract and meaningless rhetoric) but "haters of Israel." The US is scapegoated by the Arab world because of its biased and unenlightened Israel policy over the decades, and to a lesser extent, its short-sighted support of ME despots and ill-positioned military bases. Unfortunately, neither candidate will stop licking the Israeli boot, as you can see here, so the IAO lives on. The real solution to our policy problems is here. But even an enlightened ME policy won't halt the anyone's-fault-but-our-own mentality of a decaying culture of 400M people.

IV.) So, who will win? You want a crystal ball? Look here, here, here, here, here, and maybe even here. We can read poll numbers (slight Bush advantage), the IEM (Bush advantage), or the electoral maps (Kerry advantage). What will really spell the outcome of this race is the extent and content of the TURNOUT, which is so laced with uncertainty that I won't bother to predict it. At the moment, my stomach says Kerry.

Whatever, I'm gonna go watch Dawn of the Dead and drink beer.

Voices of Iraq

Watch the trailer of this awesome project.
150 DV cameras distributed across Iraq for the Iraqi people to show the world who they are and what Iraq will be.
I think Variety says it well:
"In a season of political documentaries that take one side or the other on the war in Iraq, a film has emerged whose purpose is not to address American politics but the Iraqi people"


I'm not exactly an instapundit completist but I know that he likes to gloat about correct predictions that he's made and it also looks like he's not interested in predicting a victory for the incumbent. What he is doing is making a whole lot of predictions about what will happen "if" Kerry wins. I predict that he'll have plenty of oppurtunity to link back to them, and he knows it.

The fall of communism

I've watched this video so much the announcer was like MaxHeadroom, "face plan-face planted-face-face-face-planted into the ground". You should watch the video to understand.

Anyone know how to make a video a screensaver?

Will yah

The link above it to a George Will piece about why he is voting for Bush. Anyone still undecided? I will be sending Josko a monster email later today :)

BUT, I am really posting because I'm curious about our readers. If you are reading this, please comment on who you are, and whether or not you know us. You can remain anonymous if you want, and still be categorized...


I Am [October] Suprised By You

O American people, I am speaking to tell you about the ideal way to avoid another Manhattan, about war and its causes and results.

Security is an important foundation of human life, and free people do not squander their security, contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom. Let him tell us why we did not attack Sweden, for example.

It is known that those who hate freedom do not possess proud souls like those of the 19, may God rest their souls. We fight you because we are free and because we want freedom for our nation. When you squander our security, we squander yours.

I am surprised by you. Despite entering the fourth year after September 11, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you, and therefore the reasons are still there for a repeat of what happened.

God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers. But after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed -- when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. 6th Fleet.

In those difficult moments, many emotions came over me that are hard to describe, but that produced an overwhelming feeling to reject injustice and a strong determination to punish the unjust.

As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way [and] to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and stop killing our children and women.

We had no difficulty in dealing with Bush and his administration because they resemble the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half by the sons of kings. . . . They have a lot of pride, arrogance, greed and thievery.

He [Bush] adopted despotism and the crushing of freedoms from Arab rulers and called it the Patriot Act under the guise of combating terrorism. . . .

We had agreed with the [the Sept. 11] overall commander Mohamed Atta, may God rest his soul, to carry out all operations in 20 minutes -- before Bush and his administration could take notice.

It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the American forces would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone at a time when they most needed him because he thought listening to a child discussing her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. This gave us three times the time needed to carry out the operations, thanks be to God. . . .

Your security is not in the hands of [Democratic presidential candidate John F.] Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands, and each state that does not harm our security will remain safe.

Love, UBL


Electoral Vote Predictor Jump

There is no lack of mixed messages.

The Electoral-vote.com prediction went from 254-250 Kerry-bush, to 236-281 Kerry-Bush in one day. But, the IEM shows a Kerry bump, as many people are selling "Bush_By_>52%", BUT the polls show a consistent Bush lead by 2-3% on average.

I can't wait to vote.

More on the EC -
A friend of mine is voting in his home state of Michigan instead of PA. This is dumb from a swing-state perspective, because PA has gotten closer recently. But, WI & OH will determine the election, as Bush wins Florida, but Kerry wins PA & MN.

I can't believe I can be so bold in making a prediction in such a volatile and close race.

If you're not sick of polls yet...

Here . . .
is a meta-analysis directed at the question of who would win the Electoral College if the election were held today. Meta-analysis provides more objectivity and precision than looking at one or a few polls, and in the case of election prediction gives a more accurate current snapshot.
Further evidence that poll analysis takes up way too much time?

Japan's Fast-Growing Armies of the SS (super-seniors)

Before a hearty breakfast of seaweed and eggs, Miura races through his indoor exercises, wincing as his neck -- still tender from a collarbone injury -- momentarily reminds him that he was born in 1904. The man who has become a role model in graying Japan sucks it up, shaking off the pain the way he did last year when he skied down Europe's Mont Blanc at age 99. In a Tokyo minute, he is out the front door for his daily two-mile power walk.

"I still feel good," said Miura, who in 1981 became the oldest man to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, and is training for an expedition to the Italian Alps next year. "There's really nothing so amazing about me . . . but my son, now he is amazing."

That would be Yuichiro Miura, 72, who in May 2003 became the oldest man to reach the summit of Mount Everest after a two-month assault on the world's highest peak.


A Zeitgeist Decays to Sauerkraut

"We had a political movement, but it disappeared," said Miller's girlfriend, Susanne Nachtsheim, shaking her head as Miller unfurled sod near a scarecrow made of rusted steel and animal bones. "I don't know what happened to the younger generation. People aren't aware anymore. There aren't even that many fascists around to protest against. People used to be more angry and intellectual. Now, it's all just fashion."
What happens when a Berliner's hair turns pink to grey?
read on...


Libertarians should vote Bush

Fairly balanced look on an issue-by-issue basis.

Most Entertaining News in WEEKS

Munchin elephants, little people, giant dragons, 'rodents of unusual size.' Too Short would be their Messiah. ...and they were all wiped out Krakatoa style. Amazing.


All Hallow's Eve

I will, for the second year in a row, be a Zomby Pirate, thereby breaking my vow from last year to be a Robot Butler. Zomby, cos they're scary; Pirate, well, for many obvious reasons. Trevor had some great ideas, like getting a friend and being Bill&Ted, or better yet, getting a bunch of friends and being Bill&Ted, Socrates, Billy the Kid, Abraham Lincoln, ... and Khaaan.

Possible contenders for next year include: Monkey Pirate, Robot Monkey, Monkey Butler, and--you've guessed it, Robot Pirate. Only an ironic person, however, would be a Pirate Butler, for such a costume is a contradiction in terms.

Insert permutations of "Ninja," "Drunken," or "Albino" for more fun.

What will you be?

Marginal voters

On September 15 I sent this to the Drink Tank contributors:
Here's my take on the strategies: both campaigns, planning on winning in case of a close race, have a logistical challenge to turn out demographics with strong feelings but who are generally incapable of the logistics of voting. Bush's key nonvoters are highly religious and opposed to taxes (but not government programs). Kerry's are Williamsburg types -- don't like Bush because he's obviously associated with the wealthy and completely alien culturally, but not with it enough to register. Neither group are very attractive -- they both alienate swing voters -- so the big logistical task of getting them registered and transported to the appropriate poll is pretty much underground.

Since then, one of by best friends got a job in the Minnesota office and I thought it would be fun, interesting, and good for the country to do some work here, so I've ended up by chance doing a little data management for the Democratic side of that statement, and have been meaning to post how much this task in the election has strengthened my preference for Kerry. His marginal voters are really my type and Bush's marginal voters are, in my opinion, largely the dreggs of American society (remember Karl Rove says he thinks evangelicals chose not to vote in 2000 because the Republican candidate had a DUI -- I think we at Drink Tank are more forgiving than these so-called Christians).

This is all really just a way of setting up this cheap shot at our Bush-supporting readers and contributors: with everyone decided and the election come down to turnout, have fun hoping the creationists show up at the polls in large numbers :)

Too lazy, dude

Hey, Eminem -- you should release your violently anti-Bush anthem (.torrent file) before you vote for the first time in your life, not on November 16 or whatever.

UPDATED AND BROUGHT TO THE FRONT: The video is online now... thanks to Submunition for the heads up.

Need a desktop theme?

Mushroom Cloud Picture Gallery.

I was tired of seeing North Korea blackened here, but Orisinal is still good.



I was gonna draw a graph of my intrest in politics as a function of time over the last week, when I was dissmissed from my job. Then I thought about how much of my own time it would take to create such a graph and I thought better of it. Executive Summary: I dont care any more.

Economist on Old Stories

Clinton told a bold-faced lie about sex. Bush was told wrongly, at best, about Iraqi WMD stockpiles, and willfully misled in not trusting Saddam.

It's interested to go back to 1998 to a simpler time of looming terror threats and ridiculous PTE ratios for tech stocks. If you can't dream your way back, or get hit with a rock to bring you back, just read the link above.


More ol' Qaqaa

This should be a sign of the times, when interested parties spin by default to get their desired outcome in the election.

The story about the missing weapons might prove to be very old, re-reported to be sensational during the last week of the election.

I guess in the same way some folks want to punish Bush for things they think could have gone better, I would like to reward Bush in part because of all those that are desperately trying to control the system to get him out.

I was all the millions pumped into this election by Soros and the Times and ANSWER to be for not. When there is such a blatant attempt to put a surprise spin on an old story in the hard news section to tilt the election for the candidate you endorse on the editorial page, there should be a blunt backlash if only to see the look on their faces when it all doesn't work.

If it does work, everyone reading this should turn off the TV, recycle their papers, and get their 'news' from primary sources, including themselves.

News on our possibly one-legged adversary

Was gonna transcribe this today from the WSJ but I was busy and someone else did it anyway.

Dressed as? Were!

The early reports I read about what they're calling the biggest massacre yet in the Free Republic of Iraq say this: 50 or so soldiers, unarmed because they just finished training that day, were tricked by enemy forces who dressed up like police and then executed the trainees en masse. I seem to recall that Iraqi men almost all have guns, so I find it strange, to say the least, that known targets (security forces working for the occupation army) were travelling around the country unarmed.

I think the likeliest explanation is not Halowe'en costumes, but rather that the attackers were other security forces. That is, that they probably enjoyed some military training from the greatest military the world has ever known, and then killed our friends and took our transport vehicles.

Fiscal Sanity

Gridlock will do little. I agree with this:
IS GRIDLOCK THE ANSWER TO REDUCING DOMESTIC SPENDING? There are a fairish number of people who are steeling themselves to vote for Kerry in the hope that gridlock will hold down government spending. I've investigated this myself, as I mulled my vote, and found that, just as conservatives have been claiming, the spending slowdown of the Clinton years seems to have been less a product of gridlock (or Clinton's much-overhyped committment to deficit reduction) than of Newt Gingrich and the post-Cold-war peace dividend. After the Republicans got their hats handed to them in the '98 midterms, everyone seems to have decided that the secret to popularity was to spend! spend! spend! -- by Clinton's last budget, domestic discretionary spending (which, other than defense spending, is the only thing the president or the congress has much control over year to year) was growing at 5% per-annum. So I was very sceptical that a Kerry presidency would mean, as some of my friends and correspondants have tried to convince me, a return to fiscal rectitude.
Some disagree.

Wrong Economic Policy at the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Three weeks ago, the Commerce Minister of Pakistan came to Washington to meet with his American counterparts. His request was familiar: that the Bush administration lower the odious duties on underwear and shirts from Pakistan, and consider a free-trade pact with the predominantly Muslim country. The response was also familiar: no.

In the din of campaign screeds about national security, the exchange did not draw a mention from either candidate. But it highlights a fundamental flaw in America's economic relationship with querulous allies in the so-called war on terrorism. If President Bush wants to reach out to the Muslim world, there are few better things he can do than allow greater access to the American market. Exporting textiles is a critical step for poorer nations to becoming full participants in the world economy...

read on...



Folks ought to vote for John Kerry for President this election. That both candidates are bluebloods in the same Yale secret society makes a mockery of our democracy, but George W Bush's term as Prez has made a mockery of George W Bush. Another four years would be a whole lot worse for the country. The endorsements I've heard for Bush so far have been OK, I guess (Ivan, below, and my aunt last night "because he's pro-life"), but they ignore the fact that the President is incompetent, which is clear when looking at the decisions he's made and also when looking at the comparative state of the economy and the US's geopolitical position. (Bush may think the EU is bogus, but he has presided over a spectacular weakening of the dollar compared to Euro or almost any other currency in the world.)

I put a few points about that in the comments to Josko's comprehensive post about the issues, and I'll also publish here the email I sent Ivan when he asked who I voted for, of Kerry, Cobb, and Badnarik.

Here it is:

I voted for Kerry/Edwards. In New York, multiple parties can field the same candidate (IE right-to-life party may have Bush/Cheney, as well as Republican Party). So I voted for the Working Families Kerry/Edwards ticket, on the grounds that I'm more "leftist" on Iraq and criminal justice than he is, and that Working Families reflects that. (On economic issues I'm fairly conservative but don't see that as a Red/Blue issue -- I don't much like new plans or inefficient spending, which means I'm usually split between conservative leave-it-alone-ism and conservative what-we're-doing-now-is-making-things-worse-ism. I don't think Working Families reflects that, but I also don't think the candidates care or differ about economic issues very much.) It's not instant runoff, but it adds a little extra information to the vote.

Reasons for voting Kerry:

Most Presidential of all candidates;

Bush is taking conservatism in a bad direction and should be fired so better republicans can take over the party -- specifically there is no party of small government, only choices of which cultural class is favored by government;

Bush has made inexcusable geopolitical blunders which any President ought to be fired for -- particularly but not exclusively in strengthening Iran's position in the Middle East. Voting Kerry is best way to remove Bush, who it's fair to presume will expand the violence between the West and Islam, spend more on pork, and have little accountability for mistakes in his second term -- exactly as he has in his first.

As a constituent, my criticism of Kerry's policies (and there will be plenty) is more important to him (In fact I'm working on his campaign in Minneapolis right now in part for this reason);

And, lastly, since I voted early there's some chance of my vote being tabulated or me being surveyed in time to have an effect the outcome -- stronger Kerry numbers may "energize" his other voters. (This effect is immeasurably small, but possibly less small than the average vote) If I had waited 'till polls were closing and drudge had the results, I would probably want to throw a bone in the direction of the Green or Libertarian party (probably Badnarik, but I haven't looked that closely, I just like their positions on the War on &cs and the fact that they got arrested together at the debate).

UPDATE: Ivan agrees that milquetoast pansies shouldn't be president in comments, but weirdly seems to think Bush doesn't fit into that category. He fails to show an instance of the President choosing bravery over cowardice.

The Jews Set Us Up the Bomb

Fritz, Kraut, Charlie, Towlie, ...Jew?:
I was speaking the other day with Scott Pelley of CBS News's "60 Minutes" about the mood in Iraq. He had just returned from filming a piece there and he told me something disturbing. Scott had gone around and asked Iraqis on the streets what they called American troops - wondering if they had nicknames for us in the way we used to call the Nazis "Krauts" or the Vietcong "Charlie." And what did he find? "Many Iraqis have so much distrust for U.S. forces we found they've come up with a nickname for our troops," Scott said. "They call American soldiers 'The Jews,' as in, 'Don't go down that street, the Jews set up a roadblock.' "
...read on.


The Blogging Presidency

Recent events in the Drink Tank community have got me thinking that while statistics like access to health care and employment, or numbers of massacres on American soil may not look so hot for Bush the Younger, the activity of blogging has really exploded and grown in ways no one could predict since January of 2001.

So this is a thread for slogans like "Four More Years of Advances in Trivial and Unproductive Endeavors," except make them actually funny if possible. Also, I'd like a better tagline for the blog; submit suggestions for that in comments, too.


Mongolians are undergoing a fun transition from identifying themselves by only a first name to two names. Surnames may've actually been invented here back in the day, but the Commies lobbed them off in the '20's to erase knowledge of aristocratic families with roots back to The Khan.

Today, administrative complication of a one-name system has the government asking folks to add a last name, but there've been some unforseen complexities. Most people want to name themselves Borjigin after the infamous Khan Clan, and government encouragement for folks to look through old records for their original surnames leaves something to be desired:

"My research suggests most original Mongolian surnames were bestowed by neighbors in the village," said Serjee, a linguist and director of the State Central Library of Mongolia. "These include 'Thief' and 'Family of Seven Drunks.' "
read on...

I don't blame folks for wanting a KHAAAN!! agnomen. I mean, he is arguably history's greatest warrior and lover, as has been mentioned in gmail...


The Turd Debate

Triumph of the will

Presidential Breakdown

So, here's a li'l break-down of where I stand on this election. At this point my vote will be cast to a candidate out of sympathy and symbolism (i.e., third party), but I am in a swing-state, so I suppose I could be bribed to support your associated candidate.


-marriage amendment is ludicrous
-heavy-handed policies of PATRIOT/Ashcroft/G-Bay take away rights with little known positive effect (i.e., no prosecutions for terrorism)
-damaging bottle-necks of immigration inflow, visa renewal
-a few free-trade lapses in steel, shrimp tariffs
-awful speaker, arrogant, possibly stupid
-weird religiosity, values of which i don't share (i.e., vis-a-vis gay marriage, creationism, etc)
-the segway fall
-pampered blue-blood background
-ill-timed tax cuts?---->ridiculously large deficit
-ports not secure
-dropped his dog
-mono-syllabic world-view fits on a gum-wrapper
-weird intra-administrative strife b/n hawks and doves as North Korea and Iran arm themselves with atoms
-did a shitty job selling a war with iRaq
-skull+bones, frat boy
-strategic, if necessary, support of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other autocracies
-Abu Gravy
-broke immigration-policy promises to Mexico
-the pretzel incident
-iRaq looting
-hated by the world
-administration too secretive, too reluctant to admit errors
-a fuck-up at Yale and early businesses, substance addict
-anti-terror $ distributed in unenlightened way (e.g. not enough to NYC)


-overall strong free-trade supporter
-understands the positives of outsourcing, of a flexible worker's market
-for school vouchers
-some progressive immigration policy ideas (i.e. Mexico)
-$ to fight the AIDS (Africa)
-for revamping SS in a direction away from dead-end statism
-positive vision for 'spread of liberty' in autocratic world, opposed to tyrannous status quo
-for Yucca Mnt. 'nucular' waste storage
-we goin' ta Mars!
-Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powel, Rice smart and delightfully entertaining
-good work in Afghanistan
-iRaq: well, the Kurds are doin' great!
-'multilateral' talks with 'crazy-man' Kim
-daughters more sanguine, cuter


-seems smart
-would probably have Robert Rubin in his cabinet, sorta a Friedman-ite trade-wise
-'spicy' wife
-his victory could mean a good job for dad with the DOE
-pro science (whatever that means--probably more NSF funding, more money for alternative fuel sources, believes in evolution, etc.)
-vows not to raise my taxes (he looked me in the eye!)
-more for gay rights (but not enough)
-can probably do a good robot dance
-liked more by the world (even though it's cos he's 'Notbush'), thus, could get a systematic across-the-Earth boost of support for America's international agendas
-plays cool sports
-speaks French, is 'worldly'


-pampered blue-blood background
-against Yucca Mnt. 'nuclear' waste storage
-BS fear of outsourcing
-BS promoter of 'fair trade,' a euphemism for unenlightened government controls
-naivete wrt SS
-Herman Munster
-weird statist medical care ideas
-abysmal senate record
-skull+bones, BMOC
-hogged the puck playing hockey as a young man
-doesn't seem to 'get it' wrt terrorism. doesn't seem to have a saliently alternative plan to bush wrt iRaq, al Qaeda, etc.
-spews populist tripe like a sprinkler hooked to a septic tank
-'flipflopper': on iRaq war, in his campaign (i.e. John Lennon when against Dean, Rambo II at DNC: "Send ME!")
-his party is doin' the nasty to democracy by sidelining Nader
-annoyingly milked his 'Nam-heroism
-somewhat dubious 'Nam-heroism record
-annoyingly avoided selling his anti-'Nam-war activism
-anti-war activism of youth for early political ambition?
-non-policy on North Korea, Iran
-annoying Mary-Cheney kneeing below the belt
-annoyingly milking death of Christopher Reeve
-running mate is an even bigger douche

NON ISSUES for me:

-flu vaccines
-stem cells
-judicial nominies, abortion rights (RvR will never be overturned)


-will invasion of iRaq be a good thing overall?
-does NCLB work?


-lawyer invasion in the battlegrounds, no matter who wins
-America being hated more if Bush wins. Hated even more if he wins the popular vote too.


-Bush wins popular vote, loses electoral.

PS. I take requests for any needed elaboration.


So which first lady would you rather party with?


Porn 4 Progress

Show your support with The Porn for Kerry DVD!

In four hilarious vignettes, the Right's most hot headed and hot bodied pundits and politicians are exposed, in more ways than one. This is the DVD that breaks all the rules, the world’s first Pornlitical Satire. Get the real scoop with "Ann Cunter" rubbing one out with a handgun or "Jorge Bush" and "King Fahk" of "Sexy Alabia" lubing themselves up with the spoils of war, Iraqi oil. Rest assured, the profits go to help Kerry in key battleground states. It's a win-win proposition.

So step away from the "No Sin Zone", grab some tissues and bring on the progress

(From MetaFilter)

From the Derivative of dy = 3 r^2 dr Department

BBspot - Top 11 Geek Pick Up Lines: Part II

11.You had me at 'Hello World.'
10.Mind if I run a sniffer to see if your ports are open?
9.You make me want to upgrade my Tivo.
8.By looking at you I can tell you're 36-25-36, which by the way are all perfect squares.
7.Jedi Mind Trick: 'This is the geek you're looking for.' *waves hand*
6.You can put a Trojan on my Hard Drive anytime.
5.Have you ever googled yourself?
4.How about we do a little peer-to-peer saliva swapping?
3.With my IQ and your body we could begin a race of genetic superchildren to conquer the earth.
2.What's a girl like you doing in a place like this when there's a Farscape marathon on right now on the Sci Fi channel.
1.I'm attracted to you so strongly, scientists will have to develop a fifth fundamental force."

From the 6 of one dept.


Yankees allowed to grow hair out and not shave for next 6 months

John F. Kerry has won a major proxy fight for the Presidency.

Congratulations, Boston.


Endorsement Week

I see Ivan has kicked off the much-anticipated Drink Tank Political Endorsement Series below. Before I offer my own endorsment for the office of President of the United States of America in the elections of 2004, there's an issue I'd like to bring up. I think it's only fair for a blog with this name to acknowledge the President's clear victory when Americans are polled about whom they'd like to have a beer with. (By the way, that's very cruel to keep saying to an on-the-wagon alcoholic. The country could hardly stand a POTUS relapse, so cut it out, pollsters!)

I think many have ignored the less-talked but important issue of who would you rather have on your side in a barfight. I'll just throw out a few relevant thoughts.

One man looks skinny, but the other's strength is in running really fast a lot.

Only one candidate probably had a drink at the bar and feels pain less than a teetotaler. This has a big effect on barfights.

One candidate was beaten up by a pretzel once.

One man is a highly decorated veteran of the United States Marine Corps. The other has well documented experience as a cheerleader.

I've conceded that Americans would generally rather have a beer with the President, but I think it's clear that if you think the guy whose girlfriend you're sleeping with might show up, you should choose to have that beer with John F. Kerry.

Marines Show Frustration in Iraq

Military.com outspoken voice of teh pansy anti war negative nancys writes:

"We are losing guys left and right,' says Cpl. Cody King, 20, of Phoenix, Ariz. 'All we are doing around here is getting blown up,' he says, not hiding his anger.
Most of the incidents these days in this far flung corner of Iraq, enveloped by an endless desert, dried up river beds and winding dirt roads, include 155 mm artillery shells, mines and other sort of crude home made bombs, which are among the biggest killer of troops in this war. They make the Marine's enemy faceless and only heighten the feeling of vulnerability, not assuaged by the limited armor at their disposal. "

Cpt. Steven M. Horowiz adds, " at least we have plenty of rations of Angel's food cake"

The Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket

The Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket:

Again, Ivan how can you continue to deny that the chImpy administration is anything but lax in the war against terror. The only war being wadged in ernest is the war on the facts. but as John Stewart has pointed out that the facts hate America so, maybe this is all justified.
"'The agency directorate is basically sitting on the report until after the election,' the official continued. 'No previous director of CIA has ever tried to stop the inspector general from releasing a report to the Congress, in this case a report requested by Congress.'
None of this should surprise us given the Bush administration's great determination since 9/11 to resist any serious investigation into how the security of this nation was so easily breached. In Bush's much ballyhooed war on terror, ignorance has been bliss.
The president fought against the creation of the Sept. 11 commission, for example, agreeing only after enormous political pressure was applied by a grassroots movement led by the families of those slain."

Office of Communication Research


Tennesseans not all that issue savvy

careful with that pamphlet Ivan it may convince some people to vote for Kerry.....
Despite the impression the above findings might give, a close look at five domestic agenda items suggests that Tennesseans as a group hardly qualify as well-informed, ideologically consistent policy wonks. For example, only about half of Tennessee adults can accurately name Kerry as the candidate who supports rescinding the recent federal income tax cuts for people earning over $200,000 a year. About a quarter (23%) incorrectly attributed the proposal to Bush, and 27% admit they don't know which candidate supports the measure. Similarly, only about half (50%) rightly name Bush as the candidate who favors giving parents tax-funded vouchers to help pay private or religious school tuition. Thirteen percent attribute the plan to Kerry, who actually opposes it. Over a third (37%) admit they don't know.

Knowledge levels are even lower on the other three issues. Well under half (42%) are aware that Bush wants to let younger workers put some of their Social Security withholdings into their own personal retirement accounts. Nineteen percent incorrectly think Kerry supports the measure, and 40% say they don&'t know one way or the other. Just over a quarter (28%) rightly name Bush as the candidate who supports giving needy people tax breaks that would help buy health insurance from private companies. Thirty percent inaccurately name Kerry as the measure's proponent, and 41% admit not knowing. Finally, just 39% know that Kerry advocates requiring plants and factories to add new pollution control equipment when they make upgrades. Fifteen percent wrongly attribute the policy to Bush, and 45% don't know.
in light of all this the grand canyon debate doesn't seem so irrelevant

Kerry to end color coded Terror system, Terrorist rejoice

since you dont like to talk about the religious crusade, maybe you would like to explain these failures away?
  1. proactive leadership should have done by itself -- rather than resist the 9/11 Commission, as they did.

  2. Ninety-five percent of the containers that come into our country don't get inspected.

  3. On planes, the baggage is X-rayed but not the cargo holds.

  4. Police officers are being cut from the streets of America.

  5. Law enforcement doesn't have even a single, unified watch list yet. They still have separate watch lists, with different names and different people. This is the single, simplest, most important thing the Department of Homeland Security was supposed to do, and they haven't done it
good interview

Vote Bush

Here is why:

-- War on Terror --
Bush understands the stakes, Kerry doesn't.
Vision: Bush sees a future where the War on Terror is over because the governments that spawn Islamic Fascists are reformed or smashed. This is the only way to bring an end to the threat. To achieve this goal, Bush is consistent in his efforts to keep on the offensive, work with foreign governments for internal reform, and will never capitulate.

Kerry has claimed that another attack would be followed by a counter attack, forgetting 9/11. He has claimed to be for unilateral pre-emptive action, but claims that there is a global test needed to take that action. Even if figurative, the assertion is ridiculous. He fails to see how a democratic Iraq will change the uniformly corrupt non-democracies in the area, calling it the “wrong war, wrong place, wrong time”. In the face of Jordanian al Qaeda lieutenant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was in Iraq before the war started, Kerry fails to see the connection between corrupt regimes and terrorists.

Bush is working closely with allies & the UN to disarm Iran. Bush is fostering a strong, grass-roots democracy campaign, supporting the millions of students who demand reform there. Kerry’s solution is to GIVE Iran nuclear material, a test which, when failed, we all lose. Kerry has never mentioned any plans to achieve democracy in Iran.

Bush is pressing North Korea, leveraging the influence of China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea. Kerry’s plan is to start bilateral talks, which failed horribly under Clinton. Where is his beloved global test and multilateralism now?

The Kerry plan to get more allies will fail. France and Germany have already declared they will not give troops, even if Kerry wins. Meanwhile, France, German, and Russian government officials and oil & arms traders are all under investigation for violating UN sanctions on Iraq & possible involvement in a corrupt Oil-For-Food program multi-billion dollar bribe scheme to keep Saddam in power. While the United States was trying to ensure its security and free millions of people, our ‘allies’ where bowing to backhanded oil interests of the then corrupt status-quo.

-- Social Security --
Currently, the government does not count what it owes to future seniors as 'debt', though these obligations are very real. Take those into account, and the federal government is TRILLIONS more in debt than can possibly be paid for with the current system.
Bush wants to reform Social Security, to break the pyramid scheme that fails when you have a Baby Boom. Bush has a plan for the nation’s youth, with personal retirement account, which can never be threatened by irresponsible politicians, and don’t depend on anyone else paying into the system.

Kerry ignores the future and suggests cutting benefits to the prudent senior who "don't need" what they are owed, because they saved smartly for retirement. Also, while promising to not raise taxes on "the middle class", Kerry plans on great tax increases, a rollback not to Clinton-era, but pre-Reagan era taxes, by raising the cap on social security taxes.

-- Health Care --
Have you ever wondered why you have “insurance” for something you know you’ll need, like a periodic medical check-up? A third-party payer system is the #1 problem with today's health care system. Tax structures and government price-setting through Medicare warp the free market, and prevent the innovation and cost cutting of a free market.

Bush wants to make tax-free medical savings accounts, so there would be no greater incentive for a company to give you health insurance as to give you cash. You can use this to purchase catastrophic health care, and purchase the rest out-of-pocket. This will revolutionize the system, allowing for a normal market exchange, where you can choose any doctor, and they have an incentive to provide the lowest price and best quality. In today’s system, when you aren’t the one paying, you don’t care about real price, and the payer, either an insurance company or the government, does not care about quality as much as you do.

Excessive regulation is another huge problem, keeping our health care system from innovating and providing low cost health care. Bush supports sane regulations, including tort reform. Kerry wants more regulations, and trial lawyers make up Kerry's #1 paying constituency.

-- Free Trade –
Free trade is the most empowering tool for the world’s poor and the best friend of both working class Americans with limited budgets and employees hoping their company expands into the global market place. Though foreign corporations pay workers in 3rd world nations TWICE the national average, Kerry wants these companies to go against a system that benefits everyone, by warping tax systems to avoid this synergy. I care more about people entrenched in poverty abroad than obsolete workers unwilling to retrain themselves domestically.


From smart folks at CMU:
The End System Multicast (ESM) Project at Carnegie Mellon is developing technologies to enable ubiquitous live streaming media
broadcasting over the Internet.

From 3:00pm to 7:00pm EDT on Wednesday October 20, the ESM project will be broadcasting live over the Internet a rally for Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry at Carnegie Mellon University. Senator Kerry is expected to speak at 6pm. From 3 to 6 will be a concert by Jon Bon Jovi and special appearances by Franco Harris, Liz Berlin and Jen Wertz of the band Rusted Root and actor Ted Danson.

We would like to test the scalability of our system. The more people tune in, the more valuable it is to our research project.

Please go to here to tune in.

Feel free to forward this to other friends.

In other news: Irony alive and well

Geez... Snarly has got some pair of balls to talk about how Kerry
wouldn't respond to terrorism, when they have done exactly jack shit
about the Anthrax in the mail buisness.
CARROLL, Ohio (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday raised the
possibility of terrorists bombing U.S. cities with nuclear weapons and
questioned whether Sen. John Kerry could combat such an "ultimate
threat ... you've got to get your mind around."

"The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of
terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier
weapons than have ever before been used against us - biological agents
or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to
threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans," Cheney

"That's the ultimate threat. For us to have a strategy that's capable
of defeating that threat, you've got to get your mind around that
concept," Cheney said.

Cheney, speaking to an invitation-only crowd as he began a bus tour
through Republican strongholds in Ohio, said Kerry is trying to
convince voters he would be the same type of "tough, aggressive"
leader as President Bush in the fight against terrorism.

"I don't believe it," the vice president said. "I don't think there's
any evidence to support the proposition that he would, in fact, do

I hate JFK

I just got a call phone call, my CELL PHONE, asking me to join John Kerry.

That alone makes me want him to lose.

The Election

So dedicated Drinktankers you will by now have noticed the two election themed graphs on the right of our blog. one points you to electoral-vote.com and the other goes to the Iowa winner takes all market graph. If you haven’t visited both of these great sites I encourage you to do so. Now the observant amongst you will note a disparity between the predictions of the two sites. In addition E-vote has a new predictive feature where the following assumptions are made:
  • Voters who already have made a choice will stick to it

  • The undecideds will break 2:1 for the challenger (Kerry)

  • If Nader is on the ballot, he will get 1%; otherwise 0% (was 2.74% nationally in 2000)

  • The minor candidates such as Badnarik, Cobb, etc. will get 1% of the vote (was 1.01% in 2000)
Information on the rational for these assumptions are available on the main page today. Now I started this thread to discuss the relative predictive powers of the two sites.

I personally think that any decision I would make in terms of investment in the Iowa graph would either be intended for the short term, i.e. I would sell before the election, or would be directly influenced by what I read on e-vote. That said I think that makes the Iowa market a lagging indicator, unless this latest bush bump has something to do with insider knowledge of voter suppression or electronic voting malfunction. I think that anyone with enough money and political savvy to trade in that market realizes that national popular opinion polls are irrelevant when the race is so close.

Somethin'sa Rumblin' in California

Two good articles about the west side:
1. Here's a good Op-Ed about a new referendum in CA and Washington that would open the primaries, fascillitating cross-party endorsement and get rid of the so-called 'spoiler' candidates by advancing the two most popular. Basically, the biggest benefits to this system would be to allow candidates to speak their minds openly from the beginning rather than pander to majority wings of their parties. It would push Republicans and Democrats toward the middle, and dillute hot-button non-issues.

2. An article about the tanned maverick in Sacramento. Favorite part:
[Schwarzenegger] fully embraced the free-market principles of his mentor Milton Friedman by saying the federal government should open borders to all goods and services, including prescription drugs...

..More on Milton Friedman later. As a final anecdote, Schwarzenegger, speaking in front of about 1000 people the other day, lamented that his supportive speech of George Bush at the Republican Convention cost him 14 days worth of sex with the first JFK's neice. More on that here.

Park Service Sticks With Biblical Explanation For Grand Canyon

Ivan, before you reiterate how much of a non-voting issue this is for you,(We know you like the idea of Wizard/Statesmen), Realize that I am not trying to convince you or anyone that bush is a pandering politico. The point to be made here is that this administration clearly, thinks that the constitution of this country is an inconvenience to be ignored and circumvented at their whims. So if you want to defend that position by all means...
By: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Published: Oct 14, 2004

The Bush Administration has decided that it will stand by its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood rather than by geologic forces, according to internal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Despite telling members of Congress and the public that the legality and appropriateness of the National Park Service offering a creationist book for sale at Grand Canyon museums and bookstores was “under review at the national level by several offices,” no such review took place, according to materials obtained by PEER under the Freedom of Information Act. Instead, the real agency position was expressed by NPS spokesperson Elaine Sevy as quoted in the Baptist Press News:

“Now that the book has become quite popular, we don’t want to remove it.”

In August of 2003, Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Joe Alston attempted to block the sale of Grand Canyon: A Different View, by Tom Vail, a book explaining how the park’s central feature developed on a biblical rather than an evolutionary time scale. NPS Headquarters, however, intervened and overruled Alston. To quiet the resulting furor, NPS Chief of Communications David Barna told reporters that there would be a high-level policy review, distributing talking points stating: “We hope to have a final decision in February [2004].” In fact, the promised review never occurred –

· In late February, Barna crafted a draft letter to concerned members of Congress stating: “We hope to have a final decision on the book in March 2004.” That draft was rewritten in June and finally sent out to Congressional representatives with no completion date for the review at all;

· NPS Headquarters did not respond to a January 25th memo from its own top geologists charging that sale of the book violated agency policies and undercut its scientific education programs;

· The Park Service ignored a letter of protest signed by the presidents of seven scientific societies on December 16, 2003.

“Promoting creationism in our national parks is just as wrong as promoting it in our public schools,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, “If the Bush Administration is using public resources for pandering to Christian fundamentalists, it should at least have the decency to tell the truth about it.”

The creationist book is not the only religious controversy at Grand Canyon National Park. One week prior to the approved sale of Grand Canyon: A Different View, NPS Deputy Director Donald Murphy ordered that bronze plaques bearing Psalm verses be returned and reinstalled at canyon overlooks. Superintendent Alston had removed the bronze plaques on legal advice from Interior Department solicitors. Murphy also wrote a letter of apology to the plaques’ sponsors, the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary. PEER has collected other instances of what it calls the Bush Administration’s “Faith-Based Parks” agenda.


The Silence of the Domes

It was funny in F911, and funny now. Edwards getting his hair done for some TV appearance…


Little Wesley rides his Social Security dreams all the way to age 65. Giddyup!

Kerry's Social Security Plan

Worse than you think.
Critics quickly called this a "do nothing" plan, but that just showed they couldn't translate political doubletalk. While Mr. Kerry may not want to cut benefits for those who "rely on" or "need" Social Security, he has flirted with cutting benefits for everyone else -- namely, prudent seniors who plan to rely primarily on other pensions, individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans and personal savings, as well as industrious seniors who keep working and paying the Social Security tax.

And when Mr. Kerry and Edwards say they "will not raise Social Security taxes," they mean they won't raise them on those with incomes below $88,000. They would, however, raise the cap on the amount of income subject to the 12.4 percent Social Security tax by 36 percent -- from $88,000 to $120,000. For those with incomes in that range, marginal tax rates would jump by 10 percentage points (less than 12.4 percent because the employer's half is tax deductible).
Read the whole thing.

Rally with(out) John Kerry

I plan on going to this rally and handing out a pamphlet about 'why I am voting for Bush'. I might also heckle, but that seems low class. Maybe with a friend yell something like "gay daughter" till we get kicked out. My insiration: here.

It would probably be more productive if I yell something like "finish the job in Iraq", or "kick N.Korea's ass like 'Team America'". Then again, a curt "you suck" might be all I can manage.

At the very least, I hope to keep some folks on the other side home. I don't expect many people to be undecided less than 2 weeks before the elections.

From the have your cake and cut its budget dept.

I would have loved to see Chimpy explain his posion here. Like the clean sky's initiatives which where largely rollbacks of decades old environmental provisions, or the healthy forest deforestation bill. I think they are just fucking with us now.

President Bush and his appointees have repeatedly taken credit for programs that the administration has attempted to eliminate or sharply reduce. The administration has publicized the $11.6 million it has given states to fund the purchase of defibrillators; Bush had tried to cut that funding by 82 percent, to $2 million. Tommy Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, announced this year that the administration was giving out $11.7 million in grants to help 30 states provide care for the uninsured. He did not mention that Bush has annually proposed the cancellation of that program for the last three years. Thompson has also made announcements about grants to improve rural health care, part of a program that the White House wanted to cut by 72 percent in 2005, and about awards to universities to provide for the medical training of minority students, an effort that the administration wished to abolish entirely.

In May, the Justice Department announced a new round of awards through the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which supports the hiring of police officers at the local level. Each year he has been in office, Bush has attempted to drastically reduce the program; in 2003, he proposed eliminating it altogether. For 2005, Bush proposed cutting the COPS budget by 87 percent, to $97 million. The cuts that have been successful have forced many departments to dismiss the officers the program allowed them to hire. COPS grants helped Minneapolis hire 81 officers by 1997; the city has dismissed 140 since then, including 38 in 2003, and crime rates have risen. New York City received grants for 4,700 new officers; the department has dropped 3,400 since 2000.

(Sources: Robert Pear, "White House Trumpets Programs It Tried to Cut," New York Times, May 19, 2004. See article at: nytimes.com. Kevin Johnson, "Federal, Local Cuts Pull Cops Off Streets," USA Today, December 1, 2003. See article at: usatoday.com.)

Today's Wall St. Journal

Great paper, I tell you.

The state of Alaska wishes to invest billions in a natural gas pipeline. The oil companies who plan on using it claim that without state investment they wouldn't build it.

The "intellectual father" and longtime (until now) defender of the efficient market hypothesis announces that investors' behavior can make markets behave irrationally; article speculates that hypothetical MSAs and private pensions shouldn't give consumers very much choice because they'll invest in bubbles (plus other mistakes); the behavioralist concedes that even though the market is not right, it's hard to beat.

Details on current probe into insurance company corruption: companies are competing to admit wrongdoing in hopes of being treated better by the NY attorney general's office. A company called Marsh had other friendly companies make artificial bids so a company called AIG could raise casualty insurance rates for the manufacturer of Jim Beam. AIG's CEO: the father of Marsh's CEO. They claim to be sickened by the wrongdoing. Who pays? You, whiskey drinker. This gets at one reason I don't really trust markets: economies of scale result in small numbers of players at the top of any given field and it incentivizes corruption.

Videogames are being shipped with some environments left blank, for advertisers. For instance, in a driving game, billboards are populated by whatever image the advertiser wants. I like this news, as I tend to envision entertainment in the future as entirely "skinable" -- videogames where I can set the music to be by the Fucking Champs (actually, I think they already have that), rap songs I can set to "upbeat," "melancholy," "Kanye West chipmunk sample," etc. (that's close to reality, too), or Kill Bill where I can watch it with all the roles played by CG midgets or monkeys or whatever. I think this kind of advertising wll encourage that kind of development.

In the editorial page: the rich (Theresa Heinz Kerry) don't pay enough taxes; Judith Miller doesn't deserve to go to jail, but that's the law whether the Times likes it or not (plus why has Ashcroft dragged his feet on the Plame investigation, anyway?); and America will soon permit polygamy by Mormons and biblical revisionists, thanks to gays, liberals, and gay liberals.

As a sidenote, Northwest Airlines provides way less in the way of food service and personal television than "economy carrier" Jet Blue.

need joke about ballot box stuffing

DONETSK, Ukraine (Wireless Flash) -- Is the Ukrainian prime minister playing peek-a-boo with voters? According to a report on the news website ananova.com, campaigners for the incumbent Viktor Yanukovich are staging a free striptease show for voters to convince them to reelect the politician on Oct. 31. The story quotes one organizer as saying, "We hope the voters will remember who gave them this show for free when they go to the ballot box.

America, Fuck Yeah!

Saw Team America: World Police yesterday. It's as good as you'd expect -- very!
I remember reading a review that said liberal peaceniks would like the 1st half better and rightist warhawks would like the 2nd, when the filmmakers really give it to liberal Hollywood types (actually, Hollywood fags, really). I thought it was the other way around, though. I found the beginning, where the Team stupidly destroys things, blissfully unaware of their blunders funny, but in a poignant way. The part at the end, though where we see Michael Moore portrayed as a suicide bomber and Tim Robbins/ his friends as PRNK gestapo to be belly laugh funny, in a jokes-on-the-people-who-find-actors-that-threatening way. The tunes are pretty catchy, and most of the jokes are so nice they tell them twice, really.

Chinese Peasant Looks on the Bright Side

A Chinese satellite has smashed into a villager's house on its return to earth, the country's media reports.

The satellite destroyed the building in Sichuan province, but officials say no-one was hurt.

A local newspaper printed a picture of a kettle-shaped capsule which appeared to be about two metres long, lying amid broken bricks, beams and roof tiles.

The satellite was part of a space probe to carry out land surveys and other research, Xinhua news agency said.

"The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year," the tenant of the wrecked apartment was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Reminds me of this.


RealClearPolitics.com has the electoral vote at Bush-254, Kerry 220
Electoral-vote.com has the electoral vote at Kerry-253, Bush-247

There is a big bump in the IEM for Bush, corresponding to all the polls pointing to him, and I'm suffering from election fatigue. At least politics didn't dominate our house warming party on Saturday...


Spirograph Fun

Think there's no relation with astrophysics? You're wrong.


Tim Blair:: caption genius.

Would-Be Bank Robber Gets Lauged At

Thursday, October 14, 2004

ZAGREB, Croatia - He put a mask on his face, pulled out a gun and demanded money. But when the bank clerk laughed in his face, the would-be robber was so humiliated he just ran away.

The bungled holdup occurred midday Thursday at a small bank on Zagreb's main square, police said.

The 31-year-old clerk, identified only as Martina S., "laughed aloud" at the threat from the bandit because she knew she was protected by a bulletproof glass, said Gordana Vulama, a police spokeswoman.

After cackling at the thief, she coolly picked up the phone to call police, Vulama said.

Seeing that, the failed robber spun around and fled the scene. Police were searching for him, Vulama said.


Truly A Great American

Weirdly, I was watching CNN yesterday afternoon (I don't get cable or anything so news TV is weird to me), and it was absolutely wonderful. Here are some places to download the Jon Stewart on Crossfire segment. (I used a bit torrent from this page but it only worked on my Mac with M Player, and not at all on my roommate's XP machine.) Seriously, watch it -- it's awesome.

Why China's autocrats ain't goin' away soon..

Carrots and sticks, kid, carrots aaaaand sticks:

WANGYING, China - A decade ago, three friends shook hands, downed a bottle of rice wine and vowed to fight to the end against Communist Party officials who imposed illegal taxes and fees on them and their families.

Wang Junbin, an army veteran, was their strategist. Wang Hongchao, eager and voluble, rallied fellow villagers. Wang Xiangdong fearlessly confronted party bosses. The three peasants, who share the same surname but were bound only by their mission, endured a violent police crackdown, got tax refunds, and even won the right to govern their own village in the arid plains of northwestern Anhui Province.

Yet power, vanity and the guile of the Communist Party tore them apart. The authorities persuaded Wang Hongchao to testify against Wang Xiangdong in court, creating lasting animosity. Neither can abide Wang Junbin. He was lured away to become a party official and is today as much a target of protest as the bosses they once battled together.

Anti-Communists Are Dumb

I sent this email to some of you and was reminded of it today.

Anti Communists Are Dumb

That's was my 1st thought when Oded told me the Tragic Tale of the Cigars.  Just being against communism doesn't mean you're not dumb.  I hate Cuban embargo motherfuckers. The article linked above mentions a new interpretation of the rules.

Americans are barred from not only purchasing Cuban goods in foreign countries, but also from consuming them in those countries.

The penalties for violating the prohibitions include maximum criminal fines for individuals of $250,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years. Corporations can be fined as much as a million dollars.

(Parenthetically, I would also point out that even in highly-regulated industries technological progress can be quite, um, speedy.)

Do polls neglect young, tech-saavy urbanites?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A growing number of people rely solely on cell phones to make and take calls, putting them out of reach of polling organizations trying to get a fix on the American electorate.

Many cell-only users are young and mobile, a demographic that often doesn't vote. That makes survey researchers confident their polling, which excludes cell phone numbers, reflects the opinions of those likely to have an impact on Election Day. Still, with reports of unprecedented voter registration, many young voters could be flying under the pollsters' radar.

"Pollsters don't think the cell phone issue will affect them this year, but they are worried about it," said Michael Brick, a survey methods specialist at Westat, a research firm in Rockville, Maryland. "This may be the last round of presidential elections before it does have an effect."

When tracking this year's election, pollsters contact people on traditional phones.

About 5 percent of all households receive telephone service only by cellular phone, according to a face-to-face survey done earlier this year by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Among young adults up to age 24, the number is close to three times as high.

"Many of these people are not voters," said Linda Piekarski, vice president of database and research at Survey Sampling International, which provides samples for the research industry.

"They've always been hard to get into our polls anyway. They tend to be non-responsive."

read on...


Late Notice

Hey, I just remembered that I have an art opening of sorts tomorrow. Me and my friend Jesse are showing the projection display Selfish Me, in DUMBO. Please come!

Yee Haw

From our favorite British magazine:


Broadway-show tunes, rock, punk, hip-hop, jazz and classical music enjoy huge audiences in New York. But in a city where everything goes (and high-concept electronica plays to packed crowds), country music is kept outside the velvet rope. The city's sole country radio station died over two years ago, and most big country stars bypass New York City altogether. Yet the 2005 Country Music Awards ceremony will be held in New York's Madison Square Garden (still warm from the Republican Party's Convention). This is the first time since 1968 that the awards will not be held in Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. Mayor Bloomberg says the show will generate $30m for New York's economy.

The move is not as baffling as it seems. The city has quietly become America's second-largest country-music market. Nielsen Soundscan, a research firm, reports that a passel of country's crossover stars, including the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain, sell 6-11% of their albums in New York City. And the largest concert crowd in Central Park's history was drawn by Garth Brooks, a country-music juggernaut who is often seen wearing a black hat of Freudian proportions.

May I remind our Drink Tank readers that during my first day living in New York, I stopped by a K-Mart and noticed their surprisingly top-of-the-line sound system playing some kickin' country music. Then I noticed a small crowd gathering in the middle of the vast store. Then I noticed a small stage. Then I noticed Garth Brooks himself singing and rockin' out with his signature black hat. A K-Mart celebrity promotion? You can call me simple for being delighted by this, my first NYC impression, or "blame it on all my roots," if you will.

As U.S. Debt Ceiling Is Reached, Bush Administration Seeks to Raise It Once Again

ofcourse all of this matters not because Kerry will be alot worse. right?
I think team chimpy bought a brand new widescreen war they can't pay for, and now they have to take the retirement plans of their employies to the pawn shop, untill they get past the elections. Anybody want to buy a slightly used geurilla conflict on the cheep?

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 - Less than a day after President Bush implied that Senator John Kerry lacked "fiscal sanity," the Bush administration said on Thursday that the federal government had hit the debt ceiling set by Congress and would have to borrow from the civil service retirement system until after the elections.

Progress in Iraq

In related news, a gargantuan personal computer was found and destroyed in Falluja.

You can see the keyboard there on the right.

It is unclear as to the application of such a "super" computer. The size of the terrorists who used such a device is undoubtedly quite large, and it is a mystery as to how they can evade death or capture for so long.

RSS -- Really Sucky Soon?

I don't check that many RSS feeds, so this may be no surprise to folks who are more tech-savvy than me, but I just wanted to mention that Engadget is the first site I've seen to put advertisements in the articles on every post in their .xml

Weblogs, Inc. RSS feeds brought to you by: iPod®. Meet Bose. Introduce your iPod® to Bose, then listen to the new SoundDock®.

Thanks, Bose, for being an early adopter and reminding me that there's still no internet application that can resist the more annoying features of the market.

Faggot Daughter

Oded said he thought it was "low" when Edwards said it, and now
certain parents (and employers) of a recently-prominent homosexual are
griping about their daughter's newfound fame. I think it's more like
this, though:

I was until yesterday a swing voter (voted absentee for my
congressional district in Brooklyn yesterday) -- undecided between
Kerry, Bandarik, and Cobb. I happen to think Kerry is (along with
other problems) too hawkish on Iraq and too supportive of the War on
Drugs, two major voting issues for me. I'm certainly not the only
person who feels this way and is nonetheless hoping for a Kerry
victory. But I really thought that maybe I should vote Green or
Libertarian, seeing as those candidates are so much closer to my own
beliefs. George Bush had an oppurtunity in every debate to bring up
the fact that Kerry is proudly in favor of continuing our adventure in
Iraq and also of appointing some of the country's most hardcore
narco-police to office, which may well have upset me enough (it's
true, after all) to vote 3rd party or abstain. John Kerry actually
employed this strategy, bring up the fact that the Bush/ Cheney ticket
is perfectly comfortable with homosexuality -- even hiring a
well-connected homosexual to do a non-marginal job on the campaign.
This may discourage homophobic voters from turning out, but is that
honestly so bad?

Another anology may not be my own personal beliefs, but the fact that
Kerry has many supporters who are, frankly, socialists. (I think this
is a good anology because I imagine some of the contributors to this
blog consider socialism to be about as bad as homophobia.) Bush could
have pointed to examples in Kerry's record of working with free market
enthusiasts, denouncing socialism, and supporting policies socialists
dislike (NAFTA, to take one example). This may well have discouraged
some of Kerry's voters, and at the same time been good for markets,
even in the event of a Kerry win.

I don't have a problem with the gay daughter thing at all, myself. I
think it's good for the country to have highly visible Republican

Bush Like Me

Matt Taibbi (NY Press, Buffalo Beast, ex-eXile) goes undercover as a Republican volunteer in Orlando, and comes to some interesting conclusions.
During my time on the campaign, I noticed an unusual phenomenon. The more involved a person was with the campaign, the more likely he was to be politically moderate. Most of the core group of our office -- Vienna, Rhyan, Ben, Don -- were quietly pro-choice or socially liberal in some other respect. It was the casual volunteers and the people whose only involvement was a bumper sticker who were likely to rant about liberals being traitors and agents of Islamo-Fascism who should be exiled from the country or jailed, etc.
Read the whole story...



Anti-drinking panelist parties on



LINCOLN - Lincoln's police chief calls him a poster boy for problem drinking, but a college student says he brings a necessary perspective to a group that seeks to curb such behavior.

Kevin Koss, a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, twice has been convicted of party-related offenses.

"Maybe his role is to remind us of what the problem is," said Chief Tom Casady, who is co-chairman of the NU Directions coalition.

The coalition, which targets binge drinking, includes students, parents, university administrators, community members and law enforcement officers.

Early Sunday, Casady said, Koss was issued his fourth citation in the past year when Lincoln police officers broke up a party of about 50 to 60 people at the house where Koss lives.

While at the house, Casady said, officers found a young man passed out in an upstairs room. The man's head and some of his body had been shaved, and messages had been written on him with marker.

Koss, a computer science major from the Kansas City area, said he lives with two other male students and was home only briefly before police arrived.

He said the party was "one of the smaller ones" because only about 20 people were there. He said his friends are careful not to let things get out of hand.

"If someone gets sick," Koss said, "we're not afraid to cut someone off."

Katie Weichman, president of UNL's student government, said she stands behind her decision to appoint Koss to a second year on the NU Directions coalition.

"Knowing he has personal experience with the police, neighbors and neighborhood associations makes him a valuable member of the group," she said. "He is able to relate."

Casady said police have visited Koss' residence nine times in the past year and have issued three tickets for a disorderly household and another for disturbing the peace.

"He's just intentionally violating the law," Casady said. "Kevin Koss' behavior is way out on the fringes of normal. He seems to think this is the way college students are."

Casady said the NU Directions group is making progress on campus. He said the majority of students do not participate in binge drinking or other disruptive behaviors.

"It would be humorous if it weren't so pathetic," Casady said of Koss' behavior and his position on the coalition.

Google Desktop Search

Yahoo! News reports that Google has released another nifty new utility, called Desktop Search. You can download a small installation file and begin using Google to search files on your hard drive, including email, MS Office documents, and auto-cached web pages.

Google claims in the utility's Privacy Policy that the software will not transmit any sensitive information:

What information does Google receive?

By default, Google Desktop Search collects a limited amount of non-personal information from your computer and sends it to Google. This includes summary information, such as the number of searches you do and the time it takes for you to see your results, and application reports we'll use to make the program better. You can opt out of sending this information during the installation process or from the application preferences at any time.

I like how Google continues to redefine the way we use our computers. GMail has changed the way I look at email, and while Desktop Search may not affect my day-to-day activities quite so much, it is clear that they are thinking about things on a higher level:

Why is this useful?

Since you can easily search information on your computer, you don't need to worry about organizing your files, email, or bookmarks. You can just do a quick search for what you remember seeing, instead of having to remember exactly what file, email, or web page had that information, and where that item is now located on your computer.


Letter from me to teamgop.org

I am shocked and dismayed that Kerry and his supporters would put out garbage like that. Would you mind emailing me a higher resolution copy of the poster so that I can print it out to show the people at my church how low these Democrats will stoop.

Oded Burger

Joke Needed

Something about the seeds of democracy we so famously planted, maybe?

Acts like a girl

Bill Maher in post second debate live show:

New Rule: Everyone has to stop pretending that George Bush is macho. Because plainly, he acts like a girl!

Not a woman. A girl! Not a week goes by when John Kerry isn't attacked because he said something that hurt somebody's feelings. According to Bush spokespeople, Kerry lost the first debate because of his new insult to our allies when he said, "The coalition wasn't genuine. You know, Poland had Lithuania over that night for a debate party, and now they can't look at each other without crying."

All of the attacks on John Kerry involve his thoughtless words. Like when he said the Iraqi prime minister wasn't legitimate. The bitch! He hurt the troops when he said Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time! MEN! He hurt the Vietnam vets when he called that war a mistake. He is so not sitting with us at lunch anymore!

He's a girl! George Bush is all - "And another thing about John Kerry: he uses Botox! He spends too much time on his hair and he's two-faced. Flip-flopper!" "And I bet John Kerry didn't even deserve any of those medals. I would have gone to stupid old Vietnam, but I wanted to be a stay-at-home soldier!"

Excuse me, this president is resolute. He's on the rag. He stopped having press conferences, which is basically saying, "I'm not talking to you!" He acted all crampy at the debate: "It's hard work!" I kept waiting for him to say, "If you don't like how I do your shirts, then iron them yourself!" He even ran for president like a girl, promising to "restore dignity to the Oval Office." What man gives a rat's ass about restoring an office? A real man thinks the Oval Office lost all its integrity the day Monica Lewinsky stopped coming in there to blow the president.

And then - let me finish - and then in the one area - and I'm talking about Iraq here - the one area where he could use being a little in touch with his feminine side, he acts like the typical stupid male who gets himself lost when he's driving, won't admit it and won't stop and ask for directions. Always insisting, "Please, I know what I'm doing!"

You know, the only time - the only time guys like this learn their lesson is when their wives leave them. So, on November 2nd, I suggest we get a divorce.


Coyote Blog: On Class Warfare and Income Taxes, Part 1

Post Bush tax cut, 2003 the estimated share of total individual income taxes paid by:

Wealthiest 1%: 33.6%
Wealthiest 5%: 55.1%
Wealthiest 10%: 67.9%
Wealthiest 20%: 83.0%
Wealthiest 40%: 97.8%
Wealthiest 60%: 103.0%

W/o tax cut would have been:
Wealthiest 1%: 31.9%
Wealthiest 5%: 51.8%
Wealthiest 10%: 63.9%
Wealthiest 60%: 99.9%

So much for tax cuts "for the rich".

what part of.....

I think we can all expect Prez. Kerry to do alot better, with regards to diplomacy....

Serious Time Waster

Haw haw haw

Missed Opportunity

Man, I should have bought big when you pointed this out!

Economic Illiteracy Quadrifecta

Arnold Kling bashes the rhetoric of the economic arguments this election. Follow the link, and follow the next level links to read a great deal of background.

Humanoid Robots

I'm still a little skeptical that it's a good shape for a machine, but these videos are pretty neat:

Roller skating
Sumo warm up moves

Reminded me of this and this, that we were talking about before.

The article wasn't very interesting.

Banana Phone


Which vision is yours?

The New York Times > Opinion > David Brooks: 'Not Just a Personality Clash, a Conflict of Visions' :: I see no way in which Kerry's vision is positive for the world. His vision will lead to more centralized, and inevitably, more corrupt, governance.

Forgetting Kyoto and not limiting working hours per week would lead to a censure by technocrats in the glorious, legit world order.

Thank you very much, but I would rather make robots in the wide open spaces of Ivanistan, unfettered by unelected, international governmental restrictions.

Look forward to more pissing on the UN's parade by Bush in his next term. With the oil-fo-food scandal & pitiful reaction to the Sudan, I celebrate this.

Look forward to abuse of impoverished trading partners, many more toothless resolutions in the UN, and guilt ridden rich countries restricting their economies to react to the non-threat of CO2 by Kerry in his first term.


Testing the Resolve of America

Drudge Report:

PAPER: The Other Weapons Threat in Iraq...

All I can say is that if those Iraqi fuckers have or are developing weapons of mass destruction, we should invade their country and disarm them.

Victor Davis Hanson is a Moron

Hey, Ivan, take a look over here. (From this post.)

Victor Davis Hanson, one year ago. Makes fun of the antiwar movement for foolishly presuming that we won't soon find WMD and predicting that reconstruction will be a disaster.

Now he's threatening that if the last dumb thing we tried doesn't work we should do another dumb thing... Conservatives are utterly unserious about national security.

PS -- you can post this stuff over here too, you know!



They probably already have these but it's a secret. Right, Josko?

Whatever, David Brooks

If it's that easy to justify the war, Colin Powell ought to have just gone to the UN with a picture of the mustachioed dictator.

"I ask the world to look closely into his eye. The twinkle that you see is a weapon of mass destruction."

Welcome, Ivan

Readers may like to see Ivan's other blogs. Great to see you here.


new jib jab

Were There Ever Even Three Mistakes?

I'm trying to think if the President has made any mistakes, and I can't do it. Maybe if I can get the comment thread working others can suggest some.