March 31, 2006
My apologies for cutting-and-pasting someone else's work, but my internet was terminated (in violation of my arrangement), and I need to get this out before I go home.
"The Justice Department, in their continued effort to revive questionable legislation, has subpoenaed dozens of ISPs for files. Considering that ISPs generally host their users' mail, this seems like it could be a larger issue than their fight with Google over search queries. Some, like Verizon, even resisted the call for information." From the article: "Representatives for McAfee and Symantec confirmed that the companies had received and complied with the subpoenas. A spokeswoman at LookSmart did not immediately return a phone call. Many of the subpoenas asked for information related to products that can be used to filter out adult content for underage Internet users. Symantec's subpoena, dated June 29, asked for a wide range of information about the price and popularity of the Internet filtering products it sells and how the products are used by customers. " Information Week has a number of the documents involved, including the letter of objection from Verizon.
March 30, 2006
These were taken two days after the surgery. I wanted to document my well-defined (read: incredibly swollen) jaw, that really reminded me of the exaggerated jaws you see in comic book and cartoon superheroes.
Thus, I have declared about 100 times, “I’m Batman”.
Just wanted to add that later on I developed an abscess:
Click those pictures; they have their own story.
March 30, 2006
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been flying over Iraq and Afghanistan for some time now. This is to be expected in a war zone. But now, the Bush administration wants to use them for domestic surveillance (of course). Israel does this; but Israel also has a draft, a state-sponsored religion, and no Bill Of Rights. We should not look to Israel as an example to follow.
A top Homeland Security official told Congress today, according to this CNET News.com article, that: "We need additional technology to supplement manned aircraft surveillance and current ground assets to ensure more effective monitoring of United States territory."
One North Carolina county is already using UAVs to monitor public gatherings. That reeks. I'm sure Hitler is jizzing in his grave. And this isn't the first time CyberBUG aerial drone has been used; The company claims it was used to watch for "unruly behavior" and "alert authorities about accidents" during the 12th Annual Southern Maryland "Blessing of the Bikes" in La Plata.
But anyway — What happens when lots of relatively dumb drones have to share airspace with aircraft carrying passengers? The AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) is worried. "AOPA has been pushing for two years to get the FAA to issue guidance on UAV operations and their integration into the National Airspace System," said Rudinger. AOPA has consistently demanded that unmanned aerial vehicles be able to detect and avoid other aircraft. Currently, they don't do that. "We've also said that it would be unacceptable to cordon off large areas of civilian airspace in order to protect UAVs that can't avoid other aircraft," said Rudinger. A 15 nautical mile-wide TFR along the U.S. southern border, for example, would impact more than 100 airports, more than 1,300 based aircraft, and nearly 750,000 annual general aviation flight operations.
However, airflight practicality issues aside, this is a huge affort to our right to privacy. (And don't tell me it's not in the constitution, because to the best of my understanding, the Supreme Court has ruled that we have a right to privacy — based on their interpretation of the constitution.)
First it was the domestic wiretaps; the administration didn't deny doing it, but they managed to get the New York Times to sit on the story for a full year efore publishing it. Now they want to put unmanned drones in the air to watch God-knows-what. There's no longer even the slightest attempt to hide the impending surveillance society.
So again: We can't control our own borders — but we will use tech like this to monitor our own citizens.
"You must give up freedom to protect freedom. That is, unless you hate freedom."
And just because I think it's funny:
March 29, 2006
So I get a call from Dr. Pell's bitch-receptionist, who I've thought was a rude bitch since the first time I spoke to her.
They have my biopsy results, and they want to schedule me to come in to go over the results.
Again…… What..The..Fuck? Is everybody on the planet hellbent on making me spend as much of my money as possible? I smell a scam.
I asked for clarification: "Is he going to be examining me or performing something on me, or is this just to give me information?"
No — It's just to give me information.
I told her, "It's my information, and I have a right to see it under the HIPPA act, so just send it to me."
She said there might not be things I understand in it. Well, maybe before I miss work for an hour, losing 5 times the wages that my copay would be, I'd like to take a gander myself and see if I can interpret the results. I have a brain, and I have google. And under the HIPPA act it would probably be cheaper for me to pay 50 cents a page, take it on down to Kaiser-Permanente, and let them deal with it and tell me if I have cancer.
So I told her, "Under HIPPA act I have a right to my own results."
She very quickly and rudely said "fine and have a nice day" and hung up on me.
That's Dr. Pell, of Alexandria. His hands seemed to shake a lot during my surgery, but it was successful. Having to deal with his bitchy receptionist though? I'll go elsewhere if I ever have a chance.
I'm sick of being herded like a sheep from one money pit to the next. Maybe I don't do things the way everybody else does. Maybe I practice my freedom more. That doesn't make me bad, and that shouldn't make me a target of rudeness. In fact, it increases my wealth by keeping me from falling into the money pits that most "normal" people do.
UPDATE: The next day, Dr. Pell called me and informed me that it was just "the basic cyst that forms at the bottom of a tooth". Something to that effect. Anyway, I got the bit of information I care about: Cancer=0, not 1. I had to wait about 20 hours more to find this out, but I saved way more than $20! Score one for standing up for yourself.
March 29, 2006
I'm not going to go into lengthy discourse, but suffice to say: If you are using hotmail, and are unlucky, companies that send bulk mail to you, mail that you may want, may go to your spam folder if they don't pay up a $2,000 fee. That's just one example. Read the slashdot article for more info.
March 29, 2006
I knew it back in 1993 when my sister started at my high school, and they had cameras everywhere (which they didn't when I went there). (By the way, Woodbridge High School sucks and the administrators are incompetent assholes.)
Anyway, the real point of this blog is to point out some of the new bullshit they are doing. "Pop" quizzes on your mental health, where they find out that everyone has a problem and everyone needs drugs.
Read for yourself:
Some excerpts, in case you are too lazy to click the link:
When Chelsea arrived in her school homeroom that day… No explanations were issued… All she knew was that she was about to take … a TeenScreen mental health screening program for suicide and social disorders that is being implemented in schools across the country, often without parental knowledge or consent… All her friends were told that something was wrong with them… This all began in April 2002 when President Bush launched a new mental health commission.
Some related sites:
Phyllis Schlafly ( www.eagleforum.org )
Also, if you are a parent, learn your rights under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment.
This is flagrant corporate abuse to try to peddle expensive pharmaceutical drugs to more and more people. We all need are Soma, right? I am reminded of A Brave New World, and also the movie Equilibrium ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/ ).
Everyone should refuse and resist.
Also, marijuana can act much like prozac — for many people — and at a much cheaper cost. But nobody wants that, because no corporations make money off of marijuana. It's total hypocracy and corporate abuse tied together.
March 27, 2006
I dropped my wallet in the bathroom at work.
In 10 minutes, it was gone.
I haven’t even gotten all my fucking replacement cards from the last time it was stolen! (more…)
March 24, 2006
"FCC Chief Kevin Martin yesterday gave his support to AT&T and other telcos who want to be able to limit bandwidth to sites like Google, unless those sites pay extortion fees. Martin made it clear in a speech yesterday that he supports such a a "tiered" Internet." Could this be the end of internet innovation?" [Yes, it could.]
Martin also said he supports the right for network operators to differentiate their networks and prioritize traffic on their networks. [No, they should not. Should phone companies be able to deprioritize phone calls based on their content? Should cable companies give lower service to channels they don't like? Etc.]
So much for the level playing field. The internet is basically like a *working* model of communism — everyone is equal, and everyone works together, the playing field is level.
The corporations are trying to turn it into capitalism/corpratism. Imagine you can't get fast Google results because Google wouldn't send your ISP a bribe to be on the "top tier" of the internet?
The whole point of the internet is being threatened by this.
This is a small part of The Technology War I've been talking about. They want to increase barriers of entry so that the internet becomes marginalized as a tool the common man can use.
To use an admittedly-stretched print analogy — Imagine if your local bookstores didn't stock the latest Harry Potter books until 2 months after they came out, because the publishing company didn't pay the bookstores extra money to carry their product on their "top teir" (fast release) schedule.
The whole idea blows. And now they have a man inside the FCC to further their agenda. Where's inoperable cancer when you need it? Anyone got a voodoo doll?
However, the FCC as a whole doesn't seem to support this position, and the original story is a bit of sensationalist trolling.
However, I still feel it's important to spread the message, because these issues are still being discussed, and bad ideas are much easier to thwart in their infancy.
Also, I heard this week's issue of The New Yorker had a one-page article briefly summarizing the tiered internet and pointing out why it was such a bad idea.
March 24, 2006
Apparantly, in Louisiana, police can hold you for TWO MONTHS without charging you. That in and of itself is a total fucking travesty and an insult to the freedom this country is supposed to stand for.
But now it’s come out that there are people who have been in jail since Katrina, in violation of the state law?!?!?!?!
Utterly ridiculous. Pay attention folks, your freedoms are slipping away.
The last decade where we truly made net positive progress with respect to freedom was either the 1960s or the 1970s.
March 23, 2006
So, I got my cyst removed today.
Just to clear up any confusion, clicking on any picture in this post will take you to the FlickR version of the picture, with notes & comments & higher resolutions. Just what you needed.
At least my surgery was a “success”. They pulled my cyst out, a good 2 cubic centemeters of meat. Gross.
And I lost my damn gold tooth. They said it wasn’t going to survive, and I could try to save it for $700 but it would be a “guarded” prognosis after the $700, or no prognosis at all before it.
So they took the tooth out. It came out so easy — it felt like when you accidentally pop a temporary crown off.
There was a lot of blood.
There were a good 5-6 moments of pain. The 2nd novacaine shot was bad, my left eye teared up rather instantly, which felt weird what with the right eye not doing it.
And the cyst I had had pushed a nerve to the side, so they were messing around directly touching the nerve. At one point it felt just like someone held a 4th of July sparkler right by my face and hot sparks hit it. Most of the time it just felt like an electric shock (something I know the feeling of very well).
I told them I wanted the good tooth (leprechan syndrome) but then when I saw the gross bloody thing I suddenly didn’t care about the gold anymore. (“You could have melted it down!”, said Carolyn. Exactly what I had said earlier, actually.)
I got in around 10AM, and left around 12:15PM or so.
But to top it off I got to spend the rest of my day getting a new social security card and a new driver’s license. I would NOT have been able to get my social security card except that I found my passport. As in, it was mailed to me, and I would have thrown it away if I hadn’t decided to keep my birth certificate in the envelope it was mailed to me in. I thought it was my replacement birth certificate from VitalCheck. No. It was my actual original birth certificate. I’d had my passport for days and not realized it. Duh.
I mean, my heart totally sank when i was at the SS office and their form said “We do not accept birth certificates as proof of identity”. I mean first off: What the fuck?! Every ID requires 2 other IDs. What the fuck do you do if your wallet is stolen?
If I hadn’t applied for a fucking passport before I lost my wallet, I think I would still not be able to establish my identity. It’s fucking ridiculous, and the asshole beauracrats all use September 11th as an excuse which fucking disgusts me.
The DMV was no better. The cop/guard there made me step backwards 1 foot. Seriously. Somehow me standing at spot X was okay, but X + 12 inches was not. I had my camera with me so I considered taking his picture but I knew that would escalate into me getting arrested probably. As fun as it would be to sue them for false arrest and/or win a case and embarass them, it would be expensive and stressful. Anyone wanna sponsor me?
Anyway, this whole “don’t smoke for 48 hours” thing can suck too. And I’m still bleeding 10 hours later. A decent amount. If I lean forward, it will drip out.
At least I god Vicodan. Though I had to pay full price, because weak-ass Kaiser-Permanente never sent me a replacement member card like I requested. Those fuckers made me wait over a month to get this thing removed.
And it was a $113 copay too. (And $35 for the drugs.)
And now I have this $50 birth certificate from VitalCheck that I no longer need. And it’s FedEx signature required. No, I am not fucking driving to FedEx, it’s an hour round trip and requires me missing work & sacrificing wage.
So — I don’t know what will happen with it. Somewhere out there, a birth certificate for me exists. Identity thieves? If you didn’t get my wallet, here’s your chance.
And to the asshole who stole my wallet:
I’ve returned 2 wallets in my life, both with all their money intact.
I’ve lost 2 wallets in my life, every 16 yrs, age 16 & 32, $200 & $500 in them respectively.
So, to the asshole who stole my wallet: I hope you are dragged at precisely 3 miles per hour on a street made out of cheese-graters with your body tied in such a position that only your taint touches the ground. After we’ve gone about 3 miles, which as mentioned earlier should take an hour — your balls begin to be grated. And so on and so forth, it only goes downhill. You deserve this, worthless scum. Phew. Venting doesn’t help as much as I would like it to.
For surgery pics 2 days later, go to:
Kaiser-Permanente still hasn’t processed the claims correctly, and I am currently facing a $1150 bill (down from $1650). This is all over the fact that Kaiser-Permanente still has not paid for my $125 consultation, saying it was “unauthorized”. This is despite the fact that I went to the surgeon they chose, and waited over a week to get a referral for the consultation (incidentally, they promise they can do referrals in 24 hours when they are selling their services to your empoyers, but when you are a patient, good luck with that. It took me a week, and that was with daily phone calls.).
Recently this picture was featured in a fan-made music video for the song “The Future Now”. You can download the video here:
While I’m not super-impressed with where they chose to use it (I would have preerred the image to go with some words, instead of just being an image during a pause between words) — I still think it’s pretty cool that I quote-unquote “Got to be in a music video”. Well — my surgical close-up, anyway.
March 21, 2006
What an asshole! First, Isaac Hayes leaves the show because wah wah, they made fun of Scientology. Shaft? More like daft.
Now, Tom Cruise has allegedly forced Comedy Central to change their lineup to not include the "Trapped In The Closet" episode.
Tom, could you come out of the closet, please?
This is inferiorating. I thought the Christians were a bunch of whiners, but the Scientologists manage to score a really high insanity level. I think only the Christians who think the Rapture is coming now are as insane as the average Scientologist.
ALL HAIL XENU!!
ALL HAIL XENU!!
ALL HAIL XENU!!
ALL HAIL XENU!!
ALL HAIL XENU!!
ALL HAIL XENU!!
ALL HAIL XENU!!
March 20, 2006
But at least 4 movies are planned, which is still good news.
Still, we all would have loved for Futurama to come back as a full-fledged series, the same way Family Guy did.
March 18, 2006
A graphical representation of how our tax dollars are spent. Mibi took about a year to develop this, making each circle proportionate to the amount of money it represents. This is freakin’ awesome.
March 15, 2006
Posted by Clint under Politics  Comments
Can somebody please verify/refute these facts? Currently, it has the ring of truth to me. Let me know if I’m wrong.
Americans spend $5,267 per capita on health care every year, almost two and half times the industrialized world’s median of $2,193; the extra spending comes to hundreds of billions of dollars a year. What does that extra spending buy us? Americans have fewer doctors per capita than most Western countries. We go to the doctor less than people in other Western countries. We get admitted to the hospital less frequently than people in other Western countries. We are less satisfied with our health care than our counterparts in other countries. American life expectancy is lower than the Western average. Childhood-immunization rates in the United States are lower than average. Infant-mortality rates are in the nineteenth percentile of industrialized nations. Doctors here perform more high-end medical procedures, such as coronary angioplasties, than in other countries, but most of the wealthier Western countries have more CT scanners than the United States does, and Switzerland, Japan, Austria, and Finland all have more MRI machines per capita. Nor is our system more efficient. The United States spends more than a thousand dollars per capita per year–or close to four hundred billion dollars–on health-care-related paperwork and administration, whereas Canada, for example, spends only about three hundred dollars per capita. And, of course, every other country in the industrialized world insures all its citizens; despite those extra hundreds of billions of dollars we spend each year, we leave forty-five million people without any insurance.
A country that displays an almost ruthless commitment to efficiency and performance in every aspect of its economy–a country that switched to Japanese cars the moment they were more reliable, and to Chinese T-shirts the moment they were five cents cheaper–has loyally stuck with a health-care system that leaves its citizenry pulling out their teeth with pliers.
- Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker
March 14, 2006
Being naked is legal. Being a SubGenius is legal. But apparantly a judge can take away custody of your child if you dare go to a “weird” event like the SubGenius X-Day:
…On February 3, 2006, Judge Punch heard testimony in the case. Jeff entered into evidence 16 exhibits taken from the Internet, 12 of which are photographs of the SubGenius event, X-Day. Kohl has never attended X-Day and is not in any of the pictures. Rachel is depicted in many of these photos, often wearing skimpy costumes or completely nude, while participating in X-Day and Detroit Devival events.
Wikipedia entry on X-day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Day
Wikipedia entry on The Church Of The SubGenius: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_SubGenius
Wikipedia entry on J.R. “Bob” Dobbs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dobbs
March 14, 2006
MeatBob, originally uploaded by scalpod.
Subgenius + Aqua Teen Hunger Force?! How can you go wrong?
March 10, 2006
BENTON COUNTY - State police have identified the man shot by a state trooper along Highway 412 near Tontitown Tuesday morning as 21-year-old Erin Hamley. He was approached by officers because he matched the description of a Michigan prison escapee shot in another incident with officers later in the day.
A statement released by authorities says that officers had their weapons drawn as they approached Hamley, who was reported by a passing motorist. The officers, according to the statement, asked Hamley to raise both hands. The release then states, “Preliminary statements from the officers indicate the individual was not cooperating with the requests of the officers to show both of his hands as he laid on his back awaiting the approaching officers.”
A trooper then fired a single shotgun blast at Hamley, who died a short time later at a Springdale hospital.
My question is — Is refusing an order of an officer a crime punishble by death? No.
Summary executions for non-capital crimes are unacceptible.
An officer thinking his life is in jeopardy nonetheless has no fucking excuse to do something like this. Officers are paid to be put in harm’s way. They can’t just go around shooting someone because they think they might have a gun, simply because they did not show their hands.
If you don’t have a problem with this, you are an enemy of democracy, and no friend of mine.
March 9, 2006
So after getting in a car accident, loosing my wallet, $500, my license, all my credit cards, and everything else, I got to round off my day by going to a Sisters Of Mercy concert.
Carolyn beat me to blogging about it, so read about it here:
March 9, 2006
Social studies Teacher who compared Bush and Hitler put on leave:
Wow… How completely unamerican… People are being fired for their jobs (and arrested — see Cindy Sheehan) simply for expressing an opinion that the governing regime does not approve of. This is a social studies teacher. Not a threat to our security. And if any subject should speak of politics, it would be social studies. But I guess we’re only allowed to study things from one point of view, George Bush’s?
Folks, Bush *IS* like Hitler. Refer to http://del.icio.us/ClintJCL/AdolfHitler for several links containing Bush/Hitler comparisons other people put together. Check back, I may add more at a later date.
Hitler burned their own Riechstag (sorry if I can’t spell t hat) down and then blamed it on terrorists. Bush allowed Sept 11th to happen, and then blamed it on
Afghanistan Iraq. Both took rights away, increased domestic surveillance, disarmed citizenry, broke international law, and waged wars against other sovereign nations without the approval of the international community. (About the disarming of citizenry: In New Orleans after Katrina, many familes were left defenseless against criminals because their guns were illegal siezed in violation of the 2nd amendment. A friend of a friend only got his family out by having to shoot someone. His family might be dead if they had had their gun confiscated illegally.)
“My job as a teacher is to challenge students to think critically about issues that are affecting our world and our society,”
- Jay Bennish
Good luck with that, Mr. Bennish. You would be more likely to achieve your mission in France than in America. Ever wonder why they gave us the Statue Of Liberty? To remind us not to go down the path we are currently going down.
“My job as a social studies teacher is to argue alternative perspectives and viewpoints so that students are aware of those point of views. They do not necessarily reflect my own views. They are simply thrown out there to encourage critical thought.”
I think today is a good day for everyone to visit http://www.studentsfororwell.org/ and to see exactly what is happening with the schools today. Our kids are being brainwashed to follow the flock mindlessly. We have little hope of upholding our freedoms if the next generation doesn’t even remember what it was like to be free. When I went to high school (1988-1992), cameras were unheared of. When my sister went to high school (1997-2001), cameras were everywhere. Things change fast, and for the worse.
March 8, 2006
Well, Cindy Sheehan’s at it again! How dare she express her opinion!
You’d think the establishment has completely forgotten what civil disobediance is!
I think thie article sums up the current climate in America pretty damn well:
Meanwhile, at least 8,000 people have deserted our armed forces. Is it any surprise? I sure as hell would. There’s people who need killin’ far more than innocent Iraqis.
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