Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Turn me on, dead man"

For those of you who are unfamiliar, that's the phrase that many people claimed they heard when playing the Beatles' Revolution 9 backwards. Now, I have no idea who first sat up one morning and said, "Hey, let's try playing the White Album backwards and see what kinds of clues might be there to help support or deny the Paul is dead rumors." But suffice to say, I tried it last night, and they're right - it's undeniable that something is being said when that song is playing backwards, and that something sounds a hell of a lot like "Turn me on, dead man." And a "song" that's essentially a bunch of recorded sounds blended together in a really weird way suddenly becomes that much more intriguing.

Why can't we have cool musical stuff like that?

"Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9...
El Dorado
Take this brother, may it serve you well"
- the Beatles, Revolution 9

Friday, May 26, 2006

Widescreen monitors kick ass

That's my intelligent thought of the day.

Shortly, I'm headed north for Memorial Day weekend. When I return, I will deliver a diatribe on "The DaVinci Code" and perhaps also a review of "X-Men 3". Really. I swear.

Song lyric of the day:
"I wouldn't mind
But you are my only hope"
- Pedro the Lion, I Am Always the One Who Calls

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Moving back instead of forward seems to me absurd"

So apparently the constitutional amendment that would prohibit states from recognizing gay marriage just got past the Senate Judiciary. Certainly all my readers know where I stand on the issue of gay rights, sexuality, and basic human dignity, as it has been rather extremely well documented. Ergo, I will spare you all a further rant.

But incidentally, whatever happened to conservatives being all about states rights?

Song lyric of the day:
"Independence limited
Freedom of choice
Choice is made for you my friend
Freedom of speech
Speech is words that they will bend
Freedom no longer frees you"
- Metallica, Eye of the Beholder

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Um, wow

I can't believe this.

Words fail me.

Confidence in high speed

Pop quiz: how much slack do police officers give you for speeding? 5 mph over the speed limit? 10 mph on freeways? Maybe 15?

The mere fact that we have to ask ourselves that question on our daily drives demonstrates how pointless speed limits actually are.

And now my former home state is mulling raising the speed limit in certain areas to 80 mph, according to numerous sources. Officials for TDOT (Texas slang for Texas Department of Transportation) justify the proposal by pointing out that drivers are already driving 80 miles an hour through the targeted areas.

Right problem, wrong solution. Drivers in west Texas are cruising at 80 in a 70, so officials suggest raising the speed limit to 80 to reflect reality? It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happens next: drivers will be going 90 in an 80.

The inherent trouble with speed limits is that they even exist, not that they are too low. At best, they serve merely as guidelines. At worst, they are restrictions that prevent people from driving to their full ability. Ulimately, they are unenforceable laws that most drivers circumvent regularly.

I claim that most drivers in their right minds know how fast they can safely drive on a given road. So, suggestion #1: don't give driver's licenses to people who aren't in their right mind.

I further claim that a driver who is confident behind the wheel driving at 80 mph is safer than an unconfident driver going 65. So, suggestion #2: don't give driver's licenses to people who aren't confident driving a car. (Unfortunate but obvious counterpoint, of course, is that the only way to get confidence in ones driving abilities is to have a license and get out there and drive - possible solution is extend the period for having a learner's permit and make the transition to license more rigorous.)

Finally, I would like to point out that Montana has no speed limits, and they have very few driving deaths each year. Of course, you could point out that's because Montana has about 5 residents, and is such a huge state that they probably never see each other anyway. You could also point out that I have no source on that information, and am just guessing. But if you did, I would simply mutter for you to shut up, because you're undermining my argument with your so-called "facts".

Not that arguments against speed limits do much difference. Speeding tickets exist primarily to fund police departments, so they probably aren't going anywhere.

And lastly, for those who didn't get the reference in the post title...

Song lyric of the day:
"We've been living life inside a bubble
Confidence in you
Is confidence in me
Is confidence in high speed"
-Coldplay, High Speed

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Eat down at the Pink Taco...

No, seriously...

I'm trying to decide what's funnier: the name of the restaurant, or the fact that they're printing this article over only four e-mails.

I'm also trying to restrain myself from making crude jokes. I'll leave those to the rest of you on the comments.

Bush on immigration

Don't really have much to say about this. But out of curiosity, did anyone think Dubya almost approached rationality on occasion during his address last night?

Of course, on a related note, I have a poll for my loyal readers: Which of the following statements Bush made last night was the most hypocritical?

  1. "We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws."
  2. "We need to hold businesses accountable."
  3. "We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears."

Song lyric of the day:
"I have been floated to this thought this hour
On a series of events I cannot explain"
- Olivia Tremor Control, I Have Been Floated

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Thanks, bro, but um, shut up, you're ruining my chances"

Jeb Bush has repeatedly denied that he's seeking the presidency. Still, that's not an uncommon thing for politicians to do initially, before "changing their minds", by which I mean it was their intent all along but they didn't want to call attention to it.

Regardless, if my state's governor actually is secretly mulling a run, this can't possibly help.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm all for siblings sticking together. But I think if I wanted to run for president, the last thing I would want is an endorsement from a current president whose approval rating is 31%. I'd be like, "C'mon, man, if you're really looking out for me, tell them I would make a horrible president in your opinion and that I'd be nothing like you." And then, of course, I'd give him an Indian burn that would be the stuff of legend. Or perhaps a simple noogie would suffice.

Song lyric of the day:
"Frozen in the place I hide
Not afraid to paint my sky with
Some who say I've lost my mind
Brother try and hope to find"
- Alice in Chains, Brother

Monday, May 08, 2006

Quick post

Madeine Albright (yes, that Madeleine Albright) has a very good article in today's Washington Post about the true meaning of democracy and our country's somewhat interesting, chaotic relationship with it and what it often means in other countries. Such as how it sometimes means groups like Hamas get elected into power. Check it out.

Song lyric of the day:
"I ain't complaining
But I'd sure like to find me
A true, fine love"
- Steve Miller Band, True Fine Love

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Not to sound immature, but "duh!"

Today's "no shit" headline of the day: Unwanted Pregnancies on the Rise. To further add to the "let's point out the insanely obvious" aspect of the article, it points out that poor women are almost four times as likely to get unintentionally pregnant as affluent women. No way! Get out of here!

On a totally unrelated note, if you have not heard Band of Horses yet, you must. That is all.

So long, Zack Attack

Today, 12 intelligent jurors and a judge recognized that the worst punishment to be given to a wannabe terrorist who isn't skilled enough to actually pull off any attacks of his own and who wants to be a martyr for those who support his cause to rally around is to make him rot in prison for the rest of his natural life rather than give him the death he's spent the last few months pleading for.

Yes, that's right. Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison this morning.

It was the right decision. We don't need to give terrorists a martyr. We certainly don't need to give this idiot the death he wants. To me, this was always simple: what Moussaoui wanted, in his mind, was to join his counterparts in sacrificing himself for his cause and getting his 70 virgins or whatever.

Instead, we get to send this blowhard to a place where "blowhard" will take on an entirely new meaning. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Well, Zacky boy, today's song is dedicated to you, as its chorus could easily be sung by you and all your fellow terrorist losers.

Song lyric of the day:
"I'm an asshole
(He's an asshole, what an asshole)
I'm an asshole
(He's an asshole, such an asshole)"
- Denis Leary, Asshole

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Governing stupidity

If you were here in Florida, you probably would have seen the "click it or ticket" commercials by now. Basically, the cop stands there and says, "Even though it should be insanely obvious to even the most dimwitted individual that wearing your seatbelt, the attachment of which is a mere 2 second process, greatly increases your chance of surviving an automobile accident, many of you still choose not to do it." (Okay, that middle part was paraphrased.) He concludes by saying that, because people still want to be morons, they're going to continue ticketing people for not wearing their seatbelts.

A few times watching this commercial, and I still reach the same conclusion: there should not be legislation of any variety requiring someone to wear their seatbelt.

In defending people's right to burn the flag to just about anyone else who ever served in the military, my dad used to say that the reason he fought for this country was to protect the right of its citizens to be stupid.

The same applies to wearing a seatbelt. If you're dumb enough to not want a seatbelt while traveling 70 down an interstate, that's your problem. It is not the job of the government to tell you not to be stupid.

(A brief, not-thought-out rant because I hadn't posted in a while. I'm sure there are holes in the argument the size of the Grand Canyon.)

(Oh, and five songs into the new Pearl Jam CD, it rocks.)

Song lyric of the day:
"Stupid, you could call it that
Stupid, but you have no idea
How stupid I would feel
If fifteen years from now I see her
And she says, 'Why didn't it happen between us, stupid?'"
- the Long Winters, Stupid