March 31st, 2005

In Case You Missed This Story…

Guess what’s in the top five most e-mailed stories on Yahoo right now—no, really. “Shiavo Dies 13 Days After Tube Removed”. I can hardly wait for this story to die. Who would think it necessary to send the story to someone in e-mail when nearly every media medium can’t stop talking about it?

I missed most of the new episode the South Park last night, but quite appreciated the last request of Kenny, finally discovered at the end.

This is my first post with the new system. Here goes without a preview…

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March 29th, 2005

Beware the brain-eating gays!

Does Eugene Delgaudio, self-appointed Public Advocate of the U.S., really think that the homosexuals are the biggest threat to the world right now? Or has he simply confused harmless queens with brain-eating zombies? Read his letter.

Fun excerpts:

“This time we are facing an enemy who is riding high, and hungry for victims.” Brains, I tell you! They will eat our BRAAAAINS!

“I’m fighting to kill their evil Thought Control Bill … The Homosexuals have welcomed [Jim Kolbe, R-AZ] with open arms, and he is ready to do their bidding.” We are no match for their thought control rays!

” …a ruthless adversary that would attack my family rather than face me.” They can strike at any moment … even when you least expect it. Watch out!

“The Radical Homosexuals keep coming and coming, and they grow in size daily.” With every bite they grow bigger and stronger! Soon, lumbering 20-ton homosexuals will be destroying entire cities!

“So can I count on you to make a special, one time gift to my office? If you could send $1,000 or $500 right now, it would really make a huge difference.” Only COLD HARD CASH can defeat these brain-eating mind-controlling lumbering GAY ZOMBIES!!! AAARGHHHH!

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March 29th, 2005

Ummm, those are ours, right?

Perhaps this is just a drill?

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March 29th, 2005

C’mon Media, tell me what to think!

Two headlines on Yahoo News:

From the US Top Stories section: Oil, Food Probe Faults Annan for Mismanagement

From the UK World News section: U.N. probe clears Kofi Annan

Both stories are based on the same syndicated Reuters article.

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March 29th, 2005

Faith based science

It seems like an oxymoron, but apparently there is such a thing. And sitting square in the crosshairs of the faith-based scientists, that bastion of evil, those minions of Satan, that’s right, um, IMAX?

It’s not like I’m an IMAX junkie or anything. The last time I went was after we’d all read In to Thin Air and wanted to see the Everest movie. But when heavy handed extremists determine not just what they have access to, but what I have access to… well, I’m just repeating myself. Again. Repeatedly.

IMAX has a statement on the issue here.

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March 28th, 2005

Privatizing Social Security Has “Advantages”

Ever see those trailers for movies on TV with those curiously curtailed quotes? ‘”Exciting” says the Podunk Local Gazette’ … but you just *know* the full quote is “Less exciting than watching grass grow.”

Well, that’s exactly what the Bush Adminstration has resorted to in their push to privatize Social Security, abbreviating unfavourable (or marginally favourable) quotes from *pre-selected* questioners (!) to make them look favourable.

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March 28th, 2005

The Right Pharmacist

Let’s cut right to the chase here:

Some pharmacists across the country are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control and morning-after pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates their personal moral or religious beliefs.

If I say this is outrageous, it doesn’t even begin to express half of my anger over this. I know it’s a facile question, but where’s it going to end? The fact that such cultish behavior is crawling on its belly in to the mainstream leaves me terrified, angry, and worse, hopeless.

A pharmacist is not a moral arbiter. A pharmacist is not a marriage counselor. A pharmacist is not a doctor. A pharmacist’s job is, I thought, silly me, to dispense medication and make sure the patient recieving that medication is informed about the medical implications of taking that medications. Medical implications. Not social. Not moral.

It’s a testament to the state of my despair that my first thought was, well, okay, if a pharmacist is going to act that way, they should be so labelled. That way, terrified patients won’t suffer humiliation at the hands of an unsympathetic dispensor. But that’s just ridiculous. If I refuse to do my job, I don’t get to work. A pharmacist taking this course of action should be fired. Instead, they’re the standard bearers at the desk at the back of the store. Bathed in the holy light of flourescents, a pharmacist now is given the option to reset your moral compass while handing you your antibiotics.

I swear, we are not just waging a war on terror. We are waging a war on women. God help us. God help our daughters.

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March 26th, 2005

Really, y’all: Markdown Syntax makes posting easier!

If you haven’t checked out the guide to Daring Fireball’s Markdown Syntax that I posted a few days back in a longer list of interesting features yet, you should. It really simplifies formatiting your entries. Which is good, because most of us are either lazy, more focused on content than style, or both.

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March 26th, 2005

Foxblocker: Shut The FOX Up!

As all-”block” Saturday continues, I’m pleased to share the best product of 2005: The Foxblocker:

FOXBlocker is an innovative new product that filters out the FOX News network. Simply screw the filter into the back of your TV and never be exposed to right wing propaganda again (at least through FOX News). Using a proprietary technology, the FOXBlocker works to filter out FOX News from your cable lineup.

Genius. Mom, if I didn’t know Dad would go nuts over this, one would already be on its way.

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March 26th, 2005

Southern bloc blocks cock talk

Sorry about the headline, I couldn’t resist. But this story, via BoingBoing! is, like my headline, both shocking and unsurprising.

There is a substantial buying bloc–namely, school boards in southern states–that follows suit with whatever the state school board of Texas does. These states buy textbooks uniformly, statewide. Most “blue states” buy district to district, so there is no unified bloc per se to counterbalance the southern states where points of politics are concerned. So this bloc of southern school boards has an unrivalled power to influence the choices of the major textbook publishers in the country–of which there are only like four, anyhow. Basically, they don’t publish anything the school board of Texas doesn’t buy.

You can see where this headed, but it’s already shockingly total. Right now, a sex ed textbook that isn’t “abstinence only” cannot be bought in the United States. Not a current one, not from any major publisher. There are inroads against evolution as well, but sex ed has basically been exterminated.

So much for the invisible hand, huh. Maybe we liberals can band together and subsidize these books, or buy them for local schools most in need of a little frank talk. But the obvious choice would be an Urban Archipelago strategy, where the largest urban districts in the country would coordinate their purchasing power.

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