Tim Eyman is a big fat idiot–and a bigot

In case you missed it, Tim Eyman, our statewide superhero for selfish anti-community, anti-transit, anti-tax irritations has broadened his horizons and is now also a full-on crusader for bigotry.

Yep, Tim and his crew of ignorant little creeps want to try get an iniative on the ballot to undo the anti-discrimination billl that finally passed the state legislature last week.

Of course, the thing is, in reading his diatribe, it’s clear that not only is he a bigot, but an enormously stupid one at that. What’s his rationale for opposing the law? That preferential treatment for a class of citizens is wrong. Uhm? Right. Which is why the law is good. Remember, it undoes the preferential treatment that straight people had under the law before, and now provides equal protection.

I’d like to propose an initiative for the ballot as well–that for the good of the people, Tim Eyman be banished to one of the Aleutian Islands. Or, it might be just as satisfying to kick that bastard in the nuts.

I love John Sununu and Ted Stevens!

Love might be a strong word, but for today I’m feeling generous. These two Republican Senators singlehandedly iced the dramatically stupid and painfully restrictive “broadcast flag” and “audio flag” laws pushed by the MPAA and RIAA. Boing Boing has the scoop, via the EFF:

[Sununu] pointed out that “we have a whole history of similar technological innovation that has shown us that the market can respond with its own protection to the needs of the artists.” And he concluded with one of the most damning depictions of the ahistorical nature of the flag (clip from Congressional RealVideo) you’ll hear on the Hill:

“The suggestion is that if we don’t do this, it will stifle creativity. Well…we have now an unprecedented wave of creativity and product and content development…new business models, and new methodologies for distributing this content. The history of government mandates is that it always restricts innovation…why would we think that this one special time, we’re going to impose a statutory government mandate on technology, and it will actually encourage innovation?”

The second revelation, dropped into the later discussion of the RIAA’s audio flag, was that Senator Stevens’ daughter bought him an iPod.

This is unhappy news for the RIAA. Once again, their representative was forced to burst into praises of MP3 players (a technology his organization attempted to sue out of existence in 1998).

And when Stevens asked whether with the audio flag in place he would be able to record from the radio and put the shows onto his iPod: that’s when the RIAA’s Mitch Bainwol really began to sweat.

With that simple question, the octogenarian Senator encapsulated arguments about place-shifting, interoperability, and fair use that would have taken whole federal dockets to explain a few years ago.

I’m not only thrilled with this decision, I’m overjoyed to see evidence that our Senators are actually asking lobbyists tough questions and using their common sense. More of that, please!

And another victory in the war against terrorism

This a more positive one, though still it’s not an unequivocal one. And one that, again, highlights that religious extremists are the most dangerous people in the world today.

Yay! Finally the anti-discrimination bill passed in Washington, providing legal protection for all people, regardless of sexual orientation in housing, employment, and lending. I’m pleased as punch that it passed. Much rejoicing and all that.

But reading further in the PI article certainly dampened my excitement. The hate-filled and ignorant statements representing the 23 state senators who voted against the bill just left me flabberghasted and sad. Because the thrust of their argument is that the bill endorses discrimination by not allowing religious extremists to deny another group of people equal protection under the law.

Just think about the statement they are making here. What kind of religion–what kind of person–is dependent upon being able to legally repress another group of people?

According to Sen. Dan Swecker, “The bill would trample religious freedom for those who believe homosexuality is wrong.” The bill certainly doesn’t require any church to allow gay marriage, gay clergy, or even gay constituents. It doesn’t require that anyone be gay. It requires that people of all sexual orientations have the same basic rights in employment, lending, and housing. Anyone who feels that threatens their ability to practice their religion clearly belongs to a seriuosly fucked up church.

So I’m sorry I can’t be overjoyed by the bill passing, though I’m relieved and heartened, and my fullest congratulations to our Rep Ed Murray for sticking with this one all these years. You did good, Ed. I just wish more of your colleagues were made of the same good stock.

And it is a victory on the war against religious terrorism that the right is waging within our borders.

A clear victory in the war against terrorism

Unfortunately, it’s for the bin Laden side.

Very little commentary needed. 53% of Americans are ok with unwarranted wiretaps if they think it will help protect them from a terrorist act.

Bush can hem and haw all he wants about how passing laws to allow him to do what he’s doing anyway let the terrorists know what we’re doing. So what? They win. Americans fear terrorism more than they care about preserving the fundamental basis of what this country is about.

(I’m also tempted to talk about the emptiness of any of those 53% talking about supporting our troops who are out there protecting our liberties. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are apparently over their putting themselves in real jeopardy for a bunch of cowards who are perfectly willing to let someone risk their lives to protect not our freedom and liberty, but our lazy, gas-guzzling, selfish lifestyles.)

I leave you with two thoughts.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” –Benjamin Franklin, 1755

“Harsh times call for harsh measures. Americans have a greater right to be safe than to be private.” —Joseph Palladino, Jan 23, 2006

The Prejudice Test

I’m sure the good folks at Harvard would object to me calling it a “Prejudice Test”, but that’s basically what the Implicit Association Test measures. It’s an on-line psychology test, that measures your bias towards certain populations or concepts. Unlike most psych tests — typically the “soft” kind — this one is built around a true experimental design with a quantitative response: the time it takes you to associate, say, the work “shameful” with the picture of a gay couple. It’s hard to describe (although Slate makes a good attempt); you really have to try it to see what’s going on. There are many tests you can try: for Race, Gender, Religion, even Presidents. I tried the Gay one, and according to the test I have a “moderate automatic preference for Gay People compared to Straight People”. The results may surprise you.

Bist Du Deutschland?

I hope you’re not missing the flap in the blogosphere over the “Du Bist Deutschland” (You Are Germany) campaign. It’s well described in this article in Der Spiegel’s English edition here. (This story was Technorati’s top search last week.)

Let’s see if I can paraphrase. Very briefly:

  1. Ad agency launches “Du Bist Deutschland” campaign designed to cheer up gloomy Germans.
  2. Photo discovered  and published. Oops. “Denn Du Bist Deutchland” was a National Socialist campaign.
  3. Story gets blogged like crazy. Parodies erupt everywhere.
  4. Ad agency guy blasts bloggers, saying, “They’re the toilet walls of the internet.” Oops.
  5. Story gets blogged like crazy, Parodies erupt everywhere. You can now add a little “Ich bin Klowand” (I’m a toilet wall) chiclet to your site.
  6. Lather, rinse, repeat.

There’s a huge Flickr set of “Du Bist Deutschland” paraodies. I was suprised to find that hidden amongst them are Sabrinak‘s stunning photos of the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Not your typical response – and worth a look.

The Intel Integration continues

The new Mac mini project, code-named Kaleidoscope, will feature an Intel processor and include both Front Row 2.0 and TiVo-like DVR functionality.

If I went to sleep 3 years ago and woke up today I would probably be in shock (because of many things but let’s keep to technology, specifically Intel and Apple for this discussion). Dual core processors that are 64 bits? Intel chips in Apple products? No more Pentium brand for Intel? Video on an iPod? What’s next?
The Apple Media Center (although not officially named that I thought I’d give it another go. I’m 0 fer 1 on names) is set to debut sometime in February, or so I’m told. Although I haven’t seen the exact specs you can expect the tiny Apple Media Center to tie TV, music, games, internet surfing and video editing/music recording to your couch. If you work at home you’ll never have to leave your couch except to eat and visit the toilet (that inconvenience can be eliminated with a product I’ll be selling… the iCath and the iIV).
Sporting a tv tuner, wireless keyboard/mouse, TiVo-like DVR functionality, the Intel Duo Core chip and a Mac Mini shell, the Media Center should appeal to the masses. Apple has already found ways to put it’s name in the hands of millions and now it’s going for the living rooms of everyone. It’s the next logical step. Could it be that you can download that episode of Lost (if you didn’t TiVo it) you missed and watch it on your 61” plasma TV without having to move your bum or burn it to a DVD. Or if you did TiVo it, you can watch it or put it on your iPod and take it with you to watch in the bathroom (cause you don’t have the iCath).
Microsoft has been doing this for 2 years now but let’s be honest, this’ll be better and more expensive. I expect it’ll cost more than the Mac Mini because of the Intel Chip, much needed bigger hard drive and it’s wireless capabilities. I guess between 750 and 999 frosties ;0)