Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mist Him

Why Obama Sucks

Barack Obama is a conservative.

“How do you figure?”

Where to begin...

- he fires people based on the whim of conservative bloggers
- he does nothing to an oil company that turns the Gulf of Mexico into the world’s largest oil slick
- his idea of health-care reform is requiring us by law to continue being duped by private insurance
- he has escalated wars in which we never should have been involved
- his administration sits idly by as the nation faces problem after problem

He’s a classic, small government, do-nothing (except go to war) conservative.

I didn’t vote for the guy. I wasn’t impressed with him during his campaign, and I’m just plain angry at his utter incompetence at this point. And frankly, I’m a little pissed off that Democrats won’t have any new blood to offer in 2012, leading to another pointless election between a moderate conservative and whichever Retardican manages to win the cold hearts and tiny minds of the lowest common denominators.

You know who I want? I want the guy Republicans were scaring people about. I want the Pinko Commie we were warned Obama would be. I guess I just want Dennis Kucinich, or Bernie Sanders.

I don’t know who to hate more these days: Obama, or the conservatives who won’t stop bitching about things he lacks the balls to do. You guys really deserve each other…

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Two Dudes: Too Soon?

I Do Declare

The move down south from Philadelphia has gone quite smoothly. My cat pooped in her carrier about an hour into our eight hour drive, but otherwise the ride down was uneventful.

I made a massive MP3 CD with over eight hours of music for the ride down (my wife owns an iPod, but I refuse to buy anything made by Apple after having to use a Macintosh computer for the first 13 years of my life; you cannot convince me that company is anything but a fetid pile of putrid filth). Most of the music was travel, home, or southern themed. Perhaps I’ll post the playlist at some point

The best part of moving to the south for me is being in range of Steak ’n Shake, which is a chain of diners that hasn’t made it to the Mid-Atlantic/New England Coast. The “steakburgers” they serve are rather lackluster, but their chili is some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s the kind of chili that is the consistency of mud, which is what I became accustomed to growing up in Michigan eating Coney dogs. The milkshakes and malts aren’t bad, either, and they use actual cherry and vanilla syrup to make cherry and vanilla Cokes.

However, Steak ’n Shake isn’t really southern, it’s primarily Midwestern and started in Illinois. The first really southern thing I tried was a soda called Cheerwine. I consider myself somewhat of a soda connoisseur. I’ve tried several, from Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray (celery flavored) to my personal favorite, Vernors (which is a vanilla flavored, 3 year barrel-aged ginger soda, and also happens to be the oldest American carbonated soft drink).

Cheerwine is interesting. It’s a dry cherry soda, with a twist: it’s caffeinated. While it’s not energy-drink levels of caffeine, it has slightly more caffeine per ounce than Coke Blak, which had coffee bean extract added to regular Coke (and is no longer made). At 48 mg per 12 ounce can, you might actually notice a buzz.

We ate at a great pizza place called the Mellow Mushroom. I had a pizza called “The Mighty Meaty,” which has pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, ham, and bacon. I was very happy with the pie, though I’m not much of a pizza snob (unlike people from New York… stuck up pricks and their cardboard garbage circles).

The final thing I initially noticed was on the first night I walked my dog. The cicadas are insane here. I’m used to crickets from living in the Midwest, but this is just nuts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Word: Refudiate

Refudiate: to both refute and repudiate

(The first of what I can only hope are countless Palinisms)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nothing To Hide Behind

I’m not necessarily sick of being called Ginx, but I was inspired by Nikkolas of Skeptical Eye to begin using my own name. Maybe I changed the spelling… maybe I didn’t. Maybe I switched my first name to my last and my last to my first… maybe I didn’t. Maybe I even used my middle name in place of my first or last name… maybe I didn’t.

Rest assured, my parents loved me enough to not use “Ginx” as my middle name.

Feel free to call me Ginx, or Bret, or Alan, or douchebag, or fucktarded assclown, whatever. If you’re commenting on a post, usually “you” is even sufficient. I’m really not picky. I just think you guys deserve to call me something besides a pseudonym. Hell, we even know DM’s name (Dennis Markuze).

Maybe the world could use less anonymity. We worship privacy, or at least our illusion of privacy. People are afraid to share their names online for fear that random people will attack them. Statistically, if you are murdered, you willingly gave the person a key to your house (and they usually are or were related to you).

We also flip out, crying “Gestapo!” when traffic cameras or police operated CCTV street corner surveillance systems are suggested. Meanwhile, there are not hours, but months and even years of footage of each and every one of us, not in the hands of a constitutionally bound government, but among private security firms, stores, and even residences.

I am not worried about “invasions of privacy,” so much as I am upset about the implications of why people need privacy. And they do need it.

I live in a country where many ridiculous things are legislated against. Not long ago, homosexual sex could have landed you in jail, and Texas is hoping to revive the practice. Drugs are also illegal, and the selective enforcement of the narcotics ban is, in my opinion, the single greatest racial problem in America today.

The bottom line: there are things people would be punished for doing if they were caught that I believe they should be allowed to do. However, I think seeing what people are actually doing may even help us begin properly legislating, as people can no longer hide. An accurate picture may help us come to our senses.

I’m not saying put cameras in homes, but public places (where anyone with a camera phone can “invade your privacy” at any second) are not subject to privacy beyond illegal search and seizure without probable cause.

If the police were stopping everyone on a street and searching them, I would say it was an invasion of privacy. If a camera records everything that happens, I’m not worried. Bear in mind, most surveillance footage is never viewed. Unless there is a reason to review the tape (e.g. a crime in the area is reported), most security videos collect dust and deteriorate.

I think it would also help to make the cameras conspicuous. Besides being a very real deterrence to crime (much more so than random citizens carrying concealed weapons), it would remind people… maybe so they don’t pick their nose or choose that spot for a quickie in the bushes.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Re: DM Spam

It has come to my attention that DM has actually been using the "Blogs I Read" list to link through to new posts for the purposes of spamming. DM is a notorious gibberish spewer (file photo below):

While I am flattered by this,  my "Blogs I Read" section will be down until further notice. I will still be visiting you all, but I think it will be best to just wait until the guy loses interest.

I cannot in good conscience subject others to his nonsense, especially since I feel many are annoyed by it. If you would like me to link to you, feel free to leave a comment requesting such and I will compile a list of brave souls individuals who want their sites advertised in defiance.

Infinite Inquiry #2

I dislike the south.


Where to begin… let’s start with Jesus billboards.


I found them patently inappropriate, especially the one that suggested I might die at any minute.


I shouldn’t be told I’m damned for eternity just because I wanted to take a drive and a church wants more asses in the pews.


Christians bitch and moan about atheist billboards, and they even vandalize them, leading me to believe I need to vandalize their billboards.


Christians believe that we should do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves.


I’m assuming when Jesus said that, he assumed people wouldn’t take that to mean, “Be rude to other people in my name.”


The Jesus as recorded in the gospels is not that kind of jerk.


There are not many things attributed to Jesus that are very offensive.


Probably a little artistic license.


It’s not like the people who wrote the Bible ever met Jesus.


It’s just a well established fact that the earliest New Testament writings were done long after the fact.


The earliest are the works of Paul, who admits to having never met Jesus.


I guess it’s easier to explain the inconsistencies that way.


Well, if Paul never met Jesus, that would account for why he has a very loose interpretation of Jesus.


It’s not enough to read about a guy based on his fans, because you cannot truly understand someone until you get to know them personally.


Human beings are not objective witnesses.


Primarily, our memory is imperfect, and we also have a tendency to lie or exaggerate.


We humans often let emotions get the best of us.


We are beings of chemistry, and emotional responses are chemical signals that influence our thought process and behavior.


Humans are merely bags of chemicals, not puppets controlled by flawless and perfect souls.


I don’t know, I guess that’s the best life could offer.


Several billion years isn’t enough time to create the perfect sentient being through natural selection.


I don’t know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tired... But I Have a Question

Got home from the south, and I have to know: why do they claim to hate the French, yet they put mayonaise on everything? I am not saying they should love the French, just stop using mayo.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Infinite Inquiry #1

This is an exercise I do from time to time in my head, and I figured I’d write a couple down. The idea is, I start with a statement or question which I answer briefly, and then I keep asking myself “Why?” until I can’t come up with a succinct answer. I also call this the “Virtual 3-year-old” game.

I have to move to the south.


My wife got a job as a professor at a university there.


She worked very hard for years, studying people.


I guess she’s just kind of nosey, and has to know everything.


For her, it’s not enough to just pretend you know what you’re talking about.


Probably because she’s not a Republican.


She doesn’t loathe women’s rights, gay people, or foreigners.


She’s not a complete prick.


Her parents may have been mean at times, but they did a decent job of making her tolerant.


I bet it comes from being raised Jewish.


Jewish people are technically outsiders, even though I know people claim this is a “Judeo-Christian” culture.


Apparently accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is a big deal to Americans.


Maybe because Americans are so fat and unhealthy, they’ve given up on their bodies and are trying to save their souls.


It’s miserable to have nothing going for you, so I’m sure imagining one’s spiritual self as apart from this filthy, sweaty, smelly, leathery bag of meat that we trudge through life with is appealing.


We’d all like to believe there’s something more to us.


Most of us aren’t that impressive.


Probably a combination of people being difficult to please and the sheer number of us means we have some interesting abnormalities with which to compare ourselves.


Never being happy with what you have is evolutionarily beneficial, as it drives us to improve.


Those who are content will not change, while those who are discontent are apt to innovate.


Those who are happy have no interest in changing things, while those who are unhappy have something to gain and nothing to lose by trying new things.


People like to be happy, but they don’t like to be unhappy.


Most people are pleasure seekers, not masochists.


Honestly… I have no idea. I know I prefer pleasure over pain, but I can’t exactly say why.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where I’m At

It’s a hectic time right now for me. My job is winding down. I worked as a Crew Leader for the census, and have managed to keep that secret as long as I’ve held a badge. I’m still collecting a tiny paycheck or two for a half-hour here or there as I finish collecting government property from the more delinquent of the employees I am responsible for, but I am officially not a government employee anymore.

My wife and I are also moving down to… am I allowed to say? I don’t know. It’s south, too south for comfort. South enough that the place is known for civil rights protests. The kind of place where, when a lady walks by, men tip their hat and stop kicking the negro curled in the fetal position at their feet. It’s a more polite place (until they find out my wife is Jewish).

Most of our stuff is boxed up, and we’re going down Monday to sign the mortgage. It’s going to be my first time seeing the home we’re going to purchase, as I had to work while my wife was house-hunting. In theory, utilities including internet will be set up the day we sign, and we’ll be staying in the house on an inflatable mattress for a few days as we talk to a contractor about fixing the fence in our backyard. Then we come back to finish packing, load up some portable storage units over 3 days (ideally doing the most when the weather is best), then drive down again, this time with the three cats, as well as our dog.

It’s boring me just writing about it.

So that’s my personal life, pretty much. I avoided talking about my job because there were specific complaints about “tweets” that violated confidentiality laws, so I figured I would avoid men in black suits coming to my door by just talking about it all after the fact. I might have a post or two about it in the next week or so, or I may just drop weird tidbits into things from time to time.

I’m not looking forward to moving to the South, and it’s not because I’m so fond of Philadelphia. I’m not from Philly. I only lived here for eight years. They weren’t even particularly pleasant years, and I can honestly say the city will leave a bad taste in my mouth (namely a greasy steak and cheese film).

Some people say stupid things that are variations of the phrase, “People are basically the same everywhere.” This is total bullshit. People who say this have either always lived in the same place or they live within insulated social bubbles. So yes, it is true that upper-middle class white folks are pretty much identical everywhere. That isn’t saying much.

There is a marked difference between the average person in Philadelphia and the average person in Indiana (where I lived from 5th grade until I graduated high school). I can’t speak much to the character of those in Michigan, where I lived from 1st through 4th grade, and if I was going by what I remember of Missouri… I would say everyone there is very, very tall.

Philadelphia gets weather a day after Indiana, but Indiana gets everything else about 5 years later. People in Indiana use their turn signals and will wave you to go at a 4-way stop, while people in Philly don’t use headlights at night and roll through stop signs. People in Indiana wave and say, “Hello,” to random strangers, while people in Philly ask you what time it is at 3am, then mug you.

Honestly, the biggest difference I noticed is in personal responsibility. If you live in Indiana and you tell your friend you want to see a movie at 8pm, at about 7:45pm, both of you will be standing in line to buy a ticket. You would need a magic wand or a friend from the Midwest in order to have this happen in Philly. I honestly told several Philly friends (or Phriends) that things started a half hour early, so they would be “on time” by my standards.

“Who wants to see a bunch of previews or the opening credits?”

I don’t know, maybe everyone who doesn’t want a seat in the front row, craning their neck straight up? And once the movie starts, if you live in Philly, you better not mind a lot of chatter.

So honestly, people are not the same everywhere. People aren’t unrecognizably unique by region, nor are they homogenized herds, but the distribution of attitudes and behaviors are not uniform. As I settle into my life in the South, I’m sure I will learn firsthand all that comes from a population of people with a Baptist upbringing.

Friday, July 2, 2010

An Unlikely Source

A spark of reason shone bright in the Republican camp recently. Of course, saying something brilliant is grounds for immediate removal from the Republican party, so expect Michael Steele to step down as Chairman of the Republican National Committee for suggesting we leave Afghanistan.

Sure, the comment was made nestled between claims that Afghanistan was a war of Obama’s choosing and a call to increase our efforts in Iraq, but this is a Republican we’re talking about here!

So, Michael Steele, I never believed I would be doing this, but I salute you for your efforts to drum up support for ending at least one of the ridiculous wars we’re involved in.

It’s a shame that at a time when we are confronted with problems of vast importance, all we get is half-vast efforts from our politicians.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Two Dudes: Threesome

I Normally Wouldn't...

...say this, but....

Will someone please rape Sharron Angle? You'll be doing the Lord's work!

*EDIT* I am a firm opponent of rape. Remember, "No" means "buy me more stuff."
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