100% All-Natural Content
No Artificial Intelligence!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Noah's Ark found, says team (and they even brought photos to prove it)

The World Net Daily site is getting slammed right now but here's part of the story that I was able to pull. Amazing... if true. The Ark has been "found" in about a dozen places stretching from Turkey to Afghanistan over the years, so I'm going to remain healthily skeptical until we know more for sure. But it's still fascinating to consider this might be the real thing:
A 14-man crew that included evangelical apologist Josh McDowell says it returned from a trek to a mountain in Iran with possible evidence of the remains of Noah's Ark.

The group, led by explorer Bob Cornuke, found an unusual object perched on a slope 13,120 feet above sea level.

Cornuke, president of the archeological Base Institute and a veteran of nearly 30 expeditions in search of Bible artifacts and locations, said he is cautiously, but enthusiastically, optimistic about the find...

...Also on the team were Barry Rand, former CEO of Avis; Boone Powell, former CEO of Baylor Medical Systems; and Arch Bonnema, president of Joshua Financial.

The team returned with video footage of a large black formation, about 400 feet long – the length of the ark, according to the Bible – that looks like rock but bears the image of hundreds of massive, wooden, hand-hewn beams.

Bonnema observed: "These beams not only look like petrified wood, they are so impressive that they look like real wood – this is an amazing discovery that may be the oldest shipwreck in recorded history."

The team said one piece of the blackened rock is "cut" at 90-degree angle.

Even more intriguing, they said, some of the wood-like rocks tested this week proved to be petrified wood.

It's noteworthy, they pointed out, that the Bible recounts Noah sealed his ark with pitch, a black substance.

When the retrieved pieces were cut open, a marine fossil was discovered. In the area around the object, the team found thousands of fossilized sea shells, and Cornuke brought back a one-inch thick rock slab replete with fossilized clams.

With the discovery of wood splinters and broken pottery at the remote 15,300-foot level, the team says it also found evidence that ancients considered it an important worship site for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Cornuke became involved in the search for the ark after meeting Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, participating with him in several searches on Mount Ararat in Turkey, but with disappointing results.

Cornuke began looking elsewhere, after finding clues in the Bible such as Genesis 11's reference to descendants of Noah coming to the Mesopotamian valley from the east. Cornuke believes that would put the biblical mountains of Ararat somewhere in northern Iran.

He also points to ancient historians such as Nicholas of Damascus and Flavius Josephus who wrote, just before and after Christ, that timbers of the ark had survived in the higher mountains of present-day Iran.

Cornuke noted that during World War II, an American Army officer and road construction engineer in Iran named Ed Davis said he saw the ark on a high mountain in the country after being led there by Iranian friends. After the war, according to Cornuke, Davis passed a lie detector test affirming he saw timbers from an ark-like object.

Before his death, Davis gave Cornuke a map showing the way to the object.

"It was right where Ed said it was in his map," Cornuke said. "After seeing it from a distance, I thought it at first unimpressive, but once we stood on the object we were all amazed at how it looked just like a huge pile of black and brown stone beams."...

Awright, so you wanna see this thing for yourself, eh? Slam down with the mouse here for some pics of a curious ark-sized object. There's also another story about the find over at AOL News.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

TRANSFORMERS teaser unfolds online

In 2003,
the Beagle 2 Mars Rover
was launched

We were told it crashed

Its final transmission
was classified top secret

It was the only warning
we would ever get

The Official Transformers movie website has the first "teaser" for next summer's movie. It's very slow to download (and it's in Flash video format which I would have much preferred it be Quicktime) but it looks great when you finally get it. Reminds me a lot of the feel that Independence Day had going for it. So if you don't mind a 20-30 minute download time and you can't wait to see it attached to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest next week, click on the link above.

Want to watch this week's MONDAY NIGHT LIVE that I produced?

Click here to watch this week's Monday Night Live (in Windows Media format), the first that I produced... featuring Yours Truly as the voice of "Greta" from the Bulgarian Institute of Standards and Technology. Thanks to Richard Moore (AKA "BillyBobMan") for hosting it!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tonight's serving from Netflix: MOTHER, JUGS & SPEED

I've seen this movie a few times already (and first wrote about it several months ago) but it's so darned funny I just had to put it on the Netflix queue. So tonight Lisa and I watched Mother, Jugs & Speed, the 1976 flick starring Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch and Harvey Keitel as staff members of a private ambulance company that breaks all the rules ("Everything in this place is illegal" as Cosby's character Mother says at one point). This is one of the most hilarious movies ever made in my opinion, and also the darkest comedy that I think Bill Cosby has done at any point in his career. Lisa thought it was really good and it was fun to watch her reactions to some scenes, like the part where Murdoch insists on riding in the back of the rig with the female patient (not to mention the "out-of-control gurney" scene). I can't recommend Mother, Jugs & Speed highly enough if you're in the mood for a good comedy to watch on some summer evening.

Here's Mr. Fishbine's opening monologue from the movie. I crack up every time I hear this...

"I don’t have to tell you people times are tough. You read the papers. The country’s going to Hell. Now you take inflation, recession, welfare. There’s nothing we can do about that. But thanks to muggings, malnutrition, assassination, and disease, we got a chance to make a buck! I can see that some of you men must be shocked by that statement, but I didn’t write the rules of life myself, no sir! The cripple, the junkie, the wounded, and the dying. Society calls them all worthless. They’re not worthless. Not to us! To us each one is worth $42.50 plus 50 cents a mile, and let’s not forget it! When it comes to realizing that people in distress will jump into the first rig that shows up, well, then that’s when the drive and enthusiasm of you men will make the difference! But there’s another group out there, men... and I will not dignify the Unity Ambulance Company my mentioning its name, but they want our territory. Our sick! Your jobs! But we’re not gonna let them do it to us, are we men? You bet we’re not! No sir!"

(Jugs tells them they've got a call about a woman in labor)

"A woman in labor. What could be more eloquent than that? Well, it looks like life has it’s own little ways of summing up the situation, doesn’t it men? Gentlemen? The F&B Ambulance Company is rolling!"

By the way, I've heard from several people that this is definitely a must-see movie if you're involved in medical/rescue services. Who knows... maybe you'll relate to this movie somehow :-)

Darth Larry reviews SUPERMAN RETURNS

Haven't seen it yet (wish I could have caught the 10 o'clock showings last night 'cept I had a shift at the station) but Darth Larry - my oftentimes filmgoing companion and all-around nice guy - has a great review of Superman Returns up on his blog, in a style that can only be called his own. Makes me want to see this movie that much more. I'm probably going to see it sometime in the next few days, with Lisa and maybe a few other friends. I got a feeling that this is the kind of epic best shared the first time with the people you know best. Anyhoo, expect my own review to pop up here sometime afterwards.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

SPIDER-MAN 3 teaser swings online

And we even get to see the symbiote (the black blob that becomes the black costume). Mash down here to watch this amazing trailer in Quicktime format.

Monday, June 26, 2006

This will be a night long remembered...

I guess I've come full circle now. Or maybe just call it "karmic retribution" for all the calls that I used to make to this show. Years ago in high school a lot of us used to watch Monday Night Live on the local TV station. Some of us liked to call up and see if we could get away with prank calls (like the forever-infamous "laughing box" caller). I loved to call this show up and talk about serious stuff, but I will admit now to making a few joke calls every now and then. Well, tonight I was running Monday Night Live as, I guess you could say I was the producer. And I got to join in the fun with hosts Ken and Mark as the voice of "Greta", the lady from the Bulgarian Institute of Standards and Technology ("B.I.S.T."). I know, to a lot of people this all doesn't sound like much, but for me it was a big thing that was a lot of fun to do. Who would have thought all those years ago that I would someday be on the other end of the phone line. Ahhhh, good times!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

New study: Adult immaturity is on the rise

An article on the Discovery Channel's website talks about a recent study which indicates that today's adults are increasingly loath to grow up...
Serious Study: Immaturity Levels Rising

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

June 23, 2006 —The adage "like a kid at heart" may be truer than we think, since new research is showing that grown-ups are more immature than ever.

Specifically, it seems a growing number of people are retaining the behaviors and attitudes associated with youth.

As a consequence, many older people simply never achieve mental adulthood, according to a leading expert on evolutionary psychiatry.

Among scientists, the phenomenon is called psychological neoteny.

Personally, I don't know of very many people who fit the description of "psychological neoteny".

Stay tuned for my next article: a review of the blockbuster hit Nintendo DS game New Super Mario Bros.

Friday, June 23, 2006

WATCHMEN prepares to chew up and spit out another one

Zach Snyder is the latest filmmaker to be tapped to direct Watchmen, it's being announced today. He follows Terry Gilliam, Darren Aranofsky, Paul Greengrass and several others over the past two decades who've attempted to bring the Alan Moore graphic novel to the big screen. And like them, I'll wager it's only a matter of time before he throws his hands in the air in total surrender. I've already posted before (here and a longer rant here) that Watchmen is probably the one book of modern literature that is absolutely unfilmmable. The only way it could possibly work is, as has been suggested by many, adapt it into a twelve-part series for HBO. Give each chapter of the book a one-hour installment, and maybe then everything in this most dense of stories could be conveyed to the average viewer. But there's no way, no way at all, that Watchmen can be boiled down into a 2-3 hour movie and stay faithful to the original source material.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Christian film flap shows farce of movie rating system

Facing The Giants, a film made by Baptist pastors in Georgia, is getting a PG rating from the Motion Pictures Association of America. That's not good enough, the filmmakers and others are saying: they want a more "family-friendly" G rating. The MPAA has received around 15,000 complaints so far about their decision to make Facing The Giants PG. Opponents say the movie is being unfairly targetted because of its religious themes.

There's two problems that I see here: one, the whole rating system is terrible. It's capriciousness in determining what is - and what isn't - suitable for the screen is legendary. Mostly it has to do with how it's not a system that's suited for determining the merits of an individual film at all, but rather an arbitrary determinant of how controversial a movie is likely to be. I imagine that if Facing The Giants does have a lot of Christian sentiment, that alone would raise the eyebrows of the judging board. Clearly, some other system is needed.

Now, the second: these Christians, and too many of us do this also, are giving the rating system way too much importance. I know of some Christian parents who won't let their children see any movies with a rating over a G. Okay, well does that automatically qualify the movie for family viewing? I've seen plenty of PG-rated movies that should have been rated R, or at least PG-13. And one R-rated movie in recent memory, The Passion of the Christ, had a very powerful Christian element to it. I'm not saying that little kids should be allowed to see that, but there are certainly enough adolescents and up who could readily comprehend that movie... and maybe be affected by it in a positive way on some level. As it is, I know that some Christian pastors literally begged their congregations to "go see this R-rated movie!"

We as Christians are supposed to adhere to another measure than that imposed by the world around us. When we let something like a "PG rating" get under our skin, it's saying to the world that it has a power over us, when instead we are supposed to be free from its grasp.

Long story short: Christians should start thinking for themselves more, instead of letting others - like the Motion Picture Association of America - think for them.

More thoughts on last week's visit from the Westboro Baptist mob

Adam Feldman posts some good thoughts about last week's picket of the Southern Baptist Convention by the Westboro Baptist Church (here's the link to my earlier report on their visit to our TV station). I like this part of Adam's essay especially...
For the record: What you see is what happens when truth is presented half-way. For instance, Scripture (Old and New Testaments) clearly teach that homosexuality is a sin--along with gluttony, pride, anger, malice, idolatry, adultery, disobeying parents, drunkenness, orgies, witchcraft and a host of other things. However, no where does it indicate that man can pass judgment or condemn a fellow man... this is reserved for God alone. Likewise, Scripture clearly teaches that all have sinned--not just homosexuals--and that everyone (yes, everyone) is deserving of eternal separation from God as a result (i.e. Hell). However, Scripture also teaches that God in his loving mercy and grace has provided forgiveness of sin and redemption from sinful behavior through his Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen, bruddah!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Superhero Sand Volleyball

Credit goes to "Weird" Ed for finding this...

The mighty Amiga 2000 and Video Toaster 3.1 combo

Last night our TV station had a telethon to raise money for a local charity. As the evening progressed a graphic on the screen kept a running score on how much money had been raised. And so it was that I got my first up-close look at a Commodore Amiga 2000 loaded with a Video Toaster board. This morning during a slow period I let myself play around with it some. And all I gotta say is: it ain't too bad at all... for a computer that's twenty years old!
Once upon a time (and I feel old just from remembering it so well) there was a computer company called Commodore. It was one of several firms making computers for the home user back in the early 1980s, and there were others like Tandy, Texas Instruments, Apple, Atari, Coleco (okay how many people reading this will remember the Adam?), and probably the most well-known of them was Commodore. It had models like the Vic-20 and the Commodore 64. One thing you gotta remember though: none of these systems were compatible with the others. Which was the main reason why they all started falling out of favor as the IBM clones began taking over (the only exception of course being Apple).

Well, toward the later end of what was a remarkable run in the home computer market, Commodore rolled out the Amiga: maybe the first serious multimedia platform anywhere. There were a few models available for various-sized budgets, but the high-end system was the Amiga 2000. It boasted what was then a whopping 512 K of RAM, which depending on release version it was it could go all the way up to (back in the day anyway) an inconceivably huge 9 MB of memory. The processor speed was 7.14 mHz. And the way the entire system was clocked to run... well, let's just say it lent itself toward some astounding applications.

In 1990, Brad Carvey (brother of Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live fame, and the inspiration for "Wayne's World" character Garth), Tim Jenison and a few other engineers at a company called NewTek rolled out the Video Toaster. And the Amiga 2000's full capabilities were at last unleashed...

The Video Toaster was a hardware/software combo that took advantage of how well the Amiga was synced to television signals. The hardware was a plug-in board with several video inputs and outputs. Among the things included with the software was a 3-D rendering engine... something quite revolutionary for a personal computer at the time.

The Amiga 2000, loaded with a Video Toaster, could create a virtually limitless number of titles, graphics, wipes, and other visual elements for real time television production. As a result, hundreds of smaller TV stations (and many visual artists) were able to do with approximately $5000 - the cost of an Amiga and a Video Toaster - what the big network affiliates in town were doing with equipment costing $50,000 and up. Probably the most impressive thing that the Amiga/Video Toaster combo did was rendering the special effects for the pilot movie and first few seasons of the television series Babylon 5, which called into service an entire render farm of networked-together Amigas loaded with Video Toasters.

There's no telling how many Amiga 2000s and Video Toasters wound up being put to work out there. And amazingly enough a few of them - like the setup at our station - are still being used, now almost a decade and a half after acquiring the equipment (the Video Toaster we're using is version 3.1, released in 1993).

NewTek is still making Video Toaster these days, but it's now a plug-in board/software suite for Windows-based machines. No doubt the latest versions are much more robust and slick than the original Amiga versions and certainly faster: it took our system about fifteen seconds to update the dollar amount last night as the pledges came in. But, it still works and gets the job done. And in the end, isn't that the real measure of how good a computer is, no matter how antiquated it may seem? Does it do what it's intended and does it do it fairly well?

In a cyber-driven society that's gone mad with upgrading to the latest model, our station's humble little Amiga 2000 and Video Toaster 3.1 are a nice reminder to me that older technology still has qualities that merit some appreciation. If for no other reason than because they helped pave the way for all the things that we can do with the latest innovations. But it's still nice to know that against the more modern tech, a 20 year old computer and an early Nineties circuit board are still holding their own.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

TERRIBLE new episode of DOCTOR WHO this past weekend

No, not talking about the Christopher Eccleston season that's been running on Sci-Fi Channel. I'm referring to the new series that's been airing on the BBC in Great Britain, which is getting bootlegged to this side of the pond over the Internet by those jolly good English chaps.

Saturday night I downloaded and watched "Love & Monsters" a few hours after it premiered there. And ever since it's been like a splinter in my mind, driving me mad. You know how some things you can't "unsee" after you've seen them? Well, that's what "Love & Monsters" is.

I've raved a lot about how good this new Doctor Who series has been: the Eccleston episodes and now David Tennant's turn as the Doctor: episodes like "The Girl in the Fireplace", "The Age of Steel" and then "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" two-parter. All excellent work. Like that guy in Big Trouble in Little China: "I've got a really positive feeling about this."

And then comes "Love & Monsters".

This could have been a brilliant episode. I keep thinking this might have been to Doctor Who what "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" was to The X-Files (or what the other Jose Chung episode was to Millennium).

I can accept the "Scooby-Doo" antics at the beginning, and the L.I.N.D.A. group, and the off-kilter way how this episode was presented: as a perspective from the average "man on the street" who witnesses all these events of the Doctor's adventures. I can even accept the Absorbalof as a unique creature in the Doctor Who bestiary.

What I can not accept is the horrible, horrible ending: something is lost from the Doctor's character when he "rescues" a woman by trapping her disembodied head - that will never die - in a slab of pavement so she can be used for oral sex by her boyfriend.

This episode was vile and disgusting... a real shame 'cuz it had so much promise. If the BBC was smart it would make "Love & Monsters" one of those legendary "lost" Doctor Who episodes that forevermore only exists in the memory of whoever got conned into watching it.

Maybe there's some redeeming quality about this episode that I'm missing. Maybe someone will tell me where that is. But as it is, "Love & Monsters" has the dubious honor of being the first Doctor Who episode to get wiped off my hard drive. There's three more episodes this season: hope they're better than this dreck was. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to just forget that "Love & Monsters" ever happened. This is some kind of sick twisted fevered delusion that doesn't belong at all in the Who canon.

(Besides, if you ask me there's no way the Sonic Screwdriver could pull off a trick like that.)

Why Brando in SUPERMAN RETURNS will be remembered

Ain't It Cool News has a terrific exclusive about how special-effects house Rhythm & Hues was able to take footage of Marlon Brando that was shot for 1978's Superman: The Movie and incorporate it into Superman Returns, which'll be out next week. You can watch the rather hypnotic video of how they dunnit in either Quicktime or Windows Media format at the link. For some reason, watching this really makes me excited about seeing this movie in a way that hasn't hit me before...
A month or so ago it was Brando returning in The Godfather videogame, and now this. Makes you wonder if a CGI-enhanced edition of Apocalypse Now is in the works, don't it? :-P

Monday, June 19, 2006

My wife, the song parodist!

As another year of being a music teacher at her school was wrapping up, Lisa began undertaking something she's never done before: writing a song parody. And I must say, she did a pretty darned funny job with it! Click here for "Teacher's Favorite Things"!

Want to save videos from YouTube and Google Video?

Then KeepVid is the site you need. Simply paste in the URL of the page at YouTube, Google Video or wherever else that your desired video is on, select which site it is from the drop-down menu and hit the "Download" button. In a few seconds KeepVid generates a clickable "save as..." link, which in the case of YouTube you'll need to add the .FLV extension to it and have a Flash video player like this one installed in order to watch it from your hard drive. I just tried this trick on the surreal-as-heck clip of Connie Chung singing and it works just fine (downloading the video that is, not Chung's crooning).

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Pigs R Us takes the checkered flag in race for excellent barbecue

Last month when Lisa and I were in Charleston for "Weird" Ed and Olivia's wedding, we were watching some TV in our hotel room one night and happened to catch a special on the Food Network about the Best of the West Rib Cook-Off that's held every year in Reno, Nevada. The program was filmed during the 2004 competition, and our mouths watered at the sight of all those beautiful slabs of barbecue ribs. One of the featured competitors was an outfit called Checkered Pig BBQ, based out of Martinsville, Virginia... just a quick hop across the border from where we live. Well, Checkered Pig won the big contest over a ton of worthy competitors from all over the country, and we told ourselves that night that we'd have to check them out when we got back home. We did that earlier tonight. And boy are we glad that we did!

Checkered Pig is actually the racing circuit spin-off of Pigs R Us BBQ in Martinsville, not far from the NASCAR racetrack. We found its official website and got directions to the place. Took maybe 45 minutes to get there and it's a little off the main highways, but well worth looking for. We told our waitress that we'd heard of the place from the special on Food Network and she said that ever since it ran, that they'd been getting new customers at a staggering rate. We looked over the menu: Lisa got chopped barbecue and I got the full rack of barbecue ribs. When my plate arrived the ribs were smothered in the restaurant's special Checkered Pig Grilling Sauce (a bottle of which I bought and took home while we were leaving).

Pigs R Us BBQ is awesome!!! Every thing about this restaurant is perfect in my book: good and friendly service, all food fresh and home-cooked, prompt delivery of food after it's been ordered... and what might be the best barbecue ribs I've had anywhere. I've written before here about Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q in Marietta, Georgia (a full review of the place is planned in the future) and how much I love their ribs, but I only get to eat there when we're visiting Lisa's family in Georgia and those are goooooood ribs! And I've been wanting ribs around here that are that high a level of excellent. Well, I think I've finally found it. I can seriously see myself visiting the place at least once a month from now on. I'm very much looking forward to another visit to Pigs R Us: maybe the best-kept secret when it comes to great barbecue in the entire Greensboro/Reidsville/Danville metro area :-)

Biggest mistake ever in comic book history

Or, it could wind up being one of the best and boldest ever. You might have heard the news already that Spider-Man "outs" himself as Peter Parker before a stunned press conference (and an even more stunned J. Jonah Jameson) in Times Square. It all takes place in issue #2 of the Civil War saga going on right now from Marvel Comics. In a story that's playing out across several monthly titles (and the core Civil War series) the super-powered community of the Marvel Universe is split over the issue of the Superhero Registration Act: a government mandate that would force all the heros to reveal their true identities. Spider-Man is one of those coming out in favor of the act, hence Parker's "act of goodwill".

Color me cynical, but I've still got bad memories of the disastrous-as-hell "Clone Saga": a Spider-Man story that started with only the best of intentions but soon spun completely out of the writers's control. I guess if the Marvel honchos decide that doing this was a very bad decision, they can always count on Doctor Strange to mystically alter the memories of everyone on Earth so that Petey can have his secret identity again. But then again, change can be a very good thing, especially when we're dealing with a forty-some year old character, if it helps keep that character fresh. Time will tell. In the meantime I might have to check out Civil War.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Westboro Baptist members will die sooner or later

On November 3rd, 1979, the Communist Workers Party staged a rally not far away from here in Greensboro, North Carolina. Party members were trying to organize local workers to oppose the Ku Klux Klan. During the rally the protestors chanted "Death to the Klan!", especially as a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis drove past. A few minutes later the Nazi-Klan people parked their cars, opened up the trunks, brought out several shotguns and other firearms, and opened fire on the rally. Five members of the Communist Workers were killed, and several more injured. Nobody was convicted of what happened that day.

Everything about the whole event was ugly. I don't understand why some people in Greensboro keep bringing it up. There was nothing "socially significant" about what happened that day at all: it was two groups of people who hated each other, and one way or another they were both aching too much for a confrontation to let one slide by. It was like two schoolyard bullies going at it against each other, but with grownups and guns. I've never had any sympathy toward either party involved: as much as the Nazi-Klansmen caused bloodshed in the tragedy, the Communist Workers only had themselves to blame for antagonizing them in the first place.

(Here's a video of the confrontation on YouTube, showing not only the Nazi-Klansmen shooting at the Communists but the Communists shouting insults at the Klansmen and hitting their cars as they drive by.)

Two nights ago I witnessed firsthand something that I've heard of for a long time, and even wrote about when I was in college, but never expected to see with my own eyes: a "protest" by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas (the "God Hates Fags" bunch). You've probably heard of them: they're the "church" that have been going around the country picketing at funerals of fallen soldiers, waving around the most vile signs and spitting out vicious slander at anyone who doesn't fit within their narrow definition of what it is to be right with God. Here's my full report on what happened, including plenty of photos of the Westboro members in action.

Fred Phelps, his daughter Shirley Phelps Roper (who accompanied her family two nights ago and is the spokeswoman of the group), and the rest of Westboro Baptist Church are trying to elicit a response with their antics. I wonder if they really understand what it is they are doing, and if the ramifications of their actions are within their realm of comprehension.

These people are doing nothing but asking for trouble. And when it comes, it'll be in spades.

Folks, I honestly believe – enough to make a statement about it even – that the Westboro Baptist Church is headed toward a nasty situation like what happened in Greensboro in 1979. One day, sooner or later, the Westboro gang is going to picket the wrong event and honk off the wrong people. All it really takes is one person. Someone is going to see the Westboro Baptist members with their signs and their songs and their sickening disregard for sympathy toward others. And that someone is going to decide that Westboro Baptist Church has gone too far. And then, that person is going to take matters into his own hands.

You heard it here first: if they keep this up, the members of Westboro Baptist Church can only look forward to some of them being dispatched with extreme prejudice. I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened already.

Well, what else can I say except this: I've never wanted to see anyone get hurt, for any reason. But if it happens to the people of Westboro Baptist Church, I can’t imagine anyone else who would have brought it upon themselves more.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

When "God Hates Fags" comes to town: My night with the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas

I reported yesterday about Shirley Phelps Roper, spokeswoman for the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas and the notorious "God Hates Fags" website, coming to our studio later in the evening to talk about her group's demonstrating at the Southern Baptist Convention going on in Greensboro. They're especially miffed at a ten-foot statue of evangelist Billy Graham that was unveiled during this year's conference. Well, Phelps Roper was scheduled to be live in the studio between about 7 and 9 P.M. About quarter past six we got word that she was en route to the studio... along with several other members of Westboro Baptist (who happen to be members of her family) who were being given a police escort on the highway. ETA was going to be sometime after 7. Shortly before 7 two protestors arrived, one of whom had a small sign saying "God is love". By this point we had a camera set up on the sidewalk outside the studio and we got a few minutes live footage of them making their presence known.

About 7:15 the caravan (2, maybe 3 SUVs) arrived at the studio and parked along the curb. We immediately heard some of them say that they weren't expecting counter-protestors to be present.

Shirley Phelps Roper had arrived, bringing with her about 10-15 other Westboro members who disembarked their vehicles...

...and immediately began engaging the protestors who were already there...

The Westboro Baptist people then went inside the studio and Shirley Phelps Roper (in red shirt) talked with host Mark Childrey before the show began, as members of her family began whipping out the signs for which they have gained so much notoriety...

This kid looked to be no more than 5 years old. He's looking through a bag containing several of the "God hates..." signs:

I can only say that the mood among the Westboro Baptist gang was nothing short of jovial. They seemed outright happy to have been there. I've never seen anything like it before: I mean, here were these people with these signs saying some downright horrible things, and I didn't see them stop smiling at all. You know, the guys who ran the gas chambers at Bergen-Belsen didn't even really think about what it was they were doing: they just pumped in the Zyklon-B, cycled out the bad air, then went home and had dinner and played with their children. More often than not being "happy" with their work didn't really register with them. And here were people who couldn't be happier showing the world how much they hated other people. It was just... mind-boggling to see, being one with a history background. But anyway...

While Phelps Roper was getting started inside the studio with Mark, the rest of her entourage took to the sidewalk outside the studio to do their "protest". I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

While they were out on the street waving their signs around, the Westboro mob was singing some absolutely blasphemous song... no, not "parodies". A parody is something funny. There was nothing funny at all about what was coming out of their mouths. Song mockeries like "God Hates America" and "America the Burning", replete with all kinds of lyrics about "fags" and thanking God for dead soldiers. To me, personally, hearing such classic songs like "America the Beautiful" filked like this by these heartless bastitches was the worst thing they did that night. It was enough to make me dream of seeing them beaten to a pulp by a mob of Ray Stevens fans.

And no I'm not caring right now whether this is the most objective report I can file or not. But I'm not going to let these people win some kind of victory over me either. I'm posting this because I believe in the school of thought that Mel Brooks practices when he attacks Hitler: the best way to destroy someone is to make others laugh at them. And the Westboro Baptist Church is a pretty laughable bunch. If they hadn't been doing this for fifteen years already (and if they really weren't so deadly serious about hating other people) they might be mistaken for shoddy satire. They're pathetic is what they are: running around the country with God only knows what kind of funding they have to manage on, going to the slightest little event that insults their petty sensibilities, and proceeding to act like clowns waving stupid signs around.

Speaking of which, look at those signs: with a change of wording they would look like protestors in support of Rastafarianism. "Want you some ganja, mon?"

Okay, back to last night...

The "Billy" here is a reference to Rev. Billy Graham. Yah, I never thought I'd live to see the day either: someone in the middle of Reidsville, North Carolina waving an anti-Billy Graham sign...

Desecration of the American flag is something big with these people, apparently...

Meanwhile, inside the studio the interview with Shirley Phelps Roper was well underway...

The counter-protestors were busy, well, counter-protesting...

The Westboro Baptist Church was starting to be an impediment to pedestrian traffic...

And Reidsville's finest were starting to take increasing note of the shenanigans...

Shortly before 8 P.M., more Reidsville Police officers than I've ever seen congregate in one place descended on the scene (I'd say four or five, maybe more than that, police vehicles parked on the street) and approached the Westboro Baptist protestors. The Chief of Police informed the Westboro Baptist gang that (a) they were blocking the sidewalk and (b) the signs they were waving were too big. In short, they couldn't be demonstrating outside the studio as they were...

At this point Shirley Phelps Roper left the interview and discussed the situation with the officers. It was agreed that her group would leave the sidewalk and come inside, where they sat inside the station and sit in another studio while the interview went on. After the situation had been brought under control, the Reidsville Police left, amid cheering from the counter-protestors...

And the interview went on. It was now sometime past 8 o'clock...

It was sometime after this that came my only direct interaction with Shirley Phelps Roper (or anyone else from Westboro Baptist Church for that matter) of the evening. The rest of her group had left the studio when I wasn't looking and during a commercial break I asked someone if they knew where they had gone to. Phelps Roper snapped at me "Why do you want to know where they've gone to?" I told her that I'd wondered if they had gone out to dinner, that there were several good places to eat in the surrounding area, "that's all". It was the tone she used toward me that I wanted to make note of: she really did come across as someone very paranoid. Anyway, that's the first and probably last time that I'll have any interaction with someone from the Westboro Baptist Church, so I might as well mention that.

Here's the side studio after the other members of the church had left (and it turns out they did go out to grab a bite to eat) with the signs they left behind...

It wasn't long after the break that Johnny Roberson, a local minister who had debated the Phelps family the last time they were in the area, was brought out and another debate ensued between Phelps Roper and Roberson. It was during the next commercial break that I really took notice of the profanity that Shirley Phelps Roper seems inclined (and even proud of) toward using, when she referred to Roberson as an "asswipe"...

So much else I could report on, like the heated argument that broke out among the Westboro Baptist group and another person in the lobby area during the interview. But as it was, it was now going toward 9 o'clock and I'd decided that I'd seen enough, so I punched out and headed for home.

That is what happened when the Westboro Baptist Church came to town. Coming into contact with these people is not something that I enjoyed in the slightest bit. There is nothing Christian at all about the Westboro Baptist Church: they are so fixated on God's justice that they have no concept at all about God's grace. I would even say that their idea of His justice is warped beyond measure. If anything good has come of their hate-driven activities, it escapes my mind: "by their fruits shall ye know them", we are told. Well, the fruit of Westboro Baptist reeks of rot and is crawling with maggots. The most uplifting thing they could do to further the Kingdom of Heaven would be to just go away... far away! The farther the better. And maybe I'm doing the wrong thing anyway by reporting on these loons.

But, God has called me to be a writer, and to be a witness for Him. Who knows: maybe I'll do more for Him by writing about all this than the Westboro Baptist miscreants ever will.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"God Hates Fags" spokeswoman in our studio tonight

Shirley Phelps Roper (shown at right) will be in our station's studio tonight from 7 until approximately 9 P.M. Phelps Roper is the daughter of Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Maybe you've heard of their website GodHatesFags.com. You've probably also heard about how they've been picketing at the funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq. Those have been just a few of the "protests" that members of Westboro Baptist have done all over the country in the past few years against what they call "rampant homosexuality". This afternoon Shirley Phelps Roper and other members of the church will be demonstrating at the Southern Baptist Convention that's going on in Greensboro, particularly at the unveiling of a ten-foot statue of evangelist Billy Graham, a man who the church has condemned as a "hellbound heretic". Phelps Roper will be in the studio and we'll have the phone lines open for her entire stay. I'll probably file a report later in this space about what happens.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Darth Plagueis the subject of upcoming Star Wars novel

The news has been out for a few days now but I'm just getting word from the official Star Wars website that James Luceno will be writing a new Star Wars novel that delves into the mystery of Darth Plagueis. I am tremendously looking forward to this book, for two reasons. The first is that it's being written by James Luceno (his most recent entry into the Star Wars mythos, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader is a rollickin' good read about the early days of Vader's career). The second is that we are going to finally learn about Darth Plagueis: perhaps the most tantalizing subject raised by the prequels. Darth Plagueis, as revealed in Revenge of the Sith, was the Sith master of Darth Sidious. And supposedly his power was so great that he discovered a way to cheat death... until he was killed in his sleep by his apprentice.

I'm going to conjecture that Luceno is going to put Qui-Gon Jinn in this novel somewhere. Why do I think that? Because Luceno said in an interview awhile back that he'd love to examine how both Plagueis and Jinn, in their own separate ways, searched for immortality... but Jinn learned the right way to do it. Whatever it is he's got in store for us, expect the novel to come out in 2008.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

CARS review

Cars is a movie that with each passing hour since we came out of seeing it (at 2:30 this afternoon and it's four hours later now), I'm finding myself loving it more and more. I definitely believe it's a far better movie than anything I went in expecting to see. Once I got over the initial shock of realizing that this entire little computer-animated universe was populated by talking cars and trucks and blimps and helicopters - with nary a human in sight - I settled in and just accepted it for its face value. And that being: just a sweet, fun flick with a lot of heart... maybe even more than anything else that Pixar has done so far.

This is definitely the best work that Pixar has done in the animation department. Now going on eleven years after Toy Story and the studio's digital handiwork has improved markedly (if it needed any at all). From the detail done to the cars to the blur of motion as they race down the track, amid a dizzying amount of beautiful scenery, Cars is a movie with an admittedly silly premise but good lord, it all looks so real! You know how some Pixar movies like Toy Story and The Incredibles has that "Toon-Town" look, that's very good animated but "obviously" animated? That's barely there in Cars at all, folks. And it doesn't look any better than when the action is going fast in this movie.

But what I really appreciate about Cars is the vocal talent, and it indicated to me that the Pixar crew has not only a great sense of casting, but respect as well. Owen Wilson is Lightning McQueen, the main car-acter. He's a hotshot rookiee racer gunning for the Piston Cup. And the first indication that this movie has real class came toward the end of the first race, when McQueen is in a three-way tie with two other cars: Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton) and a car painted a certain shade of blue with the number "43" on its sides, the car known as The King. And sure enough, The King is voiced by racing legend Richard Petty (that's Petty's wife Lynda doing the voice of Mrs. The King). Listen also for the voices of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip and Mario Andretti, among many others. The core cast is rounded out by tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), Sally (Bonnie Hunt), Ramone (Cheech Marin), and what I thought was the grandest touch of all: Paul Newman playing Doc Hudson. Which if you know anything at all about Newman and his passion for racing you'll understand how appropriate this is.

Cars is a wonderful homage not only to the American culture of the car and racing, but also to the days gone by when driving wasn't so much about getting from here to there as fast as you can, but also about enjoying the ride along the way. This movie could have been titled Route 66 (which was its working title at one point) because this movie is very much a loving tribute to that legendary highway. Indeed, after the movie while we were driving around Greensboro it was enough to make me almost sneer in derision at the mighty I-40 that we drove over, which cuts a swath far into the west through Lord knows how much spectacular scenery with not a thought about any of it. Who knows what wonders are waiting to be re-discovered out there, somewhere along Route 66?

This is the second CGI-animated feature that I've seen in the past few weeks (the first being Over The Hedge), and they've both exceeded my expectations. Cars is definitely worth a drive down to the local cinema. By the way, stick around after the movie: there's one last scene tacked on after the end credits that's pretty funny (not to mention all the extra stuff the Pixar crew peppered the credits with).

Saturday, June 10, 2006

New job

I started a new job this past week. But rather than say exactly what it is that I'm doing, I thought it would be more fun to let my readers try and figure out what it is that I've wound up doing this time. So here's the hint: I'm basically doing what this guy does, in very much the exact same kind of place...

Friday, June 09, 2006

DOCTOR WHO on Sci-Fi tonight: "The Parting of the Ways" as Eccleston bows out in style

"The extrapolator's working, we've got a fully functioning force-field. Try saying that when you’re drunk."

"Worship him! Worship him! Worship him!"

"I'm dead or about to die any second with no chance of escape. And that's okay, hope it's a good death... Have a good life."

"He's fighting for us, this whole planet, and I'm just sitting here eating chips!"

"You are the weakest link... goodbye!"


"Hail the Doctor: the Great Exterminator!"

"I am the Bad Wolf."

"I think you need a Doctor."

"Rose, before I go I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!"

"Hello, I tremufu... hmmm, new teeth. That's weird. So where was I?"

This evening the Sci-Fi Channel wraps up its presentation of the first (or twenty-seventh, depending on how you look at it) season of Doctor Who here in the States with "The Parting of the Ways". At the same time Season 2/28 of Doctor Who is rolling on in Great Britain this weekend with "The Satan Pit", the conclusion of a two-part story that began with last week's "The Impossible Planet". That episode (the eighth with David Tennant as the Doctor) was classic Who-vian horror with a strong dash of everything from H.P. Lovecraft, the movie Event Horizon and a LOT of what can only be references to the videogame Doom. "The Impossible Planet" had me hooked so much that I had to re-watch it twice, and I'll be downloading "The Satan Pit" as soon as our British friends put it online tomorrow.

But as for Doctor Who in America, tonight belongs to Christopher Eccleston.

This is Eccleston's final performance as the Doctor: a portrayal that he brought just about everything to but especially a personality that was as manic as it was magnetic. After just one season, I think he easily became my personal favorite Doctor. It would have been terrific (or maybe I should say "Fantastic!") to have seen him go an extra season or two, but I'll be thankful for what we did get to see of Eccleston in the role. He'll forever be known as the man who brought the Doctor back into the public conscience. And tonight, he gets to leave in a fashion truly fitting the Doctor, as our hero prepares to face down thousands of his old enemy, the Daleks. Expect some mysteries to be revealed tonight, especially the whole "Bad Wolf" thing that has followed the Doctor and Rose throughout this season. The final scene is something of a tear-jerker, as Christopher Eccleston undergoes the time-honored Doctor Who tradition and regenerates into the new Doctor (David Tennant). All told, some darned fine television tonight at 9 P.M. on Sci-Fi.

First official piece of TRANSFORMERS art

At this point, I'll remain cautiously optimistic about this movie. But this first teaser poster really has me hoping for good things come next July...

Click image for larger view

Thursday, June 08, 2006

YOU'RE PITIFUL: "Weird Al" Yankovic releases new song as free download!

"Weird Al" Yankovic is supposed to have a new album coming out sometime soon (what he calls "record label politics" kept it from having a June release). But in the meantime, Al is whetting everyone's appetite for what's to come with "You're Pitiful", a parody of the James Blunt song "You're Beautiful". And... Weird Al has made "You're Pitiful" an absolutely FREE MP3 that you can download from his website!! I finished downloading it a little while ago, after it took an hour to retrieve on a broadband connection (Al's servers must be getting slammed right now... maybe this file could be torrented?). But if you have to wait a while, "You're Pitiful" is well worth it 'cuz this is one very funny song! Not to mention the first new Al song in three years. It helps if you've heard Blunt's original, 'cuz Al pokes a lot of fun at "You're Beautiful"'s style (like how Al starts off the song).

If "You're Pitiful" is an indication of what's to come, I think it's safe to say that the art of Al has only gotten better with time. Can't wait for the new album (which reportedly also features a parody of "We Are The World" called "Don't Download This Song"). In the meantime, head over to Al's official site and check out "You're Pitiful" and prepare to laugh a lot :-)

(Oh yeah, I found the "You're Pitiful" faux cover art at Yankovic!)

UPDATE 9:56 PM EST: The official Weird Al site is hosed but BAD!! So many people are trying to get the song that the site is erratic in coming up at all. Fortunately some Al fan sites - notably Al-oholics Anonymous and We've Got It All On UHF have been given permission to mirror "You're Pitiful". So try downloading the song here or here or here or here or here or here, or here if all else fails!

Al-Zarqawi is dead... so now what?

You've probably heard already Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the real top dog in the Al-Quaeda organization, was killed earlier today in an air raid. This was the guy who was apparently planning and coordinating a lot of the attacks on Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers.

Great, we nailed a bad guy. One of the biggest terrorist ringleaders even.

So... when does the "War on Terror" stop?

When do we go back to the America we had before 9-11, when our government didn't run roughshod over the Constitution in the name of "safety and security"? I mean, with Al-Zarqawi out of the picture, there's no more need for anything like our government spying on its own citizens, right? right?

**crickets chirping**

Let's just state the truth of the matter: the "war on terror" is never going to end. It's not supposed to end. It is the perfect example of Orwell's "continuous war", where the state will always have to produce a hobgoblin for its people to fear. Al-Zarqawi has been the big hobgoblin of the past few years. I'm glad that he's gone, if he indeed was doing all of these terrible things... but realistically that only means our government is going to produce another one just like him, and none too soon.

The "war on terror" was the greatest gift that believers in big government ever received. And in spite of today's events, there's no indication that they are going to relinquish that gift in the slightest anytime soon.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Alan Keyes tells George W. Bush: "We don't trust you!"

I voted for Alan Keyes in two primary elections when I was registered Republican. Keyes was the only person in a presidential race that I felt completely comfortable with giving my support to. Somewhere on my hard disks I've still got a picture I made in early 2000 of Keyes as a Jedi Master: it wound up getting shown to him and it got reported back to me that he got a big laugh out of it.

He wasn't going to be allowed to be the Republican front-runner though... not by the party bosses who really pick and choose who the candidates are going to be, who decide which ones get the media exposure and the big big money. Keyes would have been too great a threat to their power structure.

But in spite of that, Alan Keyes is still showing America that he's a man of principle. Someone with that doesn't need high office or material wealth or elitist approval to make a difference for the better. And once again Keyes is proving that by coming out against the atrocious border policies of President Bush and too many others in this government. Here's the speech Keyes made a few days ago at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Minutemen movement in Arizona. I like this part especially:

"Well, we're taking care of having to deal with the problem of millions of people who have come into this country as a result of the dereliction of duty of these political elites. And they wish us to accept what they told us in '86 and '94 and every time they turned around: 'Trust us! Trust us! Trust us!' I think we need to send them a good, clear, strong message: 'We don't trust you anymore!'

And I want to say it outright. I'm a Republican... but it's about time that we look G.W. Bush in the eye and tell him, 'We don't trust you, either!'

It's hard to argue with Keyes on this at all. The Republicans have been on a roll since the 1994 elections, and they were supposed to have more political capital "to get things done" in the last two presidential elections. Well, what good has it done them? What benefit to the American people has really come out of their being in power? No, I'm not shilling for the Democrats at all: they're just as bad if not worse. But really: why should we trust the Republicans and George W. Bush in particular? What reason have they given us to trust them?

On another note, there are several pictures from the Minutemen event that Keyes was at on the above-linked website, including several taken by Connie Hair, Minutemen publicist and longtime associate of Dr. Keyes. Miss Hair is without a doubt one of the classiest and most thought-provoking ladies that I've ever been given the opportunity to have met, having done so on several occasions. Am really delighted to see her in the middle of the action, as she so very often is :-)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Today is 62nd anniversary of the D-Day landings. Today is also, by a quirk of the calendar, abbreviated as 06-06-06: six-six-six, the number of the beast according to the Book of Revelation. The number that is supposed to identify the Anti-christ that will arise in the end times.

In my junior year of high school I was assigned locker #666. I opened it several times a day and there were no scenes of Dante's Inferno lurking in there that I ever saw (there was a lot of other junk though but that's neither here nor there). There've been a few times that when I buy something in a story it rings up $6.66. At least twice the cashiers have tried to give me a penny back so it won't be exactly that amount. I always tell them to keep it: to me, it's just a number that falls between 665 and 667. It's got no more special significance or power over me than any other number does.

And today is just another day. It's not even a really sequential numerical, because before it there would have had to be 665 days from the start of the year and followed by 667. Thank goodness the year only has 365 days, I guess. But some of the hysteria about today (one woman in England wanted her doctor to induce labor because the due date on her baby is today and she didn't want it associated with the devil's number) is positively mind-boggling. You'd have thought we as a civilization would be past such nonsense as numerology.

Well, whatever 666 really is in biblical prophecy, however it fits into what's supposed to happen, I doubt this day out of all days has anything to do with it. The only thing really abominable that I've heard is happening on this day at all is the remake of The Omen: a movie that I've heard nothing but bad about. Give me the original version anyday (which for the longest time has been something of a comedy for me, but that's another story...).

Monday, June 05, 2006

Long live EVERWOOD (while 7th HEAVEN begs for merciful death)

Our TV was tuned in to the final episode of Everwood this evening. Which I never watched as an avid viewer but Lisa's always loved this show, so I watched it with her. One of the classier shows on television, from what I've come to know of it. It's been on the WB Network and was supposed to be carried over next season when that network and UPN combine into the CW... but then the "series finale" of 7th Heaven got big ratings so the suits decide to give that show its eleventh season. Which is an unconscionable act of human cruelty if you ask me. Some shows deserve long runs: M*A*S*H somehow stretched a two-year war into eleven seasons but stayed good and went out on top. 7th Heaven is probably the most anemic hour-long drama in recent memory... something that needs to be shot and put out of its misery. Good shows like Everwood deserve to go for at least five or six seasons, and then retire when nothing else needs to be said. As it is it's going too soon. The execs at CW are making a horrible mistake by not letting it continue at the cost of hideous new life for 7th Heaven. Well, there's a few online petitions going on to save the show, and they've worked before so maybe there'll be hope for Everwood yet.

King James Onlyism is a Gnostic heresy

I've been meaning to state that for a while.

Some people may not know what I'm talking about. It's this: the belief among a lot of Christians that we are only supposed to use the Authorized Version of 1611 – more commonly known as the King James Version – of the Bible as our text. They further believe that it's a dire sin to use any version of the Bible other than King James.

(For the record, I use the New International Version in my personal study, but 99% of the time when I'm writing something and need to quote scripture, I will use the King James Version… if for no other reason than because it's classier to use a time-tested masterpiece of the English language, despite some problems in it that have been addressed by modern scholarship.)

Here's what I think: some Christians put too much faith in an earthly incarnation of the Word of God, and contend too much for the sanctity of that incarnation, instead of meditating upon the meaning of the Word itself. Instead of letting themselves be changed by the Word of God, they desire to have the Word as something that they can wield as a tool, or a weapon, to be used against the things and even people of this temporal realm.

In other words, some Christians are imbuing the King James Version of the Bible with a power that it does not have and never was supposed to have, on the sheer basis of its linguistics and structure. To them, it's not the truth that is conveyed by the words, but which exact words are used and how they are ordered that is what is more important.

This belief in the complete inerrancy and superiority of the King James Bible above all others is something very much based in one of the most enduring tenets of Gnostic thought: that things of matter can be given power. Indeed, power is the only driving motive behind King James Onlyism and the lust to destroy the credibility of other versions of the Bible. In doing so these Christians have taken the living Word and made it as something sterile, diminishing utterly its power of spiritual nourishment.

I may write more about this later, but I felt led to share that thought here for some reason or another. If anyone disagrees with my sentiment on this, they're more than welcome to make a comment to this post. I won't delete anyone who disagrees with me (unless the comment crosses the line away from common decency).

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bush's illegals blind man's dog with pepper spray

Awright, THIS is the kind of story that gives me no compassion at all for the illegals entering this country over the Mexican border. Some of them crossed into a guy's land and permanently blinded his dog with pepper spray.

These are the same ones that President Bush is telling us to have compassion toward, the ones he's pushing to grant amnesty for.

This country is being invaded from the south. Hell, 10% of the entire Mexican population is in the United States right now. How the hell does this President get away with calling himself a "homeland security" Commander in Chief when he does NOTHING about our southern border and lets this kind of thing happen to REAL Americans?

President Bush doesn't care one damn whit about you or me, my fellow Americans. And as for the illegals coming over and doing this sort of thing, I'd recommend the following: fire one shot over their heads as a warning, and another between their eyes to take them down if they take one step more over the line. Let the Mexicans take charge over their own country: it's more than enough for us to manage our own.

Friday, June 02, 2006

It's the big "Bad Wolf": Penultimate Eccleston episode of DOCTOR WHO tonight on Sci-Fi

"You have GOT to be kidding."

-- The Doctor, "Bad Wolf"

Just a reminder for American fans of Doctor Who that the Sci-Fi Channel tonight will be running "Bad Wolf", the next-to-last episode of Christopher Eccleston's all-too-short run as the Doctor.

The less said about this episode to the uninitiated, the better. Definitely one of the best of the Eccleston episodes. From the opening moments when the camera is spinning madly while focused on the Doctor unconscious on the floor, this one is outrageous as all get out. Doctor Who during its long run has done just about every genre imaginable - from sci-fi to horror to western to everything in between - except the musical. Well, tonight they add one more notch to the belt: the reality game show! Want a taste of what's to come? That's Anne Robinson herself doing the voice of "the Anne Droid" on The Weakest Link of 200,000 A.D.! Definitely to be recommended if you're an American fan who's just now able to see the revived Doctor Who and it's an absolutely must-see before Eccleston takes his bow in next week's "The Parting of the Ways".

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Chipping" immigrants? Don't go there...

To say that I'm against this runaway illegal immigration is to put it all too mildly. Nonetheless, I find this proposal to be something beyond the scary: the head of VeriChip wants to implant his company's RFID tracking microchips into all incoming immigrants and foreign workers.

No doubt he sees a lucrative market here: putting VeriChips into all those people will make the company billions of dollars.

Here's the real danger from where I sit: how long after imposing this on immigrants is this going to be expected that all normal American citizens be "chipped"? "For our own good" of course.

Are we willing to alleviate one serious problem by taking the first step down a very slippery slope toward something that would be altogether worse?

Dear friends, it's not your average American people that are messing up this country. It's a very disproportionately tiny group of individuals in government and political parties and the media and corporations like VeriChip, that are destroying everything that was once good and true in this land. They do nothing to sincerely help their fellow man out of compassion, but they will not fail to act when they discover some new means of shackling and controlling their brother.

Remember: you are not a number. You are not a piece of meat that lives only to spend and consume and screw and die. You have a soul... something that too many in this world would deny you sentience of that fact.

I for one will never relent to being "chipped". As for Scott Silverman, the president of VeriChip: might I suggest that he have his company's largest model firmly embedded far up his own ass.