Thursday, June 21, 2007

CNN news of the weird

Two "news" stories caught my eye this morning.

It's good to see that stupidity is certainly not limited to the United States:
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- New Zealand authorities have blocked a couple's bid to officially name their new son "4real," saying numerals are not allowed.

Pat and Sheena Wheaton said they decided to name their new baby "4real" shortly after having an ultrasound and being struck by the reality of his impending arrival.

"For most of us, when we try to figure out what our names mean, we have to look it up in a babies book and ... there's no direct link between the meaning and the name," Pat Wheaton told TV One on Wednesday. "With this name, everyone knows what it means."

But when the parents filed the name with New Zealand's Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, they were told names beginning with a number were against the rules.

I've always found it kind of odd that nursing homes don't have more wild parties. I mean, what do they have to get up for? I guess they might just be too old or something but apparently not in Russia. And not to make light of the tragedy but:
MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- A fire swept through a nursing home Thursday and killed at least 10 people, the latest in a series of deadly fires, many of which were caused by rampant neglect of safety rules.

He said the fire apparently had been caused by a violation of fire safety rules by patients, many of whom were drunk after a party the previous night.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What WOULD Jack Bauer do?

It's nice to see that our Supreme Court is now apparently taking television shows into their decision making. Let's go to Canada and see what happened:
Senior judges from North America and Europe were in the midst of a panel discussion about torture and terrorism law, when a Canadian judge's passing remark - "Thankfully, security agencies in all our countries do not subscribe to the mantra 'What would Jack Bauer do?' " - got the legal bulldog in Judge Scalia barking.

The conservative jurist stuck up for Agent Bauer, arguing that fictional or not, federal agents require latitude in times of great crisis. "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

Well, I think the point is that this is a FICTIONAL SHOW! He didn't really save Los Angeles and he didn't really hundreds of thousands of lives and he definitely didn't really save California from a terrorist nuke. It's the biggest red herring ever to point at this show and say that we should reconsider our position on torture because it worked on the show.
"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

"So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

Well, no, obviously no jury is going to convict Jack Bauer because he would probably hunt them down and kill them but also because HE'S NOT REAL! The real face of torture exposes itself in incidents like Abu Ghraib and who knows what stories have come from Guantanamo.
Last November, a U.S. Army brigadier-general, Patrick Finnegan, of West Point, went to California to meet with the show's producers. He asked if the writers would consider reining in Agent Bauer. "The kids see it, and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about 24?" he told The New Yorker in February.

He argued that "they should do a show where torture backfires."

Yeah, but where's the fun in that? I mean, 24's a great show but we really shouldn't be overturning the foundations of our national policy for centuries based on the imaginations of television writers. In the show Jack always has the right guy and that guy really is about to blow up California but what happens if he gets the wrong guy?

Well, we can ask this guy:
Then Lorne Waldman, the lawyer for the famously wronged engineer Maher Arar, emerged from the crowd to say that very little of the conversation sounded hypothetical to him.

Mr. Arar was among a series of Canadian Arabs who emerged from lengthy ordeals in Syrian jails to complain of torture. Their common complaint is that Syrian torture - including beatings with electric cables - flowed from a wrongly premised Canadian investigation after 9/11.

A host of security agents, Mr. Waldman argued, acted with utmost urgency against innocents, after wrongly fearing a bomb plot was afoot.

What does Jack Bauer have to say about all of this?
"Tell me where the bomb is or I will kill your son."
Whoa, settle down, Jack, I don't know anything about a bomb and I don't even have a son.
"When I'm finished with you, you're gonna wish that you felt this good again."
Aw, crap.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


So, this is what it's come down to? Me posting pics of our preznit looking like a damn fool in his black presidential seal socks and matching crocs? Apparently so.

Obviously things have been a bit slow in the basement but I've been busy (but not the kind of busy that makes me want to procrastinate by writing out lengthy posts). I guess consider this my summer vacation for a little while. I don't think you're missing much as my life has been fairly uneventful and it's tough to get too worked up for a rant when it's so nice outside...


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Did the Arcade Fire steal this man's basketball?

This is possibly one of the more entertaining internet feuds I've seen in a while.

Apparently there was an incident in the Cal Berkeley athletic center where one of the members of the Arcade Fire was kicked out for trying to hold a court until his buddies arrived and may or may not have stolen some guy's basketball. The guy gets pissed and starts a blog:

After responding in the comments secion of the original post, members of the band allegedly started this blog in response, an attempt to out-libel the original blogger:

Just the fact that something this absurd can happen makes me love the internet. Did he steal the basketball? I have no idea but that's not going to stop me from taking sides. Personally I think the guy is full of shit. He lost his ball and now he's trying to pin it on the celebrity.

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