Monday, March 30, 2009

Take This Survival Tip Aretha!

Obama's Red State

Really Obama? It's not about red states or blue states? Only about the "United" States? Since you have intervened in AIG contracts (and Congress is taxing the bonuses), used US dollars to buy toxic loans (to create faux lower mortgage rates), and now you have taken over the operations of GM and Chrysler - you must mean one United Red State of America?

Side Note: Let me be clear: although the United States government has no interest or intention of running GM, that is precisely what has occurred.

I challenge you to a quiz:

1. Which shapes do you like more?
A. Stars and Stripes
B. Hammer and Sickle

2. The Boston Tea Party was:
A. A stand against tyranny
B. Republicans just saying "no" again
C. Not handled well by King George - he should have had a press conference to explain how the tea tax was only the beginning and that taxes were going to be "unexpectedly" raised even higher

3. Capitalism is:
A. The free market at work to acheive The American Dream
B. Just another word/excuse for veiled communism? Same diff.

4. Which animal do you identify with more?
A. Elephant
B. Bald Eagle
C. Donkey
D. Bear
E. Turkey



Perhaps, life is just dealing us lemons...lemon populism, that is.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Are Netbooks a Net Gain?

Laptop chop! The mini laptop craze is catchy - and Jesse and I are starting to sneeze (yuck). Dick Tracy speak aside, netbooks seem to be a great buy for folks on a budget, in need of a portable internet device (larger and more powerful than a Blackberry). Wired.com offers a few interesting arguments:

The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time
Netbooks May Offer Hackers Private Data Gateway
Turn a Netbook Into a Net Jukebox

Or are netbooks just following the 1980's Recession protocol along with India's new Tata Nano, small and cheap :


Is it worth spending little to no money for little to no product?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

TheoThrusday: Classical "Virtue" and Gay Marriage

I don't have much time today, but I did want to throw this one out there for comment. This isn't really a theological issue, but more of a moral/ethical one. We had a Federalist Society guest speaker today (Prof. John Baker of LSU) who argued the non-religious case against same-sex marriage. He relied primarily on classical notions of a virtuous society. Of course we all know how much classical society abhorred same-sex relationships (yeah right), but does the speaker have a point? Does a breakdown on marriage as a purely heterosexual concept threaten the fabric of society as we know it? I'm not a classical philosopher, so I'll leave it to better read minds to discuss.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March Madness vs. March to Insanity


I love March Madness basketball - but what about the March to insanity in the financial system/Congress/White House? Let's set aside hoops and talk loops:

On American.com, they highlight Arnold King's article, "The Toxic NCAA Bracket" where he "supposes what would happen if he was doing poorly in a March Madness pool that he entered for $10 and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner came along with a fistful of taxpayer dollars."

“The way his plan works, you can put up a nickel to get a share of my bracket, and Tim will lend you forty-five cents, which you do not have to pay back if you lose. If you win, you and Tim split the proceeds. You’re happy, because for a nickel you're picking up half a share of a bracket worth fifteen cents. I’m happy, because I sell my toxic bracket for fifty cents instead of fifteen cents. Somebody should be unhappy. Guess who?”


Clark Kent Is A Poser

As previously mentioned, I'm now on the Twitter. Well, it's already gotten me into some hot water. In a tweet this morning, I said that wearing my new glasses made me feel like "that Clark Kent poser." Apparently Mr. Kent has a more vociferous following than I've heretofore been led to believe. "How can you make fun of Superman?," they've asked, or worse, "How can you make fun of Christopher Reeve?"

First off, Christopher Reeve was a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude. He was a real life superhero, but not a superhero in real life. So get over that. Secondly, I make fun of Superman because that chump made fun of me. Superman didn't have to pretend to be a geeky reporter. He could have pulled a Bruce Wayne, and pretended to be a wealthy playboy. Or at least somebody cool. But instead, he decided to mock my way of life, and the way of life of millions of Geek-Americans, by portraying us in such an absurd light.

Let me speak more directly to the progenitor of this problem: Your glasses, Mr. Kent, may hide your identity from even your close friends, but they cannot obscure your selfish appropriation of my community's identity. For shame, sir. First you mock us with your poserosity, and then you add insult to injury. Did you have to draw such a stark contrast between your way awesome super-persona and your "mild mannered" alter ego? Do you care how deeply that offends us? Do you even know any mild mannered people? Cut the BS, Kent, Superman, Kal-El, whoever you are. Don't wrap us up in your external locus of self problems.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pervatasaurus


Paleontologists Discover Skeleton Of Nature’s First Sexual Predator

Coincidence or Correlation?



Poor, ill-fated Retardosaur:

Huh?

I'm not usually one to mock Student Government, because Lord knows they're trying. And I did plenty of lame stuff when I was in SGA. But the "news" e-mail I got from the Baylor SG this morning was priceless. They went on for a bit about all their accomplishments this year on campus, and some of the fun events they held, all in a Headline>Blurb>Link to Story kind of format. This is the one that caught my eye:

STUDENTS WEAR BLINDFOLDS FOR DISCUSSION Approximately 100 students sported blindfolds for the 2nd Annual Blinded diversity discussion in Barfield Drawing Room. Conversation at the event centered on diversity topics ranging from race and ethnicity to sexuality. Seven professors from different academic departments prompted conversations with blindfolded students about various opinions and policies related to each topic. [FULL STORY]

Now, leaving aside the irony of the phrase "Blinded Diversity," lets focus for a sec on journalistic concerns. Isn't it important to let the readers know what the point of the event was? Sure, one could infer that the blindfolds were to make students comfortable discussing tough topics in public. But the way the blurb reads, with students "sporting blindfolds," its like there's a blindness fad sweeping the campus. "Where are you guys going tonight?" "Just down to Scruff's." "Ya'll wearin' blindfolds?" "Hell yeah! I didn't want to get dressed up, but you know I've got to roll fake blind, baby!"

I'm also thrown by the basic premise of this little shindig. I mean, I get it, but did anybody really expect anonymity? Did participants put the blindfolds on before they went into the room? Did they wear them from home, just to make sure they didn't out anyone else attending? And nobody recognized anybody else's voice? If you've ever been to one of these campus diversity things, you know it's always the same yahoos who show up.

And what kind of "tough" questions were being asked? "I think I might be a closet racist, but I was afraid to ask about it in public. Thank God for this blindfold event, now I can diss black people without retribution." Or, "Is it just me, or are gay people weird to be around? Any of you other blindfolded people have some diversity wisdom you want to lay down on my intolerant viewpoint?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Return of the Blog!

I have wandered the wilderness lo, these many days, lost in fog of terrifying specters. All about I was beset by strange and vicious monsters--"moot court briefs," "final exams," and "write-on competitions"--who jealously stole away my time to blog and surf Wikipedia. But I have escaped these trials. Like noble Jason I now stride into Iolcus to reclaim that which is mine. Also, if anyone has seen the sandal I lost near the river, I'd appreciate an e-mail or something. I'm offering a reward, but it's just some wool spray-painted gold.

I have returned, my friends, to the blogosphere I have so sorely missed. So much to say! So much to discuss! In the intervening months since my last post, so much has happened. Diana now has a wonderfully hilarious blog, with a more succinct and readable format than mine. Twitter has taken over the world, and I'm becoming wrapped up in it (JesseLDavis is my handle there). We're members of St. Alban's Episcopal here in town, and I expect the Rev. Jeff Fischer's great sermons will give us fodder for plenty of TheoThursdays to come. And, we can't forget, there's a cadre of radical socialists running the country now. It's good to be back!

PS, I'm thinking about renaming the blog...the Self-Infliction thing was funny while I was taking Torts, but now it seems a little to S&M. Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Violet and Violations

Last night Jesse, myself and 60 other Baylor Law students took a motor coach (paid for by the movie company) to Hearne, TX to see the premiere of American Violet. The movie is based on a true story taking place in Hearne (Melody, TX in the movie) and one of Jesse's law professors took part in the actual story (not the movie). The movie takes hard aim at the still current D.A. (John Paschall) for allegedly terrorizing the community through racist motivations. Below are some interesting links to news stories about Paschall and the movie (apparently, movie posters were "asked" to be removed from local businesses by the D.A.):

Fictitious film, real tensions: Hearne drug case documented in indy movie
'American Violet' tells story of ill-fated Hearne drug raids
ACLU Charges Racial Discrimination in Second Texas Drug Bust Scandal



Friday, March 13, 2009

Trashing the Auto X-Prize

The Automotive X-Prize is a competition being fueled (ha) by the X Foundation to create a new generation of green technology cars. The competition is open to anyone - the X Foundation is hoping that by offering a $10 million cash prize for a functional, fuel efficient car they will yield greater results than awarding prizes for theories/past accomplishments in green technology. I am no economist, but this definitely appeals to my free market side :) The latest update is about Auto X-Prize Entry Runs on Auto X-Prize Trash

The rules:

"The cars have to be production-capable, meaning they meet all federal safety guidelines, it must be possible to build 10,000 of them annually within reasonable costs, they have to be desirable (granted, that's a highly subjective criteria) and the teams must have a viable business plan for producing and selling 10,000 vehicles annually by 2014.

The vehicles must deliver at least 100 MPGe...Electric vehicles must have a range of 200 miles for the "mainstream" class - defined as a car resembling your typical five-passenger-compact - and 100 for the anything-goes "experimental" class.

As for emissions, total well-to-wheels CO2 production can't exceed 200 grams per kilometer. For the sake of comparison, the Toyota Prius produces 114 g/km at the tailpipe.
"

Links to more info on the competition:

This article highlights 25 of the entries.
Wired's cover story on the X-Prize
Mad Max Meets Cannonball Run in Alt-Fuel Race to Vegas
Veggie-Oil Lotus Wins Alt-Fuel Race to Vegas (pictured below)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How Progressive Are You, America?

An interesting interactive quiz! I am Conservative...how 'bout you?

A frightening political map...of course this is coming from a Progressive group. I don't think that America has suddenly become more Progressive with the election of Obama - I think the election was a direct result of frustration at the previous administration and less about issues.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chuck for Prez, KBH for Gov

Apparently, the avid supporter of Kay Bailey Hutchison and general conductor of awesomeness (that probably just round kicked you in the face), has his eyes on a different kind of prize...to become the President of Texas when we secede from this economic mess.

We all are familiar with Chuck Norris Facts - why not add President of Texas? In my state where Kinky Friedman can get within reach of the Governor's office to appoint a "cabinet" - anything goes. Bring it, Chuck.

Also, in the realm of Texas politics (yes, it could be in it's own realm) is the Voter I.D. bill - which (as expected) passed the Senate today. But will it pass the House?

PS: In case you missed KBH on SNL this past week...watch "The Rock Obama"

Camping Extravaganza!

Today is my first day back to work from a fun-filled camping weekend at Possum Kingdom Lake with Jesse and the puppies - thank goodness it is Spring Break and the office is quiet! Although the weather is gross today, it was beautiful this weekend! We ended up camping right next to the lake:


And right next to (artistic interpretation of neighbors, not actual):


which, all in all, led to a memorable trip!

So, instead of hanging out at the campsite, we spent most of our time hiking - a mini hike at the state park and then on to Worth Ranch where we hiked a minimum of 10 miles with the dogs. It was such an amazing place - with mountains and the Brazos River Bottoms - beautiful Texas countryside!

However, I don't think this is the best picture to market the Boy Scouts (especially since membership has dropped sharply from the peak in the 80's):

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Blame You, Starbucks!


So, I am taking a temporary hiatus from caffeine - that means no morning coffee, no afternoon tea, no Dr. Pepper - and Day 1 (today) has been rough! It is so bad that I decided to Google "caffeine addiction"...which yielded the hilariously inappropriate picture above from http://www.mycaffeineaddiction.com/. Also, I have written an ode to caffeine in an effort to keep my mind moving:

Oh Caffeine!
Your sweet containers sustain me -
Coffee, chocolate, soda, and tea.
No more shall I seek your bliss -
In the morn, no coffee kiss. (eww....yeah, weird....I was looking for a rhyme.)
Already, your taste and energy I miss.
The addiction is clear, but I want you near (haha - weird again!)
Oh Caffeine!

New Albums

As promised, I have some additional albums that I have been enjoying (and therefore wanted to share them with you!):

1. The Crane Wife - The Decemberists
2. The Airborne Toxic Event - The Airborne Toxic Event
3. Incredibad - The Lonely Island

Enjoy!

Slipping Through the Cracks

How did these survival tips become synonymous?

Survive Falling Through Ice and Mortgage Bailout Plan

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Rush Order of Chaos

Continuing from my post yesterday about the Democrats' plan to attack Republicans through Rush Limbaugh, I read in Hotline On Call that "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a new Web site -- ImSorryRush.com -- spoofing Republicans who criticize conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh and 'then turn around and quickly beg his forgiveness.' The site allows users to customize their own Limbaugh apology letters."

Oh good grief.

El Chupacabras

OMG. Drudge Report has found the Chupacabra.












Favorite quote from the article: "The ugly train has left the station and it's gathering steam," laughs Bassett. "Hopefully it will slow down soon."

The Chupacabra, also called el Chupacabras (pronunciation: /tʃupa'kabɾas/, from the Spanish words chupar, meaning "to suck", and cabra, meaning "goat"; literally "goat sucker") is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated more recently with sightings of an allegedly unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities.[1] The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. (Wiki page on the Chupacabra)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Rush of Support?

If "Democrats are engaging in a concerted campaign to link the national Republican Party to conservative talk-radio show host Rush Limbaugh," how will this affect the party? "The conventional strategy in such cases is for the administration in power to avoid talking about a mere radio critic. That would elevate him to the level of the president. Which, it turns out, is exactly what the Obama team wants."

Already the fissures can be felt between the fiscal conservatives and the Rush Republicans, but some argue that the Republican party would lose all power/support without the Rush Followers - thus explaining why anyone who denounces Rush is quick to schedule a public apology on his show (see Gingrey). Michael Steele might be the next Rush victim.

So are Republicans right to fear the wrath of Rush? Or should Republicans fear this new Democrat initiative (especially if Rush is connected with the Dark Side to which these politicians have pledged their loyalty)? Is Rush strong enough to survive this kind of attack? Probably so - his followers already equate Dems with the Devil...any news from CPAC?

Should Rush ever lose his job, this video might help...


Emperor Gets a Job - Star Wars - The most popular videos are a click away

Road to the Tourney

I love North Texas! Especially when our athletics teams place anywhere but last in the conference (since our main focus is music & academics). This past Sunday "The Mean Green (18-11, 11-7 Sun Belt West) snagged its highest seed ever in the SBC Tourney, which begins Wednesday at the Super Pit with No. 4 North Texas taking on No. 13 Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m." Road trip anyone?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Adventure in Camping

Spring Break is next week and Jesse and I are planning a mini camping trip to Possum Kingdom Lake with the puppies!! I am so excited about s'mores (don't mind the burn ban, we will find a way!), hiking, sleeping in our new tent, and relaxing. Possum Kingdom Lake is about 180 miles northwest of Waco in a beautiful part of Texas. Hopefully, we won't run into magma robots. Speaking of camping...I read in the Washington Post that girl scouts are entering the blogosphere and dumping badges...how do they expect to learn the skills necessary to sell cookies?!

Economy Snarf?

As a new contributor to the stock market/retirement fund, I feel like I'm getting a great deal...but at what greater cost? Mayhaps we should only look as far as Iceland to see our future: