INCITE
Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Saturday, April 30, 2005

 
Fashion statement in the form of a question
Written by: Brent Brophy

Does this mean i shouldn't get one of these or these?

Goe, will still fight evil for food.


 
Pissing upwind at the beaten to death horse.
Written by: Brent Brophy

France sucks. This is not an original or insightful comment, everybody who pays attention to what happens in the world knows it. When Beck sent me this link, I was not suprised. I had nothing to say about it that I hadn't said before.

It's not that the french are just cowardly weasels trying to preemptively surrender, the french suck because they want to. They want to be everything that America isn't. America is free, so France isn't. America is prosperous, so France isn't. America tries to stop genocidal dictators, so the French help them. There's really only so much ranting one can do about the cesspit that is France, so I didn't say anything until now, when I felt like ranting a bit.

The French do this to themselves because they think we're evil. Why do they think we're evil? Because we're not France. It's stupid, but what do you expect from France.

It'd be nice to say "Fuck France" and let them dissolve into the genocidal orgy that they so desperately try to encourage elsewhere, but the problem is bigger than just France. A lot of countries are embracing suicidal policies just to be different.

Americans like happy endings, so hollywood gives them to us. Most of the world thinks we live in some sort of stupor, ignorant of everything that isn't bright and cheerful. They see our films, they watch our tv shows, it should be fairly apparent that America is not Disneyland writ large, but that's precisely what they think it is. They get pissed at us because they don't get to live in fairy-tale land. France, amongst others, encourages the world to blame us for their not living in a make-believe world.

They're just not rational human beings. Most of the world lacks a firm grasp of what is and isn't real and in their delusional state think that the reason they can't enjoy the perks of fantasyland is because the CIA is trying to keep the riff-raff out of the magic Republic. That's why so many are eager to believe conspiracy theories about Americans being responsible for anything bad.

No matter what happens in Africa, everyone blames us for being involved too much or too little. Massacres occur under the noses of French peacekeepers, but it's our fault for not stopping it. The UN asked for our help in Somalia, so it's our fault some of the locals felt violently about it. We get sued because there's a tidal wave in an ocean on the other side of the planet that we didn't warn the locals about.

It's not rational thinking, but it's what the world does. It might help a bit of our own politicians didn't encourage other countries to hate us by playing along with foreign delusions, but that's just way too much to hope for. I believe the world can be a much nicer place than it is, but it will never be a better place if the planet's collective consciousness says that race riots are preferable to Enron.

What can we do about it? There's only so many times you can tell someone not to jump in the fire if they really want to. There's only so many times you can point out that socialist governments have a really poor track record if people want to elect one. If the french want to encourage tyranny and repression, there's only so much we can do to stop them. There's nothing we can do if our own leaders are complicit. There's only so much time you can spend wondering why this penguin isn't covered in blue mud.

Goe, because it's us against the world and none of our political parties are on our side.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

 
Wishful thinking?
Written by: Beck

OBL dead?


 
Walk it off
Written by: Beck

OK, time for a "bad beat" story.

For non-poker types, a bad beat is when you lose a lot of money on a single hand. I've avoided bad beat stories because, well, they tend to sound whiney and annoying to the rest of the world. But I'm going to share this one, because there's a good lesson to be learned from it. That, and it makes for a relatively interesting hand of poker.

So anyway, I found myself with Queen-Jack offsuit in the big blind in a game of limit hold 'em at the Borgata. There were five other people in the hand, and no one had raised, so I decided to just check, hopefully disguising the strength of my hand should it hit, and allowing me to lay it down cheaply should things be unfavorable on the flop.

The flop came down Ace(hearts) Queen (clubs) Seven (diamonds). Not a great flop, but not disastrous either. I checked, as did the next person, and then a solid player bet out. Knowing his play, it was a virtual guarantee that he had a pair of aces. He almost always would slowplay trips or two pair, so I wasn't too worried, though I was pretty sure I was behind.

After that, an old and extremely weak player called, a tight Asian dude called, and I called (I figured I had five outs to the best hand, and the implied odds sufficiently compensated for a call here even though I was pretty sure I was losing at that point). The other two players remaining to act folded.

There was only one thing notable, and that was the Asian who called. He was a good player, and wouldn't call with nothing, but would likely have raised if he had top-pair to induce a fold from me. That made his most likely holding a pair of queens, but it was hard to guess his kicker, as he was in the small blind and could have limped in with nearly anything.

I paid no mind to the weak player. He was what is often referred to as a "calling station." There may well be no worse epithet in poker than "calling station." A calling station is someone who comes into a poker room, calls nearly any bet with nearly any cards, and then leaves the poker room with no more money. It's like watching a pedestrian get run over by a steamroller. They never stand a chance.

The turn was the Queen of diamonds. Now I was in business, as that improved my hand to three of a kind. The good player with aces was clearly bothered by this, but bet out nonetheless (which was the correct play, incidentally--perhaps I'll discuss why some other time). The calling station called. The Asian raised. Sure enough, I was right about him having a Queen. At this point, I wanted the pot heads-up. I didn't want Ace boy drawing out on me. If I lost this pot, it was going to be to the Asian or no one else.

So I reraised. Ace boy now folded--the smart play, though his behavior gave me a sufficient read on him that in a later hand I was able to bluff him out of a pot (which is why you should always guard your behavior, regardless of whether you plan on playing a hand any further). The calling station spent a long time looking like a deer in the headlights and eventually went for his chips like I knew he would and called.

Then came a surprise. The Asian reraised my reraise. I had been sure he didn't have Ace-Queen, but he likewise would be sure that I didn't have Ace-Queen (or I would have raised after the flop). Therefore, he must have King-Queen--in other words, I was out-kicked.

I resolved myself to defeat, but called the bet. The pot was getting huge now, and to fold would have been a very bad move. The calling station, of course, called.

The river was a nothing card. The Six of Diamonds. The Asian bet, I made a crying call, convinced that my money was lost, but unwilling to simply hand the pot over. The calling station--you guessed it--called.

And the Asian turned up Queen-Jack. The same hand I had. Relief washed through me. The pot had the equivalent of 42 big blinds in it. That was a lot of money. I had been so convinced that I had lost that the knowledge I had not lost hit me like an endorphin rush.

I tossed my own Queen-Jack down on the table and loudly announced, "Chop it!" (Poker lingo for dividing the pot in half). That was when the calling station showed up a Four-Six of Diamonds.

He had a flush.

He had limped in with an absolutely awful starting hand. He had then called a bet with nothing but a three-flush. I had been so dismissive of the chump that I never even thought--not for a second--about what kind of hand he might have. What's more, I was so certain of the Asian's hand, that I hadn't been alert to any potential flush draws after the flop came with three different suits. I knew that the odds weren't good enough to draw to a three flush, and as such, dismissed from my mind the notion that anyone else might not make the same realization.

What's worse, I had been so relieved upon seeing the Asian's hand that the sudden reversal caught me with my emotional guard completely down. It was like being punched in the gut.

At that point I realized I was in now shape mentally to continue playing, so I got up, walked upstairs, and bought dinner at one of the Borgata's many restaurants. After that, my head was straight, I was well fed, and I was good to go. I headed back down to the poker room, and proceeded to fight tooth and nail to get my money back.

The calling station left the table an hour or so later. He had no money left.

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(Cross posted to the Blogger News Network)


 
Worst case scenario
Written by: Beck

All it takes to annihilate a blog hosted on Blogspot is to press a button on one of the settings pages which says "Delete Blog," followed by clicking a confirm box. That's part of the reason why I retain soul administrator rights to INCITE and why I never click the "Remember Me" box or use Internet Explorer's password auto-fill function when logging into Blogger (the publishing tool for Blogspot).

It's not that I think something bad would actually happen or believe any of my writers capable of doing something malicious, it's just that the thought of losing over a year's worth of writing--probably close to 2,000 posts in all (the post count functionality of Blogspot went down in November and hasn't resumed updating since)--is more than I could deal with.

As such, I can imagine the mental anguish that David Anderson is going through right now. David Anderson is the creator of the excellent blog In Search of Utopia. You'll see it linked over to the right on the blogroll. I don't bother linking it now because, well, following the link wouldn't do you any good.

The details are long and boring, but basically, through no fault of his own, David's blog was completely nuked by his host, with both the hosting server and backups formatted. David hasn't decided whether he'll be back or not. If I had to guess, I'd wager he'll be back eventually. Regardless, I can only imagine the kind of mental anguish he's enduring right now.

In Search of Utopia was one of the best liberal blogs out there--one I thoroughly enjoyed reading even when I disagreed 100% with the politics therein. It routinely appeared in Technorati's Politics Attention Index of top linked stories. I hope David will be back, if not, his loss will be sorely felt, as a voice of reason and integrity will have departed from the blogosphere.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 
The greatest comment ever
Written by: Beck

After several hours of grinding work today, I finally got a chance to check in on INCITE, and I discovered that a comment had been left on my most recent North Korea post. It is, without question, without doubt, the greatest comment that has ever been made on any post on INCITE. Ever. And so, without further ado, I present you with the timeless wisdom of Walter E. Wallis:
I shit in the middle of Pyongyang's main street in 1950. That was the best thing that ever happened to Pyongyang.
I mean, apart from the fact that this man served this great country in one of the nastiest conflicts we've ever involved ourselves in... frankly... well... I lack the words. It's just so damned perfect.


 
Quote for the day
Written by: Beck

Message to Muslim Fascists: We are not France, not Spain and not Europe. Nor are we Finland, Norway or the Netherlands. Break the law here, encourage your precious jihad here, and we will follow you, watch you, arrest you and lock you away for life.

We’re Americans. We fight.

And we fight to win.
--New Sisyphus


 
Busy...
Written by: Beck

Swamped today. No time for anything intelligent, which is too bad as I have something brewing in the back of my head on the death penalty.

In the mean time, go read the latest installment of Rusty Shackleford's interview with the family of an American hostage in Iraq.

Yet another of the thousands of untold stories from this war.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

 
People Unclear on the Concept: North Korea
Written by: Beck

Via Bloomberg, we learn that North Korea will regard any UN Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions as a "declaration of war."
North Korea said it would regard any sanctions by the United Nations as an act of war, after Washington said it may take the issue of the communist nation's nuclear program to the UN Security Council.

"The U.S. may bring the nuclear issue to the UNSC, if it wants that so much," the North's official Korea Central News Agency said late yesterday, citing an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman. North Korea "will regard the sanctions as a declaration of war."
The fact that the United States has been imposing sanctions on North Korea for decades, I suppose, isn't really relevant. What's far more entertaining here is the notion that the one thing which would finally push the North Korean government over the line would be a Security Council resolution. In other words, they're only interested in picking a fight so long as that fight is with the entire world.

I guess they figure anything less would be beneath their dignity.

What's more, the NKs are refusing to resume any sort of nuclear disarmament talks until Condoleezza Rice takes back the nasty things she said about them (namely that North Korea is an "outpost of tyranny"). This sort of begs the question of why it is they were willing to engage in various other negotiations before hand, despite Bush labeling North Korea as part of the "Axis of Evil."

Again, the only thing that would be consistent here is if Kim Jong Il feels "Outpost of Tyranny" represents a downgrade in the evilness scale from "Axis of Evil," and as such, they want to be reinstated to their former position of preeminent evil along with Iran and Saddam's Iraq.

(Hat tip: The Rottweiler)


Sunday, April 24, 2005

 
Who says money can't buy happiness?
Written by: Beck

Well, I'm assuming that, for Senator John Corzine, attaining his goal of becoming the next governor of New Jersey would be a source of happiness. Because Corzine is well on his way to methodically buying the post. Unfortunately for Corzine, there's been one small road bump: it would appear that campaign finance laws apply to Senators along with the rest of America's citizens. Enlighten-New Jersey has the story.
Yes, Senator Corzine, the rules apply to you too. For a man that co-sponsored McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, you'd think he'd want to set an example by living up to the spirit, as well as, the letter of the law. Corzine is very passionate about limiting campaign donations from everyone, except those from Jon Corzine and family.

Corzine wants to split hairs because FEC rules severely limit the amount of money he can raise and personally contribute to New Jersey Democrats and state political action committees. If you'll remember, it was Corzine's money that caused Democrat Party bosses to abandon Acting Governor Codey in favor of Jon Corzine as their nominee for Governor.
I find this especially entertaining considering the strategic implications of replacing a sitting governor from within your own party with a newcomer. In other words, Corzine has spread enough money around among his state Democratic party cronies that they're willing to forgo the significant advantages which come with incumbency.

Note: that last sentence was not so much intended as a criticism of the Democratic Party as it was a criticism of New Jersey politics in general.

There's already enough to criticize the Democratic party for without blaming them for New Jersey.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

 
Ennui
Written by: Beck

Chris Roach is disgruntled with the lack of quality content on blogs these days.
I've realized in reading different blogs that so much of what is offered on blogs is the intellectual equivalent on junk food, and this defect exists as much on the right as on the left. Pile on fests against the "hate object" of the day get blogs to link to one another and create a frenzy of self-congratulation. Other blogs have reconceived of their role as media watchdogs, constantly trying to find some oversight, misstatement of fact, or evidence of bias. What was once a happy byproduct of so many people reading the news, commenting on it, and being able to communicate their insights widely has become for some their raison d'etre. Finally, by focusing so intently on the news, the day to day, and one's personal experiences, most blogs lack historical perspective of any kind, and thus most blogs, like the media whom they follow so closely, don't have anything interesting to say on current events.
Jim Treacher is on the same wavelength.
Can you believe that politician? How do these guys think they can get away with this stuff? That party is always pulling crap like this. Throw the bums out!

[...]

The thing that one blogger said was stupid and dumb. Get a clue, jerk.

A member of the mainstream media made a mistake. Stop stealing your paycheck, member of the mainstream media!

Tipjar on the right.
Meanwhile, I have nothing to add.


 
Some quick hits
Written by: Beck

How do you know when your political party has sunk irretrievably deep into corruption and scandals? When you're compared unfavorably to New Jersey.

At long last, the age-old question has been answered: Which makes you dumber, email or marijuana? The winner? Email! That's right, folks, people who spend all day compulsively attached to their Blackberrys are doing more damage to their cognitive skills than smoking a doob.

And, naturally, oil-for-food continues to get worse and worse. Now, several members of the Volcker commission have resigned in protest over what they consider to be a whitewash. What's more, it turns out that Paul Volcker himself sits on the board of a company that appears to have been on the receiving end of some of Saddam's largesse. Read about it in great detail here, and here, and especially here.


 
Quote for the day
Written by: Beck

As a rule of thumb, once the “cannibalism” stories start spreading in the international media, an African dictator is not long for this world. It’s a pretty safe bet that, within a year, the nut-knoshing kleptocrat will 1) flee the country, 2) be toppled in a coup, or 3) die of a mysterious illness (with of without the assistance of Mark Thatcher).
Todd Skelton of Clowning Glory, in a post about Equatorial Guinea's current despot.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

 
The Calling Instinct
Written by: Beck

Poker blogging time.

So I'm sitting in a limit hold 'em game with above average players one day, and I find myself heads-up in a pot with the guy who is probably the best poker player at the table. I figure myself to be the second best at the table, but this guy is clearly very dangerous. For ease of discussion, I'll call him 'Bob'. Bob raised from early position pre-flop, so I figure him for a high pair or two suited high cards. I decide to play back at him with ten-jack suited.

The flop comes ace-high, with two cards of my suit. In other words, I've got four cards to a flush. I figure Bob now has top-pair, which is most likely the best hand at the table. Sure enough, Bob bets out. If Bob had three aces, he likely would have slow played it, so I'm not especially worried that Bob might catch a full house. Everyone left in the pot folded at that point, and it was just me and this guy. I was getting pot-odds to call him down and hope to draw out on him.

The turn was a blank, and Bob bet. I called. The river gave me a flush. I was now positive that I had Bob beat. Bob bet into me, and I raised.

I wanted Bob to call. I really wanted him to call. But Bob was a good player, and had to imagine I had a drawing hand to be staying in. He also had to imagine I made the obvious flush. Unless it was a bluff. Bob sat and thought about it for a long time. A really long time.

At this point, something I had recently read popped into my mind completely unbidden. It was written by Mike Caro, in a section of Doyle Brunson's recently published Super/System 2. Caro postulated the existence of a "Calling Instinct." You see, people come to a poker table to play. They don't come so that they can fold hands. They come to bet, to gamble, and to show 'm down. They come to win, and you can't win by folding. Every fiber in their being wants to call, even if they intellectually know they're beaten.

The key, then, is to trigger this calling instinct. How do you accomplish this? Simple, Caro says: do anything. Make a noise. Adjust yourself in your seat. Do something to draw attention to yourself, something to make the other guy think you're behaving out-of-character. Make him suspicious, and give him the excuse he needs for the flimsy rationalization it's going to take to justify calling.

"Quick!" thought I, "Do something to trigger this guy's calling instinct!" But what? What in hell to do? Then it came to me. The perfect thing to do.

You see, Bob had been staring at me. Hard. Trying to get me to give something up--trying to get me to give away a tell by my behavior or actions. I was maintaining eye contact and trying to look faux-aggressive--indicative of a bluff to those who know how to read tells. So I smiled at him...

And I started whistling the theme song from Jeopardy.

Bob actually sat there and thought about it, staring at me angrily as I kept on whistling until I got all the way to the very end of the song. That's how long he thought about it. And then he called.

I never saw his cards. I just said, "Flush," and turned up my hand. He tossed his cards in the muck, looking thoroughly disgusted with himself. I could have demanded to see his cards (as you can with any called bet on the end), but that's bad poker etiquette, for one thing, and for another, I pretty much knew what he had anyway.

Bob was off his game for the rest of the night. His loose call--and allowing himself to be manipulated into making it--bothered him that much.

There's a dual lesson in this story. The first is that you can get people to call if you want to. Just act like a doofus. The second (and more important) lesson is that your greatest enemy in a game of poker is yourself. The other people at the table aren't your enemy. They're the ones who supply your paycheck. They exist to enrich you. All they can do is play their cards to the best of their ability and hope to get lucky.

It doesn't matter how good or bad your opponents play is if you're reacting emotionally--in essence, defeating yourself. Your emotions are not good decision makers, so keep them out of the equation. If you find that your emotions are taking over despite your best efforts, get up from the table, go for a walk, and give yourself a chance to settle down.

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(Cross posted to the Blogger News Network)


 
Soldiers' Angels
Written by: Beck

Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has something you should consider looking into. It's an organization known as Soldiers' Angels, and they're good people. So go checkitout.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

 
For the children!
Written by: Beck

There's a new threat facing our nation, especially our nation's youth, and it's time the government did something about it. You've heard about the obesity crisis, the dangers of tobacco and second-hand smoke, how guns cause crime, and the unimaginable danger of riding a bicycle without a helmet. But I bet you haven't heard about how dangerous one particular item--one you likely have sitting around your home, completely unguarded--can be to you, your family, and the American Way of Life.

It's time the word got out about the new enemy: Bread!
Research on bread indicates that:
1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.
4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.
5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

[...]

12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.
Write your Senator! Alert your Congressman! Stop the presses, call your lawyer, and prepare to join in the biggest class-action lawsuit in history as we finally put the demonic corporate bread cabal out of business and in to jail where these criminals belong!

(Hat tip: Samizdata)


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

 
Have you heard of Roy Hallums?
Written by: Beck

I hadn't. He's an American being held hostage by Iraqis. He's been a hostage since November. Take a moment to think about that. That's a hell of a long time to be at the mercy of jihadist West-hating terrorists.

The reason you haven't heard about him is that the US has a policy of not publishing American civilian abductions. Regardless of what you think of the merits of the policy, that means that it's far too easy to forget that there are Americans being held hostage in Iraq.

Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report--the first publication to identify Roy Hallums--has interviewed Hallums' family. It's a fascinating interview, and I highly recommend reading it.


 
Calling all cars
Written by: Beck

Liberal blogger David Anderson of In Search of Utopia has headed off on a business trip and invited a boatload of guest bloggers to fill the void while he is out. For some strange reason, he allowed me to be one of his guest bloggers. Say what you will about his judgment, David certainly has balls.

Anyway, I noticed a post by another guest blogger which was critical of United Nations ambassadorial nominee John Bolton, so I decided to write a long-winded response endorsing Bolton. Doubtlessly it'll rile ISOU's usual (i.e. liberal) readers, so be sure to peak in the comments and join in any ongoing debates (just be sure to remain civil).

Go checkitout.


Monday, April 18, 2005

 
Gmail invites
Written by: Beck

I've got 49 Gmail invites sitting around if anyone wants one. Just leave a comment to this post with your (current) email address, and I'll fire an invite off.


 
Lou Dobbs and illegal immigration
Written by: Beck

I never would have guessed that CNN's Lou Dobbs is rabidly anti-illegal immigration. But I just listened to him deliver an editorial monologue about how illegal immigration is a growing disaster for this country. Good for him.


 
Quote for the day
Written by: Beck

After sixty years of retreat from its colonial heyday, Europe is an idea whose back is to the wall. What it needs now is a new vision and leadership, which with some American help, may address the core of its weakness: suicidal demographics; cultural self-loathing; its oppressive socialist economies. The hour is late and the ship captained by fools but hope still remains.
Wretchard of the Belmont Club, in an interesting piece showing how the collapse of Europe's colonial era empires was part of a process which continues to this day, with the ongoing collapse spilling over into the European mainland. Presumably, should the trend not be reversed, the day will come when Europe more closely resembles its former colonies than it does anything historically identifiable with European culture & history.


 
Checkitout
Written by: Beck

This is, quite simply, the best Carnival of the Capitalists ever.

Update: By far the best entry in the Carnival is this extensively researched bit of analysis on the ongoing accounting scandal at Fannie Mae, posted over at the Free Market Project. The long and the short of it is that the size of the scandal in dollar amounts is nineteen times larger than Enron, yet it has received only three percent of the press coverage. One possible reason for the lack of coverage: while Enron's CEO Ken Lay had close ties to the Bush administration, Fannie Mae's CEO had close ties to, you guessed it, the Clinton administration.
[David] Gregory [of NBC Nightly News] detailed several contacts between the Treasury and Commerce departments and Enron. While he conceded that "No action resulted from those calls," he theorized that the White House didn’t have the time to hold up their end of the quid pro quo, "because the company fell too far, too fast for the government to have bailed them out."

In contrast, neither NBC nor any other broadcast outlet would have needed to search hard for political ties in the Fannie Mae debacle. Former Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines and former Vice Chairman Jamie Gorelick were both instrumental figures in the Clinton administration. The print media were candid about Fannie’s political connections. In a Dec. 23, 2004, article, Albert Crenshaw of The Washington Post revealed that Franklin Raines “was a director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration, and his name was mentioned as a possible Treasury Secretary had Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) been elected president.”

[...]

On a Dec. 28, 2004, edition of CNN’s “Newsnight With Aaron Brown,” Tucker Carlson interviewed [Newsweek's Charles] Gasparino about the media’s bypassing the Fannie Mae story. Carlson asked, “Why has it not been reported like Enron?”

Gasparino replied: “Well, Fannie Mae is a very politically corrupt – it may be politically corrupt, but it’s a politically correct company. I mean, they do all the things that, let’s face it, liberal journalists like, like put home mortgages out there for poor people. And so right now, beating up on Fannie Mae is kind of politically incorrect.”

The next exchange was telling. Carlson deduced: “So, because it’s not part of the tobacco industry or an energy company, it gets a pass from the press?”

Gasparino agreed: “Right. It’s not related to George Bush. Franklin Raines, I believe, is a Democrat. So there is a degree here – because I’ve heard journalists talk about this – that hey, this is – there’s politics on the part of the Republicans. That’s why they’re beating up on Fannie Mae, which may be true. But, at the same time, this is a huge story, and it’s going overlooked.”


Sunday, April 17, 2005

 
Why didn't I think of this sooner?
Written by: Beck

You've perhaps heard about the human finger found in some Wendy's chili? The woman who found it has been involved in several litigations of a suspicious nature before, so there are those who think perhaps she's the one who introduced the finger. Of course, that still leaves the question, where did the finger come from?

To answer this question, I consulted military and bowling expert Walter Sobchak. Here's the trascript of our (brief) phone conversation.

John Beck: Would you have any idea how to go about getting a human body part?

Walter Sobchak: You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't want to know about it, believe me.

John Beck: But how hard would it be go actually go about acquiring a body part?

Walter Sobchak: Hell, I can get you a toe by three o'clock this afternoon. With nail polish.

Well, there you have it folks. And hell, the finger in the chili didn't even have nail polish. Shoddy work if you asked me.


Saturday, April 16, 2005

 
Asking the wrong questions
Written by: Beck

Just heard this teaser on FoxNews: "Bloggers: are they journalists, and do they deserve the same first amendment protections as professional journalists?"

This, of course, is a reference to the first amendment guarantee of a free press. My answer: it doesn't matter--the first amendment covers more freedoms than just the press. What I write here is protected under free speech. What does it frigging matter if I'm a "journalist"?

After all, despite the impression often given by, well, journalists, the first amendment does not protect journalists from giving up their sources. They just refuse to give up their sources on principle, and are happy to risk a contempt of court citation, as it will just make martyrs of them and increase their reputation within the halls of professional journalism.

So what protections, exactly, does the first amendment grant to journalists that aren't granted to people whose one deficit is their failure to own a printing press?

I have a declaration to make

If any government entity, be it the FEC, the FCC, or any of the other many and varied bureaucratic monstrosities trying to run this country, attempts to curtail the rights of bloggers without comparably curtailing the equivalent rights of professional journalists, I will openly and proudly defy such infringement on my constitutional freedoms.

Or, for those who prefer things to be more succinct: bring it on you McCain-Feingold worshipping shitheads.


 
Amusing
Written by: Beck

Victor Davis Hanson has a most entertaining article on NRO today. Basically it's one long "I told you so," followed by a deconstruction of the various failed foreign policy tactics that gave rise to the Middle East we know and love today. Highly recommended.


Friday, April 15, 2005

 
If it makes you happy...
Written by: Beck

A striking number of prominent bloggers have been complaining about Blogging Malaise. They have various reasons for being unhappy with blogging. Me? I'm not tired of the blog at all, but I have found myself rather lacking of motivation to really crank out the top-notch high-volume quality analysis and commentary that our regular readers have become used to. Of course, some of that has to do with my current job, which keeps me rather busier than I had been in the past, and some of that has to do with a lack of current events which sufficiently interest me.

So rather than slogging away at marginally interesting topics and forcing myself to find original things to say about subjects I've already said more than I ever imagined I would in my entire lifetime, I've decided to begin periodically blogging about something else that interests me. It has nothing to do with politics or economics or, um, politics. And no, it's not porn. So say hello to the newest feature at INCITE: poker blogging.

I have to imagine that most of the regular readers here aren't regular poker players. Don't worry. It'll only be a small percentage of what I write, and most of my material will remain as on-topic as ever. What's more, I'll try to keep things interesting and informative even for novices and non-players.

By far the best thing about living in Jersey now is my proximity to Atlantic City, where I spend much of my time off fleecing the tourists at the poker tables. I started playing poker four or five months ago (which you may note coincides roughly with the drop-off in my volume of regular posting here), and I've never looked back. I like to think of it as a sport that you play by sitting on your ass and moving around small pieces of plastic. At least that's what I tell myself when I'm spending 12 hours at a table with nine other people and draining Coronas.

So here's my first poker-blogging for you:

Kenny Rogers was wrong. You always count your money while you're sitting at the table.

Not knowing how you're doing money-wise would be like a golfer not paying attention to penalty strokes. You have no idea of how well you're doing, no way to know if your game is improving, no way to set or attain goals. Poker is not for slackers; in terms of effort to master the game, it requires as much dedication and work as the hardest working professional athletes. Minus all the sweating.

In no-limit games, if you don't know how much you have in front of you, you're double-fucked. Your chips are a form of strength--the more you have, the more you can push people around & make them play reactively. You always want to have a good idea of how many chips the other players at the table have--why on earth wouldn't you want to have an even better idea about how many chips you have in front of yourself?

And don't tell me about it being bad luck. Bad luck is not knowing that you're hemorrhaging money. Whether or not you're counting your little plastic chips has nothing to do whatsoever with what the cards do. Picking up bad habits out of a misguided sense of superstition is a sure bet for losing your bankroll. Just don't do it.

Doyle Brunson, in his book Poker Wisdom of a Champion, tells a story about a game he was at where someone sat down and noticed Doyle counting down his chips. He admonished Doyle not to do that--that everyone knows you never count your money while you're sitting at the table. When the guy left the table flat broke several hours later, another player at the table (I forget his name and don't have the book in front of me) called after him, and I paraphrase, "You were right. If you wait 'til you're done, they're a lot easier to count!"

Not that Kenny Rogers didn't write one hell of a song.

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If I hadna seen it, I wouldna believed it
Written by: Beck

Your UN contributions (roughly $7 billion of American taxpayer money) goes to better and better things. The latest? A 227mb computer game from the UN's World Food Program called Food Force. Because the whole reason people are continuing to starve in the world is that game-addicted kids aren't playing the right video games! Or something.

Frankly, I'm not sure what line of reasoning was involved in creating the monstrous farce. All I know is that it's a ginormous, rank waste of money.

Read more about it at Gaijin Biker. I haven't the stomach to say more about it myself.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

 
The threat of America
Written by: Brent Brophy

Apparently telling your people repeatedly that the United States is about to invade is is all the justification you need to tyrannize them. Apparently neither Chavez, the BBC, nor the socialists of the world who support Chavez' reign of terror remember that the United States encouraged the coup leaders to put Chavez back in power in 2002. Obviously not one of our better moments, but the complete opposite of what they're accusing us of. On the plus side, they're slightly more rational than some Nepalese who think a socialist inspired genocide will create a tourist industry.

Goe, was told today that Howard Zinn is an impartial historian.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

 
Why the world hates us...
Written by: Brent Brophy

The BBC, seen or heard almost everywhere on the planet, notes that Uganda has made real progress in it's fight against the spread of HIV.

Many African governments have fared miserably in attempting to counter the HIV pandemic, with devastating consequences. By comparison, Uganda has performed well in bringing down the HIV prevalence to around 6%.


The BBC claims that this success is the result of religious extremists in the United States, and that it should therefore be stopped. We're evil because people aren't dying. It's what the BBC claims, and the world believes.

Goe, needs to revive the 'to nuke' list.


Monday, April 11, 2005

 
Instaslaves
Written by: Brent Brophy

Instapundit just doesn't get it. It may not be politically correct to call for judicial impeachment based on a judges view of written laws, but in a system of checks and balances, it's the only limitation to judicial power. Everytime a judge issues an order affecting a governmental body, that judge is assuming power over that governmental body. Sometimes it is a reasonable and easily justifiable assertion, such forcing compliance with the laws passed by a higher governing body. But each time that a federal judge ignores congress, or a state judge ignores their state legislature, that judge is taking power from a duly elected body and retaining it within the judiciary.

Since judges have taken it upon themselves to re-write or negate laws written by elected bodies at or above their level, most notably by federal and state supreme courts but also commonly done by other federal judges, the only way the public can force a change in judicial interpretations or precedent is to force an elected body to impeach those judges. Anything else can be pounded out of existence by a judge's gavel.

Most elected officials are just as ignorant of the constitution as judges are, but we can vote those bastards out. Judges probably won't get impeached for tyranny for a while, but the public needs to know the option is open. We may not be lawyers, but we're not slaves of lawyers either.

Goe, a free man.


 
John Bolton
Written by: Beck

Bush's nominee to the United Nations ambassadorship, John Bolton, is going through his confirmation hearings today in the senate. NRO has this story covered back to front. They have an editorial up endorsing Bolton which you can read here, and Eric Pfeiffer is live-blogging the confirmation hearings, going on right now. It sounds like things are going well for Bolton. More surprisingly, it appears that Bolton has received the endorsement of Kofi Annan.

Update: Howard Kaloogian, Co-Chair of Move America Forward, has this to say on the John Bolton hearings:
"What we've seen today by Bolton opponents like Senator Barbara Boxer and Joseph Biden is a clear display of the Blame America First mentality that permeates the United Nations today.

"For some reason, certain Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee seem to take offense with the notion that John Bolton believes that it is more important to advance U.S. interests than the interests of an international organization whose masters are often some of the world’s most notorious dictators, despots and tyrants.

"John Bolton is a man of accomplishment who has never wavered in his commitment to defending America's best interests. As the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. he will speak truth to power.

"So far we’ve seen nothing but inexcusable grandstanding from those still bitter that their party lost in the last presidential election, and they keep clamoring for a different foreign policy than was endorsed by the American people. The Senators who are attacking John Bolton seem to have forgotten that the candidate who advocated for a "global test" before the U.S. made foreign policy decisions was defeated at the polls.
Further Update: Jeff Goldstein has this to say:
Fact: If Bolton is not confirmed, we'll be sending a signal to the rest of the world that we are not, in fact, as serious about UN reform—or American foreign-policy rectitude—as we pretend to be. Bolton has America’s best interests at heart, and he is the perfect man for the position of US Ambassador, particularly in the wake of the oil-for-food scandal and the myriad other UN missteps of the past few years. Anyone who votes against him is, in my opinion, a bonafide moral coward posing as a statesman. Period.
Yet Another Update: TKS has a roundup of quotes and comments about Bolton from around the world. My favorite is the North Koreans, who had this to say:
"The most undesirable person was named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, thus raising tension in the United Nations and international community," said Choson Sinbo, the newspaper run by a Pyongyang-aligned organization of ethnic Korean residents in Japan.

"Bolton's speaking style is so violent the North has labeled him as human scum," said the paper, considered a mouthpiece of the communist regime in Pyongyang. "He is the worst UN envoy," it declared.

Bolton took a vehement stand against North Korea when he was serving as undersecretary of state for arms control. He once described North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il as "tyrannical" and called the life in the Stalinist state a "hellish nightmare."
Amusingly, the more and more negative press I read on John Bolton, the more and more I like him.

Son of Update: It looks like John Kerry, in asking a question of Bolton, may have accidentally outed a federal agent.


 
Wizbang turns two
Written by: Beck

Happy blogiversary guys.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

 
So long, and thanks for nothing
Written by: Beck

Well, looks like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie--which the world has been waiting on for a quarter of a century--totally sucks balls.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie is an abomination. Whereas the radio show, TV show, books and computer game are all recognisably variations on a theme, this is something new and almost entirely unrelated. It’s not even a good film if viewed as an original work: the characters are unsympathetic, the cast exhibit no chemistry, the direction is pedestrian, the pace plodding, the special effects overpowering (lots and lots of special effects, none of them funny mind you) and above all the script is amazingly, mindbogglingly awful. Oh, and they have taken most of the jokes out.

This is a terrible, terrible film and it makes me want to weep.
The reviewer is clearly a lover of Adams & the books, so it isn't like someone who just doesn't enjoy British humor or sci-fi is bashing it. What's more, his primary complaint isn't some sort of purists' crying about changes to the original (after all, it's hard to really pin down an original with the Hitchhiker's Guide, what with how it has already appeared in at least 4 different forms, each of which had significant differences from the others. No, assuming this review isn't a complete fabrication, it would appear that the H2G2 movie just really really bites.

(Hat tip: IFOC)


 
Sunday silliness
Written by: Beck

Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has been collecting a gallery of various bloggers' self-portraits created using the South Park character generator. Not to be left out of the fun, I went ahead and used up a few minutes of my life and created a portrait of my own.

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Yeah, I have a thing for Japanese swords. Couldn't resist.

Info on joining the gallery here.

(Hat tip: ISOU)


Saturday, April 09, 2005

 
A quick question for Tom DeLay
Written by: Beck

But first, the issue.
DeLay suggested an impeachment case could made against judges who rebuffed Congress' will in the Terri Schiavo case. Congress ordered the federal courts to review the decisions of state judges who turned down her parents' efforts to keep her alive, but federal judges all the way up to the Supreme Court held up those decisions.
And now, the question: Tom, haven't you done enough damage to your political party already? Here's another question: don't you remember just how much damage the Clinton impeachment circus did to the Republican party? Final question: are you some sort of stealth Democratic Party operative, or are you just a fucking moron? It must be one of the two--I can't think of any other possible explanation.

You'll note I've not said a word on whether or not the judge in question deserves impeachment. That's scarcely even relevant; what's more, considering that the Supreme Court itself refused three separate times to hear the case, I'm going to go ahead and speculate that an impeachment case against "judges who rebuffed Congress' will" has roughly zero chance of success.


 
Just what I've always wanted
Written by: Beck

Some co-workers and I are going to pool together the $550,000 it takes and buy ourselves this bad boy.

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Anyone know where I can buy a few torpedoes?

(Hat tip: Chapomatic)


Friday, April 08, 2005

 
Kofi Annan Resignation Watch -- Knocking the dust off edition
Written by: Beck

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Cartoon by Cox & Forkum


I gave up on the Kofi Annan Resignation Watch series as it became more and more obvious that, despite calls from the likes of Senator Norm Coleman and the Move America Forward folks, Annan wasn't going anywhere unless the Volcker report turned up a picture of Kofi giving Saddam Hussein a hummer.

Try not to think about it.

Now, however, things are starting to look interesting again. Pressure on Annan has become severe enough that he felt the need to announce that, "Hell no!" he would not resign. Such over the top boldness rarely serves as a good sign for a political player's future longevity.

Criticism continues to mount (and Norm Coleman has renewed his calls for Annan's resignation). Ever on the defensive, Annan engaged in the rare stunt of calling a public meeting of his staff to deliver a pep rally and try to sell the notion that reform can take place at the UN without a radical change in leadership.
Aides say the embattled UN chief will deliver a "pep talk" in an attempt to buoy the spirits of UN personnel after a series of scandals, including last week's oil-for-food report criticizing Mr. Annan and his son, Kojo.

He is expected to tout his recently released reform agenda, In Larger Freedom, which calls for institutional changes to revive the organisation.

Mr Annan, the first UN chief to rise up through the ranks, will find many staff angry and demoralised at what they see as the humiliation of the institution.

One mid-level official said he wanted an apology from Mr. Annan, but did not dare ask.

"I worked with five different secretaries-general. Usually there are ebbs and flows, but this is a very low ebb. It's the lowest ebb," said Samir Sanbar, a retired assistant secretary-general who now writes a weblog for UN staff
Things could be even worse than that, though. While the Volcker report was quite careful to point out that no conclusive evidence could be found demonstrating that Annan was aware of the Oil-for-Food malfeasance going on right under his nose during virtually his entire time as Secretary General, Annan still evidently feels the need to hire a criminal defense attorney. The very same attorney who defended Bill Clinton during his Senate impeachment trial.

But that's not the final nail in Annan's coffin. Despite all this, I think he might still have managed to hang on but for one small misstep. What was Annan's fatal mistake, you ask? Simple: he actually made an intelligent proposal for reforming the UN Human Rights Commission.

You see, the Human Rights Commission is one of the biggest, most laughable ongoing embarrassment at the United Nations. Its membership reads like a who's-who of dictators and kleptocrats--in other words, the worst human rights offenders of them all. The United States, incidentally, was voted off of the HRC several years back.

Annan recognizes that this glaring conflict of interest causes huge credibility problems for the United Nations and seeks to reform the institution. And that's why he's doomed.

You see, so long as Annan retained the iron-clad support of a majority of the countries represented at the United Nations, he could hold on to his job and proudly defy those presumptuous American windbags calling for him to step down. He depends, in short, on the worst of the world's leaders. But those world leaders depend on the UN's continued blind-eye towards their corruption and abuse of their own people.

Annan, by upsetting the tacit protection racket such nations as China, Cuba, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Russia, and Saudi Arabia enjoy under the auspices of the United Nations, has violated the unwritten Dictator's Code of Conduct: no finger pointing, unless it's at the United States or Israel. All that has to happen for Annan's job security to go from "rock solid" to "will the defendant please rise" is for China and/or Russia to quietly cease working their asses off behind the scenes in support of the failed Secretary General.

Time's up Kofi.

(Hat tip: QandO, Instapundit)

(Cross posted to the Blogger News Network)


 
We're number one!
Written by: Beck

Enlighten-New Jersey has a couple items up discussing a couple recent reports showing two new ways in which New Jersey outperforms every other state in the union. New Jersey's health insurance costs are the highest in the nation, and New Jersey has the worst business climate according to a poll of corporate CFOs. Evidently capricious taxation, sub-par infrastructure, high costs of doing business, and poor provision of state services aren't conducive to successful operation of a business. Who'd'a thunk it?


 
BREAKING: Tom DeLay molests chickens, kills nun, steals candy from baby
Written by: Beck

In case you haven't been counting, Tom DeLay is now involved in five--count 'em--scandals. This man's continued presence in the House of Representatives does far more damage to Republican credibility than the damage which the resignation of such a prominent politician would inflict.

Hate to admit it, but I'm starting to think it's time for Tom to go. As David Anderson observes, "He is an embarrassment to the entire political system."


Thursday, April 07, 2005

 
Mexican Myopia
Written by: Brent Brophy

No, it's not about Mexican Marketing.

Mexican stocks are dropping, because investors are worried that industries there might not be nationalized.

That's right, people are claiming that socialism is good for the stock market, and that unless Mexicans can elect a socialist president, who has already promised to nationalize many industries and flush NAFTA, the Mexican stock market will collapse. We know how socialism has endeared the leaders of Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and North Korea to their enslaved populations, but how exactly does it help the local markets if they're plowed under to build a new gulag?

Goe, hoping some economist answers.


 
Cinema O' Death
Written by: Brent Brophy

While poking around various websites, I found this link. It's about the miniscule number of films critiquing socialist genocides, and compared to the huge number of films promoting it. They invite people to post about films that portray the true nature of socialists, but their comments section hates me. I'd encourage people to see Children of the Revolution, an Australian film about a stalin groupie who bears his child and, oblivious to her son turning into a stalin clone or stalin's own atrocities, chides him for betraying her socialistic ideals. It may be a comedy, but it shows the similarities between national and international socialism. Plus, I like women with accents.

Goe, up too late again.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

 
Ye Olde Carnival o' the Vanities
Written by: Beck

I volunteered to host the COTV nearly three months ago, so I couldn't anticipate that I'd be on a business trip on the appointed day. As such, you lucky folks get your weekly carnival two days early!

While most of the posts to the carnival are voluntarily submitted by their respective authors, I've gone ahead and picked a few posts from some of my favorite websites that I felt like using the COTV platform to highlight. So, without further delay, I present to you this week's Carnival of the Vanities.

Editor's Selections:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usFirst off I'd like to highlight two recent cases of New Media (i.e. blogs) trespassing on the hallowed grounds of Old Media. The first case is a joint effort by Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom and Bill Ardolino of INDC Journal: The CITIZEN JOURNALIST Report. They now have a weekly radio program hosted by Right Talk Radio. You can catch them at 3 PM each Thursday, with rebroadcasts available frequently.

The second instance of migration from blogs comes with the first ever edition of The New Libertarian [password: tnlv1i1]--the official publication of the Neolibertarian network. If you have any remaining uncertainties about what a neolibertarian is, this publication should remove them. Not surprisingly, Libertarian purists are not happy.

Next up, a blog I've long been a fan of now has a new URL and a new name to go with it. So if you had Aaron's Rantblog on your bookmarks, be sure to change it to the new URL: http://aarons.cc/. And don't forget, April 15 is Buy A Gun Day.

David Anderson suffered from some computer issues not too long ago, and has had a number of guest bloggers covering for him. If you were wondering what he's been up to in the meantime, have a look at this post. David's in one of the pictures if you know what to look for.

Ace of Spades announces that he has accomplished his greatest post ever. Naturally, as he has nowhere to go but down now, he is retiring from blogging. If the post doesn't make any sense to you, well, you've got about a year's worth of inside jokes to catch up on.

Finally, New Sisyphus has a post on a subject near and dear to my heart: getting Kofi Annan out of the United Nations. Granted, I don't know if Mr. Sisyphus shares my interest in going the next step to get the United States out of the United Nations, but losing Annan can't be a bad start.

Get That Good Mojo Going:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI'm not 100% sure why I decided to go with the eye-ball picture for this section. I think I must just like the caption that originally went with it: A gel like substance called the vitreous humor fills the eyes. I'll get back to you if I ever figure it out.
  • To kick things off, I'll just quote Pratie Place's injunction: It's bad karma to ignore serendipity.

  • Next, from The Green Lantern, something about shooting cats and hunting foster children. It's definitely an idea whose time has come.

  • From The Nose On Your Face, the Top 9 Bush nicknames for Ted Kennedy. My personal favorite wasn't on the list. I guess that's just too bad for The Bloat.

  • Strange Justice reports that you can get away with anything in Britain, so long as you were sleep walking at the time.

  • The author of Assumption of Command, currently serving in Iraq, has a rather entertaining post about saluting in the military.

  • The World According to Pete presents a primer on how to have fun at other people's high school reunion. Hint: grab a name tag and mingle.

  • Taken in Hand asks the age old question: why do women prefer assholes? I myself haven't a clue, but am relieved regardless, being something of an accomplished asshole myself.

  • Paul Noonan--not to be mistaken for the character from Caddyshack (I think)--of The Electric Company--not to be mistaken for the children's show (I hope)--got his hand on an as yet unreleased article from Paul Krugman presenting ways to fix social security. I myself am torn between option one (tax stay-at-home moms) and option two, which involves monkeys.

  • neo-neocon would like you to know about deformed lobsters. I can honestly say this is the single most informative thing I've ever read on the subject of deformed lobsters.

  • Lastly, Notes and Meditations starts things off with a quote from P.J. O'Rourke--always a good step--and then goes into a lengthy discussion of "aromatic American masculinity," about which I have no comment.

Business, Economics, and So On

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usJust couldn't resist this picture. That, and it will likely irk Goemagog, giving me an extra incentive to use it.
  • To kick things off, Dr. Tony has a useful guide to health insurance, bankruptcy, and protecting yourself financially. I'd recommend this for just about anyone to read.

  • Gaijin Biker of Riding Sun has an excellent article about the evolution of Japanese corporate culture and the influence foreigners are having in reshaping the business landscape in Japan. Of course, I'm a Japanophile, so this will probably be of less interest to many, but I highly recommend it nonetheless.

  • The Conservative Cat provides a link-filled refutation of the economic myth that there's a conspiracy to prevent people from working from home.

  • Ashish's Niti has a post about the trade deficit and asks the pertinent question: is a trade deficit really all that harmful?

  • The Glittering Eye discusses issues confronting any attempt of creating an EU-type union among North American countries.

Sci-Tech

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usInsert semi-witty introduction here germane to science and technology. Note to self: avoid use of words like "germane" as they tend to not scan well. Good job.

  • First up, Jody of PolySciFi Blog does a fantastic job of making a point about ethics in nanotechnology by referencing the movie Challenge of the GoBots. I'm not entirely sure what that point was (something about how ethics are good I think), but you just cannot go wrong with a reference to the GoBots.

  • The Other Bloke's Blog has a post on specialized internet directories being used to refine the power of internet searches. I can recall first using Yahoo (back when it was just the hobby of a couple guys going to Stanford)--the original internet directory. I don't really have a point--I just like talking about how I was using the internet in 1994.

  • Koranteng's Toli has an amusing (and quite thorough) post on cultural sensitivity influencing software development.

  • Nick, of the aptly named The World According to Nick blog, in his first ever submission to a carnival, has a post about fear of technology titled, aptly, Fear of Technology. And if you should happen to notice that Nick's blog looks strangely similar to this one, that's because he's using the same May*Star designed template that I started INCITE out with.

On Blogging

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThis image was generated using the free typoGenerator. It's a pretty nifty little web-ap someone built using Google's image search function. I think it's pretty nifty and figured I'd use this space to give them a plug. Also, there are only two entries in this category, so I needed some filler to space things out a bit. You know. For the children.
  • First up, Sophistpundit offers up On Blogging and Morality. My own personal opinion on the matter is that ethics in blogging becomes a self-reinforcing tool. Any blogger who posts bad information is going to get fact checked by roughly a million other people, have his name dragged through the mud (and other smelly brown semi-liquids), and lose readership. That readership is the one thing most bloggers feed on, and it's a rare blogger who will do anything to jeopardize that.

  • Multiple Mentality sneaks in a late entry with a story that wasn't. And it involves not only eugenics, but also, fat people. Essentially, it's a story that many ran with in the blogosphere, and it turned out to be completely untrue. Oops.

Politics -- Because you just can't get enough of it

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe last time I hosted a carnival, I saved the politics category for last. I figure we get enough of politics in our daily diet without adding more to it. For today's carnival, however, politics gets the second-to-last category. You'll see why I saved for last that which I, well, saved for last. Crazy suspense, ain't it?
  • First up, from Eric Scheie of Classical Values (who, I might point out, is a fellow member of the Neolibertarian Network) posts a lengthy analysis essentially showing that despite a bi-partisan effort to cover itself up, government officials just can't seem to keep from exposing themselves.

  • Enlighten New Jersey has a post on that never-ending source of quality blogfodder--corruption in New Jersey politics. Evidently, the new official policy is that New Jersey's corruption is the fault of the voters. Which, if that's the case, I've got some kickbacks coming.

  • This post could easily have fit into the On Blogging category, but Technogypsy has self-categorized it as Politics, and who am I to disagree? Essentially, he's discussing the reality gap which mainstream journalists seem to suffer from. The solution, naturally: more blogging!

  • For Dissect Left's COTV submission, I'll just let the author's description stand for itself: John Ray has up a post with links to stories about Gypsies, school
    shootings, Aryans, Winston Churchill and much more besides.

  • Finally, Willisms reports that it would appear that Rock The Vote is no longer as painfully unhip as it has been in recent years; rather, they've gotten even worse. Perhaps "Rock The Vote" is a reference to the rocking chairs to be found dotting retirement communities.

I See Dead People

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usYou knew it had to be coming. This has been an absolutely fantastic week for death. First Johnnie Cochrane kicks the bucket (right as I pulled down a $200 pot in a game of poker--thanks for looking out for me Al!), Terri Schiavo then shuffles off her mortal coil with more media attention than any one person has ever received before. Then the Pope decided he was tired of Terri upstaging him and decided to give up the fight as well (I wonder if he had a living will?). And finally, Mitch Hedberg died.

Mitch Hedberg, you ask? He was one of my favorite stand-up comedians. He's also about the only person to die lately that I was particularly upset about. Sure, that's kind of heartless, but I have a hard time getting worked up about deaths of people not directly related to me. Protein Wisdom was one of the only blogs to note his passing. He was only 37 years old. And now, back to your regularly scheduled carnival blogging.
  • From The People's Republic of Seabrook, the one post in this section that doesn't involve the death of humans. Rather, it involves the death of thousands upon thousands of baby seals. And this whole time, I've thought baby seal clubbing was no longer a participant sport.

  • TFS Magnum has a post showing what happens when the same rules which the rest of us must abide don't apply to star athletes. Namely, people start dying.

  • From Better Living, you will find what is likely the only post commemorating the life of John Paul II via an elaborate discussion of David Bowie. Really. Have a look--it's worth reading.

  • point2point presents a discussion of the right to live... and the right to die.

  • Attaboy would like to talk to you about living wills. Helpful tip: make sure you have a living will before you find yourself in a persistent vegetative state.

  • Brian J. Noggle would like to point out that the Republican's principled stand on Terri Schiavo isn't what will cost them votes in 2006, it's their trouncing upon the principle of federalism.

  • Last, but certainly not least, ShrinkWrapped has a post amusingly titled Libido and Thanatos. The title pretty much says it all.

And that wraps up another Carnival of the Vanities. Hope you enjoyed your stay at INCITE. Feel free to have a look around the place, and we always welcome new readers, so if you'd like to bookmark and/or blogroll us, you'll have our thanks.

I'm going to be on the road for the next few days, but should be back to my usual frenetic pace of blogging this Friday. See you then.

Update: I'm afraid I managed to leave out a submission from Laurence Simon's latest effort, the Onion-esque The IFOC News. Go read it. Unless you're easily offended, in which case, well, read it anyway and enjoy your righteous indignation.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

 
Carnival of the Vanities
Written by: Beck

INCITE is hosting this week's COTV, but because of work-related issues, I'm going to have to crank it out rather early. If you have a submission, please send it to incite [at] gmail.com ASAP -- before tomorrow at noon ideally. Be sure to include a trackback URL if you want a ping.


Contact The Author:

John Beck

Feedback Welcomed








Greatest Hits

The Complete United Nations Posts
Immoderate Moderates
Marketing Myopia
In defense of the Republic
UKIP in America
Playing Connect the Dots
A Point So Often Missed: The Presence of an Administered Rate
Reagan Remembrance
Dr. Wolfowitz, or How I Supported the Right War Waged in the Wrong Way for the Wrong Reasons
Divine Right of Kings and UN Mandates
A Fantastic Idea, If I Do Say So Myself
Why We Were Right to Liberate Iraq
The Crisis of Conservatism


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