A Quick Thought: Libertarianism

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

While I was taking a break from working on lesson plans I happened to catch a bit of an interview with Bob Barr, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, on NPR.  What caught my interest was Barr's views regarding social welfare programs or his view that all federal and state run programs intended to aid the poor should be abolished.

Now, I must admit I have a pretty strong libertarian streak, albeit my brand of libertarian might best be labeled social libertarianism or left libertarianism.  That is, I really think that the government should have no role in legislating morality.   It strikes me that no one should have the power to say how a person ought to live their life except for in cases where people wish to cause harm to others.  I do think there is some role in preventing property and violent crime for the government but otherwise, I figure people should get to do pretty much whatever they want and the consequences of their actions should be social rather than legislative ones.  However, I would grant that there is a role for gov't in administering social programs (indeed, I think that the administration of social programs should be the primary role for gov't).

That said, what I really don't agree with is this notion that the government only has a role in terms of security.  It strikes me that the libertarian's suggestion that addressing the concerns and need of the poor should be a regional or a private matter is one that is awfully wrong-headed.

This is for several reasons.  First, if one thinks that the responsibility for caring for the poor within our society is a regional one, one assumes that all the regions within the US are equally well equipped to manage and fund social programs (and social programs here includes education, unemployment insurance, provision of healthcare, funding research, retirement insurance, etc.).  However, such is not the case, there are a great number of regions within the US that are particularly economically depressed, without some for of resource redistribution from the state or federal level, such regions could not maintain adequate social programs.

Second, many social programs require stable funding over time.  Private sources of funding do not come with even the weak guarantees that federal or state funding has.  Private grants for the most part are one-time or short term.  That isn't a system that can fund education, healthcare, or programs of that sort which require stable funding from year to year.

Third, I think that if the responsibility of maintaining adequate social programs were left up to regional or private organizations/individuals one would lose efficiency.  There would be a great deal of replication/redundancy of labor.  Regional programs would require far more people being involved in managing and organizing resource redistribution.  Now granted, it's not like the current federal government is all that efficient nor all that capable of responding to the needs of those less financially fortunate.

However, further weakening the federal gov't will only hurt rather than help the situation.  Consider for instance the case of Hurricane Katrina.  Without the late and arguably inadequate response of the federal gov't, the situation would have been much worse.  Further, in the case of Katrina private and regional help arrived quite quickly but they were simply unable to deal with the scale of the problem.  Without federally funded programs, the death toll of Hurricane Katrina would have been far worse than it was.

So while libertarianism does have some appeal to me, I really don't think the ideas voiced by folks like Bob Barr have much merit at all.

An interesting read about terrorism and the war on it.

The Rand Corporation just published a report regarding how terrorist groups have tended to dissolve in the past.  I haven't really had a chance to read it thoroughly yet but I've looked at the summary and did some skimming.  It seems so far to be fairly scathing regarding the current approach being taken in the so-called "War on Terrorism".  

For people who care about stuff like that, it's a good read.  The link below will send you to where you can download the document for yourself.  Enjoy:

God Listens to Slayer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This might be the best picture on all of the internets because God does indeed listen to Slayer.

I think I have a new hero!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Awesome, simply awesome.  When I grow up, I want to be able to eat a Big Mac in a single bite.  I'm going to have to start practicing tonight.  Mmmmm....  Big Mac....

El Rushbo: Fair, Balanced, and Has No Fuckin' Clue.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Today as A.M. and I were driving through Dayton on our way to Muncie from Cincinnati we tuned into Fox News Radio (yes, Fox News Radio is one of our guilty pleasures, it's a lot funnier than other news radio).  When we tuned it, we happened to hit it as the Rush Limbaugh show was winding up.  There were some really great moments but the best was when he started talking about John Edwards' notion that there are "two Americas".

In response the idea that there are two Americas, one for the rich and one for the poor, El Rushbo (as apparently he likes to be called) suggested that he didn't know what Edwards was talking about, as that he had never seen this "fictional poverty in America".

It must be terribly difficult to live life never going outside or looking out the windows.  Because, though I don't know where Rush must live, I see poverty all the motherfuckin' time.  Rush supposedly lives in Missouri (though, I'm not sure where) but he must live in that magical part of Missouri where everyone lives in huge mansions and draws more than seven figures per year (actually, now that I think about it, he must live someplace like that and it's probably not magical, it's probably filled with assholes).

In the two years I've been living in the States I've seen more poverty than I can shake a stick at (and trust me, I have some pretty mad stick shaking skills).  I've seen poverty throughout, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and pretty much everywhere else I've been in the US (and I think there's only 7 or 8 states that I've never been to, though I must admit Missouri is one of them, maybe there are no poor folk in Missouri).  

I have no friggin' clue what Rush is talking about when he says there's no poverty in America.  There's a fuck ton of poverty.  So either he's: A) a dumbass, B) back on the pills again, C) totally deluded about the state of the US economy, or d) so full of shit that he stinky and attracts flies.

Man, that was a good rant....

Friday Random Ten: July 25, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Friday Random Ten time again!  Yay!  So here we go!

1.  Razor Cut - The Toasters
The Toasters, such good times.  There isn't much to say about this song nor the band that plays it other than to note that if you've never listened to the Toasters, you really should.

2.  The Guns of Brixton - The Clash
It's a sad, sad thing that Joe Strummer died.  That man was a musical genius.  The Clash, The Mescaleros, and the Pogues were all great bands.  Listen and enjoy!

3.  Clan in da Front - Wu Tang Clan
The RZA, the GZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, and the Ol' Dirty Bastard; WU-TANG CLAN!!!

4.  Drunken Lullabies - Flogging Molly

5.  Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles
The funny thing about this song is that I actually know how to play it, what's funnier is that I learned how to play it from my friend Jon who is a metal head who is conservatory trained but to play flamenco.  I don't know why he knows how to play this song and I'm not sure why I learned it from him.  It is a good song though.

6.  100% - Sonic Youth
I've seen Sonic Youth play twice, once in Vancouver and once in Seattle.  Those were two of the best show's I've ever seen and I've seen Bob Dylan play in a coffee shop/bar and B.B. King play at King Eddy's in Calgary (both of which were awesome, awesome shows as well).  Interesting fun fact about the 100% video: the guy that's skateboarding around in the video is a young Jason Lee as he was switching over from being a pro-skater to being a pro-actor.  I bet a lot of you didn't know that Earl was a pro-skater who's acting debut was in a music video from the early '90s.  I really shouldn't have known that either but my geekiness is legendary.

7.  Breath Me - Sia
I know you're all thinking to yourselves, "What?!?!  C.K. listens to Sia?  What is this foolishness that you speak of?"  And yes, I do like Sia.  A.M. introduced her to me and I actually do like it, then again I also like Enya.  Yes, I just admitted that I like Enya.  I can't help it, there's some weird gene in me that makes me like ambient music about being sad or something.  I don't know.  A fun fact about the song Breath Me: it was used in the closing scene of Six Feet Under, which might have been the best show ever put on TV.  Oz and the Wire were a close 2nd and 3rd but Six Feet Under is definitely the best show of all time.  ALL TIME!!!!

8.  12:59 Lullaby - Bedouin Soundclash
I've been a fan of Bedouin Soundclash for years.  My sister and all her art school friends introduced me to them when they first came out and given my love of both reggae and ska I couldn't help but to become the world's biggest Bedouin fan in the world.  Seriously, at 240 pounds I really must be the world's biggest Bedouin Soundclash fan.  Everyone I know who likes them is a skinny art school kid that weighs no more than a 110 lbs soaking wet with a pocket full of quarters.  However, I actually first heard this song watching Grey's Anatomy, which is weird right?

9.  Going On - Gnarls Barkley
My mom loved Gnarls Barkley, which is strange right?  What woman on the verge of her 60s likes Gnarls Barkley.  Actually, one of my last memories of her was her dancing around her office listening to Gnarls Barkley and watering her houseplants.  So here's to you mom!

10. Hang Wire - The Pixies
I have not the faintest clue what this song is about but isn't it a good song?  Pixies forever!

Joint Post: Assessing the Bush Presidency. (Part I)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lately, in an effort to learn more about the US political system, I've been reading Richard Neustadt's book, Presidental Power and the Modern Presidents.  In the 9th chapter of the book Neustadt suggests 4 questions that should be asked as a means to assess the power held by a president.  Now, I'm not entirely sure what Neustadt means by assessing the power of a president but I thought it might be a fun exercise for A.M. and I to consider those questions as they apply to the current presidency.  So here we go (in this post we'll just cover the first of these questions, as we foresee that the answers are going to be rather long):

1.  What were the purposes of the president and did these purposes run with or against the grain of history; how relevant were those purposes to what would happen in his time?

That's actually kind of a hard question for us to answer.  Given that we don't have contacts within the Bush administration, not entirely sure what their purposes/goals are (fun fact: while neither A.M. nor I currently have any contacts within D.C. A.M was a Congressional intern several years ago and has met Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, and another big D.C. person who's name she can't remember).  However, it might be possible to speculate on some of the administrations goals through what they've done, state of the union addresses, and notable policy decisions.

From what's happened during the Bush presidency, it seems that one of the primary goals has to be blowing up brown people.  In the past 7 years at least 80,000 brown have been blown up as the result of actions undertaken by the current administration.  So the questions is now: how does this goal run with or against the grain of history?

Well, throughout history, at least recent history, brown people have gotten the short end of the blowing up stick.  Since the Spanish-American war the brown folks of the world have been getting their ass kicked by Americans or American trained folks (though admittedly throughout most of US history it's been South American brown folks rather than Middle-Eastern brown folks that have had the roughest time).  As for how relevant the blowing up brown people purpose is to the current geopolitical milieu, we don't really know.  I guess it would be relevant to brown people and to people who for whatever reason is against the blowing up of brown people.

That said, there seems to be other goals that must underlie the actions taken by the current Bush administration.  It seems pretty clear that the Bush administration is dead set on undoing everything that was done during the Clinton administration.  For example, it seems that the current executive has been dedicated to doing away with that leftiest of lefty institutions, the healthy economy.

Between tax cuts, deregulation, failure to respond to threats to the stability of the markets, a deficit that has too many digits for me to count (though admittedly I'm not that good of a counter), and a war that costs more per year than most countries make (including the US apparently given the growing deficit), all that progressive pinkoness that the Clinton administration left as its legacy has been done away with.  

So how does this goal of the Bush presidency fare when compared to history?  Actually this goal is relatively unique.  While a few other presidents, such as Reagan, have apparently aimed at trashing the economy, it isn't a goal that many presidents actually aim for.  And as for the relevancy of this goal.  I suppose it's one that's rather relevant.  I would have quipped that it's particularly relevant to poor folk but the way things are shaping up, we're all going to be poor folk in the neat future unless the next administration decides to have a different goal.

Let's see, I think we have space for one more goal of the US presidency.  So I think we'll go with taking away the civil liberties of US consumers/voters.  This might be our favorite goal!  With the PATRIOT Act, phone tapping, and extraordinary rendition, civil liberties haven't been undermined this badly since....  Well, since ever as far as we know.  During WWII Japanese folks did get sent to camps in Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, and Montana.  Now while that's a really egregious violation of civil liberties it was a violation that was restricted to a fairly small portion of the population.  The PATRIOT Act applies to just about everyone in this country, so they're not really comparable.

So now we come to the part of the question about relevancy.  So is the undermining of civil liberties relevant?  We think we'll go with a yes.  I think the weakening of civil liberties is something that should concern just about anybody (even you folks who think that the loss of privacy rights shouldn't bother anyone who isn't a terrorist) given that it is civil liberties that are the basis for healthy democracy.

So on that note, we'll wrap this up this question and leave it up to you to comment.  We'll post the next part sometime in the near future.

Thinking about words: John Ashcroft on Torture.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I just heard the best euphemism for torture while watching John Ashcroft on C-Span being questioned.  "Enhanced Interrogation techniques perhaps going beyond shouting and grabbing someone's shirt."  Shortly after Mr. Ashcroft said something else that I couldn't help snickering over, "I'm sure that history has already judged this administration as successful."  I guess he's ignoring reality's liberal bias.

I've also become a huge fan of Rep. Steve Cohen (D - Tennessee) who's questions evoked the above comments.

Should there be public funding for religious schools?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Today while I was doing my weekly catch-up on what's going on back in Canada, I ran across an article in the Toronto Star about Michael Prue (who's running for the head of the Ontario NDP).  One of the notable planks in Mr. Prue's platform is his opposition to the public funding of Catholic schools.  When I was reading about this, a spark was rekindled in a debate that I've been having with myself for years.

I've never really been sure where to stand in regards to the public funding of Catholic schools in Canada (I'm not exactly sure if there's an equivalent analogue in the US to this Canadian phenomenon, so in the US the question might be where ought I to stand regarding the public funding of any religious organizations, such as the faith based charity programs so loved by the Bush administration).

On one hand, I tend to think that government and religion should never have anything to do with one another.  When one considers the history, one sees over and over again the harm that can be caused when religion has undue influence on secular governments.  For example, the persecution of Jews during the middle ages, the various inquisitions in Europe, the persecution of Quakers during the early history of the US, the religious schools that First Nations children were forced to attend in Canada, and pretty much everything that's gone wrong in the Middle East in the last 50 years are to a large degree a result of religious influence on government and legislation.

So that being the case,  I tend to be inclined to think that there should not be public funding of Catholic schools or other religious organizations.  I think there needs to be clear lines drawn between presumably secular institutions that need to be neutral across the diverse citizenry and religious institutions (particularly religious institutions that are evangelical).  

However, in the case of schools and perhaps even some religious charities, there is a public service being performed and further, it seems that being able to have some influence in the funding of those religious organizations affords the more secular government some ability to influence the religious organizations.  More particularly, providing public funding allows government to have some influence on the curricula taught in Catholic schools.  (In the case of the religious faith based programs, public funding allows the government to stipulate that the charity provided by the religious organization to be given out in a manner that doesn't discriminate between coreligionists and other folks, if the gov't actually cared to do that, which I'm not convinced is the case with the current administration)

With government hands on purse strings, it becomes less likely that Catholic schools will begin teaching ID or some other form of creationist bullshit.  With that in mind, it seems that perhaps for the sake of the kids who are unfortunate enough to have parents that send them to Catholic school, it might be worthwhile to provide public funding for Catholic schools so that those kids actually learn some science (rather than theology masquerading as science).  

So, as you can see, I'm sort of torn regarding where I fall on the debate of public funding of religious organizations.  What do you folks think?

It's way harder to understand US politics than Canadian politics.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back when I ran the Capitalist Pig vs. Socialist Swine blog, I used to spend most of my posts discussing politics.  That being the case, when A.M. and I started this blog, I figured that I would continue that trend of tending to discuss political issues.  Indeed, I thought I could provide a fresh perspective on US politics being a Canadian that lives in Ohio.

However, I've found that it's a lot harder to blog about US politics than it is to blog about Canadian politics.  First, it's a lot harder to identify what it is that the US government is doing at the moment.  Back in Calgary, if I wanted to see what the government was up to all I needed to do was watch the evening CBC news.  Pretty much everyday there was some coverage of what Parliament was debating or some coverage regarding various political issues.  If the CBC failed me, I just looked up the Hansards and read for myself what people said in Parliament that day.

Down here though, with the exception of C-Span, there really isn't that close coverage regarding what the government is in fact doing.  Instead, what you see on TV tends to be punditry rather than journalism.  Further, it seems like the political discourse in the US tends to be in more general rather than particular terms.  Rather than debate about political possible courses of action the discussion tends to focus on more general issues.  All of this makes it more difficult to discuss particular possible decisions made by the government.  Further, given the US system of committees and the shear amount of legislation being considered at any given moment, it becomes nearly impossible to keep up with what's going on in government in the US.

No wonder it seems that the average American citizen so often seems to have no idea what their government is up to.

20 Best Songs of the '90s.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

While I was taking a break to eat some lunch, I decided that I would turn on the TV switch the channel to VH1 and see what the kids are listening to nowadays.  Well, there wasn't any contemporary music but they were doing a show on the 100 best songs of the 1990s.  I watched for a bit and thought, "Hey, I was alive in the '90s, I like music, I bet I could make a better list!"  Now, being the lazy guy that I am, I'm not going to think of the 100 best songs, also I don't think you can fairly compare songs across different genres, so I'm going to do the best 3 to 5 songs or so in the various genres of music I listened to in the '90s.  So here we go!!!

Best Hip-Hop Songs (in no particular order):

Shimmy Shimmy Ya - Ol' Dirty Bastard
I remember the first time I heard this song, I was riding in my friend Scott's little green Ford Festiva.  It was this car that was worth maybe $50 (if one was feeling generous) but the stereo in the back had to be worth $5000.  Anyways, I don't know why I like this song, maybe it's because it has a fun piano line and is really catchy.

Jump Around - House of Pain
This song brings me back to many a highschool dance.  Though I'm sure that it probably brings many of you back to highschool dances.  Now when I look back on it, I don't understand why I used to like going to highschool dances.  I couldn't imagine anything more awkward then a bunch of teenagers trying to attract members of the opposite sex when they're trying to pretend that they're not drunk so they don't get in trouble with the teachers chaperoning the dance.  

Gin & Juice - Snoop Dogg
"Rollin' down the street, smoking indo, sippin' on gin & juice....  Laid back."  That's gotta be one of the classic lines in the history of hip-hop.  This is a great song, especially for when you're rolling down the street, smoking indo, and sipping on gin and juice (which I think is what I did for most of highschool and college).

Sabotage - Beastie Boys
There are a lot of great songs by the Beastie Boys.  I really couldn't think of the one I like the most so I thought I would list Sabotage just because it reminds me highschool.  I'm not sure why it reminds me of highschool but it does.  Either way, it's one of the iconic song of the '90s (well at least for me).

Best Rock Song (Again in no particular order):

Every Rose Has its Thorn - Poison
This song reminds me of running around in my underwear, completely wasted on cheap beer, riding on a bus full of drunken snowboarders on the way to Fernie, BC.  It was a good time.  Also, I think I was the only person on that bus that never threw-up (and I must have had 18 beers on that 6 hour trip).  I did however cut myself pretty badly breaking beer bottles over my head.  I don't know why I did that but hey, I was young, dumb, and full of cheap beer.  What can you expect?  Though at least I was smart enough only to attempt breaking beer bottles over my head rather than larger hard alcohol bottles.  I remember once seeing someone break a Jack Daniels bottle over their head.  They had to go to the hospital later that night.

Killing in the Name of - Rage Against the Machine
Tom Morello is perhaps one of the most innovative guitarists out of the '90s.  He's so impressive that in college my roommate Tino and I ended up modifying our guitars so that we could do the record scratching sounds that Morello does.  Also, how can I not love a band that is left leaning and about tearing down the system?

Ahead by a Century - Tragically Hip
What can I say?  The Hip is Canada's band.  I'm a Canadian.  I love the Hip.  Ahead by a Century might be one of the Hip's most notable songs.  That's all I really need to say.

Dan-Diddle-A-Na - The Smalls
Unless you are from western Canada and into indy music during the '90s, you've probably never heard of the Smalls, which is too bad for you.  The Smalls have to be one of the best bands that Canada has ever produced.  They were always one of those small indy bands that refused to get big and as such they've always been one of those groups that you feel like you have a special bond to.  Also, it was during one of their concerts that I had one of my most memorable misadventures.  It was one of the nights they were playing in the Night Gallery in Calgary and we had gotten ourselves invited to their after-party but I got bitten (yes, you read correctly, I got bitten) but some random girl in the crowd.  And I don't mean like a love nip or something, I got seriously bitten, there was a fair amount of skin that was removed from my shoulder, so I ended up having to go to the hospital to get shots to avoid getting hepatitis or rabies or something equally unpleasant.

Best Dance Song:

Groove is in the Heart - Deee-lite
This song makes me think of the Den, which is the old campus bar at the University of Calgary.  Back when I was in college, all of us would go to the Den on Thursday to get drunk, dance, fight, try to pick-up, and to listen to the great music played by DJ Wah (aka Walter).  It was the dirtiest, stinkiest, and generally grossest bar ever but it was always a good time.  I spent many a night closing out that bar.  And pretty much every night Groove is in the Heart played at least once if not twice.  

The Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim
This is another song that reminds me of hanging out in a bar but this time it reminds me of hanging out in the Republik, which is one of those legendary bars in Calgary.  I must have spent every Saturday for about three years hanging out at the Republik.  I was such a regular that I didn't even have to talk to make my orders.  I would just walk up to the bar and the bartender would just hand me a bottle of Moosehead.  This song also reminds me of my friend Scott who used to dance to this song every single time it played.  I really spent a lot of time in the bar when I was younger....

Best Alt-Rock Song:

Buddy Holly - Weezer
I've never really understood why I like Weezer as much as I do.  I personally think they're kind of pretentious and possibly quite pompous but that said, they still totally rock.  I've liked pretty much every album they've released and I'm totally looking forward to their new album (which actually might be out already, I'm not really sure).

Money City Maniacs - Sloan
I used to totally hate Sloan until I got free tickets to see them one time in college.  They had such a great live show that I figured that I should give them a second chance.  Now, I totally love their music, though I must admit sometimes they're sort of a guilty pleasure.  

Lightning Crashes - Live
Again, I surprise myself by liking Live.  They definitely are a pretentious band with their funny hair cuts and their yoga poses on stage.  However, they really are a good band and Lightning Crashes is one of my favorite songs of all time.  I think in general I have a strange love-hate relationship with alt-rock.  I tend to think that the alt-rock personality is douchey as all fuck but I really enjoy the music.  It always makes me feel all conflicted inside.

Best Metal Song:

South of Heaven - Slayer
This song reminds me of being 14 and hanging out with my friend Jonny, who might be the only person in the world that loves Slayer as much as I do.  I mean, I'm one of those guys, who if I didn't have the good judgment that I do, would be inclined to carve "SLAYER" into my arm and light it on fire.  Slayer is probably the greatest band of all time.  I really think that someone should start a religion where they worship Slayer.  You just need to ask yourself WWSD?

Enter Sandman - Metallica
Okay, I hate Metallica but there are a couple of songs of theirs that I think are terrific.  One is And Justice for All, which is their really good song.  The second is Enter Sandman, while Enter Sandman isn't really a good song, it's a really fun song.  It's a song that's fun to play (especially when you arrange it all folky and for a acoustic guitar).  

Best Punk Song:

...And We Thought Nation States were a Bad Idea - Propagandhi
Propagandhi is another one of those really great Canadian bands that I think is often under appreciated.  They're one of those really great left wing anarchist punk bands.  There aren't many of those around anymore.  Nowadays punk is posture and no substance, which really is how punk started back in the day with the Sex Pistols, the New York Dolls, the Stooges, and the Ramones.  However, Propagandhi is punk in the way that the Clash and the Dead Kennedys.  They're that kind of punk that uses their music as a means to be activists for social change.  Everyone needs to give them a listen.

All Fall Down - Good Riddance
Good Riddance is another great political punk band.  I don't think they're as great as Propagandhi but they really are a good band.  Also they're one of the funnest punk bands to see live, they have a great live show.  All Fall Down is a terrific song about questioning the institutions that act to repress free expression.  Great song.

The Brews - NOFX
This song reminds me of one of my college roommates Joe, who while being an Irish kid from Montreal,  believed that he was a Jewish (or perhaps Hispanic) punk from California.  Also, The Brews is one of those songs that I feel the need to sing along to every time I hear it.  "We're the Brews, sportin' anti-swastika tattoos, oi oi!  We're the boys, orthodox, hasidic, O.G. ois!"  So very good....

Girl with the Flower Tattoo - Down By Law
Down By Law is one of those bands that I'm torn about.  They're one of the progenitors of emo, which I hate with a passion.  Seriously, if there weren't laws against it, I would probably be inclined to kidnap emo kids and lock them in my basement and refuse to let them out until they agree to cut their hair and wear pants that actually fit properly.  I really, really hate emo.  It's the stupidest derivative of punk ever.  That said, Down By Law is a really good band with really great songs.  Oh well....

Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down - The Toasters
Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down might be the best third wave ska song of all time.  It's just full of the awesome, there's not much to say about it.  Here, give it a listen:

Man, that was a seriously long post....

Who the Fuck is Denise Richards?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I made two observations today about the decline of the entertainment industry:

1.  Music has come to seem that it is mocking itself.  It is like Weird Al doing a parody of Weird Al.  In fact, the music that Weird Al does, seems to have more of a social message than the crap that filters through CK's shitty car radio.  I mean, my music tastes are terrible.  I actually like ABBA!!  For me to hate the crappola on the radio...Well, it must be pretty bad then.  That is all I need to say about that.

2.  Most television shows are crap.  Unlike most people that seem to work at colleges, I openly admit to loving, owning and watching television on a regular basis.  Recently I moved apartments.  Since my old apartment is close to my new apartment, I have decided to move things slowly throughout the week.  Of course, one of the first things I relocated was my television.  Me and the CK conveniently forgot the remote control at my old apartment.  

We moved the television to the ugly, ginormous tv cabinet that the university provided.  I turn the television on and sit my ass down on my new amazing couch.  The television was on a commercial.  Then the unexplainable happened!  It was E!  Like, the network Entertainment television.  This network is so flipping bad.  I can't believe that these shows are on, let alone even selected to be on the boob tube.  Since I had no remote, I stewed in anger on my new amazing couch and proceeded to watch the worst television ever.  Here is a rundown of the ridiculousness:

a.  The Chelsea Lately Show.  Okay, I have had the "honor" of seeing Chelsea Handler do her stand up routine in person.  I really dislike her -- REALLY.  She is just loud and downright mean.  It is one thing to be a minor celebrity making fun of other celebrities (think Kathy Griffith), but Chelsea is just a bitch.  She spent half the show making fun of one of her cohost because he has big teeth.  The other half was her making fun of a little person she has hired to sit on a stool off stage.  Come on!  I have vision -- hence the television.  I don't need some skinny blonde bitch pointing out the obvious.  Hey Chelsea, why don't you be funny?

b.  Sunset Tan.  This show revolves around people who work with the tanning industry.  Yeah, I don't even think I need to explain how bad this show is because that description alone made me vomit again.

c.  The Denise Richards Show.  Yes, my first question was, "Who the fuck is Denise Richards?"  Well, it seems she was in Wild Things and Starship Troopers.  She is an actress and model (or tries to do those things).  She has been named to 69 lists of "Sexiest Women blah blah".  She somehow got a show despite all this shittiness.  The only thing I would applaud her for is marrying Charlie Sheen.  Now that would have been a great reality show!  Mr. Sheen eventually divorced her.  Apparently boring and crazy just don't mix (and if you missed the memo from the '90s, Charlie is the crazy one).  The show revolves around how hectic and crazy her life is.  You know, that whole going through the multiple-year, public divorce and being unemployed yet filthy rich thing is just sooooo hard.  The last episode involved her being sad about the death of her mother.  She went to Dr. Katz (therapists to the stars!) to discuss her insomnia.  No joke -- this "Dr." recommended she take a warm bath and drink some warm milk.  For some reason, this makes me angry.

At some point, I did get up to turn off the television... Actually, CK woke me up from off the couch and turned the tv off for me.  Despite the television being so bad, I still watched it.  In hall honesty, if CK had not turned it off, I would have been trying to watch more.  I hate myself for it.  And as much as it might annoy me or anger me, I have to admit -- I probably would watch it again if nothing else was on tv.  How sad.

Random Likatude: Bruce Cockburn - "If I had a Rocket Launcher"

Canadian has much to be ashamed of (Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Nickleback, and Snow come to mind) but there are some musicians that really are national treasures.  Bruce Cockburn is one of these.  While I like pretty much everything that he's recorded there is one song of his that sticks out as being a tune that I'm particularly fond of, "If I had a Rocket Launcher".  So without further ado, enjoy.

Recipe for My Famous Crock-Pot Pulled Pork.

I've actually been fairly on task the last couple of days so I don't really have anything substantial to post about (unless you all care to hear about realism/anti-realism debates and the Natural Ontological Attitude).  That being the case I thought I would present to you my recipe for crock-pot pulled pork.

Items you need:
6 pound pork roast (I usually use a shoulder butt with the bone in)
6 cups of chicken or beef stock (I just use OXO or something like that)
1/2 cup of a sweet red wine
3 sprigs of mint
5 springs of dill
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon of nutmeg
3 tablespoons of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Put stock, wine, mint, dill, soy sauce, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and black pepper into the crockpot.  Squeeze out all the juice from the lime half.  Add to crockpot.  Put pork into crockpot.  Set on low and cook for 8 to 12 hours (the longer the more tender and flavorful).  Then remove the pork from the crockpot put in large bowl.  Use a fork to shred the pork.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup (depending on taste) of liquid into the shredded pork to add flavor and juiciness.  Serve while hot with either applesauce or BBQ sauce on top.  It's good with macaroni and cheese, potato salad, beans, and/or rice.  It's also good on a sandwich with a sweet BBQ sauce.

It must be a quiet news day or something....

Monday, July 14, 2008

I've been having a relatively lazy day so I've been watching more than my fair share of TV and I've noticed that the news channels seem to be all up in arms about the cover of the New Yorker (look to the left).  Now, I'll grant that I can see how this cover might be offensive to some people but what I don't get is how this is the primary issue that's being talked about on the news on the day that George W. Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore oil drilling.

It seems to me that the New Yorker magazine, while perhaps ill-conceived, is in the long run rather inconsequential.  So what?  A magazine posted a picture that they probably shouldn't have?  Really, is that going to in fact have any long term effects on this election?  Probably not, I bet in November no one, except for maybe pundits who need to package this election in a dramatic compelling narrative, is even going to remember that the New Yorker published a poorly thought out satirical cartoon on its cover.

On the other hand, I suspect that the lifting on the ban on offshore drilling is going to have notable and perhaps long term effects upon US energy, economic, and environmental policy.  If the lifting of the ban sticks, we can expect substantial degradation in the environmental conditions in the areas that will be affected by the drilling with very little benefits in terms of lowering gas prices are increasing the oil supply of the US.  If the Congress manages to prevent the expansion of offshore drilling then this might become a major issue in the upcoming Congressional elections.  Given how uninformed it seems that most people are regarding oil prices, energy policy, and pretty much anything to do with this issue other than being aware of how much they're paying at the pump to fill their SUVs, this might be the issue that opens the door that allows the Republicans back into the House.

I hate the goddamn heat.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In the two years I've been living in the midwest I've made a very important discovery about myself.  I hate the goddamn heat.  Not just kind of hate it but really hate it.  I hate it like a kid would hate the person that ran over their dog.  If the heat was a person I would track it down throw it into the back of a van and then beat it with a tire iron until it cried and called for it's mommy.

I really, really, really hate the heat.

Last night I accidently ran over a screw and a nail when I was looking for a place to park my car (note: I also hate whomever it was that was discarding pointy objects in the parking garage, if I ever find out who you are....), so I had to spend the last 20 minutes out in the heat changing my tire.  Now normally I kind of like changing my tires, it makes me feel all macho and manly and good with my hands and all that kind of jazz but when it's this hot out it just makes me feel stabby.

Stupid heat.

Thinking about words.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Today while A.M. and I were driving back from the grocery store and listening to NPR I was struck by an observation.  I noticed that in the media down here in the US the average American citizen is referred to as being either "the electorate" or "consumers".

This seemed interesting to me.  Referring to the citizenry as either "the electorate" and/or "consumers" implies a rather limited role for American citizens in regards to their participation in the political and economic milieu of the United States.  The word "citizen" is a word that suggests, at least to me, a sense of inclusiveness.  A citizen is someone who is an integral part of a nation, a person who with their fellows acts as a collective forming a nation.

A member of the electorate or a consumer doesn't have that sort of integral role.  A member of the electorate is just someone who (if they get off their ass) votes once every two years.  A consumer is just someone who goes around and buys stuff so that someone more important can reap the benefits of controlling the means of production.

I think it's interesting that the media, even sources of more responsible journalism such as the NPR, have chosen the words "consumer" and "electorate" to describe US citizens.  To some degree, such terms are accurate descriptions of how alienated the average American is from the political and economic processes that drive their country.  However, in some ways it's concerning in that it suggests that there is only a very proscribed role that is required of the average American.  All that a consumer or a member of the electorate needs to do is to buy stuff and occasionally vote.  But, if one is interested in having a healthy democratic nation, one must have a citizenry that is far more active.

Friday Random Ten: July 11, 2008

If the clock on the wall (or microwave as the case may be) isn't lying to me, it's Friday.  That being the case, it's time for me to spin up iTunes and present you with this Friday's random 10!  So without further ado.....

1.  "Fading American Dream" by The Streetdogs.
A.M. and I discovered the Streetdogs the year before last.  They were opening for Flogging Molly when Flogging Molly were playing Bogarts in Cincinnati.  Now the really impressive thing about the Streetdogs is that they managed to really impress both of us despite the fact that we had a terrible case of food poisoning when we went and saw them.  Three or four days before the show A.M. and I decided that it would be a good idea if we went and got some Popeye's chicken for lunch and for days after that we experienced some severe intestinal discomfort (aka we were pooping so badly we were wishing for death).  Yet despite the fact that occassionally we had to dash off to the bathroom, the Streetdogs really impressed us during their set.  I mean they impressed us enough that we bought every single one of their albums in the week following the show.

2.  "Fisticuffs" by Primus.
This is one of the two Primus songs that I know how to play (the other is Southbound Pachyderm).  There's not really all that much I have to say about Primus other than "Les Claypool kicks friggin' ass!".

3.  "Exile" by Slayer.

4.  "Issachar" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
I actually discovered the Bosstones back when I was 14 in Boston.  If I remember correctly, I was jogging with my grandfather in Boston Common and the Bosstones were playing an open air concert.  When I was younger my grandfather, who is an old airforce guy who is convinced that if you're not constantly working out you're going to end up all soft and incapable of defending the country when it needs you.  Such being the case, whenever I spent summers with him, I spent those summers getting up at 6:30 am to run and do push-ups before breakfast (which ended up being like 4 hours of exercise given that my family ate breakfast late).  Anyways, it was on one of those mornings, we saw the Bosstones playing for some sort of festival or something and I enjoyed their music so much that I bought one of their albums later that weekend.

5.  "See Water" by Beck.
Everyone knows who Beck is and everyone has listened to Beck, so there isn't much that I have to say about him.  However, what a lot of people have never listened to is some of the early Beck albums like One Foot in the Grave and Stereopathetic Soul Manure.  People really need to listen to them.  I would say that they're the best albums that Beck has ever released.

6.  "All I Need" by Radiohead.
Once I saw Thom Yorke beat up a guy during their concert in Calgary.  I'm not entirely sure what that guy did to piss of Mr. Yorke but whatever he did earned him a guitar in the head.  It was a good time. 

7.  "Straight A's" by The Dead Kennedys.
Dead Kennedys....  So good....  Jello Biafra is my hero.  There's nothing like old school punk.  Must shut-up and listen....

8.  "Slow Down Gandhi" by Sage Francis.
More slam poets need to become rappers.  Sage Francis rocks my world a little.  Listen to Sage Francis or you will be missing out.

9.  "The Horizon has been Defeated" by Jack Johnson.
Jack Johnson is one of my guilty pleasures.  I know he aims his music at 13 to 14 year old girls but I really like Jack Johnson.  I must admit, when I shower, more often than not, I'm singing Jack Johnson songs like "Bubble Toes" or "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing".  They're all such catchy, catchy songs.

10.  "Sherpa" by The Tragically Hip.
What can I say, the great Canadian band.  Well the great Canadian band other than the Corb Lund Band.  So maybe the great Central Canadian Band.  

Random Likatude: Russell Peters, "Outsourced"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Russell Peters might be the funniest comic out of Canada since....  Well since last time there was a famous Canadian comedian.  Enjoy the video, it's 73 minutes long but it's funny as shit so watch it!

Thinking about the upcoming election: Are there substantial differences between the candidates? (Part I)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Though I'm not an American and hence I can't vote down here, one of the topics that gets talked about most in our home is whether there really are substantive differences between John McCain and Barrack Obama.  Actually, with A.M. working on a M.A. in poli-sci and me being the ex-NDP policy wonk and general political geek that I am we talk about politics quite a lot in general.  Yet, that said, it seems that the question regarding whether there are any concrete differences between Obama and McCain is a topic that comes up time and time again.  So I figured, "Hey, this'll make a great blog topic".  So without further ado....

Okay, first it seems that the most obvious area that we might find potential differences between the Democratic and the Republican candidates is in regards to the Iraq war.  In their speeches, they profess very different positions regarding the war.  Obama has, without waiver, taken the position that he would, as expeditiously as possible, withdraw American forces from Iraq after his election as president.  McCain, on the other hand, has repeatedly said things like "the US will be in Iraq for 100 years".

However, is this really a meaty difference or just a rhetorical difference?  Now I don't want to suggest that Obama is being dishonest, I do think he is sincere in his desire to end US involvement in Iraq as soon as possible.  I actually had the opportunity to see him speak at the University of Cincinnati and he strikes me as an ernest sort of guy.  Yet, I doubt whether it will be in fact possible to completely disentangle the US from the quagmire that is Iraq any time soon.  I wonder, even if the Commander and Chief of the US forces were inclined to pull the troops out of Iraq, would it be possible to pull those troops out any time soon and manage to avert disaster?  Now, some folks might be inclined to say "yes" or be inclined to say "well that's the business of the Iraqis" but I'm not as sure that either statement holds.  Granted, it might be the case that the US presence in Iraq is what's driving the continuing violence and perhaps it might be the case that really it is the Iraqis responsibility to build a stable society but I don't want to accept either claim as an assumption and I simply lack the information to draw any further conclusions regarding these issues.

Another area that one might find a difference between the two candidates is in regards to environmental policy.  Now, on this issue I must beg some ignorance, while I'm fairly well versed in US environmental policy, I don't really know what planks Obama has adopted in his environmental platform.  However, that said, I'm actually fairly optimistic regarding the future of US environmental policy.  This is for two reasons.  First, while I'm ignorant on Obama's views regarding the environment, I think it's safe to assume that he is at least, in some general sense, in favor of greener policies.  Second, John McCain, in a manner which is unusual for Republicans, actually has a pretty solid history of being pro-environment.  Indeed, I was quite surprised to discover that McCain is one of the US senators that has demonstrated the most support for legislation aimed at protecting the environment.  So it seems that while environmental concerns are generally a reason to vote Democratic rather than Republican, in this case it's less of a deciding factor.

So what does that leave as potential differences between Obama and McCain?  In regards to social issues, I think both are insufficiently liberal really to impress me.  Until one of them endorses the institution of same-sex marriage that is identical to the sort of marriage currently available to straight folks, a single-payer publicly funded healthcare insurance that is mandatory for all US residents, is unabashedly in favor of keeping abortions legal even in in cases where the women are motivated by nothing but caprice, is anti-death penalty, pro-social welfare for even people who are just being lazy, and is willing to give up the notion that people can in fact pull themselves up by their bootstraps (which is a ridiculous notion if you ask me, I mean just think about the analogy, you cannot fucking pull yourself up with your bootstraps, if you fell down and started pulling on your bootstraps you'd just writhe around on the ground like some idiot having a seizure) then really it make no difference to me.

However, given that this post is turning into the endless wall of text, I'll stop now and see what you folks all think about the above.  Later, I'll continue on and further discuss what I think about the potential differences, or lack thereof, between the two presidential candidates.

Random Time Wastacularity: Twice Upon a Time

So far today has shaped up to be a day full of crack-a-lackin'.  In other words, it's been a surprisingly productive day.  I've muscled my way through several articles by Philip Kitcher and pretty much everything that Arthur Fine has written about what he calls, "the natural ontological attitude".  I also managed to do a fair amount of editing in a paper I've been working on for the last three or four months.

Since I managed to get all that done, I thought, "I deserve a break" and so started wasting time in one of my favorite ways (by looking up random things on the internets).  While doing that I discovered on Google Video a full length version of what was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid, Twice Upon a Time.

It's an animated movie that was released in 1983 and directed by John Korty and Charles Swenson and has been hailed as being a groundbreaking piece of stop-motion cinema.  Now, I don't know about all that but I do know that it might be the primary factor that shaped my strange and perhaps somewhat disturbing sense of humor.  So if you have 73 minutes to spare, you really should give it a watch.

Crap I like that is bad for the environment...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I do not know about you, but I feel as a liberal that I am pigeon-holed into saving the environment and pushing for sustainability movements.  Somewhere deep down within me is the desire to return to the wild -- beautiful, green and untouched by our wanton ways for Wal-Mart and McDonald's.  I know this desire is felt by several people, and just not hippies and liberals. 

However, I have come to recognize this desire as G.A.S. (Good if Alcohol Sedated).  Me and nature just do not get along.  I find that I am allergic to most things that are green and have the potential to bloom.  I also hate not being able to control the thermostat.  In fact, nature is just downright uncivilized.  Despite this weird relationship of wanting to love the environment and strongly detesting it at the same time, I convince myself and others that we should save the environment/earth/world/whales.  I have no idea how I am saving things, but I gather tips from the sides of cereal boxes on how I can improve my world (mostly your world since I spend most of my time inside).  

Instead of boasting about how awesome I am because I am saving your precious planet, I thought I would rather highlight some crap that I like that is bad for the environment.

The #1 piece of crap that I enjoy is styrofoam.  I have no idea why, but Diet Dr. Pepper tastes like liquid crack in a styrofoam cup.  And it is not only cold liquids that taste assmazing in the magical styrofoam, hot drinks are also really craptacular.  Styrofoam is also the only material that I can put ice in and think of it as a pleasant addition to my drink.  I get overly excited when I arrive to some gas station that is so untouched by 2008 it still has those environmentally unwelcoming styrofoam cups.  I have come to find out that not all styrofoam is created equally. Apparently there is some sort of styrofoam that is not bad for the environment that I do not care to do research on, and it is quite possible I am making this all up.  Anyway, I bet those cups suck.

The #2 piece of crap I enjoy is air conditioning/central air.  I went to hear Al Gore spend a good 15 minutes talking about how if we decided not to all live in a faux, near-artic tempatured dwelling, we could cut something down that is really important for the world.  Of course I failed to listen what that "something" would be because I cannot fathom not being cold at all times of my life.  This idea is preposterous and I hope some budding scientist can fix this issue before it gets out of hand.  I should also note that Al Gore is not a skinny man.  Larger people sweat more and therefore require more cold air to be pleasant.  It is SCIENCE!  Al Gore is arguing for his demise.

I think if my two biggest contributions to ruining the whales and The Earth are cups and AC, I am not doing all that bad.  I think it evens itself out in the end.  For example, I have no car right now so I make the decision to get up out of bed and walk around to places for work instead of calling off sick.  I also sometimes remember to bring my reusable grocery bags to the store because I think the shade of green goes really well with my hair.  I even own a "Consume Less" button that I have used to help close a bag of clothes that I have never worn or will never wear that I will someday donate.  Hell, I even wear crocs, so at least I think I look like I am saving something (probably some sort of fashion sense).

I do not know if one day I will be able to stomach the nature and be able to not die in her bug-infested, sauna-like temps, and creepy Halloween track-sounding noises.   Instead I hope that the little offerings that I give back to Mother Nature after I blast my AC and drink my soda are enough to keep the planet safe for just a bit longer.  At least until someone gets wise and Jetsons it up.  It seems that living in little bubbles would not only be safer from nature, but also very, very clean.

Random Likatude: Roy Zimmerman, "Creation Science 101"

I was feeling lazy so, rather than writing stuff and putting effort into this post, I decided that I would just post a video that makes me laugh when I watch it.  Hopefully it makes you laugh too.  If it doesn't you're either too serious or are a creationist.  If you're too serious, loosen up buddy.  If you're a creationist, we're totally stoked to go visit your museum!  I can't wait to ride the jesus horse:

Classic Post: Weekly Bullshit Horoscope.

Since it's been a while since I've blogged, I decided that I would take a look at my old blog to reacquaint myself with the format and tone that a good blog post should have.  While I was doing that I ran across the following and thought I would share it with everyone:

I've decided to add another weekly addition to this site, namely the weekly bullshit horoscope. Some might ask why I am doing such a thing. Well it's because yesterday I came across a horoscope warning me to be careful around fire and thought, Hell I can say stupidly obvious things like that! So here goes:

There are many whom you feel very close to in your life. This week you should refrain from giving them wedgies, unless they happen to be jerks. Then feel free to give them wedgies. Also, this week you should be careful around fire.

Bulls are big smelly animals. So are you. You should shower daily. You should also use deodorant and wash your hair. Watch out for Spanish guys with capes and swords. Also, remember to be careful around fire.

This week with Saturn in retrograde you should be careful when operating electrical appliances while you're in the tub. If proper care is not taken you might get shocked or electrocuted. Another thing that you should be careful around is fire.

You have at least one superior at work whom you cannot stand. Hilarity will ensue if you grind up chocolate Ex-Lax and put it in their coffee (however, for reasons of liability, I cannot suggest that you do anything of the sort, but it would be funny if you did it). You should also be careful around fire this week.

You are the king of the jungle, roar loudly and your colleagues and peers will go running in fright. Chase them like the Wildebeest they are. Do not be surprised when the police come and take you away. Also beware of fire this week.

With the moon in perigee this week you will eat something tasty. However, you should still eat moderately, if you over indulge you will get an upset stomach. Upset stomachs are very unpleasant and should be avoided. Also, if you aren't sufficiently vigilant around fire this week you might get burned.

Heed the words of the great sage Jello Biafra, "And I do and I do. Crack up 'cos I'm getting to you. I see you, I see you. And you're pretty self-conscious too." This week you should also be careful around fire.

Random and surprising events tend to occur in your life. This will also be true of this week. There will be at least one event that will surprise you. Such being the case, you shouldn't be too complacent around fire.

Your sign is a centaur. Centaurs are friggin' sweet. Half-man-half-horse, the only things cooler are ligers! However, even though your sign is a centaur you still shouldn't screw around with fire.

Your sign is also some sort of chimera. However, it's a wrong and disturbing mergoat beast thing. You should be upset that you're represented by such an ugly totem. Perhaps you should petition astrologers to change Capricorn to something cooler like a liger. That said, even ugly goat fish hybrids like you need to be careful with fire, so don't play with matches.

According to hippies we're in your age right about now. Do you feel special? Well you're not, you have to be careful around fire too. I've seen a guy who got third degree burns over 98% of his body, you don't want to end up like him.

With Mercury being in the zenith of its orbit there are many things that you should be concerned with in the next week. Primary among these is fire. Don't turn your back on it. It's out to get you. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Hopefully you find the above advice helpful. If they aren't, I hope you manage to avoid a painful, yet very spectacular, fiery death.

First substantive blog post in about two years.

So as the one person who has commented on this blog so far knows, it's been about two years since I've written a post.  Such being the case, I'm rusty to say the least.  I mean, I couldn't even think of anything to post about.

I started off thinking that I would do what I used to do, hit up the various news sites, see what interesting stories there were, and then comment on them and note how various people are being dumbasses.  But that seemed like a lot of work and I'm on vacation.  If I started working then it wouldn't be vacation.

Next, I thought I'd write a post about something random that I liked.  For a few minutes I thought I would write about the really sweet Vietnamese restaurant in Indianapolis that A.M. and I discovered about a month ago, this might be an okay plan but I think I might save it for another day when there is a more substantial audience for this blog.  It's a great restaurant and I want to give it a little free advertising and at the moment I think maybe three people might read about it here.  So, I guess I'll leave that post for a later date.

Then I thought I would write about the road trip that we had just taken to Orlando but then I decided that I wanted something maybe shorter.  The Orlando trip has quite a few good stories (one of which involves a garbage bag, a whole bunch of duct tape, a fair amount of physical contortion, and a jacuzzi tub, more interestingly the story is G-rated) and it would take me some time to do it justice.

So with all that in mind, I decided I would post about the decision process I went through trying to figure out what I would post about.  That way I could be all reflective and introspective and shit.  Isn't that what's hot nowadays in the literary world?  

Oh, and I thought I would talk about how excited I am to try the hog jowl bacon we picked up tonight at the grocery store.

First, let me note, I have no idea what hog jowl bacon is.  I figure it's made of the meat off of some poor pig's face but other than that I have no idea what it's all about.  I just know that it's vacuumed packed, fatty looking, and could either be completely delicious are so terrible that it'll make for a great story later.  That being the case, I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning and fry some up for breakfast!

A hunk of burnin' jowl bacon love.

UPDATE: Now that I have had some of the hog jowl bacon, I must say that it was delicious.  I don't think I'll ever be able to get back to regular bacon.

Presenting to you: RANDOM CRAP WE LIKE!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good morning blogosphere!  Because there really isn't enough blogs out there about stuff that you don't care about, we'd like to introduce you to our new offering: Random Crap We Like!

This will be a blog about, as the title might suggest, random crap that we like.  So expect to find posts about food, politics, higher education, philosophy, observations regarding stuff that catch our interest, and other sweet, sweet randomtacularity!  So without further ado, let me introduce you to the authors of this blog.

First we have C.K. Loo, the blogger formerly known as "Socialist Swine".  After two years of being on hiatus, he plans to retake the blogging world by storm.  Having spent the last 700 plus days doing stuff of consequence such as taking classes, exploring a new city, eating himself silly, getting tattoos, and the performing of various other activities, such as pooping and sleeping, that end up occupying the hours of the day, he's excited to waste some time writing about stuff that no one else cares about.

The next blogger that we would like to introduce to you is A.M. Conley.  She hails from the most awesome state of Ohio-dom.  Past time endeavors include bronchitis, car shopping, nose picking, de-crankifying and being monotone.  What C.K. Loo may have obviously failed to tell you is that they are an item.  Sometimes he forgets to mention that fact.  For example, it was his suggestion to make a blog together -- "A good bonding experience", he stated.  A.M. thought that was a good idea, "I love bonding!".  However, upon viewing the first entry that was all about him, she decided to be cranky and not add much else.  CK then went to delete the said entry all about his royal highness to further write another paragraph about himself that failed to document the most important thing in his life -- A.M.  For the record, A.M. would like to passive aggressively point out that he would mention sleeping and pooping but not the joys of monogamous bliss.  The internet really does change some people...

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