Saturday, March 31, 2007

Society Be Getting Stupider

A French architect is claiming to have discovered the process through which the Egyptian Pyramids were built. Which leaves only one question regarding the architectural novels that are the Egyptian Pyramids; How the fuck did it take us 5,000 years to figure out something that was done by people who defecated in the same river that they drank from?

I believe a theory that I first conceived while reading a book on the 7 wonders of the ancient world may be illuminating:

We as a species have been getting progressively dumber since shortly after the dawn of civilization (shortly being relative, probably around 1000-2000 years). This is due to a dilution of the gene pool resulting from excessive procreation amongst the dumber elements of society.

It is widely accepted that as countries become more developed their population growth slows and the wealthier elements of society tend to have fewer children than poorer elements. Now, I don't mean to suggest that all wealthy people are smart and all poor people are dumb, but I do believe that a correlation exists between wealth and intelligence. (Here's the wikipedia link to a controversial book entitled IQ and the Wealth of Nations that tangentially supports this argument). Said correlation has been amplified by capitalism which has provided those most savvy and capable among us a far better opportunity to become wealthy then had been the case under previous economic systems. Over time, this creates a situation whereby high IQ individuals represent a smaller portion of the gene pool than low IQ individuals. Further, the likelihood of high IQ individuals procreating with low IQ individuals increases thus creating a generation that is less intelligent than the one that preceded it.

I know that this idea is wildly politically incorrect and I'm not even sure I stand by it, but as I was reading about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Lighthouse of Alexandria I couldn't help but think about how impressive those creations were particularly with the limited resources of the time.

A counter argument would suggest that the limited resources were due to the lack of intelligence of the people existing in those civilizations. This is of course nonsense as it stands to reason that over time inventions and discoveries are inevitable regardless of the intelligence of the human species as a whole.

Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butt-Head and Office Space made a movie about the future of our ever dumbing society titled Idiocracy, that tackles this very idea in a comical fashion. It's a pretty funny film and it does well to satirize some of the dumber aspects of society.

Be back tomorrow with YouTube clips.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bobby don't call her Whitney

I haven't had a cogent thought over the last several days so I'm going to recount a story from the past to compensate for my decided lack of personality in the present:
When I was a senior in college my roommate and I signed up for an intersession course (a course that meets for a month between first and second semester) in Italy. We arrived at the bus stop early one morning and met our professor and fellow classmates. They were not ideal companions for such a trip but there was an attractive female and a guy who seemed like he might be cool and we were headed to Italy for the first time so everything else was ancillary. We started drinking on the plane and arrived in Florence in jovial spirits.
By the time we checked into our hotel we had established enough of a relationship with our classmates to venture out into the Florence night with one another. We decided to go to a local Irish bar (as all Americans seem to do upon initial arrival in a foreign land) and started drinking heavily. I recall several Guinness' a bunch of shots and maybe a car bomb here and there.

Then the night turned black.

When I came to I was sprinting through the streets of Florence.

I wasn't really sure why I was running, in fact I had no idea why I was running (think Memento) but I figured there must be a good reason, so I kept up my frantic pace and dipped behind an alleyway corner after a couple blocks to evaluate the situation.

After a couple moments I peered back and saw nothing. I had no idea what I was running from but more importantly I had no idea where my run had brought me. I was in Florence without the slightest idea where I was, without any idea about the whereabouts of my hotel, and no clue as to its name.

I was fucking lost.

I stumbled around for a while trying to figure out how this had happened and how I was going to remedy the dire circumstances I had found myself in, when I remembered that there was an internet cafe across the street from our hotel called the Internet Train. So I went up to the first person I saw and asked them if they knew of the location of the Internet Train.

Apparently Internet Train in Florence is like Starbucks in New York because the person started pointing in about fifteen directions telling me the many locations of the Internet Train.

This was not good.

I began aimlessly walking around Florence approaching cabs and cop cars asking if they knew where my hotel was, getting blank stares in response and then stumbling away in frustration. I had no idea what to do and kept coming upon various Piazza's thinking I had seen them a million times before.

Finally, at around 5:30 in the morning, angry and distraught, stumbling through the empty streets of Florence, I came upon an Internet Train that looked familiar. I turned to my left and there was my hotel in all its glory. Rarely have I seen such a beautiful site.

With spring in my step I went up to the reception desk, got my key and called it a night.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The invention inventory

So I was reading a Klosterman post from Esquire (, and I had just had another idea for an invention, so I figured I'd write about a couple of them.

First: Flip flops with a pocket in the side of the sole. The pocket would be very small, such that it would be difficult to place anything in there other than money or credit cards (or ID's). I have also envisioned this as a zipper pocket with a carrying case that has a bit of rope at the end of it, so you place the money and card in the case (think baseball card plastic protectors) and you slip it into the pocket. When you need to get it out, you can pull the bit of rope, pay the bartender, and start drinking. Ideal for beach environs.

Second: For magazine subscriptions; the option of having the magazine sent to your home, or, having a credit card sent to your home that allows you to "purchase" one issue of the magazine at a newsstand per month. This is ideal for forgetful or oft-late individuals, who find themselves at airports/train stations, wishing they had the copy of a magazine that is sitting on their coffee table. Instead, the costumer would pay the annual subscription rate and the credit card would entitle them to one newsstand copy a month. The cards could be sponsored by actual credit card companies as a way of recouping production and tertiary costs.

Third: A program that turns a computer keyboard into a music keyboard. So when the application is accessed the "a" button becomes a certain sound, the "b" button a similar but somewhat higher pitched sound and so on and so forth. This program would also allow for recording, thus allowing any user to become a DIY music producer who could then upload their "beats" to a file sharing service and show their "skillz".

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Like a Stumbling Boulder

A review of a Rolling Stone issue (also, here's a link to a much more worthwhile publication in terms of music reviews Pitchfork can be monumentally pedantic and self-involved (David Cross' "review" satirizes Pitchfork here but generally does well to review interesting, and upcoming artists):
If Rolling Stone were an ice cream, it’d be Chocolate - more unique than Vanilla (and proud of itself for being so) but not nearly as unusual as Rocky Road or Cherry Garcia. Nowhere is this more evident than in the August 10, 2006 edition.
The cover is a picture of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant from an era long gone looking cool as ever. It proclaims Zeppelin to be the “Heaviest Band of All Time,” which is a fair attempt at a bold title, and while it’s not exactly timely it is nice to see RS featuring musicians rather than Angelina Jolie or Avril Lavigne.
The table of contents declares that it is “All the News that Fits,” which I imagine was at some point edgy and counter-culturey, but now sounds like a joke my 9th grade math teacher might have made.
The front of the book is well designed with interesting music industry information, obits of famous musicians and general pop culture matters. There does seem to be a strong emphasis on the bottom line with nearly every news item mentioning sales if not actual dollar amounts. While money is obviously the engine of the music industry, that which drives the car is the music, and it seems Rolling Stone sometimes forgets that concept.
The feature story on Zeppelin is Rolling Stone doing what Rolling Stone does best. It’s a lengthy (eight page) look at the band and is interesting to both casual fans and Zeppelin aficionados. The pictures are an impressive collection that do well to highlight the essence of the article (there is also a picture of Page swigging Jack Daniels that is flat out inspiring). The article gets behind the scenes (and takes the reader there with it) at all the big moments of Zep’s career and provides insider info about a band that was always hard to understand.
The ending informs the reader that Mikal Gilmore, the articles author, has been writing for RS since 1976. This is why Rolling Stone can remain relevant despite it’s inability to fully grasp today’s music scene – it has unparalleled access to pop culture history, and in this article, it shows.
The problem with Rolling Stone is evident in two sections. First, in Target Iran, the magazine’s national affairs story, they discuss how the Pentagon and the Bush administration are once again plotting to start a war. At this point Rolling Stone would be far more controversial and edgy if they were to support something the Bush administration did. I'm certain that I could outline the political views of the editorial staff of RS, when a layman can do such a thing (or at least thinks he can), the magazine has lost it's ability to captivate an audience.
The other matter is more musical in its fault. The CD review section features eight separate reviews of new records. Six of the reviews receive three stars with two receiving three and a half. This is not compelling material. Frankly, if a music magazine cannot find a single record worth panning or extolling then it shouldn't be put out. There are too many records released each week to not be able to find something that isn't, well, vanilla. And this is where Rolling Stone has become irrelevant. The magazine is no longer willing to, or able to, decipher musical trends, or find the bands that are creating them. Very few music junkies turn to RS to find the next big thing, because RS is too busy churning out three star music reviews of records put out by the big five production companies.
Rolling Stone was an important magazine. It was chocolate when vanilla was all there was. However, the internet is Ben and Jerry and Rolling Stone has yet to add any flavor to its recipe.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Before thoughts on Jeopardy, here's the coolest site I've found in a long time... Enjoy.

Otherwise, I had a thought while watching today's Jeopardy that I think is worthwhile. On Friday's show, the three contestants tied with $16000 a piece - the first time in the show's history that a three-way tie had occurred. My initial thought was that the gentleman with the lead going into Final Jeopardy, Scott, was a bit of a knob for not risking the extra dollar to take the victory. However, further examination led me to a different conclusion. Scott had been beating his opponents soundly going into Final Jeopardy; both of them were tied at $8,000 and had no choice but to wager everything. Therefore, by betting just enough to tie both of them, Scott assured that a correct answer would net him no less than $16,000 (as the victor) as well as the possibility of competing against one or two opponents he had already essentially defeated. In Jeopardy every new contestant is a serious threat to the previous day's victor, if a contestant can assure himself of beatable competition then he has a decided advantage over a contestant competing against unknown competition.
Today after running out to the early lead and being up something like $22,400 to 11,600 to 10,000 going into final Jeopardy, Scott failed to answer the question correctly (On May 5, 1961 he said this "Oh, what a beautiful view" - answer at bottom) and lost. Maybe this invalidates the argument, but as any good poker player will say, make the decision based on the odds, if the results don't work, you’ve still made the right play. If the move was made strategically on Scott's part - I applaud his creativity and believe future contestants should consider his approach; If the move was not made strategically, then I still (begrudgingly) applaud him for his altruism.
Answer: Alan Shepard (both Scott and the third place finisher said John Glenn)

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I had an idea for an episode of the Wire one evening when I was in the shower.

The idea stems from the premise of the show, which in my estimation can be boiled down to the struggle between good and evil. This is a standard literary convention but what makes it compelling in the Wire is that the good side and the evil side are not readily apparent. In fact, those who we would normally associate with good are often as self-interested and immoral as those we would tend to associate with evil, if not more so. Further, the characters are so well developed that the struggle exists internally as well as externally allowing us to see flaws in characters we tend to believe to be good. The overarching theme is that righteousness and rightness exist in every element of society (excepting possibly politicians) but wears different clothes and assumes different stances depending which side of the law it's on.

That being said, the show thrives on it's authenticity. It moves at it's own pace and not a single line feels like it's a plot device or intended to further a story line. Every line is delivered as though it was meant for the character. This creates a reality that is both gripping and believable.

These two elements create the perfect backdrop for an examination of moral luck. Omar, a drug-dealer robbing, hood, is one of the most engrossing and likable characters on the show. He is "29, or thereabouts," as he says on the witness stand during season two, he's openly gay, and he has been robbing drug dealers for close to a decade and giving most of the proceeds back to the people from whom the drug trade steals (the innocents, I mean, not the users). He also has a menacing scar on his face, and has killed numerous individuals during the course of the show. But Omar has always existed within the confines of his own moral code. As he says on the witness stand, "I ain't ever put my pistol on nobody wan'nt in the game."

Omar's profession requires him to sometimes act recklessly in order to succeed. In several episodes he engages in what is essentially street warfare.

So I believe, an episode in which he were to accidentally kill a person, even a child, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time would lead Omar, and I think the viewer, to some really interesting moral questions.

Specifically, do we hold Omar in contempt because he had the misfortune of having a bullet of his hit an innocent bystander despite viewing him with adoration prior? Do his intentions cancel out the negative effects of his actions? Do his previous actions negate his misfortune? How can our own perceptions of him change simply because of his misfortune? What would be justice in this scenario?

And I'm curious how he would react. Would he turn himself in to the police? He has never seemed like the type of character that would believe ultimate justice should be meted out by law enforcement. What would be ultimate justice in his mind under these circumstances? I honestly don't know.

I mentioned this idea to a friend, Angry, and he immediately discounted it by saying that Omar was too good for that to happen. Frankly, I agree with him, but moral luck is a reality that we all must live with and it is for that very reason that I think this subplot should happen.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Music, for or against?

Couple things. There's a band called Moros Eros ( from Atlanta (or somewhere thereabouts) that I've been listening to allot lately. They kind of sound like Modest Mouse sometimes which is cool. Their drummer is supreme. I've also been listening to Portishead a fair amount lately and would definitely recommend them to anyone that likes chill mood music from time to time. Otherwise, below I have listed a hip hop mix that I use when I go to the gym and I want to list it for further suggestions.
Huslin' - Rick Ross
Blow - Rick Ross
What you know - T.I.
Bonnie n Shyne - Shyne
Bad Boys - Shyne
Gimme the Loot - Biggie
Ride Around Shining - Clipse
Brooklyn's Finest - Biggie and Jay-Z
Dead Presidents - Jay-Z
Ether - Nas
Who Shot Ya - Biggie
Quiet Storm - Mobb Deap
Hit em up - Tupac
As you can see I tend to prefer my hip hoppers to be hard when they step to the mic. I often say that I like rappers who I think would kill me for being white. That being said, I also tend to prefer east coast mc's. I don't really feel like I can relate to the west coast cats, what with growing up in such a different area and what not. If anyone has any suggestions for more singles to add to my list feel free to comment or email, thanks in advance.

On an entirely unrelated note, I had an interesting revelation about boxing and ufc last night at a local bar. ESPN Classic was showing the Tyson/Spinks massacre and I was telling my two drinking companions about when my family got the fight (the one time in family history I remember us getting pay-per-view) and then it was over in 90 seconds. When the announcements were done and the fighting began Spinks got smoked so quick you could miss it by looking down to take a drink. Anyway, it occurred to me that the reason I prefer boxing to ufc is because boxing is a more accurate metaphor for life. In boxing, as in life, strength and aggression are rewarded but not when unchecked. There is a specific set of rules, some of which are seemingly arbitrary, through which the contest must be played. Any violation of the rules and the contestant is reprimanded, multiple violations and the contestant can be disqualified. In ufc, the only rules are those intended to prevent serious lasting injury to ones opponent, there are no confines within which the match is played, it's a free-for-all in which any behavior is acceptable. I cannot think of a single situation in life in which this scenario plays itself out. Even war has rules. This is why, I don't think I can ever accept ufc as a sport, it's more like a barfight with a larger audience.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Reasons I support limited government: and
... wait, you mean the Patriot Act created a pathway for corruption? No fucking way. Didn't everyone think it was a good idea to endow a single branch of the government with unchecked powers? The idea of checks and balances is kind of archaic anyway right?...It leaves me longing for the days when the Republican party stood for small government but it also does well to show the perils of the two party system.

Otherwise, a funny story to tell from the past.

This isn't a top 10 story but it's funny nonetheless.
I was 15 years old and my parents were misguided enough to let my friends and I go into the city for St. Patty's day. We went in and stayed at a friends' step-father's place on 5th avenue. We started drinking at about 11 or so and by 1 I was firmly implanted on the toilet. I was taking care of business when a Beastie Boy's song came over the sound system (this was an outrageous apartment that had speakers in about every crevice including the bathroom). I was a huge Beasties fan at the time and started jamming - with the head bobs and all - as I was drinking my Harp. So I went to take a slug as my head drops from the jam and slams into the bottle. This wasn't all that disconcerting at the time but shortly thereafter I realized that my front teeth were no longer as square as they had been before. I passed it off as a basketball injury when it was first recognized by the elders and to this day I still have a slightly chipped right front tooth (as well as a slightly chipped left front tooth but that's another story entirely).

Otherwise, tremendous YouTube directors can be found here: enjoy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

How many days a week do you drink?

Never fewer than two and never more than seven. The perfect answer.

Just a couple quick things.

I was really surprised to see this on the NYT site today: . Generally I'm pretty ambivalent toward the police but I've always found the NYPD to be an extremely well run organization. It made me wonder if the police paradox - if they ever totally eradicate crime, there would be no need for them - is coming to fruition to a certain extent in NYC. Statistics are an important part of improving rank and I can see no reason for this to be done other than statistics. The NYPD is the 5th largest standing army in the world, and New York doesn't have near the crime rate it once did.

This is awesome, words cannot explain. Make sure you wait for the music to start:

Till tomorrow.

Couple posts and a clarification

I want to make clear what I'm doing here because it occurred to me that I hadn't put together a blog mission statement. I am going to be posting links, I think are worth sharing; articles, I think others might like; and thoughts that I've encountered or conceived that may be compelling. I will not be writing much about my life because there are enough websites devoted to masturbation to bother making my blog one of them. I may occasionally write a story from my past that I think is funny but only if there is a universality to the humor. Without further ado, some links.

The funniest YouTube clip of the last month: - The "Mighty Finder" is by far my favorite character. I wish my - window's run - computer had the finder instead of its uninspired search function. Damn Bill Gates and his conventional thinking.

This is Chuck Klosterman's most recent post on - I think Klosterman is one of the most entertaining writers of his generation (along with Gladwell and Simmons). I wish he'd take a more definitive stance from time to time but I think that's part of his charm. Further, I can't really fault him for struggling to be definitive about the death penalty as I believe that there are certain people who, by the very nature of their acts, deserve to die but I don't think we have the proper mechanisms in place to carry their executions out.

Also, I really recommend subscribing to the podcast of This American Life from WBEZ in Chicago: - week in week out this is the best radio show I've ever heard. It really doesn't get any better, it's the Wire of radio programming.

Finally, I did not get today's final jeopardy question right as I was unable to name the most populated island in Indonesia (I was able to deduce that Indonesia was the forth most populated country in the world but the names of Indonesian islands are not something I learned in Global Studies) . Anyway, it's Java and here's the wikipedia listing if you're interested:

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Meaning of Life, Part I

I'm currently sitting, staring at a building wall of snow, reminiscing about my weekend in tropical New York City, wondering how the fuck this is possible. Oh well. Anyway, I had an interesting conversation that I wanted to write down in order to flesh it out in my head (, in case you're curious like I was). Then I started fleshing it out and it was far too preachy so I cut it. The thrust of my argument was that history will look upon America favorably and sometimes we, as Americans (although I am aware that I now have a cult following in the Far East), forget all of the advances that we've made and all of the good that we've done. Regardless of political affiliation, sometimes it's good to step back and appreciate this country for its successes rather than wallowing in its failures.

Also, today I almost threw my shoe at the television when the contestants failed to finish both rounds of Jeopardy. How is it possible, with all of the advances in technology - when we can put a man on the moon and I can pay for McDonald's with an EZ pass - that Jeopardy has yet to assemble a team of editors that can eliminate the time element. It's not like they film the show live for fucks sake. And it's invariably one or two answers that don't get revealed. They could cut out 30 seconds of Trebek's witticisms each night and put a commercial in its place and i wouldn't notice the difference. I understand the time element within each question but for the overall board it just seems mind numbingly stupid that they can't get it all in, all the time.

Finally, I had an idea for a website today that is devoted entirely to people posting embarrassing information about themselves that they could never bring themselves to admit to others in public but could readily admit anonymously on-line. The first idea for said forum: the fact that [they] post anonymously on-line.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Article Posting

This was a review I wrote on an 'issue' of Slate magazine. The review is admittedly lacking in substance but I was drunk when I wrote it and I think it's real funny. Also, I saw the pilot episode of Black Donnelly's last night (which can be dl'd for free on itunes). Yikes! The last 7 mins weren't bad but otherwise it felt like it was written by a bunch of 4th graders given to stereotyping. I'm also really curious as to how Hell's Kitchen got an elevated railway system but hey, that's just me. On a positive note Olivia Wilde is dynamite. I might keep watching for her alone. Without further ado, Slate:
The art of the critique is rather intriguing. Is the critic’s responsibility to be the most informed observer of the phenomenon he endeavors to review or should he assume the layman’s perspective? Who is his master? Is it the intelligentsia or the humble masses? The art or the audience? Why should the reviewer remove himself from the art I wish to critique when the elements of self-expression are just as evident in his voice as those he is concerned with? Isn’t the critique a response, just like the work of Masaccio was to that of Giotto or Carrot Top to Gallagher? Idk. With those thoughts on the mind and none of them on display I shall pursue the critique of a new medium of magazine: The Webmag or Ezine, or Webzine, or as I like to call it, the ZinWebaMag.
Slate magazine is doing it’s best to toe that fine line between boring old-form news magazine and useless blog. The audience must skew older because I don’t know who else would read it.
The lead story utilizes the instant format of the medium to report on the fall of the “bus plunge” story from the pages of the New York Times. The dive in coverage began in the 1980’s and seems to have tumbled to a halt five years ago.
The article’s driver, Jack Shafer, is kind enough to provide his readers with a strong dose of Dramamine in the fifth paragraph when he mentions that the drop in “bus plunge” stories was initially mentioned to him over a year ago when writer Tom Miller asked him to investigate.
What follows is either the most inefficient year in the history of investigative journalism or a poorly formed attempt at last minute humor. My antipathy toward Shafer is saved only by the fact that I learned through the article Slate Votes that he has cast his ballot for the Libertarian party in every presidential election since he was eligible to vote. Impressive not only in it’s stubbornness but also in its acumen, imho.
Also worthy of derision in this “issue” of slate is Christopher Hitchens send-up of the Borat movie. I’ve been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen’s for over five years and I was actually a bit disappointed with the film as well as surprised by how often he goes for the cheap joke in Borat. So it’s not that I disagree with Hitchens - the poor-man’s P.J. O’Rourke – it’s that he sounds like my Grandfather when he’s been up past 8 p.m.
One thing that I think Slate does well is to make links to its other content readily available while reading an article. So, if one happens to be a Diane Arbus fan, and is reading, say, an article by Jack Shafer and about to X out the page, the name Arbus might catch his eye and save him from exiting the site. Each page has not only and Also in Slate column but also a “Most Popular” section. These are clever innovations and certain to be staples of ZinWebaMag pages.
The idea of Slate is certainly progressive and I applaud the transparency that the Slate Votes article promoted. However, imo, I think that they need to be more creative in the ways in which they use the medium. The internet can provide as many opportunities as individuals can think of but they have to be willing to break the mold first.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Here's to America's Freedom

From an email I wrote a friend following July 4 weekend, the names have been nicknamed to protect the innocent:
Whats up man, I was going to email you yesterday but I got sidetracked, anyway the impetus of my email was the fact that Godzilla (sp?) already has your Sony email address...Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahtttttt?!?!?! How the hell did that happen, shocking. Anyway, friday we hung out at [overattended college bar in NYC], and Pretty Boy got us all trucked, I obviously don't remember the latter course of the evening which was to become my m.o. for the weekend. Sat we all went out to the Drift and had a good time, saw about everyone we've ever met from that wonderful outstretched island, pretty impressed with the clientele all things considered, not too (don't know how to italicize on lotus notes but that "too" would have been) steak face-ish, so we got by. Took a cab back to Cue Ball's place late night, Angry and Tiny passed out immediately while Cue Ball, Pretty Boy and I proceeded to polish of three Becks a bottle of 8 month old pre-made egg-nog and call 90% of our collective phonebooks (I don't explicitly remember calling you, but I'm sure you were in the mix). Lost track of things toward the end of the night and woke up on the floor sun morning...headed directly to Lobster Roll. Ordered the same thing Armand Asante had, delicious, dropped Cue Ball off back at his place and went to Pretty Boy's sister's beach house, hung out on the beach for awhile then drove back to Club Blue's place in Long Beach. Played poker with Sunshine, Shift Four and Psycho, I won which I'm rather proud of (beating Shift Four), drank some more and went to the Inn. Ran into [high school girl we hadn't seen in a while] at the Inn she looked special, left the Inn and went to Minnesotas, hung around there for awhile, saw a buddy of mine from the Point, bar backing did a bunch of shots with him realized I was no longer with everyone else and didn't know where my buddy from the Point was walked out of the bar, realized I had left my phone in Pretty Boy's car and had no idea how to get back to Club Blue or Mic Dego's place, walked in the pouring rain for a bit, blacked out and woke up in the hospital. Asked a nurse if I could leave, filled out a bunch of paperwork and hopped in a cab, realized I was still wearing a hospital gown (with jeans), and had the cab driver ask me if I was sure I was allowed to leave. Had him drive me to a department store, bought a shirt, put it on at the checkout counter, got back into the cab and dipped. All in all I think its only a matter of time before I start getting recruiting letters from AA. Later

Article Posting

I'm going to be posting a series of the articles I've written for school. Some are on topics that I wasn't even the least bit interested in but perhaps some one out there is. This first one was published as the lead story in a local alternative weekly.
“Impeach.” This word is written in bold, white letters on a sign that sits in front of a house on Crawford Street. The sign, with its blood-red background, has been appearing on lawns throughout Syracuse. The target is President Bush and the message is clear.
“I think the man is completely incompetent,” said Kate O’Hara-Matthews, resident of the house that sits just off of Meadowbrook Road. O’Hara-Matthews said that she and her husband decided to put up the sign because they wanted to get people to think about the situation in Iraq and the president’s culpability therein. “If you don’t have a son or a family member that has come back in a body bag it doesn’t really affect you,” O’Hara-Matthews said of the war.
The sign’s message is more about showing a disdain for the Bush administration’s policies than about actually pursuing impeachment proceedings. “It makes us feel better” she said of the desire to do something in response to a war she believes is completely unjust.
Miranda Hine shares O’Hara-Matthew’s views. The two are friends and Hine had some initial reservations about what the neighbors might think of her sign. When Hine saw that O’Hara-Matthew’s had put the sign on her lawn, the boldness inspired her, “damn it, that’s what this country’s about, I’m going to put it out,” said the elementary school teacher.
“I wanted to voice my sadness about what is going on in the world today as a result of his policies,” Hine said.
Hine, a duel British and American citizen, fears that the standing of the United States has suffered as a result of the administration’s policies. “I think we’re acting like bullies” she said of the U.S. agenda. Hine believes that the United States has been selective in its approach to “giving freedom,” by attacking Iraq and remaining largely inactive while areas of Africa suffer through genocide.
Katie O’Royrke’s sign formerly resided on the front lawn of her house. The sign was stolen from her yard on the corner of Euclid and Livingston. O’Royrke said she bought the sign last Sunday afternoon and by Thursday evening it was gone.
O’Royrke says she doesn’t expect the movement to impeach Bush to actually produce any tangible results but put the sign up as a statement of her feelings on the administration.
Jessica Maxwell thinks the sign can be more than just a statement. Maxwell, a staff member of Syracuse’s Peace Council, is hopeful that this year’s mid-term elections can swing the balance of power in congress. Maxwell feels that if the U.S. continues to suffer military losses in Iraq people are going to become more disillusioned with the administration. Maxwell said that the signs “create a sense of being part of the campaign against Bush and Cheney.” The first step toward getting involved in the larger movement toward impeachment she said.
The Peace Council is where both O’Hara-Matthews and Hine initially acquired their signs. The signs have been moving surprisingly fast according to Maxwell who said they recently made their third order of the signs from the Syracuse Cultural Workers, the organization that produces them.
Karen Kerney, SCW’s art director, said the idea for the signs began as a response to the lawn signs politicians often give out in the run up to elections. “Stop The War In Iraq” was one of the SCW's first lawn signs and it drew quite a response. Kerney said that the Iraq sign made people interested in other potential signs. “Getting past that place of saying what you believe” was an important first step toward emboldening people to be willing to put the “Impeach” sign on their lawn, said Kerney.
The SCW’s publisher, Dik Cool, is a strong advocate of the movement to impeach President Bush. While he is not convinced of the viability of such a campaign he does cite the fact that “50 or 60 congress people have signed a petition to support an inquiry into impeachment.” In fact, there was a bill co-sponsored by 32 Democrats in the House to create a select committee to investigate whether there's enough evidence to impeach President Bush according to the March 24, edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. While not 50 or 60, the 32 members represent more than ten percent of the Democrats in the House.
The local sentiment to impeach President Bush is reflective of a greater national sentiment both at the grassroots level and in more established political channels. In September of 2005, the Santa Cruz City Council passed a resolution calling on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether President Bush could be impeached for his actions leading up to the war in Iraq. Since then, dozens of other city councils have followed suite culminating with Russ Feingold, the Democratic, junior senator from Wisconsin, introducing a resolution to censure President Bush in March of this year, according to the March 31, edition of the Columbus Dispatch.
The movement to impeach Bush is not limited to left-leaning, private and public citizens. In August of 2006, Pat Buchanan, two-time Republican presidential hopeful and co-founding editor of “The American Conservative,” called for a “courageous Republican” to introduce a bill to impeach the president “charging George W. Bush with a conscious refusal to uphold his oath and defend the states of the Union against "invasion" [of illegal aliens].”
In an article later that month, Joseph Farah, founder, editor and CEO, of World Net Daily, a conservative online news site, echoed Buchanan’s sentiment. In an email exchange with him earlier this week, Farah reiterated his call for Bush’s impeachment saying that “Americans are losing faith in the system of political accountability.” Farah said that there was not any real viability to the impeachment movement on the issue of illegal aliens but did say that the impeachment would “be extremely healthy [for the U.S. government]. Congress needs to reassert its rightful authority under the constitution.”
The movement in Syracuse to impeach President Bush has caused people to both put up and take down the controversial “Impeach” signs. The movement is gaining traction in the area as well as continuing to raise its profile nationally. The red sign with white lettering represents what Hine called, “a feeling of frustration,” that many Syracusans are no longer willing to let go unvoiced.

First Post

I have no idea how this is going to work (or if it's going to work for that matter), but this is the first post of my blog so I should try to say something profound. A wise man once said, the day I quit smoking I'll get hit by a marlboro truck - that man was me - and since I can't think of anything novel to say, I'll leave it at that.