April 17, 2008
So the title for the second X Files movie has been released: The X Files: I Want To Believe. Because no one remembers the poster in Mulder's office, I guess.
I liked FTF. It was a pretty good bridge between seasons 5 and 6 and a decent story in its own right. However, I'm still unclear as to where this movie will go, especially given the way that the series ended. For those of you who didn't watch the series finale, well, go rent it. Or rather, don't. Starting around season 7, the X Files started sucking. A lot.
If it sounds like I won't go to the theater on July 25, don't kid yourself. I watched the pilot when it aired and there's no way that I'll miss the movie. I just hope I don't want my money back afterwards.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Anyway, Jerry's character has issues which make bonding with a woman problematic at best. His last girlfriend left him for a toaster, or iPod, or some other inanimate object. Seems she had issues, too. Plus, she wasn't very attractive. However, his latest squeeze, Dana, borders on the thermonuclear side of the hotness scale. I checked around at ABC.com to find out if anyone knew who the heck she was. Turns out that her name is Rachelle Lefevre. The pictures at IMDB do not do her justice, so I looked elsewhere. If you watch Boston Legal, see if you agree with me that Dana is not only out of Jerry's weight class, she borders on being outside of his species. If you don't watch, just enjoy the eye candy.
Actually, none of the pictures do her justice. Wait until someone uploads photo captures from the 4/15/2008 episode. I should have been wearing a drool cup.
April 16, 2008
Damn. I did it again. Oh well, excerpt:
#4.Smilodons (Sabre-Toothed Tigers)
Used to be ...
Anyone who has seen 10,000 BC (and escaped with their IQ intact) knows about Smilodons. With eight-inch blade-like teeth, these cats were the top predators of the late Pliestocine, and were the last dominant predators before our ancestors came along. They traveled in packs, the sight of which would make our ancestors crap their pants from miles away.
The Crappy Evolutionary Spin-off:
You're probably thinking tigers here, but actually marsupials are all that is left of the classic Sabre-Tooth Cat (the felines were another branch on the evolutionary tree) so, sadly, the closest genetic connection remains adorable Koala Bears, Kangaroos and Opossums. The most common of these is the Opossum, most often seen in their natural habitat (the local freeway) in their instinctive 'bloody smear along the road' stance.
Though there is one marsupial still holding its ground: the Tasmanian Devil. The usual response to a natural sighting of these godless killing machines tends to be "HOLY SHIT A TASMANIAN DEVIL LET'S GET THE HELL OUT OF HE-(screams of agony)." It feasts on the dead and dying and leaves nothing but crushed bone and echoes of blood-curdling screams in its path.
I recently explained to my son that the Tasmanian Devil was real, although it in no way resembled the funny, stupid critter he had seen on Bugs Bunny.
Radley Balko links to a story which displays more evidence of the increasingly acrimonious relationship between cops and the "justice" system and us, the general public. It's disturbing. While I'm all in favor of putting actual criminals behind bars, I'm quite concerned that law enforcement now considers the citizens of this country as mere pawns in some bizarre game of "fuck you" chess, where the first move is for the cops to declare checkmate, forcing you, the accused, to prove your innocence, turning the theory of jurisprudence on its head.
I don't pretend to know what the answer is, but perhaps our public servants need to be reminded who actually is in charge. Memo to the police: it isn't you.
Again. And again and again.
Reprinted from Neal Boortz's website, albeit an entry that has disappeared into the bit bucket:
APRIL 15th TAX DAY
From Neal Boortz
"Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed."
"There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man's needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means."
- Albert Jay Nock
The income tax is a vicious, inequitable, unpopular, impolitic and socialistic act. The crusade for an income tax is the most unreasoning and un-American movement in the politics of the last quarter-century.
Editorial - New York Times. 1894.
TAX DAY- FOR ABOUT ONE-HALF OF US
It's April 15th. That day is important for just about one-half of Americans; the one-half that actually carries the load for all of us. For the remaining one-half of income earners it's either just another day, or it's a day they revel in their ability to not only avoid paying taxes themselves, but in their ability to loot the pockets of those who do through such gimmicks as the rancid Earned Income Tax Credit.
April 15 is depressing ... and not just because your taxes are due.
OK , I know you've heard this before, but it doesn't do any harm for you to review the facts just once a year.
This is the day when a simple question can lead to the discovery that most people have no idea how much income tax they pay, though this is becoming less and less true as we go along. There is one group that does know how much federal income tax they pay every year, and this group is growing ever larger. It's that segment of wage earners who pay nothing. So, we'll revise this statement to read: "Most people who actually do pay federal income taxes have no idea how much they pay."
For proof, try this little test: Approach a friend or co-worker whom you actually suspect may pay federal income taxes and ask them what their tax tab was. You will get one of two responses. For the majority of taxpayers who actually get refunds, the response will be "I didn't have to pay anything! I'm getting some back!" Taxpayers who actually have to write a check on April 15 will quote the amount of that check as their tax bill.
This is all by design. Politicians know that if those who pay federal income taxes knew what they were really paying there would be an instantaneous and ugly tax revolt. To hide the ugly truth, these politicians have kept alive our wonderful system of withholding. With the magic of withholding, the money is gone before the wage earner even gets the slightest whiff of it. It's almost as if it was never really there in the first place ... so, what's to miss?
Not only do most people not know how much tax they pay, they don't even know what they make!
You've already asked your co-worker how much tax they had to pay in 2001, and they didn't know. Now, ask them how much they make! Most will tell you it's none of your business. Some will respond, though, and their response will begin with the words, "I take home ..."
If you wanted to be particularly obnoxious at this point, or if you fancy yourself to be a radio talk-show host, you could say: "I didn't ask you how much you took home. I asked you how much you made." Then, standby for the inevitable blank stare.
See how well this system of withholding taxes has worked! The majority of wage earners can't even tell you what they earned! Just what they "took home." It's as if they viewed their "take home" pay as their total earnings! No wonder they don't think they paid any taxes when they get that refund check from the IRS!
But --- if you happen to work for youself then it's a good bet that you DO know how much tax you paid. The owners of small businesses, the businesses that employ about 80 percent of the workers in this country ... you know. You are the people who have to sit down four times a year and write a check to the IRS for your quarterly tax payments.
WHY WE'LL NEVER HAVE A TAX REVOLT.
One word. Withholding.
Withholding was sold to the American wage earner as a purely temporary measure to speed up cash flow to the government during World War II. As soon as the war was over, things were supposed to return to normal and the wage earners would get their entire checks, just as before the war.
In case you haven't checked, the war has been over for about 58 years or so, but withholding is still with us. It's still with us because the proliferation of the "I take home ..." workers and the "I didn't have to pay anything, I'm getting some back" taxpayers are such a boon to our politicians. As long as the majority remains ignorant of the extent to which their paychecks are plundered, politicians will be safe.
Now ... get those tax returns completed and then completely forget what they say so that you can join the ranks of the unknowing.
I can't let this April 15th go by without reminding you of what a wonderful job politicians, especially Democrats, have done insuring that there will never be enough angry taxpayers to cost them their jobs.
Politicians pay attention to polls. Polls are indications of the presence or lack of job security. When politicians read a poll which says that the majority of Americans (a) don't think they're paying too much in taxes, and (b) don't see any need for a tax cut, they sit back and smile. Politicians, and especially Democrats, have been working for generations to shift the burden for the payment of federal income taxes to a small minority of high-income earners. They have succeeded marvelously. Today the top 10 percent of income earners pay over one-half of all federal income taxes. The bottom 60 percent of income earners, a majority, as you can see, pay less than 10 percent of all income taxes. Even someone educated in a government school can tell you that this leaves politicians free to increase taxes on the upper-income minority and then spend that money on the middle and lower-income majority in return for votes.
AND NOW --- TIME FOR SOME TAX AND SPENDING OUTRAGES.
We begin with a statistic that should jolt you right out of your seat. Have you ever stopped to consider just how many cumulative hours are spent across this entire country every year just handling the paperwork associated with the federal income tax? American businesses will spend about 3.4 billion man-hours doing tax paperwork this year. Individuals will spend another 1.7 billion man-hours. These figures represent 3 million people working full time all year just to do tax preparation work. Now --- get this. It takes more man-hours in this country to pay federal income taxes than it does to build every car, van and truck produced in this country during the same year. (Money Magazine)
Where does your tax money go? Try this:
Between 1986 and 1998 the IRS spent $5 billion of your money on a computer system that they were never able to get to work. Five Billion, that's with a B.
Taxes now comprise 31% of the cost of a loaf of bread, 30% of the cost of a hotel room and 43% of the cost of a bottle of beer. (Money Magazine)
The two major tax writing committees of congress are the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. Money Magazine reports that seven out of ten members of these committees cannot figure out their own taxes. They have to hire professionals.
Your government recently gave $170 million to a group called PSI. PSI was founded by Philip Harvey. Philip Harvey runs a mail-order porno business called Adam and Eve. PSI wants to hand out condoms around the world. They now have $170 million of your money to fund their project.
At a series of employee retreats workers played children's games and sang We are family. They wrote Christmas carols, went on treasure hunts, dressed in cat costumes and talked to imaginary wizards and magicians. It was a team-building exercise for the U.S. Postal Service. Cost? $3,600,000.00.
There are 1.2 million paid tax preparers in the United States. That's six times more than the number of troops in Iraq. These 1.2 million people add absolutely nothing to our quality of life or standard of living.
Do you know what IRS form 8845 is? It's the form you fill out to get your Indian Employment Credit.
In 1969 the congress discovered that there were 155 taxpayers who paid no taxes because their deductions eliminated their tax liability. That's when congress passed the Alternative Minimum Tax, just to catch those 155 taxpayers. Today the AMT nails 3 million taxpayers. Within 7 years that figure will soar to 36 million.
The IRS still insists that the income tax is voluntary. If you believe that then you believed Bill Clinton when he said that oral sex isn't sex.
The solution is twofold.
First --- reform the tax system by getting rid of the income tax, repealing the income tax amendment and moving to a national retail sales tax. I've been promoting such a system for over 15 years. You can find out everything you want to know by studying the website for Americans for Fair Taxation at http://www.fairtax.org.
Second -- Government must be reduced to its constitutionally appropriate size. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are up to the task. That's why I'm a Libertarian.
April 14, 2008
"VISUAL SEXUAL AGGRESSION:" Perhaps we should cover women in large, tentlike garments to prevent this. It's popular some places, I hear.
One estimate suggests that your average consumer is already exposed to about 3,000 ads per day (New York City residents see about 5,000 per day). The problem with this figure, according to the advertising industry, is that it's way too low. They intend to fix the problem by adding lots of ads to your cell phone.
However, a consensus is forming based on studies conducted by a variety of potential players that cell phone users want advertising, and lots of it.
The author essentially calls bullshit on this vapid, steaming pile of horse squeeze, so I won't bother... oh, who am I kidding? I call complete and utter bullshit on the newest "consensus".
Dear writers in the English language:
Alright is not a word. Youre looking for all right. For everyone confused by reading in the dictionary that alright is a non-standard usage, thus maybe okay to use, you should know that non-standard usage is polite lexicographer speak for version used by illiterate hamster pokers, and when youre not looking, they all point and laugh at you. Yes, they do. Ive seen them do it. And it was mean.
In a followup post, Mr. Scalzi displays the picture that is worth a thousand words:
April 10, 2008
-Hey, I would not want to mess with her. She's not called Five Feet of Fury for nothing-
As it turns out, some fucknozzle called Richard "I'm a Butt Plug" Warman is trying to squeeze money out of, as well as shut down, his critics. I guess it's tough to be Dick. People are just so mean to him. Of course, since he's a loser, scum-sucking parasite douchebag ufcknozzle, he should generally expect criticism. Not our Richard, though. Ezra Levant has more on our pathetically thin-skinned asswipe:
Its not the first threat Ive received from him; back in December, when I mentioned him in passing in a National Post Op-Ed, Warman fired off another threatening letter to me. Youve got to read it. I mean, really it included the complaint that I dared to call him anti-racist, rather than anti-racist. Thats right: the fact that I used quotation marks around those words was one of the reasons he was threatening to sue the National Post and me.
If that was Warmans most petty complaint, his most ironic complaint was that I called him a censor who abused the legal system, and that if I didnt immediately censor myself with a retraction and apology, hed hit me with a lawsuit. That blissful lack of self-awareness would be cute if it wasnt accompanied by a threat sort of like when Warman encouraged some young rowdies to take the piss out of people who are so pompous and so full of themselves by assaulting them with a cream pie. It was unsettling to watch a lawyer conspire in the commission of an assault.
Wow. So all it takes are the use of quotation marks to hurts this "asshole's" feeling? Okay, "Richard", let me clear: when I call "you" a useless "douchebag", a "piece" of used "toilet paper", "a" scummy "pussbucket" not "worth" lancing, I "mean it" in only the "best" possible sense.
As it "turns out", Dicky is suing several people in addition to Kathy Shaidle:
- Ezra Levant (famous for his stirring YouTube video of his confrontation with the Canadian Human Rights tribunal after he published the Mohammed Cartoons)
- FreeDominion.ca (Canadas answer to FreeRepublic.com)
- Kate McMillan of SmallDeadAnimals.com
- Jonathan Kay of the National Post daily newspaper and its in-house blog
- and me, Kathy Shaidle of FiveFeetOfFury.com
Kathy, Kate, Ezra, Jonathan and FreeDominion.ca need your help. Please contribute to their legal defense fund. Kathy has a PayPal button for you to use.
I've long extolled the virtues of bloggers in general. When Lileks, Dean Esmay,Jeff Goldstein and recently Andrea Harris had financial difficulties or needs, people chipped in what they could to help keep the wolves away from the door. This is potentially even more important. Please give, if you can. If you cannot give anything, at least link to Kathy's post.
Update: Kim du Toit found a picture of our winner of Littlest Dick of the Year Award.
Update: I should have mentioned that I found out about Kathy Shaidle's problem via Rachel Lucas. Whoops. Anyway, consider that oversight corrected.
April 09, 2008
I live in Nicaragua and am familiar with the expat community, and though I know this implicates Democrats, I think you will find this interesting from 2004. My in-laws are registered Ole Dixie Democrats from North Florida, and in 2004 they received two ballots each. Surprised, they asked another American couple here if they had received two. The husband, a registered independent, had received one absentee ballot, while his wife, a registered Republican, had not received an absentee ballot.
It is interesting, and I agree there needs to be some kind of oversight of this.
Wow, this sure stinks like week-old mackerel wrapped in soggy newsprint! Though I'm a registered Democrat, I've often been alarmed and disgusted by rumors of ballot manipulation by Democratic ward heelers in big-city neighborhoods, where even the dead vote. In past elections in some Democratic districts in Philadelphia, for example, the percentage of reported voter turnout has at times been suspiciously, stratospherically high.
Absentee ballots, in my view, should be more strictly limited and supervised. Their promiscuous distribution is an invitation to corruption. I have heard troubling stories from upstate New York, for example, about campaign operatives (of which party I don't know) taking absentee ballots into nursing homes and directing how they are filled out. In unscrupulous hands, this practice is unacceptably coercive.
Funny how the districts with the most suspicious voting activities tend to be Democratic districts. Okay, funny isn't the right word. The word I'm looking for is "predictable".
[ open on Charlton Heston in his dressing room, sitting on the couch and talking into a mini-cassette recorder ]
Charlton Heston: And this completes my final journal entry, before I host the show. Eleven.. twenty-five P.M., December 4th A.D., 1993.
Joe Dicso: [ peeking in ] Five minutes, Mr. Heston.
Charlton Heston: Fine, Joe. I'll just, uh.. lie down for a couple of minutes.
[ Heston lies across the couch, as he again speaks into his mini-cassette recorder ]
You know, there's one thing still bothering me: Is man truly meant to be funny? I just don't know.
[ Heston falls asleep, as the clock on the wall spins at a rapid pace ]
[ the years zoom by - 1994.. 1995.. 1996.. 2000.. 2050.. 2200.. stopping at 3978 ]
[ Heston wakes from his nap, now bearded and dazed ]
Charlton Heston: Wha..? what time is it..? I.. overslept.. Why the hell didn't somebody wake me..?
[ Heston stumbles into the empty hall, failing to notice the framed photos of apes lining the walls ]
Charlton Heston: Hello? Somebody! Any.. hello..? Where is every.. Hello?! Hello..! [ echoes ] What's going on here, anyway?
[ Heston approaches the doors to the studio, flanked with futuristic scarecrows from the "Planet of the Apes" movie. The familiar music sting eminates upon their image, then cuts as Heston notices the back of a stagehand inside the doorway ]
Charlton Heston: Oh. There's somebody. Hey! sir? Hello?
[ the stagehand turns around - it's an ape ]
Charlton Heston: Aaagghh!! [ runs down the hall ] Oh, my God! It's happening again!
Sadly, I've searched and cannot find that particular video anywhere. The NRA spoof ad he did on SNL? That I can find, plus numerous other parodies. But not "The Studio of the Apes". Actually, I can find it after he's already been captured by the apes. He's got the two apes holding his choke collar while talking to the studio audience of apes. Pretty funny. But I can't find the beginning part where he does off and the clock spins forward. If anyone out there knows where that particular video is, please let me know.
April 08, 2008
Update: From the IMDB section containing quotes from the movie comes this little exchange:
Nick Naylor: My point is that you have to think for yourself. If your parents told you that chocolate was dangerous would you take their word for it?
[Children say no]
Nick Naylor: Exactly! So perhaps instead of acting like sheep when it comes to cigarettes you should find out for yourself.
I think that I'm gonna like the movie as much as the book. And no, I don't smoke; never have. In fact, I loathe those stinky little cancer sticks. But I'm sick and fucking tired of nanny-staters trying to legislate every part of our lives, especially when the product in question is, in fact, still legal. To be fair, the day isn't over yet.
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