Today’s sign the world is ending

June 30, 2005 at 2:17 am (Random)

Current poll question on cnn.com:

Do you agree with Tom Cruise that aliens exist?

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Joseph Smith was called a prohpet…

June 28, 2005 at 5:19 pm (Religion)

If you haven’t read Under the Banner of Heaven: a Story of Violent Faith,
by Jon Krakauer, I highly recommend it. It is a candid and therefore
disturbing examination of the history and reality of Mormonism. It is
unfortunately, however aptly, referred to as the only true American
religion. Turns out that South Park episode was pretty spot on. One of
the more surprising things to me was all of the major sports leagues
owe royalties to the Latter-day Saints (lawsuit to follow):

…the Saints had little interest in associating with Missourianswho
remained too ignorant or obstinante to grasp God’s plan for mankind.
Joseph preached something he called “free agency”; everyone was free to
choose whether to be on the side of the Lord or the side of wickedness;
it was an entirely personal decision–but woe to those who decided
wrong.

I have a healthy dose of contempt for most organized religions, but
these people are beyond the pale. I find true Mormonism, based around
polygamy (the “fundamentalists”), to be about as offensive as Islam and
Southern Baptism, but how so-called mainstream Mormons can ignore their
history is beyond me. Polygamy was one of the most importnant founding
principles of Mormonism. If you pick and choose the messages of your
prophet that you will adhere to, you’re more of a cult than a religion.
One of my Jewish friends once said to me that Reform Judaism basically
ignores everything that sucks about being Jewish, you know, like that
silly kosher diet. My question is, why bother?

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Air America

June 28, 2005 at 5:15 pm (Rant)

Does anyone else out there listen to Air America radio? Is it 65%
commercials in all markets, or just in Portland? And what’s up
with the childhood cancer commercials? They almost have me
convinced that MY kid is going to get cancer if I don’t start tithing
to their research center. (NB: I don’t have any kids).

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Quote of the day

June 24, 2005 at 4:52 pm (law, Quote of the day)

“As Raich taught us that growing pot in your backyard for personal consumption is ‘interstate commerce,’ Kelo informs us that taking people’s homes to hand over to private developers building an office complex is a ‘public use.'”

Link

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Harpo this

June 23, 2005 at 6:00 am (Random)

(CNN) — Luxury store Hermes on Wednesday apologized to Oprah Winfrey for turning her away last week, saying that its Paris store was closed to set up for a public relations event when the talk show host stopped by.

“Hermes apologizes for any offense taken due to such circumstances.”

The store said the incident occurred on June 14 around 6:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after the store closed. It said Winfrey and her team arrived at a time when “a private PR event was being set up inside.”

Let me repeat that last part for dramatic effect: the incident occurred on June 14 around 6:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after the store closed.

So the store is closed, they won’t open the doors for you, and you are offended? Why, just because you are famous you should be able to shop whenever you want? You should have a goddam key, goddam it, you’re Oprah. Oh, and also, you’re black:

Harpo Productions spokeswoman Michelle McIntyre said Winfrey “will discuss her ‘crash moment’ when her show returns from hiatus in September.”

“Crash” is a film dealing with race relations. The phrase “crash moment” refers to situations where a party feels discriminated against on the basis of skin color.

I don’t know what’s more pathetic: 1) Oprah turning what appears to be an attempted B&E into racism, 2) the store apologizing for it, 3) CNN reporting it as a top headline, or 4) the fact that I’ve spent 10 minutes posting about it. Sometimes I don’t even know why I bother checking CNN anymore, it’s really for comedic value more than, you know, actual news.

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I need a hummer

June 21, 2005 at 11:34 pm (Environment)

Now you can turn that gas guzzler into an earth friendly green machine, and absolve yourself of your personal responsibility for decades of turmoil in the Middle East, Africa, and Venezuela. Yes, TerraPass is here.

The idea is the latest implementation in the trading of “pollution credits.” Those are the market-based innovations, introduced a few years ago, which allow smoke-spewing companies to buy and sell the right to emit certain amounts of pollutants into the air.

If you buy a TerraPass, the money will be used to purchase smog allowances on the Chicago Climate Exchange. The Climate Exchange allows polluting companies that produce less than a certain amount of airborne pollutants to sell credits to other companies that then allow them to go over the limit.

The overall limits are reduced over time making it more costly to exceed them. Organizations and companies that buy pollution credits reduce the overall supply of credits and also make it more costly for companies to exceed the limits.

I think this is a really, really good idea. Pollution credit trading can work in a lot of cases, but since industries often have regulators in their pockets the caps set are often too high. I have wondered why groups like the Sierra Club don’t buy up credits and just sit on them. They have no economic incentive, and the marginal impact of buying up a few hundred tons of sulfur dioxide credits would be minimal. But this way, we can spread out the pain and before you know it pollution credits could be a very valuable commodity. The Society for MOre Koal Energy is not going to like it, though. I might wait 6 months or so, see if this company is legit, and buy up some myself.

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Irony

June 10, 2005 at 2:23 am (Personal)

When I was 12, I made a time capsule at school, and I got it back
today. Much to my dismay, a quarter from 1965 is still only worth
25 cents, and Garbage Pail Kids didn’t appreciate like I had
hoped. But I wrote a letter to myself, which contained the
following cryptic statement: “I hope your got yourself a good woman,
and none of your friends are dead.”

On that note, I will be camping in the Redwoods for the next few days,
then going to Vancouver to check out some hash bars. So I’ll
likely be on hiatus for a while.

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A rare circimstance

June 8, 2005 at 9:28 pm (Drugs)

Macaulay Culkin is not a chronic drug user. Culkin,
star of the “Home Alone” films, was arrested September 17 after police
stopped a car in which he was a passenger. Officers found over a
half-ounce of marijuana and several tablets of Xanax, a prescription
medication used to treat depression and panic disorders, court records
show.

He was given 1-year deferred sentences on each of the charges and was
assessed $540 in fees.
Assistant District Attorney Greg Mashburn said Culkin had completed all
requirements of his probation before coming to court, including passing
a drug and alcohol assessment.
“This was a rare circumstance for Mr. Culkin,” Mashburn said.

I agree. Whenever I have that much weed and a sack of pills on me, it tends not to last very long.

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Fall from grace

June 8, 2005 at 6:51 am (Random)

Holy crap, was that Dennis Miller I just heard doing a commercial for
Loreal moisturizing cream? From HBO to CNBC to feminine
products? Even when he turned right, I always respected Dennis’s
style. But man, that’s sad.

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Polls

June 7, 2005 at 4:20 pm (Parkersburg)

Since squarespace doesn’t seem to allow polls on their weblogs, I have a suggestion. Go to my hometown rag and check out some of the poll questions. The comments are the best part. It’s like a blog for inbred, illiterate morons who haven’t been told about punctuation. In all fairness, the current question, about (il)legalized marijuana, actually has some sane, thoughtful comments, but trust me that is an aberration. I like to go there and be as caustic as I possibly can. The comment about driving my truck around all day is from me.

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