Saturday, November 18, 2006

signs o' the times blog

Waiting for video games cause violence.
AP: “Two armed thugs tried to rob a line of people waiting for the new PlayStation 3 game system to go on sale early Friday and shot one man who refused to give up his money, authorities said.”

None dare call it torture.
Washington Post :“The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the ‘alternative interrogation methods’ that their captors used to get them to talk.”

Or… what? More alternative interrogation methods to prevent them from talking?

More: “The government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public.”

In other words, alternative interrogation methods are now state secrets!

Muni moment, possibly related to the above items, in a Zeitgeist kind of way.
So I was on the J Church, and there was a black man behind me, wearing a pulled-down sailor cap that had the word “Fired” written on it, in blue ball point ink, dozens of times. He was issuing a tirade that had something to do with the non-violence of Malcolm X, the importance of education, the evils of white people, and a career in television repair. I was having some difficulty following the thread of his discourse.

After a few minutes, a grizzled white man of 60 or so, sitting a few seats away, said, “I’ve had enough of this,” then launched into his own tirade, I think. It was all glossolalia- word salad.

So now there were two people spouting off. It was kind of like “Duelling Banjos,” without a coherent melody line. Still, I could have listened to them all day. Alas, however, my stop came.

I got off, and was waiting for the train to pull away, so I could cross the tracks. I noticed, through the window, a Chinese woman yelling at the black man. I thought maybe he’d said something to her, or touched her.

She got off the train, turned to me, and said, “He was trying to litter on the train. He wants to kill everybody in America, and I’m tired of it.”

More Zeitgeist?
Reuters: “A British man convicted of what has been described as the country's first ‘web-rage’ attack, was jailed for 2-1/2 years on Friday for assaulting a man he had exchanged insults with over the Internet.”

In other news…
A new James Bond! The 12 year old in me can’t wait. The middle-aged guy in me will probably wait for the DVD.

Oh Shut Up Department.
Judith Regan? OJ? Take your seats. You will find duct tape at your work station. Tear off a strip and apply it to your mouth, please. Thank you. Here’s your check!

Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi went from being savvy political operative to blunderer in the space of a week. Maureen Dowd says in her column this week that Pelosi throws like a girl. Meaning that she supported John Murtha for majority leader, and lost. So next week Pelosi will get something she wants, and she’ll be shrewd again.

Mike Tyson’s new job.
Supposedly, he’s going to work for Heidi Fleiss as a male escort. Gals who go all wobbly for convicted rapists will be lining up in droves. Did I make this up?

Whither Holland?
The Dutch government is considering a ban on burqas in public places. Muslims are, of course, offended by this, but the Dutch also want to ban helmets with visors and any other piece of clothing that covers a head and face. Which would criminalize motorcyclists, police in full riot gear, scuba divers, many skiers, and Batman.

Thank God. Somebody’s doing something at last.
AP: “Students at Willett Elementary School in Attleboro can no longer play tag during recess. The same goes for touch football and other unsupervised ‘chasing’ games. The school's principal said there's too much risk of injury to children during games like tag.”

Thank God. Somebody else is doing something at last.
Trans-fat, if you don’t know, is the most evil food additive that ever ever was. You add hydrogen to vegetable oil, and you got heart attack on a plate.

New York City wants to make a law limiting its area restaurants’ use of trans-fats. And now Disney is taking this to its corporate heart as well.

Consumer Affairs: “In a bow to pressure from health advocates, the Walt Disney Company has announced plans to reduce the trans fat contained in food served at its theme parks. In addition, the company said it would limit product licensing to healthy foods.”

Well I, for one, want fries with that.

Finally:
President Bush went to Viet Nam, where he said, "We'll succeed unless we quit.” I’m not quite sure how to take that. Did he mean, “If we stay the course, victory is ours,” or “We might succeed, we might quit, haven’t made up our minds yet?”

There is a lesson to be learned from Viet Nam though. If you cut and run from a miserable war, then wait 40 years or so and return, things will look a lot rosier.

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