Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Well, as you can see, there's no new
site up. Oh, there's a new site, but it's
sitting in happy little coding Purgatory
right now courtesy of... you guessed it...
Blogger fucking up again. Apparently this
week's error decided to be "any changes
you try to make to your template will
be ignored, completely, in all respects,
tough shit. Oh, now pay me for this awful
I've been away for two weeks, and I've
lost a huge visit count, and I'm about
to lose more because of this next delay...
yet it's worth it. So folks, please forgive
me for not presenting you the new xoverboard.com
as originally expected, as the moment
I finish posting this I'm transferring
my domain to a new service that handles
CGI scripting so I can switch to Movable
As I already told Pyra in my e-mail to
them an hour ago, this was the last fucking
straw. I don't care about any new upgrades
or installations they claim their servers
need to do, I'm just fucking sick of it.
My only regret, honestly- aside of course
from the delay this now means for all
my readers- is that I'm out the non-refundable
6-month renewal with my current host I
made only a month ago.
But, as I said before, it's worth it
just to think of the concept that a few
days from now I'll never need to look
at the shitbucket that is Blogger ever,
Update: Oh, fine, just because
I feel so guilty: here's
a rough mock-up of what the new site will
somewhat look like. Salivate at will.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Not exactly a smoking gun, you morons
Well, I was going to say the New York
Post should blow it out their ass, but
I already used that gag for my last
commentary on the New York City smoking
Why would I insitigate this? Well, if
you live in the city, you may have noticed
Monday's front page blockbuster story
from the Post, which we all know is simply
the highest bastion of credible reasoned
journalism. By "highest bastion," of course,
I mean "quite possibly the most worthless
waste of newsprint that dares to call
itself a newspaper when if anything is
a ridiculous tabloid that can actually
make a person dumber by reading on a regular
The Post, ever the defenders of whatever
public opinion sells more papers by endorsing,
printed their exclusive study of the recent
public smoking ban with their report "Smoked
Out: Cig Ban Leaves Lots of 'Empties.'"
Let's run the conclusive analysis:
Business at New York bars and restaurants
has plummeted by as much as 50 percent
in the wake of the smoking ban - and
the drop has already sparked layoffs
and left some establishments on the
brink of shutting their doors, a Post
survey has found.
The new law prohibits smoking inside
bars and restaurants but allows outdoor
cafes to designate 25 percent of their
tables for smokers. Cigar bars are
exempt. Most of the establishments
said they began complying with the
law April 1, and most said they're
suffering heavily because of the ban.
A half-dozen of those surveyed either
laid off staff last month or are cutting
back hours for bartenders and waiters
because of slow business.
Across all five boroughs, 34 of the
50 businesses queried have shown a
decline in business since April. Twenty-nine
of those said their drops ranged from
10 percent to as much as 50 percent.
The median of those reporting declines
was a 30 percent cut in business.
Nearly every bar and restaurant owner
acknowledged business was already
suffering a downturn in the wake of
9/11 and from the stalled economy.
But many believe the smoking ban has
dealt a devastating blow to the city's
$10.2 billion restaurant and bar industry.
So, anyone else notice the footnotes to
this below-grade-school-level research report?
The New York Post surveyed 50 bars and
restaurants. Across the whole of New York
City. Of those, 34 have had a decline
in business since the smoking ban started...
on April 1st, 2003.
Six weeks ago.
In other words, The New York Post has
concluded that because 68% of .001% of
the food-and-liquor-serving businesses
in New York made less money in April than
they did in March- the month which, though
I'm sure it has no bearing whatsoever
on alcohol sales- contains both St. Patrick's
Day and the NCAA finals- it's the complete
and total fault of requiring people to
I'll remind you all again: this is a
report from a publication that calls itself
a newspaper. Yet if a fourth-grader turned
this in for homework, they would likely
be left back a year in school.
Granted, many dislike the ban, and likely
many businesses ARE initially suffering,
but this report is a baseless, sensationalist
way of trying to make a case... truly
the very nature of screeds like the New
York Post. Even the article itself mentions
9/11 and the sagging economy as more-than-slightly-determining
factors in this. I'll maintain that Manhattan
is not going to slide into the ocean because
you can't light up indoors anymore.
Monday, May 12, 2003
Well, come on, these stamps are heavy
I found a sheet of five postage stamps
while cleaning my dorm room that I don't
want to bother packing and taking home.
The first five people to e-mail me with
a snail mail address get a free XQUZYPHYR
& Overboard sticker.
Update: Jesus! That took
a bit less time than I expected. Why are
you all up at this hour? Winners to be
notified by e-mail that their sticker's
in the mail.
Second Update: Winners have been
notified and their stickers will be mailed
shortly. If you didn't recieve an e-mail,
then you weren't one of the first five.
Sorry. Hopefully I'll get a merchandise
section up soon, so there will be X&O
related items in the future.
I recieved this e-mail from Kathleen
[last name omitted by request] about the
Georgia flag post the other day:
I read with interest your views on
Sonny Perdue (May 10, 2003), and his
"selling out" on the issue of the
"even if they're racist rednecks
who actually voted for the chief executive
of their entire state because of a
goddamn swatch of cloth representing
the time when their forefathers committed
treason against the United States
The flag does seem to have the front
seat in this fight with Perdue. You've
got to remember, though, that it is
a symbol - a symbol of Southern Heritage,
to be sure, but more than that. It
also a symbol that people were ready
for a change in government to one
that actually represented what they
There WERE other things that needed
changing - first and foremost the
idea that what's good for Atlanta
is good for the entire state of Georgia.
The voters had begun to feel that
there were two Georgias - Atlanta
and the rest of the state. Sonny's
campaign gave us hope for a change.
The platform on which Barnes ran
stated "Governor Roy Barnes has worked
hard to bring about insurance reform
because he believes that health care
in Georgia must be both affordable
and accessible". Last year, my insurance
was "reformed" - premiums went up
approximately 8%, but I got a 3.5%
raise (This year premiums increased
20% and there was no cost of living
raise). The benefits themselves did
not increase, and in some cases are
less than before. Accessibility of
services in our area is another area
of great concern - a certificate of
need has been denied to a local hospital
to open a much needed Heart Center
- choices at present are Savannah,
Valdosta, Atlanta, or Jacksonville
(and now doctors in Jacksonville are
refusing to practice in those hospitals
because of the cost of malpractice
insurance in Florida). Again, Sonny
gave hope that he would listen to
the people and contain costs to offer
us some relief.
Barnes' education reforms also created
a nightmare in Georgia's classrooms.
Educators are leaving the field at
an alarming rate - so much so that
the state is having to rely on "band-aid"
measures to get people in the classrooms.
Educators have been made to feel that
they are solely to blame for showing
on the "state mandated exams". Paperwork
and overcrowded classrooms added to
So, yes, it was about the flag. But
it was also about the way our Governor
has made a mockery of his office by
NOT fairly representing the people
who truly felt they were making the
right decision by electing him. But
now, the mockery we felt when Barnes
was elected is back.
I am NOT a racist redneck - I'm a
female educator who risked looking
like a fool waving a flag to draw
attention to a candidate in which
I believed would again listen to the
people of Georgia and not be influenced
by a small part of the population.
I also conducted voter registration
drives, went door to door talking
to people, and contributed to the
Perdue campaign. I've been sold out
- and I'm not going to be silent about
To clarify both publicly and to Kathleen,
I did not mean to imply that she or every
individual person who likes that flag
was a racist redneck. However, to argue
that the flag can be believably used as
a symbol for anything other than what
it's commonly used for is a bit farfetched.
I have little compassion for the idea
of preserving the Confederate flag outside
of an artifact in a museum. Like the manji,
the multi-cultural symbol of strength
and harmony, has been destroyed by its
conversion into the swastika, the idea
that the Confederate flag will ever be
seen by about 90% of the country as anything
other than a symbol of people who want
to honor a way of life that revolved around
the practice of owning other human beings
is ludicrous. As I said in the earlier
post, this is the symbol of a time when
part of this country chose to secede from
it, then start a war that caused an actual
numerical percentage of the population
to die horribly over it. How people celebrate
this is beyond me. Jesus, at least the
families of some Nazis express remorse.
Meanwhile in our own country we've got
people selling bumper stickers reading
"had I known I would have picked my own
The idea to me of "Southern heritage"
is irrelevant. Every aspect of American
life can be considered part of our heritage;
Massachusets doesn't have a flag depicting
a burning witch. Calling somethng a "symbol
of heritage" doesn't mean it still isn't
a "symbol of a time when lots of people
did horrible things to other people."
Slavery itself was a major factor in the
Southern way of life, and after the civil
war so was deliberate racial discrimination
and disapproval of Civil Rights... the
protest of which was so great in Georgia
that the state... oh, that's right- decided
in 1955 to start flying the Confederate
battle flag everywhere. If heritage is
to be remembered, it must equally be remembered
that the flag was not placed atop the
capitol as a celebration of Confederate
veterans- it was placed as a protest against
laws allowing black people to use whatever
water fountain they wanted.
The symbolism of the Confederate flag
is permanent because of the media perception.
It's the same media perception that made
the national level of Perdue's campaign
solely that of the flag. I understand
and respect Katherine's opinions on the
policy initatives of the candidate she
voted for. But outside of her state they
weren't an issue. "Southern Heritage"
and "state's issue" was. Perdue garnered
national support by taking one local issue
to a national level, and sparking the
public debate to get not-so-local support
into his local campaign. On the national
level, the flag was NOT being used as
a symbol for change in government.
I sympathize with Kathleen on the flag
symbol issue... I've said in previous
posts about how I hate how the American
flag has been co-opted by the pro-war
side and that the only way it can be changed
is by the anti-war side adopting it. Unfortunately
for Kathleen, I don't think throngs of
civil rights activists are going to start
waving Confederate battle flags. Symbols
are symbols, and the Confederate flag
is eternally a symbol primarily for something
seen beyond the local level as horrific;
for Perdue to use a symbol as such is
to both imply and attract those that support
the most common inference of that symbol.
I printed Kathleen's e-mail to emphasize
that this isn't just a one-sided attack
on Georgia as a whole, and as Kathleen's
eloquence shows, it's not a state of stupid
people. But equally I have to clarify
that I'm not going to take the side of
the Confederate flag, even for the fraction
of people who feel it represents more
than racism. On the national scale, it
simply doesn't, and never will. I know
nothing of Georgia insurance policy, but
I know that most of this country cares
only to see a certain part of "Southern
heritage" in a museum and not flying above
state buildings. Wanting change is part
of American politics, but I don't think
anyone outside of Georgia is going to
believe using the flag was a symbol for
change in government... especially when
it's so strong a symbol of reverting to
sins of the past.
Saturday, May 10, 2003
This post literally applies to one
specific person and I'm doing it for a
friend so if you're not one of those two
don't bother writing to ask me what the
hell I'm talking about
Christine (or Kristine, not sure how
you spell it)- I talked to Lenny today
but he doesn't have your number either.
E-Mail me and
mention some sort of proof it's really
you (like where we were talking yesterday)
and I'll give you his phone number.
Things are still hectic with this being
my last weekend at NYU and an arseload
of packing to do, but I got a lengthy
e-mail that the writer obviously put great
concern into that I would feel bad not
acknowledging. From Dan Powers:
I am a graduating senior at Boston
University, just finished watching
a frontline episode with my (avowedly
about the WorldCom scandal. And it
just struck me as to the level of
disillusionment and resentment over
this and the other scandals of the
late 1990s. After it was done we just
yelled at each other about the level
to which our individual families were
left out to dry by the rampant insider
trading of the area. We swapped stories
of our childhood (and being the same
grade as us I am sure you had a similar
memory of your youth) whereby we both
would watch the nightly news with
our parents in Junior High and Highschool,
see Dan Rather discuss major layoffs...and
the inevitable boost in stocks that
would occur in response. So we would
both tell our parents that we hoped
the stocks would crash because that
would be the only way people would
get their jobs back. Simplistic, yes,
but the point is, so many people were
fleeced, so many levels of our society
were pillaged by this era and yet
there is no public outrage. I just
don't understand why. Before today's
report about Bernie Ebbers got the
anger out of my roommate Steve, the
only time I had ever discussed anything
of the sort was with my coworker Pete,
a 35 year old Black Teamster working
for the Mass Pike, who once pulled
me aside to, basically, discuss the
issue to me in private due to the
overt racism present working there.
This is rambling I know, and there
is no real way to respond, but I am
just baffled by the fact that so many
of us have been duped, argue about
useless tidbits of news, and yet the
huge issues that dominate our lives,
and that we worry about most on a
daily basis, are just ignored. As
though we have been outraged for so
long, and cynical for so long, that
a crime isn't a crime anymore. I couldn't
help but feel the rage boil in my
while I watched the Attorney General
of New York pardon Bernie Ebbers and
Jack Grubman while millions of Americans
are worse off directly because of
their actions (personally my families
losses came more heavily from Lucent,
but Worldcom was present in our portfolios).
I just want people to bond together
about this robbery of an entire generation.
While I'm here seperating the wheat from...
the other thing that isn't wheat, Jim from
Oregon sends me this
by Greg Palast about the Florida
voting rolls; it's a good read.
On a final note, I said it before, but
thanks again to everyone's recommendations
of site hosts for me. Hopefully next week
I can take advantage of the abundance
of free time that shall be cast upon me
to see if I can do something with all
Friday, May 09, 2003
Oh look, he's a goddamned liar pt.
Backing away from a promise to allow
voters the chance to resurrect a flag
linked to slavery and segregation,
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday
a compromise banner for the southern
'We as a state must heal the wounds,
unite and move forward,' Perdue, a
Republican, said shortly before signing
a bill to replace a non-descript blue
flag adopted in 2001 with one resembling
a banner that flew in the state prior
Perdue, the first Republican to govern
Georgia since the 19th century, defeated
former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat,
last year partly due to a backlash
by white voters who were angry that
he removed the 1956 flag without their
No. You see, that's wrong. Pedue did
run run his campaign partly on a platform
of allowing white Georgians to vote to
have their flag back. He ran his campaign
solely on a platform of allowing
white Georgians to vote to have their
I'm an equal opportunity angry person
when it comes to Right-Wing hypocrisy,
so I'm not going to ignore when a lying
sack of crap sells out his own people,
even if they're racist rednecks who actually
voted for the chief executive of their
entire state because of a goddamn swatch
of cloth representing the time when their
forefathers committed treason against
the United States of America. Perdue doesn't
want that pesky little complete boycott
of his state that he seemd to declare
insignificant when using it as an excuse
to defeat his opponent. I'm all for getting
rid of the Confederate flag, but it looks
like it cost the career of a Democratic
governor for no reason outside of his
successor being a conniving back-pedalling
What, was it that stupid e-mail scam
Oil services giant Halliburton, already
under fire over accusations that its
White house ties helped win a major
Iraqi oil contract, has admitted that
a subsidiary paid a multi-million
dollar bribe to a Nigerian tax official.
Halliburton, once run by Vice President
Richard Cheney, revealed the illicit
payments, worth 2.4 million dollars,
in a filing Thursday with the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC).
"The payments were made to obtain
favorable tax treatment and clearly
violated our code of business conduct
and our internal control procedures,"
Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown
and Root (KBR), which paid the bribe,
has been in the political spotlight
since it was awarded a no-bid US government
oil contract in Iraq in March.
KBR is building a liquefied natural
gas plant and an offshore oil and
gas terminal in Nigeria.
Halliburton told the SEC the bribe
was discovered during an audit of
KBR's Nigerian office.
Translated: we got caught, and we're
really, really sorry about it. Getting
caught, that is. Full article here.
Oh look, he's a goddamned liar
The Bush administration has quietly
altered regulations for the nation's
leading job training program to allow
faith-based organizations to use ''sacred
literature,'' such as Bibles, in their
federally funded programs. Civil
liberties activists say the new rules
blur the line between religion and
In a separate action, the House is
expected today to approve a change
allowing private groups that run
job training programs to discriminate
on the basis of religion when
they hire people to run them. That
change, part of legislation to renew
the overall program, would lift a
ban that has existed in federal law
for two decades.
I'm sure that this will apply equally
to all religions, of course. I mean there's
no reason to believe George Bush would
only want this action in place to allow
loads and loads of Christian groups to
recieve federal funding now, wouldn't
it? Obviously his core consituency would
have no problem whatsoever with
having groups in the program that won't
allow anyone but Muslims to join.
Let's keep in mind as well that forbidding
sponsored groups from openly pushing their
religion and discriminating on basis of
religious beliefs were two things Bush
promised would be enforced with his Faith-Based
Initiative plan. Mr. Bush has now lied
his ass off. Of course, I'm much more
interested in the concept that the Republican
Party has actually, for the first time
in 20 years, passed a bill that endorses
bigotry. Seems to me like something politicians
could make a point out of if, you know,
they had balls.
Thursday, May 08, 2003
This is completely insane
U.S. District Judge Harold Baer concluded
in a decision issued Wednesday
that lawyers for the families of two
Sept. 11 victims "have shown, albeit
barely ... that Iraq provided material
support to bin Laden and al-Qaida"
before the attacks.
The decision outlines nearly $104
million in damages, and names the
former Iraqi government, former Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein, bin Laden,
al-Qaida, the Taliban and the former
Afghanistan government as liable.
James Beasley, a Philadelphia lawyer
who brought the case, called the ruling
"a significant victory" because it
represented the first time a judge
linked al-Qaida and Iraq in the attacks.
He said it was unclear how much in
frozen Iraqi and al-Qaida assets could
be available to satisfy the judgment.
To help pay for Iraq's revival, the
Bush administration has started to
use roughly $1.7 billion in Iraqi
funds frozen in 1990.
The judge wrote that lawyers relied
heavily on "classically hearsay" evidence,
including reports that a Sept. 11
hijacker met an Iraqi consul to Prague,
Secretary of State Colin Powell's
remarks to the United Nations about
connections between Iraq and terrorism,
and defectors' descriptions of the
use of an Iraq camp to train terrorists.
Baer said the opinions of the lawyers'
experts were sufficient to show that
Iraq collaborated in or supported
bin Laden's terrorist acts on Sept.
The judge noted that the experts
provided few hard facts, but noted
that the experts provided a sufficient
basis for a jury to conclude that
Iraq provided material support to
Some of you may have had blood shoot
out your nose reading that thus making
it difficult to get through. Allow me
Despite the fact that, at least according
to any public information (you know, that
which could be used for legal basis,)
the United States government has found
no credible, tangible link between Saddam
Hussein's Iraq and the September 11th
attacks, a judge has decided, all on his
own, that despite saying himself
there were "no hard facts," that Iraq
had a hand in 9/11, and therefore the
victims' families should be awarded damages.
This was done with "testimonies" that
have been proven to be incorrect, and
logic that rivals that of Ari Fleischer's
"just because there's no evidence doesn't
mean it's not true." All this from the
administration that wants to crack down
on frivilous lawsuits and obscene monetary
Make no mistake about it- this was done
with no concern for the families of Sept.
11th victims, most of whom have well been
taken care of financially... this is a
ruling that was made to allow the Bush
administration to say "look, Iraq had
links to Al-Qaeda... a judge said so!
Jesus! Who told you to think for yourself?"
I seem to recall our president making
a speech a few months ago about how the
wealth of Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people.
I guess he made a mistake- the wealth
of Iraq apparently belongs to the families
of people murdered by Saudi Arabians based
Decide this, bitch
See, in the United States, we threw the
Fairness Doctrine out the window... in
Britain, however, the BBC still has "rules
of impartiality" for their news networks,
something which failing to adhere to brought
about an investigation of Fox News.
In other words, Fox
News might be banned from the United Kingdom
because of unfair bias. It's rare,
but the sun appears to be shining in England.
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Golly, let's hope Newsmax isn't lying
its ass off this time
Though Christian voters played a
pivotal role in electing Bush in his
razor-thin victory over Al Gore, NewsMax
has learned that major figures in
the evangelical movement are talking
about withholding support from the
The issue came recently to the fore
because of comments made by Ken Connor,
president of the Family Research Council,
a Washington-based public advocacy
organization founded by Dr. James
Dobson and affiliated with Dobson's
Focus on the Family.
Conservative religious activists
cite the latest insult: the Republican
Party's failure to rally behind Sen.
Rick Santorum, whose comments about
the upcoming Supreme Court case on
consensual homosexual acts triggered
a national firestorm.
Along with other leaders of the politically
powerful pro-family movement, Connors
was appalled at the "muted defense"
of Santorum, R-Pa., who has been under
attack by the gay rights lobby and
its liberal allies in the media and
the Democrat party. That failure,
Connors said ominously, raises the
question whether the GOP is the best
vehicle for resisting the Democrats'
radical political agenda.
Dobson chastised the Republicans
for getting too cozy with the gay
lobby. He complained that Racicot
met secretly with the homosexual group
Human Rights Campaign but failed to
disagree with it on the major issues.
Connors said that Racicot didn't utter
one word in defense of marriage and
failed to make the case that the Republican
platform makes - that marriage should
be limited to one man and one woman
- he simply went with the message
of so-called tolerance and inclusion.
Famed and influential activist Phyllis
Schlafly, who single-handedly took
down the Equal Rights Amendment in
the 1970s, told NewsMax.com she was
disturbed by the Republicans' failure
to rally around Santorum. She called
the administration's defense of the
Pennsylvania Republican "pretty limp"
and "most cowardly."
"There's no reason for Santorum to
apologize or back off. What he said
was almost word for word what Justice
Byron White said in his Supreme Court
opinion in the previous gay rights
case a number of years ago," Schlafly
"I think the party and the administration's
statements are pretty generally recognized
as weak-kneed and that they're not
backing up the constituency that elected
George Bush. I think they'll pay a
price for that."
Just checking that the constituency that
elected George Bush are religious fanatics
who want to make sure their representatives
never "fail to disagree" with "the homosexual
lobby." Oh, and as noted by Atrios
(where I found this story,) Schlafly's
son is gay. They must have fantastic
conversations at dinner.
Oh, well that's nice
At the press conference yesterday
announcing the settlement with the
major Wall Street banks, New York
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer compared
his work to that of President Theodore
Roosevelt, and the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission called the
deal "historic." But there are reasons
First, the fines, while large in
absolute terms, are tiny compared
to the big banks' revenue. Merrill
Lynch (nyse: MER - news - people ),
for instance, will pay $200 million.
But last year, the company reported
revenue of $28 billion (down from
$45 billion in 2000). That works out
to $112 million a day, not counting
weekends. So the total fine, only
half of which is a penalty, represents
1.8 days of Merrill's revenue. Since
the conduct Merrill and the others
are accused of took place over at
least four years, it's fair to say
that Merrill is paying less than a
day's pay for its transgression.
Full article here
Warning: Forbes.com has some kind of thing
that tries to install something on your
The return of &*%$!@
That does it, I'm getting new fucking
site host. Anyone know a company that
can do CGI, 5+ GB bandwidth, and 40+MB
storage for under a hundred a year?
Due to some error that happened way too
many times before for reasons I don't
know, my site host's server suddenly decided
I only had a 20 megabyte storage limit
for the entire site, thus forbidding Blogger
from uploading a new blog page, in this
case, the index file. Hence the site gone
boom. As of now, some of the older (1999-2000
era) comics have been removed to put the
site size down.
If it's any consolation, the previous
post below will explain how you really
didn't miss much during the outage.
Update: Thanks to all sending
suggestions; I'll try to check them out.
My two biggest problems with this site
are the host crashes and Blogger errors,
both which can be solved by getting a
new host that provides CGI so I can use
Movable Type. As always, the actually
getting around to doing something like
this is speculative.
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Almost over, almost over, almost over,
must... not... sleep... just... yet
Some may have noticed the sudden drop
in posting frequency; accept apologies
and tack it up to burnout. I'm actually
right now posting this waiting for what
could very well be the final render of
my Senior film to finish. I started this
thing in September, and after eight and
a half months, I'm literally hours away
from officially finishing my first film.
Granted, it's "only" a three-minute piece
of animation, but for those of you unaware
of the process, to make a three-minute
fully colored, fully animated cartoon
all by yourself requires nearly a year
of research, writing, storyboarding, and
hand-drawn animation- to be honest, it
actually has to be animated twice-
once for a pencil test and again with
everything inked and cleaned up to scan
each individual drawing into the computer,
color with PhotoShop, and layout in AfterEffects
for your film.
I'm really not trying to lay a sob story
on you all, though by now you'd see the
way I write about myself that's just unavoidable.
I'm really not in pain or massive stress
or in danger of anxiety attacks or anything
silly like that; I just honestly have
no time these final few days of school.
It's weird because that's the first time
I'm honest with that statement- it's not
one of those "oh, no time because I went
to the gym and have to do my laundry and
played Command & Conquer for three hours"
situations, it's one of those "I actually
woke up at 9:30 AM yesterday and sat at
my computer working on this thing until
4:30 AM the next morning" situations.
Finishing this stuff, especially with
the advantage I have of a studio letting
me work on it there, is a major accomplishment.
Over the last eight months I've gained
a lot of insight into animation, the industry,
and the process in general. Over the last
eight days I've gained about five
pounds, because when you're awake at 3
in the morning for an entire week the
only thing serving food at that hour is
Gray's Papaya and the snack machine. Come
Monday I have to become a salad-based
life form. I'm writing the suicide note
as we speak.
But, on the plus side, I'm technically
an accomplished filmmaker. Also, come
two weeks from now, the current job market
indicates I'll have plenty of time
to write on this site.
Update: To answer the possible
incoming question, unfortunately no, I
don't think the film's going to be online
any time soon. Though I'm hardly near
the levels of, you know, successful cartoonists,
this site gets enough visitors in which
a modest percentage of them linking to
a video file hosted on xoverboard.com
would destroy all my bandwidth within
a day or so. The film is over 600 MB when
rendered in best quality at full resolution;
to make it a size capable of handling
all who would want to see it online would
require making a really, really crappy
version of it.
I will, however, be submitting this thing
to festivals, and with the upcoming site
revamp I'll make sure to have a section
listing any and all opportunities you'll
have to see any of my work, the film included.
Monday, May 05, 2003
It's time for one of those horrible damned-either-way
side am I on? Aaaaaaaaaaaahgh!
(Thanks to Jesse Busen)
From the "Primary 2004: The Fight
to Not Let Joe Lieberman be the Democratic
Presidential Nominee For the Love of God
and All that is Holy" desk: not much
to say really, as 90 minutes minus commercial
time left little room for any one of nine
people to stand out among the rest. No
candidate really looks more electable
now, and the same group of "not a chance
in hell"-ers remain. My only few notes
about the debate are as follows:
- John Kerry has officially begun the
Kennedy analogies. And he's not very
subtle about them.
- Howard Dean's current disadvantage
is the apparent inability to wipe that
half-open-mouthed shiteating grin off
of his face. I love the guy and most
of his politics, but good god he's got
a face you just want to smack around
for a bit.
- John Kerry continues to have a funny-shaped
- I continue to have absolutely no idea
who John Edwards is. This could be somewhat
of a problem for him in the primaries.
- I'd like radio stations across the
country to make sound clips of Joe Lieberman
saying "I'd like to come over there
and strangle you." I know it was a joke,
but Jesus Christ, was anyone else completely
freaked out by that?
- There is not a chance on earth Al
Sharpton will become president. That
said, I think he would be the greatest
Press Secretary in American history.
Saturday, May 03, 2003
What if, eh?
Ted Rall reminds us all that he's
brilliant. Go enjoy the hypothetical
Friday, May 02, 2003
Just a reminder
The first debate between all the major
Democratic candidates for president in
2004 will be tomorrow night. When, I'm
not 100% sure, because, you know, it's
not like the future of our country would
merit anyone telling you what TIME the
event was being televised and all that.
Just watch C-SPAN all day tomorrow. Odds
are the debate will come on some time.
Personally, I have it on all day anyway,
as C-SPAN is, of course, the most action-packed
television station on earth, with the
possible exception of the Weather Channel.
Well. That's friggin' ridiculous.
A modest mailbag
I've had a few e-mails sitting around
I never responded to; they've got some
good links and sending you to them saves
me some time. This is my last weekend
to do work before final projects are due,
so there's a high chance you all won't
see much of me around here this weekend.
Thad Boyd alerts us to Hilary Rosen and
the RIAA, who have taken charge of writing
copyright laws... for
As for the more tangible (and more profitable)
aspects of Iraq's rebuilding, Roger Thoman's
got that covered here.
Jape's apparently sending me links
to porn. (Okay, not really.)
And, if you haven't seen it already,
Lisa's got the link to the Daily
Show video archive, including (for
now) the "Bush vs. Bush" debate, which
should be a required viewing for all history
students for the next thousand years or
Thursday, May 01, 2003
Too bad the Twin Towers weren't Democrat
Tinfoil hat time, via
Even as White House political aides
plot a 2004 campaign plan designed
to capitalize on the emotions and
issues raised by the September 11
terror attacks, administration officials
are waging a behind-the-scenes battle
to restrict public disclosure of key
events relating to the attacks.
The report was completed last December;
only a bare-bones list of "findings"
with virtually no details was made
public. But nearly six months later,
a "working group" of Bush administration
intelligence officials assigned to
review the document has taken a hard
line against further public disclosure.
By refusing to declassify many of
its most significant conclusions,
the administration has essentially
thwarted congressional plans to release
the report by the end of this month,
congressional and administration sources
tell NEWSWEEK. In some cases, these
sources say, the administration has
even sought to "reclassify" some material
that was already discussed in public
testimony- a move one Senate staffer
described as "ludicrous."
[...]Entire portions remained classified.
Some of the report-including some
dealing with matters that had been
extensively aired in public, such
as the now famous FBI "Phoenix memo"
of July 2001 reporting that Middle
Eastern nationals might be enrolling
in U.S. flight schools-were "reclassified."
Hill has since submitted proposed
changes to the working group, pointing
out the illogic of trying to pull
back material that was already in
the public domain. But officials have
indicated the "review" process is
likely to drag on for months- with
no guarantees that the "working group"
will be any more amenable to public
I think the first paragraph states my
general outrage here. Only a few years
ago the Republican powers-in-charge made
their case to the media that every single
thing Bill Clinton and his staff had done
was necessary to be revealed to the American
people. Now, a president who has since
day one of his administration made every
attempt to block as much public information
as possible about his father, his vice-president,
and himself- is heading a party that want
to let quite possibly some of the most
significant public information in American
history be buried.
The way the Right is handling North Korea
is a sign of the ridiculous hypocrisy
of this. Not a week goes by that you don't
hear the "reminders" that all the technology
and nuclear capability we allowed North
Korea came from and was approved by the
Clinton administration. That in mind,
how could you argue that a Democratic
White House wouldn't be facing the most
insane onslaught of demand from the Republicans
about every single thing the president
"did wrong" to allow September 11th? Had
it been September 11th, 1997 instead of
September 11th, 2001, Bill Clinton would
have had a murder charge at his impeachment,
and any of the media lunatics on the Right
would be lying to say they wouldn't be
peddling that level of spite.
Regardless of who's in charge, there
is no doubt that September 11th was party
due to an overwhelming timeline of outright
fuckups in the United States government.
Some under Clinton, some under Bush, hell-
some under Reagan. It's not like this
event occured magically one morning when
a few guys got together in a bar in Saudi
Arabia and one of them asked "hey, what
do you guys wanna do today?" The reason
this hypocrisy is so apparent right now,
however, is from the very climate Bush
created: an Jingoistic fervor of "what's
wrong with destroying all forms of liberty?
REAL AMERICANS have nothing to hide."
So why isn't George Bush being a real
The threat to Haliburton has ended
Bush is apparently going
to ceremoniously announce today that
"the threat to America has ended" with
our victory in Iraq.
You heard me.
Because, you know, we've managed to capture
the mastermind of the September 11th attacks,
we've discovered and eliminated all rogue
Weapons of Mass Destruction on the planet,
we've created a viable Palestinian state
with a refurbished infrastructure, the
people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia,
Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, and Iran all live
in a harmonious democratic government,
and North Korea has destroyed all of its
Additionally, be sure to note when Bush
announces that, with the removal of the
threat to America, that the USA PATRIOT
Act is now null and void and thus abolished,
the need for military force has now ended
and Bush no longer has blanket authority
to wage pre-emptive war anywhere, and
the several hundred people stored in wire-mesh
cages in Cuba will now be either released
or put before a fair trial for their accused
You know, I really, really hate having
to succumb to the simplicity of the "it's
all about oil" rhetoric, but with that
laundry list of things left out in the
open and unresolved, how can you listen
to Bush announce that this is all over
and not consider for the slightest
bit that the oil seems to be the only
thing secured and protected?
Will Donald duck this one?
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
rarely keeps his opinions to himself.
He tends not to compromise with his
enemies. And he clearly disdains the
communist regime in North Korea. So
it's surprising that there is no clear
public record of his views on the
controversial 1994 deal in which the
U.S. agreed to provide North Korea
with two light-water nuclear reactors
in exchange for Pyongyang ending its
nuclear weapons program. What's even
more surprising about Rumsfeld's silence
is that he sat on the board of
the company that won a $200 million
contract to provide the design and
key components for the reactors.
The company is Zurich-based engineering
giant ABB, which signed the contract
in early 2000, well before Rumsfeld
gave up his board seat and joined
the Bush administration. Rumsfeld,
the only American director on the
ABB board from 1990 to early 2001,
has never acknowledged that he knew
the company was competing for the
nuclear contract. Nor could FORTUNE
find any public reference to what
he thought about the project. In response
to questions about his role in the
reactor deal, the Defense Secretary's
spokeswoman Victoria Clarke told Newsweek
in February that "there was no vote
on this" and that her boss "does not
recall it being brought before the
board at any time."
Rumsfeld declined requests by FORTUNE
to elaborate on his role. But ABB
spokesman Bjoern Edlund has told FORTUNE
that "board members were informed
about this project." And other
ABB officials say there is no way
such a large and high-stakes project,
involving complex questions of liability,
would not have come to the attention
of the board. "A written summary
would probably have gone to the board
before the deal was signed," says
Robert Newman, a former president
of ABB's U.S. nuclear division who
spearheaded the project. "I'm sure
they were aware."
The full article is here.
Keep in mind, to reference The Insider,
that this comes from Fortune- not exactly
a bastion of anti-capitalist sentiment.
What I find most humorous about this is
that these are light-water reactors that
many say can't be used to produce nuclear
weapons- so is Rumsfeld going to come
out and say that, this implying North
Korea doesn't have as much nuclear capability
as we'd like to shape them as having,
or you think this entire story will just
get buried? Gosh, I wonder.
Well, of course we did, pt.
The United States has recently announced
that it is removing U.S. forces from Saudi
bases. As many may have forgotten, this
action was one of the goals sought by
Osama bin Laden in his terrorist plots.
In other words, as a result of the military
action we started as a sign to terrorists
that their way will never work, Osama's
way has, in fact, worked.
Look, I can't get hypocritical here and
act like I'm not glad Americans are no
longer being positioned dangerously in
defense of a monarchial quasi-dictatorship,
but Jesus. Is anyone out there
compiling a list of the sheer number of
things Bush and his administration have
now done almost the exact opposite of
what he said was planned prior to six
months ago? Can that list include how
many of those occured in the last two
(story via Cursor,
by the way.)
Seriously, just go read Atrios for now.
and go through the next two posts as well.
I think there's sufficient outrage within,
to which I can only say "ditto" at the