A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "No Soap Radio!" They both jump in the water.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm alive, and will update soon.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bush approval rating at new low

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's job approval rating has hit a new low, with 29 percent of the U.S. public saying he is doing an "excellent or pretty good job," down from 35 percent in April, according to a Harris Interactive poll in The Wall Street Journal Online.

The poll of 1,003 U.S. adults said 71 percent of Americans said Bush was doing an "only fair or poor job," up from 63 percent in April. It said the survey was conducted May 5-8 and had a 3 percent margin of error.

When I was a kid, I had a computer game called "Shadow President." You got to be President, and you could do anything from controlling trade to launching nuclear attacks. A high approval rating was how you won the game, a low one lost it.

In the game, when you got down into the 20s you either got impeached or assassinated.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I need a name

Last week I signed the paperwork that officially makes me an employee of Go Triad. I'm going to be writing a bi-weekly column about cheap food in Greensboro (greasy hamburgers, sketchy takeout places, things a single college student eats without a second thought). The first one prints June 1. Free lance work, experience with a professional weekly, and excellent writing clips. The only problem?

My column needs a name.

Suggestions? It needs to be short, and has to convey the idea that the column is about cheap food. Complicated I know, but I'm out of ideas. Your turn.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Deaf president not deaf enough

AP - The newly chosen president of Gallaudet University, the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf, faced student protests and a possible faculty no-confidence vote Monday in a dispute that she said comes down to whether she is "deaf enough" for the job.

Jane K. Fernandes, who was selected by the board of trustees last week and is scheduled to take office next January, was born deaf but grew up speaking and did not learn American Sign Language until she was 23. Sign language is the preferred way of communicating at 1,900-student Gallaudet.

While exams are over for the students, about 100 people were camped out at a tent city in a weeklong protest outside the gates. And the faculty called a meeting for Monday afternoon to consider a no-confidence vote against Fernandes.

"She does not represent truly our deaf community," said professor E. Lynn Jacobowitz.

Jeff Lewis, a university counselor who planned to support the no-confidence vote, said: "Gallaudet is a unique institution. It is the face of deaf America, and some people feel she does not fit in with that profile."
Full story

Everyone get out a pen and write this down.

1) You absolutely can't discriminate against a deaf person -- unless you are deaf.
2) It's not discrimination if you don't want it to be.
3) Minority groups that fight for their civil rights can turn around and revoke the same rights from their own members.
4) This all makes perfect sense.

Can you hear me now?

Dear UNCG: Please charge me with something

ABC - Wake County school officials have suspended a boy for having sex during school hours.

It violated school rules, and officials say those rules apply no matter where you are during school hours.

But the Biggar's family is filing a lawsuit against the school system, saying his suspension for the rest of the school year is unconstitutional. He says he had no notice that private, consensual, off-campus sexual activity could subject him to school suspension.

There's a steady stream of college students being charged with violating school rules while off campus, but this is the first high school case I've heard of. Naturally it's from the Old North State.

I honestly look forward to a day when UNCG charges me with breaking a school rule while off campus. It's not as if I'm shy about my underage drinking; I'm sure someone in the administration reads The Carolinian.

First I'll call a personal lawyer, since there would certainly be some sort of complications with my job as a CA. I've heard these guys are good, but I'd shop around.

Then I'm calling the ACLU. They'd love to get a model case like that, especially one from the UNC system.

Then I'm calling every single newspaper and television station in North Carolina. I would call them first, but them knowing that I'm fighting the case tooth and nail makes for a better story.

Finally, I'm calling whoever pressed the charges with the names of my lawyers and every reporter who said they'd be interested in the story. Just in case they need the contact info.

atheism is not a religion

News & Record Letter to the Editor - No belief is faith, too

In regard to the person saying atheism should not be considered a religion (May 3), I must disagree. Religion is faith, and faith has been defined as "confident belief in the truth, value or trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing" (dictionary.com).

This taken into consideration, is not the belief in nothing a form of faith? After all, no one can prove that G-d does or does not exist, so not believing in G-d (or in any other religious figure) requires just as much faith as in believing that G-d does, in fact, exist.

The choice to believe in what you wish to believe in is personal and must be made according to what you believe, and since no one can prove that your beliefs are either right or wrong, is not any belief an act of wholehearted faith?

Darren Lipman

Dear Darren Lipman,

You are a goddamn moron. I'll elaborate.

First, atheism is not a religion any more than being healthy is a disease. In fact, atheism in its simplest form is not even a belief; it's the lack of a belief. It's simply saying, "there is no evidence for a god, so I have no belief in one," not "I disbelieve in one."

There are, of course, atheists like me who take a step further and say that there is no god. Some refer specifically to the Judeo-Christian or Islamic god, some say it in general. (We're all atheists in regard to some god; none of you pray to Zeus.) It's hard to lump atheists together because, like the term theists, we really have no common characteristics other than that lack of a belief.

It also seems that your definition of faith is more than a bit off. You referenced dictionary.com, but only picked the most convenient definition to your point, which is also completely inaccurate for your use. What's the very next definition given by dictionary.com?

Faith - Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

The others:
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.

Faith in the way that you are referring to it is the meaning of "taking something on faith." You seem to be the kind of person that would say something like "every time you flip a light switch, you have faith that the light will come on." No. No. No. The light will either come on or it won't, I have no faith that the light works or doesn't. There's not even an opportunity for faith to come into play. If it comes on, it does. If it doesn't, it's broken and I have to fix it. There's no faith in that situation.

Likewise we don't have faith in math or science. I believe 2+2=4 because it has been demonstrated and proven to me countless times. I have participated in science experiments. I've seen the scientific method work. This is not faith.

Saying that you have to have faith to believe something is saying that it can't be believed in based on merit. It's acknowledging that you have no reason to believe what you do. It's saying you're wrong, but simultaneously saying you're right.

Atheism has nothing to do with faith. It rebukes faith. Faith is not acceptable thinking. If you don't have a reason to believe something, you shouldn't believe it. Echoing a Sam Harris example, if I tell you that I think the Holocaust is a myth, you are going to ask for my reasons. If I tell you I am bulletproof, you're going to ask for a demonstration. Yet anything to do with religion is somehow exempt from the test of reason.

The notion that "since no one can prove that your beliefs are either right or wrong, is not any belief an act of wholehearted faith?" is irrational. It's easy to prove that a person's beliefs have no merit or reason. If there is no reason to believe in something, that in and of itself is a reason not to believe in it.

New Maddox

A selection from Maddox's newest update:

First of all, the label "African American" is the dumbest, most persistently used phrase in our vernacular. Every time you call someone an "African American," you're making at least two assumptions about the person:

1. That the person is an American. For example, if you saw this guy walking along on a street, you would probably think:

...which is fine, except for one small detail: this man is British, which makes you a presumptuous cock.

2. That the person is African (because it's inconceivable that black people could come from Haiti, India, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Australia, or Jamaica). Nevermind that; BLACK PEOPLE ONLY COME FROM AFRICA.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Terrorist masterminds

Moussaoui to judge: "I was sort of hoping for the matyrdom thing, and I didn't know jail sucks, so I'm not guilty now. This is how it works, right?"

Judge to Moussaoui: "Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..." (catches breath) "hahahahahahaha....hahaha...haha....whooo boy. Good one."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Bush: "Want to be pen pals?"

Bush to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..." (catches breath) "hahahahahahaha....hahaha...haha....whooo boy. Good one. No, and I am still going to kill you."

eBay, you vile whore

eBay sucked me in again. She's a temptress. eBay is really nothing more than a giant yard sale with an entire Internet full of rednecks. I never buy anything, it's just quality entertainment. For example, after just a few clicks I came across this little gem.

Liven up any room or party with our fun, hip tile coasters, measuring 4.25” x 4.25” and 1/6-inch thick.

That's right, no balls, no glory, no watermarks with our Marine military coasters! For the badass metrosexual, coasters with their own testicles. Coasters you could use to kill a man, so long as you don't get any blood on the cream white carpet.

My favorite part: "Four felt pads protect your furniture from scratches. Dishwasher safe. Not for use with abrasive cups and mugs." Abrasive cups? Like the kind of cups that make you need to use a coaster in the first place?

What kind of person is drinking coffee out of a mug wrapped with barb wire? The kind of person that uses a "NO BALLS NO GLORY" coaster, that's who.

The Sacred Cows - DJ Shimmering Monkey - Gooney Goo Goo

What do people do in Jacksonville, the most boring place on Earth?


Keep watching for the Hungry Jack. And, as always, Josh is gay.

(No, that is not me in the video.)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Video from Titan probe now online

I'm iffy on whether NASA is worth the tax money we pump into it or not, but, when they're not busy burning millions of dollars in space because they forgot to convert English units into metric, they do some pretty amazing things.

Go watch the Titan probe land on a moon bigger than the planet Mercuy. I'm guessing it took them so long to release this to the public because they were busy airbrushing the aliens out of it.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Transgender MP fights toilet 'apartheid'

REUTERS - Among the most pressing orders of business for Europe's first "transgender" lawmaker may be fighting over which toilet to use in the Italian parliament.

Elected last month, Vladimir Luxuria said on Thursday she was opposed to toilet "apartheid" after a centre-right lawmaker suggested the creation of a special, third lavatory for all transgender politicians.

In Italy, and all of Europe, that means just Luxuria.

I have not the words.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Changes made to Safe Zone website

It seems that just two days after my column about UNCG's unconstitutional Safe Zone program, the offending part of the program has been removed from the website.

Now, instead of a list of religions and their stances on homosexuality they have a list of links to the religion's website or article from www.religioustolerance.org. Mostly the same religions from the original list are included in the links, but they did add Sikhs and Scientology.

I could gloat and take credit for the change, pointing out that the university was wrong and I was right and they admitted it, and I could do a little dance in my dorm room, but most of that goes without saying (I did dance a little). The real message of this is that a column, letter to the editor, article in a newspaper, or a letter to someone in charge will ALWAYS have more power than a protest or demonstration.

The power of a protest lies entirely in how much attention it brings to your cause. Cut out the middle man; go straight to the media. Holding signs and shouting chants is fun, but at the end of the day if you haven't caused any actual change then you haven't done a damn thing.

The pen beats the sword -- always.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE: Mormons are homophobic, and other advice from UNCG

UNCG hates Southern Baptists. Despises Muslims. Absolutely can't stand Mormons. Don't believe me? Check out UNCG's Safe Zone website (shs.dept.uncg.edu/programs/safezone). [Two days after the initial publication of this column, the part of the policy I reference, and most of the following quotes, were removed from the website]

Safe Zone is a program made up of "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning individuals supported by student, faculty, and staff allies" which teaches university staff and faculty how to "provide a safe, comfortable environment for anyone who seeks it." And it's a very necessary program. Any form of support for the LGBT community is desperately needed, as they're the minority most openly discriminated against in America today (just look at the suicide rates for gay youth).

Safe Zone programs are instituted by a number UNC schools. They're good programs run by well-meaning people. But, somewhere along the way, the person putting together UNCG's program lost their damn mind.

The problems with our Safe Zone program is that it - it being a program ran by a public university - condemns any religion as homophobic if they simply morally disagree with homosexuality. In fact, it says specifically that one of the causes of widespread homophobia in our culture today is "promotion of homophobia by our religious organizations."

Which religious organizations? They spell that out for you as well.

In 1987 the Southern Baptist Convention condemned homosexuality as a manifestation of a depraved nature and a perversion of divine standards. They also linked homosexuality to a general problem with moral decline in modern society.

Southern Baptists are homophobic.

The Muslem [sic] religion has a long tradition of severely proscribing homosexuality in theory.

"Muslems" are homophobic.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) has the most anti-gay policies of any religion widely practiced in the United States. The current stance of the Mormon Church is very strongly opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians. Mormons refer to homosexuals as being same-sex attracted.

Mormons are the kings of the homophobes.

Full column

The main problem I have with these inane and stupid policies that UNCG has is not that they are stupid and inane, which they are, but that UNCG does creates them under the guise of tolerance. "Watch us fight discrimination by discriminating!"

More than that, the past school year has shown the student body one clear fact: UNCG does not review its policies. By that I don't mean that University Counsel "Skip" Capone doesn't do his job and keep the administration informed of what they legally can and cannot do. I have every confidence that he does. The impression that I get is that Skip tells the administration that they can't do something, and the administration thanks him and asks him to go back to his office. It took how many months for UNCG to change its anti-discrimination policy after UNC-CH, a school that's right down the road from us, lost a court battle?

How many more illegal policies does the school have? How many more protests, letters and columns do there have to be? I'm just asking for reference; I've got plenty.

FAUX NEWS: Killian departs, Carolinian office implodes

Last Friday, an unexplained freak accident left the Carolinian office, located in the EUC building, in shambles. The event occurred on the same day as the UNCG Commencement ceremony, coincidentally at the exact same time that Joe Killian, long-time reporter and editor for the Carolinian, received his diploma.

Campus Police Chief Rollin Donelson commented after visiting the scene, "It looks like it imploded, exploded, and then everything that exploded fell down again. There's basically nothing left."

Donelson confirmed that police are investigating the idea that the accident had something to do with the reporter's graduation.

"It's just speculation at this point, but we're looking into it," said Donelson. "Actually, I asked Joe to look into it, and he should have an answer back to me by the end of the day."

Carolinian Executive Editor Chris Lowrance explained that through the years Killian became a part of the Carolinian, but not in the sentimental sense.

"It appears that, somehow, Joe Killian became a physical part of our operating procedure," explained Lowrance. "For example, Article 2 Section 4 says, 'If Joe Killian, or an appointed Joe Killian look-alike, is not present for a meeting, there is no meeting.' Article 7 is just the name 'Joe Killian' over and over."

Full column

My real worry for next year is that, with Joe and Melissa gone, who is going to piss everyone off? I mean, what's the point of having a newspaper if it isn't to annoy, incite, and anger?

Wait, we still have Brook. Whew.

Mustache tattoo

I plan to get a tattoo sometime this year -- which makes my dad even happier than me living with Leslie this summer -- but I'm still deciding on the design.

One idea I hadn't thought of: the mustache tattoo. It won't be my first, but I'm getting one.