My DD214

Veterans should be a thing of the past.

Stating the obvious

The other day at work (I work at a very nice Italian restaraunt in a very large mall) my GM, whom I have very high regard for, said "Will, you're a walking paradox: you are all about peace and love yet your favorite movie is "A History of Violence", you are a vegetarian yet your favorite dish at (the restaraunt) is the Gorgonzola Beef Filet Medallions and you hate the government yet you were a Marine for five years." I think that for the former two instances he raises a good point. But the latter should be fairly obvious.

I hate the government, not because I want to fit in with the Minneapolis Uptown scene, but because it was the government's decision to send me and an ARMY of others to invade a small country and kill the shit out of them. Based on what? Well, they're still trying to figure that out. The guys at 1115.Org have insightful conversations about that phenomenon every day and STILL, an agreement cannot be reached as to why we decided to go to Iraq. I think it is also fairly obvious that the government has lied to me. They promised me, as a U.S. Marine, that there would be WMD's found on Iraqi soil. It is a lie because they couldn't hold up on the promise. If I promise Fernando I'll give back his flip-flops and fail to give them back – I lied. It's really quite simple. 

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30 May, 2006 5:22 PM Posted by | Just a thought.. | 7 Comments

How much ya bench, Pat?

Pat Robertson continues to be the funniest thing that this country has produced since Jerry Lewis. Now Pat claims that he can leg press 2000 pounds. (via)

The Web posting [on the Christian Broadcasting Network website] said two men loaded the leg-press machine with 2,000 pounds "and then let it down on Mr. Robertson, who pushed it up one rep and let it go back down again." The Web site said several people witnessed the event, and shows video of Robertson leg-pressing what appears to be 1,000 pounds.

Clay Travis of CBS SportsLine.com called the 2,000-pound assertion impossible in a column this week, writing that the leg-press record for football players at Florida State University is 665 pounds less.

And yes, France, you can have him now.

 UPDATE: Here's the video.

29 May, 2006 7:16 PM Posted by | Pat Robertson Watch | 1 Comment

Jello Biafra.

I've been listening to some spoken word CDs of Jello Biafra. This guy is ridiculously amazing. It seems that this former lead singer of the Dead Kennedy's has a small following, a brain to keep them stimulated and a ton of insightful shit to say. You guys should definitely check some of his stuff out.

Vote Nader! 

28 May, 2006 3:37 PM Posted by | Just a thought.. | Leave a comment

Followup: VA responds to theft of vets’ personal info

A notice on the front page of the Veterans' Administration website (www.va.gov) addresses the recent possible identity theft previously discussed here. The VA will be individually contacting vets who may have been affected, but if you aren't willing to wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to start turning you can call 1-800-FED INFO (333-4636) from 8am to 9pm EDT, Monday through Saturday.

The full text of the statement is inside.

Continue reading

25 May, 2006 12:22 PM Posted by | News, Veterans' affairs | 2 Comments

Assorted links and musings for 25 May 2006

Some of these links are old ones that I had meant to post many moons ago but slipped through the cracks for one reason or another.

25 May, 2006 12:07 PM Posted by | Just a thought.., Linkage | Leave a comment

Now we can all be Will Charlton

The VA has reported that a massive theft of veterans' personal information has occured. From the New York Times story:

Personal electronic data on up to 26.5 million military veterans, including their Social Security numbers and birth dates, was stolen from the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee who had taken the information without authorization, the agency said today.

The department said there was no evidence that any data had been used illegally, and that whoever stole it during a burglary of the employee's home might be unaware of the nature of the information or how to use it. The stolen data does not include any health records or financial information, the agency said.

If they were unaware of the nature of the information before, they sure won't be now.

22 May, 2006 5:47 PM Posted by | News, Veterans' affairs | 5 Comments

Assorted links for 21 May 2006

21 May, 2006 4:00 PM Posted by | Linkage | 3 Comments

DaVinci Code decyphered: It’s crap

As I have predicted (not that it was a particularly difficult prediction to make), The DaVinci Code is apparently a steaming pile of dung. The final big warning sign on this one was the lack of advanced screenings for critics, but now that the reviewers have had their chance the reviews are almost uniformly scathing.

If you know me at all, then you realize that this is good news. I revel in reading reviews of bad movies. And while there's a great selection over at Rotten Tomatoes, take my advice and read Devin Faraci's take over at CHUD. It is bar none the finest bad movie review I've ever read. Allow me to provide you with some highlights.

The Da Vinci Code is a terrible movie. It’s a movie that’s too stupid to appreciate it’s own stupid origins, and so it takes itself completely seriously. The stupider things get, the more seriously the movie takes itself, and the more seriously it takes itself, the funnier it is. The movie isn’t content with its own stupidity – it actively assumes that the audience is operating on a simian mental level (although considering how bad the writing in Brown’s original novel is, maybe the movie is overestimating the fanbase)...

Meanwhile, Jean Reno shows up as French law dictates that he must appear in any Hollywood movie shot in that country. Other great actors appear and shame themselves and their families for generations to come.

It's a shame that the movie sounds so tedious, because I would have enjoyed going to see a movie that was terrible in a Battlefield: Earth style. There's something so decadent about going to see an exceptionally bad film whose budget could have eradicated polio from Africa.

18 May, 2006 12:18 PM Posted by | Movies | 5 Comments

Your mom designed your logo

Today's Achewood is exceptionally funny (a nice change of pace from its last crap storyline).

17 May, 2006 5:17 PM Posted by | Just a thought.. | Leave a comment

A little nail for the 9/11 Pentagon conspiracy theory coffin

A public interest group called Judicial Watch petitioned the US Justice Department to release the only known "videos" of the attack on the Pentagon on September 11th. Judicial Watch hopes that the release of this video will put the conspiracy theories regarding to the Pentagon attack to rest, but sadly, I'm not convinced that it will.

The "video" is in fact a collection of sequential still shots from a Pentagon security camera; tinfoil hatters will simply claim that the video was doctored. And in fact, it would not be tremendously difficult, given the strobe-light effect that the video gives to the events. In both videos, the aircraft appears in exactly one frame (at 1:26 in the first, and at 0:24 in the second) which is followed by the fireball caused by the crash. Even in the one frame where it appears, the airliner doesn't particularly resemble a passenger jet as much as it looks like a prop in a poorly thought out Coors Lite commercial.

The moment in video 2 where the aircraft is visible The moment in video 1 where the aircraft is visible

(fancy red boxes indicating position of Flight 77 by yours truly)

I admire Judicial Watch for their efforts, and I can imagine that they're somewhat disappointed that the videos obtained for the public through their hard work are so equivocal. Occam's Razor and some blurry, low-res time elapse photos are not going to sway those who really believe that there's more to the story.

Related links:

The videos, hosted by Judicial Watch

BBC coverage

An excellent rundown of 9/11 conspiracies in New York Magazine

17 May, 2006 12:49 AM Posted by | Just a thought.., News | Leave a comment