Getting Caught Up

•June 25, 2007 • 2 Comments

Man, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here.  A  big move, a new job, and a new city to get used to makes a man…hard pressed for time to do much of anything else besides adjust.  Anyway, this is going to be a ‘catch-all’ post:

LightContrast: Hey, thanks for your comment (go read The Great Debate of Immigration).  I’m not exactly sure what to think about that bill.  To be honest, I’m not sure what the current state of it is.  On the one side, I think that fine is so high, that most immigrants won’t be able to pay it, forcing them to uproot families and move back to their home country.  On the other hand though, if they are hear “illegally” then that implies they have broken some laws, for which there are (and should be) repercussions.  Yes, America is the ‘Land of Opportunity’, but we’re not supposed to be operating under an open-door policy either.  The government’s main charge is to provide for and protect the people who elected said government.  In America, that means legal citizens of the United State.  We have no formal, legal or even moral (in my eyes) commitment to provide shelter, housing, health care, education or anything else the government provides to people who are not a legal part of our nation.  Now, if they want to become legal, by all means let them, but I find it highly disturbing that a group of foreign people can march into another nation and demand that the nation changes it’s laws and way of life to accommodate them.

The Great Debate of Immigration

•May 14, 2007 • 2 Comments

Initially, I was going to stay out of this.  I have my own views, which happen to be shared by a majority of people, I think, but this story broke in Texas, and I just had to say something about it:

For those of you who either haven’t heard or haven’t heard the whole story, a subdivision of Dallas, Texas called Farmer’s Branch has been given the OK to enforce laws that prohibit the renting of living properties to illegal and undocumented aliens.  This, as you can imagine, has touched off quite the debate, as the immigration issue is somewhat of a powder keg of an issue today.

Two Sides, Same Coin:
On the one side of this issue, you have those (like me) who support the law and would love to see something like this enacted on a national scale.  Yes, I know America is the land of opportunity, but to come here, you have to do it legally.  If we as Americans went to any other country on earth and demanded a change in laws to accommodate our lifestyle, language, and preferences, we’d all be rounded up, thrown in jail, and quite possibly never heard from again.  You don’t go into another country and tell them to change for you, you change for your new country.  It’s like telling Germany to change it’s national language to Swahili just because some African guy wants to live in Germany.  Sorry, Charlie, but it doesn’t work that way.  However, we now have educational programs aimed not at teaching English as a Second Languages (ESL) to Hispanic and other foreigners.  No, we must learn Spanish to accommodate our new neighbors to the south because we would never think of burdening them with learning English…

At the root of this problem from this perspective is not human rights like some claim it is.  It’s the rights and privileges I hold as a legal citizen of the USA against those who are not covered by our laws and constitution.  Now, I’m all for helping anyone who needs it, and trust me, I know most people south of the border are itching to make a move north.  However, doing it illegally only puts strain on the system that makes that American Dream a possibility.  There is more money going out than there is coming in due to illegal aliens drawing on health care, social services, and other social support when they do nothing to pay into those systems.  Now, Congress is seriously considering letting illegals apply for Social Security.  This, I say, is a travesty.  Social Security, along with what little health care benefits are available in this country are quickly diminishing with no end in sight.  Trust me, putting more straw on the  camel’s back is not the way to help it out.

On the Flip Side:
Now, on the other side of this coin, there is a real and dire need for these people to do something meaningful with their lives and the lives of those loved ones left behind.  Any cursory look at Mexico’s economic system (if it can be called a “system”), justice system, and general way of life is enough to make one cringe.  Just imagine living in it on a daily basis, and you can begin to understand why there is such a mad rush to get out.  However, along with the entrepreneurial, hard working citizens who are just out to make a decent living come the low-lifes, scourges of society who are looking to take advantage of a new market (and growing) for their illicit wares.  The only way to separate one from the other is to be able to control and check all who come in.  Is it a daunting task? Surely it is, but if we are really serious about securing this nation, we have to start with the gaping hole sitting just south of Texas.

The Real Culprits:
Obviously, there’s something…attractive about the United States that would cause someone to risk life, limb, and imprisonment to make a dangerous, desert-like crossing in the dead of night.  However, that something isn’t the chance to go to Disney World.  It’s the knowledge that out there, there exists someone, some company, who’s willing to pay an undocumented, illegal alien a few dollars less than minimum wage to do what amounts to slave labor.  The reasons for this are many, and are a topic for another entry, but suffice it to say that where the rubber meets the road, those coming across the border are looking mainly for those who are unscrupulous enough to pay them “under the table”.  And why not?  It’s tax free, almost always in cash form which requires no identification to spend, and everyone will accept a fist full of dollars in a heartbeat, often without regard to the legality of the situation.

The Real Victims:
This one is an obvious answer on one part, but not so on the other.  The obvious part is that the average, hard working American is the victim in all of this.  Minimum wage hasn’t been raised in the past ten years, and companies are wondering why no one wants to work 39 hours a week with no benefits for$6.50 an hour.  Couple that with the fact that the cost of living even at the poverty line averages out to making anywhere from $8.00 – $9.00 an hour in most places, and you start to see where the demand for cheep labor comes from.  However, there is another victim in all of this, and that’s the immigrants themselves.

Wait, what?

See, most of these immigrants who are in this sort of situation are here illegally, which forever brands them for one of two scenarios:

  1. They will forever be forced to work for next to nothing, often bouncing from one menial job to another, or
  2. They will eventually be rounded up by law enforcement, imprisoned, and deported back to their home country where they may or may not get a shot at legally entering the US.

Those who are lucky enough to escape law enforcement are then doomed to a never-ending cycle of low paying jobs, all for the hope that their children and grandchildren will have a better life, and it’s a noble cause, to be sure.  However, those growing numbers who are caught and deported, well, let’s just say the government doesn’t forgive and it rarely forgets.  If that name pops up again on a visa request, it’s almost sure to be denied due an illegal attempt to enter the country.  And if their children were with them at the time, then they are probably doomed, as well.

The Bottom Line:
Something has to give, for sure.  I’m all for measures like those implemented in Farmer’s Branch, TX.  Some are calling it racists.  I call it precautionary and necessary.  If we as a country take away the incentive to break immigration laws by making it nearly impossible to earn a living as an illegal immigrant, then people will be forced to take the legal rout, which will ensure they will become a legal part of the system, fully able to enjoy all it has to offer.  No one wins when immigrants enter the country illegally, not even the immigrants themselves.

a:\>ice9.exe

50 Mistakes Women Make While Having Sex

•May 8, 2007 • 1 Comment

I found this on Facebook.com and thought it worthy of re-posting.  A few things here:

  1. I didn’t write the list.  The young lady who started the facebook group wrote the list.
  2. Yes, it’s a bit crass, but it’s sex.  Since when is sex supposed to be all British and proper?
  3. Yes, there are jokes in this list.  See point number 2.

Ok, having said that.  Here are 50 mistakes women make while having sex:

  1. Assuming he can get a raging hard on when it suits you. Contrary to popular belief, men can’t just flip a switch and get it up because you decided to stop being a frigid bitch. Getting it hard is your job. I suggest you figure it out.
  2. Thinking that kissing needs to be this sweet romantic thing all the time. Sometimes pressing your lips against your partners mouth while you get off is the hot. It depends on the situation.
  3. Leaving him responsible for your orgasm. You know what gets you off. Tell him. If you don’t, it’s your own fault when he’s snoozing and you’re all wound up.
  4. Expecting him to cuddle. Men and women are wired differently. Sex makes most women want to talk and bond and all that shit. It makes men pass out. It’s a biological thing. Stop fighting it, and stop holding it over his head, it’s not his fault.
  5. Expecting him to fall asleep with you in his arms. That shit is uncomfortable after awhile. A little snuggling isn’t unreasonable, but when it’s time to actually sleep? An arm draped over you should suffice.
  6. Expecting him to always lay on the charm and romance. Sometimes, that’s nice. Sometimes. But expecting him to be all roses and candles all the time is like expecting you to act like a pornstar all the time. If you’re not willing to do that, don’t expect him to switch for you.
  7. Being selfish in bed. Regardless of the shit that Cosmo forces down our throats, sex is NOT just about us. Get over it.
  8. Using random magazines as a sex bible. I dont know who comes up with half that shit, but I’m pretty sure they need counseling.
  9. Whining when he pushes your head down on his cock instead of stroking your hair. Know why he’s pushing, skippy? Because you aren’t doing it right, and have apparently ignored the other clues he’s given you. Pay attention to the signals that he’s sending you.
  10. Not moving at all. Missionary is not an excuse to do nothing.
  11. Expecting him to undress himself with any amount of grace. He’s about to get some pussy. Be glad he bothered to take his pants all the way off. If it concerns you so much, undress him yourself.
  12. Not shaving your legs. Im pretty bad at this myself. But if you want your guy stubble free, you better get out the razor.
  13. Allowing your crotch to resemble the amazon. Yes, waxing hurts. Yes, some people don’t want to go bare. Thats fine. If you like bush, great. If you have sensitive skin and can’t shave, I feel for you. But for the love of Christ, trim that shit if you want him to spend any time down there.
  14. Assuming that sex means a relationship. The only relationship you have is that he has now stuck his hoo hoo dilly in your cha cha. That’s as far as it goes unless otherwise noted.
  15. Withholding oral sex just because you’re ragging. He didn’t do it. Unless you want him to withhold oral sex because he’s hormonal, I suggest you get some kneepads.
  16. Expecting him to figure out what you like by what noise you make. Use your words. Have you ever actually heard what you sound like while you’re having sex? If you heard yourself on tape, and someone asked you to explain what was causing you to make that noise, 67% of women would respond with answers like “I stubbed my toe” “I ran up the steps” or “I was putting up drywall”.
  17. Leaving condoms up to him. If you’re sexually active and insist that he uses a condom, I suggest buying a box and keeping it by your bed. Not all men keep them on them, and it’s just as much your responsibility as it is his. If you think that makes you a slut, you shouldn’t be having sex anyway. Go back to Jr High.
  18. Getting your undies in a bunch when he talks dirty. A little fantasy can be fun. If he treats you with respect all the time, you shouldn’t be offended when he calls you his dirty little slut. When he calls you a whore and tells you to come, its his way of showing that he cares if you get off. Stop being a sissy.
  19. Refusing to be spontaneous. I know this is shocking, but sometimes sex OUTSIDE of the bedroom is fun.
  20. Dissing quickies because it’s not some slow sensual ordeal. Sex is a dynamic thing. Theres an awesome raw energy when you only have 20 minutes but having to have someone so bad that you do it half clothed against the wall. Readjust your thinking.
  21. Being too much of a pussy to tell him what is or isn’t acceptable before you start bumping uglies. Be honest. If he asks if he can poke you in the butt, and you giggle and say no like it’s an invitation, don’t look surprised when he “accidentally” sticks his cock in your butt.
  22. Expecting him to undress you. I put a bra on almost every day. I know for a fact that getting them off isn’t always easy. Help a brother out.
  23. Undressing in the dark. If youre shy, dim the lights, but give the man something to see. No ripping off the clothes and diving under the covers, either.
  24. Refusing to get on top. Theres no reason men should have to do all the work.
  25. Getting that bored look on your face. Men are more visual than women. Give him something to look at. Get on top and arch your back a little bit. Move. Do something to indicate that you 1) are not dead and 2) didn’t suffer a minor stroke rendering you unable to move.
  26. Expecting him to do all the touching when you’re riding him. It’s your body, you’re used to it. Play with your tits, rub your clit, do something to make his job easier.
  27. Being too afraid to guide your partner’s hand when hes touching you. Don’t like the way he’s doing it? Gently take his hand and show him how you like it.
  28. Getting into bed, getting naked, fooling around and then deciding that you just want to cuddle, then getting offended when he doesn’t. Its your choice to stop, but don’t look all fucking surprised when he’s confused. You got him naked in your bed, what else did you think was going to happen?
  29. Refusing to let him take control. So your a feminist. Big fucking deal. Letting him call the shots doesn’t make you any less of one.
  30. Refusing to take control. Its ok to crawl across a bed to him on all fours, push him down and crawl on top. It’s not his responsibility to start things all the time.
  31. Forgetting that he has a body that likes to be touched, too. Men have things like backs and shoulders and stomachs and other parts that are fun to kiss and touch. You miss a lot of good places by concentrating solely on his penis.
  32. Ignoring his balls. Seriously, they are there. Kiss them, lick them, suck on them, make a relationship with them, just don’t ignore them.
  33. Leaving him to his own devices. Nothing is worse than a girl who gets you most of the way off and then bolts because she doesn’t want to deal with the mess.
  34. Launching into some speech about not being an object for sex when he tries to titty fuck you. Jesus Christ, just push them together and enjoy yourself. You get a great view.
  35. Expecting him to handle you like a porcelain doll. I’d hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re not going to break, sister. So doing it against the wall gives you a bruise on your shoulder. Look at it later and giggle at the memory.
  36. Refusing to try things in the name of “making love”. You’re not making anything. You are naked. With another person. Making strange faces and weird noises. Stop romanticizing it.
  37. Taking things way too seriously. Sex is funny. Actually it’s hilarious. Somewhere along the line, someone is going to fall off of a bed, hit their head on a lighting fixture, accidentally kick a midget or trip over a goat. It’s how you deal with it that really matters.
  38. Throwing a bitch fit when he asks for a 3 some. Its the American dream. (I know my ex is reading this right now, so a quick interjection. One request for a 3 some is ok. Every 5 minutes, not so much. Know the difference).
  39. Continuing a blow job knowing that you have god awful cotton mouth. Really. Grab a bottle of water.
  40. Nails. Its one thing tracing them up and down your partners back. Its another when you snag the goods with a claw.
  41. Bitching when you get jizz on you. You’re having sex. That will happen. Thats the entire point of sex. Establish where he can and cant jizz and be done with it. Remember, it tightens the pores.
  42. Not making any noises at all. Moan. Scream his name. Something so he knows he’s the best you’ve had, even if he isn’t.
  43. Faking orgasms. Just. Don’t. By faking (IF he believes you) he thinks he’s doing everything right. And if he doesn’t know its not working, he’s not going to change it. Starting a vicious cycle of unfulfilling sex which will eventually be very damaging to his ego.
  44. Not washing before sex. I know that sex is spontaneous, this is more of a general statement. If you haven’t showered that day, and things smell a little…fishy…perhaps demanding oral sex is a little ridiculous of you.
  45. Anything that involves inserting anything into his body that he has not specifically approved before hand. I don’t care what Cosmo says, some things are simply not pleasant surprises.
  46. Refusing to use oils/whipped cream/other messy but fun things because you have 541510630 count Egyptian cotton sheets that were made by hand by the only person alive capable of sewing that pattern. They’ll wash.
  47. Doing all of your before bed things before sex. Yes, sleeping with makeup on is bad. Now is not the time to remove it, you can do that later. And really fucking you with your hair in a ratty scrunchie with acne cream on your nose is not all its cracked up to be.
  48. Cleaning up after sex. Wiping the splooge off is one thing. But changing the sheets immediately so you can get the other ones in the washer and then sanitizing everything your naked body might have possibly passed by is not the way to do it.
  49. Making a big deal out of it if he loses his hard on. This is not an interrogation, or 20 questions. It happens, he’s probably mortified and you are NOT helping. Refrain from using phrases like “it happens to every guy”. Just move to other activities until it gets hard again, and if it doesn’t, get off another way with him. He’s still capable of getting you off. Mumbling “Forget it” and rolling over are not ok.
  50. Asking questions right afterwards. The woman equivalent of “was it good for you?”. Now is not a good time to ask “What this means”. Right now, it means he probably needs to take a drink, a leak and a nap, and perhaps not in that order.

That is all.

Spiderman 3

•May 4, 2007 • Leave a Comment

So I went to the midnight showing of Spiderman 3 tonight.  Firstly, let me say that there are no spoilers, reveals, or anything of that nature here, so you’re free to read on.

I went into the movie with all the high expectations as one normally would given the huge success of the previous movies.  The previous movies offered great stories, involved villains, and amazing CGI and camera work.  This movie hits on most of these, and I say most due to the fact that there are a total of three villains in this movie.  This is perhaps the largest departure in form from the other movies that the executive producers and Sam Rami took with Spiderman 3.

Many people wondered would their be time to fully develop the antagonistic characters to a believe able point and still tell the rest of the Spiderman story.  While I can honestly (and safely) say that the human side of the story suffered no set backs, the development of the bad guys took a major blow.  Harry Osborn’s story was almost completely told during the last few minutes of Spiderman 2, and it takes no great leap in imagination to go from Spidey 2 to Spidey 3 in that respect.  Of the two new characters, well, lets just say one story is told fairly well from the beginning, and the other story is…well…let’s just say it wasn’t one of Rami’s strong points in this movie.  Honestly, however, I firmly believe that the three villains in this story could have, and probably should have, been developed in their own movie.  The struggle between Harry and Peter was too great to be settled the way it was.  The Venom story is a greatly loved Spiderman favorite the world around and, in my mind, deserves the full attention of both the director and the audience.  The sandman story, like the Doc Oc story was pretty ok, but I would’ve liked to have seen more character development around him, as well.

People who are looking to this movie to further the human story of Peter Parker and Spiderman will not be disappointed.  Others who are looking for the stylistic moves and camera work popularized by the first two movies also won’t be disappointed, but I will say there’s more of one than the other.

Overall, it was a good movie, but not a great one.  If this had been Spiderman 2, I would’ve been happy and content to wait until the DVD release of Spidey 3.  In all honesty, it felt a bit rushed.  I understand that there’s no solid script for a Spidey 4, and even if there is a preliminary script for a fourth movie, Sam Rami hasn’t committed to it just yet.  After all, he’s seriously considering taking over The Hobbit from Peter Jackson if Jackson and New Line Cinema can’t settle that nasty payment issue from The Fellowship of the Ring.  Besides, Maguire and Dunst, the series’ two biggest stars, have both stated that they aren’t willing to sign on to a possible Spidey 4 unless the other and Sam Rami are involved.  Beyond that Maguire has recently become “Daddy Spidey” with the birth of his first daughter.  He’s also engaged and, as any guy knows, that just changes things.

a:\>ice9.exe

Foreign Teachers Try To Censor U.S. Website

•May 3, 2007 • 2 Comments

A group of angry teachers in New South Wales, Australia are trying to have a U.S.-based website shut down due to “defamatory comments”. The sight in question, RateMyTeachers.com, is a ratings sight where students can come and post online ratings of their professors and teachers. The understood purpose of the sight is to guide students (who have a choice in such things) away from bad professors and teachers.

As one can imagine, the language on the site is often defamatory to most teachers, and most, if not all teachers, have at least a few unflattering remarks posted about them. Roslynne Moxham, a principal at Sydney’s Fort Street High School had the following posted about her on the sight:

“Who could allow someone like her to run a school? I love Fort Street High School; it is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but Ms. Moxham is a terrible principal. She is a bully who does not care about the students or the school’s well-being, but rather how [the students] appear to the outside world.”

The NSW Department of Education is legally unable to pursue shutting the sight down due to the sight being run from America, but it has blocked all access to the sight from all computers within the school district. While officials in New South Wales weigh options as to how to proceed against the sight, many teachers are outraged about having negative comments posted about them on the popular website.

Maree O’Halloran, the NSW Teacher’s Federation president calls the comments “atrocious”. “It is clearly an absolute disgrace that people are anonymously able to make comments about teachers…” she says.

My Two Cents:
The funny thing about this story is the fact that these teachers are all in an uproar over something that has been going on since the dawn of public education. Students rebel against teachers, it’s what they do. They test the limits, talk behind their backs, and in today’s tech-savvy world, post nasty little comments on websites like RateMyTeacher.com. Teachers, for the most part, shrug it off and go on, but for some reason, the teachers in the New South Wales public school system are outraged at the thought of their students having “negative” and “atrocious” thoughts towards them. Seriously, it’s not like they’re planning a school attack or anything, yet the administration from the top down has not only blocked the sights from the entire district, they’re seeking to censure an American run sight to assuage the bruised egos of underachieving teachers. There are multiple sister sights operating here in the U.S. Many have been online for years without so much as a peep from any school district about their existence. So what’s the major difference here? Perhaps its the fact that Australian teachers and school administrators are finally seeing what us Americans have known for a long time: crappy teachers abound in droves.

a:\>ice9.exe

Dugg Down

•May 2, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Today may be the day that tech-geeks, computer nerds, and the electronically gifted among us will remember with infamy. The user – moderated website Digg.com may be forced to shut down due to their noncompliance with a cease and desist order.

Backstory:
It’s been no secret that HD DVD (high-def DVD’s) and Blu Ray have been battling it out to gain the competitive edge in the next-gen, high definition DVD market. The competition was pretty even until AACS, the people tasked with managing the data stored on HD DVD’s were hacked by an unknown hacker. What was compromised is a 16 ‘letter’ hex code that, unless you really know your stuff, would seem like a bunch of jibberish.

But there are people around who really know their stuff. This key, as chance would have it, just happens to unlock the only known way to “rip” or copy HD DVD information from the disk. In laymen terms, the information that AACS was tasked to keep secret and locked away is now out in the wide open and readily accessible to anyone who seeks to use it.

This also means that whatever competitive advantage AACS and HD DVD’s had over Blu Ray are now null, shot to death, and utterly useless. Honestly, what movie company is going to contract out with AACS to produce DVD’s when they know for a fact that people will rip it, burn it, produce illegal copies of it, and generally cut into their oh-so-precious bottom line? The short answer is “None in their right mind”.

And Now, This News:
As is the case with most noteworthy tech news, the story of the AACS hack and the actual key (which I may or may not have a hard copy of) made its way to the Digg.com forums and ultimately became one of the more popular Digg stories. In an apparent rush run damage control, the people at AACS issued cease and desist letters to Digg.com and Google.com to try and stop the spread of this leaked information across the internet.

As you’re probably aware, however, trying to keep something this juicy off the internet is like trying to stop a California wildfire by spitting on it. You may put out some sparks here and there, but ultimately, you’re done for. And such is the case with AACS. Issuing a cease and desist letter to Digg.com might stop their users from accessing the key through Digg’s servers, but issuing a cease and desist letter to Google is really a shot in the dark. There are literally 1000’s of websites hosted on hundreds of servers that have posted the key for anyone who wishes to take a gander. There is no containing this thing. It’s out, and it’s out for good.

Back to the Digg.com story, initially, the creators and moderators of Digg.com chose to comply with the cease and desist order by erasing or censoring out all mentions of the key on their website. This, of course, set off a firestorm of criticism from Digg users who didn’t like the idea of their stories being moderated without their input. After considering the plethora of comments and feedback generated over the issue, the Digg-masters posted this letter on their blog:

Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts…

In building and shaping the site I’ve always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Digg on,

Kevin

Mixed Feelings:
Many people have mixed feelings on the subject. Some digg users are happy to comply with the cease and desist if it means continued operation of their beloved sight. Most, however, view the bowing to a larger (and obviously technically inferior) company with disdain, and are willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in. I actually agree with both sides of this large coin, and let me tell you why. Firstly, I’m a digg-lover. It’s the first place I go to for my daily tech-news fix. It’s also a great example of a community-driven website where the users, not some faceless entity, controls the content (much like youtube.com for techies). I’d love to see it continue through this. On the other hand, this is the classic case of a huge company trying to bully those who expose their flaws, or otherwise intrude on what said company thinks is their territory (remember Mike Roe and the Microsoft thing?). As of right now, Digg is still up, and no one is really sure how this will play out.

If you follow the link to their blog that I’ve posted above, you’ll notice a certain 16 digit key in the title. Now, I’m not saying that’s the actual AACS key. To me, it looks like someone’s cat walked across the keyboard. If you’re really just dying to get your hands on the key, a quick google search for the string “AACS Hack” may or may not point you in the right direction.

Happy Ending?
No one really knows how this will affect the proud members of the Diggnation. We may soon find ourselves without a country to call home, and all because some careless company can’t keep up with their keys. At press time, Digg is still up and chugging away, pumping out more and more tech-news each minute. A few people on digg seem to have actually thought this through and may have found a way out for Kevin and the other Digg-masters. Even if the AACS hack produced some rather proprietary hex digits, their leakage passed them from the “proprietary” realm into the “juicy gossip, newsworthy” realm. In short, now that it’s out, it’s out and it’s legal, especially to news-gathering sites. Now Digg isn’t really your stereotypical news-gathering sites, but 98% of the content on Digg is generated by news sites or news blogs. Digg merely collects the links and categorizes them by topic. This could be their way out, it could not be. But one thing is for certain. AACS is out of the HD DVD game, at least for now.

a:\>09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

What hell? Damn cat 😉

Sticking To His Guns

•May 1, 2007 • Leave a Comment

If there’s one thing that one could praise President Bush for, it’s his ability to stick to what he says.  Case in point, the much-debated troop withdraw bill that congress sent to him last week.  He promised a veto, and he delivered.  As vetoes go, there’s nothing really special about it this one in particular save the fact that it was a Democratic Congress who sent this bill to a Republican President.

More interesting to note is that the bill, which did pass by more than a simple majority, did not pass by the 2/3 vote required to override a veto.  This brings us to the question of the day:  “Can the Democrats round up enough votes to overturn Bush’s veto?”  My answer, based on what I know of the current congress, is a resolute “No”.  Why?  Well, the fact that the vote didn’t receive the 2/3 majority vote on it’s first passage suggests to me that it won’t receive the 2/3 majority vote on it’s second go-round.  Congress does reserve the option to modify the bill and send it to Bush in a modified state, but Bush seems determined to veto anything that even remotely mentions a troop withdraw scenario, timetable, or includes the words “troop” and “withdraw”.

Options:
Besides the aforementioned option of a bill revision, both sides do have other options in play here. The Republican White House’s days are numbered, and they know this.  While one can assume the Republicans have a valid shot at the White House in ’08, I would assume that the combination of war and scandals have Americans salivating over a change in political stripe.  The Bush Administration could feasibly veto everything congress sends to the White House, hoping to run out the clock and avoid being forced into a situation they’d rather not find themselves in.   On the other hand, if they do try to employ this strategy, they could come across as uncooperative to the American public, something they cannot afford to do so close to an election.

  1. The Democratic Congress has what I think to be the biggest advantage: purse strings.  As the ruling party in Congress, the Democrats, if so inclined, could cut-off monetary support to the White House for the remainder of the administration.  However, this could cause the Democrats to be viewed as uncooperative.  While the Republicans are definitely in the more precarious of the two positions, the Democrats have to be careful in how they play their cards.

Possible Solutions:
There really is no easy way out of this situation.  Both sides, as of right now, seem to be in quite the uncompromising mood lately, especially the White House.  From what I can gather, no one is really buying into the Republicans message of “damn those unpatriotic Democrats”, and they realize that their time is short and their options are few.  The same is true for the Democrats who seem to want to force the White House to abide by the opinion of the masses.

There are really only a few solutions here:

  1. The White House could back off it’s “No Withdraw” policy and finally formulate an exit strategy.
  2. The Democrats could back off it’s “Withdraw, and Soon” policy.
  3. The White House can try to stall things by a series of vetoes and other means until elections take over the national media stage
  4. The Democrats could deny all funding to the troops in Iraq, forcing them to withdraw within the year.
  5. The Democrats could try to find that mysterious middle-ground that would satisfy both the White House and Congress.

How likely is it that any of these things could happen? Well, I’m sure Congress will take up the newly-vetoed bill and try to get their 2/3 vote, but I think it’s a slim shot for the Dem’s.  In all likelihood, this bill will die in Congress of failure to gain a sufficient number of votes.

Aftermath:
The aftermath of this episode may or may not hold any significance on the national political stage other than to create some debating points between candidates when that time comes.  In the mean time, the troops will stay deployed in Iraq, the Iraqi civil war will rage on with our troops caught in the middle, and the Republicans and Democrats will fight like spoiled children over who gets to control what.  Such is the state of national politics.

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