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    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    Political Ads

    Dear Politicians of All Persuasions:
    Today, once again, I turned on the television in the morning to look at the news and get the weather.  Unfortunately, today, more so than every other day, every political ad that I saw was a negative attack ad. 
    You see, as a past political science major, politics does hold some interest for me.  Election season, however, brings out the absolute worst part of the process: negative marketing.  I can't stand it.  No one can.
    I don't care who paid their student loans and when they paid them.
    They had a bankruptcy ten years ago?  So?
    Weak on crime?  What is that, actually?  Does actually mean that someone is pro-crime?
    Gay marriage is bad?  Evil, even?  Why?
    Mythical Television Campaign That I Expect To See Any Day Now:
    Candidate #1:  My opponent is soft on crime.
    Candidate #2:  I am not soft on crime.  But my opponent will raise your taxes.
    Candidate #1:  I never said that I will raise your taxes.  My opponent, however, supports illegal immigration.
    Candidate #2:  I do NOT support an invading illegal immigrant horde.  But I have heard from several good sources that my opponent kicks puppies when his team loses in football.
    Candidate #1:  I love puppies, and have several well-adjusted puppies of my own, but there are whispers in Washington that Candidate #2 eats babies.
    Candidate #2:  Those babies were going to grow up to be terrorists, and Candidate #1 knows it.  Therefore, Candidate #1 supports terrorism!
    Is this the state of political discourse today?
    Negative political campaign ads are a symptom of a much larger disease.  Democracy in the United States is sick, and getting sicker by the cycle.  Political candidates, be a part of the cure, and not part of the problem.  Tell people what you intend to actually intend to do for them while in office.  That's really what every voter wants to know, anyway.
    It's only for the good of your country.
    Isn't that why you're running for office in the first place?
    Shouldn't it be?
    Best regards, and good luck,

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    She Keeps Trying, Darn It

    Yet again, despite continual and mounting evidence to the contrary, Oprah still tries to prove that humanity is not dead .
    On a show that aired Monday, Winfrey gave more than 300 audience members $1,000 debit cards sponsored by the Bank of America to donate to a charitable cause.

    Winfrey called the show her "favorite giveaway ever."

    "I can honestly say that every gift I've ever given has brought at least as much happiness to me as it has to the person I've given it to," the 52-year-old talk-show host said. "That's the feeling I want to pass on to you."

    People can give the entire sum to one person -- relatives aren't eligible -- or they can split it among charitable causes. Audience members also received a DVD recorder to tape their stories for a future show.

    Oprah.  The Queen of Chicago.
    The sheer audacity of her continued attempts to make the world a slightly better place is truly remarkable.
    Oprah, you give us hope, my dear.  Don't ever change.

    Write A Novel In A Month

    So you've always wanted to write a novel, eh? Well you've got 2 days to brainstorm your plot because November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) Join thousands of other wrimo's who've committed to pounding out a 175-page (50,000 word) novel during the 30 days of November.
    Thank Lifehacker for this.  Heh heh.
    From the actual website:
    National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

    Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

    Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

    Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

    You know, I think that I might try this, since I've been working on a book idea anyway.  Scary, but it sounds fun.

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    It's Halloween


    Want to hear a true story?


    I was a teenager, living in the Denver suburbs with my parents and brother, many, many years ago.  We lived in a nice little place not far from where I now work.


    One day, my mother was out doing something - no one can remember exactly what.  My dad, brother, and I were preparing to go out on a little excursion somewhere on a Saturday afternoon.  Nothing really remarkable was happening, unless you count the fact that all of us were together and it was a nice day.  It takes many years of seasoning to learn to appreciate how nice it is to have memories like that. 


    But I digress.


    Well, on this particular day, all of us men were preparing to leave the house - and being just a little silly, from what I can recall.  You know, just being guys.  I believe that I had pulled some dishes out of the dishwasher - they were not hot, as the dishes had been washed some time ago, and had put some away.  I specifically remember putting a clean glass on the counter relatively close to the sink.  But we were in a hurry.  My brother ran upstairs for some reason, while my dad went to the front door.  After a moment, I joined my dad at the front door, in the hallway, which was just adjacent to the kitchen, to wait for my brother to come down.


    During the course of one's life, I believe that a person can look back on certain events, both large and small, and say without hesitation that sometimes very, very small things can have very, very important outcomes.  Sure, big decisions, like, for instance, where do I go to college, or should I take that job are big too.  But truly, sometimes the tiniest detail can have a stunningly important impact.  And in this case, the tiny little detail that probably changed my life in some fashion was that I had left the kitchen.




    Because a few moments after I left the kitchen, everyone in the house heard an enormous BANG coming from the kitchen.  It was as if someone had been shot.  My father and I recoiled in shock.  My brother ran downstairs to see what had happened, and with some trepidation we all walked into the kitchen.


    A glass, one that I had just touched, one that I had left on the counter just seconds before, had exploded.  Not cracked, exploded.  It was as if someone had put a tiny time bomb inside the glass.  The base was mostly intact.  However, the rest of the glass had disintegrated into a million tiny, sharp pieces of glass.  We found shards of glass behind the refrigerator, in the family room 20 feet away, all over the kitchen sink.  Glass was everywhere.  Many months later, I was still finding glass by the fireplace where my family watched television. 


    What we did not find, however, was an explanation for what actually had happened. 


    Nor have we ever.


    The "Story of the Exploding Glass" is legendary in my family.  What I do know is that the glass was NOT hot, it was NOT cold in my house, I did not break the glass, and no one was in the room. 


    But I do not know what made the glass explode, although we were all thankful that we weren't in the room when it happened.


    This I do know, however.  There was some... feeling, that we had come shockingly close to witnessing something happen that was... unnatural.  Perhaps supernatural.  My brother, father and I still feel that to this day.


    Was it someone or something trying to send a message?


    Was it, like we have all whispered amongst ourselves for many years, a ghost?



    Or perhaps not.





    Happy Halloween.

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    A Good Idea That, If You Really Think About It, Will Make You Sick

    An Oklahoma retired veteran and state school superintendent candidate is campaigning to have bullet-proof textbooks. Bill Crozier tested traditional textbooks to see what, if any kind of bullets a textbook would stop. The traditional textbooks were able to stop handgun bullets, but not rifle bullets. Crozier is suggesting making the covers out of Kevlar.
    Via Gizmodo.
    Here's an idea. 
    Instead of worrying about making textbooks out of Kevlar, why don't we concentrate on trying to make schools safer, for God's sake?!  Is this truly what the world is coming to?  Is society really THAT DUMB?  Seriously, now!  This is not rocket science. 
    Here's a thought: how about more security at schools INSTEAD OF Kevlar textbooks?!
    I have a two-year old who will be attending pre-school late next year.  Should I be expecting Kevlar LEGOS, next?
    This is actually a perfect representation of the theory of "Treating The Symptom, and Not The Problem" thinking that is so prevalent in today's society.
    These are certainly not humanity's brightest moments ever.


    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Nature Eats Amok

    Families and tourists in a London park were left shocked when a pelican picked up and swallowed a pigeon. The unusual wildlife spectacle in St James's Park was caught on camera by photographer Cathal McNaughton. He said the Eastern White pelican had the unfortunate pigeon in its beak for more than 20 minutes before swallowing it whole.
    Don't believe me?  Write the BBC.
    That would be two extremely odd snacking events in nature lately.  This one just happened recently as well.
    LYON, France -- Visitors to the Botanical Gardens in Lyon, France, should watch their fingers after a carnivorous plant there ate a mouse.
    That's on
    I find this trend disturbing.  Aren't we at the top of the food chain?
    I suppose that it's time to start eating pelican and pitcher plant salads.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Open Source Madness

    Seriously, I'm so sorry that I forgot to mention this particular bit of info.  Want Open Source?
    We post scads of free downloads here on Lifehacker, but today instead of pimping yet another Google product, I'd like to tip my hat to the open source developers who release innovative, useful products that make our lives that much easier every day - because it's our right, not privilege, to control our own data.

    Open source roots are in the Unix operating system, but these days many "free as in speech" applications are available for Windows as well - and today I've got a list of my top 10 favorites.

    None of these cost a dime to download and use, but do donate whatever and whenever you can to the projects that benefit you the most.

    You know that's got to be Lifehacker.  Sigh.  I would devote some quality time reading that article, if I were you.
    Really, I should do a plug to another long-forgotten post that I made about subjects similiar to this right here in POW - the blog.
    But I won't.
    See what I did there?

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Side Projects

    Lately I have been thinking about, then starting on, a couple of side projects that I thought that I might share with you.


    The first is a yet-to-be titled website.  It's a pretty good idea, and I think that I'm going to run with it, even though the person who sold me on the idea doesn't have it quite... fleshed out.  I think I can work with it anyway. 


    The second is a still-untitled non-fiction book project.  Other people that I have talked to are pretty excited about this one.  I might be able to get to those people that, *gasp*, love it.  If this one goes over, I'm bagging this spot and moving to the moon, and then I'm going to park right there on the moon with a telescope, and tell everyone on Earth to get the hell out of my 1. sunset view, or 2.  driveway, whichever comes first.


    Why to embark on either of these time-intensive, and probably time-killing, projects, you ask?


    Well, it's like this.


    I've been practicing.  I've been practicing quite a bit, actually.  That's kind of why I began this blog in the first place; both as a place to practice and hone my writing skills, and as a website for me to dabble with to increase my web authoring skills.


    Also, I should mention that I might be moving this site soon.  You see, I've been messing around with this other thing, and... well, just don't be too surprised.

    Not A Plug, But Interesting, Nonetheless

    Today I came across a website that claims to tell you how many people have your name in the U.S.
    Not shockingly, the url is here: .
    According to this website, two hundred and seventy people have my name, which I find vaguely suspicious, but eh, well.
    I would also like to add that 268 of them have worse credit than me, extensive criminal records, are tax evaders and are dodgy individuals in general.
    Actually, I have no idea about that. 
    However I have to keep the Justice Department and FBI on their toes.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Marriage, Still Good, Just Not As Popular

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - It is by no means dead, but for the first time, a new survey has shown that traditional marriage has ceased to be the preferred living arrangement in the majority of US households.
    The shift, reported by the US Census Bureau in its 2005 American Community Survey, could herald a sea change in every facet of American life -- from family law to national politics and its current emphasis on family values.

    The findings, which were released in August but largely escaped public attention until now because of the large volume of data, indicated that marriage did not figure in nearly 55.8 million American family households, or 50.2 percent.

    Thank Yahoo News.
    Certainly, there's a lot of reasons that this is the case.  Point one being divorce, which tends to rip ex-husbands to shreds.  Of course, there are a lot of other reasons as well.  I prefer to think of it being a lot of people, men and women, choosing wisely.  Just because two people don't have a piece of paper doesn't mean that they can't stay with each other forever, will each other a mess of money, and make promises to one another.


    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Starting A New Project

    Lately, I've been thinking quite a bit about a new side project.  You know, one that actually makes money and makes my "net" time more productive and lucrative in general.

    I heard a useful rule about predicting success during my (failed) attempt at creating a hit Dilbert animated TV show. While watching the Dilbert pilot being tested on a focus group, an experienced executive explained to me the most non-intuitive way to predict success. Since then I've observed it to be true a number of times. It goes like this:

    If everyone exposed to a product likes it, the product will not succeed.

    Think about that for a minute before I explain why everyone liking something predicts failure. If you get this answer right, I'm guessing that you are already successful yourself. Tell me in the comments if I'm right about that.

    The reason that a product "everyone likes" will fail is because no one "loves" it. The only thing that predicts success is passion, even if only 10% of the consumers have it. For example, I'm willing to bet that when the TV show Baywatch was tested, 90% of the people rolled their eyes and gave it a thumbs down. But I'll bet 10% of the test audience had tents in their pants. Bingo.

    You know who that was?  Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, from his blog.  Hopefully I don't get any issues by linking to him.  He's kinda rich, you know.
    That got me thinking.
    It's not the idea for everyone that you want to have.
    It's the PERFECT idea for SOMEONE that you want to have.
    Kind of like crack.  Not for everyone, but perfect for some.  They have to have it.
    Think about that.
    While you're at it, go visit the Dilbert Blog.  I have a feeling I'll be visiting often.  It may get a permalink.

    The Sendero Luminoso

    Today's genocidal maniac of the day is... Abimael Guzman, leader of The Shining Path
    The Communist Party of Peru ( Spanish: El Partido Comunista del Perú), more commonly known as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), is a Maoist guerrilla organization in Peru. The more familiar name distinguishes the group from several other Peruvian communist parties with similar names (see Communism in Peru). It originates from a maxim of José Carlos Mariátegui, founder of the original Peruvian Communist Party: "El Marxismo-Leninismo abrirá el sendero luminoso hacia la revolución" ("Marxism-Leninism will open the shining path to revolution").[1]
    Cite from Wikipedia.
    Here's more, if you care not to read all of the nastiness.

    Theodore Dalrymple in an article published September 6, 2006, stated that "The worst brutality I ever saw was that committed by Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) in Peru, in the days when it seemed possible that it might come to power. If it had, I think its massacres would have dwarfed those of the Khmer Rouge. As a doctor, I am accustomed to unpleasant sights, but nothing prepared me for what I saw in Ayacucho, where Sendero first developed under the sway of a professor of philosophy, Abimael Guzman." [27]

    That's right.  "...I think that it's massacres would have dwarfed those of the Khmer Rouge."
    Mercy, mercy me.
    So why is Guzman our special little guy today? Let's show him what he's won!
    A verdict is expected in the retrial of the founder of Peru's bloody guerrilla movement, the Shining Path.

    Former philosophy professor Abimael Guzman faces a possible life sentence for his role in a 12-year rebellion in which around 70,000 people died.

    Ah, those Brits.  BBC does it again.
    So for crimes against humanity, you, Abimael Guzman, win a life long stay at a Peruvian prison.  Enjoy! 
    I hope that he doesn't find it a rich recruiting environment.  God, I really hope so.


    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Blog Like An Idiot And Pay

    You know, if your mother taught you that it's not right to post nastiness about someone on the Internet, she was right.
    A Florida woman has been awarded $11.3 million in a defamation lawsuit against a Louisiana woman who posted messages on the Internet accusing her of being a "crook," a "con artist" and a "fraud."

    Legal analysts say the Sept. 19 award by a jury in Broward County, Fla. — first reported Friday by the Daily Business Review — represents the largest such judgment over postings on an Internet blog or message board. Lyrissa Lidsky, a University of Florida law professor who specializes in free-speech issues, calls the award "astonishing."

    I can think of a "blogger" right now that probably hurriedly erasing past posts.


    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Finally! The Answers To Everything Financial

    ...and it's in a Dilbert cartoon.
    Want to see it?
    'Unified Theory of Everything Financial'
    Quietly hidden in Adams' groundbreaking work is a financial formula so simple it rivals Einstein's E=mc2. In its original form Adams' formula was apparently so heretical and so explosive that no major house would touch it when he proposed publishing it as a one-page book. After initial rejections, he announced sadly that "if God materialized on earth and wrote the secret of the universe on one page, he wouldn't be able to find a publisher" either.
    Fortunately for America's 95 million investors, Adams' secret nine-point formula was finally revealed in "Dilbert and the Way of the Weasels." Notice its simple brilliance in the exact reproduction of his formula:
    1. Make a will
    2. Pay off your credit cards
    3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support
    4. Fund your 401k to the maximum
    5. Fund your IRA to the maximum
    6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it
    7. Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account
    8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement
    9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio
    Where?  MarketWatch.
    Now, articles like this are the reason that I blog in the first place.  What am I doing of the above?
    Well, I *was*doing at least two of these.
    However, I will START doing all nine.
    People, you know you should bookmark this post.


    The Aristoc... er, Diplomats

    SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 10 — After a unanimous condemnation of North Korea's apparent nuclear test, signs of disagreement appeared among its neighbors today, as Japanese officials pushed for tough sanctions and raised the possibility of military action, which China called unthinkable.

    In Tokyo today, Finance Minister Koji Omi said that Japan would consider imposing more financial sanctions on North Korea, while two other cabinet members said Japan might consider imposing a trade embargo.

    And Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yasuhisa Shiozaki, declared today that his government was considering "all possibilities," while officials in China and South Korea were saying that they would oppose any use of force.

    A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said at a briefing today that "taking military action against North Korea would be unimaginable."

    Let's get real for a second.  I have a friend who is from Korea who has given me a little insight into the whole goofy madman problem that North Korea has.  Based on this, China and South Korea aren't NEARLY as worried about North Korea having nukes as they might let on.  Why?  Because North Korea would probably never use missiles on the peninsula.  Certainly, China has only a little to worry about.  They could overrun North Korea in a heartbeat.
    Who should be worried? 
    I thought this was common knowledge.  Does anyone read a Korean or Japanese newspaper in the White House?  Does anyone in the State Department speak Korean?  How about the CIA?  Come on, now.  Naturally Japan's freak out would be a heck of a lot bigger than anyone else's freak out.
    Something substantial needs to be done on the Korean Peninsula, and fast.  I was thinking about buying my daughter a Japanese video game this Christmas, but Japan still needs to be there for that to happen.


    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Quote of the Day

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 — North Korea came under international condemnation today after boasting that it had tested a nuclear weapon, with strong criticism even from its allies, but there were doubts in the intelligence community about the strength of the device.
    The United Nations Security Council today began working on a resolution condemning North Korea's action, shortly after President Bush denounced the announcement of the test as a "provocative act," one that requires an "immediate response."
    Mr. Bush said he had spoken this morning to the leaders of China, South Korea, Russia and Japan, and that they were all agreed that North Korea's actions "are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response."
    From the NYT.
    Yippie.  Things were going so well from an international perspective anyway.  Yay.  Hooray.  Hug your kids and enjoy life now, boys and girls.  The real fun is just about to begin.  You thought that the War On Terror TM has been exciting?  Just wait.
    Which leads to my verbatim quote in the comments from Fark on this wonderful development (reprinted with attribution):
    "rka: Jesus Christ, if India and Pakistan can both explode nukes and not use them on each other despite *their* history I think this situation can be handled without Seoul be leveled or thousands of US soldiers invading or millions of Koreans dieing."

    2006-10-09 01:42:56 AM thejoyofpi
    "Crucial difference: Neither India nor Pakistan are ruled by batshiat insane Bond-villain wannabes."
    Yes, you read that right.
    Where's Superman when you need him?


    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Neither Christian Nor Cool

    Fred Phelps.  Loathsome.
    Fred Phelps and friends plan to protest the Amish murder victims' funerals. Dumbass tag is the strongest we have, sadly
    Headline from Fark.  Original article in CNS , which is at present, farked.
    The Westboro Baptist Church -- described as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League -- has made a name for itself by picketing the funerals of U.S. troops killed in Iraq. The troops are dying as punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality, the group says.

    The Westboro group says the Amish school girls were "killed by a madman in punishment for Gov. Ed Rendell's blasphemous sins against Westboro Baptist Church.

    Fred Phelps.
    If my kung-fu is strong, this is the last post you'll get from me, Phelps.
    Hopefully those won't blow up the website.
    Update!  Apparently, Phelps and the clan are NOT going to show up.  The cost, however, is high.

    The controversial anti-homosexual Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., has canceled its plans to stage a protest at the funerals of the five Amish girls executed in their Pennsylvania school, a church official said Wednesday.

    Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of church's pastor, told the group canceled the protests in exchange for an hour of radio time Thursday on syndicated talk-show host Mike Gallagher's radio program.

    Ah, that's an idea.  Give them a bully pulpit.


    Science Non Fiction

    LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Beaming people in Star Trek fashion is still in the realms of science fiction but physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.

    Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second.

    But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.

    "It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday.

    The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further.

    via CNN.  I know, I know, I can do better than that.
    However, I will have you know that this is like a Code Yellow on the Geek Alert Scale.  And very, very cool as well.  Yet, I can't help but think of how our presently benevolent computer gods at  Google will eventually use this information. 
    You can bet people with IQs well above the genius level are working on it as we speak.

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Stay Away From My Kid, You Sickos

    Boing Boing, who I usually hit up for more pleasant topics than school shootings, has an interesting article about the topic:  School Shootings: Malignant, Contagious Social Meme? 
    I've been trading emails with Loren Coleman lately about the rash of school shootings in recent weeks. On September 14, Canadian Kimveer Gill attacked. He was said to have had a fondness for the Columbine shooters (he certainly loved the game). A number of similarly of deadly incidents followed, right up to today's death spree at an Amish school in Pennsylvania. Seems like a lot in a short period of time. Coincidence, or social phenomenon?
    No idea.  Flash mobs were a meme.  All Your Base is a meme.  School shootings?  Yikes.

    (CNN) -- Pennsylvania schoolhouse killer Charles Carl Roberts IV told his wife he molested young relatives 20 years ago and was dreaming about molesting children again, police said Tuesday.

    Investigators talked to relatives and analyzed suicide notes as they tried to determine what made Roberts barricade himself inside the tiny Amish school, tying up girls and shooting them -- five fatally -- before killing himself Monday.

    Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller said Roberts may have targeted the school for its girl students and -- given various items found in the school -- intended to molest the children. ( Watch police describe the molestation confession -- 1:34 Video )

    Roberts brought KY Jelly lubricant to the schoolhouse where the assault occurred, but there is no evidence that the victims were sexually assaulted in any way, Miller said.

    That's no meme.  But yes, you read that right. 
    KY Jelly.
    Oh, dear.
    Exactly when does one get that particular idea, to bust into an Amish schoolhouse with some KY, kick out the male students, segregate the female kids, execute them, and off himself?  When?
    Dark days.  Dark, indeed.
    By committing suicide, this man got off rather easily, indeed.

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    You People Have No Honor

    LONDON, Ky. - Demonstrators squared off Saturday outside a funeral home where a service was being held for a solider, the first such scene in Kentucky since a judge suspended a state law that required a 300-foot buffer zone for protests at military funerals.

    Dozens of demonstrators surrounded London Funeral Home, waved American flags and exchanged shouts for more than an hour before the service with members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., which tours the country protesting at military funerals.

    Church members held signs across the street that read, "America is doomed," "Thank God for 9/11," and "Thank God for dead soldiers."

    MSNBC gets the nod here.
    For those of you not familiar with this phenomenon, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS, likes to go to military funerals and protest, saying that God is punishing America for it's "acceptance" of homosexuality.
    Let me make this clear; I am neither gay nor bisexual, and am a big proponent of free speech. 
    The Constitution rules.
    But that being said, let me say this:  those people that that would go to a military funeral with signs that say "God Hates Fags" and spouting anti-Semitism and such are scum.  Period.  The fact that they seem to have nothing better to do is... pathetic.  Sick.  Wrong.  I consider hate groups, which these people are, to have no shame, no honor, and no reflection.  There are none so blind as those who will not see, and they are twisted, a perfect microcosm of what is so very, very wrong with major segments of society today.  They may have the right to say what they do, but having to right to do something and actually doing it, especially with the virulence that they do, is disgusting and cannot really be morally defended.
    So, congratulations, Westboro Baptist Church.  You successfully have embodied everything that makes people hate organized religion.  You have contributed to making the world a less tolerable place to live.  Enjoy your attention now, for when your movement ends, I, and those like me, will applaud and not mourn your passing.  You are sad.  Go learn something. 


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