Archive for February, 2004

2004.02.29

Odd Day Out

Happy February the 29th! A leap year is a rare and wonderful thing, though what you should be doing to celebrate is beyond me. Go have a drink.

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2004.02.27

A Real Marriage Amendment

I’ve been working on a proposal for a functional Amendment to the Constitution which is inclusive rather than exclusive. I know this is a controversial issue with widely varying points of view and responses. Please have patience and read to the end before reacting. I will put forth my proposal and afterwards comment for each Section.

Proposed wording for an Amendment regarding Marriage and Civil Union.

Section 1. Civil Union shall be defined as the union between two citizens persons. The rights of citizens persons to join in Civil Union shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex, gender, race or religion for any reason.

Section 2. Marriage is not a Civil Union; couples sanctified in religious Marriage must also seek a Civil Union if they wish to enjoy the benefits of the State.

Section 3: This Article shall not prevent anyone who was Married prior to ratification from enjoying the rights of Civil Union.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Read the rest of this entry…

4 Comments | Catergorized: political  rights

2004.02.26

The Marriage Amendment

I realize that many citizens are concerned about gay marriage and are opposed to it, but proposing a Constitutional Amendment is not a solution, just as it wasn’t the answer in 1919 with Prohibition, a word that applies equally well here.President Bush is walking a mistaken path. Yesterday he proposed an Amendment to the United States Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Here is his speech.

I am against this Amendment for several reasons. First, the Constitution exists to preserve rights for individuals and limit government. Second, this Amendment seeks to regulate a social issue best left to the individual States. Third, the President is using this issue in an election year to create divisiveness which will overshadow other real political issues.

A look at Constitutional Amendments shows the ones which are successful grant or guarantee rights to the citizens of America. The single exception was Article 18, the Prohibition of Alcohol. This Amendment was such an unmitigated disaster that it had to be repealed 14 years later in Article 21. The prohibition sought to regulate a social institution (drinking alcohol) by taking away the right of any citizen to acquire, sell, or imbibe. The after effects were the growth of the Mafia and other organized criminal groups. The scope of this proposed ban on gay marriage would not have the same or similar ramifications, but it is, like Prohibition before it, a mistake; it takes away the rights of citizens.

Social issues have traditionally been left to the States to regulate, which they have effectively managed since before the founding of this country. Right or wrong, laws concerning marriage and/or civil union, sex and (to a lesser degree) reproduction are in the hands of the States where they should be. I don’t believe the Founders of the American Constitution meant for social issues to be regulated there, otherwise they would have codified social institutions just as the Taliban had in Afghanistan under Sharia, Islamic Law.

President Bush is up for reelection this year, and it has always been a tactic -rather successful at that- to divide the country with some hot issue that has no real relevance to politics the Executive Branch has any jurisdiction over. He is not supposed to propose Constitutional Amendments. It is Congress who decides whether an issue should go through the Amendment process. In this President Bush is just another lobbyist with undue influence. In turn President Bush is being influenced by religious conservatives who have often tried to make social issues into national politics where, as I’ve said, they do not belong. There is a reason the Constitiution delineates between Church and State and perhaps you can see the consequences of not doing this in the troubles facing the Middle East.

His speech proposing his Amendment is couched in language that further divides the country’s citizens. By calling a member of the judiciary an “activist judge” he is implying a judge that disagrees with him is part of some liberal conspiracy to undermine supposedly good American values. Never mind the equally “activist” judges he has been appointing while Congress is in recess. He is claiming to represent “the people” when in reality he is just representing a fraction, even if a large fraction. He also attempts to use logic where none exist. For example compare the following two quotes where the first is real and the second is slightly changed.

“Our government should respect every person, and protect the institution of marriage. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities.”

Our government should respect every person, and protect the institution of white people. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities.

So long as marriage is defined as only a subset -a man and a woman- then the second quote -white people- is just as valid according to the logic the President uses. It is exclusionary and in my opinion anti-American.

The Constitution should not be abused in the manner proposed. If an Amendment is proposed it should affect all citizens equally or not at all. Rights are given so that people do not have to suffer the tyranny of majorities or, for that matter, minorities – religious, ethnic, social, or economic. The President has no business proposing an Amendment. That is not his job. I realize that many citizens are concerned about gay marriage and are opposed to it, but proposing a Constitutional Amendment is not a solution, just as it wasn’t the answer in 1919 with Prohibition, a word that applies equally well here.

We do not have an Equal Rights Amendment, yet through legislation we have equal rights. We do not have a Right to Privacy Amendment, yet we have more privacy than most other freedom loving countries. I would rather see these become part of our American Constitution as they grant us fundamental general rights rather than some Marriage Amendment that takes rights away, even if I would not be directly affected.

Comments Off on The Marriage Amendment | Catergorized: political  rights

2004.02.24

Extrapolating the Future, Part Three

It’s a well known method of divining the future to look at historical and current trends and extrapolate where these trends might go. This is my third prediction for the future of the world we call home

FACT

Not long ago Michael Jackson, to no one’s suprise, was accused of molesting yet another child. In seperate news, a cult (not a scientific institution) called Clonaid claimed to have made a human clone.

PREDICTION

Clonaid will announce Michael Jackson, who will settle his suit out of court, as their newest member and spokesman-thing. They will then make a clone of the pop star. Several years later he will again be charged with child molestation, this time with his clone. In his defense Michael will claim he was only touching himself.

COROLLARY

Arnold Schwarzenegger has himself cloned. Since the clone is “born” in America it runs for President and wins. Thus the collusion of 6th Day and Demolition Man is complete.

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2004.02.23

Satchel Chapter Two

At long last, chapter to in the story of one young gentleman named Charles Percival Walters IV, better known as Satchel. The first chapter can be found here. Meanwhile, (try to) enjoy the new material! Read the rest of this entry…

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2004.02.20

Google AdSense

I’ve been thinking of joining Google’s advertising program, AdSense program to try and generate more revenue for OOKEE.com since not much is coming in from the Amazon Associates stuff yet. In the process of doing some research on what it is I found this site which has a very cool tool which will help you figure out what ads Google will place on your site. The sad thing is that the results don’t reflect the main page contents for either OOKEE.com or this site.

I did put in a URL to the books section on this site and got better results, but I’m not sure why OOKEE.com’s top five section has so many ads relating to the FBI! It’s all very strange.

Anyways, we’ll see how it goes!

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2004.02.20

Tuneyard.com

Tuneyard is a new site, currently in beta, that will allow people to upload the songs they create in Garageband. The interface is based on the iTunes store, and rumors are they might intigrate a method of payment for songs as well. Right now many of the songs are peaked out and they are limiting the bandwidth for a few, but there are still many songs to be sampled.

It looks promising. It’s amazing to me that there are so many sites out there for Garageband when it’s still only a few weeks old!

Comments Off on Tuneyard.com | Catergorized: apple  audio

2004.02.19

A Few Loops

Kymberlee pointed me to a site that has tons of loops that would work with Garageband if you converted them to aiff format and processed them through Apple’s AppleLoops SDK to make them friendly to Garageband.

Though most of the loops I listened to were filled -they often had multiple instruments existing in the loop- they could still be useful to the loop masters out there. Also there are many link outs to the creator’s web sites which could yield even more gold.

Have at ye!

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2004.02.17

Making Models

Stikfas Dragon LadyToday Ann and I were in the Haight and I had to go into Kid Robot, a toy store dedicated to model toys with tons of cool figurines.

Well, I saw a model I had to pick up… a Dragon and a curiously named “Beta Female” (where is the “Alpha Female”? A question begging an answer). After a few hours I had it put together.

The manufacturer is Stikfas, makers of snap together models. I think I might start making a collection of a few of their other models.

If I bother to make the time to take a few better pictures (this one was with the phone cam) then I’ll post them.

Comments Off on Making Models | Catergorized: geek  life  photos  san francisco

2004.02.15

Google Searches

Recently I installed James Vasile’s referer plugin, which figures out where people are coming from and puts them up on a page. You can see my referer info on the archive page. Most of the links are search engines which substantiates the idea that more people are using search engines as portals to the web than the so-called portals.

A humorous side effect, however, is you can see what these people are searching for that brings them to your page. Apparently my site is currently the number two result if you do a search for “How Often Do You Get Laid” (in the /other/faq section). I expect that will improve once this entry is indexed. Too strange. Don’t other people write about getting laid?

UPDATE 2006.09.30: This article is long out of date as it dealt with the site when it was run on Blosxom…

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