As you know, the ACLU has been suing the USA PATRIOT Act, and the Justice Department has been gagging them and censoring many of the documents in the interest of national security. Many of the formerly redacted comments are now public. Well, just what kind of information useful to terrorists did they censor? How about a quote from the Supreme Court?
"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent."
They blotted that out from the document in the name of national security?!?! What the hell are they thinking?!??!
FYI, here's a an ACLU donation link. I just renewed my membership.
My cousin Robert showed me
this happy penguin. [420KB, Animated GIF] Wee! :)
Update March 2006: Sorry, I had to take down the penguin gif because it chewing up 9 GB of bandwidth a month! Wow. People, once again I have to remind you: It's not nice to use img tags to inline images from other people's websites. If you like the picture, make yourself a local copy, or just use an anchor tag that won't load the picture every time you load the page!
Planet of the Apes, re-edited as a Twilight Zone episode.
Even though I expect dirty political fighting and consider myself too jaded to get all upset about everything Bush does, this whole Swift Boat thing kind of amazes me. I mean, nit-picking over a couple of Kerry's several war medals when Bush hardly even attended his cushy home front post? Huh?! Now, maybe it'll reinforce the beliefs of the choir, but is this really going to affect the opinions of fence-sitters? God, I sure hope they have longer memories than that.
Anyway, on that note, here is a supremely amusing link that dares to take a closer look at "the war medals of George W. Bush". I'm just doing some choir-preaching of my own here, sadly.
Why waste time in your real office when you can virutally waste time in a virtual office?
The first official teaser for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Wee! What amuses me is that the first half is almost identical to an environmental public service commercial from when I was a kid, except there the Earth got crumpled up like paper.
In unrelated news, the Iraqi soccer team is not too happy about Bush mentioning them in a political ad.
And in even more unrelated news, I watched the second half of Running Man on Telemundo, dubbed into Spanish. There's something about watching action movies dubbed into a language I don't understand that makes them feel more... pure. :)
And you know how they compress the end credits of movies and scroll them super fast on TV? Here was the mother of all credit-scroll-compressions: They took the original credits, squeezed them into three simultaneously scrolling columns such that I literally could not read the text on my 27" screen, and scrolled them at high speed, and didn't even bother finishing the scroll before cutting away! (Well, technically, one of the three columns had finished scrolling. :P) Impressive. :)
This Sacramento Bee story sums up my views on the Olympic coverage so far, namely, that the random little sports on cable coverage are a lot more exciting and interesting than the overhyped, taped-delayed prime time coverage.
In particular, I watched the second half of the Iraq-Costa Rica soccer game Sunday, and I thought that was really cool. I mean, they just lost against Morocco, but they're not going to get tortured for it when they get back home! Plus they're in the quarterfinals! I guess I'm ever the optimist by thinking that if they do well, that might just make Iraqis that much more optimistic themselves about their situation.
I love this sort of stuff: strange signs and pictoral documentation. The captions are kinda lame sometimes, but I find strangest about it is the interface. Try clicking on one of the images after you've zoomed in.
Now, I've seen that action trigger going to the next page. I've also seen it trigger returning to the index page. Both can make sense. Here, however, the image is divided into three regions: Clicking on the left or right third of the image moves you to the previous or next page, and clicking on the middle third of the image brings you to the index page. What I find ridiculous about it is that there is almost no visual feedback of what will happen when you click, unless you count the URL displayed in the status bar. Furthermore, since each image is a different width, it's not at all obvious where the boundaries are.
What a terrible idea.
A lot of the images are still quite amusing, though! :)
So I was watching Olympic women's beach volleyball (shut up), and I noticed that there are cheerleaders. Cheerleaders?!?! Isn't this the one sport that least requires cheerleaders? And aren't cheerleaders a little inappropriate for the Olympics? Although... that might make this the one sport where they would be most readily accepted. Oh, the paradox!
Or maybe it's just necessary to combat the terrible attendance. :P
Apparently, NBC will have more Olympic coverage this year than the last 5 Summer Olympics combined. They are broadcasting on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, USA, and Telemundo (as well as NBC Hi-Def). In fact, the coverage on Telemundo, the first entirely Spanish-language coverage in US history, will be almost as much as the Atlanta NBC coverage.
Despite all this coverage, the tape-delayed primetime broadcasts will probably still suck because of crappy commentating and too many "human interest stories". The middle-of-the-night live coverage on the cable channels will probably have less of that sort of thing though. Yay!
In other news, the first overt political act of the games: The Iranian judo world champion was drawn to face an Israeli in the first round. Iran has a policy against contact with any Israeli citizens, so he said that he would resign from the Games. He ended up being disqualified for not making his weight class.
Now, I'm not usually a huge fan of those Bush verbal gaffes, since I think making mistakes when you talk doesn't necessarily mean anything. But here's an example of a case where he clearly has not the slightest clue what he's talking about: Bush on Tribal Sovereignty [MP3, 30secs, 472KB]