Nov 00


it snowed here yesterday. 2 friggin inches. in november. before thanksgiving.

how screwy is that?

on a related note, if you’re driving to work, and it snowed the night before, for the love of God scrape off your windshield! i saw so many idiots driving around town today with little or no visibility out their back or side windows, and only a little ice-free peekaboo on the front. these are probably the same people that went out last night to get bread and milk at the grocery store, lest they be stuck inside by the horrible snowstorm…

Nov 00


i think i just got scammed, bigtime. someone calling, claiming to be from bellsouth, was offering to sign me up for a new “business advantage” plan for my existing bellsouth account. hell, it sounded like about a million other telemarketing calls i’ve gotten before. only she had, seemingly, all the right kinds of information. she then proceeded to, i think, record my voice agreeing to a number of questions like “this is to confirm your enrollment in the bellsouth business advantage plan. say yes at the beep, followed by the pound key”

it was only when they asked me to confirm my identity by saying aloud my social security number or my date of birth that i started to get suspicious. when i did say my birthdate, the recording hung up on me and i knew something was amiss. i’ll be following up on this shortly.

Nov 00

peeing in the bushes

if i was a dog, i would have just finished peeing in my neighbor’s bushes.

various animal species use differing means of marking their territories, ensuring that the food and mates within their domain remain solely theirs, and warning others passing through that they shouldn’t stop and make themselves comfortable.

some do this with an excretion from specialized glands, others, like dogs, will use their urine to make their dominance known.

you see, humans mark their territory, too. tribal customs vary in the primitive regions of the world, where totems, glyphs, or some other markings tell neighboring tribes where they are unwelcome. in the more “civilized” parts of the world, these are typically done in spraypaint.

where i live, in the Suburbs, the method of marking one’s territory relies upon one of two things: grass and leaves. this time of year, fallen leaves are gathered into piles for a number of purposes, but only from one’s own dominion. to gather leaves in a neighboring area under another’s control, or distribute the leaves of one’s own territory in another’s, is not encouraged, and typically results in some kind of ritual feud-like behavior, or at the least, social discomfort.

in the summer, when the grass grows thicker and faster, the males of the Suburbian species will spend hours on the weekend – that part of the week traditionally set aside for such rituals – trimming the grass that grows around their dwellings to a uniform height. how far from their homes they venture in this pursuit is determined by a number of factors, which i will touch upon in a moment, but the line of demarkation between the mown and the unmown determines what is “mine” and what is “theirs.” if one is lax in his duties, and allows his neighbors to determine these lines of demarkation, it’s possible he will lose control of some small part of his domain. in extreme circumstances, one will begin to trim the grass only when he hears the neighboring dominant male begin to trim his own, in an effort to be the one to make the determination where the line lay.

for some, the size of the domain, or “yard” is based on tradition: the “property line” runs from a certain tree to another, or along some other natural boundary – shrubbery for example – previously agreed upon through treaty or years of conflict. for others, the line is even more well marked, usually as a result of a past indiscretion or particularly violent conflict. often times, these indisputable boundaries are defended by guard dogs. such “Fences” are a sign of well-established territorial rights and entrenched heirarchical relations between neighboring Suburbanites

however, there are times when the boundaries between Yards is less clear, such as when the dominion of a certain plot changes hands. at these times, the new landholder must take cues from his neighboring Suburbanites as to the extent of his lands. an unscrupulous or opportunistic neighbor might take this opportunity to establish a new line, reclaiming for himself some of the newcomer’s lands by trimming the grass on this area, or claiming a particular shrubbery as his own, thus extending his own dominion at the expense of the newcomer.

when friendly relations are established between neighboring landholders, typically through the sharing of food and drink in a social ceremony, or, more commonly, through the ceremonial borrowing of tools and other implements used to tend one’s Yard. as newly arrived landholders do not often have their own implements, or else are unprepared for the climate and vegetation of his new Yard, this serves a double purpose: to strengthen the alliance between the new and old Neighbors through obligation and barter, and ensuring that the newcomer’s Yard is tended.

the latter is more important than it might at first seem. if a newcomer fails in his duties to his Yard, not only might his neighbors attempt to claim pieces of it for themselves, but it diminishes the perceived value of his lands, no matter how expansive. this diminished valuation also reflects upon the neighboring landholders. it is this value in the eyes of others that brings about the heightened competition some Suburbanites undergo, in which ultimate dominance over a large area, or Neighborhood, is established.

while not responsible for the upkeep of the Yards in the Neighborhood, the local Alpha Male will encourage the other males under his power to improve the appearance of their domains, if only to increase the valuation of his own Yard in the process. the imparting of knowledge in the form of the proper crops to plant for the climate, and the proper times and methods of planting and pruning, typically takes place at ceremonies similar to those initiating new neighbors. it is also at these events that social heirarchies are strengthened somehow through the preparation and consumption of large portions of meat alongside fermented beverages.

don’t for a moment think that the Suburbanite experience and domination rituals are entirely for the males of the species. for instance, at these “cookouts” mentioned above, the females of the species are often observed exchanging elaborately prepared meals and portions of meals. it has been theorized that the preparation of large amounts of food is to the female Suburbanite what the maintenance of the Yard is to the male. however, a full report on these observations will have to wait for a different forum, as the discussion of female behaviors requires more time and space than currently is practical here.

Nov 00

rant from michael moore: Stop Bush’s Theft of the People’s Will

i received this – posted originally here – from a friend via email, and i’m passing it on here (without permission. sue me.), just in case it hasn’t made its way to you all yet. i love michael moore’s commentaries on TV and the internet, and, no matter how you voted, i hope you find something interesting in his rant. enjoy.

November, 8 2000

Stop Bush’s Theft of the People’s Will

Dear friends,

It’s after 5am on the East coast and things couldn’t be more insane.

At 2:20am, they declared Bush the winner. Gore called Bush and conceded.

One hour later, all hell broke lose. Suddenly, Bush’s 50,000 vote lead in Florida had dropped to 500! Gore, getting ready to take the stage in Nashville to tell his supporters he had lost, looked at the new numbers and called Bush to take his concession back!

At 3:45am, they took Florida out of the Bush column. Bush’s lead had dropped to just 224 votes — with thousands of ballots still uncounted! The Florida Attorney General acknowledged on NBC that ballots in the Palm Beach area were suspiciously structured in such a way that people who thought they were voting for Gore ended up having their votes being counted for Pat Buchanan!

Now, an hour later, Gore has pulled out significantly ahead of Bush in the nationwide popular vote — at last count, Gore leads Bush by over 260,000 votes — and it continues to climb. Ten percent of California — a state which Gore is winning big — has yet to be counted. This will only add to his popular vote as the morning goes on.

One thing is certain now: According to all the networks, Gore is going to win the popular vote.

But they are also saying that, no matter if he has won the most votes, he may be denied the Presidency — because of the Electoral College!

My fellow Americans — we have to set aside our differences regarding Gore and Nader and demand, IMMEDIATELY DEMAND, that Bush step aside and not claim the Presidency based on this insane ancient Electoral College. The Electoral College was designed by the founding fathers who wrote it into the Constitution along with this rule: only white men who owned property and paid taxes would be allowed to vote.

The United States is no longer that country. This is a democracy. One person, one vote. We should have done away with this antique long before now. I guess no one ever thought it would come to a night like this.

Well, it did.

Even though I did not vote for Al Gore, for all the reasons I have previously stated (from his support of the death penalty to his promise to expand our militrary), the majority of those who voted yesterday DID vote for him — and, therefore the will of the people must be honored. He must take his seat in the Oval Office.

Already, the pundits and professional political hacks are harumphing about how the Constitution must be followed. They are saying both candidates knew the rules and now must abide by them.

It’s also against “The Law” to wear a hat on Sunday in Helena, Montana, and it is written into LAW that a woman in Tucson must not spit on the sidewalk. Those and thousand of laws like it are still on the books. But common sense dictates that we ignore these laws.

We must ask that common sense and decency prevail here with this election. Al Gore is the choice of the people. To go against that single, explicit fact would do more damage to an already cynical electorate than I want to imagine. Once again we had the same sad situation yesterday when half the country didn’t even vote! Can we afford to have more citizens lose even more faith in our democracy?

There will be ample time to analyze and discuss the other issues regarding this election. One thing is clear — most of the Nader voters decided at the last minute to change their vote to Al Gore. Nader’s 5% in the polls for the past month ended up being less than 3% in the voting booth. In Florida, Nader went from an expected 6% of the vote to only 1.7% of the votes cast! Exit polls showed that Fear of Bush lead to nearly all of Nader’s support there to switch over to Gore. Nader’s votes came from those who said they were registered Republicans or who were initially planning on not voting for either candidate. In Oregon, half of Nader’s voters went for Gore, with the same happening in Wisconsin. In the end, Ralph achieved neither his 5% goal, nor did his supporters help to elect Bush.

For me, what truly put Gore in jeopardy through most of the night was losing his home state to Bush. Those 11 electoral votes could have made all the difference. And to lose Clinton’s Arkansas was a serious blow to wrapping up the election early.

But a dead guy won, defeating a Republican incumbent Senator in Missouri. At least two or three women have been added to the ranks of the Senate. Hillary won, causing right-wing nuts everywhere to go into convulsions. The governor of Vermont, who many thought might lose because of his support of Vermont’s new gay marriage law, won. The state of Colorado, in the wake of Columbine, passed a gun control law by a vote of 70 to 30 percent. Michigan slammed Bush hard, as I predicted.

But, as I said, we can discuss all this later. Right now, all good citizens must speak out today, in the next few hours, loudly and clearly, that George W. Bush has lost the vote of the people and we will NEVER trust all the shenanigans that took place with the vote in Florida tonight — a vote presided over by none other than Little Brother Governor Jeb Bush!! Send e-mails, call talk shows, contact your congressmen and women — RAISE HOLY BLOODY HELL!!

I guess I’m not going to bed. My support for Nader will have no integrity if I am not willing to do everything in my limited power to support the main belief of the Nader campaign — demand that the will of the people be heeded and heard. I ask all of Ralph’s supporters — those who voted for him, and those who voted for Gore — to join with me this morning to stop this potential theft of our majority democratic rule.


Michael Moore

Nov 00


i’m going to vote in a little while, and when i get back, i expect to see everybody with one of those obnoxious little ‘i voted’ stickers on. seriously, go out and vote, even if it’s for Peanut Butter.

new rant coming up as soon as i get finished doing my civic duty.

Nov 00

don’t blame me. i voted for jefferson davis

so now i’ve voted. i’ve done my civic duty, exercized my rights as a citizen, and cancelled out my boss’ vote.

tomorrow we’ll know who won the race, whether it was the robot made of wood or John Quincy Bush, and whether or not the buchanans and naders managed to spoil things for somebody. i hope the third parties stirred things up enough to piss somebody off, anyway. we need more of a real democratic system, where decisions are really Multiple Choice and not True or False. in any event, though, i personally hope that voter turnout is better this year than in presidential elections past.

for one thing, the internet has become a major issue, both in campaigning and in building platforms. four years ago, nobody worried too much about filtering out the porn so that our kids wouldn’t have to see it when they went to the public library trying to find bomb-making instructions. nobody gave too much time to taxing internet commerce

so, hopefully the geek vote will be a boost. for whom, i’m not sure.

but i’ll be the geek vote would really turn things up if we could vote over the internet. even if it were only absentee ballots (of which i’ve filled out a few, while my permanant address was in a different state than the one i attended school) or other special cases, being able to vote in our pyjamas over the internet would give a good shot in the arm of our democratic system. considering that voter turnout is lower in our country than in some where those going to vote risk being shot at, anything would help. hell, i heard on the radio this morning that some organizers were worried that turnout would be low in some crucial states due to rain across large parts of the country today. hell, we could even use the great leaps in voice mail technology and implement remote voting by telephone – to vote for.. Gore Leiberman.. press 1 now. To vote for.. Bush Cheney.. press 2 now. to hear a thirty-second recording by the candidates, making a last-ditch effort to get your vote, press the pound key – we entrust the phone bloops and bleeps with our credit card numbers, why not voter registrations, etc?

one thing we could do to up the odds would be to make election day a national holiday, so people wouldn’t feel bad about leaving work to vote. or hell, make election day a saturday.

where i live, people in some districts have been able to vote for the last couple of weeks, so there was no excuse not to get out of the house unless you were a shut-in or under house arrest or something.

so, if you didn’t vote, don’t bitch.