And yet again.
kitten   September 30, 2001

Once again, syndacated columnist Ann Coulter has made a complete and utter ass of herself, and once again, I am here to mock her relentlessly. It still amazes me - and disgusts me - that someone with her caliber of undistilled ignorance can be published, and is actually respected by some.

In this article we find Miss Coulter (she's still "Miss", but not by choice - she has made repeated complaints that no men seem to find her attractive. I wonder why?) lamblasting America's policy on immigrants in light of the recent attacks.


Congress has authority to pass a law tomorrow requiring aliens from suspect countries to leave. As far as the Constitution is concerned, aliens, which is to say non-citizens, are here at this country's pleasure. They have no constitutional right to be here.

Apparently, Ann Coulter thinks the Statue Of Liberty is just some sort of hyperbole. I seem to remember it saying something about "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.."
And just how will you determine who is from a "suspect country"? For anything Ann knows to the contrary, Canada is harboring terrorists.In fact, they are. So is America. Terrorist cells are in just about every county on the planet.

Pious invocations of the Japanese internment are absurd. For one thing, those were U.S. citizens. Citizens can't be deported. So far -- thank God -- almost all the mass murderers of Americans have been aliens.

Wait, what was that guy's name? Oh, right - Tim McVeigh. I seem to remember him not only being an American, but a decorated Marine.

Rather, Congress is busily contemplating a series of "anti-terrorism" measures most notable for their utter irrelevance to the threat. What precisely would a national ID card accomplish? The hijackers were in this country legally!

Ann, you bloody misguided, pathetic, know-nothing ignoramus. Congress's proposal for national ID cards would apply only to citizens, not immigrants. Go back, read, insert another quarter, and try again.Now, one of my personal favorite gems:


As the entire country has been repeatedly lectured, most Muslims are amazingly peaceful, deeply religious, wouldn't hurt a fly.

Is this the same Ann Coulter who stated - without humor - that the only reason someone would commit an atrocity like the WTC attacks is because they weren't Christian? Is the the same Ann Coulter who believes we should swoop down from On High into any country we don't like, assassinate all the leaders, and convert everyone to Christianity?

Indeed, endless invocations of the pacific nature of most Muslims is the only free speech it is safe to engage in these days.This is a preposterous irrelevancy. Fine, we get it. The New York Times can rest assured that every last American has now heard the news that not all Muslims are terrorists. That's not the point.

Actually, that is the point, Ann.. especially given the fact that backwater, racist, insensitive pinheads like yourself are screaming like banshees for the blood of anyone who happens to be of Middle Eastern descent.

Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims

I don't think the audience needs my commentary on this. I would cry no tears if Ann Coulter were dragged off into the depths of Hell. In fact, I'd give her a good shove on the way.

How are we to distinguish the peaceful Muslims from the fanatical, homicidal Muslims about to murder thousands of our fellow citizens?

I don't know, Ann. How are we to distinguish the Good White American Christian who is going about his business from the guy in the cubicle next to his, also a Good White American Christian, who is about to lock and load his MAC-10 and wipe out most of his office?

The only thing we know about them -- other than that they live among us -- is that they are foreign-born and they are Muslims. The government has been remarkably tight-lipped about precisely how many Muslim visitors we are currently accommodating, but from unofficial estimates, there appear to be more than a million.

Ann Coulter reminds me of Ptolmey, sitting at the center of creation while everything revolves around her and America. From her point of view, America is the Be-All and End-All, the final pinnacle of political evolution, the only thing that matters to anybody. All other countries are simply by-products of some sort.. peculiar irregularities that will have to be disposed of. Resistance is futile.Let us not forget how many millions of Americans are currently living in other countries, Ann. There's several million in Europe alone. Oh, but they deserve to be there, isn't that right? In fact, not only do they deserve to be there, but other countries should be dancing with ecstacy that Americans have deigned to grace them with their presence.. because Everyone Loves America, and Americans are so well-behaved and understanding of other cultures.

Are the good Muslims the ones who live quiet lives, pray a lot and obey the law? So did the architects of Bloody Tuesday's mass murder.

And most crimes in America - especially high-profile mass killing sprees - are commited by Americans whose neighbors say "He seemed like such a quiet sort, I never thought he'd do something like that." What's your fucking point, Ann?

It is impossible to stop Islamic fundamentalists who believe that slaughtering thousands of innocent Americans will send them straight to Allah. All we can do is politely ask aliens from suspect nations to leave -- with the full expectation of readmittance -- while we sort the peace-loving immigrants from the murderous fanatics.

And how do you propose to "sort" them, Ann? You just informed us that the terrorists were "quiet, deeply religious, and law-abiding". While we're at it, since most murders and violent crimes in the US are commited by Americans, why don't we deport everyone, and "sort" them too.

More benefits of the plan next week, but the beauty part of the Terrorist Deportation Plan can't wait. There will be two fail-safes: (1) Muslim immigrants who agree to spy on the millions of Muslim citizens unaffected by the deportation order can stay; (my emphasis)

Just a damn minute.. for 85% of this article, your entire argument has hinged on Citizens vs Immigrants. And now the truth comes out.. you don't care that they're citizens, like you've been saying.. what you really care about is that they're Muslims. So I guess all those "pious invocations" of Japanese internment camps weren't "absurd" after all, you Whore Of Babylon.

This is brutally unfair to the Muslim immigrants who do not want to kill us. But it's not our fault. It is the fault of the terrorists who are using their fellow Muslims as human shields.

No terrorist ever had the idea of using "fellow Muslims" that way. It is people like you, Ann, who are shoving all Muslims in the crossfire and then bitching that they're in the way.

So far, America's response to a calculating cold-blooded enemy has been to say, "Excuse me, you seem to have dropped your box-cutter."

Har har, that was so fucking funny, Ann, why are you here writing shitty two-bit columns full of hatred, bigotry, racism, and twisted nonlogic, when you could be making a fortune as a stand-up comedian?

By the way, if anybody wishes to get in contact with Ann Coulter herself, you can do so here. I know I've got a few words for her.

Thanks to Ryan for bringing this article to my attention. From Atlanta, good morning.

Treasures have I in my korabushka.
kitten   September 29, 2001

And now it's time for History Of The Russian State, part II. I'm your host, kitten. With me this morning is Boney M, noted historians specializing in German and Russian culture.

Q: Thanks for being here with me this morning, Boney M.
A: No problem, kitten. This website is the best thing on the Internet, and we're proud to have our names attached to it.

Q: Oh, you flatter me. I can't take all the credit though. Bryan helped. A little bit.
A: Bryan wouldn't be able to tie his own shoelaces without your guiding wisdom, kitten.

Q: Well, enough about me. What can you tell our audience about Rasputin, scoundrel and lover of Imperial Russia?
A: There lived a certain man in Russia long ago. He was big and strong, in his eyes a flaming glow.
Most people looked at him with terror and with fear, but to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear.
He could preach the bible like a preacher, full of ecstacy and fire.But he also was the kind of teacher women would desire.

Q: Fascinating. What was his relationship to the Queen of Russia? (Which is where Bryan lives, incidentially.)
A: Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen.. there was a cat that really was gone.Ra Ra Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine.. it was a shame how he carried on.

Q: Is it true that Rasputin was the understood ruler of Russia, despite the figurehead of the Czar? And why did the Queen have such an implicit and unwavering trust in his abilities?
A: He ruled the Russian land and never mind the Czar, but the kasachok he danced really wunderbar.
In all affairs of state he was the man to please, but he was real great when he had a girl to squeeze.
For the queen he was no wheeler dealer, though she'd heard the things he'd done.
She believed he was a holy healer who would heal her son.

Q: Perhaps you could share your insights regarding the growing animosity towards Rasputin shortly before his death.
A: When his drinking and lusting and his hunger for power became known to more and more people, the demands to do something about this outrageous man became louder and louder.

Q: The demands for Rasputin's blood eventually lead to a call for action.
A: "This man's just got to go!" declared his enemies, but the ladies begged "Don't you try to do it, please."No doubt this Rasputin had lots of hidden charms.. though he was a brute they just fell into his arms
Then one night some men of higher standing set a trap, they're not to blame:
"Come to visit us" they kept demanding; and he really came.

Q: And upon his arrival, he was treated to feast and elixir in copious quantities. However, his enemies had rough-hewn his ends, no matter the divinity that shapes them.
A: Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen.. They put some poison into his wineRa ra Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine.. He drank it all and he said "I feel fine."Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen.. They didn't quit, they wanted his head.Ra Ra Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine. And so they shot him till he was dead.

...

Oh, those Russians.

But to Moscow chicks, he was such a lovely dear.

INT: DINER - NIGHTIt's a pretty good crowd for a Friday evening. KITTEN and JEN are sitting at a booth.


JEN:I'll be right back.

JEN gets up and wanders in the direction of the bathroom.
KITTEN lights a cigarette and begins giggling. A woman wearing a grey shirt is staring at him.
KITTEN takes a drag off his cigarette, looks away from the woman, and starts giggling again, choking on his cigarette. He's now drawing the attention of the people in the opposite booth. The woman continues starting at him.

KITTEN: (sotto voce)I want it that way.. (giggles)

CUT TO - WOMAN
She's looking at KITTEN as though he just grew a third head and the first two heads are arguing about whose fault it is.
CUT TO - KITTEN
who is nearly hysterical with laughter right now.

WOMAN: (giving him a look)What's funny?

KITTEN: Well, I was sitting here, you see, going through all the possible permutations of Backstreet Boy song titles, and --

The WOMAN turns away, with a mixture of disgust and wonderment. KITTEN is almost falling out of his seat by this time, and the people in the opposite booth are muttering to each other and pointing. The patrons in the booth directly behind KITTEN are leering at him and rolling their eyes.

FADE OUT.

True story, unfortunately. I had half the smoking section staring at me like I was some sort of leper, nudging each other and snickering at my antics, just because I was giggling hysterically at something that wasn't readily apparant to anyone but me. And yes, that line about "permutations" is 100% verbatim. I don't think the woman understood the word "permutation", but whatever.

And just what was so funny, you ask? Well, precisely what I was telling her:The Backstreet Boys have had a number of hit songs, including I Want It That Way, and Backstreet's Back (All Right).
And of course Backstreet Wants It That Way, All Right I Want It Back, and the timeless classic I Want It Backstreet's Way,.
And who could forget Backstreet Wants It All Right, and All Backstreet Wants Is Right.
These smash hits were followed up with the number one singles Back To Wanting It Backstreet's Way, All I Want Is Backstreet, Right, and of course Backstreet's Way Is All Right.

Look, it was funny at the time. I guess you had to be there. But it was funny. No no, it was.
Stop looking at me like that.

You cannot escape your destiny..
kitten   September 27, 2001

After much nail-biting and waiting by the phone, I finally received word that I got the job I'd interviewed for.

Interestingly enough, I start Monday, and the boss (the only other person in the office most times, apparently) goes out of town Tuesday. Which means I'm to be the Guy Who Runs Stuff in the interem.

But that's okay.. kitten is in the house and he be takin' care of business.

Postscript: Thanks to Dan and Bryan for bitching at me about "professionalism".

Mindless ranting.
kitten   September 25, 2001

I turn on my television. The first thing I happen to see is an advert for Charter Cable Communications. I consider: How would I be watching this ad unless I already subscribed to Charter?

Later, I see a commercial for the gas company, Atlanta Gas & Light, which as far as I can tell has a monopoly on natural gas in Atlanta (you can sort of choose which marketer to go through, sometimes, but they all report back to AGL anyway). Why are they advertising, I wonder? Afraid I'll go to a competitor? Perhaps they hope that I'll use more gas than I would otherwise? "Hey, Atlanta Gas & Light is a really great company, let's run the hot water for a while and use natural gas! What a great product!"

Same goes for the endless commercials for Georgia Power. Look, you fools: I use electricity on an "as needed" basis, okay? I'm not going to go turn more lights on because your slick PR ads make your company look good. Maybe you'd be able to charge me less for my electricity if you weren't blowing your budget on pointless commercials for a product I have very little choice in using.

At least those companies are advertising an actual company, and not just a generic product. Is anybody else tired of seeing commercials that extoll the virtues of plastic in our everyday lives? Does anybody care? If I buy something, and it's made of plastic, fine. If not, that's fine as well. Quite frankly I don't care either way. I'm certainly not going to go on some crusade to purchase only those items which contain plastic because goddammit, "plastic makes it possible".I don't care about the wonders of milk, either. If I want milk, I'll drink milk. If I don't, I won't. I'm aware that there is a liquid consumable called "milk" available - I certainly don't need seventy commercials to bring the product to my attention.

How about the phone company, which has a new design for its bill every month or two? A good portion of the outrageous price they're charging me (for shitty ass service, by the way) is probably going to a bunch of idiots to sit around and think of new designs for the bill. "Say, I bet our customers would really appreciate it if there were pictures of Dangerously Happy People on the bill!"

I hate bills. I know everyone hates paying enormous sums of money to these companies month after month after bloody month, but I hate bills for other reasons too. I'm sick of all the little party favors and brochures and other bits of trash that come with the bills each time, such that I have a kilogram of pointless garbage to sift through just so I can find out how much I owe these nitwits.
I'd like to see a company that doesn't have friendly designs for bills, doesn't send out advertisements for a service I'm already obviously using, doesn't stuff my envelopes with stupid shit that I'm just going to throw out anyway. When I get a bill, all I want is an account number, the amount I owe, and maybe a phone number for customer service. That's it. I don't care if the font is pretty or if it has pictures of flowers on top or has Helpful Tips For Saving Energy or includes leaflets with photos of Happy Normal People Who Just Love Using Natural Gas. Just tell me what I owe, and I'll pay you, and you can stop wasting my time and money.

Here's my Helpful Tip For Saving Money for companies of all types: Quit squandering your money on nonsense, and pass the savings along to the consumer. That would be the best advertising you could possibly come up with.

Morons.

What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?
kitten   September 21, 2001

People seem to have very strange ideas about atheism, what it means, and what it is.

It bothers me that someone can read a Bible at a coffee shop and nobody will look twice or think anything is strange - but I cannot read a book with the word "atheism" in the title without getting bizarre looks and mutterings from passerby.

Some people think atheists are devil-worshippers. Some people realize that many Communists have been atheists, and assume some sort of connection. People have quite a host of misconceptions about atheism.

I'm here to set a few quick things straight.

"Theism" is defined as "a belief in a god or gods". Doesn't matter which particular religion, or any particular religion - if you believe there is a god, or gods, you are a theist.

The prefix "a-" means "without". So atheism literally means "without a belief in a god or gods".

An atheist is anybody who lacks a positive theistic belief. That's all. Someone who has never heard of the concept of god (and has not thought of it themselves) would be an atheist, for he lacks a positive theistic belief. Technically, agnostics are a type of atheist - they do not say "God is," and therefore lack a positive theistic belief.

The term "atheist" signifies one thing, and one thing only: The disagreement with, or rejection of, theism. It does not announce any other particular belief set (like communism or capitalism), nor does it announce one's agreement with, or approval of, other atheists. Any other doctrines to which an atheist may or may not subscribe are totally unrelated to that person's views on theology.

Far too many people think atheism is a positive assertion: "The belief that a god or gods do not exist." This simply isn't so. Atheism is not a belief, but an absence of belief.An atheist may be capatalist or communist, a producer or a parasite, an honest man or a liar, mentally balanced or neurotically unstable. None of these things are related in any way to his stance on theology.

So please, the next time you encounter an atheist, don't run away, or give him strange looks, or assume he's some sort of demon. He's just a regular guy - without the mysticism.

Incompetance, thy name is Ma Bell.
kitten   September 20, 2001

The situation:
The phone rings once, and stops. Nobody is on the other end.Sometimes the phone doesn't actually ring when someone is calling.When conversing, ghostly echos of modems and other phones ringing can be heard. Well, you can sort of hear them - they're difficult to discern over the loud obnoxious buzzing noise that permeates the line.
My phone rings when my roommate's phone rings, and vice versa. Our respective answering machines both pick up after four rings and battle each other for control of the line.
Sometimes the phone will disconnect in the middle of a conversation - mysteriously, inexplicably.

At first, it would seem that I'm describing the phone system of Nicaruaga, but I'm not. In fact I am describing my phone service: A phone service that doesn't work about a quarter of the time, and when it does, you have to keep saying "What?" because you can't hear over the buzzing and echo of voices and modems and shit in the background. A phone service that tells callers "The number you are trying to reach is not available" about half the time. A phone service that is so bad, my modem won't connect most of the time, and when it does, it can only manage 4800bps. A phone service, in short, that fucking sucks.

If Bellsouth thinks I'm paying them another fifty bucks this month so I can have this, they're dead wrong. My roommate called them about two weeks ago and had them check, and they said it was an "internal wiring problem" - which is their way of saying "We don't know, so we can't fix it for free. If you want us to fix it you're going to have to pay us a lot of money.

"Internal wiring, my ass. Funny how my "internal" problems started on the exact day those morons started jacking around with the network box outside the complex - and might I add that they've been fucking around out there every single day except weekends for a solid month. Is it pure coincidence that my problems started exactly when they started screwing around?
Would they care to explain to me how an "internal" problem makes my phone ring when my neighbor's phone rings? How an "internal" problem causes me to hear ghost voices and modem echos? Do they think I'm "internally" connected to the entire fucking planet?

Fuck you, Bellsouth. Fuck you and your twisted copper pair piece of shit wires and your goddamn useless service technicians who are so incompetant they couldn't sell fake patents to their own mothers. Fuck you, and your goddamned penny-counters who shut the phone service without hestitation if you're five cents short paying the bill. Fuck you.

"Look daddy, I'm President just like you!"
kitten   September 17, 2001

This article, dated May 2001, deserves serious reading. It's short. It's shocking. Go read.

Release the hounds.
kitten   September 15, 2001

Here, we have the idiotic words of either Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson (we're not entirely sure whom to attribute this to), regarding the attacks of Sep 11:

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."
Apparently, anyone who isn't white, Christian, heterosexual, and in favor of a state-sponsered (Christian) religion is responsible for this.

When zealots like this point to the attacks as a reason to embrace religion, I point to the attacks and say "This is what happens when people take religion too seriously."

Sourced by Bret.

Die.
kitten   September 13, 2001

I have decided that Ann Coulter, syndacated columnist, needs to die. Slowly. Painfully. Her head spiked outside the city gates.

In this article she explains that the reason the terrorists attacked us is because they aren't Christian. A few choice excerpts:


This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack. Those responsible include anyone anywhere in the world who smiled in response [to the news]."

Great, lady. We should go kill anybody who disagrees with the mighty US, regardless of whether or not they did anything to us.

Airports scrupulously apply the same laughably ineffective airport harassment to Suzy Chapstick as to Muslim hijackers. It is preposterous to assume every passenger is a potential crazed homicidal maniac. We know who the homicidal maniacs are.

That's right, it's those filthy Arabs, you racist insensitive fuckface two-bit dipshit. Every Muslim is probably a hijacker, not "Suzy Chapstick", the nice white Christian. Go to hell, Ann Coulter.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Because anybody who believes in Christ would never (Crusades), ever (Inquisition), think of hurting anybody who wasn't like them (Holocaust).

We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians.

Almost everyone in Germany at that time was involved with the war, you fucking dipshit. And by the way, Hitler was a Christian. So much for your idiotic theory.
Isn't it bad enough that thousands of people are dead, without having to drag religion into it? Must you use the same demented logic as the terrorists, laying down a blanket racist stereotype on everybody who isn't like you?

In this gem she attempts to use satire - failing miserably - to argue that abortion is bad. Whether or not abortion is bad is besides the point I'm getting at here.. I merely wish to show that her next article extolls the virtues of the death penalty. "Abortion kills! Death penalty is good!" Make up your feeble mind, you ignoramus.

Ohio resident Brian Dalton was recently in the news for coming under legal prosecution for child pornography. He was writing child-porn related things in his personal diary, which he kept at home, and did not show to anybody. While I personally think that child pornography is revolting, as long as he wasn't pushing it on anybody, I don't see what the problem is.
But Ann Coulter strongly disagrees. She feels that


Dalton insists he had no intention of sharing his journal with his pederast friends. It was for his eyes only. This point has great emotional appeal, but throws into doubt whether Dalton's journal qualifies as "speech." To whom was he speaking?

and goes on to claim that since he had no intention of showing this to anybody, he wasn't trying to 'communicate' and therefore his "mere words" are not protected under the First Amendment. From this she concludes that

Dalton was either pandering child pornography or he was talking to himself - which obviously isn't protected by the Constitution. ... The states can do anything that isn't prohibited by the Constitution. If a state wants to outlaw artichokes, it can, unless the artichoke is actually, say, a gun, in which case it is constitutionally protected.

Let's ignore that last sentence, as it is utterly incomprehensible to anyone but Coulter herself. The point is that this advocate of Thought Police feels that either: Dalton was peddling child porn (in which case he should be locked up), or else he was talking to himself in his own personal journal (in which case, she argues, the state "has a right" to ban talking to one's self and therefore he should be locked up). As Coulter states,

If Dalton's journal was intended solely for his own individual pleasure, it's not apparent why it should have any greater constitutional significance than a blow-up doll.

Well damn, Ann, if Dalton's journal was intended solely for his own individudal pleasure, then who the fuck was he hurting that you have to swoop down like a goddamn Harpie and scream for wrathful vengeance? Instead of screaming "Won't somebody think of the children!" maybe you should first demonstrate that children were actually harmed because of this. Merely because the state can ban anything that isn't specifically protected, doesn't mean they should.. by Coulter's logic, stupid idiotic anorexic right-wing feminist pro-death-penalty anti-abortion dipshits like herself should be banned. And why not? I didn't see a specific protection for being a moron in the Constitution.

God, I'm bitter.

Remember.
kitten   September 12, 2001
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red. This story shall the good man teach his son... From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered - We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition.

- William Shakespeare, King Henry V

"Now my soul is troubled and what shall I say?"
kitten   September 11, 2001
"Tis the wind, and nothing more."
kitten   September 10, 2001

Life's imponderables.


[kitten] I noticed tonight that Jen's shirt is still here.
[stevers] heh.
[kitten] I was asleep when she left this morning.
[kitten] But uh.
[kitten] I'm sort of wondering what she was wearing when she left, you know?
[kitten] Cause uh.
[kitten] Her shirt is *here*.
[stevers] haha

I love my life.
kitten   September 9, 2001

It's time now for kitten checks his mail.


"You owe us money."
"You owe them money."
"Your service will be disconnected for nonpayment."
"On behalf of the people you owe money to, we demand you pay money."
"You owe us more money."
"Your bank account is in the triple-digit negatives. Please give us money."
"You just paid us, but now you have to pay us again."
"It's time to pay the piper. Give us money."
"You're gonna die."

Yes, life is wonderful.

So I went to my
kitten   September 6, 2001

So I went to my car today and there's a big fucking sticker on it that says "Improperly parked: Expired tag. This vehicle will be towed." The target date was the 10th, and the date of the sticker was given as the 1st (must I point out that it is actually the 6th?).

Under whose authority is my car to be towed, I wonder? This is not a public parking lot; it is for residents of the private properties of the condominiums. I can only conclude one of two things: Either some busybody neighbor who can't mind their own damn business called the towing company about this (my car was not the only one), or the towing company simply decided to make rounds on private fucking property and see who they could bother.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is unacceptable. I'm well aware that my license plate is expired, but without insurance there's nothing I can do about it. I'm aware of the situation and working as quickly as possible to resolve it....so if everyone could do me a great favor and get out of my face that'd be great. I've got a number of other very serious things to deal with, and this is the last bloody thing I need.

What seems to be the problem, Officer?
kitten   September 5, 2001

Been doing a bit of thinking on the subject of laws recently. This is in part due to the book I'm currently reading: Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. The book is arguably a piece of libertarian propaganda disguised as a science fiction novel. Or vice-versa.

It's also due in part to my recenently being pulled over by one of Cobb County's finest.

As always, the first thing the officer demanded was my license and proof of insurance. I got to thinking: Why is it a law that I must have insurance?
It may be a wise decision to have insurance - but surely, isn't that a decision best left to the individual? For example, let us imagine a millionaire who does not have auto insurance. He knows that if he ever gets in an accident, he can cover the costs of repairs out of his own pocket, and if the accident is his fault, he has enough money to cover the other person as well. Yet this hypothetical millionaire is still breaking the law. I ask: Why? What possible justification can there be to require this man to have insurance when he does not want or need it?
We are being forced - under law - to pay outrageous sums to private organizations for services we will probably never need. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?Government is two-faced on this. Out of one side of it's idiot mouth, Government denounces gambling in almost every respect. But on the other side, it forces us to gamble with insurance.
Think of it for a moment. Assuming that we all had a choice whether or not to have insurance, the only people who would purchase it would be the ones who think the odds are high that they will have an accident - while the insurance company simultaneously bets that the odds are low. No matter how you mince words, this is gambling - plain and simple. It's playing the odds, end of story, that's all she wrote.And because it's a law, the private organizations (insurance companies) can do whatever they damn well please and charge whatever ridiculously high rates they wish - and you can't do a damn thing about it.
Same goes for Social Security. Theoretically (though everyone knows better and the government makes no apologies), the system works like this: The SS tax that is ripped away from you every paycheck is put into a little account with your name and number on it, and when you retire, you can have it back. That's right. The government is once again forcing you to pay for a service you may not want or need, because they think it'll be good for you later. (Add that to the fact that most people my age will never collect a single dime of that SS money, and it's quite a tangled web of stupidity.)

As Heinlein wrote:


There is no greater tyranny than to force a man to pay for something he does not want, simply because you think it would be good for him.

Wise words indeed. And that's how our government operates, in the "it's for your own good", "Father knows best" mentality.
Do this. Don't do that. Stand here. Walk there. Sign this. Is that filled out in triplicate? Make sure you have this. Don't ever have that. Live the way we tell you to even if you don't like it.. it's for your own good. And now pay us for telling you these things.
Government makes up stupid things, forces you to do them, and then charges you money for the service - a service you didn't want, didn't ask for, don't need, and have no choice in.
Case in point: I am going to have to go to court over this traffic ticket which I received for not having proof of my insurance. It's outrageous enough that I have to do this because there's a law about something that should be optional - but it gets worse. After I tapdance for the judge I'll have to pay a "processing fee" to the court for the service of being seen by the court - a service they forced upon me against my will, a service I do not need, do not want, and did not ask for.
I for one am getting fine tired of being treated like a little kid by Big Brother. The laws are always enacted with the mentality that nobody is bright enough to know when to do something and when to not do something. While I'm not turning into a free-for-all anarchist here, the idea that maybe we should let people have a bit more autonomy is starting to make more sense to me. If someone wishes to engage in actions or behavior that will undermine them, I say: Let them. The folly of poor decisions will come back to them soon enough. But it should be their own choice, and it should not be for anyone else to force decisions upon them.

God, I'm bitter.

For the love of Squaresoft.
kitten   September 4, 2001

Stupid kitten.


-:- kitten [glitter@user-105nae0.dialup.mindspring.com] has joined #mirrorshades
[harb] oi.
[kitten] vusy
[harb] Uh.
[harb] Are you getting head?
[harb] No?
[harb] Then pay attention to me.
[harb] Matt and I went to Hooters for dinner.
[harb] Our waitress had *really* cool eyes.
[kitten] yes, Andy is being blindfolded right now. He'll be with you in a moment.
[harb] er.
[harb] Let's not have sex and then tell Bryan about it, okay?
[harb] Bryan doesn't need to know these things.
[harb] Bryan has nightmares as it is.

That reminds me. Jen has really cool eyes, too.

Stupid girls.

* * Postscript * *

From the desk of kitten:
Normally, it would be absolutely against my ethics to tamper with any of Bryan's posts, even adding an addendum such as this one, but this time I simply must explain the context of this excerpt.
Jen came over this afternoon while I was online. I didn't bother disconnecting, and Jen apparently thinks it's hilarious to go over to the computer and make little status reports about stuff when I'm not paying attention, just to see what reaction she can provoke.
While I do not encourage this, I don't have any real problem with it. But let it be known for the record that it was not my idea and that I had absolutely no knowledge of it, and nothing to do with it.
Thank you and good evening.
- kitten

Get up get up, put your body in motion.
kitten   September 1, 2001

The continuing saga of "kitten tries to pay his bills":

Today I went back, bill in hand, and forked $109.67 over to the moron behind the desk. That's what it said on my bill, and that's how much I paid. In cash.

"Well," she says, "this will take five to seven business days to go through."
"Five to seven business days? For what?"
"That's just how long it takes."

Now, this can't be a so-called "hold" on anything, because I paid in cash, not a credit card or check. So would someone like to explain to me exactly why this process takes five to seven days to come to fruition?

This is the fucking information age, people. We are not living in the fucking 1800s when things had to be physically transported via horse, okay? We can move data at the speed of light. Click your mouse or push whatever buttons you need to push and get some electrons moving.

It annoys me no end that these idiots are so behind the times. I see it highly likely that my power will be cut off before the payment actually reaches the necessary people, and then I'll have to give them even more money to turn the power back on because I didn't pay "on time", despite the receipt I'm holding that proves I did. I've had to deal with this sort of thing before.. I had a receipt that showed that my phone bill was paid before the deadline, and my phone was cut off anyway, and I had to pay a reconnect fee on top of the money I already paid them, plus a "late fee".

Because somehow it's my fault that they can't take advantage of modern technology.