Dennis Farina was born February 29, 1944, which makes this his sixteenth birthday.
And you know what that means, don't you? It means he's eligible for his learner's permit!
So I'd like to share the benefit of my years of wisdom with Dennis, on this, his coming of age.
Driving's a big responsibility, young man. Don't treat it as a way to pick up chicks; driving a car is far more important that simply picking up chicks. It's a way to drive them to a remote location to have sex with them. And having a car gives you a PLACE to do it, too.
So carry breath mints, Trojans, and make sure you have them home by their curfews. And don't forget to clean out your car before Dad takes it to work in the morning.
February 29, 2008
February 25, 2008
Last year, I put up a story about WFOR getting their facts wrong. Eventually, they corrected their story, although as far as I know, I'm the only one who heard their apology. Nothing about the error ever appeared on their website. I didn't think it was all that big a deal; it didn't besmirch anyone's reputation beyond their own.
I just didn't realize how badly stained their reputation already was.
Turns out, that wasn't the first time WFOR put up false information. Back in October 2006, they interrupted programming to report that the son of Miami-Dade Police Director Robert Parker had been arrested for armed robbery. The fact is that Robert Parker Jr. hadn't been arrested; for that crime or any other.
To add insult to injury, when WFOR reporter Gary Nelson arrived at the police station to cover the story and was told that Robert Parker, JR hadn't been arrested, Nelson immediately called his station to report that the police were engaged in a cover-up!
From the Herald article:
''Nelson then proceeded to get on his cellular phone and told someone that he felt that there was some sort of cover-up,'' according to the lawsuit, filed by firm Martin, Lister, Alvarez & Genovese.The false story was on their website, and was repeated on air several times, over several hours. Eventually, of course, they did retract the story and apologize for their error.
At the time of the story, WPLG interviewed Director Parker, who said in part:
"...a great travesty has been done here in terms of besmirching my reputation..."
Of course, WFOR chose a different quote:
"It's certainly unfortunate and I'm already starting to feel the effects of it."
I certainly remember the story; but I do not remember the correction. I guess they didn't interrupt programming several times to make it.
Robert Parker has filed a lawsuit against WFOR and Gary Nelson. His son, Robert Jr, is also a plaintiff in the suit.
February 24, 2008
February 19, 2008
This is from David Terrenoire, at his blog A Dark Planet
A couple of the best snippets:
A couple of the best snippets:
He killed thousands of innocent people without cause, outlawed music, tapped the phones of his enemies, and threw poets into jail without trial.And this one:
I don't know why Jesse Helms didn't love this guy. Maybe it was the free education and health care.
I told this story in Beneath A Panamanian Moon, and it was based on a real incident. I knew a man named Choppo who had fought with Fidel in the mountains of Cuba. Choppo had on his wall an 8x10 of himself and Fidel firing up a massive baton. When I asked Choppo about El Presidente he said, "Fidel was a good man, but then he got caught up in politics."Tip o' the hat to Dusty for pointing this out.
There's a lesson for us all, I think, in this election year.
February 10, 2008
February 6, 2008
How do I know evolution is a fact? God told me so.
Yeah, God and I are friends. We go waaaay back.
So I asked him. What's the point of having a personal relationship with your deity if you can't get him to clarify the really big questions?
"Say, G; what about evolution?"
"What about it?"
"Is it bunk, or what?"
"No, it's not 'bunk.' Give me break. Why would I waste time on it if it were 'bunk?'"
"But according to the Bible, You created the universe and everything in it!"
"But then, doesn't that mean that 'evolution' is bunk? I mean, if You created it, life on earth should have just sprung up instantly, whole and perfect?"
"According to who?"
"Well, all those Southern Baptists, for starters."
"Feh. Like THEY know anything. I love them, like I love all my creations, but c'mon. They're dogmatic pedants. They're like puppies; I did not put them on earth to provide Wisdom, they're here to be fiercely loyal. And to piddle on stuff."
"I thought that your creations were all, you know, perfect?"
"No, only I am perfect."
"OK, but...well...if You are perfect, why wouldn't everything You make be Perfect?"
"Why should it be? Like I said, I'm perfect. Just me. Nothing else. That's why I used the exact words 'ONLY I am perfect.' If other stuff were perfect, it would be ME. Since it is NOT me, it cannot be perfect."
"... so why....I guess I just don't understand."
"OK, OK, I'll explain it to you. About 14 billion years ago, I had a Thought. That Thought was expressed as the Big Bang. The idea of the universe blew into existence."
"So, then, everything is really old, and science is wrong?"
"Hush, now. I'm explaining all that. I Thought of the universe, but not all at once. First, there was, 'What if there was Reality?' and that was the Big Bang. Then I thought, what if there was STUFF in Reality, and then It was filled with all the basic building blocks of everything. Then I thought of swirling clouds, and then I thought they could get denser, and then I thought about STARS and PLANETS, and then I thought there should be LOTS of those, and then I thought about galaxies, and so on."
"And then I eventually thought, hm, wouldn't it be cool if some of the planets developed Life? It could condense out of the chemical soups that puddled on the rocks. And then I thought it could evolve into really cool stuff; plants, animals, condrefinessors...stuff like that."
"Oh, just something that didn't take. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Changed my mind."
"Wait, are you saying YOU invented evolution?"
"DUH! Of course I invented it, dummy!"
God takes a deep breath, and lets it out slowly.
"Because I like things to develop, to change. Everything changes; change is good. Besides, do you really think I have time to engineer every stupid little insect on your little dirtball? Do you have ANY IDEA how fucking BIG the universe has gotten? it takes ten times longer to get from one side to the other than the the whole fucking thing has even EXISTED!"
"oh, that's pretty, well, big I guess..."
"Bet your fucking ASS it is. So rather than waste my time on stupid details, I set up some Rules."
"Oh, the Ten Commandments! I know about those!"
"No, not the Stone Hoax; why would I make such a stupid and provinicial code? I don't care who you worship, or any of that crap! That crazy old Egyptian stole most of those so-called commandments from the Babylonians, and they stole it from the Hishites, who borrowed it from the Klanduskans, and THEY adopted it from the Rock Falls Hard tribe."
"Crazy Egyp...I thought it was Moses."
"Yeah, Moses carved 'em up."
"But he was...jewish...wasn't he?"
"He wished. Nah, he some random bastard son of the Pharoah's who had the hots for a jewess with a big family. He got her whole extended family to walk off into the desert to find 'the promised land.' Give me a break, they were in the garden spot of North Africa, and HE says 'there's a better place, follow me!' What a nutcase! Anyway, we're getting off the subject. No,the Rules of life were not the Ten Taboos. I'm talking about DNA. I eventually thought of DNA, and I set it up to build new life. I set it to mutate every so often,so that new kinds of life would happen. I then set up conditions that would test that life. Successful forms would live long enough to become new and better forms. Eventually, Life would grow into something interesting. I gotta admit, I was worried when that slime mold seemed to hang in there for a half-billion years, but then the planet shifted, and kicked everything into motion."
"So...You designed DNA to create us? Far out!"
"No, I didn't design DNA to create you. You're a fancy ape; what good are you to me? OK, so you mostly don't throw shit at each other, but you kill each other and hurt each other and lie to each other. Nah, you're part of My Plan, but you're not My Plan in its entirety."
"But the Bible says You made man in Your image!"
"So what? I didn't write it. YOU, or rather, some of your fancy-pants ape ancestors, did. They aren't the boss of Me. No one gets to say what I did or did not do, or what I can and can not do."
"But I thought.. the Bible.."
"IT IS JUST A BOOK. For fuck's sake, the title even means 'book.' Men make books; I do not. I make universes, and I make Life. I can't be bothered with books. Besides, the Bible ALSO says that I am without form; that I am omniscient and omnipresent. Are YOU omniscient and omnipresent and without physical form? No? Really? then guess what? You aren't anything LIKE my 'image.' Know how you can tell? YOU HAVE AN IMAGE."
"Oh. I never thought of that."
"Well, why should you? You're a very fancy ape, just barely sentient. You're pretty smart - for an ape."
"So...why did you make us? I mean, humans? What are we for?"
"I didn't make YOU, I made LIFE. I made life because I could. You are 'for' whatever you choose to be 'for.' It's up to you; that's how free will works. You can do great things, you can reach for the stars, or you can go back throwing ape shit at each other. I hope you strive for great and wonderful things; did I mention I made a fucking huge universe? Lots of cool shit to see and do."
"But I though WE were the pinnacle of life?"
"Oh smell you. You can use tools and write stuff down, and wipe your ass, and suddenly you're the Focus of All Creation? Give me a break. When you evolve some more, when you can love without any hate, when you can act without any harm towards anything, when you can forfeit your flesh and remain conscious, when you are everywhere and nowhere and can see all creation in a glance and Know it, THEN you will be ready for a real conversation with Me, because on THAT day you will be truly in My Image.
But until that day, try not to throw shit at your fellow apes. And quit trying to define Me; I'm bigger than everything; even your 168,0000 MHz processor brain can't wrap its 100 million MIPS around Me. Phat? I'm fucking gi-normous."
"Hey, no sweat monkey-boy. Have some more coffee. Ain't coffee great? Man, you mix some ingredients into primordial slime and in barely 4 billion years, you get COFFEE out of it! 'Can I cook, or can't I!'"
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