Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ch Ch Changes

Next month will be the two year anniversary of the Zac Attack. In two years, a lot has happened. There have been successes, failures, friends gained, friends lost, parties, funerals, weddings, even a few births. Two years in the life of a guy named Zachary can be pretty exciting.

But I've never been a fellow to stay in one place for very long. I've gotten off of the beaten path lately -- read: the last few months -- and I need a realignment. I need something new. I tried to spice things up with some template changes, but sometimes you need to start completely fresh.

I was never a big fan of "Zac Attack." I don't attack anything. I just write. It was more a play on the character from Saved By the Bell than it had anything to do with my personality. And attackzacattack. Who really remembers that?

I wanted something new. Something.. easy. I wanted, but it was already taken by a young chap who speaks some language I don't readily recognize. I think it's Portuguese. I just wanted zac, so I got the next best thing. Just Zac.

I'm writing this on April Fools Day, but I kid you not. The new url is Nothing fancy, nothing all that new. Just me doing what I've always done. Tell your friends, change your blogrolls, make the necessary changes. I'm going to keep this blog up for old times' sake, but make sure everyone gets to the new place.


I'll see you after the jump.

PS -- I haven't fixed all the bugs. I'm not really all that good with HTML or CSS, so the code is getting to me.

General Public Announcement

Petty people suck.

Friday, March 31, 2006


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admitted today that the Bush administration "made tactical errors, thousands of them" in the run-up to and during the war -- err, liberation -- in Iraq. It makes me feel all safe inside and crap.

Friday Random Ten

It's Friday. (And how.) You know what that means. The rules: Take out your iPod or other musical device. Put it in "random" mode. Hit "play." Write down the first ten tracks that come up -- and no fair putting in ones you think will make you look cool, or omitting ones that make you look like a total dork.

1. Take Me Out -- Franz Ferdinand
2. Wannabe -- Spice Girls
3. Play the Game -- Queen
4. Everytime You Go Away -- Paul Young
5. One Sweet Day -- Mariah Carey
6. Sally Simpson -- The Who
7. Are You Jimmy Ray? -- Jimmy Ray
8. Fifty Cents -- Dios Malos
9. A Certain Romance -- Arctic Monkeys
10. Each Coming Night -- Iron & Wine

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Blame Game

Iraq is the unstable, discombobulated mess it is today because of former dictator Saddam Hussein, President Bush said this afternoon in his third speech this month to muster public support for the war.

He reasoned, "The enemies of a free Iraq are employing the same tactics Saddam used, killing and terrorizing the Iraqi people in an effort to foment sectarian division."

Neither a hint nor a whisper escaped the president's mouth that the imbroglio seen by Americans every night on their televisions could have been prevented by thought-out planning, a proper understanding of cultural intricacies or an unambiguous plan for knowing when the war is over. Neglecting even to acknowledge these set-backs does a great disservice to the American people. We're left dumb-founded and overwhelmed at the violence still plaguing Iraq, unsure if it will ever end or when it will be safe to exit. The lack of any sort of guide to success in Iraq makes a sparse twenty-nine percent of Americans see the war, err -- liberation -- going swimmingly well.

Instead of owning up to mistakes, the Bush adminstration prefers to white-wash the past and to repeat failed offenses in the future. A quick glance at the posturing of the War Party toward Iran belies any belief they've learned their lesson.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Quo Vadis?

Throughout the Plame investigation, Democrats placed much emphasis on the importance of the proceedings because the disclosure of classified information is intolerable. Now they decry the Justice Department's investigation into the leakers of the classified NSA eavesdropping program. Republicans, likewise, demand nothing short of a full investigation into the NSA leak while defending Lewis Libby's disclosure of classified information as insignificant and understandable.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison balked at the indictment of Libby as "some perjury technicality" while President Clinton's perjury was a grave, impeachable criminal offense.

To the end, it is loyalty to party and president -- above commitment to a particular set of political beliefs -- that determines the popular stand. We don't need political opportunists. We need politicians with some backbone. You can choose the path of same as always, or the path of demanding some conviction. Where are you going?

very superstitious | eurotophobic?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Intolerance is 4 Loooosers

I was so busy this week that I wasn't really following the case of Abdul Rahman, a 41-year-old former medical aid worker who faces the death penalty under Islamic laws for becoming a Christian. But now that I'm doing some back-reading on the subject, I'm more and more concerned for him and for Afghanistan. Theocracy is bad in any form, whether extreme as in Afghanistan or tepid as in America with the 18th Amendment.

No one should die for their beliefs, no matter how out of the mainstream or how mundane. Thought-crimes are a thing of the past -- somewhere in the middle of the 1980s -- and shouldn't be carried over into the 21st century by any country.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is rightly in an uproar, asking, "How can we congratulate ourselves for liberating Afghanistan from the rule of jihadists only to be ruled by radical Islamists who kill Christians?" He then adds: "Religious persecution leads inevitably to political tyranny. Five hundred years of history confirm this." Just as no one should suffer for their beliefs, no one should suffer because of someone else's religious beliefs. You know where I'm going with this.

Denying homosexuals basic rights is religious persecution. There is no real public benefit that comes from such intolerance. Those who believe that same-sex unions will single-handedly destroy the institution of marriage are usually the ones sitting idle as their congregations are divorcing at near fifty-percent the marriage rate. Allowing two people who love each other the right to marry is far less detrimental to the sacred institution than allowing two people to break it. I personally have nothing against divorce, but you can't talk about this special bond between a man and a woman and not take a stand against everything that threatens it. Cherry-picking one that suits your needs over the others makes you look dumb.

Mr. Perkins has called same-sex unions "counterfeit institutions" and coined homosexuality as a "death-style." He hardly seems fit to take the pulpit against any sort of intolerance.

And while homosexuals are currently safe from executions for being gay -- at least the government-sponsered variety -- theocratic leglislation is theocratic legislation. This poor man awaiting his verdict in Afghanistan should make us all stop and question what we do to our fellow men.

Step by Step

I haven't had a haircut in two months. Not only does my head feel lighter, but I look damn good. Okay, so that's like one thing off of my to do list of sixty-three.

Chafee v. Laffey | Grizzly Adams Redux

Friday Not-So Random 10

Yes, it's Friday, and this is usually the time when I *try* to post ten random songs that come up on iTunes. This week, however, I'm shaking things up a bit. Tomorrow night my friends and I are going to Pittsburgh to do a little bit of dancing, a little bit of dining, and a whole lotta drinking. We don't all get together as one giant group that often, and we barely ever get to go dancing anywhere, so tomorrow is pretty special.

So my list this week will be the first ten awesome dance songs that pop in my head. In no particular order:

1. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor. (Duh)
2. Believe, Cher.
3. Express Yourself, Madonna.
4. Vogue, Madonna.
5. Dancing Queen, ABBA. (No comments, please.)
6. Heya, Outkast.
7. Intergalactic, Beastie Boys. (Don't ask.)
8. Rock Your Body, Justin Timberlake. (One word: Nekkid.)
9. Martyr, Rusted Root
10. Weapon of Choice, Fatboy Slim

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


In the battle over language that's currently underway in America, and that has always been thus, language, the lexicon a group of people use to describe ideas, abstract or concrete, can make or break an argument.

Are you pro-life or pro-death? Does pro-life describe your views on abortion or your views on the death penalty? If you're against abortion but for the death penalty, does that make you semi-pro-life? Or maybe semi-pro-death? Are you against abortion but also against government interference? Does that make you pro-choice, pro-death, pro-small government, or a little bit of everything?

What do you think of the Estate Tax (aka the Death Tax)? It's all about wording.

At the "Third Anniversary of Beginning of Iraq Liberation" (aka the Iraq War), the president spoke for two minutes about the war in Iraq and never once used the word "war." Iraq isn't at war, Iraq is a liberation. We're at war with Terror. Those terrorist bastards. But who are the terrorists? Are they the insurgency in Iraq? Are they the Iranians? Are they the North Koreans? Shouldn't the "terrorists" label be exclusively used on those who used airplanes to kill innocent Americans?

Using the label as an umbrella term for everyone fighting against the United States does a disservice to the families of the slain victims of 9/11. Their loved ones weren't killed because sheep-herder Joe from Fallujah feels the United States is occupying his country and wants them gone. Sheep-herder Joe's disconnect with reality doesn't a terrorist make.

So why the farse? Are you more comfortable killing terrorists or sheep-herder Joes? Terrorists aren't there to be loved, to feel compassion for. They are killing machines hell bent on the destruction of America and everything it stands for. The specific naming of everyone in Iraq as a terrorist discounts any line of thought that maybe some actually just want to be left alone. Maybe, just maybe, there are people in the insurgency who don't care about America or anything it stands for. They just don't want us in their country.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Humor at the GOP's Expense

More! More! More!

"More fighting and sacrifice will be required to achieve this victory..." -- Gee Double-ya, March 20, 2006

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
They only answer "More! More! More!"

-- "Fortunate Son," Creedence Clearwater Revival

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bubbly Badness

Friday night at a St. Patrick's Day party at my friend's house, I was approached by a pretty girl who was one of those bubbly drunk girls. She seemed nice enough and I thought any guy would be lucky to get to know her, but the poor girl never picked up that I wasn't interested. I tried and tried to do everything in my power to show her that I'm not really attracted to, well -- her. Female. But she was a lost cause.

I moved around the house from room to room trying to get away from her, but she followed me like a little puppy. She'd put her hand on my arm when we'd talk -- or should I say when she talked to me and I nodded respectfully. By eleven, thought, I lost her in the crowd and didn't see her for the rest of the evening. I thought maybe I got through the worst of it, but I was mistaken.

This afternoon I met the friend who had the party for lunch. With him, he had a cd in a jewel case and a note. He handed it to me and said it was from Amanda, the girl at the party. This was written on the paper:
I see you on the street and you walk on by
You make me wanna hang my head down and cry
If you gave me half a chance you'd see
My desire burning inside of me
But you choose to look the other way
I've had to work much harder than this
For something I want don't try to resist me

Open your heart to me, baby
I hold the lock and you hold the key
Open your heart to me, darlin'
I'll give you love if you, you turn the key
Being a Madonna fan, I recognized the song right away. But more than the good taste in music I saw she possessed, I realized that she was really scary. I mean, that's down-right stalkerish! The CD, of course, has one song on it: Open Your Heart by Madonna. My personaly favorite line:

Don't try to run, I can keep up with you.
Nothing can stop me from trying...

Oh my.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


36: the approval rating for President George W. Bush in the latest Newsweek poll.

44: the approval rating for the president's handling of terrorism and homeland security.

29: the approval rating for the president's handling of Iraq.

28: the approval rating for the president's handling of energy policy and health care.

36: the approval rating for the president's handling of the economy.

42: the percent of adults in the general public that would support Congressional censure of the president.

26: the percent of adults in the general public that say they think Congress should actually impeach the president.

5: the percent of Republicans who would support impeaching the president.

Friday Random Ten

It's Friday. (Clap and it will be so.) You know what that means. The rules: Take out your iPod or other musical device. Put it in "random" mode. Hit "play." Write down the first ten tracks that come up -- and no fair putting in ones you think will make you look cool, or omitting ones that make you look like a total dork.

1. Quiet Town -- Josh Rouse
2. Keep Her Away From Me -- Luke Doucet
3. Phantom Limb (Slight Return) -- Shaun Verreault
4. See You On the Moon! -- Great Lake Swimmers
5. Skip the Foreplay -- Oh No! Oh My!
6. Dudley -- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
7. Summertwin -- Blitzen Trapper
8. Love Like Semtex -- Infadels
9. Yeah Yeah Yeah Song -- The Flaming Lips
10. Barely Listening -- Pilate

And, as of Saturday March 18, these are the songs I've listened to the most since I got my iPod. I'm a dork. What can I say?

Do or Die (politically)!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fighting Ourselves

I said before that I find the letters to magazines sometimes more enjoyable than the actual articles. This week is no different. I read this letter from Normal Michael Harman, Harpers Ferry, W.Va, today in The American Conservative.
While the U.S. spends billions of dollars transporting hundreds of thousands of troops and equipment halfway around the world, al Qaeda and its supporters build homemade IEDs out of ordinary household products and deliver them on motorbikes for pennies. While the administration rants about American moral superiority and military supremacy, a bunch of mail-order electricians humiliate the great American military machine on a daily basis -- except, that is, when it is busy humiliating itself by the slaughter of civilians.

Thus far this war on terror has only brough chaos and death, increased the number of terrorists in the world, ratched up international tensions, exacerbated cultural and religious animosities, wasted enormous amounts of American wealth, driven America's standing in the world to levels somewhere below whale excrement, and rent the last tenulous strands of the American democracy. If this be American conservative governance, I'll take the liberals.
I may not agree with everything he says -- at least not one-hundred percent -- but Mr. Harman makes pretty good points. And everyone's entitled to his opinion.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Shocked, I Tell You

What's more shocking, that former Bush administration domestic policy adviser Claude Allen was so hard up for money after working for the White House that he felt it necessary to make phony refunds at department stores (totaling some $5,000) or that there are black Republicans? I can't decide!

"When I heard the story last night, I was shocked, and my first reaction was one of disappointment, deep disappointment -- if it's true -- that we were not fully informed," President Bush said. "Shortly thereafter, I felt really sad for the Allen family." An aide reportedly told the president after the statement that the entire Allen family is, in fact, also black.

Saturday Semi-Random 10

A few friends and I just stayed in last night at a friend's house and watched a movie in her basement. It was a musical; I've been listening to the soundtrack all morning. Can you tell by the songs on my playlist what musical it was? Ha!

1. Seasons of Love
2. Rent
3. You'll See
4. One Song Glory
5. Light My Candle
6. Today 4 U
7. Tango: Maureen
8. Life Support
9. Out Tonight
10. Another Day

Friday, March 10, 2006

Campaign to Defend the Cons.

Dear Mr. Reed, Rev. Sheldon and Mr. Dobson,

For years, you've attacked the freedom of women to control their own bodies, waged war on gay marriage, and fought to erode one of the most central tenets of our Constitution: the separation between church and state.

You've always claimed the moral high ground, asserting the right to tell people how to live and condemning millions of Americans for actions you deemed immoral. But your high ground is washed away. After years of condemning gambling as a social ill, you're caught knee-deep in pro-gambling campaigns hatched by indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

It's time to stop telling others how to act, and start practicing what you preach.

End your hypocrisy.
Sincerely, DefCon.

Like Chocolate and Sex

All obsessions must be indulged from time to time.

Poor President Bush. At least the United Arab Emirates withdrew their bid to take over American ports so the president didn't have to make good on his veto promise. It always works like that, eh? He threatens to slap his never-used veto on two bills that are so out of the mainstream idea of what's right that his aides have to find a face-saving way out of the situation. First a veto for a ban on torture and now a veto for a ban on allowing one of only three nations in the world that recognized Taliban Afghanistan from running the already vulnerable American ports.

Emporer's Clothes. Only thirty-seven percent of Americans approve of the president's overall performance -- the lowest in his presidency by AP/Ipsos polls. Bush's job approval among Republicans plummeted from 82 percent in February to 74 percent. Nearly 70 percent of people say the U.S. is on the wrong track, a 6-point jump since February. Nearly four out of five Americans, including 70 percent of Republicans, believe civil war will break out in Iraq. That sucks.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Petty Politics

My dad told me today that he heard on the radio this afternoon about twelve United States Representatives voting against designating former President Bill Clinton's childhood home a National Historic Site. Disgusted with the petty politics of the day, my father -- usually a quiet, right-of-center man -- expressed extreme disappointment that partisan bickering invaded such a mundane, inconsequential vote like creating a National Historic Site. "Twelve stupid, stupid people," my father said, shaking his head and looking at the floor. We were in the car and he was driving so I had a moment of panic. But still.

I looked the story up on Google News and found an article from the Arkansas Times' blog.
Republicans have a default tactic whenever they are under duress: attack Bill Clinton (even though he has been out of office for over five years now).
It's a Small World. If you will kindly look at the thirteenth comment, you will see that it is written by none other than our friendly, resident conservative, Hunkahillbilly. Honestly, how much free time does he have to find himself commenting so often and so prolifically that I randomly come across one of his comments in the real world? Dude. Seriously. Get a hobby.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's Voting Time

The president, wasting the massive amount of gas is takes to fly Air Force One 1,500 miles, made it to his home state today so he could vote in the Texas primary. Isn't that great? No matter who you are or where you are, it is your civic duty to vote! No matter the distance between you and your polling place, daggone-it, you go use your voice!

Then there's this from the Associated Press.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan wouldn't say whether Bush had to make the trip because he wanted to vote in person or, as some suspect, because aides forgot to get him as absentee ballot.
That's just kinda funny.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mr. George and Me

A life philosophy our president and I can agree on:

"See, we want everybody in this country -- every person: we want the addict, we want the single lonely mom, we want the child, the dyslexic child -- all to feel a part of the future of this country."
-- George W. Bush, October 29, 2003

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Some Thoughts

According to the British weekly New Scientist, the Pentagon is funding research to turn sharks into stealth spies that would patrol the ocean. No word yet if they'll have frickin laser beams attached to their heads.

And in recounting the mosque destructions last week in Iraq, Newsweek tells the story of Ali:
Minutes later, Ali heard three loud blasts: a nearby Sunni mosque had been hit with RPGs.
I've been known to play Age of Empires II and Civilization III, but I never suspected those Dungeons and Dragons nerds would ever be of any use to anyone.