Saturday, December 31, 2005

Update

I added "Best Bush Quotes of 2005" to My Year End List post.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Year End List

A la last year on this day, I present My Year End List. I hope everyone has enjoyed his or her stay here at Zac Attack, and I hope that you will continue to enjoy it as long as I feel motivated to write and rant. As a treat for you, my gentle audience, I give you several Top Fives that I've compiled over the year. (READ: Thought of this very second.)

As I did last year, I have to thank certain wonderful people for inspiring me and being good Internet friends. Please enjoy.

Best Movies of 2005
5. Rent
4. Harry Potter IV
3. Star Wars III
2. King Kong
1. Walk the Line
Best Songs of 2005
5. "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey
4. "Gold Digger" by Kanye West
3. "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
2. "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz
1. "All These Things That I've Done" by The Killers
Most Listened To Songs on my iTunes
5. "Party Like a Rockstar" by JTExperience
4. "Winding Road" by Bonnie Somerville
3. "Question" by Old 97s
2. "Lives of Crime" by Fruit Bats
1. "All These Things That I've Done" by The Killers
Best Books I've Read This Year
5. "Hitler's Pope" by John Cornwell
4. "The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket
3. "Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling
2. "Eldest" by Christopher Paolini
1. "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey
Best Bush Quotes of 2005
BONUS: "In terms of timetables, as quickly as possible - whatever that means," the president said of his timeframe for passing Social Security legislation in March.

5. "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law," Bush said in describing illegal immigrants in Tucson, Arizona, last month.

4. "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table," Bush said in Brussels last February.

3. "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" Bush asked in a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting in September.

2. "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda," Bush said in explaining his communications strategy last May.

1. "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job."
I'll add more as I think of it.

A Year in Review

Here are the most outrageous statements Media Matters for America has documented this year. From attacks on women, Muslims, and African-Americans to a call for the assassination of a foreign leader to an open invitation for Al Qaeda to "blow up" San Francisco to a claim that gay marriage would lead to unions between "a man and his donkey," they've got the worst of the worst. Enjoy -- but continue cautiously. Remember that these are people actually believe they speak for a majority of Americans.

Former Reagan administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett: "[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." [Salem Radio Network's Bill Bennett's Morning in America, 9/28/05]

Pat Robertson: "If [Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." [Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, 8/22/05]

Bill O'Reilly to San Francisco: "[I]f Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. ... You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." [Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 12/8/05]

Bill O'Reilly, agreeing with caller that illegal immigrants are "biological weapon[s]": "I think you could probably make an absolutely airtight case that more than 3,000 Americans have been either killed or injured, based upon the 11 million illegals who are here." [Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 4/15/05]

Rush Limbaugh: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/12/05]

Rush Limbaugh on the kidnapping of peace activists in Iraq: "I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/29/05]

Ann Coulter: Bill Clinton "was a very good rapist"; "I'm getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties"; "I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning." [New York Observer, 1/10/05]

Ann Coulter: "Isn't it great to see Muslims celebrating something other than the slaughter of Americans?" [Syndicated column, 2/3/05]

Radio host Glenn Beck: "[Y]ou know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 9/9/05]

Tucker Carlson: "Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice, but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada." [MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, 12/15/05]

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon: Liberals "don't have the kind of family responsibilities most people have, and certainly not church responsibilities." [American Family Radio's Today's Issues, 5/11/05]

David Horowitz on Cindy Sheehan: "It's very hard to have respect for a woman who exploits the death of her own son and doesn't respect her own son's life. ... She portrays him as an idiot." [MSNBC's Connected: Coast to Coast, 8/16/05]

Radio host Neal Boortz on the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams: "[T]here will be riots in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere. ... The rioting, of course, will lead to wide scale looting. There are a lot of aspiring rappers and NBA superstars who could really use a nice flat-screen television right now." [Boortz.com, 12/12/05]

Pat Buchanan: "Our guys" in Iraq "have got every right to have good news put into the media and get to the people of Iraq, even if it's got to be planted or bought." [MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, 12/1/05]

National Review editor Rich Lowry: Given EPA-mandated "small-flush" toilets, "[h]ow is it possible to flush a Quran down the toilet?" [Young America's Foundation speech, 8/5/05]

Neal Boortz, suggesting that a victim of Hurricane Katrina housed in an Atlanta hotel consider prostitution: "I dare say she could walk out of that hotel and walk 100 yards in either direction on Fulton Industrial Boulevard here in Atlanta and have a job. What's that? Well, no, no, no. ... Well, you know what? [laughing] Now that you mention it ... [i]f that's the only way she can take care of herself, it sure beats the hell out of sucking off the taxpayers." [Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show, 10/24/05]

Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson: Same-sex marriage would lead to "marriage between daddies and little girls ... between a man and his donkey." [Focus on the Family radio program, 10/6/05]

Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid: "Have you noticed that many news organizations, in honor of former ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings, have embarked on a quit smoking campaign? So why don't our media launch a campaign advising people to quit engaging in the dangerous and addictive homosexual lifestyle? ... It appears that the homosexual lifestyle is as addictive as smoking." [Accuracy in Media column, 12/14/05]

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Dear Santa,

I've been a good boy this year. Honestly, I have. You can ask any one of my friends and they will tell you so. I realize that it's a little past Christmas but I was wondering if there would be any way you can make one last trip to North America before you hibernate with the missus until next year.

You see, I have found something that I really want. Don't get me wrong, your gifts this year rocked and all that jazz but I found something better. I had seen this toy in plain sight for years now and never once did I think I'd actually want it. But now, Mr. Claus, I do.

If you will be so kind, please pick me up either of these and deliver it to my doorstep ASAP. I'll be waiting.

Sincerely,
Zachary



Aye, it's Ricky Martin and an unidentified "friend." Get off my back.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Moment of Temporary Insanity

Today I showed my sixteen year old sister how nice of a brother I really am when I took her to the local driver license center so she could get a new driving permit after hers recently got into a fight with the washing machine. A few seconds after she entered the building, she was coming back outside over to my window, looking perplexed.

She explained that they needed a guardian's signature to get another permit. I, not being her guardian, couldn't do much of anything other than suggest that she wait until tomorrow when one of our parents could take her. Then the thought hit me that she should've said that she didn't have a guardian present because she drove herself.

I laughed wildly for a full minute at my hilarity. A symptom of cabin-fever has to be thus. Damn snow.

Christmas Recap

Well, Christmas was all right this year. To everyone's surprise, we were still able to celebrate the arbitrary date on which fellow Christians believe Christ was born without so much as a rock being thrown through our front window. Granted we live a quarter of a mile back from the nearest road, but those who fight along side the enemy during this War on Christmas would not let ice, snow and a small stream stand in their way to disrupt a few Christmas carols.

As with every Christmas Eve, I was forced to watch A Christmas Story on television with my immediate and a good portion of my extended family. Twenty-three years on, it's lost all of its once-spectacular greatness and humor. You know the boy's going to stick his tongue on the flag pole. You know Ralphie says "fudge" even though he doesn't really say "fudge," per se. You know Ralphie kicks the local bully's ass in a fury not seen since the last Chuck Norris movie. You know that Ralphie does indeed shoot his eye out. And you just know that the neighbor's dogs will ruin Christmas dinner and send the family looking for Chinese food served by /l/-challenged waiters. It's good, but I don't love it like I used to. I will admit that the "fragile" scene still cracks me up, however.

I got some neat presents and loved it all very much. Cookies and pies and egg nog. What's not to love? Even my stomach expanded a little to show its appreciation for the holiday season. Not being to the gym in a month didn't help, either. But there's always January!

I also got an unexpected gift on Christmas Eve: a nice spyware program I can't get rid of. It does little more than sap my bandwidth to the point where I'm creeping around the Internet(s) at a snail-pace, but still annoying as hell. It's something from GetMirar, I believe as this is what Ad-Aware told me. But as many times as I get rid of these files, they return when I reconnect to the Internet. Any suggestions?

It just bugs me so much that I have kept myself away from the Internet as a whole the past few days. The self-imposed exile has given me time to read a lot in the interim but my need for the electronic-age amenities strikes deep in my soul. I must take back my Internet. I must defeat the viral infestation taking over my laptop! Who's with me?!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Unknown Times

Last night we made a pilgrimage to a friend's new house in Georgetown, an elegant manse where I immediately regretted not wearing a blazer and perhaps a jaunty cap. We talked about gay cowboys and closeted movie stars and sex-change operations -- traditional Christmas topics, in other words -- and the conversation eventually turned to impeachment. It's true: People actually talk about impeachment, in the wilds of Inner Georgetown, not just in blogworld. I won't go into great detail about what was said, because it was highly speculative, and because I'm worried that my phone, email accounts and blog are tapped. These people don't mess around. They have secret prisons.

-- Joel Achenbaul's blog on The Washington Post's website, December 22, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Angry 15 Year Olds

Terrorists Did It

Presidential Library Destroyed

CRAWFORD (AP) -- A tragic fire on Sunday destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. Both of his books were lost.

A presidential spokesman said the President was devastated, as he had not finished coloring the second one.

Friday Random 10

It's Friday. (See next paragraph.) 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.

Okay, so it's not Friday, nor is it Saturday or Sunday. It's Thursday, as anyone with a calendar can deduce, so what gives? Lately I've been in the dumps and haven't been all that great about posting on a regular basis. Unfortunately my lameness made me miss last week's edition. (I know you were worried!) To make up for my digression, I shall combine two Friday Random 10s and make a six-day-late and one-day-early Friday Random 20! Aren't y'all lucky? Without further ado..

1. Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus, Wheatus)
2. Linus & Lucy (Vince Guaraldi Trio, Charlie Brown Christmas)
3. Dance, Dance (Fall Out Boy, From Under the Cork Tree)
4. 99 Problems (Jay-Z, The Black Album)
5. Beverly Hills (Weezer, Make Believe)
6. Faith (George Michael, The Best of George Michael)
7. Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand)
8. Rock Your Body (Justin Timberlake, Justified)
9. Counting Blue Cars (Dishwalla, Pet Your Friends)
10. Sex and Candy (Marcy Playground, Marcy Playground)
11. Livin' On A Prayer (Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet)
12. Better Off Without You (The Clarks, Let It Go)
13. Mr. Tambourine Man (Bob Dylan, Greatest Hits)
14. Thank You For the Music (ABBA, Gold)
15. Waiting for Slow Songs (Sloan, Between the Bridges)
16. Sweetest Thing (U2, Best of 1980-1990)
17. The Gift (Moon Boot Lover, Back on Earth)
18. Extraordinary Machine (Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine)
19. The Freshman (The Verve Pipe, Villains)
20. Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard, Hysteria)

Mathematical Genius

"We declared our independence in 1776, and not until 1788 were we voting under the Constitution. So that is -- I'm trying to do my math -- 12 years?" -- Lynne Cheney, interview with Pat Robertson's CBN News.

How'd she do that without a calculator? She's amazing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The National Shellacking

The president's great pawning off of terror suspect Jose Padilla from military to civilian law enforcement custody hit another snag today when the three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Bush administration's request. The decision, written by Judge J. Michael Luttig, questioned why the administration used one set of facts before the court for 3 1/2 years to justify holding Padilla without charges but used another set to convince a grand jury in Florida to indict him last month.

The whole Padilla debacle -- or as the French would say débâcle -- just highlights the current administration's inability to fight the war on terror in any sensible or reliable manner. Sure, as the veep is quick to point out, not being attacked in four years doesn't happen by chance. But then again, maybe it does.

Take the Padilla case for instance. An editorial in The Nation last week read:
In November the Administration finally indicted Padilla on charges unrelated to any dirty bomb. Why? At least in part because Padilla was arrested on the basis of information extracted from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, whose interrogation included waterboarding. The case is a colossal failure in terms both moral and pragmatic: Either Padilla was never part of a bomb plot, in which case Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's original statement demonstrates the unreliability of confessions obtained under torture, or effective anti-terrorism prosecution was undermined by reliance on illegal methods.
Who didn't see this coming? Honestly. Obviously something has run afoul, and that something doesn't end with torture. This whole thing with Padilla rubs me the wrong way. I can't shake the feeling that the people in charge of it -- be it Gonzales or even Rumsfeld -- don't have the slightest idea what they're doing. It's like they're winging it as they go. And when I think about national security, I don't want a feeling of impromtu.

We Didn't See This Coming!

Jeanine Pirro, the hapless, abomination of a Republican, has bowed out from her bid to unseat Senator Hillary Clinton after weeks and weeks of vehemently denying that she would ever cease her campaign and months and months of setbacks and publicly humiliating blunders.

May we suggest she prepare herself before major speeches this time around?

Environmental Smack Down

"Our military is being held hostage by [an ANWR drilling provision that was included in a must-pass bill that funds U.S. troops overseas and hurricane victims]," said Democrat Senator Harry Reid today after Republicans failed to garner the 60 votes needed to overrule the threat of a Democrat filibuster.

Good for them. Let the ass-kicking continue.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Crikey!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Tonight's Address

When the topic of the president's speech tonight came up at brunch, neither of my parents showed any interest in tuning in. This is pretty normal, especially since I don't remember either of my parents ever watching a televised speech given by this president or the last. They couldn't care less. Although they were life-long Republicans for the sheer reason that their families were Republican, both have changed party affiliation within the last four years, being disgusted with the party of corruption and the likes.

So I didn't really give much thought to my parents wanting to find something better to do during the address this evening, but my mom made a comment that stuck with me. I had actually thought about it a few months ago but it was quite something else to hear it coming from my mom's mouth.

She explained that she couldn't stand to listen to the president discuss the war in Iraq because whenever he started, all she could think about was "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

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

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, one.


How very true.

Friday, December 16, 2005

They Warned Us

Ann Darrow is Hot

So I saw King Kong the other night. Needless to say, it was visually beautiful and kept you on the edge of your seat the entire span of the movie, and I loved it. I knew it was going to be thus because, well -- it's Peter Jackson's baby. And he's a demigod. Haha, but I'm serious. He rocks the cinematic casbah.

I knew very little about the movie going into it. For instance, I didn't know that Kong lived on an island somewhere in the Atlantic. I always suspected the Pacific or one of those weird islands of Indonesia. And I didn't know that dinosaurs also inhabited this mysterious island. Triceratops and T Rexes and Brontosauri, oh my! I didn't know that Captain Englehorn, the captain of the ship that took the people to the island, was so incredibly sexy. (It would be in bad taste to forget Jimmy.) And I didn't know that..

* SPOILER*

.. King Kong dies at the end. Call me naive, but I never really knew what happened at the end of the movie. Of course we can all recall King Kong standing on top the Empire State building, pwning the biplanes as they make dives at the overgrown primate, but I never had any idea what came next. It was not until three hours into the movie that I heard the "legendary" words, "It was beauty killed the beast."

I feel ashamed. But not because I almost cried -- several times.

Update

I'm sick. Blah.

And now I'm sad. And now I'm angry. But now I'm relieved. It's a roller coaster of emotions, really.

Wait, Now Bush Doesn't Like Torture?

From BBC:
President George W Bush has announced he will support a new law banning cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of terrorist suspects.
So here I am, ready to go to bed, decided to check latest headlines on a whim, and did a double take when I saw this. How long ago was this?
Bush is threatening to veto two major defense bills because they include an amendment to ban abusive treatment of detainees that the Senate has attached to both measures.
What a flip-flopper.


I believe the word is "pwn3d".
It is also being seen as bitter personal defeat for Vice-President Dick Cheney, who had telephoned every Republican senator to try to get the measure derailed.



Poor guy. Too bad that universal human rights have to be, er, universal? Too bad that we can't secretly and indefinitely hold people without charge or legal representation and torture them.
Senator McCain said the law would help win "hearts and minds" in the fight against terrorism.

"We have sent a message to the world that the US is not like the terrorists," he said.

"We have no brief for them. But what we are is a nation that upholds values and standards of behaviour and treatment of all people, no matter how evil or bad they are."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Goober Extraordinaire

Meet state Rep. Jeff Habay. He's a western Pennsylvania lawmaker who's been convicted of making his legislative staff do political campaign work on state time. The felony conviction of conflict of interest means Habay, 39, a six-term Republican from Allegheny County, will lose his state pension and could be removed from office by the Legislature.

His lawyer has expectedly called the charges scurrilous and has said that the whole case is a product of a political witch hunt. But this isn't the end of his client's troubles. Habay faces a second trial next year on 21 counts that allege he concocted a story about receiving a suspicious white powder in the mail and directed his staff to investigate his adversaries on state time. It's almost impossible to imagine that this booger was once a rising star in the Pennsylvania GOP. This is why my state (commonwealth) goes blue in presidential elections.

Interesting!

Did you know that Boston Corbett, who killed John Wilkes Booth, was a self-mutilated eunich? Neither did I!

Monday, December 12, 2005

What Media Bias?

Just a trip over to Media Matters dulls the senses. It's amazing what people who aren't right-wing conservative kooks are doing to this country of ours. I mean, Howard Dean's committing treason for speaking against the war (and should be hanged, apparently!), Democrats are single-handedly destroying America and the stock market, students at UConn are Nazis, and liberals in general are committing treason for being, well -- liberal. It's a good thing the media slants to the left or we wouldn't've ever heard of these disgusting lies.

No Way, Jose

President Bush's speech today can be summed up rather nicely by saying that the rise of the new Iraqi government and culture is quite like that of the United States' rise from a colony to a prosperous nation.

An Iraqi government search of a detention center in Baghdad operated by Interior Ministry special commandos found 13 prisoners who had suffered abuse serious enough to require medical treatment, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday night.

An Iraqi official with firsthand knowledge of the search said that at least 12 of the 13 prisoners had been subjected to "severe torture," including sessions of electric shock and episodes that left them with broken bones.

"Two of them showed me their nails, and they were gone," the official said on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.


-- Washington Post, December 12, 2005

I'm sorry, Mr. President, but no. This is nothing like America's rise to where we are today. As long as those who condone torture stay in any sort of position of power, Iraq will be nothing better than what they once were.

Tit for Tat

I don't pretend that my opinion makes one wave of difference in the grand scheme of things, but I just can't make myself believe that the world will be a better place when Stanley Tookie Williams, the founder of the murderous Crips gang and convicted killer of four, is executed tonight after midnight.

Is his death the ultimate repayment of his crimes done against humanity? Is that why we have capital punishment? Is this some sort of crude bartering exchange? You wronged society and so society wants your blood as retribution? If that's so, what does it say for a man who wronged society but has then spent his life behind bars righting his past discretions. How many young boys have not joined a gang because of his words of caution? How many innocent lives has he indirectly saved with denunciations against gangs and their related illegal activities? It is surely one thing for a man from an affluent family to curse the evils of gang-life, but is it not much greater to hear the advice from a man who's been there, who's seen what it's done to him and those around him?

That is his repayment to society. No amount of blood from his veins is going to change that.

Verbatim

"I wish he'd never been born."
Sen. Conrad Burns, Montana Republican, on lobbyist Jack Abromoff, the focus of a GOP lobbying scandal.

Essential Reading

"The Torture Administration," The Nation, December 26, 2005

"But it still comes as a shock to discover that American leaders will open the way for the torture of prisoners, that lawyers will invent justifications for it, that the President of the United States will strenuously resist legislation prohibiting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners--and that much of the American public will be indifferent to what is being done in its name." It's shocking, indeed.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I Feel Safe

What Bush actually hears and takes in, however, is not clear. And whether his advisers are quite as frank as they claim to be with the president is also questionable. Take Social Security, for example. One House Republican, who asked not to be identified for fear of offending the White House, recalls a summertime meeting with congressmen in the Roosevelt Room at which Bush enthusiastically talked up his Social Security reform plan. But the plan was already dead—as everyone except the president had acknowledged. Bush seemed to have no idea. "I got the sense that his staff was not telling him the bad news," says the lawmaker. "This was not a case of him thinking positive. He just didn't have any idea of the political realities there. It was like he wasn't briefed at all."

-- "Bush in the Bubble", Newsweek, December 19, 2005

Fa La La La La La La La La

This very evening I had the opportunity to be in a room full of carolling revellers as they made their way through a Christmas song book full of wonderful ditties such as "White Christmas" and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." As with any group of any size, several took control of the bunch and lead them from song to song. And as with any group of leaders, there was the intrinsic "Nazi." The "Carol Nazi," so to speak.

This overbearing prick of a human being dictated upon high which carols were to be sung and in what order. Any suggestion from the thirty-member or so group was shot down immediately, as the man in charge commanded the pianist to begin the appropriate melody. At one point I witnessed him glare at an outspoken suggester when she suggested "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." He paused, as if he were giving it some thought, and ultimately demanded that the first and third verses of "White Christmas" were to be sung next.

And, without saying, the Carol Nazi was heard above everyone else. He had to lead the gathering for fear that they might not be able to hit every note flat on their own. It was quite awful to the ear. But I survived to tell the story, albeit with nightmares.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Random 10

It's Friday. (It really is.) 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. You May Be Right (Billy Joel, Greatest Hits, Vol. 2)
2. Where Have All the Cowboys Gone (Paula Cole, This Fire)
3. Aqualunch (Jethro Tull, Original Masters)
4. Hurt (Johnny Cash, American IV)
5. In the Morning, Before Work (Owen, The EP)
6. Baby One More Time (Britney Spears, ...Baby One More Time)
7. Don't Know Why (Norah Jones, Come Away With Me)
8. Are You Gonna Be My Girl (JET, Get Born)
9. Golden Slumbers (Ben Folds, I Am Sam soundtrack)
10. Kryptonite (3 Doors Down, The Better Life)

My Favorite Song This Week
Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Ondrasik

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The JesusMas Issue

In a very well-written open letter to Jerry Falwell, Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State chastises Mr. Falwell as a divisive publicity-whore. But the money quote is: "Since I debated you about the Christmas issue on Fox News Channel's 'O'Reilly Factor,' I have received 66 nasty e-mails, including two death threats. Observed one of my correspondents, 'Hope you die soon. Merry Christmas.'" That's the real Christmas spirit, eh?

Speaking of the Christmas spirit, William Donohue of the Catholic League is having a hissy fit because the White House card celebrating the season refers to the "holiday season" rather than "Christmas." ABC News sought a clarification of his views: "[W]hen asked if a Jewish president should send out cards saying 'Merry Christmas' every year, Donohue said, 'Absolutely.'"

What an ass. Twenty percent of Americans are non-Christian. Most of them celebrate a non-Christmas holiday at the winter solstice. I'd say it's rather inappropriate to wish happiness and merriment on some of your constituents while purposely spitting in the eyes of those who don't believe what you believe. No president is the president of just the Christians. He's the president of every American, and we're not cookie-cutter shaped pod-people.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

German Karaoke Wednesday

The object of the game is to translate the following song titles into English from the German translation and guess what song it once was. Some are easy. Some provide more of a challenge. Using Altavista's Babelfish, let the games begin.

1. Tanzende Königin
2. Wenn ich Million Dollar hatte
3. Eine andere Samstag Nacht
4. Gießen Sie etwas Zucker auf mir
5. Wundervoll Heute abend
6. Gelassen Gehen Sie
7. Klopfen auf Tür des Himmels
8. Stoßen Sie zusammen
9. Solche Große Höhen
10. Sind Sie gehend, mein Mädchen zu sein
11. Jemand Erklärte Mir
12. Mein Eigener Schlechtester Feind
13. Ich würde alles für Liebe tun
14. Gekommen, Wie Sie Sind
15. Frage
16. Wenig Rote Korvette
17. Wir sind die Meister
18. Geben Sie es weg
19. Der einzige lebende Junge in New York
20. Gute Absichten
21. Schöner Tag
22. Heiß für Lehrer
23. Wecken Sie Mich Oben Auf, Bevor Sie Gehen Gehen
24. Laßt ihm regnen
25. Ozean-Allee
26. In der Wartelinie


*This Week's Hint: There is a general theme running among each of these songs. Find that connection between the first two and see if it fits throughout. If you're really stuck, try singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Christmas Music Galore

If you're like me and just can't get enough Christmas (Holiday?!) music this time of year but Feliz Navidad and White Christmas are getting a little stale, can I suggest some new stuff?

Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Ondrasik -- While this song is no longer true, and sadly so, Mr. Ondrasik does an excellent job making it just as deliciously awesome as Mr. Lennon did oh so many years ago.

Jingle Bells by Barenaked Ladies -- Need I say more than it's a Barenaked Ladies' song? In case I do, it contains the verse "Jingle Bells / Batman smells / Robin laid an egg." Any song that brings back the memories of elementary school and makes it cool is all right by me.

Winter Wonderland by Phantom Planet -- You have to download this song.

All I Want for Christmas is You by My Chemical Romance -- A so-so cover of the Mariah Carey classic, but downloadable nonetheless. The lead singer doesn't hurt the mental imagery.

Yule Shoot Your Eye Out by Fall Out Boy -- Excellent song. I love it and the reference to my father's favorite annoying movie.

These songs and more can be downloaded for free from the good people at The Test Pilot.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Don't Worry, Be Cysty

If Rush Limbaugh ever gets on your nerves with the misinformation he's prone to spewing, just remember that the reason he didn't get drafted into Vietnam was because of ass cysts. Oh, and an ingrown hair on his bottom. The mental imagery is both repulsive and hilarious.

La Vida Loca

Wait, you mean Britain got rid of their version of "don't ask, don't tell" five years ago and recently passed legislation allowing gay civil unions, and they haven't been wiped off the face of the earth in a freak act of nature not unlike the destruction seen at Gommorah? I feel gipped.

Light Years Beyond

Rejecting the United States' troglodytic policy of abstinence-only education and funding, the European Union international development secretary, Hilary Benn, told the British newspaper Guardian, "I don't think people should die because they have sex." Simple and common sense. I like it.

Good Times

Winter in Pennsylvania is officially here. I just spent the last 45-minutes digging a friend out of my driveway.

What the World Needs Now

... is love, sweet love. And a healthy bitch-slap.

What, with a Missouri man opening a store selling only "Oprah for President" merchandise, Paris Hilton's name being floated around the Internet as a possible candidate (she's too young, thank God!), Ford Motor Co. lowering its respectability and giving in to Christian fundamentalists (doesn't Ford know you can't reason with them?), and Cuban leader Fidel Castro giving Florida Gov. Jeb Bush exercise advice for his less-than-svelte physique.

DeLay'd Reaction

What am I not getting? A prosecutor, a grand jury and a Texas judge all feel that there's enough evidence to indict former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges of money laundering. A full fifty-five percent of the registered voters in DeLay's solidly Republican House district believe the charges against him are definitely or probably true. And to add insult to injury, nearly half of those polled said they would be likely to vote for an unnamed Democratic opponent next year.

What more is there to understand? What part of the indictment aren't the die-hard DeLay supporters around the country grasping?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Which to Choose

I think I may be going through a quarter-life crisis. Okay, not really but something very strange did happen to me today at the grocery store. I was checking out and I saw two magazines on the newstand that I wanted to buy. But I already receive four magazines in the mail so I try to limit myself to how many I'll buy above them.

The first was obvious: Jake Gyllenhaal on the cover of December's Details magazine. I mean, how can anyone say no to those mesmorizing blue eyes and his devilish, up to no-good smile? Ever since I saw him in Donnie Darko, I thought him strange but very intriguing and beautiful. The photos inside Details don't let me down.

On the other hand, I found myself wanting a magazine with a woman on the cover. This surprised me. I've never been a huge Jennifer Aniston fan. She's funny and she's pretty, but I never thought of her as really funny or really pretty. Courtney Cox certainly had the monopoly on kickassness on Friends. But there was something about her on the cover all topless and looking so beautiful. I don't particularly care for GQ but I would've picked it up just for that picture.

What kind of gay have I become?! Hehe.

I ended up picking up Jake.

They're Killing Christmas!

I was going through a notebook of mine this afternoon that I wrote last year at this time. When I hear something that moves me, I write it down and keep it for further reference. Last Christmas, I read a great letter to the editor of Newsweek that made total sense to me. It spoke of the things that I held in my heart and touched upon the logic that so many so-called Christians aren't realizing.

Christ was executed for preaching a minority faith, dozens of saints were martyred for spreading it, the Pilgrims were exiled for following it, and yet we begrudge today's minority religions the respect that was denied to us so long ago. We've survived a legacy of arrests and executions and back-door prayer meetings in ancient Rome, the Soviet Union and the Middle East, yet we have the gall to play the victim in America, claiming that Christmas has been banned when there's a tree in every store, carols on every radio station and "very special" Christmas episodes on television.

Amen, brother. Christmas isn't on the verge of disappearing, or even diminishing just a little bit. And "Happy Holidays" isn't a catch-phrase that denies the existence of Christmas, but an easier way of saying "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." I haven't seen so much fuss about an abbreviation since I said "slippy" in college instead of "slippery."

Pushing Through

Heidi Fleiss, the convicted, former Hollywood Madam, has announced plans to build Nevada's first all-male brothel 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas. She has, expectedly, run into a few snags along the way.

We here at Zac Attack wish her the very best. But we're with Debbie Rivenburgh, manager of the Chicken Ranch in Pahrump, Nev., who wonders: "With female prostitutes, they can see five, 10, even more clients in a day. I don't know how men could keep up with that." Even with Viagra, this is no small feat. However, with more than 1,000 men already expressing interest in her endeavor, we don't expect any soft road blocks keeping Ms. Fleiss from her dream.

You go, sister.

In the Face

Conservative pundits have always said that no Democrat will bring down former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. He's dirty and corrupt, but just not dirty and corrupt enough.

But I think it's like the scene in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King when the Witch King says to Eowyn, "You fool. No man can kill me." Undaunted, she takes her long-ass sword and stabs him in the face, saying, "I am no man." The Washington Post yesterday had a great article on the possibility that Democratic strategies won't be the ultimate downfall of the arrogant politician; his fall will come from within his own fed-up party.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Ode to Mr. Sheetz

Around these here parts we have a 24-hour convenience store called Sheetz. It's similar to Wawas and 7-11s, but better.

It's a gas station that sells food. And not just any kind of food. They sell good food. Hot dogs, chili, chili dogs, sandwiches, pretzels, pretzel sandwiches, salads, nachos, burgers. And it's all delicious. We have three here in my town and I had two in my college town. In fact, one of the Sheetzes in my college town was known throughout all of Sheetzdom as the only franchise that wasn't open all night. It just so happened to be the one closest to campus as well. Tell me the logic in that!

On a fantastically freezing night like tonight, their french vanilla cappuccinos are just what the doctor ordered. I loaded up the car with some friends -- just as I did in college -- drove to the nearest Sheetz and got a large cappuccino for $1.09. You just can't beat it. Of course, on the way back to my house I got caught in a horrible snow storm and couldn't see the road in front of me. But I knew that if I crashed and got covered in snow and wouldn't be found until the spring thaw, I would have my warm drink to keep me toasty for at least the next hour or two.

Some Thoughts

If the United States government allegedly has this plan to defeat the insurgency in Iraq, why are they asking for help?

Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham submitted his formal resignation letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking the governor to "accept my resignation as one of the many steps I now take to atone for my crimes." He had sinned! Why do people feel they must atone for crimes only after getting caught?

I wanted to see Aeon Flux last night but my friends wanted to see Walk the Line. Needless to say, I saw Walk the Line. I'm very happy with the choice. I left the theater with a burning ring of fire sensation in my heart.

Friday Random 10

It's Friday. (Just pretend.) 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. Break On Through (The Doors, Best of the Doors)
2. You're a Big Girl (Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks)
3. Modern World (Wolf Parade, MixCD)
4. Lives of Crime (Fruit Bats, Spelled in Bones)
5. Oh, Me (Nirvana, MTV Unplugged)
6. Unresolved (Hickory Project, Polaris)
7. I Was Made to Love Her (Stevie Wonder, Definitive Collection)
8. Lose Yourself (Eminem, 8 Mile soundtrack)
9. Teach Your Children (CSNY, So Far)
10. Heya (Outkast, Speakerboxxx)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What I Do

When I wasn't busy searching for free music on the Internet today at work, I took the time out of my hectic schedule to create a wonderful, lasting work of art. A seasonal chef d'oeuvre, so to speak.

Here it is in all its glory. Needless to say, my coworkers remain overly unimpressed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Run Away!

Two of America's allies in Iraq are withdrawing forces this month and a half-dozen others are debating possible pullouts or reductions, increasing pressure on Washington as calls mount to bring home U.S. troops. Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops by mid-December.

But hey, at least we have the 120 or so Mongolian warriors on our side!

Insight

Nothing to add. Yeah, sometimes I'm one of those bloggers.

WAD

Happy World AIDS Day! Err, or something like that.

Living Boys

I dare say that no one who can carry a tune could ever mess up The Only Living Boy in New York by Simon & Garfunkel. Today while at work, when I should've been -- well, working, I searched through some of my favorite music-obsessed blogs and found a version of said song by David Mead. I will always prefer S&G, but I'm convinced that the song is so amazing that no one could sound bad singing it.

Okay, save Ashlee Simpson.

Leading and Being Led