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March 30, 2007

Life's lessons #1145: Payback is a bitch

Cathy Seipp was a 49-year-old newspaper columnist and conservative blogger, who had come from Manitoba, Canada, to become the sharp-tongued doyenne of the Los Angeles media scene, was only hours away from losing her years-long fight with cancer, leaving behind a 17-year-old daughter, a lifetime of work as a plucky and plain-speaking wordsmith, and the respect of colleagues from both sides of the political spectrum.
Cathy had a nemesis and as she lie on her deathbed last week he struck with his last desperate and vain attempt at griefing her.
Just hours before her death, "Cathy Seipp" suddenly seemed to undo decades of hard work with an oddly written letter posted on the Web site, www.cathyseipp.com. In what came off as more of a bizarre rant than heartfelt apology, her supposed "very last blog entry" called her years of journalism a "shoddy," "despicable" and "irresponsible" career as a “fourth-rate hack.” Her political stance? All a mistake.
The interesting thing that Cathy's friends found, after a while, was that Cathy's real blog was www.cathyseipp.NET

This had to raise the B.S. flag right off the bat anyway. Who calls themselves out on their death bed like that? Cath's friends found out that the author of the fake website was 'Troll Dolls' and eventually found out that this was the poseudonym of
Eliot Stein, a 54-year-old former online talk-show host and stand-up comedian who hadd taught Maia in a journalism class for a brief period in 2004, and who blamed Maia and Seipp for his departure from the school after only five weeks. Seipp's friends marshaled their resources, creating an impromptu Internet chat room to make their plans, fingering Stein as the culprit, enlisting the help of a lawyer to serve him a cease-and-desist letter, and successfully lobbying Stein's Internet host to take the Web site down permanently.


Luckily, if you want to look at it that way, Chaty died the next day and never saw the things that this jackass said. When asked why he stooped to such a low, the ass hat replied, "I've got an incredible sense of humor."

Lame.

But the story doesn't end here. As the title of this post implies, Stien is getting his. Eliot Stein's Diary is a hilarious and brillliant account of Stein's day-to-day activities.

March 29, 2007

British hostages

I came across an article in the New Zealand Herald that has an interesting piece about the 15 British military personnel taken hostage by Iran. Clearly, Iran is not the calculating chess player I thought they were; instead, they are a bumbling and desparate nation who is at the end of its rope. But I digress.

The author of the piece, Gwynne Dyer, chose a spectacular and attention grabbing title- How to start a war- American style. Dyer contends that had Iran came across an American boarding party there would have been a shootout and the United States would now be at war. He bases this claim on a few out of context quotes by the XO of the USS Underwood, a frigate assigned to help out the British ship Cornwall, the ship the boarded RIB's came from.

I'm sure the XO was frustrated and pissed that the Brits were taken and perhaps insinuated, "Why didn't they shoot those bastards instead of getting captured?" I had the same reaction also. I doubt the XO had all the information about the cunning tomfoolery the Iranians executed in kidnapping the 15 Brits. Make no mistake, kidnapping is what it was. After nabbing the crews in their most vulnerble moments when deboarding a vessel and taking them to Tehran, Iranian officials sent the coodinates of captured RIB's to the UK Prime Minister. The ironic part is that the coordinates were INSIDE Iraqi waters. The PM sent a WTF? to Iran who then said they gave the wrong numbers and provided coords inside Iranian waters. Hoever, another hole in Iran's game lies in the anchor point of the vessel the Brits boarded- it is still anchored, hasn't moved much since the incident, and is still in Iraqi waters.

This whole event is a canard but for Dyer to insinuate that we would now be at war with Iran is just stupid, irresponsible journalism. I would expect to see an article like his in the UC Berkeley campus paper. If you want fortune telling and innuendo give Miss Cleo a call but leave it out of the papers. Or at least ones that do serious journalism.

March 28, 2007

Making excuses for the damned

The recent story about the two men who beat into unconsciousness an Army Sergeant and his wife in a parking is still brewing strong feelings. A local paper featured a commentary by Rick Hamada who labeled the two thugs as "lawless rogues" and "cretins". Many readers wrote in with their outrage and felt the attacks were a disgrace to the people of Hawaii. Please read his article because it will lend credence to something a few paragraphs down.

Hamada’s article caught scrutiny from a local woman who tried, in vain, to make the two thugs out as the victims. Unbelievable. Puesta Wong, in her first sentence of her letter titled Paakaula defense, says, "There is really nothing that should excuse or rectify the Waikele beating of what Rick Hamada describes as an 'innocent' military couple." Of course the discerning reader will pick up right away that Wong intends to do just the opposite with her presumptuous use of quotations. What follows would rival the writers of Ferris Beuller when having to come up with Simone spouting a string of people that would provide a level of association as to Ferris’ medical condition:

My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

Wong’s letter is filled with he said/she said innuendos and dubious claims of knowing the family of the thugs. She also contends that it was the wife, who weighs a whopping 115lbs, who threw the first punch at the 16 year old son and that it was just the father coming out to aid his son. Please read Wong’s ridiculous diatribe and then determine which story is more plausible- Wong’s or Hamada’s. I contend that her intellectually obtuse brain is running on low for her to align herself with a morally confused 'cretin'.

Interestingly enough, none of the comments allegedly made by the family of Paakaula made it in the papers or the news. There are however, plenty of bystanders who corroborated Hamada’s story. Wait, there is one person who believes the wife threw the first punch besides Wong- Paakaula’s attorney.

It is a dastardly thing to beat someone weaker than you into a pulp, not to mention the issue of beating a woman unconscious. Paakaula’s arrest record speaks for itself: if this man doesn’t care enough about his family to beat them, then how much less does he care for people he doesn’t know? His cowardice has been passed onto his son who will no doubt, statistically speaking, have the same problem as his father and they will both end up at the bottom of the gene pool as human detritus.

Clever personalized plates

It is no surprise to me that this slipped through the cracks at Hawaii DMV:
(I wanted to get a picture but he cut through some parking places to get to the exit lane)

FATA55

March 22, 2007

Sins of the father

It is distressing that my street isn't the only one with jackass speeders on it. Normally, I don't give a second glance at the racers who wrap their vehicles around telephone poles, killing themselves in the process.

Yesterday one such jackass killed himself as he was driving on Kamehameha Road, slamming sideways into a pole and disintigrating his car in the process. Police estimated Patrick Davis' speed between 80-100 mph. The speed limit is 35 on that stretch of road.

Unfortunately, this retard didn't just kill himself- or even another unsuspecting motorist. He killed his 9-month old son, Kingston, who was found dead at the scene still strapped in his car seat but ejected from the vehicle. As a matter of fact, there wasn't much left of the car and debris was found 50 YARDS away from the crash site.

I have a hard time with this accident because I see the potential for this type of thing to happen everyday as I watch the locals race around my streets. Forgive me if my sterotypes become too harsh.

Patrick Davis was 28 (police reported him as 22) years old and was driving an Acura. Twenty-eight is still pretty young and the small Acura's and Honda's are the P.O.S. of choice for the kids who have rented Fast & the Furious just one too many tiimes.

Little Kingston's mother and father weren't married. No big deal, however I make this point because it is common in Hawaii across all social casts but moreso with the lower class. A quote from Richard Davis leads me to believe they were uneducated:
Right there my heart wen drop and I wanted to fall. The cops was holding me.
Perhaps I may be pushing the limits here but I see so many similarities between this jackass who killed his son and the locals who get into trouble around here. If you doubt any of this then please look at other posts where I highlight the behavior of these miscreants.

Maybe I'm being too harsh with Patrick Davis. But then I look at his son and although maybe Kingston would have ended up in a dead end life like his father, he would never get that chance. Maybe Kingston and his father could have grown up and beaten the shit out of an Army man and his wife while their 3-year old watched.

If you haven't heard of this fender bender gone awry then let me sum it up as another example of a local father who's warped and intellectually obtuse brain got him into trouble. He and his son beat a man and his wife unconscious in a parkling lot after the couple hit the local's car. The son jumped out and yelled "Fucking haoule" which prompted the case to be tried as a hate crime. Unfortunately, Hawaii's hate crime laws, much like everything else, are written to loosely. A judge ruled that it was the accident, not race, that prompted the slur. It isn't against the law to yell a racial slur (unless you're white).

FYI, hauole = honkey.
(pronounced how-lee)

Gerald Pa'akaula appeared before a judge today and plead not guilty to two felony assault charges. His son's case when to jevunile court. (Juvy court = slap on the wrist). Not guilty? How does he plan to win that case, by using the Jedi mind trick?


I'm not implying that the locals here in Hawaii are stupid anymore than I am implying that the people in Arkansas where I grew up are a bunch of white trash rednecks. Every race has it's assholes who put a stain on the rest of the humans who inhabit this little blue planet. But for crying out loud, do the stereotypes have to fit so well? I look at this guy and the first thing that comes to mind is 'punk'. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover. Again, I think I am just too pissed off to think rationally- much like the mother who has lost her infant son and her bonehead boyfriend.

March 19, 2007

4 years later

It has been 4 years since we watched the cameras decend on Baghdad. I clearly remember the green night vision surveying the skyline of the capitol city, anxiously awaiting the first bomb. The country was optomistic, united, and I'm sure that even Cindy Sheehan was rooting for her son, whom she barely talks about anymore, to kill as many terrorists as he could. Party lines were rechalked in 2001 as Congress held hands, sang, and prayed for the victims of Sepetember 11.

Then the bombs fell.

It wasn't long before Youtube was getting thousands of hits from people wanting to see our boys doling out the retribution. Although the war was now being faught on two fronts, the other including Afghanistan, we remained optomistic. But it didn't last. Soon the far left dropping bombs here in the U.S. The lines were redrawn but this time they were drawn in blood and the country became diametrically opposed.

Our war in Iraq is illegal.
How so? How many more resolutions should Saddam have broken? 20? 30?

The war is the just a big lie to further the profits of Cheney via Halliburton.
Prove it. /yawn

WMD's were just a lie.
Tell that to the U.N. inspectors that were not allowed access to many facilities, except for the dummy, sanitized facilities Saddam escorted them to. Tell that to the Kamel brothers, Saddam's brothers-in-law. Tell that to the inspectors who are still trying to account for weaponry Iraq addmitted it had after the Kamel defection. I'll never forget the WMD's we did find but that made the Democrats and moonbats resort to the Jedi mind trick- "Those aren't the WMD's you're looking for."

There was no connection with Iraq and September 11. We should not have invaded Iraq.
Nobody said there was a connection other than Saddam was harboring terrorists. Saddam only killed his own people; it was none of our business?

I heard someone say today on talk radio that we have spent billions of dollars on this war and have only hanged one person. Yeah, what's your point? Does this person feel the same way about WWII- "... all we did was get Japan to surrender and Hitler dead."

I am not above giving this administration, however, the lumps it deserves. Mistakes have been made and there have been some criminally negligent activities. But I am still waiting for the the Democratically controlled government to do something about it. They can't even rally enough votes among themselves to get anything substantial passed. They better step it up by November 2008. It looks like both sides have yet to take this war seriously when you see all the shenangians on television that have nothing to do with winning the war. For example, the latest 'WTF is Bush thinking?' deals with immigration, a topic most of the U.S. wants stricter controls over. He is concerned with Mexico's economy and interests. WTF, man. Get concerned about ours and pass a freakin immigration reform bill that means something. Why do we give a shit about the corrupt Mexican governemnt and their interests?

There really isn't much left to do except wait for the military to finally gt the go ahead and come home. But that seems like a distant homecoming since even Billary has stated that the U.S. will have a permanent presence in Iraq.

I'm going home to play WoW. It seems so much easier to kill orcs and undead than to deal with this shit.

March 16, 2007

March 14, 2007

Whoops; my bad, Commodore.

I can't imagine what was going through the families of the USS San Juan yesterday as reports of the missing submarine started to come in. During an exercise with the USS Enterprise battle group the ship gave indications that it was in distress- loss of communications and a red flare.

For those of you not versed in submarine exercises, this is bad. This means a multibillion dollar submarine with 120+ crew members is in trouble- think Kursk or Widowmaker. During these exercises the submarines are to check in on a set schedule via radio messages and when San Juan did not check in it raises concern; couple the lack of communication with a red flare and hairs start to raise up on the back of necks and stomachs start to sink.
The International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) in Norfolk, Va., was alerted to assist with the search and rescue effort. ISMERLO, an international organization, serves to facilitate the rapid call out of international rescue systems in the event of a submarine accident. The immediate response from various international entities was superb. In addition, San Juan family members were notified of the situation at hand.
Squadron received a radio message from San Juan early this morning and everything was fine. Just a little 'whoopsie daisy' with their broadcast schedule?

Half the Atlantic fleet is looking for you and you radio in like, "What? What's everyone doing?" The last decade or so have made the submarine force come across as a bunch of assclowns: the Newport News collided with a Japanese container ship a few months ago, the San Francisco ran aground in 2005 and killing one crew member, the Greenville collided with a Japaese fishing boat and killed 9 people in 2001 and then ran aground not too long after that, and in 1998 the San Juan collided with the USS Kentucky.

I remember hearing about the Baton Rouge colliding with a Sierra class submarine in 1992 while I was deployed. The CO made a big deal about keeping our mouths shut when we pulled; the first thing my mother asked when she called me that day was if I was the submarine that had the collision. I informed her I was in the Pacific fleet and the collision happened in the Atlantic.

I came across a Washington Post article written in 1989 that said the sumbarine for had 43 collisions since 1987. That seems like a lot, because it is a lot.

It is a dangerous business we submariners are in. There are so many unknowns out there that sonar just can't see and a few nimrods in charge that just shouldn't be there. Most collisions happen at or ascending to periscope depth and each journey is the ultimate Deal or no Deal for the sonar supervisor and OOD.

March 12, 2007

Stereo Eclipse

March 12, 2007: When scientists announce they're about to calibrate their instruments, science writers normally put away their pens. It's hard to write a good story about calibration. This may be the exception.

On Feb. 25, 2007, NASA scientists were calibrating some cameras aboard the STEREO-B spacecraft and they pointed the instruments at the sun. Here is what they saw:



The rest of the story, including an awesome video of the event, can be found
HERE.

March 6, 2007

Mahar and Coulter jockey for media attention

I have just spent the last 45 minutes going over the transcripts from the ridiculous comments that both Bill Mahar and Ann Coulter made yesterday. The Right was in a tizzy over Mahar's transparent and carefully crafted statement that the U.S. would be better off if the Taliban assassination attempt on the V.P.'s life was successful.
But I have zero doubt that if Cheney were not in power, people wouldn't be dying needlessly tomorrow
/Lemmings applause on que.

Mahar then continued to stick his foot further down his throat with this comment:
I'm just saying, that if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact.


It's fact? Just like that, because Mahar says so? Don't forget that this is the same guy who calls the jihadists who ran airplanes into buildings on September 11 warriors and the U.S. military cowards because we lob tommy rockets into Iraq. I wonder if he feels the same way about the American Indians who fired at the British formations from behind trees. It's called reducing your losses (aka bringing a gun to a knife fight), asshat. So we are cowards for using technology in our favor while we kill people from afar with missiles, but Bush is a shitty leader because he sent ground troops into Iraq to fight the enemy? Make up your mind, Mahar.

Ann Coulter was also in the spotlight for inferring that John Edwards is a faggot. Advertisers have dropped from her website but I have yet to see anything done by HBO for Mahar's comments. Both Mahar and Coulter have one thing in common and that is to stir things up, needlessly mind you, with remarks that are better left unsaid. Mahar tries to disguise his insults as witty, intellectually driven commentary while Coulter tries to play hers off as playground humor designed to get people to think or become involved in an issue.

Both of them need to shampoo my crotch. The only thing Coulter has going for her that allows me to drum up any empathy (albeit slight) is that she is a lot easier on the eyes than Mahar's slathered on make up job.

March 2, 2007

Lost in Hawaii


I will be on the set of Lost most of the day for the second Friday in a row, contributing to the artistic endeavorers of Hollywood pragmatics. It is amusing to watch them, with the Hollywood attitudes, interact with the locals here. Not ot say that they are rude or snobby, just not from around here.

For those of you not familiar with the show, and I must confess I do not regularly watch the show, it is filmed here in Hawaii. A plane leaving form Australia crashes somewhere in the Pacific and the survivors make it to a deserted island- kind of like Gilligan's Island but a lot more beefcake shots and gratuitous skimpy shots of the women. But believe me when I tell you there is more going on with these castaways than figuring out to rig a coconut to work as a side band radio.

The show uses flashbacks to develop character history and explain why they are who they are. I have been in two flashbacks, one with Clair which will air the last Wednesday in March, and the current flashback I am filming with Desmond. I do not want to get into plot or details but I have posted these pictures of me after leaving wardrobe. The first is me as an Australian policeman and the other of my part as a monk.

It is a fun experience to watch the magic of Hollywood unfold. I have seen the big blue screens, the director's chair, scripts, makeup people making a fuss over the main characters. It is all very interesting to watch in person. I would love to get my picture taken with the cast members I've seen but it is frowned on, me being a lowly extra. But I can understand why, especially when some scenes may have dozens of extras. The person would never have a moment of peace and after watching Desmond practicing his lines after every take, I can see that this is serious business and focus is crucial.

I must say that I have a different attitude towards actors now. Not everybody can be a good actor and there is an inherent amount of skill, whether it be learned or come naturally, that is involved with the whole process- a process that I would much like to be more involved in one day. No, I am not going to move to L.A. and bus tables where Scorcesi and Ron Howard eat lunch hoping to get discovered, but I will keep my portfolio up to date with the local casting agency.

Gone are the days where all they want are the chiseled chins, abs, ass cheeks and perfect hair (at least for extras or background work) and I hear that more and more "regular" looking people are hired on for these positions.

I really enjoy talking to my fellow extras most of whom have been doing this sort of work much longer than I have. I met a few people who worked on the set of You, Me and Dupree because it was shot out here. I have also met some older people, perhaps in their 50's who have been in some movies from the 70's and 80's. They all have a story to tell and are eager to tell them. It is my favorite part of the whole experience. For example, when you see a crowded bar scene or restaurant scene the people aren't really talking and there is no music playing. It would be too difficult to hear the actors with all that activity. So everyone lip syncs and everyone dances to no music, which explains why you sometimes see people in club scenes literally dancing to the beat of a different drum. Costumes are tapped down or pinned up, hair is always being sprayed, blue or green screens in background will later show extravagant scenes like a vineyard in the middle of Honolulu.

I think the hardest part of the acting would be to appear natural. I watch these people say their lines and get into character whereas I would be embarrassed that people were watching me do this fake alter-ego. But I guess that would wear off just like my feelings of wearing bell-bottom pants when I first came in the Navy. Everyone does it, it is part of job, so get over it. Plus, I think get over really quick after I got the first paycheck. I am doing nothing but walking around in the background for 20-25 takes in a day and getting around $200. Speaking parts earn more even if you are an extra.

So, if you would like to get into movie/television acting just send a few pictures of yourself along with your clothes sizes to your nearest casting agency. You never know what they are looking for and it is a great experience.