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Archive for November, 2006

In the “Is online poker rigged?” debate, proponents of the rigged conspiracy will say that better players are getting cheated. The odds of their opponents catching runner-runner so frequently, they say, seems statistically improbable or occurs with such frequency that an experienced player would begin questioning the veracity and ethics of the hands played. Conspiracy theorist will give examples that KK loses the majority of the time to Ax when KK is a 70% favorite, and that AA is no good because it to frequently loses to a small-mid pair set when it’s an 80% favorite. Surely all of us have heard runner-runner flush stories as often as we flush toilets. However, opponents of the conspiracy theorists trump player observations every time by asking, “Why would the online poker rooms want to cheat anyone?” Continuing, they’ll explain that poker rooms are making a lot of money and that there’s too much at risk by cheating anyone. If caught, they’ll aver, they lose everything. Essentially, supporters of the poker rooms are offering the Christians’ “You just have to have faith,” argument. Which is not much of an argument in and of itself.

Poker rooms exist for one reason only: To make money. It’s an entrepreneurial and capitalist adventure for the owners who are doing remarkably well, and I applaud them. Yet, when the increase of power or profits is the motivation behind a service, there will always be room for corruption. Furthermore, when an electronic medium is the avenue for the service, there will always be the possibility of fraud. Hence the many grassroots political efforts to ban electronic voting machines. Due to the nature of software and the coding required to run the system (gambling or politics), it would not be difficult for someone to exploit an advantage – stacking the deck in favor of the house or political party. (more…)

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Evans Blue video

I first learned of Evan’s Blue back in the summer and loved what I heard from them. Earlier this year they were touring with Breaking Benjamin, which would have been nice to see, but I’m not sure where they’re at at the moment. In any event, below is their latest (and first) video.

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Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by an east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.

When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

(more…)

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On Saturday, I attended my eleven-year-old daughter’s robotic engineering team event. Each year, the best and brightest young minds team up, build a robot, and then enter it in a competition which involves the robot performing a series of tasks on an obstacle course. The team is graded on presentation, engineering, and how quickly and accurately their robot completes tasks within a certain amount of time.

After getting up bright and early, we headed to the local university and registered. We waited for about 45 minutes before going to the auditorium for the opening ceremony.

When the master of ceremonies immediately asked for everyone to be quiet during the “Presentation of Colors,” led by none other than the local girl scout troop, I quietly sat there and watched them bring the flag onto the stage. Then, the MC began talking about military veterans and the current soldiers in Iraq who were “fighting for our freedom,” and I started to get a little irritated. Strangely, I had forgotten it was Veteran’s Day. Regardless, I sat there listening to the master of propaganda spew his patriotism all over the stage. When he was finished, he asked that everyone stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Like a disobedient servant, I stood, but that’s all I did. I didn’t recite; I didn’t put my hand over my heart. I listened to the words carefully while everyone was reciting in unison, but I couldn’t force myself to recite The Pledge. In fact, I was disgusted. First, I’m not going to swear allegiance to a flag, to the republic that it represents, or to (essentially) anything else. It’s not my nature, and I’m sure not going to pretend to be loyal to that perverted monstrosity in Washington, D.C. I’ll leave that to the citizens who prefer being raped by the government, and who seem unconcerned about the national debt, the trade deficit, illegal immigration, a backward educational system, sky-rocketing health care, ad infinitum. The reason those things I listed even exist is because of the corrupt entity in Washington that I’m being asked to swear allegiance. No thank you; I want no part of that.

(more…)

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First, I’m not sure why silly issues like the Pledge of the Allegiance or worrying about which stores are saying “Merry Christmas!” during the holidays creates such a big furor among Americans. Really, who gives a shit? They’re trivial issues, usually brought up by zealots who think they have the inside track to righteousness and a monopoly on moral values. What it does, however, is provide a smoke screen to block debate and stop Americans from thinking about significant issues like the national debt, illegal immigration, a failing educational system, the trade deficit, the cost of health-care, etc. and the politicians who do nothing about them. “Hell, who cares if the country is broke, a school in California isn’t saying the Pledge of Allegiance!” says Joe Sixpack when the corrupt company he works for hands him his check that is losing value every year.

In any event, if more people knew why The Pledge was created in the first place, maybe more of them would stop reciting it.

The Pledge was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy and read: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” However, Bellamy stated that the purpose of The Pledge was to teach obedience to state as a virtue.

Can you believe that? It’s a sickening concept, but the snake oil salesmen in Washington love it when their servants obey. Obedience to the state isn’t a virtue, is the antithesis of freedom, liberty, and the beliefs of the Founding Fathers, and is sheep like behavior. I, for one, won’t be lead to the slaughter.

It’s interesting that I found this story as I had an experience this past Saturday regarding The Pledge, which I’ll write about tomorrow.

California Students Ban Pledge of Allegiance – AOL News

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 11) – Student leaders at a California college have touched off a furor by banning the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings, saying they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.

The move by Orange Coast College student trustees, the latest clash over patriotism and religion in American schools, has infuriated some of their classmates — prompting one young woman to loudly recite the pledge in front of the board on Wednesday night in defiance of the rule.

“America is the one thing I’m passionate about and I can’t let them take that away from me,” 18-year-old political science major Christine Zoldos told Reuters.

“The fact that they have enough power to ban one of the most valued traditions in America is just horrible,” Zoldos said, adding she would attend every board meeting to salute the flag.

The move was led by three recently elected student trustees, who ran for office wearing revolutionary-style berets and said they do not believe in publicly swearing an oath to the American flag and government at their school. One student trustee voted against the measure, which does not apply to other student groups or campus meetings.

The ban follows a 2002 ruling by a federal appeals court in San Francisco that said forcing school children to recite the pledge was unconstitutional because of the phrase “under God.” The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ruling on procedural grounds but left the door open for another challenge.

“That (‘under God’) part is sort of offensive to me,” student trustee Jason Ball, who proposed the ban, told Reuters. “I ‘m an atheist and a socialist, and if you know your history, you know that ‘under God’ was inserted during the McCarthy era and was directly designed to destroy my ideology.”

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The Antiwar Wave- by Justin Raimondo

The scene now shifts to the internal battle within the two major parties. The Democrats, having ridden the wave of anti-interventionist sentiment, are not united on what is to be done – and, remember, they are complicit in what Gen. William E. Odom calls the greatest strategic disaster in American military history. Most of them voted for it, in any case, and now claim they were deceived: but that isn’t saying very much for their own judgment or their willingness to take an independent course.

The Rahm Emanuel wing of the party – Democratic congressional campaign committee head Emanuel routinely opposed antiwar candidates in the party primaries – is determined to keep the party on a “centrist,” i.e., objectively pro-war course, raising all the old canards about the alleged “weakness” of Democratic candidates on issues related to national security. But the reality is that the Democrats now have the advantage on that question: polls show voters trust the Democrats more on national security than the Republicans, a stunning reversal. And this has nothing to do with the feigned “toughness” of the “national security Democrats” – who are merely blue-state neocons – but with the party’s perceived (albeit not actual) antiwar stance. The American people are waking up: they now realize that the war has increased the threat of terrorism and empowered Osama bin Laden and his cohorts, greatly increasing anti-Americanism not only in the Muslim world but around the globe.

These election results set the stage for a Democratic antiwar presidential candidate to emerge. The problem is that the party leadership is decidedly centrist, i.e., pro-war, with Hillary Clinton being the exemplar in this regard. Her determined opposition to U.S. withdrawal, or even a timetable to begin phasing out our troop presence, has pretty much set the tone of her party’s “mainstream” voices on the war issue. All that is now changed, however: the Democratic ranks are just waiting for someone like Webb to step forward. Someone who would meet with furious opposition from the staid party Establishment – from all the special interests, the foreign lobbyists, the self-appointed arbiters of the politically permissible – and finally break the neocon stranglehold on American foreign policy.

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Not stiff enough

A Delaware judge on Friday ordered a man who twice exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl at his workplace to wear a T-shirt with the words: “I am a registered sex offender” in bold letters, a prosecutor said.Russell Teeter, 69, who pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent exposure, also was sentenced to 60 days in jail by Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden in Wilmington.Deputy Attorney General Donald Roberts said he requested the unusual T-shirt punishment because he was concerned about Teeter exposing himself to children at the gardening business he runs with his wife.”This is a unique way to let his customers know that he is a sex offender,” Roberts told Reuters.Roberts said Teeter had at least 10 prior convictions dating back to 1976 for exposing himself to children and had been diagnosed as a compulsive exhibitionist.

Man ordered to wear “sex offender” T-shirt | Oddly Enough | Reuters.com

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