glenn beck radio prank

glenn beck, a national radio host, advertised yesterday that he was going to play an abortion, live over the air.

today, he came on, and for the first two hours of his show acted all emotional about it, he and his wife are trying to adopt so there's an extremely personal connection for him.

so i'm thinking to myself, "well, i don't know if i agree with it, but it certainly makes a point, and at least for a change a radio talkshow host is going to do something really important to himself, if not to everyone else."

he's gotten literally tens of thousands of emails about this, for and against. been talking all day about how he's losing markets, etc...

then, when he cuts to "the microphones in the abortion rooms", they start playing some stupid parody of the 9/11 hearings.

not fucking funny, glenn. he used to be one of my favorite radio hosts, but after this...abortion is one of the single most emotional political topics out there, and messing with it and turning it into a joke is not a good way to go.

i think all he's really done is cheapen the whole debate, he didn't prove a point except for that he has no qualms about screwing with people to get ratings.

any way, i'm really really curious what anybody else has to say about the broadcast. if anybody else listens, please comment here, and if you haven't then listen to the audio at glennbeck.com, and tell me what you think.

update: okay, so i'm starting to see where he's coming from, on my second listen through. but only a little bit. anybody that has a stance on abortion on either side really needs to listen to this. i know it's long, but it's affected me more than anything else i've heard in a while.
did ted koppel ever have any shame, or did he just lose it recently?

stations are pulling the planned "nightline" episode in which, for forty minutes, ted koppel will read a list of those killed in iraq, and show a picture of each one. now normally, i would be for recognizing the sacrifices made by troops in iraq, when done in such a way as to show how much these people sacrificed to do the right thing. i don't think that the human cost of this should be overlooked, or ignored, or glossed over, i know men and women that were much better human beings than i that died there.

but using the dead in this way, with no context or anything except names and a photograph, presents the idea that these people died for nothing, for no reason. they co-opt the deaths of hundreds of americans and turn it into a disgusting effort to turn the public against the war, when turning the public against the war is one of the most surefire ways to cause more deaths in iraq. these people don't care about the dead and wounded in iraq, all they care about is their agenda of appeasment and defeating george bush.

short of actually flying ted koppel to iraq so he can personally shoot a few soldiers himself to help the death toll along this is probably the most obscene way they could go about doing it.
how much did clinton know about unscam, and when?

those of us who listen to quinn knew about this at least a week ago, but it's finally gaining some traction.

basically, marc rich, the super rich traitor that was one of the last-hour clintonion pardons, is now implicated in the corrupt un oil-for-food program.

is this a link between clinton and unscam? it is certainly possible that rich was doing without any knowledge of the clintons, but is it also possible that old bill gave a wink and a nod for years, for campaign contributions etc. (rich donated something to the tune of a half mil to the clinton library, atop of other things over the years, before, during and after the pardon.)

hat tip to ace for the newsmax link

for those of you who gave up comic books when they got old enough to drive, you won't be interested in this, but comicon is coming to da burgh. this is always a huge draw, i have friends that live in other states that save up all year to come here for this event. fortunatly, i live about five minutes from the expomart, so i'm there.

the special guest this year is george romero, which rocks, if i get a picure of me and him in zombie getup i'll be sure to figure out a way to get it online. and i may try to steal a digicam to document my foray into the land of uber-geekdom.

and while i'm on the topic, check out she's a nightmare, one of the best online comic books out there.
c'mon folks, give it up

there was a friendly competition going on to see who could donate more to spirit of america, but the contest is now over and the groups have united to raise the hoped-for 50k. we're close, folks, so if you haven't donated yet, even just a couple of bucks, go do it.

well, i don't know what the word for it is, but a big thank you to the mudville gazette, who not only explained to me how to add myself to his blogroll, he gave me a mainpage link, causing a bit of a flood. welcome all the residents of mudville, if you came here from there then you ought to know that frigging nobody speaks for us, but us; and i intend to do whatever i can to keep it that way with my humble little blog here.
a further post on the primary...
so, i didn't go vote yesterday. i fucked up, i'm still registered in the wrong county and with the shift i worked yesterday i couldn't make it to the polls before they closed. no excuse, just a reason.

of course, i'm one of about 15,000 pa conservatives that have a "reason". and we are the "reason" that arlen specter is still in office, at least until november.

but i do want to point out, last night 49% of pa republicans said "screw you" to a 4 term incumbent. we may not have gotten the candidtate we wanted, but was there a message sent? i'm going to go with a big fat hairy "yes" on that one. it's a message with national resonance, and a message with special resonance to pa republican candidates. arlen is allready claiming that the rift has been fixed, but i'm highly sceptical. he says he isn't going to run next time, but if he wants to maintain his legimacy within the pa republican party, he better be careful how he votes over the next four years. and the next pa republican to run for office will surely have this race in mind.

it's a step in the right direction, anyway.

and hopefully, the other 15,000 conservatives in this state have learned the same lesson as i, and we won't let something like this happen again.

shouting some random thoughts into the vacuum:

*batman begins: the thoughts of some actor i've never heard of who dosen't realize he was just snubbed by liam neeson. but wait, is that a monster truck batmobile?

*go check out the first person to ever blogroll me. she calls herself moxie, has an excellent blog, and a penchant for vodka. what else do you need?

*other site news, i'm shifting ok but the takeoffs are still a bit rough, especially uphill. i have gotten a site meter for my own personal vanity (although it's not helping my vanity much resting at "000001"), and, unlike john kerry, am actually finding my "voice"


*another good reason to live in america: ramen still costs 10 cents a bag. actually, i could see this catching on in some of the "trendier" parts of america, on the strip between the starbucks and the panera...

*i just saw a picture of a coworkers girlfriend, and i wanted to say this, but couldn't...what is it with the really really bad fake tan thing? does anyone actually find that attractive? i mean, being the geek that i am i'm actually more attracted to pale girls, but i can understand a "i live on the beach" normal tan. but this crispy brown "i've spent too much time standing next to the microwave" look, with the white circles where the eye protection goggels sit...bleh.

*last and most important, the big disappointment for the day, arlen spector pulls a very close race out over pat toomey. dammit.
realistic options for fallujah

turns out, fallujah is still on the map. does anybody else see this as a problem? how many american soldiers have died there over the past few weeks while we maintain this ridiculous one-sided cease fire? the folks over on the hill better figure this shit out in a big frigging hurry, it's bad politically and it's a horrible reality. american soldiers are dying because we're playing this asinine game of detente. the way i see it, there is four options, each with their pros and cons:

carry on with the "cease fire" (aka the ostrich defense): it is my opinion that this has gone on quite long enough, as stated above. the situation will only get worse, not better, and the longer we stand around with our fingers in our ears pretending we don't hear the screaming from overseas the worse it will get. it has the political upside of being able to claim it's not your fault because you aren't doing anything (see: bill clinton), but last time i checked we had a cowboy in office. time to show some gunslinger, or get the hell outta dodge.

pull out (aka the vietnam defense): this has the upside of no more deaths for us, and no more deaths caused by us. this is a big upside, but there are several cons...first, it sets a dangerous precedent (see: mogudishu) that if you hit us hard enough, we'll run. second, leaving the town to it's own devices is an almost guaranteed civil war that would arguably be our fault, and would be bad for the country as a whole. politically, george bush gets a big stain on that gunslinger image that, no matter how much the french hate, is a big part of why people like him. we want a pussy in office, we'll vote democrat. it is also an admission on his part that he may have bit off more than he could chew here, vindicating the aforementioned pussies in what they've been saying all along.

bomb 'em (aka shock 'n awe v 2.0): pull back, pull out all american troops, and flatten the city. there's a show of strength for ya. if overwhelming force is what is called for, we can certainly bring it. and it's worked in the past (see: dresden) to break the back of an enemy, but i don't think this is one of those situations. neverminding the moral implications of mass random violence, it's guaranteed to get rid of all the terrorists in fallujah, but also guaranteed to piss off a bunch of other folks, and not just the french. i don't buy much into the "stop, you're just making them angry" schtick, but there does come a point where an individual can only stand so much before they fight back, and i think leveling a city of 30,000 may be that breaking point for many people. why not just bomb parts? what parts? there is no military targets there, so just leveling out a part of the city has the dual downsides of not ending the problem (they're still there) and pissing off everybody in the city. and of course politically, george bush can write off all but the most extreme hawk votes, and i don't think i could handle the increase in the whine factor from the left.

infantry assault (aka snatch & grab, or the avon method): now, i don't mean patrolling the streets, waiting for them to come to us. i mean taking the city, section by section, kicking in every door and checking every house. no more "please, mr. terrorist, give us your guns and bombs," go in and find them. find the people that have them, and find the people that use them. the downside of this is the high risk of american deaths, almost a few are guaranteed, and some civilian deaths. would it piss some folks off? sure, but they'd get over it. it sucks to have booted american troops trampling your newfound civil rights, but at least you're still breathing. the american casualties could potentially be very high, but how many have died trying to maintain a friendly peace?

it's time to move forward in this war, standing still isn't really standing still, since the situation continues to fester, to deteriorate, all around us. it is past time to decide how we, the world police force, want to react to difficult situations in the 21st century...by sticking our heads in the sands, or by appeasement and retreat, or by bringing the fight to their home field. we'll win, every time, if we have the balls to do it properly. there is nothing out there today that can stop the american military, if the politicians decide to use it. not as a bandage, or as a shield, but as a sword, the thing that our military is best at being.
red cross: looking out for the oppressed

from the ap:

the red cross visited saddam hussein, ex-dictator and genocidal maniac, in u.s. custody today.

the us has been holding saddam on a secret desert base in kuwait, where the former butcher of baghdad is kept permanently outside, hanging by his pinky toes. there is a long line of iraqis bussed in blindfolded who take turns hitting their ousted oppressor with sticks, whips, and anything else they can get their hands on.

mohammed m. mohammed, whose entire family was killed by saddam's son uday, spit on saddam and said "this is too good for him, he deserves much worse. the u.s. and george bush, allah bless him, are too kind."

the red cross representatives were appalled and outraged at the treatment of the prisoner, until a u.s. marine went around slapping them all on the head, bringing them back to reality and reminding them who they were looking at. they then took turns hitting him with a lead pipe.

okay, okay, that isn't what it said. but that's what it should say, in a sane world.
ooooooh...me likey

via dean's world

a 50 cal individual rifle? beautiful. the m16, as noted below, could use a replacement. while the x8 is looking pretty good, having one of these around would certainly be helpful.

and a note on the "bigger is better?" debate, this is a bit graphic but my team leader shot a disruly iraqi in the face, about a half inch below his right eye, from maybe 25 feet away, and the fucker didn't die. i wound up having to sit and hold his stupid face together for like an hour until the medics finally showed. would this have happened with a 50 cal rifle? i think not. yet another reason to lose the 16
rooneys to maddox: you suck

well, maybe that's a bit harsh. but you can't help but wonder exactly what they thought when the steelers drafted roethlisberger for quarterback first thing off the bat. instead of filling a much needed position in, say, anywhere but reciever, they took a quarterback. i don't think it necessarily was the best move, but then i don't make a zillion dollars trying to call these things.

maddox, though, got the message. he's currently skulking and playing golf in texas, and blew off a meeting with the stillers because he's "too emotional". awwwww, poor baby. he wanted to renegotiate his contract up from $750k to $2 mil since he's playing starter, but that's not looking good. and the market for second rate quarterbacks ain't too good right now either, so he'll probably just have to deal with a lowly million or million and a half dollars for the next year.

gee, my heart just aches. hey tommy, guess what. football's a tough game, on and off the field. deal with it. whining like the kid that gets picked last for kickball dosen't make you attractive to the team you play for now or a team that you may want to play for in the future. do your job, do it well, and there may be another starter post in it for you yet.

at least you aren't back in the xfl.
even their puppies

so i was reading over rosemary, the queen of all evil's new site and found a link to her "sister city" theory of responding to terrorism from dean's world. first off, i finally understand why she is called the queen of all evil (always good to know) and it reminded me of a theory that my family was tossing around right after 9/11. it works doubly well for the iraq war: when some asswipe tries to shoot, stab, blow up, trip or otherwise harm an american soldier or civilian, we not only kill him (if he hasn't done the job for us), we also take out his wife, kids, parents, grandparents, distant cousins, second grade teacher, pets, and anyone else that ever had any close contact with him. it may not have been feasable with the 9/11 terrorists (invading saudi arabia to take out a few family members may have proven politically difficult), but should work beauitifully in fallujah and mosul, since we're allready there.

they may be ok with blowing themselves up to kill the infidel, but will probably rethink their plans when they know that their entire family is likely to greet them along with allah. hell, how are you suppossed to enjoy all those virgins with your wife hanging around?
Is the us military prepared?

in short, no, and yes. i've been hearing alot of news about how the standard hmmwv isn't up to spec for the operations they are going on. opinions on gear from this iraqi war vet:

hmmwv: the standard thin skin humvee is not nearly up to spec for the challenges we face. this goes for the deuce, five ton and most other trucks used by troops in iraq. why not? well, the doors, walls, etc of the vehicle is either thin kevlar or thin steel. a soldier's blessing is the "up armor" humvee, which consists of doors, walls, floorboards and roof of thick reinforced steel. it also has plates around the turret to help save the gunner, the most vulnerable individual in the vehicle. the problem is that these up armors cost a friggin ton, and aren't foolproof.

weaponry and individual defense: a qulified yes...military weaponry is generaly the best of the not so good. the m16, beretta, saw, 240b and mk 19 (the weapons i have personal experience with) are up to the job, when they work right. the down side is that they don't always work right, being mass produced by the lowest bidder. soldier attentiveness and care can go a long way toward fixing this. and as for body armor, i have seen a soldier take direct ak rounds to the chest (while taking a piss...a story for another time) and get up to immedieatly return fire. the interceptor armor sucks to wear but rocks as protection, the downside being that without the ceramic plates it's useless. hopefully, everybody there has them by now (when i first went north we didn't) but even still a shot to the side can be lethal.

training: depends on who you're talking about. the army rangers and general infintary are trained beyond belief, same for most legs and even reservist combat and combat support units. the problem is, many non combat units are now being retrained into combat jobs, in a big fuckin hurry, causing a massive amount of problems, from rounds shot off accidently to stupid, life threatening mistakes.

how much does this all matter is the question? well, for one thing, even the most piss poorly armed rear eschelon soldier is still one hundred times better off than the terrorists on the other side for gear and training. the folks on the other side are riding around in beat ass toyota pickups, with soviet leftover ak's and homemade bombs, often with zero actual military training.

ask yourself, how often have you heard soldiers either over there or coming home bitch about this? a few here and there, probably, but by and large the realities of the situation are understood. sure, it'd be great if everybody could roll around in an abrams or stryker with a full auto rifle...and it'd be nice if we had a magic beam that can determine terrorists vs. peaceful iraqis and drop them dead on the spot. not happening.

the point is that there is a job to be done, and it gets done. if we were running around stabbing them with spears and wearing wooden armor, it would still get done. at fort dix, there's a statue called "the ultimate weapon" of an american doughboy in action. no matter what adversity, we're still the best in the biz.
Neverwinter nights

one thing you will find seriosly lacking on this page, since it is named "geek empire", is any video game news. if it was made after 1992 and isn't neverwinter nights, i haven't played it. having said that, anybody who has ever played adnd and hasn't played nwn is seriously missing out. even if you aren't a dnd geek, if you like video games, fantasy fiction, or just generally stabbing things, go buy it. right now. go!

and when you get there, look up current's server, module fireside. if you see a guy named greyy in there, give me a shout.


i am immensely proud to put up the liberty alliance link here as my first real post. granted, it dosn't help much since nobody reads this, but here it is: i'm a backer. if you see this post, please come back sometime soon when there's actually something here :)

hello world

geekempire, v 2.0


howdy, thanks for stopping by. what you're looking at is the intermittent ramblings of an iraqi vet, college student, goth-poseur, comic book reading, cheesy horror loving, punk listening, right-leaning, tech-obsessed, poorly typing, proudly self-proclaimed geek. occasionally, probably due to these odd combinations, i like to think i have some interesting things to say; this is where they wind up.

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us...We need the books that affect us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.

ace o spades hq
bargain-basement allahpundit
a small victory
army of mom
babalu blog
beautiful atrocities
being american in t o
belmont club
blame bush!
castle argghhh!
citizen smash
the command post
common sense runs wild
curmudgeonly & skeptical, r
curmudgeonly & skeptical, pg-13
dean's world
drill sergeant rob
exit zero
enjoy every sandwich
feisty repartee
fistful of fortnights
free will
four right wing wacos
ghost of a flea
half the sins of mankind
the hatemonger's quarterly
hog on ice
house of plum
id's cage
ilyka damen
incoherant ramblings
in dc journal
the jawa report
knowledge is power
lileks bleat
the llama butchers
memento moron
the mudville gazette
naked villainy
nerf-coated world
those damned pajama people
professor chaos
professor shade
the protocols of the yuppies of zion
protein wisdom
the queen of all evil
seven inches of sense
shinobi, who is a f'n numbers ninja, yo
tall dark and mathteriouth
the nose on your face
the thearapist
this is class warfare
texas best grok
tim worstall
way off bass

other must reads: