Monthly Archives: October 2008

Funny Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween! Unlike most holidays, Halloween is great because it’s all-American, great for parties, loaded with processed sugar, and gives ladies a free pass to dress like prostitutes. It’s also one of the few holidays that doesn’t make any grandiose or righteous claims, and is out of the closet about the fact that it’s popular because of its commercialism (I’m looking at you Christmas). Halloween joins New Years Day, and the July 4th as great holidays because you can act like a fool and have a good time with friends, without the obligations that come attached (I’m looking at you again Christmas).

Listed below are some funny costumes I found while googling far less important items:

1. Giving Birth: The Costume!

Pro: Brilliantly disturbing, good teamwork.
Con: Hard to drink your beer, logistical nightmare getting around the party, it’s a vagina, not a clown car.

2. Bioshock Costume

These things are a little too creepy to look this realistic

These things are a little too creepy to look this realistic

Pro: Incredibly realistic to the fictional game…if that makes sense.
Con: This looks like it took a disturbing amount of time and welding.

3. Naughty Ghostbuster Costume

Pro: Finally, fighting ghosts is sexy again! Includes tiny proton pack and massive boobs.
Con: Since when was ghostfighting sexy in the first place?

4. Alien Baby Costume

Pro: The look on this baby’s face…priceless.
Con: Aliens murdering babies was more of a 2007 trend.

5. Shark Eating Man Costume

Pro: Good work on the legs. Real-life scary.
Con: Scary, but not spooky. Dangling legs hinder vision/drinking.

6. Greenman!

Pro: Any chance to include a plug for the brilliant show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is a chance I’m willing to take. For information on ordering one of these guys, check out this link.
Con: While it’s hard to drink, this costume is so cool that there is no real con.

7. Kissing Booth

Pro: Clever way to get some kisses from the ladies. Plus a few from the lads.
Con: Herpes. ‘Nuff said

8. Fart-O-Meter

Pro: None
Con: A whole night of people farting in your face? Just remember, you brought this on yourself.

9. Barrell of Monkeys

Pro: Adorable and warm. Ladies, it’s cold on Halloween. Eventually you’ll see somebody wearing this, and begin to regret wearing your slutty bumblebee costume.
Con: Probably not as much attention from the opposite sex as the slutty bumblebee is getting.

10. Barbie Doll Costume

Pro: Clever and attention grabbing.
Con: Good luck doing anything in this costume, including drinking a beer, getting through doorways or going to the bathroom.

11. Outhouse Costume

Pro: Unique. It’s unlikely anyone else will be an outhouse.
Con: There’s a 50/50 chance someone will try to poop on your chest.

12. Facebook Costume

Pro: Clever, instantly recognizable
Con: As if human interaction didn’t already have enough facebook

Barack Obama is a US Citizen

Barry-O versus the Volcano...of ignorance!

Barry-O versus the volcano...of ignorance!

Watch out USA, because despite the “facts” and “information”, Barack Obama is actually a Muslim Kenyan Jew who was really born in Indonesia.

I talk to a lot of people who refer to Obama as “Osama Obama”, and make the claim that the Illinois Senator needs to provide proof that he is actually a US citizen. These calls would be a lot more humorous if I knew that these woefully ignorant individuals weren’t dragging themselves out of their caves every November in order to vote. Note: those I refer to come from people outside of Georgia’s 10th district.

You see, it’s not the Democrats, the Republicans, or even the candidate that deserves blame for being able to win over the mush of pork scraps and trimmings that calls itself a constituency. Disparaging a political party for accepting votes from ill-informed beings would be like blaming someone for finding free money on the ground. Instead, the blame rests on the shoulders of the voters.

Any number of people could open an actual newspaper, be it the Washington Post or the Washington Times, and see no reference towards the allegations that Barack Hussein Obama is not a US citizen. Even the AM radio folks, who love a good argument, keep these allegations at arms length, asking only for the truth. So it’s impossibly difficult to tell me that the media moves and steps in such unison as to suppress a goldmine of a story such as the possibility of an impostor making it this close to the presidency. Breaking information like that would be a career piece. Not just a career “I just got my own office” piece, but a Bob Woodward “every word that leaves my mouth turns into a best-selling book” career. Considering the decline of the print news industry, it would be impossible to keep an aspiring journalist from breaking rank on this.

It’s worth an admission that there is a sliver of truth to these allegations, simply because I wasn’t there to see little Barry Obama bursting out of his mother’s womb onto Hawaiian soil, but Factcheck.org, the same group to dispel allegations against John McCain’s lack of US citizenship, released photos of Barry-O’s birth certificate, as well as his birth announcement that had been published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961.

There is also a sliver of truth to the Kenyan citizenship allegations. Because Obama’s dad was Kenyan, Obama had dual citizenship as an American (because that’s where he was born) and citizenship of the UK, because Britain had control of Kenya. This changed after Kenya recieved its independence from the UK, but because Kenyan law dictates that people over the age of 21 cannot hold dual citizenship in Kenya and any other country. Obama would have had to swear his allegiance to Kenya, and renounce his citizenship to the US, which he possibly could have done, but you’d need some hard evidence, such as witnesses for that. Here’s a good link to explain all of this.

But seeing as web surfers could have viewed Obama’s birth certificate on his campaign website at any point, I’m inclined to suspect that there will consistently be people who will remain skeptical of Obama’s citizenship no matter what. And compounding their skepticism is a complete lack of evidence on their part. There isn’t a single person who has come forward with any evidence of any kind, other than the “fact” that the Obama campaign hasn’t bent over backwards to appease their concerns.

It stinks that people are devoting so much of their lives towards the spread of misinformation. Imagine if all the skeptics on both sides focused their energy on helping out at soup kitchens, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, or even spending more time with their kids. Wouldn’t that improve America far more than what they’re doing now?

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship at birth to almost all individuals born in the United States or in U.S. jurisdictions, according to the principle of jus soli. Certain individuals born in the United States, such as children of foreign heads of state or children of foreign diplomats, do not obtain U.S. citizenship under jus soli. Certain individuals born outside of the United States are born citizens because of their parents, according to the principle of jus sanguinis (which holds that the country of citizenship of a child is the same as that of his / her parents)

Guitar Hero

If there is ever a singular moment to indicate that the Guitar Hero franchise has hit the mainstream, it’s the new commercial for Guitar Hero: World Tour.

Sliding in “Risky Business” style, are four of the 10 most successful American sports figures of the last 20 years, all wielding Guitar Hero controllers. Alex Rodriguez, the greatest shortstop of all time (except he’s now a third baseman), and Michael Phelps, the current greatest swimmer ever, coast in on guitar, Tony Hawk, the greatest skateboarder ever, rolls in on the drums, and Kobe Bryant, one of the two best basketball players alive, is the frontman for a supergroup to silence all other commercial supergroups.

The cost of simply putting these four athletes in the same room would dwarf the entire operating budget for the first game, so I can only hope that the original Guitar Hero creators are getting a taste from the franchise that they worked so hard to create. People forget that musical video games used to stink worse than a dirty diaper full of moldy egg salad, so credit is due to Harmonix and Red Octane for cleaning up the entire genre.

But even after the face value of four mega athletes fake-singing in their underwear, Guitar Hero World Tour is the first game in the series to be unbound by song licenses, by including master recordings of every song. Artists such as Michael Jackson, Van Halen, the Eagles, and Jimi Hendrix carry hefty price tags to their recordings, and the previous games simply didn’t have the budget. But now, there doesn’t appear to be a single artist that can’t be afforded.

It’s great to see a deserving franchise succeed on all fronts. But like a quality band that made it big, it seems that the minds behind the original Guitar Hero games have been phased out by investors. Because after all, what the hell do Michael Phelps, A-Rod or Kobe Bryant have to do with a music video game?

Hot Gay Sex

Does this honestly affect you negatively in any way?

Does this honestly affect you negatively in any way?

When considering a political candidate, I am often compelled to assess his or her stance on gay marriage. Regardless of whether one views homosexuality as a choice or something you’re born with, there is a simple fact that a politician (in this example being a male) either would like to have sex with a man or he would not like to have sex with a man. So he’s being asked to view this issue without a full comprehension of both sides.

In general, there seems to be three mainstream ways of looking at gay rights. One, homosexuality is a choice made by confused and misled individuals, whose demand for equal rights is the by-product of a mental ailment, so efforts should be made to help reform their choices.

The second argument is that homosexuality is a characteristic that has endured so much persecution over the course of time, that no one in their right mind would ever make that choice, so we have to accommodate them.

The third argument is that homosexuality may have its place in society, but allowing homosexuals to marry is infringing on the beliefs of other groups of people who hold the idea of “marriage” to a standard of high spiritual significance. By this viewpoint, awarding the middle ground to one side is a sign of denying rights to the other.

So if the word “marriage” is the problem, why not call gay marriages something else? “Civil union” is a term being tossed around, and if the term awards the same rights to a gay couple as “marriage” does to a straight couple, then it’s a step in the right direction. If we toss out the term “marriage” altogether, and “civil union” becomes the federal definition of awarding spousal benefits to any couple, gay or straight, then we can at least pry the door open wide enough to let every consenting couple through.

But the problem with designating “marriage” as a religious term is that no one religion can stake a claim to it. Islamists, Christians, Catholics, Unitarians, Jews, and Pagans have “married” couples in their respective congregations, but there is a vastly different viewpoint on allowing gays to marry, as well as the general definition of marriage across these different spiritual beliefs. In other words, the Pagans can’t just claim their definition of marriage should be the one final definition.

This boils down to a number of groups who fear their own beliefs will be tread on by people whose lifestyles are illegitimate when placed into a room with their own. But if every couple is civilly unionized under the eyes of the federal government, then we can at least localize the quibbling to what goes on inside your homes and places of worship.

So whenever I hear a politician make a reference to the “morality” of homosexuality, or prophetizing the collapse of the “institution of marriage”, I fear that person is unqualified to make a level-headed decision when it comes to domestic policy. There are plenty of decisions to be made that fall outside of one’s upbringing. And enforcing a mindset on the way things should be, without factoring in the different paths that Americans sometimes walk, is indicative of a shepherd who cannot lead his flock.

McCain-Obama III: The Legend of McCain’s Gold

The final presidential debate between senators Barack Obama and John McCain concluded with a combination of body blows by Mr McCain that connected, but failed to knock out Mr Obama.

While both sides made strong and weak arguments, It’s assumed that because neither man broke into tears and conceded the presidency, both campaigns will claim victory.

For months, Barack Obama has been the grand marshal of an extravagant parade of a presidential campaign, decorated with promises of change, new ideologies and record smashing fundraising totals. By comparison, John McCain has been chugging along in a Dodge Stratus of a campaign; simple, albeit unremarkable, calmly trying to steer his way around Obama’s sweeping rhetoric.

Mr McCain has been unable to steal the spotlight from Obama for any extended period of time, and last night, he embraced the reality that only an aggressive offensive would be the most effective way of letting the air out of Obama’s tires. He offered retorts on the claim that his policies overlap with George W. Bush’s, criticizing Obama’s predilection towards a federalized health plan, and tried to pin his opponent on specifics regarding the junior senator from Illinois’ affiliation with ACORN.

Unfortunately for McCain, once he had the debate focused on Obama’s affiliation with ACORN, he allowed his opponent to wiggle free, leading to Obama landing a solid 30 seconds to calmly address his affiliation with ACORN and his relationship with William Ayers. This injection of at least partial truth was a catastrophic backfire for McCain, whose honor and general respect for the common man has clouded his ability to be a ruthless fear monger, a tactic that worked three separate times for the Bush family.

After following this campaign season closely, I sometimes wonder if I’m the only spectator who believes that either candidate would make a far better president that George W. Bush, let alone John Kerry. But in a way, the process of running a presidential election is like Andy Dufresne escaping in the “Shawshank Redemption”. You have to climb through 300 yards of narrow sewage pipe to make it to the other side, and afterward, you and your opponent will never look or smell the same.

So unless Barack Obama falls victim to a horrifyingly high amount of closet racists, most polls point to him winning this election over McCain. So since this debate did little to change the polls, it’s assumed that the last few weeks of both campaigns will be largely ceremonial.

NBA Preview: Houston Rockets

Will T-Mac and Yao finally make it out of the first round?

Will T-Mac and Yao finally make it out of the first round?

The Houston Rockets began last season as my dark-horse team to win the championship, and they managed to top my list of dark-horse contenders this year as well. On paper, they possess an elite big man in Yao Ming, a top notch wingman in Tracy McGrady, and an extremely efficient and defensive supporting cast that is also quite experienced.

Strengths: Defense

New arrival Ron Artest is still one of the ten best two-way players in the NBA, and joins Shane Battier to provide two elite defensive stoppers. But even without these two guys, the Rockets are capable of winning games entirely on their defense, because they work well together and they crash the boards. Last season, the Rockets finished among the top ten in the league in rebounding, points allowed, defensive three-point field goal percentage, and defensive field goal percentage. When your team defends consistently, it’s usually enough to beat more than half the teams in the league on any given night, even when your own shots aren’t falling.

Weaknesses: Health

The two best players on the Rockets have a lot of trouble staying healthy. Yao hasn’t played more than 57 games in any of the past three seasons, and McGrady is entering this season with an arthritic shoulder and a surgically repaired knee. Neither player is expected to undergo a major turnaround in terms of health, as McGrady has never played a full season, and Yao appears to be enslaved by the Chinese government’s demands that he play for China in every international tournament. With the Beijing Olympics in the rear-view mirror, it’s possible that China may ease up on Yao and let him use his off-seasons to rest his 7’5″ frame, but extremely tall centers are historically injury prone anyway, so it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Yao on a full time basis.

Underrated: Undersized power forward

Despite Yao’s annual trip to the injury list, the Rockets possess a good deal of depth at the 4 spot. Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes and Carl Landry are all good defenders and rebounders. Scola and Landry, despite usually matching up against taller players, are also excellent inside scorers. Once you include Ron Artest, who is build like a truck, and put up some of his best numbers playing power forward, the Rockets are adequately covered for when Yao collapses from his next injury. The only question mark is how rookie second-round draft pick Joey Dorsey will fare as the replacement for Dikembe Mutombo, who may or may not climb out of a coffin around mid-season to lend a shot-blocking hand.

Question Mark: Guard play

The Rockets have succeeded in developing a solid rotation of versatile, low-cost forwards, but have whiffed multiple times at using their first-round draft picks to draft a solid ball-handler to take some pressure off of McGrady. Rafer Alston starts at point guard, but he’s more of a fourth option type of player, as his best skills are spot-up three-point shooting and on-ball defense. Luther Head and Aaron Brooks appear to lack point guard skills at this point, and their respective heights preclude them from spending significant time at the shooting guard position. Newcomer Brent Barry was once a very good guard who could shoot, handle the ball, and play solid defense. But Barry turns 37 in December, and his declining athleticism and lack of strength has begun to show on the defensive end. His outstanding shooting percentage and low turnover rate will put him on the floor in late game situations, but don’t be surprised to see head coach Rick Adelman yank him once the other team gets the ball.

Expectations:

Fourth Quarter Lineup:
G Rafer Alston
G Tracy McGrady
F Shane Battier
F Ron Artest
C Yao Ming

The Houston Rockets’ defense and rebounding will assure a playoff berth, but getting past the first round, let alone the NBA finals, hinges on the health of Yao and McGrady. Yao always starts strong, before succumbing to injuries, so it may be worth it for the Rockets to simply rest their franchise center for the first two months of the season. Artest’s size, defense, and underrated ballhandling will take some pressure off of T-Mac, and allow him to stay on the court for any lineup that Rick Adelman decides to employ. But unless McGrady and Yao stay healthy, the Rockets are likely to fall before the Lakers, Hornets and Jazz.

Disgraceful Politics

It’s disgraceful to every American when a person is persecuted for their beliefs. Rog Coverely, the manager of a central Florida GOP headquarters fell victim to a terrorist attack by unidentified assailants, who fired gunshots at Mr. Coverely’s home on October 22nd.

There’s no easy way to tell if Mr. Coverely was shot at directly because of the John McCain signs on his lawn, but it would be short sighted and closed-minded if that possibility was ruled out. It is also impossible to rule out, however, that Mr. Coverely could be a total douche.

But even if Rog Coverely is on the off-chance a thoroughly unlikeable human being, I can’t help but feel ashamed that I live in a country with citizens that support a candidate so much, that they’re willing to break the law and terrorize others for expressing their own views. I spent the last two presidential elections voting in a state that committed rampant voter fraud and voter intimidation to benefit the Republican Party. But that campaign is over, and taking an opportunity to shit on a Republican’s head, simply because it’s more socially acceptable now than before, is subverting someone else’s constitutional right, which is outright treasonous.

Barack Obama may be viewed as a savior to many, but if his supporters are committing acts of terrorism, Mr. Obama’s legacy is tainted in many of the same ways that George W. Bush’s legacy is tainted. Think about Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972. People don’t remember the Nixon campaign dismantling George McGovern to the point that McGovern didn’t win his own state; people just remember that whole Watergate thing.

So every time a man’s home is fired upon, or a woman makes up a story that face was sliced because of her political beliefs, I am reminded of the frustration and anger I felt when the same tactics were used in reverse roles from four years earlier. It’s not right, and it certainly isn’t democratic.