news blog logo The Empty Chamber: 2005-11-06

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Police Blame Death in Theater over Movie

Here we go again. A Philadelphia theater has pulled the movie “Get Rich or Die Tryin” staring rapper 50 Cent. The man which is unidentified was killed when he became involved in an argument with a small group of movie patrons.

Fallout from this incident has traveled all that way to my little Iowa town. Some people here are asking should the film be banned? Well I don’t know about you; but after I’ve just seen a movie I just have to try what ever I saw immediately after the movie has ended. After I saw Heat I just had to go out and rob a bank. Then the whole ruining my life and going to jail thing changed my mind; not to mention the guilt.

I’m sure many remember the backlash from the film Deer Hunter. Where the game known as Russian Roulette was featured. Many deaths in the weeks following the release of the film were blamed after; manly young males died after playing the game Russian Roulette. When you raise the fact that there is a one in five chance of getting the curtain drawn, you have to figure some of these people acted not because a Hollywood actor preformed it for the screen; but because they already had the mindset of the doomed act; perhaps not the very act; but the depraved act already in their mind.

Georgia Residents March in Protest to Taser Use

Today just under 500 protesters marched through Lawrenceville, GA in protest of police using the very controversial “less then lethal” device know as a Taser. Which transfers 50,000 volts through two metal contacts fired at the suspect.

More specially the concerned citizens marched in anger because of an incident that happened when police fired a Taser at a 31 year old inmate who later died. Many believe that his death was a direct result to the use of the Taser. It is the fear of many advocacy groups including the ACLU that police may over use Tasers because they (police officers) think that Tasers are completely harmless and don’t know the hiddin dangers with the use of Tasers.

TheEmptyChamber Silver Mic Prize: Dover, PA

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As editor TheEmptyChamber I hereby award the citizens of Dover, PA TheEmptyChamber Silver Mic prize for free thinking in a county wearing blinders. As you know the citizens of Dover this week ousted eight of the nine school board members who decided to use text books with the shaky statement of Intelligent Design.

It took some thinking, hard thinking. I know for a fact that there was a time that even I was seared to think of the subject in fear of a reaction from an angry God. That was when I realized that both the theory of evolution and the Bible are completely compatible. So thanks for putting your souls on the line. It was a brave thing you did and I really mean it.

And I don’t want to forget the candidates: Bernadette Reinking, Terry Emig, Bryan Rehm, Herbert "Rob" McIlvaine, Judy McIlvaine, Larry Gurreri, Patricia Dapp and Phil Herman. Great job! I whish every town had the courage to vote in responsible leaders in education. For more information on any of the new Dover school board member’s go to Dovercares.org; link at the bottom o the post.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Wisconsin Steps into the Light: Paper Trail for Voting Records

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Today the Wisconsin state house voted in a law that would require all electronic voting machines to produce a physical paper record of each vote counted. This decision comes after controversies in Florida and Ohio where electronic ballets could not be counted and could easily become pray to tampering by hackers from internal sources as proved by independent investigations from such groups like BlackBoxVoting.com

Many have criticized the ethics of voting machines that don’t produce a paper receipt. Charging that if banks and other large corporations use receipts to track America’s money why not have a receipt to insure that Americas can vote without having fear of not having their vote fall to foolery or human error.

">Black Box Voting

Iowa says “Not In My Backyard” to Sex Offenders

For those of you who don’t live in Iowa or the few states that have towns that are marking their own boundaries for registered sex offenders; take notice. For example many Iowa towns are now making public parks, trails, libraries and stores which are frequented to school children off limits to sex offenders.

I understand that some sex offenders are dangerous and can’t be cured. But when it comes to freed convicts or those who went straight to probation their rights endowed by the constitution are endanger of being completely rerouted. Because if it comes right down to it; Many Iowa sex offenders are banned from most of the town that they reside in. Which makes me ask if they’re that dangerous are they not better off left in prison?

It’s getting so bad here in Iowa there’s talk of outright banishment from the state. Although talk of that is from mainly yuppie soccer moms and NASCAR dads. This reminds me of something I heard in a George Carlin special. The idea was that we should banish all criminals, sex offenders and Wackoloons to Colorado. Crazy? Yes, perhaps.

Take to mind that some; not all, but some registered sex offenders were never sent to prison, instead getting off with probation which were cases of false imprisonment or statuary rape with an age difference of no more then three years. It’s simple; register all sex offenders and imprison those which are dangerous. But placing these people in their own part of town where the buses don’t run is just not right. Come to think about it that’s where most of them are in the first place.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pat Robertson says God might Strike the town of Dover

I tried to understand when he called for the State Department to be blown up with a nuclear device or his call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; it got a little crazy when he said feminism encourages women to “kill their children, practice witchcraft, and become lesbians. But he went way over the line when today when Pat Robertson basically said the town of Dover, Pennsylvania might see a sign of God in the form of a disaster very soon.

It was the town’s people of Dover who this week voted out eight of the nine school board members who supported Intelligent Design.
He later clarified that if a disaster did happen to the town; “don’t call on God.” Ok, by all accounts the town of Dove of not susceptible to a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or for all I know; terrorism. So is he not just calling on God to take out the town? Gee Pat, that's harsh.

Tasers: Threat to Civil Liberty’s?

If you have watched COPS within the last year you know the high pitched rattle that a Taser makes when it’s fired a suspect. Surprisingly the use of Tasers among officers is ever more common.

I have never seen an officer fire a gun or ever draw his gun. But in the last year I have seen police officers use their Tasers on two different people. That’s right here in my little Iowa town. Which makes me beg the question, are law enforcement officers over stepping their authority? What ever happened to a nice a blast of pepper mace? It sure gets you on the ground pretty damn quick.

And I understand that Tasers are useful. When a person has a knife to their throat or someone else’s a Taser will end the situation quickly. But lately I have hard too many cases where the use of Tasers should never have been permitted. Like when a driver won’t get out of a car or a person in a crowd who is non-violent is tased when the use of human force and mace could have been used.

It’s a great tool I know; it’s very effective. But when a veteran cop testifies that the initial hit of a Taser is worse than that of a bullet, I just ask that you be easy on the trigger.

Almost gone- the last of the World War One Veterans

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It’s not a surprise by any means nor is it something to feel bad about. Time is coming to an end for World War One veterans. Just recently the Veteran’s Administration came out publicly with records to show only eight American WW1 veterans are receiving disability or pensions from the government. In fact many reports say that America may only have eighty WW1 veterans living right now; some reports put it as low as twenty.

Some lovers of history complain that it becomes harder every year to celebrate the end of WW1 because of our fading memory. In fact a poll of high school seniors show that as many as eighty percent do not know when World War One took place nor do they know a basic history of the event.
It’s clear; we should not morn their deaths in time, but if we forget their memory; that’s unforgivable.

Dover School Board is Overhauled- Voters oust (ID) supporters

In Dover, PA voters have spoken loudly by voting out eight of the nine school board members who supported Intelligent Design. It was the Dover school board in late 2004 that adopted a new policy that requires all ninth graders to hear a statement about Intelligent Design before hearing about evolution. This later prompted a law suite.

It is Intelligent Design which has no science backing it other then saying the human history and the universe is too complicated to understand. Which according to some is nothing more then a “head in the sand” approach to science. The eight Republicans who were up for reelection were replaced by Democrats who campaigned to have the policy dropped from Dover area school textbooks.

However the eight new school board members said they would wait to hear the court ruling before acting on the behalf of the school board.

French Blogs Walk the Line……Get shut down

Several French based blogs have been shut down and the proprietors arrested over the past couple of days. One blog entitled “Hardcore” was reported to post violent anti-establishment messages with post titles like “Destroy France” which French prosecutors say violate French standards laws. The creators of that blog was arrested and are facing criminal charges, their tenure has been since changed to house arrest.

Skyrock which is the company that hosted the blog was reported to say that’s it not uncommon for there company to shut down blogs that violate their terms of service, in some extreme cases they even alert the police; as in this case.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I am a

Social Liberal
(83% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(31% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test

Pirates oh my! If you can force yourself to believe that

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Why has it no one in the media put on their thinking cap? Are there pirates that occupy the open sea? Yes, that’s well documented. But think about it. Why would a small group of pirates try to force their way onto a cruise ship just to rob it? Traditionally today’s pirates hijack the vessel to steal it, which is later sold on the black market hub near Micro-Asia. The so called pirates here intentionally fired machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenade’s into the hall, potentially sinking the vessel.

When the story keeps coming back to the robbery theory, it becomes ludicrous. Think about it; that would be like gathering two or three thieves to robe a small town; it makes no sense. Take to mind this took place just off the coast to Somalia. You say there’s absolutely no links to terrorism in Somalia? Check out Black Hawk Down and get a nice whiff of pro-American sentiment.

I’m sure that the travel industry, more specific the major cruse line which is running their Christmas package deal advertisement would do more business if this story was only about a group of local pirates off the African coast instead of a group of international terrorists hunting for hostages.

Some People Just Like Animals- More from Libby’s Novel

It never ceases to amaze me when the whole nation is brought to light to the goings on inside of the mind of a right winged government official. As most of you know by now Scooter Libby wrote a novel in the mid nineties entitled The Apprentice. Some have labeled his charters in his novel is sexual deviants, as the novel refers often to sex with animals.

I should point out that I’m not one of these people. I have written plenty of things in the past when in hind sight I wish I had never written, so hang in there Scooter. But you have to admit it makes you think about the mind set of the National security adviser and personal aid to the vice president.

"He asked if they should f*** the deer"

….At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.

….she watched his eyes gleam as she drew her hand slowly down inside her robe to her thighs and then brought her scent to him. She let him get the taste so strong he could think of nothing else and then she promised him that everything he wanted would be his tonight, willingly, if they started right away.
-From The Apprentice

An Open Letter to Best Buy Inc.

To whom this may concern

Over a year ago I bought a notebook computer from your Omaha store. The notebook was everything I asked for. Long battery life, wide screen and integrated wireless. And I was even impressed with your customer service.
Almost two months ago out of no where my notebook’s screen failed to turn on. This later turned out to be a bad video card. When I took it in to be serviced at your Council Bluffs store I had no problem, in a matter of less then ten minuets it was ready to be serviced. The clerk told me that I should let the store do a data back up for a only ninety dollars, which I did.

When I asked the clerk when I will get my laptop back he told me it will be mailed to me in about two weeks. I told him that I was concerned that the package would be left at my front door with no one to look after it; as my line of work keeps coming and going from home a lot. The clerk assured my that Best Buy “Would not do that” and told me I would have to sign from the package.

About two weeks later when I arrived home just after nine in the evening I found the package lying ideally on my front door step. When I opened the package and turned on the notebook I found that the computer still had the same symptoms. When I took the notebook in to be serviced the clerk looked it over and wrote no visible damage and I got the notebook back. There were six cracks over the cover and at least a dozen broken pixels when I was able to turn on the screen for the short time it would stay on.

When I took the notebook in for a second time the clerk told me that It looked like no one had even looked at it. When I told him about the data backup he told me that there was really no need for that. So did Best Buy sell me something that I didn’t need? The clerk apologized and told me that the screen and cracks would all be fixed. So I took my chances again and had my notebook serviced. The day after I dropped it off I called Best Buy and told them how my package was treated. He hold me that they would contact the service depot and have it sent direct to the Council Bluffs store.

To my disappointment in your service I found the package left on my doorstep in the rain. When I opened the package I found that the notebook’s screen and the entire top hinge was replaced just as promised. However that lower half still is cracked and there is a large amount of paint loss. This has to be a classic case of the little boy washing the top part of his hands because its easy.

To be honest the cracks, paint loss bent screws and bent corner doesn’t bother me that much. What dose bother me is that your Council Bluffs store when back on their word three times. In my business when the other party fails at the agreement and then fails to make up for any loose ends or mistakes that is when you stop doing business with them.


Zander Kaufman

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Election Day Again

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Today was election day in my little Iowa town. I voted again for the fifth time in my life and once again none of the candidates that I wanted to see get in; won, again. Some might say with a bad track record like that you might as well give up voting, in fact some of my anarchist friends tell me I’m well off not voting. “Its all an illusion man, they’re trying to make you think the people still have the power.”

And to some point it’s true. Someone once told me the reason a politician calls his or her campaign a race is because it’s a race to hide what a scumbag you are before they the voting public finds out for them self’s.
Yes my horse lost by almost twenty percent, but hey at least I got this nifty sticker.

And on another note, what’s with the stickers they had out every year after you voted? On the way out I see the trash can is full of them and have you ever seen a “I voted” sticker and though check it out that guy, he has it together, I got to go vote?
I take that sticker slap it on my anarchists friends door, knock and hide in the bushes and cry.

Democracy it’s a bitch.

What’s a Matter Kansas?

The day after the Vatican Ok’ed endorsed Evolution, the state of Kansas board of education today passed 6 to 4 a curriculum that would according to some; slowly bring Intelligent Design into the classroom. Some fear that would lead to the outright teaching of creationism in the class room, Which is an outright violation of the constitutional amendment of the separation of church and state.

Some have called for a downright vote of the people wither or not to teach (ID) in the classroom, the only problem in my view is the voting public are not scientists.

From the Horse’s Mouth- Scooter Libby

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It keeps getting stranger, Scooter Libby A.K.A. Lewis Libby wrote a novel a few years ago entitled The Apprentice. Crazy world, If I remember right I had a copy a while ago that I unloaded on Ebay. Too bad; basement price on Amazon is $75.00.

From Publishers Weekly
Although set in Japan in 1903, Libby's first novel avoids the exoticism and antiquarianism of James Clavell and sets its own tightly dreamlike tone. Setsuo, apprentice innkeeper at an isolated mountain hostel in Northern Japan, finds himself marooned with a dubious cast of travelers during a blizzard. His youthful naivete unfortunately draws him not only to a mysterious young woman with a band of itinerant performers but also to a half-frozen and half-crazed visitor. When this stranger flees back into the storm, Setsuo and another guest separately pursue him, leading to robbery and murder. With rumors of political intrigue enveloping the action and the apprentice in possession of a Macguffin as enigmatic as a haiku image, Libby maintains a sense of mystery and claustrophobia through pared-down prose and minimalist characterization. Setsuo's love interest, for instance, is simply the "girl in the cloak of yellow fur" for much of the novel. Even after he learns her name is Yukiko, her actions, history and motives remain ambiguous to the end. Spare and muted, Libby's debut has distilled his diplomatic experiences in Japan with the U.S. State and Defense Departments into a subtle, if sometimes attenuated, story of innocence and temptation halfway across the world and a century ago.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Local Politics- Another Battle of Words

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Tomorrow is the primary city council and mayoral election for my little town here in Iowa. My mail box has been over flowing with flyers and postcards telling to vote for this person because he likes family values or the other one because he likes fighter fighters.

Well what are family values? Are they equal right for all that are selected? After all, it was family values that made gays and lesbians second class citizens and made hating them ok and to some point pushed back rights for non-whites for the earlier part of the 20th century. The whole problem with family values is that every family is different and unique in their own way and that’s great. I don’t care how you run your own family, don’t run mine.
Some candidates are endorsed by firefighters. Their great brave people but their politics sucks, firefighters for John Kerry, little good that did.

Its words like committed to the community, pro-jobs and committed to lowering taxes that turn me off. Tell me something I haven’t heard before or better yet, tell me something I don’t want to hear. Take the chance to change my mind. Who knows it might work; God knows you haven’t tried it yet.

Vatican Endorses Evolution, tosses out Intelligent design

Today a stunning and great statement for science came from the Vatican. The statement said that evolution and the Bible are "perfectly compatible" and rejected Intelligent design This could potently strike a blow to the debate in Dover, Pennsylvania where the debate of wither Intelligent Design (ID) should be taught alongside the theory of evolution, which many in that debate are Roman Catholic.

Holy Spaceballs Captain!

I knew some people in my life who bought things they didn’t need for large
amounts of cash, but this is nuts. Amazon.com has just rolled out their
Ultimate Star Trek Collection on 212 DVD’S. All for the low,
low prince of $2,500. I never paid that much for a used car.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

It’s all about the O! Bad advertising in a Weak Culture

I talked about Sabine Ehrenfeld, the Woman from the Overstock.com commercials, you know, the big O! chick. I don’t know what your selling, but you sure look good selling it.
I am now convinced that the advertisers in this county are going to extreme lengths and cheeps tricks. I think the problem is people have collectively changed since September, 11 2001.

Ever since then people have been in a collective daze, time is speeding up according to some people And therefore we don’t have time to waste. National polls taken before and after September, 11 show that more people in record numbers are thinking about death then before September, 11.

People don’t take time to read books anymore. Book selling has gone up and book readership has gone down. Television ads for popular shows are becoming cheep and I’m not talking about sweeps months. Watch any trailer form a popular prime time program, I myself watch very few. But you’ll see that when compared to the actual episode, its nothing like the trailer. Just trickery in editing.

What does all this matter? I don’t know. I think its showing a cheapening and dubbing down of our culture. I’m not by any means breaking a story here and I’m not the only one thinking this way. I just hope I’m not the only one saying it. Perhaps we are now as one man said once; nothing more then a county of used car salesman.

America-The Birthright

It’s a kicker for me, it really is. Do you or do you not allow a child born in the United States, citizenship?
I cant stand racists or their comments. But when you realize how illegal immigration affects small town hospitals in rural America, do to the fact that illegal aliens don’t have health coverage or rarely pay their hospital bills, the hospital is stuck with the bill. Closing medical services to many people.

I’m all for legal coordinated immigration, after all there is no European-American in the United States that is a full blooded American, we all came from somewhere. But unless you live in places like small town Iowa or small town anywhere, you don’t know the effects that illegal immigration holds. I would support this bill whole heartedly if it were not for the times when I think about it in detail, would I or even you not want to live here in this county if I were from someplace like Mexico, Cuba, Central America or any other county?

We have a law in this county call the 14th amendment which says:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

But when I take a look at Counties like Mexico, they offer no such shield unless you are of Mexican heritage. Which makes me wonder if the reason we, The United states of America offers such a shield, is it because we are America? Home of the second chance? it’s a tough choice to make and I’m not anywhere near making it.

I Wish they were Running

Tonight NBC pulled out their sweeps gimmick, a one hour live episode of the West Wing. Was it cunning? Yes. Was it cheep? Of course. Was it wrong to use Ellen as a spokes person? Without a doubt.

I know it was just two skilled stage actors on live T.V. but I cant help but to wonder, would we not be better off if they were running? I found myself yelling at the television. “That’s bullshit, Senator!” I screamed. Yes skilled actors, But is that not what most of these black suits are in the first place?

To tell you the truth I watched tonight episode because I figured if they were going to exploit sweeps month they might as well do something to really freak us out, Like have Senator Arnold Vinick have a heart attack, And they didn’t. These writers need to get on the ball, that would have been great! Imagine the run of Google that would cause. “Alan Alda has Heart Attack on live T.V.” do you think N.B.C. would tell the news services it was all part of the show? Not if they know what’s good for them.

Stop Vining you Grilyman!

You got to hand it to the Germans. When it comes to curving redundancies in the human resource department, they do it well. The German based IT company Nutzwerk Ltd (perhaps the name is a hint) has made any whining in the workplace grounds for termination, possibly.

The manager of the IT firm has told employs that if that are not happy then they should just stay home in bed. And I thought our companies human resource divisions sucked

Sunday Night Movie Review: Enemy Mine

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I’ve been told by a fare share of people that Enemy Mine is nothing more then cheep, Trash science Fiction.
And yet in spite of all that I just cant help but love this little film from 1985.

The film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, which is the same director that brought us Das Boot, Air Force One and Troy. Enemy Mine is simple story as an afterthought. Two beings, alien to each other and taught to be sworn Enemies, find themselves stranded on a barley habitable alien planet. And to survive must learn intergalactic tolerance. The human played by Dennis Quaid and the lizard thing played by Louis Gossett Jr, share a love child, that’s right.

As corny as this movie may sound a paper, it really is a good flick. Through this film is probably the only way to insure intergalactic peace. That is why we must save and archive this film for future generations, so when Mr. Lizard man tries to bring down the hammer, we’ll know what to do.

I recommend this movie as a Rent, to buy later.

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