Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Unholy Communion

The parishoners stood in line faithfully. The line snaked back from the altar. Many ministers awaited them. As each approached the altar they placed their items on the counter and the ministers recited methodically with joy and reverence. "Did you find everything you needed?"

The responsorial "grumbling and mumbling" is heard from the congregation as they approach the altar

The minister then solemnly speaks the incantation "Credit or Debit"

The parishoner bows while looking into his wallet or her purse. Then hands the minister the method of redemption.

The minister then weighs the sole of the parishoner.

After the communioin the minister hands the items back in a sack and says "Merry Christmas" As if that last bit matters in this unholy communion.

And still the lines snake our from the unholy altars of excess from malls, and main streets, small towns and megolopoli, from New York, to London, to Moscow. And the hyms of consumption and production rise up off the simmering surface of the dirty little world. And little old ladies stand in the rain with little kettles and ringing bells asking that more metalic mana be dropped into their own little altars for all are slaves and obidient servants to the money god of the little dirt ball and that god does not dwell in heaven or hell or anywhere else but in the stock exhanges, pocketbooks, and debit cards of the faithful. As the people need the god to eat so they need the god to build houses of worship to other gods, peopled by committees of trying to help the poor by relying of the money god to save them. But no one will be saved by worshiping the money god. All goway emptier than they came dispite the heavy loads of packages under their arms. They will open those packages with joy and smiles but all too soon the smiles fade and the vast empty vacume of their sole bekons them like a cliff pulls at a man standing at its edge.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Poll Crunch

Ho Ho Ho do you approve of Bush or not?

Approve: 41%
Disapprove: 53%
Duh I dunno: 6%

Dufus and his war on America

Okay let me be frank. President Bush is a disreputable destroyer of America. The Administrations argument to ignore laws (break them) is that they are saving America. What is the America they are saving? Land of the Free and home of the Brave? Sorry not anymore thanks to Bush. The land of the spied on is more accurate. Maybe the king dork is spying on me now. Hey dork...yes you...Happy Holidays.

President Bush needs to go. All his people need to go. We have law, the stuff they like to ignore, that can get rid of them. However what happens if we tell them to go and they decide to stay anyway? That is when you have to go to the Declaration of Independance.

" That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it"

Down with king George!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Is anybody listening?

Is it okay to tell you child, while angry, that you cannot weight for the child to turn 18 so she can get out of your house? Is it okay to tell your child that if she talks to her Dad about your adulterous affair with with a stranger, you will make her life a living hell while the divorce proceedings are happening? Is it okay to tell you children if they are fighting that if they don't shut up you will leave them. Is it okay to get drunk and then yell at the kids that they are making your life hell? Is it okay to expose your children to your affair and then force them to lie about it to keep it quiet?

Am I being irrational in thinking that none of this is okay?

Let me know?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Life is Good

The duplicitous nature of man may spell his final doom on this little dirt ball but life is still good. I feel sorry for those afloat in the inky sea of life without a compass. A good compass in this particular ocean allows you not only to find your way but to stand in shallow water and walk in the right direction. The compass is TRUTH

Stopping the A Bomb

B-29 flying fortress takes off from tiny island with one big bomb, an atom bomb.
It flys across the ocean, stayig the course that it has set by the leaders.
Over the target it's bombardier opens the bombay doors.
The pilot stays the course as the bombardier drops the bomb.
Then they realize that the course they have stayed is the wrong one
They circle around and the bombardier jumps out of the bomber.
He plumets earthward, arm outstretched like Superman.
He catches up the the bomb
He places himself between the bomb and the ground.
He leans against the falling bomb putting all his weight into it.
At 1100 feet the presure trigger goes off
The bombardier is vaporzed along with a hundred thousand of the wrong people

Unless we do something different in Iraq we are the bombardier pushing against the bomb.

Monday, December 05, 2005


All the talk of more border gards, more vouchers, employer scrutiny, won't accomplish anything. Not until the reasons behind the flight to the US is addressed. Men and Women come here because there is NOTHING for them in their own countries. Low wages brought on by endemic corruption, non-responsive governements, dangerous and unsanitary living conditions, all push people to flee to the US. South of the boarder is a hell hole and you'd have to be nuts not to want to get out of it. We need to do a better job of building internally sustainable economies with living wage jobs in Mexico and Centeral America. Free trade is only making matters worse since it is forcing upon these nations the idea that the path to weath is an export economy. This may be a part of national wealth creation but if practiced to the exclusion of internal economies it leads to self reinforced low wages.
The country has its economic star tied to low wage jobs. A rise in wages causes transnationals to leave for cheaper nations and so the incentive is to keep your labor force poor and under control. It would be better for the IMF and World Bank to emphasize internal economic growth and self sustaining growth policies. That have to be based on a nation existing for itself without export economics. Only after a nation has a vibrant self sustaing economy can it bother with export as a serious industry.
Free trade is in the process of becoming a manifest evil since the way it is practiced it enslaves poor naitons. That is why Hugo Chavez is doing what he is doing. He is attempting to curb it in his own nation. It makes him dangerous since if all Centeral American nations took control of their countires and focused on what was best for their own work force the goods you and I eat and wear would be more expensive. He is dangerous since the power of transnational companies is being thwarted and put in jepoardy.
If we really wanted to curb illegal imigration we would be talking to people like Chavez and partenering with them to assist other nations in building internally sustainable economies, not trying to oust him via a coup. The myth that people would simply come to the US if their own nation was in order is just that a myth. It is in America's interest to see to it that the poorer nations to the south have higher wages, less coruption, and better living standards. It would not only reduce illegal imigration but enhance stability in the countries involved and that would better for national security, drug policy, and business.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Elephant in all his glory

I listened to President Bush outling his definition for victory. He laid out his multi-level approach to when our troops come home. He said the same stuff as before though I do not think he used the term "evil-doers". Punidts on both sides either applauded or denounced it. However the big Elephant was there for all to see.

If the goal is for our troops to leave when Iraqi forces can "stand up" then we are admitting there will be a reason to have those Iraqi troops standing up. We are admitting that there will be war when we leave. Even the President is admitting this. We will leave Iraq at best a land where factions are fighting each other. At worst we will leave and let the Iraqi government fight a civil war for its survival.

That is the Elephant that nobody really wants to talk about. We are getting ready to leave Iraq in a state of destruction. Destruction wrought upon it by Sadam, Bush senior, Clinton, and George Bush. Even the President is not talking about leaving Iraq in peace. Only leaving with the government troops able to fight the war themselves. We are now being prepped by Bush and Congress to accepet Iraq as a war zone and at the same time cheer ourselves as victorious warriors.

I heard a Bush league pundit say that we "cannot walk into the future while looking into the past" regarding our desire to know how we got into this war. Well we better pay attention or we will be duped again. We all are to blame for this mess. Congress did have 90% of the info the White House had. And they are not dumb people. They saw the flimsy evidence but went along. Nobody wanted to act week after 911. So we all gave Bush the benefit of the doubt and trusted our troops to sqwash Iraq. Well this should instruct us not to trust one President when all sorts of other people are saying something different. It should instruct us to the value of real debate. Iraq is an example of letting your hart rule your actions.

Still the Elephant remains. We are getting ready to leave Iraq in a state of war. Not good. Not at all. But probably unavoidable and the best that can be achieved now. But hey we should everyone how tough we are. Right?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Of boots and feet

I calculated that if I replaced my Raichle Montanga's with the La Sportiva Trango S EVO, on a two mile hike I would save my body from having to lift 5,922.56 lbs of boot. The calculation is rough but goes like this....

Old Boots weigh 6 lbs
New Boots weight 3.2 lbs

Two Miles of Trail run 10,576 ft

Average stride 2.5ft

Strides in Two Miles: 10,576 / 2.5 = 4,230.4

Weight per stride (old boot) = 3lbs
Weight per stride (new boot) = 1.6lbs

Total boot wieght for two miles (old boot) = 12,691.2 lbs
Total boot weight for two miles (new boot) = 6,768.64 lbs

That is an amazing amount of lifting your legs do aside from the act of lifting the rest of your body and backpack. Just my old boots make my body lift 6.35 tons on a short little two mile jaunt.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ae we ready for a pandemic if it comes? What the hell! We already have one!!!!!!!!!

Currently the worst pandemic in human history is upon us. It is not bird flu. It is a virus that is 100% fatal if untreated and even with treatment life is shortened and life quality effected. The pandemic is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. To date this pandemic has killed 25 million people. 5 million people have come down with it this year alone. 3.1 million people die of the disease each year. 40 million more are infected. 40,000 US citizens come down with the illness each year. In africa, where the pandemic is currently hitting hardest only 1 in 10 infected people are being treated. In Asia the pandemic is out pacing all actions to stop it.

Yet here we are worried about Bird Flu. Currently if you become infected with it the odds of you dying are as yet unkown. The mortality rate in Asian cases is 72%. If you put the deaths in context that percentage should not look as frightening. The cases documented are of very poor people living in terrible conditions and treated with substandard care at the outset of their illness. If an American contracted the illness in the US, I would imagine the mortality would be less. Aids is as 100% fatal for the American as it is for the Botswanan, though it takes 10 to fifteen years to manifest itself. At best a patient will live the rest of their lives ingesting loads of anti-retroviral drugs.

Are we ready for bird flu? Bird flu is a cake walk to the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has been raging out of control for 20 years.

Info Sources - The Aids Pandemic in the 21st Century - United States Agency for International Development issued in 2004
- Center for Disease Control

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Murtha and how to misquote him

I keep hearing how Jack Murtha from Pennsylvania wants the troops out imeadiately. NPR says it, CNN says it, CBS says it. Of course Jack Murtha never said it. But that doesn't matter. It matters more that the story is enhanced if he had said it so lets just pretened that he did. What he actually said, in his House Resolution, was this....

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That: The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

What he is saying is that since the President is unwilling to look facts in the face the Congress, who has the power to wage war and conclude peace, has to act. All the resolution would do would be to redirect things so that they are descalating toward no troops in Iraq. "The earliest practicable date" could mean 6 months or longer. And even then the force would not be gone, only out of the site of most Iraqi's. This pretty much gels with what Iraqi leaders want too.

But let us not look at the actual words of the honorable Mr. Murtha. Let us listen to Cheney or Bush or anyone of a hundred pundits all commenting on Murtha without actually discussing the resolution. Let us not discuss what took Murtha to his current way of thinking. Does anyone know why he did what he did? Is anyone discussing the facts? No.

Fact: In recent surrvey's 70% of Iraqi do not approve of being occupied.
Fact: 45% of surrvied Iraqi's consider attacks against US soldiers totally legitamate self defense.
Fact: Insurgent attacks have increased from 150 a week in 2003-4 to over 700 a week in 2005
Fact: Infrastructure in Iraq remains below where it was prior to the invasion.
Fact: 60% of the nation is unemployed

All Jack Murtha is trying to do, like a true patriot who loves his country, is direct our vision to reality and get us to discuss the big elephant in the living room before it stomps on us.

For those of you who do not know who Murtha is:

"This is Jack Murtha, who left college during the Korean War to enlist as a private in the United States Marine Corps, and who later, as a 33-year-old husband and father of three, volunteered to fight in combat in Vietnam, where he was twice wounded and received the Bronze Star with combat "V," two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Nobody -- not even the most conservative commando with the biggest flag lapel pin in the House Republican leadership -- dares to suggest that Jack Murtha is "soft" personally or politically on communists, terrorists or any enemy of America. He is recognized as the knowledgeable and informed Democratic hawk on defense in the House, whose counsel and support have been highly valued by presidents, national security advisors and defense secretaries in both parties.

Twice Murtha, in the House, voted to back invasions of Iraq by a president named Bush. Today, recently back from a return inspection visit there, Murtha is upset and angry about Iraq, its future and the well-being of this nation's military men and women their civilian leadership have stationed there"

-source May 8th 2004 CNN

The Bush league better catch a clue!

The White House is like a guy who goes into a movie theater and yells "fire" then gets caught and trys to argues that it isn't really his fault since everyone else ran out of the theater too.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire vs Jar Head


For starters this series almost always puts me to sleep. It just keeps going on and on and on. It is like going to prep-school while partaking often of LSD. The weird characters and magical jiggery-pokery just keeps comming at you. There always seems to be some kind of sporting event with lots of flying around and hooliganism. And for all the magical stuff things are pretty squalid. Can't they clean that Hogwart dump up? Does it have to look so shitty? Shouldn't it be at least as advanced as the non-magical world the gandalf-wana-bes come frome? Still the place and stories seem to have enormous appeal to young people and old people. The story in this film, like most of them, while attempting to be vast and expansive, is real two dimensional. I always, about half way through the films, tend to wonder "okay so who is the bad guy? not it..." and so on. So how does this rate with Star Wars. Very similar. Loud and shallow. It has better acting and much better dialogue but it is pretty much the same. This movie gets a 7

Jar Head

This movie is the least bloody war film I have seen in quite some time. What it lacks in blood it more than makes up for with characters. The main character is solid and is crafted so well that you like, loath, love, and hate him almost all at once. This would be an excellent film to accompany Three Kings and Blackhawk Down as a desert war trilogy. Films like this eat Harry Potter and Star Wars like a couple MRE's. It gets a 9.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Why wanting our troops out of Iraq is patriotic

If you love your country and value its power and reputation you would be against this war. You would demand the President laydown the strategy to achieve victory and the terms when our soldiers could come home. The patriot should utterly reject the notion that soldiers should determine when our nation fights and for how long. That power resides in the hands of the people, not generals. The President may wish to fight but the final decision is not his to make. This is a democratic republic not a dictatorship.

The Congress shall have Power to declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.

Of course our leaders continually find observing the law problematic hence the War Powers Act of 1973. Yet our nations fate is still in the hands of the people. The generals, and those in favor of war, can present arguments to sway the people, but the people are always the final arbiters of their nations fate. Should those arguments be shown to be false or error filled, it is the patriotic thing to point that out. If the war has been started under such pretenses then the patriotic thing to do is end it quickly. And the patriotic thing to do is force its leaders to obsserve the nations laws not circumvent them for political expediency.

Finally as a patriot you would demand the removal and prosecution of those who a: did not observe the law, and b: led us to war based on errors and misinformation.

Awe the sounds of democracy

I heard a bunch of yelling in Congress today and it brought tears of joy to my eyes. That is the sound of democracy, the sound of passionate debate, the sounds of a nation grappling with wieghty decisions about a war. Better that than a quiet office in the White House.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

NPR letter put into perspective

My recent letter read on NPR's All Things Considered is, by an large, how I feel. But it was hacked up and meant to add a counter point to the letter they read before it. I was the bad-cop. I sounded like a Richard Dawkins wana-be and I need to set the record straight for my friends and myself.

Inteligent Design is not a scientific theory. It is creationism, wrapped up in a fancy new term. Since I am a Christian this seems to be a dilema for me. How can I assert that creationism is nonsense and evolution etc is corrent and still claim to be a believer?

For one thing I put faith in God that he gaves us big brains for a reason. I put faith in God that we can come to terms with the universe in all its complexity and not worry about where God is. We probably had more "faith", as biblical literalists would describe it, back in the days of Moses. However that definition of faith is inaccurate, if by that they mean a literal reading of the Bible since no prophet or desciple could be faithful since no such book existed in their day. How could they know God if they had no Bible to read? St. Paul could did not read the Bible nor did any of the 12 apostles or any of their imeadiate desciples. The Vulgate, or Common Bible, composed by St. Jerome, was not complied until the 5th century. I will not go into the plethora of biblical translations from the Septuagint, and Vulgate to Luther's german bible to KJV.

Clearly if you hold to biblical literlism, in my humble opinion, you build your faith on sand not rock. Faith based on one book is like a bad scientific theory. Bad theories get clunkier and clunkier until they collapse on their own. So too faith ascribed to one book. Either you choose to remain blind to the modern world and view things like TV as magic, or you try an mesh the modern marvels and mankind quest for knowledge with the book. Either way you fall down. So faith cannot be predicated on attempting to measure the imeasureable. True faith is a hard link between the diety and you. There is no physiological mumbo-jumbo to mess with.

ID or the attempt to measure the imeasurable or quantify God is nuts. It cannot be done. If God wished us to figure him out in that way why no just say "uhummm...over here!" I believe you could sift through each subatomic nuclei in the universe and not find a trace of God. And this has nothing to do with my faith. In a hyper materialist culture full of hyper-materialist church goers, whos faith is based on a book instead of their own connection to God, is it any wonder that people want to be directed to God like we are directed to Walmart?

Faith is not religion. God does not "belong" to a church. Nor is God an old bearded man with a crown on his head. But images die hard and the faith of our forefathers, full of superstition, meldrama, and materialism, is dying hard too. I don't think faith can be built on this world. Not that there is anything wrong with the universe. It is just the wrong perspective. So I guess I would admonish myself to not waste time finding some kind of physical proof of God in science by doing equations, I should save my effort and meditate on how best I can serve my fellow man. Concentrate on what purpose my life has beyond simple reproduction. The Bible has lots to say on that count. And so do lots of other books. And all, in my opinion, are manifestations of Gods word, that always works for good for those who love the Lord.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Poll Crunch time...again

Does America approve of the way W is doing his job?

Approve: 37%
Disapprove: 57%
Duh-Iduno: 6%

Okay for those of you not keeping up with the Poll Crunch, this is an average of 6 national polls. My advice to the President is stop trying to campaign and please start to lead. You cannot photo-op your way out of this big mess. The only way to do this, and do this right, would be to can Rove and the other men and women who have dis-served you. Unfortunately, unlike Clinton, none of your "freinds" will back you if they leave. They will stab you in the back so I guess you are screwed. You can keep them around but things are not looking good. You have 3 years left to serve, not three months.

Problem 1: Iraq
Problem 2: Scandle
Problem 3: Lack of initiatives that satisfy the majority
Problem 4: Growing credibility gap due to problems 1 thru 3
Problem 5: Base abondoning you because you look weak and disconnected.
Problem 6: Adhering to policies that have not been shown to work
Problem 7: Adhering to policies that have been shown to cause problems
Problem 8: Blind "damn the polls full speed ahead" approach

Solution 1: Use any pretext you like and draw down US forces in Iraq by 25%. Start talking about the end game in each speach.
Solution 2: Fire Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld with extreme prejudice. Force Cheney to resign and then pick governor Romney of Mass. to succeeed him.
Solution 3: Authorize 3 billion dollar increase in home-heating assistance for the poor. Launch initiatives aimed at alternative fuels technologies.
Solution 4: This will be partially solved by solutions 1 thru 3
Solution 5: Go to Iraq and spend 2 months there in the green zone running the war in-country.
Solution 6: Forget SSI reform and forget about your oil buddies. They haven't helped you have they?
Solution 7: Author new guidlines that prohibit inhumane treatment of any detainee and then admit the the mistakes of the past.
Problem 8: This will have been solved if the other solutions were followed.

But this will not be done. It seems the more unpopular Bush becomes the more he digs in his heels. Who does he think he is running against? America itself? His problems have all been self inflicted by his own pigheaded nature and the misadventures of his confidents. The democrats could sit and say nothing and his popularity and his presidency would still collapse.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

And now for something completely different...Hedonism

Lets just say that I have 10 million in the bank and make 500k a year off the interest. So I am trying to decide what auto I should waste gas in. There is no reason, other than environmental concern, to pay attention to gas prices just as there is no reason to pay attention to sticker price.

So off I go to the exoticar lot. Hmmm?

The first car that I come to is the Bugatti Veyron
This would set me back 1.5 million bucks. At 1000 HP and a top speed of 253 it really has some man-appeal however it becomes radically unstable at those speeds. It sort of looks like a jelly-bean. It has this piddly wing on the back. It goes from 0-60 in 3 seconds

I then decide that I should really keep things under 1 million. So I go to the Corvette Z06
This is way cheaper only $65k and it has almost the same snappy acceleration as the million+ bugatti.
0-60 in 3.8 seconds. It has a top speed of 190mph and uses a 500HP V8. However the interior is kinda 80's looking with lots of faux leather dash board and crummy looking guages.

Moving on up a bit to the Ford GT. This little 140k car is looking mighty nice. It has this retro sex appeal. Its specs are pretty much the same as the Corvette but for an extra $75,000 you get a racing stripe and you can go 15 mph faster than the vette. Interior is very nice.

I go foreign again and look at the Maserati MC12. I could not imagine driving 200+ mph in a convertable. But the car has me one over except for the 400K price. It's 0-60 is still only equal to the vette though the interior is the winner so far. For only an extra 261,000 you can go 5 mph slowwer than the Ford GT.

Back to America and a look at the Saleen S7. The version I am looking at is 1000hp and is the quickest car in the world at 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. Unlike the Bugatti this car is designed to stick to the road. Its interior is sparten but very cool. It tops out at around 230mph. Basically it is equal or better in performance to the bugatti but at 1/3 the price.

I look at the Lambo's and Porches too, they look nice, but really can't stand up to the real bad boys above.

I sill have a few left to look at the Panoz Esperante and others that might be in the drive way....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Thanks for a great life

I'd just like to thank God for the great life he has given me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Islamic Jesus

Here are some sayings of Jesus taken from the Muslim tradition:

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "Do not take the world as masters, for it will take you as slaves. Lay up your treasure with him who will not lose it, for he who possesses treasure in this world fears lest some calamity may come upon it, but he who possesses God's treasure has no fear of calamity coming upon it."

The Messiah, son of Mary (Blessing and peace be upon him!) passed by a company of the Jews; then they spoke evil to him, but he spoke good to them. Then someone said to him, "Verily they are speaking evil, and you are speaking good." Jeus replied, "Everyone spends from what he possesses."

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "Seek a great amount of what fire cannot consume." Someone said, "And what is that?" He said, "Kindness."

The disciples said to the Messiah (Peace be upon him!), "Look at this mosque, how beautiful it is!" Then he said, "My people, my people, verily I say unto you, God will not leave one stone of this mosque standing on another, but will destroy it for the sins of its people. Verily God does not pay any heed to gold, or silver, or these stones which charm you. The things dearest to God (Exalted is He!) are the pure hearts. With them God preserves the earth, and with them He destroys it if they are otherwise."

Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "The love of this world and of the next cannot stay in the heart of a believer, just as water and fire cannot stay in one vessel."

The Messiah (Peace be upon him!) said, "O you who seek the world to be charitable with it, your leaving of it alone is more charitable." And he said, "The least thing is such that looking after it occupies one to the exclusion of glorifying God, and glorifying God is greater and more important."

The Messiah (God bless him and grant him peace!) said, "The world is a bridge, so pass over it and do not inhabit it." And some people said to him, "O prophet of God, if you would only order us to build a house in which we might worship God!" He replied, "Go and build a house on water." They said, "How will a building stand on water?" He replied, "And how will worship stand along with love of this world?"

The Messiah (Peace be upon him!) said, "Blessed are the humble in this world; they will be set on high on the Day of Resurrection. Blessed are they who make peace between men in this world; they are those who will inherit Paradise on the Day of Resurrection. Blessed are they whose hearts are purified in this world; they are those who will see God (Exalted is He!) on the Day of Resurrection."

Concerning Jesus Birth:

It is related that when Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!) was born, the devils came to Iblîs [Satan] and said, "This morning the idols have been thrown down on their heads." Then he said, "This is a new thing which has happened. Remain where you are." Then he flew till he came to the East and the West of the earth, but found nothing. Afterwards he found Jesus (Peace be upon him!) already born with the angels doing him honour. Then he returned to them and said, "Verily a prophet has been born last night; no woman ever became pregnant or gave birth to a child without my being present, with the exception of this child."

Conerning Jesus Crucifiction:

Then when God (Exalted is He!) wished to take him and raise him to Himself, his disciples gathered withhim in Jerusalem in a room belonging to one of his companions, and he said, "Verily I am going to my Father and your Father, and I am giving you an injunction before the departure of my divine nature and am making with you a covenant and a pledge. So he who receives my injunction and fulfils my covenant will be with me to-morrow; but he who does not receive my injunction, I have nothing to do with him, and he has nothing to do with me."
Then they said to him, "What is it?"
He replied, "Go to the kings of the ends of the earth and convey to them what I have charged you with, and summon them to that to which I have summoned you, and do not deceive them, and do not fear them, for when I leave my humanity I shall be standing in heaven at the right hand of the throne of my Father and your Father, and shall be with you wherever you go and shall strengthen you with help and strength by the permission of my Father. Go to them and summon them with gentleness and cure them and command them to be kind and forbid them what is unlawful, until you are killed, or crucified, or rejected from the earth."
Then they asked, "What is the verification of what you command us?"
He replied, "I am the first who does that." And he went out the next day and appeared to the people and began to summon them and admonish them and warn them until he was taken and carried to the king of the Children of Israel. Then he ordered him to be crucified, and his humanity was crucified and his hands were nailed to the two pieces of wood of the cross, and he remained on the cross from dawn to afternoon. And he asked for water, and was given vinegar to drink, and he was pierced with a lance. Then he was buried where the cross was and forty people were put in charge of the grave; and all this happened in the presence of his companions and his disciples.
Then when they saw that happen to him, they were sure and knew that he had commanded them nothing in which he was different from them. Three days afterwards they gathered in the place where he promised them to appear to them and they saw those signs which [had been arranged] between him and them; and the news spread among the Children of Israel that the Messiah had not been killed.
Then the grave was dug up, and the humanity was not found. The parties among them disagreed, and there was a great amount of talk which is too long to be recounted. Then verily those disciples who had accepted his injunction separated in the country and each of them went his own way. One went to the west, one to Abyssinia, two to Rome, two to the king of Antioch, one to Persia, one to India, and two remained in the dwellings of the Children of Israel summoning them to the opinion of the Messiah until most of them were killed, and the Messiah's claim was spread in east and west by the deeds of the disciples.

Just a little bridging of the gap between the Muslim and the Christian.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What Republicans just dont seem to understand

Back in 2002 I listened to the debate that took place on the floor of the US senate for hours and hours. I heard liberal voices such as Hillary Clinton, and centerists like McCain, and consrvaives like Lott, speak up on the need to confront Sadam Hussain. I heard over and over again the term WMD from Rumsefeld, Wolfawitz, Bush, and a host of others. The only man to really speak up against the idea war was Robert Byrd and everyone pretty much thought he was a dottering old fool.

I listened intently to Colin Powell at the UN lay out the WMD locations and then play tapes of WMD people doing stuff with WMD.

There were lots of books about the WMD's and even Time had WMD on the cover. It was a year after 911 and with anthrax poisonings and the stench of death still in the air in NYC, I was also willing to give Bush the benifit of the doubt.

I heard no mention of questionable intelligence. People like Scott Ritter who spoke up about the idea that Iraq had no such WMD were shot down in flames as being out of touch or pushing an "agenda". The Vice President said directly that there was "no doubt" that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. And all the information about Iraqi's was that they were waiting for us to liberate them.

What if anything has been shown to be accurate about what was said by the war mongers? Sadam was a bad guy. Anything else? WMD? None found yet, not after two years. Only a few empty morter canisters. Nuclear material? Nothing. Terror links? Well there are certainly a shit pot load of them there now! Cheering crowds celebrating? Long since replaced by sobbing masses morning blown up family memebers.

So when Republicans now get all cranky about Democrats and everyone else not wanting to put up with the shit that is Iraq I am puzzled. Do they not live on Earth? Do they not understand the giant cost to the US taxpayer? Do they not morn the loss of the _______(fill in the blank) dead Americans? A representative who is more loyal to a President than a nation is, to me, a traitor. Presidents are replaceable, while the lives snuffed out in this usless, costly, and error filled war are gone forever.

The longer the Administration and its defenders follow their current path the deeper their troubles will become. The "Issue" will not go away, like the stench of decay it only gets worse. Do they really want Scooter Libby to go to trial? Do they actually want the VP to testify? They want to be the party of straight talkers and fiscal responsibility, the party of God. But by stumping for a villain in the White House they profane God, make their economic ecumin out to be of little account, and twist their words in defending evil practices that are no less evil if performed by US soliders than by Iraqi Insurgents. They can't understand how the Democrats have one-up'd them. Well the truth is that the democrats have not done that. Iraq is bigger than any Democratic plot or lefty agenda. Thousands of permanently disabled warriors, millions of families effected by loss and privation caused by deployment, stop loss, lost arms and legs, and lost lives are simmering like an ugly stew that the war mongers in Washington cannot escaple eating.

And still they labor in denial thinking that this is a problem that can be spun away with radio pundits and controled TV news bites. They seem to think that there is a way to mud-sling their way back to the lime light. Yet the dead keep on coming, the wounded keep coming, the money keeps flowing away, the credibility keeps evaporating like the sweat off a PFC's neck patroliing Anbar province, and Americans are really getting sick of so called representatives that seem to care more about apperances than the truth.

So all you republicans who would rather destroy a nations credibility and ruin thousands of lives than admit to a failure in the White House be warned. You have made a very nasty bed and you will have to lay down in it. And if it were only the warmongers who had to lay in that filthy pit they have dug for themselves all the better but they will not be alone. We all get to go down there with them, all of us little war mongers who gave Bush the benefit of the doubt.

Why Star Wars can't really change

I must confess that I would like a deeper story for Star Wars. But then it wouldn't be Star Wars
I must confess that I would like better dialogue for Star Wars. But then it wouldn't be Star Wars
I must confess that I would like fewer muppets and midgets. But then it wouldn't be Star Wars
I must confess that I would change nothing about Star Wars. So it stays Star Wars

Monday, October 31, 2005

Review of Last Days

A hartfelt, provocative, insiteful, creatively shot, piece of crap. I wanted to blow my own head off with a 12 guage after watching this. Pay no money to watch this. Wait for it to be on cable. Then bang your head into a wall for two hours and drink an entire 5th of gin. If you own anything that could be used as a weapon remove it ahead of time from your home. This is as close to Vogon Poetry made flesh as I can imagine. For that matter the rating VP will now be used on my reviews for films that fall below the number 1 catagory.

On the positive side the film did end. Though while it is playing it seems to go on forever.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

More perspective on Iraq

There is no good way out of Iraq, no ticker tape parade or 72 pt type saying WE WIN, no sailor kissing a girl in Time Square, it won't end that way. I think the best way to end this is to institute a draft for all Americans of fighting age and send us forth. The war to almost all Americans is an abstraction that can only be understood by listening to talking heads who may or may not have even been to Iraq. So lets sign up and go over to fight, or build a democracy, or whatever the hell Bush wants us to do. Lets all go men. What are we waiting for? If the vast majority of Americans would not willingly join up to fight then the war is probably not worth fighting. Our army will go a do whatever it is we call them to do. Tell them to go to hell and liberate it from Satan and they will salute and do their best to do it. The problem with having such a force is that the leadership needs to have a realistic picture of what they are asking this army to do. Because the army will go forth and try even if they are sent on a suicide mission.
At the battle of Shilo, general Prentis was ordered to hold his position and not retreat. He and his men followed that order even when the confederates brought up 64 canons and aimed them at point blank range. He and his men followed that order as the rebels fired the guns into them. And all of his men were either killed, wounded or captured.
The army is trained to carry out an order no matter how suicidal it might be. If they are told to invade a nation, topple a dictator, and build a democracy they will try their best to do that. Even if the job is an impossibility.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Descartes and Luther

I am in the middle of Rene Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy and while also reading Martin Luhers On Christian Liberty. Descartes was writing about 100 years after Luther but both men come across to me as revolutionaries in the way they thought of their respective subjects. With Luther we have this disaffected German monk who is trying to peal away centuries of detritis from Christian worship and get back to, as he saw it, a purer form of faith based worship while rejecting worldly works. His point that "a house never built a hammer" is as excellent an example as I can think of to spell out his belief that faith must come before works. Or take his notion that a Christian is totally free and subject to no earthly power. That was radical in an age of emperors, popes and kings. Not that I agree with him in totality on all counts. However in the age of Luther this was radical enough to cause a war that lasted 30 years.

Descartes by contrast was a Catholic scientist who decided to peal away all the philisophical detritis of the passed centuries to attain a purer philosophy regarding how we know what we know. He joined the army and spent time on campaign in centeral Europe. He is the quintessential doubter of everything. "I think therefore I am." seems pretty straightforward until you delve into his meditations. I am comming away with a great respect for Descartes for his ability to mathematically turn aside all presupositions and, trusting only that he thinks, building a philosophy that stands on modern scientific grounds.

Both these guys have had great influance on the course of Western Civilization. I see in both their writings glimpses of the Declaration of Independance and Constitution that would come into existance a century later. Luther would say that a man's faith his between him and God and that no earthly power could either justify him before God nor banish him from God's sight. In other words governments really can't do much regarding religion and it would be better to keep them out of it entirely.

In actuality the Holy Roman Empire did practice a form of religious tolerance for pretty much any sect. And while they did this the religious terrorism that was endemic in many places in Europe was not evident in the Empire. When Maximillian II took the throne, being a staunch supporter of the Catholic cause, the emprie was plunged into religious warfare ending in the empires eventual destruction.

I was amazed and hartened a week ago when I heard Justice Stephan Bryer talk about the Supreme Courts thinking on the seperation of church and state. In that talk he too brought up the sectarian religious wars spawned by the advent of Luther inwhich Rene Descartes marched and thought.

Compared to Descartes and Luther, Karl Marx reads like even more of an idiot.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

End of October Poll Crunch...Ouch!

Approval: 39%
Dissapproval: 56%
Duh I Dunno: 4%

Nothing like these numbers has been seen since 1974 and a Presidential resgination.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fighting a ..har har har..delaying action

For all this talk about how inoccent Tom Delay says he is, he really is acting awfully guilty. If I had no guilt to hide why would I bother trying to trash the DA and now the Judge? His actions speak louder than his attorney. By doing all the stuff he is doing in smearing and politically attacking he comes accross, at least to the reality based community, as two-bit texas crook, one of many. Unfortunately in a courtroom the republican smear tactic is not going to fly far. He is acting like a mob boss that won't be happy until one of his paid~off mob judges adjudicates him to freedom.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My squirlly approach to ID

Let me be frank. I believe fully in Darwinian evolution in all its glory. I believe fully in the current cosmological models concerning the theorized early universe. The ideas of Max Plank, Werver Heisenburg, and Al Einstine are all cool with me. There is not much science that I don't get along with provided it has been through peer review and empirical study. Global warming, for me, is a demonstratable fact not some lefty's guess. I listen to Dawkins and like 99.9999% of what he has to say about science. I do not believe that a bearded old foggy in the clouds is monkeying (no pun intended) around with the universe. Hooorah!

I am also a devout Christian and believe fully that universe is a manifestation of God. Faith in the soul, God, the righteousness of action based on that faith has absolutely nothing to do with the logical and scientific quest for a better understanding of the world we live in. Science cannot quantify the value of my soul any more than faith can tell you how many electrons are in a 1 pound lump of Uranium 235.

People that want science to back up their God are as worthless as Scientists who want God to back up their science. I would not trust a "man of God" if he gets all upset over Darwin just like I would not trust a "man of science" who got upset over Pope Benedict. Either man shows his weakness of conviction to his own ideas.


In the summer of 2004, while biting into a peice of coffe cake, I lost a filling. It had been in #18 for twenty years at least. Then it and part of the tooth around it was gone. The gap felt like a small grand canyon to my everprobing tounge.
I went to my Dentist and she used 8 little tubes of gunk to fill it up. The lost filling exposed the upper most level of the pulp of the tooth.

In mid summer 2005, the tooth began aching a bit. Not much just a localised pain that I muddled through with. Then I went and had #18 filled in a different location. The pain went away...for a while...

Last month a different pain started. This pain wasn't aywhere near #18. It was dull pain infront of my left ear. The pain would come and go every day or so. I muddled through with it taking tylenol or advil. Then one day last week, near the end of my shift, the pain began to evolve into an intense, stabbing, pain as if someone had first stabbed my temple with a 6 gauge hypo, injected a gallon of pain inducing stuff, then topped it off by slamming a baseball bat into my head. The pain lasted for 15 minutes then died down to a dull ache that felt like someone had...well... slammed a baseball bat into my head.

In 20 to 30 minutes the pain was back. For the next 48 hourse my trigeminal nerve was going bananas. Tylenol, advil, even codine, offered no relief, not even a little. I can't tell you the dismay I got when, after injesting, two advil, two tylenol, and two codine all at once, the pain was as intense as if I had taken nothing at all.

The pain was so bad I could not sit or lay down. I had to move, pace back and forth, as if part of my brain was trying to runaway from the pain. I ended up going to the ER and the doctor there diagnosed me with Trigeminal Neuralgia. He gave me Tegretol, which in higher doses is used to stop siezures, and that finally cut the pain back to the baseball bat level. Reading up on the disorder was depressing. TN according to the TN support website (you know a disorder is bad when it has its own support web pages) I learned the pain of "Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is not fatal, but it is universally considered to be the most painful affliction known to medical practice."

Holy crap I can vouch for that. I know that I have never had a pain like it. Dual dry sockets after wisdom teeth extraction was a cake walk to this. Internal bleeding into a knee joint is like cotton candy. The closest I can get is imagine your head between I-5 and a Semi-Truck just before it is crushed. That is sort of like it without the mess.

After taking the Tegretol for a day the pain was much better. By Saturday morning however the pain was back but now was entirely localised under #18. As if it was hiding out under the unrully molar. So I opted to get the @#$ing tooth yanked out of my head and hopefully be done with the pain.

As I sat at the emergency dental office, an office that used to be the locatin of my childhood pediatrician, the words of my current PCP haunted me. "A lot of people get their teeth pulled out before they learn what the disease is. They get them pulled only to have the pain persist." Well I was hoping that the molar was the poblem.

An hour later I walked out of the office, face numbed up, #18 still in my head but now mangled like Freddy, or Jason, or the Texas Chain Molar Massacre. The dentist could not dislodge the tooth. Sunday came and went and it was not a bad day. The whole face felt not too bad. Of course that was probably due to taking 2 percocets every 3 hours. But the nerve pain was gone, because the perc's would not have touched that kind of pain. Sunday night the pressure began to come back and, like before, the normal meds did nothing for it. By this time I was taking Pennicilian too.

Monday I finally went to a oral surgeon and he, in 5 minutes, rid me of the molar. I felt really bad about it. Like part of me was now gone, mainly because it was gone. I was also pissed becasue until that day I had all my teeth. I didn't take care of my teeth much as a kid. But as an adult I brush regularly and have not had a toothache it 20 some years. Even though I admit that my dental visits have been but two in the last 14 years. Today, Teusday, I have a bloody hole in my mouth, the pressure pain is dull and, I think, going down. I really hope this does the trick. I can't imagine how pissed off I will be if the pain comes back and I am missing a tooth that didn't have to go.

I stopped the Tegretol too. According the MERK book that could cause severe side effects like me turning into a republican or something, but I seem to be fine. I will keep you posted on what happens now that #18 is gone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Article VI Section III, better be careful how you use religion in appointments!

There is the 3rd section from Article VI of the US Constitution:

" religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. "

Currently I think the White House might be in trouble by making Ms. Meirs' religion part of the deal. The only reason they keep brining it up is to help her get confirmed. If they are brining up her form of religion as a way to aid in her confirmation then that constitutes a religious test and that is a BIG no-no.

Review of Battle Star Galactica

I remember talking my mom and dad into buying this crappy toy Viper back in 1978 and then building models of the Galactica and cylon raiders and base stars. Above all wanting to like the series like I liked Star Wars. I got bored with it pretty fast and soon the models were kit-bashed for other ships and movies that we made.

The current manifestation of BSG is to the original series what a 2005 Mustang GT is to a Modle-T. The season openning movie of last year was superb and had a better story than any other Sci-Fi show of 2004 or 2005. What is more the show has a level of filmaking craftsmanship. It is not your typical Sci-Fi channel shlock-story and bad effects. This film looks good from every angle and that includes the acting and writing.

The story has been twisted a bit but the twists make the cylons not only more nasty but also scarrier. The story is more connected and realistic, as far as a pulp sci-fi show can afford to be. I got loaned the entire 1st season on DVD and I am sorry I missed watching the show. I wrote it off as probably terrible, but I was dead wrong. If the rest of the series is as good as the premier it will have a long run. I hope it does because sci-fi real sucks right now.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Of Cats and Presidents and wars

Sophia: Reports of her death were greatly exagurated. After falling off the van at 30 miles per hour and disapearing for 5 days she showed on the porch, looking hungry and with a scuffed nose.

President: In an October 5th poll W gets a 37% approval rating. Here is the breakdown of that poll. It is going to sicken you so get an air-sickness bag.

Apporve: 37%
Disapprove: 58%
Duh: 5%

Repbulicans give him a 79% approval rating.
Democrats give him a 14% approvoal rating.
Independants give him a 29% approval rating.

These new numbers do not skew the Poll-crunch numbers at all. My poll still has him at 42% overall.

Two things stand out:

One: 21% of republicans don't like the guy. That is not good for W. I mean it is great that he still garners almost 80% approval from people who voted for him but that is only 1/2 the nation.

Two: The independant Yuk-factor is the closest to the national average. Independant candidates should really pay attention to that number.

An area where W had been pretty ok was in his favorability rating. Basically do you think W is a good egg, family man, etc. He had been in the 50's. That has now slipped to 49%

The War: Yes dispite the Meir nomination, and the big earthquake, and floods, the war continues. Not much more to report on that front. British troop actions in the South in and around Basra, usually not to belicose, have not been good. Not only has their action in demolishing a police station to extricate a british soldier angered the locals. Now they have arrested more policemen and made the locals even angrier. Of course the Britsh only arrested the officers because the Basra constabulary has been, in there words, infiltrated with terrorists.

In more happy moments for the Iraqi police two more got assasinated today.

In more happy news for US forces a nice young man was blown up near a checkpoint in Baghdad.

In more happy news for the Iraqi government. The Governor of Najaf narrowly missed being happily assasinated today.

But hey atleast the US is drawing down its force from 135,000 to 152,000....wait a minute. I guess we are drawing them...up?

In shocking news former dictator Sadam Hussein said that he thinks his life might be in danger!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

American Religion 3

The religious leaders sat around the table and were congratulating themselves on their clsoe ties to the government.

Churchman 1 "The coffers are pretty full this month. Good job people! Say how is it going with the government?"

Churchman 2 "Well I spent all day with the governor and he really appreciates all we do for him. You know making sure our congregation knows to pay their taxes and such. He also wanted me to let all of you know how appreciative he and the government are of how we have kept all the disent down. You know, concerning some of the actions that have had to be taken to keep the people in line."

Chruchman 1 "We are lukcy to have so much political clout with the governor. He helps us stay pwoerful and we help him control the people. You know if you play your cards right you might end up in the Senate. Was there anything to worry about on the horizon?"

Churchman 2 "Well there was one thing that came up. The governor is wanting to know what we thought of the reform movement. I told him we are trying to stamp it out."

Churchman 1 "Ah yes the reform movement. I went out and tired to debate the head of it the otherday and...well...he has got a point. We have gotten pretty worldly, we spend more time with the governor than we do with our own congregation."

Churchman 2 "Are you nuts? That freak is just grandstanding, trying to muck things up for the rest of us. All this crap about peace and love and redistribution of wealth. You have to give that bs lip service but get real! This is the real world and in the real world you have to live in the real world. He's a herretic and needs to go."

Chruchman 1 "Yes I guess your right. He did have a bit of a Messiah complex. 'thinks" God talks to him. As hif God would give a rip about a homeless man and his wierdo friends."

Chruchman 2 "Thats more like it. Anyhow we have nothing to worry about. Pontius Pilate would send him up the river if he thought this Jesus guy was going to start trouble."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Solicitations as blog responses SUCK!!!!!

I am not usually in favor of castration, disembowlment, or other forms of inhuman nastiness but by golly I might make an exception when it comes to turd-eaters posting business solicitations in the form of blog responses.

Hi there,
You got a nice blog here.
If you like coins there is a lot
of information about coins in my blog
Coind Directory

If this had been inresponse to my posting about coins or money etc I would not mind so much. However this was a post to an article about the Cronyism.

Cats! Those wonderful balls of joy

Sheilia: Rescued from abandonment, fixed, loved, played with
Condition: Gone native, can't stand us

Snowbell: Found us, fixed, loved, fed and played with
Condition: Was disappeared by local Coyote secret police

Alba: Rescued, fixed, fed, loved, played with
Condition: deceased, ran over by school bus infront of the kids

Blanche: Rescued fixed, fed, loved, played with
Condition: Missing presumed dead

Sophia: Rescued fixed, fed, loved, played with
Condition: Missing presumed dead after falling off the spare tire under our minivan as it spead down the road taking little kids to school.

Our neighbor cat:
Condition: deceased, ran over infront of kids waiting for the school bus, (but not by school bus) then put out of its misery by my wife with a bullet to the head.

Cats! those wonderful balls of joy.

Early Poll Crunch for October

Approve 42%
Disapprove 53%
Duh I dunno 5%

If you think there is not a racial divide in American politics look at the break down between white and black Americans in the CBS poll:

White Approval: 47
White Disapproval: 48
Black Approval: 12
Black Disapproval: 82%

Overall these numbers are pretty lousy. You could spin this has a good "bump" for Bush but overall there is not much of anything to spin. What is putting Bush in the tank are ramifications of the decisions that he and his pal's have made over the last 5 years. It amazes this blogger that no body has demanded to know more about the enery-task force meeting of 2001 now that gas prices are approaching $3.00 for regular.

As for his performace at the Rose Garden press briefing his attempt to skew the numbers of Iraqi battalions upward is pretty lame. I guess you could say that there are potentially 1000 battalions available since if you count all the draft age Iraqi's, or you could count the ones who are just forming. But the generals on the Hill said it best and truthfully. There is only 1 battalion capable of independant operation, that is down from 3 in July. That is a very important number because it doesn't matter a cold damn about how many battalions are in the field if only 1 of them can act without US support. Since our goal here is to get out of Iraq and that can't happen, by the Presidents own words, until the Iraqis can step up for their own defense.

Bush speaking of knowing the "hart" of his nominee to the high court is of little confidence to many Americans since we are all sure he knew the hart of Michael Brown too. And putting a person on the high court who cannot think for herself and change her mind in the face of new information is also piss poor.

Yet Bush's enemies better be very careful since the big ugly machine will not go down quietly. Already it is going into election-year over drive with misinformation, lies, and glittering generalities galore.

Cronyism all over again

In another bold move for the bold President he nominated his own lawyer as a potential supremem court judge. That is exactly what this country needs a lady who gets on-the-job training as a supreme court judge.

Miss Meirs desribe your experience arguing before the court? Oh sorry we forgot that you never have.

Miss Meirs describe your experiences as a federal judge?
Oh sorry we forgot you never were one.

Miss Meirs describe your experiences as country judge?
Oh sorry we forgot you never were one.

Miss Meirs descibe your experience arguing before the Texas Supreme court.
Oh sorry we forgot you never have done that either.

Miss Meirs describe your decisions at the White House.
Oh sorry we forgot you are invoking attorney-client privilage.

Oh sorry we cannot confirm you......sorry..

Monday, October 03, 2005

Review of Serenity

Space is really small and filled with nasty people and things. And the planets resemble the Hollywood hills. This movie was, I think, slated to be a TV movie but got to go to the big screen and I am glad it did since the SCI-FI genre is in need of new material on the big screen. However it was clumpy pile of crap. Serenity was a mish-mash of old M.A.S.H locations, passible special effects, awful writing, a good plot...sort of, and actors who looked like they walked out of centeral casting on the SCI-FI channel.

The Universe of Deamon Smith and his cohorts is so superior to this shit that I really want to make a live action motion picture and make a 100 million dollars on it. Our story was no less grand than this one, more understandable and just as dramatic. What in the name of all that is holy are we doing sitting on this script when we could be making a big time real movie and on our way to being gozillionaires? Of course we won't do that because that would be risky, and we all don't think we could pull it off, and we are losers and deserving of being upstaged by lame piles of crap like Serenity.

It gets an overall 5 for the film. However our film gets a big fat "0" since it is not made and will not be made and will die with us and nobody will know about it.

The blogger here is trying to use "shame" as a method to galvanize support for Apes Must Live but he feels that it will not work for the people responsible for not using the talents they have contain no shame to be galvanized.

You will, all of you, one day be one of us! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Greatest Choral Works

Getting away from the sucky political state.....

In my lowly opinion the greatest choral music in the history of Music are as follows, running from the 14th century to the 20th century:

14th Century: The Mass d'Notre Dame by Guilliam d'Machaut
The Deller Consort does a great job with this Ars Nova masterpiece. Arguably the most spectacular of the surviving polyphonic works from the era, this Mass is an anomolly since Machaut is mostly known for his secular songs.

17th Century: The Te Deum by Marc Antoine Charpentier
This is the best example of the absolute melding of worldly power and faith. It is of an age when both kings and popes were almost charicaturishly silly. However if you can get passed the martial aspects of the music it is a pretty powerful work.

18th Century: The Messaih by G.F. Handel
What can be said other than it kicks ass, in a spiritual sense. Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music is the best at this music.

19th Century: The 9th Symphony by Mr. Beethoven
Moving and marvelous.

20th Century: The Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Okay so this is owes a lot to the orginal manuscript of that name that dates to the 12th century but hey it is a 20th century work. Over used in movies and ripped off as much as any great work of music ever has.

Those are nice places to start. Each gives you a different experience and each takes some getting used to. For me the one that is the most removed from everyday listening is the Mass d'Notre Dame, its isorythms and early polyphonic voices make it pretty alien. Particularly if you are used to listening to Andrew Loyyd Weber or Gilbert and Sullivan. Come to think of it G&S have many good choruses too. The above works are heavy duty, but if dutifully listened to can expand ones appreciation for the marvelous nature of combined human voices and the amazing brains behind the arrangment of those voices in combination with musical instruments.

Daddy what is a fascist part II (Reality Bites)

exerpt from the now infamous White House interview "Without a Doubt"

"The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

That was the end of the exerpt. To me this sounded like an Americanized nazi propganda. So I googled Joseph Goebbels. Who happened to be the minister for propaganda for the wonderful bunch of guys and gals of the Nazi Party. It took about 20 minutes reading through addressed and speeches until I came accrossthis little gem.

Joseph Goebbels (New Years 1939)

"This ability to believe is rather weak in some circles, above all in those with money and education. They may trust more in pure cold reason than a glowing idealistic heart. Our so-called intellectuals do not like to hear this, but it is true anyway. They know so much that in the end they do not know what to do with their wisdom. They can see the past, but not much of the present, and nothing at all of the future. Their imagination is insufficient to deal with a distant goal in a way such that one already thinks it achieved.

They were also unable to believe in the victory of National Socialism while the National Socialist movement was still fighting for power. They are as little able today to believe in the greatness of our national German future. They perceive only what they can see, but not what is happening, and what will happen."

The source: Die Zeit ohne Beispiel (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1941), a collection of Goebbels' speeches and writings from January 1939 to September 1941.

People should be affraid of people like that White House aid or Goebbels getting anywhere near the reigns of power. It is all to easy for people with latent or overt messianic tendancies to use that power based on "gut" or "faith" or "their harts", to achieve their ends without passing those disicions through the crucible of reason and analysis.

I have said it once and I will say it again, audacity without skill is mere wreaklessness. The kind of leadership that has proven successful, is that kind that can peacefully translate power from its hands to others. The current bunch in the White House and Congress, are poor leaders and will suffer the lot of poor leaders. Their candle will burn brightly for a time and then be violently extinguished. The problem with the futures laid out by people like Goebbels, Rove, or DeLay is that the horrible nature of their ends tend to travel out from them like ripples in a pond to swamp others who are unlucky enough to be living on the streets above the bunker.

I will conclude this blog with another happy (scary bit) of Goebbels talking about how is working with God to get the job done.

Joseph Goebbles 1938

"Bringing a miracle that was no miracle, only the result of tireless work blessed by the hand of the Almighty.

Perhaps it is also a religious act to put his whole life in the service of his people, and to work and act for the happiness of people. It is a religion without empty phrases and dogma, which nonetheless springs from the deepest depths of our soul. That is how our people understands it. We Germans are today perhaps more faithful and pious than others who, though they never tire of praising God with their lips, have hearts that are cold and empty.

It is therefore no empty phrase when all of us in our great Reich join with those beyond its borders, across seas and continents, in asking the Almighty to grant the Führer long years of health, strength, and a blessed hand. That is the deepest and holiest wish of all the children of our ethnic group and of our blood. May the ether bring through my voice this national prayer of a people to the furthest corner of the earth where Germans dwell, live, and breathe. It is a deep prayer, full of hope, faith, and national pride."

The source: Joseph Goebbels, "'Es gibt Männer, die man achtet, bewundert und verehrt — den Führer aber lieben wir.' Die Rundfunkrede des Reichsministers Dr. Goebbels am Vorabend des Geburtstages des Führers," Völkischer Beobachter, 21 April 1938

Monday, September 26, 2005

How many bodies does a war crime make?

I seldom agree whole hartedly, or even half hartedly, with Air America's "The Majority Report" I think that are a bunch of simple minded political hacks most of the time. However Sam Seeder was right on the money chewing out one neo-con who called up.
The man called up to say that he had read that only about 8,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed by US bombs and errant bullets. He said that clearly the 100,000+ figures were cooked.
Sam, to his credit and my admiration, spoke up quite elequently that even if only 8,000 civilians had been wrongly killed that was god awful enough. 8,000 people get killed not because they hated America, or were terrorists, or were in league with Sadam, but only because they happened to be in our way.
After the exchange, where the neo-con equated 8,000 dead people as being "not relavent". I did a little fact checking.
According to DOD, American Red Cross, and a host of others here is the low down. In getting Sadam out and us in, our actions resulted in the deaths of a recorded 7,340 civilian deaths. That was up until around June of 2003. Currently the Iraqi government itself says that around 30,000 civilians have lost their lives, most of that number died, not from insurgent attacks alone, but from getting caught in the crossfire between insurgents and US and Iraqi armed forces. These people would have all been alive if we did not feel it necessary to invade Iraq.
Maybe the terrorits that killed 2,900 civilians on 9/11 thought them "not relavent". What are the lives of a measily 2900 civilians, or 8000 civilians, or 29,000 compared to the struggle to rid the world of the "evil doers"?

Friday, September 23, 2005

No good choice...political...moral or otherwise

I think I blathered on in an earlier post about windows of opportunity openning and closing in Iraq. Well they are all pretty much shut now. And we are left with no real way to end this mess. As if it were even within our power to end it. I am not just talking about occupation but the war itself. It won't simply stop if we leave. Some insurgents will raise their rifles high in triumph but it will be a short pause in an ongoing operation to break Iraq apart. It won't stop if we stay either. So what do we do?
The Pottery Barn analogy is more and more real. Our action has brought this mess about. If we just up and left it would not really make us less thought of in Arab nations. They already dislike us. It would be a devastating indictment of the US Administration and probably result in the downfall of Bush and perhaps another impeachment here.

The worthless prosecutors of this worthless war are too cowardly to actually take it on th chin for this big mess. They will side step it and let another President try to dig us out of it. So get ready for more fine Americans to get blown up and resign yourself to more poor Iraqi's who get not to live to see peace in their nation.

Bush is right in one way. We do owe the Iraqi's a better future, we certainly have gone out of our way to make their present miserable. We also owe the army we sent their a better future too. "Pray for me mom, so I don't end up hating these people." those are the words from a letter sent to the mother of one serviceman I know.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Poll Crunch for Mid September 2005

Approve: 40%
Disapprove: 56%
Duh I dunno: 4%

To spin this in a good direction for Bush.... oh hell you really can't spin this in a good direction. He is getting pretty close to the Nixon number of 34%. That was the number reached the week Nixon said so-long.

As per usual these numbers are a combination of 6 national polls sampling 6,099 adults, and constitutes, I think, the most accurate poll in America. If you want the low down on the numbers that make up the poll crunching I do here you go:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lawn mower operation part II

The patient lay on blocks, its cutting guts sprawled out over a plywood operating table. Socket wrenches, pliers, a hammer, carburator cleaners, and nuts and bolts lay about. The surgeon was finally able to remove the problematic drive shaft from teh right cutting wheel. To my horror the bearings and the stainless steal housing, had partially congealed around the shaft itself, smeared around it like metallic chewing gum. The ball-bearing, rather than looking like polished marbles, looked like musketballs dug up in some Civil War battlefield park. The exterior cap that had contained and protected the bearing had been melted and ripped into razor sharp rings.
The patient looked moribund. I could not simply buy new bearings. The shaft was toast too. I thought birefly of somehow grinding the steal chewing gum off, but the shaft looked so burnt with that bluish iridescence indicative of being over tempered, that it would probably snap under operation.
What to do? Then I looked over at the cadaver of the old riding mower. Could it's drive shafts be the same? I went over and with far less precisioin turned the thing over and pulled the set pins and quickly disembowled it. It took the part into the sunlight and compared it to the melted part. Not only did it look to be a perfect match it looked to be in far superior condition than even the "good" drive shaft that I had not removed.
The only problem was that the mounting bracket that had held the old blade was rusted onto the shaft. I tried to pound it off to no avail.
I then decided to use my dremal tool and cut it off. After much sparks and a few burnt hairs, the rusty bracket cleaved in two and I was able to hammer the other side off. The part in hand I now have to attempt to complete the operation.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The more things change the more they..oh you get the idea...

Oregon's Governor in 1927

"Recently the people have been informed as to the peculiarly distressing financial condition of the state. The legislature approaches its task with limited resources from which to make appropriations—resources which are now heavily burdened by necessary obligations authorized by the emergency board and resultant from an insufficient tax levy. Many much needed appropriations must fail unless your body provides for new sources of revenue or for a temporary diversion of state funds."

But what did Oregon accomplish between 1902 and 1927? It built 260 new highschools. Not 2 not 26 but 260 state wide. That averages out to 10 new highschools a year for a 1/4 century. All while the average Oregonian made about $400 a year and the states population was only around 600,000.

Lawn Tractor in trouble again

Thank God for my riding mower. It has been a college level course in small engine mechanics, mechanical engineering, and anger management.

Yesterday as I finished mowing the lawn for the last time this season the old beast began making a sound like bearing wearing out and burning up. It turned out to be bearings wearing out and burning up. So I drove it back to the barn and today spent three hours disassembling the centeral mowing attachment from the underside of the tractor. I have never done this before but then again I had not fixed tirods on front axles either, or any of a dozen other fixes.

Where as the other fixes were like athroscopic knee surgery today was like full blown open-hart surgery. Any time it takes three hours just to get to the spot where the problem is mean it is serious. The patina of the cutting unit is wonderful to behold, but incredibly unhelpful as far as nut and bolt removal. Years of mowing has built up, over all the metal a rich green laquer, polished glassy smooth and rock hard. It took a lot of work with a pen-knife to cut away the stuff to even get to the bolts that have never been removed.

Digging into the inards of machinery makes me really respect human beings who design such stuff. All the parts overwich I worked operate at high speed and are subjected to great and divrgent forces. There are the counter spining blades of carbon steel, the pully system that takes engergy from the engine, the suspension system that allows the mowing deck to hover at the correct elevation over the terrain, the twin wheels on the deck to conform to terrain, and all the engineering that ties the unit together to a series of levers that gives the operator the ability with littel effort to change cutting hight and kill the blades.

Upon inspection of the unit, once it sat on a makeshift table of plywood and saw horses, revealed burnt bearings, melted steel, basically a big mess. I figure the work, if I paid someone to get this far, would probably have set me back $150. On Monday I will go to United Bearing and drive to see if I can buy a new set of bearings. I think I will get 4. Change both sets on the mower and put two away just in case. There are other parts that have worn out that may be harder to come by.

The Patient is still on the table. I will let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Great Speech! Now what?

When properly proctored, doctored, and primed, the President can deliver pretty good speeches. the Post-911 speech was a home run and several others have bee npassable to good. Tonights speech was a good one and one that needed to be said. Thanks for the talk George!

However this administration tends to back up these type of speeches with nothing good. We already have no-bid contracts being awarded to the same old bunchm Bechtel, Haliburton, etc. Paying for this will be our kids and grand kids. They will be stuck with the bar tab while the former President is polishing off his library. There seems to be a bottomless pit of cash for all the Presidents desires. Surely the rebuilding of New Orleans and the other effected areas of the US is of great importance. Yet we are still spending a billion a day in Iraq. At some point America, who is already vastly over extended both publicly and privately, is going to have to come to the conclusion that it cannot have it all. Choices will have to be made.

I am affraid that the choice the Congress will try to make is shoving off more costs onto the backs of the States. This will backfire on them since they have been doing that for the last 10 years and the states will not allow more of it. Congress and the President, whoever that is going to be, will learn that butter gets you more votes than guns. War unless it is a war for national survival, cannot be sustained indefinitely not even by the United States. We cannot spend 100's of billions on foregin wars of choice, cut taxes, spend 100's of billions on naitonal rebuilding projects, accept no-bid contracts, shove the costs onto the States, forever.

So far the Neo-Con congress has been given a problem to test their ideology. That ideology is getting a failing grade. Disasters will strike, wars happen, and 100's of billions will need to get spent. So far this bunch, with a few exceptions, is still in election mode. Do what it takes to win. What they are doing is simply spending money they don't have.

The nation will gain far more in the long run from the money that will be spent in the South than all the billions flushed down the toilet of Iraq. It is better to go into debt putting a new roof on your house than buying a big screen TV.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Okay so if I was to climb up stuff again here is a partial list of gear upgreades

Old Boots: Currently I own a pair of Lowa Denali's. They are high altitude boots for really cold places, colder than Mt Hood. They are also 5.7 lbs.

New Boots: La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX. These babies would piss their pants in the Karakorum but on Mt Hood et all they should be fine. And they only weigh 2.1 pouonds

Old Crampons: Footfangs. For technical ice and really steep, well hmmm, technical ice. Lousy for mainstream mountaineering and mixed route climbing. They are totally rigid and narrow. In short they suck.

New Crampons: Grivel Air Tech Light Crampon with Antibott Device & Flex Bars. They only weigh 795 grams however they are not step in style. You have to actually strap them on. It sort of sucks but it is probably 1/2 weight of the old set.

All the old technical gear should probably be retired.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ed Viesturs

I went to go see Ed Viesturs. You do not know who he is but anyone who has climbed knows, or should know, who he is. He is the first American to scale all 14 8000m peaks (26,000+ft) He put on slide show and did a great talk on his life.
I don't climb up stuff anymore and have not done so since 1994. But listening to him, his enthusiams for life, his reverence for nature and peaks, brings back great memories of panting, and sweating, and being scared, and being in locations that most people never go.
I makes me want to hike more, not scale Annapurna, just get out into that part of the canvas that is beautiful to behold and hard to get to.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Review of Final Cut and Kung Fu Hussle

Final Cut:
What in the name of all that is holy is wrong with Robin Wiliams? Is he on prozac? This dude needs a career enema. The movie blows large chunks from the get go. What a bunch bland, watery boredom wrapped in a tasteless tortilla of ho-hum, cinematic nonsense. Do not see this movie unless a: you want to be bored to death, or b: you have nothing else to do with your life. To spend more time on telling you all why you should not rent this junk would also be a waste of time. I would give this film a -42 but I can't go less thatn the dreaded 1.

Kung Fu Hussle:
I am not sure why this movie was called Kung Fu Hussle? It had lots of Kung Fu in it and it had characters you ended up caring for I guess. To my tastes I found Shoalin Soccer way more fun. Hussle was more predictable and not as "holy crap that was amazinigly over done" as Shoalin Soccer. They would both be a good DVD set to have. This little film gets a solid 7.

Miles Davis and my old brain

Last week I, through a series of events that I will not go into, came into posession of a 3 valve sliderless, bass trombone. It is an old instrument that used to belong to my neighbor who played it in a navy band at Pearl Harbor. Any how in researching the instrument company that made the big horn, I discovered that Miles Davis and a host of other upper-mucky-mucks of jazz, big band, and classical performers also got their instruments from the Martin Band Instrument Company of Elkhorn Indiana.
A couple of days past and I decided to regail my mom with what I had found out about my new aquisition. Well as I came to talk about the high quality of the company and some of the people who also used various instruments from that company my mind drew a blank on Miles Davis. I could not remember his name. I could remember him and Quincy Jones, I could recall albums, his face on the cover of his last CD Doo-Bop, but as for his name it was a complete blank slate.
I had to go online to jog my memory.
We all forget stuff all the time. But it is kind of disconcerting to forget something or someone that is significant. I have recognized in myself and others of my age that their is a tendancy to retell the same story to the same people as if we have not already told the story. The the conversations also are either about the present or the past and the future is talked of less and less.
All the more reason to ride the tube, or jump off the bridge, or do other things new and dangerously life affirming. Because it would be easy, too easy, to draw a line at the high-water mark of our lives and say "well we did do that back then but couldn't do it now."
I want to jump off the bridge when I am sixty and seventy and as long as I possibly can.
It may not help me from forgetting Miles Davis, but it might give me a larger database of stories to retell.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Definition Time

Person involuntarily displaced from his or her homeland.
(Encylopedia Britannica)

Katrina refugee:
Poor American citizen, predominently african-American, told to leave their homes and go to large public arenas only to be abandoned, then riducled by the head of FEMA for not evacuating prior to Katrina.

Under funded Federal agency responsible for disaster planning and relief headed by an incompitent political hack who got fired from his last job for being a poor manager.

White, male, millionaire and or son of millionaire. Also see Prick, Scumbag, Idiot, and Lying-Sack-of-Shit

American Citizen:
Baffled human who is over worked, over extended, and addicted to consumption.

Preachy bastard that only tell you the obvious

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Leadership in modern America

What do you get when you put a failed businessman, cable company executive, and failed horse association administrator together? A big mess.

In an earlier blog I said that I thought that the current leaders in the response to Katrina were retarded. This would be true if they had public policy experience. However only the failed businessman has that.

Big cities, nations and agencies, need people who know whatthey are doing. It is great the we live in a nation where any millionaire and campaing contributor can grow up to be President, or mayor, or FEMA head, but it is not helpful to the citizenry that millionaires tend not to understand the reality of America. It is easy for the millionaire to discount problems of poverty because they have no idea what poverty really is. To them it is all academic.

At the very least these so called leaders should get down into the real life of people for a glimpse. Robert Kennedy touring the utterly impoverished Apalachian communities in the 60's gave that millionaire a better view of the real America.

Being so removed from the real America it is easy for them to put off plans to improve the lives of the average person. The division has turned this country from a nation that looked at a problem and said, "Yes we can do that."; into a nation that says, "We can't possibly do that."

The rich simply do not have a clue as to the level of struggle the average American is going through. I am not talking about the poorest. Those people have it even worse. The more removed you are from a person in need the easier it is to ignore him/her. We freakout when Americans are refugees but tend to get bored after a week or two when 200,000 people get wasted in a Tsunami.

The insulation needs to be stripped away from the rich or there needs to be more average people in positions of power.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Poll Crunch for Early September

Approve: 43%
Disapprove: 53%
Duh I dunno: 10%

From Gallup Polling:

"President Bush's job approval rating is now at 40%, the lowest of his administration. Bush has averaged 43% across three Gallup Polls conducted in August, marking a slow but steady decline since the beginning of the year. Bush's approval rating has dropped among independents, and has also dropped modestly among Republicans. Bush's August average rating is the lowest for any re-elected president since World War II at a similar point after their re-election, with the exception of Richard Nixon. Only 34% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States today"

These numbers are current as of the morning after Katrina. No numbers are in for the week following.

Pew Research puts Bush's approval rating
in the West at: 38%
in the South at: 44%
in the Midwest at: 39%
in the Northeast at: 36%

I am not really sure what to say other than to quote Bush "Who cares? we'll all be dead!"
I think the President must think that everybody thinks the same way he does.

Iraqi's on Post Sadam Iraq: Who cares? we'll all be dead!
Poor folks in New Orleans on disaster planning: Who cares? we'll all be dead!
American workers on keeping jobs in the US for their kids: Who cares? we'll all be dead!
The world on what to do about global warming and environmental destruction: Who cares? we'll all be dead!

Man oh man what an easy, life affirming, mantra! No prob dude!

Na_na na-na-na-na Live for today!
Na_na na-na-na-na Live for today!

Boy sounds kind liberal to me. Oh yeah the liberals don't live for today. They try to pay attention to how they are living today so that other people can live tommorrow. That sounds kinda conservative. Hmmm?

Another reason to be disgusted with DC

Last Week: "We unanimously passed a 10 billion dollar emergency spending bill to help the poor huricaine victems."

This Week: "We are going to cut Medicade by 10 billion dollars."

The argument is that it is a program whos costs keep going up. No shit! With more poor people now than in 2000 there are more people taking advantage of the program. Instead of reprioritising the budget to take care of Americans the pathetic millionaires in Washington want to slash the program. More guns less butter. More misadventures in foreign lands, and another poke in the eye to the average joe. The poor get poorer and the rich get richer and America better wake up and start to care or we are for the bone yard.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Death is no big deal, at least not to time

180 seconds of Presidential time was spent announcing the next Cheif Justice of the Supreme Court. It could have been a talk about grain harvesting or pork belly futures or any one of a thousand million other things. A man fights thyroid cancer for years and then dies and the world does not stop even for an instant, not even for the passing of a Supreme Court Justice. Time didn't stop when John Kennedy was killed either; it kept on chewing away the days, weeks, months and years, while the assasinaiton went from volumes of books, to magazine articles, to tv history shows, to a small 6pt type footnote, and in the future only historians will know about it. And in a thousand years the vast majority of humans will not even know the name at all. They won't know who Bush was either. The great eraser continues its inexorable march across all our blackboards. All the people who died last week in the Hurricane or died in the floods that followed go the same way. The memory of all of them will fade away until nothing of them exists on planet Earth but their descendants who won't even know them or how they died.
So what is the big eraser? Death? No death gets to meet the same fate as those it claims. Time destroys death too. It takes away it's sting for those left behind. Time eradicates its stench, smooths over the melodrama. We all tend to put too much ephasis on defeating death when Time is the real nemisis. For even if we did eventually, at long last, rid ourselves of the scurge of death we are faced with what? An eternity of time for us to contemplate how to escape it monstrous grind away at civilizations, and lives, and planets, and galaxies. Would we then try to reinvent death so we could escape the mad house? Or would we try to kill Time off? But that would lead to a single frozen moment, with no thought, or feeling, or manner to percieve existance. So we would all, though frozen in the instant, be for all intents and purposes dead.
Clearly we are, like Candide, in the best of all possible worlds. We get to exist for how ever long we get to exist. Death gets to clear off earth to make room for more of us. Time gets to take the sting of death from the harts of those left behind. All is as it should be.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Calm down!

Okay we can all, most of us, agree that Bush is not FDR or Lincoln. But we all need to stick together on the relief effort and not start the blame game right now. The high level of open and angry criticism of Bush and FEMA and Homeland Security by CNN, NPR, and almost every othere news organization world wide is right on the the mark, but un helpful. Millions of people are in trouble and we need to calm down and help out. Not bitch at Bush since that administration, when faced with such times, tends to react by closing itself off even further from reality. Pat Bush on the head and simply go around him.

Now my rant!

It is amazing how after 4 years of post 911 disaster planning we, as a nation, have fumbled so miserably, even after getting a weeks advance warning that we were going to be hit. How much more notice do we need? Listening to the leadership, both republican and democrat, makes me wonder of the endemic mental retardation of Governors and Presidents. When they trott out into TV all they do is act like CNN reporters telling us what we already know but offering no sage advice, or courageous crys for calm and unity. From the weepy and incoherent Governor of Louisianna to the incomprehensibly southern accented Governor of Mississippi, to the President who spends more time talking about pipe lines than people, I am left disgusted with the level of grotesque incompitence and criminal neglegance of men and women whos job it is to formulate policy for the first responders to march to. God save those over worked cops, nurses, doctors, GI's, and journalists who seem to be the only ones to actually give a damn. Maybe if the faces in those mobs of homless people were sunny white folks in polo shirts and knee-length shiffon skirts there would be a little more action? As usual in the richest nation in the world the poor are getting shafted again.
It is not only that we have too many cheifs and not enough indians, the cheifs we do have are all suffering from mercury poisoned minds, or is it cash-poisoned?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New Orleans Doe!

In another Homer-Simpson moment for mankind he is informed by mother nature that building a city with half a million citizens in a swamp that is lower than sea level and in an area prone to hurricanes was probably not a good idea. As the death toll and costs rise we cannot blame a big wind cloud or some brakish water. The wind is going to blow and the water is going to flow.

"Everyone said I was daft to build a castle in the swamp but I built it all the same. Just to show'em. And it sank into the swamp. So I built another castle and it sank into the swamp. Then I built a third, that burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up...."
-Michael Palin as the king of Swamp Castle MontyPython and the Holy Grail.

We are fleas on a very big dog and we have really no idea when the dog will decide to scratch us off.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Crude arguments

The conservative talking point about oil prices:
They are high because the US has not built a new refinery in 30 years and it is all the liberals fault.

The truth:
The raw materials in the manufacturing process for gasoline have increased 242% since 2000. That is a barrel of crude cost $28 in 2000 and now costs $68. The crude oil requirements for the world are 84.38 million barrels a day, while the production of crude is currently 84.12 million barrels per day. The United States is still far better off than most nations in that it generates almost half its required supply of crude oil.

Where the conservative talkers get it wrong, and it is debatable whether they get it wrong because they are misinformed or are hacks for the oil companies, is that they confuse the price at the pump with the price of crude. The conservative is correct in saying that refining more crude into gas would drive prices slightly lower. Currently, according the DOE, US refineries are NOT producing at maximum capacity. The DOE does not elucidate exactly why that is and admits as much saying "crude oil input to refineries is down 300,000 barrels per day compared to the same period a year ago. This while crude oil imports, over the same period, are up over 300,000 barrels per day." Refiners are stock piling crude oil. This is a big reason why prices continue to rise. This is also a reason why energy companies are racking up gigantic profits. I think there may be a good reason why refiners are stockpiling. If the raw material is increasing in wholesale cost, it would pay to buy more now and stockpile it betting that the price in the future will be even higher.

The only thing that will drive prices down is either increased production of crude, refinement of current stockpiles into gasoline, or increased price controls set down in DC. Either way the citizen will pay since increased price controls usually come in the form of a portion of his/her taxes going to artificially lower the pump price by paying Exxon, Chevron, etc. the difference. At any rate the arguments are academic since the rapid industrialization of the 3rd world, particularly in Asia is going to mean that there will be continued upward pressure on the prices of all natural resources not just light sweet crude.

The statistics contained herein come from the Energy Information Administration which is part of The Department of Energy, which is under the control of that hot~headed little green liberal George W. Bush

Friday, August 19, 2005

Don't make fake Quotes!

A blind "damns the torpedos!" attitude is as fateful to anti-Bushies as it is to those that like him. An excellent example is the fake quote bandied about by some liberals attributed either to Caesar or to Shakespeare's Caesar. No where in any known documents is the quote mentioned and certainly not in the play. I will not regurgitate it here. Suffice to say that it talks about beating war drums and the people giving up their liberty to a dictator..blah..blah...blah...

I actually heard a Democratic State Senator spount the quote today on Al Frankin and he should have caught it for what it was. Of course the quote sounds soooo good. It seems to fit Bush to a tee. But the problem with spouting stuff like that is that the enemy can volley right back that you are full of crap and that you eithe made it up or didn't check your facts. So you end up looking or sounding like a dufus.

If people want to quote shakespeare for anti-war remarks here is one from Henry V. And I have added the Act, and scene and dramtis~personae speaking. So you can check to see if I am making it up or not.

HENVY V Act 4 Scene 1

Williams: But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath
a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and
arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join
together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at
such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a
surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind
them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their
children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die
well that die in a battle; for how can they
charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their
argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it
will be a black matter for the king that led them to
it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of

Of course using this quote can get the enemy to retort with the retort used by Henry V against it. But you can volley back saying "Ah so you are now sticking up for a King?"

You can also say that in modern times we are the King and that it behooves us to make sure that we send the army to fight in a just cause based on facts, and truth not lies, misinformation and vague guesses.