Thursday, June 30, 2005

Wierdness from the 70's

Remember the fad of buying those little bottles of cinnimon oil that you would put toothpicks in to get that extra special hot taste? Well at least we weren't doing crack.

The Broken Record

We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.
We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.
We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.
We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.
We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.
We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.
We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.
We are in danger and our intel is bad so we create a new intelligence agency.

Freedom Tower

Some people may already know this but it was news to me. The scrapped that 1700 foot high corn-curl in favor of a more symetrical design. It is still 1776 feet high. The renderings look pretty. The tower is okay but the other building with their slanted roofs look pathetic. Who educated the slant-heads that designed those buildings?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Another non-leadership event

Our troops are in the the thick of it. The enemy is hardened and determined. We have done things right and we have done things wrong. War, as general Sherman said, is all hell. Hard times test a nations resolve. Yet we have faced and overcome darker hours in our past. When, after declaring that the war would end by Christmas, our lines were shattered by 160,000 german troops in the dead of winter of '44 we dug in and came through. Again when Pusan was surrounded by 300,000 Chinese and our supply lines were cut off, we counterattacked in forzen Korea and won the day. Time and again we have faced desperate hours, the blood of honorable soldiers consecrating battlefields, and we did not flinch, put our shoulders to the wind and advanced to victory. No American wishes a brother, son, or father to go to war. No American wishes to forever live in conflict....etc...etc...

This is what I would have said if I were President. Instead of the dip-shit who is currently in the White House. This took me all of 5 minutes to think up. Basically while I was writting it right now. Instead we were fed a bland brown slop of rehased crap that everyone can forget by the time their head hits the pillow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Stay the course, 911, its worth the carnage, stay the course, 911. King Kong!

I won't bother going over Bushes talk. Instead I want to talk about the King Kong preview I have seen. There is this big ape living on an island and this filmaker wants to make a movie there, and he makes the movie there, and this girl gets taken by the ape, and they go to New York, and the monkey breaks stuff, and then climbs the empire state building, and then gets killed. Boy-oh-boy I am really excited to see this totally original movie, based on a totally original story that has never been done before, ever, never ever done before. WOW!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Poll Crunch for end of June 2005

Well here we go again....

The big P's approval vs disapproval ratings are as follows:

Approval: 45%
Disapproval: 50%
Duh I'duno: 5%

Even the FOX/News Poll only gives him a 48% approval rating. But on that same poll 43% disaprove. So the conservatives can spin it that he is more approved of than disapproved of; at least by FOX/News viewers. However another telling number is that 9% of FOX viewers expressed uncertainty whether Bush is doing a good job.

He is going to give us a pep-talk on Thursday. The problems that face our nation right now have little to do with social security or stem cell bans. Gas prices are soaring. GI's keep getting blown to bits. China wants to buy Unical oil. Our actions in Iraq seemed to have helped get a religious hardliner elected President of Iran. And did I mention gas prices? Bush and his supporters do not seem to get it.

There are big time issues that need addressing and going on TV and saying that he feels pain when our men die, but we need to stay the course, isn't going to fly in the long run. Furthermore envoking 911 is also beginning to where pretty thin. I will make a prediction. Bush will say all of the above, and spell out all the obviouis reasons for not having a timetable. I actually agree with him on that point. He will say that we need to stay to justify all the blood and misery suffered by our guys and the Iraqi people. Clearly his team feels it is vital that he show himself. He will get a bounce in the polls after Thursday. Unfortunately Bush is not in charge in Iraq. The insurgents are in charge. We are on the defensive and because of the dogmatic crew in command of our forces we are blind to what might happen.

Other numbers that are really begining to have an impact on the President and his supporters are:


It is difficult to spin 1700+ dead bodies into anything amounting to political capital for the President. The other huge problem that will keep the President in the dumps, is that 260 thousand families have men and women either in Iraq or in the states getting ready to rotate back in. There are 13+ thousand families all across America dealing with shot up kids in coma's, wheelchairs, with no legs, and or arms. Thenb there are another 12 thousand that were treated for non-copmbat illness and injuries, not to mention al lthe others that have the ordeal of having to detox from frontline combat duty.

All of the above Amemrica would tolerate if there had been a reason for so much destruction. Yet there are no tangible reasons. Iraqi freedom? Americans are too damn pragmatic for such nonsense. It's not that we wish them ill or back in a dictatorship, it is just that we have trouble letting 1700 men die for it. Especially when there is no evidence that Iraq posed any threat to us at all.

I won't bother with gas prices, the falling dollar, the gigantic budget problem, or the continued dribbling away of good jobs. 2nd terms are a bitch.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Iraq a giant happy land - by Niccolo M.

Some people, mostly who dislike Bush, refer to him and particualarly the men behind him as Machiavellian. I take offense at this. If, by invoking my name, you wish to draw the conclusion that this Administration is following my advice set down in The Prince, you will fail. For if Bush were to be contained within the margins of my little book, he would be an example of a failed prince. For though he is unaffraid of using his power, he useses it in ways that gain him little and cost his state much.
In my book The Prince, published in 1532, I say the following regarding garrisoning troops in conquered lands. "Maintaining armed men there, in place of colonies, one spends much more, having to consume on the garrison all the income from the state, so that the gain becomes a loss. And many more of the citizens are exasperated , because the whole state is injured by the continued movements of so many armed men. They all become aquainted with hardship and all become hostile toward you. The enemies, though you have beaten them in their own lands, remain and are resuppllied to do you injury. Garrisoning large armies to control conqured lands are as useless as colonies are useful."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The REAL Social Security Crisis

If you are a parent you have watched your kids about to do something really stupid that might get them hurt or hurt others. You fly to them in an attempt to alter their course to disaster.

This is how I feel about the Republicans continued monkeying around with Social Security. Now they have lame idea of using the existing Surplus in social security funds to put into private accounts invested in US treasury bills.

This is completely silly. 1: SS money is already covered by the government. The US Government is constitutionally liable to pay what is owed to recipiants. SS funds are just another general obligation. DUH! So why bother converting the general obligation debt of SS funds to the general obligation debt of treasury bills?

I think it has to be to get the public used to the idea of private accounts. They want to chip away at it. We should all rise up and kick the lot of these trouble maker SOB's out of there before the get themselves hurt.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Splashing around

Yesterday we were up on Yale lake. We lucked out and found another persons handywork. A toe rope tied up to a tree that overhung a little lagoon. My response to seeing it, and Jeff's response to seeing it, was "looks old, I don't think we should try it."
My daughter Jessica's response was, SPLASH. After she did it I wanted to try it too. But first I had to get into the water. I think that the older you get the warmer the water has to be. By the time I am 60 the lake will have to have gas powered heaters in it. This is not because of the lack of physical fitness, but mainly because as I get older I get more chicken-shit.
Well to make a long story short. I get into the cool dark green water. Evergreens rustle in a gentle breeze. The conifers are drapped with haning mosses. There is the babbling of a creek. Schools of fish float beneath me. All is good. After a near cardiac arrest I get used to the water. Both my daughters are in the drink with me. Trudy is bobbing up and down in her life vest. Jessica is looking like a Sports Illustrated model.
I float over to the shore and climb up like a flabby version of the creature from the black lagoon. I get ahold of the rope.
My brain makes a mental calculation of weight ratios, tensil strength ancient toe ropes, desire to fly through the air, and the probable feeling of my head getting wet.
I fly out and crash into the water with the grace of a 40 year old man who spends way too much time sitting infront of a computer.
The next day....
There is a searing pain that runs from somewhere deep beneath my ribs down to my groin. My liver has been torn, by inards are mangled, I try to sit up and feel like shit. After a few hours everything seems to be fine. I go on a bike ride. (So that people do not worry I will say that the afore mentioned description of pain is exagerated. The description of said pain is a literary device to denote my lack of fitness to swing into the water. And my subsequent comeupance.)
We seem to live in a ying and yang universe where there has to be some kind of rebalancing of things. If you have too much fun you will have to pay for it. Yet who is responsible for balancing things is a bit of a hack. The universe seems to pay more attention to making sure you pay for having fun, while it tends to fall down on the job in attempting to give you extra happy times after a spell of bad luck. ( This last paragraph is also a very broad generalization. The actual state of afairs may be far less balanced.)

From the Universe: (The universe makes no claim, either inherrent or implied, that anyone in it will have a nice time. Furthermore the Universe is not responsible for lost or stolen chances to have fun. You exist in the universe at your own risk. Lastly some aspects of this universe may not be suitable for younger children, and some may find its contents objectionable.)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

We live in a spectacular age!

Go To:
Then down load the hires image. How many humans, in the last 4 million years of evolution, got to see the sun set on another planet? We do lots of stupid things but in other ways we ROCK! I like the sunset image. In a great many Martian photos there is little to relate to. But a Martian sunset is something that I can relate to. I have seen that same star set countless times on Earth.
There are also tons of other cool images at JPL. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Scary stuff just keeps on coming...sorry

Another adendum to the two previous posts:

To illustrate the divide between the two camps (no pun intended) in our society, here are two examples of right-wing hate speech that is not only tolerated by the networks but is also openly applauded by Bush's supporters.

Bill O'Reilly, speaking about his, now defunct, law suit against Al Frankin, said that Frankin would some day get a knock on the door and his life would change forever. O'reilly's words are chilling since Frankin comes from a long line of jews that are used to getting woken up in the night by a knock on the door.

Michael (Weiner) Savage. An insipid panderer to the gutter of America, resplendent in his black leather, reminiscent of Heinrich Himmler, loves to spout venom such as calling for all those who oppose the right to be "put in camps"

I myself have been accused as being a self loathing lefty. I would say that I, in no way, loath myself. I save me disdain for evil, lying, sacks of shit, like the two men mentioned above, while feeling sorry for the terrified masses of misinformed, lie-digesting, frady-cats that follow them.

Monday, June 13, 2005

More different views of the world

Some people think that the continuing problems the US has with our treatment of detainees are, depeding on how their brains are wired, either overblown or damning.
The Vice President saying that it is okay to practice dehumanising mistreatment of prisoners is okay because they are "bad people" is Osama argument too. Yet millions of Americans do not have a problem with that. They argue that in order to fight and win our war on terrorism we have to be very tough on the bad guys.
The other view is that we cannot claim the moral high ground if we are willing to sink to the lowest levels of persecution of people who are defenseless. And a detainee, though he may be an enemy, is defenseless while incarcerated.
I think we need have a national discussion about what America is. In my opinion why should we bother defending a country that practices barbarism. How can we complain about the mistreatment of people around the world when we do the same thing? The other side would say "That argument does not apply to us. We are the good guys and we need to do whatever it takes to defeat the bad guys."
I am sorry to say that is also the argument used by Hitler, Stalin, and Sadam Husain.
If we decide that we can do litterally anything to win, then we can build gas chambers to kill all the detainees. We can round up anyone who speaks out against our right to defend ourselves by any means, and kill them. We can shutdown TV networks, and newspapers.
I think that if a nation gives in to the temptation to use "any means necessary" the death warrent it is signing is it's own. All nations and governments who have held to that belief have been destroyed.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Very different views of the world

George Will had a great column a few weeks ago called the strangness of everything. Sometimes I like George and sometimes I don't. This particular column was great. It basically talked about how amazing the universe is and how improbable we are. Then, in the middle of a really good column, he says the magic words "people with an exess of certitude".

A week latter I was reading the letters to Newsweek and most all the letters regarding Wills column were pretty positive. However certain religious people felt that the remark was directed at them and they felt assualted by it.

I am troubled by how many people who claim to follow Christ get so easily offended by talk like that. From my point of view it is as if they don't really put much faith in God. They speak constantly of being undersiege, or made war on. They appear to be storing up the grapes of wrath. I think the majority of Christians do not feel so affraid all the time. But the Christians who support men like Bush do, like Osama Bin Laden, or James Dobbson, feel threatened by the world. Their shallow understanding of nature of life the universe and everything, keeps them reactionary, condoning of violence, and blinded to their own hypocracy. I also think it is of absolutely no use in discussing this with them. They are wired differently than the rest of us.

My reading of Wills comments goes like this:
There are many people with an excess of certitude. There are those that think they are right because Gods says so. There are those that think they are right because they themselves says so. There are right wingers who think they are certain because of the dogma they follow and there are those on the left that think they are right because of the dogma they follow. Certitude is a dangerous thing no matter the leanings of the person feeling certain.

The other reading of Wills comments:
Why is he attacking my faith!?!?!?!?!?!?!

In my philosophy of religion class, low those many years ago in college, there were two people who were always arguing with each other. One man was an atheist, the other woman was a devout Christian. She would quote scripture to him, and he woud quote his own scripture back at her. We got a kick out of it. But the two really didn't see eye to eye. I think they both were the same kind of person. In truth the atheist was as devout a man as the Christian woman. For even an atheist has to have faith, even if it is in the non existance of God.

I think the really great theologians were always grappling with the nature of God and what they, as human beings, were bound or not bound to do. Certainly the billions of pages of Christian literature, the thousands of varying demoninations, and the wide scope of thinking are not a sign of a close religion.

The people that have minds wired like the man who wrote in all upset are really people who can't accept that other people have right to say and think what they want. There is only one road to salvatioin and any diviation is a road to hell.

On the other hand the other type of person believes there are many roads to salvation

Review of The Last Detail

One of the more obscure movies that I find a perfect 10 is The Last Detail. This kind of movie could not be made today without a ton of war stuff and overacting. It was released in 1973. I think this movie and the French Connection are my too favorite early 70's films. Both are cinematic masterpieces. It took me ten years to see it all the way through. I always had to be somewhere before it ended. A couple of years ago I actually saw the theatrical version, way better than the TV edit, and it kicks ass. The film has a totally simple story told to perfection and acted to perfection by all the players.
I highly recommend it. I watched it again today and it reminded me that I sould let you know about its overt coolness.
The Last Detail should be in anyones 70's DVD collection.

Jack Nicholson
Randy Quaid
Otis Young

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cascadia envisioned

Cascadia discription:
Land Mass
The new nation of Cascadia runs from the boarder of Alaska to California and from the crest of the Cascade mountains to the Pacific Ocean. There were attempts to bring the eastern regions of the former states of Washington, and Oregon into the fold but to no avail. Some parts of Norther California would like to join but the large number of federal troops now stationed there is a big disincentive.

Carved out of Washington, now the Cascadian state of Washington, is the District of Cascadia. Currently a contruction zone, the town of Centralia will eventually house the national legislature. For now Cascadia is experimenting with the first decentralised national government. The Statehouses in Salem, Olympia, and Victoria all all working hard at national unity.

GDP: $434 Billion (in current US dollars)
This is based on the current GDP figures from the 3 states. The creation of the new nation has crippled Canada and been an economic non-event to the US. To put things in perspective the attack on the WTC cost the US nearly as much as the loss of Washington and Oregon. However the loss of Microsoft and its subordinate companies has had national security overtones.

Population: 11 Million

More to come...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Who are these people?

Bishop Ularic:
He was the bishop of Merica. He stabbed king Cenwulf in the back in 797 and about 50 years latter was canonized a saint.

Praen of Kent
Was a one time alley of King Offa of Mercia. He accidently killed the queen mother of East Anglia and later had his eyes put out and hands cut off by King Offa.

Was the cheif elderman to Offa.

Was Offa's inept son. He survived his father by a few months before being done away with by elderman Lofgar

Father Pietrocinii
An Italian priest who was part of a papel delegation to England. He stayed on and ended up being bishop of Grantham.

Brother Iritus
Chronicler of the court at Oakham

King Ceolwulf II
Former bishop of Lincoln. He ended up being defeated by Beornulf and going into exile.

Hunted down and defeated at Norwich by King Wiglaf. Was executed by being crushed to death.

Prince to King Burhred, he was the architect that designed and built the foritifcations at Oakham and helped on the Cathedral of St. Ularics.

Almost none of these people really existed. They were star wars figures dressed up to look medieval in John Pitman's back yard.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Early June Poll Crunch

Normally these numbers come out latter in the month but the Crunching is getting larger and better. I now use 9 national polls to crunch what the nation thinks about the big P. With 7782 people responding this sampling is 7 times larger than any single poll out there.

President Bush's Job approval ratings:

Approve: 45.71%
Disapprove: 48.85%
Unsure: 5.44%

In comparrison here are low approvals for past Presidents: (gallop polling)
Clinton after impeachment: 73% (the all time high for that President)
Nixon before resignation: 48% (29% upon resignation)
Regan after Iran-Contra: 47% (52% total term average)
Kennedy after Bay of Pigs: 65% (70% total term average)
Eisenhower after Powers shoot-down : 69% (65% total term average)
Carter after Iran Hostages taken: 47%

Poll Crucnh numbers from: