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