Monday, February 28, 2005

Variable Annoyancometer and kids

The best thing about being a parent is that your children permanently adjust your brain so that it takes something really amazingly gigantic to annoy you. Not until you spend time with people who are not parents is the gross annoyance disparity thrown into sharp relief. You are reading a book and your child is bouncing a ball in the house, and at home you would just ignore it until something broke, and the something would have to be really special in order for even that to register. Put this event with people who do not have children and you notice the non-parents get the same look that Iraqi's have when they are checking to see if a suicide truck is headed their way. The person who said "children should be seen but not heard" must have been an alien not of this world in order to utter that with a straight face.

The problem lies deep in the early stages of parenthood. As a new parent you are schooled, via emersion, in all that is loud, uncontrollable, messy, disgusting, wet, and smelly. You are also schooled by the smile you little booger gives you, realizing that, for good or bad, this child thinks of you as his or her God. And whereas we adults can ignore God until we want something, the child has God to look at and scream at all day and all night. The god is quickly trained. And so it goes.

I have calculated that my wife and I have, between the two of us, changed my child's diapers approximately 4,380 times. For me I started this three hours after my daughter was born and finished 2.5 years latter. This has an effect. With dogs you throw them into the backyard and then scoop it up every once in a while. A cat gets a litter box and your neighbors flower bed.

I always get a kick out of movies that make such a big deal out of bowel movements in diapers. At first you are so overjoyed that the kid is born and ok that you change fifty diapers and you might as well be counting your gold bullion.

Then they figure stuff out and you don't have to do that anymore. And all of a sudden you feel, no pun intended, but kinda shitty. From there it just gets more complicated and time consuming. Babies are so much easier to deal with than children. Once they can do stuff on their own look out.

So I look on my non-parent friends with empathy if not sympathy, for though I can understand their annoyance with kids, I have long since passed the point of remembering what non-parenthood was like. I look at old photos and movies and wonder "What the hell did I do with all that free time?" I must have have done something for all those hours each day.

I think that all the sex ED classes are pretty lame since they talk about VD and AIDS and condoms, and other crap that teenagers can't relate to. These classes should start like this:

You know how much fun it is to baby-sit your nephew Bobby? And remember how glad you are to get paid and go home after three hours? Well imaging Bobby with you all the time, everyday, never out of your site, being Bobby. Then imagine that nobody is going to pay you squat for all that time. And imagine Bobby as a teenager getting drunk on his first date and puking all over the inside of your car. And then Imagine Bobby going to college and spending his money on strip clubs, and beer. Then imagine Bobby marrying a woman who you think should be committed. Then imagine those to having kids of their own then dumping them at your house everyday since both of them have to work and neither can afford daycare.

Still want to have sex?

I love my kids and whether they are bouncing balls, or needling each other, or playing nicely, I can, thanks to them, smile and slide on the ice.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Pope

People who do not understand the role of Pope may ask why he doesn't retire. Bishops and priests retire. Popes die in office. As the holder of the office held by Peter, John Paul is bound to carry the office out to the bitter end. He is in the process of givinig his very life, all of it, in service to God. That is why the average bishop or cardinal does not really want to be Pope. It is a job that has no retirement possibility. John Paul can retire in heaven after faithfully following Christ's call to make desciples of all the nations. Whether you agree with him or not, it has to be acknowledged that Pope John Paul II has been one of the most charismatic, forceful, and respected leaders, not only that the Catholic Church has ever produced, but also that the modern world has seen. He is one of the giants of history.

Real question about 0 (zero)

Does zero exist? Better think hard on this. A concept that seem pretty straightforward now, was not so straightforward in ages past and with Quantem mechanics that can of worms has been reopened.

Can zero exist in a universe who's foundation is filled with uncertainty. The prinicple of uncertainty not only prohibits black-holes from being black, it also causes a problem with any type of singularity including the Big-Bang singularity. And it causes a problem of "0" since engergy seems not to be able to have a zero state. Since matter and engergy are different aspects of the same thing (e=mc2) matter cannot have a zero state.

In the past the argument was whether zero was an actuality or simply a philosophical construction. Surely you can zero-out a measuring device..right? Well if we accept uncertainty then absolutely zeroing anything out is impossible.

Creationist Talking Point Rebuke #4,275,410

Talking Point: The Speed of light has changed over time

Rebuke: In the dense bright distant past, about an hour after the Big Bang, the speed of light was probably slightly, overall, slower since the medium through which it moved was denser than today. But for the past 15 billion years, give or take a couple billion, the speed of light has been 300,000 kps. How do we know? Creationists love to claim that we cannot realy know about the distant past. The facts are that we use the laws of physics to determine how the past must have looked. These laws are not guesses. These laws allow us to build the modern world. They allow us to build cars, PCs, tanks, satelites, cell phones, broadcast televion stations, radios and microwave ovens, to name only a few. The internet itself is a product of modern physics. The laws of physics not only show us how to build and design things, they tell us how the universe has evolved to this point and they tell us what the probable future will be.

For instance in about 4 billion years our sun will have spent all its fuseable material and its atmosphere will have expanded to engulf the Earth. But not to worry since all life on Earth will have been long extinguished before that day since the flucuations in the suns output would have toasted the earth a billion years earlier.

Back to lights speed. It is constant. The speed of light coming from the head light of a train is the same as it is from a man holding a flashlight by the train tracks. I could go on like this spouting basic highschool physics but the creationist would still not believe. Their faith is so monumentally weak as to faint if the Bible is proven to be a book about faith rather than a book about history and science.

I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, The triune manifestation of the one God. And I read the Bible everyday. But if I am building a computer I do not consult the Good Book on what to do. If I am designing a 40 story office tower the bible is much practical help, other than telling me not to build the thing on sand.

For the biblical literalists there is NO age given for the universe. The creation date is NOT GIVEN. The location of Eden is NOT GIVEN. The location of Mount Sianai is NOT GIVEN. In short all the little bits of info that the non-faithful crave is not in the Bible. It doesn't have to be. The times and places are unimportant. It is what took place, not when, not by what amount, or even who.

Conservative Talking point rebuke #7,256

Talking point: The Hollywood elite is out of touch with mainstream America

Rebuke: Excuse me but Hollywood has made billions providing entertainment that the public wants. This doesn't mean that Hollywood is providing quality programing or movies. Mainstream America isn't too interested in quality. Ergo the relection of Bush.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Yale Lake

The pumice that resides on the shores of Yale lake seems to reflect more sunlight than it recieves. Light from that silver band around this lake adds to the clarity of the place. The deep black green of the Douglas fir that scales the steep mountains on either side of the Lewis River gorge, now Yale lake, add to that clarity.
When I was a child and camping on that lake shore I would watch as the logging trucks would travel down the oposite bank. It was a never ending train of trees to be turned into everything from houses and toilet paper, to crucifixes and coffins, and probably protestors signs who would protest such logging.
That was a long time ago now. And the hills are lush and green and the lake, my lake, my swimming pool, my friend, companion, and playmate, has not seemed to change. As I walked, alone, through the silent empty campground, passed the dock, over the shore where twenty eight years ago I skipped a rock off the back of my own brothers head, the spirit of a thousand children, skipping a thousand million stones, filled me soul. I could hear the talk of families, scampering of wet feet in the bushes. I could smell the 2 stroke oil mixing with gas in the powerboats, and the burning pitch on cut fir cooking hotdogs.
I know that somepeople like the outdoors and some people tolerate it and others just plain don't like it. Yale lake is not remote. The campground is not a "hardman" campground. And it isn't an escape either. To camp there is to come home. To return to the city is a Babylonian captivity. And always we seek to return to the promised land. Back to that lake, and its timeless connection to the act of being happy.
It is winter and the lake, like the black bear, is sleeping. But as the rays of sun strike those gleaming stones, are absorbed by the dark woods, and reflected off the cool water, it will awaken once more and I want to be there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Possible Future:

Egypt, sporting a very young and educated population, has taken the Bangalor track. Using its educated youth, low wages, and central location, it has become the technological hub of Saharan Africa.
Dell, Sony, HP, Motorola, etc now have a major manufacturing presense in the land of the pharohs. Egyptian subcontracting firms, awash in techno-dollars, now vie for control of the increasingly liberal government. The days of Mubarak are over. As the industrial capital of North Africa, Egypt is also attempting to partener with other states such as Etheopia and Sudan for outsourcing of more menial jobs.
Recently the government of Lybia has also been openning its own industrial centers, with Fiat and GM locating new plants in Tripoli.
Yet dispite Egypt's success and Lybia's quest for wealth, the big news is in Palestine where the Isriali company Gilat, and Microsoft have partenered to create the next generation of telecommunications network utilizing Gilats's satelites and Microsoft's Networking. Producing consumer level, low cost satelite phones, and also satelite networkable blackberry and PDA devices.
10 years ago Palestine was in the news mainly because of the intifada. Now Palestine has one of the highest percapita GDP's in the world. Furthermore the increased economic connection between the former enemies has led to a stable and lasting peace that is the envy of those less fortunate places on the Earth such as the American Southwest where ethnic tensions are at an all time high.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The "Argh!" factor

I look in the mirror and..."Argh!"

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Ecclesiastes Rocks

Much of popular culture has been influenced by the Bible. Biblical sayings and whole passages from the New and Old testements show up in all sort of places. Ecclesiastes has been used in the following ways.

In the mid sixties The Birds popularized Ecclesiastes in their song Turn Turn Turn, where virtually all the lyrics come from chapter 3.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; etc. etc. ect.

The group Kansas has their Dust in the Wind. Though the lyrics are not verbatim like they are in Turn Turn Turn, it pretty much matches the scripture. Kansas paraphrases the scripture where the writer says that the struggle of life is like "chasing after wind" And "All that is now has ever been" and again "what we make crumbles to the ground."

Even the saying "There is nothing new under the sun" comes from Ecclesiastes.

My mom asked me where the prophets are today. I tried to explain my view that prophets abound. And the prophets that preached refrom in ancient times were not understood to be prophets at the time. They were trouble makers and most were killed for what they said. I don't want to equate only music with modern prophetic teaching. People who urge us to conserve our planet so we don't kill the place off are prophets too. But there is something to be said for people who link their passion with those who have come before. And they are always the ones who leave a lasting mark. Isaiah did not speak out saying "I really think it would be a good idea to reform our lives and rededicate ourselves to truth, justice, and honoring God." There is much more power when he links the prophets of the past and does not speak for himself but says:

How the faithful city
         has become a whore!
         She that was full of justice,
     righteousness lodged in her--
         but now murderers!
Your silver has become dross,
         your wine is mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels
         and companions of thieves.
     Everyone loves a bribe
         and runs after gifts.
     They do not defend the orphan,
         and the widow's cause does not come before them.

Therefore says the Lord your God:
      I will pour out my wrath on my enemies,
         and avenge myself on my foes!
I will turn my hand against you;
         I will smelt away your dross as with lye
         and remove all your alloy.
And I will restore your judges as at the first,
         and your counselors as at the beginning.
     Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
         the faithful city.

Here is a bit of writing and you tell me if it could have come from a holy book:

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks
There is one question I'd really love to ask
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me
One love, one heart
As it was in the beginning
So shall it be in the end
Alright, "Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
"Let's get together and feel all right."
One more thing
Let's get together to fight this Holy Armageddon
So when the Man comes there will be no, more doom
Have pity on those whose chances grow still thinner
There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation

Of course this is from the famous song One Love by Bob Marley and Curtis Mayfield. Yet Marley's words are an affirmation of the Lords rebuke through Isaiah. And in music like this I think there is a vitality that is lacking in most "religous" speach. I do not believe it is good enough to simply recite something. Modern prophets need to take the age-old calls to redirect mankind and apply their own lives, and times. Marley does this in many of his songs and that is why he, though dead, is still wildly popular in all over the world.

Next we have lyrics from Nazarath. A band of north englishmen who were the epitome of hard rock in the middle of the 1970's. If you listen to the sone "Son of a Bitch" or "Whisky Drinken Woman" you might not think that these guys were much into peace and love.

Please don’t judas me
Treat me as you like to be treated
Please don’t blacklist me
Leave me as you’d wish to find me
Don’t analyze me, sacrifice me
Please don’t judas me.

Please don’t chastise me
Show me just one shred of kindness
Try to help me see
Guide me in my eyes of blindness
Don’t despise me, categorize me
Please don’t judas me.

Popular music and culture has always been awash in Biblical and gospel references. Jesus told it like it was. He didn't design his sermons to sell. And he was unafraid of offending the establishment.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 

Rock on

Thursday, February 17, 2005


I am not sure of anything. It is not good to settle for being happy or content 51% of the time. We should all expect way more than that. Happiness is like anythinig elese, it has to be worked at. It just doesn't happen. And it is a worthy goal.

World War IV

The Fourth World War is now been going on for 3 years and 4 months. One can argue when the WWIV got started, but I will put the begining of it on 9/11/01.

So where are we at? There is a chilling article in The Atlantic Monthly written from the perspective of 2006, after the "2nd wave" of domestic attacks. It is a bit ironic that so much of what is in this article was spelled out by Porter Goss yesterday. Far from acting to dry up the breeding grounds for terroists we are making more of them.

Even if Iraq never happened we would still be facing a grim future. Iraq has plainly made a bad situation worse. And it really doesn't matter what happens inside Iraq. Democracy, Tyranny, Civil War, it really makes no difference because our enemy is our enemy and they are not going to have a "V-8" moment over this. Bin Laden and Zarcawi are not likely to simply go away. Their apocolyptic beliefs do not contain a world that includes Satan. To them we are Satan.

If we were to change our policies, and work on behalf of the real people of Arabia and north Africa things still would not improve for a long long time. And this too would not persuade the enemy to stop. The Bush administration, though talking tough and killing people, is killing and ruining the wrong target. We should have been spending 80 billion to take out leadership, infiltrate their networks, and kill their followers.

I will serve up another analogy. In May of 1864 Grant moved south into Virginia. The confederacy evacuated Richmond. Lee layed plans to defend the capital of the South. Instead Grants movements indicated that he didn't care if Richmond fell or not. Richmond was not the target, cities were not the target, the rebel government was not the target. Lee realised that it was his army that was the target. Grant understood a fundelmental aspect of war. There can be no real war without warriors; kill the warriors and even a rebel government is defenseless.

It isn't good enough to bring democracy to Iraq. In the long run it will help, however democracy will not disuade our enemy. They have no nation, or government, but they are warriors. Kill the warriors and there is no war. And we better get busy because they will kill us if we do not kill them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Levels of Commitment and Newsweek

On the cover of Newsweek, last week, were two Iraqi insurgents. Reading the letters to the editor this week I found a kind of blindness that is very dangerous. Most letters were angry that Newsweek showed insurgents on the cover. One writer had a son in the Army and wanted know why NW was glorifying the insurgents instead of her son.

I think NW is right on the money with their cover and coverage. As the Super Power we tend to think that we corner the market on commitment to cause, ability to fight, and we can overcome anything.

The truth is that "American" thoughts on hegemony, power, and belief in manifest destiny are shared by every other culture on Earth. With the insurgents we have utterly failed to accurately understand our enemy. Until recently we have continued to belittle them, and believe that their vanquishing is just around the corner. Because of this lack of ability to read our enemy, the greatest army to be fielded in the history of the world is stalemated against a rag tag band 17,000 under supplied, overworked, poor people.

Newsweek does not glorify the insurgents. They only try to show us what we are facing.

In 1415, king Charles of France, ordered the largest army in Europe to crush a much smaller English force that had terroized the coast. The flower of French Chivalry, believing in the honor of knighthood, the glory of France, using the most technologically advanced battle systems, were destroyed by a bunch of vagabond archers commaded by Henry V. They failed to understand their enemy.

In 1941 Japan launched a pre-emptive strike on the US Pacific fleet and won an instant, painless, and great victory. For a year they devastated the allies in the Pacific. By 1945 their nation was in ruins and millions of Japanese were dead. They failed to understand their enemy.

In 1942 the German army was poised to conquer Russia. Moscow was only miles away. The mongloid Russian, cavemen to the Germans, were running. By 1945 the cavemen sat in their tanks ontop of Hitlers bunker while he put a bullet in his own head. He failed to understand his enemy.

The same could be said about Vietnam etc.

Does our enemy know us better than we know them? We have spent 80 billion dollars to defeat them and there are just as many insurgents now as their were in 2003. We crushed Fahlluja and made 200,000 people refugees, and general Richard Meyers has stated that we still face the same number of insurgents.

Fox News and the other non-news services have continuosly overestimated the number of "forign fighters" in Iraq. Meyers says that there are less than 1000 foreign figters facing our troops.

Media outlets serve no one by simply cheerleading. There have been lots of cheers go out to doomed armys from Darius' force that got slaughtered by Alexander, to the Warmach marchinig out to Russia, to the 7th Cavelry going after Sitting Bull, to the 7th Cavelry landinig in Vietnam.

General G.S. Patton, spent years reading what German tankers, cavelrymen, and soldiers wrote. By the time we unleashed his 3rd Army into Europe, Patton understood his enemy, greatly admired them, and destroyed them.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Bush finally admits the truth...again

While stumping for the continuation of the unPatriotic Act, President Bush told the truth about all his security measures. He said that people shouldn't be fooled by the "Illusion of security".

If the Patriot Act worked then would we not have real security instead of the illusion of Security? And if the Patriot Act provides only an illusion then why continue it? His speeches work well provided you do not actually listen to what he is saying.

Then the new CIA director comes to capital hill and says that our nation faces as many if not more threats from Al Queida as before. He also directly links the aciton in Iraq with an increased threat to the US. This directly contradicts the White House position that the action in Iraq has made the US safer. According to Director Goss we now face insurgancy-trainied jihadists that may come to the US to strike. So Iraq is on its way to democracy, maybe in twenty years, and the Jihadists are on their way here. Thanks GW!

Unlike many people I have no problem with how Bush talks. I have more trouble with what he, and his misanthrops are talking about. Whether he is talking about the continuation of freedom in America only if freedom happens abroad, or whether he is talking about the glory of turning over to private hands, the peoples power for governing their retirement, or speaking on the illusion of Security after creating the Department of Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Director of redundancy, one has to wonder if he really understands all the logical inconsistancies of his bullshit.

Still 51% of the sheeple eat it up. Of course this same crowd loves Survivor, and the Left Behind Series, and watches huge amounts of porn in hotels, and goes to church every Sunday, unless they are in a hotel watching Debbie Does Dallas part sxity nine. They will argue against evolution while eating steak from a genetically engineered cow, then give the leftovers to their genetically engineered tea-cup poodle. They will say that Quantem mechanics is nonsense and then watch Billy Graham on DVD. They will say that the world is going to end anyday now, while on their way to invest in more US bonds that wont mature for 20 years. The sheeple are like Bush in that they don't actually listen to what they are saying and how logically inconsistant they are. They will say they are pro life and then cheer as somebody gets executed. Many of them like to shoot things and cheer as we go blow people up, all while claiming they are a culture of life.

Bush is the perfect hypocrite for the perfect hypocrites.
Of course the leftwing, who claims to be the antidote for Bush and the Bushleague, is full of the same type of people. The left is as full of moral absolutists, and ethically challenged misanthrops as the right. Look at Ward Churchill and his stupid remarks about the dead of 911. Is he any different than that republican prick who said he was "outraged by the outrage" at Abu Gharaib? And then their are mentally challenged folks at Air America, Frankin not included, that spend as much time as they can pushing people to the right with stupid insults of Christians. They left sucks and if people are looking to them to counter Bush then they are doomed since the left and right are one in the same. If the left is so damn right where are they now? Where are the protests in WDC with millions of angry people? They are limp biscuits of canned rage just like Limpbutt and Michael Whiner (Savage).

We need some sanity and that is what a true progressive person can provide. Not ideologues that cannot bend even in the face of disaster, and retarded decision making. The progressive, unlike the convervative or the liberal, does not care what a policy leans toward. The progressive wants to craft policy based in reality and uses tools that work. If the tool looks liberal, they do not care, if the tool looks conservative, they do not care; they only care if it works. They are the ones who built this nation. The ultimate progressive document of this age is the Constitution. It does not suffer ideologues. That is why the left and right always bitch about it. That is why it works, it is a pragmatic document that makes the assumption that humans are not perfect and cannot be trusted with too much power. It also assumes mankind, though imperfect and pwoer-hungry, can be forced by accepted law, to govern himself and his baser instincts. Conservatives and Liberals both fail because they put too much faith in humanity. Conservatives put too much faith in money, and those that posess it. Corporations will enslave you if you let them. And liberals put too much faith in the kindness of strangers. Mankind will not just get along without the structure of law.

But we are still stuck with the hypocrite and his bushleague, and the hypocrites that oppose him. And while the hypocrites argue over the contents of their belly buttons, the world goes marrily onward. The EU is the worlds largest economy, and China is the largest consumer.

Hey liberals and conservative! Yes you! Grow up!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Reviewing The Village by M. Night Shyamalan, and did I mention it was done by M. Night Shyamalan?

And this movie is by M. Night Shyamalan, and M. Night Shyamalan was the man who wrote this story, and M. Night Shyamalan produced this movie, and M. Night Shyamalan directed this train wreck. Who the hell bequeathed to M. Night Shyamalan the status of Alfred Hitchcock of the 21st century? Just what has this dude done to merrit all top billing on the DVD. After all it is "M. Night Shyamalan's The Village" As a graphic designer I also find it curious that they icorporate "The Ring" graphic in the DVD jacket. I guess they want you to think that this movie was as scary and The Ring, lots of crappy films have that on their DVD jackets too. I saw The Ring and aside from two hairaising instances the film blew chunks.

This little movie takes you back to the good ol'days of the suspensin of disbelief. I figured that the "Elders" were bumping around in the dark to scare the town folk from seeing the real world. This M. Night Shyamalan better understand that the US may be full of trogs who love Bush but we aren't stupid enough not to figure this plot out pretty damn quick. Oh no I gave the twist away. I think M. Night Shyamalan should make a comedy. He seems to have the knack, it is just simmering beneath his preachy horror, psycho, blah-blah, movie making style.

Anyone who wants to be scared or surprised should not see this movie. However there is one redeeming feature to this film. M. Night Shyamalan might redeem himself if he were to say that this film is a metaphor for the modern USA. If he were to say that then I would think he kicks ass.

In this film, to protect the citizens, the government concocks a story that the woods are filled with murderous monsters, and then, when faced with the potential death of a citizen, sends a blind girl into the same forrest to get help. After she gets back the government votes to keep the lie alive so everyone in the village can live in a fantasy land. I think I read that in the 911 Commission report.

Alien vs Predator

I am sick of the pyramid getting such a downer of a bad rap in all these movies. And what is it about pyramids anyway? Oh yes I forgot, no human being would ever build something like that. Before I go into this movie proper, I need to say that I rented two movies tonigtht. AVP and The Village. I was glad that Sigorney Weaver was not in AVP. I then go and watch the Village and low-and-be-hold find out I rented Sigorney anyway.

AVP is better than Alien 3, the worst of the films. Not as good as Alien 2, about a tie with Alien 4, and not even in the same genre as Alien. A movies enjoyment factor hinges on what you expect and I expected a big stinking turd on a DVD. I found it very entertaining, as scary as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and almost 100% predictable. I actually think this movie is more intellectually honest than 3 and 4. There was no faked pretense about the bad guys. All the potential creepiness of walking around a frozen pyramid, 2000 feet under Antarctica, and swarming with two speices of killing machines, was rushed and blanded out with nonsense characters, and less than scare jack-in-the-box shots. The worst thing about the film was the 100% lack of character development. That is why, 3 hours after viewing the show, I cannot recall one name of any of the characters. Only Bishop.

The story was the worst type of hollywoodized clapt trap. The Predators come down and make like gods to the poor human shleps all so the humans can be used as incubators for the Aliens. This seems kinda out of character for the Predators. They live to hunt, their the NRA gone galactic. Why the hell would they waste time on all the duplicity and bureaucracy of native religions all of the Earth? It seems to me that they would be more likely to kill all the humans in a day or so, make a picknick out of it, then dump a can of aliens onto the earth and let them infest all the other animals. This plot was too much like the WWF. I was waiting for somebody to yell "hit him with the chair!"

Anyway I liked the movie and it had me chuckling and warmly smiling while useless non-characters got non-scarily, non-disgustingly wacked. And this movie wasn't even rated R. I bequeath unto AVP the ranking of 5.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Is the Bible the literal word of God? Yes.

When you join the church most demoninations want you to profess that the bible is the literal word of God. I have heard Christian pundits talk about the bible as the foundation of law, or the only word of God, etc. I wish to ask them this question:

When you ask me if the Bible is the literal word of God what Bible are you referring to?

The Hebrew Bible?
The Catholic Bible?
The Protestant Bible?

Each of these books are markedly different. The Hebrew bible does not contain any of the New Testement and is pretty much in chronological order. The Catholic Bible contains Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and I, II Machabees. The Protestant bible does not contain these books and is also a bit different in Daniel and Esther.

And what about the biblical stories in the Koran? The Koran, unlike the Hebrew Bible, contains the story of Jesus and even acknowledges his birth by the virgin Mary. The Koran also contains a bit more storyline about Jesus as a child.

We could really get all bent out of shape over differences in books. The truth, I think, is that all these books are part of the Story of mankind's awakening to his importance to this world. No other creature is like us, and no othe creature has the capability to destroy this world, or take life from this world and more it elsewhere. Some people read the ancient text to justify themselves to others or God. Some people read the text to poke holes in the inconsistancies, and there are many of them. I find the people who get the most out of such writings, are the people who read the text with an open mind, people who like to ask questions about the text, who do not blindly accept it the as the literal word of anyone. The Bible is the product of 3 thousand years of man walking with his God, sometimes humbly, sometimes imperiously.

To me the Bible does not need any suspension of disbelief. It is for me, and has been for others, a key to openning up a broader view of universe and myself in relation to it. It is a bit like the total-perspective vortex in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, with a twist. In the story Zaphod goes into the vortex and comes out just fine. He says that it told him what he new all along that "I'm a really great guy!" Well the twist here is that the bible does reveal our importance to things, and at the same time shows us our utter insignificance too. The hairs on our head are each known to God, we carry an imortal bond to God, but we all will perish and return to dust; kings, beggars, rich, and poor, even prophets and Saviors are part of this cycle.

To me the litteral word of God is written accross the faces of all my friends, family, and the strangers I see on the street. It is in snow on Mt Hood, and in the ocean. It is everywhere and the Bible helps you unlock that knowledge. The Battle Hym of the Republic speaks of a firey gospel writ in burnished rows of steel, the rows of men with light glinting off muskets and bayonets. The word of God cannot be contained in a book or a million books. Newton, Einstine, and Plank were listeners to and prophets of the word of God. Mozart, Bernstein, and Bob Marely were prophets of God. Any man or woman that is not affraid to use their mortal mind and body to better the condition of the world, and thus have an eternal lasting impact on others, is a prophet.

What was the meaning of all the words of all the prophets of the Bible, and in our own times too? Reform your life, turn away of self indulgence, listen to those who went before you, love your neighbor as yourself, no one is unimportant, it is okay to love living, and sacrifice is also part of living to the fullest, in short to make the most of your time alive right now, for yourself and others.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven

I can't wait to see this epic film. We haven't had any crusader movies since the olden times. Now we have Scott and his epic. Looking at the characters to be played in this movie, things will be gim from the get-go and only get grimmer. Guy D Lusignan was a big prick. The Lusignans and the Angivens had a mutual hatred for each other and both families spent lots of time and cash waring in France.
Based on the characters alone I would say this film will end with the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin. Guy ended up ruling Cyprus.

Well shall see....

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ward Churchill is wrong

Professor Ward Churchill's asertions that the people in the WTC were "little Eichmannns" or that they were responsible for represssive American policies are just plain stupid. On September 11th 2001 I got a call from a frantic woman that I used to do business with. Her offices were located in the North Tower of the WTC. They had been destroyed. Luckily the people of her firm got out alive. And who were the little nazis that escaped? The workers of Helen Keller International. An organization that helps millions of deaf and blind people all over the world.

Churchill shows not only his utter lack of knowledge of current events, but a troubling lack of emotion toward the lives of thousands snuffed out while drinking coffee, or organizinig day care activities, or trying to decide whether to burn to death or fall 60 stories.

If there is an Adolf Eichmann comparison to be drawn it is Ward Churchill who comes to mind. He is no different than any other biggoted hate-mongers of this era.

Laudibly he has stood firm for Native American issues. The reality of oppression against African Americans, Jews, Indians, Muslims, etc, by this nation and all the rest of the nations of the world, does not give Churchill, or any Nazi, the right to judge a fellow human as less than human. By doing this Churchill is prepetuating that which he claims to loath. He is the professorial equivelant of Phil Sheridan who said that "the only good indian is a dean one." For clearly Churchill believes that those men and women, killed in the WTC, are better dead than alive.

Ward Churchill is a hypocrite and should be fired.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Review of Troy

From a technical standpoint it was very nicely done. From an acting standpoint I found nothing wrong with it. From an historical standpoint who the hell knows since it is mythology.

The Iliad is by far the most gore-encrusted poem I have ever read. It is to poetry what the Texas Chainsaw Masacare is to film. The movie Troy is pretty limp compared to the gizzly ancient poem. Homer goes into quite a bit of anatomical detail as to what happens when a spear or sword is plunged into somebody's head, or chest. And a hero's agony is colorfully illustrated by Homer in all his "intestine spilling, brain spattering, bone shattering, chest bursting" prose, with lots of animal sacrificing, and corpse burning too.

I missed the gods playing with the Acheans and the Trojans (uh I am not sure that came out right) Apollo, at one point takes the form of Hector. Then Athena gets her dad Zeus to help the greeks. The movie also has Aeneas as just a little kid helping Anchisese to escape. In the Illiad, Aeneas is a warrior and one of the most feared in Troy. Also the Trojan war lasted 9 long bloodsoaked years before the last battle at Troy. The movie sort of makes it look like Helen is taken to Troy and off they go to war then end.

On the whole I liked Troy better than the Iliad because it finished the story. The Illiad ends with Priam taking the body of Hector back to be burned in Troy. Thge poem begs the asking, "What about the fucking horse!?"

These stories are so amazing to me, because they are the Star Wars of the ancient world. Homer was writing The Iliad and The Odyssey around 800 BC. Vigil wrote the sequel, The Aeneid, 700 years later. Can you imagine how pissed you be to wait 700 years for the Return Of The Jedi?

I think that Brad Pitt played Achilles pretty much like how he is portrayed in the Iliad. The only draw back was that the film could not contain all the characters of the old story. The poem spans only the battle before the gates of Troy. The movie has bit before the battle.

I give it a 7 since I like Greek stuff. Go JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Review of King Arthur

Argh! To get so much right and so much wrong in the same movie and the same instant in time is really amazing. This movie has a butt load of historical accuracy and inaccuracy.

1: Arthur was probably a Romano-British centurian just like in this movie. GOOD.

2: The Picts from Scotland were being very troublesom just like in the movie. GOOD

3: The British hired Angles and Saxons to help fight the Picts. The reason being that the Romans were pulling out because of the need for the troops in Europe to fight against the Ostrogoths and Visigoths who, in turn were being attacked and forced out by the Huns led by Attila. The movie totally ignores the known facts. BAD.

4: Knights from eastern Europe? Well maybe but who the hell really knows. I can buy into it since the Romans did stuff like that.

5: Hadrian's Wall? I think that by the time of Arthur in the 5th century the wall was pretty tumbledown and overrun with Picts. Picts were in control of everything north of the Humber river. The film ignores this BAD.

6: The location of the Battle of Badon Hill or Mons Badonicus is unknown. However Historia Britonum, composed around AD 820, has a second battle of Badon Hill happening in AD655. The battle was in the south of Britain. And was faught between King Aelle of Sussex and Celtic leader Ambrosius Aurilianus. Yet even this is dubious since by AD 650's Celts had been pushed into Wales and Strathclyde and Scotland. Anyhow Arthur, if he was trained in the Roman Army would have had to have lived before 500. Since the western Emprire fell in AD 476 and the last troops were yanked out of Britain in AD 446.

But I liked the movie anyway. It didn't stink as bad as I thought it wouild. I am not sure what the film maker had against religous types but I am used to it. During the time of this movie Rome was still a hodge podge of Christian and Pegan Roman values; Britian was even more of a caldron with native religions, thrown in for good blood sacrificial measure.

Star Wars III and The Life Aquatic

SW III: Let it not suck...Let it not suck...Let it not suck...(repeat ad infinitum)

The Life Aquatic:
This movie was really...uh...made. Bill Murry played this movie so low key that I felt like kicking him in the balls. Too much Prozac! Yet I still liked this movie and I am not really sure why. There were a few laughs, most of which were shown in the trailer. I found the movie slow and monotonous. I kept waiting for the plot to "happen". It did not. It ground on and on and on. Like a dental apointment that you thought was over until the dentist says "uh-oh" and you are stuck with another hour of drilling. It was like a blurry photo of a really beautiful image. I wanted the detail. I can't stand this movie. It is the demon seed of current cinema. It's like Mugwump fluid. It is like a tainted cheese that you eat, then vomit up, then go and eat it again. If I had to compare this movie to another movie I would say it is like Star Wars...being played on a 70mm projector...that is being dropped onto my head from the top of the Empire State building. No that isn't it eaither since 500 pounds of projection equipment, hitting me at 120 miles perhour, would be quick. Rather it is similar to the death of Beornulf of Merica as he was crushed to death in the streets of Norwich, stone by stone. Insanely I am giving this movie a 7.9 since I liked it though I have no idea why.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Bush and his personna

To the enlightened crowd Bush seems like a cowboy-idiot. To the people who voted for him he seems resolute and no-nonsense. I think the truth is somewhere in the ether.
He has crafted a perfect political personna. His enemies always underestimate him because he always comes across like a dolt.
Well folks if he and his "people" were stupid they would not be in power. And what does that say about the people who lost to this guy? The Bushies understand their base and they know how to play to it. The people in power in the Democratic Party seem to be disconnected with at least 20% of the population. They are solid with college educated people and urbad dwellers. Dem's talk the language. However they have totally lost the group that used to be a constituancy. There is no reason ranchers, hunters, and loggers need to vote for Republicans; they won't get any better deal from them. The truth is that the Democratic Party has banked "on the come"
What I mean by that is that they spent their money before they had it to spend. The big democratic successes, and yes their were plenty, were all due to the candidate knowing their people.
For instance. Is Montana a red state? Hell yes its a red state. But it has a new Democratic Governor. State votes for Bush but votes for a Democrat for the state house.
Our nation is the same nation that voted for Clinton twice. It is all in the message, and in not shying away from people just because they shoot deer and like the cut down trees.
This is America, the most heavily armed nation in history. This is not Sweden, nor will it ever be Sweden. It is a macho nation, a nation that does not like soccer, a nation who fights wars.
Patton is still right. Americans play to win all the time. Clinton, dispite his massive character flaw, was a winner. Americans like to win and they like a winner. Being a winner is more important that pretty much anything elese in American politics. FDR didn't win because he convinced people that his New Deal was the way to go. There was no New Deal in 1932. He just ranted at Hoover administration and sounded confident that we would pull through the depression. He sounded like a winner all the time. Even when our navy got sunk, and the Germans kicked England out of Europe, and the Phillipines fell to Japan, and all the Marines on Wake Island were killed, and the Nazis rulled all the land from Noway to the Sudan; FDR sounded confident of victory.
I am not equating Bush to FDR. But if people want to push Bush out and take the Congress back they better stop sounding like a professor and start talking like Patton.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Investing in the Stock Market with Bush

DJIA as of December 2000 11,497
DJIA as of December 2004 10,583

So if you had your retirement in an index fund pegged to the Dow Jones you would have lost 10% of your income since GW took office.

Lets try and broader index say the SP500

SP500 as of December 2000 1,517
sp500 as of December 2004 1,150

You would have lost 25% of your investment if your fund was indexed to the sp500

How about the fancy NSDAQ

NASDAQ as of December 2000 4,697
NASDAQ as of December 2004 2,000

Ouch! Your fund would have been down a whopping 58%

Lets invest in the Russel 2000 in December of 2000

Yippee! We would have made 5.7% on our doe! With inflation running at around 4% that is a whopping gigantic net gain of 1.7% over the last 4 years.

Finally we will use the very broad Russel 3000 Index. This fund comprises the movements of 3000 stocks, both large and small cap.

We would have made .92%. That is less than 1% over the last five years. We should have stuck it in the bank.

So GW and the turds that want to sell the snake oil of private accounts better add the following to any stupid proposal they are shoving at the gulable American middle. "Only invest what you can afford to lose." That is the standard advice ANY planner will tell you about dealing with stocks and bonds. There are NO gaurentees in the market. NONE.

How many social security checks shrunk when the WTC was attacked? NONE.