Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto R.I.P.


As we modern Americans struggle with the concept of having a woman President, Pakistan has already had a woman leader. Since Benazir Bhutto left Pakistan that country has gone down a rabbit hole of radicalism, dictatorship, and tyranny. Todays assassination should come as no shock at all. I doubt that Benazir Bhutto would be shocked at todays events. Unlike many so-called leaders she was willing to risk her life to help her people. While other so-called leaders make lofty pronouncements on how we will fight this or that, she went into the den of thieves herself, knowing how long the odds were. In the poem Beowulf, not the stupid movie, the hero, after many years is faced with having to defend his people again. Even though he has many warriors with him, all abandon him to face the evil alone. He too dies, but in his death a legend is born.

There are many powerful warriors in this world, who day by day stand by and do nothing while evil is left to foment. We will stick with Musharef because we, above all, want stability, failing to realize that he offers nothing of the kind. Strongmen are not strong. Nations that need strongmen are weaklings wallowing in turmoil, on the edge of anarchy, revolution, or oblivion. I would cast off this military tyrant. Better to be rid of him than stupidly cling to him hoping for the best.

Yet even with todays tragedy we must not falter. Human beings have seen so much tragedy and will continue to see such days. We will go on and things will get better. In the darkest days of WWI or WWII things seemed mighty bleak, with body counts in the tens of thousands a month coming to our papers and rumors of extermination camps or mass gas attacks in the trenches, and oddly shaped mushroom clouds over irradiated cities. But we muddled through and will continue. We are a tough lot, human beings, we will come through all the trials and tribulations.

In ten thousand years we will be facing other problems, and tragedy and triumphs. We will still be muddling through then too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More of my plea to you to give Obama a chance

Lets talk qualifications. I know that the political hacks would like you to think Obama is a light weight. Let us see how much of a light weight he is:

Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 to a former goat herder and lady from Kansas who both met at the University of Hawaii. His father and mother divorced and his father went to Harvard University to pursue Ph.D. studies, then returned to Kenya, where he died in an auto accident when the younger Obama was twenty-one years old. I know this is not qualifications but a bit of human interest.

Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.

Remembering the values of empathy and service that his mother taught him, Barack put law school and corporate life on hold after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.

He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. Finally, his advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

This is not the life of a light weight. Bush had the life of a light weight.

Let us now look at the life of Rudy:

Rudy was born in 1944. His father was not a former goat herder nor did his father got to Harvard. Harold Giuliani had trouble holding a job and had been convicted of felony assault and robbery and served time in Sing Sing: after his release he served as a Mafia enforcer for his brother-in-law Leo D'Avanzo, who ran an organized crime operation involved in loan sharking and gambling at a restaurant in Brooklyn.

Rudy Giuliani started his political life as a Democrat. He has said that he admired the Kennedy family, and volunteered for Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968. He also worked as a Democratic party committeeman on Long Island in the mid-1960s, and voted for George McGovern for president in 1972.

His war service: Giuliani did not serve in the military during the Vietnam War. He applied for a deferment but was rejected. In 1969, MacMahon college wrote a letter to Giuliani's draft board, asking that he be reclassified as 2-A, civilian occupation deferment, because Giuliani, who was a law clerk for MacMahon, was an essential employee. He received a student deferment, like Bush, Chenney and all the others guys who were too busy to fight.

How about his conservative credentials: Giuliani's mother maintained in 1988 that, "He only became a Republican after he began to get all these jobs from them. He's definitely not a conservative Republican. He thinks he is, but he isn't. He still feels very sorry for the poor."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Politically Incorrect Santa 2007


Ho Ho Ho!

Well boys and girls it is time for me to get in my slay and travel hither and thither to give out loot to you all. My slay is not a user of petrochemicals either. Heads up for reindeer poop though. So what do I say to you this year?

You people continue to astonish me. The world is so screwed up and still you want me to give you stuff. Well I admire the pugnacious attitude of entitlement you all seem to be born with. So I will auger in and send you what I can.

Can I ask for something too? Santa is not supposed to ask for anything. I guess I am sick of being the "HO" in HO HO HO. I was looking at all the fat old guys that play me on tv or in the shopping malls. I'd really like them all to loose about 20 pounds. No reason to die of hypertension while pretending to be me. I am so old that I sometimes forget what I was like when I was alive.

I'm Greek you know. I was born in Patara in the 3rd century. Since Patara is in Turkey I guess I am sort of a Grecian~Turk. My mother and father both died in an epidemic. After that I sold what I had and became a priest. I eventually was made the bishop of Myra.

Then the Roman Emperor Diocletian came to power and we Christians were hunted down and either imprisoned and tortured or killed outright. I was picked up by the Romans and imprisoned for a time, along with most of the other bishops. I did not have much fun being tortured by the Romans either. Then Diocletian died and eventually I got out and in AD 325 attended the Council of Nicaea. I died in AD 343.

Of course being a Saint I could not just lounge about being dead. They opened up my coffin and found it to be full of juices; yes I know the "yuck" factor is pretty high. But they thought the stuff had healing powers. Sorry but drinking gunk from a coffin is not something I would do but then again I am dead.

Anyhow after a terrible long count of years here I am all fat and white. I'd like to see some swarthy Turk sitting on a chair in a mall in middle America getting his picture taken with the little kids.

I know I look sort of Talibanish and would probably have homeland security after my ass should I show up in a mall dressed like this but some times I just gotta be ME.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2007

Neogiating with terrorists...


President Ronald Reagen covertly approved of the sale of American-made BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missiles to Iran in exchange for 9 hostages held in Lebanon. One hostage was released.

After a botched delivery of HAWK missiles, and a disastrous London meeting between Robert McFarlane and Iranian arms broker Ghorbanifar (at which Ghorbanifar threatened his American interlocutor by saying that there would be "fire back on your interests"), Arrow Air Flight 1285, a plane containing nearly 250 American servicemen, crashed in Newfoundland on December 12, 1985. On the day of the crash, responsibility was claimed by Islamic Jihad.

Robert McFarlane resigned in December 1985. He was replaced by Admiral John Poindexter (recently a member of the Bush Administration). On the day of McFarlane's resignation, Oliver North(A FOX NEWS contributor), a military aide to the United States National Security Council (NSC), proposed a new plan for selling arms to Iran. This time, there were two new ideas. Instead of selling arms through Israel, the sale was to be direct. Second, the proceeds from the sale would go to the Contras at a markup. Oliver North wanted a $15 million markup, while contracted Iranian arms broker Manucher Ghorbanifar added a 41% markup of his own. Other members of the NSC were in favor of North's plan. John Poindexter authorized the plan, and it went into effect.

At first, the Iranians refused to buy the arms at the inflated price because of the excessive markup imposed by North and Ghorbanifar. In February 1986, 1000 TOW missiles were shipped to Iran. From May to November 1986, there were additional shipments of miscellaneous weapons and parts.

In September of 1985 1 more hostage was released. Then 3 more Americans were taken to replace him.

So what happened to the money from the sale of all those missiles to Iran? The money funded insurgents in Nicaragua. A paramilitary organization that the people of the United States had forbidden the executive to help.

After the Press had done its job, and Congress begrudgingly limped along the facts came out.

Domestically, the scandal tarnished President Reagan's popularity as his approval ratings saw "the largest single drop for any U.S. president in history", from 67% to 46% in November 1986, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll Reagan survived the scandal however and by December 1988 Gallup poll "recording a 63% approval rating."

The 250 US service personal are still dead. My fifth grade friend among them. Reagans botched backroom dealing with terrorists killed them. And his sending Marines to Beriut Lebanon got 256 of them blown up by a suicide bomber in the largest terrorist attack on Americans to that date. To get the bad guys back we shelled the hills outside the city from an old WWII battleship. They made big creators but didn't do much more. To me Reagan is a sham. His legacy is a sham. The Germans knocked down the Berlin wall, not Reagan. And the Russians took down the Communists not Reagan. His is a legacy of fraud.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Review of I Am Legend


Did you ever see the movie "Robinson Crusoe on Mars"? In this movie an astronaut crashes on Mars and spend years alone trying to survive. Every once in a while flying saucers come by but they only are in the sky. Then he meets this Indian-type alien and they go up north. Then the production company saw the bill and decided that they had to end the movie really quick so the did. The whole movie is kind of neat but the end is like watching the build up to the last battle of Star Wars to cut from the X-wings leaving Yavin to the end credits. "What the?" is all that can be said.

So it is for this movie. I liked it all the way up until the end. I know the story ends with the main character having a terminal moment. However they had already taken liberties with this story so they could have taken some more.

1: Vampire dude seemed to want his woman back. This was never clarified.
2: Vampire dude seemed to want to hunt Neville like Neville hunted him. This was not really explored.
3: Lady-Vamp gets cured only to be blown to bits. This was stupid.
4: "Hide in this furnace duct until I blow myself up." This was not the line but the how the lady and her son got off the island, with the bridges blown up and tunnels flooded, is never explored either. for that matter how did the lady and her son end up on Manhattan? Since the bridges were blown and tunnels flooded?

If you want to see I am Legend, at least a better version go and rent "28 Days Later". It is a much better tale told in a more authentic way.

Why do we like thinking about being stuck after the Apocalypse? I love these types of movies since it brings for a pioneering spirit. How would I survive in such times? It is too bad that all such stories have to revolve around monsters and zombies, mutants, or other such creepy crawlies. Someone should do a film in a less b-movie format where people actually have to face such a life without the creeps. I think it might actually be worse since, at the very least, the mutants ad some adventure.

This flick gets a solid, mushy 5

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My thoughts on campaign 2008...so far...


After many a month of ridiculous media hype the actual election year of 2008 is finally going to materialize. If you listened to the TV you would think that 2008 was already here. After watching CNN I kept wanting to write 08' on my checks.

But now there is less than 30 days until next year. So I will now start to blog about what I think should happen. Who I think should be President.

There is no doubt in my mind as of today. Barack Obama is the man for the Job. He is the only candidate that clearly speaks upon issues in a way I agree with. He is a good talker too. The idea that he is too young is nonsense. I remember one young man who saved the world from nuclear war before he got killed. As for being a black guy. Only the KKK should give a damn about that in this day and age. Who cares. I'd vote for him if he was purple.

The other candidates of note, Clinton, Edwards, Biden, etc are either too scripted or careful, or polished or just too dull. Except for Chris Dodd. I like Dodd too. But he is too old school and we need some real leadership and a fresh perspective. Obama is going to do that.

Obama is going to be a very good President and, so far, I will enjoy casting my vote for him.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Review of Beowulf


For at least 1300 years people have been thrilled with the retelling of the deeds of Beowulf. Then Robert Zemekis, a man I had really thought highly of, decided that all those 1300 years of story telling was wrong and he would set things right...

To paraphrase the great poet Seamus Heaney's retelling of Beowulf..I will now release my word-hord.

This movie is awful from the begining until the end. If this was the basis for the story of Beowulf then the story would have died a justifiable death long ago, along with all the other heavey handed piles of dung spewed out pie holes of many a bad author.

"I am BEOWULF!!! I have come to kill you monster!!!" the cockney english taxi driver bellows at the poorly rendered 3D characters around him. Compare this stupid, low brow idiocy with how Beowulf meets Hrothgar in the poem

"The man whose name was known for courage
the Geat leader, resolute in his helmet,
answered in return: "We are retainers
from Hygelac's band. Beowulf is my name.
If your lord and master, the most renowned
son of Halfdane, will hear me out
and graciously allow me to greet him in person,
I am ready and willing to report my errand."


This movie mercilessly destroys the poetry and drama of the greatest story to come out of Anglo Saxon England and does it in about 2 hours. The 3d graphics are poorly done, the main characters were done decently enough, but the secondary characters were done not much better than a video game. Golem, the bar for personal 3d characters, was not even approached. They all seemed weightless and puppet like.

The acting was god awuful too. The choice for Beowulf was pathetic. Not that I have anything against a good cockney accent, but not for Beowulf!!!!!! I am not sure what made the acting seem soooooo bad? I think it was a combination of the afore mentioned crappy CGI and bad choice for a lead.

The worst part of this Grendel-like abomination was the tossing of the old story onto the scrap pile. Why Hollywood idiots think they can change stuff like this for the better is beyond me. It is like changing the Passion of Christ, by adding in a back story how Judas was Jesus brother and was taken away to be raised by anti-christian wood elves.

I guess the shallow headed trogs of hollywood felt that more exposition was needed to justify Grendels actions. And the story only got worse as it went on. The faux dragon, as the son of Beowulf was just silly looking. I am really bashing this movie. Sorry about that. If you want to read the story please pick up a copy of Seamus Heany's translation. It is exiting, a quick read, and everything the movie is not.

I give this movie a 2

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Review of Extended The Lord of the Rings "Fellowship"

After sitting through the additional footage I can now review this treasured movie. The original cut was the best. The extended movie adds a fair amount of clunkiness to the story and tips the hand of the story teller too much. The editor really helped in the presentation of the theatrical release. Performances gained power and the story gained mystery with the loss of the extra footage. Good editors ROCK!

Still if you like to see a realllllllly looooooong movie then this is for you. At 208 minutes this behemoth is the cave troll of movies. If you have never seen LOTR Fellowship please watch the original cut first. It is way better. Then go for the extended movie and see the extra bits and you will see what I mean. Lots of info is added up front and some back story is explained but therein lies the problem. Too much exposition. Less is more and more is usually less.

Best additional footage: none really, it all just detracts from the story and really hurts the pacing. This movie would not have been as well recieved if it had been shown with all this extra stuff put in.

This extended movie gets a 6 of of 10.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

News from the front...



Today some of the colonists who attend the College of William and Mary started a fraternal organization called Phi Beta Kapa. The American colonies are quite peculiar in their insistance on what amounts to public education. Why some one from the lower classes should want to waste time at University is beyond imagination. All the Americans have to show for all the lower class learning is the highest literacy rate in the world.

This is very dangerous since part of maintaining social order is the control of information. To have too many people be able to read is a danger to the natural order of things. Ergo the current war and spread of democratic terrorists.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

News from the war...


This photo was taken from one of our BBC embedded reporters of the 43rd regiment outside New York after forcing the insurgent to flee to White Plains.

After six weeks of offloading new troops the surge is now in place to deal with the problems associated with the rebellious and insurgent paramilitaries in America. The total number of troops is now over 32,000.

The battle was intense and the American insurgents were outmaneuvered and out fought by our heroic soldiers who are trying to save America from anarchy. The rebel leader, Washington, was forced to flee in the face of our advance. General Howe is now in command of New York City and has detachments in hot pursuit of Washington and his ragtag band of terrorists. We did suffer casualties when our gallent men were viciously attacked by thugs led by another rebel leader named Knowlton.

The surge is working! After the disaster of having to leave Boston to the insurgents in 1775, we now have a strong presense in America and it is only a matter of time now until the insurgents realise that resistance is useless.

The stallwart citizens of New York are pleased that red coats now patrol their streets.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Of for crying out loud, not those guys again...



Yes back for the Holidays! Its the worst of all worlds. Take an Alien and cross it with a Predator and you get this slimy bastard. I thought Hollywood couldn't think up any more wholesome Christmas stories. Well I am glad to be proved wrong. I will pre-review this film since I have seen a cut of it and here goes...

Yuck!

Can't these insipid beasts bother some other planet? Why is Earth the Mecca for all the shitty evil creatures in the Universe? In Alien vs Predator the Earth was just a nice backwater to allow the Predator Aliens to kill the Alien Aliens. Now they are back and the humans just get in the way again. I'd like to see something other than the same old BS that I have seen a million times before from both these creatures. If they can't do that then the movie makers should stop wasting time on them.
Here is the link to AVP-R for what it is worth

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fort Rock and Molokini



Fort Rock is a semi-circular ring of stone in the middle of the Oregon desert. Molokini is in the tropic of Cancer off the coast of Maui, Hawaii. They actually have a lot in common. They are both extinct volcanoes and both were sculpted by water. Fort Rock, like Molokini, was once and island in the middle of a large Pleistocene lake. Unlike Molokini, Fort Rock was inhabited. The oldest shoes in North America were discovered there, laying in a cave. They are 9000 years old.

Scott McClellan blames Bush and Rove!

Scott McClellan - Former White House Press Secretary:

"I stood at the White House briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby," McClellan, 39, wrote. "There was one problem. It was not true."

McClellan wrote that he "unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself."

- This first appeared 1 hour ago on the Bloomberg News Service

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oregon on the cutting edge again



The big medical story this week is of the cloned monkey cells done a the Oregon Primate Center. This is not the story I will be talking about...

The neat looking graphic above is a CGI image of Adenovirus-14. According to the CDC there are lots of adenovirus types out there and most are pretty harmless unless you are really young or really old or have a problem with your immune system like you have HIV or something.

What makes Adenovirus-14 interesting is that this strain attacks healthy adults and puts them in the hospital with pneumonia. It is basically a cold bug and is transmitted the same way, by touch or in by inhaling an infected persons cough. You catch a cold and instead of sneezing and taking a day off work to watch Perry Mason you may end up in the ICU or even the morgue.

Why should Oregonians worry about Adenovirus-14? Below is an excerpt from a Medpage Article from today.

"ATLANTA, Nov. 16 -- Clinicians should keep their eyes peeled for a mutated form of adenovirus 14 that has caused at least 10 deaths, most of them among adults, the CDC warned."

"The new strain of adenovirus 14 differs in that most of its victims have been otherwise healthy adults, CDC officials said.

"What really got people's attention is these are healthy young adults landing in the hospital and, in some cases, the ICU," said John Su, M.D., Ph.D., of the CDC. "

"The deadliest outbreak, identified retrospectively, occurred in Oregon, after a local clinician reported multiple patients admitted to a single hospital for pneumonia over a five-week period in March and April.

Of the 17 specimens obtained, 15 were positive for adenovirus 14, the CDC said, leading Oregon public health authorities to review records from virology labs and find 68 people who tested positive between Nov. 1, 2006, and April 30, 2007. "


This is a Bar of Soap. USE IT!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

WW IV

WW IV smoldered to life in the mid 1980's during WW III (the cold war). Like a forest fire that lingers under the pine needles and sod, it was invisible. It flared up from time to time but did not seem to pose too much of a threat.

Since September 11th we are all much more alarmed. Our stupid reactions and completely inadequate responses to this conflagration have only allowed it to spread. With no containment strategy it is crackling out from hot spots and is much more of a threat now.

To a large extent Bush and his failed policies has been responsible for the severity of WW IV. The situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran, in Darfur and now Turkey, is totally going the wrong way. Make no mistake, this is a HOT war. The lives of hundreds of millions hang in the balance. And I fear that we have stumbled so badly in its beginning that by the time it is over many of the millions of lives will be lost. Each great war starts differently.

We need brilliance in positions of leadership. I see NONE in the current crop of Presidential candidates. They fail to appreciate the magnitude of the war the world is in. The war we helped get going by decades of stupid decisions. Bush is bad since his solutions are simplistic and not based on reality. Yet the next President will be in the same situation as Bush. He or she will be faced with a massive problem, Iraq being only one part, that they cannot ignore. There is no negotiating with this enemy. No councils or ceasefires.

I have no clue how this war will end. I do think that keeping canned food in the car and having an exit strategy on how to get out of town is not a bad idea. WW IV is hotter than the cold WW III. Yet we still have all the nukes. Nobody should be so naive as to think the use of nuclear weapons, by the US or other nations, or entities, is beyond consideration.

I have read the Candidates positions, such as they are, and none of them, Democrat of Republican really seems to have a clue as to what to do about anything. They are so busy beating up on each other, trying to appease one core constituency or another that they seem stuck in sloganeering and broad generalities so milky, and opaque as to be useless. How can American voters know who to vote for? Judging by the candidates, their misinformation, lies, and insane positions, I would have to say put all the names in a hat and pick one. Then vote for that person.

Having said all this I would argue that a Democratic President, based on what is coming out of the mouths of all candidates, will be slightly less pathetic than a Republican President. It is not that the Republican candidates are really bad, it is just that the groups that they have to appease are basically just this side of the mentally ill (no offense meant to those who are mentally ill.)

Monday, November 05, 2007

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Federalist and Democrat talking on Church and State


I know the current crop of Christian fanatics would like us all to think that the founders of our Great Republic were bible wielding hyper-Christians but...

John Adams (The Federalist) "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."

Thomas Jefferson (The Democrat) "The authors of the gospels were unlettered and ignorant men and the teachings of Jesus have come to us mutilated, misstated and unintelligible."

John Adams "I had forgotten the custom of putting Prophets in the Stocks....It may be thought impiety by many, but I could not help wishing that the ancient practice had been continued down to more modern times and that all the Prophets at least from Peter the Hermit, to Nimrod Hews inclusively, had been confined in the Stocks and prevented from spreading so many delusions and shedding so much blood."

Thomas Jefferson "If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truth, prevail over fanaticism."

John Adams "We have now, it seems a National Bible Society, to propagate King James's Bible, through all Nations. Would it not be better, to apply these pious Subscriptions, to purify Christendom from the Corruptions of Christianity; than to propagate those Corruptions in Europe Asia, Africa and America!"

Our loyal Allies!



“The days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nations' wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of anti-Western hatred are over.” -Dick Cheney

Of course, that is, unless you are a buddy of the VP then go ahead, suspend you nations constitution, beat up protestors, and jail and torture your political rivals. As long as it is all for a good cause.

If you get into the toilet do not be surprised if you end up covered in shit. With Pakistan we have not only armed a man as tyrannical as Saddam, but also stood by and done nothing while he tramples his own people. The policy of back military strong men always leads to the same future. Mainly revolution, civil war, and mass death. Saddam was armed and helped when he suited our purposes, just like Musharref is today. There is really no difference. These men foment radicalism as a response to their tyrany. They use the existance of radicals on the edges, whether is in the mountains of Pakistan or the northern regions of Iraq, as a tool to continue to practice their thuggery.

In some ways Bush uses the same concept. He uses the existance of radicals on the edges to excuse his thuggery here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How are things going? We are still at war right???


As usual I have to get my info from the BBC since our news organizations cannot seem to bother with our war. The above photo was snapped a couple days ago by a BBC embedded news team on patrol with the 101st Airborne. Note words etched in the ceiling of the humvee. "Never Going Home"

These soldiers were all on their third tour. This one lasting 15 months. Soldiers seem frustrated that their fellow countrymen do not seem to know about what is going on in Iraq.

Below is the "important news of America"

CNN-
Four charred bodies found in blaze area 9 min
Fire wipes out mobile home park
Innocent man shares his 22-year prison struggle
Fliers: $$$ seats on superjumbo jet worth it Video
Boy, 7, loses leg, but not football dreams Video
Witness: Diana spoke as she lay dying
'Genocide' resolution shelved
Ticker: Clinton throws glitzy $1M birthday bash
Dogs kill Make-a-Wish horse Video
Britney Spears avoids hit-and-run trial
Collapsing hill reveals Stone-Age secrets Video

FOXNEWS-
Arrest in Hero grave desecration
Half of Americans believe in ESP
4 students shot at Michigan school
Monkeys making lewd gestures at Women

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another winner in Iraq! Thanks Bush!



I am tired of all the bad news coming out of Iraq so I am only going to concentrate on the good things!

Not all are suffering in Iraq. Some groups are having a hey day, of sorts. The PKK, Kurdistan Workers party is having fun attempting to carve off part of Turkey and Iraq, and form an independent state of Kurdistan. Of course Turkey has sworn to go to war to stop them, but they probably wont. Who would be stupid enough to take action in Iraq?

Dozens were killed today in a cross border attack launched by the PKK into Turkey. I wonder what we would do if such a strike were launched at America and twelve US soldiers died? Hmmm? We'd probably calmly sort it all out...NOT! Yet this is what we are asking the Turks to do. Stay calm you Turkish people. Don't go off half cocked; that is America's job. If anyone is going to launch a military strike it will be US!


Perhaps we should talk to the Cambodians...er I mean the Turks...and explain that we do not want the Vietnam war...er the Iraq war...to spread into their nation since it might make the Khmer Rouge...I mean Islamic radicals...take power. Thus setting the stage for further Southeast Asian...sorry...Middleastern destabilisation and war.

Or maybe Nixon...sorry again...Bush will authorize bombing of Cambodian...er Turkish.. Villages in a lame attempt to squash the PKK?

So there is all the happy news from the "stable and safe" northern section of Iraq. At least there is no Bin Laden types up there. Only communists.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Who will speak for you?

First they outsourced the toy manufacturers
and I said nothing
Then the garment workers
and I said nothing
They outsourced the steel workers
and I said nothing
Then they outsourced the auto workers
and I said nothing
Then the electonics workers
and I said nothing
They sent the finance jobs, the ship building jobs, and all manner of skilled labor away.
and I said nothing
Then they outsourced my job
and everyone was too busy working overtime at Walmart to speak for me.

UNIONIZE!
And never, ever, shut your mouth!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Civitas Dei

"God of State" was quite popular in the middle ages. This single concept, in the long run, has done more harm to the cause of Christ than almost anything else. For the very concept of a God-State link reduces the Almighty to the rank of mere instrument of state control. If you look at the results of Civitas Dei in Europe today you see a land full of sumptuous churches and cathedrals where few actually go to church. On the contrary where you see God apart from the state you see little churches bursting at the seems. If there is a heresy to fight against it would be the very notion of linking God with any earthly human construct. States have no souls, or spirit. There are no country's that are Christian. There may be Christians living in them, but each persons soul is his or her own.

To serve the state is not to serve God, since the latter needs no service. We should never fall into the temptation to think that God needs us. Very great evil comes from this way of thinking. We are the needy ones, not God. No human is placed in domination over another because God decided so. He gave us free will to dominate or not. Kings and Queens are made so because their parents were kings and queens before them. Presidents are made so by the will of the republic and their own desires to be in office. And rulers are tossed off the top by various tools of fate.

I do not pretend to speak for God. How can I do that? I occupy a tiny blue speck that orbits a tiny yellow speck, itself lost in a haze of billions of other such specks. However I can think rationally and can deduce from my relative tiny self that I lack the perspective to understand an entity that could bring about the totality of existance. We can barely make it through a day here on our speck, let alone figure out the wishes of God.

So do we sit in a self centered stupor? No we should love our neighbors as ourselves and treat others the way we wish to be treated. To be just within our power to be just, and merciful within our power for mercy. And refrain from thinking any of us can speak for God. We can only speak for ourselves.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Albert the Great!


We all share this little rock in space and we all need to work together to keep from fouling the nest. The Earth does not care if you believe in Gore's message or not. We either suck it up, and act like we have balls, and save ourselves or mother nature, that cruel beast, will let us die off and replace us with something else. Cheers Mr Gore!

Now we all need to take a page or two from Mr. Gore's play-book. Not the climate change play-book, but the life play-book. Al Gore, like James Carter before him, lost an election, turned right around, and decided to change the world anyway. These guys are real Americans. Smart people tend to have happier and better lives than dunces. I am not talking about money either. Look at Spears or Paris Hilton, or Bush. Lots of doe and little brains are a disaster waiting to happen. Idiots with lots of cash tend to leave a trail of tears behind them.

But people like Gore and Carter, fly above the slime that catches the rest. It is not as if these guys are saints. Neither one has a halo growing out of his head. But they can get up there because they have the right stuff. And what is the right stuff? It is certainly not political power, money, or influence. Lots of people have that and are fatally mired in the slime pit. I think it is that these men and others like them, have caught hold of the fleeting tendrils of righteousness. To catch hold of righteousness is to surrender to it. Right action can never be made to bend to the desires of he or she that takes a hold of it. On the contrary to do what is right puts you into it's service.

Will Gore save the world, or mankind? Who can say. But I do know that he using his existence to further the cause of human life on Earth. He is not the first to do this, nor will he be the last. However he will be counted on the positive side of humanities balance sheet. While others of his generation will slip off the bottom into a bottomless sea of red ink.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Can this happen again!?!?! Are we at risk!?!?!? Panic!!!!!



One great sin of those who read up on the past is "smugness". It is a sin that is hard to avoid. This trap is laid for us who study the past, by the shear size of historical ignorance. Simply put so many people know so little about the past that, to people who know even a little, they seem suffering from some form of mental limitation. Hence smugness comes to fruition in the historian. Nobody likes a no-it-all, but these days a more accurate way of describing what people do not like is to say that nobody likes a person who knows anything. To show knowledge of anything makes you seem part of the dreaded intelligentsia.

People who know stuff go out of their way to act stupid and ignorant lest people find out that they actually might know something. Our President, a person who knows little, has this down pat. He actually goes out of his way to act stupider than he is since this endears him to the stupid people who support him.

Then there are all those milky, limp, country songs sung but bar stool warming rednecks "who don't know the difference between Iraq and Iran". Well I am sure that many of them know NOW! Nothing like three tours in the desert to educate you.

The book above is a great book on the Pestilence, Black Death, Plague, Great Mortality, Big Death, of the middle of the 14th century. I have read lots on this period and one cool thing that comes through is that it is highly unlikely that this beast will ever treat us so badly. We are simply not in the same spot as the starving, filth, people of the past. Unfortunately the past also shows that the circumstances surrounding nasty events such as the Black Death are so numerous and intertwined that such a catastrophe, albeit not from the plaque, could well happen to us modern people.

In terms of naturally occurring diseases, and man made climatic problems, ignorance is NOT bliss. Even when faced with the event itself incomplete knowledge is not much different that mystical mumbo jumbo. The plague not only decimated ignorant Europe, but also the enlightened Islamic middle easterners, the Mongol Empire, they wealthy Indian kingdoms, and South East Asia. Humans lacked the concept of germs. The best anyone could muster was to rely on two thousand year old Greek ideas of the four humors being out of alignment due to planets, stars, and winds.

Today we are better off and, some some ways, not much different than those unfortunate ancients. We know about disease, but climatic change, and how we can slow it or stop it, is beyond us. Many still don't even believe it is happening. The best scientists know it is happening, know it to be human caused, but are still at a loss to stop it.

When the plague hit Europe for the third time in the 17th century, people finally made the connection between the fleas on the rats and people getting sick. But even then, when they knew the mode of disease transmission they were at a loss to really know how to stop it. And the idea of germs was still more than a century off.

With climate change we may not have time, or the skills needed, to really avert the coming disaster. The best thing we can do is get smart, and not admire idiots.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Childrens healthcare? Not if Idiot can help it.


The latest stench to waft up from the pit at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is the veto of the expansion of federal health care coverage for kids. Why? Because as the President himself said it would begin to federalize health care and it would include that horrible section of the public, the dreaded middle class! All real republicans hate the middle class. They feel programs that help the poor alone are easier to kill off when they want to start a stupid insane war or two...or three. To allow "program creep" to begin to help the middle class means it would be a lot harder for them to kill it off. Look at Social Security! Give the middle class an inch and they will take a mile. Better keep them pissed off at the poor people.

The president (small P because this miscreant is worth nothing more) continues to be a national embarrassment. I wonder now how many so-called patriotic republicans will thwart the will of this modern George III? Who will stand against this tyrant? Who has the balls? If this were 1776 Georgy would be tarred and feathered as the dandified Tory he truly is.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Who are our enemies?

Today outgoing general Peter Pace said that we are being made war on and we must fight our enemies. But who are they? I am sure he was referring to Iraq. As I recall Iraq did not make war on us. We made war on them. I guess Tojo or Hitler could use Pace's argument to justify their wars against the US too. After all the US was fighting them both. So using Pace's argument they HAVE to continue their war against us since we are resisting them.

This whole war bull shit is really pissing me off. Who is it that attacked us on September 11th 2001? Are we so mindless as to have forgotten? Nobody in Iraq did it. Nobody in Iran did it either. Who attacked us? Who, by their actions, declared war on us? Some religious and cultural extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The enemy, back then, was tiny. They counted on Bush's over reaction squad to help them along in their recruiting more people to their cause and Bush has not disappointed them. They correctly guessed that Bush would launch a war in the middle east, all while leaving the real enemy alone in the mountains of Pakistan.

This provided them with a way to kill US troops, die for their cause, and recruit more who are will to do the same. It is like Bush is in collusion with the bad guys. When Pace says we are at war I say back to him "No shit!"

However the average American, told to ignore the facts on the ground, is pretty much oblivious to who are enemy is. Killing any Muslim or Arab seems okay to many Americans. Since our government has not bothered to put the laser on the target we are left to assume that all of Islam and the "Arabs" must be the villain. Since the actions of the President seem to bare this simpleminded approach out, I really fear for what we will end up doing to keep from losing this war. Since it is not the war that was forced upon us.

I want to make this clear. We were made war upon on Sept 11th. And then we went and started a whole other war, tangentially connected to our enemy, but only making them stronger while weakening our own position. Our enemy leaders are still very much alive and in the act of making war upon us. And our entire army is busy, not killing them, but wasting time, men and material in helping them justify their war.

If we do not wake up and start making war upon those who are making war on us then we deserve to get wasted. Iraq is already a gigantic strategic failure. Our "surge" has only reduced the death rate back to where it was in 2006. And the surge cannot last. We took a situation where a small spark declared war on us and decided that the best thing to do was to poor a barrel of gasoline on it. Now things are worse. Much worse.

All because we didn't calm down and patiently decide who the enemy really was. Bush is a disaster. This is not a liberal, or conservative talking, since those people are pretty much all losers too, this is an American talking. All Americans really want is someone not to fuck stuff up. Keep your ideology out of my army and out of my pants.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pirate Festival Review...Arr!



The 2nd Annual Portland Pirate Festival is over and I must say it was much better than the first iteration. The entertainment was top notch and food was better too. However this came at a steep cost. $15 for an Adult of 12 and over. It would be nice to ratchet the cost down to something equaling the price of a movie ticket. That would allow more money to be spent inside.

Portland Oregon should have the grandest Pirate festival since it was in our humble city that "Talk like a Pirate Day" got its start. I am not sure how much city involvement is present at the event but this could easily turn into an event that would draw people from around the country.

Anyway I liked and so did my kids.

Monday, September 24, 2007

While we sputter and mutter...


Lee Bollinger of Columbia University did a great job of hitting the "petty dictator" on the head in his blistering introduction of Presdient Ahmadinejad of Iran. Today was a great example of the pure power of free speech unleashed upon tyrants. To overtly contest the lies and brutality of the Iranian regime is exactly what an institution of higher learning is for. Bring the debate Ahmadinejad, but we are not going to mindlessly nod in favor of your crap. I only wish the intellectual truth squad could evicerate Bush too.

The photo here is of two men being executed in Iran for no other reason than they were discovered to be gay. I am sure there are probably some of the Christofascists in this country that would applaud such barbarism, but most of us see this for the barbarism that it is. It is an example of the backward nature of the Iranian government.

Ahmadinejad and people like him, no matter their nationality, need to be confronted nonstop, with an unending avalanche of truth, until what they represent dies away of its own accord.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Time in Iraq...sort of...

I have never been in Iraq.

I listen to pundits, read news reports, just like you. I have also been watching a lot of Youtube. There is a ton of video from Iraq, produced by all sides. You can watch, from the jihadists point of view, an attack on an American outpost. You can watch Marines clearing houses. You can watch contract drivers under fire. To the technically hooked up you can pretty much see whatever you want to of the mess of Iraq. And you also get to see the comments for each video, since all have attached posts. Usually combat footage has comments like this:

US poster:
We should kill all you F'ing rag heads!

Islamic poster:
All of you satanic Americans will die! Death to America!

US poster 2:
F' you! You F'ing camel jockey!

Islamic poster 2:
F' you! You F'ing American terrorist!

and so on...

Rarely is there much debate on the situation. Soldiers, on both sides, who are in the zone are the least politically correct of the bunch. They have no time for being diplomatic. Basically whether the soldier is American or a Jihadi the messages are pretty clear. "We're gonna kill you! We want to kill you!" There is no "lets work together to build a better world." War brings out the worst in everybody. I know I would fall easily into the warrior mentality should I end up in Iraq. You do not have a choice in a war zone. They have no time to empathize or sympathize. Only kill or be killed.

Thanks too all the assholes who brought this upon us. In the words of YouTube posters:

F' you! You F'ing F's!


Example1:


Example2:


Example3:


Example4:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Strategy and Tactics are not the issue

Change the strategy or the tactics and the American people, by and large, do not care. To keep a war going long-term it better be real important. This war was not needed. The longer we stay there the worse the future may be. How many more American citizens and families have to be butchered until the Iraqi's solve their problem we helped create for them? As of today more than 27,000 families across the nation are having to deal with husbands, sons, daughters, and mothers that are out of commission. 3776 of them are dead and tens of thousands more are broken physically or mentally or both.

When Bush and his Republican thugs talk of a long war, or operations in Iraq keeping us safe, they are really talking about setting off little terrorist attacks in thousands of American homes each year. Because when the men come with somber faces and tears to talk to the family members of how this man or that was killed or wounded it is a little terrorist attack on the wellbeing of a family. All of a sudden violence is in the living room. The "thanks from a grateful nation" is pretty useless when you are having to come to terms with your partner being an invalid for life, or worse.

It sickens me when I head dunderheads talk about how much safer we are here. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of American families living in limbo, anarchy, fear, and pain because of the stupid war in Iraq. Millions of citizens are indirectly effected by this stupid war on a daily basis. The longer it goes on the less of an abstraction it becomes and the more personal the loss to all of us. That is why you should NEVER go to war unless you have no choice and it is forced upon you. This was not the case in Iraq. Noble as the goal was, it is not worth the cost. One American family broken would have been too high a cost concerning Iraq.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Surge Report

I will now grade the report and the hearings on the report:

General Patraeus: A
Ambasador Crocker: B
Their Report: D
House: C
Senate: B+

Democrats: C
Republicans: D
MoveOn.ORG: F

Detail:
Basically the report is designed to put a pretty mask on an ugly face. The general did a great job in this. However if I read between the penta-speak he seems to be trying to let everyone down as gently as he can. Remember that David Patraeus was a disenter as was Crocker, and neither were listened to in the early days of the war. Only now after years of straw-grasping has the White House decided to dump their shit in the laps of two guys who basically were, in 2003, wincing in anticipation of the crap storm to come.

To try and hang these guys as White House stooges is not only unproductive but wrong, and stupid. These, gulp, are the good guys. Of all the ideologues trotted out by Bush-co since the war began these two guys are the most realistic.

This is why I gave MoveOn.org an F. There ad, I guess, is designed to shoot the only people, who might figure a way out of this, in the head. MoveOn should shut up. These guys we can work with. Remember they are not mush loved in the White House either. Neither was part of the making of this mess and both warned of the potential for catastrophe. They need our help in ending this not stupid and insulting adds. MoveOn.org is proving their detractors right in thinking that they are only a bunch of political hacks that want to damage a political rival not help the nation.

Congressional response to the report is really dualistic. The House of Reps was all over the map and rather unhelpful themselves, not having a coherrent response. The Senate was a lot tougher and more coherrent crowd. Obama really was da-man when he came right to the point in asking how much longer.

Crocker was correct in day one, mimicking my own thoughts a bit, when he said that Iraq is not going to go away. Pulling out, staying, doing this or that, will not make the movie end. It is ironic and pathetic that the White House is now using the same arguments that the anti-war crowd used in 2002-3 in opposing the war, as reason we now have to stay.

As for moving forward leadership still seems to be scrambling on the hill and in the White House. Brian Bard, a democrat, wants to raises taxes to pay for the war and draft people into service until this thing is done. Some republicans want to pull the plug now. But most want to have their cake and eat it too. Nobody wants to have "war loser" put around their necks. So they will not do anything. This is why it is sooooooooooooooo important to be nice with Patraeus and Croker. To demonize them now is 100% counterproductive. Since they will most likely be the ones working on Iraq when the next President moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And simply dumping them on that day is shortsighted and offensively dilusional since who do we think we can put in there to get us out with the least amount of disaster.

And that is really what we are talking about, even the good general and ambassador. Basically trying to get out with the least amount of disaster.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bin Idiot


Bin Laden, in his last tape, has begun to sink into catch phrases and other "polled" talk like any other stupid politician. As an American that does not like the war in Iraq or Bush all I have to say to Bin Laden is:

Someday we will actually have a bunch in power that will kill you and all your mentally retarded followers.

I can shave my dogs butt and tattoo "fight global warming" on it but that doesn't make him anything other than a dog. Bin Laden talking about the ills of the world is like the executioner talking about the ills of capital punishment. He is a seller of death, like many world leaders I know.

Bin Laden should convert to Islam and renounce his stupidity.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Circumstance is cruel


I find myself, from time to time, feeling sorry for ol' GW. I think it is preposterous to think that he wished this stinking mess to happen like it has happened. The idea that some how he and his brethren wish an endless engagement in Iraq. Oh many companies have made out like bandits, and that is what they are. But that is the nature of all wars. Some get rich while some die. There has never been a war where people didn't try to make an extra buck. From selling faulty arms in the Civil War, to bogus contracts in WWII, to Haliburton today.

Still circumstance is cruel. The circumstances that poor decisions have brought about do not care what God a President prays to or does not pray to. The cold mathematics of cause and effect simply grind out the present based on what you put into the past. And war, the most brutal of human actions, itself propagates so many unintended consequences that the perpetrator of war quickly loses control of his policy like Frankenstein losing control of his monster.

Remember Frankenstein did not wish to create a monster. He wished to do a greater good. Circumstances were beyond his control. So circumstances that he brought about, in the personification of his monster, led to his own destruction. Evil never leads to good. The best that can be hoped for is that the evil of war ends quickly. But it seldom does end quickly.

Look at the first Gulf War. We all think of it ending quickly and painlessly, but it did not end. Desert Storm was followed by a series of small engagements, a no fly zone, brutal sanctions, the most expensive post-invasion rebuilding plan since WWII, and the eventual invasion of Iraq in 2003, led by many of the same people responsible for the first Gulf War. Indeed in fifty years when the real history is written they will probably bracket 1991 and whenever we end the dilema of Iraq within a single conflict.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hobbyists are Nazi's



The title is in NO WAY implying that the below mentioned hobbyists are in fact fascists.

Model railroaders, RC car or plane builders and fliers, Airsoft and Paintballers, all are a bunch of uptight twerps. If you read up on them, or any other hobby, the hobby is always "run" by a bunch of uptight twerps. "My way or the highway" types. The kind of people who suck the life out of the room by taking all the fun out of everything. "Well if you don't want to spend your retirement on XYZ then don't waste my time." type of people. They always look down their noses at the great unwashed masses who like to have fun. These types need regulations, and standards, and big thick rule books and bylaws. Little Napoleonic complexities waiting for a sport or hobby to take over and ruin.

I understand the difference, for example, between a mid 80's Life-Like POS locomotive and an Athearn Genesis DCC loco. I also know that you can still have a great time with the train hobby and not spend thousands on the trains themselves.

My daughter and I like chasing each other with our little RC cars but I am sure we are looked down on from the elite RC racers of the world.

Airsoft is my latest enquiry. I am not very militant, but there have been several articles, and instances that have lead me to look into the sport. One is that it is a breeding ground for new army men (or kids). Recruiters check out paitball areas and airsoft grounds for potential recruits. What is the alure of such things. I think I know since I am a man and like to shoot stuff too. But looking into this field I find the same uptight twerps telling me what is "proper" as if they are in the F'ing military or as if they are really doing important stuff instead of playing GI Joe.

I understand there needs to be standards if you wish to participate in a sport or hobby. But their should also be a broader attempt made by people who are enthusiastic about a hobby, to bring it to the masses in a way that is less intimidating and snotty.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oh for crying out loud...not another gay conservative?

Is there some unwritten, or perhaps written, law stating that people getting pinched for soliciting gay prostitution, or unwanted gay advances have to be Republicans and or clergy? Is there something about Republicans that makes them more prone to turn "gay"? All the Democrats I know of are either straight or gay and have no problem with either. Only the conservatives seem to be flip-floppers on their own sexual orientation.

Look if you are a gay Republican then just accept it and be done with it. God made you that way for a reason, perhaps to embarrass hypocrites, or maybe he has slated you to burn in hell. Or maybe he just made you that way "just because" and wants you to make the best of it and enjoy your wonderful life for what it is. Don't insult God by trying to be something you are not.

Now on to my own self flagellation. This is a STUPID story. What is the guy guilty of? I mean really guilty of, if it is true? Wanting some consensual sex in a bathroom. So the guy has to resign? This is absurd. Let him and his local constituents talk it out and then let him be. I love the hypocrisy angle but this, like Monica, does not rise to the level of an offense worthy of anything other than and embarrassed "excuse me".

Mr. Craig do not resign over this. If you have lived a double life for 60 plus years then you have already lived in hell. If you are telling the truth then stick to your guns. But the homophobes on the right, and the democrats on the left want you gone for their own narrow reasons. I do not agree with any of your positions on gay rights. However I also would not wish you to be forced from office because of such a silly bit of nonsense.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blind to ourselves

We are so good at picking apart the ones we love or hate and such dismal failures at figuring out why we do the things we do. An example would be how some of us (me) find it easy to bash Bush et al. He is an easy target, oh sure make fun of the retarded man in the white house. Now that takes a lot of guts.

How about all the dumb things we (I) do? Postponing paying bills until the last possible moment, procrastinating on my seemingly endless divorce. Want to duck confrontation at all costs until the confrontation comes and "blam" or "Pow" or "Zap" here we go again. I need to take what I dish out. I might find it tasty. Or maybe I'll choke on my own words...

So what do I say now that Gonzo, aka Torture-boy, aka the big AG, is gone? I personally think that having AG around is great, he the gift that keeps giving. Why wish him, or for that matter Rove, gone? We'd have to be pretty stupid to think that the Admin. will change if these guys leave their "official" capacity. Remember Rumsfeld? He's still got an office in the Pentagon. Do we not understand that Email, to say nothing of the phone, will keep these men in contact with the President regardless of Congressional wishes. Nobody really "goes away" Hell these turds have been lying on the lawn in Washington for decades. They won't go until they are singing with the quire invisible.

It is like trying to escape your ex. If you have kids then forget it. You are gonna be stuck with him/her for the duration so you better make peace with the idea. Even if we got rid of Bush what would that really change? Would Iraq disappear? Hell no, it would rage on with us or without us. If you think the headlines suck now wait until the headlines about the busted Iraqi state start coming in after "The US Abandons Iraq". No this situation is going to be hell no matter what we do.

Recriminations galore for years to come. Everybody better get their fingers good and exercised because there will be a lot of finger point jobs to go around. Republicans blame Democrats for losing Iraq. Democrats blame Republicans for losing Iraq. The public blames all of them. Like a marriage breaking up, in the end does it really matter a damn who's fault it was? Is the injured party going to have some extra vindication over that knowledge? Well maybe. But it is all emotional crap. The reality is that the situation was brought about but a perfect storm of bad decisions, bad intel, bad ideas, and simple bad luck. Its a crap shoot so we have to be careful and not expect more than that, not unless we want to be really depressed.

Looking back at Eisenhower letting the French get clobbered in Vietnam, or FDR taking his sweet time getting involved with Europe; I think that those are examples of being careful, because those guys new what a crap shoot life basically is. It would be neat if we all could be John Wayne, with gun in one hand, and a script that tells us how is all going to turn out in the other, but alas we do not.

America's Elections need some brains power



The current rush to advance primary dates is a clear indication of the stupidity of continuing with the primary process as it is now. It is a silly system that has greatly outlived its usefulness to democracy. It has not outlived its usefulness to campaings ergo it is still happening, much like the conventions.

At some point we as a nation really need to revamp this process so it is less about the candidate and more about the country. The following system would be far better for the nation and lead to better candidates and therefore better Presidents.

1) Restrict the election year to just that 1 year. No fundraising, adds, or any other type of campaigning can be done prior to 365 days before the general election.

2) States, in randomized order, will have a primary or causcus, one week at a time. This will give any candidate 1 week of instate presense prior to election day. After 50 weeks all states will have chosen their nominee to various parties. Then there will be a 2 week span of time when the various campaigns can focus their message.

3) The convention will be replaced by a national convention that will be the last hurrah before election day. This convention can last the last week of the campaign and parties can still decide where they would like to have it.

4) Then election day comes. People cast votes and the majority votes elect Presidents. No more electoral college. A simple majority in a state will give that states vote to the candidate that most people voted for. Oh yes, and DC has to be able to vote since with only 50 states, or votes, we could end up in a tie. This way there is not tie possible.

The End.

This is no more wierd or screwed up than the current cluster we have to deal with now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bush needs educating, again. I know this is getting really old...

Bush needs educating about the war he, and Cheney didn’t want to go to. For one thing the “killing fields” took place in Cambodia, they were the result to the Khmer Rouge taking power as a result of American medaling in Cambodian affairs.

As the Vietnam War progressed, Sihanouk adopted an official policy of neutrality until he was ousted in 1970 by a military coup led by Prime Minister General Lon Nol, who was supported by the USA.

Sihanouk realigned himself with the communist Khmer Rouge rebels who had been slowly gaining territory in the remote mountain regions and urged his followers to help in overthowing the unpopular pro-United States government of Lon Nol, hastening the onset of civil war.

In “Operation Menu”, a series of secret B-52 bombing raids by the United States on suspected Viet Cong bases and supply routes inside Cambodia, was acknowledged after Lon Nol assumed power; U.S. forces briefly invaded Cambodia in a further effort to disrupt the Viet Cong. The bombing continued and, as the Cambodian communists began gaining ground.

In November 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia to stop Khmer Rouge incursions across the border and the genocide of Vietnamese in Cambodia.

As usual Bush tends to paint all conflicts in a region wit h the same brush. Arabs are terrorists, Asians are Communists, black people are niggers…oh sorry…didn’t mean to let the Bush out of the bag.

Mr. President please do not invoke a war you ran away from. You don’t know shit about it so avoid looking any stupider and shut the hell up. Concentrate on the war you started not the one started by your dead Texas predecessor.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Body Worlds 3

I saw Body Worlds III today. I have to tell you honestly that I was a bit unsure how to take this exhibit. Especially since I had my ten year old with me. Then we were in there wit hall the plastinates (plasticized people) and after fifteen minutes my ten year old came up to me and gave me her pronouncement.

She was standing in a room filled with a dozen human cadavers, heads, brains, lung cross-sections, examples of diseased and healthy organs, and even a full sized camel that was, well all hanging out, and announced that she was bored.

I am not sure what it would take to interest the youth of today. Actually I do. It is High School Musical 2 and its accompanying soundtrack. Now if the Body Worlds exhibit had a more pumping beat to its musical score then perhaps the kids would not be bored.

For me I was amazed and I could have spent a lot more time in there if it weren’t for a portion of my brain, I am sure it was out there somewhere on display too, that told me to partake of this anatomical extravaganza and then leave. For some deep and shadowy reason I had a problem with it. It did not sadden me or gross me out. I guess if I had to put a finger on it it would be that despite extraordinary sites I was not looking at anything that particularly reminded me of the living.

I came away from the show with the over arching thought of “I am amazed that we can exist at all given how we are put together. We look engineered, like complicated erector sets, the only thing that gives us the illusion of organic life is the life itself. Take that “life” away and all the posing, coloring, plastination, or whatever and you are still just an “it”, no more special than a hunk of bark dust, or pile of dust.

Monday, August 13, 2007

911 conspiracy theorists are a bunch of Losers

I would attempt to elevate my discourse but why bother. Why speak rationally to a bunch of delusional, paranoid misanthrops who can't get their empty heads around the truth of the event. Screw them and all the useless, little-brained idiots, who are in fact, with mindless ignorance, the shills for the real force behind that event.

They are an insult to human beings, if that is in fact what they really are? For all I know these so called “truth seekers” are a branch of psychological operations? Is it so hard to believe that they have been put in place to spread disinformation to help the enemy? Maybe the truth seekers are really the mouth piece of a star chamber of individuals who wish to rule the world?

Unfortunately they are too stupid. I wish they were a branch of the enemy. But they are too retarded to be of much use to them. They are no use to the US and no use to Bin Laden. Who are they a use for? I guess corporations that try to sell crap on sites set up to blog.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Star Adventures Continues...


Ah the majesty of the main dock at Station-1. Please compare this with the dock as it appeared in the original film. The big ship being escorted in is the Adon-II. The little ships are the local police ships.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Replublicans tell the truth, from their own misinformed, and incorrect point of view


This fresh in from Fact Check.org

* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney falsely claimed U.S. job growth had been nearly 17 times faster than Europe's. Actually, European Union employment grew faster than that of the U.S. last year. Romney's figures come from a source who told FactCheck.org that he would no longer use them.
* Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani accused Democratic candidates of "appeasement" toward Islamic terrorists. In fact, leading Democratic candidates have spoken out strongly against terrorism.
* Sen. John McCain claimed American families spend $140 billion of their income preparing federal income tax returns. We find no support for that figure, which the Internal Revenue Service puts at $19 billion.
* Rep. Tom Tancredo claimed illegal immigrants "are taking a large part of our health care dollars." But the independent Rand Corp. estimates that undocumented immigrants account for 1.5 percent of health care spending or less.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Occam and conspiracy


Oh no that pesky Bush has sent his henchmen to the Midwest to blow up bridges now. It couldn't be that the old bridge failed due to structural problems. The Star Chamber conspiracy is a far more logical solution to the why. Just like 911, or the moon landing, or the Kennedy assassination.

“ entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.”
“entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.”
-William of Ockham 1288-1348

This 14th century bit to logic is as solid today as back then. It is often paraphrased, “All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one.” How does this relate to conspiracies? First let us look at what a conspiracy is.

Conspiracy’s are premeditative actions of multiple persons, each performing a task in secret, to bring about an event.

By their nature conspiracies get progressively harder to keep secret when the number of people involved becomes large. I am not trying to say that conspiracies do not work. They do especially if they are of a short nature. The conspiracy by the 911 attackers to take down the WTC is a good example. The conspiracy was able to pull it off because there was no light being shed on them. Or the burning of the Reichstag building in Berlin by the Nazi’s who blamed the communists. Once the conspiracy is out of the bag, however, it is out and it is a losing game trying to hide it.

What make me personally skeptical of the conspiracies listed in paragraph one is that the conspiracy is supposedly kept going, even after the event that the conspiracy brought about has occurred. Once the spot light is on, if there is a conspiracy, it will be discovered. We like conspiracies though. We love a good James Bond movie about forces unknown who wish to rule the world. I would posit that the desire to see conspiracies is directly proportional to the level of national paranoia. I will get to this in a moment. But first let us look at to cases:

On the old Kennedy assassination modern forensics has pretty much determined that all the paths of the bullets that struck the President and Connelly all came from the 6th floor of the schoolbook depository building. There were no magic bullets. The people that end up having to do gymnastics to have their “evidence” fit are the conspiracy freaks. Autopsy photos that have trickled out of the national archives also clearly show a wound caused from a bullet from behind, as does the readily available x-rays. Furthermore with the access to the hi-res Zepruder images it is pretty clear where the bullets were coming from.

If there was a conspiracy then Oswald had to be the shooter. But conspiracy freaks almost always wish to exonerate Oswald, as if a nut with a gun could possibly have killed the President. And the so-called “hit” done by Jack Ruby on Oswald is another big problem for the conspiracy people. If anything would make a conspiracy to kill the President fall apart it would be to kill off the assassin in the Police building in front of cameras. That is unless you wanted it to appear to be a conspiracy. Then by all means do that.

Lets look at another attempted assassination. John Hinckley is in love with the movie star Jodi Foster, whom he has never met, and to prove his love to her he decides to kill Regan. He gets a gun and is able to get within easy pistol-shot of the President despite Secret Service all around. Sounds pretty far fetched. But some how there is not conspiracy circle here. Even though the facts around Hinckley sound so absurd.


Getting back to my point. The time of the assassination attempt on Regan was a different from 1963. Back in 1963 the public was neurotic and on edge, deep in the cold war and with growing civil unrest at home. Minds could more easily see the fictitious bogyman instead of the idiot Oswald. With real spies around each corner, nukes on high alert, and national guardsmen escorting kids to school, it was easy to let the paranoia get the better of us.

Likewise on 911. The stumbling mediocrity of the Bush Administration lead to much the same kind of paranoia. Then we had the Anthrax letters and all too soon we ended up in Iraq. So again events easily mold thought to the point where the fictitious bogyman appears again. And we waste time with the fake instead of the real demons. There are real demons with the killing of JFK and 911. Forces took advantage of both events to advance agendas.

I guess you have to ask yourself what was the point of the conspiracy? In the movie JFK it was supposed to be a war in Vietnam. But the truth of course is that JFK but the troops in there, and helped the nationalists kill President Diem. And LBJ was not really interested in world affairs anyway. He did use the Kennedy assassination to good effect thought. It is doubtful that the Civil Rights act or the Moonlanding would have happened with such speed had JFK not been killed.

911 was the result of a conspiracy, a conspiracy that ended on 911 when all the conspirators died in the attack. Once the attack was over, Bin Laden took full responsibility, or credit, for helping get the attacks going, in a distantly removed way. You would think that it would be to Alqueda’s benefit to sow the seeds of conspiracy around Israel or the Bush Administration. But they are accepting of their culpability and warn of worse to come.

A conspiracy involving demolitions experts, the CIA, Bush, the government of NYC, the owner of the WTC site, the FAA, the Pentagon, and god knows who else, is false, in my opinion since it fails the simple test of Ockham’s Razzor. It simply makes too many assumptions.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

France-ee-ness


http://www.radiojunior.com/

Cultures are so different and at the same time so similar. The conservative idiots who think that France or Europe is some how politically correct and oh-so watered down compared to the rough, tough, American life style, don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. The above web site is for Junior Radio. This is a kids radio station, sort of like Nick for France. There is a difference though. On this radio station they have kids groups singing lots of songs, just like US kids shows, but here they do covers of Rolling Stones songs like “Satisfaction” complete with the line about “..he can’t be a man because he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me…” I doubt that this would fly on the rough tough American kids networks.

If anything those conservative mutants are stunting our kids by not exposing them to the richness of the world. Most European kids speak a little English. Enough to converse with. While the American kids can barely speak their own language.

My country is great but about 20% of its population seems to have their heads permanently stuck up their asses.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Is Religion the Problem?


On Talk of The Nation today a young Muslim, Dr. Eboo Patel, was interviewed about his new organization the “Interfaith Youth Core”. I was delighted to here him speak. I was disheartened by many of the callers who tried to have him explain why Islam seems to be the only religion that has a penchant for terrorism. I would like to answer them.

There is a pervasive assumption that Islam is more violent than Christianity of Judaism. Recent history seems to bare this assumption out. I will not go into the recent anecdotal litany of Islamic radicals causing trouble. This assumption, nevertheless is wrong.

The trio of faiths listed above are none of them, either more or less violent than the other. All their holy books speak of violent militarism and God sticking up for the righteous fighters. All also speak to the necessity of doing good toward your fellow human beings. Helping the poor, not ignoring the widow or the orphan. The holy writings they adhere to in total can either be used to justify good or bad. So it is not the faith itself that causes the Crusader or Terrorist but the individuals application of the religion.

To say religion is evil is like saying science is evil. It is neither evil or good it is a set of ideas. What human beings do with it is either good or evil. Human justice does not exist outside human action. Justice does not exist within any text or book. A hammer can build a home or kill a man. Yet no one would argue whether or not the hammer is inherently evil of good. What it is used for is either evil or good.

Violence and religion have been intertwined throughout the millennia, from Moses and Judas Maccabeus, to Richard Cour d’Lion and his crusaders, to the Catholics and the Protestants slaughtering each other for 30 years in the 17th century down to todays Islamic jihadists. It is the nexus of a multitude of social, religious, political, and economic under currents that create religion-based violence not just religion. Violence is the problem not simply religion.

If you go into any of the violent examples provided above, religion is only a tool to justify violence, but never really the reason behind the violent activity. Political conquest, not conversion, is the real reason behind the violence. Currently Islam is in the nexus of currents that are out of its control. It is being used as convenient justification for what is in essense retaliation against the westernism, not Christianity or Judasim. The failed imperial states of the 19th and 20th century have brought about an environment of impoverished billions and pan continental civil wars. Islam spread quickly in the affected regions partially because of historical connection, and partly as a backlash against the departed imperial powers.

Today Islam is as much the victim of the collapse of the Imperial west as it is a perpetrator of its own collapse. The broad undercurrents of civilization flow regardless of election cycles in the US or the name of the current crop of religious fanatics. These vast undercurrents, like the movements of the ocean currents, are very hard to nail down. Constantly shifting they will bring and end of Islamic radicalism, as the did to the thousand years of Christian warfare. There will always be tools ready to help men justify conquest and killing. Religion is but one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The better angels are flapping their wings


I have lived long enough on this ball to know that all politics is NOW. Not the future, not even tomorrow. Just the course to satisfy the instant. That is what got us into Iraq in the first place. We had the tools, we had the reasons, we had the excuse of 911. So we all jumped off the cliff and are now trying to figure out how not to get splattered. I listened to the eloquent, intelligent debate from both sides on the floor of the Senate. I heard very little imperious flag waving on the part of the Republicans and heard little grand standing on the part of the Democrats. Mainly I heard a bunch of men and women basically saying to each other, “Yeah things pretty messed up…so what should we do?”

For myself I have had another phase shift in my own thinking on Iraq and where we are in the world. Pulling out of Iraq a year ago or 2 years ago is not the same equation as pulling out now. Staying is bad, pulling out may be worse. Here is one scenario that I view as possible, based on my knowledge of history:

We leave Iraq in the state it is now.

Reaction:

IRAQ: Shiite militants will dominated Iraq, Sadr will be the defacto leader with a puppet government beholden to him. Previous leadership will either be killed or flee. Sunni groups will be viciously repressed with methods that are being used now, just on a larger scale. Kurds will be forced to declare independence. This will cause Turkey to go on high alert.

EU: Extreme trepidation over what the force vacuum in Iraq will mean for stable oil prices and spread of militancy.

UK: Labor government will fall to conservatives

IRAN: Between a rock and a hard place it will be forced to significantly aid Sadr . It will also use this a justification for such aid and become the main military benefactor of Iraq.

CHINA: More liberal with anti-Taiwanese-independence rhetoric. Basically more saber rattling.

Russia: Happy. However also very nervous since so much of their own territory is prone to Islamic militancy.

Broader Mid East: The joy in the streets will last a few weeks and then settle back down into impoverished depression. Fear in the governments of Egypt et al over what the deadly brew in Iraq will do once it spills out. Probably increased arms expenditures by Syria, Egypt and of course Israel. Israel will probably see its own roll as airborne enforcer.

US: We will still have an air presence over Iraq, and have large number of forces in Kuwait. Though Kuwait may be nervous that the problems in Iraq might spill into their own country. Democrats will win White House but then lose it in the 2012 election.

Bin Laden: Busy with his own agenda

Monday, July 16, 2007

Who can we trust on the situation in Iraq?

The President: We cannot trust him because of the series of mistakes, lies, and continued blindness his administration shows towards this mess.

The Congress: Perhaps some can be trusted, but we need to be just as wary of those leaders who are happy to see Bush founder in his war. Not that I see too many doing this. But I do feel a smug sense of “I told you so” wafting up from the depths of the Democratic party. This also makes me not trust them. For people who see Iraq as a wedge issue to destroy Bush fail to see the real problem, the war itself. I would gladly sacrifice Democratic control of Congress for a successful conclusion to Iraq. This being said I feel the Democrats are really the only hope since the Republicans are so ill lead.

The people: I do not trust them either. I do not trust them since I do not think they really understand the nature of the conflict. They simply want the bad movie to be over. As I said in my previous post, I do not think the bad movie will be over if we leave Iraq in a big mess. The law of unintended consequences rules not only the act of staying in Iraq but also leaving.

What I wish we had was a group of people who really understood, in a pragmatic, visceral, non-aligned way, the nature of our dilemma. Only then can a good way forward be planned and achieved. When all sides are simply vying for the prize of the White House, or the Congress, the poor ill-treated soldier is still left sweating in the heat of a no-win situation.

God damn all of us for this madness. While we all fiddle with “Impeach Bush” bumper stickers, or little yellow “support our troops” ribbons, or “W” stickers, or “don’t blame me I voted for Kerry” our soldiers burn. As an American I am infuriated with the lot of us. If we want this war over then force the issue with millions in the streets of Washington, put our lives on hold, sacrifice our summer, and or jobs, and make a giant stink! Or volunteer to go to Iraq too!

Our sin is that we do nothing. We blog, was chat, we shake our heads and ask why. All while letting men and women, who actually put their real lives on the line for us, sweat in a holding pen waiting to get blown up. We are a nation of fat soft hypocrites. If we lose our democracy we will have deserved it.