Monday, December 22, 2008

Enforced liesure

It started snowing last Sunday. It continued for a day then got very cold. Last week was a week of nervous driving, listening to the radio, reading internet news about weather etc. Then Saturday came and the world stopped.

Portland, Oregon, is a city known for rain and weather that is, in both summer and winter, boring. It is never very hot and never very cold and when we get snow it is usually last for 24 hour, we build a snowman, miss a day of work then forget about snow til next year.

On Saturday, the Saturday befor Chirstmas no less, it began to snow. It did not stop, indeed it is snowing now, three days later. My car is buried in the stuff. The snow was accompanied by severe winds too. So nobody could even go out in it to build the afore mentioned snow man. Saturday I was able to make a run to the store and that was it.

I am here alone. I talk on the phone, read, browse the net, and stew. I find that I have begun to devolve into something less than me. I sit in my pajamas, hair askew, unshaven, and unconcerned about the dishes in the sink, or the unmaid bed. Listening to even my favorite NPR shows puts me to sleep in minutes.

It as if I am beginning to hibernate, shutdown, coccoon myself waiting for the thaw. I play Sims and note that my Sim person has more freedom in his electronic world than I do. He is bored so he gets into his sports car and goes to a nightclub to have drink and dance the night away. His god, me, is stuck behind a wall of white muck. I can kill him off if I want. My daughter is an expert tormentor of Sim souls. She will wait for a sim to enter a room then delete all the doors and watch the Sim stave to death. Kids are cruel. For my part I am happy with my Sim having a life. I feel sympathetic when his advances are rebuffed. Even if I had advances myself there is no one to rebuff them.

Later I am extatic to find an entire 6 pack of Heineken that had been packed away in the closet. In truth I was looking for my gaiters, and do not really like Heineken, but what the hell? No gaiters but at least a beer fest. But even this is a let down. Drinking alone is not good. It too is too easy to do when you have nothing better to do.

No gaiters but I have my Denali boots. So after tricking myself out like a Himalyan mountaineer, I trudge down the stairs into the white muck. The snow is not snowman snow. It is powder snow. Skiiers would kill for snow like this. I manage down the street. The wind is biting cold, my breathing is hard because of the effort of postholing. It takes me 20 minutes of post-holing in snow to walk a block to the store. When I get there is looks like the day-lodge at Timberline. Men and women in Goretex, X-country skies leaning up against the building, all you need is overpriced lift-tickets.

On my way back I overhear a lady talking to her freind saying "I just had to escape." We humans are a weird lot. We are stuck in a warm dwelling with food and water and power, and we feel we need to "escape" that by plunging into a frozen wasteland. Curious.

My brother is going to rescue me. He has a 4wheel drive rig that can make its way around so I will conclude this evening in the company of others. I almost expect a party!

Maybe this is how things were back in the day. People living in sod houses, trying not to starve and freeze, cut off from their neighbors by miles of snow and ice, and then one day they meet up and have a big party. We take for granted having people around. We are so used to not being isolated that when it happens we are at a loss as to know what to do, or at least what to expect that we will do.

Maybe I'll sweep the steps? Or perhaps take a nap until my brother comes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Plaque in Olympia

Some atheist group put up a plaque saying that, in their opinion, God does not exist. Then somebody stole it and tossed it in a ditch, then somebody found it and put it back. Blah blah blah. As a Christian what do I care if someone wants to say that God does not exist? Gods existence or non existence is in no way predicated on what any human being chooses to believe. The people who get cranky over other people expressing their beliefs, either pro or con, should really consider why they get so cranky. If you have faith it should not bother you in the least that some atheist puts up a plaque espousing his views. No soul is going to be saved, or God served by some little pink human stealing private property and then attempting to destroy the property.

I guess the problem was that the plaque was in the state house next to a nativity scene. Why in the world the State has a nativity scene in its governments house is beyond me. Again as a Christian I find the state in anyway meddling with faith to be troubling. At any rate God is not served by such earthly entities. God, being omnipotent needs no human being to acknowledge Him, fight for him, or do anything else for him. We are called to serve each other not God. We need God, God does not need us.

More Pirate Tales of Old


Francois L'Olonnais was another successful pirate from the 17th century. He was a Frenchman with a particular hatred of the Spanish. Here is an account of a typical incident of the fun loving Buccaneer:

After the pirate had attacked Porto Cabello he was ambushed by Spanish troops. After escaping the fight L'Olonnais wanted to plot a way of escape. He had taken several Spanish prisoners. He drew his cutlass, and with it cut open the breast of one of those poor Spaniards, and pulling out his heart with his sacrilegious hands, began to bite and gnaw it with his teeth, like a ravenous wolf, saying to the rest, "I will serve you all alike, if you show me not another way."

Irony knowing no bounds, L'Olonnais, after a long career being a violent, murdering, torturing, maniac, was set upon by natives in Central America and eaten.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Piracy off Somalia! A new threat? Not really...


I get a kick out of all the sudden clamor over piracy off Somalia. Those waters have been dangerous for a very long time. As an example here is the story of the greatest act of piracy in history. Note that the money values were in current English pounds of the later 17th century and do not reflect today. These numbers would be vastly larger. Somali pirates of today are actually quite gentile compared to the raiders of the past.
The nature of Piracy is to attack a ship, seize it, plunder what it holds, then sink it, sell it, or use it for future profit. Piracy has been going on for as long as humans have traveled the seas. Julius Caesar spent time as a captive of pirates. The story to be told takes place in the Golden Age of Piracy.

"In August 1695, the English Pirate Henry Every, or "Long Ben" and his ship the Fancy reached the Mandab Strait (where the Somali pirates operate now), where he teamed up with four other pirate ships, including Thomas Tew's sloop Amity. Although a 25-ship Mughal convoy bound for India eluded the pirate fleet during the night, the following day they encountered the greatest ship in the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's fleet, the Ganj-I-Sawai, and its escort Fateh Muhammed, both passing the straits en route to Surat. After a protracted battle they took both ships.

The victorious pirates then subjected their captives to several days of horror, raping and murdering prisoners at will, and using torture to force them to reveal the location of the ships' treasure. Some of the Muslim women committed suicide to avoid violation or humiliation. Those women who did not kill themselves or die from the pirates' brutality were taken aboard the Fancy. The other survivors were left aboard their ships, which the pirates set free.

The loot from the Ganj-I-Sawai totalled between £325,000 and £600,000, including 500,000 gold and silver pieces. Every and the surviving pirate captains set sail for RĂ©union, where they shared out £1,000 and some gemstones to every man in the crew."

So how did things end for Henry Every? Well he was one of the few pirates to escape the noose. He went to Ireland and was never seen again. What ended the Golden Age of Piracy was the rise of national navies. Pirates were mercinaries who were contracted by governments to fight for them. Once the contract was up they just kept on fighting. After all what else can you do? Become a farmer? Starve? Governments created the pirates of old, just like we do today. Where did all those Somali pirates learn to fight? In the Somali wars. Who supplied them? Who helped train them?

To stop the Somali pirates of today we probably need to kill a lot of them. Thousands of happless pirates were hanged. Almost all the famous pirates of old met a bad end.

Black Beard: head cut off after being shot
Bart Roberts: Shot in face with grapeshot
Captain Kid: Hanged
Calico Jack Rackham: Hanged
Stede Bonnet: Hanged
Sir Henry Morgan: died broke, and drunk (prophetic since Henry Morgans is a famous Rum)
Sir Francis Drake: died of dysentery

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who does Zawhiri fear most?


I would say that Zawahiri and Bin Laden fear Obama more than God. They feared Bush more than God too. They talk tough, but live in hiding. Who are they hiding from and why? They are hiding because they do not want to die. They are hiding from that which they fear. They fear the US. So when the two of them weigh their faith in God and their fear of the US, the scale tips toward fear of the US. Obama does not live in hiding. Neither did Bush. America is confident while her enemies live in holes, sitting next to rusty guns used as props, making pronouncements. America knows that Zawahiri and Bin Laden, and their followers hate it.
So again why do they hide? They do not want to die? If they are confident in their service to God then why should the fear? Maybe they fear the US and God. They fear the US for its ability to kill them and they fear God in His ability to lay vengeance upon them for killing in His name.

Thursday, November 06, 2008



Well the country has spoken again. The same nation that put Clinton in the White House twice, the same nation that put Bush in the White House twice, has now sent Mr. Obama to the White House. It is historic for the precedent it sets and for the fact that he won the popular vote by 4 million votes, and that it was not even close.

The Republicans are catterwalling about how Palin sunk the ticket, or how McCain was not a true believer of American conservatism. But one this is clear. The Republicans need to do some drastic house cleaning. If the reason your ticket "lost" was Palin, the one person to galvanize you base, then that does not say much about your coming chances to take back power. McCain was given such a terrible hand to play that even if he had chosen better for VP he was in trouble from the start.

Even if McCain had not been dealt a stinking mess to run with, he was in trouble because Obama simply ran a superb campaign.

Hopefully what comes out of this election is an abandonment of neoconservative dung. If America ends up with two parties who think and can have candidates who like to think, then we will all be better off. If the Republicans think Palin is their future then they should save themselves a lot of grief and jump off the bridge to know where. Because that is all Palin represents.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Final Poll Crunch for Bush

We love the little guy! 25%
So long and no need to hang around! 69%
Have no clue: 7%

In all the years of my poll crunching for W' I have had very few surprises. The poll crunch has been going on since 2004. On this his final day as a President without a President elect, he is in the tank as he has been for years. Leadership, to be sure, is not only shown in poll numbers, but if you are loathed for years and years and make your people hurt that pretty much says it all.

Goodbye Mr. Bush.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election 2008 nearing the end

One week from yesterday the election will be over. In six days all this hullaballu will be complete and Bush-Co can rent the U-hauls and start packing up. It has been a long time in coming. As a voter I would like to say that this has been the most exciting election since the last election. That is to say that they all are exciting.

Hopefully this time at least 50% of the voters will actually vote. That in itself will be a laudable thing. I am not sure what would get the average voter to vote other than a cattle prod. I am hoping that Obama wins in a convincing enough way to keep the nuts on all sides from raising their pathetic heads. Listening to the far reaches of political nutjobs, who are already trying to position themselves with either voter fraud or voter suppression, I have to wince.

So where am I at politically now, a week out? Well I used to have a ton of respect for McCain. But most of that has gone away now. He has compromised with so many idtiots and taken so many positions that who knows what or who he really is? I am very sorry for the Republican Party who used to have some pretty smart people espousing their ideas. They have sunk to Palin and a plummer? Well most of the working guys I know are voting for Obama. I am not too sure exactly what the Republican "strategy" is anymore.

I guess their "winning card" is to say that giving tax cuts to the middle class is bad and giving tax cuts to millionaires is good. Well I guess the millionaire vote is sewn up for McCain. As for the VAST rest of us. Sorry but we need a President of the people not just of the rich. What have the rich done for America since Bushco came to power? Stole us blind, made bad business decisions, then begged us to save them. They can rot in hell.

Now on to election day. Go-Bama!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Peter Iredale 2008


This was once a 2075 ton, Liverpool built, 4 masted barque. It was the largest vessel built by Riston and Co. in 1890. In 1906, during a squall at the mouth of the Columbia, she ran a ground. This is all that is left of her.
Many people come and visit this most famous wreak on the Oregon Coast. Her rusting hulk, including the bases of all four masts, rests on a broad beach for all to see.
She has not ventured to sea since coming to rest here over 100 years ago. Her last port of call was Santa Cruz Mexico. Still the rusting iron and steel that remains knows not of her condition. It awaits, such as it is, riveted together awaiting the next voyage.
The ships hull still lives with the sea, while almost all of its brethren, long since turned into railroad iron, bridge steel, or nails, has broken that connection. Its barnacle encrusted hull tastes the salt sea each day at high tide, doing battle with the elements. She arguably has more visitors in her and on her than any other barque in the world.
And still her steel plates, whose surface resembles the surface of Mars, wait for the crew to heave away at the capstan that no longer exists, and hoist anchor to sail away.
Peter Iredale, the owner of the ship, has bones probably turned to so much dust, while his namesake rests in her still multi-tonne glory waiting. Waiting for a voyage that we know will never come. To the visitor she looks dead, is dead. But to the steel there is no thought to death or life.
It is a thing made for a purpose. And even though its original purpose ended 102 years ago, the iron and steel have a new purpose. It is a monument, a talisman, a rune as well as a ruin. What men walked her decks? What was life like back then? Where did that world go and why? So much is brought up to the surface of the mind by old rusting steel and iron.
As I write this the tide is in. The wreak is surrounded in the inky darkness by the cold North Pacific, its steel and iron doing battle with the sea, as it was meant to be.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Debate Rehash September 2008

I had a billion (actual number much lower) things to do on Friday so I listened on the radio in my car as I sped here and there doing stuff for other people that would mean the end of the world if they didn't get done.

Here is my two cents worth:

Here are two guys who actually want to get stuck with the job dealing with gigantically f'd up situations across the world, of every conceivable flavor. From anarchic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to a nuclear N. Korea ruled by (fill in the blank), to Putin the puppet-master in Moscow, to an Arctic Ice sheet meltdown, to a financial meltdown.

Looking at both guys, listening to them, and what they did say and what they did not say, I felt confident that in January one of these guys will be President. Other than that I am not sure where my confidence should lay. On the whole Obama has history on his side. McCain in his "We're winning in Iraq, we're winning in Iraq" mantra sounded almost not to believe himself.

Obama also came across as the man who was more realistic in what we can and should be doing in the World. McCain wanted to paint himself as the clear military leader, and I think he did that. But there in resides a big problem for McCain. Most of the situations in the world require far broader ability than to simply be a good general.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin

Here are some things to chew on:

1) If your teenage daughter tells you she is pregnant, would you willingly through her into the American Political sausage grinder just to be VP?

2) If you were the Presidential nominee of your party and new that the lady had a teenager in the dilemma of her life, would you willingly through the kid under the political bus just to get some female votes?

3) If you were a anti-choice person would you really want a spokesperson who is the poster-parent for how NOT to keep children from getting pregnant out of wedlock?

4) If you wanted to be VP and use your family as a back drop for how much of a family person you are, could you really be too upset that people talk when it is shown that your kid is knocked up?

5) Since your party made its mark by dragging private life into public life, could you really be too surprised that you are getting what you asked for?

To the rest of America: Do we really want 4 more years of the Beverly Hill Billies? I know the Hill Billies answer to this question. What about all of you who actually think?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

News Comentators are not very informed

It used to be that news anchors were journalists. Now they are talkers. This means that often they spout idiocy. For instance on NPR one commentator, during the DNC convention, said that Obama wowed a crowd in Portland of 750,000 people. What the hell? Clearly her notes were mis-typed and she was so uninformed that the gross inaccuracy was lost on her.

Then their is the question of "dis-unity". The reporters seemed to have developed their narrative prior to any actual conflict at the convention. They were banking on some kind of flap. No dis-unity flap has occurred as any Democrat could tell you, and we all did. Somehow the narrative is still being pushed off on us. We all are just "putting a good face on" The actual truth is that we Democrats will not let anything stop us in our quest to take the White House back. We have our nominee and now on to November. That is the simple truth.

The real dis-unity is in the other party. Yet no such narrative is evident in the media there. McCain is running counter to his parties platform, a document that mentions him by name only once in 20,000 words. On almost every major issue for the conservative idiots in his party McCain has a different position. This may make him more bankable to the real Americans but the truth of course is that those same conservative will have him by the balls and have shown they can get him to change his opinion on all sorts of issues.

Commentators, who really are not experts in much, again show how little they know when they start talking about things we understand. The only time they sound smart to me is when they speak of things I know nothing of. The more a citizen knows the stupider the news people sound. Citizens of America Get smart!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Joe vs the Volcano


The Clinton supporters, so far, are showing that they are more in love with Mrs. Clinton than with their country. As I have said in the past the Clinton supporters are not much different than the Bush supporters. They want their person and they do not care what nation they have to ruin in order to have their way.

So now the Clinton seem upset that their person was not chosen to be the VP. First of all do we know that Obama did not ask her? NO. And frankly I am tired of people trying to say that Clinton is entitled to some office by right of who she is. She ran a race and lost. We all win some and lose some.

If Clinton supporters were true Democrats they would solidify behind the man who will do the most good for the people. That is Obama. However they are so wrapped up in their cult that they may send this nation down yet another dark path. Do we want this? Of course not. Any Clinton supporter who will support McCain really needs to ask himself or herself why? Remember McCain is simply a different face attached, Frankenstein style, to the same body that brought us Iraq and a squalid economy. He may look different than Bush, talk different than Bush, but all those interests who got rich with Bush are the ones standing behind McCain.

Only a fool would go from Clinton to McCain. If you would not vote for Bush why would you bother voting for McCain? How many people have to get killed in the next war just so the Clintonistas can teach America a lesson. If those who support Clinton really honor what she stands for then they will vote for Obama.

So Clinton supporters what are you? Do you honor the ideals or just the person espousing them? As an Obama supporter I would be right behind Clinton if she had beaten him. Both Obama and Clinton would advance our great nation. Obama is the person now. So lets get on with it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Russia and America. Good old boys of brute force


"Speak softly and carry a big stick..." Oh hell just carry a big stick! The actions of the bully Russia in Georgia and similar to the action of the bully America in Iraq. Both sides are full of justification about the absurd use of force on populations of people who are poor and already living hard lives.

So Bush lectures Russia on using too much force in Georgia and they laugh at him. Well Duh! What do we expect? The world is sick of both of us. Both nations are acting like thugs and yelling at each other, putting each other down, and basically acting like jerks.

There will be lots of people in both countries, and there are, that will say, "look at those jerks over there! We need to act tough like them or they will think we are weak." And they will bitch a lot and get more military funding so both countries can act even more like jerks.

China is also paying attention and taking notes. It already is a bullying jerk too, but it hasn't had a chance to really flex its stupidity yet. Taiwan awaits its fate like Iraq, and Georgia. There are always reasons given by these idiots to justify their terrorism.

Friday, August 15, 2008

PSU Orientation 2008

Well after 7 hours at PSU with my daughter I am now ready. Ready to not spend seven more hours at PSU. Things started off well enough and I was quite pleased by the first speaker who headed up the honors program. He did not dumb down his prose.

Then we broke into student and parent groups and went our separate ways. They offered about 10 different classes on various subjects surrounding the entry of students into PSU and college life in general.

Then we had lunch cafeteria style.

After that the parents went to listen to all the horrible things that "might" happen to our kids. It is sort of a disclaimer that bad things might happen and we should all try to prevent them. Depression, drinking, drugs, sexual assault, and suicide. Which topic do you think garnored the most audience participation?

Sexual Assault. The audience was not much interested in talking about depression, drinking, drugs or suicide. I thought this odd since all of the above usually are connected to sexual assault. Some parents said that they wanted their girls in self defense classes, or carry mace. One person said own a big dog. Never mind that you can't have a big dog on campus.

Then the health person who was leading this extravaganza of doom said that 90% of sexual assaults take place during a date and involve booze.

One parent asked how would the health center notify them if their kid was sick, etc. The answer was that they would not be notified since the students records are private. This question was rephrased to ask if the health center would notify the cops of an assault had taken place to a student. Nope. Doctor patient confidentiality. The student could talk, but the health care providers are of course prohibited.

The best news I got all day was that a full time student at PSU is entitled to free health and dental through the Student Health Center.

I felt really good about today. And I feel really good about the kids I saw too. As a society we are going to be ok.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Moralising

I read a great article in the NY Times about Trolls. Internet Trolls. People who basically get in the way of people who try to use the Internet for a useful purpose. The people interviewed sounded like sociopaths. I understand why this is.

If you are in a room with a real human being and you walk up to them an insult them, their family, or try to steel their wallet, you have to suffer instant physical, social, and emotional consequences.

On the net you can do this with the barrier of electrons between you and your victim. Troll are pretentious cowards. They seldom are held to account for their actions. So the cowards continue hurting people. At some point the mess they make will end up in their midst. Behind bars, in the drunk tank, in a moldy blanket under a bridge, struggling to eat, they will finally face the consequences for their behavior.

If you act like a jerk, be prepared for people to treat you like one.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Iraq Observations

Mr. McCain says the Surge worked.

Okay let us look at before and after the Surge

Before the Surge 145,000 combat troops in Iraq
After the Surge 145,000 cobat troops in Iraq

Before the Surge no timetable for an end to the war
After the Surge no timetable for an end to the war

Before the Surge the US spending 12 billion a month in Iraq
After the Surge the US spending 12 billion a month in Iraq

Before the Surge a barely functioning Iraqi Government
After the Surge a barely functioning Iraqi Government

Before the Surge little predictable power and water
After teh Surge more of the same

Deaths are down after the Surge. Why? Because we are paying the killers money to not shoot at us. We are paying the killers of American troops to become policemen. And when we stop paying them? Or do we just keep paying the extortion? What we are now doing in Iraq is like the FBI giving up on the Mob and paying the Mob to leave the FBI alone.

Hey Elliot Ness! Why don't you pay Al Capone whatever he wants to leave Chicago alone?

We are governmened by cowards, too stupid to know when to start wars and when not to, and too chicken shit to take responsibility for their disasters. So now we Americans get to pay protection money to terrorists to leave us alone.

Hurray for the Iraq War! What a cluster-f.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reality keeps slipping away in Iraq

Okay people listen up!

We want the Iraqi army to be ready to take over before we leave. This is what Democrats and Republicans, including the Bush league, say. "When they stand up we will stand down." This is what we said for years in Vietnam too.

Anyway the point is that EVERYONE is planning to leave Iraq in a state that will require its army to maintain control.

So we invaded a nation whose army and security services were in control and we intend to leave a nation whose army and security services are in control. That's just great. Well done America.

Next time a President wants to waste a trillion dollars and kill thousands of citizen soldiers lets just tie them all to stakes on the mall in DC and set fire to a giant pile of cash. The ramification will probably be less and at least we could get it over in a weekend.

Iraq War is stupid, the deaths are needless, and the money is wasted. Hurray for America!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bush is damned stupid

The "Mental" mania of the Republicans just keeps coming. Where from? From the idea that all economic problems are basically mental problems. If you think you are doing fine then you are. This is really fucked up since that is the logic that says just because you have colon cancer and are a-symptomatic you are doing fine. Or that you shouldn't worry about falling off the cliff since you have not hit the ground yet.

This lamebrained idea goes all the way back to the Great Depression. The thinking was that if people just kept spending and did not take their money out of banks there would have been no depression. This is so horribly wrong.

First of all the Great Depression started in centeral Europe as a result of WWI. It took time for the terrible economic effects to reach the US. Rampant stock speculation and banks willingness to put more and more of their capital in such speculation meant that when the downturn hit the US in 1929, the banks had nothing to fall back on. People were losing their jobs, they took out their saving to live on. Banks, who had no cash assets left folded up. Businesses who's solidity was based on bank investments suddenly had the rug pulled out from under them because the banks had to dump more stock to reclaim cash. More people lost their jobs. blah blah blah.

But the Republicans still think, after all these years, after all the Democratic regulations designed to stop something like that from happening again, that if we just wish for good times they will happen. So Bush trots himself out onto TV this morning to say that off shore drilling is really designed to get people to feel better about their energy future. This is the essence of Conservatism made clear yet again. Just feel good and you are good. In a post last year I said that Marxists and Neo-cons have more in common than either would like to admit. Both think that economic good times for all is basically a philosophical argument. That you can get where you want to be economically by getting people to think a certain way. Bull shit!

The economy is not human, and does not act in a human way. It is a very complicated math problem and if certain portions of that equation dictate Depression then it is up to humans to react to stop it. Not just by thinking "There is no place like home. There is no place like home..."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mental Recession

The DOW has lost 3000 points in less than a year.
Gas is over $4.00 a gallon.
My friends are having their jobs outsourced to India.
Our company is struggling to break even.
Wife's Health Insurance increased 25% last month.
Thank goodness it is all in my head!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Constitutional Powers of WAR

Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution:

The Congress shall have Power:

"To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water."

"To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years"

"To provide and maintain a Navy"

"To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces."

"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress"

It is pretty clear what POWER the Congress has if it decides to get its head out of its ass and actually use it.

It can close Gitmo
It can end the war in Iraq
It can decide pretty much the whole war business. The President is basically just another GI in America's armed forces.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Patriotism


I got to listen to a lot of people yelling at each other about the good and bad of patriotism. Of course all the yelling was on the radio. I don't know what it is about the radio that gets people willing to be so damn loud and obnoxious.

So here is my bit on Patriotism for 2008. If you are trying to make life better for the people around you who are not directly related to you, chances are you are patriotic. If you felt nothing for your community you would do nothing for them and that is not very patriotic. You do not have to defeat fascism in order to be a patriot. Just helping out at your local school, or staffing the food bank, etc, is just as good. Since it is the small, unnoticeable, things that in aggregate make the most lasting change for the better. Those little things make a nation great or weak, loved or hated.

If I were running for President I would have a jacket with 1000 flag pins all over it and wear it into a debate. This would get peoples attention. Then I would say that since I have 1000 flag pins on I am more patriotic than all of Congress since at most they will have 535 flag pins on. Then I would ask the audience for their concerns and then command the flag jacket to solve their problems. This of course would not work and there would be a lot of laughs. Making my point that little metal pins don't mean jack or do jack.

Pride is not patriotism. Pride is pride, that is why it is called pride and not patriotism. Pride must be kept from patriotism for it to be beneficial to the nation. Pride leads to blindness which leads to mistakes. To make a great nation pride must be avoided. Pride, like sugar, is superficially satisfying but offers no real sustenance. Pride is the fast-food version of patriotism. We have lots of prideful people walking around thinking we are great for the mere fact of us being us. They probably also partake in McDonalds. As we need to ween ourselves off the fast food we need to ween ourselves of the pride.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Review of SAW II

Boring, blah-blah-blah, blood, gore, blah-blah-blah, did I mention boring. I could have strapped a mini-cam on the top of my cats head, let him into the yard to explore, and come up with a more hart stopping, scary, and macabre film. This movie is all marketing and no movie. It gets a 1

Review of Speed Racer


Finally a movie with worse dialogue than Star Wars. Then again this remake is a remake of a cartoon with god-awful dialogue. The people who did the visuals for this film are clearly LSD addicts. It is a shame that the hippee's of 1969 didn't have this film to trip out to.
You will like this movie if you like a B-movie on speed. You will hate this movie if you are looking for a dramatic retelling of the grand saga of Speed Racer. If you sought the latter then you are clearly nuts since Speed Race, the cartoon pretty much sucked to begin with.
I now await the movie version of Limpy the Lion and Harty-har-har! Or perhaps the remake of my daughters ultra-sound video?
film gets a 5

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

James Dobbson has NO faith

James Dobbson, practically every time he opens his mouth, show how little he is willing to believe in God. How little he understands the almighty power he claims to worship. He says that he takes his scripture seriously. Well so do we who understand all too well that to sit in a church and sing songs is NOT what we are called to do. Christ NEVER even mentioned going to church. He said that if we loved him we were to feed the sheep. In other words serve each other. God does not need our service. God is GOD. Saint James is also clear that the whole point of the Christian mission is not to serve God but to help the poor, the widow, the orphan.

This is not serving God but pleasing to God. By claiming to be a servant of God a man sets himself as God's better. Since to serve is to help and God, the Alpha and the Omega, needs no help. If you ever asked for help it is because you cannot complete the task yourself. This is because as mortals were imperfect and limited. God is not limited and therefore in no need of help. Feed the hungry, cloth the naked, house the homeless, and let us serve each other.

St. James:
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?"

Remember it was those conservative churchmen, in bed with the Roman government, who had Christ arrested and killed. And again, when Christianity seemed to triumph against Pegan Rome, the churchmen who were in power with the Emperor mercilessly hunted down and killed anyone who disagreed with them. Hence the Great Schism, and all the other little Schisms over the last 2000 years.

Yes we liberals take Scripture very seriously. In fact more seriously than the pretender Dobbson does. He can continue to worship his celestial cripple, while we please God by helping our fellow human beings to live better lives. And as Christians they will know us by our Love.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Obama's master stroke...so far

Yesterday Obama came closer to flattening the power structure in an Obama administration. By using only small donation funds he has insulated his Presidency from the anemia caused by reliance on supporting packs to populate cabinet offices. By keeping his finances his own he has instantly added a huge amount of personal power and freedom to Obama the President. Where as McCain will be more beholden than ever to interest groups and packs who control his funds, and hence his actions as a campaigner and potential President.

Obama continues to show his brilliance as a politician.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Media Observations

There is an obvious bias toward and at the same time against Obama. Every story I have read or heard is about what Obama needs to do to connect. There is never any story about what McCain needs to do. The media salivates over the Obama candidacy and also still labors under the misconception that Obama is something other than the best politician to come out of America in the last 40 years.

He is not perfect, but he is a leader, and inspiration, and some one who will fundamentally alter the worlds view of American power. No longer will the face of America be a rich, old, white guy. He has the potential of really opening up the next decade for American power in a way that was shut down by the current crop of political hacks. McCain is not only a continuation of something that has proved a disaster, he is a continuation of a vision of America that is broken, and whose glory has faded.

The media is always a bit behind the curve and this election is no exception. Obama is the best hope for regaining American supremacy in world affairs. There are all sorts of adult decisions that have to be made and he seems like the only candidate who is willing to make them.

McCain, who has a great life story too, has shown too much of the old school. He simply is far too willing to be the tool of somebody else. His organizational ability is weak, his team is weak, his plans are weak, and though he can crack me up, is not the leader America need.

The media, what do I mean by that term? Well for me it is not really TV. I do not watch much TV news. Mostly it is mainstream news sites on the web and the radio.
Radio is such beastly assortment of demagoguery, spin, over simplification, bold faced lies, and other such nonsense that I find it very difficult to listen to any "side" The conservatives have a large advantage on the radio, but the liberals are coming along too. Both sides, in my opinion, hurt more than they help. My advice would be to tune all of them out. They all do nothing good for the American citizen.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Obama and us or U.S.



"First black man as nominee" is oft said in the last several days. Well he is half white and half black. He's got as much white in him as he has black in him. Yet here he is that "articulate" black man. I think I have had an epiphany. As a lover of history I know that there have been many African Americans, who could and can out talk European Americans. And of course the reverse is true too.

The problem, or potentially the opportunity, faced by Obama is that most of white America has not really had to listen to an African American. "Those people" could easily be tuned out. The race problem was there problem. Their past was their problem. Their neighborhoods were their problem. And we white people could ignore them if we wished and we did wish.

They had "their leaders" the "leaders of the Black Community" and we could admire them or detest them from afar and continue living our white lives with the "real" leaders all white and rich. Now for the first time a man that looks black might be our leader, our representative, our voice. For me I am glad it is Obama since I think he has the smarts to make good choices.

I wish we would delve just a little deeper into our own psyche. After all there have always been black Americans of prominence from the very beginning of our nation. So it should really be no big deal right? Well it is a big deal. To me who will work for him and vote for him, and to those who still do not want "those people" making decisions.

We all need to get used to change. To the idea that a black man will speak for us, all of us. Maybe next time it will be a woman? Somebody has to start things off and this time it will be Obama. Some day in the future nobody will care if the nominee is a woman or a black man, or gay, or ten feet tall or a midget. We will hopefully pay more attention to what they want to do and how they want to do it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

RFK


It is ironic that the last time the Democratic Party had such a contentious primary season it was 1968, forty years ago. So very much has changes, and at the same time nothing has changed at all.

There is a Texan in the White House that is very unpopular, and can't win a war that he has been waging for four years. Both parties were offering candidates who were not keen on continuing the war. And the nation was facing great domestic challenges.

If RFK had lived the war in Vietnam would have ended much sooner. And with that boondoggle over and done with we might have been able to concentrate on the deteriorating situation in the middle east. But this did not happen.

What did happen was that an angry Palestinian, who was angry with the US sail of weapons to Isreal, appointed himself god, and killed Robert Kennedy. The ruinous situation in Palestine now should, in some part, be laid at the feet of Sirhan Sirhan. Just as the desolation of the South after the Civil War should also be attributed in no small part to Booth. Killing the men who offer the best hope for humanity to prosper is a piss poor thing to do.

Protest at the Republican Convention not the Democratic one...you morons!

I heard that some morons are going to go to Denver to protest and basically act like their grandparents back in '68 in Chicago. My advice to these retarded people is please, if you are going to protest don't waste it in Denver. Go to the Republican Convention and do it there. Do not screw up our convention by making us out to be a bunch of hippy-wanna-be's.

I am all in favor of protests. But I am also in favor of protesting the people that need it the most. And Obama is not the one who needs a talking to.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Scott McClellan and his book

I have yet to read Scott McClellan's book. I have heard him on several talk shows, most notably Fresh Air. Whenever I heard him at the WH press briefings he always came across as the man with the most thankless job in Washington. Reality was so plain to see yet McClellan had to steadfastly deflect reality based questions. He did so as well as any man could.

While his superiors could hide behind lawyers, rightwing talk show hosts, the aloofness of "executive privilage" McClellan had to be regularly fed to the dogs. Now, when he is free to exercise his right to speak his mind, they call him a traitor. The traitors calling McClellan a traitor? That is rich.

The reason the McClellan, like many other x-WH people, come out with stories and views diametrically opposed to the White House line, is only that people simply can't live in unreality forever. Once they escape they need to clear their heads from all the nonsense and spin. How else could we expect them to live with themselves? It wastes so much energy and is so exhausting keeping a lie alive. The truth, able to stand on its own, is far easier to deal with.

Good-on-ya Scotty!

Friday, May 30, 2008

What are peope doing today about rising gas prices?

France: Many returning to work after several weeks of action after government offers 100m euro aid package
Spain: Thousands taking part in Madrid protest
Italy: 5,000 expected to strike, emergency aid refused
Portugal: Indefinite strike from midnight (2300 GMT on Thursday)
Belgium: Dozens demonstrating in the capital Brussels

US: Nothing. We wouldn't want to make the poor oil companies cranky.

Fuel prices are now being speculated ever higher. The government needs to step in and stop that by making such speculation illegal. Also raising capital gains taxes on passed speculation should curb the current price freak. This will hurt some people but the majority will benefit. In a crisis the needs of the many out way the needs of the few.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Flip Flopping along

I like John McCain. I feel for the guy. But he is who he is and what he is. He is stuck in a party that he has to appease, a party that is far from realistic on all sorts of issues, a party of failure, a party who's "faithful" seem to think the world is about to end anyway so better make sure not to get god mad.

Then he has to switch gears and lay out progressive ideas of nuclear non-proliferation, reduction in warheads, etc. Then he has to go into closed door meetings with Bush-Co and probably tell them that he is only trying to get elected so they shouldn't take what he is saying too seriously. He seems to be a man spinning from dunderheaded conservatism to populism, to liberalism, all the while looking like a guy who will pretty much tell any audience what they want to hear to get a vote.

Obama on the other hand has been pretty clear, non flip-floppish, and consistently enlightened about the world and seems to be anything but a lightweight. The lightweight can't figure out where to stand on any issue.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I love Gasoline!

The current price of a barrel of oil is $135. Wow that is a lot of money. People have been talking about this eventuality for years. But nobody wants to think about ones own death until forced to do so by fate and the facts of life.

Our world runs on oil and so to have our BLOOD supply so expensive really screws things up for the whole system. We become sick, like a patient with a blood disease where the ability of the body to produce blood is dysfunctional. So the whole body begins to weaken.

In the future location is going to be even more important. Location of work to home, location of food to home, location of manufacturer to consumer, location of supplies to demand. Making a car on one side of the planet and selling it on the other side of the planet may to really work anymore. Same with growing food and shipping it thousands of miles.

We have built a world economy based on some really bad sand. The sand of cheap crude oil. If things continue the entire world economy will shift into a radically new direction. I hope it will be a smarter direction.

Then again we tend to make decisions based on momentary satisfaction. For instance ethanol from corn is causing food prices world wide to soar. It is also the spreading of a crop that is very costly to produce. In fact it is more costly than pumping oil out of the ground. We are doing this since it is a quick fix.

In the long run it is only conservation of energy resources that is going to work. We are not going to replace petroleum with ethanol or bio-diesel. We have to make our life more efficient. Only efficiency in energy usage is going to allow for the continued expansion of human civilization. The equation we are in is very complex and hard for the average human to solve. An example of this is recycling. How much energy does it take to recycle? Somethings are better to recycle than others. Somethings it may be better to simply bury.

What is clear is that the idea of buying, using, and tossings, is about over. Also the idea of vast arrays of cheap consumables may also be coming to and end. Look inside a Walmart and ask yourself "how much energy did it take to fill this store? How much to produce the products lining the shelves?"

Efficiency, at some point, is going to rub up against the consumer economy. Simply put we are not going to be able to live in an efficient world, safe from environmental destruction, and with an expanding civilization based on available energy, and have a Walmart society. They will probably be mutually exclusive.

I hate people who claim to be able to predict stuff, but I will do it now anyway. I would predict that, ceterus paribus, manufacturing will be done close to the consumer, and that the manufacturing process will be based on instantly available data on need not desire. This pattern will be managed through a order of magnitude shift in cost from Needed items to Desired items. This does not bode well for an society of equality. Especially if you define equality as being able to acquire the same stuff as your neighbor.

Monday, May 19, 2008

75,000 people in Obama rally in Portland



What is it about Obama that can get so many people out? I have heard him speak and he is good. But 75,000 people? That is rockstar status. He is drawing crowds larger than almost any candidate in history.

As I see it the Democrats are either headed into the White House with Obama or into a train wreck. The establishment does not know what to do with this guy. McCain is trying to paint Obama as a lightweight, like Clinton. However judging by the campaign organization, the fire, the crowds, and message crafting, McCain and Clinton are the lightweights. True they both have been around a lot longer. But that is exactly the point. Obama has charged ahead faster and stronger than either of the other two. Where was Mrs Clinton at Obama's age? Suffering as the wife of a Governor who slept around. And McCain? He was dealing with bribes and the coming S&L disaster.

Obama is so clearly the man who should be President. The other two, not bad at all, are simply not in the same class as Obama.

McCain last week said that we should win Iraq by 2013. Do you know what that means? Why 2013? Because that is the year AFTER the end of the next Presidential Administration. So McCain is basically punting the stinking turd down the lawn again admitting that there will be war in the first four years of his administration. Sounds brilliant doesn't it? Sounds like a loser to me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hot Hot Hot!

I do not like it hot. I do not like it cold. I am getting old, set in my ways, and beginning not to like things that are too hot and too cold. When I was a kid I could jump in the northern Pacific and the only thing that would annoy me was the time it took for my body to go numb so I could enjoy frolicking in the 50 degree water. And heat? Heat was to be much anticipated. 100 degree days were a reason to play with the hose, waste precious ground water, and jump in the neighbors green swimming pool. In January I could go up to the mountain and try to climb it. Cold and windy? Hey all the more adventurous!

Now I find myself cursing the wind, the cold, the heat. Not in a easy going manner either. But in an earnest way one might curse a villain like Hitler, of Bush. It is a curmudgeonly dislike for the discomfort of extremes. A lack of desire to accommodate such changes. Oh I could be gracious and accommodating. But in an angry spiteful, and quite useless, way I toss up my nose at any such niceties.

It is hot now. 9:30pm at night and it is hot. It should not be hot. I should be relaxing but no. The heat has decided that it will stay the night. Like a drunken house guest that you cannot reason with. It sulks, ruining the night. If I go to the bathroom it is there waiting for me. In bed it will not move over, it hogs the whole thing. I open the window to let in some cool night air only to find my ugly house guest has invited more uncivilized friends over to have a party.

I spend $21.00 to get me and my kid into see a movie, not because I am wealthy really want to watch a movie, just to get a big cold drink (a $5.00 drink!!!) and sit in a cold room for two hours. Last night we wandered around shopping mall until it closed. In the morning I longed for Sheri's, yes Sheris resturant, only for its overly active airconditioning system.

So here I sit at 9:30 pm with my loathsome sticky house guest and all I can do is write this blog that few people, if any, will ever read.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Getting near the end...sort of

All the crap shoveled at Obama didn't really stick. Yesterday was the opposite of what the media was advertising. Before yesterday the headlines were "Clinton hopes to narrow Obama victory in NC" and "Clinton hopes to widen victory in Indiana" Both proved incorrect. Both hopes failed. Obama and Clinton nearly tied in Indiana and Obama held on to a double digit lead in NC.

Furthermore Obama has picked up a series of super delegates. While Clinton is having trouble convincing them that she can still win this without a bunch of last minute back-room dealing.

Either candidate would be a gigantic improvement over the current occupant in the White House. H. Dean is right when he says that the loser of the nomination is going to have more to do with winning in November. A back-room deal fest is going to release a stink that is going to really set the Democrats back. I would make the case that before the end of this month somebody had better get out. As of today I see no "open" way for Clinton to wind this. The only way she can do it is via rule changes, and strong arming super delegates, most of whom will have to answer to their own electorates. So as of today Clinton, in all seriousness, needs to bow out. I do not know if Obama can win, but as the presumptive nominee we need to get behind him and charge on.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Election reminders

Before we all get happy or sad, understand that this country is still filled with idiots who voted Bush into the office twice. There are still lots of people who want to vote for a bar-stool warmer. I would love it if this were not the case. However that would be very wishful thinking. Just because you make a good argument doesn't mean that the lowbrows will buy it. I know this sounds kind of insulting to the average voter but I think the shoe seems to be fitting pretty well.

Obama is the only candidate worth your vote. Not that you will vote for him. But he is the only one who is worth the effort. The other two are lame and will accomplish little that is good. They will take your money and give it to their friends, their rich friends.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Review of Vatel


M. Vatel was the cook for M. la Prince D'Conde. He produced spectacular festivities for a visit to Conde's estate, by king Louis XIV and 2000 other guests. After the event he committed suicide with a sword. He was the inventor of Chantilly Creme.

Passion, Seduction, Betrayal? No not really. Little passion, no real suduction, and the only betrayal was Conde who bet his cook in a card game with the king.

The movie is about that last gigantic feast. It is a visual feast and the acting is also well done too. However the story, as it is portrayed is quite thin. The characters, though splendidly portrayed, are not introduced well and if you are not a connoisseur of history a lot is going to be lost on the average viewer. I read a review that said the story is hard to follow. Well it is rather easy to follow if you know the history, but if you do not know Conde and his relationship to the king, or the nature of the king himself, it is kind of hard to understand.

Tim Roth is typically caustic in his role, Uma Thurman would definitely have turned Louis' head. And Depardieu is superb as Vatel himself. The supporting cast is also spot on.

The music sucked. Of all the courts of Europe that you could make a movie about, Louis' court provides an immense reportior. Particularly music for grand festivities. The music dudes for this film, I guess were too ignorant and used Rameau, who wasn't born yet, and Handel who was not born yet either. If Lully saw this film he'd be pissed.

Other than the music the movie a lot of 17th century fun.

Movie gets a 6 out of 10

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Nuclear City

And no I am not talking about nuking a city. We are on the verge of being forced once again into a city centered, high density, community. The days of far flung subdivisions where people could live twenty miles or more from their job are coming to an end. Tree huggers have been talking this way for a while now so nobody, until fairly recently was inclined to worry too much.

Now gas prices are hovering at or above $3.60 a gallon. That means if you own a little car that gets 40 miles per gallon, something that most people do not own, and you travel 12,000 miles in a year in your car, something that most people do, it will cost you $1,080 a year to drive you little eco-car. Of course the average American has a car that gets about 24 miles per gallon, so they get to pay almost $2,000 a year for gas.

Now the for the "fun" future. Americans will eventually be paying about $7 per gallon. This is still about $2 per gallon less than everyone else in the world pays right now.

At $7 per gallon that little eco car will cost you $2160 a year in gas. Remember too that this equation I am using is for a person that has puts 1000 miles a month on their car. How many of you really do that?

For suburbanites some people are putting 100 mile round trips on their cars. At that level, at $7gal., they will be paying out a wopping $7600 bucks for gas a year just to drive to work and back.

So the era of long commutes from the country to jobs in the city is almost over. If you want to live in the country, fine, just make sure you have a job in the country. Another telltale sign of the times is that housing prices are falling, pretty much, only in the outlying areas. City housing has not really been touched by the so called housing slump.

Adam Smiths invisible economic hand will push people back to the city, kicking a screaming at times, but will drag them back all the same.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stupid things to say!

"If Iran attacked Isreal with a nuke we would obliterate Iran." That is what H. Clinton said yesterday. As a student of history, politics and common sense, I find that another nail in her coffin.

Not that defending a friend is a bad thing. But in politics it is always better to keep your enemies guessing. What she said sounds like something that could be coming out of Bush's mouth. One of the numerous problems Bush has had is that he swaggers around showing people his hand all the time. Clinton seems to want to be Mrs. Bush.

The last thing I want is a President so mindlessly stupid as to think that talking tough is the same as being tough. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" Remember that? Not a bad idea. But lately our Presidents and wannabe-Presidents have forgotten, or perhaps are not educated enough, to understand the basics of foreign policy.

Many wars have been averted by Presidents NOT talking tough. So far there has been no war with China over Taiwan precisely because of the language NOT used by either side. By tipping your hand and telling your enemy what would make you do X you show them the way forward for their own agenda. This leads to America being on the defensive again.

Just because the idiot in Iran says stuff like that all the time about Isreal is NO reason for the President, or person who seeks that office, to act in such a stupid way. If the President of Iran jumped off a bridge would Clinton and Bush do the same?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Religion and War


It is a regular conservative talking point that the Koran states that Islam should be spread by the sword. Hmmm. What does the Bible say?:

Firstly the image above is taken from the Bible given to Louis the XI back in the 13th century. What a peaceful bucolic scene.

expert from Psalm 149

Let the godly ones exult in glory;
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations
And punishment on the peoples,
To bind their kings with chains
And their nobles with fetters of iron,
To execute on them the judgment written;
This is an honor for all His godly ones.
Praise the LORD!

Jashua 6 20-21:

"When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys."

Ah the peaceful Bible...

My point is that both the Koran and the Bible are filled with sword play, war, and lots of bloodletting. So for a Christian or a Muslim to try and tell the other that "their" religion is one of violence is a joke. Both religions have been spread with violence and both spread with peace.

I am tired of having the ignorant Christian voice the only one that is ever heard. Many, and I mean many - the majority, of Christian scholars understand very well the history of both faiths. Only an ignorant person could claim that Christianity spread via only peace and Islam via violence.

The sad truth is that Islam is at a violent crossroads. Christianity has really only been at peace for the last 300 years. Prior to that very few people would have considered Christianity and peace one in the same. And even during that brief three centuries there have been outbreaks of Christian terrorism. Particularly in Northern Ireland. Few Londoners would argue that those who planted bombs in stores and train stations were not inflicting terror upon the population. And likewise few Catholics would view the assassinations carried out by the ultra unionists as civil.

It is advisable to remember the nature of the last great Christian blood letting. In the 1680's the Protestant population of France was viciously, and at sword point, either converted, enslaved, or massacred outright. Children were taken from the parents to be raised by Catholic parents, and protestant towns burned to the ground. Hundreds of thousands of refugees streamed into England fleeing the genocide.

That was only the most recent mass Christian genocide. What made the genocide possible and popular among Catholics was that it was standard operating procedure and had been for a thousand years. Yet it would be a great mistake to assert, because of the genocide of the Huguenots, that Catholic Christians were more violent than Protestants. The violence was policy carried out for various political and personal reasons, by the King, and the evil nature was due to the king's ambitious secretary of war. Even the King was horrified when he learned how the "conversions" had been carried out.

Today there are fringe elements of most all faiths that see violence as required to serve God. What makes the fringe dangerous is when circumstances become such that their way, the way of Satan, is seen as Godly. Poverty, war, uncertainty, all can lead to that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Proud but stupid too


I was accosted outside Powell's Book Store by a signature gatherer. He wanted me to sign a petition to make Oregon's primary "open" I got into it with him.

So let me get this straight. You are a voter who wants to vote for candidate "A" This candidate belongs to Party "A" You belong to party "B" You wish to not follow your fellow "B" people and vote for "A"? Well then become a member of the "A" party!!!!!!!

As a member of "A" party I do not want other people who aren't really sure about what they believe in or want, mucking around. If you, as a "B" member want to vote for our candidate in the general election GREAT!!! Just don't expect to be part of our decision making process when WE are determining who OUR candidate is going to be. Again if you are really interested in the things that candidate "A" is saying then maybe you really belong in "A"'s party.

Remember we are not currently electing a President. All the various parties are deciding who they want to represent them in the coming election this fall. That is it.

When the parties are finished deciding who they are going to field, then in the general election you can vote for whomever you want.

Monday, April 14, 2008

We have heard the Generals and Bush talk...now how about the Iraqi's?

Here is the latest blog posting from MAMA: another lady living in Iraq:
Friday, April 11, 2008

Reasons why Iraqis leave their houses
"There are many reasons to make Iraqis leave there own houses.
just try to imagine leaving your own house suddenly.
Raffi's family left home because every corner reminds them about their loss ,and induce pain . they see Raffi in his room ,on his chair, every where causes grief for them. they left their memories and their own house behind them and rent another house.
Others may leave their house for the same reason or because of danger either direct threatening, or dangerous neighborhood.
Sometimes the terrorists captivate the house and it's owners, so in any chance, they leave to stay alive.
In the other hand the military forces may hide in citizens house’s to watch the surrounding areas or to make an ambush for someone hiding nearby.
Some may leave the country or their town to look for a job or to work safely without blackmail..
But the American government and president Bush talk about their big achievements in my country, where we find nothing but fear ,losses, pain, and threats. no safety , no electricity, no tap water in most of the cities , lack in all kind of services even health services , nothing but the worst schools and education , no jobs, no human rights."

Taken from: Emotions


note: "Raffi" was the blogger's older brother. He was killed last month in a suicide car bombing.

Obama "Bitter" Comments

As a person who lived in Small-town rural America I can attest to Obama's comments as right-on-the-money. He is totally correct in his comments about rural, poor, America. It has always been that way and not to acknowledge that, just like not acknowledging a racial divide, is the silly.

As far as I am concerned he again shows that he is "in touch" with Americans. McCain and Clinton, too cowardly and afraid to speak the truth, want to dump on Obama for telling it the way it is. They would have dumped on him about his race speech too if he wasn't a man of color.

I want to vote for the smart guy, not a couple of has-bens.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Face of Iraq



To view Iraqi's only through the lens of the NEWS is to see a dirty, bearded, screaming, dead, shooting, man, or a veiled woman. Here are a couple of young Iraqi's. They do not know who George Bush is, they do not know who Bin Laden is, and they have NEVER known a time in their country when their was peace. Neither was born when Bush invaded.

They will learn, like all kids do. They have already had mortors and bullets fly by them. Their parents have known friends that were blown to bits. And these little kids even got to get woken up in the middle of the night to a US Army inspection team. What will they end up learning?

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Stupidity of the war in Iraq

The strategic mistake of Iraq is still very much alive. To prove this go down the list of EVERY single enemy or potential enemy of the US and see who is the worse off for our blunder? The only "enemy" who is worse off is Saddam and he is dead. Other than that one man there is NO other enemy of the US that is in any way worse off.

The strategy of global supremacy being practiced by Bush and the idiots around him is the same strategy as the Russian roulette player uses when trying to amass cash in his own lethal, and quite stupid, game.

The use of military power should always put you at a strategic advantage at once. Anything other than predetermined victory and you should keep your army at home. And do not hold up WWII to me to refute my view either. WWII validates my view. For all the nations that thought that the moving of their armies into one nation or another were destroyed. Remember the Allies did not start WWII. If you are going to start a war you better be 100% certain, in a cold, rational, non-religious, mathematical, non ideological way or don't bother wasting your time and blood.

The war in Iraq is the capital sin, vainglory, and those that started it are now being punished by the souless, unstoppable hands of fate. All wars are evil and those that start them are followers of darkness. This being said there is no problem with defending yourself from attack. If you are attacked by all means defend yourself. It is righteous to defend your children and friends from harm. But to start a war with the idea of preempting a future you do not like, is the same capital sin, the same loathsome evil, dressed up to look noble.

Who Came up with "The United States Of America"

Did you ever wonder who originally came up with the name United States of America?

You can thank Thomas Paine for your countries name. You can also thank him for writing Common Sense and his articles called "The American Crisis" that Washington had read to his troops to bolster their confidence.

Thomas Paine was another founding member of our nation. Like many of the founders he was also a deist. While he languished in a Paris Jail awaiting execution as an enemy of the State, he wrote his last work "The Age of Reason"

This little book was warmly recieved in most countries but not in America. Even though it was dedicated to the USA and to President Washington. Paine argued in this last book that a revolution in theology was needed to follow up on the revolution in government. If not he feared that simple atheism would gradually take over the world.

To Paine all the great religions were nothing but myths. He called Christianity, "an amphibious fraud". This did not endear him to American Christians. However the reformers in Europe, long oppressed more directly by imperious churchmen, eat it up!

Paine was rescued from execution.

In Paris, where he had lived, there is a plaque that reads, "Thomas Paine. Englishman by birth. American by choice. French by decree. Citizen of the World."

Thomas Edison, the inventor, had this to say about Paine:

"I have always regarded Paine as one of the greatest of all Americans. Never have we had a sounder intelligence in this republic… It was my good fortune to encounter Thomas Paine's works in my boyhood… it was, indeed, a revelation to me to read that great thinker's views on political and theological subjects. Paine educated me then about many matters of which I had never before thought. I remember very vividly the flash of enlightenment that shone from Paine's writings and I recall thinking at that time, 'What a pity these works are not today the schoolbooks for all children!' My interest in Paine was not satisfied by my first reading of his works. I went back to them time and again, just as I have done since my boyhood days"

Abraham Lincoln wrote a paper defending Paine's Deism but his friend burned the paper to save Lincoln's political career.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

All fired up in Portland OR


I took this shot outside the Portland HQ for Barak Obama's campaign. There were several hundred people there to sign up for phones, canvasing, and other such jobs. Congressmen Earl Blumenauer was there as was Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illonois. This was the kick-off of things in Oregon. I would have to say that it was a diverse bunch of people in attendance. Though since Oregon is about 85% white the audience reflected that.
There was a lot of positive energy in the air and Schakowsky and Blumenauer did a good job firing them up. The state wide effort is not just based in Portland either. There were simultaneous events in all the major regions of the State.
I wonder what the Clinton show will look like?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hurray for Iraq!

The surge was supposed to allow for the Iraqi government to begin the process of reconciliation with Sunni and Shiite citizens. Well the reconciliation appears to be taking the form of more shooting.

Taking a cue from the Bush play book of stupidity, the Iraqi government has decided to takes the gloves off and stop swatting at flies. Instead they are beating the bee hive with their sticks.

Whats it to us? Well they blew up the Basra oil pipline today...again. This cut the crude output in Iraq by 30%. This sent a barrel of light suite crude over $107 today. When you fill up your tank remember that Bush is as much to blame as China for the price you are paying.

Good thing we have an unlimited supply of cash and soldiers who couldn't care less about when they see their families.

The Iraq mess needs to be paid for by the walking cartoon characters who voted for this nonsense.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Clinton is a spoiler

The media spin is that there still is a race between Clinton and Obama. This seems to me not to be the case. Clinton, having only won 14 contests to Obama's 30 and trailing by almost 200 delegates does not seem to be much more than a spoiler now.

But what really showed me who is Presidential material was Obama's speech last week. He took a big negative, did not run away like a coward, and took the matter head on and used it to great advantage. It takes brilliance in order to see the way through such trouble. He and his team seem to me to be the only team running that really has what it takes to lead. McCain and Clinton are not the leaders that Obama is. It is the hight of stupidity to say that because Clinton or McCain have a lot of Washington experience that they would make better Presidents.

History does not shine a good light on "experienced" Presidents. The most experienced President of the 19th century was Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's VP. He was a monumental failure and presider over massive corruption, and was impeached. Lincoln on the other hand, was the least experienced President of that century.

Again in the 20th Century experience is no indicator of greatness. Wilson and Eisenhower were probably the least politically experienced Presidents in the history of the Republic while Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon two of the most experienced.

What makes a President great or a loser is contained in his or her own head and who that head keeps around it. The best man for the job is Barrak Hussain Obama. No other candidate has been so maligned and yet comes through cleaner than before the mud was slung.

Clinton and McCain are the past, of a different age, and unfit to carry the glory of America into the future. If you want a caretaker who will accomplish little, let America drift along without reclaiming her manifest destiny, then by all means vote or McCain or Clinton. If you believe in America then vote for Obama.

Monday, March 10, 2008

VP prospects for Obama

With a delegate lead of almost 100 after the overwhelming victory in Wyoming and Caucuas win in Texas, Obama needs to really be thinking about who his VP coice will be. While Clinton is trying to pretend to be the natural choice, of who I am not quite sure, Obama needs to think beyond the next several contests that he is sure to do well.

The VP should not be another Cheney. Bill Richardson is one name that comes to mind, as does Governor Shwitzer of Montana. Another name that I would recomend would be John Kitzhaber of Oregon. I would stay away from a senator or rep.

Notice I did not mention Clinton. That is because she would be a death scentance to any campaign.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Limbaugh and the right fear Obama

Today Rush, the reactionary idiot not the band, told people on FOX NEWS to vote for Clinton in the open Texas primary. Why? Well he and his kind have spent so many years getting ready to fight the Clinton Wars II, that to face Obama would mean certain defeat. Clearly Limbaugh and his ilk are scared of Obama. If the right-wing-nuts are not scared of Obama then they would not care who is the Democratic nominee. They want Clinton since they have grown up hating that family. It is kind of pathetic if you think about how much effort the right has wasted on the Clintons.

This hatred will be their undoing. Their myopic approach, which of course is their way of seeing most things, to the Presidency has proved both boring and nonsensical. Years ago I said that conservatism is, in the end, worthless since it dooms itself to spin itself into a storm only to tear itself apart.

Monday, February 25, 2008

H. Clinton's strange rant?????

Well it was actually wolfson's rant. But more to the point what was he ranting about? Obama being negative? Sorry, and no pun intended, but isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Obama has had to suffer accusations of being a terrorist, a white man, a black man, a muslim, and a guy who refuses to put his hand on his heart at ceremonies. What exactly has Clinton been accused of? Running a poor campaign and expecting her husbands coat tales to elect her? That dog don't hunt.

"Enough of the speeches and the big rallies!" What in the world is Clinton trying to say? I guess she is trying to say, stop acting like my husband in 1992. Stop acting like a winner. Stop acting white! Black folks are there to vote for white saviors like me!

Obama is the future and the more Clinton opens her mouth about his negativity, which is a joke since I have not heard him go negative at all, the more she seems like the past.

McCain and Clinton are Obama's biggest supporters. So speaking for Barak I want to say, Thank you both so very much! Now on to the convention!

Nader 2008!

The complete irrelevancy of Ralph (also ran and screwed things up) Nader is something not to behold. His vainglory is matched only by his self righteous stupidity. Nader by mucking things up in 2000, has done more harm to America than he can imagine. All those American lives he saved with his consumer advocacy can now be put on the scales next to the hundreds of thousands of deaths he helped to cause by letting Bush-Co into the White House.

He is the joke that was not funny to begin with, being trotted out again at this years party, only to fall flat again. I had respect for this guy but no more. If he thinks his running ads a moral voice he is wrong. His voice has lost all that long ago. He is part of history, a history that is over now. His kind, like Bush and McCain and Clinton, are so busy fighting last decades wars that they fail to see the future.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another reason to vote for Obama


If you look at the campaign organization of Clinton, McCain, and Obama, it is clear that the Obama camp has the best. If you look at coherency of planning, fund raising, routing of funds correctly to do the most good, etc. there really is no doubt which camp is the best run.

This should be seriously considered by any voter trying to make up there mind. Remember that candidates usually drag their campaign staff right into the White House on "Day 1". Using organization as a guide, I would say that Obama will be more ready on Day 1 than either McCain or Clinton. After all who was ready on Day 1 of the campaign? While Clinton and McCain have had to scramble, reorganize, hire different staff, and borrow cash to plug funding holes, Obama has calmly built a Campaign Juggernaut.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Voters are STUPID!

Okay for all the idiots who do not understand our political system here is the low down:

The caps are for effecting a screaming tone

WE ARE NOT ELECTING A PRESIDENT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, AND COMMUNISTS, AND GREEN PARTY PEOPLE ARE ALL TRYING TO NOMINATE PEOPLE WHO WILL REPRESENT THEM IN THE ELECTION TO COME!!!!!!!!!!

OPEN PRIMARIES ARE STUPID SINCE, AS A DEMOCRAT, I WANT DEMOCRATS TO DECIDE OUR PARTY NOMINEE, NOT SOME IDIOT WHO CAN'T MAKE UP HIS MIND, OR A REPUBLICAN WHO IS TOO AFRAID TO THINK FOR HIMSELF AS A DEMOCRAT. IF YOU ARE AN "INDEPENDENT" AND WANT TO VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN IN A PRIMARY THEN FOR HEAVENS SAKE BECOME ONE!!!!!!!

PEOPLE WHO ARE "NOT AFFILIATED" WITH EITHER THE DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS SHOULD SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT HOW WE CHOOSE OUR NOMINEES.

Hopefully this will have educated the masses a bit.

Thanks you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Poll Crunch for 2008 so far...


Bush has been so horribly thought of for so long now that I gave up even doing a Poll Crunch. I decided to do the most exhaustive Crunch yet so I can get back on track. Since it is an election year and since it has been a while since I delved into the publics opinion of Bush, I was prepared for a shock.

Has the surge helped our man in the White House? Has he climbed out of his funk? Perhaps all the hullabaloo of the current race of the Presidency has caused America to rethink old W. My crunch took 17 separate polls done from the 1st of the year until today and averaged them all out. So with no more BS here is the Poll Crunch...

We like the guy!: 30%
We dislike the guy: 66%
We are too stupid to know: 4%

On another note in the Virginia primary yesterday Obama got 500,000 democratic votes, Clinton 300 and some thousand. McCain got 133,000 votes. In other words Obama got almost 5 times more votes in Virginia than McCain got. Heck even Hilary beat McCain in Virginia.

Another telling bit of trivia was that in South Carolina the Democratic vote grew by 82% since 2004 while the number of Republicans casting a vote shrank by 24%. The country is clearly looking for something new. Since we are stuck with the Dem's and the Rep's we keep ping-ponging hoping that one side will eventually get it right.

The Jenga Tower

I remember playing Jenga and getting a tower pretty high. Then the table got bumped and the whole thing collapsed. I was thinking that the socio-economic foundation of the world is getting bumped and those who in habit the top of the Jenga Tower are in the wobbling mode.

We take so much for granted. The ideas of nations, republics, kingdoms, corporations, seem to set in stone. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that all is constantly in flux. What was a good idea and social stable 200 years ago may not be such a good idea now. Progress in lots of little areas tends amount to upheaval overall.

Those closest to the table feel the movement first. They are whipped off their feet and though they see the effects first are powerless to do anything about it. The people at the top can last longer, but this is an illusion. If the wobble is severe enough the top swings beyond the point where the structure can self correct and down it goes.

History is full of this constant changing landscape of society. Always those on top are the last to accept the new normal. Those on the bottom have no choice to accept or reject it. The top really has no choice either. It is not as if the top can simply say "we do not want things to change so they will not!"

I will give two examples of this process. The first such example is Rome. Rome was not just a city. It was a way of life. The reason Rome became the dominant organizing factor in the its time was that provided a stability and harmony that allowed for socio-economic expansion. However things change and after several centuries the underpinnings of Rome ceased to foment this expansion.

Another example is the ending of feudalism in Europe. Like Rome the social and economic system that had allowed expansion in Europe ceased to work. Technology, and the location of money changed the way the expansion could work.

In both cases lots of people, primarily on top, tried in vane to pretend like their organization was "eternal", or ordained by God. I would say that I would rather live in the monotonous and predictable middle of these societies than in the times of flux. I seriously think we are in a time of flux. The institutions and structures we have relied on in the past to allow expansion are under enormous strain and progress is making many aspects of our civilization anachronistic.

Examples:
Global finance: Does anyone really think that any nation is in charge of its economic destiny?
Global communication: Does anyone really think that they can control the flow of information?

These two are making the very ideas of the old nation-state model obsolete. Communities and commerce is now organizing globally in a way that is out of any nations control. Nations that are used to democratic thought will have it easier than the nations that are totalitarian.

I was listening to World Have Your Say (BBC) and the topic was athletes free speech regarding the Beijing Olympics. Two Chinese people were saying that the athletes should focus on competing and not using their status to speak out on world affairs. All the callers from Democracies thought this was a stupid argument since China itself is using the games as a political statement. China, and nations like it, is well behind the times. China should never have wished the games on its soil if it did not want such controversy.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Lest We Forget

Cost of war at that the beginning of this blog entry: $492,737,622,437

I know that there are so many aspects of our lives that keep us busy and demand our attention. Presidential races, Celebrity drug overdoses, lots of shootings here and there and all the bills we all have to keep paying all keep us on our fearful toes.

So I must draw attention to the fact that we are still in a war. Let us see where we are at as of now. Well things in Baghdad look better. Anbar province looks more peaceful. Mosul on the other hand is a mess. Diyala province is also a mess. We are working to rest control of Mosul from the bad guys. My fellow blogger Najma is hunkering down with her family and trying not to get killed. Two professors from her school were gunned down within the last month and a bomb blast interrupted her final exams. This kid is something else. Despite all the crap befalling her city she still goes to school.

I am not a military man but I have a brain and can think. This situation does not seem to be much better at all. We are being fed the line that things are calming down. But what does that mean in the long run? As the “surge” troops cycle out and the force level goes down the vacuum will probably begin all over again.

Remember what Bush, the Democrats, the Republicans, and all the talkers keep saying. We will leave when the Iraqi army can handle things. Think about that for a moment. The US, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, etc do not need their army’s to maintain order in the country. Free nations have armys for external threats not national order control. If everyone who is in power now or is likely to be in power in the future, is telling us that we will leave Iraq in a state that requires its national army to maintain order, then they are telling us that we have failed in Iraq. Democracies do not need tanks in the streets to maintain order.

I find it hard to believe that when we pack up and go home Iraq will settle down. The surge has slowed the fuse to the bloodbath but not extinguished it

Cost of war at the end of my blog entry: $492,739,367,550

Money expended by US taxpayers during my blog entry: $1,745,113.00

What else could the US spend $275 million a day on?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Stupid Tuesday Now Over!

Where do I start? Well I guess I start by saying that I am about as pleased as I can be with the results. Obama is eeking out a win in Missouri and McCain is finishing off the other dunderheads. Why is Missouri so important? Is not California the big prize? And after all in the Democratic party most delegates are given out proportionally.

The reason that a Missouri win for Obama is important is that NO candidate in over 100 years has won the White House without carrying Missouri. A win in this heartland state is vital to set the stage fore the general election for an Obama win. I know that Clinton did well on Super Tuesday, but Obama did just as well.

I'm so pleased that it is really looking like no matter who wins America will get a good President. And again if you think McCain is another Bush you are mistaken. Who were his big buddies in the Senate? Kennedy and Fingold, not exactly card carrying Neocons. The conservatives hate the guy, which is a good sign.

The other really terrific thing about Stupid Tuesdayu is that it looks like Oregon's vote might actually count!