Thursday, May 31, 2007
Here are some news articles. again thanks to Dysfunctional Analysis for finding these.
One little problem is that this is not a desolate area that they are turning into a bombing range. Actually to be much fairer than I probably should be under the circumstances we don't know what they will do if the army takes control because they haven't told us and if you've paid attention it doesn't matter what they say they are going to do because they'll turn around and do what ever the fuck they want with it. So the first problem that gets noticed is the fact that there are roughly a dozen towns in the area to be stolen. People who will be uprooted so that the army can have new playground. military industrial complex anyone? fuck the people we can't buy more bombs till we blow these ones up. But honestly even this serious breach of morality is minor because people are people, they can move, they can be paid off and given a hopefully more comfortable life somewhere else. I say more comfortable only because if your government is going to steal your land they should at the very least set you up in something even nicer to pay for the major inconvenience and for the basic idea of leaving your home. So if I consider kicking a dozen towns out of existence a minor issue what else is going on here? Things that cannot be paid off and told to move on.
The Picket Wire Canyonlands contain the largest dinosaur track in all of North America, it contains priceless pieces of American history, from the ruins of the Delores Mission to Native American petroglyphs. This is history and its science its the understanding of the world. And our national priorities say that blowing shit up is more important.
An interesting side note to all of this is the blatant attack against science coming from the right-wing of the US. This can be seen most clearly with things like "the creation museum" and the hushing of climate specialists. There is an assault against reason in this country and how much more clearly can that be shown than to blow up the fossil records. This cannot be allowed to continue, the military has enough shit to blow up, they do not need to destroy absolutely irreplaceable scientific information so that someone doesn't have to travel far to learn how to kill indiscriminately.
This is stolen straight from the site listed originally
Information on the canyon can be found below:
He also has a similar list for creationists, I guess he even makes an appearance on that one.
So heres the story, currently The USDA tests less than 1 percent of meat for mad cow. Thats probably enough as we haven't had any outbreaks here. But one business owner decided that they could raise the cost of their meat and maybe sell some more by testing every cow and advertising it that way. Seeing as we live in a fear based society at the moment this is probably a smart business move, especially if the testing is a reasonable price. So we have an open market, an entrepreneur has an idea to make more money who could oppose that? I'll give you a hint, they work in Washington. Well the reality is those in washington don't care either way, except that they take campaign contributions from some of the large industrial farms, farms that feel that if the small farms begin testing then the market might demand that they begin testing as well. If they have to test every cow for mad cow disease, well that would cut into the bottom line and you know we can't have that. So this is how "capitalism" actually works. A company tries a new scheme to make more money, rather than try to compete with them as you would need to in a non-quotation mark capitalist society, they go crying to the government to do something about it. See all of us at the bottom we need to be happy to live in a capitalist society, but if your rich, or your company is very rich then you don't need to worry about those pesky ups and downs of the market you have the government to protect you from harm, which is also known as socialism (sorta). I also have an issue from the fact that the only way you can try to claim that campaign contributions aren't blatant corruption is to say that "people" give money to politicians that have similar views with the hopes that they win the election and therefore will work towards goals that they agree with. Thats what the claim is, but if you give enough money that you can go to that politician and say hey, I've got a problem what can you do to take care of it, well thats not even bribery thats protection money, thats mafia shit. What a country.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
1) I know what Meme means. Ok so I had to use Wiki to find out the exact meaning but I knew it was coined by Richard Dawkins, and the general idea. Its a "unit of cultural information." This is not cultural info, this is crap about me.
2) I used to be a glider pilot. When I was 14 I started flying at Harris Hill, its one hell of a great way to teach a kid responsibility. When your five thousand feet up all alone at 15 in control of your life it builds some confidence to say the least. And to circle a thermal with a hawk is absolutely surreal, they have no fear in the air, they have no enemies in the air so why should they fear you? Probably the second most influential part of my life, I'll get to the first later.
3) I'm an atheist. If you've been around here much you've probably figured that out. In my normal life I'm semi-open about that. All my friends know, some of my family know but few that I work with know. I'm sure at least a few would assume I'm not religious but I bet they would still consider me a christian which is kinda funny to me. There have been times when I wanted to say some thing. In particular when our very conservative secretary said something about if or where I go to church and I said I don't go to church and she said oh bad boy, then someone else joked, "what are you an atheist?" and the secretary seemed slightly taken back by the very notion and said "well I didn't mean all of that." I just wanted to say no it fine I am an atheist but I didn't I know it would create minor issues and its just easier not too. When I leave this place I think I might tell her, I want to remind her of that very moment. I would start it by asking what she thought of me, was I a good person or a bad person, after she said I was good I would remind her, she wouldn't know what to do... someday.
4) Now for the most life changing single event of my life. I went on a mission trip to Guatemala, twice actually. I intentionally put this right after the atheist bit because I do not believe in god but there are some religious groups that do amazing work. I will still happily support those groups. That first trip opened my eyes to what american foreign policy really does to people. I found out about a horrible 35 year civil war in which hundreds of thousands were killed because the CIA didn't like the new democratically elected president. I latter learned that we didn't like him because he bought the land back from united fruit and distributed it to the poor, so for that we overthrew his government and brought 35 years of martial law and anarchy to a people who are not half way around the world, they are the next country south of mexico. But that is not what shocked me. What shocked me is that I was a good student that was fascinated by history and I had never once heard a single word of this in all my years. That is why it shocked me, it made me look into how many other things like it have been done around the world. Doing that made me ill.
5) I'm apathetic. In general I just don't give a fuck about, well anything. I float along down the river of life, I've got a great paddle I could go where I please but for some reason I don't put it in the water, I just go where the river takes me. I am not saying this is a good thing, I need to start steering because I have a good idea where this river is going, and I don't want to end up there.
6) I'm a fat bastard. Goes along with above, too much food, way to much sitting on my ass.
7) I go through bouts of depression, but being apathetic means that its not severe depression because I would need to care about something in order for it to go badly enough that I get really depressed.
8) I love punk rock. I think all of these things have been brought up before, oh well.
9) I drive an old pick-up truck from my fathers old business. I can't complain it was free and other than the gas has been cheap to run. But having a pick-up means doing little favors for friends quite often. Sometimes its cool and I feel like I'm helping someone in need, appreciated and what not, other times it feels like I'm being used. Oh well thats life. It is the reason for number 10 thought.
10) I'm the manager (friend with truck/free beer at shows) for a local punk band E.P.D. or Elmira Punk Division. Yeah not the most creative of names but it does have the same initials as the Elmira Police Department which lends itself to the tag line, "same initials different assholes." Classy bunch of guys let me tell ya. Oh and on the off chance that anyone is reading this from elimra, Friday is the CD release party at the AMP, be there. Or Thursday is a show in Cortland, not sure where. I should probably find that out seeing as I'm driving.
11) I'm a car guy. I own a 75 morris mini but its not running at the moment because I'm freaking poor. I've driven some pretty bad ass cars, Vette's, Porches, a Viper, some Cobra replicas but nothing comes close to the giggle factor of a real mini. It just puts a smile on your face to drive it.
12) I have a degree in Motor sports technology. How random is that? Goes along with the car guy thing. Especially random when you factor in that I work in a non-profit human services agency working with teen-mothers. Strange world.
13) I swear too fucking much.
14) I'm a hopeless romantic. On the rare occasion when some girl actually likes me I usually fall for them and fall hard. Unfortunately the hopeless part comes from the fact that those times are few and far between. In the past I would make no effort, I didn't want to make an ass of myself so I left it entirely up to them. Unfortunately I'm so bad at reading women that even when they were throwing themselves at me (her words not mine) I still didn't get it. So lately I've gone the other direction. I'm being very forward and just saying Hey I like you, we should go out some time. Needless to say I've been shot down a fairly impressive number of times in the last month.
15) I don't consider myself a people person. I'm outwardly friendly when I need to be, I would do anything for my friends, but most of the time I'd rather avoid people I don't know than try to be-friend them. Maybe my standards are too high. My father was the kind of person who could stand behind a person in a line notice that the person was holding a child and has a bit of a wedgie and would make a joke of offering to help them out (true story) they would laugh and usually would strike up a conversation after that. Within 30 seconds he could be your friend. I have a friend the exact same way. It's kinda funny with him because hes got a ton of tattoos and some piercings and sometimes has a green mohawk but looks are deceiving in this case. The guy loves everyone, from total nerds (he plays magic) to the most gangsta mo-fo's in this ghetto ass lil' town, he loves everyone and almost everyone loves him back. So with those as my thoughts of what a people person is, I am not a people person. Oh well.
16) I don't understand why people fear death. I'm an atheist, in my view when you die its over, but everyone does it so why be afraid. Fear isn't going to prevent death, but it might keep you from enjoying life, and thats the greatest tragedy of all, the only tragedy I suppose. I really don't get it when supposedly religious people are scared of death. I would think that someone who thinks they are going to heaven, eternal bliss would be practically excited about the prospect. But then again I don't understand religious people.
Ok well thats my 16 things. Much of it is repeats of crap I've said before. Oh well. Thats probably the last Meme I'll do for a while.
Oh and a big Hat Tip to FireDogLake again today for some great articles, the last three were inspired by (stolen from) FLD, Thanks.
One minor thing you can do, if the doctor gives you an anti-biotic and say to say on it for 12 days, then even if you feel better in 4 days, finish the meds like the doc told you to, its minor but it helps.
It's nice to occasionally run across good news. The image above may look like a sad scene to most americans but the child is smiling, why is that? Because that heavy looking thing he is pulling is 20 gallons of water, which is far more than a child would normally be able to carry, or even most adults. Its one of the favorites of a new design movement to design things to help the poorest among us. The concept is great, instead of only trying to make things aesthetically pleasing to the top 5% lets use the power of design to help the bottom 50%. They also had inexpensive human powered water pumps so that farmers could irrigate their crops, this way they can feed themselves and maybe even earn a little money. Thank you to FLD for finding this, even if it started with some less than happy news...
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
"All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."Ok so the religion does believe in a god which I'm no fan of but more importantly the only thing that is sacred is Man. I'll assume that means man-kind and not men, don't get all anal about it, silly feminists.
"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."
Oh and I absolutely love the bit about Grandfalloons, first off I'll explain that a Karass is a group of people who are all working towards a common goal, although they usually don't know that they are in a Karass together and don't know of their goal. A Grandfalloon is a false Karass, people who think they have some common connection. Nations are a prime example of this. In the book there is a woman who is obsessed with Hoosiers, which is obviously a Grandfallon. Bokonon (the founder of the religion) has this to say about Grandfalloon.
"If you wish to study a granfalloon, just remove the skin of a toy balloon."
THE CREATION MUSEUM, a $27-million tourist attraction promoting earth science theories that were popular when Columbus set sail, opens near Cincinnati on Memorial Day. So before the first visitor risks succumbing to the museum's animatronic balderdash — dinosaurs and humans actually coexisted! the Grand Canyon was carved by the great flood described in Genesis! — we'd like to clear up a few things: "The Flintstones" is a cartoon, not a documentary. Fred and Wilma? Those woolly mammoth vacuum cleaners? All make-believe.
Science is under assault, and that calls for bold truths. Here's another: The Earth is round.
Their is no point in holding back against groups like these, and I like the persons route, don't argue with them, that gives them credibility, simply laugh in their faces. Richard Dawkins had a line I can't recall right now about a creationist wanting to debate him, it went roughly like this, "I'm sure that would look great on your resume, but for mine, not so much." We could debate but when evidence can simply be dismissed then what is the point in debating, just laugh at them.
Heres a couple other takes on this new museum.
The Problem with Evolution is no Problem This article points out that there was a great deal of skeptisim and debate for about fifty years after The Origin of the Species, but for the last 100 or at the very minimum for the last fifty years its been refined and honed but there's not much point questioning it's basic presumptions. They have been established. So now the opposition gets to say that they aren't showing the other side, because in the scientific world the other side shut up a hundred years ago, so now the religious side is pretending to be the opposing scientific side.
Well I was hoping to add something from Pharyngula but I think he was bored of the subject matter before the museum even opened, can't be mad at him for that.
Friday, May 25, 2007
So what have our fearless leaders done, well they tried to pass a bill to fund the war that included non-binding timetables..... and failed. What the pathetic fuck? First off they failed and instead passed a "clean" bill, that is clean if you ignore the blood of american soldiers and countless iraqi civilians, its clean if you forget about the billions being made from companies like halliburton that from the outside seem like the text book definition of War Profiteering. But no thats not what clean means in Washington, no in Washington clean means no timetables, no dates, no plan what so ever because anything but unlimited money with no questions asked is dirty. Next we have the sad fact that the timetables that were rejected were NON-binding, they were meaningless worthless they were nothing. So they fail to pass a bill because it had dates with no value, wow, you guys should probably re-think your career choice. Oh then there is the fact that we are talking about funding a war that they were hired to stop, but to be fair I can understand not being willing to cut funding from the troops. So what does this mean to me? It means that the democratic party might well just disband, I know that they are the oldest political party in the world, but maybe thats a sign that they should go the way of the wigs. If your political pull is so week you as the majority can't pass a funding bill the opposition needs because you wanted to include dates with no values that 60-70% of the country wants, you should probably just curl up in a corner and die already.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
We heard so much about the fears of terrorists getting their hands on nukes in the build up to the war, it was all a bunch of bullshit but that hasn't stopped us from thinking that we should build more nukes ourselves. Yeah I know I can't follow that logic at all. We have enough nukes to end civilization. My thoughts would include the fact that the number of nukes we have has absolutely nothing to do with the likely hood of a terrorist using one against us. They're a terrorist they'll strap the nuke to their chest our retaliation is not their concern. Actually the more we retaliate the more successful they are, unless we fire all our birds, then everyone loses.
Shit I lost my concentration on this one.There was going to be a bit about how we are talking about using "nuclear bunker busters" which is such a horrible idea that I hardly wish to talk about it. and I'm distracted now so I can't convey the proper level of indignation I feel towards anyone who thinks this is a good idea. Here's a quick hint if you want to reduce the danger of nukes in the world STOP BUILDING NUKES!!!! and sure as fuck DON'T USE THEM! Its like pointing out that if you want to reduce world terrorism then stop engaging in terrorist activities, this isn't as complex as it sounds. But thats all I can muster at the moment.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
By We I don't mean like us personally I mean my friends that were convinced to join up for lack of other options. I mean boys and girls, many of them younger than my immature ass are going to be sent into an absolutely unwinnable situation for... papa smurf's ego? I'm not even sure what the made up justification is going to be. Probably nukes again. I mean at least this time its a sensible reason to be nervous unfortunately that doesn't change the fact that we simply cannot win. If we attack Iran that proves every single extremist right.The last thing we want is the moderates who are not yet pissed at us in the middle east to stop and say holy shit Hezbulah was right, or Al Qaeda or any other extremist group. I wish we could count on our democratic congress to prevent this but they were elected on an end the war platform and so far the war has been escalated with talks of further escalation. Bush is in the corner petting a cat while letting out a deeply disturbing laugh as he plots his next move. "They want to give me non-binding timetables, those bastards, I'll send more motherfuckers then I'll attack another country, this time one that actually has an army, that'll show those surrender monkey's who's boss." And you know what he might be right. This arrogant little rich daddies boy might just punk down the entire legislative branch. The combined cahones all 573 members congress adds up to a few mouse turds, I'm sorry dems, there are a few that are out there trying to get something accomplished but over all they are politicians and politicians are rarely willing to put there necks on the line for something as mystical as peoples actual lives. Bastards.
So why am I convinced that were going to war? Well theres the little naval show we're putting on in the gulf, there is a little tid bit I picked up about how a local company is building all the cruise missile nose cones they can produce which is exactly what happened before the last two wars in the middle east. Then there's the fact that Bush hasn't started a war in a few years and he's overdue, some might say to put away your other toys before getting out the new ones, but Georgie's always had maids or aides around to do that stuff for him. Or how about the simple argument that bad things always happen in threes. And by bad I mean really really really bad. I mean a billion muslims very very upset with the lone superpower that appears to be on a one nation crusade to crush Islam, that might not be the truth (it is for some though) but its a reasonable thought given our track record.
Seriously people, don't go to war with Iran. If our armed forces weren't stuck in several quagmires already it would be a very very bad idea. With our forces at their breaking point already, an attack would be suicidal, there's no other word for it. I wish there was because suicide means taking your own life, and those who make this decision one way or the other are not the ones who will die, it will be my friends, and others like them....
Goodling said that while McNulty has blamed her for failing to accurately brief him on the role of the White House, he in fact "knew that there was a process that had been going on for a number of months" and that the White House had participated in the process.Or in my words, "well yeah I knew my statements weren't 'true' but its only cause she didn't tell me what to say correctly."
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Later that night, I was at Richard’s table when someone asked how Jerry Falwell died. And if there was one moment in my life when I was ready with a clever answer, this was it.Now I'm not a big fan of making fun of the recently deceased but in this case I have no pity, if I knew them I would feel bad for the family (ok maybe I wouldn't, depends on what they were like... falwell's family, I wouldn't have felt bad) but I have no pity for him. He might have been a man of god or whatever but he was a racist asshole. I wouldn't have grieved for Hitler's family had I been alive at the time I'm not going to feel bad for Falwell. The man had opposed every positive action in the US for the last 60 years, he thought segregation was a good thing, he thought homosexuality should be a crime punishable by burning at the stake, fuck him the world is better off without him. As has been said before I only wish I believe in hell so I could think that he finally got whats coming to him, ok not entirely true, hell is wrong. To torture someone for an infinite amount of time for a finite amount of wrong doings simply must be immoral, actually torture is immoral but that only exemplifies my point. The truth is I got a quick smile from his passing and now I got a laugh from this persons story so that you, it's the two best things Jerry ever did (for me).
“He had an attack where his heart should have been,” I replied.
What the fuck is drama? I mean I know what a dramatic movie is. I know a dramatic person when I meet them, or at least if I know them for some period of time. But when someone say I don't have room or time from drama in my life, whats that supposed to mean? Life is drama, it's funny at times, it's serious at times, sometimes it just plain sucks but thats life. If your that afraid of drama then go live in a cave, then you'll find drama in the lives of your friends the bats. So I absolutely agree that some people maybe way to many people go out of there way to create drama where there is none, I might be guilty of that recently for the first time in my life. Usually I'm the one that looks at other people's relationships, I watch them fight about totally stupid shit and I tell them to shut the fuck up, your both half-wrong and show them that they are just being dumb. Then they laugh at themselves a little, then I act like an ass to get them to laugh some more and we're back to having fun. But recently I've been very dramatic to one person in particular. If you read my stuff a little while back you can probably guess who, hint: Boston. I owe her a huge apology. She's right. I've been totally blowing every interaction, or non-interaction, completely out of proportion. She gave me the hope and the confidence to get back into the dating world, or at least to toss stones into the pond. Unfortunately the dating world, especially in this shit-hole town is a thoroughly depressing place to be. If a girl is half-way intelligent, half-way attractive then they are probably smart enough to get the hell out of this town. Or the other very popular option (trust me it's my job) is to get pregnant. Now I'm sorry to all the single mothers out there but I'm just not ready to be a father. If I accidentally became a father then I would step up and take responsibility, that should go without saying, but if becoming a father to someone else's child is an option, it's one I'll decline. Again, sorry single moms. I need to get out of this town, I don't think my standards are that high, I want some one who's intelligent, easy going, liberal, and because we're all a little shallow lets go with not ugly. Unfortunately the only people I can usually find that fit that criteria are younger girls, the once who haven't abandoned this town yet which gets me into an awkward spot. When I say younger I mean college age, but often not old enough to drink. I get weirded out by that because I had a friend who liked girls that were simply too young, both morally and ethically, which is why I said friend in the past tense. There was even a point when I befriended a group of girls that were far too young, it was completely innocent, we played basketball together, I talked about this a bit over a year ago, but I'll admit I had impure thoughts at which point I looked at the path I was on and stopped hanging out with all of them, including my former friend. Nothing ever happened but ever since I've been concerned about dating younger women. My best friend is 25 and dating a 19 year old, another friend is 26 and also dating a 19 year, actually she might be 18 but she's chill, but I'm still weirded out by the whole idea of Teen. There's a girl I was interested in, I met here a year ago, my friend came to my house with his GF, and she brought over a few friends. I had a great conversation with a lovely lady but she was in high school (or maybe just graduated) at the time and there was no way I was going to even consider perusing her, this was shortly after I had broken off connections with the former friend. But now a year has passed and I've been talking to her a little, all the friends that I have asked have said that after a year of college she's fair game. I didn't bother asking the guys with younger GF's I knew their opinions. But I'm still not comfortable with it. I'm sick of being single, I'm trying to find someone to care about, but I have this pathetic desperation that is hardly attractive, oh and I'm far from being physically attractive which doesn't help matters any. So thats it thats me, a pathetic hopeless romantic thats just looking for one person to really care about me, at the moment even my usual friends feel distant to me. I almost want to go back to the routine mild depression that was my defense for so many years, as Pink Floyd would say, my Wall. Then again those days weren't much fun either, hence the mild depression. Ugh. Eh who knows, I just gotta get out of this nasty rut I'm in and move on, I don't care where to anymore, I just need to get out of this town, out of this dead end job. So thats my depressing little story of the day.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
So why am I doing this oft-repeated line about how we have become the tyrant that this country was founded to defeat. Well because the Iraqi government has passed a bill freezing the troop levels and setting a timetable for withdrawal. Apparently Iraq wants to lose the war too....
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Oh seeing as that was an entirely uplifting piece I should point out that life's not all bad, when I walked to my truck this morning there were balloons tied to it. Still not sure who did that. I've got three cards, both sets of grandparents (yes I have all four) and my aunt's handmade card, and I got a call at midnight last night from my sister so she could be the first to say happy birthday. Then at work today I get three more cards and some co-workers want to take me to lunch but they won't tell me where and they don't want my best friend to come because they don't think he would appreciate it. Admittedly they have a bit skewed idea of what he would and would not appreciate but I'm still very confused. Tonight I'm going to see my parents, so yeah I have an amazing family, I work in the greatest office ever and really things are pretty decent. But if I'm still working here and still single next year I will go absolutely insane. So again happy birthday to me. And here's a song by The Vandals called Happy birthday to me.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Normally I hold off on writing anything about romantic interests until there is some reason to thing that the interest is mutual. But I'm in a good mood so I'm goin with it. Theres a girl that I like and I'm not entirely sure why. We couldn't be more different. She's super-christian, hates evolution, conservative, and she's probably a republican but shes a nice person and she's very cute. There aren't many nice people that are available in this town so why not? This is obviously tied into my recent fling with the old flame to end all old flames, ever since that escapade I've been looking for some companionship, I've been single for a very very long time. I had pretty well given up on chasing women, I always got rejected eventually anyway so I just stopped trying. But that fling I mention gave me new hope, it gave me some much needed confidence to get back in the game, plus it reminded me of what I was missing. So why am I interested in someone 5 years younger than me She's 20 I turn 25 this week, that is ideologically my polar opposite? I don't know. She is pretty damn cute, thats obviously a big factor, I could easily be accused of thinking with something other than my brain. But I'm not stupid, I don't get interested in someone based solely on appearance, shes also a sweetheart. And maybe thats enough. I'll keep the world informed, although I'd be surprised if the world cares.
I'll get to world affairs later. Did anything big happen? Some horses ran in a circle and two guy beat each other up. I saw both minutes of the derby, I don't know who won the fight.
So that was friday. cinco de mayo was fun too, but the only thing fun about that evening was going for a beer at friend of friends house only to have the guys middle aged neighbors show up in their underwear one had a football helmet on carring a mop, and I can't recall what the others did or didn't have on. It was interesting. So the guys were trying to think of how they could top that. Streaking was mentioned. I wasn't down with that. So then my friend who has seen 300 a few too many times made a tin foil loin cloth, arm and leg guards also of tin foil and grabbed a foam sword that was there. Everyone else headed the the neighbors to say hello and say it was funny, after a few quick laughs our friend in the tin foil comes leaping into the house in all his glory. It was funny. We went to the bar, I wore my sombrero and drank tequila, the bar was lame.
Friday, May 04, 2007
On Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a congressional bill authorizing financing for the war in Iraq contingent on a timetable for troop withdrawal. What do you think?
"I had him all wrong. I applaud him for refusing to fund this ill-conceived, mismanaged war."
I wanted to include some photos but they are all much too large to re-post here. I can probably find some later.
I also want to include in its entirety his Manifesto.
An extract from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945.
I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen. It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diptheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing would save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference. Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand proping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentary which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated. It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tatooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.
Source: Imperial War museum
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The intelligent design hack. If you want to see what Michael F. Behe looks like just look up Pseudoscience in your closest encyclopedia, if its not there then I recommend getting a better encyclopedia.
Again this is too minor to matter, but seriously why would any campaign manager allow any ill will towards their candidate when it could be solved so easily. If this guy is that big a fan they probably could have just brought him into the campaign, have him as an internet liaison or something. Anyway this has no affect whatsoever on my views of him as a presidential candidate but it does affect my thoughts of the people running his campaign.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
When we hear of extinction, most of us think of the plight of the rhino, tiger, panda or blue whale. But these sad sagas are only small pieces of the extinction puzzle. The overall numbers are terrifying. Of the 40,168 species that the 10,000 scientists in the World Conservation Union have assessed, one in four mammals, one in eight birds, one in three amphibians, one in three conifers and other gymnosperms are at risk of extinction. The peril faced by other classes of organisms is less thoroughly analysed, but fully 40 per cent of the examined species of planet earth are in danger, including perhaps 51 per cent of reptiles, 52 per cent of insects, and 73 per cent of flowering plants.
Ok for anyone who is willfully ignorant of the interconnectedness of all living creatures the loss of even a single species (think bees) can be devastating. If you don't want to think about all those little critters that you don't really like anyway, then at least think about that last line. 73 per cent of flowering plants could be in peril.
Our technology is impressive, but we cannot survive alone on a barren planet. Although at the rate things are going we might just find out how long we can.
Think about that, the last time there was anything similar to this we need theories like a massive meteorite crashed to earth sending millions of tons of ash into the air, effectively blocking out the sun for years. The irony being their mass extinction could become the fuel for our own mass extinction. I hope people catch that, it wasn't too subtle.
homes from the most powerful army the world has ever know, the leader of that army thinks himself a god. (or maybe he just thinks he talks to god?) You may see where I am going with this.While far from a perfect parallel, it seems to me that if this is an allegory for the Iraq war then we are not the mighty fearless Spartans, no we are The Persian Empire and Bush is Xerxes. Now that I've made a comment that goes completely against the normal view of this film I will point out that this is based on a comic book (which was loosely based on the historical battle of Thermopylae) in 1998, it is not a movie about this war. But like any war movie it can be seen through the lens of current events easily enough. Actually after reading that wiki entry it might be a more accurate depiction than I realized, at least in terms of the plot development. Even some of the cheesy lines are supposedly real, like when warned that the Persian arrows would be some numerous as to "blot out the sun" the spartan responded, "so much the better, we shall fight in the shade." Although it probably wasn't said in English. Anyway to finish up my political review of the film. It's not supposed to be about the current events but its easy to make that connection if you want. Once you do you can look at it as spurring on nationalism, never surrender in the face of evil. You can say that we are the proud and strong defending freedom if you want. But don't forget that if an Iraqi saw the film they might very well feel the exact same way, that while they might not be the greatest warriors in the world, they have been trained and fighting since birth, they are defending their homes, they are
fighting for their freedom, they are fighting against the most powerful army the world has ever seen, and finally their enemies leader might have a little bit of a god complex.
Oh I could also get into the fun of the corrupt old priests who have young girls sent to them and must be called on before laws are passed even thought they are simply relics of a superstitious past that is irrelevant today. I liked that jab at religion, although later on the same person who insulted those superstitious mystics thanked Zeus for sending a storm to wipe out many of the Persian ships. So its not a full on insult against religion, oh well.
The reality is that this is an action movie, its meant for entertainment purposes only and if you want to think about politics there's much better options, some of which I've recently reviewed.
The first was about the story of Abraham and Issac, pretty famous story about a dad who is ordered to kill his son by god and just before he does the deed god jumps out from behind the bushes and says, "just kiddin'" it's the old testament version of Punk'ed but luckily without Ashton Kutcher. Here's one of my favorite bits.
Consider the following: if you had a young child and a god, or an angel, told you, in no uncertain terms, and with no possibility of it being merely a dream or hallucination, to sacrifice — to kill — that child of yours, what would you do?
Theists, here — at least, the more fundamentalist ones, who believe that nothing is important in life except pleasing God — would say that they would kill their child, without hesitation. Because, to them, morality is obeying God, nothing more.
But suppose that it wasn’t God at all, but that you lived under a dictatorship, and it was the cruel dictator General Fang who ordered you to kill your child in front of him, to prove your loyalty to him and to the State. Or else.
What would you do? And, more importantly, what would you think of General Fang’s moral standing?
Theres more and the finish is close to a happy ending but I'd feel bad stealing the guys entire post so if you like that go check it out over at Way Of The Mind.
Ha ok after reading this one I realize that the one I just talked about is a spin off of this one from Atheist Revolution. Over all I'm a big fan of Vjack, but this isn't one of my favorite posts by him, its a bit disjointed, I know its odd criticism coming from the Rambler but thats my opinion and if you didn't want my opinion then what are you doing here? Any way his rant was about the same bible story. So I'm not going to quote it here. This will be funny on PA because there will possible be three posts on the same subject. So had better add something to make it worthwhile.....I was going to give other examples of things that christians view as great deeds by god that are actually horrible, but I don't know too many bible stories. How about Noah's Ark, every little kids knows this one because its got animals. Kids don't worry about the moral of the story they worry about how they fit 300,000 different types of beetles on the ark along with all the elephants, lions, tigers and bears oh my. Plus they must have had a huge aquarium for all the fresh water fish, oh and if incest is wrong how did everyone come from that one family? So those are the simple problems with the story itself. Then there is the big problem of the morality of commiting a genocide that puts the hitler, stalin, pol-pot, and every other mass murderer to shame. I mean according to the story god kills every living creature on land save for one boat (although I suppose other boats probably survived too). And this is seen as gods mercy for allowing anyone to live. So should we praise hitler for not killing all the jews?
How about David and Goliath. Um actually I don't think this is a moral story so much as guy little guy takes down big guy. If you want to call it a moral to keep going in the face of great odds then fine its a moral story and not a bad one.
Sodom and Gomorrah, its like spring break all year, until some dude decided to rain fire and brimstone on the town. Another act of terrorism we see as being great. Then the one family that gets to leave has the one person who's actually human and turns to see what is happening, so what's her punishment for such an act? She gets turned into a pillar of salt. I'll give him that at least god was still creative in those days. But what kind of message is that to the world? Do as I say or I will destroy entire cities innocents and all, isn't that what Saddam was Hanged for? (I recently learned from a cute English teacher that hung is the wrong word, oh dammit hold back on the inappropriate comment)
Thats all the bible stories I can come up with right now. Two are quite immoral and one's alright, still ends in violence rather than something reasonable but sometimes violence is unavoidable so we can let that slide. So if we include Abraham then the bible is rockin' about a 25% morality rate. But of course that's not the best sample size. others have actually tried to figure out how much of the bible is good or evil, I just don't remember their numbers.
Peace out, and remember no matter what that old book says, genocide is bad.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I just wish I could find a video for the Propagandhi song, War is Peace, because its been running through my head all morning, the opening lines are.
"Four more years of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Slavery's Freedom.
Four more years of May all your interventions be Humanitarian
Four more years of pay-to-play politics, power and influence
Four more years of legalized bribery to serve corporate interests"
On a minor note this is also my 700th post. yippy.
Aw fuck it why not? It'll probably be relatively brief. So here we go again, why I am a super liberal semi-socialist that absolutely despises Unions. The most basic reason is the same reason why socialism will never work. People are greedy and lazy, not all obviously but over all most people fall into one of those categories, or both. So in a socialist society or a union you remove the punishment for being lazy, you basically cannot be fired, and you remove the reward for working harder, can't make more money than the lazy guy next to you. I want to bring people closer to equality but not absolute equality because, dammit we are NOT equal. Again some folks work hard, some don't why not allow those willing to work harder enjoy some advantages? Thats the idea of capitalism. But closer to equality in that every single person on earth should have at an absolute minimum, Food, Clean drinkable Water, Housing. Thats the absolute minimum, if that makes me a pinko because I think that since we have the ability to prevent children from starving to death, then we should do it, well then call me a commie and I'll call you a..... never mind. The next step would be education and medical care for everyone in the world. Ok so far I've talked about more equality from the view of raising up those at the very bottom of the bell curve, what about the other end? The super-rich. My question is, does anyone NEED a billion dollars? No. Does anyone deserve a billion dollars, now thats the real question. Does the CEO of Exxon Mobile really work a million times harder than the Malaysian person making sneakers for a dollar a day? I think not. If you work twice as hard sure, you should get twice as much, if your job is particularly critical to the welfare of the community, like a doctor, you should get more. Especially in the case of a doctor because not only are they saving lives but it takes a large amount of skill to be proficient at it. So yes some people deserve more. But would it be so wrong if the world minimum wage was say 10 bucks an hour, and the richest people made $250,000 a year? We are still talking about more than ten times the money, thats not bad. I know I know, how can you create a maximum wage without severely infringing on rights? I don't know. You obviously can't in a pure capitalist society, but then again generally those at the very top, the multi-millionaires, the billionaires, they don't work under true capitalism anyway. Every corporation with money to pay their top people like that are also pay many politicians, they are subsidized by the government in many different ways, so the biggest corporations are somewhat socialist. Kinda ironic that the peak of capitalism becomes socialist.
I don't have time to get into the part of unions that really pisses me off. Huge corporations, with politicians in tow have no trouble keeping the unions, which are just corporations in their own right anyway, out of their way. But the unions need to hang on so they are forced to go after the smaller business. Now you have a very large well financed corporation, the union, taking on a small struggling company and puts them out of business. If the union is a pride of lions roaming the safari then small businesses are gazelle, and the big ones are elephants. The lions don't stand a chance against a strong elephant so they don't bother. They take keep taking down the gazelle's until theres nothing left but elephants, then they starve to death. Along with the rest of the animals that needed to eat. I should have thought that metaphor through better, I coulda come up with something better, but no time at the moment. You get the idea, unions are killing small businesses, like the one that put a roof over my head growing up, our family business was destroyed because the union didn't get their cut. We payed our workers better, they had better health care, they had more vacation, despite all those extra expenses we still were much cheaper than the union shop because we didn't have to pay protection money to the union, also because we only kept people who were willing to work, we worked harder (I say we because I was in the back pounding duct-work from the age of 16) we got payed more. But the organized crime, I mean organized labor didn't like that so they took us to court where you can be deprived of property without a jury and sued us because we didn't hire people that weren't looking for jobs and who were over qualified. We lost the business, the house the cars everything. My father is the single hardest working person I have ever met. He came from nothing and with pure determination he built a reputation as a worker, started a business and it thrived because of his blood sweat and tears. He would go to work before 7 am and came home somewhere between 6 and 8 o'clock most nights, never stopping for lunch. On a good week he'd take Sunday off to do yard work. This went on for years until things were fairly well established and he was eventually able to reap the benefits. Then it was stolen by a few lawyers and a single judge. There was no jury of our peers, it was all just taken away. Our workers had to take lower paying jobs at the union shops, after voting down the union many times at their former place of employment.
Fuck International Workers Day.