Wednesday, November 26, 2008

optical illisions

Fun with flaws in our brains!
I suddenly want to paint a room like this....

Happy Thanksgiving

I haven't been doing much blogging lately, so to my loyal follower, I'm sorry. I've just been really busy of late with school and work and the old QR has suffered for it. I might be buying a laptop pretty cheap off a friend so maybe I'll be on more. Either way enjoy the holiday of gluttony, er thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Juxtaposition on Guns

I find a very cruel irony about two recent headlines in my local paper. One was a whole thing about the rise in guns sales because idiots think that Obama is going to take away their guns. Yeah if we're lucky he is going to get rid of assault rifles and put safeguards on handgun purchases, background checks and shit. I call them idiots because I live in NY which already has some gun control laws and I'm willing to bet that if Obama could get the whole country to the same level as NY he'd be a happy man. Thats it, prove who you are and where you live to buy a shot gun or a rifle, and a through background check for handguns.

The horrible irony is that the day before this article about people buying thousands of rounds of ammo was the story of a 12 year old boy and his 10 year old friend who were playing with dads gun, got it out of the safe and accidentally killed himself.

Fuck the NRA


I have something of a one tract mind. So seeing as I've had to do all this research on torture it's been the topic of conversation far far too often of late. I'm not sure if you've noticed but torture just doesn't lead to pleasant conversations.

Monday, November 17, 2008

All Work and No Play

Makes Tim a dull boy
All work and no play makes tim a dull boy
All work and no play makes tim a dull boy
All work and on play makes tima dull boy
all work and no play makes tim an angry boy
all work and no play make me angry

WTF- IE doesn't even want to let me cut and paste!?!?!
trying to make me do repetative work in order to bitch about the repetativeness of my work!
fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck

Thursday, November 13, 2008


(Warning: I'm using shitty ass IE so I don't have spell check, oh no's)

So I finally got around to starting my psych paper on torture. It's amazing how common one of the cruelest forms of torture really is for prisoners of all types, isolation.

I read a report from Physicians for Human Rights about the stuff going on at Gitmo and other places. Pretty horrible stuff. Now I'm starting in on the US torture instruction manual. Ok so its not called that, its called "The Manipulation of Human Behavior." What it is is a book from 1961 that lays out the most "modern" use of psychological knowledge for the purposes of interogation. I'm willing to bet that at the time they didn't realize the long term effects of such interogation. They thought of it simply as techniques, not torture. Oh and in the report I found it interesting that one of their major sources of info about the goings on at Gitmo et all besides the Red Cross was the FBI that was a bit stunned by what they saw, not so much because it was cruel and illegal, it is the FBI after all, but because it's not an effective way to get information. What I didn't see in the report is the real purpose of torture (admittedly I'm only 50 pages into that report) which is intimidation. Pure and simple, you don't torture people for intelligence purposes, you torture people to scare the shit out of everyone aligned against you, its the bully mentality of showing that you're the baddest motherfucker on the block. What the fuck has happened to this country when we need to flex like that? There was a time when you wanted to be our friend cause we'd help you out when you needed it, hook you up with shit if we really liked you, even fight wars for ya, and you didn't want to be our enemy cause we had the ability to crush anything that moved. Now (although not for much longer) we kinda sorta help our friends (other than Israel who's still our friend with benefits), and lets face it no one is nearly as scared of our military as they once were. Don't get me wrong, army vs. army, no country is stupid enough to face us. I made this point in the last post, but partially because of that, we don't see "real" wars anymore. Countries don't dare fight, instead they have to turn to ideological mad men, aka the enemy or terrorists or patriots or freedom fighters depending on the time and which side you're on. So whats my point? I have no idea anymore. I've been stuck doing fucking data entry for way to long and my mind has turned to mush. I'm a little surprised that we haven't started inflicting forced data entry onto prisoners, guess theres still some things that are just too cruel.

But on that note I need to get back to work on this evil ass paper.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not So Fast Mr. Zinn

I'm generally in pretty close agreement with Howard Zinn, but there is one maybe two important points in his latest article that I must take issue with. First off heres what he wrote.

Obama's Historic Victory

by Howard Zinn

Those of us on the Left who have criticized Obama, as I have, for his failure to take bold positions on the war and on the economy, must join the exultation of those Americans, black and white, who shouted and wept Tuesday night as they were informed that Barack Obama had won the presidential election. It is truly a historic moment, that a black man will lead our country. The enthusiasm of the young, black and white, the hopes of their elders, cannot simply be ignored.

There was a similar moment a century and a half ago, in the year 1860, when Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Lincoln had been criticized harshly by the abolitionists, the anti-slavery movement, for his failure to take a clear, bold stand against slavery, for acting as a shrewd politician rather than a moral force. But when he was elected, the abolitionist leader Wendell Phillips, who had been an angry critic of Lincoln's cautiousness, recognized the possibility in his election.

Phillips wrote that for the first time in the nation's history "the slave has chosen a President of the United States." Lincoln, he said, was not an abolitionist, but he in some way "consents to represent an antislavery position." Like a pawn on the chessboard, Lincoln had the potential, if the American people acted vigorously, to be moved across the board, converted into a queen, and, as Phillips said, "sweep the board."

Obama, like Lincoln, tends to look first at his political fortunes instead of making his decisions on moral grounds. But, as the first African American in the White House, elected by an enthusiastic citizenry which expects a decisive move towards peace and social justice, he presents a possibility for important change.

Obama becomes president in a situation which cries out for such change. The nation has been engaged in two futile and immoral wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the American people have turned decisively against those wars. The economy is shaken by tremendous blows, and is in danger of collapsing, as families lose their homes and working people, including those in the middle class, lose their jobs, So the population is ready for change, indeed, desperate for change, and "change" was the word most used by Obama in his campaign.

What kind of change is needed? First, to announce the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and to renounce the Bush doctrine of preventive war as well as the Carter doctrine of military action to control Mideast oil. He needs to radically change the direction of U.S. foreign policy, declare that the U.S. is a peace loving country which will not intervene militarily in other parts of the world, and start dismantling the military bases we have in over a hundred countries. Also he must begin meeting with Medvedev, the Russian leader, to reach agreement on the dismantling of the nuclear arsenals, in keeping with the Nuclear Anti-Proliferation Treaty.

This turn-around from militarism will free hundreds of billions of dollars. A tax program which will sharply increase taxes on the richest 1% of the nation, and will tax their wealth as well as their income, will yield more hundreds of billions of dollars.

With all that saved money, the government will be able to give free health care to everyone, put millions of people to work (which the so-called free market has not been able to do. In short, emulate the New Deal program, in which millions were given jobs by the government. This is just an outline of a program which could transform the United States and make it a good neighbor to the world

Good shit for sure, tax the rich, cut the military, give people jobs not checks. But oddly enough its the military part I disagree with, sorta. First off Iraq, we want out and they want us out. Lets work with there government and get out as soon as we can. I'm sure the pull-out won't be nearly quick enough, but were all in basic agreement on that one. Afghanistan, I have no idea. I just don't hear enough news coming out of that place to have any clue what is going on let alone what the solution is. If we can't be seen as a helping force there and we can't find Bin Laden then we need to get the fuck out. If on the other hand there are still useful goals to be accomplished there then I'm not entirely opposed to increased numbers there. If we can take all our troops out of Iraq and put them into Afghanistan for 6 months to capture Bin Laden then fine lets do it. This is all assuming that guy hasn't died from kidney failure as a free man years ago. I need to learn more about the situation in Afghanistan before I commit myself fully to a position on that. Maybe I should back off on Howard because I bet he's done the research. Then again backing off isn't really my style.

The other point of contention is with the idea of closing all our foreign military bases. Closing some, hell yeah, Guantanamo comes to mind quick like a bunny. But I disagree with this on two counts. First off I don't think its a good idea. Second Obama is not going to do it, period. There is nothing the left can do to get Obama to close a significant portion of our oversees bases. It's political suicide for one, and as Zinn likes to point out, Obama for all his good is still a politician first. More importantly in Audacity of Hope Obama talks about growing up in Indonesia where despite being half-way around the world he still felt the long arm of American military influence. Someone planning to commit a crime is going to think a little harder before they target an American because America might just decide to fuck some shit up. It's like having a Schizophrenic pit bull with you at all times. Sometimes you can punch the guy in the face and the dog will lick ya, think USS Liberty. The next time though that same dog might rip your arm off, Afghanistan, then maul an entire neighborhood for no apparent reason other than it's developed a taste for blood, Iraq. So now you're that criminal, looking for a target, you see an American, but in the back of your mind you see that crazy ass pit bull and have no idea how its going to react but you know if its bad its going to be really bad. Maybe I'll wait for a Canadian or something.

Thats my early morning, not fully away take on our military. That all being said that still leaves many billions of dollars worth of waste in the military, my favorite example was in Time magazine talking about cost overruns. The Osprey was on the list some other stuff and a new series of nuclear subs that cost some outrageous price, but ended up costing even more. But tell me this real quick, what the fuck do we need nuclear subs for? when was the last time we fought a country with a real navy? WWII I'm thinkin. Oh sure if we want to keep some of our subs around for intimidation fine, but do we really need to spend billions on new ones that have no real purpose? The work on new weapons that make sense for the modern battle field isn't a bad thing, but lets make sure we aren't wasting our money on weapons that only make sense in a bygone era.

But lets not take this lightly, there is a reason there won't be a traditional war anymore. The US Military has become sort of like the alien from "The Day The Earth Stood Still" anyone wants to fight a real war and we will wipe them off the face of the earth. Thats a role we can fill, but lately we've slipped. Russia and Georgia can get a bit frisky without fear of American backlash because we're chained to Iraq. And cause realistically we still want to avoid a war with Russia. Willing to bet they want to avoid our wrath too.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Onion is a little too accurate....

Nation Finally Shitty Enough to Make Social Progress.

It suddenly occurred to me that Naomi Klein is right, in the Shock Doctrine. But it's true in both directions, but I don't think to the same degree. She railed against using natural or man-made disasters to further economic and political ideas. Don't we liberals do the same thing? FDR never would have the new deal without the great depression. Then again we wouldn't have needed it without the depression. Actually now that I have said this I'm not so sure it's true after all. Would Obama have been elected without the financial collapse? Probably, but it sure wouldn't have been a landslide. There was a point to this. I was going to say how liberals also use crisis to further their goals and its true, if you've read the Shock Doctrine than you know there's many examples of the conservatives doing this, cough cough 9/11 cough, then I was going to say how we use it to better lives while they do it for money, but thats just a matter of perspective. Ultimately I think this really just shows that the nature of society is to protect the statue quo. We fear change, unless things get so bad that we fear the path we are on more than the unknown. But we all know that.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The Aliance of the radical liberal socialist demi-muslim's has finally taken control!!!!! Bwahahahahah!!!
Feel the wrath of a decent living for all!
Redistribution of wealth, fuck the rich!
Other evil un-american shit.....

BTW. Wow,.... shitty timing. just at the moment when I was going to say I've neer been happier Rob's QOMU says, "Ted Stevens is winning..." Ugh... Well I'm still fuckin' happy right now, and maybe ever so slightly tipsy. Oh yeah and I'm at Rob's house. Hello Rob 4 feet away!
I'm still only half convinced that I'm going to wake up in a moment to my alarm saying November 4th, this all being simply a dream.
And to all a good night.

P.S. Obama's good. He reminds me what a president is supposed to sound like. And I'm not sure what more I can say about that.
And if that McCain had been in this election it would have been a much tougher race. That's the McCain I once respected. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy Election Day!

I'm so happy to have finally voted for a President and not against the other guy.

Ok so here's my personal predictions. Obama at 320+ in the Electoral College, 56 seats in Senate (57 if you count Lieberman and I don't, but Sanders is cool) and pick up some number of seats in the House. Sorry, but it's hard to follow all the house races.

I'm like a kid at christmas right now. I want to watch as the map starts lighting up blue. Oh and it looks like I'm heading to Robs house to watch the results come in. Bwahahaha! See ya tonight!

So much to say

Hey in case you haven't noticed its Election Day! But I'll get into that later so its at the top of the page.

Das Halloween

A fuckin' roller coaster of a Halloween. I'll write this up real brief cause I have a lot to say and not much time. First off I went as a PEZ Dispenser, or specifically an Obama PREZ Dispenser. Corny, yes, but it was amusing and apparently liked by enough. I threw a small Obama sticker on the back just to make it clear it wasn't meant to insult our next president. I got one snide comment about the sticker, oh well. This all went on at a big party at the holiday inn, where I met up with some friends I haven't seen in a really long time. One downside to my costume, its hard to pull a beautiful woman in close to dance when you're wearing a cardboard box. Still had a blast, danced like a fool and then with the help of my friends I won the Most Original Costume Contest. The judges narrowed it down to three then at the end of the night the crowd picks the winner. My friends were like a religious cult band, they could have been an SNL skit, but they were the only ones of the top three still there. So the MC told Where's Waldo and the PREZ dispenser to come up. My friends actually got booed by the crowd, I'm not sure why but they were out. So they screamed for me and I jumped around like an idiot and got the loudest cheers. Pretty sweet. Won a hundred bucks too! So that much of the night was great.

Then went back to my friends party where everyone was pretty drunk, and apparently feeling frisky. Three of my female friends are on a couch with another girl laying across them repeatedly lifting her shirt for the amusement of all. Pictures were taken and nipples were sucked. Almost all of us found it hilarious, the one who didn't will become significant later on. Another female friend decided it would be a good idea to make out with most of the guys at the party, I can't say it was bad idea. I have always mentioned that my friends are a little crazy right? It was all in good fun. We find a couple of sober drivers and head back to where we started the night (I didn't mention that part as it was just getting costumes ready), as we left in high spirits a spotlight shines on us from the porch of the house we're leaving, telling us to move along. We shout back naturally, then the light goes out, oh thats not our friend, thats a cop. He told us to get moving. I did think it was odd that the crowd of drunks piling into cars and the cops didn't even ask if we had sober drivers, which we did. Apparently in the other car the shenanigans continued between one friends wife and another friends girlfriend, again most just thought it was funny, most. That stuff continued until two wifes decided to kiss each other while siting on my lap. Thats when one husband finally flipped out, ironically my lap wasn't the problem. My friends trust me, shit one friend told me that if he walked in and I was in bed with his girl he'd still assume nothing was going on. They've probably just seen me hit on women and know how bad I am at it. But anyway he flipped out and started screaming, then it gets weird, another friend was flipping out on the other wife who responded with even more screaming. We assumed the cops would be on their way by this point. At this point the two that were really screaming I wasn't concerned about, they fight when they drink, and they (she) had drank a LOT. The important thing about their fights is that they're just verbal. So we all thought we had seen the drama of the evening, it was probably 4 am by this point so I head for the couch and the others head to bed. I'm not sure I should really tell this next part, but I think I've implied enough already that if I don't tell it you'll assume worse than it was. I don't like airing dirty laundry like this but this blog is how I vent, and this was some very heavy shit and I need to get it out.

There's still yelling from downstairs as I turn off the light. As my head hits the couch I hear, "Help!" Oh fuck. I run down the stairs, think twice, run back up the stairs to get my other friend, and run back down, and mind you I don't run. I'm ashamed of two things that happen here, one is that when we got to the door we hesitated, it wasn't for more than a few seconds but I'm still ashamed that it wasn't instant. We go in, and he's screaming at us. Something gets thrown and the glass lamp shade smashes on the floor. The glass under my bare feet is no where near as sharp as the razors edge were standing on, I really and truly expected to get punched at this point as we backed him up towards where his wife was crying on the floor. It should be clear to anyone who reads this that by nature I am not a fighter, but I've got an easy 60 lbs on him and more importantly he's still recovering from a badly broken leg. At the same time I know there was a time when he got in a lot of fights and I know that if this goes down it won't be pretty for anyone, but I can honestly say that my own well being wasn't being factored into the equation. Far too much adrenaline coursing through my veins to be worried about petty things like that. When my friend, his wife, is crying on the floor with a fat lip the only thought in my head is, "Do I kill him?" My life has never had me in a situation like this before, it's common enough in movies that you think about it and you think you know how you'll react. But when suddenly its a close friend who you're expecting to clock you it's a very different thing. If he'd threw a fist then it was a wrap, but as long as he didn't my pacifist side kept me held back, barely. I'm so glad that I hadn't drank very much and was able to take control of the situation, I eventually got everyone calmed down a bit. Got him to sit on the couch, she went upstairs. I probably reacted correctly, but I have to admit that friend or not, a part of me wishes I had beaten the shit out of him.

Eventually they calmed down a bit and she agrees to go back downstairs, and I went with them. I laid on the love seat with two pitbulls and listened to way way more than any friend should about marital problems coming from their room, but there was no more screaming. There was more I could add but I think you get the point. I was so angry that I skipped what was probably an awesome Halloween party the next night.

So that was my roller coaster, or swan dive I suppose, of a night. Hope everyone else had a fun Halloween. Oh and if the person who this is about happens to read this and has a problem with it, fuck you don't slap your wife, and I'll probably see ya later.