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Radically Inept
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
  Still Radically Inept



Couldn't even remember my passwords to the account, and for some reason, neither could my computer. Could be an age thing.

Regardless, I'm having a problem with blogging. It has to do with the fact that when I get home, and all of my thoughts, those that I've had while sitting in traffic, which is a lot, have to wait until The Wife decides to get off. By then, I've had a couple of beers, and the tension and the creativity have dissipated. Hopefully this will change in the near future...

I am contemplating a PDA/SmartPhone or whatever. The Samsung i730(?) and the TREO 650 are what I'm looking at. Any advice on the subject would be greatly appreciated. Ease of use is certainly a criterion, but first and foremost are the ability to google and to blog at will; or at least when I'm w/in WiFi or some other access range.

It's now 2234hrs, or 10:32 pm EST. Depends on how you figure. Lot's of problems getting info off my work account, but for what it's worth:

The Daily Grail |

and

Sub Rosa Magazine

which turned out to have some interesting articles.

I did have comments on New Orleans, Mississippi, and the like (like forgotten Alabama), but so much has already been said.

Oh, and so much more. But, like I said, I've been home a while and lost the the anger and the, hopefully, pithy insights.

But, I'm not dead yet. I think I'm getting better...

So, expect a little more in the near future. As I said, any help ;in choosing a personal flogging device would be much appreciated. 
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Wednesday, August 31, 2005
  I live!!!

Really. "I'm not dead yet" I've just been MIA. Anyway, for those old friends who still frequent this haunt in hopes that...

Well, I'm back. Sort of...I'll be toning down the level of rant, and...

Well, with my new job, I think I will be using some discretion on this site. Yep. I'm employed again. More later.

I'll be posting here less frequently than the heyday...If one can say there was a hey day. But, for some reason, this blog feels like a child, and I just can't let it go.

On the otherhand, it will probably not be up dated more than once a week for the foreseeable future. On the bright side, I'll try to make the posts here more intellectually engaging. Well, that's my hope. 
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Monday, January 10, 2005
  You are not allowed to know the law - really

Still not actively blogging, yet, but this came to me via COL Spock, "Dangerous government secrecy oaths", By Nick Schwellenbach and Peter Brand
December 2, 2004:
America now has an Unofficial Secrets Act.

In an unprecedented and unwise expansion of government secrecy, the Department of Homeland Security has begun swearing its employees to silence, criminalizing the disclosure of information to the public – even if it is not classified. Such an expansion harms security, rather than improves it, and – this is nothing to sneeze at – strikes at our democracy and constitutional rights.

By forcing employees to sign mundanely titled "non-disclosure agreements," the department makes this message clear: "Shut up or you'll suffer."

If employees violate the agreement, they could lose their jobs and suffer civil or criminal penalties. These gag agreements are one way that excessive government secrecy will be enforced.

What's an example of information that the public can't know? The law.

Last month, while at the Boise, Idaho, airport, former Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage, R-Idaho, was pulled aside for a security pat-down. Hage asked what regulation authorized the screening. Homeland Security personnel refused to tell her.

Local security director Julian Gonzalez said the regulation "is called 'sensitive security information.' She's not allowed to see it, nor is anyone else."
I have commented on this concern, our government using secrecy to deprive us of our rights, several times before, including "A look at some of the costs of secrecy - Newtonian Secrecy: Analyzing Secrecy in Public Policy Decisions". This is scary stuff. This is worth worrying about. The denial of access to information such as what chemicals are in the holding tanks down the street or across town, is frightening enough, but not even being able to look at our laws??!!

Ah, sweet fascism is in the air. 
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Thursday, January 06, 2005
  Preying on fools

I don't really have much to say about this; except that even as an atheist I wouldn't sink this low:
Dear Beloved in Christ,

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am formally Ahmed Usman from UAE.I was born into a devoted
Muslim family.All through my life i have been doing business and I
was into gold mining and selling.

I met our creator and the meciful one Almigthy God when i was having
a business deal with one of my partners from Italy and from the day I
became a born again christian my name changed to John Williams.
On 10th Feburary 2004 myself and my family and my business partner took a flight from kish to sharjah and we flew kish airline.We had a plane crash and all members of my family including my very good friend lost thier lives.I give thanks to God that I am one of the lucky ones that survived the crash.The airline was under the management of one Mr Shabab Attarzadeh who was later sacked after this incidence.I had to return to my base in London and I am now left with my relatives to take care of me.Owing to the fact that I was born into a Moslim home and my family members know that I am now a devoted Christian,they have neglected me and left me to suffer pain.I know I am not going to survive this whole pain anymore.what disturbs me most is my stroke sickness and now that I have developed paralyses from my waist region downward i am taking this bold step to let you know that I want to leave in your care the sum of $12.6M(Twelve Million Six Hundred Thousand Dollars) i deposited in a security company for the enhancement and propagation of the word of Almigthy God. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a Church,or a Christian organisation or better still a Christianthat will utilize this funds the way I am going to instruct here in.

My main aim of doing this is for the propagation and upholding of the
message of God.My target area is the youth whom the future of any
great country largely lies on.In Asia,you find out that the
message of God has not yet really gotten there.The message of God
must not only be preached and upheld,but also our youths have to be
called back to the right path and thereby reawaken their consciousness.
I want you also to use this funds for the poor and the needy.Build old
peoples home and orphanages.For the fact that my relatives are not
ready to comply with me and they claim Islam is the way I am now
resting my dream in life on your shoulders.Even as you agree to help me carry out this duty i want you always remember that:

1. God won't ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many
people you drove who didn't have transportation.
2.God won't ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you
compromised your character ormorals to obtain that salary.
3.God won't ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how
many people you welcomed into your home.
4.God won't ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet, but
will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.
5.God won't ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of
class you displayed.
6.God won't ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask
if they dictated your life.
7.God won't ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you
worked overtime for your family and loved ones.
8.God won't ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how
you promoted others.
9.God won't ask what your job title was, but will ask if you did your
job to the best of your ability.
10.God won't ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you
did to help others.
11.God won't ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many
people to whom youwere a true friend.
12.God won't ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask
what you did to protect the rights of others.
13.God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you
treated your neighbors.
14.God won't ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the
content of your character.
15.God won't ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but
will ask how many times they didn't.

For the now I dont want any calls from you because of the presence of
my relatives that are always around me and I dont want them to know my
plans.Do get back at me to my private mail address John_williams@telkom.net
.
Hoping to hear from you soonest and do notify your interest to help me
to propagate Christianity.
May the peace and blessing of God be upon you.

May God bless you as you respond to my plea.
Best Regards,
Yours in Christ.
John Williams



___________________________________________________________________________
Mail enviado desde el servicio WebMail de PHP-Nuke
- http://www.tusitio.cl
It just plain disgusts me.

I hope no one responds to this, but someone probably will, and it is likely to be some well meaning person(s). Sure, stupid greed heads may think they are going to get over on Mr. John Williams, but most greedy people are probably too cunning for this; though, if it is the greedy, well, I can't think of anyone better to be fleeced - basically the whole philosophy of 'the con'.

No, this will probably appeal to some poor old lady who's grand-children got her an internet connection.

Anyway, I'm still operating out of the loop for a while, and likely to be out of the loop for at least another week. Basically, I just can't seem to get outraged right now. I mean, we/they are going to confirm a new u.s. attorney general who legally justified torture, and apparently...Hell, I mean, if the American people aren't already outraged, and the media - that which I've flipped through - is acting like apologists for the administration, just like they jumped on the WMD band wagon - well then my rants...well, it just doesn't seem to be worth me getting fired up. My country either is changing, or it never was, which may be the truth of it, what I thought it was. So, I'm more depressed and resigned than outraged. Better to come to grips with time as an apparent illusion, and reviewing old texts (actually an anthology by Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy) and trying to locate that mystical, and apparently difficult to find, TRUTH - for what it's worth.
 
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Sunday, December 26, 2004
  Explaination - actually thinking

The lack of recent posts is primarily due to my taking a pause in posting, and instead spending sometime assimilating new information and thinking - a radical departure I know. But there is also some truth to the suspected 'election hangover' charge - I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that I live in a country so oblivious.

Oh, another contributing factor is, as usual, C-SPAN. During the past few weeks, the US Congress has been recessed in the obligatory 'celebration' of various myths, and C-SPAN fills the time with outstanding programming. In fact, I wish we could cut congress down to meeting twenty days a year since they don't accomplish very much anyway, and what they do accomplish is largely in the interests of NOT ME. I could watch what may be the best programming on television on a more regular basis, and not have to worry about congress actually passing important legislation when I'm not looking.

Some recommendations for those who aren't C-SPAN junkies:

C-SPAN Special: Thomas P.M. Barnett, Author, "The Pentagon's New Map" [if the link doesn't work, search for the title on 12/20/04] - he actually does what Rumsfeld can't: he has a plan for revamping our military, the 'transformation', that makes sense; including the creation of a Department of Peace, and he's no dove. C-SPAN presented an earlier presentation by Thomas P.M. Barnett (he blogs!!!) that he did around Labor Day of this year, which is where I first encountered him, but I can't find it at the C-SPAN site. If you have any interest in transforming the military to deal with the issues of 21st century, that might even work, this is worth your time: "The Pentagon's New Map" [if the link doesn't work, search for the title on 12/20/04].

Note: Original broadcast here -> Booknotes: Search Results [http://www.booknotes.org/Search/results.asp?ResultStart=1&ResultCount=10&QueryText=The+Pentagon%27s+New+Map]


I could take the time to link to the following via C-SPAN, but I've spent enough time here for today -
Against Leviathan, by Robert Higgs - I found it good, but somewhat two dimensional i.e., he talks about protecting our freedoms from government, but never addresses who will protect us from the major corporations when we've done away with many government powers. I think the problem is far more complicated than can be addressed in a 'govt vs the people' type argument. Still, his arguments are worth considering.

"Future of the All Volunteer Army", panel discussion from the Center for American Progress. Interesting, some good points, but I didn't find any of the arguments so convincing that I wrote down the arguers name - so that may tell you something, but they do a great job of presenting some of the issues involved.

Oh, and
Is American Liberty Imperiled?
from December 18, 2004
Andrew Napolitano, author of "Constitutional Chaos," and Gene Healy, editor of "Go Directly to Jail," argue that the federal government has become a threat to our civil liberties. Mr. Healy shares stories about American citizens, including Martha Stewart, who have been thrown into jail for violating obscure federal laws or for committing non-violent, victimless crimes. Judge Napolitano argues that the USA Patriot Act and the recently approved intelligence reform bill both violate the Constitution. He also gives a historical overview of government efforts to curtail civil rights in this country. The event was hosted by the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. Includes Q&A.
Also worth your time. I was impressed with Andrew Napolitano ["Constitutional Chaos"], FOX legal analyst, presentation and responses to question, though I was all set to write him off. A much better thinker than I expected, and another example of the payoffs I get, when I put my prejudices aside long enough to hear what someone is saying. Another case of not finding an easy link quickly, Book TV.org.

Okay, I'm also reading Descartes' Meditations - of "I think therefore I am" fame. It's actually a pretty good argument. And I have an Aldous Huxley book and one on theories concerning Orion in the wings.

I did have a personal Epiphany and am still trying to see it's ramifications. Basically, you choose your universe. We'll see. 
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  Because the IMF is crap

Well, that's my opinion, anyway. I see the IMF and World Bank as schills for the already wealthy countries and the bankers who control them. Their constant demand for countries to throw their economies on the winds of the 'free market', read markets we already control, has done more to damage developing countries than just about anything else. The former Soviet countries that have performed the best since the USSR fell, are those that largely ignored the IMF and World Bank 'demands' to reform without constraining the 'free market'. Anyway, this sort of supports my contention that there are better ways for developing countries to handle their economies - The New York Times - Argentina's Economic Rally Defies Forecasts 
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Thursday, December 16, 2004
  The flamboyant side of Baby Bush

Is Bush keeping a secret?


It's okay as long as they don't get married . . .

we've wondered about him for years.


Via Chocolate Morphine 
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Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  The good, the bad and the bullshit

Another interesting juxtaposition of thoughts - last night I watched the second in a series of programs called C-SPAN: DIGITAL FUTURE. This program was entitled "Universal Access to Knowledge"
Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian, Director and Co-founder of the Internet Archive. Kahle is the person who first developed the idea and tools to archive the Web. He will explain how he did that, and why it's important to our everday use of the internet.
And again, just a great program.

It turns out that we are capable of digitizing all of the printed works, books, audio, film, the web, software, etc. and we're doing it. Part of it is via the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), which is a cooperative effort, but there was a great deal more to the talk, including having redundant libraries in Alexandria Egypt, Amsterdam, China, all capable of sharing and mirroring content. Oh, and a whole in concept in bookmobiles. Rather than load a bus up with books, they put a computer with web access on a van, so they can download any book you want, and then print and bind it on site. Really, this program was maybe a little over an hour, but well worth your time.

Oh the juxtaposition part...See Kahle wants to make access available to all human knowledge to every human being, and then this morning I read this: The New York Times > Hearts and Minds: Pentagon Weighs Use of Deception in a Broad Arena, By THOM SHANKER and ERIC SCHMITT. So, the Pentagon wants to lie 'officially'? I mean, is that the point? Because it's not like they haven't been lying to us for years. Hell, the article points to the huge credibility crisis the military faced during and after Vietnam; do want to go back to that?

One thing the article misses, and I'll bet they aren't discussing in the upper circles of this debate, is the problem of having the lies become the 'truth'. The article points to the problem of false stories being planted in the foreign press and then being picked up by our media and broadcast as the truth here, but I visualize something more insidious - what happens to all those people we pay to glean information from foreign media sources for our intelligence community? Are you can tell everyone that we planted that particular lie? If not, at what level do which analysts know the truth? How much time and money will be wasted by our own side before it gets to someone who knows that that particular piece of info was planted? Hell, will anyone ever tell the FBI? I mean these groups don't talk now, what the hell happens when everyone plants lies, and no one can figure out what is worth acting on? Hell, the Israelis were able to get Reagon to bomb Qadafy/Lybia based on false information they planted.

Oh, and what about the world's medical disease prevention community, humanitarian groups/NGOs, the World BAnk/IMF, the business community, etc. - who is going to be cleared to know what's 'real' and what's bullshit?

I can see it now, ol' Rummy cowering under his desk sending out drones to blow up suspected anythings; thinking he's the only one on the planet that knows the true truth - similar to known knowns, known unknowns, and unkown unknowns, etc.

A couple years ago I read a futurist study paid for by the CIA which looked at several possible scenarios for future conflicts and the like. Well, one of the scenarios had China planting masses amounts of misinformation to keep us involved in conflicts around the globe, and giving them time to build their military and economic power. Well, if we're planting lies, and the Chinese are planting lies, and the Israelis are planting lies, and everyone is planting lies, "What the fuck will 'knowledge' be?" And, who'd want universal access to bunch of bullshit? 
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GEORGE W. BUSH - TOUGH ENOUGH TO TORTURE CHILDREN
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