<$BlogRSDURL$>
Radically Inept
Friday, April 23, 2004
  With respect for Pat Tillman I had heard the news earlier today, and I had some thoughts on the subject, but it wasn't until I read Guy Montag's post over at NGD: Blogdom's Triple Threat that I realized something troubled me about the overall coverage. This is by no means restricted to Guy Montag's comments, however, they seem to capture the overall media mood and possibly the country's reaction:
"This man is the textbook definition of patriot. Here's what he gave up:

Tillman, an unrestricted free agent, traded a $3.6 million, three-year contract with the Cardinals for approximately $18,000 a year in the military. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Tillman was an exceptional student with a 3.84 grade point average through college and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in marketing.

Here's a guy who could have had everything that America has to offer: Money, fame, adulation. Looking at his picture, he could have had 10X his salary in endorsements (and could most likely have dated a supermodel).

But he traded that in to serve his country. I stand humbled and in awe of this man's dedication, purpose, and love of his country.

Rest in peace, Ranger Tillman."
Well, I aint humbled and I aint in awe. But I will take nothing away from his valor. If every American would do what he did i.e., enlist and help fight the war, the war could be won.

Yet, it truly saddens me, that among my fellow citizens and throughout our country so many espouse the their belief in our cause, yet so few are willing to answer the call. Many fly a flag, few are willing to take the risk of lying beneath one.

Most Americans have lost any sense of true patriotism. They may argue, they may write, they may rant but they seem to lack the courage of their convictions. And, I think it really becomes apparent in a situation like this.

Many people seem to think that somehow giving up $3 million dollars or whatever, somehow makes this more special than anyone else who's given up home and family. You know, if you are poor, it is expected. If your Baby Bush's daughters it would somehow be special. Well it should not be so. Our best, our smartest and even our wealthiest, should be joined in the common cause if this effort actually means anything.

We are truly a crass society when the amount of money someone earns, or potentially would earn, makes the difference in how we view the sacrifice and patriotism of our fellow countrymen (or women). Apparently fame and money are viewed as higher sacrifices than life, liberty, family and future. I think it just reinforces my belief that America may well be following the course of Rome. Only the poor, the stupid and the mercenaries fight our battles; citizens stay home and bitch about the price of gas, or that their favorite entertainment program was interrupted by news.

I think we've created a generation of selfish pussies. With apologies to all those women who are proudly serving where the limp dicks fear to follow. There, now I've pissed off everyone.

Anyway, I totally respect Pat Tillman. But I totally respect many of my friends who have taken the same risks for their country. No, they wouldn't have made $3 million playing in the NFL, and I'm not sure what the financial value of marrying a supermodel is, but it's truly sad when in America money and fame are the only metric that matters.

Or does the problem lie in the cause? 
|
  Bloomberg.com: U.S. Bloomberg.com: U.S. 
|
  Rook's Rant

Via corrente/ the farmer via archy and from Rook's Rant comes this sweet email, which purports to provide info on Osam bin Laden's capture, with pics!
"RE: I received an email with this content: Hey, Just got this from CNN,
Osama Bin Laden has been captured! ............
DON'T TOUCH THAT LINK! ( see below info from news.netcraft )
''Bin Laden Captured' E-mail Downloads Trojan Security
A new e-mail attack bearing the subject 'Osama Bin Laden Captured' downloads a trojan onto the computers of recipients who click on a link promising additional details, according to antivirus vendor Panda Software. The scam spam provides a prime example of social engineering, masquerading as a news bulletin that, if legitimate, would generate click-throughs from a significant number of users.'

Anyway, here's the email content:
'The text of the e-mail:
Subject: 'Osama Bin Laden Captured',
Message text: 'Hey, Just got this from CNN, Osama Bin Laden
has been captured! Go to the link below to view the pics and
to download the video if you so wish: (Internet address)
'Murderous coward he is.' God bless America!''"
Rook's Rant also states:
The so called name of the person who sent me this email was Joan Lamb. Gee, a combination of Joan of Arc and a wolf in sheeps clothing. Pretty pathetic.
My question is, do you think al Quaida is behind it? No, probably not, but it would make for a sweet ironic cyber attack on their part. 
|
Thursday, April 22, 2004
  Looking for work, and find out the local government has a sense of humor

At least, I'm willing to assume this is an attempt at humor by somebody:County Employment Information:
"Please Note: This online application is not savable. Be prepared to complete the application once you begin. You have a maximum of 55 minutes to enter data on each page before your session ends. Once your session ends, you will lose any data you have entered and be required to start over.

Estimated total time to complete application: 60 minutes" (bold portions are in the original)
Or maybe it's an attempt by the HR department to weed out people who can't type fast. I mean, you are provided 55 minutes to complete the application before all data you entered is lost, but the estimated time to complete the Application is 60 minutes!

If it's not humor, consider this a warning, and I'll call them tomorrow and let them know they have a strange discrepancy in their instructions. In reality, it's probably the usual culprit: The Hr dept and the IT dept aren't talking.

Oh, I hope this post doesn't wind up being a discriminator for the job. It'd be just my luck. 
|
  Dispatch from Iraq. Sort of...

I got a call today from one of my oldest and dearest friends. It appears that his tour as a contractor in Iraq has been cut short - by about ten months - and it is due to injury, but not at the hands of Iraqi insurgents, rather in his own words, 'just a dumb mistake on my part'. Turns out he sprained his ankle real bad, and then broke his tibia. Anyway, the conversation was fairly short, but I thought I would relate some of the details here for those of you interested in working in Iraq.

First, I should point out that he was in one of the more stable parts of Iraq, in the Kurdish zone. But that said, he also reported that in the two months he was there, the local town lost it's chief of police three times. The first one was killed in an ambush; the second was killed by a grenade, and the third one shot dead by a sniper. Good to be working in the safe areas, eh?

Now his job was to aid in the construction of a new base in that region. He informed me that he had three body guards at all times, including a personal body guard who was an ex-South African commando. The other two were former Iraqi Royal Guard members. Strange bedfellows I would say. He went on to report that they always traveled heavily armed, including himself, and the job turned out to require a lot of travel to the base under construction from the security area in which he resided. Further, travel was always in convoy and his car (the driver of which was one of his Iraqi body guards) was a brand new BMW.

As he pointed out, with his complexion and in Iraqi head wear, he could visibly pass for a local until he was forced to respond with a Latin accent. More importantly, local Iraqis don't tend to travel w/ three heavily armed body guards and in convoys, or if they do, they're likely well known in the region already. Well I joked about how much safer it would be if he had been assigned an old beater truck or something, and he agreed. He had to travel an hour and ten minutes one way, everyday, to and from the worksite. Two hours and twenty minutes of wondering if there's a hidden roadside bomb, or an ambush waiting somewhere, anywhere along the route.

He has decided he is not going back to Iraq when his leg heals. Apparently the ample pay increase to work over there just does not seem worth it to him any more.

There's more to the story, including a five day ordeal trying to get back to the states in which one of the planes apparently came under hostile fire somewhere near Jordan. I'll have to wait to get the rest of the details, as will you. It was a short phone call between old friends, but we're planning to get together for a few beers in the next couple of weeks and I'll pump him for more details.

A couple of notes: I intentionally do not include any detailed info as I'm not sure if any of what he said is classified. I'll ask that when I see him, and if more of the details can be told, I will provide them.

Second, I wonder if I could get a contract making brand new cars look like old beaters? Just take the chassis from a BMW, and put an old distressed body on it. Re-enforce the floor, and add some plate armor. I live in Georgia, and I bet between the junk yards in here, Alabama and Tennessee, I could find enough old car bodies that would fit with a few minor modifications. I wonder how much I could charge for the conversion jobs?
 
|
  A paranoid, drunken Skilling: Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

This was brought to my attention by Chocolate Morphine. And yes, it appears that the pressure is getting to Jeffie Boy. Will Skilling's wild night out cost him? - Apr. 22, 2004:
"The court filing says Skilling's blood alcohol level was 0.19 -- more than twice the legal limit for driving in most U.S. states -- when police sent him to the hospital at 4 a.m. on April 9. The case against Skilling does not involve driving, however.

Officers described Skilling as 'uncooperative and intoxicated' and deemed him 'an emotionally disturbed person' because he was accusing bar patrons of being undercover agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

'At one point, Skilling went to the middle of the street, put his hands behind his back and began talking to the sky, asking if FBI cameras were capturing what was happening,' the motion says.

The motion stops short of asking U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake to revoke Skilling's bond, and instead asks for a hearing to discuss changes to his terms of release."
Of course there is more. But his behavior would appear to imply he has something to hide. I mean, if the criminal counts against him are false, why is worried if someone might be wearing a wire?
The bar's manager kicked the group out, and once outside, Skilling began trying to remove the front license plate from the married couple's car.

"The defendant did so apparently to gather 'proof' of the true identity," of the couple, the motion says.

Then Skilling tried to lift the woman's blouse to see if she was wearing a hidden microphone, which led to a scuffle with the other two men, it says.

One of them hit Skilling, who then grabbed his wife and accidentally caused her to fall to the ground. Skilling admitted this later at the hospital, the motion says.

At the time of the incident, Skilling's lawyers said "two aggressive men" began questioning Skilling about Enron and his wife was "thrown to the ground."
Or maybe he just wanted to see some breasts, and claiming he was looking for a wire was the only excuse he could come up with? And do the feds keep their official plates on their cars when they've gone undercover? Me thinks Jeffie Boy has been watching too many movies. 
|
  War Crimes Treaty and Baby Bush

I had a vague memory of this when it happened back in May 2002, but at the time I was distracted by that whole secret Cheney Cabal writing a non-policy policy paper on how best to screw tax payers out of their money and let energy corporations reap the wind falls. Moving on to the point.

Well even though I must confess to a fantasy of having Negroponte, Kissinger and others hauled in front of the International Criminal Court, I was rational enough to know it would never happen. But I guess that isn't true, the part about being rational I mean, of our fearful leader, Baby Bush. Maybe he thought that since he was planning to violate international law in conducting an unprovoked invasion of a foreign country based on lies and no evidence in direct conflict with treaties our country has signed and ratified in the past, he thought it best to try to get out from under their jurisdiction before hand. It won't work of course. From AlterNet: Bush 'Unsigns' War Crimes Treaty, the following:
"The Bush administration Monday formally renounced its obligations as a signatory to the 1998 Rome Statute to establish an International Criminal Court (ICC). Critics say the decision to 'unsign' the treaty will further damage the United States' reputation and isolate it from its allies.

'Driven by unfounded fears of phantom prosecutions, the United States has hit a new nadir of isolationism and exceptionalism,' said William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International's U.S. section (AIUSA).

A simple three-sentence letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan formally ended U.S. participation in an agreement to create the world's first permanent tribunal to prosecute war crimes, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. In the letter, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton, asserted that Washington 'does not intend to become a party to the (Rome Statute of the ICC)' and that it 'has no legal obligations arising from its signature (to the treaty) on December 31, 2000.'

The ICC treaty - which was signed by President Bill Clinton - has been signed by almost 140 countries and ratified by 66 and takes formal effect July 1."
Well, okay, but what about the great precedent our fearful leader is setting:
"This unprecedented action suggests to the world that the signature of a U.S. president lacks enduring meaning," said Mark Epstein, the director of the World Federalist Association. "At the very time, the U.S. seeks signatures and ratifications of anti-terrorist treaties, an 'unsigning' by the Bush administration will undermine the power of the international treaty system."


And worse, it may encourage others to follow the U.S. lead.


"Other countries might well use this precedent to justify backing out of international commitments that are important to the U.S.," noted Michael Posner, director of the New York-based Lawyers Committee on Human Rights.
Well, I guess it could be worse, Baby Bush could get re-elected. Anyway, like many international treaties, once there are enough signatories it goes into effect globally and without regard to whether an individual country has signed it, so this looks more like a case of self-abuse on his part, then actually accomplishing anything. On the other hand...
 
|
  Breath easy. Economists have disproven global warning

Couldn't sleep this morning, so I thought I'd look around the blogosphere, and as per usual, I do this by going to blogs w/ names I find interesting. So, this morning I wondered into The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, which is what I think results from an addiction to OxyContin and meth-amphetamines.

Anyway, low and behold, the pooch links to a story from TCS: Tech Central Station - Where Free Markets Meet Technology, whose about section includes:
Tech Central Station is supported by sponsoring corporations that share our faith in technology and its ability to improve modern life. Smart application of technology - combined with pro free market, science-based public policy - has the ability to help us solve many of the world's problems, and so we are grateful to AT&T, ExxonMobil, General Motors Corporation, Intel, McDonalds, Microsoft, Nasdaq, National Semiconductor, PhRMA, and Qualcomm for their support. All of these corporations are industry leaders that have made great strides in using technology for our betterment, and we are proud to have them as sponsors. However, the opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of the writers and not necessarily of any corporation or other organization.
Which I find pretty bizarre, especially that 'faith in technology part'. And to use 'faith' and 'science-based' in the same paragraph in support of each other, well, surely this is a mockery of both terms. But then they throw in 'pro free markets' while proudly listing AT&T, Microsoft, ExxonMobile and GM among their sponsors. Don't all of these companies have a history of manipulating markets? And hell, at one time AT&T was the largest monopoly outside of Soviet control. I have bashed these people before for their lunatic rantings. (See "What is Sonia Arrison saying?").

So, anyway, Poochie was all excited that global warming had been disproved and cited TCS: Tech Central Station - Don't Worry, Be Happy as his evidence. Hey, in Poochies' defense, rottweilers are known to be mean not smart. Anyway, here is how global warming has been proven a myth:
"IPCC scenarios are based on the assumption that increasing levels of carbon dioxide will eventually turn the Earth into a tropical greenhouse. But Ian Castles, an Australian statistician, and David Henderson, a British economist, revealed that the IPCC's estimates of future carbon dioxide emissions take off from flawed and vastly overstated economic projections.

As it turns out, over the years the IPCC has based its climate change models on simplistic estimates of GDP growth in various countries. Essentially, panel scientists have gotten away with using currency exchange rates -- a value in U.S. dollars -- to predict and total a projected output for the world's disparate economies.

Of course, this produces results which favor the panel's perhaps preordained conclusions. But the researchers point out that the slight-of-hand substitution is invalid. Serious scientific economists use 'purchasing power parity' (PPP) to compare and project national economies.

PPP is the accepted method used by the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations. But by ignoring purchasing power parity, the IPCC was able to project hyper-inflated levels of economic growth -- and consequently carbon emissions -- in the developing world."
So there you have it. A couple of economists have demonstrated that the model used by the IPCC used faulty economic projections which means global warming will not happen. Huh?? I'm not even going to debate the validity of the projections, their methods or any of the rest of this clap trap. I will make a quick point and say that regardless of the projections, if everyone in China wants a car w/in the next twenty years, there won't be enough carbon based fuels on the planet to support the production of that many vehicles, much less running the cars once they are produced w/ out radical changes in technologies and fuels (like zero point energy, or cold fusion, or...).

Besides, I don't base my belief that temperatures are rising on economic, nor even science, I base it on the loss of perma frost in the Artic and Norway, the receding of glaciers around the globe and a rapidly collapsing Antartic ice shelf. So I am looking a measurements, not science or economics, and I see evidence to support the theory that the globe is warming, and fairly rapidly at that.

The degree to which human activity is a contributing factor, may well be debatable. But it is interesting that in the 1920s or 30s (I may look it up later), the same types of 'technology is good for everything' types were lauding the benefits of increased access to farmable lands as temperatures in colder climes were raised do to the effect of industrialization. See, the theory isn't new. And when it looked like it might have positive affects, big industry loved the research. In the years since, global warming began to look like a less than positive affect, and the techies began to attack a theory they used to support.

Regardless, if you want to see what kind of illogic big money can buy, take some timeout over at TCS: Tech Central Station. A fascinating place, where:
"logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's off her head"

(with apologies to the Airplane)


One quick side note here, I do want to thank Poochie at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler for providing a link to Blog Tips Archives, where I plan to spend some time picking up free tips. Oh, and for starting my early morning rant before I even had my first cup of coffee. 
|
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
  See, and I thought the Canucks were only good for cheap drugs

Via MaxSpeak, You Listen! comes this sweet link: "They say we have no constructive ideas on how to win the war on terror. Not so. Here's one from our northern neighbors." I truly think this is an excellent piece of citizen involvement in the war on terror, and should be replicated nation wide!!

US, nation wide. I still think we should be able to blame Canada for everything but naked women, not our wives, walking around for an hour. 
|
  BOHICA, for those w/o military background: Bend Over, Here It comes again

Okay, another one of those long surreptitious finds: starting at Eschaton?Atrios and finding an interesting comment by one of his readers, leads to: Moore's Lore: Jeff Vick Teaches A Lesson through Dana Blankenhorn, which leads to The Moving Picture: Finance is a gun. Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger, and his posting of the following:
"If Howard Stern, the Regular Guys, Bubba the Love Monster and all the others like them are wondering why their employers aren't fighting to protect their 1st amendment rights like they should, then they need only to look no further than the press release from the NAB on Friday.
>:"U.S. radio broadcasters have asked federal regulators to bar rival satellite radio services from offering content tailored to local markets."

For a moment remember the words of Don Corleone to Bonasera
'Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But uh, until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day.'

Howard, Bubba , Larry and Eric ( The Regular Guys), if you don't know it by now ; you were Lowry May's gift to George Bush. And in return you got the same thing that daughter did on her wedding night.
It's the long way around for a pretty good post, but than that's the nature of the internet today. Of course, I expect this administration to maintain its reputation for high integrity, and total disdainment of attempts by powerful corporate interests to influence its policy discussions. I also expect the St. Patrick's Day Snake to finally deliver my Saint Paddy's Day basket of beer and viagra, tomorrow, a week late. You know the Irish...Never on time. 
|
  What the rest of the world should do for America

Okay, the title is a little strong, but as I promised yesterday, this post is for my foreign based readers, of which you are a fair proportion of the readership of Radically Inept. Of course, when you consider that total readership isn't all that large yet...

So, those of you based here in the US can just skip this post. Come on, move on. This isn't for you.

Alright, now that we are somewhat alone...Hey you, I said move on!...I can bring up this point. You guys need to fund the education of US citizens. No, really, I mean it. It's in your self interest to have an educated, literate American population. Now I know if you look at just the literacy rate for the United States, the statistics don't look bad: Phrasebase� - ALL COUNTRIES Facts and Information, ALL COUNTRIES Statistics, ALL COUNTRIES Facts, ALL COUNTRIES Information, Countries of the World, ALL COUNTRIES Maps, ALL COUNTRIES Comparisons.: "UNITED STATES Northern American North America 97.00" But, you must consider the definition used for literacy:
United Nations Statistics Division - Millennium Indicators:
"Definition of:
literacy/illiteracy [code 187]

A person is literate who can with understanding both read and write a short simple statement on his everyday life. A person is illiterate who cannot with understanding both read and write a short simple statement on his everyday life."
Definitely not my definition of literacy. My definition of literacy includes being given a transcript of a Baby Bush speech, and possessing the mental acuity to realize that it says nothing. You know, read the whole speech, and know that it was just a string of words, without content or meaning. In fact, I'll bet that 50% of Americans can't read and comprehend at the 10th grade level. That's probably third year for you Europeons to put it in context. See, America is populated by third graders.

So, why should you care? Because stupid Americans elect STUPID American presidents. Presidents that walk around with a hand tucked under their suit jackets, wearing strange hats and screaming for Josephine. Look, it's sad to have to admit that the average American can't read the directions on a prescription bottle, read a map, or look up a phone number in an actual phone book. Worse is the fact that the average American can't find their own state on a map of the US. You think I'm kidding?! I could easily give you a huge list of examples of exactly this fact, but I'll just use this one.

When I was attending the armor officers basic course, me and another LT went cruising for women and wound up in a hotel bar outside of Louisville, KY. So, this somewhat cute blond is sitting next to my buddy, and the following is a summary of the conversation, near as I can recollect:
"Is that a high school class ring you're wearing?"
"No, this is my college class ring."
"Oh, really! What college did you go to?"
"The University of Richmond."
"Where's that?"
"In Richmond, Virginia."
"Where's that?"
Alright, since you aren't necessarily familiar with the internal geography of the US, let me say that Kentucky bears the same relationship with Virginia, that France does with Germany. They share a friggin' border, for christsake!

So, please realize that this is representative of the kind of people voting in this country. That's right. The most powerful, richest, arrogant country in the world today is led and populated by idiots. So, if you don't want a bunch of Americans attacking your country under the mistaken presumption that Italy is spelled somewhat like Iraq - both words start with an 'I' - or, that Australia...Austria, eh, what's the difference? Drop the bomb here. Oh, wait...There's an 'F' after the 'A' in these orders.

Oh well, it's not like we care about mistakes. As Americans, we only look forward to making mistakes. We are unable to look back in time - years, months, even to the seconds just before we pushed the button - to see mistakes. That would be rivisionist...Oh, sorry that's commie. Can't have words like revisionist in a post here in America. Ashcroft might decide it's pornography and I'll wind up in jail. Anyway, looking back on what you've done, to see if you can identify any mistakes you've made, is just dwelling on the past. And in this country, we're all about fucking up the future. Or, something like that.

So, that's my argument. You don't want uneducated Americans running around the world making decisions that affect you and your families. Therefore, I highly recommend that you guys lobby the UN to create an 'Educate the Americans' fund. I truly believe you would reap huge benefits, and it's not like we're going to spend the money on educating our kids on our own. Who wants children smarter than they are?? No, I think ultimately it will be up to you to bear the burden of educating the next generation of Americans.

I had more to say, but there's a re-run of an old 'Sponge Bob Square Pants' on, and that's the most intelligent program on american TV today. Oh yeah. If I was you, I'd keep American programming out of your homes. I believe American industry has a deal with the devil, where they make a fortune on keeping people stupid. Later... 
|
  Just a comment on fucking

Somehow I wondered over to
Matthew Yglesias: April 18, 2004 - April 24, 2004 Archives today, who was commenting on profanity on television, and no, it wasn't the obscenity of commercials he was commenting on, but the use of 'shit':
"Stuart Benjamin has a good look at some of the latest developments. Here's a thought from me. The problem with having people say 'shit' on television is, or so I hear, that it's 'bad for the children.' But what's bad about well? Well, I suppose that if children hear people saying 'shit' all the time on TV that might encourage them to go around saying 'shit' more often. And that would be bad, because it's often inappropriate to say 'shit.' But if everyone said 'shit' regularly, then there would be nothing inappropriate about saying it. The word's inappropriateness is a matter of pure convention, not a magical intrinsic attribute of the syllable. So if we heard 'shit' on TV all the time, people might start saying 'shit' all the time and there wouldn't be a problem with hearing 'shit' on TV. See what I mean?
But, that wasn't what got my attention. It was his comments on 'fuck', that caused me to think I might have something to muddy the waters on the entire question:
Now the depiction of sexually explicit content raises a different set of issues, and I suppose you might think of 'fuck' as presenting more of a sex issue than a profanity issue, per se. I'm a little unclear on what, exactly, the social value of trying to 'protect' children from sex is supposed to be, but the sentiment is near-universally shared by parents and I'm open to the possibility that folks with actual child-rearing experience may know something on this score that I'm missing."
So, here is where I throw some dirt into the waters, and stir. Does any rational human being think that children, raised in a single room cabin on the frontier, were not familiar with the act of procreation? I mean really. Do you think adults threw their children out of the cabin into a raging blizzard so they could consummate their love? Or, perhaps people believe that the frontier was populated via immaculate conception?

Now, supposing that I'm at least somewhat close to the truth here, and that adults did in fact copulate in the one room cabin with their children sleeping 3-6 Ft away. I guess it is possible that all children slept blissfully through the night while their parents committed the sinful act of creating siblings to help run the homestead, but I doubt it. In fact, I'll go even further out on a limb here, and say that in all likelihood, the children of our forebears were well equated with the facts of life well before the age of majority (safe supposition considering the average age to get married was somewhere around 14 yrs old).

Further, I would bet that even the most obtuse kid, raised on a farm, had a pretty good clue as to what procreation was, and how it was done. Really.

So, I guess my position is, "What the fuck are people worried about anyway? The word, or the act? And, just why?" Okay, I guess that's not a position, but rather a series of questions. Well, I've got more important things to worry about than deciding what should be allowed in someone else's vocabulary. Like, well, just about anything.

Update: 6:42, 21 Apr 2004

Going back to a, which may have seemed a throw away line, comment above:
...and no, it wasn't the obscenity of commercials he was commenting on...
I just saw a commercial for 'Deli Select', a seller of cold cuts, I guess. I say seller, because I have no idea what involvement they have besides packaging and selling meat, and as far as I know, the packaging could well be outsourced.

Regardless, the commercial has a 'wife' (could be significant other), calling her husband, who appears to be a butcher at a local grocery store chain (There are no real butchers in grocery stores anymore. Your local butcher has been regulated out of existance. Thanks ConAgra, ADM.), and asks him to bring home the meat he cut up special the last time. Which, from the way the information is portrayed, was somehow against the rules of his employment? Sounded that way. She was sort of whispering in that conspiratorial tone.

He then goes and buys a bunch of pre-packaged, Deli Select brand meats, removes them from their packaging and passes them off as his own work.

Now that is real obscenity. A corporation coming into my home via advertising, and telling my family that lying is okay. That lack of any personal integrety is normal; that it is perfectly okay for someone to claim someone else's work as their own. This is obscene. If my government really cared about the future of our country, they would not allow this pornography on the airwaves. Fuck fuck, get rid of promoting deceit. That would do more to improve our culture than any single thing I can think of. 
|
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
  Tuesday quitting time

Getting ready to go to the Democratic Town Hall in Exile at Manuel's Tavern. If you are in Atlanta, come on by.

A quick teaser for my foreign readership, I plan to post a editorial directed to you only, tomorrow. That's right, it will be of no interest to my domestic readers (they be plenty of post directed at them), this will be for you and you alone.

Rick Eddy is also in the process of composing a few posts for tomorrow's effort (one of them includes the true story of Ariana's conversion).

So, stayed tuned...I'm watching too much CNN and local news. I'm resorting to teasers. I think I will now check myself into the local 'media deprogramming clinic'.

 
|
  If you are a glutton for sarcasm and irony, might I suggest:

Fafblog! the whole worlds only source for Fafblog.:
"What Would Krugman Drink?

Do you like advertising and product placement? Sure you do! Well you will love this because as it turns out marketing agencies are pushing print magazines 'to open the text of their editorial pages to product placements.' Yknow this is somethin I have always wanted! I am sick and tired of reading Fareed Zakaria go on and on about what we must do to create a free and stable Iraq while having no idea what kind of SUV he drives. Television and movies tell me what to buy all the time. Why cant my newspaper?

Just imagine this!

'Hi, I'm Paul Krugman. As I sat down at my computer to write up a scathing rebuke of the Bush administration's fiscal policy, I opened up a scathing, bubbling, fresh A&W Cream Soda. Ahhhh... now that's liberally refreshing!'
See just reading that makes me want to guzzle down a cool cold A&W and thats not even the real Paul Krugman. Which is why I want the real Paul Krugman to endorse products! Maybe he doesnt drink A&W. Maybe he drinks Mountain Dew! Although that would be so strange. It would totally make me rethink Paul Krugman if he were a Mountain Dew drinker. Or maybe it would make me rethink Mountain Dew! Perhaps it would acquire a more learned, fiscally sound gravitas, a more respectable and mature tone I usually associate with Schweppes. The possibilities are endless! Or at least endful, but in a cheap, briefly kinda-interesting way."
What a fun blog! None of that dreary real world analysis, just sharp, pithy jabs.

I'll keep an eye on it. This is at least the second time I've wandered over to their site, so I might well post permanent a link soon. Oh, and thanks to Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal (2004): a Weblog for the pointing this out. 
|
  New "get your war on" panels. Accurate political analysis in a three frame panel form

www.mnftiu.cc | get your war on | page thirty-four

I'm glad someone is paying attention to Uzbekistan, and I agree with their summary of the Baby Bush "press conference".

For those who may not be aware of the current situation, this is a good site to catch up on what we're doing in Central Asia: Institute for War and Peace Reporting:
"Authoritarian leaders especially in Uzbekistan, the main player, continue to ignore pleas for change in their human rights practices. They are misreading - sometimes willfully - the signals sent by the United States that political reform is important, too, and continuing in the belief that as valued partners they can do pretty much as they like.

America continues to be a major donor of programmes to promote democracy and civil rights in Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and to a limited extent Turkmenistan. Officials argue they are doing a lot to encourage change in places like Uzbekistan.

But many analysts argue that these positive initiatives have now been so overshadowed by the military agenda, where a readiness to provide air bases and other facilities is key to improving relations, that regional governments feel empowered to ignore them and continue with poor policies that threaten to alienate their populations."
 
|
  Wow, now this is a memo

This is a tremendously revealing memo considering the author and the contents. I believe that corruption is going to be the down fall of any of our efforts to bring anything close to a democracy to Iraq. Corruption at all levels of the South Vietnamese government, was a major contributing cause to our debacle in Vietnam. You don't win the hearts and minds of the people, if they think only a few families are going to get all the goodies. The Village Voice: Features: Fables of the Reconstruction by Jason Vest explains his access to the memo and its relative importance:
As the situation in Iraq grows ever more tenuous, the Bush administration continues to spin the ominous news with matter-of-fact optimism. According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Iraqi uprisings in half a dozen cities, accompanied by the deaths of more than 100 soldiers in the month of April alone, is something to be viewed in the context of "good days and bad days," merely "a moment in Iraq's path towards a free and democratic system." More recently, the president himself asserted, "Our coalition is standing with responsible Iraqi leaders as they establish growing authority in their country."

But according to a closely held Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) memo written in early March, the reality isn't so rosy. Iraq's chances of seeing democracy succeed, according to the memo's author?a U.S. government official detailed to the CPA, who wrote this summation of observations he'd made in the field for a senior CPA director?have been severely imperiled by a year's worth of serious errors on the part of the Pentagon and the CPA, the U.S.-led multinational agency administering Iraq. Far from facilitating democracy and security, the memo's author fears, U.S. efforts have created an environment rife with corruption and sectarianism likely to result in civil war.

Provided to this reporter by a Western intelligence official, the memo was partially redacted to protect the writer's identity and to "avoid inflaming an already volatile situation" by revealing the names of certain Iraqi figures. A wide-ranging and often acerbic critique of the CPA, covering topics ranging from policy, personalities, and press operations to on-the-ground realities such as electricity, the document is not only notable for its candidly troubled assessment of Iraq's future. It is also significant, according to the intelligence official, because its author has been a steadfast advocate of "transforming" the Middle East, beginning with "regime change" in Iraq.

I especially liked this:
"Developing this theme, the memo asserts that the U.S. 'share[s] culpability in the eyes of ordinary Iraqis' for engendering Iraq's currently cronyistic state; since 'we appointed the Governing Council members . . . their corruption is our corruption.' The author then notes that two individuals - names again redacte - have successfully worked to exclude certain strains of Shia from obtaining ministerial-level positions, and that for this 'Iraqis blame Bremer, especially because the [CPA] Governance Group had assured Iraqis that exclusion from the Governing Council did not mean an exclusion from the process. As it turns out, we lied. People from Kut [a city south of Baghdad recently besieged by Shiite forces loyal to Muqtada al Sadr], for example, see that they have no representation on the Governing Council, and many predict civil war since they doubt that the Governing Council will really allow elections.'

Fanning the embers of distrust is the U.S.'s failure to acknowledge that the constituencies of key Governing Council members 'are not based on ideology, but rather on the muscle of their respective personal militias and the patronage which we allow them to bestow,' according to the memo's author. Using the Kurds as an example, he reveals that 'we have bestowed approximately $600 million upon the Kurdish leadership, in addition to the salaries we pay, in addition to the USAID projects, in addition to the taxes which we have allowed them to collect illegally.' To underscore the point, the author adds that he recently spent an evening with a Kurdish contact watching The Godfather trilogy, and notes that 'the entire evening was spent discussing which Iraqi Kurdish politicians represented which [Godfather] character.'
I really like the 'Godfather' analogy. I wonder who winds up being Michael? Oh, and thanks to The Agonist--Fast Paced, Progressive News And Commentary From Around The World for directing me to this one.
 
|
Monday, April 19, 2004
  My true feelings on our fearless leader, amongst other stuff (largely a repeat of previous rants, but...)

Well, Ricky over at NGD: Blogdom's Triple Threat has yet again pushed my rant button, so this is what I posted:
Okay, I'll admit up front that my view of Baby Bush is colored by the fact that I wouldn't trust him to bring back the correct deposit on a keg return following a party. I don't expect him to steal the money, I just think he's an idiot (in the nicest sense of being an complete idiot and in charge of the most powerful country in the history of the planet at the same time).

In fact, if you substitute Baby Bush for 'Rooster' at the following site, you will have my opinion of Baby Bush in its entirety: Rooster Management.

But, let me direct you to this piece: 9-11 Cover-ups Summary.

Now as I said, I don't think Baby Bush is smart enough to plan something like this, I just think he's more inept than I am. But, look through the list, and decide for yourself which articles are incorrect. My personal favorite are the cites for the period covering July 4-14, 2001. They don't list the La Monde (owned by the Carlyle Group) article, but it was the first I'd seen of this story.

Anyway, there is enough stuff in the various stories in the media, that even if you don't believe a single one of them, together, they make for interesting ponderings. I believe that there is always an opposing faction operating in secrecy to overthrow any government. Historically this has been the case a convincing 100% of the time.

So, in my highest regard for the current usurper, I think he's a dupe. And, possibly Cheney is the acting Prince Regent.
And, after reviewing my comments in the cold clarity of another beer, I think I'll stand by them.

Oh well, back to more important lines of thought than the future of the planet, and a history of ineptness.

In keeping with a history of Ineptness, the links above were originally posted dead. Sorry...Corrected as of 7:52 pm 19 Apr 2004 
|
  Modern Mythos?

I started at Modulator and followed a link to Byzantium's Shores: Meditations on Nearly Anything, and while wondering around I stumbled into: HumanDescent -> Gallery. Ah, 'what a short, strange trip it was', with obvious apologies. 
|
  Resume included

Well, as I don't appear to be getting a great deal of hits using the normal route, though I am considering using a recruiter, I might as well post the important aspects of my resume here, in the off chance that a reader might have knowledge that will help in my job hunt. So:


EDUCATION:
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia) –Masters of Public Policy, 2003.

• Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia) – Spring 1999
Audited doctoral class - PUBP 8540: Advanced Environmental Policy (Adaptive Ecosystem Management: Theory and Practice)

• Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, Alabama)
Bachelor of Science Law Enforcement - 1983

WORK EXPERIENCE:
METRIC, Inc. – June 1, 2002 to March 31, 2004
Senior Legislative Analyst - review/analyze proposed federal legislation, treaties and Executive Orders on topics, including environmental, safety, health, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, energy, and homeland security issues, for impact on US Army budget, training and operations.

United States Army Individual Ready Reserve - August 1990 to August 2003
• Army Environmental Policy Institute - Operations and Training Manager (May 1998 – September 2001) of two teams of research/analysts reporting to the Secretary of the Army, and tasked to support all major commands.

• Conducted future trend analysis of federal health care legislation.

• Researched and analyzed current environmental pressures on the stability of second and third world countries (including identifying the US agencies best capable of providing the required support).

Contract Painter/Sales - April 1998 to May 18, 2001
Sold and painted interior and exterior commercial and residential jobs.

UPS – October 16, 1998 to March 1, 2001
Successfully directed thirteen employees in a multimillion dollar redistribution operation.

On Call Services, Inc. - April 1994 to March 1998

• Built, owned and operated a small package delivery business for three years, taking it to six figure gross revenues in two years, and never losing an account to poor service.

• Supported local wholesalers with time sensitive deliveries of pharmaceuticals and perishables to retail customers, including Starbucks Coffee, Publix and Kroger supermarkets, Emory University and Dekalb Family Care.

• Specialized in event support for several local design companies working with sponsors including Coca-Cola, The Carter Presidential Center, and the Carlos Museum.

Terminix International - January 1992 to February 1994
Successfully sold residential pest control and termite treatment.

Satellite Advertising Systems - November 1990 to November 1991
Successfully sold multimedia advertising package to local small and medium sized businesses.

United States Army - March 1983 to August 1990

• Supervised five government contract representatives in developing requirements for a $3 million contract and insuring contractor compliance.

• Coordinated 70 investigations resolving $500,000 in property discrepancies.

• Managed sixteen personnel in three separate offices providing wholesale shipping and receiving, food service and maintenance support for three separate remote engineering field sites plus a field support base totaling 2700 personnel.

• Developed and directed an on going personnel training program personally conducting over 200 hours of multi media platform instruction.

• Researched, developed, and implemented fleet upgrade plan, including specific allocation of 60 vehicles.

• Controlled two warehouses processing all wholesale issues, receipts and shipments attaining 99.9% inventory accuracy and regained accountability of $2 million worth of stock.

• Directed the retail ordering, receiving, storage and issue of $1 million worth of material and equipment.


CONFERENCES ATTENDED:

The Sam Nunn Bank of American Policy Forum, "Bioterrorism Preparedness: The Imperative for a Public-Private Partnership", March 2004

2004 Ivan Allen College Founder's Day Celebration: "The Impact of Terrorism on Society: Global Perspectives", March 2004

Sixth National Environmental Public Health Conference: Preparing for the Environmental Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century, December 2003.

EPA/DOD Environmental Conference, June 2003, Atlanta GA. Provided event security in a volunteer status.

The Sam Nunn Bank of America Policy Forum, April 2002, Emory University, "Commercialization of the Academy"

EPA/DOD Environmental Conference, June 2001, Atlanta GA. Attended as Public Affairs Officer working for METRIC, Inc. on contract for the Army Southern Regional Environmental Office who co-hosted the conference. Co-wrote article reviewing conference published in the “Environmental Monitor”.

EPA/DOD Environmental Conference, March 2000, Atlanta, GA. Attended as a military Public Affairs Officer representing the Army Environmental Policy Institute providing support for the Army Southern Regional Environmental Office who co-hosted the conference. Co-wrote article reviewing conference published in the “Environmental Monitor”.

Attended Global Green USA conference - December 1999, Atlanta, GA.

LANGUAGES:

Speak and Read German



Current as of 19 April 2004.

NOTE: I didn't think this post went through, and I had some doubts about the impact of posting it, but since it went through, I think I will leave it here. It's the fatalist in me, I guess; you know, that whole Germanic, Norse, Nomadic thing.

 
|
  In pursuit of non-industrialized meat

Really, as I posted earlier, the Wife and I are looking to cease buying meat from places that treat their animals inhumanely (as far as we are concerned). However, we are not vegetarians and would like to continue to consume meat, though we may cut back in frequency and serving size for health reasons. So, she went out on the net last night and found the following sites as initial research in to the matter:

An excellent paper on the Organic/Free Range Chicken Industry (couldn't copy from the text).

Organic Grass Farm, a potential provider.

Wholesome Harvest Organic Meats, another potential provider which also carries beef: Wholesome Harvest, and the Wife's comments bear repeating on this find: "Here's the list of what you'd get per month for your 101 bucks. Wish they'd give some poundage. 2 rib eyes. 2 what sized rib eyes? Seems like not much meat for your 101 bucks. (PLUS shipping) OK, found it......click on "PRODUCTS". It gives some descriptions. And where is the rest of the cow going? They must sell to NYC's finest restaurants. This seems a little like leftovers." and, after reviewing the info, I think she may be right in her assessment.

And it's always nice to get a chuckle while doing research, Rooster Management.
If any readers have any suggestions, knowledge or experience in this area, please let us know.


 
|
  New blog links

Decided to add some new blogs to the rolls. I've now come across these sites several times, and the hence the additions:

The Corpus Callosum
Oliver Willis: Like Kryptonite To Stupid 
|
  Ah, just another example of how to lose a war: learning from losers

From TomDispatch comes: "The Pentagon as Global Slumlord", by Mike Davis
"The Mogadishu debacle of 1993, when neighborhood militias inflicted 60% casualties on elite Army Rangers, forced U.S. strategists to rethink what is known in Pentagonese as MOUT: 'Militarized Operations on Urbanized Terrain.' Ultimately, a National Defense Panel review in December 1997 castigated the Army as unprepared for protracted combat in the near impassable, maze-like streets of the poverty-stricken cities of the Third World.

As a result, the four armed services, coordinated by the Joint Staff Urban Working Group, launched crash programs to master street-fighting under realistic third-world conditions. 'The future of warfare,' the journal of the Army War College declared, 'lies in the streets, sewers, high-rise buildings, and sprawl of houses that form the broken cities of the world.'

Israeli advisors were quietly brought in to teach Marines, Rangers, and Navy Seals the state-of-the-art tactics -- especially the sophisticated coordination of sniper and demolition teams with heavy armor and overwhelming airpower -- so ruthlessly used by Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza and the West Bank...

...This tactical "Israelization" of U.S. combat doctrine has been accompanied by what might be called a "Sharonization" of the Pentagon's worldview. Military theorists are now deeply involved in imagining how the evolving capacity of high-tech warfare can contain, if not destroy, chronic "terrorist" insurgencies rooted in the desperation of growing megaslums."
As usual, I am utterly amazed that we are learning the failed tactics used by another country to fight urban terrorism. If the Israeli anti-terrorist tactics are so good, why haven't the terrorist been defeated over the past 30 - 40 years?

Why? Because Israel's military and political systems have been captured by people who think body counts are a measure of success, which is certainly false if for every confirmed terrorist kill, you engender five more youths to become terrorists.

Hell, without US support, Israel would have failed as a state years ago. That may be an unsupported supposition since I truly can't figure out how the Israeli economy is surviving. What foreign companies are investing in Israel? Who would want to move their family to Israel and assume the risks of that level of terrorist activity, if they are not Jewish? On some what of a side note, I still do not understand why the US is submissive to the Israelis.
 
|
  Still on the job hunt, then I drift into a rant It turns out that the economy is so bad that there is serious competition for jobs in Iraq. I had sort of counted on other people having a more highly developed risk avoidance/survival mechanism than I do, and either they don't or their desperate, which is worse. Desperate people tend to make mistakes. I think my lack of employment in Iraq is largely due to my logistical experience being fairly ancient, and they, of course, don't need policy people over there.

They already decided on policy, and no matter how bad it fails their going to stick w/ it, because they seem incapable of considering alternatives. Our President: "Don't look back on past mistakes, look forward to the new ones". Really, it's like none of these people have ever even heard of Sun Tzu, Fourth Generation Warfare, Mao, Sandino, etc. I don't think you could make a bigger mess of a bad situation than they are currently doing. There must be a manual I haven't read, "How to Remove All Peaceful Options for Negotiating with Indigenous Peoples on Matters of Self-Government and Insure the Creation of Rabid Enemies for Generations to Come: Or how to fail"

And their argument that it's only a few bad eggs causing all the trouble, and most Iraqis love us, is moot. It flat doesn't matter if it's true or not. Mao and the forces he led in the 'Revolution' were very few in number in relation to the whole of the Chinese population. How large to you think the core cadre of the American Revolution was in comparison to the population of the Colonies? Most 'Americans' were not actively involved in starting the revolution. See, these people think in numbers, when they should be thinking in 'effects' and 'affects'.

Rumsfeld, for all of his talk about transforming the army, he can't seem to think outside of a very small box. He's not alone. It seems our cammand and staff are quite clueless on what can be done w/ military force alone, without a concomitant political plan.  
|
  Science Monday

Well, I'm not sure anyone is going to like this, but as it turns out, we may not have souls or any metaphysical properties:
The New York Times - Francis Crick: After the Double Helix: Unraveling the Mysteries of the State of Being:
"Since then, Dr. Crick has been a tireless champion of the brain. In a 1979 editorial in Scientific American, he argued that the time had come for science to take on the previously forbidden subject of consciousness.

In his 1994 book 'The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul,' he went further. 'You,' he wrote, 'your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.' He outlined an empirical approach focusing on visual consciousness.

His ideas have formed the inspiration for Dr. Koch's research at Caltech: the goal is to find 'the neural correlates of consciousness,' or N.C.C.'s � the neuronal states and processes associated with conscious awareness. Dr. Koch and his graduate students are finally gaining experimental evidence for what Dr. Crick had termed the 'awareness neurons' that enable us to see...

...One potential application, he says, is some kind of instrument for measuring its intensity, perhaps a "consciousometer." Anesthesiologists might use it to determine when a patient under sedation is truly out. But in his book, Dr. Koch also raises the possibility of more troubling uses, including measuring the awareness levels of severely retarded children and elderly patients with dementia.

Or, he asks, "How do we know that a newborn baby is conscious?" Perhaps consciousness is something that doesn't begin at birth, he said, but gradually emerges.

"This research is going to pose enormous legal and ethical questions," Dr. Koch acknowledged in the recent interview.

"I'm not convinced that people want to know how consciousness works," he said. "They feel cast out of the world of meaning."

Having solved one of the basic mysteries of life here on Earth, Dr. Crick seems happy to skewer any notions of a life beyond. For him, the most profound implication of an operational understanding of consciousness is that "it will lead to the death of the soul."

"The view of ourselves as `persons' is just as erroneous as the view that the Sun goes around the Earth," he said. He predicted that "this sort of language will disappear in a few hundred years."

"In the fullness of time," he continued, "educated people will believe there is no soul independent of the body, and hence no life after death."


Might be time to change your vacation plans:
UCLA Geophysicist Warns 6.4 Quake To Hit LA By Sept 5':
"A US geophysicist has set the scientific world ablaze by claiming to have cracked a holy grail: accurate earthquake prediction, and warning that a big one will hit southern California by Sept 5.

Russian-born University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) professor Vladimir Keilis-Borok says he can foresee major quakes by tracking minor temblors and historical patterns in seismic hotspots that could indicate more violent shaking is on the way.

And he has made a chilling prediction that a quake measuring at least 6.4 magnitude on the Richter scale will hit a 31,200-square-kilometre area of southern California by September 5.

The team at UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics accurately predicted a 6.5-magnitude quake in central California last December as well as an 8.1-magnitude temblor that struck the Japanese island of Hokkaido in September.
'Earthquake prediction is called the Holy Grail of earthquake science, and has been considered impossible by many scientists,' said Keilis-Borok, 82."
Why do people keep trying to find a finite universe? Used to be they were all excited about a 'torgue' shaped universe, then a 'soccor ball', and now a horn of plenty:
New Scientist:
"Could the Universe be shaped like a medieval horn? It may sound like a surrealist's dream, but according to Frank Steiner at the University of Ulm in Germany, recent observations hint that the cosmos is stretched out into a long funnel, with a narrow tube at one end flaring out into a bell. It would also mean that space is finite.

Adopting such an apparently outlandish model could explain two puzzling observations. The first is the pattern of hot and cold spots in the cosmic microwave background radiation, which shows what the Universe looked like just 380,000 years after the Big Bang."...

...In the model, technically called a Picard topology, the Universe curves in a strange way. One end is infinitely long, but so narrow that it has a finite volume. At the other end, the horn flares out, but not for ever - if you could fly towards the flared end in a spaceship, at some point you would find yourself flying back in on the other side of the horn (see Diagram)...

...And the idea has another advantage. In the flat space of conventional cosmology, the smallest blobs on microwave sky maps ought to be round. But they are not. "If you look at the small structures, they look like little ellipses," says Steiner. The curve of the horn-shaped universe could be just right to explain this. If you look at any little piece of the horn, it is saddle-shaped like a Pringles potato chip - curving down in one direction and up in the perpendicular one. This "negatively curved" space would act like a warped lens, distorting the image of round primordial blobs in a way that makes them look elliptical to us. Mathematicians can construct an infinite number of different kinds of negatively curved space, most of them with one or more horns, and many of which might fit the data, but the Picard topology is one of the simplest.
Space exploration and Ray Bradbury (what else is there to say?):
AP Wire | 04/15/2004 | Author: Mission to moon and beyond will inspire humanity:
"Human exploration of the moon, Mars and beyond will move humanity past terror and war, much like earlier voyages found a new world for Europeans mired in conflict 500 years ago, science fiction author Ray Bradbury told a presidential commission Thursday.
Bradbury, who wrote about the human colonization of Mars in 'The Martian Chronicles,' praised President Bush's initiative that would return humans to the moon by 2020 and to the Red Planet after that. He said such a program would inspire children and adults.

The legendary writer, still starry-eyed and looking to the future at 83, was met with skeptical questions by some on the commission that will later this year report on strategies for implementing the president's plan.

Commissioner Paul Spudis, a visiting scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, said Americans tend to be very practical and pragmatic. He asked how space exploration could be sold to the 'practical side' of the American public.

'If you sell it on the basis of a new freedom, a new movement away from the politics and horror and terror on Earth, I think people will recognize how (important) that is,' Bradbury said via a satellite link from Los Angeles."
First it was face recognition systems, now we get building recognition systems:
New Scientist:
"For a small fee, photo recognition software on a remote server works out precisely where you are, and sends back directions that will get you to your destination.

You are lost in a foreign city, you don't speak the language and you are late for your meeting. What do you do? Take out your cellphone, photograph the nearest building and press send.

For a small fee, photo recognition software on a remote server works out precisely where you are, and sends back directions that will get you to your destination. That, at least, is what two researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK hope their software will one day be used for.
Photo positioning

Roberto Cipolla and Duncan Robertson have developed a program that can match a photograph of a building to a database of images. The database contains a three-dimensional representation of the real-life street, so the software can work out where the user is standing to within one metre."
 
|
Sunday, April 18, 2004
  Wow, vegetarian for all the wrong reasons

The Wife spoke today, and said we should quit eating beef and chicken. And, I agreed. But don't think of us as vegetarians, that is truly not the reason. Both of us recognize that something must die for us to live. Either in seed form, egg form, plant form, whatever, Point is, that even breathing kills life forms. The Wife's point, and one I wholly agree with, is that we don't want to encourage the continued horrendous treatment of food sources. She and I are both disgusted with the treatment of the animals while they are alive. Truly, I can equate the current treatment of animals by major agra businesses with many of the ills of the world that have historically been based on profit; for instance the slave ships.

If any readers out there can direct us to outlets for free range chickens, or other 'humanly' raised meats, we would be happy to continue our consumption. But as long as the meat we find in the market place originates from practices we can not condone, I guess it's alfalfa sprouts for us.

Actually, we can consume a lot of our protein requirements and other nutritional requirements, via nuts and beans, etc. This is obviously not a choice based on taste. There is nothing like the taste of barbecued steak and pork! And we plan to be more cognizant of our fish consumption, but the entire diet change will not be without its tradeoffs. Long live T-Bones and Ribs. But, until I can get these foods w/o supporting the meat mills, well, I am willing to do w/O.

So, again, if any readers can suggest foods that are available from more 'humane' sources in the Atlanta area, we're interested. 
|
  Business as usual

pandagon.net - half the age, twice the smart:
"I'd just like to point out that less than three years after our war in Afghanistan (Iraq version 0.7), we've managed to stake out unprecedented economic growth there. For all those naysayers, Afghanistan is producing record numbers of one of its most profitable exports.
Unfortunately, that export is opium."
Those who have been reading this site, will recoginize this as just a re-affirmation of previous posts. But it is nice to have someone else point to the facts.

[Oh, and to Ezra and Jesse, yeah, I agree, the irony is much better the way you've got it. Sorry for being a putz, and not picking up on the intentionality (might be a word) to begin with].] 
|
GEORGE W. BUSH - TOUGH ENOUGH TO TORTURE CHILDREN
Any subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, or employees of any site employing compulsory user registration mechanisms are not authorized to access the content or services of this site.

ARCHIVES
02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 / 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 / 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 / 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 / 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 / 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 / 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 / 04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004 / 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 / 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 / 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 / 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 / 05/16/2004 - 05/23/2004 / 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 / 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 / 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 / 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 / 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 / 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 / 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 / 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 / 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 / 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 / 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 / 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 / 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 / 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 / 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 / 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 / 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 / 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 / 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 / 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 / 10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004 / 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 / 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 / 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 / 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 / 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 / 11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004 / 12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004 / 12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004 / 12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005 / 01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005 / 01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005 / 08/28/2005 - 09/04/2005 / 09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005 /


  • Site Feed

  • Back to Radically Inept Main Page

  • Selected pieces cross posted at:
  • American Samizdat


  • Authors' Bios:
  • Somewhat accurate, no where close to complete
  • Photo
  • Rick Eddy's bio

  • Radically Inept attempts at shorts, and personal vignettes:
  • A Modest Proposal: A Solution to the Problem of Poverty in America
  • Wherein I confess my complete ignorance of 'common knowledge'
  • Learning from Mikey
  • I remember the Army...
  • A memory hole

  • Rick Eddy pieces:
  • Osama's Hair Stylist
  • Speed and Shorty come by for a visit
  • A rant and a Prediction
  • Rick Eddy on NASCAR and 'Bidness'
  • The continuing saga of Rick Eddy on The Temple of Doom:
  • Rick Eddy on the Temple of Doom (Part One)
  • Rick Eddy on the Temple of Doom (Part Two)
  • Rick Eddy on the Temple of Doom (Part Three)
  • Rick Eddy on the Temple of Doom (Part Four)
  • Rick Eddy on the Temple of Doom (Part Five)


  • The Dailys:
  • lies.com
  • MaxSpeak
  • pandagon.net
  • The Blogging of the President: 2004
  • Modulator
  • North Georgia Dogma
  • The Corpus Callosum
  • Drunken Monkey Style Blogging
  • Fafblog! the whole worlds only source for Fafblog.

  • As time permits:
  • Intel Dump
  • Orcinus Fair and Balanced
  • FuturePundit.com
  • Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal a Weblog
  • Marginal Revolution
  • How Appealing
  • Chris C Mooney
  • Kevin Drum
  • Cyborg Democracy
  • Cursor.org
  • Iraq Now
  • butterfliesandwheels.com
  • Atrios
  • Talking Points Memo
  • Roger Ailes
  • The Panda's Thumb
  • corrente
  • WorldChanging: Another World Is Here
  • The Truth Laid Bear
  • Fables of the reconstruction
  • Oliver Willis: Like Kryptonite To Stupid
  • Kieran Healy's Weblog
  • Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
  • TheAgitator.com
  • Paperwight's Fair Shot
  • Lotus - Surviving a Dark Time
  • thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse
  • The River
  • Mind is Moving
  • commonSci
  • dr. menlo: promoting people over profits since 2000
  • Where We're Bound
  • Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
  • NET POLITIK
  • Public Domain Progress

  • Infrequent, but worthy posters:
  • Rogue Analyst (My other blog)
  • CenterPoint - A Centrist Weblog
  • scratchings
  • Inspector Lohmann


  • Excellent sources of info:
  • Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin
  • TomDispatch
  • KurzweilAI.net
  • Open Government Information Awareness
  • SPACE.com
  • Agnosticism / Atheism - Skeptical Inquiry, Freethought, & Religious Philosophy
  • Defense and the National Interest
  • Google News
  • TCS: Tech Central Station - Where Free Markets Meet Technology
  • ajeeb, News
  • Corp Watch
  • Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments
  • GlobalSecurity.org
  • Moving Ideas: Connecting You To The Progressive Community
  • The Memory Hole [rescuing knowledge, freeing information]
  • The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
  • -:| CHINA TODAY |:-
  • Alex Jones' Prison Planet.com: The Earth Is Being Turned Into A Prison Planet
  • Alex Jones Presents Infowars.com to Fight the New World Order --There's a War on For Your Mind
  • THE WAR IN CONTEXT:: Iraq, the War on Terrorism, and the Middle East Conflict - in Critical Perspective


  • Fun and off the beaten path:
  • GHOST TOWN - Chernobyl Pictures - Kidofspeed - Elena
  • Cooperative Extension Service (GA)- Publications
  • MEGA START PAGE
  • The Vaults of Erowid
  • Eyeballing Series


  • What I'm listening to:
  • Radio Paradise - eclectic online rock radio
  • Shameless plug
  • Big Rock Studio Technologies


  • Powered by Blogger

    Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Site Meter