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Radically Inept
Friday, July 30, 2004
  Boredom, Blogging, Baby Bush & Bellevue

Well, let me start by saying the inspiration for this post is boredom. Boredom, pure and simple. This has been a largely news-less week, unless you consider reporters talking about reporting a non-event as news. I don't. I also think it is a damn shame that the first time the media takes the blogging community 'seriously', it's to be invited to a mass media non-event.

In fact, it was so bad, I didn't bother to read the blogs of the bloggers who were blogging the media non-event. Worse yet, I couldn't even bring myself to watch The Daily Show coverage of the media non-event, and it was probably the best of all possible sources of coverage. But the non-event was like a Seinfeld Show Re-run. It was about nothing, and the Daily Show would have scored serious points with me, if they had stayed home and covered some of the news that every other media outlet was ignoring.

Hell, I couldn't be bothered to read TomDispatch's coverage of the media non-event, because all he talked about was how much of a media non-event it was. So Sad.

But, all was not wasted. I realized that major media will not be able to take over blogging. They really can't. Blogging, true blogging, can not be done if you are worried about your advertisers. If you are worried about the advertising dollars, you will be too scared to make outrageous claims like Baby Bush belongs in a mental health ward at Bellevue.

In fact, he should immediately be enrolled in the Intensive Personality Disorder Program (IPDP). I mean the poor bastard hears voices in his head that he thinks is god speaking to him and telling him what to do!!
"The Israeli paper Ha'aretz reported last year that the President said to then-Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, 'God told me to strike Al Qaeda and I struck, and then he instructed me to strike Saddam, which I did.'"
I mean think about that for a moment...If someone told the police that they killed someone because 'god told them to', what the hell do you think we'd do? At the absolute minimum, we'd get that person off the street before they hurt anyone else. In all likelihood, if a psychiatric exam determined they actually did think god spoke to them, they'd wind up in a mental ward, right quick.

So, here we have the The President of the United States of America, personally crowned by the Supreme Court of the United States, starting wars and getting people killed because he hears voices!!!

Surely we can't treat a mentally ill President of the United States with any less care than we do a mentally deranged homeless person (especially since this president just makes more of them)??!!

"NO", I say. What is desperately needed now, before this president thinks god is telling him to go invade another country, is the leaders of all the other countries of the world, to join together in an attempt at crisis Intervention. So come on UN, intervene now, or you'll just be left cleaning up his messes. This is no time to act like Bush's Willing Enablers. No, for the sake of the world community, the Bush family, and Baby Bush' own mental health, it is time to put him somewhere where he can get the mental health help he so desperately needs.

One great advantage that Baby Bush has, is the fact that most of the Bush family has personal experience in intervention centers. In fact, there's probably no family, outside the Kennedys, that can compete with the Bush family on poor mental health, drug abuse and crime.

So, dear readers, call/write the leaders of your countries, and tell them they must, for the sake of Baby Bush' mental health, the health and safety of citizens potentially killed when Bush hears more voices, put Baby Bush away.

Updated, 1300 hrs

I missed Dr. Menlo's post yesterday. Based on the story he cites, Capitol Hill Blue, "Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior" intervention is already under way: "President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.

The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President's mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.

"It's a double-edged sword," says one aide. "We can't have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally."

Well good. I'm glad the voice hearing, war starting bastard is finally getting treatment, but I won't be happy until his is locked away for everyone's safety.

Am I the only one who thinks Baby Bush is starting to look, sound and act more and more like Tricky Dicky in the final days before he was forced to resign?
 
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Thursday, July 29, 2004
  A post with little purpose

This post has no purpose. It's really a rant against...well, the phone to start with. I don't really like the phone. It's fine as a utilitarian object used to conduct business (and that limited) or contacting friends, family and acquaintances (again, limited), but otherwise, it is a source of serious discomfort for me.

I don't like the phone. I don't particuarily like speaking on the phone. Actually, with in three to five minutes of speaking on the phone, I am usually desparately trying to disengage from the conversation. This applies regardless of who is on the other end. What changes dependent on who is on the other end, is the effort I put in to trying to disengage with out hurting anyones feelings.

I like the phone for setting up business deals, and appointments. If we can do this in 3-5 minutes, it is a successful phone call. Beyound that, I begin to feel claustraphobic. I'm trapped. It's at its absolute worst when it's a close friend or family.

I am willing to speak with 'you' for hours, face to face. But on the phone, I lack patience. I can't see your body language. I can't tell if you really picked up on my poor effort at a pun. I can't tell if you're actually more intent on the TV program you have on. You have been reduced to 0s and 1s, and I'm not all that intrigued by 0s and 1s. No offense intended.

No, I'd much rather have a face to face dialogue. On the otherhand, I realize that is not always possible, and I make an extra effort to be conversational if I know that due to geographical distance, we aren't likely to see each other in person for a long time, even years. But if you are somewhere w/in a thirty minute drive, well, let's just get together to talk. If you're too busy, I understand, and we'll talk whenever.

Hell, I'm a talker when we're in person. You may have to throw me out of your home. Or, you may be forced to make excuses to leave my presence. But, you'll have to do it in person.

And please, don't call me after ten o'clock pm. If you do, please make sure that it is because someone is dying, and I can do something about it. Donate a kidney, performm CPR, set a broken bone, stop the attacker, etc. Otherwise, it can wait till morning.

I used to have a pager and a mobile phone. Now I have neither. I hope that I never have a job that requires me to have instant messaging, or Blackberry, or whatever. I don't appreciate the short leash. I used to make sure that I only ate in places w/ poor reception, or I'd just shut the phone off and pretend I forgot to recharge it. I don't want to be at your beck and call.

And that is the worst part of these technologies. They deny you your right to be by yourself. I know some people are very uncomfortable when they are alone.

I like to spend hours in a darkened basement, without the tv or radio on, and just think about what I've learned, am learning or could learn. And I don't need people calling me to chit chat about the weather or their car problems. Call me if you need a ride to work, you need your front walk shoveled, you need me to pick up your kids from school. Don't call me to discuss the price of an alternator, the fact the bus driver was late, or...

The Wife and I often speak of buying acreage far away from the maddening crowd. If we do it, I'm willing to do it without carrying alot of amenities with us. One would be the telephone. I'd like to have email (largely because no one expects you to be right there when it arrives, so I can deal w/ it at my convenience) and internet capability, but that is about all of the electronic connection I'd want to have with the outside world. I'm not even sure I'd check it very often. But I would hate to lose access to the convenience of information when I want it.

But financially, a small place on fifty acres still falls into the realm of fantasy or a goal we're working toward. If we can acheive it, we might just be able to without all outside contact. No offense, but if you haven't acheived nirvana and can't share the path, what are you offering?

I was trying to decide on a label for this attitude. It is in some ways the opposite of empathetic, but it is certainly not socio- or psycho-pathic. I think anti-social comes close, but the term carries its own negative connotations, and implies you are 'against' human contact. I'm not against human contact, I just don't really want much of it. And I'd prefer to choose when it occurs. Rarely, might well be my presence.

This could change, if humans change, but I don't see any reason for holding out for that eventuallity. 
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  A little admin and scam exposure

I am posting today, because I'm waiting for a response from the army on how much funding is available to pursue the research. No sense in writing a proposal for $300K if the budget only has $30k in it.

I've also been remiss in adding some of the links I planned to, but between my parent's visit and having the grandson and his mother here.

Just got a call from a contractor. Looks like I might get an opportunity to see Iraq first hand. I'll know more next week.

On to the latest attempt to part me from my money via email. So,

Dear Mr Wilbur Craig,
Head of Citi>? Identity Theft Solutions,

Sir, you as so many others in the recent past, have assumed that I am a complete idiot, or you would not send me such worthless drivel, as the following:
Status: U
Return-Path:
Received: from adsl-65-66-225-241.dsl.crchtx.swbell.net ([65.66.225.241])
by montgomery.mail.atl.earthlink.net (EarthLink SMTP Server) with SMTP id 1bQawA6H43Nl3qB0
Thu, 29 Jul 2004 09:00:38 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from d7.curdle0.support970@citibank.com ([44.228.248.23])
NIC says 44.228.248.23 it belongs to Amateur Radio Digital Communications
NetType: Direct Assignment
NameServer: HAMRADIO.UCSD.EDU
NameServer: NS1.NOSC.MIL
NameServer: HAIG.CS.UCL.AC.UK
NameServer: MUNNARI.OZ.AU
NameServer: DNS.IARC.ORG
NameServer: HPCSOS.COL.HP.COM
Comment:
RegDate:
Updated: 2002-10-24

Wilbur, I find it interesting that Citi-Bank would route its customer communications through a HamRadio outfit attached to the University of California, San Diego, don't you agree? Also, I don't get that warm fuzzy feeling when you do not refer to me by name in correspondance.
by localhost (zuupcd2201) with ESMTP
id <447506591476024433035wcxgj5689r>; Thu, 29 Jul 2004 16:11:17 +0200
From: "Citi Identity Theft Solutions"
To: philipp@chlston.mindspring.com
Message-ID: [65.66.225.241]>
NIC lists 65.66.225.241 as SBC Internet Services, and GeoBytes puts the server in Corpus Christi, TX.
Subject: Citi: PIN Update!
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 15:12:17 +0100
Message-Id: <320388202094126974.5.464@fppsdx-fg92.localhost>
MIME-Version: 1.0

[Image ignored]

Recently there have been a large number of identity theft attempts targeting Citibank customers. In order to safeguard your account, we require that you update your Citibank ATM/Debit card PIN.
Well, Wilbur, that's pretty interesting, isn't it. I mean, I don't have a Citibank ATM/Debit card, much less a PIN for one. You'd think a company like Citi-Bank would know what kind of card I possess, especially since I get billed by you people on a monthly basis.
This update is requested of you as a precautionary measure against fraud.
NO. NO. NO. This isn't "a precautionary measure against fraud", Wilbur, this is the first step in perpetrating fraud.
Please note that we have no particular indications that your details have been compromised in any way.
Wilbur, this is code for "please don't notify anyone at Citi-Bank that I am trying to steal money out of your bank account via your debit card".
This process is mandatory, and if not completed within the nearest time your account may be subject to temporary suspension.
What the hell does "within the nearest time" mean, Wilbur? I mean, I know the American education level is horrible, but I'm willing to bet Citi-Bank can afford to hire people who can write in English.

Now comes the best part:
Please make sure you have your Citibank ATM/Debit card and recent statement at hand.
To securely update your Citibank ATM/Debit card PIN please go to:

https://www.citibank.com/signin/citifi/scripts/login2/update_pin.jsp [links to 61.144.211.22/Verify/]
Wilbur, did you know that GeoBytes puts 61.144.211.22 in Shenzhen, China, in the Guangdong Province? Now isn't that interesting? The message comes in via a HamRadio Organization in California, and I'm supposed to send my account and PIN numbers to you in China??? I mean, I know out sourcing exists, but somehow, I don't think Citi-Bank will want me to send my financial information to you in China. In fact, I don't think Citi-Bank wants their customers to respond with their financial information to an unsolicited email.
Please note that this update applies to your Citibank ATM/Debit card - which is linked directly to your checking account, not Citibank credit cards.
Of course you don't want my credit card information, Wilbur. You'd have to leave a serious electronic trail if you used my credit card. And then, based on my credit card agreement, Citi-Bank would bring the forces of the law to your doorstep. Just wiping out my bank account is so much safer, as the responibility is mine, and you are counting on the fact that I can't afford to bring that level of pressure to bear.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and thank you for using Citibank!

Regards,

Wilbur Craig
Head of Citi>? Identity Theft Solutions

[Image ignored]
Copyright 2004 Citicorp. All rights reserved.
Do not reply to this email as it is an unmonitored alias.
I'm sure it's an un-monitored alias. Wilbur, that is the only true statement you've made. What the hell? Head of Citi>? Identity Theft Solutions, somehow, again,I think Citi-Bank can afford a proof reader before sending out crap like this to their customers.

Wilbur, I am now hoping, since this blog does occasionally receive traffic from governmental authorities, that this missive will lead to your eventual incarceration in a Chinese prison. And not just because your are trying to steal from me, but also because this is such a horrible attempt to do so. Really, I think who ever you hired to write this shlock is probably your first cousin's first son on your accursed mother's side. Really, I think it best you quit the nepotism, and hire a pro. But than, a pro probably wouldn't have much to do with an amaturish outfit like yours.

Sincerely

Rick Pietz 
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  Despotism & Democracy

Posted at American Samizdat by Bill C. of thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse: Despotism & Democracy

Amazing how much we forget. It's more amazing where we've allowed ourselves to fall on the scales. 
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  Yet again I stand accused - sort of - Hitler v. Bush

Well, to start with, this post has history, or as I prefer to think of it, baggage. It's origin is a post by JBC over at lies.com, specifically: "Why You Should Vote for Bush". I posted a few comments there and the dialogue inspired me to go into greater depth in "Rick - Bush is not Hitler(.)", which included references to comments made by a_stupid_box who apparently runs the blog, I'm With Stupid.

Well, a_stupid_box apparently, - actually if you read the comments pretty damn explicitly - takes me to task for several aspects of the exchange. I was going to reply to his {I don't know a_stupid_box's gender, for ease here, I will use the masculine) comments in the comment section of "Rick - Bush is not Hitler(.)", but one of his points is:
The next time you have a problem with anything I write because you don't understand something, which you obviously didn't in this case, feel free to ask me about it. Or else at least have the gall to email me. I had to do a google search for a_stupid_box to find this.
So, I guess I will address these points specifically here, now.

First, I don't remember stating I had a problem w/ anything he said. I believe I just disagreed. However, now my disagreement means that I failed to understand his point, and apparently I am gutless for not letting him know I posted something in reference to him here. So to sum up, I'm a stupid, gutless chicken shit.

Another of his comments (I reserve the right to address them in the order I choose, rather than the order they were posted. I hope this does not further incite this, but...):
Yeah, I guess I was wrong. I guess Bush is putting your friends and relatives in camps and doing horrific experiments on them based on something as trivial as their religion.
a_stupid_box
Interestingly enough, I don't recall saying that, but the sarcastic tone is a nice touch. He than does address a specific portion of my post:
Seeing something as "like" killing your brother, and actually having your brother DIE IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP are a little different, no?

Don't get me wrong -- I think Bush is one of, if not THE, worst president ever and if the current administration stays in place Bush could easily become the next famous monster of the world. But seriously, he's not even CLOSE to the moster that Hitler was.... well, not yet.
a_stupid_box
Which is interesting, as I am being chastised for making a comparison...I guess I will confess my ignorance of blogging etiquette. I thought subjective comparisons are allowed on your own blog. In fact, I thought I had complete editorial independence (barring plagiarism, libel and the like). But than he states "Bush could easily become the next famous monster of the world. But seriously, he's not even CLOSE to the moster that Hitler was.... well, not yet." This seems to imply I have to wait until he takes absolute power and starts concentration camps before I can compare Bush to Hitler. However, again, ignorant of etiquette, I thought as a rational human being, I could look at someone's past actions, rhetoric, current policies, and decide that what I see looks an awful lot what Hitler used in his rise to power. And yet, it also seems like he agrees w/ me.

Than a_stupid_box gives me one of those backhanded compliments.
If you don't understand the differences, perhaps you shouldn't be writing for an audience of millions.
Again, I'm accused of being a mental midget, but I one with an audience of millions. I assume (I know I shouldn't) this makes me the equivalent of Rush Limp-bowel and Sean Inaity. Now I just need the advertising revenues. In the same comment, he continues:
Assuming Bush were to match a few of Hitler's numbers before the election, he'd have to be responsible for over 50 million deaths (factoring in resultant WWII casualties), he'd have to get over 3 million people employed, and he'd have to raise his SAT score by roughly 400 pts. In less than a year.
a_stupid_box
Again, I didn't realize I wasn't allowed to anticipate evil intent. I gather that one is supposed to wait until one is in the concentration camp, before criticism is allowed. Anticipation is to be frowned upon?

He than goes back to the genesis from which all of this originates:
I stand by my statement that the ability to play devil's advocate is the mark of a wise and fair critic. Bush has done, in my opinion, VERY few positive things -- compared to the MANY negative which by far outweigh them -- but those positive things do exist. They do not warrant his re-election nor his escape from criminal trial.
Now, I don't disagree with the proposition that "ability to play devil's advocate is the mark of a wise and fair critic(.)" is a fair statement. Rather let me add to that, "A wise and fair critic does not waste his time arguing the benefits of nuclear energy when the reactor is melting. He shuts it down, and tries to prevent a disaster."

Back to the first a_stupid_box's comments that I referred to:
The next time you have a problem with anything I write because you don't understand something, which you obviously didn't in this case, feel free to ask me about it. Or else at least have the gall to email me. I had to do a google search for a_stupid_box to find this.
a_stupid_box
I wish to say, "a_stupid_box, I don't know you well enough to have a problem with anything you say. I don't know anything about your personality or intelligence for me to be all that concerned. As to notifying you when I cite you in my writings, forget about it. I don't email TomDispatch, Krugman, DeLong, Orcinus, Fafblog, etc, when I cite them. I make damn sure I attribute the remarks properly, but I know of no requirement, legally or socially, for me to notify them that I have quoted there material in one of my posts. Seems like too much work.

And as long as I'm addressing his comments, I think I'll point to the one that provided me the greatest amusement (this from the original Lies.com comment section)
Rick - Bush is not Hitler. Simple as that. If he were you'd probably be in a camp right now based solely on your last name. People who compare Bush to Hitler are completely ignorant of the atrocities which happened in WWII.
He makes some interesting assumptions here. It's obvious he addressed this w/o looking at my bio, but it was really more amusing than that. My grandfather on my father's side was taken by the Russians for being a Wehrmacht artillery officer. I have an Uncle who first came to the US as a POW after his tank was shot out from under him. He was in the 6th SS Panzer Division. And, I don't know how many other relatives I lost at the hands of the Russians and Americans, and I don't know if any of them were in fact camp guards. But, my last name would not be the reason I'd be in a camp. The only way I would have wound up in a concentration camp in Hitler's Germany, would have been as a dissident, which may be how I eventually wind up in one here.

Well, this took more time than it deserved, and it's probably not really worth posting, but since I did spend a few minutes on it, I guess I'll post it.

Oh, a_stupid_box, googling your name really isn't that much effort, and if you read some of the other posts here, here and here, you'll see I'm dumber than you thought.

 
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Wednesday, July 28, 2004
  Light posting - Ginning up a research proposal

I have the opportunity to present a couple of research proposals to the military, so I'm will be spending the day doing research and drafting the proposal. I am fortunate in that I have access to some real old pros and subject matter experts when it comes these sorts of things. At a minimum, the proposals will be well vetted in the practical, real world sense before they go forward.

So I'm on step one - trying to figure out how to get the army to realize they have a 'need' for the deliverable that justifies a financial commitment.

Then I'll move to step two, and 'assume the contract', begin planning the process including potential costs.

Actually, here's the guidance I received this morning:
Introduction: {establish the setting for the work)
Problem Statement: (with that setting, state the problem you hope to solve)
Approach: (break out all the steps and explain what will actually happen)
Task1
Task 2
.........


Cost: (estimates of time (man-hours) and costs (labor, subcontracts, travel,
etc.)
Deliverables: (explain what will actually be delivered and when---good to
have some intermediate products along the way if the time frames are long).
Good advice, and a pretty logical format to present the information; costing everything out will be the tricky part for me.

So, I may not post until late this evening. 
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Tuesday, July 27, 2004
  More Excuses

Off to the "Tuesday Night Democratic Government in Exile" at Manuel's Tavern. I'll post later on why posting was so light today. Hint: Parents, Future daughter-in-law, grandson, and forced shopping.

I definitely have more to say. Watched Gen. Schoomaker field questions on the future size of the Army on C-Span, but that was about it.

But, I figure by the time I get home later, I'll have at least mentally composed a piece worth posting.

Rick 
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  I had a dream last night

"I had a dream last night
What a lovely dream it was
I dreamed we all were alright
Happy in a land of oz
Why did everybody laugh when I told them my dream?
I guess they all were so far from that kind of that scene
Feelin real mean"


Actually, I did have a dream last night. I dreamed was recalled back to active duty and sent to Iraq. It was one of the odd dreams where certain points make sense and others don't. A couple of things stood out, though. One was I ditched my regular uniform for a pair of Tanker coveralls. The other was more interesting.

The war ended while I was there. Everyone was packing up, and yelling at me to hurry up and do the same. But, I wouldn't. I went over to the enemy prisoners we had, and tried to get all their names and addresses. And, I was giving them my contact information, and telling them that if they ever got to the states to look me up.

In the dream, I realized the people I was killing and the people trying to kill me, were just people. And, as 'just people', we weren't fighting each other out of hate or anything. We were fighting because the elite of our country wanted us to. When I woke up, I know it really wasn't a revelation of any import.

I mean, I was moved by the dream, but it wasn't anything new. Old German and English soldiers will jovially share a beer when they runn into each other after a war is over. During WWI, during a Christmas cease fire, soldiers climbed out of the trenches and shared cigarettes, coffee and pictures of their loved ones. And, then when back to trying to kill each other. There are similar stories from our Civil War, and just about most wars, though it does appear that grudges are held longer in Civil Wars, than in wars between countries.

Probably the best part of the dream was that the war was over. The elites had somehow settled their dispute, and we soldiers could go home and get back to 'our lives'.

It truly was a lovely dream.

Then I came to my computer this morning, and read Monday's TomDispatch, entitled - Sovereignty: "If they want it that bad, they can have it", and knew it really was just a dream.
This week, the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender reported another ugly landmark passed: the 10,000 wounded mark. Imagine that, 10,000 wounded Americans in a war our military and political leadership now say may last "years." Unfortunately, were it not for Garry Trudeau wounding his character BD in a comic-strip version of Iraq, the impact of our wounded -- because of better body armor the wounded-to-dead ratio has risen compared to previous American wars -- would have remained of late largely a back-page story. This last week, the TV networks duly noted that American deaths had passed 900 on their upward creep toward the 1,000 mark this fall, but generally deaths in Iraq have been repackaged as inside-the-paper stories, as the canny Robert Dreyfuss commented in "900 and counting," his July 22nd post at The Dreyfuss Report:
"The fact that four Americans were killed in Iraq on Tuesday found itself mentioned in the 19th paragraph on an inside page of the New York Times today, meaning that not only did those two marines and two soldiers die for nothing, but their deaths won't even contribute much to the rising American disgust over Bush's Iraq misadventure."
It was good then to see Bender's piece, "US casualty rate high since handover, Long guerrilla war is feared in Iraq," which pointed out (as Tomdispatch had the previous week) that American post-transition deaths have been higher than our pre-transition ones. He added: "The relatively high rate of US military casualties has dimmed hope that the handover of power to the Iraqi government would help stabilize the country and reduce pressure on US soldiers." This is -- or should be -- front-page national news.
And this is the real reason that I'm upset with the wall to wall coverage of the Dem Convention. It is a farce and a distraction from what should be on our minds right now - who's dying for 'us'; how many, and for how much longer? Americans are once again letting themselves be distracted and 'entertained', rather than face the hard truths of war. We are at war.
James Meek, a journalist for the British Guardian, spent some days on patrol with a U.S. Marine platoon near al-Karmah, a town between Abu Ghraib and Fallujah west of Baghdad. Here are comments found in his two-parter, Five days in the life of an invisible war:
"Another [Marine]: 'I just wonder why we can't come to an agreement with the fuckin' retards out there. If you stop tryin' to kill us we'll stop tryin' to kill you.'
"… [A young machine-gunner from south Texas, Lance Corporal Gregory] Farias is loyal to the US military presence in Iraq. He believes in the mission. He worships Bush and despises the conservative hate trinity of John Kerry, Bill Clinton and France. That doesn't mean he's confident about the way it's going in Karmah. 'It's really frustrating 'cause I mean we can't find these guys. They shoot at us all the time, they run away, we try to figure out who it is, we interrogate people - do they know who it was? No, nobody knows who it was, yeah? Ali Baba, the bad guy, nobody wants to tell us where they're at, you know, so we're basically on our own, trying to figure this out, trying to put this puzzle together, where they're at and you know it's frustrating 'cause we can't operate like we should be, cause we're more worried about getting blown up and trying to find these bombs at the side of the road instead of going on a patrol and trying to find these guys…' Just before we part, Farias grew a little more thoughtful and melancholy. 'I don't want to get killed here,' he said. 'I don't want to die here. You know. This is the last place I'd probably ever want to die. You know, it's just - I want to go home…'"
Home to his own sovereign country, that is.
Nice dream.
Tom Lasseter of Knight Ridder, from the Sunni city of Ramadi, reports a similar phenomenon:
"[For American troops] to carry food from one base to the next in Ramadi, a matter of a few blocks, takes four vehicles - armored Humvees and trucks - all with .50-caliber machine guns mounted on top."
In another piece, Lasseter describes the way American forces are for the present settling up with the "sovereignty" they turn out not to possess.
"After more than a year of fighting, U.S. troops have stopped patrolling large swaths of Iraq's restive Anbar province, according to the top American military intelligence officer in the area…. In the wreckage of the security situation, [Army Maj. Thomas] Neemeyer [the head American intelligence officer for the 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division, the main military force in the Ramadi area] said, U.S. officials have all but given up on plans to install a democratic government in the city [Ramadi], and are hoping instead that Islamic extremists and other insurgent groups don't overrun the province in the same way that they've seized the region's most infamous town, Fallujah…

"'The only way to stomp out the insurgency of the mind,' [Capt. Joe Jasper, a spokesman for the 1st Brigade] said, 'would be to kill the entire population'… Pointing to a neighborhood outside the town of Habbaniyah, between Fallujah and Ramadi, he said, 'We've lost a lot of Marines there and we don't ever go in anymore. If they want it that bad, they can have it.' And then to a spot on the western edge of Fallujah: 'We find that if we don't go there, they won't shoot us.'"
In the meantime, the insurgency itself is growing increasingly sophisticated. Bender of the Globe reports, "They have recently shown a greater ability to cut off US military supply routes and to force Americans to adjust their own tactics, officials said… Attacks by mortar have increased in recent months, leading to fears that heavily armed insurgents could soon be using rockets and surface-to-air missiles."
And why is Lance Corporal Gregory there, in Iraq? Worried about dying in a foreign country? Because our leader hears voices:
This touching anecdote joins a growing shelf of similar tales in which our President claims to have consulted, or even channeled, a far greater Sovereign Power than the American people. For instance, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, in an interview with the President for his most recent book Plan of Attack, questioned him on whether he ever asked his father for advice: "And President Bush said, 'Well, no,' and then he got defensive about it…'Then he said something that really struck me. He said of his father, 'He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice. The wrong father to go to, to appeal to in terms of strength.' And then he said, 'There's a higher Father that I appeal to.'"

The Israeli paper Ha'aretz reported last year that the President said to then-Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, "God told me to strike Al Qaeda and I struck, and then he instructed me to strike Saddam, which I did."

In fact, it seems that the Sovereign Power he believes nominated him for his present job was not "we, the people" or even "we, the Republican Party," but Someone Higher. According to Paul Harris of the British Observer, "Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'"

In this administration, the President is not alone. Lt. General William Boykin, Pentagon under secretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting support, created a small firestorm of criticism by stumping the Christian evangelical circuit claiming that Bush's non-election was proof of divine intervention. "The majority of Americans did not vote for him…Why is he there? … Because God put him there for a time such as this."

We have much evidence, in other words, that the man in the White House believes sovereignty has a lot less to do with the American people, no less Iraqis, than with that Voice from Above. Let's also remember that his administration now has an almost unparalleled track record when it comes to getting (and taking) bad advice. In fact, almost every piece of earthly advice it bothered to garner on the nature of the world it was about to pummel was off-base or downright wrong; and its major acts, ranging from the setting up of an offshore mini-gulag of "information extraction" to invading Iraq, to ravaging the environment for immediate gain, seem intent on sowing chaos. Far be it from me as a nonbeliever to mention this, but given the record, I wonder whether our President should be quite so certain about Who he's been speaking with, about exactly Whose advice he's been following. Could our President actually be getting that advice from the wrong side of the Celestial Aisle?
Do you think maybe Bush is dreaming?

If he is, I wish he'd have my dream. A lot less people die in my dream.

"I had a dream last night
What a lovely dream it was
I dreamed we all were alright
Happy in a land of oz
Why did everybody laugh when I told them my dream?
I guess they all were so far from that kind of that scene
Feelin real mean"




You should read the TomDispatch in it's entirety, as I only plagerized a small portion and there's alot more info there.



 
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Monday, July 26, 2004
  Convention coverage - Worse than olympic coverage - SEND DAVE

I can't do it. I can't force myself to watch the coverage of this farce. Worse, it's on every channel except the one - CNBC, and they have McEnroe on.

Quick Aside: Who thought McEnroe would make a good talk show host? You'd have thought they'd have learned their lesson from Dennis Miller. I mean, these shows can't be getting any kind of ratings, can they? Shouldn't there be a producer in the unemployment line?

Anyway, I was flipping from PBS to CNN to C-SPAN to FOX. How many people does it take to tell me about a speech I just heard? Why do they find it necesary to tell me what Carter meant when he said...

At least during Olympic coverage, they occassionally show an atheletic event (Oh, and this year I heard them promise they were actually going to show atheletes competing. That will be a real change. I don't think they've shown a sporting event during the Olympics since about '76.).

You know who should be covering the convention? Comedy Central. And, no, I don't mean The Daily Show; they'll be there, but...No. I'm talking about probably the best reporter you could put on a beat like this: Dave Attell.

Now there's a guy that would make the coverage fun. He'd be interviewing the maids and waitress. Getting drunk with the three protesters sitting in the 'free speech zone'. Show us where the good food is. Get us into the tv crew parties.

Most importantly, he'd go out and get the real story. How much are the Boston prostitutes raking in this week? Which call girl services are spending their time at which hotels? Which state delegation pays the most for prostitutes? What's the ratio of male to female prostitutes working the conventioneers? Oh come on. All those older women, away from their husbands.

Who was dumb enough to get rolled by a crack whore?

Where the best craps game? Hell, just ask the Taxi limo drivers.

This is where the news is. Not on that stupid conference floor where single thing uttered has been scripted and rehearsed. The convention itself is a joke. It's not like we don't know who the democratic nominee is going to be.

Come guys. Someone cover this thing right. Really. And if Dave Attell is busy, just wire me the money. I'll do it. Give me a small camera crew and a couple 'a five hundred a night, and I'll bring you some real convention coverage.

What the networks are giving us is seriously lame dribble. I mean, yes, they do at least lend an air of pompousness to an event that has nothing else going for it, but they ain't bringing us the convention that we know is happening.

So, if any of you readers know any one at Comedy Central, tell 'em:

SEND DAVE!!!

 
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  The Bloggers at the Convention - Largely, and sadly, a pretty tame and safe looking bunch

Well, I'm hugely disappointed. I know I should not have expected Poochie to be invited, but after the mainstream media made this big deal about 'covering' the blogs this week, I did sort of hope that they meant it. I like and read several of these blogs, but these aren't the blogs that will start any controversy. There's no budding Hunter S. Thompson in this group who's going to sneak past the security and catch Edwards doing a hotel maid, or get the photo of Hillary pukin' her guts out after killing a couple of bottles of Dickel as she realizes there's probably no chance for her to run in '08.

And they sure don't have anyone that I would say is truly on the right. Hell, this looks more like it's going to be a 'love in'.

I'm not saying these guys are milk toast, but...

Here is a list of bloggers ( who are attending the Dem Convention this weekWSJ.com - Meet the Bloggers:
THE LINEUP

Jerome Armstrong, MyDD.com. Former Dean supporter with strong handle on local races.

Patrick Belton, OxBlog. Centrist policy analysis from three Oxford students.

Tom Burka, Opinions You Should Have. Political satire, similar in style to The Onion.

Natasha Celine, Pacific Views. Blog with a liberal political op-ed page, a blog review and discussion of West Coast politics.

Taegan Goddard, Political Wire. Rounds up and analyzes political process stories.

Mathew Gross, MathewGross.com. Political commentary from the former director of Internet communications for the Dean campaign.

Rick Heller, Centrist Coalition's Centerfield. A Web log of centrist voices in American politics.

Aldon Hynes, Greater Democracy. Former hedge-fund IT manager plans to focus on participatory nature of convention.

Kirk W. Johnson, American Amnesia. A documentary filmmaker and translator focusing on U.S. policies in the Middle East, among other topics.

Gordon Joseloff and Jessica Bram, WestportNow.com. A local Web news site for Westport, Conn. not affiliated with a media company covering delegates and guests from Westport and other parts of Connecticut.

Ezra Klein and Jesse Taylor, Pandagon.net. Young partisan activists planning to cover controversial, funny, interesting events at the convention.

Byron LaMasters, Burnt Orange Report. A group political blog by Democratic students at the University of Texas.

Allen Larson, LarsonReport.com. A Bush supporter seeks grand political ideas, from both parties.

Paul McCullum, William Oemler, Allison Grady, Dinner for America. Nonpartisan, youth-oriented, covering topics ranging from foreign affairs to hip hop.

Jeralyn Merritt, TalkLeft. Liberal commentary on crime and justice from a Denver lawyer.

Alan Nelson, The Command Post. News site aims to cut the spin.

Christopher Rabb, Afro-Netizen. Entrepreneur who aims to inform, inspire and engage afro-netizens and the communities they touch.

Brian Reich, CampaignWebReview. A blog examining the use of the Internet in politics.

Jay Rosen, PressThink. Erudite commentary on journalism from chairman of NYU's journalism program.

Joe Rospars, NotGeniuses.com and BlogforAmerica.com. Ex-Dean campaign worker writes for official Dean blog and a more general blog -- which will cover the other bloggers, among its topics.

Peter Rukavina, Reinvented.net. Comment, opinion and news about local and national issues, technology, and everyday life from a Canadian.

Bill Scher, LiberalOasis. News analysis, strategic advice, and copious links for liberals.

David Weinberger, Boston.com. Often short, often humorous posts with focus on technology, from Harvard fellow, posting on Boston Globe's Web site.

Matt Welch, HitandRun. Veteran L.A. journalist writing for libertarian Reason magazine's wide-ranging blog.

Jessamyn West, Librarian.net. A "web log by a librarian for rarin' librarians, info junkies, freedom lovers and other weirdos"

Stephen Yellin, DailyKos and OurCampaigns. Bright-eyed, precocious campaign analysis from New Jersey high-school student.

OTHER BLOGGERS EXPECTED AT THE CONVENTION



Michael Andrew, JREGrassroots.org

John Burns, Stinging Nettle

Christian Crumlish, The Power of Many, Edgewise, Greater Democracy and Radio Free Blogistan

Michael Feldman, Dowbrigade News

Dave Johnson, Seeing the Forest

Nathan Paxton, Nate Knows Nada

Dave Pell, electablog

Matt Stoller, Blogging of the President and bostonDparty

Alison Teal, Hot Flashes From the Campaign Trail

Dave Winer, Scripting News

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, DailyKos
At theWSJ site there are working hot links to the blogs.

Hell, the real stuff probably won't happen on the convention floors anyway. The best stuff will happen either on the street, the hotel bars, or guarded suites.

I should have gone up. I know how to the skinny. Sneak into the hotel/convention employee break rooms. That's where the dirt will be. Talk to the maids and room service. Even the valet attendents will have better info than you can get on the convention floor.

About the only fun thing I can figure to do, is hope at least Jesse accomplishes his goal.
 
|
  Quantum computing is closer than you think

Via KurzweilAI.net Newsletter comes this, Quantum Computing, Secure Communications Closer to Reality; UCLA Scientists Control a Single Electron’s Spin
:
"Quantum computing, which holds the promise of nearly unlimited processing power, secure communications and the ability to decode encrypted conversations by terrorists and others, is a significant step closer to becoming a reality today with new research published by a team of UCLA scientists in the journal Nature.

The UCLA team succeeded in flipping a single electron spin upside down in an ordinary commercial transistor chip, and detected that the current changes when the electron flips. Their report of controlling and detecting a single electron's spin is published in the July 22 issue of Nature.

Scientists had manipulated millions of electron spins in a transistor before. 'We have gone from millions to just one,' said Hong Wen Jiang, a UCLA professor of physics and member of the California NanoSystems Institute, in whose laboratory the experiments were conducted.

'Our research demonstrates that an ordinary transistor, the kind used in a desktop PC or cell phone, can be adapted for practical quantum computing,' Jiang said. The research makes quantum computing closer and more practical, he added.

A single electron spin represents a quantum bit, the fundamental building block of a quantum computer."
Moving garbage faster? 
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Sunday, July 25, 2004
  Vote for Bush - Tough Enough to Torture Children

THIS BLOG IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY

The previous post was going to be my last, but I went for a three hour walk, and besides picking up some serious blisters, I found some inspiration.

I'm hoping all of you will join me in the EIB Network. The Excellence In Blogging Network (which if it is not already trade marked, consider it so) is a group of bloggers that has learned from the master himself - Rush Limp-Bowel.

What do I mean? Well, Rush didn't wait for the investigation to be completed before he started to accuse the Clintons of having Foster killed, and Trade Sec. Brown's plane shot down, so why should I/we wait for the investigation to be completed before we establish Baby Bush as a Child Torturer? I mean he was in Iraq for Thanks Giving, how do we know he didn't visit Abu Ghraib and torture a few children of his own? There's no proof he didn't, so I figure it most be true.

Don't give me that - absence of proof does not mean absence of guilt. Rush wouldn't stand for it!!

Why should we?

So, this week the media will be paying attention to the blogosphere. It is an opportunity. An opportunity to establish blogging as an effective forum for political activism by establishing the meme that the republican party is the party of death and torture! So tomorrow, I will spend a couple of hours posting, or until I'm banned, at the blogs the media has chosen to cover posting comments such as:

Republicans - THE Party of Death and Torture

Vote for George W. Bush - Tough enough to torture children

Democrats - Too Weak to Torture Kids

John Kerry - Can't stomach torturing children in front of their mothers

Vote Republican in November - The Only Party To Promote Sexual Abuse As Policy
While I'm sure many of you are creative enough to come up with your own slogans, feel free to cut and paste from the list above if you so desire.

Ah, you ask, "How can I join the EIB Network?" "Simple," says I. All you have to do, is include one of the slogans above, or something of your own creation, on your blog masthead. If every blog from the center to left of center will do so, I hoping it will be impossible for the media to ignore it.

So, please join me in trying to establish Baby Bush as a Baby Torturer. Besides it will be fun.

Oh, and again, learning from Rush, remember to add this disclaimer to your blog and any comments you post - THIS BLOG IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Turns out you can slander anyone as long as you call it "entertainment". America is still a wonderful country.

I'm beginning to feel the joy that comes with activism.


THIS BLOG IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY


 
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  Final Post - And Why I Will Vote For Baby Bush

I think this will be the final post to this blog. As I've been blogging the past few months, I've come to realize, that by and large, it's a self reinforcing circle. The people that read blogs, well, it's largely limited to those that have the education to read, and the where with all to have a computer. It's really a very small percentage of the population. And people generally only read what they already agree with.

Anyway, I've had an epiphany. I was walking around my neighborhood for hours yesterday. Mostly, what I saw was broken cigarette lighters (the cheap Scripto kind), the plastic tips to cheap cigars, McDonald's debris, beer cans, plastic bottles, cheap new homes - where they had cut down every piece of vegetation on the lot - and 'It' dawned on me, I really don't like humanity.

I could have been walked through nice neighborhoods. Neighborhoods where the people care enough about appearances to dump massive poisons in their yards to control weeds, kill insects, manicure their yards to look like nothing in nature. And the appearances would have been prettier, but equally, if not more, destructive than my garbage strewn neighborhood.

So it dawned on me. I really don't like mankind. Oh, I like most individuals I meet, but mankind in general? Well, I don't think I'd cross the street to save it. In fact, I think I'll vote for George Bush' re-election. I think he and his policies will bring about the destruction of mankind faster than anything short of an errant asteroid or the sudden implosion of our sun. I think George Walker Bush, and his policies, may be the best bet to end humanity before we spread beyound this planet.

His desire to restart nuclear weapons production, and his presumed willingness to use them, coupled with his desire to clear cut everything and increase pollution to levels not seen in our brief history on this planet, may be my best hope of ensuring the total the destruction of, if not all life on this planet, at least mankind. And, I realized this is probably a very laudable goal.

Oh sure, a few elites might survive living in domed enclaves or underground complexes, but there probably would not be enough of them to re-populate the planet to any real degree. Hell, there won't be enough habital planet left to populate, so, eventually, I think man will die off. And I've decided this is a good thing. Their is no nobility in man.

I used to buy into concepts like man is intelligent and good, but that was self deception. Walking around last night, well, it finally came home to me - there really isn't anything here worth the effort of saving. All life on this planet is in a constant battle for survival. And its purpose in surviving? To reproduce more life that is locked into the battle of survival. The only merit to this that I can see, is experiential - the experience of living, reproducing, and dying, with possible fleeting moments of joy, pleasure, fear and pain. Again, to what purpose? To reproduce more of the same.

"Well, don't you think that John Kerry can also end life on this planet?"

"No, I think he's too wishy-washy, and humanity would survive his presidency, ensuring continued suffering, and worse, more people."

No, I think George W. Bush and his policies, are our best bet to put an end to this vicious cycle of life. So, I will be voting for George W. Bush, destroyer of humanity, for President of the United States of America. Vote George W. Bush in November, and help me realize my dream of ending life on this planet.

Now I realize he is limited in his powers of what he can actually achieve, but I think it's possible that at a minimum, he can successfully start a bio-chemical-nuclear holocaust, though probably not end existence.

"Existence", you may ask?

"Yes, existence", I reply.

See, even though I am an atheist, I fear that death is not final. My fear is that there actually is an experiential existence after death - that there really isn't any way to escape existing.

"Why would you want to end existence?", you ask.

"Why would I want to continue it?", avoiding directly answering your question and putting the onus of explanation back you on, dear reader. "The question isn't "why end existence(?)", but rather, "why exist(?)"."

But really, that line of thought belongs in its own post, not here. Here, we are only seeking the destruction of mankind before it escapes this planet and spreads its idiocy across the solar system and beyound. I mean, I couldn't live with myself, knowing that I had somehow contributed to allowing a species that has given us Rush Limp-Bowel, Sean Inanity and Ann Cunt-al (they are by no means the best examples, merely currently popular) to infect the rest of the universe. No, really. It needs to stop here.

So, this fall, don't be selfish and just think in terms of global human interests, think universally. And for the sake of the rest of the Universe, VOTE GEORGE W. BUSH, THE ONLY TRUE ANTI-MANKIND CANDIDATE!!

 
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GEORGE W. BUSH - TOUGH ENOUGH TO TORTURE CHILDREN
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