Saturday, November 29, 2003

Ungrateful American Day

Thanksgiving rolled around again, but this year I was standing in the rain in Iraq. Yes, it is strange to be standing in the cold desert rain. I woke up at 4:45 and argued with my company for about half an hour about getting the truck that they wanted me to drive to guard duty. (They Army is like that. They will require you to drive a truck but then make you beg for the truck at the same time.) After several more insignificant complications, I ended up guarding two local national (Iraqi) workers for the day. Sometime around noon, I realized that I wasn't really thankful this year. I know that I have many things to be grateful for like everyone else, but I don't really care. I am not thankful to have ten toes and ten fingers or a tent to live in or combat boots to wear or some family that is 3000 miles away. I am an ungrateful American. I am one more person raised in the mythic "land'o'plenty" that takes the basic means of survival for granted. So I decided to fast rather than gorge myself on a poorly prepared meal. I did not eat anything and drank only water for the twenty fours that made up Thanksgiving. If you feel disgruntled next November, I urge you to join the anti-celebration.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Lesser evils

Main Entry: im·po·tent
Pronunciation: 'im-p&-t&nt
Function: adjective
1 a : not potent : lacking in power, strength, or vigor : HELPLESS b : unable to have sexual intercourse because of erectile dysfunction; broadly : STERILE -- usually used of males

Just a note, I was using impotence in the broad term. Such as, "I have no sperm, therefore I am impotent."

The two options that i would consider to become sterile would be male birth control and a vasectomy. I would not consider castration, because over the years my testicles have grown on me and I am kinda fond of them.

I would choose that more painful option is because that method is inherently mechanical, and I understand mechanical means of intervention. For example, I don't understand how they induce birth, but I understand C-sections. C-sections are a mechanical means of getting the kid out. The vasectomy does not stop you from making sperm, it just re routes them to a place where they want try and produce off spring you are legally bound to care for. Also with vasectomies you can get them undone, although there are risks.

But one a boarder note, is it a good idea to encourage sexually irresponsibility with the rates of HIV and syphilis one the rise.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

lesser of someodd evils

Several counterpoints...impotence as in not causing pregnancy is not the same as impotency as in a non-functioning phallic member. You can still get your rocks off, you just aren't making babies. And losing all sperm is bad, but making sure thatyou're sperm doesn't show up again nine months later is good. It's an option. And a less painful and less permanent option than a vasectomy. It's just an option to keep you out of early family life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Men Unite!!

Men, I just want to give you a heads up on what is coming down the road so that you will have to prepare yourself and your arguments against the femme-Nazi in your life.

Just a quote from this article.

They all worked really well and I was able to look at my lab results and see my sperm count drop to zero, says Setlow.

Just so you know that this article is not about the effects of drugs and alcohol, but about a new male birth control method in testing right now. The hormonal contraceptives are used to turn off sperm production.

It seemed like I was getting headaches and then there were times when I woke up sweating at night and I had to change my shirt. Other than that, I did not have any side effects, says 45-year-old Quentin Brown, who lives in Los Angeles and has been a volunteer in a study of MHCs at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif.

I guess the guy forgot to mention the fact that he has no sperm.

Just a few things that I want you to remember.

1. Impotence is impotence even it if it is self imposed and temporary.
2. Women are the only ones working on these studies. The article says that
organizations testing the male birth control don't have any problems finding
male volunteers. They are lying.

Men (this includes any one who produces sperm and does not want to be legally accountable for where it goes and what it produces), we must unite to stop this horrible idea, before our wives are forcing us to use birth control. We must change the current laws of the United States of America to remove the male from all responsibility and have the responsibility totally placed on the women.


Sunday, November 23, 2003

Sad state of America

Normally I am not one of those people who point out what is wrong with America, and bemoan how the country is going down the drain. My experience today makes me ask where this country is going, and do I approve of the direction.

I was going to Little Rock to meet my mom and my sister for a day of hanging out, shopping, and good general merry making. Just a few minutes out of Memphis I saw a hitchhiker, normally I pull over very quickly and pick them up, but this guy was in a weird location and there were cars in my way. So I decided after a guilt ridden couple of seconds to catch the next exit and swing back around on the interstate and pick the guy up. It took 3 to 5 minutes to get to an exit, and it took 5 to 7 minutes to get back because the guy was right before an exit and I had to go 2 exits back to pick him up. I pull over to the side of the road. I open my door and he comes over with his bag in hand, and says "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" I say, "No." He says, "How far are you going?" I say, "To Little Rock." The hitchhiker says that he is going slightly past little rock, and that he hates to turn down a ride, but he has been in Little Rock before and it is hard to get out of. I say that is ok, and then the guy asks me if I have some food, which I give him an unopened candy bar, that I had bought for my breakfast.

What the hell is wrong with a society when the beggars become choosers?


Thursday, November 20, 2003

the continuing saga...

Bush looks weak but may still be tough to beat out for the Whitehouse. His brother is the governor of Florida, his most famous supporter just became the governor of California, and his dad used to run this country in front of the cameras and behind them, serving as both president and director of the CIA. All of those things hold sway in the electoral college. And we all know that when it gets down to it, that counts. Bush's chances would be greatly improved if he could capture either Saddam or Bin Laden, or even if he cut down the weekly soldier sacrifice to just two or three.
His oppenents still aren't looking significant. Dean is pulling off a better campaign than anyone would have expected, but it is only impressive until you compare it to the incumbent republican. His competitors are tearing into him instead of venting their rage toward the president, and they are hurting for it. Aiming for the little guy is a tactic of an admitted loser and everyone knows it. General Clark has nice credentials but comes off as a slimy opportunist by joining late and switching political parties. But we will see...

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Another view of the situation

This article says Germany and America disagree,

but I happen to have another view what was said.

Quote one:
FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER: Well, first of all, I think it's very important that
we are moving forward, based on realism, and realism must be based on
transparency and these are the basic principles of the agreement, the three of
us, the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, France and myself reached with
the Iranian side in Tehran.

I think we are moving in the right direction, but we must go now into the
details. It means full compliance, and this must be measured by the IAEO. So,
if we are moving in the right direction, I think it's a good message, but it
must be based, once again, on realism.

Quote Two:
"realism means making sure that the Iranians tell us every single thing
there is to know about what they have been doing with respect to nuclear
developments of all kinds so that the international community can make an
informed, comprehensive and full judgment as to what they have been doing and
whether they have stopped doing the things that we have been suggesting for
some time they were doing, that were inconsistent with their obligations and
should cause all of us to have serious concerns about judging too quickly
whether or not we have now received the full and complete story from the

interesting isn't it,. It just depends on what you want to write which quotes you actually use.

note the actual transcript of the entire news conference was sent to my inbox curtsey of the DOS list sever, which the link can be found below.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Western mindset

This link is to a recent story about the bombing in Saudi Arabia, and here is a quote from the article. .

"I have the feeling that those who did it can't be Muslims. Why not Americans?" lawyer Fatma Lasheen said in Cairo. "The American Embassy closed the day of the operation. And if not, why didn't they foil this operation if they knew about it? Don't you think it is strange?"

This article proves that the media has a talent for finding idiots anywhere in the world, not just rural areas of America. I will grant Mister Fatma (if that is his real name) these facts. 1) America stands to gain by terrorist organizations losing support in the middle east, especially Saudi Arabia. 2) The American embassy closed on the day of the attack.

I will address number two first. Just because the embassy closed, does not mean America had full knowledge of the attack. Secondly, if we did have full knowledge, you (you equals Muslim) would complain of military action in the holy land, even if we did stop them (Rightly so I believe). I guess we could have sent the American trained Saudi forces after them, but that would require Saudi Arabia taking responsibility for what goes on inside of it's own borders, which seems to be rare these days. It seems to be the style for countries to either blame other countries or get other countries to solve their problems. That was what the first gulf war was about, if I remember correctly. What makes me mad is this: If Americans stopped the attacks the Muslims are mad, if we don't they are mad. That does not make sense.

Now lets take the first statement of the attackers not being Muslims. That may or may not be true. But I can prove it was not Americans.

1) If you have lived in American for any length of time, you realize that Americans are a fairly selfish bunch of people. They work hard (on average more than any industrial country in the world), and reap the rewards of their labor (the average American has a bunch of toys). No "true" American would waste his time to go commit a suicide bombing in another country. Fiscally, it does not make sense.

American suicide bomber:
You will pay me this much...then I will die in a big ball of fire. Cool, I like balls of fire. And my family will be well taken care of. So what are the benefits like?

2) If Americans did not directly participate in the attacks, then our only other options would be to pay Muslims to commit a suicide bombing against their Muslim brothers. I think this options has even less of a chance than Americans doing the work.

In short, the sooner the Muslim world wakes up and realizes the problems it has....the better.


Saturday, November 15, 2003

DOS list serv

I sure as hell don't know what these are, but I signed up for all of them.

Remember that they are watching you , so you had better watch them.


Gore and TV

The link below is from a speech that gore gave in TN about how TV was killing America.

"Our democracy is suffering in an age where the dominant medium is not accessible to the average person, and does not lend itself most readily to the conveyance of complex ideas about self-governance, and instead pushes toward a lowest common denominator"

The statement about TV not being accessible can easily be misunderstood, but what he means is that the average person cannot get their voice heard on television. Now I think that is great, because I only want to hear the best. But the best may or may not show up on TV.

Now the statement that TV does not lend it self to complex ideas about self-governance, I believe also to be false. Pictures are much simpler than words. You can draw a complex graphical shape (such as a fractal) or you could describe it with math. The visual is going to be much easier to understand intuitively. If you don't know what a fractal is here are some pictures.

and here is a mathematical equation to describe one
(z^7 - 1)^7 - 1 = z^49 - 7*z^42 + 21*z^35 - 35*z^28 + 35*z^21 - 21*z^14 + 7*z^7 - 2

See what I mean.

Gore did point out that Americans watch 4 hours of TV a day. His concerns were about how it would affect democracy.

But what he did not realize was that TV is the one thing that can save democracy. It will require some retooling of the sports seasons to make room for a campaign season, and it will require some internet technology which will involve the average watcher (or a low tech phone system where people can vote and ask questions - much like American Idol).

Note: My only conversation about American idol was when a random person at work asked if I had watched it last night,
I said that I don't watch much TV, and the conversation ended with a awkward feeling.

Then the politicians will have to be willing to work at night and will also debate with others about what they believe. This will go on until election day where the people will vote (and since they have been watching from the beginning they feel obligated to vote). Of course, tax payer money will have to be used for the TV time at first, but once people realize that it is a good thing and lots of fun they will watch. Then TV stations will be able to make money from advertisers the good ole fashion American way.

Additionally, you will have to make election day a paid federal holiday where everyone gets off work, to give the entire nation time to vote on issues.

In short a combination of good old fashion TV and a paid day off could really bring up the voting ratings...Eh... I meant voter participation up to record levels.

As a side note: No one heard about the Gores speech because it was not on TV.


Thursday, November 13, 2003

Prison system

Damn ... Another good idea shot down.

"would be preferable to let each individual improve (through books, education, and workouts) "
I still feel it is a bad idea for the rapist to get stronger so next time he won't have any problem shutting the girl up.

I don't think the government should pay for their education past high school. Go to school on your own time, not the time society is taking away from you.

Books are good, only if they are read. I don't see how you can get them to read unless they are so bored there is nothing else to do (of course they would have to know how to read before that worked).

I would prefer instead of improving their selves in prison, that prison gave them a inhuman desire to improve their selves and their lot after they get out of prison (if this is done through scare tactics, brain washing, or torture --- I don't care).

Although it seems providing them with a quiet environment does not work .... so I am all out of good ideas on to accomplish the goal of rehabilitation

How do the Japanese do it?



This is my first political prediction ever.

I am predicting that if the economy goes up and Iraq turns even slightly in Bush's favor that he will win the 2004 election.

the prison system

Early Puritans in our country already built your system in the late 1800s or early 1900s. (I watch a lot of History Channel when I am in places that get reception.) The prison was blank. Prisoners were confined. The entire place was silent. The goal was to let prisoners meditate on their behavior and ways to make it better. Instead, everyone went insane. Self mutilation was commonplace. Not a single soul was fit for reintroduction into society. If you are going to go the path of the twisted and weird, at least do something sensible like Manchurian-style brain washing. Slight torture, friendship, indoctrination, confusion, integration, etc. It would be preferable to let each individual improve (through books, education, and workouts) but if control is your preference then go all out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Prison system comment

"All I know is if you make prison hell, you will produce demons."
I agree, but what I meant by making the prison hell - was make it a special kind of hell.

In this hell there will be no physical punishment dished out. Actually there won't be much of anything of interest done at all.
The food will be really boring. There will be no books. There will be no physical activity. There will be no work.
There will be very little social activity. There also will be very little noise from machinery and outside interferences. I don't know if a prisoner should be able to visit with others from the outside world. I don't know if letters should be accepted. There will be pastel colored walls. There will just be a lot of sitting by yourself thinking. The goal of this hell will be to make life as simple and boring as possible. The reasoning behind these actions is to not give the prisoners anything to be angry about, and to ease there anger at society (if it exists).

Of course there will be aids to push your thinking in certain directions. Suggestions on the walls, such as society is made up individuals and individuals make up societies. And that individuals need to be responsible to make society work. The suggestions on the wall will list the duties of responsible citizens, and at the end state that you are a individual.

Every prisoner will get a item (plant, cat, dog, or some other kind of animal), to keep alive. The animal will be chosen based on the person personality, likes and dislikes. This is to teach them personal responsibility. If they kill or loss there frist item, they will get another one. If they kill or lose they second, they will be all alone.

Also, if they don't work out and are allowed to eat less that will save the taxpayer a little money. But this prison will be fairly cheap already, which means that we can build more of them, which may or may not be a good thing.


Tuesday, November 11, 2003


Sunburn is terrible. The pain is nearly constant. Showering and sleeping hurts. Broken bones ache for weeks. Sharp cuts sting and more jagged one are awful. But killing brain cells is euphoric. Ever wonder about that? It's like not only society but biology is hinting that we are a little bit too smart for ourselves. Maybe progress was the wrong answer. Perhaps we long surpassed the upper limit of practical knowledge. I often feel like my surroundings are too dumb for me. I think sometime ago man built a rocketship and used his technology to climb out of paradise. And we were proud.

Monday, November 10, 2003

The Iraqi problem?

I hate all of these armchair diplomats spewing out policy for a war they aren't involved in. Maybe financially, but their asses aren't over here with me. Everything is a little more complicated when you are in the middle. We can't strong arm the Iraqi people and risk enraging 25 million people who already kind of tired of us. At the same time we can't allow a handful of terrorists to blow up another helicopter every week. We didn't have an exit policy when we started this war, and now it is biting us in the ass. A good defensive posture is our best bet. We need to leave as soon as we can, but we need to make sure the job is finished before we pack it up. And that crap about Iraqis not shooting at UN troops is drivel. They have already attacked the UN several times. America is only the most visible target because we are the largest force here. Our allies are attacked indiscriminately. We need to make the transition to Iraqi government as smoothly and quickly as possible and leave quietly. We the war against Saddam. We don't need to start another one against the rest of Iraq.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

prison system and an apology

I am sorry I havent posted in so long, but duty calls. Whatever. In response to the prison system critique, I think that half of those people shouldnt be there and you should help the other half to improve themselves. If they arent educated they wont know how to do anything except commit crimes (sell drugs, steal cars, etc). And since most of them will end up taking low wage manual labor jobs when they get out you may as well get built while they are serving their time. I guess it boils down to whether you think criminals are born that way or if they are made (and consequently could be un-made) by society. All I know is if you make prison hell, you will produce demons.

Music in the new age

The main problem that I have with this article

is the statement:

Typically about two-thirds of those songs were downloaded over the Internet, while the rest were legally copied into the computer from CDs, Crupnick said

Trading music is illegal, that I feel is obvious.
Stopping me from making backups of the data I purchased is wrong. Once I buy data (music), it is mine and no one else's. I cannot legally give that data (music) to some one else, but I can make as many back-ups of that data, as I want. If I happened to want to store that data onto hard dive (it is common, cheap, and relativity fault tolerant), I should be able to. They say that it is illegal to do that, which according to the digital millennium copyright act it is.

The only way around that is setting up a licensing agreement with the user, much like the software industry has done. When I purchase the CD, I have a unique id for that number. I can make as many copies as I want but I have to have original id number for the cd that I have to use to listen to the music.
That will never work. So they are stuck letting me make back-ups of my data (with no intent to share).

I just though i would let you in on the way the music industry is trying to strong arm the consumer.


Thursday, November 06, 2003

What a great idea

The Guardian recently had a round table discussion about the painfully obvious facts in Iraq.

Suggestions to come out of the expert panel:

Arrest more people and keep them arrested.
Close Iraq's borders.
America needs to pull out of Iraq.
Our good friend Toby has this to say about replacing the troops.

American troops in Iraq provided a potent target, said Toby Dodge of Warwick University. "There has to be the introduction of troops who will not be shot - and that means the United Nations."

Re-establish Iraqi sovereignty.
Restore infrastructure.
Tackle unemployment.

Wow that was breath taking. If they can solve the increasing financial woes of their own countries and handle the extremist governments of their own regions .... the world will be perfect.



It was really disappointing.

I am posting this at 3:15 central time. And I saw it before you.


Monday, November 03, 2003

Presidential elections

I was doing some reading based on this comment by Michael Moore

"I think it's time we all stood up and started asking some questions of these individuals. The bottom line: Anyone who would brazenly steal an election and insert themselves into OUR White House with zero mandate from The People is, frankly .... Sadly ... Capable of anything... "

website I found

Which it states that bush got more electoral votes than gore (at the very end in the foot notes). It also states Gore's total of popular vote (which is more than bush's for the 2001 elections).
"Zero mandate" is what bothers me about the quote. It appears to me that bush got about 47.9 percent of the vote. Now that is not a majority but a good percentage. So it was not zero mandate.

Also, it would seem that it would be logical to attack the electoral college in addition to the man who used the electoral system to his advantage.

It is sort of like the stock market, when some one gets rich using the system in a way that everyone knew it could be used in, but when it actually happens it seems unfair. Do you take away the guy's money?
No, you just reform the system.

But oh well.

also check out this one. It is a good one.