Saturday, October 30, 2004

Going out of town

I will be going out of town for part of this weekend.

Come back Monday, and I might have written something interesting.


Happy belated blog birthday

Here was my first post.

I started this blog exactly 387.2417 days ago according to my calculations.

A big thanks to all the friends i have made and everything they have taught me.


If you make a law enforce it

"The Internal Revenue Service is investigating whether a speech by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond last summer that criticized the Bush administration violated a federal law that prohibits tax-exempt charitable organizations from engaging in most forms of political activity."

All I can say is good. I commented on this here, and think that this law is a little screwed up. The only way it can be fixed is if, all people dislike the law.


Friday, October 29, 2004

It is not your problem if people see you naked

I believe that personal privacy is an illusion.

You don't have it, in fact you lost it long ago.

Any person can google you. My real name is listed on a website which tells you what college I graduated from, what day and what topic my senior presentation was on. I can find out where my girlfriend works and where she went to college.

Recently, I have been able to find office numbers of people's names that have been listed in articles that I have read. All I did was google and search through enough webpages. A bank can get tons of information on you past credit history. The government knows your current address, tax information, and probably can figure out how many times you fly.

If you number is listed and I know your name, I can look up your phone number and address.

Amazon can tell you what you have bought and suggest things you might like to read.

So the fact that the LAPD is putting cameras everywhere does not bother me at all. I actually encourage it, because it only removes the illusion and increase security.

They only place you have which is private is inside you head, as long as the government does not make it in there I think that we will be alright.


How would you get the results of this study?

"The technical evaluation of the proposals included a comprehensive handgun test protocol involving a rigorous battery of environmental, reliability, durability, and other tests. Approximately three million rounds of ammunition were fired through 690 handguns of 46 different models during the testing, which took almost four months to complete. Aside from the actual live firing, additional testing was conducted through laboratory analysis and armory inspections. In all, each model was evaluated against more than 50 characteristics before arriving at a technical rating. This data was used in conjunction with past performance and pricing information to select the winning contractors"

They put this things in ovens, in salt water,in sand, and i think they even urinated on them then froze them then hit each other over the head with them.

I want the results of this "comprehensive handgun test".

How would YOU go about getting it?

I am thinking about filing a Freedom of Information Act request, any suggestions are welcome.

BTW sigarms and HK got the contracts. I am sure the decision involved pricing and quality.

Here is another article that gives some information about the process and the history of "gun procurement" by the ICE.


ABC did the right thing

Whew...I thought that I would never say that.

The rest of America does not need to know this crap. The CIA and FBI need to know any little threat that appears, but all regular Americans need to know are specifics of attacks (who, what, when, where type of stuff), tactics for spotting unusual behavior, and quickest way to kill a terrorist.

Calling out ABC like this just makes Drudge seem like a partisan hack.


The most important election of our life

I have heard that phrase so many times from so many different places, that I really think that is a bunch of crap. While this election is more important than most, I am a young guy and I really do not want to blow my political wad to early.

Even if Kerry wins, there will be some positives. Deadlock, blessed deadlock. Increases in government spending will slow to a crawl, and we will have a republican congress acting like a republican congress. They will start cutting spending, just out of spite. Which I have seen some numbers recently that suggest the government may cut government spending drastically, but have not confirmed the numbers yet. My mind is still out on that charge yet.

Secondly, I bet that we will never hear this "is most important election of our life" again from the MSM. That phrase has a certain effect on the American population, it causes them to get out and vote. While the MSM thinks that they want this, they also think that most people agree with them also. After this election we will see how high the turnout was. We will also see how a high percentage of American feels. Which if a high percentage turns out, and bush wins, that will probably be the last time you hear the MSM tell you to get out and vote.


Jobless claims on the rise

I was reading this CNN article, and the headline said, "Jobless claims jump by 20,000." I was then reading through the article, and read this:

"Despite the increase in new claims, the four-week moving average fell for the second straight week, slipping to 343,250 from 348,750 in the prior period and its lowest since mid-September. Economists view the moving average as a more accurate measure of employment trends because it smoothes out weekly volatility."

I just roll my eyes when I see stuff like this.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

I thought I knew a lot about social security until this

In this tech central article, Arnold King addresses four different myths about social security.

The Pension Myth- I knew this already.

The Transition Cost Myth - I still do not understand this at all. I can see how they cost of transitioning would starve social security and the government. This would cause them to either raises taxes or reduce spending, either way it is something that needs to be done.

If any one could point me to any information where this is discussed in detail, I would appreciate that. I would need economic definitions, account definitions, and explanations why one debt is better than another one.

The Baby Boomer Myth - I at first thought this was a load of crap, but as you read on and look at the pictures you begin to understand that they Baby boomers are just starting the trend he talks about. Which only further reinforces my feelings.

The Medicare Myth- I have never head of this myth before, but it is interesting. I have always ignored Medicare, because it does not have as big numbers beside it on my check like social security.

Pop quiz:

Why was Social Security introduced?

If you know the history you will understand that Social security once had a real purpose and a valid reason for existing, and that it has outlived that reason. Also if you know your history, you will admit that it is feasible we might need this scheme once again, but if it ever came back it would look a lot different because of the worker to retiree ratio.


Man i love being me

Just recently i had an email exchange email from stewardess, it started like this.

Her: I would have thought you'd have commented on the Stiffler cat post.

Me: Well, I really did not have anything to say.

While that is an odd name for an cat, it could be worse, they could name their cat the Japanese word for penis.

I have been looking at guns all day. I really wanted a glock, then I saw the HK's now I am torn and confused. I will probably not buy any, but I am going to find try to find some to shoot in the future.

Her: Have you ever been to a gun range? WE should go sometime. I've only shot rifles, but it was F-U-N!

You have to love right wing girls. Of course after we get finished shooting the heck out of some guns, we will make out on the hot, spent bullet shells.



Raging_Dave from Four Right Wing Wacko's is well, raging.

Here is a short clip.


And do you know when they held the vote for these acts of outright theft?

He is commenting on the conculsion of the story i linked to here.

I will give my best suggestion to Dave, plant the famous Kudzu vine.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Yesterday I said

"Did we not secure it because it was already cleared out? Or did we not secure and it was not cleared out and we should have?"

Partly in response to Andrew's questions.

Today Drudge tells me that, "An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq. According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived."

I think the questions of when it when missing are secondary to the reasons why Saddam had the material and why wasn't it removed before we attacked by the UN.

The real questions to me are:

Why did Saddam have some of the best explosive materials in the world?

Andrew makes an attempt at answering my question here.

"The UN had no responsibility to get rid of those explosives as long as Saddam was in power. They were afforded to him for industrial and mining purposes, and the US was party to that decision."

I thought the point of sanctions were to stop economic activity. Secondly, the explosives were in military bunkers, which would be a strange place to store dual use explosives, but then again Iraq is a strange place. Thirdly, while Saddam might have been using them for legitimate purposes they could have used much less effective compounds for mining purposes, they did not need the best stuff to blow a hole in the side of a mountain.

While the international community, though the UN, might have decided that it was ok for Saddam to have this material, I think it is obvious that this was the wrong decision.

Why did the UN not remove them from Iraq when they knew we were going to attack?

The UN knew we were going to attack and they left explosive material just lying around on the ground, practically like manna from heaven. This is one question that I have not heard asked, referred to, or even brought up in any way.

I am asking it now.

Lets say you we in charge of an area and this area was going to be attacked by your "friend". This area also happens to have materials which you know the location and amount of. Do you just tell you friends where the explosive material is or or do you work with you friends and remove the materials to make their job and your job easier in the future?

In a global society, world security is everyone's responsibility and everyone should do their part. The UN did not take an active role is helping the US (surprise), and the US, UN (this stuff probably killed one of their main envoys), and the world are paying the price for the UN's inaction.

When did the explosive material disappear?

This is still under dispute, and we will probably never really know. There are several versions of the story out there. I tend to think that the stuff was gone when we arrived which would mean that either Saddam passed it out, hid it, was stolen by individuals whose motives could be questioned and then these individuals gave the materials to terror groups, or it was stolen by terror groups already in Iraq. The timeline is muddled, and the bush haters will say whatever it takes to make it seem like the material disappeared under the American's watch, even if it means casting doubt on American soldiers. Which they of course will never ask themselves, why it was left there in the first place?

I still do not know when the materail was stolen, but given what it would have taken to move the material, i do not see how that convoy was missed.

Who has it?

I think this answer is obvious.


I think that since the IAEA knew where the explosives were, that it was their responsibility to remove them from the country to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Since the UN failed in their responsibility (what a surprise), it was the US's responsibility to fix the problem. The US also failed in this area of responsibility. So we have both the UN and the US screwing up, in that order. The US can't do everything alone, we need the help of our allies and that really seems to be the main theme that is missing in this story.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004


"Berkeley scientists think they have found the source of a mysterious hum that reverberates through the Earth, too low for human ears to hear....

...They [the source of the mysterious hum] put out very little power -- about as much as a couple of 100-watt light bulbs, Romanowicz said."

They do put out power, though. One solar cell collects very little power, one wind mill is of limited use, but joined together with hundreds or thousands of other small power plants you have a really good source of renewable power.

I think that these are interesting, I suspect that what ever machine was going to try to harness these waves would have to very large, but it would be interesting to see this in action.

via The agitator


Bush sniper article

"Charlie Brooker apologizes for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind."

This is an apology by Brooker when he asked where are all the good presidential assasians.

A real man would do it himself.


Been busy

I have been fairly busy with very little time to post.

I just have a question.

What is the historic guidelines for former presidents in current politics?

In other words where is Gerald Ford? He should be hitting the campaing trial. Him and Jimmy carter could have a mud wrestling match. Bush one and clinton could have a good ole WWF smack down.

I thought once you were president that you took some time off and did not interfer with the current politics of the time because you were above that sort of thing.


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Going out of town this weekend again

going to see a friend that does not have a blog and therefore means nothing to you.

have a good weekend and remember to eat an entire large pizza just for the heck of it.


I am a member

I have been officially welcomed into the Rocky Top Brigade. I am honored and blessed, but I have my reservations about this group.

first and foremost in their "Constitution for the Union of Tennessee Volunteer Bloggers and Big Orange Expeditionary Forces", the say this, "Whereas, there ain't nothing in the world finer than Jack Daniels". I full heartily agree, but don't they know this.

"One connoisseur says he's sure that "Jack Daniels "is spinning in his grave."

That follows word that the famous "sippin' whiskey" has lowered the alcohol content of its Old Number Seven Black Label.

The whiskey now registers 80 proof, instead of 86, and some drinkers feel betrayed.
Modern Drunkard magazine editor Frank Kelly Rich says the company cannot get away with messing with a legend.

The company says most customers prefer the less potent mix. But there are still higher-kick specialty versions on the market.

Some critics allege the company is trying to save money by watering down the whiskey.
An online petition asking the company to switch back has gathered about 700 signatures."

Here is the online Petition to bring it back to it's former glory. The south and Jack will rise again.

Secondly, they also mention this, "Dollywood is the purest manifestation of independent hillbilly entrepreneurialism in the land...". Personally, I was always fond of the giant fireworks stands that could be found along I-40 circa 1998. I don't know if they are still there, but I hope so.


What can a man do?

I write this blog laying out my best ideas, criticisms, and hopes for world. We have a lot of fun here, i will admit that, but underneath the smirk there is a serious attempt to understand the world i live in.

One day i come up with a turly amazing idea, and give it my best shot. I write my idea down and them wait for the world to recive me in all my glory. While i am waiting and learning more about the world i discover that my idea has been done for many years.

My idea: Why god is a socialist and what man can do about it. Some other smuck's idea: Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

The phrase "Heaven on Earth" in the context of the book is lifted from a phrase by Moses Hess who, in his Communist Confession of Faith, noted that while Christians imagine a heavenly joy "We, on the other hand, will have this heaven on earth." It's exactly this kind of religious fervor for the concepts of socialism (and communism - the terms are used interchangeably) that gave socialist regimes the license to do whatever it took to cram Paradise down people's throats. And when people rejected the "freedom" offered to them, the results were horrific: Mussolini's Italy, Stalin's Soviet Republic, and Mao's China. In total, Muravchik estimates that more than 100 million people were murdered in the name of socialism since 1917


And you wonder why they do not make the flu vaccine

"Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit Thursday against flu vaccine suppliers ASAP Meds Inc., doing business as Meds-stat, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Dubin Medical Inc. of San Diego, Calif. for what Abbott said was unconscionable pricing of the critical vaccine."

The reason they are pricing the vaccine so high is because you keep suing them you old fart, and they have to pay for the legal bills.

While he might have a valid case, the only real way to bring prices down is to price control the industry or create competition in the industry. The reason they were able to charge so much is because they had a virtural monopoly on the drug.


Friday, October 22, 2004

Falling Down, Falling Down

All links are via Drudge.

People who live in houses made of PC nomenclature, should be very careful in everything they say and do. No matter what you do, some one will be offended.

Like here.

If you have halloween the wiccan witches are offended, if you cancel it the people who wanted halloween are sad.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bombs over Bin Laden

first I read this, and believed that bin Laden was dead, then I scanned this and thought the guy was doing the two step in Iran.

So I do not know what to think, but I do have a possible solution.

Call the mother out? All bush has to do is come out an announce to the best of his knowledge that he believes that Bin Laden is dead. If anyone asks questions or brings up reasonable arguments, he can say that his secret highly classified information says otherwise.

Is it a risk? Yes, but if bin laden makes a mistake and shows his hand he is really dead. If bin laden does the smart thing and stays quite for a awhile, more and more people will believe bush.

If bush wins reelection he has nothing to lose, and can take personally responsibility for the action of playing a dirty trick on America, which we will not mind if it ends up netting the bastard, in fact it might help our Bush and his party if he plays the dirty trick and produces bin laden as a result of the trick.

What do you think?

update: in the articles that i read no one mentioned laden's health problems. I found out why, apparently that information is probably inconculsive.

The official said U.S. intelligence is that bin Laden needs dialysis every three days and "it is fairly obvious that that could be an issue when you are running from place to place, and facing the idea of needing to generate electricity in a mountain hideout."

Other U.S. officials contradicted the reports of bin Laden's health problems, saying there is "no evidence" the suspected terrorist mastermind has ever suffered kidney failure or required kidney dialysis. The officials called such suggestions a "recurrent rumor."

My take on this is that if Bin laden had a health problem before 9-11, he would have solved it and is probably alive. If Bin laden did not solve his health problem or if the problem came up after 9-11 he is dead. If he never had health problems he is proably alive.



...need I say more.

"Applying these lessons to the first Gulf War, Patton perhaps would have thought it mindless to mobilize an entire expeditionary army - a rare event for a democracy - and then confine it to the Kuwaiti theatre of operations, given that the problem was never merely the occupation of Kuwait, but the tyrant in Baghdad who had a prior record of frequent aggression. From the moment he took command in Normandy, Berlin was on Patton's mind as the only ultimate goal."

This months conservative literature is out.


Banned Games

I posted an article about the dangers, potential misuses, and social reaction of video games. I concluded with this, "I suspect in the next 20 years that society will have to decide if these are just fun and games or something more dangerous."

It looks like my estimate was very much off the mark. My fear that some of the bloodiest, most realistic, and most challenging games will be banned is a reality in some parts of the world, "...Greece for prohibiting the installation and operation of electronic, electromechanical and electronic games in all public and private places...", and could become a reality in other parts, "On Oct. 14, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice upheld a ban on the Bonn "Laserdrome", where participants simulated killing each other with lasers."

Just thought I would share.


An alternate idea about Turkey

I originally posted a possible outcome of Turkey not being let into the EU here, I have found an article that believes that the chances of getting into the EU are small for turkey.

I would like to concentrate on this comment the writer said.

"Freedom and development come with the slow evolvement of social capital, and this is how they may be sustainable and not fall victim to radical religion. This is what the West should promote, not only in Turkey, but also in the areas south-east of that country. And this takes generations. "

Generations, huh. I think that might have been true in the past, but I think that is not the case. The major thing that changes the pace of the advancement of freedom and development is the transference of information. The prime mover of information is technology. Technology is growing cheaper, more powerful, and ubiquitous. While countries can control information, they have a harder time of it now. The toughness of their task will only grow as technology becomes easily available. How big of an effect with this technology have on the pace of freedom? I don't know, but technology increases exponentially. I would place my bets on the techs.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Why has Desperate Housewives been so successful?

There are two main competing theories (well one is by me and the other is by my friend). It is important to note that the two theories are not mutually exclusive and the effects might combine to interesting effects.

Generational Aging Theory

All the friend watchers grew up. They have moved out of the single fun stage of their lives, and now own houses and have kids in the suburbs. Instead of wanting to see people who have perfect lives in the big city, the grown up friend watchers want validation about the choices they have made in their lives. In other words, they want to see how their lives could be worse. Housewives provides that.

Sex Sales Theory

A friend said that the above theory was not the explanation, but that "Horny Guys" were. Speaking as a horny guy, I am not really interested. The name is as catching as a spam email (which is pretty catching to think of it), but when you actually watch the show you figure out that you are the one getting screwed. The women look great, I cannot deny that, but they spend a lot of time talking about their relationship problems, instead of getting it on. In the show I saw, terri hatcher did get nekkid, but you did not see anything. I guess that only goes to prove that free porn is bad porn. She also is not as good looking as you remember, she seems like she has aged a bit.



The word "draft" scares the heck out of me. I am just right for the picking. Single, no kids to support, skilled, and with a longer than average boot camp I can probably exceed the physical requirements for the army. Additionally, I think I might enjoy a job where I get to shoot things, though I might not enjoy getting shoot at. I have thought about joining the national guard or reserve just so I can shoot fully automatic weapons.

All of that being said, if a draft were enacted, I would probably sign up. I really do not want an incompetent, unpatriotic bastard defending out country. Not to mention, it is better to sign up early to get your choice of jobs, instead of being assigned one not of your choosing.

I know how the draft worked back in the 70's, but I think that if it were enacted this time around it might look a little different. I think what is more likely is the situation mentioned in this article:

"Colonel Lalich, citing Selective Service memorandums on the subject, said the Defense Department had indicated that "a conventional draft of untrained manpower is not necessary for the war on terrorism." But, he said, "the Department of Defense has stated that what most likely will be needed is a 'special skills draft,' " including care workers in particular. "

I figured that the types of workers needed are skilled ones in short supply for the government. The information technology group was one group of people which I thought would be called up, I was wrong on that. It appears that medical workers are the ones are who are likely to be drafted. If you were in the army, would you want people who cannot figure out the simple riddle below and who are conscripted against their will to ply their trade caring for your life.

Moreover, Widmeyer said, "if medical professionals are singled out and other professionals are not called, many will find the process unfair," and health care workers will ask, "Why us?"

"Why us?", because health care workers have highly specialized skills which take years to master, said skills are in short demand nation wide, and the government cannot afford said skills on a large enough scale to do the job they need done, so the goverment forces you into service. If health care workers cannot figure out why they are being drafted over other professions, they should probably be drafted.

I personally am against the draft, and think that a skill draft is no better.


Maybe Arnold is not all bad

"Whenever you have two parties call you and get on the conference call, Democrats and Republicans alike, saying, 'Governor, please stay out of this,' then you know there's something fishy," he said.

I really like the logic of that.

via drudge


Man I love the internet

It allows us to share out love for each other like this.

"Hey England, Scotland and Wales, mind your own business. We don't need weenie-spined Limeys meddling in our presidential election," was one of the e-mail reactions to the campaign.

And do not forget this treasure of cultural communication.

"Real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions. If you want to save the world, begin with you own worthless corner of it," wrote one from Texas.

Amen and may God bless America.


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Going on a fall road trip

Going out of town for the weekend to see Stewardess.

Enjoy the weekend and remember that their are some places the sun does not shine for a reason.


Good point

Andrew makes the point:

"...Would like everyone to please stop trying to defend or undermine justification for invading Iraq. It doesn't matter. Really. The deed is done, and there are more pressing concerns that have far overshadowed the invasion's legitimacy."

To that I say, ok, if certain people would stop bring up the issue of the invasion's legitimacy I might consider stop talking about it. We ALL know from our experience as children, that when you tell your sister that you will stop hitting her if she stops hitting you, that those types of agreements are doomed to failure. So with that gleeful remake, I would like to bring this up.

This article points out something that I feel is interesting to the Iraq war argument. It was something that needed to be done, but was politically expensive.

"Because Saddam was one of those things Tony Blair called a "tricky issue." And by tricky, Blair said he meant and I'm quoting now "something you know has to be done" that would be getting rid of Saddam but, quoting again, "you want to have the luxury of criticizing" Bush and the Americans for actually doing it."

What did bush have to gain from attacking Iraq? It was expensive, it alienated our allies, and it is costing America lives. It has driven up the price of oil, which is beginning to threaten our economic recovery. It pushes America into being the policeman of the world. Which no one likes the cops, though you do respect them.

There are some strategic gains that will be made by America, but the political cost to get them was large. It could cost him this election.

Why? Is he evil? Does he have a god complex? Is he a freedom whore spreading freedom like an STD? Or some other unnamed option?


This is how I would fight for my job

Staff outraged by General Motors' plans to slash up to 12,000 jobs in Europe have stopped work at a plant in Bochum, Germany, its works council said on Friday.

Those Crazy Europeans, they think by not working they can save their jobs. I bet they are going to ask the supreme EU to step in and save their jobs.


Friday, October 15, 2004


Any one got any pictures of this chick ANDREA MACKRIS, who was able to get O'Reily in trouble and her boss at CNN fired?

If she is not really hot, I am going to be disappointed.


Flu shots

I believe that flu shots are a scam, and possibly an alien plot.

If we buy flu vaccines from foreign companies and they turn out not to be safe, doesn't that help Bush's case for not importing drugs from Canada.


Exclusive: Legislating faith 2

In last night's debate Kerry said this.

"But I know this, that President Kennedy in his inaugural address told all of us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own. And that's what we have to, I think that's the test of public service."

This is the first time that I have heard an pro-democratic anti-capitalist use God instructions to Christians to justify large social programs. Kerry again used his "faith" to justify doing God's work

God has personally charged YOU with caring for the poor, not some government entity. If the government wants to care for the poor, you are obligated to pay the taxes they demand (Matthew 22:21, Romans 13:7), but that does NOT remove your original responsibility. I believe the pro-democratic anti-capitalists use their beliefs that the government "should" take care of the poor, to remove the guilt they feel for not caring for the poor.

Of course this begs the question, "Should the government take care of the poor?" That is something you have to decide for yourself.


Exclusive: Legislating faith

I am going to bring to your attention something that you will not see in the media. The only channel on television not afraid to bring up the topic I am about to discuss is TAFN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), and you really should not listen to them anyways.

First I will reproduce the entire relevant section from the debate last night, to provide context, then I will get into the dirty details.

SCHIEFFER: Senator Kerry, a new question for you.

The New York Times reports that some Catholic archbishops are telling their church members that it would be a sin to vote for a candidate like you because you support a woman's right to choose an abortion and unlimited stem-cell research.

What is your reaction to that?

KERRY: I respect their views. I completely respect their views. I am a Catholic. And I grew up learning how to respect those views. But I disagree with them, as do many.

I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith.

I believe that choice is a woman's choice. It's between a woman, God and her doctor. And that's why I support that.

Now, I will not allow somebody to come in and change Roe v. Wade.
The president has never said whether or not he would do that. But we know from the people he's tried to appoint to the court he wants to.

I will not. I will defend the right of Roe v. Wade.

Now, with respect to religion, you know, as I said, I grew up a Catholic. I was an altar boy. I know that throughout my life this has made a difference to me. And as President Kennedy said when he ran for president, he said, "I'm not running to be a Catholic president. I'm running to be a president who happens to be Catholic." My faith affects everything that I do, in truth.

There's a great passage of the Bible that says, "What does it mean, my brother, to say you have faith if there are no deeds? Faith without works is dead." [at least he did not misquote the bible]

And I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people.

That's why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this earth.

That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith.

But I know this, that President Kennedy in his inaugural address told all of us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own. And that's what we have to, I think that's the test of public service.

Kerry said this, "I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith."

Then in the SAME question Kerry said this:

"And I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people.

That's why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this earth.

That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith.

But I know this, that President Kennedy in his inaugural address told all of us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own. And that's what we have to, I think that's the test of public service."

He first says that he cannot "legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith", then he says "And I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people".

If your faith guides you, but you are not allowed to transfer "it in any official way to other people". What happens, in the cases of abortion and the death penalty, when your faith guides you to transfer your beliefs into policy? The result is that you end up not using you faith to guide you. If Kerry was intellectually consistent about using his faith, I would probably be voting for him, but he is not. Kerry then uses his faith to justify fighting against poverty, fighting to clean up the environment, and fighting for equality and justice.

By using taxpayer money to fund causes justified by your faith you are TRANSFERRING your article of faith. Kerry did a zig, a zag, then a complete 180 in the exact same question. This was, to me, a clear flip-flop.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

Home Stretch

Here is my post debate wrap up, take it for what it is worth.

Kerry did not seem as sharp and on top of it as he did in the first too debates. I think bush toned it down from the town hall. In the town hall debate, he seemed loud and overly forceful. He also had some real whiny parts in the town hall that I did not see as much of tonight. I think bush did better than he did in the second debate and I think Kerry did a little worse. So I would probably give this debate to bush by 6 to 8 percentage points in the polls, but we will see. If bush was able to stop his slide in the last debate, this should have been the death stab to the heart, but I think it was more of a jab in the face to Kerry instead. In other words, i don't think this debate knocked Kerry out of the race by any means. It was not the homerun Bush needed.

I personally think this debate will swing a couple percentage points toward Bush during the week, but that is about it. It could be enough to win though.

After watching only 3 debates in my life, I fell more than comfortable telling you how to score the debates for the rest of your life.

Cube's rules on scoring debates.

If a partisan said it was a tie, give it to the guy they do not like.
If someone tries to appear above the fray and not comment on who won the debate, give it to the person they do not like.

And that is about all I have.


Memphis sniper

Recently, there have been some random shootings (about 3 of them) on a road here in Memphis.

The advice from the news, drive the speed limit (slowly) and buckle up. If I had to drive on this road, I would drive erratically, not the speed limit. While I am certain that I would be driving the speed limit at some point in time, I am also certain I would quickly accerlate or deccelerate past it. I also heard there was a herd of reporters just hanging out there waiting for the next shooting.


Unusual strategy

John Kerry has promised to raise taxes.

I have to ask you to do one thing: Join me in rolling back the president's unaffordable tax cut for people earning more than $200,000 a year. That's all.

Actually he has promised to "rollback" tax cuts, which mean the same thing as raising taxes. John Kerry has been able to avoid using the negative term of "raise", very well.

I general if you are going to raise taxes, you should not tell anyone that you want do it (Bush I) and do it during times of prosperity (like Clinton) hoping very few people notice. I am surprised that Kerry has promised to raise taxes, and still even with Bush.

Apparently, just picking on the rich is ok also.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I would like my perspective with some iced tea please

I found this in my favorites, if you posted this on you site, just tell me and i will give you credit.

And, no, I'm not suggesting Bush is another Lincoln or Roosevelt. But even if Bush hasn't reached their lofty heights, neither has he experienced their depths of despair. We are losing one or two soldiers a day in Iraq. Lincoln lost an average of 250 daily for four years, Roosevelt 300 daily for more than 3 1/2 years. If they could overcome such numbing losses to prevail against far more formidable foes than we face now, it's ludicrous to give in to today's fashionable funk.



What is wrong with Bush's Health care plan?

The danger is, Bush’s plan threatens to dismantle the employment-based health-care system we've had since World War II. As the healthiest workers leave for the individual market, traditional plans would be stuck with the most expensive, sick patients, driving up premiums for those who stay.

Oh wait I think that is a good thing. Anything that we have had since WWII cannot be that great. Anytime you can cut out the middle man that is a good thing.

But let’s say you’d consider becoming a health-care shopper. Ask yourself this question: Do you like your chances of negotiating a better deal from a health-insurance giant and its army of lawyers? Remember, we're talking about life and death, not fender-bender deductibles.

Here the writer tries to preempt the "car insurance argument", by first telling you that health insurance is different than regular insurance and that you cannot fight the health insurance battle alone (and since Superman is dead I guess the government will have to help you some how).

Why do most people not speed? So their insurance will not go up. Will most people would not smoke, not get pregnant,not drink,not get fat, run a bit more because they don't want their insurance to go up?

Meanwhile, John Kerry would build on the traditional system, which gives his plan a better chance of working sooner and for a lot more people. He'll expand federal-state funding for hospitals and community clinics, vaccination and other programs to cover almost all children and more uninsured adults. He expects 27 million more people to get health insurance.

interesting, bush is the liberal one here (pushing for change) and Kerry is the conservative one (pushing for it to stay the same).

Under his most daring idea, the government would pay for catastrophic treatments over $50,000 and pass the savings from lower premiums to workers and employers. A word of caution: Any treatment is not guaranteed. You might have to fight a medically trained government mediator to get it, but I like those odds better than going up against an insurance company tightwad.

So now of mediating with a company that wants you business, and would like to keep it. You are mediating with a group that has no incentive to keep you business and a person that cannot be fired. So instead of dealing with a regular insurance company, I will be dealing with a medically trained person who has the mindset of the IRS.

If you're young and healthy and never plan on getting terribly sick or injured before you retire, go for Bush.
If you're merely mortal and care about the health of an entire nation, go for Kerry.

Hah hah, I don't have anything to say about this.


Separation of church and state

Separation of church and state is a clear statement and the bedrock our democratic society relies on. Or is it?

Lets take a look at our dear old Constitution

Article. VI.

Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I would like to point you to this interpretation of the separation of church and state.

Main Stream Coalition
Our Purpose
To preserve the traditional American values of separation of church and state, freedom of religion and speech, pluralism, individual rights, the importance of the family, public education, and tolerance and compassion for all; and

To educate and inform citizens, elected and appointed officials, and political candidates about issues of concern and
attempts to impose religious ideologies upon our governmental and public education institutions.

[Emphasis is mine]

The above statement is a mission statement, now lets take a look at how the Main stream Coalition carriers out this mission.

However, the executive director of the Mainstream Coalition had a different perspective. Caroline McKnight said she saw developing in her community something of great concern to her: "An escalation on the part of the religious community to get into [politics] in a way they never had before."

So in an apparent attempt to make sure churches tow the legal political line, the Mainstream Coalition obtained addresses for every church in the community about 400. According to McKnight the group had done this before but on a smaller scale.

McKnight said in a letter to churches the group wrote, "We are well aware we are coming into difficult (political) times and we encourage your participation in the democratic process. Have candidate forums and do voter registration drives. However, other things may be more questionable and we urge caution. Because we have become concerned over this we will be randomly sending our members to worship in your church."

According to McKnight the Coalition asked for volunteers willing to worship in a church other than their own. This was with the idea of reporting back to the Coalition about any activities they felt were crossing the lines such as actual endorsement of candidates an activity prohibited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

I stand on the side of increasing free speech, not limiting others to increase yours, and that is why I disagree with both McKnight our Preacher man Johnson.

"The growing churches in Johnson County are evangelical and Bible believing," Johnson said. "Everyone associated with the Mainstream Coalition is on the left side of the political spectrum. There is nothing mainstream about the Mainstream Coalition. They need to be censored. [This activity] was so Orwellian and Nazi-esque."

The back ground information is that there is a tax-law which in effect states that non-profit organizations cannot support presidential candidates. Churches happen to be, for the most part, non-profits entities, and as consequence are affected under the tax law. Also, note that is the same law that governs 572's if I am understanding my tax code correctly. So is the Main Stream Coalition helping enforce the law? Yes. Does that make the groups goal correct? That is what I am going to discuss.

For the record, I think that churches should follow the law for moral reasons, but that does not mean they cannot complain about following the law.

Does the constitution draw a line in between the church and state to keep the state out of the affairs of the church or to keep the church out of the affairs of the state? In other words is the separation only in one direction or both? I think at the time it was mainly intended for one direction only, to keep the state out of the affairs of the church(s) and the people. I think the founders figured out something eternal about people, they cannot agree about religion, and wanted to foster that.

Please take a look at this list of different denominations of Christianity in the world. If you scan through the list you will see that the US has 635 different denominations' (and that is just Christian denominations). That number does not mean much until you look at the next closest competitor, which is India with 263 different denominations. Because of the wise forethought of the founders the government has stayed our of the religious lives and has fostered a rich and diverse religious environment.

The Mainstream Coalition's state goal is to keep churches from imposing their "religious ideologies" on the government. Things they are probably for abortion, gay marriages, and murder (I am just kidding). This groups goal is to protect the government from the Church, not the other way around.

It is funny that this groups goal is to protect the government from fulfilling the wishes of the people it governs. I can see an potential argument for doing just that. Once a particular religious group gains power, it will use that power to limit the freedoms of different religious groups. I think that could work in some countries, but not in America where you particular brand of church is one of just 600. That is a a "what if" argument, and does not really work well with me.

At the end of a CNN article about the supreme court case coming up, CNN said, "The Constitution bars any state "establishment" of religion. That means the government cannot promote religion in general, or favor one faith over another."

I don't know if I agree with the "promote religion in general" part, but I do agree with the last part. What about an agnostic, instead of an atheist government? The government has no problems engaging in social engineering activities promoting the well being of children. If religion were shown to have an aggregate positive affect on society as a whole, should the government encourage everyone to find a religion? Entire groups have formed in order to provide for the absolute separation of church and state. Is this any wrong with pressuring the government to respect religion in general and acknowledge that there is a God?


I thought I would bring this up again

Air America sparked this thought.

If we really wanted oil why don't we just take over Venezuela? They have a lot of oil, they are much closer than Iraq, the population is roughly the same, and it lacks the Islamic fundamentalist we all love and adore.

in light of these comments.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004


This was the email that started me on the journey to buy a coffee mug.

It has come to our attention that we are purchasing paper towels for the break rooms, in addition to the towel dispenser. Believe it or not, the individual rolls of paper towels cost *my company's name* several thousands of dollars per year. We have asked Coffee Express to stop delivering the Bounty towels, and request that the remaining supply be used for cleaning purposes only. This will save *my company's name* a lot of money.

The review of these invoices showed us that our coffee expenditures are high as well. In order to continue coffee service at a reasonable cost to the company, we are going to to monitor the usage for a few months so that we can determine the quantities to order each month. As such, we have moved the surplus coffee supplies. If supplies run low, please contact *coffee Nazi here* or *former coffee Nazi here* to replenish these items.

We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding during this time of change.

*former coffee Nazi here*

Well, I declare success. This afternoon, I did not drink any coffee in the morning because I did the third part of the lazy man's workout and needed to down some water, I walk into the break room and the old coffee brewer is gone. They (coffee Nazi and foes) replaced it with individual coffee grounds dispenser where there are six different kinds of coffee in their own individual packages and a brewer which only brews these individual packages. So far the response has been negative. The coffee tastes burnt or it is too strong. The cool thing is that you get a fresh cup of coffee everything you go to get one. The really nice thing is that no one likes it.

I know I had something to do with it, because I heard a comment at the end of last month that they were running out. I am sure that me and my small 14 oz cup had something to do with it.

This will not be the last iteration of the coffee system by any means, I must ramp up my efforts to make sure the system turns into what I want it to. My goal is an ICS (Individual Coffee System) to prevent social loafing and to increase company profits.

Somtimes to fix the system you must break the system.


Life was grand

Below are some of the statements a couple members of the Iraqi soccer team made during Olympics about America's occupation of Iraq.

"My problems are not with the American people," says Iraqi soccer coach Adnan Hamad. "They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything. The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the [national] stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

The statement above is really interesting. The coach asks "What is freedom...", when he is getting shot at going to the national stadium in Iraq. That is a very simple question to answer. Freedom is what you just did, speaking your mind. The soccer coach just exercised his "freedom", and did not even realize it.

Other comments represent the feelings of Iraqis, ""I want the violence and the war to go away from the city," says Sadir, 21. "We don't wish for the presence of Americans in our country. We want them to go away.""

The above feeling is justified, and happens to coincide with the goals of America.

I really feel sorry for the Iraqis, they have been forced to endure the occupation of a Madman, the military tendencies of his regime, the sanctions that were the result of this military tendencies, and the removal of his regime. Unfortunately, the cure is turning out to be almost as painful as the disease. They have been forced to resolve their knee jerk hatred of Saddam with their knee jerk hatred of the US, which as resulted in quite a pulled groin.

If you will notice what they did not say. They do not say they wanted Saddam back. Yes, they dislike the US, but they are not championing the cause of Saddam.

Then their were the comments from a few blogs I read about these statements. First one that I read is here in the comment section.

"Maybe they felt like the torture was worth it for a stable country or something. *shrug*"

Second one I read here in the actual post.

"Yes, I understand that these same athletes endured torture at the hands of Uday Hussein under his father's regime. And yes, it seems they don't have much in the way of gratitude. But I find it hard to find fault with the people who, you know, actually endured Saddam's regime. Seems they're more qualified to their opinion than I am."

These two comments slightly imply the Iraqis were saying they wanted things the way there were (Saddam in power). I don't believe that these statements say that at all. I believe they were saying they wanted America to leave, they were clear on that. I sincerely believe these Iraqis were not saying they wished America had not invaded.

Just because an Iraqi believes life was better under Saddam, does not necessarily mean they want Saddam back in power, though it could be a strong indicator of their feelings. If you asked the Russians weather their life was better under Communism or if they wanted Communism back, you would probably get two different answers. I hope that is the case in Iraq also.

Transition times are tough, Americans seem to understand that better than most. I can see how that lesson can go unlearned and people can be afraid of change when their leader and life has not changed much in thirty years. Yes, their lives might have been bad, at least they were consistently bad.


Monday, October 11, 2004


Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, today reiterated her claim that the AIDS virus was a deliberately created biological agent.
"Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys (since) time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that.

"Us black people are dying more than any other people in this planet," Ms Maathai told a press conference in Nairobi a day after winning the prize for her work in human rights and reversing deforestation across Africa.

Maathai, admittedly, is smart enough not to name countries which could have created such a disease. Though I think that there are limited options and it is clear what country she is talking about. If I was in charge of a country that created a biological agent that was nearly 100 percent preventable and takes 10 years to kill a person, I would fire my entire scientific staff because they really suck. Surely, if I was in charge of a large powerful country, we could do much better than that.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

An interesting article

Via Dave Justus

If any of you posted this, just let me know and I will give you credit, I found it in my favorites and have know idea where it came from.

General idea:

"We cannot reasonably hope to cover the entire Middle East if, a year and a half after conquering Iraq, we must make the trip from the fortified zone in Baghdad to the fortified airport in infrequent armored convoys. The only way to do it is to coerce existing regimes to accomplish it for us, which is possible by directly threatening their survival, something from which we have refrained by and large because of the paralyzing notion that once we destroy a regime we are bound to stay. We are not. We are bound only to defend the United States. We suffer the illusion that our withdrawal would bring anarchy, when, for example, we have not withdrawn from Iraq and it is the most anarchic of all the states in the region. Perhaps, had we left, it would have settled into a natural equilibrium, what engineers call the angle of repose, or perhaps it would not have. But if there is anarchy why must we attend to it if our attendance is ineffective?...

...To coerce and punish governments that support terrorism, until they eradicate it wherever they exercise authority. To open for operations any territory in which the terrorist enemy functions. To build and sustain the appropriate forces and then some as a margin of safety, so as to accomplish the foregoing and to deter the continuing development of terrorism. To mount on the same scale as the military effort, and with the same probity, the necessary civil defense. To reject the temptation to configure the defensive capabilities of the United States solely to the War on Terrorism, as this will simultaneously stimulate China's military development and insure that we are unprepared for it. These should be our aims in this war."

I really have not read anyone which has actually suggested this particular strategy. I tend to lean this way in the most extreme cases. In the clear and present danger cases, this may well be our only option. In Afghanistan and Iraq they were not clear and present dangers, so we could deal with them as we wish. We chose the harder route of regime change, instead of just destroying them and leaving.

I feel that both regime change and destroying the countries that harbor terrorist would cause just as many enemies in the short term, but in the long term I think it is clear which would be the preferable of the two.

This article points a many things America could do to secure ourselves, with out anyone's help. I agree with some of them. It does not every mention getting help from our allies at all, I feel that allies are important,just like John Kerry. I think they are only useful if they actually help you, not take bribes from the people that hate you. Our strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan have not won us many friends in Europe.

While we have lost some friends, we have created two new ones. It is in our best interest to make sure that the friendship between them grows, they grow more attached to us, and that they stay strong. We can strengthen both of them by imposing no tariffs on any of their goods coming into America and setting up very generous trade deals between Iraq and Afghanistan. Some people what to concentrate on security, which I agree is important. More important is that they start to build the economic infrastructure to support and protect their selves without our help. We are making a long term security investment in these two countries, and we should start planning for the long term now.


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Saturday, October 09, 2004


Boy undecided people are ugly. Don't be ugly, make a decision.

You could almost see up that black old ladie's dress, that is seared - seared in my mind.

The only time the crowd laughed when Kerry was speaking was when they laughed at him.

Word in that Chris Mathews though bush won. That settles it for me.


Teaching illogic

I agree fully point of broken quanta post on studying what teaching methods work and do not work in education.

I also feel the world looks at teaching a little differently than I do. I firmly believe that teaching is the psychological art of manipulating kids into learning. Basically, teaching is one dirty trick after another, with the splendid result of kids actually learning. Things like incentives, random rewards (which have the effect of creating additive behavior), bad cop-good cop, the well known carrot-stick approach, and the speak-softly-but-carry-a-big-stick theory could generate huge changes in the educational system.

My intent was not to expose my education theory, but to comment on comment left on the post:

Brian says, "How would you like it if your bosses told you that you would henceforth be held personally accountable for a bunch of shit that you don't have anything to do with?"

The basic question I fell Brian is proposing is, "Do teachers have anything to do with children learning?"

Obviously they do. For a person to suggest teachers do not influence a child's learning, or what I like to call "teach", would negate the need for having teachers. If teachers do not teach children, why do you need teachers. Brian, in this short quote, seemed to be taking this position, but wasn't really. Brian was taking the position of "teachers as facilitators".

The facilitator argument rides the line in between holding teachers wholly accountable for teaching and not holding them accountable at all. When looking at teacher accountability, there are only two viable options. On argument states that teachers are wholly accountable. Another one says teachers can only "facilitate" learning and are not in control of the myriad factors affecting their children's ability to learn, achievements, and test scores. Still another one is the one which I have ruled out. These three groups are respectively called "wholly accountables", "facilitators", and "illogics".

While the two viable options seem close, the wholly accountables are actually the enemy of the facilitators.

"AFT (American Federation of Teachers) members in every division are increasingly threatened by privatization and contracting out. "

"The National Education Association is strongly opposed to privatization because of the threat that it poses to the quality of education, the accountability of public schools to the communities they serve, and to the well being of children in school."

I have placed these two groups into the facilitator group by ruling out their placement into the illogics and wholly accountables groups. I do not think these above groups belong into the illogics group because that would be borderline evil. The people who support privatization would like to be considered wholly accountables, but upon closer inspection you find that this group may exist theoretically, but not in realality.

If you where to put your child the hands of a private school and your child did not learn, it would be their fault. You could ask for a refund, if they where true wholly accountables. Good luck trying to get your money back. I bet if you did that, the person who wants to be considered a "wholly accountable" would turn into a "facilitator" right before your eyes. It would then be your fault that the kid did not learn or some other random reason.

The only group remaining is the facilitator group. This only difference in the members of this group is the amount of accountability each member believes teachers should have. I tend to favor more and not less accountability in most things and I do not see how teaching is any different.


For my purposes

Keywords: Libya, Gaddafi, Iraq.

A spokesman for Mr Berlusconi said the prime minister had been telephoned recently by Col Gaddafi of Libya, who said: "I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid."


"We're Screwed!!!"

I just got this email at work, it was addressed to all the professional staff (think programmers, implementation people, and managers)


Argent, a process engineering and management consulting company, will be in our offices October 11-13. The purpose of their visit is to "observe" our operations, review our workflow, facility layout, etc. During their visit, they may ask to speak with some of you from time to time, but it should not be for very long. I will try and have them schedule meetings times so they do not interrupt anyone. If you have any questions, let me know.

"dumb guy I dislike"

The bob's are coming, and my life just grew on step closer to office space.

My office has: The perky girl with the annoying voice, the birthday cake every month, a couple of the cool programmers (" my O - O- O face").

We did have: The guy that came and said hello everyday with a cup of coffee in his hands (he died in a car crash), the odd guy that muttered (fired - what a surprise).

I will update this page as I think of more.

I think I know what movie I am going to watch this weekend.


Thursday, October 07, 2004


Turkey has been trying to get into the EU for quite some time now. They are almost in. There is one final hurdle to jump, "EU leaders are expected to deliver a final opinion on whether to open talks with Turkey."

Contrary to popular belief the EU and Turkey do have something in common. They both hate Jews. Hah Hah...I am just kidding, people.

I really do not want to concentrate on the present circumstances of Turkey and the EU. I know very little about each of the parties goals, what membership into the EU means, and why it matters. I would like to take a look at what could happen if Turkey is not allowed in. What would happen if they are forcefully denied entry into the EU?

If turkey wanted in and they were denied, I think there would be a back lash of anger from the population. They are apart of NATO, but they cannot play with the EU. There could be many different reactions from turkey. One options is that out of spite they could seek a comparable trade deal with a competitor. Some of their options are seeking entry into an Asian trading bloc, seeking a trade agreement with the US, or trying to create a Muslim trading bloc.

I have no opinion on the viability of them seeking entry into an Asian trading bloc (if one even exist). They do not really like America, but their is a small chance that they would be willing to join in a trade agreement out of spite, especially if our nation building projects turn our real good.

The third and final option is the most interesting one. There could be several Muslim nations, in the not so far flung future, that could be ready to exercise their collective power to compete against the EU. From my limited knowledge of the area some of the countries that come to mind are: Afghanistan (30 million), Iraq (25 million), Kuwait (2 million), Libya (5 million), Turkey (70 million), Pakistan ( 160 million). If all of the individual problems are solved at once, you could have a large group of people looking to make their lives better. If they collectively decide a trading block is the way to do that you could end up with some strange results.

The EU is able to provide some very power incentives to promote democratic reform and economic reform. Could a MU (Muslim Union) provide similar incentives? Possibly, if there was a strong core of members who supported the democratic polices they were trying export. The idea is an interesting thought experiment.


Not one to pussy out

Dawn called out the bush supporters, and i bit the line hard.

At 09.28.04 - 6:37 pm I said:

bush's poll numbers with jump by an avergage of 4 percentage points.

in other words he will win.

I placed five dollars on Bush and lost.

I sent an email over to dawn saying.

I owe you five dollars.
How do you want payment?
EFT, check, money order, or pay pal.

dammit i lost,

She replied, "woo hoo! paypal, baby!!"

I have paid the required amount through paypal.



CNN Quick Vote

Did the vice presidential debate help you decide which way you will vote?
Yes 51% 173671 votes
No 49% 167526 votes

Total: 341197 votes


Bring it on

The United States on Wednesday filed a World Trade Organization complaint over what it called unfair European subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the European rival of U.S.-based Boeing.....

...The European Union pledged to file its own case in response.
Our position, and we've said this time and again ... is, if there's a U.S. complaint there will be a European complaint, European Commission spokeswoman Arancha Gonzalez said....

Personally I think that each country in the WTO should pursue their own interests. If everyone is watching out for their selves and making sure they are not screwed over by any trade deals, everyone will have fair trade deals. I think large negotiations designed to reach trade agreements on many issues are nice, if you can get them. If every country that had a problem with the way the US or the EU traded (farm subsides and the like) and filed separate complaints on different problems, we would have had many of the major problems solved. Instead they have been trying to get one major trade deal passed. If they effort that was spent on that was spent on each countries issue, I wonder if the large trade deal would be necessary.

About the Airbus case, I think that the EU would have filed a complaint long ago if they thought they were getting an unfair deal. The fact that they are going to file only in reaction to our complaint should tell you something.


Update: Airbus swoops back at Boeing.

Some of the charges that Airbus has are here.

Update on the SETI signal

I watched part of contact this weekend, so I was wondering what happened to this news story.

The signal, named SHGbo2+14a, apparently emanating from a point between the constellations Pisces and Aries, had been picked up twice by an ingenious SETI scheme which harnesses screensaver programs on millions of personal computers to sift through cosmic noise picked up by a giant radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

Alas: There's nothing there to show SHGbo2+14a is ET's calling card.

Indeed, it is only one of a batch of low-grade "candidate" signals that have been sifted from trillions -- and, given the risk that it could be a statistical freak or the result of equipment interference, it has so far not even been upgraded to the category of "promising," says SETI's Seth Shostak.

Then the article tries to discredit SETI.

No, according to rival theories aired last week in the British weekly science journal Nature, which suggest we have been looking for evidence in the wrong place.

To send a long message on a radio beam, repeatedly over a very long time and across a wide galactic scale, in the hope that someone eventually receives it, is a hugely inefficient use of energy.

It would be more energy-efficient to send out space probes or inscribed artefacts, "effectively messages in a bottle," suggests Woodruff Sullivan, an astronomer at the University of Washington in Washington state.

Now I take offense to this, they actually insulted my intelligence.

"To send a long message on a radio beam, repeatedly over a very long time...Is a hugely inefficient use of energy."

I would agree with this if the aliens trying to contact us where not an advanced race, followed the human rules of economics, and had a short lifespan. When an article start talking about what an alien would judge as efficient and inefficient, I start to discount it.

The message in the bottle analogy does not hold water with me. Space is mostly space, but if you ever actually get close to anything, you will most likely just crash into it. The land to water ratio is vastly larger than the stuff to space ratio. In other words you chances of getting a message across an ocean are much higher than getting space probe next to an actual space object. A low percentage of "space probes" would actually remain viable, due to the lack of anything there. If a message in a bottle gets close to anything, it is probably what you want (an inhabited land mass). If a space probe gets close to an actual object, it is most likely not what you want and the space probe will most likely crash into it.

Radio waves have none of those limitations. They cover large areas at once. They cover the vastness of space as well as can be hoped (the speed of light). The only limitation is that they grow weaker and less defined the longer they travel. Which is where the energy-efficient argument comes in. The more power you pump into the longer they last. That argument assumes that energy efficiency is something aliens care about. Though I guess searching for radio waves assumes that aliens don't care about energy efficiency. If you were going to get contact from aliens, which ones would you go looking for: the really advanced ones using radio waves or the ones sending space probes out for fun.

Radio waves may not be a good means of communicating through space, but they are an excellent means of first contact. After first contact is made, I don't know what is a good way of talking to aliens, but then again the only person who knows that is the crazy person down the street.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Airline's problems

I am sure you heard that US Airways is crashing. The dig is in the "more than $700 million in federally backed loans it received during its last bankruptcy", which the airline could easily leave at the gate. There are many people caught in this mess.

"Pilots "screamed" at the Pennsylvania representatives and took pictures of them as they left a meeting room at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Va."

Apparently they are so mad, they are taking pictures of people. Damn. What has the world come to?

The airline industry has it's share of problems, most dealing with people not wanting to fly or not needing to. 9-11 is the cause of the first problem. The second problem is the cause of technology and an economic downturn. Emails, phones, and video conferencing are reducing the need to go see people face to face. The decrease in economic activity has resulted in cost cutting across the board. These problems where gracious enough to affect all airlines at the same time, not just US Airways, and to the credit of US Airways I have not heard them blame those to factors.

While it will hurt many people, I think US airways should be put in the hanger. I personally don't feel that the airline that industry is that complicated. Every airline has the same federal rules, same or similar hardware, and same price for jet fuel. The only things I see that could be different is negotiated differences. These could include any of the above, except federal rules, labor,and airport fees. The only concept that comes into play in the differences is economies of scale, a simple business concept. I am sure demand changes through out the year, but that is not overly complicated and probably can be predicted after couple years. Airlines are just really fast taxis. Their goals is simple and their business model should be as well.

Every airline is so similar to every other airline that there seems to be little room for error or gain. The only way the airline industry can grow better as a whole is to let the worse players exit the field. If there is a median level of efficiency, it will remain unchanged if the worst players stay in the game. It could even move downward. The worst will grow worse wiping out any gains the sector makes as a whole. For the median level of efficiency to move ever upward , the lowest ones must be removed.

US Airways has declared bankruptcy once before. If they do it again, they should be shut down.


I do know a little bit about this

Poincare conjecture is a mathematical problem that is one of the millennium problems. While I don't know much about poincare conjecture, I do know a little bit about another problem that is one of the millennium problems.

P vs NP

The above link gives a good description of the problem. A short blurb I found said:

"The encryption algorithms that make virtually all electronic commerce possible work only because certain mathematical problems are very, very hard to solve. But some mathematicians are trying to prove that there's really no difference between 'hard' and 'not hard' problems--known in the math biz as P and NP."

While the poincare conjecture and P vs Np problems are entirely different, I suspect that they are fairly close to together in the hardness level. To me it is like going into space and creating a nuclear bomb. They are two different problems, which may intersect in some areas, but the main thing they have in common is that both are really hard to do. In other words, it takes a certain level of base technical advancement to be able to solve both problems. Solving one of the problems, while an achievement in itself, increases the pool of mathematical knowledge. That knowledge compounds and builds on it self and in some cases it can even implode, creating something new.

NP problems occur in many cases. Encryption is one, and if I remember my school work correctly, deciding on the shortest path is also an NP problem (think mapquest). This article describes the NP problem very well. If I understand quantum computing correctly, a quantum computer could be built which would render some if not all present encryption schemes useless.

I do not know what the solution to the poincare conjecture would affect, through it deals with mathematical shapes. Heavy duty mathematical shapes, from what i can tell, are used most in the gaming industry and by quantum physicists.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Fox is in a mud war with they UN

Fox's coverage.

The UN's response.

Fox's response to the UN.

The fact that they UN acted so strongly to refute what fox said is interesting.


Trip update

Nothing interesting happened: no wrecks, no hitchhikers, and no nekid women. The apartment did not smell when I came back, which I suspect is due to my efforts in cleaning it. It was a really nice weekend for traveling and driving through the west, central, and south central parts of Arkansas, but I bet it would have been an even better weekend to be in the northwestern part. Oh well, I will take what I can get.


update: Should have read: ...It was a really nice weekend for traveling and driving through the east, central, and south central parts of Arkansas ...

The north western part of Arkansas contains the Ozarks, and the trees in Colorado are turning colors, which made me wonder what the trees in Arkansas are doing.

Reader Quick poll

Which candidate, George W. Bush or John F. Kerry, would you think more likely to personally put a gun to a terrorist head and pull the trigger?

Secondly, will America ask themselves this question when they vote?


Saturday, October 02, 2004


I am almost all ready for my trip home this weekend. I have done no packing, because I was busy last night watching survivor and watching the debates. I did not wash clothes before I left, so I will have just whitie tighties to wear when I get back. I did wash dishes before I left. Well I started to wash them Monday. I got distracted and left them in the dish water for a few days. Then this morning I had to clean up the mess that was left because of my incompetence, but all I did was drain the water, take the dishes out, and wash them off with clean water. That still did not help the smell, as much as I thought it would, so I sprayed them down with a heavy coat of lysol. Overall I think the dishes were better off before I started washing them Monday, though I that the coat of lysol pushed them toward being more clean or at least smelling less.

I am going to have a good fall weekend and listen to some James Taylor while driving home. You should listen to some James Taylor. I would suggest any songs form his October road album.



NOTE: I have not read any other reports on the debates yet, and I am writing this the morning after I have slept on it. The only news I have heard about the debates has been from Paul Harvey and the local AM station.

I talked of the debates earlier, and here is what I predicted would happen.

When asked a question Kerry can do several things: Attack Bush's record, promote himself, attack Bush's ideas for the future. Attacking Bush's record is one of the worst things he can do. First off, everyone knows his record, so nothing new is going to come out of that. Secondly, Kerry will meet a wall of conviction. Bush will strip away the long, boring political process talk and concentrate on the reason why he acted in the way he did. In other words from Bush you will get, "I did what I did because I believed it made America safer" . You can argue if Bush's actions accomplished what he wanted to do, but you cannot argue with Bush's goal. Kerry can attempt to cast Bush's judgment into question. That is just trying to jump over the wall of conviction, not avoiding it entirely.

This debate help America a lot because it showed where the candidates are the same and they are different in several areas. Well I don't think it turned out for Kerry as bad at I thought it could have. Kerry seemed on the offensive and bush seemed repetitive. While listening to the debates, I had more moments of "what is he talking about with Kerry" than I did with bush, but I don't know if the rest of America felt the same way.

Major gaffes stories
The major gaff story of this debate is that there were no major gaffes. There were some minor ones that if repeated heavily in the second debates could lead to some trouble for either candidate. When Kerry was asked to what was wrong with Bush's president ideas on one subject, he laughed and said he as a long list of them. I think he meant it as a joke, but it seemed like a joke of contempt to me, I don't think that will play well with people. Bush's response to one question about what would happen if Kerry wins was that it is not going to happen. Everyone likes a winner, but no one likes a bragger. Though we have seen that from bush before, it still does not lessen the effect of it to me.

Instantaneous polls
I heard that Kerry polled well in the focus groups immediately after the debate. This will fade as people sleep on what he said. It appears Bush did not poll well because he seemed irritable. My response is that it is really tough to be called a liar to your face and to not be able to do anything about it. [Crazy liberal in my head says, "But would not you get used to it after awhile." I say, "No, you would only become more agitated as time went on."]

Policy Highlights

Kerry did not our right contradict himself within the idea of Iraq, but He did suggest different views of Iraq. He at one time said that we should not have taken off our focus on Iraq and that Iraq is not the center of the war on terror. Then at another turn he criticized Bush for allowing terrorist to come across the boarder in Iraq, but yet Iraq is not important on the war on terror. I am confused.

North Korea
The way Kerry wants to handle Iraq is completely different than the way he wants to handle North Korea. He repeatably said that he wanted Bi-lateral talks with North Korea instead of multi-party talks like the president wanted. That was until at the end of talking about North Korea, Kerry said we needed to not alienate China. He strayed from his idea, though I don't know if will hurt him.

I have no idea what Kerry wanted to do with Iran, that was different than what was already being done.

Kerry said he could do Iraq better than Bush because he can bring our allies in to share the cost. Kerry wanted to try something that did not work with North Korea, again.
Finally, Kerry did not have anything new to bring to the table where Iran was concerned. I wonder if everyone else realizes this.


update: CNN quick vote

Who do you think won the first U.S. presidential debate?
President George W. Bush 21% 85500 votes

Sen. John Kerry 72% 291577 votes
Evenly matched 7% 26371 votes

Total: 403448 votes

update2: I for got to mention the warmest moment of the debate, it was not when bush gave his mushy I pray with the family line, I was when both of the candidates were talking about their daughters. That helped both candidates, and both should replay the part they find most favorable, as much as possible.

Update 3: I left a fun game at say uncle.

"Fun game to play. See you can restate what Kerry's foreign policy will be.
Once you do that, ask yourself how is it different from what Bush is doing? "

update 4: Well most of the web agrees that Kerry won on presentation. My friends and I agree on that also, but we think Kerry lost the content part. One of my friends made a good point about the differences between the candidates. Kerry is the conservative when it comes to the war on terror (he wants to fight it the way it has always been done. one-more-resolution- Kerry, is my new nickname), and bush is the progressive in this debate.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Don't cut out the middle man

Yglesias said, "Brad Delong says he has five reasons to support Social Security privatization. I say all of his reasons are compatible with my preferred solution -- federal investment in a broad index of stocks -- except for a sub-section of argument."

So I went and took a gander at brad's reasons. He has some fairly high brow ones, but some simple ones. He left out cutting out the middle man and simplifying the system. A simple system (when dealing with money) means less money is lost in the process. The net savings of not passing the money to the government so that they could give it back to you, could be great. Think of all those government salaries that will not be paid because there is nothing for them to do.

Though I think I pointed out the problem with forced savings accounts. They are better than the government taking and hold you money, but not as good as you doing it yourself with out government interference. Your tax dollars are paying for the enforment of rules that force you to save, this is considered a good idea by many people.


It feels good to be validated

From a recent article that I was reading in preparation for the debates:

Obviously, Bush doesn't sound this way as President, and there is no one conclusive explanation for the change. I have read and listened to speculations that there must be some organic basis for the President's peculiar mode of speech: a learning disability, a reading problem, dyslexia or some other disorder that makes him so uncomfortable when speaking off the cuff. The main problem with these theories is that through his forties Bush was perfectly articulate. George Lakoff tried to convince me that the change was intentional. As a way of showing deep-down NASCAR-type manliness, according to Lakoff, Bush has deliberately made himself sound as clipped and tough as John Wayne. Moreover, in Lakoff's view, the authenticity of this stance depends on Bush's consistency in presenting it. So even if he is still capable of speaking with easy eloquence, he can't afford to let the mask slip.

I say: Maybe. Clearly Bush has been content to let his opponents, including the press, think him a numbskull. Even his unfortunate puzzled-chimp expression when trying to answer questions may be useful: his friends don't mind, and his enemies continue to underestimate him. But to me the more plausible overall explanation is the sheer change in scale from being governor of Texas to being President of the United States.

I had this exact conversation with Sandcastle several months ago.

His response was that Karl rove has never told anyone to act stupid in order to get elected. Well I just had my idea validated in a major publication. I like being me sometimes.

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