It's about 8 degrees right now, this 8:30 PM on New Years Eve. What I wanna know is this:
Where the fuck is global warming when I need it?
It's a bitchin' New Years party here, and I would wave goodbye to 2007, but I'm too huddled and shivering.
Everyone here is totally wasted. Yup, baby too. Hell, she just puked over the upstairs rail and caught her second wind. This family won't have any problem making it to midnight. Ridiculous raging parties into the wee hours is just how we roll.
One last thing....
Carson Daly, as well as the Dick Clark that came before him, can suck it.
Happy New Year
Monday, December 31, 2007
It's about 8 degrees right now, this 8:30 PM on New Years Eve. What I wanna know is this:
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Anglo-American Ambitions behind the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the Destabilization of Pakistan
This was Pakistan’s 9/11; Pakistan’s JFK assassination, and its impact will resonate for years.
Contrary to mainstream corporate news reporting, chaos benefits Bush-Cheney’s “war on terrorism”. Calls for “increased worldwide security” will pave the way for a muscular US reaction, US-led force and other forms of “crack down” from Bush-Cheney across the region. In other words, the assassination helps ensure that the US will not only never leave, but also increase its presence.
The Pakistani election, if it takes place at all, is a simpler two-way choice: pro-US Musharraf or pro-US Sharif.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Pope's exorcist squads will wage war on Satan | the Daily Mail
The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.
Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.
The initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican "exorcistinchief," to the online Catholic news service Petrus.
"Thanks be to God, we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on," he said.
Perhaps Mr. CreepyPope could start by using those squads on himself.
2008 approaches, preceded by a deep sense of foreboding, and I don't think I'm alone. Not totally, at least. Like an impending storm that you feel before you see, it approaches, and hosts of tiny voices deep inside your cells begin warning you that unless you find some shelter you're going to be inconvenienced in a very big way. Sliding down the slope towards the Sarlac (look honey, a Star Wars nerd trying to write! Thats cute....) with little to hold onto but sand.
That's really just a poor way of describing in a short paragraph how I feel about the geopolitics of it all. Another several posts for another several days--I'd rather refrain from politics or anything "geo" for now. I only mention it to bring up how this particular aspect of the current foreboding (can I shorten that? Maybe with a capital Forbode and magically turn it into a noun. The Forbode.) has a strictly external quality. It hovers in the outer periphery. There is another quality to it, though, as well. It's more internal, as though something is hovering underneath you and is ready to rise. Any walls you try and erect around yourself won't matter in the least, and any methods of intervention you try and stage will be for naught.
About four months after arriving at my first base, we received the news that we were deploying. As soon as I heard it, I didn't want to go. Not because unfamiliar places suddenly seemed utterly frightening, that part of the deal was worth looking forward to. There was the sudden feeling that something was going to happen and that Saudi Arabia wasn't going to be a very good place to be when it did. Naturally, walking up to my bosses and informing them of this "feeling" wasn't going to change a thing, so off I went.
Four weeks or so passed and everyone had, for the most part, adjusted. Taking a dump so close to another person, and by close I mean separated by only 6 inches of partition cloth, no longer seemed quite as strange. Who knew that forgetting what it was like to be cool, or clean, or alone, would become so normal, or that it would happen so quickly? That you would swear Fanta came directly from a divine bosom, or that a girl you might have previously described as "hammertime" is now "kinda hot"? Ah, the strange and disconcerting qualities of human adaptation (and desert queens)....
As I barreled from my tent to walk the 200 yards to the toilet, I ran into the First Sergeant who was closing in with a very businesslike look on his face. He abruptly got my attention, and after confirming that I was the guy he was looking for, told me I needed to get to a phone. My grandmother had died. He then proceeded to ensure that I wasn't harboring any illusions. No, I could not go back for the funeral. That sort of thing is only for direct family, and a grandparent doesn't fall into that category.
I knew it. I knew I had known it.
Again, it's not like I could have stayed behind and I knew that, but it was upsetting to know that I hadn't (or was it, couldn't?) recognized it. It was only in that moment that it dawned on me that the feeling was no different than the one I carried with me as I left for tech school. At the time, I simply thought the sense of foreboding was the knowledge that I was going to get dumped by the girl with whom I was (at the time) madly in love. I didn't want it to happen, knew it would, and eventually it did. However, during the same period, my grandfather died. I could remember wondering at the time if this foreboding had to do with both things or just one, and if it was just one of them, which one? Standing in the desert in front of the FS in the white hot sun of the early afternoon, I had my answer.
Another piece of who I was up to that point had fallen away, and all I could do was look. My grandfather was a large piece, and grandmother was a still larger one. I had much to look at.
Last night I was speaking to my father on the phone when the feeling returned. He was relating a few stories about when I was very young, a ritual to be expected with a new child joining the ranks. Indeed, how else will the common folk be able to determine what traits made it through the gene lottery? It was on the tail end of a story about me leaving a load all down the hallway that it returned, strong enough to momentarily cause a loss in my train of thought.
This is not a prediction that my father will die this year, although it's hard not to at least fleetingly think such things based on the past and the fact that my diabetic father is gorging himself in that direction as fast as he can go.* It is largely useless to try and specifically determine such things.
*And no, this sentence is not revealing as to the source of the foreboding or some subtle way of saying that I'm scared of losing my father and am not sure how to deal with it. Just so we're clear.
I've heard and read a lot of people who, when speaking of loss, describe an emptiness left behind. If anyone had asked at the time my grandfather or grandmother fell away from my life, I very well may have said the same thing, but I think I would have been wrong. When such a piece falls away, we are so focused on it lying there that it is assumed that only emptiness remains. It is not. It is you, who you are, left bare, without the protective and supportive shell that once was. Many times it is petrifying and largely incomprehensible.
Something inside me says that I'm about to see more of myself. All I can do is look. It is all I need to do because when I look, I understand, and that makes the falling pieces more of the revealing they are supposed to be rather than the dissembling they seem to be.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
First, the newest "heroes" that will be serving, protecting, and causing PTSD.
[Academy Head] Black says, "Our class president was ex-military. It slipped in."Oooh, ex-military. Well, why didn't you say something sooner? Aaaah, those wild and crazy stormtroopers, always with their jokes. Boys will be boys. Funny stuff, and not frightening in the least.
Where were you during the Great Tater Tot Fire of '07?
Finally, a couple of tiny lights shine through the dark pool of cinematic swill.....
The Lives of Others--An excellent story that takes place during the 80's in East Germany, and gives a glimpse of life underneath the watchful eye of the Stasi. A calm yet powerful look at the surveillance state and the people struggling underneath its massive weight and scope. A well-spent 2 1/2 hours.
Juno--Thank You for Smoking was a decent show, but Jason Reitman knocked it out with this one.
No big drawn out reviews, just a hearty recommend on both.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Tonight, the world will witness something not seen in at least a decade.
I will enter a church for Christmas Eve service. It's true.
Don't worry, it's not like I was Slain in the Spirit while buying chips or anything. The in-laws wanted us to come, and being filled with the Christmas, X-mas, Holiday, Kwanzah, and Hannukah Spirit, I have assented. The church not being of the Hellfire and Brimstone persuasion helps in this regard, but it would be dishonest to say that I'm not a bit apprehensive about the whole deal. Churches in general just creep me out, they always have, mostly for the ritual and the show that so many are insistent on being part of. It seems like just another one of the "extra" church events where the really good ones can show up to get some extra credit from Jesus.
I'm not saying this one will be like that, and in fact I doubt that it will be given its non-denominational, universalist bent. But like I said, given where I come from, apprehensiveness still whispers, a little behind and to the left (it's difficult to say if that's the devil or the angel on my shoulder...it might just be schizophrenia--heh).
Also joining us will be Grandmother-in-law, which may represent the toughest challenge of the evening. I must follow the One Rule: Don't say "fuck" in front of Grandma. This is more difficult than many might think, since Me Driving=Everlasting String of Profanity in most cases. It's my coping mechanism, it makes me feel better. However, I'm determined to internalize it this evening, although this may cause me to let loose a string right in the middle of service, which leads me to wonder....if such a thing happened, could I get away with it by saying I was channeling the Holy Ghost and he is very, very angry with all of you?
Yeah, somehow I doubt it too.
I'll have to make sure that they're aware that they should be happy I didn't wear my 'Jesus Shaves' t-shirt and commit Most High Sacrilege. I love that t-shirt, and am of the mind that Jesus loves it as well, but the prevailing wind over the past few centuries is that Jesus does not have a sense of humor.
Seriously, if we're created in His Image, doesn't it follow that he would find the humor in the solemn absurdity of the War on Christmas and Other Assorted Very Serious Issues bandied about by the Christian Soldiers this time of year? I'd like to think so.
I'm going to assume that he also understands and won't hold it against me that I may have to scrounge a Xanadu before the festivities. Many might hold that The Most High frowns on the use of prescription drugs, and I think that may be correct, at least where dependency on them is concerned. However, I think he would understand their spare use in order to usher in a more relaxed and worshipful experience, and to prevent the saying of "fuck" in front of Grandma.
The Baby Jesus doesn't want that, and frankly, neither do I.
(Holliest and Jolliest Christmas wishes to all--The Heads)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Remember that last post, the one where I said "hopefully not disappointed" in reference to watching the Simpsons?
Yeah. Let's all go ahead and take a moment to consider those hopes as they lay dashed on the shoals of ruined imagination (wow, what an insanely crappy sentence...fuckit, I can't help myself).
This is not a case of "Expectations were too high and I set myself up". Indeed, it is generally (I believe) an accurate prediction that an animated series getting its own movie can be relied upon to be at least one description level lower than its general series description.* For example, in the case of the aforementioned Simpsons movie, it would be natural to assume that what (for the most part) has been a Great series will spawn a motion picture that is merely Good, or a level lower still, Decent.
*a notable exception to this, I think, would be the South Park Movie, a movie that was at least as good, if not better than the series.
Disappointment begins making its way in when the realization comes home that the movie on the screen warrants a lower descriptor. Much lower. My raging disappointment with The Simpsons is such that it's become difficult to decide between "travesty" and "omigod, does Matt Groening also whore his children at the truck stop if the price is right?" Doubtless, the answer (like most things) lies somewhere in between, but damned if I can think of what that might be.
Moving on, but, since we're on the subject....
Let's talk some more about the movies I watched and how I feel about them.
Good, I'm glad you're still here since I will take this to mean that you also think this is a good idea. Those other people that left just now? Well, fuck them.
I'd like to talk about Balls.
of Fury. (pardon my clumsy use of base humor)
Not even the most intellectually devoid could harbor illusions regarding the quality of this movie. Normally, even Bad films (not to be confused with Horrid) can be at least partially redeemed (in the "hey, it had its moments, I haven't entirely wasted the last 90 minutes of my life" sense) by the presence of Christopher Walken, who lies in that wonderful space of acting talent that is both very bad and very fantastic at the same time. It is the same in every movie, with only slight variations and relies primarily on the movie which surrounds it, like Christian Slater, but without the urge to gouge my eyes out and seal my ears shut. Not so with Balls of Fury. It wasn't the lame humor...the movie itself was just plain fucking lazy, in the vein of Taladega Nights or Blades of Glory (incidentally, it is these last two which prompted the vow to never lay my eyes on another feature-length Will Farrell movie as long as I live--truly, 4 hours of my life completely wasted). Literally, I think someone pushed the comedy button the Rogue Pictures Script-o-Matic, but only on 25% power in order to save on the electric bill (gotta be "green", you know).
The short version? "Mindless Entertainment" would be entirely too generous. Walken couldn't even earn this one a minor redemption.
And last, but certainly not least....let's leave movies for a moment and talk a bit about a series called Smallville. Yeah, the one that comes out of the WB Teen Script-o-Matic bosom. I didn't want to take it from the friends who were pushing the DVD's like the CIA pushing crack into the ghettos. It's the WB, which basically means that it would be better for your brain if you ate an entire sheet of acid. Nonetheless, coerced as we were by the protestations of "It's cheesy, but it's really cool" (and other variations of this same theme), we took them and promised to "give them a chance". Over the last couple of weeks, we have done so.
It's bad. It's really really bad. It so fucking bad I was reaching for the home tracheotomy kit to try and open another airway, so large were the demands of my gasping.
(is this alienating anyone?)
In contrast to the The Simpsons Movie or Balls of Fury, which simply left me annoyed and in a generally bad mood, I can at least handle Smallville to an extent. It's very fucking bad, but with a wholesome tinge so benign in feeling that I find it difficult to be too annoyed. Rather, I don't mind having it on, as I can do other things while the painful nature of the dialogue delivered by acting-folk that defy description makes me giggle and/or laugh out loud. I can just hear the set....Director--I need you to show me angst! Actor/Actress--Ummm...angry?
But here's the thing that gets me. It's not the show per se. As I stated in a very roundabout way above, I don't despise the show (at least not nearly to the extent that I despise, say, The Today Show). Smallville is what it is. What bakes my noodle dark is the sheer amount of people I've run across who "love" this show and rave about how "cool" it is. That is not hyperbole, it is not exaggeration, and this is exactly what perplexes me. If an "adult" is watching this, and talking about it to others, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect at least something to the effect of "it's so bad, it's good". However, I have yet to come across anything like this. The words "love it" and "really cool" are uttered in nearly every single instance with no irony whatsoever, and this seems a loud comment on what should be described as an intellectual emergency.
Bad special effects, worse acting, and filled to the brim with the most transparent and scripted pop-culture platitudes imaginable. This is cool? This is what keeps people riveted?
And this is where I'll stop, since I've gone off in a direction that wasn't intended and that requires more words and time than I've got at the moment.
Short version? Don't watch The Simpsons Movie. Don't watch Balls of Fury. And if you must watch Smallville, be careful that you don't wake up one morning to find yourself brain dead.
UPDATE: Reading this made Mrs. Head want to watch Smallville. Her excuse is, "I'm pregnant." I tried telling her it's going to make the baby stupid....my household is doomed.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Call me, In Shape Head.
Shortly after last night's post, my Interwebs quit. They just came back, which is great, but the Netflix's just dropped The Simpsons on me, and well Homer wins for tonight.
Back later, hopefully not disappointed.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I've been spending the last few weeks doing work on another project, which I can hopefully announce (and start flogging) sometime around the New Year. And that's where I've been the last few weeks. I'm trying to leave out the fact that the two of us have been doing some moping around due to missing the Vegas festivities, and I know you're not supposed to say this in the context of poker....but I'm gonna say it anyway--Rooster was due. Big ups.
Pregnancy. My anti-Vegas.
I would have had a picture to accompany that, but the Mrs. prefers not to be pregnant on the Interwebs, and really, who can blame her. Just picture her as you have known her, plus one-third. ETA, two months to Spawn Emergence, and the prospect is a bit more frightening than it was. Frightening, mostly because this kid is ridiculously active, which means that Mrs. H is increasingly getting kicked in the kidneys, lungs, bladder, etc., which increasingly compels me to apologize for the offending penis that launched us into The Breeding Leagues to begin with. Sleep, bye bye. Time, bye bye. Money, bye bye (adjusting to tis should be easier given there was never much of this to begin with).
We also still do not have a name. This late in the game I think it may be starting to annoy the relatives, but there's little that can be done about that. We've largely stopped trying at the moment because everything is starting to run together and we're both exhausted with the sheer amount of intolerably stupid names to wade through in the search for a reasonable candidate.
Seriously, fucking Stokely? That's not a name, it sounds like a brand of vegetable.
How about Golden Palace.com? If there's going to be a stupid name, I'm of the mind that it should be to the furthest reaches of stupid and we should be paid. After all, it won't be that many years and she could have it legally changed. Perhaps a yearly fee could be negotiated....mmmm, recurring income......
In further news, Mama Nature is busy making me realize just how out of shape I've become.
That's close to two feet of snow, in the last day-and-a-half....with another 9-13 inches to follow the rest of today and tonight. I'm in awe. I haven't seen this much snow since I was 7, or so. I'm keeping the Audi dug out, but as you can see I basically left the Honda to be buried. It's dead weight.
I spend three hours shoveling snow yesterday, and will have clocked nearly four today after it's all said and done. My forearms are hollering at me as I type, no thanks to the circa 1937 snow shovel I've been using. It's all wood and metal, weighs in at about 6 lbs, and that's with no snow sticking to it, which it does since the metal scoop is rusted. It is completely kicking my ass.
I'm enjoying the hell out of it, although it is entirely possible this outlook could change as it persists. I wish I could say the same for Mrs. H, as it seems late stage pregnancy and snow aren't pairing up too well, but she's being awfully stoic considering she's being internally beaten and having her life force ceaselessly being sucked away.
I should probably stop here and go apologize for my penis again. Back later.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
MP's behaving badly in front of their new supranational masters.
Translation: Be polite to the new bosses. No, it doesn't matter if the people of Europe don't want to be ruled from Brussell's, that decision was made back in the 50's. Newer, improved, and more free "constituional" rules state that people are allowed to be displeased, but only if they voice that displeasure in a polite manner.
"British UKIP, Eurosceptic Conservatives and Polish far-right MEPs today brought the hooligan behaviour of the football stadium into the European Parliament", Graham Watson, leader of the assembly's Liberals told Reuters.
"They are a disgrace to their countries."
Still though, pretty cool of these MP's. I'm looking forward to seeing this kind of demonstration from Congress on a variety of issues very shortly.
To go with the billion dollars I'm looking forward to seeing underneath my pillow.
Which I will place in the saddlebags of the magical pony set to ferry me over an ice cream rainbow.
Mein Gott im Himmel.
Truly unbelievable. Don't take to long to eat your mound of saturated goodness. Here's the real kicker....
Several weeks later, he received a letter from Civil Enforcement demanding £125, or £75 if the charge was paid quickly.Okay. So. If I go up to a guy and demand $250, for sitting too long (in written citation form, or course. You can't just say things like this, someone might think they're being robbed), but offer to halve it if he pays me now instead of in two weeks...I can use that as a business model? That's not seedy mafia extortion shit?
Here's another one.
Civil Enforcement=Ampco's Ambition
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
My wife and I have many times wondered aloud whether the dumber of our two dogs, Stella, if given the opportunity, would eat herself to death if presented with a virtually unlimited pile of food. Is Stella, who purports to be of dog-kind, really more goldfish or shark?
Last night brought us the answer.
I cooked two meals this Thanksgiving, which I thought would be awful. While it required more kitchen time than one would normally want, the positives much outweighed the negatives as it offered two opportunities for wanton gluttony. Ridiculous, really, but no less fun. A lot of people think Thanksgiving is a dead or useless holiday, and while it's true that very few have any idea what it's about beyond the national tradition of gorging oneself, it is definitely not dead in this house. I personally give Thanksgiving more weight than Christmas, as I value a good meal above being given a bunch of crap I never needed to begin with.
I'm relating this because during the course of both Thanksgiving meals, our food-obsessed canine was being driven nuts. You could see it in her eyes since, for the last couple of years, the dogs get Thanksgiving scraps. This year we decided to put the kibbosh on that practice, as the flatulence created by said scraps is frankly intolerable. And of course, the dogs, who can't remember anything beyond the basic command of "sit" and the word "biscuit" (the schnauzer intellect being the polar opposite of "prodigious") sat there and looked like we were carving their hearts out along with the bird because, after all, don't they usually get some?
Which brings us to the minor emergency of last night, or as it might also be called, 'Stella gets into the holiday spirit in spite of the egregious Scrap Denial.'
After a day of feasting on our vast trove of leftovers and wandering in and out of a mellow tryptophan haze, we made preparations to retire, which means it's time to let the dogs out one last time. Normally they get a few minutes and a quick cry of "Who wants a biscuit?" brings them in (that, and the 15 degree temp). Last night though, nothing. And remember, this is the dog for whom no danger is too great in pursuit of something edible, up to and including piles of shit.
I waited, called, went back inside, made sure all the doors were shut tight, went back out and called, went back inside (remember, it's fucking 15 degrees) and started to worry a bit, put on something a bit warmer and went out to smoke and do some real waiting. True to form, and as any smoker will tell you, if you are sick of waiting for something (say, a ride) just light up a smoke and whatever you are waiting on will suddenly appear (unfortunately, this does not work with things like the lottery or a truckload of fine steaks. I'm theorizing that this is likely because these things are never actually expected to arrive, which begs the question, do I simply need to twist my brain around to the point where I really DO expect these things to show up? Shhhh, it's The Secret.). True to this, as soon as I lit my smoke, here comes Stella at a leisurely pace. I assumed she must have been too far away to hear "Biscuit", which normally prompts a full-bore sprint.
Once we got inside where the light was better, she just stood there staring at me with her tail tucked. This had me running through the list of things that she might have just done that she knew she shouldn't be doing...like eating massive piles of dung. She was licking her chops a lot. A shaking of the revulsion of the thought when it also occurred to me that she does the tail tuck thing when she feels bad, which has only been twice in four years. Well, make that three times.
As I stared down at her, I swear I could see her getting fatter right before my eyes. She was transforming into a salt and pepper version of her cousin Lily, a schnauzer of equal height and length, but triple the girth. Truly, Lily is astonishing to the unprepared, as the space she occupies is neither "toy" nor "miniature".
I reached down to feel her belly and truly my eyes weren't deceiving me. She was swelling up. It was like a massive hemorrhage as her whimpers and shaking rapidly began increasing. There are no emergency vets in these parts, and after confirming the fact with the Mrs. who was now downstairs helping to attend, the both of us sat wondering if we were just going to have to sit around and watch the dog die. Seriously, what in god's name could she have possible eaten to cause this.
Enter the Googles. (who now officially tops this years list of Things for which I am Thankful) Time to search for things that will induce vomiting in a dog. The first few sites stated the obvious in suggesting Ipecac, which we don't have. However, a bit more trawling the webs brought another alternative, so if you live with painfully stupid and hopelessly food-obsessed animals take note. Two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide will do the trick.
Stella was fine within ten minutes. What she left on the floor, however, was not fine. Not fine at all.
Somewhere out there, she evidently got a hold of a goodly portion of a Thanksgiving meal that someone threw out. Even after some thorough investigating today, we still haven't located the source to determine if she got into someone's trash or if someone had simply thrown it outside for the animals and she just happened to be the first on the scene. On our floor lay close to five pounds of potatoes, carrots, turkey and various other food items. That's quite literally one-third of her body weight, and I marveled at the scope of her single-minded gluttony. While we were relieved that the dog was not going to be dying in front of us, the waves of revulsion returned as the stomach contents revealed that for an appetizer Stella had also consumed a giant pile of shit.
Nice. So much for that odor-free holiday we were going for by not giving the dogs any leftovers. And of course, the answer to our question is a resounding "Yes".
Amazing and horrifying, for you on this post-Thankgiving.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This morning I woke up and sat down to teh emails and the googles, and BG had sent me this:
You Gotta Ask Me Nicely.
Tasers on Thanksgiving. Hell, they both start with a 't' so why not? A morning screed while I wait on sweet potatoes the size of my dogs (seriously, these things are going to take close to 3 hours).
The taser is everywhere, and each day brings news of a fresh incident. Diabetic coma? Don't speak the native language? In a wheelchair and mentally ill? It doesn't matter, you're getting tased. You will come under the thumb (or should that be fist?). You will submit. You will know, intimately, pain compliance.
These are only three incidents in a pile that grows ever larger. What's missing? That's right. Any meaningful consequences for the bully boy cops that do this kind of thing. Because they 'serve and protect'. Because they wear a uniform, and are part of the fraternal order given leave to wield any authority it wants. Who needs courtesy, or knowledge of actual rights/laws, when you have a taser and "post-9/11" mentality. You don't. You can tase whomever you choose, as long as you say the word 'reasonable' and/or 'suspected' somewhere. Then you can go to Hooters and impress the young girlies with your manly exploits.
How dare I criticize the boys in blue (that aren't wearing so much blue anymore, but rather black tactical gear). To be sure, lest those that are hard of thinking accuse me of vilifying ALL police, there do exist good police, and yes, it is a difficult job. But what percentage of these bully boys running amok and tasering people because they didn't "respect their authoritae" actually see any meaningful consequences? It barely registers on the scale.
Cut to another Drop Dead Gorgeous dramatization:
Gratuitous use of force? Brutality? Shit no. After some thorough investigating we determined that they were acting reasonably in the face of bad vibes. Bad vibes usually means a drunk and/or drugged terrorist. We've given them some paid leave to think about what they've done and how they might have done it better.What people desperately need to think about, instead of making excuses for rotten, corrupt, ignorant, authoritarian bullies, are the consequences brought on by the lack of consequences. Lack of consequences for bad cops means that the good cops are driven out. A cop doing the job as it was meant to be done cannot survive in an environment where the mantra has gone from 'protect and serve' to 'coerce and enforce'. Every day that this goes on, and with every incident, a good cop gets fed up and leaves, or is pushed out due to his inability/unwillingness to 'get with the program', and the pool of scum creeps outward just a little more.
The argument is made everywhere that the taser is a humane alternative to the gun. Tasers are not a good thing because they are "non-lethal". They are just the opposite. The "non-lethal" (and it's weird how "non-lethal" has killed so many...) is nothing more than an excuse to inflict pain and anguish, and to assert control (justified or not) on a whim. Take some time and think about what kind of person desires to do these things. Replace a taser with a gun in any of these daily 'incidents' and just imagine what it would look like, what the outcry would be (and should be).
But now the collective head turns away, because after all, it's "non-lethal". Point-and-shoot, set it and forget it, not much different than the video shooters. "Non-lethal" means everyone watching can grab their remote, point-and-shoot, set it and forget it. It's difficult to decide which is more horrifying. The police that do these things or the media/mass mind that allows and even encourages (in many cases) it to continue.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
In Basra, violence is a tenth of what it was before British pullback, general says - International Herald Tribune
British officials expected a spike in such "intra-militia violence" after they pulled back from the city's center, and were surprised to find none, Binns said.-Saddam has WMD. Lie.
-We're bringing freedom to Iraq. Lie
-The war will cost practically nothing. Lie.
-Withdrawl will unleash bloodshed and violence heretofore untold. Worse than we ever could have created ourselves. Lie.
And on and on and on and on and on. Trying to gather in all of the lies of the last seven years (to say nothing of the last 100) would be like trying to catch all of the raindrops in a thunderstorm, so I'm not even going to try. Just these four placed next to one another is embarrassing enough.
But hell, it's not as though Congress, the media, or a very big portion of Amerika cares too much (at least, not enough of the portion that "matter" in this system--hint, it's not "The People" anymore, if it ever was). And why should they? Amerika is too exceptional, too civilized and modern and highminded, and frankly too incoherent (a nod, a wink, and a click click to you Friend Television) to actually do anything whatsoever to put a stop to government funding of unmitigated death, destruction, and suffering. Even as the "soft fascism" head turns its eyes toward us and continues its predatory advance with a speed that, while we were busy entertaining ourselves and apathetically observing, has done little else but gather strength over these many years.
Let's have a pause here for mock-shocked, deluded folks now screaming "You hate/blame America" (or some talking point variation thereof dropped into their empty vessel skulls courtesy the Talking Opinion Box) Grab a refreshement, take a leak--it might be a long pause.
Anyone thinking that the other side of the aisle has finally mustered the courage to save us with this latest fake pullout stunt attached to the $50 billion appropriations drop in the war bucket is also very sadly mistaken. Go read the legislation. The circumference of the loopholes contained within are so huge the outline isn't even isn't within eyeshot. But you'd never know that by reading the major headlines presented. Digressions within a hodgepodge of digressions.
In reading the article, I'm sure many have noticed that the Brits haven't "pulled out", not completely anyway. They've relocated from the palace in city center to the airport. Redeployed. That's a term you'll see a lot of in that appropriations bill with all of the oh-so-firm-and-courageous "withdrawl provisions". Which brings me to one of my favorite parts of the article:
"We've been in that de facto role since we moved out of the palace...but we hope the (December) transfer will symbolize the end of a period many in Basra city perceived as occupation," [Major General] Binns said.Perceived. The Iraqi's "perceive" it to be an occupation. Really? It's only their perception? Because I could have sworn that "occupation" is exactly what it was, and IS, given its basic and simple definition. Of course nothing in this world anymore should be basic and simple to understand, because if it was, what will all of the experts do with their time if they can't spend it explaining to us the intricacies of changes applied to once simple concepts?
The general, speaking unchallenged through the echo chamber media, wants to make sure you know that it's not exactly an occupation, but rather a perception of such.
Take War, for example. A bunch of people are told by a few people to go kill a whole bunch of other people so those few can impose their will. See? Distilled down it is simple. But we are constantly reminded how complicated and extremely delicate is the geopolitics of it all, and not to worry our pretty little heads, our Strong and Courageous Leaders will handle all of it because they've been doing this their entire lives--their resumes are strong with Public Service Gravitas and General Seriousness. Secrecy and lies? Well, that's just all part of the "game", isn't it? If you were richer, or smarter, or had better connections, or perhaps better genetics (as we will increasingly hear) perhaps you would be in the game. But you're not. You're not a "success" in this system, so better to let your betters handle things. Quick, the next episode of Can the American Idols Dance? is about air and you don't want to miss your chance to text message and vote for your favorite.
Use of the word "perceived" does nothing but make an effort to subtly reinforce the notion that the current illegal and murderous occupation is something other than just that--an illegal and murderous occupation that is genocidal in its numbers of dead and displaced. Occupation is not "perception". Either foreign troops are present and imposing their will, or they are not. Simple.
And now it's being plastered everywhere there's an eyeball or an ear that we now have to take the party next door to Iran. See lie numero uno above, replace Saddam with Iran, and voila--another miscalculation with good faith intent.
The really depressing thing is that it looks as though those who percieve the lies as truth, who perceive themselves as being free, who cannot perceive their own demise because any and all survival instinct has been homogenized and info-tained away, will let it happen.
When lies have been exposed and go unpunished, we are culpable. In the face of past falsehoods, when further lies are swallowed and cheered, we are culpable. We are paying the bill now, and will pay an even harsher tab in the future, and not just physically because of the economics of the thing. We will also pay psychically, when finally the full and uninhibited light of day is fully shed upon our vicious actions. That day that is coming where no one will be able to look away from that empty spot where empathy once lived. No partisanship, ignorance, good intentions, or any other dispassionate and academic sounding adjective will be able to effectively apply.
And so much for that (what was intended to be a short post)--what was the point of another anti-war tirade? The points are many, but for tonight, it was prompted by the question of where to be counted. When it all shakes out, where will we as individuals be counted? Will I be counted in the end as one who swallowed the lies? Even worse, might I be one counted as so gleefully ignorant that I didn't care to recognize the lie in the first place? Someone without the will to show a human level of disdain for the constant psychopathic barrenness continually heaped onto our consciousness? Will I accept with the daily redefining of words like "occupation" as something perceived rather than a decidedly real state of affairs?
No, No, and Hell No. The tirades must continue, lest I wake up one day and find that I also have been counted amongst the prevailing emptiness.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
From the folks that brought you Total Information Awareness....
DARPA Strategic Thrusts--
Robust, secure, self-forming networksHooray! New social networking possibilites with my new uber-handheld. SETI at Starbucks, look at how green and techno-hip I am. Or, possibly...drop a bunch of security rovers onto a sector, let them all link up and find each other, and organize the most efficient patrol routes. Boy, bet you could equip those with all kinds of good stuff (all "non-lethal" of course).
Detection, Precision ID, Tracking, and Destruction of Elusive TargetsDoes this one even really need a comment?
Urban Area OperationsTranslation: Less war on the sea. Less in the sky. Less in the field. More in the city. Psst...that's where most people live or are being driven to.
Advanced Manned and Unmanned SystemsI'll be able to sleep while my autonomous hydrogen pleasuremobile ferries me to my job in the new 'service economy'. Neat. But the sky full of unmanned surveillance drones makes me sad (I think we should go back to talking about the pleasuremobile--I would fry bacon in mine--actually my Rhoombu [tler] (Rhoomba's parent company by this time has gone with a phonetic branding strategy, you see) will be doing it for me.)
Detection, Characterization, and Assessment of Underground StructuresDoes this mean we get to find out what's in Iron Mountain OR does is just mean our Leaders will shortly be proclaiming "We're helping to keep America's basements Terrorist-Free"? My bad, I forgot. It's so we can find the Iranian nukes that are hidden away with Saddam's WMD.
Increasing tooth and tail ratioFrom WSJ--
We speak of the tooth-to-tail ratio, though it usually makes more sense to talk about tail-to-tooth: How many men must there be behind the front doing unglamorous work to make it possible to put one man directly into combat? In some cases it's greater than 10 to 1.Christ, a person could spend an entire day just on the WSJ article. Summary: War is going to increase in cost, as well as attendant size. Not to worry though. This is us "evolving" and is in no way directed.
Bio-Revolution"Bio", having to do with living processes, and "revolution", a sudden, radical, or complete change. Why does DARPA have interest in funding things that will promote a sudden, radical, or complete change on the living processes in or around us? Well that one could certainly go in some wildly divergent directions.....
Core TechnologiesEncompass broad areas much, DARPA?
'Stategic Thrust' Me. We're so 'Strategically Thrusted'.
(I'm hearing "but DARPA gave us the Interwebs!" cries already. Remember, you are given a reason/explanation, and then there's the real reason/explanation.)
Metroactive Features | Robots
Part of the reason University of Texas at Austin computer scientist Benjamin Kuipers stopped taking military financing is that he's seen colleagues wind up in places they'd never imagined themselves.
"DARPA and ONR and other DOD agencies support quite a lot of research that I think is valuable and virtuous," he says. "However, there is a slippery slope that I have seen in the careers of a number of colleagues. You start work on a project that is completely fine. Then when renewal time comes, and you have students depending on you for support, your program officer says that they can continue to fund the same work, but now you need to phrase the proposal using an example in a military setting. Same research, but just use different language to talk about it. OK. Then when the time comes for the next renewal, the pure research money is running a bit low, but they can still support your lab if you can work on some applications that are really needed by the military application. OK. ... Then for the next round, you need to make regular visits to the military commanders, convincing them that your innovation will really help them in the field. And so on. By the end of a decade or two, you have become a different person from the one you were previously. You look back on your younger self, shake your head, and think, 'How naive.'"
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Georgia to lift State of Emergency--
“I am authorised to declare on behalf of the Georgian government that emergency rule will be lifted on November 16 on all the country’s territory,” Burjanadze told a news briefing.
Burjanadze’s spokeswoman said later that although the emergency rule would be lifted on Nov. 16, the restrictions -- including bans on public meetings and independent media -- would be lifted a day later.
Seeing those "state of the art" gas masks made me think of this:
Perhaps there's something to that concept of predictive programming after all....
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I tried taking to heart the sage advice of Garth. Honestly, I did. The painful process of typing out this post has me thinking specifically of this:
If you pay the Internal Editor any attention you are almost guaranteeing that you are going to self-combust before you hit 10,000 words.Indeed, it is so very true. My story goes something along the lines of me banging out 1500-2500 word chunks that were completely disparate, relating in only the loosest of ways. Goddamn depressing, but swallowing my bitter pill will at least allow me to return focus to a previous project. Hell, my starting on NaNo was more likely only an excuse to stop plugging away at that to begin with.
(It's here that all I can think about is Homer eating flowers...."Oh! My secret shame!")
Consider me self-combusted, at least for now. It is with no small amount of shame that I must remove my participant banner.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I find it completely impossible to think of anything but Mortal Kombat when I look at that title.
Indeed, it has begun. NaNoWriMo-the masochist ritual practiced by thousands.
Join me. You know you want to.
I skipped last year for a variety of reasons, none of which are worth going on about here. I achieved the goal of 50K the year before that, but did not finish the project, which I may or may not still have due to a fit of self-loathing that caused me to delete the work (or, what I'm hoping was just one of many copies scattered about, but I'm too afraid to look. If it is truly gone I'll have to beat myself up, perhaps literally this time.)
The idea has finally begun to take some real shape, but any attempts to make me genre-ize it will be met with swift and terrible rebuttal. Trying to make me give it a label and fit in a pen....how dare you, sir!
Excerpt to come shortly. I'm excited about this one.
(and seriously, join me. The more to people to act as whips, the better)
Saturday, October 20, 2007
This has probably already made the rounds, but hell, just in case.
This is, after all, a poker blog.
'Geek’ blamed for online poker cheating - Security - MSNBC.com
“(He) can see the cards, and you can put my name on that,” said Roy Cooke, who was head of security at the pioneering poker site Planetpoker.com for six years.
“When people are doing things out of character and consistently doing it right, there’s a reason for it,” he said. “When they’re always playing the hand that has value in a situation and then folding a great hand when it has value, they can see the cards.”
Friday, October 19, 2007
It's true. It must be.
At elevation 4800 with winter approaching we've been getting "weather". However, it tends to come in fits and starts. Some rain here, a cold wind there, then out comes the sun--for 6 minutes, and then we begin again.
Finally I decided to open my pie hole and hold forth about the weather conditions and how it would be nice if they were a little more consistent. "If it's gonna rain, I wish it would just rain" was the exact comment, I believe.
Evidently, Jesus heard me and gave a call to Shiva the Destroyer. The wheels of the deity-sponsored I-Didn't-Realize-I-Made-A-Wish Foundation turned quickly and beginning with snow yesterday morning, it has been precipitating in one form or another (mostly cold rain, hard and fast) for the last 36 hours straight.
(Hard and fast. I just made myself
giggle laugh. I am ridiculously juvenile.)
There is another theory, however, given that the above just doesn't hold water* (and apparently, neither does the yard, anymore). Much more plausible is the theory that I may have as yet undiscovered special powers--specifically powers of calling forth things from the sky. Nothing so fancy as Elijah calling down fire from the heavens to devour the Ba'al worshipers, but still, potentially impressive.
*Because Shiva isn't real. Unlike the Lord of Hosts, you filthy pagan.
The only thing left to do is find out where the connection lies between my comments and the spicy pork dish of two days ago which led to a never before seen poo dance, which I think may have been an ancient and (up to now) long forgotten Precipitation Dance of some sort.
If it starts raining bacon next week, you'll know I figured it out.
You'll also know who to thank.
(this post has been brought to you by the twins boredom and frustration, aka politics and ActionScript)
Friday, October 12, 2007
The ground hurts my feet.
These new shoes be sweet.
Just until I can get to my seat.
People bleat. Time to eat.
Everyone must Pay
We’re on the way.
Is my show on today?
People bleat. And then they pray.
What’s on your iPod?
Can’t hear you. Smile and nod.
It can’t be fraud. Feet, ears, and eyes are shod.
People bleat. It must be God.
Credible knowledge floods print.
A handy brain stint.
Arriving places. Where we went?
People bleat. They’re being sent.
Shepherds watch the flock at night.
Waging the War on Fright.
But the accommodations are tight.
People bleat. And say goodnight.
Going places hurts the pockets.
Look, he’s got a private rocket.
Don’t even get me started on the sockets.
People bleat. They won’t stop it.
Who will be bought when all are sold.
Where’s the gold?
Do what you’re told.
People bleat. Few are bold.
More Loss is More Gain.
Use this! to get that stain.
People bleat. Ignore the pain.
Sick in the heart.
Don’t upset the cart.
Pay attention to the chart.
People bleat. Don’t get smart.
The Dulling of the Sheen.
It’s your fault. Live Green.
Check out the new brand, it’s Tween.
People bleat. End scene.
Mislead. Not a lie.
The anti-drug gets us high.
Don’t be pessimistic. Don’t cry.
People bleat. Then they die.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Except for the "It's a girl" part. I'm so screwed (not kidding).
There was a flash of disappointment when the technician blurted out the verdict. The velvet shell of my hopes that a massive package would blot out all else on the sonogram machine were crushed by tiny white lines and then dashed to pieces on estrogen shoals.
I may be overstating a bit.
The disappointment tried to keep speaking. "Now you won't be able to do all of those cool things that Dads are supposed to do--like tossing around the old pigskin, fighting, finding the best deal on a quality hooker, gambling, and/or being awesome in general. You know, GUY STUFF.
[insert sound of vinyl coming to a screeching halt, ala anti-drug PSA--Just Say NO, kids] What!?
Disappointment is an idiot. I never "toss pigskins" (unless, of course, I'm in the mood to embarrass myself).
As for as the other stuff....
Having a girl that can fight may be even cooler. They'll never see her coming. I won't have to threaten and intimidate prospective young men, I'll just have to make sure she's well versed in eye-gouging, tearing out thoraxes and hearts with a mighty Eagles Claw*, and testicular maiming. But I think I will go ahead with the threats, intimidation, and outright violence of my own, just because it will be a good stress reliever**.
*We'll likely start with the Wu-Tang style. Because it ain't nuttin' ta fuck with.
**Tip of the hat to BG for the naming suggestion, "Abstinence Bildergerg"--Awesome
Finding quality hookers? Ummm, Nein. If hookers get anywhere into this mix it will mean that something has gone horribly awry.
Gambling? She will terrorize poker tables, that felted land where the thoughtful and tenacious female can clean house. Thoughtful and tenacious are obviously the key things here and would apply to either sex, but more so when applied to the fairer of the two, I think.
Being Awesome, in general. I don't see that this will be too difficult. The likelihood that I'll be declaring it constantly is pretty high. At least, it will be up until the screaming and crapping everywhere begins its downward pressure on the sanity of the household (which happens pretty quickly, I hear) .
Things are as they should be, I figure. After all, I don't so much toss around pigskins. I cook and clean and hell, who am I kidding? I'm a walking talking Home Ec. class (do schools still have that? I doubt it, you know, now that sexism has been eliminated along with racism and the great many other -isms we are now At War with). There's not a damn thing wrong with knowing the importance of a good crease and why 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter' should be met at all times with scorn and derision.
It's not what I desired, to be sure. Even so, being informed that she is healthy, with ten fingers and ten toes, I'm sure that it will be all I could ever want.
(Yes, I know. And then some.)
(Also, for the record: When I paint a beard on the baby, it does not mean that I am pining for a boy and am unable to get over it. It's because drawing beards on babies is fun and awesome, in general.)
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Four more days and, assuming the child is not feeling modest on Monday, the girl/boy question will be answered. Following this, Naming
Talks Negotiations will begin in earnest. There's been some trouble settling on any serious contenders.
I blame celebrities and other various idiots.
It's the naming incompetence of these nimrods that keeps me tied down. I can't stop talking about potential names I would never actually bestow. Like an idea I had a while back....
"Hey, let's name the kid Tupac."
"Because you're black?"
"Yeah. And the middle name should rhyme."
"How about Tupac The Rock?"
"That's awful, we can't do that."
"You're right, but consider that if we did, every time the child poops (shits? defacates? makes messies?) we can inquire of anyone present, "Can you smell what The Rock is cookin'?"
"I don't think that's a good idea."
I'm pretty sure it would be the most incredibly awesome thing done with a baby-as-comic-prop to date. Even though it is an awesome name, there are some practical reasons that it's just not realistic. I mean, once the child is potty-trained (see: stops shitting itself without regard to location or company), when will you get to ask The Question? Or, will it just transition over to smelly farts? Or, once the child is potty-trained, is it time for it to learn to actually cook?
Putting that idea on the backburner, there's always The Paltrow Method to consider. The Paltrow Method consists of the following:
Step 1: Look at fruit.
Step 2: Point at fruit.
Step 3: Name the baby.
I tried a few practice runs, but this is also on the backburner due to a niggling question about the use of a blindfold. I've emailed for clarification but have thus far received no response. I think that it might be good to add a pre-Method step bringing in the blindfold for those who may be intrigued by the idea of faith-based naming.
(regardless, leave your brain in the other room for this one. Assuming you carry it around on a regular basis, that is)
There is the similar technique involving the kitchen (the location where I assume most people put their fruit. If you are one who happens to keep fruit in, say, the bedroom, or, in the couch, well....that's just odd.). It's difficult to say whether or not this one is more widely used, given the inherent complication with the requirement of more steps (again, I believe a blindfold is optional here).
Step 1: Open kitchen cupboard.
Step 2: Point to random food or product masquerading as such.
Step 3: Read aloud and slightly change pronunciation and/or spelling.
Step 4: Name the baby
Cocoa Krisp, anyone? Lemongello? Orangello?
Yes, you read that correctly--Lemon Jello and Orange Jello. The knowledge that none of these are fictional is enough to inspire some extended weeping. That, and the fact that the entire thing is at least 25% more complicated.....
How about The Scattergories Method? Write down any store names, occupations, brand names (that aren't already store names), general products, literary and/or television characters (preferably of the sci-fi or fantasy genre), American Gladiators, saints, or emotional designations you can think of in the space of two minutes on small separate pieces of paper. Put the pieces of paper in a closed container, and if you have one of those rotating basket thingies they use at car dealerships and casinos for prize drawings (after you view a sales presentation, of course), so much the better (some people keep these with their fruit, I hear). To complete preparations, throw in a heaping handful of scrabble tiles.
(also, it bears repeating that a blindfold is again optional, but doesn't really seem to serve much more of a purpose than to make things more difficult. Each to his own, though. As an extra BONUS optional step, some may find it advisable to add pieces of garlic with the Scrabble tiles to ensure no conniving evil spirits are present in the naming process. Imagine if the following happened--You could black out and suddenly wake up holding birth certificate that reads "Pilot Inspektor". Hey, waituminute....damn you mischievous ethereal souls!)
Now, simply reach into the bag and pull out one piece of paper, which will be the first name. The middle name will be the second piece of paper. If you or your family likes to have between three and seven names preceding the last name, by all means, just keep pulling paper till you get there. Now, pull out a scrabble tile. This is the letter that must be substituted for another letter at least twice in 50% of the names pulled.
After working out satisfactory substitutions and pronunciations, partners will punch each other in the face, thus concluding the ritual and naming the baby.
How about Glass (pronounced "glaze") Baesyl (which is delicious).
See? It's a sickness. I can't stop.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
They built it, so I am coming.
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!
This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.
Registration code: 7447334
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
No, it's not my DHS suspect ID. You laugh. Don't forget, there's a better than even chance that you have one too. Of course, it may be inadvertent.
No, it's the count as Congress passed their newest resolution in what is really shaping up to be quite an amazing track record of ignorance and corruption. Amazing isn't the best word for it though. Awe-inspiring may be better.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress signaled its disapproval of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a vote Tuesday to tighten sanctions against his government and a call to designate his army a terrorist group.This means that, doing the math, 96% of House members have their heads firmly planted in their asses (long story short). No wonder their job approval is hovering around 11%. That's 397 highly-paid morons who think that Ahmadinejad (representing all Iranians, of course) said that Israel should be "wiped off the map" when nothing could be further from the truth and that somehow a Shiite-dominated state is supporting the Wahabbist Al-Quaeda (who, in the real world, is the CIA's baby) and presents a graaaave threat to the region. Never mind the fact that not only have they not achieved nuclear power yet and are nowhere truly near the infinitely more difficult Nuclear Weapons Program. To 397 of them, the two things are evidently the same.
The swift rebuke was a rare display of bipartisan cooperation in a Congress bitterly divided on the Iraq war. It reflected lawmakers' long-standing nervousness about Tehran's intentions in the region, particularly toward Israel—a sentiment fueled by the pro-Israeli lobby whose influence reaches across party lines in Congress.
"Iran faces a choice between a very big carrot and a very sharp stick," said Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "It is my hope that they will take the carrot. But today, we are putting the stick in place."
The House passed, by a 397-16 vote, a proposal by Lantos, D-Calif., aimed at blocking foreign investment in Iran, in particular its lucrative energy sector. The bill would specifically bar the president from waiving U.S. sanctions. [MORE]
And then there's the icing on the cake, the cherry on the sundae, as it were. They're resolved to declare the armed force of another nation a terrorist organization. 397 of them have decided to neatly ignore the fact that the US is openly sponsoring terrorist organizations such as MEK to "destabilize the regime", which is simply lawyer-ese for "random bombings that kill innocent people and cause general mayhem". Doesn't this also make us a "state sponsor of terror"? Imagine the outrage that would run through our truth-filled media were such a thing to be uttered. Of course, such things must happen in order to lay the foundation for justification in using our "very sharp stick", also known as shock and awe and/or nukes of our own, as is called for by all manner hawks both on the left and the right and is part of the plan to take us down the path to oblivion, aka Secure Globalization.
But he denied the Holocaust! (Holocaust revisionist, but whatever, right?)
So. Fucking. What.
That does not mean that Ahmadinejad wants to harness Persian hordes and go Jew-slaughtering, nor does it mean that such things are true of the Iranian people. Above all things, it is certainly no justification for the use of carpet-bombing and nukes, "tactical" or otherwise, in the killing of ridiculous numbers of people.
Also, lest we forget, Israel is not exactly sitting naked on a stool out in the desert. They've got a few *smirk* elite forces of their own along with a very healthy stockpile of their own nuclear weapons. Oh, I'm sorry, we're not supposed to talk about that. Well, since I bumbled that, I may as well bumble some more and mention The Sampson Option for anyone beyond the 397 still unaware.
All of these things, still only scratching the surface of the true state of affairs.... and still the herd of cheapjacks and buffoons press forward. The meaning of 397-16 is quite clear.
Americans are going to get some more war. Perhaps a few more will wake the fuck up before it arrives. Unfortunately, if this small sampling of Austin residents is any indication, things aren't looking too good......
Friday, September 21, 2007
I just got my copy of the internationalist/globalist (Lord and Fellow of the Royal Society, among many other things.) Bertrand Russell's The Impact of Science on Society (1953, in excellent condition--one thing that was very cool was that the book still had the original receipt lying in the pages. It cost $1.04.). Since ridding our backs of the television monkey a great majority of my time, naturally, is spent reading.
So, I thought I'd begin sharing bits and pieces (and perhaps some accompanying thoughts) as I seem to be unable to blog effectively about the usual inane shit. Every time I try, all I can think about is how the time would be better spent. Thoughts that are only natural, I suppose, after realizing that you've spent much or all of your life wasting time and being compelled from all sides to engage in more of the same.
Within this large majority of time newly spent, I've been dwelling a great deal on this child that draws ever closer and the attendant slew of questions to be pondered and decisions to be made. It is perpetually sobering.
Here is the excerpt that caught my eye a few nights ago, in Chapter 1, Effects of Scientific Technique (all emphasis mine)--
"Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific technique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure will be built on their foundation is still in doubt.
I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically speaking, not a very advanced study, and so far its professors have not been in universities: they have been advertisers, politicians, and, above all, dictators. This study is immensely useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich or to acquire government. It is, of course, as a science founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based on a kind of intuitive common sense. It's importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these, the most influential is what is called "education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part.
What is essential in mass psychology is the art of persuasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of (say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anyone of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment."
Remember, this was published in 1953. Go ahead, I'll wait while you read through it again. (Also, if one is so inclined, more can be learned about Bertrand Russell and just who he was through many of Alan Watt's podcasts).
The last highlighted section is of particular importance. Speaking of a brass bands and limelight being more effective than rationality, he "hopes" that the young can be caught and that the State will provide the money and equipment to persuade them of "anything". It gives a great window into the thinking of this man. Excepting a higher "class" of men, brought about by science or otherwise, the person that speaks in this manner views men as animals and advocates (to greater or lesser, but always some degree) their manipulation as such. The possibility is not even brought up (at least, thus far in my reading) that perhaps this propaganda in which so many of his "hopes" lie serves to further and further suppress the "rational" man. In his praising of Pavlov, it doesn't seem to dawn on his Lordship for even a moment that, while man may be animalistic at his base, he has the potential and opportunity to be otherwise, unless he doesn't, due in large part to ceaseless, all-encompassing, and ever more effective propaganda techniques coupled with high technology.
In his adherence to Darwinistic principles, he advocates the manipulation of man, "hopefully" through the influential tool of "education. " There is little humanity present in this underlying theme. Indeed some men, a great many in fact, may not be rational and may never be. But the fact that a great many more could be or would be is never discussed nor is it necessarily a worthy goal in circles of men like these.
One of my larger considerations of late has been education. My own lack of it ("it" being real education/knowledge that promotes true understanding, as opposed to being trained to follow instructions), and what it will be for the child. It should require little more than a cursory look at the state of education (and just as well to be said here, Education by the State), both its past and its present, to make any parent immediately loathe the idea of sending their child to a public school. And it may be to a slightly lesser extent, but the same goes with private schooling, as well, particularly a great many of the "Christian" schools who, like the state, blanch at the idea of teaching a child to think and rather expend all efforts teaching them to conform.
Which inevitably leads to more crucial questions. Namely, will I be able to make the unpleasant choices and deal with the inevitable consequences (which are surely becoming more dire in this system) of choosing a different direction than that laid out by the "experts" who now do all of that for us? It's not a question of desire or willingness anymore--that has been considered and the choice has been made. Rather, the question has become, will I be able to actually DO IT, not in terms of intellectual capability, but in dealing with the practicalities and externalities that will surely be brought to bear sooner or later given our seemingly unmovable societal course.
Such considerations may seem on the surface to be depressing, but further reflection gives cause for hopefulness and opportunity. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find a parent who does not wish for their child a better life than they had. Unfortunately, through all of the "education", this tends (more often than not) to mean "better" in the context of material wealth, the beginning and end of our current existence. There lies the hope and the opportunity that, saved from such wretched indoctrination, there might develop a person with real humanity and real knowledge. One who is not raised as an animal to be taught the prevailing tricks of the day, but someone who is enough of a thinking individual to know what "a better life" truly means and create it for their self.
Such a course is the only option, really. The alternative is a horror show, where they will be told what to do and they will do it because they know nothing else (just like their parents) They will be told that their life is better and they will believe it, simply because they have been told. Just like animals.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
That post title seems infinitely more appropriate for something else. An obscene art piece, perhaps.
Today caught me noticing in a big way that I seemed to have developed an annoying habit. More accurately stated, that would be another annoying habit, as I'm sure the list is longer than I would be comfortable being consciously aware of. I'm aware of the farting around the house issue, the unintentional scratching/adjustment of "equipment" in public, being easily and disproportionately annoyed by a lot of little things, but beyond that I don't look too hard. It might have the consequence of making me paranoid--god forbid.
After finishing some daily sort-of-required pseudo-job related activities, I decided to make the commitment to not move from this chair (save for bladder or nicotine-related issues) until I wrote something, anything.
Goddamnit, the neighbor kids just rang the doorbell. This means that the retard terriers we so foolishly purchased 4 and 5 years ago, respectively, begin going apeshit, which completely fucks my line of thought. Nothing works in shutting them up. Coercion, beatings, begging, none of it. We've largely given up, on the conclusion that learning to sit and lay down took up what little brainspace was available and there's just none left to be had for things like Remembering Who People Are or Realizing That Small Children Are Not Vampires From Space Here To Assasinate You.
Okay, they're gone. Back to the business at hand. The Work.
With the internal commitment made, I set to work about my duties confident that whatever it was I would write would come to me after spending some time in the waters of what is largely mindless work. Or perhaps something would come to me while I was trying to wade through the ridiculous pile of shit that's touted as news to find something at least resembling the remotely relevant while trying to search and better fill the gaps I'm ever painfully aware of in my knowledge of various subjects. Still nothing
Here's the newest annoyance: I'd guess that largely due my being painfully aware of just how much I still don't know well, over the last four months or so I've been trying to read and listen to certain podcasts (Alan Watt's podcast being the most prevalent) while trying to engage in meaningful reading. Thing is, this isn't just mindless music, this stuff. It requires thought--something not effectively done while trying to read and think about other things at the same time. So here's how that's been going. Read, listen, read, ohwaitwhatdidhejustsay, rewind, listen, read, ad infinitum.
After realizing I wanted to punch myself in the face, it dawned.
When you start annoying yourself, time to reevaluate. Trying to cram everything in left little to gain entrance and take up permanent residence. The available space is large but the way in, evidently, isn't ready to accommodate hydrant-drinking, as it were, so I guess I'll stop doing that.
I'm also going to stop sitting in this chair because, quite frankly, my ass hurts.
(What can I say. It's something, anything.)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Five weeks. It seems that a much greater amount of time has passed since the move, and the realization that it hasn't been is an exceedingly strange but certainly not unexplainable state of affairs. Regardless, it's high time some hands were put to keyboard in the pursuit of something, anything.
Funny, we moved from a place where you felt like you were on fire all of the time to a place that is actually on fire. Everywhere. While there have been a fair amount of clear days up here in the mountains, most of them are permeated with a nice smoky wildfire haze and the smell to go with it. Imagine going through the day with your nose telling you, "Hey, BBQ....oh, wait". Truthfully, it doesn't smell very much like BBQ at all, but try telling my nose that. Like a dogged Republican or Democrat adherent, it lives its life in a constant state of denial--I'm hoping it will come around eventually.
And further on the subject of BBQ, I haven't been able to yet. Building any sort of fire is strictly verboten (for good reason, of course) which is causing my ribeye gland no small amount of stress and has me searching the Interwebs high and low for any sort of arcane Indian snow dance to dampen everything enough so that I might feast in a manner befitting less civilized folk. Of course, relieving my rib-eye gland will only transfer the pain to my pocketbook gland.....a subject for more in-depth pissing and moaning at a later time, I suppose.
Lest you feel too sorry for me and compelled to send me large crates of aged meats (and feel free), I should let everyone know that I've been consuming large quantities of bacon and should pull through till the fire ban is lifted.
Let's talk about my brand spankin' new Interwebs connection. See, I was going to put a post up late last week after spending some time catching up on all of the news I missed (I wouldn't exactly say I was missing it after hearing from the in-laws that the administration, in their infinite wisdom, is declaring the armed forces of another sovereign nation a terrorist organization--again, more on that in upcoming posts). However, post-telco shenanigans, the rude reality that my connection is a "screaming" 1 Mbps (I was informed I would get 3 Mbps--the salesperson was a dirty liar. Shocking, I know.) led to slightly extended pout which brings us to the present where I have finally made the requisite mental adjustments and realized "What the hell did I expect given the remote location?"
So here's a snippet of the conversation with "tech support" in my efforts to confirm that 1 Mbps was the maximum speed I could have provisioned.....
HH: The tech just told me that 1Mbps was the max I could get out here. The salesperson said I had "DSL Max" (a moniker that should lead to, at the very least, the firing, if not outright execution of the whizbang marketeer who decided that would be a good term to use) which was 3 Mbps. Which is it? Is my provisioning wrong?
Customer Service "Expert": Ummmmm.......can you hold?
[4 minutes of Christina Aguilera. Again, add the person who thought that was a good idea to the list of people to be fired and/or shot]
CSE: Thanks for holding, sir. It looks like 1 Mbps is the max you can get out there.
HH: Really. So, the salesperson was either stupid or lying? Is that what I'm hearing?
CSE: Well, no--
HH: Oh, I'm sorry, misinformed or unintentionally misled me...
CSE: Umm, I'm not really sure. If you want more speed you could look into upgrading to our Business Class...
HH: Why would I do that? Didn't you just tell me that 1 Mbps is the max I can get here?
HH: You just told me that 1Mbps is the max I can get. Now your telling me that I need to upgrade to Business Class for more speed. Which is it? What are you trying to tell me? I'm at my max, unless I fork over more money?
CSE: Well, 1Mbps is the max you can get out there-
HH: Then why did you bring up this Business Class business?
HH: ***sigh*** Just answer me this last question. Do you have any access to anything, a prespective schedule, anything, that might give some indication if or when my area may be provisioned in the future for more bandwidth? (Internal: Say "huh?" one more time motherfucker. I dare you. I double dare you....They speak English in "Huh?"?)
CSE: Can you hold again?
And that's where I hung up-lest I scream at the illiterate and damage his self-image.
Perhaps being barely connected is still too connected.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Indeed we have arrived at the next stop on what seems to be the thus far never-ending nomadic tour.
Trying to settle things in the midst of ridiculous disarray, but the sense of peace from the relocation is palpable having finally escaped the cesspool that is Phoenix. Access to teh Interwebs is a bit problematic for now given our remote location, but that should be solved in the next week, or if we're lucky, less than that (NOTE: Lucky has never been a descriptor when it comes to my acquiring needed services).
Being so forcibly disconnected (albeit temporarily) up in the mountains is a good thing, though, and not as tough as all that. After not being able to keep current with any of the goings on in the world for the last couple of weeks, it begins to come to the fore that while keeping up, if you're not careful, you can end up missing a lot.
And so much for all that. We're headed back to the mountains tomorrow to continue enjoying the silence. I haven't heard a single helicopter in at least three days--life is good.
Friday, July 27, 2007
The light has reached the end of the tunnel, guess what was there?
More fucking tunnel.
Escrow closed, recorded, and funded. By the hair of our chinny chin chins....the albatross is gone.
Escape from Phoenix (aka Get Me Out of This Fucking City, aka Breaking Free From Satan's Asshole) has now reached critical mass and is moving inexorably forward.
Holy fuckme, what load off.
More later, I'm beat all to hell from the last two days of nerves and moving to temp digs....
Monday, July 09, 2007
It's been a bit since the last book dump, so here's the latest (which is about a month old now) for anyone interested.
Party over here.
David Rockefeller, Memoirs
Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America : The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist
Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45
Greg Palast, Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans--Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild
I'm digging this HST selection, as it is a collection of his personal correspondence. Wicked good reading, providing a glimpse of the man that is very worthwhile. Brzezinski and Mayer are my main thrusts right now, and I'm picking up the Palast when lighter fare is needed.
Christ, I still need to get Glenn Greenwald's book ordered.....perhaps on the next purchasing round. I had planned to pick it up on pre-order but I need to finish this current round before I can stock up on more (that, and the fact that I really need to erect some proper bookshelves at this point).
Good stuff is happening, details to follow as things pans out over the next couple of weeks.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
“Hey, you wanna come down here and beat off into a cup?”
An odd question, to be sure, especially piped in over the telephone line at 2PM on a Tuesday afternoon. It was my friend, M, who worked for a fertility clinic. At first glance it would seem like a perfectly reasonable question given the source…nope, still weird.
“Come again?” I asked.
“That’s what she said. [snicker] Oh man, that never gets old. Seriously, are you busy?”
“You really want me to just jump in the car, head up to where you work, and beat off into a cup? Do I at least get some porn?”
“I don’t think we have any. You can’t do it without porn?”
“What am I, 14?”
I might be able to round some up for you, but it’s a long shot. Remember where you are….?
“Boise. Fucking mormons.”
“Right-o. So can you?”
“Why? You haven’t even told me why.”
“We’re training one of the nurses here and we’re out of practice samples. C’mon, you’ll get tested for free. It’s actually a pretty expensive test, it might come in handy.”
“I have always wanted to contribute to medicine….”
I hung up the phone without stating outright that, upon brief reflection, I would have done it if for no other reason than it’s not often that one has the opportunity to abuse oneself with official sanction. It was almost as if the benevolent faces of the AMA board up on their cloud were looking at me, nodding, all placid and benevolent-like.
And with that, I took off towards the clinic ready to dash several million little soldiers against a cruel plastic wall in the name of progress. Not that the issues surrounding the biblical and serious “spilling of seed” was a big one for me, it just happened to cross my mind while driving. After all, to say I hadn’t launched similar initiatives for progress in strategic locations all over my apartment would be a dirty lie.
Twenty minutes later I was back home on the couch. Indeed, I have never been one to lollygag in the pursuit of official business. I was especially proud that the job had been completed successfully in spite of the complete absence of porn and/or what polite society might call “manual assistance.” Surely this was a testament to the veracity and effectiveness of previous military training. We’ve done so much with so little for so long we can now do everything with nothing….
The phone woke me from dreams where I was populating wide swaths of earth. It was M with the test results. It was only now that the question crossed my mind. Blanks? Empty Goop? Lazy soldiers? Oh boy….
“Well, my friend, looks as though you’ve got another bullet point for your resume. You’re in the top 5% in terms of, well, everything. Count, motility…If I sound a little amazed, it’s because I kind of am. We don’t see this type of thing too often.”
“Okay then, I gotta go. Be careful out there…seriously.”
Most would just laugh but I knew this was a serious admonition. We were, after all, in Boise. Which is in Idaho. Which means that if you have a boner and sneeze at the same time while too close to an indigenous female you’re going to end up with a shotgun wedding and a career path of cosmetology and/or construction. There’s a reason some of these guys end up with 17 wives….
Bullet points, indeed.
Armed with this knowledge, I and my lady have endeavored, lo these many years, to observe a stringent Reproductive Security Plan. Many fences and barriers, both physical and chemical, have been erected and maintained—I’m sure there’s some kind of mocking diatribe having to do with right-wing nuttery and The Global War Against Islamofundist Terror in there somewhere, but now is not the time, other than to say that the news I received yesterday serves only to further reinforce the fact that there is no such thing as Total Security.
Which has little to do with anything, really, but stay with me and I’m sure I can reign in this train wreck and bring us all safely to the point. Which is, that, well….my friend M seems to have not known or simply forgot to tell me what the real results were from that long ago test.
My sperm is evidently weaponized.
“Area effect” was not taken into account.
Pregnancy has manifested. Little Head has slogged the Fallopian Trail and will be taking a well-deserved rest (8 mos, or so).
Chaos and all things strange are expected from here on out.
Here is a very rough draft of what the kid's first t-shirt may look like: