Tuesday, April 27, 2004

No more bullying 

The German courts are taking it the extra mile to try and punish bullies. Not a bad idea. Maybe by punishing bullies could cut down on the belittling that goes on in schools; maybe in turn the more serious violence/'retribution' in schools will also diminish.

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Good news 

If only this type of article could be written all year long. Although if Steinbrenner is really washing his hands of this year's team, they might improve sooner than expected. Here's to hoping that doesn't happen.

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The Rocky Mountain Blogger Roundup is coming. Sounds like it'll be a good time. I may have to stop working on my house long enough to go check it out.

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Friday, April 23, 2004

More Kerry debate 

This is a good article (written by a Vietnam Vet) that takes a closer look at the claims made by Kerry and others about Vietnam as well as common misconceptions (in the opinion of the author) about vets. Check it out.

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Almost there..... 

Only 3 more cds to go.....

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He just doesn't get it 

I am back to listening to my Michael Moore cds. Let's get the commenting started....

In a proposal to get the rest of the world to stop hating Americans, MM suggests providing good living conditions, water, food, etc to those who are in dire need of it. A good idea, on paper. We'll ignore the fact that this is financially impossible (one big reason being that I feel that most of the people in the country would have no interest in contributing any of their money to a cause like this. Even those who have millions and millions of dollars to spare....). The fact of the matter is, even if we could make the lives of everyone on the planet as cushy as some of our lives are, they would still hate us!! It's a matter of religion. They hate us because we are infidels, and they don't want us around! They are Islamic. They are taught (I believe) that they are to convert the WORLD to Islam, and that those who are not Muslim are infidels. If we became an Islamic state, then MAYBE their hatred of us would wane. Maybe. But giving them water and food will not help. We've tried that! It doesn't work!

Moore is making me believe that his comprehension of worldly affairs is not much broader than Dubya's. Maybe he is simply posturing, again, and is telling those people that want/need to hear it that the solution is easy but our govt won't act on it. Oversimplification again. It's not that easy, Mr. Moore.

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Thursday, April 22, 2004

I think my head is going to explode. Moore asks what has happened to our bullshit meters since 9/11? He thinks our overwhelming (and unjustified) fear has taken over and is clouding our senses.

Well, my BS meter is about to overheat. I gotta turn this guy off until at least tomorrow.

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Moore is now attacking the 'lack' of a credible threat inside the US> Specifically, he just ridiculed the govt's warning issued about transportation systems being attacked and the mention of train pictures found amongst terrorist belongings. He found it funny that the govt would worry about trains.

After 3/11, I wonder if he still thinks that his 'observations' are cute?

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Moore relates a 'dream' he had, in which he and his great granddaughter discuss the dearth of oil, the past wars fought for oil and the irresponsible use of oil in the country. Add on to that the wastefulness of all things oil, and products in general. That lead to a discussion on bad air, no oil, more waste, and our society's general abuse of all things petroleum based. The inability of people to change their ways, and the lack of exploration and research into alternative fuels. Although he is bashing the use of hydrogen fuels....

Very good passage. Definitely sarcastic, but pretty good. I don't agree with everything he is saying (go figure) though. I think he is over-simplifying a lot of issues.

Our overuse/over-dependence on oil and wastefulness in general is sick.

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He rambles and digresses more than I do. And that is saying something.

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Supportive comments 

Moore brings up the Bush/Saudi connection. Those are questions that have not been answered and should be.

Jessica Lynch-the story the biased media presented turned out to be inflated and even wrong in a lot of respects. The rescue was set-up to bolster flagging support for the war. (The initial rescue story was disputed by docs in the hospital. They said it was all hype, that there was no resitance in the hospital)

My question is (Moore did not touch on this), what about Shoshana Johnson, who was wounded and taken hostage before Jessica Lynch? Oh wait, she was black and not waif-like so she was ignored and got nowhere near the attention JL got.

Army Spec. Shoshana Johnson was shot through both legs and held prisoner for 22 days, but is receiving only a 30 percent disability benefit. Johnson, who is black, has accused the military of racism and applying a double-standard. Lynch commented to USA Today, “We were all POWs... It was a horrible thing to go through, so I think we all should’ve been treated equally.”

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Random Observation 

I am back listening to "Dude, Where's My Country". So back to the random, unconnected observations.

Moore seems to take any opportunity to rag on Bush, and even American people. His latest bewildering comment had to do with war (Iraq Part II) coverage by the French. On There were English subtitles, which he attributed to the fact that Americans are too dumb and lazy to learn a second language. I took Spanish for years in high school and college. I've studied some Italian and learned snippets of various other languages when I traveled thru Europe (Czech, Polish, German, French). But no, I would not be able to understand a news boradcast in French. That doesn't mean that I haven't learned a second language, but it does mean I never learned French.

I would have quoted him, but my cd player sucks and rewinding is a pain.

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Ted Koppel speaks 

And I love what he has to say.

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Oil for Food scandal 

I need to do a lot more reading up on this story, but below are some facts I've read (tell me, again, why France and Russia didn't want to invade Iraq? And it was the US getting blasted for making decisions based on oil??). Check out this summary on this scandal that somehow still is not big news.

--France, Russia, and China, though nominally responsible (with the U.S. and U.K.) for overseeing the program, in fact used their positions on the Security Council to promote business with Saddam for their nation's contractors. France and Russian companies especially pocketed fat profits from cut-rate oil sales from Saddam, a percentage of which they returned to Saddam as a kickback in violation of the UN sanctions.

--As UN monitoring grew laxer, Saddam grew bolder, eventually kicking out inspectors. The UN's major response was to vastly expand the scope of Oil for Food spending while complaining often about U.S. and U.K efforts to redress Saddam's rampant violations of the scheme.

By means of this scam, Saddam’s regime ultimately skimmed off for itself billions of dollars in proceeds that were supposed to have been spent on relief for the Iraqi people. When the scheme was reported in the international press—in November 2000, for example, Reuters carried a long dispatch about Saddam’s demands for a 50-cent premium over official UN prices on every barrel of Iraqi oil—the UN haggled with Saddam but did not stop it.

Beyond that, Saddam had also begun smuggling out oil through Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. This was in flagrant defiance of UN sanctions and made a complete mockery of Oil-for-Food, whose whole point was to channel all of Saddam’s trade. The smuggling, too, was widely reported in the press—and shrugged off by the UN. In the same period, Saddam imposed his own version of sanctions on the U.S., demanding that Oil-for-Food funds be switched from dollars into euros. The UN complied, thereby making it even harder for observers to keep track of its largely secretive and confusing bookkeeping.

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From Fallujah 

Andrew Sullivan received a letter from a military chaplain in Fallujah. A very good inside look at the goings-on there.

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Read this article. I have heard of no groups in the US as brazen as this one. It's scary. At the same time, though, I sense hypocrisy and the skewing of the original teachings to a current lifestyle. These guys are radical Muslims living in England. They want terrorist attacks in London. They pray for the day they appear. But, how come they are living there, if they hate the people? Oh yeah, they like the lifestyle and the job (even though the lifestyle does not adhere to their idea of acceptable). In fact, the leader of one of the cells there, is perfectly healthy, yet is not working and is basically living off of welfare. What a crock! He did have this to say:

"Yes," he replies, unequivocally. "When a bomb attack happens here, I won't be against it, even if it kills my own children. Islam is clear: Muslims living in lands that are occupied have the right to attack their invaders."

Um, he's in London. How are the Britons the invaders? They are already there? Furthermore:

"Britain became a legitimate target when it sent troops to Iraq. But it is against Islam for me to engage personally in acts of terrorism in the UK because I live here. According to Islam, I have a covenant of security with the UK, as long as they allow us Muslims to live here in peace."

Right, so he's going to continue being a lazy sponge there until what? He stops getting his free money? They he will have been transgressed against sufficiently to justify moving away and launching an attack?

What's stopped you doing it (suicide bombing)? "As you know from watching the news," intones Abu Yusuf, "there are brothers who do leave the country and do it." He is referring to the four Muslims from Luton who died fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the two British Muslims, said to have had ties to al-Muhajiroun, who last April left to become suicide bombers in Israel. "In-shallah [ Godwilling], there will be a time to go."

What is this guy waiting for? He wants to "kill and be killed" as ordered in the Koran. I guess he is too comfortable in his cushy well-paying job to get around to carrying an attack out.

Not all Muslims feel this way (I would be willing to venture that a vast majority does not condone violence of this type. After all, the Koran is against murder....):

Muhammad Sulaiman, president of the Islamic Cultural Society, the largest of the 14 mosques in Luton, dismisses al-Muhajiroun as "verbal diarrhoea". "They are an extreme Right-wing group - the Muslim version of the BNP," he says disdainfully. "They think Muslims should dominate, just like the BNP thinks whites should dominate. They use Islam as a vehicle to promote their distorted beliefs, particularly to unemployed young bloods who are vulnerable."

Well said. And I love the 'verbal diarrhoea' comment.

Extremism. Not good. Not good at all.

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This is a sad story.

Where is the hypocrisy? Randall Terry, Christian crusader and avid disowner of his kids, railed against people divorcing (his parents included), sent out flyers of his 'perfect' Christian home, and then divorced his wife for a much younger woman.

So he changed his crusade to anti-gays.

A prominent man. Blatantly hypocritical. Changing his views to reflect his changing lifestyle. And trying to force others to keep up and play along.

This tires me out.

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Well if Pat Boone decrees it.... 

I haven't touched on the cencorship malarky that is running rampant now. Maybe this weekend. But check out this article. Pat Boone, has said that cencorship is not only a good thing, but that it is healthy for the arts. Huh? How is supression a good thing? How are the arts helped by an inability to freely express yourself? He had this to say:

"Censorship is healthy for any society, and that goes for arts, entertainment, anything. Self-imposed means that the majority of people say that is what we want, and it can be changed if people's attitudes change, which is how a democratic society works."

Again I say, huh? So if a majority says that rock n' roll is bad, then we outlaw it? If "bad" words are deemed unacceptable, then there will be fines and jail time for anyone having the audacity to make such utterances? I guess what Boone wants is for people to change their attitudes to accept his beliefs as correct, and then put a self-imposed ban on their creative outlets that don't adhere to his stifling beliefs. Idiotic.

Yes, Pat Boone is a devout Christian who sees fit to try and force others to see life thru his eyes (freedom of religion? Only if it is my religion. Yet another blog in the works).

If he becomes the public voice, we're in for a heap load of trouble.

Yes, there will be more blogs on this subject later.

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The Draft 

A Senator from Nebraska hasn't come out and said he is going to fight to get it reinstated, but thinks bringing the draft back would be a good idea. Not sure I agree.

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A comparison of the number of civilians killed? That is fine. Comparing the number killed on 9/11 to the number killed in Baghdad by our bombing campaign (accurate? I don't know) is a good comparison.

But comparing the number of civilians killed in Baghdad to the number of students killed in the Columbine shootings? How do those two events compare at all?

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More Michael Moore 

This guy is going to drive me nuts. Sorry these entries on his latest book are a bit disjointed, but I am listening to it at work, and throwing these posts out as it goes along.

His last rant (yes, this book seems to be a big rant for the most part) was over the Coalition of the Willing, that supported the US invasion of Iraq. As Moore lists the different countries, he makes sure to throw out ignorant, condescending, and nasty comments about the countries on the list. He is trying to show that the support from most of these countries is pointless in his opinion (doesn't moral support count for something?), but comes off sounding ignorant ("Eritrea, where the hell is that?) and insulting ("Latvia, more Nazi collaborators. Lithuania-even more collaborators."). Tell me why being a 'Nazi collaborator" negates the value of these countries? On top of all this, Moore makes use of insulting stereotypes ("Ethiopia? They are going to send starving children to fight" -that was paraphrased) to make his "point". But then following on the heels of his insults, is the list of countries that did not support the war. Yet this time, he did not resort to name calling and country-bashing. Many of the countries that made this list would have received his vicious comments had they been on the war list. But since they weren't, I guess it wasn't worth his time to second guess them. He just accepted them as perfect.

Consistency, Mr. Moore. You should find some (as well as some respect for these countries and their cultures. Something you chastise Pres. Bush for not having.). Though I will give you some props for being a raging hypocrite. You're really good at that.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Michael Moore 

I am listening to the book "Dude, Where's my Country". So far, I am not impressed. Moore spent the first several minutes promoting his past books and toting himself as the most principled writer around, unafraid to stand up to the greater powers (publishers, Rupert Murdoch, the US govt, etc) thanks to his unwavering principles.

It now sounds as though he is trying to persuade the reader that because of bin Laden's kidney/dialysis problems, he is not scary and maybe the Saud's were the cause of 9/11, not bin Laden. He claims there is no reason to be scared of someone unless they are big and mean and in perfect health, and that bin Laden is not scary because he is not the penultimate bad guy. He seems to think that someone on dialysis could not have had anything to do with an act like 9/11 who would have no contact with the hijackers because he was lost, roaming the barren mountains in Afghanistan. In what world does MM live? Has he never heard of the internet? Or satellite phones? The guy is a billionaire (millionaire?). Why couldn't he have been responsible? This guy wants to do nothing but blame Bush for everything (earlier he blamed Bush for the US's history with Saudi Arabia), even if his reasons are ludicrous and totally closed minded. I am not saying there is no truth to some of his arguments, but the guy is an idiot. He is letting his need to posture for attention and his animosity against the Repub's to blind him against the real world. He may be one of the very few people (in the world) that is convinced (at least at the timeof this book's publishing) bin Laden is not responsible for 9/11.

Why would the Saud's attack us (as he just proposed)? Sure they hate us, that is clear. They get tons of money (and immunity, in some cases) from us. Why would they piss is the pot they drink from?

Oh wait, it must have been them because the only place a person could learn to fly a jumbo jet is in the air force, "someone's airforce". That is why they could not be bin Laden spawned terrorists.

Seriously, what is this guy smoking? How is his word taken as gospel by so many people?

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Monday, April 19, 2004

Good pic 

Though I doubt you would see this on the news. Especially since the media is completely controlled by the right (yes, more sarcasm).

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Sunday, April 18, 2004

It's over 

It's Sunday night now, and my test is 2 days done. What a relief! The last two days were very hectic (birthday celebrations, house work, and helping a friend move) so I am pretty wiped right now. But this week should mark a return to normal. And the good news is, I feel really good about the test, and think I have a real good chance at passing. I hope. It'll only be another 3 months or so until I find out. You would think/hope a scantron test would be corrected a lot quicker, but whatever. I know I promised more blogging after the test was over, but you're going to have to wait until at least tomorrow night. I am too brain dead right now to say much that is intelligible.

The Simpson's was funny tonight....

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The US is spending less than other countries on fuel cell technology? 

Yup. And it's not hard to believe.

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Michael Moore 

I have trouble listening to the guy. He is an entertainer even though he pretends to be a valuable information source. Check this out. It's a great take on recent comments by MM. Should we continue to give money to a man calling for the death of as many servicemen as possible? Simply for the ability to say "I'm right, I told you so"? No, we should not.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Kenny Loggins rocks 

I just threw Tog Gun into the dvd player. Haven't seen this in a long time! I wish I had the surround sound hooked up for it. Maybe for next time.

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Oliver Stone and Castro 

Stone does not come off sounding very intelligent in this interview about his time with Castro. It almost seems like he is living in his own little cocoon of a world-something no one has EVER said or thought about Stone I am sure.....

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This is ridiculous 

Yet another reason why being trendy is a bad thing.

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Letter from a contractor in Iraq 

This letter is a must read. They are not mercenaries, and they don't deserve to be killed and desecrated (not that anyone deserves that). Read it.

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McDonald's really IS trying to help! 

Or at least they are trying to exploit the recent health craze to make some more money.

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Vote her out 

Andrew Sullivan did some research into Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado legislator and virulent anti-gay proponent). Sounds like she is so focused on attacking gays that she is not getting anything done for her constituents, who need some improvements in their community.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Air (Blowhard?) America 

The fledgling station has already been pulled from a couple markets, allegedly due to bounced checks/non-payment. In a response fit for a 12-year old, they had this to say. Maybe they figured if they attacked the owner of the stations that pulled the show by calling him names, threatening him, and giving out his phone number in a promotion for harassing phone calls, that people would ignore the fact that they are not succeeding (and are possibly bouncing checks?)? Every time I hear a quote from Al Franken, I am taken back in time to the playgrounds of my youth, with juvenile insults ringing in my ears....l

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Almost over 

Two days from right now I will bedone with my PE exam, and I can't wait! Thanks to studying and work being out of control crazy, I've been exhausted the last couple/few weeks. Sorry about the infrequent blogging. I'll step it up next week and will throw out more than just links. I'll have a more of my own incoherent thoughts to contribute.

Here's something to look forward to-I am reading the book "Under the Banner of Heaven" (actually, I got the book on tape so I am listening to it). I have had lots of thoughts, but no energy to get them down on here. Don't worry, next week I will have lots to say.

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New webcam 

This looks like it could be an entertaining website

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Kerry in Vietnam 

More questions about Kerry's Purple Hearts and 'valor'.

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I have no idea what to say or even think about this.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Ya know, sometimes people let their politics go too far, and they make comments that are not only ridiculous, but callous and irresponsible. I found a link on Pejman Yousefzadeh's website to a press release issued by the St. Petersburg (Florida) Democratic Club. Here are a couple excerpts:

And then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq "We have our good days and our bad days. We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say "This is one of our bad days," and pull the trigger.

What?? I would think they are against the violence, but I guess they consider vigilantism acceptable.

They also call the Iraqi insurgents "patriots" and compare them to "the American revolutionaries." I would have to disagree with that as well. Think about it-the French helped us to gain our independence from Britain (while still holding territories in the Americas, I believe). Our battling the French as soon as Britain left would have been akin to the Iraqi insurgents antics.

I have trouble comprehending people that are so blinded by their beliefs that they could make such inflammatory statements. Well hell, maybe I've decided that this 'democratic' club is treasonous in comparing our forefathers to suicidal zealots and in their desires to assassinate a high ranking US official. When people make threats against the President, the reaction is fierce. Maybe these 'traitors' should feel the wrath of the govt for their desires to kill Rumsfeld?


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Forced blood donation 

Long live the Greek system, here's yet another example of this wonderful (VERY sarcastic) institution.

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Ashcroft taken to task 

It looks like the 9/11 panel is going to take Big John to task. Draft reports are reporting that he was pretty uninterested in dealing with the terrorist threat, and he decided in August 2001 to reject a request from the FBI to greatly expand their counterterrorism programs.

They (panel officials) said the reports would also quote from internal memorandums by Thomas J. Pickard, acting director of the F.B.I. in summer 2001, in which Mr. Pickard described his frustration with Mr. Ashcroft and what he saw as the attorney general's lack of interest in the issue of how the bureau was investigating terrorism suspects in the United States.

To make matters worse for BJ (that is funny, my acronym is satirically appropriate. I didn't even realize that until I typed it in), it seems he stopped flying commercially on govt business, supposedly due to threats unrelated to al qaida. He started using the FBI's $40 million Gulfstream 5 jet.

Current and former F.B.I. officials have told the commission that they were infuriated by Mr. Ashcroft's use of the jet and that it was seen as emblematic of his detachment from the needs of investigators.

Mr. Corallo said Mr. Ashcroft used the plane only when it was not needed for other business by the F.B.I., which is part of the Justice Department. Previously, Mr. Ashcroft, like others attorneys general, had flown on commercial airlines when traveling on government business.

Sounds a little fishy to me. And it sounds as though for whatever reason, the terrorist threat was ignored by BJ. But then again, that is one side of the story. We'll see what comes out when he is questioned further.

Maybe he was otherwise occupied mobilizing his fight against porn.

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Monday, April 12, 2004

Air America 

Here's a review on this new 'sensation'. Not very glowing. Seems to be a common theme in all the reviews I've read.

Frankenradio is right: this whole concept was an ill-conceived, top-down, artificially constructed walking media corpse. I give this monstrosity 6-7 months, maybe until December, before the plug is pulled and its stations go back to broadcasting foreign-language programming -- or until the whole network is revamped with real talent. Until then, let the fart machines work at full steam.

Added: Here is a review that discusses more the inclusion of blacks into the show and the democratic fold. Or actually, the lack of inclusion. Check it out, it's pretty interesting. At least they are not hypocritical, like they an act they accuse the republicans of indulging in. And yes, that was sarcastic. I am becoming less and less impressed with Al Franken the more I hear about/from him.

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No bluster from North Korea? 

The Pakistani scientist who sold nuclear secrets around the world, is now claiming that he was in North Korea and saw 3 nuclear devices in an underground nuclear plant. If this is true, I'd say that makes their threats a lot more serious.

And tell me again why this scientist has received nothing but the slightest rebuke (from anyone) over his selling nuclear secrets around the world (and to unstable people/countries)?

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More than just nitrogenation 

Thanks to Instapundit for pointing out this article. It gives me even more reason to enjoy a nice Guinness (speaking of which, I am enjoying a post-work/study Guinness right now. I feel healthier already!)

Brennan, like many cardiologists, recommends a drink a day for his cardiac patients. Red wine, in particular, has been shown to help prevent heart attacks. Now maybe it's beer's turn. A University of Wisconsin study last fall found that moderate consumption of Guinness worked like aspirin to prevent clots that increase the risk of heart attacks. In the study, Guinness proved twice as effective as Heineken at preventing blood clots. Guinness is loaded with flavonoids, antioxidants that give dark color to certain fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants are better than vitamins C and E, the study found, at keeping bad LDL (bad) cholesterol from clogging arteries. Blocked arteries also contribute to erectile dysfunction, as does overindulgence in alcohol.

Guinness has a higher concentration than lighter beers of vitamin B, which lowers levels of homocysteine, linked to clogged arteries. And researchers have found that antioxidants from the moderate use of stout might reduce the incidence of cataracts by as much as 50 percent.

It's milk's line, but beer gives you strong bones, too.

On top of all that healthy stuff, with Guinness you can get nitrogenated (because of the nitrogen in it), which is a much better alternative than inebriation.

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More idiots blinded by money 

Seems some rich a-hole from Texas wants to put a huge base village at Wolf Creek Ski Area (for those that don't know, there is nothing there now, and no one wants anything there. It's a nice, small area that gets a ton of snow, and makes A Basin look built up). Read the sickening story here.

Basic premise of the story-Texas billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs, has way too much money and has decided that he needs more. So he wants to build the biggest ski resort village IN COLORADO (10,00 square feet) on some land he owns around the Wolf Creek Ski Area. The owners of the ski area are pissed, because this will destroy the atmosphere they've worked decades to create. There is a petition going around Durango to stop it and I know more efforts will be made to stop it. Will that make a difference? Only if the Forest Service gets some balls, or if there is any other legal way to defeat it. Because you know this McCombs could care less what anyone else thinks. He's focused on money (why would a billionaire need to construct something that will piss countless people off, just to make more money? He is not making himself available for comment, by the way) and cares about little else, obviously.

The developers working with McCombs, and McCombs's people are acting all confused, because the ski area owners supposedly agreed with this idea. Only when it was proposed, it was only supposed to be a couple hundred units, not the proposed 2,000+.

Pitcher says he worries that a politically well-connected McCombs could push his family off the mountain. After all, he says, McCombs acquired Alberta Park in a 1986 land swap with the Forest Service that was denied by local foresters but approved in Washington.
Colorado Wild spokesman Jeff Berman says that override meant pristine acres in the wildest corner of the state were wrongly traded out of public ownership.

It is land between the South San Juan Wilderness, the most unspoiled tract from Wyoming to New Mexico, and the state's biggest wilderness, the Weminuche. It is an important corridor for wildlife, including the Canada lynx, introduced there over the past five years.

Honts (McComb's venture partner) says he and McCombs got there before the lynx.

What a bunch of arrogant self-absorbed, greedy bastards. At least the Forest Service will be no help.

And yes, this makes me mad.

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Here is a link to a blog that looks at the media bias against guns and reports the weekly status. Check it out-the first article discussed is by Mike Seate at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. What an idiot. He thinks the following ideas would make great pranks at a NRA convention:

# When trying on a new .44 magnum pistol for size, ask whether there's a model available with a quart-capacity flask attached for evenings out. Remind the seller of how "the only thing more fun than shooting is drinking and shooting."

# Dress up in a white sheet and pointed hood and carry a noose. Then ask gun salesmen whether they have anything to "help create the perfect matching ensemble."

Yeah. That's funny. This Mike guy is also black, and he's ok with promoting Klan costumes? Nice.

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Way to go Phil M! You finally got your major!

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Whatever. I blame the ski industry 

I got some depressing new last night. This is from the Summit Daily News:

'The Beach' to be closed at night

Officials nix late-night parties at A-Basin parking lot

ARAPAHOE BASIN - The party at "The Beach', a long-time, late-night hot spot at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, will end promptly each evening at 6pm starting April 13.

With Support from the US Forest Service, the Summit County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Department of Transportation, ski area officials decided to close the Early Riser parking lot, better known as 'The Beach', to overnight parking and camping.

Ski area officials acknowledged the closure will not sit well with everyone, but said they grew increasingly concerned about partying and associated behavior, including public defecation and littering, as well as snow-removal difficulties and avalanche danger.

Because the parking lot is located directly beneath the Little Professor avalanche path, officials clear the lot prior to doing control work. At times, up to 50 vehicles have to be removed to begin avalanche work, leading to delayed control work and increased closure time for Highway 6.

Starting April 13, vehicles left in the lot at night will be towed at owners' expense, ski area officials said.

More detail here on the ski area's website.

The closure will not sit well with some people? You're damn right it won't sit well! It isn't going to sit well with their current BASE skiers, the people that give the place most of its business. To address a couple of their concerns: too much trash? How about more garbage cans (with more frequent dumping) or even a dumpster on one end of the lot? People crapping where they please? Ever hear of a port-a-pot? On to my real griping....

Ok, why do I blame the ski industry? Here's why. The Basin is a relic, if you will. There is no development at its base as the Forest Service hasn't allowed it (yet). It is a local's ski area. The atmosphere there is unlike the atmosphere you will find at most other resorts in Colorado-it is unassuming, laid back, and people there are serious skiers (unlike the people out to be seen at Beaver Creek and Vail). Granted, the atmosphere/attitude at other resorts isn't that bad, but it just isn't the same as at the Basin. And one of the big draws, especially late season, is 'The Beach'. I've slept overnight there and I've dropped cars off there to reserve a front row seat. You see, the parking lot at the Basin abuts the mountain itself. So there are no shuttle busses or long walks. When the weather gets nice, people camp out and then spend the next day drinking, grilling, and chatting with people, enjoying the sun and fun atmosphere. Outfits get crazy, and people spend more time partying than skiing. It's a riot.

But now they want to cut back on all of that. Whatever the reasons they are spewing out, to me it smacks of another ploy by the industry to take a great sport and continue making it more and more an elitist activity. Even though Vail Associates didn't buy the Basin when they wanted to a couple years ago (it would have violated the anti-trust laws), there is a ticketing agreement and this makes me wonder if Vail doesn't somehow have some influence over them. Are they trying to run out the locals (aka-bums with no money) so that they can try to bring in a 'higher class' crowd and make more money? It would not surprise me at all. Even though I love the sport, it makes me sick to see what they've done to it. It is elitist ($75 a day to ski?) and that pisses me off.

If they kill the spirit of the Basin, I'll be even more motivated to go and buy some rondenay (spelling is wrong, sorry) gear. And I am already set of buying it so that I can avoid those sh*tholes they call resorts.

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Check this out. This is from my AMA (American Motorcycling Association) magazine:

On February 5, Gary LB, 49, of Des Moines, Iowa, was fined $70 for killing three motorcyclists and seriously injuring two others. Butler drove his van into the oncoming lane of traffic just as a group of six motorcyclists was approaching. He was convicted of two minor traffic offenses. (That's not even one traffic offense for each person he killed)

Last November, Everett H, 75, of Toledo, Ohio, caused a crash that cost motorcyclist Nancy Hejl her leg. EH allegedly pulled out of a driveway into the path of Hejl's bike. Two years earlier, EH had been convicted of vehicular manslaughter in the death of another motorcyclist when he pulled out of a driveway into that rider's path. At that time, he received a $500 fine, a suspended 10-day jail term and a three-month drivers license suspension. He now faces a charge of negligent assault. (Third times the charm. Maybe that is when they'll decide to do something to get this guy to wake up. Maybe, I don't know, take away his license for good?)

Last September, Katherine G, 17, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, caused the death of motorcyclist Glenn Braswell, and left his passenger, Randi Lynn Cohen, critically injured. KG crossed the center line of a road and ran into Braswell's bike. She faces three traffic offenses, the most serious of which carries a maximum fine of $270. (I am sure the family of Glenn B feel that is an adequate punishment)

Last June, James W., 67, of Ohio, was sentenced to attend a motorcycle awareness class and pay a $1,000 fine after causing the death of a Versailles, Ohio, police officer on a motorcycle., JW pleaded no contest to a charge that he turned his car into the path of the officer's approaching motorcycle. (What do they usually do to someone who kills a cop?)

And my favorite....

Last December, Congressman Bill Janklow was convicted of a felony charge of second-degree manslaughter for driving through a stop sign at approximately 70 mph, causing the death of motorcyclist Randolph Scott. Although the conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, Janklow got off with a 100-day sentence and an $11,000 fine. (This idiot had run the same stop sign before and almost hitting people, had a history of excessive speeding [and somehow getting out of tickets], and had the gall to plead innocent of this most recent charge!)

As a motorcyclist myself, this stuff depresses/scares me. I've been run off the road, cut off, or almost hit most times I've taken my cycle out. It sucks to know that if someone injures/kills me, that they will get a slap on the wrist. I don't think that killing someone in another car or a pedestrian gets such light treatment. Regardless, a $70 fine for killing three people?? That is ludicrous.

So for the benefit of those out there on 2 wheels, slow the hell down, get off your damn phone/quit reading/putting on makeup/rooting through your bag/yelling at your kid/checking your look in the mirror/GET OUT OF YOUR SELF-ABSORBED WORLD and pay attention to the other people on the road (yes, there are other people there. It is NOT your road)!!

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Sunday, April 11, 2004

I love Denver weather 

I went to dinner tonight at a great Ethiopian restaurant up on Colfax Ave. Got home around 8:45ish and got back on the coach to watch all the nothing on tv. While I was sitting there, dreaming of the Guinness that would soon be making its way into my gullet, I heard a big breeze kick up outside and some rain hit the front picture window. Thinking nothing of it, I continued destroying my brain watching tv. About 10 minutes later I got off my butt and looked out the window. Lo and behold, there was already a layer of snow on the grass! There was no snow in the forecast, only 70 degree weather in a day or two! Since it was too early to sleep, I went for a walk. It was real nice too-I wish I'd had a camera. I walked the 2 blocks to the walking trail along the Highline Canal, and looking down the canal (which believe it or not was filled with water) was a rather beautiful sight-the snow was falling, the lights were lighting it up and the water in the canal was so calm that there was a great reflection from the larger trees along the bank. Very nice.

2 hours later, I am back and still not sleeping. I can't wait until the warm weather in a couple days!

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Malaria and DDT 

I don't have time for a long blog on this, so it'll be a quickie. I am pretty sure you'll have to register to read this, but it's free, you don't get spam/crap mail out of it, and it's a good article.

We got rid of malaria here thru the use of DDT. Then we banned DDT. We still don't have malaria here, but many countries like Africa still lose way too many people to the disease. DDT does help quell the outbreaks, but since DDT has been essentially banned, these outbreaks continue. It sounds as though spraying inside a house helps tremendously without hurting the environment and really without hurting the people in the house. But it's hard to come by and not promoted as a good countermeasure. It's a very interesting/illumuinating article.

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Friday, April 09, 2004

Are you threatening me (say in Beavis voice)? 

It seems the crazies (yes, they are) in North Korea feel like they want to threaten the US with nuclear war. Tell me again hy we hear almost nothing about this and why they are so different than the crazy who ran Iraq?

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Johnny Ashcroft 

He hates porn, booze, dancing...and fun. Someone (with too much time on their hands?) put together a great composite picture of him located here. Isn't satire wonderful?

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Thursday, April 08, 2004

There has to be a better way.... 

Ok, I understand that the meaning of Easter is not the Easter Bunny or egg searches or any of that commercial jazz. And I can understand that some people might want to let others know the true meaning of the season. But whipping the Easter Bunny to re-enact the Crucifixion in front of little kids? Sorry, but that's not right.

Patty Bickerton, the youth minister at Glassport Assembly of God (search), said the performance wasn't meant to be offensive. Bickerton portrayed the Easter rabbit and said she tried to act with a tone of irreverence.

"The program was for all ages, not just the kids. We wanted to convey that Easter is not just about the Easter bunny, it is about Jesus Christ," Bickerton said.

Right, is a four-year old going to understand that? No.

Melissa Salzmann, who brought her 4-year-old son J.T., said the program was inappropriate for young children.

"He was crying and asking me why the bunny was being whipped," Salzmann said.

Think that's bad? They didn't stop there:

Performers broke eggs meant for an Easter egg hunt and also portrayed a drunken man and a self-mutilating woman, said Jennifer Norelli-Burke, another parent who saw the show in Glassport, a community about 10 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Seriously, what were these people thinking? I wonder if they went around kicking little dogs on the way to their 'performance'....

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What is justifiable? 

So this guy is having his customized car stolen out of his driveway. He shoots the 2 guys stealing it, killing one (one was shot in the back). While I think that may have been excessive (though who's to say the thieves didn't have guns that they would have used had they been confronted? This was not mentioned in this article. The shooter/victim is being charged with murder.

Question-if you are stealing someone's car, should anyone really be surprised that some recourse was taken against the thieves by the victim? Maybe calling the cops would have been the 'wiser' thing to do, but maybe by the time the cops arrived the car would be gone for good (and the victim would not be in jail...). It's almost (but not quite) like someone attacking a police officer and then being pissed that the cops used force back against them. You are attacking a cop!! How is it a surprise? Likewise, you are stealing a man's car (he's 26). EXPECT A RESPONSE!

I'm not sure how I feel about this (oh wait, maybe I am....)

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Condi Rice 

Some excerpts:

"Tragically, for all the language of war spoken before September 11, this country simply was not on a war footing," Ms Rice told the panel.

"For more than 20 years, the terrorist threat was growing, and America's response across several administrations of both parties was insufficient."

Of course there was no war talk going around! If it had been suggested, can you imagine the 'war monger' talk that would have been flying around? Before (and also after for many) 9-11, I doubt there were very many people in the general public that would have supported aggressive acts such as bombing al qaida targets or trying to kill bin laden. Of course now everyone is criticizing the lack of action, but I'll bet many of the same people would not have supported the pre-9/11 actions they are now suggesting.

Ms Rice said that one intercepted message spoke of "unbelievable news coming in weeks", while another said: "Big event, there will be a very, very, very big uproar".

"Troubling, yes. But they don't tell us when, they don't tell us where, they don't tell us who, and they don't tell us how," Ms Rice said.

How is our defense supposed to be failproof, especially if specific targets are not mentioned (which would probably never happen, except with a very inept terrorist group)? A person/group can only do so much. And if we cut back on funding for services like the spy game, how can we expect to really learn anything significant? I remember hearing people yammering about how bad it is/would be for an infiltrator to partake in 'illegal' activities just to fit in with one of these groups we need to know more about. Yet at the same time, these same people demand that we find out as much as we can without resorting to such 'atrocities'. Ok, that is nice, but back in the real world the rest of us are wondering how that is possible? If you can't get into a group, how do you expect to garner any real info? And if you refuse to participate in their activities, how will they become accepted/trusted? They won't!

She said that had been made difficult by structural and legal barriers that prevented the collection and sharing of information by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

"We have made changes since then," she said, citing in particular the creation of the Department for Homeland Security.

In other words, the egos of these intelligence groups got in the way. Big surprise. You would think they would work together instead of trying to hog the glory for the betterment of the US people, right? Think of them as a different kind of politician (not a very good comparison, but I think it's applicable when referring to those in charge that are making the big calls). Politicians rarely work together for the common good. They more often than not work for the good of their party and their own re-election. Why should the heads of the CIA, FBI and others be any different?

Now we wait to see what becomes of this 'non-partisan' inquiry into what could have been done better.

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Illinois apologizes 

I am from Illinois and didn't realize that the founder of the Mormon faith was killed there and that there was an expulsion of people following the Mormon faith. An Illinois appellate justice recently issued an apology to the Mormons for these acts. Interesting.

I haven't read this book yet, but the book Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, details the onset of this religion and the acts played out by the founder and his followers. And I have to say, based on the book I wouldn't be real happy about living in a town whose Mayor was Mormon-at least back in the early day. One of their beliefs-one way to save a 'non-believer' is to shed their blood. In other words, kill/hurt a non-Mormon and it saves their soul-doesn't matter why you hurt them (land, money, etc). And their legacy in early Utah is not all that great either. Last year there was an article in the paper (and I forget the details) that was talking about a big massacre site, carried out by the M's, that they have now apologized for. I think they killed a bunch of non-M's that were nearby. I forget (which makes that excerpt pretty useless).

Regardless, it doesn't sound like the early M's very a very nice group of people. I will read the above mentioned book and do some more research so I can add to this.

Sidenote: I don't consider myself prejudiced, but I think I am pretty open minded. I don't mean to attack the Mormon faith or its followers, this was more of a comment on HISTORY and the acts they were involved in. So I am not randomly attacking them, my comments are based on actual events. You can't dispute history (though many people-including our government-try to, or at the least they ignore it)

Synopsis-based on the actions of the early Mormons, I am not sure an apology was necessary (for the killing, sure. Vigilante justice ain't the best solution. But for kicking out some violent closed minded folks? Nah)

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A small effort is better than no effort 

Contrary to what Clinton did for Rwanda 10 years ago, Bush at least made a call to try and stop the violence in Sudan. Hopefully this situation doesn't explode any worse than it has already. The fact that the UN and now the US are at least verbally involved is a good initial sign.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Amazonian deforestation 

Big surprise, more of the rain forest has been burned. Scientists estimate the destruction in the last year at an area about the size of Massachusetts.

Here the rub of it all-we (the industrialized world) want the deforestation to stop. We want it to take care of the greenhouse gases. The people burning it need the wood for fuel so they can eat, and they need the land to raise crops (as short-sighted as it may seem to us) so that they can eat and maybe make enough money to survive. Flop over to the US, the largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world. I'm willing to bet that most of the pro-rain forest proponents are in this country. How many of them would be willing to make drastic cuts in their production of these gases (not a life threatening decision) to assist the rain forest in reducing the gases? That is an argument/outlook I don't know that I've ever seen thrown out-since we are so rich (and spoiled), shouldn't we be held more accountable for our contributions to the problem instead of some poor Brazilian people who are trying to survive? Unfortunately, I think most people that are against the slashing and burning don't put themselves into the shoes of the Brazilians. They see things only from their own point of view (where nothing is their fault) where other people need to make the sacrifices.

Here is an essay I wrote on a subject related to my above rant for the Economist/Shell essay contest last year (no, I did not win.)

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Help for Sudan? 

Kofi Annan is calling for international help for Sudan, in an attempt to prevent 'ethnic cleansing' and a repeat of the Rwanda debacle. Hopefully he is not ignored. Maybe there is oil there.....

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Is their no end to peoples' vanity? 

This is just getting out of hand. First there is plastic surgery. Then there is plastic surgery to look like your favorite movie star/model (pathetic). There is surgery to mold your feet to fit some fancy shoes (that is also pathetic). The Netherlands now, has taken it yet another step further. Eye jewelry. Crap actually implanted onto your eyeball! That is nuts! Risking your vision to have a pretty heart or some crap on there? A lot of times I feel out of place in this country, now that is becoming more global. Unreal.

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Wal-Mart update 

Seems the proposed Wal-Mart mini-city in California has been defeated, so W-_M doesn't get to ignore the laws that all other developers have to follow. Good times.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Dream job 

I'm a civil engineer. Why can't I get a job like this?

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Darn bulldozers 

From the Wall Street Journal. I'll bet the people in Israel would be aghast at these people blaming Caterpillar for their daughter standing in front of a moving bulldozer. I like the message at the end.

The parents of Rachel Corrie, who died in a March 2003 bulldozer accident while she was trying to obstruct an Israeli military operation to destroy terrorist weapons-smuggling tunnels, "spoke Sunday at a rally to build support for two protests against Caterpillar this month in Chicago and Peoria," the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Activists will protest the use of Caterpillar bulldozers to destroy Palestinian homes, at the company's annual stockholders meeting April 14 in Chicago. An "International Day of Action Against Caterpillar" demonstration will be staged April 23 at corporate headquarters in Peoria.

We guess blaming the bulldozer isn't as bad as blaming Israel, which after all is only trying to protect innocent people from mass-murdering terrorists. Maybe Caterpillar can respond by putting warning labels on its bulldozers: DO NOT STAND IN FRONT OF MOVING VEHICLES.

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More good news 

A new study claims that frequent sex (sexual activity/ejaculation) may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Cool.

I wonder if that study/this blog will be attacked by Ashcroft. After all, it discusses sex....

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David Lee Murphy 

DLM has a new cd out, Tryin' To Get There. It is awesome. The inside notes say that this cd "is meant to be played as loud as loud as your speakers will allow". And I'm all for that. It's a great cd. The songs are fun to listen to and they get your feet movin' (even mine, which are completely uncoordinated-like the rest of me). I highly recommend it. I've got 3 of his cds now (I think that's all he has?) and they are all great, but I think this might be the best.

"Growin' up's been tough on me * I still don't know what I wanna be
I hope the good Lord understand * There's times I need a helpin' hand
'Cause I'll take the long way to find the short way round
And just like everybody I'm tryin' to reach
a higher ground..."

Damn good stuff. Check it out.

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Government spending 

Everyone is worried about the huge deficit we are running up. The Bushies claim they are not spending that much, though most everyone else disputes that (I will blog more on that later. There is an article in the National Review I need to read). Well, according to this article, millions of dollars are being spent in a crusade against 'obscenity'-porn. This is the first time in 10 years that such an effort is being waged against porn. And nothing is is off-limits.

What a waste of money. There are so many other places that kind of money that could be spent (say, the war on terror?), but instead our government is wasting millions in an attempt to get into the rest of the bedrooms in the country not covered by the anti-gay marriage crusade.

We can thank big John Ashcroft for heading up this new colossal waste of money. He is a religious man who doesn't drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance (what do you do?). I guess he doesn't like anything fun in life (maybe he's Catholic and is wracked by guilt?) and like the President he is serving, wants to make the rest of the country live his Puritanical life. Or maybe he has never seen a naked body (showers clothed, sex in the dark). I mean really, protesting naked people and sexual acts? I'll bet Ashcroft is a closet S&M guy. Is it really that important that people, in their own damn homes, don't watch porn? Who the hell cares? What happens in my bedroom is my business. If I want to have someone (man, woman or chimp) come into MY HOME and whip the crap out of me while I'm hog-tied and covered in processed cheese, that's my business and my business alone. Maybe Ashcroft isn't getting any at home and thinks no one else should either. Maddening. Like I said in a post a little while ago, if we let the govt start getting into our bedroom, where or when will it stop? What is next? And what else is this administration wasting money on?

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Something's gotta happen. Something needs to happen soon. What? Something big, monumentous, life shattering, that's all I know. When? Not soon enough.

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Monday, April 05, 2004

No thanks 

Vodka flavored ice-cream? Sounds disgusting to me.

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THE YEAR has started 

Cubs win their first game!

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Are they new targets of the worldwide attempt to arouse people against the US/Europe/western countries? Or are they being attacked (again) by their own dissidents that are tired of the many human rights abuses? Hard for us to tell (or is it?).

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The Big Show not Russel Crowe 

Scientists are now thinking that gladiators were fat, not svelte. I wonder if they will make another gladiator movie to represent the true facts? Yeah, right.

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More on Wal-Mart 

Would they try to essentially create a town inside a town? Develop a huge chunk of land and try to excuse themselves from following the laws all other developments must follow? Yup.

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A good day 

Saturday was a good day, once the marathon study session ended. I cruised up to the mountains to join up with my dad and his friends. There was no traffic, the radio was treating me right, and there was cold Busch Light Draft waiting for me in the fridge.

As we discussed where to ski on Sunday, the room grew quiet as UConn shut down Duke's offense (held them scoreless for almost 5 minutes!) and came back from a 7 or 9 point deficit with just over a minute to play to win the game and keep Duke from making it to the NCAA Finals. I was overjoyed. Unlike my friend Bill who thought the game was terrible, it was a hellishly good finish. I enjoyed watching it immensely.

Points to note:
I believe Coach K (whose rants were ignored by the refs at the end of the game) was an assistant under Bobby Knight. That is just one more reason to dislike Duke.

I had a dream that night that made me wake up in a bad mood. I dreamt that UConn lost. An hour of convincing myself otherwise made the day all better.

Vail is in no way my first choice for skiing (don't believe the hype)

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Alanis Morissette is funny 

I agree with her 'protest' against censorship. And her method made me laugh.

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Saturday, April 03, 2004

DeBeers news 

DeBeers has only been able to do business in the US thru intermediaries since just after world war II when the US govt filed a suit alleging price fixing (big surprise since DeBeers controlled almost the entire market). In 1994 the US govt filed a second suit but since they remained out of country, DeBeers was untouched. Now they are trying to settle this suit so they can once again have a presence here. I say screw 'em. They are greedy bastards (as is most of the diamond/jewelry industry) perpetuating a terrible outlook on life/relationships. I really have to get my big diamond blog/essay done.

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Friday, April 02, 2004

Mutilated Americans 

A despicable act. As one Iraqi put it:

"This is a bad advertisement for everything we stand for," said Muhammad Khalifa, a spare-parts trader who closed his shop during the disturbance in a sign of disgust. "We may hate Americans. We may hate them with all our hearts. But all men are creatures of God."

While it may sound as though he doesn't condone the mutilation, I assume he has no problem with them being killed. But the latter half of the statement clearly shows the mindset of a lot of people not only in Iraq, but around the world. They hate us. Completely. Unless they need our help of course (but that is a different blog). Furthermore, as this article states:

One of the gravest sins in Islam is desecrating the dead.

Here again, the rule of Islam is being ignored in order to hurt the Americans. Granted, it may be a small group, but these small groups, acting as Allah 'wants' them to act (by their own interpretations and ignorance of their own religion), are creating an incredible amount of chaos. How can we change that? More tolerance of their religion/lifestyle would be a big first step. But they are intolerant (the hardliners) of our lifestyle in return and see no reason to accept us as we are. An impasse? Maybe. Too many devout religious types find no cause to tolerate other religions, and there is our problem. I don't have much faith (no pun intended) that these problems can be overcome. Most major conflicts have religion as a root cause.

To add to that, many children in these countries are taught to hate Americans (whether justified or not) from the beginning. That is hard to overcome.

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Political TV 

Seems tv shows are delving into the political 'game' more than ever these days. And my feelings about that are pretty much the same as my feelings for celebrities voicing their opinions at gatherings such as awards shows.

Why does it bother me so much? I think I just figured part of it out. Obviously I have no problem with someone voicing their opinion. That is fine. The problem is that too many people put too much stock in what an actor or musician has to say. They don't use their brains to decide how they feel about a subject, they just accept what a famous person has to say without question. And I don't think a lot of these famous people put a lot of thought into what comes out of their mouths (i.e.-Al Franken. Though he is good at name calling). There, I think that is why it bugs me. So maybe its not so much famous people espousing their beliefs, but the apparent inability of a lot of the country not being able to think for themselves, and being snowed over because someone is famous.


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There is a supposed whistleblower who is now saying that our govt agencies had warnings months before 9-11 that planes were going to be used in a terrorist attack in major cities in the US. Read about it here. If this is true (the White House is trying to invoke more priveleges to suppress her statements) that is almost unfathomable. She is supposedly reliable (as was testified in 2002) Why would warnings such as that be ignored? I guess we have to wait and see what transpires. Here is an excerpt from the article

Mrs Edmonds, 33, says she gave her evidence to the commission in a specially constructed "secure" room at its offices in Washington on 11 February. She was hired as a translator for the FBI's Washington field office on 13 September 2001, just two days after the al-Qa'ida attacks. Her job was to translate documents and recordings from FBI wire-taps.

She said said it was clear there was sufficient information during the spring and summer of 2001 to indicate terrorists were planning an attack. "Most of what I told the commission ­ 90 per cent of it ­ related to the investigations that I was involved in or just from working in the department. Two hundred translators side by side, you get to see and hear a lot of other things as well."

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Thursday, April 01, 2004

Calc frustrations 

I am taking the Professional Engineer’s exam in about 2 weeks. And no, I have not studied enough yet. Get off my back!

Well they’ve decided to ban certain calculators from being used on this test. As stated on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website:

If a calculator model can be made to communicate through the use of modules, software, and/or other add-on devices, then this calculator is deemed to possess communication capabilities and will be prohibited.

This ban includes the higher model TI’s, and most HP’s.

Well, I think it’s crap. What they are saying is that those of us using one of these ‘illegal’ calculators have to find someone with a legal calculator (not easy, as most people have the ‘bad’ ones) and learn how to use it. I have an HP 48-GX which uses backwards entry (I don’t know the technical term). Now I have to re-learn how to use one that functions ‘regularly’. I was lucky one person in my office had such a calculator I can borrow. I blame Siavash Hakkakian who decided he needed to modify a calculator so that he could scan questions into it and save them. They found 3 years worth of tests on his home computer. A$$hole.

I guess there are some legitimate reasons for this ban, but isn’t this test supposed to show us what we’ve learned in the working world and whether or not we are now qualified to function in professional real world (non-academic) situations? Sure a more advanced calculator can make the test (and my job) easier, but isn’t that why we make these technological advances?

I am annoyed.

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Extraterrestrial life has been found! 

Ok, not really, but some scientists are estimating that they've found about 50 that could hold life. Interesting article.

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com