Friday, June 30, 2006

Whoopass

As expected, Israel opened up a gigantic can of whoopass on Gaza, in retaliation for the Hamas having the audacity to hold an Israeli citizen captive.

Israeli fighter jets bombed 20 targets in Gaza, including the Interior Ministry, which it said had been used by militants to stage meetings, while artillery hit the northern strip with 500 shells in the 24 hours until yesterday morning.


And its going to get worse.


Israel last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.


Lesson to Gaza: Fuck with the bull, get the horns. These people did not survive 2,000 years of persecution by playing softball.

linky - article on The Australian

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Old glory




So the Arizona Senate give preliminary approval to a bill that would require all community colleges, state universities, public K-12 schools, as well as private schools that receive contributions from government funds to display an American-made US flag, at least 2 feet by 3 feet in size.

Most schools don't have enough money for teachers, books, paper and training materials, and now the politicians want them to spend money on flags. Is the absence of flags in classrooms really such a burning issue in Arizona? Have all other problems been solved already? Why exactly are we doing this?

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. - one of the 14 defining characteristics of fascism, Dr. Laurence Britt


Why indeed.

linky - news story on the flags in class room
linky - interview with Laurence Britt.
linky - 14 defining characteristics of fascism

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Gilad Shalit



So an Isreali soldier has been captured by Hamas.

Israel wants him back.

This is going to be ugly. When it comes to this kind of thing, the Isrealis don't fuck around.

linky - news story on yahoo

Robin Gates

So Bill Gates is retiring from Microsoft, and will focus the remainder of his time to goofing off, and to running the Gates Foundation. In case you didn't know, for years he has been funneling his money into the Gates Foundation, which focuses on helping the poor, sick and needy in third world countries.

Bill Gates is the closest thing to Robin Hood that our generation will ever see, or will see again, on a global scale. Like Robin Hood, Gates commited so-called "criminal" acts such as monopoly abuse, extortion, willful destruction of competitors, patent infringement, stifling of innovation, and a host of other shady actions. These actions have created a monopolistic empire that has extorted the rich (American and European computer users) for over two decades, and now the bulk of that money is going to be used to help the poor and needy via the Gates Foundation.

From the viewpoint of a software developer, I truly despise what he has done to my profession and the computer industry. From the viewpoint of a human being, I cannot possibly hold him in higher regard. Unless someone comes along and cures cancer, or discovers cold fusion, Bill Gates has probably done more for his fellow man than anyone ever has, or ever will.

linky - gates foundation

Monday, June 26, 2006

Breaking the law

So apparently Pete King is upset that The New York Times is publishing stories about secret surveillance programs being run by the government, and would like to see the paper prosecuted. The irony about history repeating itself, is that it repeats itself because people are too stupid to study it, and learn from it.

In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. - (Daniel Ellsberg bio)


Or is it rather that Pete King, like Nixon's aides in 1969, have something to hide?

Friday, June 23, 2006

The difference it makes

So I just got back from Trinidad where I went to watch the last World Cup game (which Trinidad lost, to great disapointment), and while driving back to my apartment, something struck me which was so sad that I felt compelled to write about it.

When I go driving in Trinidad, I keep my eye out for bad guys, people that might rob me, kill me, or steal my car. When I see a policeman, or a police car, I feel safe. The police cars down there drive with their flashers on all the time, so you can see them from a mile away. When I go driving in the USA, the only thing I worry about is keeping my eye out for cops, because they hide in unmarked cars and/or behind terrain so that they can avoid being seen, so they can write me tickets and take my money.

What is this country coming to, when citizens are more afraid of the police than the criminals?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thank you for paying

One of the things that I wish I could see here in the US in my lifetime is free universal healthcare. However, every time I mention this to people opposed to the idea, they always say something along the lines of "where will the money come from", and "taxes will have to go up to pay for it".

But here's the thing. We are already paying for healthcare. Only thing is, we are paying for everybody else's instead of our own.

A good job has benefits, such as company subsidized medical insurance. Bob works at AT&T, and he gets his healthcare insurance paid for. Alice has AT&T as her long distance provider. A tiny percentage of every dollar she pays to AT&T for telephone service goes to covering Bob's healthcare insurance.

Repeat this for every single product we buy, from condoms to nachos, and you will see that we are being nickel and dimed to death, paying for healthcare insurance for everybody but ourselves. What makes it really sad is that under our current system the people who can least afford healthcare, the ones that are least likely to have good jobs that provide them with healthcare benefits, the working poor, are the ones that are paying for the rich. And they have no say in the matter.

I'd call it ironic, but disgusting is a better word.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bible study

So I found a site that has come in very handy as a reference tool during my Bible studies. It also has sections on the Koran and the Book of Mormon.

Check it out.

linky.

Trinidad v. Sweden 0-0

So the big news for us is that Trinidad was able to contain Sweden to a draw. This is an amazingly good result. Even more amazing - apparently three people died of heart attacks in Trinidad during the game.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I know

I'm going to hell, but I find this hilarious.

morning glory

Squares

Teenagers today are less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or have sex than their peers 15 years ago, according to a national study released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


This is just sad. So much for the teenage years being the time for being crazy.

linky

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rendition

Apparently the US has been accused of abducting and transporting suspected terrorists to secret prisons in foreign states so that they can be outside the jurisdiction of US laws. There are a ton of stories in the news lately, and there is an article on Wikipedia about it. What makes this particularly depressing is that among the myriad sources cited in the Wikipedia article is a report by Amnesty International.

Yes Virginia, Amnesty International is writing about the USA.

Two buildings, 3,000 people, and now we are now so terribly terribly afraid that we are now resorting to the same hideous actions which were once the sole domain of despots, tyrants and dictators. We can no longer lay claim to the moral high ground as our government and its actions are just as evil as those we condemn.

The terrorists have won.

linky - Amnesty International entry on rendition
linky - wikipedia entry
linky - google news search on "rendition"

Monday, June 05, 2006

What could possibly go wrong?

Blowback - when helping the enemy of your enemy turns out to be a mistake.

1917 - Germany finances the Bolshevik revolution, as they oppose Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution succeeds, forming the USSR, which eventually takes East Germany.
1981 - Regan finances the Contras, as they are against the Sandinista socialist movement. They do this via missile sales to Iran. The resulting scandal leads to an injunction against the US by the world court, and destroys the credibility of Reagan.
1980-1986 - US finances the Mujehadeen, as they oppose Soviet Russia. The Mujehadin kicks the Soviets out of Afghanistan, and twenty years later, destroy the World Trade Center.

And now...

2006 -
The United States has been funneling more than $100,000 a month to warlords battling Islamist militia in Somalia, according to a Somalia expert who has conferred with the groups in the country.


linky

Coke & Mentos

If you've ever wondered what would happen if you put 101 bottles of diet coke and 523 Mentos together, here is the answer.

linky

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Battle of the Babies

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt vs. Sean Preston Federline.

Clearly, there is only one way to settle this.

GOOGLEFIGHT !!!!