Wednesday, November 23, 2005

BushCo® and the "L" Word

Richard Cohen has a scathing Op-Ed in Tuesday's Washington Post entitled "Iraq and the 'L' Word".
(The Invasion of Iraq) is a blunder without peer in American history and possibly an assault on democracy: The people, through their representatives, are supposed to make an informed decision about war. It is incredible to me that Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex, but nobody -- that's nobody -- in the entire Bush administration has been fired, not to mention impeached, for this shedding of American blood. Cheney, a man of ugly intolerance for dissent, should have been the first to go. His has been a miserable, dishonest performance -- which he continues to this day.

I'll just say that I aggree with his position that someone in this Administration should pay for this atrocity.

Happy Thanksgiving
{sigh}

Friday, November 18, 2005

Domestic Aesthetics

Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris (1834-96)



That quote struck me as quite useful and desirable advice. I foun it via Mario Livio while reading part of his book, "
The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry ", on Simonsays.com.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ask a Fundy

if they don't believe in evolution, then how did their religion evolve from what it started out as.

And if it's the same as it ever was, ahem, what kind of car did Jesus drive? Did Peter have an international Sea Pilot's license? How is Zeus doing these days?

Which corner of the sphere did you get "created" on?

But that's just as a last resort.


C'mon Cavs!

We're ALL Gonna Miss This Guy

But maybe not as much as has been feared.

This Christian Science Monitor story on Ben Bernanke has boosted my hopes for a smooth transition from one of the most effective Fed managers ever to an "unknown" replacement. Bernanke is currently undergoing confirmation hearings before the US Senate. In the CSM story, he talks about finding a working balance of computerized statistical analysis and human judgement.
He and coauthor Jean Boivin concluded in the 2001 paper that man can outperform so-called expert systems. "There clearly remains considerable scope for human judgment about special factors or conditions in the economy," said the two researchers.

Wikipedia brings a little more backround to light. But I'm having a little trouble determining what this quote really says about his direction:
In March 2005, a few months prior to becoming Chairman of the CEA, he gave a speech which argued that a "global saving glut," resulting from new patterns in international capital flows, was largely responsible for the American current account deficit. This was controversial among those economists who felt the trade deficit was due instead to excessive governmental spending. [1]
It sounds reasonable that a "glut" of savings in economies targeted by US companies will result in a negative trade balance. What exactly constitutes crossing the line of excessive government spending is a little harder to determine vis-a-vis that deficit. Here's to hoping he's as good as he just might be at finding the right balance of Prime Rate incentivising to hold inflation to efficacious levels while

A)
American business adapts to world demand for its products and
B) the economies with whom we do that business adapt to changes in their own needs and abilities to produce.

After all, you can't stifle growth just because it's difficult, just like you can't push it to the limit if it it's obviously about to kill you.

And you simply can not do it alone.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Voice of Moderation


The mindset that makes moderate imam Raed Hlayhel's
reaction to this publication is evidence that Sam Harris is not just spitting out anti-religious rhetoric. An Editor from Denmark's leading circulation daily, Jyllands-Posten, has recruited artists for a childrens' book on Islam in which the likeness of that religion's founder, Mohammed, will be depicted graphically.
Among those who attacked the newspaper's lack of sensitivity was prominent Copenhagen imam Raed Hlayhel, saying "I will not tolerate this. If this is democracy, we disagree with democracy."
You're kidding? Really? Why don't you tell that to George Bush so we can clear out of Iraq already (er, not gonna happen.) He seems to think your religion of peace and love must necessarily include democracy as a foundation for the Islamic future.

At least Bush sold the War in Iraq to American's on the basis on that argument. (Well, that and his conversations with his god, of course helped sell it.)

Of course, not all muslims feel the same as imam Hlayhel.
"People have a right to say what they want without being killed," says Nasim Rahnama, the 20-year-old Iranian woman who started a petition in support of the newspaper. "These Islamic groups have to be stopped. I just can't sit down and do nothing."

So far Ms. Rahnama, who moved here from Tehran four years ago, has collected over 150 signatures from Danish Muslims who support the paper's stance but says that she would have got many more if it weren't for people's fear that Islamic groups would find out.

I know that at least of couple of my muslim friends & aquaintences think more like Ms. Rahnama, but they aren't in positions that converge religious & political influence amongst wide numbers of others of their faith.

Individuals can always make up their own minds in a democracy. That's something else someone might want to tell the president and the imam.



Thursday, November 10, 2005

I Love Speed Bump


Well, yah...

"We do not torture" Update 2

but "Any activity we conduct is within the law."

Maybe I was a little hard on Lyndon LoRouche...


Torture.
Illumination. What's the difference?

It's a fucking rainbow of BIG GODDAM DIFFERENCES!!!

I'm in a hurry but need to post this. The Independent Online Edition posted this story on Tuesday and I found it today via Darksyd and the DailyKos.

I vaguely remember reading about the use of phosphorous last year. The "illumation" angle seemed, to my limited tactical knowledge of warfare, to make a kind of rational sense. Now an unidentified US Soldiers reports
"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."
emphasis mine

It seems to me the US Military was saying, back in 'o4, that they knew this and kept that 150 meter radius well above ground level. As this testimony indicates, this unidentified soldier is gonna have to dispense with their anonymity when this thing goes to a World Court and BushCo attempts to defend itself against War Crimes charges.

I am proud to be American. At this point, I just feel sick about it as well.

Become Republican!

I almost didn't post this cuz, even though it's hilarious in how it's put together, it's just too freakin' close to reality. There are 10 li'l vignettes (a decidedly unRepublican word) showing Democrats why they would be better off converting to the Replublican party.

From scene 10 on "The Environment"
Animal Harm: Animals belong at the zoo, in your closet, or on your plate. If you want to see nature as a majestic Circle of Life, just order a meat-lovers' pizza.

{shudder} "... in your closet" ??? What the ...

Thanks for the link to Carol on Atheists-World.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"We do not torture" Update

Mr Bush, W, the Chimperor, IDiot in Chief

By whatever moniker, from simply juvenile to outright profane, the current President of the United States of America is an immoral and reprehensible fool.

To whit:
"Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Mr. Bush said. "Anything we do to that end, in that effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture."
Why he is unable to acknowledge that this conumdrum was logically solved in great part by the "quaint" old Geneva Convention I will demur from addressing here. Well, it does bear repeating that he certainly and proudly blames his god as his guide.

In defense of their indefensible Leader's delusions as to what constitutes "within the law," and as a result of the humiliating activities at abu Graib and (apparently) Gitmo, the Pentagon has finally released their new policy directive on how to perform interrogations and maintain detainees.

The eight-page directive, which was signed without any public announcement last Thursday by Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, will allow the Army to issue a long-delayed field manual for interrogators that is supposed to incorporate the lessons gleaned from the prisoner-abuse scandals last year.

The Army intends, for example, to ensure that interrogation techniques are approved, up to the highest levels in the Pentagon, that interrogators are properly trained and that personnel in the field are required to report any abuses, Army officials said.

That part about it being singed without any public announcement bothered me upon an initial reading, but I believe in giving people who respond proactively to address criticism the benefit of the doubt. That ain't easy with this Adminiistration though and that is their own doing.
The new Directive 3115.09, "DoD Intelligence Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and Tactical Questioning," assigns responsibilities for interrogation activities to senior Pentagon civilians and commanders; establishes requirements for reporting violations of the policy; and requires that Central Intelligence Agency interrogators follow Pentagon guidelines when questioning military prisoners.
My emphasized portion speaks to the explicit disagreements put forth by our Great Leader when they prayed before Congress that "we" deserved the right to ignore definitions of inhumane treatment against other human beings. They already have carte blanche to enforce the death penalty via the Executive right to initiate War (ostensibly) and the Patriot Act's allowance for definitional differences between Prisoner's of War and enemy combatants. Their argument to allow the CIA free reign in deciding who qualifies as a human being, and thus deserving of freedom from the threat of torture, is no more surprising from this group than their tacit outing of one of their own in the Plame case.

In related news:

I wonder if the Aussie's needed torture to prosecute this apparently very successful action.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Legalese?

Which one of these quotes reflects more poorly on America's "leadership"?

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman!"

or

"Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture."

Okay. So neither one of them is exactly Lyndon LaRouche, but the Chimperor is actually making Tricky Dick Nixon look downright Law Abiding.


{shakin'head}

What I've Been Getting at Recently

I'm no psychic. This kind of thing just keeps coming up in my reading with more frequency lately.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Imagine last year's tsunami, last month's earthquake in Pakistan, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma all rolled into one — and then some. If nations can't handle those calamities, what's going to happen when an asteroid collides with Earth?

Fascists and other War-mongers seem to have natural function other than mere savage dominionism.

Still, if we remain brutally incapable of working together, what kind of species will we be to survive?

So I blog until I make myself able to do more.

Evo-Devo

I am astounded at the frequency with which I encounter people who profess a strong skepticim of biological evolution on this planet. As far as I can ascertain, the occurence of evolution isn't an issue that has any more points of debate; rather it is the mechanisms and primary origins of the life which is evolving that we are now using the scientific method to investigate, understand and utilize.

Scientific bloggers like PZ Miers, Orac and Phil Plait (amongst numerous others) have been metaphorical god-sends for helping me to understand the processes and occurences that lead from pre-biotic times, to
chemosynthesis, abiogenesis and photosynthesis. Resting on a base of Physical laws, these occurences happen because it makes sense for them to happen naturally. What we perceive as Random only seems that way until the principle's behind it are revealed through conscious experimentation.

Homo Sapiens occured because large numbers of pre-Homo animals benefitted from utilizing their awareness of their selves and their species-mates over hundreds of thousands of years. One powerful mechanism for this evolution was space-time: organisms interacting with each other then developing tendencies and abilities to manipulate and controll
their environment eventually leads to more complex abilities which allow more awareness and more ability to affect each other through means of individually and personally beneficient violence and persuasion evolving as exchanges of ideas and resources. This occurs to some variable but physically possible extent in all species of biological organisms. In H. Sapiens it goes all the way up to and includes the invention of animal & plant husbandry, the utilization of and then the mining of ores, cuneform writing into Hammurabai's Code, Abraham & Isaac to Jesus & Caesar, Hiroshima and "One small step for (a) man."

The species-pruning of events such as Noah's quite real regionally devastating flood, the Black Death other similar population shifting events, have given H Sapiens impetus to understand and control the environs in which we exist by any means we can develope and utilize effectively; both personally and as an emotional animal which places value on the happiness and smooth operation of our family, friends and neighbors. These driving forces of survival and happiness have led us to develope literally billions of cultural norms which work in conjunction with physical phenomena to effect and consciously ensure both happiness and survival on personal and societal levels.

For reasons which I can trace as far back as my kindergarden years (but which go back even further,)
I have individually evolved to be a lover of the social sciences, and am a person who is less than adept with mathematics and the equations made inevitable by the components of the Periodic Table of Elements which exist, not due to random chance, but from the fact of natural, physical and quantum laws that take place unconsciously in our natural world. It is the macro-results of these interactions, particularly as they are expressed in my species cultural evolution, which seem most clear to me.


I publish this blog using the tools of my personality and my knowledge on a bed-rock of technology other's have Created to that end. Sometimes that results in slapstick, and at others I feel like I've actually learned and grown in a positive and healthy way. Regardless of the apparent results, the point of Silly Humans is for me to express to the world of my species who and what I think, feel and believe. I do have pride in ability to make sense of my people's evolution on Earth and I blog, indirectly for the competition of ideas/displays, but more consciously in order to have a place where I can look back and see what about myself and my life I am proud enough or just plain determined to share with others. There are certainly things I don't share either because I am not comfortable with them personally or because they are someone else's business primarily and I need to let them go in order to both improve myself and respect their evolution.

The point of this post is actually quite simple: the Universe is complicated but being deciphered. As a conscious critter - H Sapiens - I can rely on the work, techniques and evidence of other H. Saps to discern what is Real in both my own personal existence and as an element of my species. BOTH of these perspectives occur within the Universe as a whole, and regardless of any ability to tell one from the other.

Religion is soooo incredibly powerful because the former enables the latter enables the former etc... etc.. etc.

It's personal and impersonal at the same time, regardless of whether I (we) share it or not.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Was Hollywood A Threat to Communism?

That was the first thing I thought when I read this BookTV Headline
Was Communism a Threat to Hollywood

The Holywood film Industry ( note the I ) was required to repulse Communism, which It didn't have to be that way, except in order to support, yes, Human Rights it's true, but mostly profiteers of the available physical reality of our ecosphere; a species specialization, against an economic philosophy which:
  1. 1) hadn't been tried outside the context of Fascism, quite possibly since the rise of pre-city states. Though it's true Hammurabai's Code rings powerfully true. It was the onset of great art & science as a hallmark of a species with a personalized raison d'tre for each individualized organism on a conscious level.
  2. now needs a fascist-free practical employment; I Believe it should be an economy of the most powerfully effective culturo-organelles of which every historically known economic philosophy is composed. The results of our existence are what count so admit the truth when you see it & not.
-101 = -&/+ § Conscious Life = Reality

In Quantum Bio Computing. The brainwave of the future of what is known to & by us.





* in order to be clear on bullets, I'm using software verson # style notation. 1.1, 1.1.2.2 & 1.1.2.2.3 would necessarily follow.

§ intersects meaning This is what we know. It's all we can go on in order to discover alles else.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Meet an Atheist

Alan of Meet an Atheist posted this on Wednesday and I just cracked up upon readin' it for the first time.

I found MAA while reading what I think is a fairly important vjack post called An Alliance with Progressive Christians.


It appears that Alan's only been doing Meet an Atheist since October, but he already has quite an inventory of takes on an atheistic experience of life in our subtly (and not-so-)
religiously saturated culture. Take a look if you're into quirkie and rational, godless style bloggin'.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

5 Years In

For 5 consecutive years there have been H. Sapiens living night & day in the International Space Station.

Congratulations to the programs and people responsible.







When this is History - 50 years from now - industrial greenhouse gasses will no longer pollute our planet's biosphere. All such unusable resources will be excreted from orbiting factories me Green Buckaroos.

Global Warming is Real. And this is worth it to end that correlative with understanding and survival.
HOUSTON - The international space station Wednesday marked five continuous years of people living and working aboard it. But there wasn't much time for celebration.
15,000(2) feet of living space maintained for 5 years has giving scientists a test bed for the survival of our species on this planet by showing us precisely what is needed to survive in space. Mars will be no problem when we're finally able to setup this magnitude of human endeavor on that planet. What Pharao, King or Godking ever sat on such a throne as Orbit? or Mare Imbrium?or Mons Olympus? The latter spot sits outside the Martian atmosphere where a base might be setup in environmental conditions similar to the IST's.

And it comes with an added bonus! Should an asteroid or some such the size of Alaska or even the UK turns up to be in our path on the elliptic, and even should our entire biosphere be blown away, Homo Sapiens will survive. But not if we can't move.

I hope I've made it obvious that I think we're worth it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cruel, Humiliating and Degrading

Wow! There are actually people in the White House who would like to see these kinds of activities officially prohibited via new Defense Department standards.

Imagine that.

According to a story in today's online version of the New York Times,
Advocates of that approach, who include some Defense and State Department officials and senior military lawyers, contend that moving the military's detention policies closer to international law would prevent further abuses and build support overseas for the fight against Islamic extremists...
(Emphasis mine)

Sarcasm aside, this is both rational and commendable. Our country had an overwhelming outpouring of empathy and sympathy from the combined nations of the world right up until Halliburton Inc, er, BushCo, decided to take out their nasty little co-creation in Iraq.

The fact that it hasn't always been this Admin's rule of thumb doesn't mean that it always has to ignore the rule of Law.

Ooops... I guess when it comes to the Chimperor's agenda, I've got to be extra diligent keepin' the sarcasm off.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reply to a Soldier

Sargent McElroy,

Torture is wrong.

The possibility that such a thing engendered a feeling comraderie in your mind during your CSU days doesn't make it right. It indicates you have a high tolerance for personal discomfort and that is great for you. Such a tolerance writ large to the sphere of International relations is a cause for war; regardless of who started it. Have you never seen one person go just a little too far? That's cool as long as that one's comrades, bro's or buds gives 'em a shove and says "knock it off." Unless of course the one they pushed has their own issues and pulls a gun cuz they've had enough.


You slide a slippery slope Sarge. Whilst your commanders have the reigns on you (which your rank suggests you're well adjusted to accepting and utilizing in our country's service) you are highly unlikely to breach any gap they've not said to breach.

But when your commanders get pissed and tell you to "turn the screw" on a potential terrorist, it doesn't matter whether or not You are morally comfortable with that or even if you understand all of the consequences of it. It is wrong because it is inviting retaliation. INVITING it. That kind of thing only works when it is done Hiroshimacally, so to speak; ie, when it leaves the "screwed" no doubt that they will soon enter the extinction of EVERYTHING they hold dear and valuable.

Rush speaks from the gut. When he uses his intellect, it is in an apparently - very apparently - limited fashion which utilizes only his own fore-gone emotional conclusions as to what is right or wrong. He is emphatically NOT empirically sound in his reasoning for the very fact that such reasoning is interrupted by the emotions your comments defend here so very well.

I'm not going to ask if you think it would be okay to slap a child of yours if she called you a bitch. Nor if she cut the dog's tail off cuz she got hysterically sick of gettin' whacked in the head with it. That slope is just too slippery for extrapolation to the international realm, even though it is emotionally relevant.

You write like you're an excellent soldier and I AM glad - as I'm sure is Clyo and a lot of other folks - that people like you fight yer asses off for your ideals. That means that your doing so potentially offers me safety to write this blog, make fun of my buddies, love my friends, family and self.

But your "DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY" do not, can not and never have been imbued with the "Right Stuff" needed to build a society of individuals who RESPECT one another whilst they strive for understanding of our Natural environment and the best means to utilize it whilst living as only one part of our species. Those ideals do so no more and no less than those of the sociopathic Islamofascist terrorist head-cases you must deal with in your voluntary tours of duty every single hour, day and week and month.

Good Luck and Much Gratitude to you SFC McElroy. I am sure that you believe in your mission. Perhaps if it were founded on reality instead of the Lies of the neo-con ideology that eeked out a controlling interest in the government of the United States, that mission might actually have some efficacy towards the goal of our healthy and maturing species. Perhaps if our attacks were against the true sources of Islamofascist Terrorism instead being a horrendously misguided campaign against a quasi-secular megalomaniacal and totalitarian dictator whom our country's previous leaders helped to build up, the world-wide threat to Freedom, Liberty, Democracy and Progress that these terrorists are would not be so hopeless in effecting your cause.

If you run for office when you get home, I'll be sure to double check your view points and proposals before I campaign either For or Against you.

And, believe it or not, I sincerely appreciate your posting your views here. As does your military service, such gives me concrete reality to confront inside my own mind so that I can improve my own understanding of my species and myself. Thank you.