Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Lest we forget, Osama's Friends are Like...Well...

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From a CNN story this month:

"A kinder, gentler Taliban?

The Taliban rose to power in the 1990s in response to corrupt warlords who were busy tearing the country apart.

Corruption is once again a serious problem, this time for the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, and the Taliban code of conduct is aimed at exploiting that advantage.

"Taliban may not use Jihad equipment or property for personal ends" reads rule nine, while rule 10 says each Taliban is held "accountable to his superiors in matters of money spending and equipment usage."

This is clear PR, Brachman says. "The Taliban recognizes that it has the reputation of being a band of brutal barbarians interested only in clubbing women back to the Stone Age. This rule sheet reads like an effort to put a kinder, gentler, more moderate and professional face on the movement."

Until you get to rules 24 and 25, which make it clear that the Taliban's current campaign of destroying schools around Afghanistan and terrorizing teachers will continue as long as schools dare teach something other than the Taliban version of Islam.

"It is forbidden to work as a teacher under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels," says rule 24. And if a teacher refuses a warning to give up his job, reads rule 25, "he must be beaten."

"If the teacher still continues to instruct contrary to the principles of Islam, the district commander or a group leader must kill him," it continues.

When schools are burned, the Taliban rules say it is important that religious texts be removed from the buildings first.
Defining the Taliban

Journalist Rizvi says that each of the 30 rules reveals much about the Taliban and how it has evolved over the last five years.

One rule, notes Rizvi, says that only the highest levels of the Taliban can approve work for an NGO (the non-governmental organizations that do much of the aid and reconstruction work in Afghanistan). Rizvi says this means "they have planted people inside NGOs."

One reason for the handbook is to put the Taliban's religious views front and center to its members, adds Brachman. "The first rule is classic in that it welcomes believers of Islam into their movement. Punishments and judgments are stated as playing out according to Islamic law. "

He also sees it as a move -- as the Taliban raises its military profile -- to set a certain standard of professionalism and behavior.

Along with rules about not smoking cigarettes and not allowing murderers to join the Taliban, there also is this entry: Taliban "are not allowed to take young boys with no facial hair onto the battlefield or into their private quarters."

Sexual abuse, says Rizvi, has always been a problem for the movement, especially in some of the madrassas (religious schools) that feed recruits to the movement.

Controlling bad behavior, according to Brachman, is just one of the ways "the Taliban are aggressively seeking to update their organization inside and out."

And that, he says, is a worrying sign, as worrying as their increased presence on the battlefield."

Just when you thought it couldn't get any wierder !

Merry Christmas !

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Monday, December 25, 2006

The Dictatorship of Nice

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I have been making up a series of jokes lately about Osama bin Ladin.

I have told them in classes where I substitute, when I have encountered kids trying to play a game on the net where they try to knock out a cartoon Osama. My wife informs me that this is a Bad Idea because there are some people who think Osama's OK, and view anything that insults him and his followers as insulting to anyone of Arab/Islamic religiousity or ethnicity or racial background. She thinks that if there was a complaint I could be endangering my livelihood from that source.

Frankly, if there's a danger to my livelyhood from insulting Osama bin Laden, then we are all in far greater danger than we know.

Making bad puns about his name, which have nothing to do with his Arab/Islamic religiousity or ethnicity or racial background, is a right Benjamin Franklin and Tom Jefferson fought for, and which I view as my birthright as an American. The plays on words do involve his Arabic name, but hey, he's Arabic, is that my fault ?

Let's face it, if the Muslim/Arabic world was truly unhappy with him, they would build massive jails in Pakistan, herd every last borderland tribal person into them, pay them handsomely for the inconvenience, and thus starve Osama out. That would get the issue over, and, like Saddam, he would become part of past history.

The Dictatorship of Nice is a working title for a tome about bad politically incorrect puns that i may start to sell on EBay. I have to run check Google to see that it's not already taken. I really think that the PC dictatorship has swung way too far. My wife calls one of our dogs, "Big Butt," as an occasionally cute nickname. I called him that the other night and she said I wasn't allowed to. It was sort of on the order of them "N" word being a piece of personal property belonging only to people of the racial/ethnic group involved. It's their word, and don't you forget it ! Any, of course, don't use it... IN THIS CASE, i DO NOT HAVE A "BIG BUTT," and I'll leave the rest of the case for you to draw your own conclusions....

I got a copy of Paul Robeson's 25 Greatest Hits, including, "It's Sleepytime Down South," in which he doesn't use the "N" word. He uses a word even worse than "coloured." It's the "D" word which has been so thoroughly banned from speech I haven't even heard Richard Pryor like comedians use it. "Darky's" or "Darkies," which to modern ears untrained in history probably sounds like some new underground oxygen dance bar. It's so odd that it should be so prominent in several songs by this very broadly talented guy, whom many who considered a venerated inspirational and practical leader of the civil rights movement of the early twentieth century.

Anyway, I promised I'd tell my faithful reader('s) what's very holy but not at all religious.

A Bagal, as long as you are not not eating it as part of a religious observance. Does eating it as part of an ethinic observance count as religious, darned if I know...

What else is holy but not at all religious ?

heh heh heh

How about a box of donuts, all covered with Christmas sprinkles ?????

Live Long and Prosper !


Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Different Take on the Bible

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I found this quite fascinating....

10:31 AM PDT, August 2, 2006, updated at 7:40 AM PDT, August 4, 2006
Hi All,
Today marks my initiation to not just one, but two new media: comics, and the "plog."

The former - and what I'll share with you below - is the first collection of my first regular comic book, Testament. The second, is this extremely "push-y" form of blogging from Amazon known as the Plog.

I was surprised to see these little messages when I logged into Amazon, apparently from authors whose books I've purchased in the past. Before clicking the window completely closed forever, though, I figured it was my duty to investigate - and determine whether this was a vehicle for true author-reader communications, or simply one for crass marketing.

Seems it's both - which really isn't so terrible when you pause to remember that we are sitting here in an online store. Why not get messages from authors who you might like to hear from, even if it is about a new release?

And, at least in my case, I've got messages to share other than "buy my book." (Still, if you could click along and grab a discounted copy of my new work, I'd greatly appreciate it!)
Testament: Akedah

So much for the Plog aspect. As for comics, well, for those of you who are only familiar with my media thinking or my Judaism writings, it may seem like something of a stretch. But, in actuality, it's about the most logical medium for the ideas I've been trying to express since I began writing.

Testament is, ultimately, about the Bible. I'm trying to show that these stories aren't so important because they happened at one moment in history, but because they are still happening, now. These stories actually describe the dynamics underlying our personal choices in every moment, and the forces at play in our most global conflicts.

So I've juxtaposed Bible stories - stark and historically considered interpretations of Torah that I hope invigorate the contemporary Midrash - with a brand new story of a near-future where the draft has been reinstated and the world is adopting several new self-enslaving technologies. In other words, I'm juxtaposing the Bible with our day-after-tomorrow real world. By doing so, I hope to show how we still engage in child sacrifice - every time we send a kid off to war. And how we still practice idolatry through our worship of the almight dollar (in G-d we trust). And how we're still the victims of mental bondage, courtesy of Madison Avenue's latest techniques of behavioral control.

In the world of Testament, technology and media are our magicks and mysteries - making hackers today's equivalent of the Israelites.

Testament has been a great joy to write because I'm finally working in a medium where I can connect the dots between what must have appeared to be a very disparate collection of book subjects. To me, they're all the same subject; and the world of "sequential narrative" - as comics people like to call it - has allowed me to tell this story in a more cohesive and coherent way than ever before.

More soon. And feel free to stop by my "regular" blog at rushkoff.com to discuss any of this with me.

Most of all, thanks for having bought one of my books at some point in Amazon's history. Without you, I wouldn't be a writer.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Are There Control Freaks in Heaven ?

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Just Asking...........

What's very holy, but not at all religious ?

tune in next time for the surprise answer.......

Friday, December 08, 2006

DirecTV Newmixs is BIASED !

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102 on DirecTV is supposedly a smorgasbord of various news sources, but no CSPAN or NASA. When you hit the site it always starts with FOX news, and you have to wait ten to fifteen seconds before you can switch channels. When you do switch you have to adjust the volume upwards a bit for NBC MSNBC and Blooomberg, and you have to shift the volume upwards a lot for CNN's offerings.

When you zoom in on just on channel, and then zoom back out, it always goes right back to the FOX channel. Again, you have to turn the volume down and wait another nine to fifteen second to choose something else.

To make the other channels even more unpalatable, they've taken to boosting the audio way WAY UP on the CNN obnoxious commercials, where the FOX commercials experience only a mild boost.

All of this is clearly designed to rope you into FOX and friends.

I will be switching back to DishNet when my lease is up on DirecTV, I miss the NASA channel.

The way Forward from FAILURE !

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Silly string gives soldiers in Iraq a way of detecting bomb trip wires without triggering the explosions. Very, very, clever ! Silly string is that squirty stuff that is sold as a kid's toy. If the Pentagon developed it, the price tag would be $200/can !

Bush Spin Doctors are taking the word "failure" and flipping it to "forward" where upwards would really be more appropriate, for the hole Bush has dug the country into. Maybe Bush should spray the entire White House press corps with silly string to look for trip wires....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Throwing Baby Out with Bath Water

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Well, this is still a good place for techno thoughts, at least until GOOGLE demands that you submit to their toolbar...

It seems that in Virginia they're going to dump the 10 codes altogether. These are the codes the cops and others use to simplyfy talking on the radio, "10-4" and the like. It seems too many different counties came up with their own versions, meanings for the same codes, so that when 9/11 occurred, they all got confused. The codes have been around since the 30's, but regionalism crept in, as it always does in languages.

It would seem to me however, that the codes are a good thing, they just need to be restandardized, and the easiest wasy to do this would be to put a letter just after the attention getting "10." So ten four would be come 10 A 4 and would have a nationalized meaning, and it would be illegal to change them.

On another communications issue, the donut theory of the universe at EPhilosophy and Physics Campfire is fascinating. It ties right in with a Christian radio station that was discussing the need for peace and harmony among Protestants, with an admonition to not get panties in a knot over sprinkling water or being dunked in water, at what ages and how many times. Couldn't help but call this the Variable Donut School of Baptism, which brings me right back to a quote on the Donut Theory of the Universe.

"Cardinal Dr. Reginald Peach, speaking from his home in Wes, England, said: “The Donut Theory of Creation doesn’t really change a thing for the spiritually minded. Because then you have to ask yourself: who baked the donut?”

have yourself a very merry and glazed Christmas !

Saturday, November 25, 2006

One Last Post for Old Time's Sake.....

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When I signed up for this, I established SkiTheStars as a screen name. Now I have used my own real name here in individual posts, but when I discovered the entire set was now search and findable under the new ownership, I was a bit miffed.

Now they insist on a Google Account, which means opening your habits to AmericaMegaCorp, and be sure to spread'em wide so we know how to sell to you but good. No, I don't want no stinkin Yahoo, Google, MSN TOOL F YOU OVER BAR on my machine.

I guess the only was to go is to have a distant friend buy a domain name with privacy in Australia, and then take charge of the website on your own server with your own copy of Typepad or the like.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Support Our Troops, Listen to Them when they Vote!

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If they've got time to blog about it, they've got time to vote about it.

Is there any reason why we could not poll all active military on duty in Iraq on their sense of the situation ?

The ballots could be identified by rank only, and only totals for each rank released. Otherwise it would be a secret ballot. Anecdotal evidenced can be gathered by the armload to support any argument. A good poll is the American Way to the Truth.

Sample questions:

Should we leave immediately ?
Should we stay and if so, for how long ?
How many more troops or fewer troops should we station here ?
How many on the borders, how many in town ?
How much would more expenditures on infrastructure help as compared to other allotments ?
What does the common soldier need most that he doesn't have ? (This would be a type-in to preserve anonymity.)

In short we could gather the database necessary for Wil Wright to issue a new game called, "Sim Iraq," and give Congress a real feel for what is going on, using the knowledge of those in Iraq at all levels.

"We've never done that and we're not going to start now!"

"Not Invented Here" Strikes Again !

When you get right down to it, this would be the most striking demonstration of American Democracy ever !

Or is that not what we're promoting over there ?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Common Man vs The Common Oil Company

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Does George Bush and Friends, includes the Bin Laden family, BTW, control oil prices ?

Consider them in light of a symphony orchestra.

Each instrument, taken by itself, cannot recreate the experience of a symphony. Taken as a whole however, they can get the job done.

The common oil company wants to get as much out of the economy as possible, without causing it to collapse from loss of blood. If you think this is good, vote Republican, and it will continue to happen with maximum ease for the oil companies and those who own parts of them. In recent years they have been experimenting, like Dr. Frankenstine, to see just how much blood they can suck, and what the effects are. They are also hoping for the “boiled frog” effect. “Put a frog in hot pot of water, he jumps out, slowly turn up the temp, waver it back and forth, and he’ll die without realizing his danger.”

The death in this case is the death of freedom for the consumer, as more and more of his life becomes devoted to producing profits for the owners of Big Oil. At 18 I washed dishes at a casino. There was one older guy there. They fed and housed him. He'd work for two weeks, get his check, and put it back into the slots inside of two hours. That is the new American, between oil and the credit card companies.

Do you own part of an oil company ? Does it contribute to your family's well-being ?

If not, then maybe you have a need for lots of research to reduce the cost of converting sun power, be it in wind, tidal, passive heating, or solar electric format, into a cheaper process, and throwing the resultant patents into public domain world-wide, to see how Big Oil likes NAFTA done to them. You might also see reasons to improve insulation, and get tax breaks for everything in energy, EXCEPT OIL AND COAL AND NUKES*, which inconveniently happen to be setting us up for environmental catastrophy.

*How much waste will you store in your own backyard ? If not there, then where ? We’ve already spend a ton of money in Nevada for storage, Vegas will have none of it !

So, if big oil does nothing for you except reduce your bottom line, you might consider voting Democratic. You may save a few American service people, assorted journalists, missionaries (are there any left?), etc. at the same time.... Besides, bringing cheap power to the common man everywhere will maybe gain back some of what we've lost in national prestige, world-wide.

Precedents: We are at war with a group who's funding is oil derived. By attacking the price of oil by doing solar research, we are doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING AS WE DID IN WWII WITH THE MANHATTEN PROJECT. We're killing the enemy with advanced science. I don't like terrorists any more than you do, but I've got a much more effective way of stopping them than Georgie Boy of Frat Row does.

My guess is that advanced intelligence has already shown the administration that a nuke is or soon will be in place in the USA, we can't find or stop it, and that the Republicans want it happening on the Democrats' watch. Why do you think I took my family rural, beyond the obvious benefits ?

PS, Vote for Charlie Brown and DO More in District #4

Douglas Keachie

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

If you're stupid, you'll wind up in Iraq, like Bush

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Is it really that hard to understand ?

As soon as I understood that Bush had no anthropologists advising him as he charged into Iraq, I knew the operations were doomed from the start. At this point, with the Shias and the Sunnis going at it and the President of Iraq clearing the US checkpoints, we need to let them all know that we are leaving. There is no course to stay, other than total disaster. A nuke going off in an unpopulated area visible from Bagdad might remind the terorists on both sides just how quickly they can get to heaven if they keeping on with the killing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Christians for Mountains, Vineyard Boise Church

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Tonight, as I type, Bill Moyers is exploring the Green Christian communities, including those in the Appalachian Mountains whose environment is being wrecked by coal mining. My own evangelical daughter visits a nice NorCal coastal retreat called, "The Lord's Land." It's good to see these attitudes among those often blindly opposed to the environmentalists. Kudos to Bill Moyers and all the rest.

The Bible is full of passages indicating a stewardship responsibility to take care of the planet for "true" Christians. Glad to see them waking up to the issues of today that are related, such as global warming. Houghten in Britain at Oxford in 2002, as an evangelical, lends a very scientific basis to thier ideas.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cell Phone Ring Tones Embedded in Commercials ?

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I keep hearing what sounds like a distant ring of a cell phone in many different commercials, as sort of partial faint background music. I wonder if they are doing that to grab awareness where interest lives not ? It's very annoying, much like a certain headache commercials, which cause me to switch channels as a matter of course. If repetition like that sells, the country is doomed. I will NEVER buy a product that causes what it purports to cure. I generally listen to news channels as a background to being on-line, so the re,ote is handy. I try to recond and fast forward shows I want to watch. I'd like to be able to pay $.25 cents each and get commercial free viewings of shows.

North Korea, Worst Case Scenario

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When I found out that the bomb was less than one kiloton, I chuckled and wondered if Kim ILL Jyong had just set off a 500,000 lb firecracker of convention weapons. Having slept on it, I realized a much nastier situation. The estimates so far have been that North Korea sits on 6 nukes. The assumption going with that is that they are of at least Hiroshima size, or 15,000,000 lbs of TNT.

Looking at it from ILL's side, he would be much smarter to design and test a much smaller weapon, but have 180 of them. What's more, he wants something that fits on his Taepo Dong missles, also a requirement for a smaller bomb. Let's assume now that he has tested such a warhead, and it works.

"Dear China,

Keep the oil and food coming, and STAY THE F&^%$ OUT, or be barraged by these itty bitty nukes."

"Dear Japan,

We could use a lot of Kubota tractors and Toyota SUV's, and a few Geishas too. Tokyo's only 500 miles away."

"Dear USA,

We've already got a tramp steamer to take our cargo container to a remote port in Venezuawala [sp] Hugo will allow us to play the old shell game, and send it to ???? Chicago on a 747 cargo plane. We'd like lots of fresh fruits and veggies, no E. Coli 7059:H7, please. After all, you're the one's who pointed out how we are starving our people.

Thank-you all very much,


Kim ILL Jyong"

Suffice it to say, most Americans and the rest of the world have completely lost sight of the magnitude of nuclear weapons. Even a 500,000 lb nuke represents a damage potential way way way GREATER than 9/11. There is absolutely nothing other than a first strike by China or the USA to stop him from doing this. Much like the gunman in Amish country, who gave the cops 2 seconds to go away, Kim Ill Jyong can tell the USA to remove its fleets and plane within 24 hours, or lose Tokyo. Japan is our largest overseas trading partner.

We are obviously dealing with a totally mad, but smart person here. He is just as whacked out as Hitler. He has one in every 20 citizens in the Army. He has to sleep, he likes to party. How much intelligence do we have about the locations of missle launchers and weapons caches in an area about the size of the northern half of California ? I agree with Bush here, this guy has got to go, by any means necessary, but not at the cost of vaporizing North Korea, if for no other reason than the fallout going to Japan, Russia, and China. Aerisoling tons of LSD and a couple of EMF anti electronics nukes, followed by Navy SEALS ? Been watching to many Schwartzenegger movies I guess.

When I taught at Lowell High School in San Francisco, a highly rated public school for the gifted, I noticed that within a predominently Asian school population, the Koreans seems to be, at least in some cases, more inclined towards a "chip on the shoulder" mentality, and a sense of "toughness," and a "readiness to fight." If this is truly a representative snapshot of the culture's "personality," an "ILL" wind blows from the North...

I would love a photograph of Kim (5'2") and Osama (6'5") side by side. Almost a mini-me moment !

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kill Spam !

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If you own your own website, pick one with lots of email hosting.

Due to SPAM inbound, I recently gave up an email addy I've used for 10 years. I went to a whole series of addys, (I can list up to 250 with my webhosting account. Each one is keyed to a particular company or grouping of people, or even one per individual. Eudora makes it easy to add lots of email connections.

For example: My bank might be BofA2006@mydomain.com. My browser addy is mozilla2006@mydomain.com, and is often used for one time emails, where I expect at most one or two replies. My family and friends use DFAM2006@mydomain.com and DFRD2006@mydomain.com. Note that they all contain the 2006. Family and friends know to change this over to 2007 next year, if the 2006 version is dropped due to SPAM.

Individualizing the emails make it possible to see which sender is compromised or selling their email lists. If I suddenly get mail from appliance manufacturers, and it comes in on my BestBuy email (Best2006@mydomain.com) then I can scream at them, and replace that one addy, without disturbing anybody else in my cyberverse.

It is now three months into this experiment and I have received 0 nada zip no SPAM. In fact, some days I wonder if my email is working, and send myself something just to be sure.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Moral Majority, Wherefore Art Thou ?

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A reverse endorsement of the party of the Righteous. Can't even sanction their own, even when the evidence is totally overwhelming (when will Foley be arrested?), still trying to "save" the November election. Two years ago I stated that the Dems/Others might be a little slower out of the gate in embracing the Internet, but that they would come on just as strong, if not stronger. I think we see that now. Pride and smugness came before the Fall, once again.

Problems with DirecTV, CSPAN

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At 102 I get 8 news channels, but no CSPAN. Apparently business and weather trumps politics in the world of Rupert Murdock. Also I've noticed that Fox News, other self promotional channels, and even the Kidsmix is sticky to itself. You cannot choose the next channel higher or lower using the arrow keys, you have to go to the List Button to get "unstuck." And regardless of what you are watching on 102 big screen, it always goes back to Fox news when you go back button to 102. Yes, if you don't have DirecTV, this is gobbilty-gook.

CSPAN on-air mentions on-line polls, and you go looking for them, and they are nowhere to be found. Washington Journal is excellent, but are there really that few independents in the country for their call-in shows ?

Politics Unusual

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Another reply in another forum, which I like.

George Washington warned against the formation of political parties in his farewell address. When the Constitution was written, the concept of political parties didn't get serious consideration. Arguments on topics at the Constituional Conventions were conducted on the merits of each concept, rather than being dividied up among stereotyped party lines.

As I pointed out earlier, stereotyping is intellectual laziness, or desperation, upon dealing with the massive amounts of data generated by 6,300,000,000 people, living on a planet of fragility, with already overcrowded areas of desirability. Even if only one in a million people is of significance, that's still 6,300 people we are supposed to be aware of. Can you name even 1/2 of the countries of the world, let alone locate and describe them ? Most likely not, but you do know those of economic significance, but most Americans don't. This is true despite the direct economic impact of the rest of the world upon our daily lives. "Hey man, I just want to get a good, high paying job and party on the weekends!" Most USA high schoolers are clueless about how much they need to know to offer services that will generate the cash they think is "rightfully theirs."

I consider myself a Green Libertarian first, and a Democrat second, and have been listed as everything possible except American Independent on the voter rolls, depending on my political goals. I get mailers from everybody, thinking I'm "one of theirs." My dad always said that it was important to read all sides, so I subscribe to townhall.org, as well various science sites, and moveon.org.

To me, the war absolutely needs to be won against terrorism, but I have very different notions about how to do that most effectively, and safely for all concerned (does not preclude the use of Nukes, BTW, if a meaningful target exists). My ideas are well outside the Democratic box, as well as outside the Republican box, and I resent somebody who "watermelons" me, a reference to a certain group that is still discriminated against. I'm also a member of "A Preposition is Something U should Never End Your Sentences With." My "box" is a tesseract.


I love the latest Cal Thomas column in which he blames the loose morals of society and the Democrats for Foley's downfall. I love this comment on his column:

" double cappuccino writes: Tuesday, October, 03, 2006 6:43 AM
You mean Cal ever HAD a moral compass?

Because here, he's just flexing his same old double standard as he did with DeLay (moaning about the culture, not the personal responsibility):

If it's them, it's horrible! We need to live by fixed standards, not just the vagaries of the culture!

If it's us, well, you know, look at the culture! What a tawdry culture!

And if it's us covering it up, which is the real story here, well, look at the culture!

WHAT a phony."

It's fun to watch the Republicans do all they can to distance themselves from Foley. Is this politcally motivated by the press ? Or do they exist to sell papers ? Was the chase after Monica/Clinton likewise motivated ? Did not the Republicans jump all over it, playing moral high ground pigpile ??? Yup, Yup, Yup ! Turnabouts fair play, I suppose.

And of course, should Hillary run, the Republicans will "forget" all the stuff about not harming Foley family members' privacy, which they espouse now, and blame Hillary for Bill's transgressions. In fact, even in the middle of the Foley event, I'm hearing talkshow call-ins on CSPAN defaming Hillary for Clinton's transgressions. Like she is to blame for it all, paint her with the same brush, but shut up about Foley, it might hurt his family. Republicans, at least some of them, have the moral consistancy of decayed newspapers in a rain barrel.

I frankly think that until a child is 18 years old, it is hands off for all, and I abhore NAMBLY or what the man-boy love organization is. Childhood should be left to the children, until they are 18, by which time they have had enough time to figure out their own options, learning/observing from family first, and then other socialization organizations. Each human owns his or her own thoughts. "Die Gedanken sind Frei."

My condolences to the families, Amish and otherwise, which is just about everybody who's heard the story, for the actions of the totally undectable madman. How many more maniacs like that one do we have hiding out there ? Does the outing of this one mean that more will follow ? I sure hope not.

Too many nuts, not enough cases....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

13 year olds with an interest in evolution and ecology..

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just about never happen. A counselor at U.C. Davis comments on a new freshman with rather high intelligence. It's a good school too. My younger daughter is in her second year of medical school there, and doing well. She was up here last weekend for a breather after finals.

I don't know if I can say as much for a certain BYU student, charging into law school, his 45's blazing at imaginary stalkers, while being covered by the latest remote helicopter airborn Nikon with a 70 to 200 lens. Nice ED glass and a fast f2.8 lens as well. Wonder how it compares to the regular 35mm fixed 200 ED. I've always preferred fixed focal lengths myself, usually sharper with greater color saturation.

Reminds me of one of my favorite stories. I was at the Golden Gate Bridge to take a picture of our family brick (donate $75, get your names on a brick, yes Marla's there too) when up pulls a tourist bus full of Japanese business men. They came out in order of age and rank apparently. First came the young guys, with their Fujica's and Pentaxes, then came middle management, all decked out with Canon F1's and Nikon F3's. Finally, out came the head of the company, the oldest guy there. Slowly he came down the steps, and strapped to the middle of his chest was a nice, shiny, new....Leica.

Maybe young BYU should go to work for Helinet. For someone whose list of books includes 1984 and Animal Farm to claim no political bent is for someone to be blind to his own nature. For someone not to know that a house and a kid top most womens' secret lists, is rather immature as well, but at 25, he's got plenty of time to learn. Or maybe he already knows how to solve all the world's problems....heh, heh, heh.

Note to Coupon Makers Everywhere, and Paid Lairs

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If the expiration date is not large enough for me to read without a magnifying glass, I toss coupons out regardless of how otherwise inviting.

Watched the President's counsil (attorney) on Meet the Press this morning. He was directly asked if Bush had honored a general's request for 450,000 troops, and if not, why not. He went every which way with tales about Iraqi police forces not coming up to expectations and other "unforeseen" events, but the interviewer stuck to his guns. He finally said the reason the President didn't send more troops was because the left wing was arguing to bring the troops home. So, in effect, he compromised (a good thing) and the vision was muddled by the left (a bad thing) and it is not his fault that he didn't stay the course and honor his own words and promises to the generals and the American public. "The devils made me do it!" Bart Simpson couldn't have said it better.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Solving the Terrorist war Problem, one solution, 1.05

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It's obvious that the Osameraneans* are able to a lot of their damage because they are able to "blend in" with the normally peaceful and neighborly Islamic peoples. Going with the dictum that is best to as stupidity or apathy, instead of coniving conspiracy, I would assume that the above situation goes on in part because the peaceful and neighborly Islamic peoples are not particularly affected by the Osameraneans.

*Osameraneans, a term which contains no references to Islam or the Arabic World, other than the name of a madman already responsible for 10,000 + deaths. Do you, as an Arab or a follower of the Islamic/Muslim religion, wish to identify with the madman and his followers ? Can you come up with a better term, non-offensive to you, for the rest of the world to use when discussing the SOB and his henchmen ? Good, WHAT IS IT ? OR, do you actually support him ???? As you can tell, some of us are getting really fed up with this runaround on terminology, not to mention the whole situation. I might also spell it, "Osamaraneans, " what do you think ?

I then make the assumption that if the discomfort level of the peaceful and neighborly Islamic peoples is raised a bit, they might pay attention to the problem, which they are inadvertantly a part of, and covertly OUT the SOB and his henchmen. I will ignore for now childcare situations in which the US is described as the devil and suicide bombing a service to mankind and oneself. These of course only occur in a very small groups of normally peaceful and neighborly Islamic peoples. Like apparently many Palestinian camps.....

To raise the discomfort level, I would recommend a reduction in oil prices.

To do this I would do a WWII and switch production of SUV's over to the production of multiple sizes of jitney busses. I would also develop cell technology to a level where you pick up your phone and punch in a destination, and the nearest jitney going in the right general direction diverts itself over to pick you up, after you confirm. Your phone says when it will be there, and how long it will take to get to your destination, and you then approve or disapprove. If you approve and then disappear, your transit priority rating will go down. Pre-scheduled express buses could be arranged in advance for those on fixed schedules, but still able to adjust for a "sick day." speeding up other pickups.

Special needs, bikes and wheelchairs and standardized shopping carts, could also be factored in. A small trailer could accompany at least some of the buses. The bicycle side of this is already in place on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The instant pickup buses would have both a driver and a navigator. The navigator would work with GPS updated map, and would direct the driver to keep the driver's eyes on the road.

At present we are merely a bunch of suburbanites screaming NIMBY to terrorism, but not doing much more than signing petitions and wasting lives and dollars. This country needs to really tighten its belt, energy wise, if we're ever going to beat the terrorists. WWII meant no new cars, no sewing machines, ripping up railroad tracks for steel, hitchikking, etc. We can update all that with modern communications technology. We are not in an attitude of being "at war," we are instead "at whining pattycake," with no teeth that the other side understands. They are too busy watching one another to be much worried about the US. We are not important to them. Dropping oil prices might just change that.

I've already made plenty of noises in earlier posts about a Manhattan Project (Nuke bomb, WWII), Moon shot federal effort to develop cheap and efficient solar panels, and then throwing the patent into public domain for all the world to use.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Starving Arabs will kill Osama, Inc. Opera at 8 in Berlin

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George Bush simply is not getting the job done. He is not a super nanny. The bad boy of Saudi Arabia and his followers continue to plague the world. Bush cannot do the obvious, which is to do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to Drive the Price of Oil DOWN, and cause the Arabs to take out Osamaraneans all by themselves. They, the Arabs, are the parents here, not the US military and US taxpayer dollars.

Is anti-Islamic sentiment on the rise ? Yes, it is awful that we are "hurting," "embarrassing," "rediculing," "demeaning," "slandering," etc a great many followers of Islam in all its variations. However innocent they may be, they cannot deny that Osama and his followers are able to hide among them with impunity. If they are a sea in which monsters lurk, then they have to realize that the rest of the world is not going to want to swim at their beaches. I see no reason to tiptoe around the Islamic religion to any more of a degree than we tiptoe around Jesus and the rest of the current religious pantheon, and this includes cartoons and operas. Lately we have too many devils and too few Gods. besides, the Islamists, or at least the Osamaraneans, seem to be willing to burn the Pope in effigy, etc. And the Arab countries are very intolerant of other religions even being practised locally, even without proselytizing. What on earth do we owe them ?

Sidenote. CNBC 19 meters by 19 meters by 19 meters. All of the gold ever mined in the world in one cube. 7 feet by 7 feet by 7 feet, all the gold ever mined at the Empire mine in Grass Valley.

Osamaraneans, I like that term. No Islamic overtones to it, rhymes with subterraneans, Albanians, Pomeraneans, etc. It's a good replacement for "Islamic fascists," or "religious facists."

From another reply elsewhere:

"Talking Points" "one man's ceiling is another man's floor..." Paul Simon

or, I'm discounting everything you say because some of it matches some of the rhetoric of a political grouping I oppose. Of course, if my rhetoric matches somewhat the leaders of the side I support say, why no, it is NOT an evil "talking point."

Cultural change is very difficult. Yes, there are a lot of young men who are jealous of the wealth of their oil rich leaders, who happen to be chosen rather undemocratically. Do they rage against the leaders ? No, they rage against the US, it's safer. A very tiny portion of them get carried away enough to storm US lookout posts in Afghanistan, and to otherwise self destruct while causing terror.

Obviously they are not causing very much terror. IN WWII, butter, copper, coffee, sewing machines, cars, gas, etc. were all conserved and rationed, if they were available at all. The US is currently a rediculously long ways away from that. Instead we've got headache ads that give you headaches, reality shows with dancing stars and runways of the non aircraft kind. Obviously we are not taking the situation very seriously, Bush included. He just wants the war elsewhere, NIMBY, but doesn't care if he wins it, just as long as it doesn't upset the US economy and lifestyle very much.

I will believe we are at war when we say, institute mandantory mass transit to save fuel to STOP FEEDING THE ISLAMIC NATIONS with oil money. Solar power I've already mentioned. In WWII we tore up railroads for steel, etc. Oh, but the terrorists can do damage with no money at all, hardly.

Yes, that's true.

BUT, they need to be able to hide in a huge population that is vaguely sympathetic to them. That large population is going to become very unsymphatetic, if they can no longer buy their toys, build their palaces and islands in the shape of palm trees, a world map ( Dubai) [actually neat ideas], and possibly even run out of food. Those vaguely symphatetic will become very pissed off, and quite likely, take out their anger on the terrorist twits who killed the golden goose.

When we're pussy-footing around and cancelling operas and cartoons and censoring the Pope, we are not getting the job done. As the Soviet Union fell to cultural change via underground video, so shall the terrorists fall, in the long term, to a very successful world economy, based on clean power, and communication systems beyond our wildest dreams.

I'd start by airdropping solar powered water pumps, PVC pipe, lights, sat dishes and self contained DVR's into the farther reaches of Pakistan, with free subscriptions and full localization of installion instructions. Most will be destroyed, but eventually a tribal leader will get curious and set one up. They'll be hooked, as Al Kaida , already supposedly is, on Tom and Jerry. The water pump and lighting is the bait to get the electricity up and running. They are the camel's nose under the tent, so to speak.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Can I get a return on my investment in solar power ?

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This is from a continuing discussion elsewhere, wehere the other party asked me the title question.

I don't have to go back very far to when I was paying 8 cents a kilowatt hour for all I could eat. Now it bumps right up to 16 cent a kilowatt hour and higher, if I do much more than the porch light. I can easily see another doubling in ten years. Since I factor in the costs of fighting in Iraq which I pay in taxes and in fear, I think my "amortization" would be immediate, as nothing would give me greater satisfaction than to leave Osama and friends begging for money in safron robes, chanting "hari krishna." (No offense to that group. While they were in airports, at least they were harmless.)

I have no doubt that if I could convince a substantial number of Americans to vote for massive solar research and construction, that Osama would get his tamborine. How about you, would you feel safer and happier if you could flip off the foreign oil tankers as they arrived, desperate to sell anything at low, low, prices ??? Would that be a good return on your tax dollar investment ? Was the A Bomb? Was the the Moon Shot ?

And also, what alternative do you offer for fighting off terrorism, other than getting off the oil energy tit ? How will you feel if China or Japan, or Germany figures it out first, and sits on the patent, squeezing it for all it is worth, charging just a bit less than the Arabs do for oil ? Won't we feel so stupid ? This is something America should do for itself and the rest of the planet, and the sooner the better. It's way more than "getting a return on my money." It's getting a return to the American Way of Life.

We'll all be much better off for it...Especially those of us who are not part of the CEO class, the new nobility in feudal (non American Way of Life) America. If all CEO's had clauses in their contracts that terminated the contract on the day of an indictment (including all golden parachutes, etc.), subject to re-negotiation, they'd probably all behave a bit better. The rest of us have the equivalent of that. It's called, "you're fired."

By the way, there's a design flaw in my 40 foot stainless steel walls. They need to have tiny holes, or the illegal immigrants would come over like Geckos, ready to install windows anywhere, anytime.

Oh, but how would that work, if nobody owned the patent ? Who owns the patent for a road, a clock, a weather vane, an old fashioned pump, a wagon, a window, a tractor, a car, an airplane ? You get the picture. It's called, "public domain."

Am I changing the world for the better with this blog ? Most likely not, but you never know. The famous quote by Margaret Mead about a few individuals being the only way change comes about, comes to mind. At least my grandchildren will know I was trying, and what directions I was taking. Vote Charlie Brown, and yeah for Mr. Bing and Prop 87. Stick a "Yes on" sticky right above the 87 octane button, it's like eating Scharffenberger chocolate.

Keeping the Country On-Track, CEO's, Gas, and Touch Typing

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Buy my book ! Musharraf Surreal news of the day.

So HP's CEO has done a nasty. Enron's too, and so on. How about a poison pill for CEO contracts ? If you are a CEO and you even get charged with any sort of criminal wrong doing, your contract is NULL and VOID as of that date. No perks, no golden parachutes, no retirement beyond what's been already earned, no medical, etc. The CEO becomes a "new hire," and the contract is completely renegotiated. A current day to day continuation would be acceptable in the language of the contract until things get resolved, maybe set at 1/2 salary.

Why should the stockholders and the public take the hit ?

This Spring, more "demand" was all the rage with respect to rising gas pricing. Now, this Fall, "analysts are not afraid any more," is the explanation to falling gas pricing. What the heck happened to "demand?" The analysts are less afraid of a US that may bomb Iran, #2 producer in the world, and Hugo Chavez is calling the President the devil. What the devil is going on here ? Listening to financial news is like listening to a stone frog oracle in an ancient Greek temple. Dephi piled higher and higher. PhD = piled higher and dryer, especially the econ profs. The questions is, if you understood what was really going on, and could predict the future, would you be such an egomaniac as to tell and spoil your system ? I think not.

After November we will see how high gas can really go. My prediction is $9.11 per gallon by the time Bush leaves office, and maybe sooner. What a legacy !

Could it be, by general unspoken agreement, it would be good to have gas go down to keep November elections from being a total bloodbath for the Republicans ? Or are the Repubs hoping for a Demo victory, so as to have somebody to blame everything for in 2008 ? Good grief this is a messy surrealistic, dadaesque planet !

Does anyone have a list showing the political affiliations of the wealthiest 400 by Forbes ? How about one for all the Board of Director members of the 500 largest corporations ? I know, I know, it's 50/50, repubs and demos....sure.

Now we have cities outsourcing jobs. This is the answer to beating back unions and making sure the poor stay poor and unhealthy, and that the money they generate goes back to whom it rightfully belongs. What a generous and clever group the $*%^$ are !

How to learn touch typing at age 60+. Change the main password to your computer to "fjdksla." You can change other passwords to something similar + say "789." Everytime you start up, your fingers are on the right keys, and for speed you use each finger. Eventually the information goes into your brain, and your typing speed goes up. My speed has gone from 25 a year ago to 40+.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Free National Transit, Space Program for the Earth

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I guess thinking about the space shuttle got my brain going. Check out the last paragraph for new concept in transit. The rest of this is me arguing with people who can't figure out what to do about Iran, but who, in their hearts, are just so sure solar power can't be the answer. I still honor our Space Shuttle Atlantis astonauts at NASA for their accomplishments.

"We've already seen oil go downwards just on the basis of Chevron revealing a week ago that they had a ton of new oil in the Gulf. The futures markets are sensitive to mere possibilities of change.

What else, other than oil, does Iraq have to offer to support its people? They need to eat. They will not be happy with a government that messes with their rice bowl. Given that Iran's nuclear program is already known to be spread across 20 sites nation-wide, not to mention what they may have underground, short of a huge invasion, just how else will you stop their program ?

How exactly are we sure that they don't already have the bomb ? Would we be walking into a trap ? Remember, these are the folks that bought the same German presses our mint used to make money during the 1970's. The fake $100's may have had something to do with inflation during the 80's, they were near perfect counterfits, and our new dollar designs are a direct result.

Oil and sand, yup, we have a real shortage of silicon on this planet. Can you build a nuke plant without concrete (sand again) and fuel it before the "Iran thing" comes to a head ? You want an instant solar heater ? Take an old large sat dish, and line it with dead CD's and point it at the sun. Or build a structure from wood bender strips, and place the CD's on nails. At the focal point you will have heat, lots of it. beats the heck out of a cold shower.

We can do it, we just need leadership that is not aligned with Big Oil and related companies. That's probaby the hardest part of the process. The lifestyles Americans have chosen have basically led the American people into an economic gulag of no escape, except by making "hard choices." Free public transit as a national program, including once a month out of state & back, rail, once a year multistate, would be a start. Debit PIN card for admission, tracked and programmed to reject homeless who just want to ride all day and do nothing. PIN would also report to IRS and check income. Those above $80,000 gross would pay some for usage. Gee, if we had that, people would buy fewer cars... guess who would block such an idea in Congress."

Hat's Off to the Atlantis Astronauts !

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Wheeee ! Wonderful ! They made it.

This should be at the top of every news venue, but no, we get overweight bimbos in the Bahamas, world leader wanttabees with genocide/economic suicide on the brain, and throat slashing baby-knappers, and photos supposedly of the wife of a very talented golfer.

No, in my world the astronauts top all that, by at least 170 miles. No more posts today, glad to have NASA's finest back !

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Odds and Ends

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Notes to CB

Dinosaurs of respectable size, gone 65 million years ago

Upright humanoids, showed up about 4 millions years ago.

You are 61 million years out of synch.

Modern brain case sized humans, about 200,000 years ago.

Neanderthal dies out 40,000 years ago, different lineage, probably no voice box of significance. Couldn't say, "hey George, that human over there about to throw a spear at you."

Obviously drunk driver coming down the road, you don't take evasive action ?
Leave your doors unlocked, they'll break in anyway ?
Doctors and dentists only postphone death, so why bother ?
It's amazing evolution didn't knock out your fatalistic genes.

Evolution doesn't work via exposure to harsh conditions, unless there are genes already present that are a better adaption to the harsh conditions. It also works slowly. Mexico won't want us if it gets too cold, Canada won't want us if it gets too hot.

Follow the advice at http://rantingrepublican.blogspot.com for yesterday or today, September 20, 2006. The Navy SEAL story is great!

On Nukes and Imans and Mullahs

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I have no problem with violence as a response to terror, better them than me, but I'd rather not be cornered in a position of wondering just who really nuked NY or Haifa ? Could be the Chinese or the North Koreans or Pakistan, for all we know, if it happens. I see going full bore for solar now as a way of heading Iran and others off at the pass, and the sooner we do that the better. I do not like the thought of someone, who has genocide on the brain the way the President of Iran does, having a nuke.

IMHO, the Xerox machine and the VCR brought down CCCP USSR as much as Reagan. I'd like to see super cheap solar powered satellite Internet computers do they same to the mullahs and shieks.

Even tiny Papua New Guinea has 600 people installing dishes and cell towers everywhere, including in the deepest jungles. True, maybe they can only afford one cell phone per village, but it's a start. Source: the National News of PNG and my daughter, who just returned from a medical field trip there. Lee Felsenstein has the right idea with computers in the jungles (Paul Simon had the lasers in the jungles). So does Dean Kamen (of medical appliance and Segway fame, not to mention the the robotics contests) with his inexpensive water purifier and pump.

Improve the world and your world will improve.

Stand Back, Non-Believers !

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This is another response I made elsewhere:

What is it that still makes you assume that the amount of solar energy hitting a square meter of land and the cost of harvesting it is a constant, like the speed of light ? Why is that a fixed immutable quantity ? Why is it impossible to up the output and lower the cost ? What part of Edison and the light bulb experimentation is invisible to you ? How much experimentation can you buy with 1/10th of the cost of the Iraq War. If we already knew exactly how to do it, we'd be doing it. Now is the time for funded, very well funded, experimentation.

It reminds me of a story about Christopher Columbus. Probably an urban legend, but supposedly when he came back, he went to a dinner at which all the other guys claimed it was obvious, and that they could have done it. Christopher then took a hard boiled egg and asked if anyone could make it stand on its narrow end. The egg was passed around without success until it came back to Columbus. He took it, and crunched it lightly into the table where it stood quite nicely.

When gas hits $9.11/gallon, panels on roofs will be attractive signs of wealth, much as mowed lawns originally indicated plenty of meat. Learn to think outside the oil drums of war.

As for Berkeley city brat, you might guess that my presence here on a WB related website indicates a different locale now 40 years later. 62 acres, Sierra foothills, saving trees by buying land, and clearing non-native plants, among other things. We got tired of having to scramble in February to get camping reservations in August in Yosemite.

The government could make several different sized and powered standardized chassis's and powertrains, which would be available to passenger compartment builders at low rates. As long as the passenger compartment builders (including private individuals), had seat belts and airbags, they could build whatever they wanted. Of course if the government couldn't produce something cheap enough, they'd sell none of them. These could be powered by any form of power that appealed to the NASA like agency. If the agency did not become self sufficient in 15 years, then kill it. If you gave it an initial funding of 10 billion for prototypes in five years, it would cause the majors to consider building more efficient cars.

Another idea, tax cars by weight to pay for suvivors of crashes. Do you have any idea how unsafe our highways will be in 10 years when uninsured motorists who do not maintain their vehicles own all the SUV's of today ?

Third idea, simple to do, stops secondary crashes, instant radio signal from a motor vehicle whose airbag has deployed, containing its GPS location. Couple this with warning indicators in all new cars, that go off in varying degrees, depending on how close the deployed bag is. Avoids coming around the bend at full speed to pile into an existing accident. Added costs ? Probably $100/vehicle.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth, I don't Need to See the Movie...

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... Don't need to see the movie....
I grew up a faculty brat in Berkeley, in the shadow of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, lived 2 blocks from Ernest O. Lawrence and six blocks from Edward Teller of H-Bomb fame. The current head of the Rad Lab goes with. "global warming is happening," and he's enough of a scientist for me. Solar power kills three birds with one stone. It gives us control of our own energy supply, and it it takes the cash away from the jilhadists, and, if global warming is bad, (mama nature's gonna KILL all of us to rebalance the planet, some of you seem happy at the thought, or fairly neutral) at least solar power will reduce CO2 emissions..

Oh, solar power is impossible ???? Yeah, and so are modems faster than 1200 baud. Add in the moon shot and the nuke bomb. All those things were "impossible." What sort of drugs are you taking that cause your brain to freeze when it comes to might of American know-how and can-do when it comes to solar ? You're quite willing to believe a satellite 22,700 miles up beaming signals to and from your backyard. I suppose that was all so obvious to you 30 years ago when your keyboard was on a Selectric ?

Throw the kind of money at solar research that went towards nukes and the moon shot and the price of oil will fall like King Kong from the Empire State Building just on the FEAR that we might succeed.

This is a preemptive strike on right wing dups supporting the Republicans on the Boards of Directors of the oil, power technology, and utilities companies, including BP which waded in to saturate the solar panel market with old technology. No thin film for them. Of course research in secret labs at GE and BP goes on until they are sure they can control the markets with patents, instead of letting government developed technology go into public domain, and giving "EveryPerson" a shot at controlling a bit more of their economic lives.....What happens to PG&E stock if everyone places inexpensive panels on their roofs ??? How dense can Rush Limbah, Limbaugh, followers be ?

I'm a bit cranky tonight, as I'm stuck with a government that thinks there is only one effective way to hang a terrorist. They just don't seem to be able to think outside the oil drums of war....

Monday, September 18, 2006

Shut and Just Pay the Money ! Submit to Allah too !

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This seems to be the attitude of most major corporations. If you have questions about anything that is not covered on the menus and which can be handled by robots, you will spend forever waiting to get to a person, who then may decide to place you back on hold. I just wasted 2 hours trying to find out where my "free DVD player" for signing up with Direct TV went.

I finally called in and punched button until I got to a "discontinue service possibility" option. That got me to a real person in a hurry who did stay on the line, and who partially resolved some of the issues. Of course getting the freeebie involves going to a website with an Adobe Reader .pdf document which of course could not be read by the version 6 of Adobe which I had, and which brought about "install Yahoo toolbar" as an upgrade option. I instead reached for Google and punched in "substitute for Adobe Reader," and got back on track for www.foxitsoftware.com, the location of a reader that takes the place of Adobe/Yahoo's market tracking crap.

I was able to download the new version file just fine. Adobe Yahoo Sux! as they say in modern terminology. Foxit works faster, and doesn't monkey about with Yahoo.

I don't mean to upset any of the Muslim Islamic religion people (do they prefer to be called "Muslims", or, "Followers of Islam," or what ?) but if you're going to have members that go running around killing nuns over soundbites quoted out of context, and the best the Council of Islamic-American Relations can do it to point to a year old plea for a non-violence FATWA which apparently has gone unnoticed by the majority of Muslims (coupled with a very current quote about the Pope, treating him negatively), then do not be startled if some of us choose to defend ourselves, should we feel physically threatened by the loonies who claim your name and religion. This would include the President of Iran, and any others who get their rocks off chanting "death to America, the Pope, and whoever else is not in the mood to "submit" ." Go build your self image some other way, or be prepared for "living in interesting times."

Mad as Heck and not feeling like taking it any more....from anybody ! Solar Power Now !

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just in time, yeah Kurdistan !

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Within 5 hours of my previous post complaining about the attitudes of neutral Muslims, the Kurds come up with a nice pro USA ad on FOX or CNN. I'm impressed.

The Pope (Benedictine) Has This Right

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Pope Benedictine came down hard on the side of tolerance, stating unequivicably that anyone who reads either the Koran or the Bible or any religious work in such a way as to justify a "holy killing war" for conversion, has got it all wrong. This would probably inculude the nut case at www.theamericanbible.com, and certainly includes al kaida and any (Hugo Chavez, the rest of the Cuba Conference in Havana this week, etc.) who would issue blanket kill orders for any human who happens to have been born in the U.S.A.

I think the USA (or at least me) is close to the mood of Captain James T. Kirk of StarTrek in "The Search for Spock." The Kingon commander has killed Kirk's son, the planet is falling apart in fiery cataclysms, Kirk and the commander are fighting, the ground gives way under the Kingon, and he falls and is hanging by his fingernails. Kirk comes over and offers him a hand to get him up on solid ground, and the Klingon tries to pull Jim in with him to certain death. They struggle, and Kirk finally says, "I've had enough or you ! " and kicks the Klingon in the forehead and off into the fiery depths.

If peaceful Muslims do not understand their duty to turn on the nutcases amongst them, turn them in anonymously, and instead they continue to try to hide rockets in Lebanon, while decrying the destruction they got in return for harboring the Hezbollah who launched the rockets, then there is a good chance that a great many of them will join the few, should Iran wind up with nukes, or should another 9/11 like attack occur.

I would not be happy about such an outcome, but at least have the common sense to see it coming, and here I call attention to the situation, in hopes of avoiding such an outcome. I have hopes that the "peaceful Muslims" will become the activists Muslims.

BTW, IslamoFascist is just plain wrong. ReligiousFascist is much more accurate, most religions have got nutcases. Not too many Zen Buddists, Quakers, or B'hai going bonkers lately..... There are choices to be made, make them wisely...


Douglas Keachie
Hopeful Agnostic Quacker

"ducks R us" AFLACK !

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tracking Oil and Energy Prices

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I'm still on this case. My new search uses the phrase "world's largest oil consumer" September 2006 "second largest consumer" all punched into Google. This got lots of good sites, but no verifyable listing of countries showing current production, refining, exporting to where, importing from where, numbers.

I did learn that the USA is Numbah One, around 20 million barrels a day, and China seems to be number two around 8 to 9 million barrels a day. Now we might consider that we cannot get accurate data from the rest of the world, but surely we can pass laws that require the oil companies to release to the government exact daily data on all their information as listed above, supplies on hand, importing, exporting, etc.

In short, we could, by law, force "trade information" out of the companies, handled confidentially, but summarized by the government for the benefit of Congress and the average consumer. Since the US represents such a huge porportion of the world's consumption of oil, having this information would help stablize the market prices, and prevent all the mystic mumbo-jumbo tea leave-reading that economists and politicians currently present to pretend that it is impossible to understand the market. It would also help foresee "Peak Oil." This knowledge is too important to be left to the CEO's of the oil companies.

I went to so many interesting sites that I forget just where this stuff below came from, but if you type in the search terms above, you should be able to find it.

"In 2004, the United States consumed a staggering 20.4 million barrels of oil a day, easily making us the world's largest oil consumer by more than three-fold our closest competitor (China, which, in 2004, consumed 6.5 million barrels of oil a day). Where does the bulk of this money go? Despite their guarantees, there is no credible evidence that either Saudi Arabia or Iran can prevent at least some of this money from falling into the hands of terrorists. But even if they didn't support terrorism, the fact remains that our vast oil consumption would still be supporting two of the most markedly corrupt and draconian regimes on the planet.

Why have States in the Middle East stagnated or regressed politically over the last 50 years while virtually every other region in the world has progressed (most noticeably in Asia and Latin America)? Again, Oil. It is no coincidence that every single State that relies on oil as a primary source of wealth is a dictatorship. The one exception to this is Norway, but they found their democracy far before they found their oil. With the recent hike in oil prices, oil-states are now more empowered than ever. Saudi Arabia has a projected budget surplus of over $26 billion. Meanwhile, they bribe the Wahabi imams, fund medressas, and maintain a massive and brutal police state that regularly violates human rights."

Douglas Keachie

Friday, September 08, 2006

Congressperson John T. Doolittle Revealed

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Abit of research led me to a place called Congresspedia, a part of SourceWatch. It's a very handy backgrounder site for all Congresspeole.

John Doolittle can be found at:


It seems Congress is reluctantly setting up a bill to make a database showing who's getting what for whom, in exchange for what. Yes, a little confusing, but certainly an idea whose time has come (it came 200 years ago). I doubt the Congressional version will go deep, it's probably just window-dressing, to make it look like they're doing something.

To really do it right, you'd have to tie in the bills introduced and voted for, and the resultant cash in each Congresspersons' District. This would include the purchase of items from plants and factories and farms, and the spending of money on roads and the like, and placements of government sponsered institutions and the military. HandiDandy charts showing years in Congress, money spent on campaign, sources of money for campaign, would help flesh out an accurate picture of votes bought and sold. The Congresspedia goes in these directions. Good for them !

Honesty and the Right Wing Bloggers ?

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I subscribe to blogs of all colors and stripes, figuring that it is best to learn about the other mindsets by viewing the world through their eyes.

I had occasion to read a random post on Townhall.org or com, which contained a good idea of issuing more hunting permits for the excess deer which are causing accidents on our roads, and feeding them to the poor. On the site was a link that said to write ABC about the upcoming, "blame Clinton for 9/11" mini-series on ABC. Now, with that headline, I assumed that I would do the writing, and that they would provide the address. Instead I was rerouted to yet another right wing blog, which made the same pitch. "Write ABC about the mini-series"

You can see this site at:


Anyway I clicked and waited, and nothing happened. So then I noticed where the site was linked and typed in that address, and discovered that I got a message which indicated that they (ABC) had received nothing but the header.

My suspicions are that the click through sends a precanned message in support of the mini-series. I followed a few more links and informed ABC what was going on. Whether it will ever get read, who knows ? Will ABC say that they got x number of emails supporting them, you betcha. You might want to write and let people know where those emails are coming from.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oh, How Incredibly Convenient !

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Two months before the elections, Chevron discovers oil !

Oh yeah, I really do believe that !

I do believe it, but as to when they first became aware of this "new" oil, and when they chose to announce it, well I'd be inclined to believe a time gap exists, much like those in the Nixon tapes.

The Powers That Be must have finally gotten a bit nervous about the mood of the country.

I took great joy in telling Dish Network to take a hike and installed Direct TV instead, when they (DishNet)wouldn't budge on a charge resulting from their screwup, of $5. They tried to apologize when they realized they'd lost their $60/month customer of 8 years, but it was too little, too late.

Vote Yes on 87 !

Vote for Charlie Brown to replace Congressman Doolittle, who's been Rosevillifying Nevada County just a wee bit too long.

Vote no on 90.

Yee Haw !

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Annotated Presidential Speeches

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The President made a lot of interesting statements, many of them sweeping generalities, but many of them easily subject to fact checking. I'd like to see a website where each line of the President's speech would be backed up by annotations. Of course there are many, many different points of view. The two major parties would obviously want to have an official say. The Executive Office would want its own spin. And then we have the great unwahed masses, splintered in thousands of ways. Somehow the site should allow for other group statements, and even individual statements:

For example, the President boasted that he was spending more on VA benefits than the previous 8 years under Clinton. Of course President Bush didn't bring attention to the fact that we have far more people to deal with, thanks to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also mentions a bunch of new hospitals. To back this up, his office might publish where they are and details about each one. The opponents might then point out the connections between the locations and Republican officeholders. And so on. It would make for lively discussions.

ReThinking Iraq, ReThinking Family Values

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It costs me $90 a trip now to visit my grandchildren. It used to cost $40 4 years ago. If we had a national policy which made solar power a priority the way we made the nuclear bomb and the moon shots priorities, it would probably cost $20. I still maintain this point.

As near as I can tell, GE and other oil based megacorps want to maintain control of energy, even at the cost of American lives, the quality of life in this country, and the American image abroad. If a patent for cheap power from the sun was public domain, they would lose that control. It's the same old story, those at the top do not care what the moral and social costs are, associated with them keeping their position.

Americans with less stress to earn money for their gastanks might have more time to make wiser decisions about other areas of their lives. MegaCorps love fear and anxiety, they are the twin whips driving the economy down their chutes....

Monday, August 28, 2006

My Family, The Simpsons

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My wife says that my side of the family is like that episode of the Simpsons in which they are wired up so that they can shock one another, and they just all go bananas doing it ! The cartoon is very funny. My wife does not want to be associated with that negativity, however, and so discourages me, as best she can, from carrying on my side of the fracas. "You're all a bunch of six year old morons ! Get over it !" Too much pain brings out the sense of humor, as that's the only way to get relief.

Austrian Oslo Syndrome, Tags are Us

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I now realize that technorati gives you one chance to get indexed, and that changing your post, without adding a new post, does not index anything further, regardless of how many times you ping them. Accordingly the first part of this post is a set of tags, updated, that actually go with the previous post. So here you go, now skip back one post, read the runway safety suggestions, and then return here for the Oslo syndrome stuff.

"Tags: Lexington, Kentucky Blue Grass Airport, Conair, Comair, CRJ-100 jet, Flight 5191, National Transportation Safety Board, FAA, NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration, crash, disaster, Conan O'Brian, awards, NBC, miStAKE, SKETCH, SKIT, SAFETY SUGGESTIONS, runway improvements, tarmack, lights"


New tags for Austrian girl who was imprisoned: Oslo syndrome, denial, trapped, fell in love with captor, mourned captor's death, didn't think she missed much. What can I say other than that I watched this happen to a near relative, who STILL, seven years after the death of the captor, hasn't learned/appreciated/understood what was done to her, or why, and she continues to make bad choices based on an Oslo syndrome background. She denies herself her true father and her children their natural and loving grandfather, who has always been there for her and them.

I will say that a series of Marin / Sonoma evangelical "Christian" churches helped the captor, and continue the tragedy onto the next generation even as I write, "saving souls" is more important than family relationships to them...an error that will pain even Jesus to forgive. The captor has taught intolerance well, and, from the depths of an inkwell my relative can only dimly grasp what she's lost. Within Intellectualle there doth dwell a soul unusualle and fine, but star-crossed by the times and Ronald Howard Lewin's crimes...

BTW, is the Flying Clipper (Think Pan American Airways) Hawaaian continuing Ronald's legacy, and the control......break free and dare to be thee !

further tags: psychology, Esalen, therapy, encounter groups, healers, Dr. Freeman

Commuter Plane Safety Ideas, Avoiding Short Runways

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Tags: Lexington, Kentucky Blue Grass Airport, Conair, Comair, CRJ-100 jet, Flight 5191, National Transportation Safety Board, FAA, NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration

I guess this is too obvious, so nobody's done it.

Color code the runways by length.

At either end of the runways, right in front of the takeoff apron prep area, 3 foot wide painted bars, 10 of them, 50 feet apart. At least do this for the shorter runways. You could list the actual length, to be fancy, but color would be best. Apparently runways are already marked with distance warnings, big black "3" for three thousand feet left, etc, at various points down the runway.


RFID chip like device on plane, which identifies the plane by make and model.

If such a plane reaches a takeoff apron prep area of a runway too short, alarms go off in the cockpit and the tower.

Third possibility:

Radio with tight directional beam broadcasting straight down the runway, broadcasting the runway length. Receiver in plane connected to safety interlock that at least sounds an alarm, and perhaps locks up the engines, unless an override is depressed.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Susan M. Bycroft, U.S. Patent 6922137

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Turns out the concept I outlined in my LAURIE system, has, to quite an extent, already been patented, but her patent does not go the extra mile in adding a warning light bar in all surrounding vehicles, and instead depends on a strobe popping up and a call to an OnStar like group when an airbag goes off. This does not prevent cars coming around blind curves from piling into the mess. It seems more aimed at anti threft, than accident warning.

BTW, I should also credit Laurie Glass with the last name of Samudio, she had been married to Joseph Samudio, and is the mother of Justin Samudio, and daughter of Bruce Haig, sister of Arlie, Tammy, PJ, and her brother, whose name escapes me. I extend an open invitation to all to come visit us, we're just north of Nevada City, CA.

Getting Suggestions Noticed, Universal New Ideas Bank

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In my previous post I discussed an idea for traffic safety. I sent it as a letter to the editor of the local paper. I also posted it at a government site called safercars.gov. but I wonder if it will get noticed.

Wikipedia is all fine and good if you topic has been published already somewhere, and you are just rephrasing it, but it is no good for little guys with brand new ideas.

We need a Clearing House for Brand New Ideas. We need a space where anybody can post after registering. yes, there will be a lot of crank stuff. It can be tagged as such, along with the type of crank. What is cranky to the right may be brillant to the left, and vice versa.

We also need a system where a group of members can stop postings by universal idiots.

Person A posts idea #1 with a suggested classification or set of tags (technorati/html). If 5 other persons all trash the content as nothing new or rediculous, then the concept goes to the warning bin. Anything in the warning bin can be filtered out in a search for ideas. Items in the warning bin can be permanently deleted by 25 more members in good standing voting them off. Members in good standing must be contributing members or commenting members, who don't spend all day deleting anything and everything.

Assuming Idea #1 stays legitimately posted, others may make comments, just like any blog. variations on idea #1 can be maintained in a family tree for examination. Retagging or tag modification should also be possible. This is just a very rough sketch of the concept, so please bear with me.

Eventually it would be obvious which ideas are attracting the most attention, and like TTLB they could be ranked. All in all, and EBay of new ideas, it is.

Yoda's Codas are like Holly's Tomales

L.A.U.R.I.E, EveryPerson's Indy 500 Yellow Flag

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Here is my best idea ever.

When there is an accident at the Indianapolis 500 race, they bring out the yellow flag and so, even though other drivers cannot see the problem, they all slow down.

In the USA over 100 people a day (that's a 9/11 every ten days) are killed in car and truck accidents.

My concept will not stop most first accidents, but it will go a long way to reducing secondary accidents.

In a nutshell, when an airbag goes off, a radio signal carrying the GPS location of the airbagged car is sent out instantly. All new cars would be equipped to send out the signal.

All new cars would also be equipped to receive such signals. Depending on the distance to the bag deployed, and whether the receiving vehicle was approaching it or going away from it, a set of lights (coded like 9/11, with an audible for the more dangerous warnings)would be activated.

So, if you were on a 2 lane country road with blind curves everywhere, and an accident occurred just around the next bend, you would have time to slow down so as to avoid becoming part of the action.

In urban areas you would want to have the ability to limit the range to much less than you would want in the country.

A secondary code light could be used to let you know if emergency vehicles were approaching your area, activated by those vehicles. This would allow cars to get out of the way for ambulances and police vehicles, even if their drivers had MP3's blasting in their ears on their IPods.

In areas of high risk you might want to put repeater stations, so that if the originating car was destroyed, the signal would still get out, even if the original signal only lasted for a fraction of a second.

A secondary benefit of this would be to heighten awareness of the need to pay attention to the road. Drivers would all perk up even if the accident occurred slightly off their path and out of their normal awareness. Annoying ? Maybe so. I find 100 deaths/day a lot more annoying.

For those who say, "well, that will take at least x number of years to have any effect," I can only ask, "Will life be any less precious 20 years from now ? Do you see anybody making any other changes that will substantially affect the accident rate at so little cost ? If all the new cars start slowing down, don't you think those in older cars will take that as a warning ???"

Maybe you would prefer we return to cars with no seatbelts and no airbags, that would be so retro and cool......

Douglas Keachie, B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1969

So, what does the acronym L.A.U.R.I.E. stand for ?

Local Airbag Universal Radio Information Explosion

I have named this in honor of Laurie H. Glass, originally Laurie Haig, who died when her car came around a flyover curve at night in the MacArthur Maze in Oakland Calfornia, and blinded by the lights from the on-coming traffic from the Bay Bridge, she plowed straight into a darkened mass of debris, what was left of a van driven by a drunk/stoned driver, who walked away from the wreck. If this system were in place, she might be alive today, brightening the world, her son's life especially, with her laughter, art, love and joy. We miss you, Laurie !

Friday, August 18, 2006

Worst Experience Ever with BestBuy Online

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Was poking about BestBuy online and wanted more info before making a purchase, was promised chance to get more info, and then boomo, you've bought a computer under terms you don't want. I believe this is illegal in California. The dude in India who said there would be no restocking fee for returning it to a store (70 miles away) refused to send a confirming email. He said he was doing it, he had the email addy on his screen, the same one they used send me the order confirmation, but nothing came from him. I sent that addy several emails and they came through just fine. He was lying, or they have a wierd delay. I asked for his email as an agent of BestBuy. He refused to give it, or a name, or even and employee numbers. Worst online buying experience EVER !

I sent the following on to BestBuy, but only after having several emails containing the word "cancel" mysteriously crash my machine.

"I have spent over three hours attemting to reach someone on the phone to s t o p an order that I inadvertantly would up placing after being promised a chance to check everything out. I had several unanswered questions, and had no intention of completing the transactions without getting answers to those questions. I would up talking to somebody in India through a bad connection who was no help at all, who claimed to have sent me an email when he hadn't, who refused to indetify himself by either name or employee number, who refused to even give me an email address to communictae with him on that level. No wonder this country's got problems. Bring the jobs home please. If you cannot find an American human who can talk deals, understands both your retail and credit sides, then please d e l e t e, c*a*nc*e*l the order immediately. My cell phone is....

I wonder if the script running this email input form doesn't just cause my computer to freeze. I am making copies of this before I hit transmit (submit) I guess I'm going to need a lawyer the way things are going. I will also send a copy via certified mail to the physical addy on the website."

Stereotyping: Simple Answers for Simple Minds

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Stereotyping: Simple Answers for Simple Minds....in a very complex universe.

If one example of A does B, then all examples of A do B.

This is especially true if I already like A and B, and even more so true if I dislike A and B.

This kind of thinking allows people who don't like school teachers to now conclude that all school teachers molest children, a la JonBenet Ramsey.

A more honest depiction would be, "Karr, who occasionally made money teaching school, did blah-blah-blah."

When we go for the shortcuts of stereotyping, our view of reality winds up a bloody mess.

Occupations, religions, political view points, actions, evaluations of those around us, all go into giving the complex definition of who we are, but no one of them by itself rules the roost. They have to be looked at as a constellation, a being made up of many (hopefully) bright points, which are only whole when taken in together.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Coffee Filter Folderover Solution + Bad Pun

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We've owned a very nice Italian Delonghi coffee maker for years. For years, on an intermittent basis, the coffee filter would fold over, the grounds would, in a minor case get into the pot, with weaker coffee, or in a major case, all over the kitchen counter. About two years ago I discovered that cutting off a thin edge from the top of the paper filter solved a lot of these problems. But occasionally, the grounds would still go on the warpath.

Now I've hit upon an even simpler solution. Wet the filter and conform it to the coffee filter holder before adding the grounds. A simple thing, and a switch from my save the world solutions, but it works.

What do angry intersteller space craft equipped AmerIndians do ???

They go on the Warp Path !

Another bad pun from the warp-ped mind of Douglas Keachie

Der Tag of the day:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Frustration with Blogger and Pinging to Technorati

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I don't seem to be able to get listed in Technorati any more recently than 42 days ago. I followed all of the instructions at Technorati.

One last try. I will put the following in this post, post it, and then click on it. this is therefore a wasted post for everybody else.


The Strength of the USA

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The Strength of the USA is lies our abilities to live and let live, to learn that their are areas where we we never agree, but that those areas do not preclude us from cooperating and enjoying one another's company in areas where we do agree. Again, "Why can't we just all get along ?" This is probably nearly as profound as Martin Luther King's, "I Have a Dream," speech.

Unfortunately, we don't always practise this philosophy the way we profess. We have wasted 1/3 rd of $1,000,000,000 (that's one billion dollars) on military personnel fired because they prefer the same sex for partnering. We lost 55 good translators of Arabic this way, according to CNN today.

But, in general, this ability to tolerate diversity, plus adequate lebensraum (quality land on which to live and grow food, and plenty of wild open wilderness spaces, for mental/physical relaxation/spiritual explorations), allows us to get along most of the time.

Contrast this with Ahmadinemed, the president of Iran, who seems to be following in Hitler's footsteps, promising economic growth to the poor, and saber rattling in the international scene. I would like to know where the factory is that makes the Katyuska rockets, and I would like it bombed to extinction. Now he even has a blog, I may have spelled his name wrong in the last part.

I expect that rockets will again fall on Israel, as the Arabs have no clue, insisting that the Lebanese and U.N. forces "not look for rockets and weapons caches." I'm suprised the Israel hasn't at least bombed Syia and Iran, let alone nuked them. I don't like nukes, but if it's going to be brought to, "us or them," I vote for nuking them first.


"It's all about ME ! (and maybe You too)

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Loony Tunes ! They don't hate us. They love Tom and Jerry. Hollywood is safe.

"Look at me," is a very basic human need.

The Islamo Fascists (Hamas, Hezbollah, Wahabi's, and Al'Kaieda) all have a remarkable serious case of this need. Almost as bad as the various religious groups in the USA who are forever trying to get people to convert to whatever their "One True Faith in this Universe and all Universes Beyond," happens to be.

"Look at my rockets!" is more of the same. I once heard that the goal of the terrorists is not to be as "happy" as we, but rather to make sure we are as unhappy as they. Since the Iranians are not stupid nor ill equipped, they will soon have the Bomb. We will live in interesting times, and having a supply of iodine on hand would be a good idea. Small doses will prevent the body from absorbing a radioactive relative of iodine.

The Xerox machine and the VCR brought the communist system to its knees, but then most of the people in Russia (CCCP) were not communists in their hearts at all. With the indoctrination of kids so young that 5 year olds want to blow themselves up in their "Holy" war, we are looking at an entirely different critter. However, more free tv beamed down might help, as well as as much connection to the net as is possible. We should all know how to aim and peak a two way Internet satellite dish, even here, and maybe especially here, in the USA. It's amazing what comes from the Wild Blue Yonder !

Frankly, I'd go for tons of LSD in the water and air and a complete disarmarment of the Middle East as soon as possible. It's very hard to plant and set off an IED if you are stoned like a Berkeley hippy. Your timing is shot and you get distracted by spinning hubcaps. Doing it sector by sector (one mile square or so in rural areas, about one quarter that in town) would reduce the loss of life, and greatly reduce the loss of life which will happen without a doubt if they get nukes from anywhere.

Happy Birthday coming up soon !

You are smart enough to know this, and glad you are following through.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gates and Clinton and the Unknown Muslim Informant

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Gates and Clinton and the Unknown Muslim Informant.

These are my selections so ar this year for Person of the Year or the Nobel Peace Prize. The first two for their efforts to fight AIDS and other diseases, the latter for saving at least two thousand lives and the general emotional tone of the world. Without the Unknown Muslim Informant, the Brits wouldn't have had a clue.

Tags: Heathrow, terrorists, airlines, airplanes, liquid bombs, Great Britain, England, Pakistan, Hezbollah

Voye Yes on 87

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It's funny how opportunity comes your way.

The oil companies don't want to pay a tax for drilling for California's oil.

They sell gasoline by the octane rating. According to Dr. Bill Wattenburg (Wattenberg?) a talk show host of radio station KGO, a double PhD, there is no reason to burn any higher octane gas than 87.

Thus at the gas pumps there sits a wonderful opportunity for a bit of sticky label tagging, just above where it states the octane rating for proposition 87.

For example:

Tired of getting ripped off ?
Vote Yes On

and then of course the number 87 is already there. If every voter does this just once, even if they are picked up on video, it will make a marvelous mocery of 30 million dollars the oil companies have already spent to defeat prop 87. If everyone does it to the tune of the number of labels on one sheet of Avery labels, we will have the vox populi heard again over the roar of insane oil profits...