Monday, October 17, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
Question: What do these 11 people have in common, besides that they're all Republicans serving in congress?
Rep. Joe Barton - TX
Jeff Flake - AZ
Virginia Foxx - NC
Scott Garrett - NJ
John Hostettler - IN
Steve King - IA
Butch Otter - ID
Ron Paul - TX
James Sensenbrenner - WI
Tom Tancredo - CO
Lynn Westmoreland - GA
Answer: They all voted against the aid package package (H.R. 3673) for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
WTF? Amazing. I wonder how they justify voting against it?
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides
By DOUG THOMPSON
Aug 25, 2005, 06:19
While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.
"I'm not meeting again with that goddamned bitch," Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. "She can go to hell as far as I'm concerned!"
Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them "motherfucking traitors." He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore "bullshit protectors" over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to "tell those VFW assholes that I'll never speak to them again is they can't keep their members under control."
White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President's honesty.
"Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say," he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. "I'm the President and I'll do whatever I goddamned please. They don't know shit."
Bush, whiles setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say the President often "flips the bird" to show his displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to "go to hell" or to "go fuck yourself." His habit of giving people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking also recently surfaced.
Bush's behavior, according to prominent Washington psychiatrist, Dr. Justin Frank, author of "Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President," is all too typical of an alcohol-abusing bully who is ruled by fear.
To see that fear emerges, Dr. Frank says, all one has to do is confront the President. "To actually directly confront him in a clear way, to bring him out, so you would really see the bully, and you would also see the fear," he says.
Dr. Frank, in his book, speculates that Bush, an alcoholic who brags that he gave up booze without help from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, may be drinking again.
"Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office," Dr. Frank says. "Is he still drinking? And if not, is he impaired by all the years he did spend drinking? Both questions need to be addressed in any serious assessment of his psychological state."
Last year, Capitol Hill Blue learned the White House physician prescribed anti-depressant drugs for the President to control what aides called "violent mood swings." As Dr. Frank also notes: "In writing about Bush's halting appearance in a press conference just before the start of the Iraq War, Washington Post media critic Tom Shales speculated that 'the president may have been ever so slightly medicated.'"
Dr. Frank explains Bush's behavior as all-to-typical of an alcoholic who is still in denial:
"The pattern of blame and denial, which recovering alcoholics work so hard to break, seems to be ingrained in the alcoholic personality; it's rarely limited to his or her drinking," he says. "The habit of placing blame and denying responsibility is so prevalent in George W. Bush's personal history that it is apparently triggered by even the mildest threat."
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
There will, of course, always be those who close their eyes to inconvenient facts, but even for these unfortunate people a day will come when the evidence becomes to much of a burden for their conscience to ignore. For the good of us all let us hope their desire to act upon the truth outweighs their desire to defend those whom they believe are their allies.
- A mere 38 days after taking office, the World Trade Center is attacked for the first time. Clinton captures and imprisons Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, and Wali Khan Amin Shah.
- January 1994: Clinton's first crime bill provides for stringent anti-terrorism measures, as does the more specifically targetted Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Clinton also requested and received funding for sponsoring simulated terrorist attacks to test the effectiveness of municpal response teams.
- July 1996: Congressional Republicans object to Clinton's proposed expansion of the intelligence agencies wiretap authority. Newt Gingrich tells Fox News Sunday: "When you have an agency that turns 900 personnel files over to people like Craig Livingstone... it's very hard to justify giving the agency more power."
- September 1996: Republicans in Congress refuse all of Clinton's requested counterterrorism spending. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): "The administration would be wise to utilize the resources Congress has already provided before it requests additional funding."
- Summer 1998: Clinton issues series of top secret directives to the CIA authorizing the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and several of his top lieutenants.
- August 1998: Alleged chemical weapons factories in Sudan are bombed. The bombings are met with bipartisan approval: "The President did exactly the right thing. By doing this we're sending the signal there are no sancturies for terrorists." -Newt Gingrich. Richard Clarke, counterterrorism expert under both Bush and Clinton, testifying before the 9-11 commission, on the bombing: "To this day, there are a lot of people who believe that it was not related to a terrorist group, not related to chemical weapons. They're wrong, by the way. But the President had decided in PDD-39 that there should be a low threshold of evidence when it comes to the possibility of terrorists getting their access -- getting their hands on chemical weapons. And he acted on that basis."
- Paul Bremer to the Washington Post on Clinton: "he correctly focused on bin Laden". "Overall, I give him very high remarks" - Robert Oakley, Reagan counterterrorism czar.
- Economy prospers, crime is down, abortions are down, and teenage pregnencies are down. Clinton, however, very concerned about the "growing threat of terrorism".
- August 2000: Bush says "If called on by the commander in chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, 'Not ready for duty, sir.'" Proceed to kick the crap out of Afghanistan the following September.
- October 2000: USS Cole is attacked by suicide bombers, killing seventeen sailors and wounding 39 others. Clinton decides to leave any response to the incoming Bush administration.
- Winter 2000: Sandy Berger briefs Condolezza Rice on al Qaeda. Later NSA Rice denies then confirms that this meeting took place.
- Richard Clarke lays out the whole Clinton al Qaeda plan; NSA Rice likes him so much she decides he should stay.1
- January 2001: Outgoing Clinton officials say "The Bush team thinks we're obsessed with terrorism".
- February 15: Former US Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman issue a report that warns "mass casualty terrorism directed against the US homeland is of serious and growing concern". Recommends the creation of a National Homeland Security Agency.
- April 30: Clarke presents plan to fight al Qaeda and to start a National Homeland Security Agency. Gets floated around the office, but is more or less ignored.1
- May: The Bush administration gives $43 million to the Taliban in an attempt to convince them to quit growing and exporting opium.
- July 10: FBI agent sends headquarters a memo concerning some middle eastern students learning to fly who have no interest in taking off or landing.
- July: Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet warns NSA Rice that a major attack on American soil is probably imminent.
- August 6: George Tenet delivers to the vacationing Bush a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.", saying al Qaeda is planning on hijacking planes and possibly attacking New York. No action is taken. The next day Bush tells the press pool "I've got a lot of national secuirty concerns that we're working on - Iraq, Macedonia, very worrisome right now."
- August 16: INS arrests Moussaoui, saying he's "the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center".
- August 25th: Bush still on vacation. Clarke's memo of fighting terrorism still sitting around, waiting for his attention. Bush tells press "Spot's a good runner. You know, Barney-terriers are bred to go into holes and pull out varmint. And Spotty chases birds. Spotty's a great water dog. I'll go fly fishing this afternoon on my lake." Later builds a nature trail.
- Feeling the heat in August about an "imminent terrorist attack", acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard requests an additional $58 million in anti-terrorism funding from the Department of Justice.
- September 5: Eight months after Rice had been briefed, and 11 months after Clinton suggested Bush create it, Clarke's plan finally reaches the principals comittee. Bush is back from his month-long August vacation. Cheney, Rice, Powell, and Rumsfeld decide to advise Bush to adopt Clarke's plan with a phased in approach. They wait several days before they put it on his desk.1
- September 9: The Senate Armed Services Committe recommends shifting $814 million from missile defense to anti-terrorism funding. Secretary Rumsfeld informs the Senate that he will recommend the President veto this.
- September 10: Ashcroft sends his budget request to Bush. Includes spending increases in 68 different programs, none of which deal with terrorism. Ashcroft passes around a memo to his department of his seven top priorities, again terrorism isn't on the list. Acting FBI Director Pickard receives Ashcroft's official denial for Pickard's request for more anti-terrorism funding.
- September 11: Using hijacked airliners, Saudi and Egyptian members of al Qaeda attack the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing thousands. Another hijacked airline crashes to earth in eastern Pennsylvania, apparently brought down as part of a battle between the hijackers and the passengers. Military moves to DefCon 3, all domestic flights are grounded.
- September 11-15: Some 142 Saudi nationals, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, are allowed to fly out of the country.
- November: Clinton's "defunct, cut, non-battle ready military" kicks the crap out of Afghanistan.
- Military is so dismantled it prompts Lawrence J. Korb, director of national secuirty studies at the Council of Foreign Relations, to say after the Iraq invasion "[t]he fact of the matter is that most of the credit for the successful military operation should go to the Clinton Admnistration."
1Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies (New York: Free Press, 2004)
Thursday, August 04, 2005
You are a RAVENCLAW! As a Ravenclaw and as an NFP, you value
imagination, ideas and intelligence. You are
probably somewhat of an individualist and avoid
conforming just for its own sake. You are
insightful and perceptive, and since you are
empathetic and value harmony, you usually try
to avoid conflict. Of course, you may enjoy
participating in heated debates, but only as
long as they remain on an intellectual level
and not a personal level. In general, you are
open-minded and curious, and set high standards
Hogwarts Sorting Hat: Based on Myers-Briggs Personality Typing
brought to you by Quizilla The test could have been better constructed, since you have to manually select the same answer multiple times. But it's still one of the better "sorting hat" tests I've seen. It definitely made me think (and even second-guess myself). And, and by the way... Snape kills Dumbledore!
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Friday, April 15, 2005
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
|Purgatory (Repenting Believers)||Very Low|
|Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)||High|
|Level 2 (Lustful)||Moderate|
|Level 3 (Gluttonous)||High|
|Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)||Very Low|
|Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)||High|
|Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)||Very High|
|Level 7 (Violent)||Moderate|
|Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)||Moderate|
|Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)||Low|
Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
Friday, March 18, 2005
Sunday, February 20, 2005
It's time that I posted a couple unfinished tracks from Mythconception. Here's a little something to listen to.
Track 3: Stigma (4:15 long, 6 MB)
A fairly "heavy" song, with more guitar and more "attitude" than is on the rest of the album. Crunchy, rhythmic and dark.
Track 5: Sarah In the Garden (5:24 long, 7.6 MB)
A gentle and (I hope) romantic track describing the first encounter between the two main characters of the album, and their developing relationship.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Originally uploaded by Special.
This wonderful photo by Krystle got me thinking about a mythological point. The model's expression is a little sexy, but mostly it's mischievous. It makes me think about a whole new angle on the Eve/Pandora myths of the woman who unleashes trouble on the world: what if she totally knew what she was doing? Maybe Eve and Pandora can be thought of as tough, hell-raising chicks, rather than as symbols of the old male tendency to blame women for all evil.
Monday, January 31, 2005
What is it with crappy action films taking their titles from children's songs and nursery rhymes? While looking in video stores over the last year or so, I've noticed it's been done a lot. There was Gingerbread Man, and there was Reindeer Games... Oh yeah, I think there was one called Along Came A Spider.
I guess if you're making a run-of-the-mill, mainstream "gritty" action film and you can't think of a title, just take a couple key words from a nursery rhyme. I don't know if these have already been used, but expect to see movies titled:
The Clock Struck One
Four And Twenty Blackbirds
The Little Dog Laughed
The House That Jack Built
Jack Be Nimble
A Crooked Mile
Monday, January 24, 2005
The development discussion list for del.icio.us naturally brings up the topic of folksonomy regularly. While it's easy to find articles praising folksonomy and suggesting it may displace existing methods of identifying and locating information, it's not quite as easy to find skeptical, critical articles about folksonomy. I always like to see multiple viewpoints, so I sought out some skeptics. I've placed a number of interestring articles in del.icio.us with the tag "antifolksonomy."
Then, on a whim I did a Google search for "folksonomy sucks" and found that absolutely nothing comes up. So I've used the phrase here. I am the first!
At long last, I finally have a claim to fame.
And no, I don't necessarily think folksonomy sucks, so don't leap to conclusions!
Friday, January 14, 2005
I met my wife in the spring of 1996 on the Internet in an email discussion group for fans of the band Pink Floyd. I flew out to Toronto to meet her that summer, and she came out here to visit me twice before finally moving here.
The Western psychology of love was defined in the middle ages, through great, defiant love stories like that of Tristan and Isolde, or of Sir Lancelot and Guinevere. One of the great medieval poets, Girault de Borneilh, wrote in the 12th century:
so through the eyes love attains the heart:
for the eyes are the scouts of the heart,
and the eyes go reconnoitering
for what it would please the heart to possess.
and when they are in full accord
and firm, all three, in the one resolve,
at that time, perfect love is born
from what the eyes have made welcome to the heart.
not otherwise can love either be born or have commencement
than by this birth and commencement moved by inclination.
guiraut de borneilh (c. 1138-1200)
Today, in the age of the Internet, it's no longer always through the eyes that love is attained. Now love can start other ways rather than necessarily through sight.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
My 36th birthday is coming up next Thursday, January 20th. When I was a little kid birthdays were so exciting and fun. This photo is from 1977, my 8th birthday. My mom made the snoopy cut-out cake. We all had party hats, favors, and the whole deal. Now, birthdays are just another day. Sometimes I wish I could be a little kid again just for my birthday and for Christmas, so I could feel that happiness and excitement again. This year I didn't even bother asking for my birthday off from work. ...sigh...
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
"I keep having to remind people that religion in and of itself is morally neutral. Religion is like a knife. When you use a knife for cutting up bread to prepare sandwiches, a knife is good. If you use the same knife to stick into somebody's guts, a knife is bad. Religion in and of itself is not good or badit is what it makes you do..." Desmond Tutu
Thanks to Bina for posting that. I think that statement is absolutely brilliant in it's simple clarity.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
One of the wonderful little surprises which is associated with PKD is aneurysms. I always thought an aneurysm was the event: i.e., when a blood vessel near your brain bursts. But it turns out that an aneurysm is actually a thing: a blood vessel which is stretched thin and enlarged like a balloon. An aneurysm can burst, but an aneurysm is the strained blood vessel, not the act of bursting.
Anyway, aneurysms are associated with PKD. About 1 in 10 people with PKD has an aneurysm. Although I've had blackouts now and then ever since I was a kid, those were apparently associated with a heart condition called AVNRT which I had fixed last year with a cathetera ablation procedure. So the doctor feels pretty sure I'm in the clear as far as aneurysms go, but he still ordered an MRI on my head to be absolutely sure.
On Thursday, Dec. 30th at 6:30 a.m. I went to the hospital and had the MRI done. It was a little different from the MRIs I've had done on my torso and kidneys. This time, I was put in head-first, with protective headphones on. Instead of the gentle "whoosh" I've heard in past MRIs, this time the machine screeched like a modem for uninterrupted minutes at a time, then alternately paused to make big "chunk chunk" noises and clicks. The MRI took about 25 minutes, during which I just closed my eyes and did some meditation exercises. It must have worked because not only did I emerge feeling very nice, but it seemed like it only took 10 minutes rather than 25.