Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who needs Republicans?

I did not watch the State of the Union tonight but from the news accounts and commentary I have seen I can't help thinking who needs Republicans? I mean 8 years of a Republican Whitehouse, along with control of Congress for most of that time got us what? Social security reform? Control of spending? Cuts to entitlements? Real immigration reform and enforcement? Outside of a couple supreme court appointments I can't think of much else. Bill Clinton at least signed welfare reform. The last 8 years saw the government expand faster than ever. All the Republicans were able to do is shuffle to the left and convince the religious right to go along with them. Oh and they stopped gay marraige.

The Democrats are so lost in the weeds they will be lucky to get anything done. They have so polarized the country that they are not winning anyone from the middle or the right. If McCain had been elected he might have accomplished more of the Democrats agenda than the Democrats did. All Obama has done so far is pass a stimulus bill, a monstrosity sure but not all of it has been implemented yet. If the Democrats are afraid of losing power maybe they will even roll it back before long. McCain probably would have gotten amnesty for illegals, maybe done more to destroy the first amendment, probably gotten some form of healthcare reform. The Democrats may get their act together and really screw things up but so far it is looking promising.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My quotes

I've decided to write my own quotes here goes:

1. Human progress is a like a car driven by a guy who thinks the glass is half full and maintained by a guy who thinks the glass is half empty. (I thought of this in the shower, I hope it is original but there is a possibility I read it on a paper placemat in a restaurant and am regurgitating it now.)

2. We age like computers, the new ones have faster hardware but our software is more developed.

Suitable Headline?

I'm trying to think of a suitable headline for this story.

US Govt to shoot banking industry in the head, Europe fails to follow suit

US Govt to shoot banking industry in the head, Europe donates bullets

US announces plan to make Europe the finance capital of the world
(Actually I am not sure they are not already the Capital or perhaps Asia)

Europe endorses plan to eliminate US banking industry

You get the idea.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I just finished watching the series premier of Caprica and my first impression is that it is really science fiction, something rare these days, and it is well written. The plot is woven with some very powerful themes, among them life, death, religion, monotheistic versus polytheistic religions. These themes are dealt with head on. In the premier there is a lot of discussion about what is life, what it means to be alive, if we have all the memories, thoughts, feelings, and reactions that make us well us does it matter what package that comes in? There was also an interesting exchange between an investigator and a school head mistress regarding the merrits of polytheism over monotheism. I hope this is not going to be like Battlestar Galactica where they won me over in the beginning and ran it into the ground with overdramatized over "fraked" dialogue peppered with former victoria secret models. So far, this show looks promising and for once there is a real science fiction show on the ScyFy channel, who would of ever thought of that?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emotional Burnout

This probably sounds ugly but it's the truth. I suspect it is the truth for more people than care to admit it. I don't care about Haiti. I am not glad that Haiti had an earthquake, I do not wish the Haitian people any ill will but when I search my soul for any emotion regarding the situation I find none. I don't know any Haitian people, I've never been to Haiti and I don't plan to go there in the future. I know 200,000 people may have died in the last week but this has no meaning for me other than being a number to large to imagine. As far as my opinion on aid goes it is purely based on self interest. Haiti is only a few hundred miles from our shores and sending aid there will likely keep thousands of Haitians from showing up here. We already have large numbers of low skilled workers and do not need more at this time. If I had ties to Haiti, perhaps I would have stronger feelings about what happened but I don't. Actually there are a lot of things I don't care about. The world is just too large with too much information to care about everyone We all pretend that we care to feel better about ourselves. In some cases we empathize because we see the potential to be in the same situation but rarely do we really feel emotion that we profess to. Every day horrendous unbelievably heinous things occur to people all over the world. Some of them make the news. Most thankfully do not. If we were to experience the emotional impact from each of these events we would be emotional wrecks unable to conduct our own lives. So what am I saying? I don't know. I guess my point is that for our own sanity we should not drag ourselves through an emotional meat grinder every time something terrible happens in the world.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Devil causes earthquake

As an agnostic I wonder why evangelicals don't organize and choose someone whose only job is to lock Pat Robertson in a closet after any large catastrophic event.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tales from the Cubicle

It was quiet, too quiet in the cubicle cluster. Our intrepid not so young white collar worker had learned some time ago that times like these demanded caution. An uneasy peace had existed for the past few weeks and this was not the natural state of existence in this environment. "It" had not been around in some time, at least not out in the open. Oh, they felt slight tremblings now and again as it rumbled past from its office lair to the elevator to go outside and breath its smoke and fire. They heard its normal grunting and rumbling but it had remained largely unseen for several days. Then an unusual thing happened, that defied the laws of physics. As Bob had been working he suddenly felt a disturbance in the force. He slowly looked up from his work to see "it" standing quietly above him. It took all his will power to keep from screaming and fainting right there as he gazed squarely into its beady little eyes and feeling the creatures hot breath realizing at any moment it could incinerate him with the angry hot gas from its mouth and split him in half with its wickedly sharp whip of a tongue. For a moment that lasted an eternity Bob had remained completely still having learned from past encounters that it was best not to make the first move. Almost any action at all could and would often invite attack from the creature. As he sat there wondering what had drawn the creature to his lowly cubicle, and how something so massive could have moved with such stealth he suddenly heard something so unexpected that he could not identify it at first. The noise was coming from the creatures mouth but in all the years he had known it he had never heard it make such sounds. The sounds were not the harsh half growling half barked commands. These sounds were calm, almost happy. The creature was trying to communicate something so foreign that the muscles used to produce the sound were struggling to respond. Then the creature was silent. Bob sat for a long moment processing what had just happened. Suddenly it came to him in a jolt of clarity and understanding that made his blood run cold. It was a complement. The creature was thanking him. It had never happened before, he did not know what to do, how to react. He sat there in stunned silence for a moment longer before mumbling a stunned "thank you". The creature then turned and left as silently and mysteriously as it had arrived.

Monday, January 4, 2010


"The statesman excites public passions so as to profit from the counter-passions thereby aroused. To take an example: any German statesmen knows well that the Catholic Church will never form an alliance with Russia, but would indeed rather form one even with the Turks; he likewise knows that an alliance between France and Russia would spell nothing but danger for Germany. If, therefore, he is able to make of France the hearth and home of the Catholic Church he will have abolished this danger for a long time to come. Consequently, he has an interest in exhibiting hatred towards the Catholics and , through hostile acts of all kinds, transforming those who acknowledge the the authority of the Pope into a passionate political power which, hostile to German policy , will naturally ally itself with France as the opponent of Germany: his goal is just as necessarily the catholicization of France as Mirabeau's was its decatholicization. - One state thus desires the darkening of millions of minds of another state so as to derive advantage from this darkening. It is the same disposition as that which favours the republican for of government of the neighboring state - le desordre organise, as Merimee calls it - for the sole reason that it assumes this form of government will make the people feebler, more divided and less capable of war."

Where are the people on our side capable of this kind of manipulation? If manipulation is being practiced by anyone in the US government it is only internal manipulation of different factions of the US electorate against each other. Externally we appear terrified of acting in our own interests. As passionate as our terrorists enemies are, they seem ripe for manipulation.
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