Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Fun for You!

What's a Thursday without a real classic internet maniac? For some reason, I thought of the Time Cube today. I hadn't looked at it in several years, and it's still there! Go have a look -- it's quite amusing.

Just for the record: I'm definitely evil and educated stupid.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bartleby, RIP

Not that it matters. When I first started this blog, it seemed that most blogwriters were using clever pseudonyms, and I assumed that was an obligatory aspect of the style. Some still do, some don't -- who cares?

"Bartleby the Scrivener" was and remains my favorite among Melville's works. I did not, however, put much thought into the choice. If I had, it might have occurred to me that "Bartleby" probably wouldn't be chosen as a nom de keyboard by more than a few million online scriveners. So it goes.

Dubya: A Man of Many Concerns

Our Glorious War Leader affects "concern" over oil prices:
US President George W Bush, on the second day of a visit to Saudi Arabia, has raised concerns over oil prices.

Mr Bush made the comment in a meeting with Saudi business leaders and later took the concerns about the effect on the US economy to King Abdullah.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said the kingdom would boost production only if the market justified it.

Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil exporter and a leading member of the oil producers' cartel Opec.

Mr Bush said "high energy prices can affect economic growth because it's painful for our consumers... [and] could cause the US economy to slow down".

He added: "I would hope that as Opec considers different production levels that they understand that if... one of the biggest consumers' economy suffers it means less purchases, less oil and gas sold."
But, Mr. Supreme Decider El Presidente, what about duh-mocracy? What about the equal treatment of wymmyn? I thought, way back when you kicked off the Global War on Turr' and All Other Suboptimal Things, that you announced that regimes failing to meet the standard of liberal secular western wonderfulness that prevails in, say, Dallas-Fort Worth would have to go. Wasn't that why you put the righteous beatdown on them-those Afghan Tally-bans?

But no, you didn't drop the Word about Holy Democracy on the House of Saud, there in the homeland of almost all the 9-11 hijackers. Instead, you appear to have placed hat in hand and, with utmost obsequiousness, suggested to The Royal Potentate of Petroaffluence and Almighty Hand on the Oil Valve that gee, us Uh-mur'kans sure would like some cheaper gas in our tanks. The Princes of the Desert -- to their credit -- appear to have suggested politely that you go defecate in your hat.

So, after that resounding success, you made your way to Egypt. There, it was a different story. Since the Sons of the Pharoahs aren't the big oil fountains that the Saudis are, and since torture services can always be outsourced to "new Europe" or supplied at Guantanamo or Bagram or Camp Victory or Camp Bondsteel or various other places whose names I obviously don't need to know, you felt a little more free to preach your sermon:
Speaking in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Mr Bush said that he hoped Egypt would build on moves towards greater democracy.

Standing with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, he stopped short of directly criticising Egypt's government.

The US has in the past raised concerns over Egypt's human rights record and its treatment of the independent press.

Mr Bush said that Egypt had "taken steps towards... democratic reform and my hope is that the Egyptian government will build on these important steps and give the people of this proud nation a greater voice in your future".

Egypt's banned opposition Muslim Brotherhood - which holds a fifth of the seats in parliament - staged a protest in Cairo on Tuesday against Mr Bush's visit, which was only due to last three or four hours.
Ah, yes, The U.S. has such "concerns over Egypt's human rights record" that Egypt is one of the frequent destinations of those secret CIA rendition flights.

My country is short on many things: meaningful education, manufacturing industry, a sustainable economy, peace, real morality, liberty ... many shortages. But not everything. One thing the U.S. seems to have plenty of is concerns.

About other people's business, that is.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Analysis: New Hampshire Primary Results

The same seems to apply. Hey, this is easy! How much does that brain-free little maniac Chris Matthews get paid, again?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Analysis: Iowa Caucus Results

I almost forgot to make a detailed analysis of the Iowa results! Fortunately, I remembered in the nick of time, just before the New Hampshire primary. So, here goes:
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

--- Henry Louis Mencken,
A Little Book in C Major

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Feedstocks For the Mill

The population of my home state is decreasing by 3400:
INDIANAPOLIS – In recent years the RCA Dome has been home to elated cheers.

But on Wednesday, thousands of Indiana National Guard families huddled together in the stadium’s darkened concourse – whispering farewells and wiping tears away in a striking display of love, sadness and pride.

“It’s pretty difficult on us,” said David Henderson, who came to say goodbye to his son, Tony Henderson, of Huntertown. “I served two years, so at least I know a little of what to expect.”

Tony Henderson is one of the 3,400 members of the 76th Infantry Brigade to deploy Wednesday, including 680 out of Fort Wayne’s 1st Battalion 293rd Infantry Regiment.
Not only were the duped victims and families there, but the usual smarmy collection of enablers, too ... including one nauseatingly-familiar chickenhawk:
The ceremony, for family and friends only, drew more than 20,000 to the Dome. Elected leaders from around the state gave speeches, and a video with the song “American Soldier” was shown.

U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd, told the soldiers they are heading to Iraq at a critical time to help create stability so Iraqi forces can take control of their own country.

He mentioned several Fort Wayne soldiers by name – thanking them for their service.
Ummmm, yeah, OK.

And then, another tax-sucking nuisance was heard from:
Perhaps the largest cheers were for Colts president Bill Polian, who called the sendoff the most memorable moment in the Dome’s history.

He told of a soldier who sent the organization a Colts cap after they won the Super Bowl last year. It had been through several battles, was bloodied and had a bullet hole in it. But the soldier said he wore it as a reminder of home.

That cap has been mounted in the Colts’ locker room as a reminder of sacrifice and service.

“Whether Bears or Browns or Colts or Steelers, we’re all Americans,” Polian told the crowd.
The news story doesn't tell us whether Mr. Polian identified anyone within the ranks of the departing legions who looked as if he could run 40 yards in 4.3 seconds, with glue on his hands. Too bad. What's a mere spear-carrier, compared to a gladiator?