Whoa! Whoever thought that Patrick Buchanan would come out in favor of a Bush/Powell foreign policy against the neocons? Since everyone from the traditionally left-wing Hollywood Establishment to, now, Pat Buchanan is applauding Bush's studied response... well, there's probably something to it.
Today has been rather a forgotten day. I intended to write some music, but never felt enough energy to do so (though I did get some yard work done). I'm feeling a bit better now, but the lethargy has not fully retreated. Ah, well, doubtless I'm recovering after a rather brutal week. Perhaps tomorrow.
Just turned on the O'Reilley Factor for a couple of minutes and the allegations now are that (then) Vice-President Gore (what's up with the mountain man scruff beard?), serving on the council to improve airline safety, decided against instituting a number of safety precautions (in the words of someone who actually was on that council, nothing was done to improve airline safety) which would've cost the airline industry huge amounts of money to implement. For those of you familiar with the Clinton/Gore administration, you know what happened within the next couple of days. That's right: huge contributions (some in the hundreds of thousands of dollars) poured in to the Democratic National Committee coffers from each airline.
That's not just bribery. It's aiding with murder. Over 7,000 murders, to be precise (and this guy almost got elected president!). And of course, now the federal government -- excuse me, the taxpayers -- are paying for these exact same safety measures (to the tune of several billion dollars) which Gore didn't implement because it would've cost him his bribe. Well, certainly the airlines are feeling the heat now, but it's not as hot as it's going to get.
On the brighter side of things, we just watched Just Visiting an American remake (by the same filmmakers and core actors) of the French film, Les Visiteurs. I actually enjoyed the American version better, set in Chicago. As the concept plays on culture shock, it was better received by my American sensibilities... plus Christina Applegate can act! A very cute, funny movie, and highly recommended, even though the critics hated it.
Ah, I remembered what I was thinking about before I fell asleep last night. I was thinking about how little I really understand (or understood, there on the threshhold of unconsciousness). And I recalled that one of the things I thought I really understood was Berkeley's idealism. In order to prove to myself that I understood it, I started running through it in my mind: all that really exists are ideas, thought by minds. Things which appear to exist in absense of human minds actually exist as thoughts of God. Then somehow I started thinking of how this could be restated to be more attractive to contemporary audiences (you know, presumably if I wanted to just rehash it, publish it, and make a mint). Then I thought about how everything could be made out of fractals, but then realized that Mr. Adams had already written a booklet on that, but he hadn't made a mint writing books, he made his fortune selling suction cups. But then I thought how sad it was that in the mid-1990s no one could get enough fractals. They were everywhere: on posters, on bookcovers, on computer desktops. Now no one has any use for fractals. On computer desktops everywhere you see computer-generated, 24-bit rendered landscapes. To some people they may look cool, but me, I just see sterile fantasies. And I suppose that's where Berkelian Idealism really breaks down. Fractals, on the other hand, are grounded in mathematics, reality.
Military Codename Generator (courtesy of Mayize, who posted it on her blog). Just keep hitting refresh to see all the names... "Operation: Shining Bat... Operation: Sharp Dancer," (those were generated for my naval battle in Africa!).
This report, IF TRUE, just goes to show you that the real enemies of freedom aren't so much radical Islamic-fundamentalist terrorists as our own overlarge, monolithic federal government.
Also it shows-to-go-ya that the majority of Brits are pro-socialist weenies.
Er, sorry... this post was a bit reflexive and not very insightful. Well, I guess it can only serve to prove that the little libertarian (not librarian) inside of me isn't completely dead yet, crushed as it is under the worries of (as the car commercial says) security in an insecure world. From deep within my belly it still cries, "I'm not hurting anyone, don't tread on meeeeee."
But I did get to watch Memento, which has more twists then a box of Snyders of Hanover. Yet, it's kept simple enough so that at the end it all fits together like a nice Rubick's pyramid. Plus, it's got Joe Pantoliano, in his best role since Tinseltown. Recommended.
Okay, here's my first attempt at accurately portraying my gritty real-life escapades:
My neck hurts. Man, does it hurt -- really bad. I don't know why, only that I haven't been taking very good care of myself lately. It didn't start to hurt until I walked to the record store yesterday to buy the new They Might Be Giants CD. Then I realized my neck was really sore. And stiff. Work's been taking it's toll on me. No $950 web-backed Aero chair can help the kind of sitting I do. I sit so much it makes me physically exhausted what with all the blood just sitting there idle in my veins and arteries. Oh, and they raised the price of the bottled water at work. So now I have to bring my own, and now there's no excuse to get up and walk to the vending machines, so I'll be doing even more sitting in the weeks to come. And our cat, Molly, caught a mouse last night. She wanted to give it to us fresh (i.e. still alive), so she brought it up into our bed as we were asleep. We woke up and freaked out of course and ran around in circles, the cat trotting after us the whole way, mouse in mouth, until I tried to get the poor thing away from her to give it a decent burial and it ran away. So now we have a dying, bleeding mouse somewhere in our house, unless one of the cats ate it (and we'll know in a few weeks, obviously, if it died someplace the cats couldn't reach it). Oh and now the damn dog up the street is barking again... I get no rest from the innumerous, infatiguable hellhounds on this street, those wretched spawn of Cerberus... Life is just so hard, sometimes.
A very nice speech. I much prefer the practice of British Parliament, voicing their assent with nearly subliminal "Hear, hear!"s as opposed to the stopping and the standing and the ovations every other sentence. But it was very encouraging to see that the support is clearly behind our President. And that people universally appreciate Guliani (I'm never going to be able to spell that right).
I think Bush meant if you're not with us (i.e. not harboring terrorists) you're against us (i.e. you're harboring terrorists). I think Switzerland will get called in only to follow the trail of money.
This hasn't been the most enlightening post, but I'm pretty tired.
Anyway, I suppose the American Flag does itself present a paradox: on the one hand it is the most visible symbol of a strong nation (not a perfect one). As such a symbol it's often the first target of those who, in that same nation, seek to exercise their right to speak out against the actions of that nation. The paradox is, of course, that the flag -- representing that free nation -- also represents that freedom of speech. So to oppose the display of the flag, you're opposing the symbol of the very freedoms which allow you your opposition.
Probably a prudent move :) But in my own defense, I must say that, for me, the urge to scribble in the margins of what others have written goes beyond a guilty little pleasure into the realm of compulsion: I can't help it.
I am working to overcome my little problem, though: all of my books now have contact paper covering the pages and I've been denied access to any writing impliment other than a dry-erase marker.
Seriously, folks, because I'm still worked up about those last two links (below). I don't know if they're just the result of weak, delusional, escapist minds, incapable of dealing with last week's events, or if they really believe that ... crap they're spouting, but in any case it would do them well to consider the following:
It's January 26, 2002. You haven't heard from your family on the west coast and you begin to fear the worst. The fourth terrorist attack invovling serin nerve toxin has just occurred in the middle of San Francisco, and 25,000 are feared dead. As you consider the all-too-likely possibility that your parents lie dead in the street, choked by their own vomit, their nervous systems turned to jelly -- killed, unsuspecting as they were just going about business that day -- I sincerely hope that your first thoughts are not that you should be feeding the Taliban or that you don't want to fly the American flag because your leftist friends will think you're becoming a Republican.
Another fool misses the point entirely. Sure, feed them. Build them a mosque. They'll still hate us. It's not because they're hungry that we're hated. It's because we send our women to school, and let them work outside the home. It's because our men do not, by and large, run their households like a totalitarian dictatorship. It's because we believe that each individual human being (not the ones who haven't been born yet, but that's coming) has a right to life, and a right to speak their mind, not just when the leader or president decrees it, but always, that we're hated.
Remember: Christ forgave those who crucified Him. He didn't build them a brand-spanking new temple to Jupiter.
And this is why no one will ever mistake us self-indulgent, Gen-X knuckleheads for The Greatest Generation. 5,400 Americans lie dead -- most will only be identified after several months because the one unrecognizable piece of their flesh that could be found contained a DNA match with a dirty pair of underwear brought in by a loved one -- and all the writers at Salon.com can offer is a self-gratificatory etude on their love-hate relationship with the American flag? This is beyond treason.
Tomgirl rocks, too. As co-president of our mutal admiration society, I have to say that while it's true that we don't agree all the time, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have backing me up in a knife fight against a horde of crack-crazed hessians in a darkened alley. She's got kung-fu.
I really hope this doesn't shape up to be a war of culture. Let's see: we rally behind Ellen Degeneres, Hannibal Lecter, The Foo Fighters, our DVD players, and Playstation 2. They rally behind their unshakeable faith that Allah will reward them for their attacks upon the infidels.
We really do need some pretty heapin' helpin's of religion coming this way. Fast.
It may seem quaint to mention it, but we're going to have to keep an eye on our civil liberties as well, and those in power, hopefully, will be able to walk the delicate tightrope between security and liberty. Anyway, here's a story about the feds already deploying Carnivores to monitor data.
I can't believe I didn't go see St Paul's (Outside The Walls) Basilica in Rome when I was there. And I'll probably never get back there. Argh. This is the kind of regret which strikes tourists years after they come back so plan those iterneraries!!!!
No way!!! My 2nd-favorite (and a close 2nd, he's only second because in addition to playing Weyoun, he also played Brunt, a character who sucked -- though it wasn't his fault and they did have that Magnificent Ferengi episode which helped redeem him) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest star, Jeffrey Combs, is already in an episode of Enterprise as... an Andorian!!!
I know I'm way, way too geeked about this but I don't care. Now please bring back Casey Biggs (who has the worst dot-com.... ever -- though it's not his fault) as Harry Mudd's grandfather or something and I'll be set. Note: the official Casey Biggs site, above, actually seems to be hosted here at the moment. The two web ounters seem inextricably entwined.
Well, my blazin' fast Comcast Cable Internet Service was down for part of the day, today, and I got to know (again) what it feels like to use a dial-up connection (sob!). Anyway, it's their first outage in almost a year, so we can live with that.
Here's a video I made of the Plymouth Fall Festival. You'll need at least a cable or DSL connection to view it. Here's a smaller version of that same 2-minute movie, if your broadband connection sputters on the larger file linked above.
This site, Android World, really isn't as scary as it seems at first... really! Check out the photos of the various android projects especially the sad story of "Valerie, a Domestic Android,":
"Sadly, our project is progessing more slowly than we had hoped. Why? Because we are discovering that every part requires several iterations and we have to build most of our own parts. Its really hard to go into a hardware store and find android parts on the shelf."
Caught the last two-and-a-half-hours of Das Boot on Encore (it's a four-hour movie, but I didn't feel cheated with just seeing the part I saw. I don't know if the ending is supposed to be a big statement about the futility of life (in wartime) or if that was just the only way they could end the movie (probably wouldn't do to have the Axis submariners steaming proudly into say, Boston Harbor).