Archive for March, 2003

Robert Fisk

Reading Robert Fisk’s latest essays from Iraq have really given me a dire sense of the casualties I knew would exist, but didn’t exactly know existed. (IraqBodyCount.net claims to be creating a tally of civilian casualties, but their sources are various media, so I’m not sure what to think of them.)

Taking my thoughts in a completely different direction for a minute, (and I assume I can only do this because I am so far removed from everything), if I wanted to be a reporter, and I’m not saying I do… some part of me would want to be there… in the middle of the war. What does it change about you — being near that much destruction? I pretty much think I would still be a pacifist, but I have said before that I would probably change my mind pretty quick, looking down the barrel of a gun. (hence the previous post wanting to buy a gun…)

Anyway, there is some distant rumble inside of me… some part that thinks I will never be great unless I take a step off the deep end. For a moment, reading these reports, I knew that Robert Fisk is a great man, and that if I ever amount to anything near what he has in my lifetime, I will have been successful.

Rational Thought and religion

OK, so most of this post is copied verbatim from an email I wrote in response to a friend of mine. Basically, her initial argument was that people cannot argue completely rationally because we are essentially emotional beings. I hope she forgives me for posting my response here, and also for the tiny quote I pull from the end of her email for the rest of my rant. (That’s the part where she sparked the “faith” nerve, and I went off on that for a while.)

I don’t know if it’s just right now, or what, (and maybe I’ll look back at this tomorrow and shake my head), but I feel that what I wrote in response was some of the clearest prose on how I feel about this stuff that I’ve ever written. I’m not going to allow comments on this post because, in general, these subjects really piss me off, and I want to minimize the “fury” factor.

These are not very popular opinions. You have been warned.
Continue reading ‘Rational Thought and religion’

abstruse or not abstruse

in the sand
a pebble bigger than an eye
that is a brain

in the brain
an eye bigger than a shut-tight eye
that is a word

in a word
an idea bigger than a word
that is an ostrich

my first real war protest

OK, so I’m embarrased to admit it, but on Thursday, Laura and I were late for the protest, and didn’t really get to martch. (everyone had already left without us).

So yesterday was my first real anti-war march. I took pictures. The first one is my favorite, as it was particularly moving to see these two little girls holding up that sign together for so long. (You can’t really tell from the picture, but they are holding up the sign.)

It was a long walk, at least a couple of miles, (In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t have to unicycle the whole way.) but there were a lot of people there, and I did feel it was good. I didn’t really know how I would feel about protests in general, because I actually rather dissagree with all the chanting. It seems little better than propaganda. But there was actually less of that than I’d expected. (And most of it happened while we were marching, probably just out of boredom.)

I tried to photo some of the best signs I saw, but some of my favorites aren’t particularly legible with the file size I chose. (And that’s not to say I didn’t miss probably half of the good ones.) A couple that are hard to make out are “Stop mad cowboy disease”, and “Might Does not Make Right”. The one with duct tape over Bush’s mouth says “Homeland Security Lesson #1: The correct use of duct tape.” The second to last photo was just weird… “War kills people (embryos too)”.

It was a good experience, and I may do it again next weekend.

someday… bloody someday

This article (that everyone is linking to, and I’m not sure I entirely agree with) combined with this interesting tidbit of NRA history has me wanting to go out and buy a gun (again)… pacifist though I am in these modern times.

I think I would keep it in a locked up in a chest marked “To be opened in case of civil war.” Maybe with some appropriate Thomas Jefferson quote.

people are fuckers.

yup. well, maybe not all of them.

I’ve always been opposed having opinions based on a “party line” or really for any other reason than a direct and blatant interpretation of facts. Unfortunately, there is not enough time in the day, and there are FAR too many issues for most of us to just “learn all about it” and then make our opinions. Not to mention most issues are far more complex than a simple assessment of facts. (Abortion comes to mind. I’m sure each side on this issue would argue about what facts are admissible in this argument.)

Anyway, the point is, you start to trust one group, with whom you agree on most things, and the next thing you know you’re just some subservient yes-man, voting for your party no matter what they believe.

Recently I received Michael Moore’s stupid Letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush on the Eve of War in my inbox. I think I’ve gotten it twice now. The first time I read it, I was thinking to myself… There are some blatant untruths in here, and this kind of shit probably isn’t going to help anything or anybody. Then, (just now) I re-read it and had one of those HEY, THIS SHIT IS FUCKED UP! moments. I guess the biggest problem I have with it is that he’s writing from some mysterious “we” when, really, he’s only speaking for himself. I mean, that’s in the fucking title of the article. Stop saying “we” when you’re really talking about “you”.

I haven’t seen bowling for columbine, but in general I had assumed I would agree with the message of the film, and no doubt believe that it was a documentary. Unfortunately, it is not.

Each of the three links above are a different type of refutation. The first is a Michael Moore sympathizer, who did some fact checking and seems as disappointed as I was to find that Moore’s movie has some lies and half truths. The second is probably written by some NRA nut, but at least he tries pretty hard to stay on track, and sticks with the facts. I would disagree with his interpretation of the way Moore cut and paste Mr. Heston’s speech — I don’t think it was out of line — but if the impression is that the speech came immediately after columbine (and it appears it is) then that part is pretty fucked up. (Again, I haven’t seen the movie, and really should before I make this post, but fuck it.) Anyway, the last link is how I stumbled onto this whole thing, an article no doubt written by some right-wing nut-job, pleased to piss that he has a liberal he can bash on, and annoyed as hell that someone he disagrees with politically might win an Oscar he doesn’t deserve.

(Why do all my posts have to talk about the Oscars!?!)

Anyway, I do read Michael Moore’s website on occasion, and generally had a good chuckle. I will probably continue to do so. However, I will no longer trust Mr. Moore as a of source for any kind of information. He has lost my trust. A trust I probably shouldn’t have given out so easily in the first place, cause… hell, people are fuckers.

I had no idea things would go this far.

While I write this, money that I have contributed toward the budget of this country is being spent on bombs falling on people. (Subtext: Does this make me murderous?)

At the same time, various animal rights organizations in the Minneapolis area are suddenly under investigation by the FBI. (I know this from a friend who was associated with one of the groups some years ago, but has not been active since. This friend received a subpoena to court. The only article I could find didn’t even mention the investigations that are actually taking place.) What a valuable enterprise those investigations are. Maybe the rationale goes something like this: “If what we’ve got is another Viet Nam, then lets put all the hippies in jail before they start protesting again.”

Honestly, I have no idea what that’s about. I think those terrorism investigation units must have way too much money on their hands, either that or they’ve got some pressure to find terrorists, and they’re grasping at straws.

At least some people are thinking about the negative repercussions this war will have. (Subtext: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, IT’S AN AWARD SHOW!!!)

I’m leaving work in a short while for my first ever protest or demonstration. I only hope I’m not surrounded by idiots there, as I am here.

lame, not lemmon

I haven’t gone anywhere, and I’m not dead. I’m just lame. Lame and lazy. Lame and lazy and busy.

I don’t have time to actually say anything worth noting. I want to close my eyes. But if I did have something to say, or some time to say it, it would probably be about CSS, or Mozilla, or Thor. Or maybe it would be about bookmarklets, or soapbubbles.

Nine days is a long time to have nothing to say. I’ve unlocked lots of DDR songs in that time. I’ve collected lots of packages and weapons in that time… I’ve eaten a lot of easter candy. I’ve closed my eyes for seven or eight hours (more or less) about nine times. Nine times.

chillin’ with my peeps

Someone knows of my affection for sugar and marshmallows. I arrived to work and found eight little pink and blue peeps scattered all over my desk and computer. I lined them up on top of my monitor, and have been eating them one by one all morning.

I sent out an email to find the peep-leaving culprit, and in the ensuing email armada, found these links as well. Lord of the Peeps, and Peep Research.

Last cat update… because I can

Yes, it’s more from the menial mind of marty the melodramatic monkey! Make way folks for the ride of your life through the twisting tunnels of his mind and on into oblivion!

OK, so yeah, Thor is sick. He has major eye-buggers. Both laura and I have been cuddling him nonstop while we’re at home, and giving him lots of attention. We have medicine for him, and applied it for the first time today. (It goes in his eyeThorsday. So that’s why this is my last cat update. I’ll post all of my cat ramblings there from now on…