Monday, April 30, 2007

"Those Mean-Spirited Liberals?" -- Let Them Eat Cake! Part 1

The newest fashion on TV and radio for unabashed Neocons has been to pretend they have been slandered by the complaining masses. Recently, the complaint from Neocons about the Liberal backlash has been deafening. They speak as if people should feel sorry for them and that things others are saying are "out of line, mean-spirited, unpatriotic, un-American", ad nauseum infinitum.

It began with self-styled trash-mouth fascist commentator and Bush apologist Ann Coulter while apparently fantasizing she was Marie Antoinette ("Let them eat cake" to those who rebel). She was reacting to Al Franken and the like and their "attacks from the left". Franken's book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right was the first honest thing otherwise decent liberals had released in the history of "fighting back".

It spoke a manifesto that, despite its parody of name calling reached back to the days of Paddy Chayaevsky's, Network-1976, when character Howard Beale (Peter Finch) gave a stirring, orgasmic and vitriolic challenge to his viewers:

Howard Beale: I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad.
Howard Beale: [shouting] You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,
Howard Beale: 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:
Howard Beale: [screaming at the top of his lungs] "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
What amazes most Americans is the outrage by the power elite and smug mouthpieces like Coulter, (How to Talk to a Liberal [If You Must]: The World According to Ann Coulter), and shock-jock Michael Savage (Liberalism is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions).

Coulter has been spouting jaw-dropping remarks since day one, and networks have treated her as if she were a legitimate journalist in an attempt to coddle the right-wing fringe and to appear to be above reproach in their objectivity. Only after Coulter referred to democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot" to a crowd of little old Republican ladies, who applauded her and laughed. Meanwhile, networks like Fox "News" have such a blatant slant, it appears more like a polished 700 Club (Roberson), and though Fox may not pray to have Supreme Court Justices die, they might as well, in their calculated exclusion of any views that oppose fascist regime-building.

This cast of seemingly harmless, comic characters has been indignant that 70+ plus percent of America has finally stopped trying to be polite. "We are mad as hell" that our government has ignored us and sent our troops off to defend empire-building on the backs of the poor and middle class. That they are somehow insulted by being compared to Hitler as if that description doesn't fit; to being called Nazis and Fascists, when their actions force them into the textbook definitions of these clear terms.

Moderates and Liberals in America are finally coming together in a recognition that Bush and company are not a joke and can't be taken as one. They just keep moving forward, smiling and laughing their way to the bank, while stealing the rest of us blind. That we have let them, has been a testimony to our patience and decency; but at what point are we to realize we are "schmucks".

Whatever will it take to clear the way for America to return to its position of worldwide respect and moral authority? That we allowed people like Nixon (Watergate), Reagan (Debate-gate, Iran/Contra Gate), Bush I (Nicaragua and CIA Drug Dealing), and now Bush II (outright destruction of rights and blind eye to his sworn constitutional duties). That King George the Decider thinks we are stupid and weak, he has proven. That we are, we have yet to prove, but in our decency are very close.

It is the basic willingness of the left and moderate wing to forgive--upon which the Fascists depend. Maybe we are bleeding hearts and the people we are feeling sorry for are those twisting the knives, causing the bleeding.

It is time to tell Hannity (Fox) that he is an idiot despite his tailoring. It is time to tell Coulter she is a sickening, fowl-mouth skank who is polluting our American sense of decency. It is they who should be suffering the torture at Guantanamo and endless secret prisons across the land. It is time to realize Bush is NOT just a harmless, good-ole-boy, just because he laughs when he gives us all the one finger salute and moons us with his ignorance of the law. It is time to tell them we refuse to die for their profits anymore and we will defend our lives with appropriate anger and due force if necessary. And it is time we demand our representatives do the same in our names.

Now is the time, not after we have been further raped and killed. Now is the time, not after we have been disarmed and weakened by theft and corruption. Now is the time we show them we are not just men and women of words and intellect but of action!

How dare they pretend they are the victims, when the victims fight back? How dare they close their ears in a passive aggressive frenzy of neglect? How dare they refuse to take a joke when they have made it clear they have nothing but disdain for our righteous indignation?

If this disease of weakness is not cured by the patient, maybe we deserve what we get. If we have fallen into this crevasse of insensitivity only because we have endured so much of it, will we sit by and let them finally take away our last right and eventually more of our property and more of our lives?

This free-thinking, liberal, All-American patriot has had it up to his chin, and the water is rising. I will not drown. This Patriot who says and does what our forefathers said and did, will not sit by and let them get away with pretending to be true Americans.

I will remind them of the words of a man who knew why we insisted on the right to bear arms:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants"- Writing to William Smith (1755-1816), John Adams' secretary and future son-in-law, Thomas Jefferson seemed to welcome Shays' Rebellion in Massachusetts: "god forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion . . . the tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure." Jefferson was confident that rather than repression, the "remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them."

Thomas Jefferson
Letter to William Smith

Part 2 - A Rose By Any Other Name

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Back Door Draft -- Coming soon to a recruiting office near you!

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Graphic and article by Jude Rouslin

Hey, Jude!
Contributor, Jude

Late yesterday afternoon, the phone rang and a women stated that she was calling from the United States Army Recruiting Command, USRC. She asked for my husband by name, however, he was not available at the time of the call. I star 69'd the call and located a telephone number and the call came Arlington Virginia. 703-658-8380

A chill went through me as I felt this was a little to close for comfort. He's 56 years old and had been in the last draft during the Viet Nam War. He was sent to Boot Camp as a draftee and soon after, due to test scores, was given the opportunity to enroll in Special Services Training. Was given an Honorable Discharge as a Draftee and became an Enlisted Serviceman. He was provided with Security Clearance and was to be trained in Communications and Electronics. However,it did not take him long to realize that he still was viewed as an Army Draftee amongst the other Branched Services that also were attending the school. Apparently, Draftees were looked at as low man on the pole. And it didn't take him long to decide that he did not want to be a part of the Services or support the War in Viet Nam.

He decided to go AWOL and moved to Canada. After a period of time, he chose to turn himself in and served his time in the Brig and received an eventual Dishonorable Discharge from the US Army. His actual active duty time is perhaps nil, except for time spent in boot camp . Military Service Obligation, MSO is 8 years.

He continues to oppose the Invasion of Iraq and needless to say, he has no plans to return to active duty status . I began to think about the list of people USRC was going through. The dates , the events surrounding discharge during yet another unpopular war. Is the Army going through lists searching for skill specific individuals? Those with remaining MSO 's or were they simply going through the alphabet to bolster their recruitment numbers. Perhaps they had simply arrived at the "R's" for the years of the early 70's.

I've attempted to research the recruiting practices in this Country and was amazed at the many various Military Initials that stand for Back Door Draft such as:

Individual Ready Reserve [IRR] or otherwise known as, Individual Warriors, according to Army News Service, April 4,2006

Presidential Reserve Callup Authority [PRCA] is a Provision of a public law (US Code, Title 10 (DOD), section 12304) that provides the President a means to activate, without a declaration of national emergency, not more than 200,000 members of the Selected Reserve and the Individual Ready Reserve (of whom not more than 30,000 may be members of the Individual Ready Reserve), for not more than 270 days to meet the support requirements of any operational mission. Members called under this provision may not be used for disaster relief or to suppress insurrection. This authority has particular utility when used in circumstances in which the escalatory national or international signals of partial or full mobilization would be undesirable. Forces available under this authority can provide a tailored, limited-scope, deterrent, or operational response, or may be used as a precursor to any subsequent mobilization.

Identifying those with remaining Military Service Obligations.

"In May 2004 the Army's Human Resources Command - St. Louis (HRC-STL), began identifying Individual Ready Reserve Soldiers with a statutory Military Service Obligation (MSO) remaining for possible assignment to an Army Reserve unit. These Soldiers may be assigned to position vacancy requirements within designated Reserve units based upon the needs of the Army.

Since early May 2004, the Army Reserve's Retention and Transition Division has been contacting Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) Soldiers with a remaining Mandatory Service Obligation (MSO) to solicit their voluntary transfer from the IRR to Army Reserve Troop Program Units (TPU). In conjunction with a screening of the IRR population by HRC-St. Louis, this effort was intended to match the skills of IRR Soldiers with units in their local areas, thereby enhancing the readiness of the Army Reserve."

There is a data base that has been compiled that makes it easy for the Military to identify those in the private sector which have specialized skills deemed as necessary for the Military.Also anyone up to the age of 60 is eligable for being targeted by many of the back door draft policies that have been set forth .

The Iraq Invasion has impacted on U.S. Military to the point of lowering standards, questionable recruiting practices,back door drafts, redeployment's and private mercenaries, and they still have not met their quota. I find it alarming that they over used and abused U.S. Military is seeking out other avenues in which to help to increase the numbers of our service people. As long as an individual is under 60 years of age, they may be reinstated and placed on Active Duty for George Bush's insane, unpopular invasion and continued war in Iraq. Also the fact that Bush seems hell bent in a continued presence in the Middle east, and continues to beat his war drums towards Iran and Syria, it would appear that next we will see DOD enlisting Boy Scout Troops as well Girl Scouts in order to have numbers that will support his disastrous foreign policies.

Enough is Enough! Hell No Mr. George W. Bush, My Husband Didn't Go Then and He Surely Won't Go Now .

Further readings
Retiree Mobilization
Army Times Recruit Survey

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Water Getting Deeper -- Blackwater, Secret New Military for Profit
The newest scandal rising possibly to obscure numerous others... Complete Documentary, Iraq For Sale at bottom of article:


"We know virtually nothing about this. We think about 40 cents of every dollar goes to private military contractors. We think about 800 of them have been killed in Iraq, but we don't know that. They're not even counted. And we think there's about 25,000 to 40,000 engaged in military activities, combat-related activities. And we can't find out."
-Jan Schakowsky

There are a growing number of private military contractors, PMC's, that until now have gone unnoticed for the most part, hidden in the pork fat of other more visible companies like Halliburton, but not all the people in Iraq and Afghanistan working on contract, are building roads and driving trucks. As confused and disapproving as the American public may be about the reported insurgency, imagine their reaction as they discover an additional layer of secret mercenaries who could very well be either forming death squads or driving their getaway cars after assassinations.

According to Jeremy Scahill of The Nation in his new book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,

"The often overlooked subplot of the wars of the post-9/11 period is their unprecedented scale of outsourcing and privatization. From the moment the US troop buildup began in advance of the invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon made private contractors an integral part of the operations. Even as the government gave the public appearance of attempting diplomacy, Halliburton was prepping for a massive operation. When US tanks rolled into Baghdad in March 2003, they brought with them the largest army of private contractors ever deployed in modern war. By the end of Rumsfeld's tenure in late 2006, there were an estimated 100,000 private contractors on the ground in Iraq--an almost one-to-one ratio with active-duty American soldiers." Scahill continues:
"To the great satisfaction of the war industry, before Rumsfeld resigned he took the extraordinary step of classifying private contractors as an official part of the US war machine. In the Pentagon's 2006 Quadrennial Review, Rumsfeld outlined what he called a 'road map for change' at the DoD, which he said had begun to be implemented in 2001.
[The report] defined the 'Department's Total Force' as its active and reserve military components, civil servants, and contractors--making up its warfighting capability and capacity. Members of the Total Force serve in thousands of locations around the world, performing a vast array of duties to accomplish critical missions.' This formal designation represented a major triumph for war contractors--conferring on them a legitimacy they had never before enjoyed."
Jon Voight as Milo Minderbinder, defending his profiteering
Catch 22, 1970

The above scene from Catch 22 reminds us of a looming possibility of corruption and profiteering. Though they were just playing characters, the actors in this Middle Eastern play are real. Some of these private soldiers are making more in one month than their military counterparts are making in a year, yet they have no accountability to the Uniform Code of Military Justice in most cases. Their deaths and injuries are not reported and their activities are likely illegal according to various treaties the US has signed over the years.

"Contractors have provided the Bush Administration with political cover, allowing the government to deploy private forces in a war zone free of public scrutiny, with the deaths, injuries and crimes of those forces shrouded in secrecy. The Administration and the GOP-controlled Congress in turn have shielded the contractors from accountability, oversight and legal constraints. Despite the presence of more than 100,000 private contractors on the ground in Iraq, only one has been indicted for crimes or violations. 'We have over 200,000 troops in Iraq and half of them aren't being counted, and the danger is that there's zero accountability,' says Democrat Dennis Kucinich, one of the leading Congressional critics of war contracting."
It seems that one layer of corruption after another acts as distraction from even larger evils, lurking underneath. Of course, one has to wonder who is watching hen house during this minority controlled insurgency?

Iraq For Sale, 1hr15min (Complete)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Who Does Bush Represent? The American Monarchy

Recently, in an interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, Ex Ambassador to the UN John Bolton defended Bush as representing those people who elected him. Without immediate confrontation of the asinine implications of Bolton's statement, Stewart just sloughed him off... for the moment. The following night, Stewart, with the assistance of a well known Lincoln scholar, skewered Bolton by suggesting he had no clue that America is and has been a diverse country that must be fully represented. Said Stewart, "I didn't realize the President was only the President of those who voted for him."

This Presidency has been guilty of the worst arrogance in American history, the lowest approval ratings yet the absolute tenacity as if supported by fact and principle. Clearly, his only principle is that he will do what he wants to do until stopped and he will stop the efforts of others no matter how clear their mandate from the American citizens. For a man whose initial election was far from a mandate and probably an outright coup, Bush acts as if he owns America and that the citizens work for him.

Time after time, I sit by assuming yet one more clear sign of his failed Presidency would clue him in on the necessity for compromise, yet he gives the finger to the people every day, as if "mooning" us, like a smart ass teen.

I would go down the laundry list of his failures but there aren't enough bits and bytes on all of America's computers to store much less explain how and why this has happened or even to count the failures themselves. Yet, the lumpen bourgeoisie continue to pretend just because they have power, they should have it. It is this same arrogance that preexisted the French revolution and we see what happened to the rich in that bloody era.

How does an American demand a responsive President? Simply saying, "wait for the next election" is not enough. It is time for the congress to sit as unmoved as Bush on this immediate issue of the war that Bush has lost long ago.

For him to suggest the congress is micromanaging him is his greatest arrogance, as he forgets this is a "government of the people." Of course, he continues to rant that the "terrorists" will follow us home, but what has stopped them from following us so far; a secure border? He says if we leave, Iraq will erupt into unacceptable civil war and will fall into the hands of Iran. Anyone that knows the independence of the Iraqi people also knows this would be as likely as Russians marching into the US and Americans laying down their arms.

Mr. Bush acts as if the Iraqis are children, who without his qualified guidance, would simply kill and die. He patronizes the elected government of Iraq and they just laugh behind closed doors, as they have waited out foes greater than him, for periods greater than any culture has ever endured. They are patient people and they will outlive Bush unless he does the only thing that could win such a war, to commit genocide of those he believes he has conquered. This I fear but I can only live in hope that this is where our military would draw the line.

Now, we watch the biggest buffoon in the history of the Attorney General's office, as he attests to his poor memory, reason enough to consider him deserving of firing, if true, treasonous if false. Today, Gonzales (video) addressed the nation regarding the shooting in Virginia, as if he is one from whom we wait with bated breath for a solution to our violent criminal culture.

Finally, we see the unfolding Blackwater (mercenary soldiers) story. We become aware that not only are there private consultants for "reconstruction" but there are more than 100,000 private guns for hire that don't even fall under the supervision of our military apparatus. Basically, from what we can tell, these soldiers are there to drive taxis for death squads.

When I say these things to my students, they say "represent". Well, I say the same to our elected representatives. It is time to draw the line and to stick to the citizen's principle's instead of our self-appointed King George.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Question That Won't Go Away --- Will Cho Go Down As a Hero, Martyr?

After scouring the web and TV for an enduring lesson on this horrific event, I find one remaining question.

The question is, who determines whether or not someone is a hero or a martyr? Both are only perceptions. There is no question he will be understood for his rage against a society that has been cruel to him and people like him. As for martyrdom, he made himself a martyr whether we like it or not; the coverage alone accomplished that. His picture holding two guns will, to some appear to be an angry man on the cross. I'm sure he intended this.

The shame is, most people will discount him as simply a nutcase instead of actually addressing the social aspect of his manifesto. He was coherent considering what he was about to do. For a Korean kid, he was "Affected" despite how many of those who know nothing about the Asian face, will view him. Many like him will quietly plan their final "f!@k you" and no doubt they will consider Cho their inspiration, while the rest will simply feel sorry for 33 American strangers and continue to ignore those in Iraq and Darfur who die everyday!

Many will view this as part of a revolution as a form of activism, one statement of many that society must address or else similar events will ensue. Well, they will, and not just because of Cho but because of the impossiblilty of a national shift toward sensitivity and sharing. Meanwhile, America will ignore the cries and simply call for the warehousing of those who vent the frustration with outrage at strangers.

If you are going to change it shouldn't be because of his statement, but because of a final recognition of decency. If you don't change, don't let it be just to offend and further withhold attention to the dead Cho. He deserves some attention for his actions and so do his victims. If you want to honor if victims, do so by refusing to let their deaths be meaningless. Change your hearts now, or simply wait for the next incident of discord.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

America in Denial: The Virginia Tech Shooting -- Cho's Obituary

Cho claimed he was pissed off and that his killing others and himself was a final statement of his anger. The psycho-babblists said he was "potentially a budding paranoid schizophrenic which sometimes leads to psychosis"; he was possibly "bipolar-which used to be called 'manic-depressive' which sometimes leads to a lashing out at oneself or others." What is a shame is that he found it necessary to give up and throw in the hat by killing those who he felt ignored him. America says the great shame is simply the death of 32 innocents. The real shame is that anyone would feel he had to commit this singularly effective act as a cry for help.

That people died, including Cho, is a misfortune, but the greater misfortune is society's unwillingness to accept responsibility and to change in response. Usually, as in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" or Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis", these victims of society's sickness wilt and die in a pathetic, quiet downward spiral. That, in "Metamorphosis" the family didn't notice their loved one had become a huge bug as a result of their neglect, is not a unique occurrence, but a drama written to illustrate the normal cause of death.

Meanwhile, in an equally pathetic denial, society simply mourns over the loss of loved ones, and goes through the motions of weeping and carrying candles while failing to address the real killer, themselves.

Refusing to change, society eventually goes on as if nothing ever happened, considering it a freak accident of one person's mental disturbance. The parents of Cho, after a brief period of mourning, will go on with their lives despite the never ending reminder of their son's final cry. Meanwhile, we continue to send people like Cho into war instead of college and their cries go unnoticed as their anger becomes redirected at a false enemy. Politicians continue to create fake adversaries against whom soldiers can masturbate their torment, while the real enemy is a society that let's the rich profit from this misdirection.

Is it society's fault for letting those with power continue their abuse? Or is it the victim's fault, those 32 and Cho, for having patiently waited for a solution that would likely never come. It is a tolerable discontent says the common man. "Good things come to those who wait," they will say to their children, having never received good things for waiting, knowing their children will never get good things either. Meanwhile, they will point at the exceptional rags-to-riches success story that has become the perverse mythology by which America lives. America alone, no; but the US has become the symbol for the age old illness that Doctors will only treat with aspirin and Prozac.

How many have quiet sons who have gone off to war to vent their frustration on the stranger foe? How many parents quietly know their sons just secretly want to kill, so they give them a faceless target and call that the enemy? How many others will blame the killing on misguided machismo or will express indignation at those who would dare identify with Jesus Christ before their suicides?

We will never know how many children live in the shadows of their successful siblings, or will writhe at the frustration of never satisfying the expectations of their parents, or will never get society to listen to their unique genius? We will never know how many great minds are wasted by a society that is threatened by potential greatness while overly rewarding inherited greatness?

It has happened before and it will happen again. Revolutions are made up of such people as Cho. If they win, people will call them heroes and possibly elect them President of a new nation. If they lose they will only bathe in their pathos at the existence of such failures, not knowing the greatest failures were those who did nothing to prevent the inevitable outrage of the few.

Many will outwardly proclaim outrage and discount Cho's final manifesto as the ravings of a lunatic, while many others will inwardly identify with his stated frustration. But they will simply swallow their anger and nod their heads in agreement with the judgment of Cho. White academes will describe him as "lacking affect" while those of Asian descent will quietly see themselves in his gentle eyes and quiet, unexpressed pain juxtaposed as a yin-yang against his final image of outward expression.

Cho is no hero and neither are his victims. But let us lament them both as victims of those of us who remain and fail to change that which caused such a tragedy. Let us honor them by finally facing the enemy within, the enemy of acceptance of mediocrity in ourselves and our leaders, and the denial of the subtle wishes of all children to be loved, honored and promoted for their ideas and work.


Editor's note: The apparent final death toll is 33. I wish not to dishonor those innocents who were killed, no more than innocents killed in a war. But, there are many to grieve for them and they will be remembered by all in loving way.

For Cho and his family who share in this, possibly to blame, definitely to suffer , maybe only a few voices will cry forgiveness and lament.

In the larger picture, let's stop and look at ourselves and note if we put any anguish into the deaths of other innocents... Darfur, Iraq. That we somehow grieve more for those strangers of our own nation than those of a foreign soil is one form of apathy for which we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Military, health and interest on the debt consume two-thirds of every income tax dollar

Just food for thought using Atlanta, GA as an example of how your tax dollars are spent.

Check your city with this link.

The median income family in Atlanta, Georgia paid $1,528 in federal income taxes in 2006 . Here is how that amount was spent:
Interest on the Debt (Military)$139
Interest on the Debt (Non-Military)$157
Income Security$92
Veterans' Benefits$51
Natural Resources$23
Job Training$4

Saturday, April 14, 2007

When Will Apple Grow Up?

Art: Choices by Bryan E. Hall
"Hello, I'm a Mac," says the guy on the right (who is much younger and dressed in jeans). "And I'm a PC," says the guy on the left (who wears dorky glasses, ill-fitting khakis, and a jacket and tie). The two men discuss the many advantages of using a Mac and seem to agree that Macs are "better" than PCs. (Click here to see the ads.)

For years now, Apple has depended on a naivete and youth appeal that frankly borders on religion. Nothing against religion, but it reminds me of the dedication page of the most used textbook on Logic by Hurley in which it quotes W. K. Clifford: "It is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." He was the first to suggest that gravitation might be a manifestation of an underlying geometry. His philosophical writings coined the phrase "mind-stuff". I am also reminded of a quote of Nicola Tesla: "Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance."

It is with both of these considerations that I challenge Apple to begin to appeal to us with logic instead of a high school popularity dream. As an owner and avid user of Apples and DOS products since 1980 (yes, I even had Commodores) and as one who now uses them interchangeably, I find the current ads to be insulting not only to PCs but to intelligence.

Anyone who uses both, knows the limitations of either. Frankly, I would be hard pressed to find a reasonable selection of VOIP products for my Macs. In fact, the proprietary microphone on the Mac outright inflames me. True, Apple has both style and substance, but for them to play a psychological game tantamount to calling PCs "Fatty" is entirely too much like a time we would all like to forget.
Click to see Mac Ads

To play on the the imagery of teen rebellion against adults is counterproductive and may very well contribute to the very thing that causes young American workers to be easily outsourced by people with a good attitude.

The current Apple campaign plays on an ignorance that stems from pissing contests and comparison of penis size. I once asked a student in Japan to logically explain what the real differences between Mac and PC are; he began to explain to me that he wanted to "lick his Mac" that the PC didn't taste good.

Frankly, women don't fall for such silliness, and older men, who do make decisions in the business world may, in fact, backlash, which is neither good advertising nor true.

Anyone who uses both will tell you that Video capabilities of the two are comparable when properly configured; Audio of the Mac is great but isolated and unattractive to developers; and computing speed--- well, unless you are daisy chaining multiple Macs and trying to create a Supercomputer, dollar for dollar, PCs far outperform. The initial price tag of Macs have come down for their entry level products, but when you hit the mid-range and up, PCs leave them far behind.

The operating systems may be cheaper for the cutting edge product among Macs, but the availability of excellent Freeware for PCs far outpaces Mac by a 10:1 margin, disproportionate to the market share.

We Mac and PC users need to pull together and demand that Apple respect our intelligence as we have grown up, and we need to demand that our children be encouraged to think logically.

Steve J, I challenge you to present intelligent reasons to buy your products and you will fairly reap benefits and avoid insulting those of us who have grown out of our faddish phase.

Buyers, I challenge you to make substantial arguments about why I should replace my multitude of cheap, dependable, fast and relatively maintenance-free PCs with machines that require that I buy other Apple products ad infinitum and fail to maintain backward compatibility. (Note: I love my Apples, but I am glad someone else is paying for the software. And, no I don't lick mine.)

Other's reviews to get you started:
As usual, Apple hopes to shift the debate away from a battle over specs and value and toward a battle we can all understand: cool kid versus nerd. But these days, aren't nerds like John Hodgman the new cool kids? And isn't smug superiority (no matter how affable and casually dressed) a bit off-putting as a brand strategy? --Seth Stevenson -


These mac commercials are pretty sad !!!!

This once again proves that macs are for soccer moms and old people.

I work part time as a graphic designer while I'm in college, and guess what, all 15 of us complain to the “old guy”, our boss.

Many of these machines have to be reformatted multiple ties during the course of the year by Applecare.

They should really tell people the truth about mac…

Here are the awful truths that the commercial FAILS to mention when you actually try to work on a mac.

The Mach micro kernel makes the Linux under mac unbearably slow. So slow in fact, that graphic design is unbearable. I had to install yellow dog Linux and run gimp because it was so unbearable.

Windows 2003 Workstation is the fastest OS on the market.

Where the hell is the eject button. It doesn't work.
Yes, ejecting the CD stops functioning completely if you keep a disk in there too long. This is true for zip and CD. Manually ejecting will eject the disk, but you will have to reboot the unit.
In windows and in Linux, the eject button works and is never unnecessarily locked. Only when something is being written to a CD is it locked on a windows machine. Zip is always left unlocked.
In a normal day, i have to reboot the mac 12-20 times, since a lot of our templates are kept on DVDs[we make vehicle decals]. Sure we’re paid by the hour, but now we can show him that we cant work very fast because of the macs.

They have the audacity to compare plug-n-play. I'm sorry, but this is just false advertising. For all you novices, that means that the Japanese camera has to speak English. Windows and Linux will ALWAYS detect the camera as a removable drive.
What mac wont do using their magically crappy plug and play is detect controller cards, initialize foreign hides, foreign sound cards, or any other non-mac hardware.
Both [Debian-my flavor]Linux, and windows have plug-in-play systems much much much much much more developed than mac. If you have a piece odd and new, or specialize hardware, i guarantee that it wont work on a mac even if mac.
NOW, if you install yellow dog Linux, then most of the crazy hardware, like a sound card, will work.

Crashing !?
Even funnier. As i said already, most of us have to reboot these macs 12-20 times on a good day!!!
Macs can crash predictably !!!
Why don't they show safari loading eBay !!!
OK, now lets talk about crashing in general. We generally have our entire adobe ad Macromedia packages crash regularly. The crashes occur WITHOUT ANY NOTICE.
Macs never crash because they never tell you they did, so you’ll be wondering if YOU closed the app accidentally.

Finder ?
Finder is terrible.
Try searching multiple files, multiple times when recompiling freehand files and converting them to pdfs and AIs. Ive already mentioned how bad finder is on removable drives. Adding to that, why do you have download tinker tool to actually see ALL the hidden files.

Jumping from MAC OS 9-10.
Fonts are totally messed up.
Narrow helvetica was NHelvetica on mac os 9
Helvetica \ Narrow is actually the STANDARD font, and they’ve started to use this standard on newer versions of x. We found this out when we upgraded Tiger.
Also, mac keeps generating XF exception errors on loading a converted freehand file. Being the only one studying computer science, i had to crazy things to find out that it was actually a missing font. In windows IT ACTUALLY TELLS YOU.

Mac modularity is terrible. switching between apps is horrible, especially trying to multi task.

For some reason, mac likes print cmyk pantone previews as ghostly images. Mac actually directly tries to mix the pantone colors, when we don't have pantone specific cartridges. On a windows or Linux machine, since we are only printing previews, they actually adjust to print the closest color possible, unlike mac.

Instead, they should really be airing
To save professional from making a mistake.

Mac is not for professionals.
If your a novice, otherwise, don't know how a computer works, then mac is for you.
I repeat, macs are not for professional.
Mac is the least technologically advanced system on the market. It uses BSD Linux underneath.
All there really is, is a shiny GUI, nothing else.

I repeat again, if your gonna do professional editing, like vector graphics, raster graphic, web sites, or even professional video, DON'T choose a mac. If your going to host sites, don't choose a mac.

If your looking for a professional setup, use windows workstation, with a 1 Linux firewall/router/Norton anti virus corporate server[this is all on one machine].
Basically, all windows machines interface with the Linux machine. They are all behind it. Norton updates itself automatically on the Linux machine on wine, and then automatically updates the windows workstations.

Notice, I didn't mention anything about gaming.


Okay. I have both a PC and 2 Macs.

The commercials are not saying that PC’s suck. MAC is trying to let everyone know that PC’s are made for mathematical, etc. type work and Macs are made for graphics and so on. They are trying to let you know that the MAC is just better systematically for the various “fun” things people use a computer for.

If you think I’m wrong, call any media artist, graphic designer, or web designer.


The ads are self-congratulatory, condescending and silly. Who in their right mind would actually believe such obviously lame marketing ploys? Um, would that be the same folks who believed that Mac processors were way faster than PC processors… before Mac decided to go Intel and now *those* are faster?

As has been said many times, vulnerability to a virus, attacks, etc are more related to open ports and services on your machine, regardless of platform. Firewalls prevent problems, but only if enabled. Admin passwords are the most powerful protection you can have.

There may be something to be said that the mac system is based on open-source software that has been heavily scrutinized for vulnerabilities - but the biggest single advantage that hackers have to the windows platform is the idiot operating it. That, and that there are SO MANY MORE of those idiots.

not an idiot your platform = safe computer


Gail, I’ve been both a print and web designer and developer for over 10 yrs. I’ve used both (windows and mac) and even started with macs (OS7). I own both, but more windows than mac.

A tool is a tool. I don’t care whether it’s a chainsaw, software or a computer - 9/10 of all problems are operator errors. Granted, there may be some correlation between price and quality.

Someone once said to me: when making a purchase, you generally have 3 options: fast, cheap and light. Pick 2. I don’t find many things in life that don’t conform to that saying, frankly. And computers are no different.

but getting back to your general assessment that somehow designers realize that ONLY macs are OK for their work: poppycock.

What do YOU think? Of the Ads, their claims and their approach?

Friday, April 13, 2007

What's wrong with "Nappy" hair?

I love "nappy" hair. It's soft, free and it stands and delivers.

As for "Ho's", what is a ho? A woman who enjoys sex with multiple partners? Hmm, if it were a guy wouldn't we call him a stud?

As for the intentions of Imus, clearly racist and ignorant but so are all the rap songs I hear that denigrate women and their own race.

Isn't it time we remove the double standard. If a white man says it, its bad? But if a self-hating black says it, is it okay? If a black politician calls white members of the Mondale Presidential staff, the "Smart Ass White Boys" (Andrew Young), or a Presidential candidate calls New York "Hymy Town", is it okay (Jackson)? When on many occasions black politicians blindly refer to "white people" saying or doing one thing or another, is it okay? As if all white people do or say the same things.

Frankly, I am tired of the double standards. Will it ever be the right time for us to start all over and walk hand in hand like children with others of different color, creating the rainbow society Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned, or has it become an intractable and an all too profitable industry to point fingers, even when four of them are pointing back at you?

Shame on Imus for thinking he was ever funny. Shame on Sharpton for ever thinking he was without sin and for parading his own daughter before Imus in his stone-throwing exhibition. Shame on Jackson for his focus on one fool while ignoring himself and many others. Aren't their better racists to point at; like Bush and the other white men who send black men disproportionately to their deaths and injuries in war and prison?

Is anyone other than me tired of hearing that it is terrible for whites to express their racism while pretending there is no such thing as black racism? As I have said to the many black men for whom I have worked, "you have the power, not I." Can we just finally start treating each other by the "content of our character rather than the color of our skin."

Maybe I'm just being naive and idealistic to suggest that the time to do the right thing, once we recognize it is right, is now!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Daily Show: Light on an Overcast, Polluted Day!

Only 2 years ago, the average American could not tell you what the Daily Show was, much less which channel it was on and they certainly hadn't watched it. Today, according to Bill Clinton, "It is the source of news for discriminating college students."

I am not a college student but I am among those that read books and usually vote Democratic, except when the Democrat is the rabid, verbose Zell Miller. According to a recent study of the IQs of TV viewers, viewers of the Comedy Central's Daily Show and PBS's News Hour (The Lehrer Report) are the two highest IQ viewers on TV. Fox news came in... (No, not 3rd) but last. But there are a lot of viewers who apparently fall into that low IQ category we will refer to as: The Fox Fools.

Strangely, though Fox's politics is markedly right-wing and ignorant, their entertainment division includes Mad TV, Dirt (about a Hollywood gossip column), and Nip/Tuck (Horned out Plastic Surgeons). It seems that Fox's religion and politics don't mix.

The Daily Show, however, with comedian Jon Stewart at the helm, addresses the issues of the day, every day with extraordinary humor and intelligence. Stewart has interviewed ever major world statesman, some several times. He reads and clearly understands every book on the NY
Times Bestseller's List, then interviews their authors, a list which includes every conceivable member of both Republican and Democratic intelligencia. He even gives equal time to the lesser known parties with people like Ralph Nader. His questions and comments are not only funny, but more insightful than any anchor you will find on any network.

Much like the Simpsons, he appeals to the kids and adults with equal ease. If someone just likes funny jabs at the faux pas of the political elite, he's got it. If they want deeper analysis and big words, he's got that too. If one searches YouTube or Google Video they will find a virtual who's who sitting across from Stewart.

The ratings, month by months are growing and the trend may lead them into the number one spot as we come into the 2008 Presidential Season.

Followed by The Colbert Report, a parody of Fox's O'Reilly, the pair provide an hour of escape from that news that might otherwise make you cry while truly informing you about the horrors of politics from a lighter perspective.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Environmental and Political Implications: Roadster gets 600 HP from lithium batteries!

The New Breed of Electric Car
From Hybrid Technology -NOW!

This is one incredible car at 175mph, 600HP, 0-60 less than 4 secs.

Now, I am excited. Not such a deep subject, and one I rarely duly consider. But the consequences and suggestions this has about the future, tells us that the technology the oil companies tried to keep off the market for so long and that the auto manufacturers hid because there was less "built in obsolescence", is coming back with a vengeance. When the average American drives less than 50 miles a day, rarely drives more than 200 miles even on a weekend trip, this technology has every opportunity to become viable for the consumer market.

Big deal! Great for business, but obviously for consumers and environmentalists as well. OK, it's expensive now, but when mass produced, the purchase price comes into reality. When we consider the cost of maintenance, they will conceivably be far cheaper. As for the argument that electric cars use central electric production from Coal plants, therefore they still pollute; not true. They are charged at night when electric plants have more than enough capacity to produce without touching their secondary coal plants. Go Green! Enjoy this video and some day soon, let's take a test drive.

How about now? Video Below at the NY Auto Show

Stand Up and Fight Cancellation Charges! Those Uppity ISPs...

It was reported earlier that many ISPs are charging people as much as $150 for canceling their service before the end of contract. Cell phone companies have done it. Anyone that provides a special deal in exchange for a contract has tried to do it. The fact is, if you are canceling because of any significant and unaddressed breach in the promised services and if you stand up to them, by threatening an aggressive class action suit, they will back down on their high horses.

In particular there is a rash of cancellations at Verizon as of late for their preventing popular P2P applications. They are doing their best to stop the hemorrhaging from their righteously outraged customers. Of course Verizon claims they are trying to avoid legal vulnerabilty from the charge they are assisting pirating.

If Verizon were my ISP and they substantially change the terms of my service, I would not be legally bound under any circumstances to fulfill the term of my contract as using P2P software for file trading is a legitimate function of the internet despite any pirating that may be going on.

The ISP certainly can't be held responsible for enabling piracy, nor the software anymore than a car company could be held responsible for enabling bank robbers.

If my cellphone company offered "unlimited" service, then adds a service and tries to charge me for that service and refuses to add it to my existing package, I may cancel without punitive action. Even without suing them, you can prevent your credit company from paying any charges pending a satisfactory outcome, tying up not only their cancellation fee but their entire remaining unpaid charges. You may claim that the inconvenience of your having to change providers, in fact, justifies a counter suit above and beyond the unpaid bill. Further, if they try to mark your credit record, the laws are clear that they had better have a judgement before they do so, or they will be up for punitive damages far more than that silly cancellation (extortion) fee.

Take this from someone who has canceled many services upon dissatisfaction with no financial penalty. Hell, my friend even got a new $1200 refrigerator fighting back against a breach in warranty. the reality is, though, that only one in a million customers has the balls or intelligence to stand up to these vultures.

More from Yahoo News

Friday, April 06, 2007

Men jailed for using teen's head as a bowling ball

Article from: AAP

  • Two men jailed for life over teen's murder
  • Men used teen's head as a bowling ball
  • Judge says it was the worst case she ever heard

TWO men have been jailed for life for the brutal slaying of a homeless teenager who was stabbed 133 times and decapitated before his head was used as a bowling ball.

After six hours of deliberations, a Brisbane Supreme Court jury this afternoon found James Patrick Roughan, 27, and Christopher Clark Jones, 23, guilty of the gruesome murder of 17-year-old Morgan Jay Shepherd (known as Jay) on March 29, 2005.

The pair, both from Sandgate, north of Brisbane, had already pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse.

During the trial of almost three weeks, the court was told police found Jay's headless body buried in a shallow grave in Dayboro, north of Brisbane, following an anonymous tip-off only days after he died.

The jury heard Jay, who was a resident of a Brisbane youth hostel, had been drinking with both the accused at Roughan's home before a fight broke out.

Prosecutor Don McKenzie said a post-mortem examination revealed Jay had been stabbed 133 times and his head had been cut off by either an axe, saw or knife.

Police found a tomahawk, knife, handsaw and pruning saw stained with the victim's blood in Roughan's shed, as well as blood-stained clothing containing Jones' DNA.

Witnesses testified Jones told friends about the murder and how Roughan had used Jay's head as a bowling ball and a puppet.

Jones smirked as his guilty verdict was delivered but later read out a note he had penned to the court apologising for his involvement in the murder.

"I am truly sorry for what happened to Jay and until the day I die I will always regret my involvement in this matter," he said.

"As a father, I don't know how I could cope with it."

Worst case ever heard

Justice Roslyn Atkinson deplored the offence, saying it was the worst case she had ever heard.

"It's hard to describe adequately the horror of the crime that you were both involved in," she told the men, who sat at opposite ends of the dock, separated by a security guard.

"Certainly I have had no experience of a murder so horrible.

"It was a murder completely without motive, which visited the most horrific violence on a 17-year-old boy who obviously had done nothing to deserve it."

The men have each served 732 days in pre-sentence custody.

ANALYSIS - I'm not sure if this is social commentary on Australia, English speaking people or just the primordial history of man oozing out from time to time. Fair or not, they say a man is judged by the worst thing he ever did and all goodness can be erased by one act.

Legalized Prostitution -- John Chow

John Chow dot Com is a blog that helps you make money online. He is offering to link to your blog if you review his blog.

I have never told others what I think of their blogs until now. John Chow is a master at self-promotion and nothing else except that he teaches others how to promote themselves. It seems like the ultimate masturbation, but his service seems to be a wonderful laugh at the whole system of useless blogging that clutters the internet. More power to him!

Of course, not everyone can do what he does. We need more legitimate content, no doubt. But as long as sites like DIGG, that performs a legitimate service and other social bookmarking sites continue to encourage shameless whoring, prostitution will thrive, yet nobody will really get off!

Louis CK on Gay Marriage

If there was ever a time I wished I had a sense of humor is when I am failing to persuade only because I am just NOT funny sometimes. In this piece, Louis CK proves that you can sometimes win by getting other to laugh at just how stupid they really are!


A Wilderness Of Mirrors -- PR disinformation in the British Sailor Case


Below are excerpts from the AP stories on the PR battle between the Iranians and the US/Brits. Well, I don't believe either of them, nor the convenient stories of the Brit sailors. I have no doubt this is how it went down:
  1. Brit sailors crossed into Iranian waters to test their limits and to provoke an unpopular response.
  2. Iranians chased them back to the ship that Brits referred to as the point of illegal detention.
  3. The sailors were taken captive despite extraordinary support from a flotilla nearby.
  4. Brits then pulled out their prepared pics of their GPS trackers in the hands of helicopter support showing "inarguably" the "legal position" of the British sailors.
  5. Iran then proved that the Brits had been in Iranian waters prior to their arrest using equally accurate GPS evidence.
  6. Iran appropriately questioned the sailors while in detention and asked them, "How do you explain these pics?" To which the sailors, said "Oh yeah, you're right. We were in your waters. Oops, sorry."
  7. They laughed and had a nice hummus falafel and were treated far better than the US treats Guantanamo prisoners.
  8. Iran saw the world had realized the truth of the matter, and released the sailors as an "Easter gift".
  9. The sailors arrived back in HQ and reneged on their confessions, claiming to have been coerced by the Iranians while under extreme coercion and duty to their new captors, (HMS).
I just hope these sailors had a nice vacation/cultural exchange and enjoy their new suits the Iranians bought for them!

Britons: Iran bound, threatened captives

By TARIQ PANJA, Associated Press Writer 57 minutes ago

ROYAL MARINE BASE CHIVENOR, England - British sailors and marines held for nearly two weeks in Iran were blindfolded, bound and threatened with prison if they did not say they had strayed into Iranian waters, a Royal Navy lieutenant who was among the capitives said Friday.

Lt. Felix Carman, safely home with his 14 colleagues, said the crew faced harsh interrogation by their Iranian captors and slept in stone cells on piles of blankets. Unable to see and kept isolated, they heard weapons cocking.

"We were blindfolded, our hands were bound and we were forced up against a wall. Throughout our ordeal we faced constant psychological pressure," Carman said. "All of us were kept in isolation. We were interrogated most nights and presented with two options. If we admitted that we'd strayed, we'd be on a plane to (Britain) pretty soon. If we didn't, we faced up to seven years in prison."

Within hours of the news conference, Iranian state television said the British military had "dictated" to its sailors what to say.

In new letter, sailor says she was ‘sacrificed’

Propaganda war heats up amid British anger over Iran’s display of troops

New footage of seized U.K. troops aired
March 30: Iranian TV airs new footage of a British serviceman apologizing for entering Iranian waters. NBC's Keith Miller reports.

Today show

New footage
March 29: Iran has released more video of when Iranian troops captured the 15 British sailors and Marines.

Nightly News

Slide show
Iran-Iraq War
Iran’s perilous path in pictures
A click-through history of modern Iran and its love-hate relationship with the United States
Iran's nuclear network
An interactive look at Iran’s nuclear facilities
Slide show
An Iranian girl has her face painted like the Iranian flag during a demonstration in Tehran
Unseen Iran
27 years after the revolution, conservatives rule Iran. But Western culture still seeps in. Click to see images.
Updated: 8:56 a.m. ET March 30, 2007

TEHRAN, Iran - The Iranian Embassy released a third letter purportedly written by British sailor Faye Turney saying she has been “sacrificed” to the policies of the British and U.S. governments.

The letter, addressed to the British people, also said that Turney had been treated well, unlike the prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. “I’m writing to you as a British service person who has been sent to Iraq, sacrificed due to the intervening policies of the Bush and Blair government,” the letter said.

It also said: “It is now time to ask our government to make a change to its oppressive behavior” toward others.

Do you believe a word of any of it?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Our period of waiting is over -- This is the time -- End this war!

Is it possible we, the majority of good, caring people of the US have fallen sway to yet more lies and deceptions as we trust the newly elected congress to do the right thing, to represent us and not to follow the maniacal lies of a President, who so much as told us he is a king and not an elected official "of the people". Have we not heard enough of these claims of "executive privilege"?

Is it possible the Democratic Party cares more about maintaining an unpopular leader as to guarantee fruition of a Democratic President in the next election? Can we not do the right thing AND still have a true leader elected? Is it time to impeach President Bush and to end this war now? Or have there not been enough innocent lives lost and freedoms destroyed?

DULY CONSIDER this and then decide who is to blame if we don't challenge our leaders to do the right thing now!

2 more minutes of disturbing truth!
Click Picture For FLASH Movie--

More Info/Sources

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ingenious Iranian PR and Diplomacy - Releasing British Sailors as "Easter Gift"

British naval personnel who were detained in Iran wave to journalists after they were released as a "gift to the British people" by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran April 4, 2007. Reuters photo by Morteza Nikoubazl

MEDIA ANALYSIS - In one fell-swoop today Iran and their seemingly Napoleonic leader, Ahmadinejad, made everyone in the world further consider the possibility that Bush and Co. are all smoke when it comes to their portrayal of Iran as "warmongering" or set on anything other than than defending itself against proven aggressors. They announced plans to release British POW's as an "Easter" gift. What a coup for these witty Persians. With smiling faces on their captives they presented themselves as fair and appropriately deliberative, if not gracious.

Just as the US and France ventured into Cambodia when they said they hadn't, it is clear that the Great Britain and probably the US did their best to test the waters in the Straits of Hormuz. America fell for the aggressor crying "victim" in the beginning days of the Vietnam War. Of course most Americans still haven't read the revised yet true history books that unveil US contrivance of the Gulf of Tonkin incident which supposedly justifed US entry into the war in "French Indochina"/Vietnam.

Many years ago, when Reagan supported teasing Russia with fake missile bursts in Leavenworth to detect Russian scramble activity and radar technology, the Russians proved themselves not to be the warmongers that they were portrayed to be by the American Right. As was the case with Russia, Iran simply has a legitimate fear of America creating circumstances that will excuse the incursion of forces into their land just as they did with Iraq. Those who claim that the US had not predisposed itself to attacking the middle east, are deluding themselves. To the same extent, Bush has failed as of now in his attempts to paint Iran as desirous of confrontation.

more on the planned release of British sailors...

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