seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

Eminem - Mosh

Check out the video. Eminem has a new video - just out in time for the election. Seriously - especially if you have not liked his stuff in the past or totally disrespect him, take 4 minutes to watch this video.

I wonder if this is Eminem's response to the foolish GOP quote saying they had to suppress the Detroit vote to take Michigan.

Gore Vidal: Antidote to Apathy

I love reading Gore Vidal. I haven't read his fiction yet, but I'm working on his Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia. Picking it up wasn't easy - I was in a funk as you can tell by my recent comments. Feelin' much better now.

His essays are fun, reassuring in a we're-all-going-to-rot-together-eventually way. Much better than the the Ann Coulter latest cult classic that came into the store today. She continues to defend her claim that somehow the world would be a better place if the U.S. were to invade everyone in the Middle East, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity...I think she exempts Israel, but who knows?

So - assuming I am not crazy - is she crazy or dimwitted? Moral issues aside (and there are many), it is just not practical. I seriously doubt her sentiments are shared by any non-evangelical enlistees. Speaking of which, she is young, in shape, and able to shoot. What the hell is she doing as a civilian anyway? If she doesn't want to join up, perhaps she could start her own paramilitary group?

I like Gore Vidal's quote: "There is also -- always -- a horrendous foreign enemy at ahdn ready to blow us up in the night out of hatred for our Goodness and rosy plumpness." Orwell noted that decades ago. I wonder if Norway and Sweden also have boogey men in their closet. I assume France and Spain do.

Gotta keep everyone in line, gotta keep that military budget blossoming. I wonder if the 2024 Demican candidate's platform will say "[insert enemy here] Suxxors!"

Just a short one tonight - wanna finish Vidal's book tonight and perhaps post a review in due time.

Red Sox take it on Fox

yeah - Red Sox win! Not only does that mean the end of the curse, it means I can ignore Fox again. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Fox Sports? Fox Sports tonight showing viewers from Baghdad - in the "MultiNational Coalition" or some such nonsense. Multinational? Please. Some poor Brit was probably forced to sit in on it for Fox to have its moment.

7 days to peace

Oh how I hope in 7 days, the new King is chosen without additional weeks of pundit jockeying. "Oh how I hope??" I have to stop modeling my inner monologue after Donny "Golly Gee" Rumsfeld.

I had a thought today while listing to Midmorning on MPR. It seems as though Bush is perceived as being more resolute simply because he is better able to state a position on affairs. This position rarely lives up to what he will actually do, but he comes up with simple positions that he repeats over and over - which is quite effective at convincing people who have time to watch 20 min of news a day. They don't have time (or an interest) to see if Bush keeps his word.

On the other hand, Kerry seems to come up with elaborate ways of explaining where he stands on an issue - crafted more for not angering people than for simplicity. I wonder how closely he'll stand by what he says? In the end, people still choose who they want to see in office based on who looks "more Presidential."

I think we need a new Constitutional Convention. Surveying the the democratic process - which is far more process than democratic - an authoritarian state along the lines of what Heinlein suggested in Starship Troopers (the book moreso than the movie) seems a tremendous improvement. You have to complete a term of service before you get a say in government decisions.

I would alter it to ensure a term of service could include an Americorps-like non-military option because we don't want meat heads running the place (speaking as a meat head).

I continue to believe that under the right conditions, humans are best off dealing with each other as equals rather than in hierarchies. However, I'm not sure if it is possible to get to that state with the population pressures we now have.

Tired of Politics

I'm fairly tired of thinking about everything related to the upcoming election. The best feasible situation is for Kerry to be elected. But the only thing that will do is make conservatives work twice as hard to push their extreme agenda - and the people who are so opposed to Kerry will only continue to follow the right wing "news" sources they do already. Sorry for the short post. I'm uninspired.

Fahrenheit 9-11 Review

I just posted my thoughts on Moore's newest film.

Feeling Good

Yankees are losing. Please let it continue. I'm feeling good cuz the Yanks are losing, I made some good strides tonight in understanding how phpBugTracker software works and how to customize it. I've been working on some projects for my Dad's company and it hasn't taken as long as I thought it might. Good stuff.

I got an email today that reminded me of the importance of supporting freedom. I'm not talking about Donald Rumsfeld's freedom or Bush's childish concepts of freedom - but actually freedom. As the world comes to rely increasingly on computers, the software that makes computers useful becomes more important. Who controls that?

This is going to be a bit of a geek rant, but I hope you'll stay tuned - I won't be using any geek lingo or encouraging you to play online games or anything. The email reminded me that the Operating System we call Linux is more properly named GNU/Linux.

I think I'll make this a part of recurring theme. Technology is important to me - and I'm thinking about trying to go to Grad School to look at technology in society and policy making.

I'm typing this on what I consider to be the best browser on the market. Mozilla's FireFox browser is an open source alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is loads pages faster, is more secure, and takes up less memory than IE. Would I still use it if it were not as "good" as IE just because it is open source. Probably. But the fact that it is actually better than IE should make you use it also. Please download it and try it out.

The biggest technical advantage FireFox has over IE in my opinion is the ability to use "tabbed browsing." This is where you can look at multiple pages in one session of the browser. If you are looking at one page, you can open a new tab and look at that page without cluttering your desktop with a whole new window or losing your old page. It shows a tab for each page you want underneath the navigational bars at the top of the window. Once you get used to it, it rocks!

The biggest non-technical advantage that using FireFox over IE is that you are not aiding Microsoft. I'm not going to say that Microsoft is a horrible company that eats children. What I will say is what I say about everything. Monocultures are dangerous. Strong ecosystems everywhere depend on various interlaced systems. Balance.

Companies like Microsoft have not learning this lesson from studying what has worked in the history of life. Yes, computers, software, are not alive. But we are. When you use software from companies like Microsoft, you are supporting (often financially) the idea that the users of software should not have the ability to change or even audit the software they use.

In extreme cases, this is really dangerous. The best example currently, is the problems with the computer voting machines. Software should be like a cooking recipe. Ultimately, both are a set of instructions. A recipe allows you to double the amount of garlic when you wish whereas software by Microsoft spies on you behind your back.

Okay, so I'm sortof exaggerating. I wish I was more articulate tonight, but I'm not. I'm tired and lately, fairly overworked. So I'm going to have to leave it at this and hopefully improve upon my thoughts later.

Download FireFox and end IE's internet browser monopoly.

Short Post

I'm tired and I got lots of things to do so I'll be keeping this short.

  1. Yankees suck
  2. Saw a talk tonight about the nature of politics and what to do about it. That was decent, got me thinking about a few others things I may share later.
  3. Thanks for all the comments about the Jon Stewart - very helpful, I enjoyed seeing the video. Wow.
  4. I have men soccer photos online.

2-1 to Macalester

With all the goals being scored in the last 15 minutes last night, Mac beat Bethel in men's soccer. It was quite a game - Bethel was undefeated in conference play and had taken out Gustavus, a top national team this year. Mac, with its superior fan power at home proved too strong for them.

In other news, Jon Stewart was on CNN's Crossfire show. Jon come in nearly halfway down the transcript. It is well worth the read - he takes them to task, calling them partisan hacks who are ruining democracy. Nice!

Back in mid-September I wrote about Fox News' economists claiming that John Kerry would be bad for the U.S. economy and their claims that whenever Kerry started to show a lead over Bush the stock market slumped. It was then interesting to read a poll of economists on the candidates' economic ideas in the economist.

The article (subscription required) polled 100 economists chosen at random (all were referees of the American Economic Review). Over 70% rated Bush's first term policies as bad or very bad and only 20% thought positively of Bush's plan for next term.

Basically, the survey showed that the only aspect on which these economists thoughts Bush could do a better job than Kerry was in promoting the globalization of capitalism. The biggest gap was in energy policy and promoting fiscal discipline where Kerry smoked Bush.

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