Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yet Another Modest Proposal

There are those who believe abortion is murder and those who don't. I don't, but then I can tell a clump of cells from a kid; other's didn't pay attention is science class. Granting them sincerity (and overlooking the fact that the Bible indicates a child isn't alive until it draws its first breath), but finding it distasteful that the want me to pay for someone else to have sex while sticking me with the bill for the kid for 18 years, I propose a fairer solution.

Lets buy and sell kids on an exchange.

Here's how it would work. You can invest by buy a certificate for a kid. Your "investment" goes to the mom and the medical care and you can to pay for the kid until someone buys (adopts) him at market price or until he graduates from 2 years of college. You don't get to pick the kid, but we'll have mutual funds that allow you to invest in certain types of kids just so you can say that you have "gone long in white males."

People and institutions who believe abortion is wrong can invest and never expect a return. I could invest and hope to make a quick buck now that I'm flipping burgers rather than houses.

Either way - I'm not paying to force someone to have a kid they can't support. And those who believe in something have a legitimate way to influence the process without forcing a woman into a form of slavery. And the kid gets a life with a partial college education. Everyone wins.

Of course it sounds horrible to buy and sell kids. And it is. But its better than killing them off or forcing them into a life of poverty and suffering for someone elses beliefs.

Best of all - I don't have to pay the freight on someone else's religion.

A solution to the stem cell restrictions

Here's an idea. Rather than force your (moronic) views on stem cells upon me, let's compromise. Require the clear labeling of all fruits of stem cell research using embryonic cells. This way you can choose to suffer and die painfully for your beliefs and I can live a long and healthy life.

On a related note:

A Call for a Presidential Debate on Science and Technology

Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science and Technology Policy.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


The voices in my head are much quieter now. So now I can enjoy listing to http://www.siobhandonaghy.co.uk/index.php in peace. Halcyon Days is highly recommended! I swear I hear the theme to House (the series with the wonderful actor Hugh Laurie) sampled in it...

An energy plan that isn't just tax breaks for polluters

I'm not endorsing it or anything, but this is a start

In a new policy report entitled A Progressive Energy Platform, the Progressive Policy Institute offers a plan to address America's two distinct energy needs: fuel for transportation and power to generate electricity.

From http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.cfm?knlgAreaID=116&subsecID=155&contentID=254058

A small, timid start, but better than leaving your head in the sands of Iraq or stuck up your arse. Yes, I'm talking about W and Dickhead.

Sobering Energy Facts from MIT

This statement from a MIT lecture (from http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/414/) really caught my attention:

Right now humans globally require 13 trillion watts (or terawatts) of power. By 2050, we’ll need 28 terawatts. Nocera pokes holes in some hypothetical scenarios offered to achieve this objective. If you gave over every square inch of cropland on the face of the earth to biomass production, you’d only get 7 additional terawatts. Plus, “you couldn't eat anymore.” You’d still need to add 8,000 nuclear power plants, by building a new plant every 1.6 days for the next 45 years; put wind turbines everywhere; and dam every available river, to approach the 28 terawatt goal.


If we don’t find a technological solution soon - including better use of scare resources, there will be a natural solution as systems fail: starvation, disease, war and a couple of other horsemen for bad measure. I’m not overstating the matter - as energy fails to support transportation and distribution system, food fails to get to people, they fight over scarce resources (using up the remaining resources in the process), and civilization collapses to 1920’s capabilities.

I’m not a survivalist - I’m just a middle aged guy whose life depends on a steady supply of medicines. I don’t want to believe this either, but its a real possibility. And we can’t burn enough coal (forget clean coal) to generate enough electricity that hybrid cars save us.

This is what happens when dumb shit leaders don’t deal with reality and ignore science. The only small satifaction is they will be as dead as me - either for the same reason or the hopefully inevitable lynching.

Or so I hope.

You owe $30,000. Pay up.

The national debt is expanding by $1.4 billion a day or $1 million a minute if you prefer. That's
$30,000 of debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States.

The national debt is now a mind-boggling $9.13 trillion. Holy phuk!

The national debt has gone from $5.7 trillion when Bush took office in January 2001 to $10 trillion when he finally gets the boot in January 2009.

And this mess just gets worse. With all the entitlements, the national debt will hit 350 percent of the GDP by 2050 under unchanged policy.

Which won't happen, because despite what Dickhead Cheney says, deficits do matter. China and the Mid East Oil Barons will quit lending the US money at some point and - perhaps before, perhaps after - the US economy will coll ape.

And then the gringos like me will be swimming across the boarders to find jobs.

Maybe we better start being nicer to those illegal immigrants.

A work/life/blog balance

As I said, this blog is for my pleasure, not yours. Not that I don't welcome your enjoyment, but as Rocky said "I didn't build him for you." The 3rd quarter is a busy place where I work, my second job is teaching an evening business school class, and then there is this 10 month old kid running around with my eyes.

I wish he'd give them back. Damn he's quick.

Its not like I haven't been tempted to skip my (boring) jobs and retreat to vent my spleen and other organs about the latest scandals, but you can get a good dose of that on Olbermann's Countdown on MSNBC.com. Which is the only news show worth watching since Colbert and Stewart went dark.

Anyway, I'm back. And I'm pissed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pakistan unrest offers view of US Future under GOP

The Bush/Cheney Administration , supported by the GOP , has held itself above the law and the US Constitution, engaging in torture, kidnapping, wiretapping, suspension of habeous corpus (your right to trial) and various other known (giving taxpayer money to religions) and unknown violations of law.

All of course for our own good, our safety, our protection. The ends justify the means.

That lesson in "democracy" and "freedom" hasn't been lost on despots and dictators around the world. as Ahmed Raza Kasuri, senior legal adviser to Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, told NPR in an interview about the recent "suspension" of the constitution and dismissal of judges about to overturn his election for violating the Pakistani Constitution. He told NPR that the extraordinary steps Musharraf has recently taken are no different than what the U.S. did after the Sept. 11 attacks. He says they are necessary to bring peace to the country. You can listen to the interview here:


What is happening in Pakistan is no different that what is happening in the United States of America. Pakistan is beating and jailing protesters, mainly lawyers, without trial.

When the ends justify the means and the rule of law is ignored, you get Pakistan, and China, and Russia - states where individual rights and freedoms mean only what those in power allow them to mean. And when our political leaders promote these behaviors, our business leaders follow. Accountability already means little and employees are losing their basic right to have a job without peeing in a bottle, quiting smoking at home, losing weight, and not expressing their political views.

Torture is not a family value. It is not a Christian (or Muslim, Jewish, or Buddhist) value. It is not an American Value. It is not a Liberal nor a Conservative Value. It is an illegal, impeachable, treasonable behavior of this administration that should be held accountable.

Else we will continue have the same democracy as Pakistan.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

So I'm in the UK and noticing the small things...

After a 24 hour trip (as measured from my door to my hotel room), I'm just outside of London getting ready to hit the sack in preparation for the work week. I had plenty of time to walk about the city in the rain and its interesting to note the subtle differences between here and America. There are a lot more different types of people here. You hear many different languages just walking down the street. Many more people are walking around (petrol here is about $8/gal) and what amounts to downtown here is full of different small businesses. Not a Walmart in sight! Most of all, when I walk into one, the service people actually great me and ask how they can be of help. There are many kids working (young adults 18-22 or so) and they are working, not slacking. On the other hand, everyone is on thier cell phone talking or texting, perhaps evern more so than I see at home.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How to build your own Sputnik

I love the Brits! Can you imagine an American newspaper issuing this challenge?

I think I have all the parts to do this at home: solar panel, Lion batter with USB interface, peltier cooler, transmitters... and maybe a GPS module to send the satellite's position rather than just beep.

If I only hade more spare time!!!

** How to build your own Sputnik **
It seems incredible that the technology that went into building the first successful satellite 50 years ago can now be found lying around the average house. You could even build one yourself, as Paul Rubens explains below. Fancy having a go?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Why hasn't America reached its quota on killing and evicting brown people yet?

It seems Americans hate brown people. We started a war where thousands of civilians are getting killed and tortured and we are trying to drive them out of the US with tougher laws supposedly aimed at "illegal immigrants." While worlds apart, both movements have their roots in the American Axis of Evil: Republicans, the Religious Reich, and Neocons.

Republicans are the prison bitch of the the Religious Reich, both with a symbiotic need for power to impose their beliefs and the need for sheep to vote, despite the obvious conflict with the teachings of Jesus. Neocons are the rod up the arse both to guide and comfort them with the belief that America can dominate the world with its moral superiority (which include torture and any other means to justify their vision of the end).

The Religious Reich wants a crusade against Muslims (they are first on the list, with a bullet, but the list is long) and fears the growing number of Hispanic votes which will be able to take away their political power and inflict their Catholic beliefs using the American system that they have worked so hard to destroy through revision history and unconstitutional laws.

They are truthful when they say they aren't racist; its just a coincidence that most of the people that are seeking to destroy are brown. They hate gays of all colors as the incident with Larry Craig clearly shows. They will be happy to stop killing brown people and driving hard working people from their homes and families once they (the brown ones) start believing and acting just like them and they have destroyed the America of freedom and idealism and replaced it with a dictatorial theocracy when the only one persecuting them is themselves.

Social Conservitives may leave? GOOD RIDDANCE! GO!!!!

Conservatism as a movement started by Barry Goldwater was about small government, fiscal discipline, low taxes, free markets, and individual liberty. Then the Religious Reich seized control of the Republican party, mixing the oil and holy water of Political conservatism and Social Conservatism. Social Conservatives believe that the government should dictate the choices you make in your life and in your bedroom; political conservatism thinks the government should mind its own damn business. The best thing for this country that could happen is the for Religious Reich to get its own damn lunatic fringe party and then - hopefully - the political system will stabilize as these lunatics can't hide behind other issues. Maybe we will get a real Conservative party that can pay off the debt and restore America from the damage that the Bush administration has caused.

Lets elect Barry Goldwater. He may be dead, but he's still a better choice than any of the Republicans and most of the Democrats.

The "hidden" tax on Americans thanks to the Republicains

The Republicans claim some higher moral authority when it comes to taxes. Of course, the spend our tax dollars like a rich drunk in a whorehouse. What they leave us with is HUGE deficits that are paid off by later administrations. Clinton managed to pay down Reagan's deficits and was on the way to a surplus when the Republicans rode into town and looted the Treasury and started a war with no end that is financed by bonds (debt) that you and I will have to pay off.

To add insult to injury, they have pursued a policy of lowering the value of the dollar. Which means that everything you buy costs more because it all comes from oversees. This of course hurt the poor and middle class more because they don't have the luxury of having investment portfolios that invest were the currency - like the euro - is stronger and retains its value.

We pay more for goods, more for gas, and more in taxes because we pay a tax on the rising price of what we buy.

Who benefits? Those who sell their goods oversees, a small group of manufactures and agribusinesses. Their sales go up because American goods are cheaper oversees. For supposedly "patriotic" Americans, the Republicans are sure doing a lot for everyone but Americans. We just get stuck with the bill. $2 TRILLION dollars in war costs that we will be paying off for generations, over 3,500 dead American Soldiers (And a sincere thanks to the sacrifices that all of you are making! I'm sorry we elected a complete idiot as your commander in chief), and a loss of the rights and liberties Americans have enjoyed for over 200 years.

I'm far from claiming the Democrats are righteous; there are proving themselves quite ineffectual, inept, and spineless in start contrast to the corrupt gang led by Gingrich and Delay. But as bad as the choices may be, I'd rather have a real tax that pays for sick kids than a hidden tax that only helps everyone but Americans.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What if we could generate power and use up C02 rather than generate it?

Its not the solution, but it could be part of the solution:

Terra preta is a human-made soil or fertilizer made by burning biomass such as agricultural waste to pyrolisizes it. Since terra preta locks carbon in the soil, it's also a form of carbon sequestration. It can reduce other greenhouse gases and water pollution: according to Biopact, a network that promotes biofuels and biomass energy. Burning agricultural char can also produce energy. The process produces hydrogen, methane, and other fuel gases. These can be burned for heat or to power an engine.

via http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/007427.html (Edited)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finally the beginnings of a strategy against terror

6 years later, over 3,500 American Solders dead, over 10,000 wounded, and $2 Trillion of war debt... and finally the beginnings of a strategy.

From MSNBC at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21343519/

In the first major revision of U.S. naval strategy in 25 years, maritime officials said Wednesday they plan to focus more on humanitarian missions and improving international cooperation as a way to prevent conflicts.

It seems that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen , the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, are finally having some impact against the incompetent President, deluded neocons and outright lunatics (Dick Cheney) that got us into this mess. Maybe, just maybe, Gates and Mullen can get us out of this pointless war in Iraq and start actually fighting terrorism. I have a glimmer of hope for the first time in years.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Isaac Asimov predicts future of guy predicting future using math!

In Foundation, Isaac Asimov tells a story of a man who can predict the future using math.

This guy is doing just that – accurately - using game theory.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Brilliant New Wind Generator!

Every once in a while, you see an invention that is so simple, its beautiful. The fact that it can help save the planet and the miserable undeserving scum that think they are at the top of the food chain is just an unfortunate side effect.

Check it out here:

I may have to build one of these next month.

Some of my favorite things

After bashing your teeth in with the gauntlet tossed down in the first post (it freshens and whitens too, like a rotting whale that has overstayed its welcome on the beach of your karma), I thought I'd zag rather than zig and lighten up a few lumens or at least a doobie.

Things I love that you should check out rather than lurking around this blog:

  • makezine.com - learn how to "repurpose" the crap that you are too lazy to give to goodwill.
  • shopgoodwill.com - an alternative to ebay.com where you can buy crap cheap
  • texasindemand.com - my favorite band's fansite
  • kantor.com - a kindred spirt, the poor bastard
  • npr.com - great new sounds to be found in the open mic section. I'm currently listening to Jennifer Jayden - So worth the $8 I sent for her CD.
  • hugg.com - a great place to find new ways to destroy the planet.
  • wordtoyourmuthatheshow.blogspot.com - Its OK to covet your neighbor's wife in a nice way. Mae proves its possible to be cool and a Mom to 3 kids in the unenlightened backwaters of our stunted civilization.

Much like an episode of your favorite TV show with flashbacks, I'm basically phoning it in here. Go waste your time elsewhere while I try to get the recurring smell of brimstone out of my hair from the latest work week.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Ignition Point

My head is about to explode and your keyboard is likely to get sticky if it isn't already from all the porn that nobody is viewing but somehow fuels a multi-billion dollar economy. Hey, I don't care what you do in the privacy of your own home, but I'd like to thank all the naked people and computer-using perverts that made the Internet what it is today.

Sit back, pour your favorite drink, and enjoy the drivel that is escaping my brain via my gnarled fingertips. I appreciate that you are wasting your life reading this, but don't confuse that with me caring what you think. This blog is about my thoughts on life, current events, things good, bad, and amusing. Read, comment, discuss, argue, but don't ever think that it matters to me. This blog is to exercise (no, that isn't a typo) my demons, not yours. Still, I'd hate for you to go away from this first post empty handed.

The world is in a damn sorry state from centuries of mismanagement. Look forward to rants against false gods, incompetent and corrupt leaders, stupid people, bad drivers, the left, the right, and the middle. Chances are ,if you identify with a group, I've got an axe to grind on the dull mandible of your soul. And it makes a sound not unlike fingernails on chalkboard.

Agree, disagree, or take another swig of the tepid mediocrity that gets you through the meaningless daze of your life. Faceless courage is a click away. This blog ain't for the timid. Step up. State your point of view and be prepared to defend it with more than feckless pundits and the stench of dead gods long nailed to drying timber. The game is beginning; ante up with your soul and remember no one wins without going all in.