July 31, 2007

O'Reilly Vs. "I Like Turtles" Kid

Had a great time hanging with the Unbeatable clan this past weekend, and thought this was an appropriate video to share. Best O'Reilly interview ever? Me thinks yes.

July 30, 2007

Out to Lunch

Sorry folks but I've gone on summer vacation. Both of you'll have to wait until at least Thursday for more blogolisious action.

July 23, 2007

Sailing Off the Flat Earth

Yes, Thomas Friedman is a bonehead.

Also, I've added another of my brothers as a contributer. Enjoy.

(comic via salon)

July 22, 2007

My First Gif

I love animated gifs. Watching those rhythmic 5 second loops is like having my brain pushed down a series of M C Esheresque stairs. I could look at a funny gif of jedis knocking over babies for hours.

What I'm driving at is that I've finally figured out how to make my own little brain lock inducing visuals. And it's all downhill from here.

I've been waiting to make this little animation for a long time now. I've updated the earlier post with it.

Some Guys Get All the Breaks

Isn't it amazing how politics elevates hypocrisy to a fine art? The same people who are tough on crime generally look the other way with crimes that their friends/underlings commit (or they commit themselves). Along those lines, Tom the Dancing Bug has done some great satire of the Vitter scandal and it's more hypocritical elements. And there's even more hypocrisy to go around.

July 21, 2007

Channeled Awesomeness

The Bad Plus was interviewed on Weekend America today. They're an acoustic jazz trio that tries to convert famous and worthy pop rock songs into improvisational works of art. The interview was just a few minutes long but it conveyed the sense of fun and respect for music that these guys have.

As for their music, it's really hit or miss with me. One song that they hit out of the park on the radio was Chariots of Fire. Listen to it and tell me you don't love it.

July 20, 2007

What is Progress?

Denmark is planning on withdrawing all 480 of it's combat troops from Iraq in about a month. A few days ago, in preparation, they secretly evacuated the 200 or so Iraqis (and their families) that have been aiding the Danish military.

The removal of these citizens for their protection should make it pretty hard for the Bush administration to spin this move as a sign of further improvement in Iraq but I'm sure that's what he'll do if anyone dares to bring up the subject in his presence. Also, it makes clear how the one time "coalition of the willing" has evaporated with former significant members such as Spain, Italy, the Ukraine, and the Netherlands having already withdrawn completely. For those of you who are counting, that leaves just four countries with combat troops in Iraq (the US, the UK, Poland and Austrialia).

"We had the new reports from our intelligence that stated that these people would be executed and liquidated after the Danish troops had departed, and that was of course a threat that we could not live with, so we had to change our position,'' said Soeren Espersen, the party's foreign policy spokesman. '' That's a quote from the Guardian's article.

July 19, 2007


Yes, I've been rearranging the layout for the blog. Hope it suites you internet snob bastards.

July 17, 2007

Trip to the Northwest '07

Yessir, I had an outstanding trip to Portland and Seattle. I'll give you the highlights

1. I got to see a lot of great people especially my girlfriend.
2. Portland is more bustling than ever.
3. I stayed right next to beautiful Green Lake in Seattle.

4. I read a lot of comics.
6. The people I stayed with in Portland had chickens and beehives.

5. I got to enjoy some great restaurants in Portland like Nicholas and Hot Pot City.

Can This Blog Get Any Boringer?

Economics is like intellectual kryptonite to me. I really don't understand much of it at all. So, I like it when a source at a least asks the same questions about what the hell is going on that I usually do. Here's a flash animation that did just that for me.

Quite often, my head bangs up against question 3 in the documentary. Isn't it logical that perpetually accelerating growth and sustainability are incompatible?

July 10, 2007

100th post

free myspace graphics :: myspace images :: myspace pictures free myspace layouts

S'been a good run so far. That bear never seems to get tired.

Kick the Dick Out

When Dennis Kucinich started waving around his plan to impeach Cheney, the main thing I heard from the Washington peanut gallery were concerns over Kucinich's political naivete. Now, some poll results show that more Americans would see him impeached then stay in office.

Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney?

Favor 54%
Oppose 40%
Undecided 6%

Compare that with the general interest to impeach Clinton in '98.

Do you approve of the decision to impeach Clinton?

Approve 35%
Disapprove 63%

(Cheney poll results via American Research Group 7/5/05 and Clinton poll via USA Today/CNN/Gallup)

July 8, 2007

The Friendly Skies

I'm in Seattle hanging out with the kid dammit family unit and the weather is super nice. I saw this anime movie called Paprika which had a wicked rad parade. Overall, I'm having a great time.

In the Houston airport, on the way over, a voice over the loud speaker explicitly stated, "Any inappropriate remarks or jokes about security may result in your arrest." Now, I can understand how making insulting comments or jokes directly to a security worker would be an issue but this warning was a king sized blanket statement. I never thought that I'd hear something like that in this country but there it was.

July 6, 2007

The Nuts run the Nut House

Now that my rational minded brother (aka the unbeatable kid) is in boring Portland for an indeterminate amount of time, Recon and I can have some FUN posting.

The Drop off

Portland Ho!

I'm off to Portland to visit some old friends and a girlfriend. Posts may not be so forth coming. We shall see.

(Nocturnal Voyage by Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky via ARC Museum)

July 4, 2007

Smedley, Take Me Away

In honor of the 4th o' July, here's a tribute to a great american hero, Smedley Butler.

Even though his real name was more retro than hula hoops, his nicknames go even further to prove the man as great: "old duckboard", "old gimlet eye", and "the fighting quaker". And what a fighting quaker he was. He fought in Mexico, Cuba, China (the Boxer Rebellion), Honduras, and Haiti. He got the medal of honor twice and actually tried to give it back once because he didn't believe that he earned it. Now, that's a mensch.

Old Duckboard became director of public safety in Philadelphia during prohibition and did such a good job of cracking down on corruption that he was fired. Although I haven't found any mention of angry yelling, the rest of the story sounds like vintage Phili.

He also exposed an attempted coup by business interests which plotted to overthrow FDR. There's a bit of exciting history I don't remember seeing in any school books. Basically, in 1933, a bunch of wealthy industrialists unhappy with FDR's populist New Deal policies like social security and the WPA tried to enlist Old Gimlet Eye to become a military dictator and rule with their interests in mind. They chose Butler due to his immense popularity among veterans and service men at the time. The Fighting Quaker would have none of it. He turned them in and to no one's surprise no the whole affair was investigated enough to show that Butler was probably right and then dropped.

A lot that aforementioned popularity came from his support of the marches of the Bonus Army which in and of itself is a fascinating chapter in American history.

And of course, Smedley spent his post military years advocating for peace, exposing the collusion between foreign policy and American industrial interests, and speaking out against the military-industrial complex.

Here's a famous quote from his book, War is a Racket:
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

July 2, 2007

Spheres Within Spheres

Now, its time to return to every one's favorite ongoing program, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, and the grand personage of Johannes Kepler. Kepler is mainly known to students of science as the man who made a profound discovery of the 3 laws of planetary motion. These laws dovetailed nicely with Galileo's work to establish a scientific world view which features mathematics as the essential language of reality.

But, Kepler's brilliant mind found no contradictions between science and mysticism. Indeed, he would place the line distinguishing the two in a very different place than we with our modern minds would. For example, he stood adamantly behind Copernicus's heliocentric theory partly was because he considered the sun as a symbol of God the father with the stars as representing the son. The space between would therefore be the holy spirit and we on earth subject to all three forces. All things rightly revolve around God the father and thus it is perfectly natural that the earth goes round the sun. Kepler also practiced astrology extensively and he intermingled the astrological and astronomical aspects of his findings in most of his books.

And of course, the theory that Kepler considered his masterwork is discarded as a strange artifact of the medieval world view by modern scientists. His masterwork idea came to him in the middle of a lecture on geometry (Kepler was a university professor at the age of 23) when he suddenly realized that there was a similarity between the distances from the planets to the sun and the platonic solids. The distances between the planets and the sun are such that their orbits could inscribe and circumscribe the five platonic solids. The six planet orbits fit inside and outside the solids if you order them correctly. The two dimensional version of what I'm talking about might look like this diagram with the orbits in red inscribing and circumscribing the regular shapes in blue.

Things are bit different in three dimensions but they also add to Kepler's argument. There are only 5 possible platonic solids. Kepler reasoned that this is way there where only 6 planets. The whole thing fit together in a nice package. Here's a diagram from Kepler's book to show what the three dimensional version would look like.

Much of the work that Kepler did on his laws, which receive such scientific renown today, was done in order to make this ordered structure of the solar system take shape.

July 1, 2007

What Kind of Peace

Thanks to a dream that I had about a month ago I got a desire to watch Oliver Stone's JFK. Now, I feel that the dream was a message by whatever force it is that conjures dreams. I have a lot to say about it but it's late. I'll just quote from a speech that Kennedy gave and a University commencement that's in the beginning of the movie and was given about 6 months before Kennedy was shot.
...what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time...

...It is discouraging to read a recent, authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims, such as the allegation that American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war, that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union, and that the political aims -- and I quote -- "of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive war."

I just want to note two things about these quotes from the speech. First, a Pax Americana could be thought of as the foundational principle of the neoconservative movement. Second, many high ranking officials in the military and government did indeed plan on using aggressive war and first strike attacks to subdue the Soviets and achieve domination. The most overt and outspoken of these people was Curtis Le May. Kennedy certainly knew of these people and their views at the time of the speech.