a place for any of my own intellectual thoughts; a digital memory bank
since my brain fails me so frequently.
8-2-05 (22:43) one of the
things i love so much about movies and music is that they're always the
same; they don't change, but my perspective does. music and movies are
always there for me, the same as they've always been. at the same time,
since i change, my view of a particular film or album might change. there's
something reassuring, though, about the fact that incunabula, for example,
will always be the same. truly loving something, so we've been told, means
loving it even if it changes. i think that should be true of loving people.
of course there's always that gap between the ideal and reality. i don't
know what i'm really getting at here. i love an album like incunabula because
it never fails me. at the same time i've said before that i also love it
because it feels like a new album each time i listen to it. different,
yet familiar. stable, reliable and dependable, but still interesting. i
think the same could be said of my friends. they're not flighty or capricious,
at the same time they're not dull or simple. the last time i watched die
hard was shortly after melanie broke up with me. i've seen the film at
least 40 times in my life, but never in the same way that i did that day.
the film was the same, but i was different.
here's my review:
Hard - i've watched this film over forty times and it's always
been one of my favorites of all-time, but watching it this time was a unique
experience. i'm in a very different mindset these days so i can't help
but interpret everything in a different way. the dynamic between willis
and bedelia was more vibrant and resonant than ever before. willis' bathroom
soliloquy was more poignant, the laughs were more hearty, and the music
was more stirring. in short, this time around may well have been the best
viewing ever of this particular film. it's a film that begs to be watched
repeatedly and earns it every time. it's a film that defines the very limit
of the action/adventure genre, and maybe even cinema altogether. it's pretty
difficult for me to overstate the place in my heart that this film holds.
everything within the film is so seamless - the music (kamen is amazing,
but so are mctiernan's choices - using the "aliens" piece at the very end,
the incorporation of xmas music to help the setting, the bach, the beethoven,
the run d.m.c.! just brilliant), the images (jan de bont's inspired camera
movement and mctiernan's lively and unique (for the time) editing style),
the performances (break out role for willis, yes, but also notable performances
from bedelia, rickman, veljohnson, gleason and white) all come together
in a perfect synthesis. and with al disarrio as the sfx supervisor you
know that things on that front are going to be solid as well. there are
some scenes where you can tell a process shot was used, but when you're
not scrutinizing the film these effects are seamless and that's pretty
remarkable considering it's a film from the 80s. i think that if you watch
this film without having heard any hype about it (because hype always hinders
a film) then you must like it. for me it's a film that i really can watch
any time. many of my other top films (paths of glory, the graduate, the
killing, koyaanisqatsi, boogie nights, etc.) require a particular mood,
but this film doesn't. no matter what mood i'm in i can watch this film,
and since i've seen it so many times it's like visiting an old friend.
one of the best pieces of art of all-time. A+.
8-2-05 (01:24) i hate talking
about this stuff sometimes because i know that it's been addressed before
in far more eloquent terms and in much greater depth by much more qualified
time is more enigmatic
than anything i can think of right now. despite the actual physics of it
time is linear and steady for all our intents and purposes. sure, it's
tied to space and theoretically can be warped in certain circumstances,
but in our everyday lives, so far as we know, it remains the same. i don't
know if it's always been like this for me, but nowadays i find that time
is especially strange. a big part of it is because of how oddly my memory
has worked in recent years. i know that it's similar for many people, but
i wonder to what degree i experience time and memory differently. things
that happened earlier in the day, mere minutes ago, even, sometimes seem
extremely distant. the memory of good and bad things stick or fall away
with a seemingly equal randomness. sometimes things that i can't fathom
being important stick with me in an uncanny way. other times there will
be something i don't want to ever forget and it easily dissipates from
my memory. the line between reality and dream has been blurred more often
in recent years than it has in the past. i'll experience something in a
dream and i sometimes have to fight to remember whether it was a real memory
or not. that time between reality and dream seems more odd than usual.
has it always been like this or is this something new?
i had a dream the other
day that i got fired from tower and moved to the bay area to get a job
there. why is it that two months with meryl can seem like two years? why
is it that one month apart seems like another two years? the past never
seems close. even ten minutes ago seems far away. why can i remember so
little about being in high school? is it that i just live so strongly in
the moment that anything outside of it is distant? why can i remember nick
lachey's name, but not sterling hayden's? time seems to move much less
methodically than it's supposed to. often it seems to move in spurts. maybe
that's what ma joad was talking about in her final speech in the grapes
of wrath. why is that the night time brings such a different perspective
than the morning? things seem clear at night. they seem to make more sense.
the morning almost never feels like that. maybe i'm just night person.
or maybe there's something about being awake for a certain period of time
that clues you in a little bit. maybe it's the same as being older...you
get wiser with the years. maybe you get wiser within the day as well. it
seems to hold true with me. of course it could just be a matter of perspective
as well. maybe the goal is to have as little shift in attitude from night
to morning. i've always taken sleeping for granted, but i do wonder how
necessary it is. i remember douglas everet talking about it on radio parallax
once. he mentioned that sleep wasn't really necessary for the body in the
sense that the body doesn't repair itself while you sleep, yet we all need
it. different creatures need more or less of it. why?
speaking of parallax...the
other day i was laying on my left side on the carpet looking at a tennis
ball on the ground. i put my hand in front of my left eye and saw the tennis
ball's position shift. then i moved my hand down and the tennis ball shifted
back. i played with this game of perspective and parallax for several minutes.
it's such a simple thing, but it provided me with great entertainment.
of course i thought about it in somewhat philosophical terms as well. it
would make a good pivot scene in a film.
sometimes my memory/sense
of time works to my advantage. i can have a bad experience at work or in
life and put it behind me fairly quickly. other times it works to my disadvantage.
i can't remember details that i'd like to. i can't remember peoples' names.
i can't remember why i went online or went into the bedroom. those are
everyday annoyances, i know.
i try not to watch
much tv and am mostly successful. i watch a lot of movies on tv, but i
watch very little television programming. it's depressing, for one, but
beyond that i think it lessens my attention span. i need to retrain my
brain a bit. watch more three hour films, read more novels (send some over
vern), spend more time just reflecting. i should also watch memento again.
5-23-05 (19:41) melanie
seems like such a different person now. i know that if i hung out with
her she'd more or less be the melanie i know, but it seems that there's
so much more going on with her that i don't know about. stuff that she
may have kept under wraps when she was with me, or stuff that the breakup
let out. after the breakup we were actually very close to each other and
it was sort of similar to how things were when we were first getting together.
everything was intense and it made me feel like the relationship we had
was real and it sort of validated the last four years...not that it needed
to be validated, but it was reassuring to know that even when things were
over we still cared about each other.
now, though, it seems like
that's gone. we've been so out of touch with each other and it seems, from
my perspective anyway, that she's transformed so much that we've grown
apart very quickly. it's amazing what people are capable of and how quickly
we can adapt. it sort of makes you question the nature and resilience of
all relationships. the whole thing is rather discouraging. feeling like
you're replaceable is one of the worst feelings a person can have. the
truth is that i am replaceable in most ways. you can never replace memories,
but a person can always find someone else to have fun with.
i wonder why i care how
i will be remembered. ultimately it doesn't really matter, but i still
care about it as if my universal image is being distorted or something
retarded like that.
phil used to be my best
friend in the world and i thought that we'd never lose touch. somehow,
though, we grew apart and became different people and stopped talking with
each other. i knew the guy like 10 years and then we just couldn't relate
anymore. i've always felt shitty about it, as if i did something wrong.
i know that to a certain extent i did, but that the larger problem is that
we just grew in different directions. when i was first with melanie i was
sure that we'd be together forever. i wouldn't really admit it aloud, but
i wanted to be with her forever and actually felt like it could happen.
but within five years we've gotten to the point where i'm starting to wonder
if i'll know her in a year. you start to wonder if it's a personal failure
or if that's just the way life is or what.
it's such a sad thing that
people move and lose touch with friends. the non-family person i've kept
in touch with for the longest is probably james chai, who i've known since
10th grade or so. but even with him i haven't really kept in touch on a
really regular basis. i'm pretty sure that if i lived still in la that
i'd hang with him, but because of geography, we almost never see each other.
the same is true for jon, johnny and vern who i've known for about 8 years
now. i consider them all friends, but i've spent more time with meryl in
the last month than those guys in the last year. i guess if i had my priorities
straight i'd move to berkeley and live with johnny and i'd be able to visit
jon and vern more regularly. but inertia, liking davis more than the berkeley,
and the security of knowing i have a livable salary keeps me here. of course
i also regret not being able to be around my mom, dad, sister and grandparents.
i don't really like la, but if i lived there it would be nice to drop in
every other week or so to watch a film with my grandpa. i don't know where
in my life personal relationships became so important, but they're definitely
more important than they used to be. maybe because i realize that they're
the only thing in life that matters and which i have an active role in
creating. it's fun to be able to deconstruct and reduce, but it's more
fulfilling to create.
perhaps i'm too good
at finding contentness in life; and too willing to be fine with that.
3-18-05 (22:04) erin, from
work, and i got into a debate today about athletes. he thinks that mark
mcgwire did steroids when he was a baseball player and i contended that
taking canseco's word for anything is a foolish idea. the debate devolved
into an argument about athletes being "assholes." it's amazing that otherwise
intelligent people are sometimes so bigoted against athletes. erin pretty
much contended that all athletes are assholes and that most pro athletes
use steroids. he said "all the athletes i've known were assholes." melanie
once told me that she felt, more or less, the same way about volleyball
players. i just don't understand what being an asshole has to do with the
desire to combine strategy and physical exertion.
it also bothers me
when people simplify games that they don't understand. when i was young
i referred to rap as singing nursery rhymes while spitting in your hand
(beat boxing). then i grew up. but apparently not everyone is quite as
mature as some still refer to basketball as "a bunch of guys in their underwear
throwing a ball around." life as an ignorant bigot must be easy.
6-27-04 (20:34) heard a
story on the radio about a study that found that 43% of the people polled
felt they had "common sense." there were a bunch of other figures separated
by geography, gender, etc. the study found that when given a test, only
7% of the people actually had common sense. there are so many things wrong
with this i don't know where to start. first, if it's common sense and
it's not common (only 7% of people have it) then it's a paradox. secondly,
it's common sense that common sense is relative. for example, somebody
from the hood knows it's common sense to bring some heat when going out
to acquire drugs from a new source. for some rich guy it's common sense
to have a tax-sheltered offshore account in case he divorces his wife...
how does one measure "common sense"? i think what they really mean by it
is logic, which of course could be deconstructed as well, but i'd have
to use logic and that would, again, be a paradox. how can you defeat the
validity of logic by using logic? the ability of logic to defeat itself
would be testament to its power which would then revalidate itself. at
least that's my thinking.
i like the word "pedantic."
it's the only word i can think of off the top of my head that makes a person
it just by using it. that is, in using the word you become it. i suppose
that's a matter of opinion because some might consider the word common
place...at any rate, it's a good word.
why do we continue to redesign
our currency as often as we do? they say it's because counterfeiting is
easier now because of readily available technology like scanners and high
quality printers. but if i was a counterfeiter i wouldn't try to counterfeit
new currency, i'd just counterfeit the old stuff. everyone honors the old
currency and there's enough of it out there that it doesn't raise any eyebrows.
if someone tried to pass me a bill from 1910 then i'd be suspicious, but
people don't generally think anything when they see a bill that's 20 years
old, and those are relatively easy to counterfeit. i suppose it's a long-term
strategy, but if that's the case then trying to stay ahead of the curve
is impossible. people who want to counterfeit bills will figure out ways
within a year and you can't pull old bills off the market anywhere near
that quickly. it just seems like they're doing it to say they're doing
something. though admittedly it's an uphill battle so i'm not knocking
the treasury for the actions they've taken, it's just that there seems
to be a notion that new bills equals better protection from counterfeits
and that's not the case at all.
6-21-04 (00:25) it seems
a contradiction that american society is supposed to be so much about the
individual and doing things for yourself, yet businesses, which are thought
to be great american institutions (by republicans at least), emphasize
a dedication to the company above all. perhaps i'm misreading things, but
it seems that they would have us be great individuals who, at the same
time, sacrifice everything for the benefit of the company. it seems like
a form of communism, without the "everyone gets an equal slice" part. i'm
simplifying things a bit for the sake of brevity. i think that the whole
"rugged individualism" thing only goes up to the point where you get a
job, after that you should become useful for the company. in theory the
company has to spread the wealth based upon merits in order to keep the
good employees, or as a further carrot in front of the mule. but, in my
experience anyway, most of the people in america work more to not get fired
than they do to try to attain a raise or a bonus. also, i think the job
market is such that companies don't worry too much about losing the vast
majority of their employees. a few reasons for that 1) jobs have shifted
more and more toward the service sector and are thus low skill jobs. 2)
tasks are more specialized (especially in manufacturing) so replacing a
worker is far easier. 3) again, the job market is such that there is always
a fresh supply of labor. this last point is what makes unions so weak.
the most powerful tool a union has is a strike, but what good is a strike
when there are plenty of scabs willing to cross the lines for fewer benefits
or lower wages?
bill moyers was on radio
parallax the other day. he had a couple good quotes. one was actually him
quoting someone else whose answer to the question "what is good news?"
was: "good news is what information we need to keep our freedoms." the
other quote from moyers himself was "news is what they don't want us to
know...everything else is publicity." which makes me think of the documentary
"control room." reporters are more likely repeaters than anything else.
6-01-04 (02:29) the majority
report was a rerun today, but they i hadn't heard any of it before. in
one segment they talked to a representative for diebold and an activist
who is trying to get rid of electronic voting machines, or at least make
a paper trail mandatory. it was informative. they also talked about the
differences between our campaign cycles and those of the british. ours
seem to start earlier every cycle...this time major coverage began about
a year and a half before the actual election. granted, most of that was
for the primary, but since then election coverage has gotten considerable
coverage. of course along with that comes campaigning by both sides - for
money and for votes. in england candidates can't buy broadcast ads - they
can buy ads in newspapers and magazines or on billboards and the like,
but they can't buy tv ads like we do here. for at least the last couple
months bush has been buying ads in key states that attack kerry. so we're
talking an active campaigning of at least six months. in the uk it's apparently
more like six weeks. over there they also allot a certain amount of free
television time for each party. one problem with our system is that so
much money is required to run a campaign in large part because of the broadcast
fees. of course now that the flood gates are open it wouldn't really matter
if we prohibited broadcasting of political ads because that money would
just get spent elsewhere. in the uk they have limits on the amount of money
that can be spent on non-federal campaigns so that's one way they deal
with the problem. i'm not sure what other limits they have on federal campaigns,
but it seems that money is less of a factor in their system.
it seems to me that there
are lot of changes that need to happen in our system and you can't just
choose one or two reforms. if, for example, we were to prohibit the broadcast
of political ads, but not place a cap on the amount of money a campaign
could spend then the big money would still be raised and it would still
get spent elsewhere. i think a lot of these problems of ours stem from
our ideology that people should be able to spend their money in the marketplace
as freely as possible. most people seem to think that there isn't much
of a problem with this ideology spilling into the political realm.
5-2-04 jon wrote this:
"Many say the United States
is not a democracy. Rather, it is a republic, which supposedly is
preferable because it does not subject the minority to the whim of the
majority. The way I see it, however, a Constitutional republic cannot
even protect the majority from the whim of the minority.
Article V of the Constitution
provides that the document may be amended with the approval of two-thirds
of each house of Congress and three-fourths of the state legislatures.
(Two-thirds of the states may instead call a Constitutional convention,
but that seems to me a more arduous task.) Looking at the numbers,
one can figure out how many votes would actually have to be cast.
There are 435 people in
the House of Representatives. Thus a two-thirds majority would mean
291 votes. There are 100 in the Senate, so a two-thirds majority
would mean 67 votes. As you only need three-fourths of the state
legislatures to ratify, you only need ratification from 38 states.
To calculate a maximum number of votes from state legislatures, assume
first that each state requires a unanimous vote in their legislature to
ratify (which they wouldn't) and that only the largest state legislatures
decide to ratify. Based on state legislature sizes in the year 2002,
you need 6430 votes. All told, then, the maximum votes you would
need to amend the Constitution is 6788. That is less than 3 thousandths
of a percent (0.00232%, to be precise) of the total US population (which
is slightly more than 293,000,000 people, growing by 1 every 13 seconds).
That's only the maximum
figure. It would be even less, for example, if only the states with
the smallest legislatures ratified, and if each state legislature required
only a three-fourths majority to ratify. In that case, you would
need 3943 votes.
Of course, the obvious
counter-argument here is that these legislatures are beholden to their
constituents. Firstly, that is only true as long as they value their
jobs over whatever particular Constitutional amendment is on the table.
Though these politicians are hired to represent the electorate, I think
we all know how easily they forget those selfsame voters. More importantly,
even if you cut out the middleman and required direct ratification by the
citizens of each state, an amendment could pass with the approval of less
than one-third of the population of the United States. For example,
if the 38 least populous states (total population: 113,446,982) called
a Constitutional convention and then ratified their amendment by requiring
approval from four-fifths of their respective citizens, only 90,757,586
people would have to approve. That's less than 31% of the US population.
This minority, be they
4000 or 90 million strong, could change the Constitution almost completely.
(I say "almost" because Article V theoretically prohibits the deprivation
to any state of equal suffrage in the Senate.) They could rescind
the entire Bill of Rights, eliminate the executive branch, incorporate
the PATRIOT Act, forbid the study of law, you name it. Thomas Jefferson
proclaimed that "[the] best principles [of our republic] secure to all
its citizens a perfect equality of rights." When so small a minority
can so easily compromise or even eliminate these principles, it seems to
me that these rights are anything but secure."
4-9-04 (12:58) condoleezza
rice's testimony was pretty much what we expected. she backed bush and
blamed the intelligence. on the one hand the administration clearly had
information that should have been acted upon, on the other hand that kind
of intelligence is always vague and in a pre-9/11 era it's hard to justify
shutting things down for unclear threats. in other words, i don't think
much will come from the 9/11 commission...there will be a lot of finger
pointing, but i don't think it will hurt bush very much. besides, there
have been a lot of changes since 9/11 and the commission will likely site
that as a positive for the bush administration. of course a lot of the
changes have eroded our civil rights, but on the surface it looks like
bush has done a lot of good things to prevent terror attacks in the future.
my sense is that this will more or less blow over by the time the elections
come because nothing big was revealed. i actually think that the stuff
that happened immediately after 9/11 is more intriguing and damning than
the stuff that happened before. things like the fact that the bin laden
family was given a free pass to fly immediately following the attacks,
or that within days the administration was thinking about using this as
an excuse to finish business in iraq, or that bush used the attacks to
author the patriot act and shove in all sorts of insidious legislation
and "relief" for corporations...
4-1-04 (02:44) i don't
know what the laws are regarding indian reservations. obviously there is
some ruling that allows them to have casinos in states that normally don't
allow such gaming. to me, this is just the tip of the iceberg...unless
there is some built-in restrictions on the sovereignty of the reservations.
depending on the limits, we may one day see reservations that act as pockets
of third world nation-like cheap labor. if minimum wage doesn't apply then
you could feasibly see wages that would compete with mexico and other nations,
but wouldn't require factories moving as far. other possibilities would
include lower health/envrionmental standards for factories, prostitution,
etc. i assume there are some regulations on what sorts of things the reservations
can do...maybe they are bound to federal regulations, but not state ones,
or something like that. i wonder if they have the power to tax people/businesses
on their territory. i'd like to know more about how the whole thing is
structured; politically and economically.
3-6-4 (04:04) a couple
things...watched a bit of the mclaughlin
group tonight and they talked about nader a bit since mclaughlin had
an interview with nader recently. they mentioned a couple things about
nader's decision to run. 1) it helps keep kerry sharp. as i mentioned before
- this whole 'anyone but bush' mentality from the leftists is lazy, scary
and doesn't help motivate voters. 2) it keeps things interesting. nader
will help mobilize the left by keeping kerry on his toes and keeping the
debate lively and full. 3) nader has said he will focus primarily on the
shortcomings of bush. 4) kerry is, by most standards, a liberal and needs
to choose a moderate running mate to bring the ticket to the center. nader
provides a visible true leftist stance to the national debate. in other
words, if you think kery is liberal, check this guy out. the same way that
i once thought i could say "well at least bush isn't as crazy as pat buchanan
or pat robertson." hmmm. 5) in many ways nader will just be filling the
shoes of guys who have bowed out like kucinich or dean. dean mobilized
the left way more than kerry or edwards did. and kucinich also brings a
certain fire and vision to the race that kerry doesn't have...though, to
his credit, he has adopted a bit of this technique in recent weeks. nader
will serve the same function, but outside of the party. 6) as i've said
before, i think that turnout will be a huge factor in this race. if the
left is motivated then we can defeat bush because there are quite simply
more of us. but if there is no mobilization of the poor, disenfranchised
and disillusioned of the nation then i think bush will win again. i think
nader can help in this cause. 7) let us not forget about the congressional
races that will be decided on the same day as the president. in those races
turnout, mobilization and informing the polity are especially important.
again, i think that nader can help in this cause because of his fresh voice.
on a more personal
note - if anyone is afraid that my one vote for nader will make california
go to bush instead of kerry (yeah right) then let this calm you: from now
on if ralph nader or a green party candidate is not on the ballot i just
won't vote. that way you can rest-assured that my vote isn't being stolen
by nader. if he, or someone like him, is not on the ballot i just won't
bother voting. that's one thing i never understood about the whole "nader
gave florida to bush" argument. why get mad at the few thousand people
who voted for nader when there were millions of people who didn't vote
at all? why not get mad at them?
3-3-4 (02:08) i'm really
pissed off about the election results. props 57 and 58 passed which means
we're going to go into greater debt. people don't understand something.
they either don't understand how debt works or what the difference is between
the deficit and the debt. deficit is yearly, debt is the sum of deficits
and surpluses from the past. the bond will give us money now, but give
us more of a deficit in the future, thereby increasing our debt. unless
the governor has some brilliant way to spend this money that will increase
our tax base or generate other revenue streams then the bonds will only
help us in the short term and hurt us a great deal in the long term. it
was infinitely stupid to vote for 58. if i were arnold i'd let the voters
know that because they voted for morons (governors AND congressmen) in
the past they're going to pay for it. i'd go after the energy giants that
bilked the state out of billions, i'd reinstitute the car tax, though i'd
probably cut it a bit, i'd raise property taxes for the ultra-rich and
tie this tax in with income taxes so that retired people and farmers who
happen to have highly valued homes wouldn't lose their property, i'd raise
income taxes for the top one percent of income earners, i'd have my people
start looking into prisoners who have been in prison for a long time for
petty crimes or people who are over a certain age (let's say 60) and who
have been in prison for more than (let's say) five years in an effort to
reduce our outlay for the enormously bloated prison system, and i'd institute
a temporary half cent tax on high sugar content items like candy and soda.
i've heard that a half cent tax on each can of soda alone, would bring
in a couple billion dollars a year. all of the above would bring us out
of the deficit we currently face without putting us further into debt or
eliminating any critical programs. the rich would grumble and i wouldn't
get reelected, but it would be the right thing to do. it combines the cutting
of a bloated and unethical prison system, slight temporary taxes on sweets,
and more equitable long-term taxing of the super-rich.
2-25-04 (02:33) regarding
nader's bid for the presidency...i still think that the two party system
in america is a sham. i think the argument that nader stole the presidency
from gore is ridiculous. i think that alternative parties need to be encouraged
in this country, even in the face of four more years of bush - and i hate
bush as much as just about anyone else. i think it's sad that our political
climate is such that even left wingers feel the need to bash nader for
his decision to keep fighting the good fight. it shows you how truly scared
the nation is. once again the powers that be have framed the issue in such
a way that Right is on the defensive. that is, only in a truly fucked up
world would the debate be structured in such a way as to put naderites
on the defensive about his decision to vote. only in this political climate
does the decision of one consumer activist to run for public office become
something to rally against. am i the only one who sees how twisted that
is? they're winning because they're framing the way we talk about fundamental
issues such as this, and that's the most scary thing that i can think of.
regarding gay "marriage"...
i don't care what they call it, i think that people should be allowed to
bond with each other and have equal rights under the law. is it a state
issue? a federal issue? i don't know. so far it seems to have been a state
issue since i guess the states issue marriage licenses, but if it becomes
a civil rights issue then that would make it federal, right? on the other
hand there is precedent for the limitation of such things. we don't generally
think that brothers and sisters should be allowed to get married and no
one seems to be all that upset about it. to some people the thought of
gay marriage is the same as the marriage of two siblings (or marriage between
multiple partners) - it's unnatural and morally reprehensible. this is
also seen in the anti-sodomy laws that some states have. they feel it's
simply an extension of the states' right to limit other deviant sexual
acts such as incest, polygamy and bestiality. my point to all this is this
- there does seem to be adequate legal precedent for the government to
limit certain marriages and sexual acts. this is, unfortunately, especially
true in particular states where there is an actual mandate to limit said
activities/bonds. that's a common theme of mine - the tyranny of democracy
- most people think i'm insane when i use that term, but i think there's
an element of truth to it (though i do recognize its necessity). but back
to the subject at hand... president bush's
plan to amend the constitution to limit the meaning of marriage seems
pretty absurd. just mulling over the amendments in my head i can't remember
any amendments (other than prohibition, which was later repealed) that
limit the freedom of people. most of them are about granting suffrage to
blacks, women, people 18 and older or giving the people the rights against
government tyranny - like all that boring stuff in the bill of rights about
freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to a jury, etc.. bush
is fucking evil. at any rate, since there is precedent to limit marriage
in certain instances, i think it'll probably stay a state issue and will
come to votes on a state by state basis. i don't think that bush's planned
amendment will pass by the needed margin. and having it work on a state
by state basis is about as much as one can realistically expect, in which
case the only limitation will be when couples move or something like that
because in those situations the other states won't be forced to recognize
their marriage. but as soon as california allows gay marriage i guarantee
you there's going to be some crackpot brother/sister couple that demand
their constitutional right to get married.
also, what benefits do
people get from marriage? tax breaks, they can't be forced to testify against
each other, and a slew of benefits that come when they have kids - like
the right to custody of the child if the other parent dies... things like
that. what, historically, is the reasoning behind granting benefits to
any two people who want to marry? in its origin i suppose it was religious
and a matter of wanting to help those people who are advancing the race.
if procreation was the major reasoning behind giving certain benefits to
married people then i propose not an expanding of marriage, but a contraction
of it...actually an elimination of it. if its major purpose is to provide
benefits to those who procreate then i think we should get rid of it altogether.
we have too many people as it is. in conjunction with this we'd have to
change a few other laws...for example any rules that say only blood relatives
and spouses can do certain things should be changed, adoption/parenting
rights laws would have to be changed, stuff like that. i guess the question
becomes this: why should any people entering into a bond be allowed certain
special rights? and then, what should the limits be? what number/sex/species
of animal should be allowed to enter into this bond? once you start deconstructing
it, the whole thing seems utterly absurd. to draw the line where we have,
for as long as we have, is completely arbitrary.
my problem is i don't believe
in God or Truth.
i wish "who wants to marry
a millionaire" was still on fox. maybe next season.
i'd like to view the movie
"idiots" again in the
context of pushing boundaries. from what i remember the movie was only
so-so in its execution, but left itself open to some interesting readings.
perhaps it would have been better if they pretended to be a group of monkeys
instead of mentally retarded people. then it would have been pushing the
boundaries of human/animal much in the same way that drag queens push the
boundaries of male/female. i'd like to see more people acting like monkeys
for this purpose. i think it's a very valid point that needs to be made
- we are, after all, 98.5% identical to chimps. just as there are many
people who don't fit into "female" or "male" categories, i've met an equal
number of people who don't quite fit into the "human" or "chimpanzee" categories.
to categorize things in such rigid ways, i think, is a bit fascist and
dogmatic. unfortunately, almost by definition, these people are largely
unaware of, and unable to defend, their place in society. because they
lack the intellectual capacity for this sort of thought they cannot organize
in a meaningful way (as gay, bi, and transgender people have). as a result
they have yet to establish any sort of social or political groups capable
of reforming the public's view, or treatment of, their kind. i may have
just found my calling.
1-30-04 (00:52) some background
for the following excerpt from michael moore's website....recently moore
decided to officially back clark for president. in a speech in NH, moore
said he looked forward to clark debating bush, describing it as "the general
versus the deserter." he said this many times before (including in santa
cruz and davis), but for some reason the media (peter jennings in particular)
picked up on it this time. here's an excerpt from an interview jennings
had with clark:
Jennings: Now, that's a
reckless charge not supported by the facts. And I was curious to know why
you didn't contradict him . . .
Clark: Well, I think
Michael Moore has the right to say whatever he feels about this.I don't
know whether this is supported by the facts or not. I've never looked at
it. I've seen this charge bandied about a lot. But to me it wasn't material
. . .
Jennings: Since this question
and answer in which you and Mr. Moore was involved in, you've had a chance
to look at the facts. Do you still feel comfortable with the fact that
someone should be standing up in your presence and calling the president
of the United States a deserter?
Clark: To be honest with
you, I did not look at the facts, Peter. You know, that's Michael Moore's
opinion. He's entitled to say that. I've seen -- he's not the only person
who's said that. I've not followed up on those facts. And frankly, it's
not relevant to me and why I'm in this campaign.
and michael moore's response...
"Well, I'm glad they have
gone nuts over it. Because here we have a Commander in Chief --who just
took off while in uniform to go work for some Republican friend of his
dad's -- now sending our kids over to Iraq to die while billions are promised
to Halliburton and the oil companies. Twenty percent of them are National
Guard and Reserves (and that number is expected to double during the year).
They have been kept in Iraq much longer than promised, and they have not
been given the proper protection. They are sitting ducks.
What if any of them chose
to do what Bush did back in the early 70s -- just not show up? I've seen
Republican defenders of Bush this week say, “Yeah, but he made up the time
later.” So, can today's National Guardsmen do the same thing -- just say,
when called up to go to Iraq, "Um, I'm not going to show up, I'll make
up the time later!"? Can you imagine what would happen? Of course, none
of them are the son of a Congressman, like young Lt. Bush was back in 1972.
Today, MoveOn.org has put
together its response to this issue, and I would love to reprint it here.
It lays out all the facts about Bush and the remaining unanswered questions
about where he went for many, many months:
Here are what appear to
be the known facts, laid out recently in considerable detail and documentation
by retired pilot and Air National Guard First Lt. Robert A. Rogers, and
in a 2003 book, “The Lies of George W. Bush,” by David Corn.
1. George W. Bush graduated
from Yale in 1968 when the war in Vietnam was at its most deadly and the
military draft was in effect. Like many of his social class and age, he
sought to enter the National Guard, which made Vietnam service unlikely,
and fulfill his military obligation. Competition for slots was intense;
there was a long waiting list. Bush took the Air Force officer and pilot
qualification tests on Jan. 17, 1968, and scored the lowest allowed passing
grade on the pilot aptitude portion.
2. He, nevertheless, was
sworn in on May 27, 1968, for a six-year commitment. After a few weeks
of basic training, Bush received an appointment as a second lieutenant
– a rank usually reserved for those completing four years of ROTC or 18
months active duty service. Bush then went to flight school and trained
on the F-102 interceptor fighter jet. Fighter pilots were in great demand
in Vietnam at the time, but Bush wound up serving as a “weekend warrior”
in Houston, where his father’s congressional district was centered.
A Houston Chronicle story
published in 1994, quoted in Corn’s book, has Bush saying: “I was not prepared
to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor
was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning
how to fly airplanes.”
3. Sometime after May 1971,
young Lt. Bush stopped participating regularly in Guard activities. According
to Texas Air National Guard records, he had fewer than the required flight
duty days and was short of the minimum service owed the Guard. Records
indicate that Bush never flew after May 1972, despite his expensive training
and even though he still owed the National Guard two more years.
4. On May 24, 1972, Bush
asked to be transferred to an inactive reserve unit in Alabama, where he
also would be working on a Republican senate candidate’s campaign. The
request was denied. For months, Bush apparently put in no time at all in
Guard service. In August 1972, Bush was grounded -- suspended from flying
duties -- for failing to submit to an annual physical exam. (Why wouldn't
he take this exam from a doctor?)
5. During his 2000 presidential
campaign, Bush’s staff said he recalled doing duty in Alabama and then
returning to Houston for still more duty. But the commander of the Montgomery,
AL, unit where Bush said he served told the Boston Globe that he had no
recollection of Bush – son of a congressman – ever reporting, nor are there
records, as there should be, supporting Bush’s claim. Asked at a press
conference in Alabama on June 23, 2000 what duties he had performed as
a Guardsman in that state, Bush said he could not recall, “but I was there.”
6. In May, June and July,
1973, Bush suddenly started participating in Guard activities back in Houston
again – pulling 36 days at Ellington Air Base in that short period. On
Oct. 1, 1973, eight months short of his six-year service obligation and
scheduled discharge, Bush apparently was discharged with honors from the
Texas Air National Guard (eight months short of his six-year commitment).
He then went to Harvard Business School.
Documents supporting these
reports, released under Freedom of Information Act requests, appear along
with Rogers’ article on the web at http://democrats.com/display.cfm?id=154.
In the absence of full
disclosure by the President or his supporters, only the President and perhaps
a few family or other close associates know the whole truth. And they’re
Bush was apparently absent
without official leave from his assigned military service for as little
as seven months (New York Times) or as much as 17 months (Boston Globe)
during a time when 500,000 American troops were fighting the Vietnam War.
The Army defines a “deserter” -- also known as a DFR, for “dropped from
rolls” – as one who is AWOL 31 days or more: www-ari.army.mil/pdf/s51.pdf."
fyi: in 1992 clinton got
third in the IA caucus and second in the NH primary (just like dean) and
still ended up winning the election (obviously). i hope this serves as
a bit of a reality check since it seems that people are counting dean out
already. you need 2160 delegates to win the primaries so far kerry has
13 and dean has 9. so chill out. on the other hand, you might point out
(rightly) that clinton was more moderate than dean is and thus was able
to do better in the south and midwest, whereas dean is more liberal than
kerry and really should be winning the relatively more liberal states.
there's a right wing think
tank (called project for the new american century) that drafted a report
called "rebuilding america's defenses" which called for the invasions of
afghanistan and iraq as a way of securing future oil reserves. this report
was issued sometime late in the clinton administration. it goes on to say
that because the american government lacks the will to invade two countries
and topple their government, we need a galvanizing incident on the order
of pearl harbor. within 24 hours of that event (9/11) cheney and wolfowitz
were calling for an invasion of iraq. i've heard other accounts that say
a war in iraq was in the planning stages prior to 9/11. related
source. i originally got word of this from john
buchanan who is running for president on the republican ticket.
1-29-04 (02:37) "The State
Treasurer has estimated that Governor Schwarzenegger’s bond will burden
every California family with a $3000 tax burden over a 30-year period,
compared to a cost of about $1100 for the five-year revenue bond approved
earlier this year.
The governor would set
a dangerous precedent by funding the ongoing cost of California government
with general obligation bonds. California has traditionally used general
obligation bonds to pay for long-term capitol improvements such as construction
of schools, roads and bridges, but not for day-to-day costs of providing
The Consumer Federation
of California recommends that the legislature adopt better alternatives
for funding the 2003-2004 shortfall. California could increase its revenue
by as much as three billion dollars a year by closing corporate tax loopholes
that provide no benefit to the California people. We could raise as much
as two to three billion a year with a temporary income tax surcharge on
the very highest income earners (a surcharge of 0.7% on individuals earning
over $137,500 a year and families earning over $275,000, and a surcharge
of 1.7% on individuals earning over $275,000 and families earning over
$550,000 a year).
Increasing marginal tax
brackets on the top two percent of income earners is a matter of fairness.
While real income stagnated during the 1990s for most Californians, those
at the top benefited disproportionately. From 1993 to 2000 inflation adjusted
earning for the middle quintile of Californians (those in the 40th to 60th
percent of earners) rose by only 8.5%, while those in the top five percent
increased their incomes by 113% and the top one percent boosted their earnings
by 181%. Clearly these top earners have more than an ample ability to make
a modest contribution to preserve our education, health and public safety
dean got rid of his campaign
manager. i don't see that as that much of a problem. i think that the last
guy did a great job of getting dean into the race and this next guy (who
i think ran the gore campaign) will hopefully help him win the campaign.
there are different strategies for each stage of a campaign so, to me,
it makes perfect sense to change at this stage.
like i said, i'm not all
that interested in who wins the primary...unless it's kucinich or someone
really progressive like that. my major concern, like many people, is what
happens in november against bush. possibly even more important than who
wins the primary and their merits relative to bush, is the turnout levels
that we can get in the primaries. i think that if there is a healthy increase
in voter turnout, especially in swing states, the democrats have a good
chance of unseating bush. if the increase is minimal or stagnant relative
to 2000s primaries then we're in big trouble. if i were in charge of the
democratic party i'd push voter turnout programs more than anything else...more
than anti-bush campaigning or pro-kerry or whatever. i don't have any data
on this, but if i'm really organized and i remember then maybe in november
i will revisit the question.
1-22-04 (22:31) to tell
you the truth i don't know much about any of the candidates right now.
i've listened to a couple debates and i listen to npr on a regular basis,
but i don't think that i know enough to know who to vote for. but the bigger
truth is that i'm not voting for any of them. i'm still registered green
party so i can't vote for them in the primaries. and so far dean is the
only one with a shot who has piqued my interest at all because of the fire
he has. i think that's a turnoff for most voters though. the important
thing about dean, even if he doesn't get the nomination (and i think he
will), is that he showed the other front runners what the people wanted.
his angry schtick and internet grassroots campaigning raised a few eyebrows
and it seems that nowadays kerry is talking more like dean. the big difference
being that kerry was the frontrunner in the early stages and he has more
experience, especially having served in vietnam. i think edwards is the
clear vice president choice for whoever does get the nomination since clark
and the others don't seem willing to be vice presidents and also because
edwards helps with the southern vote. i haven't really studied the new
electoral college breakdown, but i know that while CA gained a vote (55)
NY and PA lost a couple and florida and texas gained a couple. so it'll
be all the more necessary to gain votes outside of the NE and west.
01-06-04 (02:32) i don't
know how true this is, but i'll throw it out there anyway...i think that
in the last 20 years it's become more and more difficult to track how much
is being spent to get a particular candidate elected. sure there are pretty
good figures on how much the candidate spends for his/her campaign, but
the wildcard is the special interests. it seems that more and more often
there are individuals and groups who are paying for anti-bush or anti-democrat
ads. it goes way beyond just giving money to candidates or their party.
recently there was an ad that attacked howard dean and, according to npr,
we won't know who funded the ad until after the primaries in new hampshire
are over because the law says the information isn't available for a certain
time period, or doesn't have to be disclosed until a certain time - i forget
the specifics. regardless, it is one more example of ads that are being
funded by someone or some group (in this case we don't know who) that further
a political goal. i've only noticed this kind of thing more recently. maybe
it existed before. maybe it was as bad before. maybe it's a recent phenomenon
that has come about because of campaign finance reforms (mccain-feingold
perhaps?), i honestly don't know. info is appreciated.
12-29-03 (22:57) reading
more pleasant stuff about our world...this from "fast food nation"...it
talks about the small business administration (sba) and how its supposed
to help small businesses with loans and the like. "in 1996, the sba guaranteed
almost $1 billion in loans to new franchisees. more of those loans went
to the fast food industry than to any other industry. almsost six hundred
new fast food restaurants, representing fifty-two differend national chains,
were launched in 1996 thanks to government-backed loans." this comes right
after talking about how burger king got loans to open 13 new experimental
locations in new york. 11 of them failed and the burger king franchisees
defaulted on the loans. the taxpayers ended up footing the bill for what
was essentially burger king testing out marginal locations. schlosser also
points out repeatedly that franchisees (individuals who buy the rights
to operate a franchise location) default on their loans or go belly up
more frequently than individuals who open their own business. which begs
the question...why is the government subsidising franchise locations for
burger king and othe franchises when it could direct that money to people
who want to open joe's burger stand instead? additionally franchisees "are
not covered by the laws that protect independent businessmen. and although
they must purchase all their own supplies, they are not covered by consumer
protection laws. it is perfectly legal under federal law for a fast food
chain to take kickbacks (known as 'rebates') from its suppliers, to open
a new restaurant next door to an existing franchisee, and to evict a franchisee
without giving cause or paying any compensation." that partially explains
why in a lot of places you'll see a mcdonald's a few blocks away from another
mcdonald's. the chain doesn't care about the individual franchisees...the
more locations it has the better, because more locations means more sales
for them and they get a cut of the sales. he reveals all sorts of little
tricks that chain restaurants employ. it's pretty sickening.
(23:34) two of the first three chapters in the newest franken book are
dedicated to ann coulter. they're titled "ann coulter: nutcase" and "you
know who i don't like? ann coulter." in both chapters he shows the hypocrisy
of ann coulter's writings...on the one hand she'll say "political 'debate'
in this country has become insufferable...instead of actual debate about
ideas and issues with real consequences, the country is trapped in a political
discourse that resembles professional wrestling." (that's from the first
page of her book slander) franken points out that she follows this
up with statements like "liberals hate society" or "even islamic terrorists
don't hate america like liberals do." she also has a tendency of lying,
misrepresenting or just not doing her homework. franken cites several examples..."she
was born in 1961. or 1963. dpending on whethe you believe her old connecticut
driver's license (1961) or her newer d.c. driver's license (1963). ann
claims the d.c. license is correct, which means that when she registered
to vote she was sixteen. that, of course, would be voter fraud. either
way, she lied on at least on of her driver's licenses, a government i.d.,
which is a violation of federal law under the patriot act." he'll also
point out more important lies...like when she says "that newsweek washington
bureau chief evan thomas 'is the son of norman thomas, a four-time socialist
candidate for president.' actually, norman thomas was the socialist candidate
six times, running first in 1928 with a radical proposal for something
called "social security." it's odd that coulter understates the number
of times that thomas was the socialist party nominee, because that would
make her argument that much stronger. if norman thomas had been evan thomas's
father. which he was not." he goes on in detail about other times when
coulter has lied or misrepresented things. he has a list of ways in which
to lie "how to lie with footnotes #6: just make shit up...from page 134
of slander: 'even during the media's nightly floggin of iran-contra,
reagan's approval ratings fell only 5 percentage points, from 80 percent
to 75 percent.'" here's what the article she quoted in her endnotes actually
reported: "in last month's gallup poll, reagan's approval rating fell from
63 percent to 47 percent." in this case she quoted an actual story, but
just made up new numbers. what the fuck?
as best as i can figure
given the cost of a barrel of oil (about $20, 14 of which is profit) and
the likely number of barrels that iraq has (at least 300 billion), iraq
has at least a few trillion dollars worth of oil it could use for infrastructure
and paying off its debts (currently in the area of 120-150 billion dollars).
(00:20) it's really funny to me how hypocritical some people can be. corporations
often tout the advantages of the free market economy, but when bad times
come along they beg the government for bailout money. in other words, when
things are fine they want the government out of their way, but when 9/11
happens everyone's got their hands out. or how about george bush being
all about states' rights in alaska (where they support his attempts to
drill and log forests), but all about the federal government superceding
the states when the florida state supreme court voted to extend the time
allowed to perform recounts. the reason i mention this is because i was
reading "fast food nation" last night and it mentions walt disney's "opposition
to socialism and to any government meddling with free enterprise (yet)
relied on federal funds in the 1940s to keep his business afloat." or how
about how bush is supposed to be a republican, but has expanded the government
in an almost uncomprehensible way (with the creation of the department
of homeland security) and pushing through the "patriot" act. of course
he's also cut pension benefits for soldiers and rumsfeld has hinted that
in the near future the pentagon is going to close several military bases
around the country.
about rumsfeld talking about the connections between the corporation brown
and root (now kellog, brown and root - KBR) and LBJ. brown and root contributed
millions of dollars to LBJ's political campaigns and during the vietnam
war received government construction contracts. their history dates back
further...LBJ also helped them get a large contract for the construction
of a dam while he was in congress. rumsfeld spoke out against the vietnam
contract "why this huge contract is not being adequately audited is beyond
me. the potential for waste and profiteering under such a contract is substantial."
fyi: according to npr this contract was the first private contract of its
kind and size...normally this kind of work was done by government employees.
maybe rumsfeld figured out how much money could be made through such an
arrangement and changed his mind over time.
(01:06) it seems to me that the privatization of war contracts is undesirable.
first, let's ask why anyone would say it would be desirable. i think that
the only real argument for privatization of things in general is efficiency.
the private sector, motivated by profit, does things more efficiently.
some might say it's because they don't trust the government to do a good
job, but those people don't have a clear concept of history so let's just
work off of the efficiency argument. as a quick aside, though, i don't
trust the government all that much, but i trust the large corporations
(enrons, bechtels, halliburtons) of the world far less. i think that the
biggest hole in the argument in regards to war contracts specifically is
that they are done on a cost plus profit margin basis. that is, the corporation
reports to the government what the cost is and then adds a predetermined
percentage of the total as their profit (it's often a variable margin depending
on "performance" and the range is usually 2-7percent). quick math quiz
- what's seven percent of a dollar? now what's seven percent of a billion
dollars? okay, now, does it make more economic sense for the coroporation
to do things effieciently or really slowly and jack up the prices of, say,
gas along the way? so, as far as i'm concerned, the efficiency argument,
in these cases, goes out the window. add to that the fact that privatized
companies are likely to be less secure. do remember that the bush administration's
reason for denying france, germany and others the chance to bid on contracts
in iraq was "security." i'm guessing that the screening process for becoming
a federal employee is more strict than that of a major corporation. it's
a lame excuse anyway, but if they're going to use it then so will i. the
last thing that makes me think these contracts should be federally run
is that the current system creates a dangerous conflict of interests. cheney
helping out his old buddies is the obvious example. other corporations
getting in on it by making contributions to the bush campaign is just a
matter of time...it's probably already happened. i'm not saying that running
things federally will eliminate all the problems, but it's better than
what we got. plus, worse comes to worst, government institutions, i feel,
are more accountable than corporations.
would be interesting to look at the stock prices of halliburton et al a
month before november 2000 and then a month after the supreme court stopped
the recounts in florida thereby handing the election to bush/cheney.
(01:46) you know what's funny? i mean besides asking a question like "you
know what?"...when people give instructions like "go to the nursery and
buy me a tree." then you ask them "what size" and they reply "oh, not too
big and not too small." the word "too" is subjective, when i ask "what
size" i'm asking you to define what is between the two "too"s. but usually
when an exchange goes like that the person who is receiving the "not too
big and not too small" instructions just goes along with it and says "okay."
i don't mention this because anything specific happened, but it's always
seemed nonsensical to me. almost like when people say "i could care less"
when they really mean "i couldn't care less."
(01:36) there are several simple common sense measures that can be taken
to clean politics up. they fly in the face of "freedom" so they probably
won't be adopted in the near or distant future, but here are a few ideas:
no more "patriot" acts or "clear skies" initiatives. refer to such legislation
using numbers. like it or not, people are retarded and if they hear that
their senator voted down the patriot act they're not going to be pleased.
publicly finance elections. draw district lines using rectangular shapes
so as to severely limit gerrymandering (like the stuff that went down in
texas earlier this year). it's about getting the politics out of politics.
11-17-03 (00:40) finished
reading the new michael moore book ("dude, where's my country") now i'm
onto the newest al franken book. they make good companion pieces. to me
michael moore has always been more of a populist who is political...never
went to college, not particularly brilliant (though he does have plenty
of good ideas, is smart, and very funny, etc.). that's long been a major
appeal to me. i'm not comparing him to al franken and i'm not saying that
he's an average person, but i don't see him as exceptionally intelligent
either - he just looks at things in a common sense way. he's not noam chomsky
and that's precisely why he is so popular. i think that sometimes the book
simplified things (esp. regarding americans being liberal vs. conservative
- he looked at principle to define political inclination, rather
than looking at policy), but overall was necessary and is certainly
going to help swing the country to the left...it points out the links between
the bushies and saudi arabia, it shows the patriot act for what it is,
etc. definitely a recommended read for those who have a passing interest
in current political events. if, however, you're a little more into politics
then check out something more along the lines of 'the best democracy money
can buy.' it's a more focused effort from greg palast, an (maybe the)
investigative journalist, who's been getting lots of press since bush became
11-14-03 (01:37) yesterday
while at work some little girl asked for the "ymca" song. i showed her
the village people section and said she might also be able to find it on
a compilation of 70s music. her dad said "just download it honey." i smiled
and said "that's illegal." he looked at her and said "it's okay." i wanted
to tell them that if enough people did that i'd be out of a job. you see
our store has already gone from having at least three people at any given
time to having two people most of the night. now part of this is mismanagement
on tower's part and some of it is part of a larger down sizing in the music
industry. you see when people stop buying cds they're not hurting the executives
of bmg, emd, sony, warner or universal - they're actually hurting the people
at the very end of the cycle - that's people like me. you can't stick it
to the man by downloading music because the heads of these companies are
so well insulated that they barely feel the impact - even of a downward
trend this size. rich people don't become poor unless they've horribly
mis-managed their money, that's just the way it works. rich people spend
their entire lives becoming rich and making sure they maintain their riches.
sure a few people at the top lost their jobs, but they all have golden
parachutes (severance packages) and sizable savings so they really don't
need to worry. so download if you want - i actually don't have that big
of a problem with it - but down delude yourself into thinking that it's
harmless or that you're sticking it to the man, because you're not.
11-13-03 (22:26) the machiavellian
style of world politics doesn't work anymore. i think that at one point
it worked well enough to be considered (though it may not have been the
"best" method it was a viable option). some would have you believe that
the world is the same as it was before, but that's not true. the last fifty
years have been far different...and the rules of the game have changed
quite a bit since biological, nuclear and intelligence warfare. the ability
for rogue individuals to have a calculable effect on a given state has
increased like no time in the past and as a result it just might make more
sense to be loved than respected and feared.