Monthly Archives: November 2002

On the election

Well, everyone knows by now that the Republicans won a sweeping majority. I'm not convinced that the outcome of this election will affect things one way or the other, but assuming elections are even vaguely accurate, this sends a frightening statement about what the average American supports — or a frightening statement about what the election results will be no matter what people vote. Either way, very scary. Let's ignore “the war” for a moment, and just look at two domestic cases.

First, the “Beltway Sniper”. As you know, he was linked to a white van and shot using a .223 rifle. What you haven't been told is how they caught him — by using the gun owner and DMV records to “profile” all owners of .223s in the region. Now you can see why both the NRA and various civil rights groups oppose registration. (more) Before you say, “well, what's wrong with that”, imagine if instead of being linked to a specific (but still common) gun, they were linked to a specific (but still common) tattoo or piercing. Would you be in support of them taking piercing and tattoo shop records and visiting everyone with the same mods?

Now, I know many people have issues with gun ownership, and value the first ammendment more than the second ammendment, so let me mention something a little freakier. Many libraries in the US are being bugged/monitored and not only that, librarians have been served with subpoenas that don't allow them to talk about it (more). Use of computers in the library is monitored, as are the books you sign out and anything else you do there. After all, we all know that terrorists carry library cards and don't have the money to buy a computer of their own. The ALA has an excellent page both documenting the news (most recently for example the case of the ABFFE, ACLU, EPIC, and FTRF suing the Justic Department over the library subpoenas, just to find out how many have been issued — the JD won't tell), and advice to librarians as to what they can and can't reveal about the government's actions.

I don't know… It just seems pretty messed up — I was under the impression that America was a democracy, and that it elected its leaders to act as its representatives. As such, I'd have assumed that the government has a general duty both to act in the interests of the people, and to inform them of its actions. It's pretty scary when a “democratic” system consistently produces leadership that acts contrary both to the will and the interest of the people.

I believe the correct term for this systems of government is a “two party dictatorship”.

Does this mean I'm a geek?

I'd totally forgotten to list the top experience writers as well (yes, I have a list of that as well). Here are the top six experience authors of 2002 (if you're wondering why the top person isn't listed as nine, that earlier number was a database glitch): Born_blu with seven experiences, and Karma380, BlueStar, xoitoyx, Witte, and CatWoman with six experiences a piece this year.

Anyway, as you can see below, I got my custom plates in the mail today! (Yay!) The little one is for the trike, and the big one is for PsyberCity new prototype vehicle (similar to the Manta).

You'll have to take a Mulligan on that one…

Just got this submission. Yarg!
Not sure what section they expect it posted in, but they told me they got the idea from BME.
In that case, I appear to be misleading people…


Yeah, I really like the redneck life. The snow has melted and it's pretty warm right now, so things are muddy… and in the words of the Dayglos, “I've got a big ass truck, it's got a 383 that's been built right up… My truck eats Fords, shits out Chevies, and we smoke fat doobies and drink cold bevies. So get outta the way of my big ass truck cuz I'm pissed up drunk and I don't really give a flyin' fuck.”

“Gun control is the ability to put two bullets in one hole.” -Ted Nugent

Oh no…

I just wrote a nice long entry with lots of cool news in it, but I accidentally deleted it. I've got to insert some sort of Javascript that puts up a warning message (ie. if you have text in the box, and you accidentally close the window, it offers to stop the procedure) so it doesn't happen again.

Anyway, I was going to show you the poll results, but now you'll have to take my word for it. By a margin of at least 2:1, the most recently posted flag (in the entry below) was the one that won, so I'll clean it up and start looking into the printing/pricing options.

Other than that I am just taking it easy today and doing an image update. I think I broke my foot yesterday — and no, not on the ATV like you'd expect. Emily (Jon's dog) is super protective of her food — she'll snarl at any dog within ten feet of it. Any, she was mowing down on her food and Leeta walked into the room. They'd already gotten in a huge fight the night before, and even though Leeta is a far stronger dog and isn't really at any risk, she's a very gentle dog so she was just edging along the walls, keeping her distance.

Suddenly Emily lunged at Leeta (didn't even snarl, just went straight into attack mode) — she becomes a lot more protective when Jon's not here (he was in Toronto for the weekend) if I'm not constantly monitoring her. She grabbed onto Leeta and because I was only about four feet away I was able to stop it quickly. I grabbed the dogs and quickly tossed them to opposite sides of the room and then subdued Emily. I don't know if Emily bit me or if I just clipped her teeth with my hand while I was going for her throat (if you grab a dog around the trachea they pretty much instantly stop fighting because they know instinctually that you can kill it — if you watch dogs playing, that's how they “mark victoy”).

Anyway, at some point in that I clipped my right foot on something. I've been concentrating on the pain and moving my foot around a little as well as doing some poking, and as far as I can tell, I chipped the edge of the cuboid bone (the bone between the little toe metatarsal and the big talus bone). Yeah, I took Anatomy for Dance Majors in university (I really did). I'm pretty sure this is a break like breaking your ribs — as long as it's minor, just take it easy and leave it alone.

Well, you're going to get more of a story time than news update, even though my original entry had tons of story commentary. But now I'll just talk about three things. First there's the new Secrecy Guidelines being developed by the Homeland Security office — keep an eye on where that story goes. The second story down in that link is kind of scary too. I know that a lot of people disagree with me on this, but I really think that this type of aggressive profiling and investigation based on birthnation is highly questionable.

The second story is the poster you can see at the bottom (the background is just me downloading my mail, I took my email down for a few hours to do a virus scan). (Here's a link). While you'd think that quite obviously Orwellian poster was released by some satirical political awareness group, it's actually real — as IAM members in London can confirm. That's the crazy thing about what's going on now — that the governments are saying “ha ha, yeah, we're doing it, try and stop us.”

Finally, I wanted to talk about this story on Bush misleading the public about what the Iraq war is going to cost. The “lowball” number that Larry Lindsey, the house economic advisor, is between $100 billion and $200 billion. That number, it's pointed out, it “no big deal” as it's inconsequential in comparison to the rest of the US economy.

If I didn't re-invest my money in IAM and BME's free projects, I would have approximately $78,000 in the bank that I don't have now (YEARLY). With $78,000 I could build another TWO monster trucks, or I could invest the money and retire early. Or I could buy an airplane, or top-notch hookers for a year. But I didn't. Just because you have money, doesn't mean you can spend it on any stupid thing you want. Yes, people have the right to indulge from time to time, but it is my feeling that people must reinvest a percentage of what they make to the community, both by paying taxes and tithes, and by personally investing money in the community.

Even if you disagree that individuals have that responsibility, you must agree that governments have a responsibility to spend money in a way that serves their citizens best interests. So… It's agreed that we have $200 billion to spend. Let's look at a few things we could do with it. Note that none of these options would increase taxes in any way:

  • We could do nothing with it, and either put it toward paying off national debt, or we could simply reduce taxes by $1000 a person in that timeperiod.
  • Free national healthcare.
  • Free university educations for any student that can maintain a 75% average.
  • Massive funding of the arts and community programs.
  • Give it to SETI and build a radio telescope array on the far side of the moon, and start definitively answering the “life in space” question.
  • Buy every family in the US with under a $30,000 income a computer and give every person in the US free unlimited internet access (don't underestimate the social change this could cause).
  • Build massive arrays of wind and solar generators, reducing US need for foreign power (ie. Canadian and Middle Eastern oil).
  • Give it to water processing technology research.

…Or you could drop bombs on Iraq, get the US into a protracted and costly war that will guarantee more terrorist attacks on its citizens. Does that really seem like the best option? Because there is a choice.

Let's say for a moment that we chose to go the social path with the money, investing it in universal healthcare, education, and community programs. If that was coupled with raising of the minimum wage, there would be one simple overnight effect: the elimination of the lower class. If you look at societies that have actually done this (Iceland, Denmark, etc.), you'll see that they are the happiest societies on earth, with very high standards of living (and no terrorism).

It's too bad that when you hand Bush $200 billion, he just splits it up among his oil and defense sector buddies… Has everyone forgotten that money belongs to the American people, and must be spent on them?