Monthly Archives: January 2003


Just waiting for my main machine to get free'd up… I've been rendering video all morning and making menus and such — I've managed to squeeze four hours (all three PONTA movies) onto a single DVD-R and it actually looks surprisingly good.

Anyway, as most people probably know, Germany and France are most loudly protesting the war on Iraq. Yesterday the statement was made in the forum that the reason this is the case is because those two nations get the majority of their oil supply from Iraq's “Oil for Food” program, and thereby “profit” from continued sanctions… Now, that's a pretty hateful assertion to make, but, given the corrupt actions of other governments, I'd taken it at face value.

This morning I had some time to kill so I thought I'd check the assertion.

Germany consumes about a billion barrels of oil per year, and France consumes about 750 million. It should be noted though that Germany's oil consumption is dropping rapidly as it switches over to veggie oil and similar products*. In addition, it's important to note that both France and Germany have continually called for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq (which would of course end the oil-for-food program they're said to be profitting from).

In any case, between 1996 and 2003, a total of 2.2 billion barrels of oil have been exported, an average of about 360 million barrels a year. Assuming for a moment that ALL of that oil was going to France and Germany (which isn't even remotely true), it would still only meet twenty percent of their oil needs (far from a majority, even if we use an absurdly biased foundation). According to the US Dept of State, they are the single largest purchaser of Iraqi oil, having purchased 100 million barrels in the first half of 2002 alone. Keep in mind also that much of the oil is purchased by other Middle Eastern nations who then resell it to the US at a markup.

So please! Come on! If you're going to post counter arguments, please don't just make them up, and don't assume that if you post a smear argument that someone isn't going to call your bluff.

* As a point of trivia, Germany is not an oil producing nation. It encourages people converting their cars to run on veggie oil. Britain on the other hand is an oil producing nation, and prosecutes citizens that make this same conversion. The US offers tax credits to consumers that buy gas-guzzling SUVs, etc.

Better arrest me now…

As you can see, the update isn't there yet… For some reason it's just not able to keep an FTP connection open. I'll try it a couple more times over the satellite, and if it keeps failing I guess I'll temporarily switch to dialup and see if that makes a difference.

Well, in a couple days we expect Bush to make his “prepare for war” speech, with all it's glorious implications: massive (Iraqi) civilian casualties are expected, and plans are being drawn up for mass graves to bury US troops. Along with the war on Iraq, the US has again threatened North Korea with a nuclear strike, and continues to affirm its new commitment to torture as an interrogation tool.

All of the US embassies around the world are letting all Americans in foreign countries know that they should be able to evacuate at a moment's notice. What kind of horrific action would the US have to commit to require a total pull-back of US citizens from all foreign soil, besides a true world war? I'm not talking about war in the middle east. I'm talking about world war.

Remember, war is “good” for the economy…
That's why the Dow crashed this week and is at a three month low.

Oh, and finally, before you get any bright ideas about voting Democrat in the next presidential election, check out the “opposition”. Lieberman's the same level of religious end times psycho, and electing him won't change anything. Let me be real clear on a few points:

  • These people are not elected in any true democratic fashion.
  • These people come from a different “class” than the American public.
  • These people do not “work for” America, nor are they Americans. They are invading “citizens” of multi-national corporations.
  • America — that is, the people of America — are at war with international corporations that have already won the following battles:
    • Almost total control over US media including telecommunications networks
    • Almost total control over food supply lines
    • Almost total control over the US military on both a supply and direct level
    • Almost total control over all levels of federal government and many levels of state goverment
    • Significant control over the education system
    • Total control over the medical system
    • …and so on…
  • These people are actively stealing the resources and property of Americans for their own personal and national/corporate gain.
  • These people are contributing to the suffering and death of many American citizens, let alone international citizens.
  • …and so on…

Americans are well armed as a nation, and the reason why is no secret: because the founding fathers recognized that this day could come. Let me break it down to a simpler question:

You have a gun in your home. While you are sleeping, your neighbor breaks in and steals your valuables. The next night, they break in to your place of employment, and damage your desk, getting you demoted so you can't even pay to have your valuables that they stole replaced. Then the next night they break in and rape your dog, and force you to pay to watch. They let you know that if you object, they'll kill you on the spot. At what point do you have not only the legal right, but the moral obligation to execute them as an act of national self defense?

Do you know what the right thing to do is? I certainly know that I can't legally tell you here, but I think both current law and historical precedent should be very clear to anyone who really understands what it means to be a patriot.

January 24th 2003

In the BME newsfeed this morning there are a few interesting bod mod related stories. I'll quickly list a few of them before I get to work on the image update:

  • Living with Scars – Not on scarification, but literally on scars.
  • You looking at me? – A weird piece from Singapore on various cliched looks you can have; the “English Beng”, “Ubergeek”, “Pierce Bros”, “Ah Lion”, and so on.
  • Orgasm Addict – A long article on the “Porn For Punks” phenomena… Not directly mod related, but I think it crosses over and will definitely be of interest to many here.

The mainstream news is a lot more disturbing. First let's take a look at who Bush just chose to serve on the Presidential commission on HIV/AIDS… Jerry Thacker — this is the guy known for calling AIDS the “gay plague” and has said that homosexuality isn't a lifetyle, “it's a deathstyle”, and has given talks on the “sin of homosexuality”, and so on… He's made it very clear that there is only one cure for HIV: GOD. Wow… How far does this administration need to go to prove to the world that it's a rogue nation run in part by religious extremists?

We were talking about this yesterday so I'll link an article about the class gap in America. Not only has the gap between the wealthy and the poor grown dramatically, but minorities in America are continuing to grow poorer in comparison to their white equivalents.

Rumsfield continues to slag France and Germany in the media, calling them “problem nations” and “Old Europe” — didn't you know, war is hip? — I think Europe must be at its wits end dealing with America… What do you do to stop a warmongering nation run by religious zealots, corporate monsters, and fools?

Of course, the US has said that it's seen all the inspections it needs to (what was even the point then?) and will be going to war, even without the international community's support, and even illegally if need be — ignoring the cost to the US citizens, not that they count in any way to the people making the decisions. After all, the US just gave Israel permission to assassinate US citizens on US soil.


Because the US authorized and carried out assassinations in places like Yemen, they've opened the door to the same in reverse. When asked to comment, the FBI responded, “we only enforce federal laws” — that is, a foreign government can legally murder US citizens in their own homes in the “war on terror” (Bush has already given the CIA that power as well: to execute American citizens without trial).

And don't forget about the Patriot Act. It was proposed, people made noise, it was passed, and largely forgotten. Most importantly, the Patriot Act sets the groundwork for the death of representative government as it not only allows, but often forces, the government to act in secret… My feeling is that the more terrible the power we give the government, the more closely it needs to be monitored… Too bad in real life it's the other way around.

Now let me remind you of something very important

We (the international community) just got finished bombing Afghanistan, and while we were there we killed a lot of civilians. Our justification? “They didn't resist their government — they supported evil.” They didn't even live in a democracy, and we expect them to answer for their government's crimes with their lives. 81% of Americans are opposed to this war the polls tell us… But the fact is, their representative government is still acting. Who will answer for the crimes?


PS. But don't worry, the oil will be safe. Bush and Cheney will stay rich. God save the Kings, Allah praise our mighty leaders.

You think it's funny,     turning rebellion into money?

Damn, I really hate doing things like that (considering pay options for BME), but paying for all of it out of my own pocket starts getting harder to justify as we move into scary expensive bandwidth amounts. I just spent the last couple hours actually writing a paid membership overlay and it's tested and largely complete and I think free of any major security holes.

By the middle of next week I'll have some very accurate numbers as to exactly how much IAM is costing and will make the final decision then. I appreciate everyone's feedback in the forum today — tapadh leat — and will be sleeping on what everyone said. Rest assured whatever decision is made it will be fair, inexpensive, and will not result in a cut-back on any of IAM's features.

Well, I've got a big image update to do in the morning, so I think I'm going to take a load off now and try and get a little bit of relaxation and soma time in before it's back to the mines. Mar sin leibh an drsda.

January 23 = 1/23 = 2045 is funny

Clive and Kay visited yesterday, and one of the things we talked about was using modified ink-jet printers as complex manufacturing devices, allowing you to print three dimensional objects layer by layer… And this morning I see an even more exciting variation on that: organ printing!

So the latest trend in the media is articles on the tattoo “fad” and how it's over so everyone is getting them removed… Not true… More people with tattoos means more people getting removals. I'm far more inclined to say that the number of tattoo removals are simply a reflection of the sheer bulk of people getting tattooed. It's no surprise that in a group of millions and millions and millions of people that you're going to have the occasional joker that decides that tattooing was a mistake and now they want them off so they can be a Fed and bust people with tattoos…

…and I do say that with some seriousness. If you want to be a criminal, don't get tattoos. Every day I read stories in my news searches about criminals getting caught because of their tattoos. Police have books of tattoos nowadays, just like they have books of mugshots… Of course, sometimes it helps too — this man was cleared because they couldn't find enough tattooed people to put in a lineup, making it unfair.

Finally in bod-mod news, I thought this story was quite interesting — it's about parents suing the medical system for circumcising their children, even when the procedure went normally (not like this one). The suit is being launched to seek compensation for “diminished sexual sensation”.

Seeing as the parents OK'd the procedure, I'm not sure it'll be successful, but I think the bigger point is the lack of consent. The fact is, if I performed ritual scarification on my child, or instead of cutting off the foreskin cut off an earlobe, or tattooed its face, or whatever, I'd go to prison and child services would force foster-home-city. It's totally bizarre that just because a hundred years ago America got the deluded notion that if you torture a male baby's genitals it will masturbate less as an adult, that it's still mutilating a significant percentage of its children*.

* At this point the US is the only Western country that hasn't largely stopped doing circumcisions, and even the AMA has over and over recommended that it be ceased… But if you want your answer as to why it hasn't stopped, realize that America is ruled not by reason or right, but by money. And with 1.2 million circumcisions done yearly, that's a nearly half billion dollar industry. So to put it simply — America mutilates babies for money.

Here's an interesting story on how America helped Iraq evade international scrutiny for the gassings that are now being decried as a cause for war. James Brooks calls America deluded, armed, and dangerous, but I'm becoming less convinced of that — I think Americans (as in the people, not the rulers) are starting to come out of their slumber and realize that they are slaves in a strange military dictatorship, and have little more control over their government than the Iraqi people have over theirs… And I think people are starting to realize that if Bush Cheney Ashcroft Rumsfield et al are willing to brutally murder and oppress people in other parts of the world, it's not asking much to have them start doing it at home.

After all, if you look at the laws they've enacted, they've absolutely set the groundwork for it.

OPEC founder Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani has said oil prices could triple should war happen… fine! Let them! Maybe then we'll start pushing harder on alternate power sources that are less soaked in blood. But don't worry, America has promised to seize control of the oil fields so they'll “better serve the Iraqi people”… That is, handing them over to a US company, and then passing a tiny temporary bribe to someone, most likely not the Iraqi people — after all, it's not like Afghanistan's new-found “freedom” lasted

On one hand the US says that it's waging war on Iraq because the UN demanded it, but then when the UN says, “Um, no, stop it!”, they promise to fight without UN backing. We've seen a dozen “reasons” for war disproved, and every time we're told it's irrelevant. Now America is promising to turn on countries like Germany and France as well if they don't back the war.

On the same note, Canada has been told that if it decriminalizes marijuana that Canadian tourists will be hassled at the border, shipping between the countries will be brought to a standstill, and possible trade sanctions and embargoes will be enacted. That is, America uses its weight to attempt to force the internal policies of foreign countries. Oh, and if you're wondering why in this case, it's for three reasons:

  1. America desperately wants Americans to both stay ignorant about the rest of the world, and to not travel to other parts of the world, especially other Western nations, since upon doing so, Americans immediately realize that even though they pay more taxes, they have a dramatically lower standard of living (and could return demanding the same).
  2. The war on drugs is a giant multi-billion-dollar industry. Money equals power under the type of “democracy” we are moving to in the West, with America being the cutting edge. As such, a billion dollar industry, no matter how wrong, is able to force its case.
  3. Closing the borders would (a) give American companies less competition, and (b) be expensive to implement (that is, money money money in someone's pocket — someone has to get the contract).

The fact is that while America has an enormous economy, giving it a lot of international clout, it is still only a very small part of the world. In addition, as corporations grow larger and more international, power will shift away from America and into more nebulous locations (you don't really believe that GE is run by patriots, do you?)… So it would be in America's best interests to not make itself too unpopular, lest it find itself a third world nation in fifty years…

Recommended reading: CORPORATION NATION

OK, I wasted way too much time writing that… I'm off to finally make some much needed upgrades to the BMEshop software, including finally re-activating email notification, and then some tweaks to make things work better both for you and behind the scenes.