Monthly Archives: May 2003

Morning time

What news should I mention here? Saudi Arabia and Iran are financing Russian upgrades to Syria's defense systems (more) to defend against potential attacks from US forces, or I could mention how Afghanistan is still a total mess (more), let alone Iraq which gets worse every day (more). Saddam is even said to be in good health (more), and plotting his return to power (more). Meanwhile, the Saudi ambassador warns the US to expect new terror attacks on US soil (more), with the US acknowledging that thousands of al-Qaeda troops are poised to strike back at the US for its invasion of their lands (more).

We ended the rule of one of history's worst tyrants, and in so doing, we not only freed the American people, we made our own people more secure.
- George Bush Jr.
Crawford, Texas, May 3, 2003

But don't worry — the US, well, the US defense sector anyway, continues to get very wealthy, supplying 28% of all weaponry on the planet, making it the largest arms dealer in the world (more). It's not alone though; include four of the other G8 countries (Russia, France, Britain, and Germany) and you'll come up with 2/3 of the weaponry sold on the planet. Thankfully Italy and Canada have banned military exports if there's any chance they'll be used in human rights abuses, and Japan has gone even farther and banned military export altogether. In the military money file, it turns out the Pentagon has misplaced one trillion dollars as well as 56 planes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missiles (more). Ooops!

America is losing its way at home and in the world. We have no money to rebuild America's cities, but we have money to blow up cities in Iraq.
- US Rep. Dennis Kucinich

As a new civil war brews in America between local (US) governments and the Bush regime (more), we're told that “Politics should be regarded as less like an exercise in producing truthful statements and more like a poker game, and there is an expectation by a poker player that you try to deceive them as part of the game.” (more)… Um… I understand things may be moving in that direction, but isn't it clear that when democracy is built on a battle of who's the better liar that the process has fundamentally failed and we need to scrap this implementation?

In any case, the one story that I really wanted to draw attention to was this quote from Mike Van Winkle at the Justice Department (more), in regards to issuing “terrorist threat” warnings any time there's a (peaceful) anti-Bush or anti-war demonstration:

If you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism ... you can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act.

That is, since Bush has chosen to fraudulently fly this “terrorist killer” banner, anyone who opposes him must support and be a terrorist. As you know from the recent quorum hubbub in Texas as well as some of the judiciary staffing moves by the Bush regime, attempts are being undertaken to shift the US from a two party democracy to a “unitary government” (ie. a democracy where you only have one choice; kind of like Iraq was)…

They want to change the rules of the Senate itself in a raw bid for unitary government, run out of the White House. We should not and we cannot let the Senate or the federal judiciary become mere arms of any political party or any president.
- Sen. Patrick Leahy

Americans already have far less political choices than almost every other Western nation; it's only one very small step and they'll be left with no choice at all, and their “votes” will do nothing but prop up a militaristic totalitarian police state. If you're in America, you need decide when the time comes for you to defend your rights and your homeland. If you're not in America, you need to start deciding just how long you're willing to risk sharing the world with this growing threat…

Don't expect politicians, even the good ones, to do your job for you. Politicians are like weather vanes. Our job is to make the wind blow.
- David R. Brower (more)


Not that it's particularly exciting, but I've just rewritten the code that builds BME News to properly sort the columnists chronologically (so new ones will always be at the top). Later this week there will be another SHAPESHIFT posted, and maybe some other pleasant surprises as well.

I've been continuing to informally catalogue the spam that I get. The number continues to rise since the last time I mentioned it; I'm getting easily six thousand spams a day, as much as thirty meg of crap. On BME I regularly just make up email addresses to suit my needs of the day since most of it is just a “catch all” system; that is, works, and is then filtered by my email software. Anyway, at least 90% of the spam that I get, if not more, is being sent to addresses that don't exist!!!

Oh, and I should note that if I include BMEworld, my servers in total are probably receiving close to 100 meg of spam per day. It's obscene.

Now, in the “what were they thinking” category, I saw this car for sale on eBay. Because I'm a sucker for Sterlings (the Sebring, which this is, is just a variant) I did the ol' clickity-click. I mean, it's low, sleek, rear-engined, rare, and has kooky doors (and is cheap):

Looks good, right? Let me again emphasize the rear engine thing. That means the engine is in the back. But this car has sidepipes:

Seriously, this idiot actually put on fake sidepipes because he thought his car would look cooler. Not only should it be obvious to anyone that there's no engine up front, but he's left the original exhaust for all to see, and since it's just powered by a Beetle engine, no one's getting fooled. That's almost as bad as those lame “fake stretching” earrings that make it only look like you've stretched but still have a narrow centre post.

He's also got the car jacked up for some reason; it should sit about 3″ lower than he has it. Inexcusable!

It reminds me of a conversation I had at the gas station the other day. I was putting gas into the 911 which of course fills at the front. Some dude in a new Monte Carlo or something pulled up.

Dude: That's a funny place to put gas in your car!

Shannon: Well, when the junk's in the trunk, they put the gas tank up front, eh.

Dude: Huh! I've never heard of anything like that! What kind of car is that anyway?

Shannon: It's a Porsche.

Dude: Wow, that's really something — I've never heard of that!

This wasn't some local gas-sniffer either — he was about 40, well dressed, had a decent car and so on. Maybe I'm too much of a car nut, but I just assumed that everyone knew what a Porsche was.


Something I wanted to mention about the recent tongue splitting stuff that's going on… The bill doesn't just say something like “doctors only“. If it said that, in the right form, I might actually be able to support it. But what it actually says is that if a doctor does a tongue splitting in Illinois, they will potentially face jail time for doing a piece voluntary cosmetic surgery that is safer than most that's done more commonly.

The government has made it clear that they're willing to expel us from the education system, deny us even the most minor and basic of protections, ignore attacks on us, and now they're trying to legislate this community back underground and jail those who refuse, no matter how legitimate a path they choose — they're rather have us in the hands of underground cutters. They don't care if we're safe or not; they just don't want us in their world. So maybe we're reaching a critical decision point: do we fight this, or do we go back into the shadows? At least in the shadows you can do what you want… But who wants to live in the shadows?

Along those lines, BME might be dragged into court soon to defend itself on First Ammendment grounds (or the Bill of Rights equivalent). One of our regular contributors was arrested just over a month ago on alleged (fabricated?) child porn charges, which have since erupted into larger allegations that he's a serial killer. Among other things, his BME submissions are being used as evidence as such.

(The “assorted prescription drugs” are of course Xylocaine and Marcaine).

Anyway, one of the things they aren't going to tell you in the news is that this person was a caring individual that helped the people around him, and is well-spoken, intelligent, and I'd be genuinely surprised if he were to take part in a non-consensual act. That said, immediately after September 11th 2001, he was a vocal opponent and critic of US policy (one of the few people who sent me something other than hatemail at the time in fact) — in October of 2001 he told me he was worried that even writing some of the things he was could get him tagged as treasonous.

Anyway, I don't know if this is all fabrication, or if he's guilty of some “seed crime”, or what's going on, but things like this combined with the media attention on heavy mods right now makes me strongly urge all cutters and body artists engaging in heavy modification to maintain a low and discrete profile. In addition, I strongly urge those with heavy mods considering dealing with the media to not mention names unless the practitioner is 100% legal by all definitions.

Again (and I can't stress this enough):

  • If you are a practitioner that is doing procedures which may not be 100% legal, be discrete, and whatever you do, don't advertise yourself in the media!
  • If you had a procedure done, unless it's 100% legal, don't blabber about who did it since you may well be their downfall!

We can't fight God with tanks and planes and special forces and bombs — that is who they perceive we are fighting. For each bomb that goes astray, we make a hundred martyrs with backpack bombs.

Our military is in control... with a man in charge who has no understanding of what is going on with the new revolution in the world. That is scary...

This new revolution is the biggest one since the Reformation. A new rising middle class is coming up and demanding the things that the rising middle class of the 1500-1600's wanted. They fought against "the church" and the royalty who had all the money, jobs and property. Protestantism was a key player in that and a vehicle for great social changes, education, etc.. It was the driving force of the masses revolting against the lower class shackles of the middle ages. That energy was given by commerce. We now see the same mix: commerce is the energy and religion is the driving vehicle.

Where this revolution will lead, and if it will be violent or not is yet to say, but as we move jobs out of our two countries and Europe and into third world countries, we are making a new middle class even with the lower wages. As they rise out of poverty on the small amounts we pay them, they will want more and more and the only way to get more and more is for someone else to have less and less... the next few hundred years will be interesting.

On that note, perhaps someone can explain last night's The Simpsons to me? For those that didn't see it, two groups of kids (led separately by Milhouse and Bart) fought it out, and at the end Bart's group butchered the US anthem at a ballgame, making fun of it as the crowd expressed their outrage by shouting stuff like “my dad died in some war” and “you call this a large beer” in a strangely close to home parody of the cliched “ugly american”.

A fight then broke out which brought Marge to tears. When that image was put on the bigscreen, the crowd decided they needed to sing something “warm and soothing … not a hymn to war like our national anthem“. They then broke out into the Canadian national anthem and formed a huge maple leaf in the diamond. Afterwards Bart and Millhouse congratulated themselves on learning that “war is not the answer” — quickly followed by the quip “except to all of America's problems”.

Does this mean that Matt is off to Camp X-Ray?

Yummy is the word

Just stuffed myself silly with fresh pitas and hummous. For those that like pitas, but have never bothered to make it themselves, I really recommend it — and there's nothing to it.

  • Pour a cup of lukewarm water into a bowl and add some yeast.
  • When it's bubbling add a bunch of sugar and salt and whisk then knead in flour.
  • Let that rise for a couple hours.
  • Make small balls of dough and roll them out to about the thickness of a tortilla (yes, very thin!).
  • Fry first one side then the other in an almost-smoking pan with a little olive oil.

While you're waiting for the dough to rise is a real good time to make the hummous of course (which is just lemon/lime, garlic, tahini, chick peas, and spices to taste all blended up).


We had a chance this morning to take a closer look at the property; we discovered that not only are there the three main houses and the large dining hall, but that there are also a half-dozen “micro-cabins” (more like permanent tents) that were kind of kooky. Anyway, we may well see if we can strike a deal this week.

Just had another talk with the world's stupidest reporter. Seriously, I don't know where People magazine finds these dopes. This is a condensed version of a waste of fifteen minutes:

People: Let me read back a line from your FAQ for you... "My tongue was split in 1997 by Dr. Lawrence Busino in Albany, NY using an argon laser." I called Dr. Busino and he says that he's never done a tongue splitting on anyone and doesn't have any idea who you are.

Me: Well, he did mine, I published photos of it in 1997 which you can still see on the site, and I have photos and videos of numerous other people that he did as well. But if he doesn't want his name associated with it, maybe you should just leave him out of the story.

People: He says you're lying and I don't see how we can leave that out of the story.

Me: I can send you photos of him doing mine if you want proof or you can go look at it on the site, or video of him doing other folks as well.

People: Well, we have no idea what he looks like, so that wouldn't be considered proof by the editors of People magazine. If he says you're lying, we have to include that.

Me: If People magazine publishes unqualified statements that imply that I am lying about tongue splitting when I am providing you with proof that I am not, you can bet that I will follow this up legally.

People: It wouldn't be People magazine saying it, we'd just be printing the story; it's not as if we're actually saying the things we print are true. We're not investigative journalists and you can't expect us to confirm our facts!

Me: Look, if you engage in irresponsible journalism you will have to answer for it. I'm not going to tolerate People magazine implying that I'm a liar when I'm offering to give you documentation that I'm not. Either keep Busino's name out of the story as he clearly wants you to do, or include that he's lying about not doing the procedure. I don't care which, but I'm not going to tolerate being slandered in the national media.

Seriously, that is not made up.