Monthly Archives: June 2004

Did they think this was a fairy tale?

"As we promised, we have beheaded the American hostage
Paul Johnson after the deadline passed."

I'd like to rewind from reality a moment and describe a hypothetical situation.

Imagine if America was chock full of oil. Now imagine that China has run out of oil. So, the Chinese government strikes a deal with the US government to buy their oil. The US government then suspends elections, destroys civil rights, gets rid of the education system, the free press, blocks internet access, bans pop music and movies, and makes everyone but the wealthiest families slaves living far below the poverty line. All of the profits go to the country's rulers, and none of it goes to the people. Wealthy Chinese workers come and stay in five-star hotels, occasionally rape US schoolgirls for fun and are never punished, and on and on. To make matters worse, they try and ban your religion and tell you that you have to stop flying the stars and stripes.

That's what life is like — with the country names changed of course — from the point of view of the terrorists who chopped off Paul Johnson's head. Don't tell me that every patriotic American wouldn't wage the same guerrilla war if the roles were reversed. Like it or not, Paul Johnson was a part of an occupying force that was destroying the lives of millions of people in the area. It's not much of a shocker that they were brutally pissed off about it. But that should be obvious and it's not what I want to talk about.

They say did it because their “demands” were not met. Those demands were for the release of various terrorist suspects, as well as the complete withdrawal of Westerners from the Arabian peninsula.

Here's my advice to America: DO IT. Call their bluff.

Complete withdrawal.

Fuck 'em. Pull out of the Arabian peninsula. Pull every single US asset out of the Middle East. Call in any debts they have to us. Repossess all the jets, missiles, bombs, tanks, guns, and Hummers we've sold them. Stop buying oil from them and cut off their income totally. See how happy they are without our money. Cancel all foreign aid — don't even sell them food. In America, use biodiesel and other domestic sources of fuel (it's cheaper anyway). Let them figure out how to live on their own without our help, since these messed up dictatorships that we keep supporting (and unsupporting) are clearly not helping us or them.

Here's a truth, and it's one that humans had better figure out if we want to be the Gods of the universe. I don't know about you, but I want humans to not only dominate this solar system, but I want us to spread out over the entire galaxy and beyond. But I digress:

The Earth will again face a natural disaster that has the potential to wipe out much of the human race and the rest of the life on the planet. It has happened many times before, and it will happen many times again.

We will go into another ice age like in The Day After Tomorrow. An underwater earthquake or island collapse will cause 500 foot tsunamis to strike the world's coasts (which is where nearly every major city is located). An asteroid will strike us. All of those will happen — we just don't know when. It could be in a thousand years or it could be tomorrow. We could also face runaway errors of our own creating; a robot apocalypse or a plague. While we can try and avoid the problems we create ourselves, we can't stop the ones fate throws at us.

We're really going to feel like a bunch of dumbasses when we realize we've frittered away all of our resources on something as ignorant as war when our species is really put to the test.

Vive le Canada

I went and did my Canadian voter registration today since I'm in a new riding since the last election. It's very easy to do, so honestly, if you're a Canadian who can vote, you're a real dumbass if you don't go to the effort as well. If you don't vote you really have no right to the benefits of being a citizen — and certainly no right to complain when Steven Harper, Canada's George Bush, becomes elected and screws up Canada as badly as Bush has screwed up America. We've already seen one great country nearly destroyed by poor leadership and a lack of public spirit (a majority of the people who have been hurt by Bush didn't even vote in the last US election). Don't let that sickness spread here.

Even if you don't believe in the election process, you need to go and vote for some crazy fringe candidate to send that message. If you just stay at home whining about it and watching cartoons, your voice isn't heard. Educate yourself about your choices, and cast the vote that you think best represents you:

Main parties: NDP | Green | Liberal | Conservative
Smaller parties: Canadian Action | Marijuana | Communist | Marxist-Leninist | Christian Heritage

When you've found a party that you feel represents your values, take a look at your local representatives, and research both them and their party online — it's easy to search old news archives. There is no excuse at all for being ignorant on this subject.

Another image update posted

I've just posted an image update with I think around 1,600 or so new pictures. Thank you to all the contributors, and to Phish and Lilly for being on the cover. (If that's all you wanted to know, stop reading now).

So earlier today Bush said that the Iraqis will be allowed to have Saddam back for the trial once power has been transferred to them… However, he's saying that the time of this transfer is unknown, citing “security concerns”, namely, that Saddam will escape and come back to power (more, more). What? Isn't the more obvious concern that the Iraqis won't give him a trial at all, and will just execute him? We know Bush doesn't have a problem with executions (more)! So what does Bush know that we don't know? Here are two possibilities:

  1. The Iraqis want Saddam back.
  2. Saddam still has a large power base in Iraq and is not “defeated” yet.

Neither of those is particularly likely unless we've been totally misled as to the experience of the average Iraqi (which is quite possible), but they would explain Bush's statements in a way a little more intriguing than “he's a numbskull.” All that said, I guess the Occam's Razor solution is probably that his handlers have said “it will be a PR nightmare if we send him back to a show trial and a public execution!”

Oh, and Iraq is potentially going to get even messier soon (more), with Iran building up troops along the border, just waiting for the American troops to leave… the Iranians are used to America siding with Iraq, as Ronald Reagan's government financed Saddam Hussein and supplied him with chemical weapons (more), helping make the Iran-Iraq war the longest international war of the 20th century. I know, Reagan was a likeable funny guy, but so is Satan. Don't be fooled by the made-for-TV funeral (more).

PS. In this upcoming election (anywhere in the world), if you want to know who to vote for, follow this one simple rule: Vote for the person who makes closest to the same amount of money as you do. People always protect their own caste first, and politicians are no different. (more, more).

Unless of course the reason that commoners keep electing aristocrats is 2,000+ years of eugenics?

Image update posted

I've just posted a small (a bit under 600 pictures if I remember right) image update (thanks to Stainless for the cover shot). It's actually mostly there to start putting out feelers on how people would like a search engine integrated:

That's on all the sections that have been updated. Right now it lets you search either all of BME, or just inside that section. It doesn't have this last update indexed yet though (if you're wondering why searches are missing that stuff). I also want to add supersection searching, not just subsection searching, but that's another piece of code internally first.

However, I think it's very awkward from a navigation point of view. I think what might be most useful is not proposing new or changed features as much as things like “I wanted to go back to the gallery, but I couldn't figure out how… my instinct was to click the logo in the top-left, but that didn't do anything!”

Oh, and if you haven't been watching the news, the White House has basically said “yeah, we approved the torture, but we think we stayed just inside legal” (more). You know, when your torture levels are actually killing the people you torture, you've probably crossed the line legally.

"We are morally adrift, abandoning legal principle for the proceeds of arbitrary power. We have lost that moral distinction between ourselves and our enemies if we believe that our success is measured by the confessions that we coerce rather than the civil liberties that we defend. We are left with the one question not asked at the press conference: Once the president declares victory over our enemies, what will we be other than victorious?"
- Prof. Jonathan Turley
George Washington University Law School

There's a growing buzz and understanding — I'm getting a lot of people messaging me similar comments on it — that if Bush loses this election he and his Cabal may well be tried as war criminals* (more, more, more) and some could even be facing execution (exactly what his lawyers have warned him of in all these “leaked memos” we're seeing)… So in regards to things like obviously fraudulent voting machines, don't write off the conspiracy nuts too quickly — there's a lot at stake in this upcoming election.

* Yes, I know, it will never happen (more), just like it never happened to Kissinger (more), Bill Clinton (more), Reagan (more), or anyone else… but, stranger things have happened (more).

Elections are a racket

As Bush tries to do spin control on ever climbing levels of terrorism (more) and his stormtroopers wage campaigns to strike down America's human rights (more). It's become clear that torture and mayhem orders came right from the top (more), and with Bush ordering up a trillion dollars in murdergear (more), one really has to wonder how even the most uninformed fool could vote for this national suicide… and an “election” is coming up this fall.

I don't think many people around the world take seriously any more the idea that America is a democracy, and I think even inside America people are starting to wake up to that fact. As I'm sure you remember, to win the 2000 election for Bush, Florida “accidentally purged” about 50,000 voters from the voter lists, claiming they were felons and ineligible to vote — and as you know, it later turned out that they weren't actually felons, they were just Democrats. Oops, Florida did it again. Another 50,000 voters have just been scrubbed off the list (more). Many errors have already been found in it, but Glenda Hood (FL Secretary of State under Jeb Bush, the 44th Emperor President of the United States) defends it, saying “it's a lot more accurate than the last one!” (As if admitting that “you broke the law less this time than last time” makes it less of a crime).

Voting machines are a problem everywhere in the United States (more), but let's look at the latest tests of the Florida machines that they recently certified (more). Oops, Florida did it AGAIN! Turns out that they prooduce “inconsistent” log results (as a programmer, I don't even know how this is possible, barring tampering or genuinely extreme incompetence). A log file is pretty basic stuff. The fact that its log files don't even output correctly is terrifying… but, if you're going to fake an election, you don't want log files do you, and Diebold (one of the manufacturers) has promised to deliver Republican votes through the use of their machines (more).

What's interesting is that advocacy groups such as the League of Women Voters and National Federation of the Blind are actually campaigning against verifiable voting (more)! That is, they are demanding a form of electronic voting that does not log anything — meaning no recounts, no way to confirm that vote counts aren't just made up by the machine owner, and so on. Why would these groups do such a thing? Oh, maybe it's the million dollar donations they're getting from Diebold and other Republican companies that build these machines (more, more).

Is there anyone out there that can't be bought? Why do I always think of Krusty the Clown, who when asked why he would sold out, replied, “They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house… I'm not made of stone!”

The American public accepted all of this when it played out in 2000.

They'll accept it again in 2004, right?