Monthly Archives: December 2004

New Tattoo, Injured Troops, FTP tool

First a picture of some of the tattooing that I had done yesterday; just some foreground touchup; making the landscape brighter, whitening the smoke around the souls, and so on.

I've decided not to write the funmail story I mentioned earlier. Basically Beckham's tattoo artist accused me of (and threatened me with a lawsuit for) publishing knockoffs of the work he'd done for Beckham. It wasn't true though — the piece I was being accused on was only similar in that it was the same subject matter, a male angel or an Icarus figure, rather than an actual copy.

So a general conceptual claim (ownership of the male angel concept) was being made, which I felt was utterly unreasonable so I told him he was a jackass, especially since he not only had copies of other people's designs on his page (Marvin the Martian, Tinkerbell, and so on), but that he'd actually had the gall to sign these pieces in tattoo ink as his own. So then he threatened to deal with me in person (oooh), and I told him he should apologize or I could play his game as well… So he apologized and I'm not going to publish the letters or article.

Anyway… As I'm sure you know, at a recent Rumsfeld “town hall” meeting in Kuwait, a soldier asked a rather direct question:

Q: Yes, Mr. Secretary. Our soldiers have been fighting in Iraq for coming up on three years. A lot of us are getting ready to move north relatively soon. Our vehicles are not armored. We're digging pieces of rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass that's already been shot up, dropped, busted, picking the best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper armament vehicles to carry with us north.

SEC. RUMSFELD: I talked to the General coming out here about the pace at which the vehicles are being armored. They have been brought from all over the world, wherever they're not needed, to a place here where they are needed. I'm told that they are being — the Army is — I think it's something like 400 a month are being done. And it's essentially a matter of physics. It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the Army of desire. It's a matter of production and capability of doing it.

Problem is, the companies actually making the armor say that there are no “production and capability” issues — they'd be happy to make more if the Army asked them to (more). To be really clear: Rumsfeld is (again) demonstrably lying and there is another reason for the troops not being fully armored. I'll tell you again what I said a few days ago about body armor: it increases injury rates, and thus the cost of running a war.

I believe Rumsfeld has made a cost-benefit analysis and has decided that the longer he can stall getting full armor to US troops, the better, as horrific and inhumane a scenario as that is. But let's be honest — we already know Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the rest of them have zero issues with significant civilian casualties (let alone combat casualties) of the darker skinned sort if it suits their plans… do you really think they care about Americans dying if it puts a dollar in the right pocket?

Code Update

The particularly astute may have noticed that there's an entry search link a couple paragraphs up. These links, if you're using FTP mode, assuming they're links to your own page, are now being converted into links to your FTP'd archive when working on your remote site, so non-members reading your remote site won't find themselves redirected to an “access required” page on IAM.

Gay Invasion

Not that there was much doubt it would pass, but now that Canada's Supreme Court has given the final approval to gay marriage, it's pretty much inevitable that the pre-emptive first strike from America will come soon. After all, if they don't nuke us now, they might catch teh gay.

Seriously though, I'm really happy about this.

The real mark of a civilized society is an excess of love. Having a love deficitnot so good.

Dances Sacred and Profane Redux

Dinner last night was really nice; it was a good group of people who were there.

Mark Jury, the filmmaker responsible for Dances Sacred and Profane is gearing up to do a DVD re-release of this classic. He was kind enough to send me a preview copy (and a couple cool shirts, which he really should put online for sale) which I've used to finally revamp the encyclopedia entry. Click the photo of Fakir to jump to the encylopedia entry, and the photo of the shirt to jump to the film's page (if you want to bookmark it to stay updated; it's not available quite yet).

I've managed to reduce the intern list now from almost sixty applicants down to ten — already I'm cutting people from the list who I know could do a good job. Seriously, this is so much harder than I could ever have imagined! I can't imagine how they do it in jobs where there are thousands of applicants — it must almost be luck-of-the-draw in those cases.

How deep do you like your play piercing?

If you click and zoom, any trauma caused is your responsibility.

10 anus body bag

I almost forgot! On the right is a picture of a test print from the highly self-indulgent anniversary shirt. Ryan isn't sure that he'll make it to dinner tomorrow, but if he doesn't anyone who's there can put in a reserve and the remainder go up on BMEshop.

When the Iraq War was first getting started, it was pointed out that one of the things that differentiated this war from previous wars was body armor (more). The “problem” with body armor is that it works — it saves lives. However, it doesn't save you from a headshot, having your arms and legs blown off, or serious burns — it just keeps you alive. So the end result of body armor is a dramatic increase in wounded troops requiring often lifelong care.

In previous wars, you'd usually have about three wounded soldiers for every dead one. However, in modern US wars the ratio is very different — as many as twenty wounded soldiers for every dead one. As much as it's good to be saving lives, one of the rules of guerrilla warfare is that you want to cause casualties as much or more as you want to create corpses, since dealing with casualties keeps your enemy vulnerable longer and “costs” him more to maintain both in the short term and the long term (more).

Now maybe you understand (in horrific clarity) why the US military isn't particularly willing to give its troops as much body armor as it needs?

Perhaps you are wondering what is going to happen to all those wounded children with Veterens Affairs struggling under excessive budget shortages (more, more)? Assuming you can even get anything at all, the “reward” for being disabled while serving the US military is an annual pention of about $8,000 (more), with some states like Illnois, Michigan, and Ohio offering well over $1,000 less. Please explain how someone with permanent disabilities is supposed to live a decent life in America for $7,000 a year, let alone pay for expenses like making wheelchair modifications to their home (more)?