Monthly Archives: July 2005

At TransVision

I'm posting this from the convention hall at TransVision 2005 in Caracas, Venezuela; we've got wireless in the hall. I don't know that I'll be online much though because I may not be able to keep my laptop charged (it's a beast so the battery only lasts about 40 minutes), but we're here safely and Emilio is taking excellent care of us as well.

On the things going wrong side our hotel reservation was non-existent, and we were detained by the police for half an hour, but each of those turned out for the best anyway.

I'll try and post a real entry tomorrow if I can get charged up.

Advice sought on a Patagonian journey

I'm in Dallas right now about to catch my connection to Caracas, browsing various sites about the next big trip I want to take, a road trip from Buenos Aires to the tip of South America (about a 2,000 km — 1,250 mile — trip on the map, but I'm sure farther in reality). My hope is to do this as a New Year's trip this year over a period of two to three weeks.

I don't know yet whether I want to do it as a car trip or whether I want to go by motorcycle, or, depending on who's coming along, on a couple bikes and then a four-wheeled support vehicle. Well, I want to do it on motorcycles, but I worry that would be biting off more than I can chew.

In the attached forum, any experienced advice is appreciated, as well as relevant links, volunteers who want to come along for stretches or could put us up along the way, and so on. If you're reading this on Zentastic, please just email me.

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Another day of travelling

Leaving for Caracas, Venezuela in a few minutes for Transvision 2005, as well as to meet up with Emilio and other friends… I should be online while I'm gone, but if for some reason I'm not, see you on Tuesday when I return.



I've just posted 3,333 new pictures to BME in all sections, including about a thousand in the members sections. This will be the last update until I get back from Venezuela on Tuesday. Thanks to all the contributors, to Jimmy for the corset play main cover shot (and be sure to check out his very cool Tribal Antiques company), and to VEAL for the BME/HARD cover.

I wanted to comment as well on two current political issues.

The Jailing of Reporter Judith Miller

As you know, Matt Cooper has fingered Karl Rove and “Scooter” Libby (Cheney's hit man) as the CIA intelligence leaks, which kept him out of prison. Robert Novak, who to broke the story in the first place, presumably has immunity for some unknown reason and has avoided both disclosure and prison. Judith Miller on the other hand has refused to “name her sources” (which are presumably these two characters) and sits in prison — but don't assume her the noble hero defending freedom.

You have to look at her history as a reporter recently — she's been a government shill that's consistently repeated lies, and was complicit in tricking Americans into supporting the war in Iraq. She's in prison because she was paid off — in order to make a criminal case against Rove and Libby, two witnesses are needed, and as long as she keeps her mouth shut there is only one. And I'm sure you noticed Bush's recent flip-flop that no action will be taken unless a criminal case is made.

Potential Supreme Court Justice Roberts

When bigots talk to each other online (and offline), they use the equivalent of secret handshakes — literary symbols; acronyms and ciphers, archaic quotes, and so on — that let them communicate with each other without non-bigots realizing who they are… and right now the neo-cons and Christian nutcases are doing the same thing while they talk about Roberts.

Listening to the speeches, what you hear most of all is stuff about “strictly applying the Constitution and laws,” a far more terrifying statement than it seems on the surface. Basically what this statement means is making the legal call that any right not explicitly and specifically named in the Constitution is not a right. What this means is no right to privacy, no right to alternate lifestyles (certainly no same-sex marriage), no right to various social programs (ie. a pro-corporate stance), erosion of church and state separations, and worse. It's a very dangerous way of thinking about civil rights. You need to ask yourself whether the Constitution should define a set of minimum standards (ie. you have no less liberty than defined here), or a set of maximum standards (ie. you may have no more liberty than defined here).

There are other codewords as well, but that's the big one…

It just drives me nuts that there's no responsible mainstream media in America explaining this stuff to the general public. These bastards can only get away with destroying America because of the assistance of the corporate media and an unquestioning public. Enjoy your soma as the ship sinks.

I choose hippy peace
(Mostly as an antidote to the overwhelming rage that fills me)

DIY thumb reconstruction

The full pictures are in the next update (which will be posted tonight), but I wanted to share here some excellent photos of a DIY thumb shortening project. Sorry to plaster it with the BME URL, but any time I post something like this the pictures get ripped off like crazy.

Other than that, probably because of linking the entries yesterday and because of the Congo episodes of ER playing on TBS as I work, I keep thinking about going back to Africa (but for much longer this time). Dunno why, but it's one of those places that really draws me emotionally — and cuthalcoven sent me this great link of webcams in Kruger National Park (South Africa).

PS. Don't forget that this weekend is the 5th Annual Great Lakes BME BBQ, one of the larger events of the year!