Monthly Archives: July 2005


Here's a very quick and incomplete summary on the history on John Roberts (info in this entry from that link) who Bush has nominated for the Supreme Court. America's future just got a little darker and a step closer to replacing its C with three K's.

  • Argued not only that federally funded doctors should not have the right to discuss abortion, but that abortion should be illegal in the first place.
  • Argued that environmental protections are wrong, has represented polluters in court to fight environmental laws, and argued that private citizens should have no right to sue the government over environmental violations.
  • Fought against the Voting Rights Act.
  • Fought to allow public schools to include Christian ceremonies as a part of graduation.
  • Strongly pro-corporate.

Oh, and his public net worth is $3.7 million.

When I was leaving Mexico for this current trip, I took the bus from our place in La Paz to the airport in Cabo. At the bus station is a (very talented) old blind woman who plays guitar and sings for change. I had to wait for a while, so I watched who gave her change and who didn't… Not a single person who looked “well off” gave her anything — the only people besides myself who threw some applause in her cup for the singing were indigenous people, from probably the poorest income bracket in Mexico.

As a generality, people help those they understand and relate to. The rich will rarely help the poor. Strangely though, poor people in America (and around the world) keep voting for the rich — but with thousands of years of slavery, one has to ask oneself: if a bloodline includes millenia of servitude, at what point does their fate become self-fulfilling genetic destiny?

Brookfield Zoo Excursion

I overheard the following conversation at the zoo today while watching a polar bear pace back and forth in his cage habitat. It was between a small boy, maybe five or six years old, and his imposingly tall and rotund uncle who'd taken him to the zoo.
Boy: Why does the bear have to stay at the zoo?
Uncle: Because he's an animal.
Boy: That's mean.

Ah, the wisdom of children. Thank god he didn't see where they keep the rhinos [edit: they are currently rebuilding their habitat]. When I was a child I designed a zoo that was much more open and “wild” — basically a series of elevated walkways through natural habitats. At the time it was an unfeasible idea for various reasons, but these days technology has improved to the point where it could be done (tracking, wireless cams, and so on)… When I get back to Mexico I'll doodle it on paper and post a picture if I remember.

Some other pictures from the zoo:

I'm not really a big fan of the zoo for ethical reasons (yes, I know zoos do a lot of good, so if you want to replace “ethical reasons” with “emotional reasons” that's fine), but I had a very nice time largely due to the company. See picture five in the set above for the obvious explanation. But, I think after going on safari in Africa where you get to see animals incredibly up close (within feet) on gigantic ranches where they roam free, I get a little sad when I see them locked up. Here's some posts from that trip:
  • Safari photos from Namibia (Africa)
  • De Wildt-Shingwedzi and Shakama photos from South Africa
Having an interest in “neato gadgets” I decided I should try one of the new Wolfgang Puck self-heating cans of latte (no, I didn't take it apart like I did when they released a similar product in Canada back in 2002). It's pretty cool, and it definitely works, but the coffee is mediocre and you can smell the heating chemicals (or the casing) when you drink it. At the same price as going out for a decent coffee, I don't see this being a successful product (and I think going to the coffee shop is a part of the ritual of drinking coffee anyway).

Finally, I'm going to continue complaining about AmeriSuites before I get back to work. They have generic paintings here like they do at all hotels, but the matting on them is messed up looking because it's exactly the same color as the wall! I don't know. Maybe I've got a bit too much or a bit too little design school in me, but I really think it's weird looking (the picture doesn't do the strange effect justice).


AmeriSuites shampoo smells terrible! They say it's “almonds and aloe”… I mean, if it was a candy maybe it would be OK, but I'm not cool with rubbing marzipan into my scalp.

Holy War

I wonder… if the site was still located in America, would I have a legal obligation to turn the owner of this tattoo over to the FBI (as I understand it, it essentially says Jihadist)? But don't worry — there will be none of that happening today or any other day.

Update: As I understand the “533″ (in Arabic) on the tattoo, it's a reference to 5:33 of the Koran which as far as I can tell reads, “The punishment of those who pit themselves against Allah and His Messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned.”

Other than that I feel really sick and have been throwing up for the past hour. Bleh!

What do you think?

What is your emotional response to this photo…?
A need to cut? Empathy? Erotica? Sadness? Anger? Revulsion? Aesthetic attraction? Something else?

…and even though it's been beaten to death as a subject, do you feel BME is helping or hurting by including cutting photos like these on the site? — And if you think it's a problem, how is it different from, say, play piercing or even suspension?
(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*