Archive for January, 2006

today is a bad day

January 31, 2006
alito was confirmed. and the state of the union is tonight. it was nice to know that mother nature agreed with my prospects for today; this morning, the wind gusted and it poured. all the while, this exerpt from the tiger looped in my brain
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
cynic? me?
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take your moderate bunk and…

January 30, 2006

you know, i’m a bit tired of being told how “liberal” i am. the other day i was chatting with a guy who just wouldn’t stop talking about these nonlethal force crowd-control devices developed for cops. i mentioned that i don’t think its worthwhile for our military / police to have crowd techniques that involve shooting pepper spray bullets into crowds. (didn’t we learn after the water cannons?) i don’t want them having the ability to stop crowds without using lethal force, because i never want them to stop a protest without crossing that line, so some blabbering meme on fox can’t claim that this was just what the founders did in shays rebellion and the whiskey rellion. (jerks). he mentions latin america. he says it’d be of great use in iraq. i note this proves my point – i don’t want us led into thinking we have the power to act in those situations – because no advance in nonlethal technology makes those interventions just (or even tenable). i’m told that he’s thinks of himself as on the left, but “you’re really liberal”.

jerk

i wanted to punch him. or at least yell out – your little weapons fettish, however disguised it may be, is peverse. being more efficient at controlling and harming people isn’t “progress” on any rational scale. only a profoundly sick human being could think otherwise, even for a second. and while we’re at it, i’m where the center should be, not to the right of creeps like you.

instead, i smiled. some days i doubt my commitment to nonviolence, even as i affirm it.

comedic minimalism

January 27, 2006

sometimes, comedy says it all:

Q. How does a War Bill become a War Law?

A. It all begins with the president, who submits a bill to the president. If a majority of both the president and the president approve the bill, then it passes on to the president, who may veto it or sign it into law. And even then the president can override himself with a two-thirds vote.

but maybe we need to be minimalist about it…

grinding a mill

January 26, 2006
[2006.01.26 – 0930] push keys, news returns. all bad.
[2006.01.26 – 1030] more keys, news returns. still bad. test rat still surprised. fool.
[2006.01.26 – 1330] bang keys, dailykos cheerleading… nope, still bad
you think i’d learn. but i’m torn. a lover of knowledge, i note that ‘news’ is more shadow than substance. stories are constantly becoming, they reveal to us few truths and even fewer facts – it may be they are more lies than anything else. but that lover of a good life notes that there is much to be said for cultural literacy. and being ignorant of surroundings is certainly no virtue. and it is certainly a fertile ground for random musings… in any case, the conflict is a gordion knot. the conflict between the two orientations (plato/aristotle) is intractable when pushed to the extremes, so i’ll go on reading news stories, for better or worse.
** * **
considering one’s intellectual heritage is a funny thing. i know, for example, that much of my moral and political philosophy ressonates with the art of happiness, but i know i held these opinions before i read that book (some 7 years ago), even if i was shaped by it. perhaps my deepest ressonance is with on liberty. i get weepy reading john stuart mill. i mean, read isaiah berlin on the topic. and it is from this lineage and affinity that i ponder my love of rights, reason,…
by my senior year at swarthmore, i felt this part of me was under siege. i felt alone defending Reason against the historically determined marx, the psychologically determined freud, and the emotional neitzche. the same trio that destroyed religion for more critical intellectuals was being swung back against the very basis that gave life to the there. and yet, i clung to Reason, since it is for me the basis of liberty, of equality, the individual… my adversaries (the backswing of the trio) asserted not only that reason didn’t exist, but also that equality between individuals was oppresive, most strikingly in arguing against freedom of thought as a tool of the powerful against the weak (hate speech) – including my former roommate (who then infamously declared that even formal contradictions in his logic were insufficient evidence he might be wrong). tip of the iceberg…
a good liberal, i ran through the claims. most were spurious. but a few still give me pause. i recognize (intellectual history again) that some of what i believe is less rational and more rooted in the past, even influenced by my emotions. that much political thought may be processed at a subconscious level doesn’t help. wandering through the news, one can find frequent mention of psychological (mis)use, such as the infamous rat commercial. i watch those around me, i hear them answer polls, and i wonder… was lippman so wrong? do i have to jump off the Reason ship? and then what am i?
*** * ***
the best thoughts and ideas must be mulled over, like a fine cider. but don’t overheat, or you get this mush. i just needed to get it off my chest. but like my mulling over religion, this one requires a couple months buried in a library just to start moving again… hm… i have weekends off… lj will be devoted to planning

and this one i just have to lift from dailykos

January 25, 2006

They are vehemently against abortion, they resist progressive woman’s rights. They view homosexuality as a crime against nature and God, some advocate the death penalty as an option for it. Separation of Church and State is despised by these folks; they insist the nation is founded on the principles of their religion, and they work hard to bring that de facto theocracy about. They deplore strong language, gay characters, and sexual content on TV and in the media. And they ignore the Geneva Convention when it suits their ideological purposes, including provisions against torture or due process. They’re anti-stem cell research, pro-creationism, and generally distrustful of science. These folks are easily whipped into a state of frenzy with ideological manipulation to the point where they will commit violence, or at least tacitly endorse that violence is acceptable, if it advances their Divine agenda. They then take great pains to justify that violence, including unprovoked attack of civilian areas, under certain conditions, with convoluted theological gymnastics. They are almost to the man pro-death penalty …

Am I railing against the religious right again? Could be, but my target here is actually Al Qaeda and related fundamentalist wahhabism; the source of terrorism, the scourge of our planet, the Axis of Evil. [here]

oh the irony

** * **

originally i only posted this to save the link from falling into the oblivion that is internet archives, but i think there is more to this. as one of my mentors at swarthmore (schuldenfrei) was fond of observing, there appears to be a movement across the globe toward a radically conservative interpretation of traditions, communities, and religion. the appears here is critical – any meaningful accessment would require an exhaustive study of the histories of dozens of cultures, spanning hundreds of years. but since when was this blog, you know, ‘meaningful’? [edit: come to think of it, maybe the value of schuldenfrei’s comments was less their social scientific objectivity than their challenge to our framework of thought]. le pen in france, racial and immigration politics in the netherland, the american fundamentalist movement, hindu nationalists in india,… they’re all certainly similar in their politics and aims, but is there an underlying thread that connects them?

i tend to view them as deracinated ghosts, an attempt to return to a (mythic/fictional) time, without any awarness that the context that animated and gave meaning to whatever truth exists their vision has faded away. the result is a hybrid of the worst prejudices of modern times, added to those of the past; a contemporary movement, responding to current issues through the (rhetorical justification/self-interpreted lens) of tradition. schuldenfrei took this as a rejection of liberal autonomy. to him, the liberal notion of a self-created and self-defined individual is being -violently- rejected. communities are desperate for meaning and order. enough of this pc nonsense. and while they’re at it, we’re none too fond of that descartes guy, throw that out as well.

because they reference a myth of who they were, and claim the sole right to interpret their sacred reference (theological, historical, whatever), any means can be justified, since no one else can judge.

* *** *

the tragedy of it all is that, for all the damage these groups will create, no good can come of it. consumer capitalism eroded the moral fabric of america long before homosexuality became an issue, or the warren court took on civil rights. “france” stopped being “french” before algeria gained independence, and immigrants had nothing to do with it. their path seeks the impossible, and so they’ll lose, of that i’m sure. i just wonder what the by-products will be

ah, discourse

January 23, 2006
i’ll admit it, i once contemplated reading the dictionary. i’d become obsessed with language – the idea that we use many words virtually interchangably, despite their meanings being actually quite distinct. i decided that the process created far too much confusion, and all sorts of beining was lost. reading the dictionary, as it turned out, wasn’t much of a help for most language, because it was too detached from life (yes, this surprised my 14-year-old mind. bite me).
    later, at swarthmore, i noticed that many words are used as placeholders for broader meaning, even to compensate for lazy thinking. as an example, privilege. is it simply a power dynamic? did you mean to say social capital, but bourdieu is just too hard to pronounce? or a socially intrinsic property of an individual? does defining it as “social” make it contextual? or is it a third-order idea, the theodicy for your political project? (and, btw, just because i want what i say to have a measure of truth and reason in it, doesn’t make me conservative… being on the left doesn’t give you an excuse to be an idiot)
      the problem, of course, is language. on the way up to phili, my roommate lamented debating philosophy with philosophers (well, specifically, me). people trained in phil tend to require a degree of concision in language (and i’m not just talking about the analytic folks, who are at the extreme end here) that non-specialists reject. i say Reason, you say postmodern socially-determined force, what does it matter? except, now we’re not having anything that resembles an exchange of ideas, and the interchange is reducible to two monkeys shouting (thanks dave). and the issue isn’t just that postmodernism is basically the project of pissing on everyone else’s hard work and going “aha! i mock your silly project”
        i could ramble on (me?) but the thought came to me that, like stereotypes, the construction of language, particularly a discourse, is an attempt to use a set of words to model a vastly more dynamic system, and the issue of a well-ordered system of thought is the ‘fit’ of the model. but the issue isn’t just the robustness of the vocabulary, but more the premises of the model (linear algebra folks: did you choose the wrong basis). words that are placeholders for meaning invariably suggest that the premises of the model have run afoul. [i know the hannah arendt crowd is screaming “totalizing system”, but so is science. and should one opt for astrology over modern physics, simply because one is a worse fit? if so, i strongly encourage you to abandon the germ theory of disease, on similar grounds]

        thou shalt not…

        January 20, 2006

        and kevin drum wills to power the overman

        For the sake of argument, let’s assume that we had pretty good intelligence telling us that a bunch of al-Qaeda leaders were in the house we bombed. And let’s also assume that we did indeed kill al-Masri and several other major al-Qaeda leaders. Finally, let’s assume that the 18 civilians killed in the attack were genuinely innocent bystanders with no connection to terrorists.
        Question: Under those assumptions, was the attack justified? I think the answer is pretty plainly yes, but I’d sure like to see the liberal blogosphere discuss it. And for those who answer no, I’m curious: under what circumstances would such an attack be justified? [here]

        pretty plainly yes? i guess this is what a cavalier attitude toward life looks like.

        ** * **

        the more i think about this, the more i find wrong with this situation. try it this way: what makes this different from bombing a group of equivalently bad terrorists hanging out in the human rockies? if the civilians were complete innocents – human shields for the terrorists – is the attack still justified?
        • life =/= life? pretty clearly no, i’d say. and if anyone wants to bomb my home state… well, please go on cnn so your political party can go on the record as the one ordering the airforce to initiate domestic bomb raids. but if our assessment changes, as i think it must, why? is the life of a foreigner as valuable as that of an american? if drum (or his merry band of cubicle warriors) think that an american life is worth more than a pakistani one, we can safely end the conversation and quite accurately use the r-word to describe them.
          • no other option was open / political context. maybe the cubicle bomb brigade would attribute the justification to political instability in pakistan. president mushrraff has barely survived what – three? – assassination attempts, and his government has virtually no control of the region. the noble cubicle warrior would, no doubt, insist that no other options were open. this argument is dangerous, for two reasons. first, it requires that one explore and disprove every other option. did we even assess grabbing this guy? what were the resources? and second, what distinguishes pakistan from, say, australia? it can’t be that the country simply won’t do it, or can’t do it for political reasons. this has to be a “true” lack of governance – which, if you can quantify, please go write a journal article. fortunately, in pakistan, this isn’t the case.
          • moral frame. normally, we don’t bomb the houses of those responsible for mass death. timothy mcveigh got a trial, as did pinochet, as did those put on trial in nuremberg. we do, however, bomb in war. why the difference? and do the relevant terms of war apply here? (this is a metaphorical war. its not like we’re conquering territory, are we? or fighting on a field, right?)
          ** * **
          anyway, it may be that reframing like that simply ducks the issue. so you know what, i’ll bite the bullet, and i’ll do it clearly
            killing people is wrong -always- end of story.
              it is at best the lesser of two evils. but don’t pretend that makes it right. sure, kill the jerk who is about to press the button and blow up new york. but you don’t deserve a parade, and you certainly don’t deserve political kudos for it. you still killed someone, and calling them a ‘jerk’ or even a ‘terrorist’ doesn’t deprive them of humanity. i don’t think you can simply sum up the amount of evil they would have done, discounted for the ‘collateral damage’ incurred in stopping them, and call it a day. we aren’t gods, even olympian ones. not only are will filled with biases that blur our reason, but reason is itself limited. nobody knows the future, and so the consequences of our actions are anything but predictable.

                honestly, what good came from these deaths? does anybody really pretend that another terrorist won’t rise to take this place? that if somehow we just manage to kill enough leaders, the killing will stop? piss off. mountains of dead won’t stop this war, so don’t mar what is left of america’s good name with innocent civilian deaths, especially when no good can come of it

                more gore

                January 19, 2006

                On the home front, it will take an unapologetically powerful leader to break Washington from its transactional rut. At the same time, we need a vigorous Congress with a sense of urgency that can hold the executive branch accountable not only for the rule of law but for results.
                Al Gore is right that like Nixon, Bush acts like an imperial president. But the best way to curb the imperial presidency isn’t for Congress to tie the next president’s hands. It’s for Americans to elect a new president and Congress who will go all-out to earn the public’s trust.[here]

                just… no. our system of government isn’t based on the hopes that the better angels of men will be elected, and their judgement curb their power. madison, wisely, thought there should be structural limitations upon the power of the president. checks. balances. that part of history in high school that apparently only democrats were awake for…

                don’t get me wrong, i like the idea of once again trusting our elected officials, but that only takes ya so far. trust erodes, and COINTELPRO wasn’t so long ago. besides, there is no harm in setting boundaries any president worth trusting would never cross. and electrifying them, for good measure.

                ** * **

                besides, this is simply another case where sacrificing liberty for security yields neither. there are some problems a single reformer in a system can solve given sufficient power (at least without wrecking the system they operate within – for the worse). they tend to have clearly defined objectives (right to vote issues) and are relatively ‘cheap’ to impliment (parts of the civil rights movement). neither the war on terror nor the reformation of washington fit these categories.

                part of the problem is the frame most conversations approach the problem within. the “war on terror” has been a terrible metaphor ever since the republican noise machine invented it before the rubble had even cooled. police action, while less stirring, is a more appropriate model. the logic of this viewpoint isn’t exactly difficult to understand. when fighting an enemy that so readily uses asymmetrical force, and when even lone individuals have the power to destroy en masse, we’re required to collect vast quantities of information on our enemies, and use surgical precision against them, while at the same time eliminating the underlying causes for their success. on this view, wars are counterproductive. they destroy our intelligence networks and use their resources frivously. they are exceedingly messy, with causualties clearing the thousands. and they reinforce many of the underlying causes – promoting a vision of american imperialism, spreading suffering, etc.

                if we’re going to win this one in any meaningful sense, it is going to require a broad consensus and a substantive public debate. it requires incremental changes to the economic, political, and international structure of the country. presidents are a vital part of that but they aren’t the only ones that count, particularly ones enamored with their supposed power.

                just… wow

                January 18, 2006
                A whole new set of hazzards associated with reading crooked timber:

                A huge report was issued by the National Center for Health Statistics. It covered the topic of teenage oral sex more extensively than any previous study, and the news was devastating: A quarter of girls aged fifteen had engaged in it, and more than half aged seventeen. Obviously, there was no previous data to compare this with, but millions of suburban dads were quite adamant that they had been born too soon. [here]

                the whole review is amazingly good, though i’m not sure what kind of peverse intentions led me to read it. as it is, i’m just a little more bitter/depressed about the state of the nation reading it

                busting it loose

                January 17, 2006
                and gore – in an absolutely amazing speech – reminds us of one of the many reasons illegal wiretaps matter:

                On this particular Martin Luther King Day, it is especially important to recall that for the last several years of his life, Dr. King was illegally wiretapped-one of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose private communications were intercepted by the U.S. government during this period.

                The FBI privately called King the “most dangerous and effective negro leader in the country” and vowed to “take him off his pedestal.” The government even attempted to destroy his marriage and blackmail him into committing suicide. [here]

                these and other abuses were part of the rationale for FISA. it made me think: the history of the act is probably something conservative pundits would shout down, and even call the other person un-american, if reminded of it.

                in that spirit, some links to make the pundis cry:
                COINTELPRO: a systematic attempt by the FBI and the CIA to undermine the american left, including civil rights leaders and the peace movement. they even had a coloring book. for other highlights [here]
                Church committee: the senate committee charged with investigating the abuses of the CIA and the FBI after the watergate affair. named after senator church, committee chair.
                Church committee reports: their records, which are fairly bonechilling, including this general overview of their findings:
                the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propogation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence
                next

                commitment issues

                January 13, 2006

                commitment issues. i realize that there are a set of standards that men are judged by, and expected to conform to, but recently this one has particularly grated on me. presumably, because my roommates have decided that i have them, and need to work on them. don’t get me wrong, they’re my friends and i take their advice to heart, but at the same time, i wonder where some of this advice is coming from

                ** * **

                its interesting the number of sexist tropes that are used to cover all sorts of behavior by men. a guy that doesn’t want to settle down – or is too vocal about the (lack of a) future – has ‘commitment issues’. and its almost like his motivations and reasons are irrelevant – “men, sigh…”. or, worse, the ‘real reason’ must have something to do with his wanting to play around. oh, and heaven forbid men should complain about this state of affairs, which is considered oversensitive at best. (in my experience, even the feminists scorn this kind of talk, something about appropriating the discourse of resistance… really screwed up model of victim here). the fascinating thing is that the expectations for the reasons of noncompliance with the standards – the need to fool around – set an entirely different set of standards. hypersexual, with either the emotional range of a toaster, or perhaps a teflon coating around an emotional (and presumably broken) core.

                i guess there are two ways to go from here, one way toward what exactly is at issue with treating people this way, and the other toward whats wrong with a feminism that doesn’t think this is an issue.

                * *** *

                one might object to the above sentiments with an argument of the form that (1) this is generally the the male behavior observed and (2) that it is reasonable, and in some ways necessary, to generalize upon broad trends in human behavior

                i completely agree that some amount of generalizing is essential to interacting in a modern society. we learn based upon our experience, and part of that process is generalizing based on repeated interaction (“my coworker tends to drink coffee in the morning” is in this sense similar to “putting my hand on the stove causes pain”). repeated confirmation leads to generalizations that aren’t just probabilty statements (putting my hand on the stove tends to cause pain // cheetas tend to run fast), but statements of being (the stove is hot, cheetas are fast runners)

                this extended model, however, ignores the role of agency in human affairs. unlike objects, which can be reasonably modeled as having immutable properties (stove = hot), an individual has the capacity to choose at any moment. i may be a coffee drinker today, and a tea drinker tomorrow. the a generalization thus not only overpredicts action, but denies agency – in both a passive and an active sense, as the loss is not only in our poor modeling, but its impact upon the observed. at a minimum, being told what one IS yields an expectation to preform, enactment. hence that subset of overgeneralizations known as stereotypes, those that deny agency in a meaningful sense.

                (i won’t pretend to be terribly happy with this analysis, and there are more than a few major shortcomings in its epistemology and social basis, but its a working basis for later elaboration)

                * * * * *

                feminism and men. if it is the case that man – woman are separated into a binary in sexist constructions of gender (as most suspect and comment), and that this reification is an agency-denying overprediction of the type commented on above, then it seems clear to me that – in this aspect of agency at least – feminism has yet to address the impact of sexist constructions upon men. just as our sexist society has constrained women to being passive, when many women would rather be assertive, it seems clear to me that the same sexist society forced men to be assertive, while many would rather be passive.

                the most frequent objection – that men are the supposed beneficiaries of the system – seems to operate on a very narrow concept of benefit. within the terms of the sexist society, it is true that men tend to take the privileged aspect (reasoned over emotional, assertive over passive). but it baffles me why being well adjusted to a profoundly sick society is a measure of good health. it even strikes me that the term for benefit – privilege – insofar as it is construed as a characteristic of individuals, suffers from the issues mentioned above.

                * *** *

                i think i can sum this all up in one of tim burke’s (and my) persistent worries,:

                that I, and perhaps more than myself, are trapped in recurrent, irresolvable debates and conflicts, that the academy is at the edge of its limitations, at a moment of arteriosclerosis

                Real World?

                January 9, 2006
                I share Kuperberg’s ideas on the relationship between Swat and the so-called “real world”. If you haven’t read it before, his Last Collection speech is truly great. I’m not going to lie, this comes to mind more often here, since there are moments when life inside the Beltway is too unreal.

                Arcologies and ideologies

                January 6, 2006
                I arrived at work today with great hopes of engaging myself by running a series of significance tests on the data, checking to make sure that our results . Less than thirty minutes later, the work was done and the search for something to do began again, amid pangs of sympathy for the poor math teachers who had found ways to occupy my brain over the years. Is my current lack of work a betrayal of their hard work and a squandering of my gifts? I certainly didn’t challenge myself getting this job, and while this may be the fruits of sloth, I have hopes that things will pick up in the coming weeks.

                Searching for something more interesting than eating those last few elusive pistachios with barely-opened shells (hint: use a paperclip), I turned to wikipedia, and after a series of articles on Judaism, found myself reading about arcologies.

                ** * **

                Remember those ugly towers in SimCity2000 that you had to build after there was no more land, but the compulsion for “more” meant finding any way for the city to expand?

                Apparently they’re called arcologies (from their combination of architecture and ecology), buildings meant to house entire communities, and to do so sustainably, recycling most of the waste for use within the facility. It is not only an attempt to reduce the ecological footprint of humanity, but to change the scale upon which our lives are lived. One part I particularly like:

                The automobile divides a city by scattering it across the landscape. Greater attention is given to human scale in an Arcology. In it the pedestrian reigns. Distances are measured by walks and minutes. Within it the automobile is nonsensical. here

                It is strange to think that the basics of city layout haven’t changed much over the centuries. Discrete units of city function are laid out on a flat map. We consider travel a vertical scale. The horizontal plane carries us between destinations, and it is only once we’re within a place – an apartment building, and office – that we move up/down. The costs of this mindset are glaring, creating 2+ hour commutes in traffic every day, twice a day.

                And I wonder: was the Wonka Chocolate Factory, something of an arcology?

                * *** *

                There are, I suppose, some “obvious” objections to this kind of construction. What about my backyard? My house, the kingdom I reign supreme in? And what of the need for constant change, when the technology for waste management improves and we have to gut the whole city rather than one facility? But the questions are only obvious because of what we’ve been trained to expect. Had I been born in one of the structures, I can easily imagine being revolted by the thought of suburbs… though, that isn’t much of a stretch.

                I suppose I could go off on the positive feedback loop between geographical and social architecture, but the point is that an arcology (or the lack thereof) is a social product, a reflection of ourselves (our consumerism and greed in particular) as much as anything. Some social forms – many we hold dear – simply aren’t possible in a bounded city. Ostentatious displays of wealth through home size and grandeur can’t be constructed within the space – no Mc Mansions here. Construction of a larger home requires that one leave the community, in both space and ideals. The fetish of ‘brand new’ simply isn’t possible when the future must be connected to the old. And so on…

                * * * * *

                It is just unfortunate that the whole concept has gotten about as much attention as most of my half-baked drawings on napkins. Only these have been posted on the internet. The resistance to arcology raises a fascinating concept, though, of the relationship between science and society. On many occasions I’ve questioned my decision to turn from the natural to the social sciences. Many of the problems we face (for example, gas usage by automobiles) would simply be solved by the magic bullet of technology (alternative energy), and many of my daydreams involve advances along those lines. Wouldn’t it have been better to choose engineering, and solve the political problems that way? But this takes a very narrow view, since our society is generally open to technological change, and thus seems to give it the upper hand. The fate of arcology suggests that the range of problems to be solved by science alone is rather small, and that it is the social scientists who must allow innovation.

                Perhaps this is because we understand so little about how change occurs in a social system. Our model for action – one individual – is hopelessly overpowered against most social forces (globalization) and so change seems impossible. Hence our imaginations and our histories focus upon superheroes with extraordinary powers (not only the X-Men and Superman, but also the Donald Trumps and Eli Whitneys), who are little more than our model with a few upgrades. Ultimately, we stick to the familiar rather than venture into the unknown and test our core assumptions a bit.

                There are some clear ties to Howard Dean’s political success and problems in modern liberalism, but that will (hopefully) be in a later post. For now, my brain needs a reboot. Being sick, I’m no longer human, just a disguistoid in human form, and my thoughts are all muddy.

                polar bears

                January 4, 2006

                drowning polar bears

                does dc have to be underwater for us to start worrying? i bet some would say i’m nuts for even suggesting that new orleans was a pretty clear sign something is up.

                but the guy in the pretty house just 4 blocks west of me can stick some pipes head in the sand and beg the saudis to increase oil production to save his approval rating and all those fine SUVs. then again, if we don’t buy their oil, how could they fund all those indoctrinating schools and jerks that blow ppl up?

                ugh.

                honestly, what is it? greed? cowardice? we’ve become too attached to comforts? ignorance? if someone could just let me know, i’d appreciate it

                Hello, World!

                January 3, 2006
                well dangit, I’ve forgotten my blogger password – again. i know, big loss, given that i never bother to update these things anyway. i’d make a new years resolution about it, but i never keep them anyway.

                on that note
                resolution #1 hold for one hour, at arms length, at least 4 of the following: a 20oz dr pepper bottle (no substitutes allowed), a book i really should read, my right shoe, and a completed copy of my thesis.

                resolution #2 dance like shah rukh khan in a bollywood film

                possible resolutions for next year:
                drop a bowling ball off a cliff in yellowstone. find, if possible – maybe attach a beacon of some sort? if not shattered, repeat as necessary.