Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Promise To Turn the Moon Green by 2423!

     Obama has promised to cut the deficit in half by 2013.  Bush used to pull this kind of nonsense all the time.  Every year it seemed he'd promise he'd cut his record-setting deficits in half... if we only gave him five years.  What's so special about 2013?  By then Obama will be past the 2012 election, and so whether or not he's fulfilled his promise, whether or not anyone remembers he ever made the promise, is entirely irrelevant.

     I wish the media wouldn't bother reporting such fluff.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Seems like
Thursday night
Unless I hide in the corner
Some people might learn about my website.

Would you mind looking at it and sending suggestions other than "Hey, there's no graphic design at all, you could sure use that!"
Merci beaucoup

Sunday, February 15, 2009


     The first graphic is very physics-nerdy... all the energy there is, the next is political, showing an overlay of Imperial Germany on modern Poland, the next is about religiosity in America (by State) as compared to other countries entitled "What Alabamanians and Iranians Have in Common" and the last is an article about red and blue.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


     So, for a thousand years, with some pretty stunning reversals, the Turko-Hunno-Mongol steppe-people (Turkey, the Soviet Stans, Mongolia) and the Persians fought it out. 

     Yes, for about four hundred years, it seems as though the Mongols had the utmost power, after all, didn't the Chingis-Khanites reach past Iraq, wasn't Tamerlane ruling Persia, his capital their capital? 

     Certainly the Timurids (after Tamerlane) ruled Persia, but only after making Persian their language.  The same was true with the Mongols in China, who ruled, but could not impose the Mongolian language, or even rule with it, but spoke Chinese (a little more research required on that one, I'm sure of the rest).

     Say, about 1600, we want to say the major waves of war in this area came to an end.  Where was the final, sustainable boundary?  Here is Grousset describing it: "At the moment the empires were crystallizing, Persia was destined to remain to the Persians, as was ethnically fitting, and Turkestan to the Turks." (Grousset, 2005 9th printing, Rutgers U. Press, p. 468).  By "Turkestan" here Grousset is refering to the countries which are now Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kirghiz and Kazakhstans. 

     The large scale brutality of the millenia of Turco-Hunno-Mongol wars seems to pretty much outdo any other in the history of the world.  Memorably, Tamerlane was quite fond of huge pyramids of skulls, sometimes tens of thousands of heads from a city he had just taken.  But when the pushing and shoving came to an end, the line in the sand was the one demarcated by language.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why Montesquieu?
In 1760 a youthful John Adams noted in his diary that he had begin to read The Spirit of Laws and planned to compile comprehensive marginal notes to insure his proper attention to the work.  Roughly a decade and a half later, Thomas Jefferson, who was to suceed Adams to the Presidency, devoted no less than twenty-eight pages of his Commonplace Book to extracts from this same work, and in 1792, in an essay on "Spirit of Governments," James Madison compared Montesquieu's role in the science of government to that of Francis Bacon in natural philosophy. According to Madison, Montesquieu "had lifted the veil from the venerable errors which enslaved opinion and pointed the way to those luminous truths of which he had but a glimpse himself." --quote without permission from the Preface to 1977 University of California Press edition of the Spirit of Laws (DO NOT BUY! Horribly Abridged!)
As I mentioned earlier, George Washington studied Montesquieu and Blackstone for the Second Constitutional Convention. In addition, I've read John Jay and Alexander Hamilton also regarded the work quite highly.

     So, when people who know too little point to the conservative John Locke (a lot of whose work was involved in the admirable task of refuting the Divine Right of Kings(1st Treatise on Government) and then setting up monarchical governments (Carolinian Constitutions)) point to Montesquieu.

     It is the best way to shove the facts up the ass of the so-called originalists who fob off de Tocqueville and Locke and rose-colored glasses history on us until their eyes bleed.
If one should see George Walker Bush

     One is encourage to say, in a loud voice so he can overhear, "Hey, it's President Shit-for-Brains, who single handedly did more damage to America than anyone in the history of the world."

     One is also encouraged to title him as such in print, for example, "During the era of President Shit-for-Brains..." or "George Walker Bush, who single-handedly did more damage to America than anyone else in the history of the world."

     Compliance in these matters is mandatory and appreciated.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Language & Peace: Post-Conflict Courts

     Ellen Emilie Stensrud of Norway writes in the latest issue of the Journal of Conflict Research (Vol 46(1), Jan 2009) on the Cambodian and Sierra Leonean Special Courts set up under the auspices of the United Nations to try people for the Pol Pot era and Civil War years, respectively.  The general conclusion of the article is that the Sierra Leonean trials were not doing much for the local judiciary, because most of the court were foreigners, while in Cambodia, most of the Judges were locals, and beholden to the new Government of Cambodia (which contains some people who were, at some points, members of the Khmer Rouge) and thus illegitimate.

     In private communication, Ms. Stensrud tells me that the Courts have been greatly hampered in Cambodia because all court proceedings are published in English, French and Khmer, a large cost and cause of delay, as qualified translators are rare.  Although Sierra Leone courts are mostly in English, there are many witnesses who do not speak English.

     Thanks to the Journal of Conflict Research and Ms. Stensrud!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

LOL at the Ancients

     Do Reason and Logic lead to Atheism, Immorality and Anarchy?  Well, undoubtedly the enlightment DID threaten the double frauds of Monarch and Church, and hence there were reasons(for some) to reject Reason and the Enlightenment.

     But there is a Science and Reason of Morality and Ethics, and it was simply because the Scientists of yore didn't want to step on the toes of religion and the rulers that they avoided studying it.

     It would be funnier if it weren't also a bit sad (considering those who have died and been suppressed by the Kings and Relidgiots for not rigidly adhering to the cockamamie theories of the long dead.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Steve Forbes, Deceiving Fucking Idiot


     Steve Forbes said that America suffers from high business taxes. Idiot actually says that American corporations face the "second highest corporate taxes in the industrialized world WHAT A DECEPTIVE BUNCH OF BULLCRAP, WHY DON'T INTERVIEWERS CALL THIS TARD ON IT?

     While technically accurate, this means nothing at all, because the EFFECTIVE CORPORATE TAX RATE IN AMERICA IS SECOND LOWEST IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD.  Not the top line number that people are supposed to pay, but the actual amount the corporations pay is lower than most anywhere, and FUCKWIT, TOTALLY INSANE STEVE FORBES, rich-guy, thinks they should be lower (fair) and tries to deceive you to get you to believe it, too (EVIL, EVIL, EVIL!).

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Fuck Buckley V Valeo

     If money is speech, how come lawyers can't submit, in lieu of a closing argument, checks for 10s of thousands of dollars to the Jurors and a cool million for the Judge?


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wow, those Tamil Tigers (LTTE) are HUGE!

     I mean, the Sri Lankan Defense Department says 700 Tamil Tigers are holding 100,000+ Tamils and using them as human shields.  I guess each Tiger is just stapling 1000 Tamils to himself.

     Lots of foreign governments are saying 'Hey, Sri Lanka, ease up a bit, you are killing lots of innocent people' (they also said this many times about the U.S. in Iraq?) but Sri Lanka is like 'No way, Jos&eacut;, we aren't stopping till we have Papa tried and hung.'  Papa, to the Tamil, is Velupillai Prabhakaran, the rebel leader for many years.

     I have to admit, with the relative success of the campaign (99%(?!?) of rebel held territory captured, according to the article) I'd be disinclined to stop, myself.  After all, that's a Sinhala country now, and the Tamil can just learn to live with being a permanent minority, or get killed if they aren't so inclined.  Sounds peachy, no?

BULLSHIT ALERT: Stories are saying the LTTE is reduced to 300 sq. km, and this story says they Sri Lankans have captured 99% of rebel territory, which, roughly, means the rebels had 30,000 sq. km, but Sri Lanka is only 65,525 sq. km, but the LTTE never held even nearly half of the land of Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Jim DeMint (R-SC)

     This guy just said that his substitute economic stimulus bill is important because it "stops the planned tax increases in 2011."

Mary Fallin (OK-5)

     May this deceiving Congresscritter be defeated in 2010.

     I spent a summer in Garberville (Mene Mene Thx, Michael), and then another year and a half or so in Arcata (also in Humboldt County, California).
Reality Sets In

     I have known since college that, in many ways, America is a brutal power, mostly overseas.

     I started paying attention to day-to-day political matters in November 2000, quite flummoxed when I learned that Gore had not won.

     Now we have a Democratic administration, and some of the haughtiness I hated from the Bush administration is coming from the Obama administration.

     Are we at a "real risk" of deflation, as Lawrence Summers said? Is deflation so bad? It is bad for non-rich people, which especially includes people in debt (most Americans). Deflation means prices fall. Are prices too high? Lawrence Summers apparently doesn't think so.

     But let's assume that Summers goal is just and noble and good, and that a deflation risk is A Bad Thing. Listen to this presumptious ninny: "I’ve got great confidence that in our country we do the right thing. So I expect a bill to be signed into law.”

     I expect a bill signed into law? Has this guy been mainlining ex-President Hubris? How about, instead of the previous way, he had said:

     "The Treasury Department of the United States believes that the most important legislation the Congress could pass to ensure the economic vitality of the United States is the fiscal stimulus package."
Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-7) Pretty Good Idea

     Credit Defaults Swaps are insurance for bonds.  Rep. Peterson wants to limit ownership of said insurance to people who actually own the bonds.  This is the right direction.

     Of course, if you wanted to buy some CDSs for 10 million dollars, you wouldn't mind buying one bond in with the mix.  In fact, the total value insured by the CDSs should not be allowed to exceed the values of the bonds, and the total amount of insurance held by anyone should not be allowed to exceed the value of their bond-holdings.

     In New York State we already have a law, says the husband of a Tax Attorney I know, that prevents anyone from buying insurance on something they don't have a material interest in.  This, in small part, prevents people from buying life insurance policies on people they don't know (and, since the profit motive exists, trying to get said people killed).

Monday, February 02, 2009

     The Somalis have elected a new President, the guy who lead the Islamic Courts Union government. Ethiopia, with US backing, did their best to kill him and his forces and drive them out. Maybe the U.S. won't do that again. The ICU is not entirely compatible with custom Somali laws, which don't, for example, include cutting off of hands. However, they are anti-pirate, and I understand that when the ICU was in power before, things were somewhat more stable (lack of stability is the status quo in Somalia since 1991, the last time the country was unified under one government.)

     2054 is the 1000th anniversary of the official Catholic-Orthodox split in Christianity. It was a language issue, in any event not a debate about whether the Holy Spirit comes from the father, or the father and the son. The Russians have a new Patriarch today, and he has no plans to heal the rift.

     Gaddafi has been elected Chair of the African Union, a body which has been making some really bone-headed moves in the last year (e.g. initial reactions to Guinean and Mauritanian coups). His idea? To create a United States of Africa. Another, imho, bone-headed move. I'm much more inclined to have a United States of Arabia (Morocco to Syria to Saudi Arabia) and a state over all Bantu African states. However, since governments usually trump people, it might make even _more_ sense to have two great blocks, of Francophone and Anglophone Africa. That would be a bummer, but, there isn't a Standart Bantu language.

     Shoe hurled at Prime Minister of China during speech. Do any shoes come with pie attachments?
Michael Phelps pictured Hitting Bong!

     This is a travesty!  Michael, what are you doing?  You are an athlete, and your body, including your lungs is your primary asset. 

     Don't you know you should be using a vaporizer?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Furthering My Thoughts on Health Care in a Republic

     Democrats tend to be for federal government health care, I am not.  I am not because I have a step-brother (Hi!) who likes Motocross.  I'm sure I'd like flying through the air on a motorbike, but he's broken 11 bones doing this, including a couple that kept him in the hospital for weeks.  Why should you or I pay for those hospital visits?  If everyone was covered, wouldn't they take even more risks?

     Republicans tend to be against illegal immigrants, I am not for limiting federal health care to citizens, and, where it should exist (rather, where I think it should exist) it should be extended to illegal immigrants.

     If an illegal immigrant works at a restaurant you visit, and happens to have Typhus, Ebola or any other communicable disease, you would rather have them go to the doctor and get fixed up rather than infect you.  The insight that came to me a few minutes ago is that the home government should pick up a share of the cost, and vice versa.  What about sexually transmitted diseases, which are communicable?  I believe we all hope an illegal immigrant who falls in love with our daughter (and vice-versa) would not be afraid of seeing a doctor to have themselves treated, or at least made aware of, sexually transmitted diseases they might have.