Monday, May 28, 2007

how many more

and they never listen

I stood screaming
the message of wrongs
I had seen with my eyes -
Peace signs. Burning monks.
Dead students.
Guardsmen they were
defending the peace
in the west
and in the east.
They think I'm crazy,
an ole man gone nuts.
I wasn't really there
when it happened.
Be quiet they whispered
you don't know
you can't know
you're not like us,
we can see for ourselves with our own eyes
they are clear and bright.
We don't need yours
they are old and slow -
and its true, I know.
We don't want to hear
the unbearable sorrow
of which you speak;
its of your time not ours.
Again bombs explode,
again bullets pierce young eyes
that are clear and bright.
They can see for themselves.
And they never listen.
Now i will go -
they can see
for themselves.
i stand screaming.

......Dave T June 2005

what is freedom

Tempest or gentle breeze
She alone chooses
Playful child
Unencumbered by some concern
Of where she may sojourn
To arrive and depart
In any season
With no violence incurred
For the sails of youth
Collect their life
Preserving the essence
Of renewal unfettered
As it must be
With no measure applied
No prevarication
Freedom is
Our precious entity

......Dave T November 2004

Thought Criminal

"Free speech" is gone. It is understandable that there are reasonable limits - a person can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater without dire consequences but the paranoia and fear that exists now is insane and nothing like the obvious problem of the theater full of people. Whatever a person says here will be stored somewhere. If someone says things that people in power do not like and consider threatening, they will be watched if their statements are found in a search. Certain things people may say will get them arreseted and thrown in jail. When I went to gradeschool in the 50s we were taught that we lived in a free country. . . and I believed it. My father and mother both fought in WWII, my uncle was killed in WWII, I am a vietnam era vet, and so is my brother. Still, the wrong words will get me on a "watch list" or arrested. If I question the President - I am branded as "unpatriotic". There is confusion between the concept of "President", and the "Presidency". These concepts have been bastardized by zealous politicians. The president is a person, questioning that person's judegment is not questioning the nation or the nation's governmental system or society or rule of law. Look, its my freakin job to question the President - its everyone's job to question the President and all authority exercised by others - and make changes in a civilized, nonviolent dialogue. That is the basis of a representitive democracy. I thought we lived in one. Never in my wildest nightmares did I think this country would be in this situation - after all we have been through. Somebody, please wake me up! Until then I must watch very closely what I say. Even if I am only expressing my feelings and have no intention whatsoever of acting on them it makes no difference. Big Brother IS watching us now. What's next, the thought police . . . count on it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Should the Electoral college be modified or abolished ?

To consider this in an intelligent way consider how many people actually vote in an election in each state . . . a very complicated consideration. Take a look at the gov't stats if you really want to see how complicated it gets. How about the national voter turn out history in the past 40 years? Directly from the government records the best we have had in the past 40 years is 63 percent in 2000 of registered voters and 63 percent of voting age turnout in 1960. Do we live in a Democracy? Does the constitution specify that we live in a "direct democracy". No. We live in a representative democracy, a "republic". These two words are almost interchangeable. Do not confuse republic with "republicans" or the republican party. They are completely different. Today the republican party is probably closer to a hegemonic oligarchy run by aristocrats that it is to a republic. The same may also be true of the democratic party. Do not confuse it with "democracy". The electoral college was intended to prevent tyranny of mob_like rule caused by an ill informed perhaps uneducated public. At the time of the writing of the constitution this was a very real concern and still is, as long as the public remains ill-infomed and uneducated, or mis-informed. The news media can be guilty of mis-information either for financial gains or because of inept reporting, and this could cause people to vote in a very unresponsible way. But how many people actually vote? At best 63 percent. at worst 36 percent (in 1990). This constitutes the tyranny of the minority, precisely what most people want to avoid? Can the electoral college help this ?
If people are not voting because they feel like their vote does not count then the electoral college is adding to the problem by its very existence. My sources here: (voter turnout) (government records of turnout) (gov't records 2004) (Dr. Michael McDonald) ("hands off the electoral college") (reasons for electoral college)

More later. . .

Monday, May 14, 2007

open source infringes on microsoft patents

Are these people from the evil empire serious? The next thing you know they will say they have a patent on the quadratic formula, addition, subtraction, for loops, while loops, if then statments, TCPIP, all forms of email, all forms of word processing, books, the printing press, pencils, RF communications, morse code, all number systems, and most of the languages of the world, what the hell lets just say all things known to mankind are now the property of MS. My point is, they have reached the point where they have become ludicrous, and I would laugh were they not also treacherous. MS copied most of what they supposedly developed. Read the book: "The Making of Microsoft" ISBN 1-55958-071-2 if you really want to know how much code they copied and how much they wrote; and how many people's lives got destroyed in the process. The two kids who started ms were from the wealthiest part of Washington state and were among the very few elite who had access to a computer. In the beginning of software development nearly everything was "open source" They used code they got from this open source community of the time and modified it to run differently, then eventually patented the code and made millions off or their (and nameless others) work. To be fair, most of ms $ should be redistributed among all of the programmers who came before them. Those who wrote C and C++ and Fortran, and Basic. Remember DR Dos? Anyone who has really looked into this can tell you how much bs this company pulls. They already tried this "we did it first" crap through the lame mouthpiece of SCO and their phony FUD . . . any one remember Mr McBride and his asinine song and dance? . The courts put that scam to rest and SCO's stock is now worth less that $1 per share. Somebody, please just make monkey boy and his dancing minions go away.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bats: Cats, windmills and other hazards

The ignorance of many people who spew forth right-wing scripts they assimilate from their fearless oil-company-executive-trained leaders' rants on any form of energy that they cannot control is downright scary. The current debate on the "horrific mind-numbing impacts" of wind power on the environment is a good example. Bats and birds are reportedly being "killed off in horrific numbers by the huge whirling, deady, razor sharp blades of these monstrous machines." In their lemming-like scurrying to the cliff, these sheep-people seem to avoid the obvious fact that human activity will have some impact on the environment regardless of what we do, and most improvements are not perfect. The media-hyped reporter's foray of the scientist from Berkeley who's study found that ethanol puts slightly more ozone in the atmosphere than gasoline is a good example of the spread of fear, uncertanty and doubt. This report conveniently fails to mention that ethanol is carbon neutral and puts less particulate matter into the air than petro-fuels and helps us avoid dependence on energy from parts of the world where we are now not welcome.

There are studies that will show the harm that other types of electrical power generation have on birds and bats; and those that show how much of an improvement windmills are to our environment by lowering the overall impact we have as a result of their use. These are ignored. Simply showing the pros and cons of windmills is far to narrow and not a complete enough picture. For example how do the emissions of coal fired power plants effect bats, and people? How do salmon and bats connect in the web of life? (this we have already studied extensively - salmon have an enormous impact on the forest ecosystem and hydroelectric power generation has not helped them) How many bats are killed each year by coal mining operations? When we flood another valley, like the Hetch Hetchy was flooded (now used for water supply) in the early 20th century without consideration for the destruction it caused, or build a dam like the Elwa dam in Washington state (now being removed) for a power generation utility, how many bats will be killed? Where do bats live? In open fields on windy slopes (with the windmills) where there are no insects for them to eat? In the studies, where bats are attracted by the ultrasonic and electromagnetic emissions of wind turbines do those involved in the study import the bats to the location to "see" if they will seek out the windmills? When all of this is taken into consideration, the viability of windmills can be shown to be far greater than what the skeptics would have people believe.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Regarding the situation in Iraq:

A couple of metaphores apply here: "When you take a mouthfull of scalding hot coffee; anything you do next is wrong" and "we are up to our behinds in alligators when our original intent was to drain the swamp". Our president is the Commander-in-Chief of the military - that means he should either completely understand all aspects of military operations or be able to hire those who do (and be the best manager in the country). Our current president has shown clearly that he has none of these skills in sufficient quality to be president. The American people who voted for him are responsible along with him - and the rest of us are along for the ride. Democracy is the "tyranny of the majority" - deal with it - change the electoral college and fix the voting process so each persons vote really counts, then we can re-elect Al Gore.

Although we should have the right to defend ourselves, do we have the right to retaliate against an enemy before we are 100 percent sure who they are? If we are going to defend ourselves we need to do so solidly and with good judgement. As anyone (our current president excluded) who has experienced first hand the death, destruction, and residual hatred that war brings can tell you; there are no winners in a war, only loosers and those who get to write the history books about the war. Read your history books, including those not written by the "winners" of the wars if you want the truth. Iraq and Iran are in an area of ancient civilizations (where we got most of our math and Thomas Jefferson got many of his ideas for government and human rights from Cyrus the Great - read your history books before you bash me on this one) and are "countries" whose boundries and governments have been created (imposed) by Western European civilization in the last 100 years and have very little to do with the Iranian or Iraqi populations. If the government of Iraq was responsible for attacks on the U.S. then we have ourselves to blame because we (the U.S.) installed that government. Again, read your history books. There are many pictures of a smiling Rummy shaking hands with Saddam in the 80's. These are truths. You can bash me all you like I don't care. The sooner we deal with the truth of these matters the better off we will all be.

It is my belief that (before we invaded) most Iraqi people had as much dislike for radical so-called "muslims" as we do for radical right wing so-called "christians". "Any religion that advocates the killing of other human beings is most certainly evil". The radicals on both sides accuse the others of that which is not true to perpetuate their own selfish purposes that have nothing to do with their religion at all - and thus we have war. What a waste. Sad.

Monday, January 01, 2007

monopoly and CO2 are bad for you

A doomsday rant (sort of):
Ford has a new car. It has a 400 horsepower power plant which means it will go real fast. . . . Where will it take you real fast and WHAT WILL YOU BREATHE when you get there? Who cares; it impresses the "babes", feels cool when you accelerate and gives you "status" and power which is necessary to survive; right? Survive to do what? Get rich; be safe; start a family; have power; have food; have a house; get attention from the opposite sex to boost your ego; make a "name" for yourself; compensate for your lack of maleness / femalness . . . this list goes on and on. Come on children, GET REAL. What do you really need to survive? Think now . . . this is a real challenge: Air, water, food, shelter, emotional support, love, spiritual health, a sense of belonging, laughter, safety and the knowledge that you will be remembered when you pass away. So you're getting all this from a machine? . . .Ok.

Now consider this: As a culture, we use things to support our images of ourselves, but this gluttonous binge that started soon after the original agreements in 1776 is way out of control and has long since passed the point of absurdity. A large portion of the population of the US has become so hedonistic and self indulgent that they are blinded to all avenues of inquiry. When it is suggested that petrochemicals may be harmful, the messengers are routinely burned in effigy by the laissez-faire as if, as harbingers of impending disaster, these messengers are members of some kind of criminal organization daring to even suggest that unrestrained gratification of the senses might be harmful. I think the size of the hedonist culture is gradually shrinking, but not fast enough; and as those of you who have taken the time to read will know, the rich are getting richer faster now than any time in the history of the US, while unemployment statistics are manipulated and communicated specifically to mislead the "average" US working person . . . anyone out there ever read 1984 by Orwell? The unemployment news is doublespeak. Not all is lost, however. If (and this is a big IF), as a culture, we can somehow promote equal educational opportunity for ALL by vastly improving the public education system (by funding it instead of war) and making college education available to ALL outside of the internet; we stand a pretty good chance of turning things around. This change combined with the fact that through instant communication via the internet people can collaborate things can change for the better . . . unless, of course, some large gluttonous self serving idea stealing software corporation run by a loud-mouthed jackass who dances around like a monkey gains complete control of the internet and educational institutions through software patents, bribery and legalistic techno-babble. Ok, so I'm digressing - deal with it.