Saturday, October 13, 2007

Must they take all my dreams from me?

Why, God?! ...Why!?

On the the other hand, I now have a reason to hate the French.

Stupid French.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Dutch Tighten Drug Laws Because of Stupid Tourists:
"The Dutch government is banning the sale of all magic mushrooms after a series of high-profile incidents involving tourists who had taken them.
Calls for a re-evaluation of the drug grew after a 17-year-old French girl jumped from a building after eating magic mushrooms during a school trip to Amsterdam in March.

This is reminiscent of the wonderfully offensive Onion headline, "Fun Toy Banned Because Of Three Stupid Dead Kids.""

More aptly, the immortal Bill Hicks weighs in, from beyond the grave, natch:
"Always that same LSD story, you’ve all seen it. “Young man on acid, thought he could fly, jumped out of a building. What a tragedy.”

What a tragedy? What a dick. Fuck him! He’s an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn’t he take off from the ground first? Check it out. You don’t see ducks lining up to catch elevators to fly South. They fly from the ground, you moron. Quit ruining it for everybody. He’s a moron, he’s dead, good. We lost a moron, fucking celebrate. Boy I just felt the world get lighter - we lost a moron...

I don’t mean to sound cold or cruel or vicious, but I am so that’s the way it comes out."

The big hand of [Chinese] government censorship.

The sheer denial of reality is almost awe-inspiring.

How Chinese net-censorship works -- Reporters Without Borders report - Boing Boing:
"Included in the report is a selection of messages from the official censor to Chinese media outlets, such as:
...Dear colleagues, the Internet has of late been full of articles and messages about the death of a Shenzhen engineer, Hu Xinyu, as a result of overwork. All sites must stop posting articles on this subject, those that have already been posted about it must be removed from the site and, finally, forums and blogs must withdraw all articles and messages about this case. (17 June 2006)

Regarding the issue of unequal income distribution, please use articles from the Central Committee's main information mouthpieces and nothing else. Please do not spread rumours about this matter or conduct online polls. Please reinforce monitoring of comments, discussion forums and blogs and immediately block any violent or obscene message. (28 June 2006)"

Again, don't forget to buy those Illinois Lotto tickets.

The stupidity is neverending.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Now Illegal: The Appearance of Gambling:
"The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is cracking down on bars that host poker tournaments, even if no one is actually gambling.
...In an effort to stay within the bounds of Illinois' gambling laws, organizers of the poker league charge no fee to play in their tournaments, ban wagering and offer only nominal prizes to the winners such as gift certificates from the host establishment.

This apparently was too close to the real thing for state authorities, who promptly shut the tournaments down.
...Listen, appearances count," Penesis says. "The appearance is that gambling is occurring, even if it's not. That's the problem."

I guess Illinois bars should be prohibited from showing televised horse racing, or holding darts or billiards tournaments, too."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jon Stewart ever so politely explains to Lynne Cheney how she is amazingly wrong.

Crooks and Liars » The Daily Show: Lynne Cheney’s Interests:
"CHENEY: You know, I think when the history books are written, that we will look back on this period of time and we will say, on 9/11, we really thought within six months, we would be attacked again, maybe six weeks. It’s been more than six years and that is not an accident. I think this administration - my husband and the President - deserve a lot of credit for that.


CHENEY: Good (laughter)

STEWART: Well, alright. There was, I mean, there was the anthrax thing. And then there was-well, you know, the first time they bombed the World Trade Center, it was eight years until we got attacked again. And they weren’t apparently doing anything…

CHENEY: Well, yes, but there were many attacks in between 1993 and the World Trade Centers coming down in 2001. Remember the USS Cole, for example. There were worldwide bombings going on, the bombings in embassies in Africa. So the terrorists weren’t reluctant to damage American interests and kill Americans. Friends?

STEWART: We are friends, it’s just…you know they have been doing that all these past six years. They’ve been…I mean, you know, the Spanish bombing and the English bombing and all the bombs in Iraq…

CHENEY: Yes, but I’m talking about American interests

STEWART: Aren’t we interested in…? Alright, I assumed that they were our allies."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Argument juice is added from the argument lobe of the female brain..."

The Triumph Rocket 3 motorcycle construction video.

Funniest corporate vid I've seen. The motorbike is pretty damn awesome too.

"The whole bike is chamoised with yak's butter."

"Testing is accompanied by banjo music, for safety purposes."

Video: How a Triumph Motorcycle Is Not Actually Made - Boing Boing Gadgets

This gaijin concurs... Japan wins towel wars. Goshi-Goshi are the bomb.

Also, you have to appreciate the foreign towels are all used by scary, fat foreign guy, while the goshi-goshi is used by the petite Japanese beauty. How very subtle.

Goshi-Goshi Towel Defeats Foreign Towels : Japan Probe

Japan, I salute your profanity! マザファッカー!

Japanese Rappers: Neri Mofos : Japan Probe:
"Hearing “マザファッカー” said over and over in that clip should be an amusing reminder to us all that there’s nothing wrong with using the f-word on Japanese TV. [An interesting side note: ディス is katakana Japanese for diss.]"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm honestly ashamed.

This is how we do things now. Maybe it always was, and I was just too naive.

But didn't there used to be, at least, some sense that abuses of power had to be conducted in the dark, because otherwise there would be repercussions?

Now we've the highest court in the land giving the big middle finger to the very idea of accountability.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > About That Whole "Mistakenly Torturing You" Stuff? Yeah. Tough Luck.:
"The Supreme Court today refused to give a hearing to a German man who says he was wrongly abducted, imprisoned and tortured by the CIA in a case of mistaken identity. Khaled Masri sued the CIA two years ago and sought damages for his five-month ordeal in a U.S.-run prison in Afghanistan.

...Masri, a car salesman, was on vacation when he was taken off a bus that had crossed the border into Macedonia. His passport was confiscated, and he was questioned for more than three weeks.

In late January 2004, Masri said he was blindfolded, taken to the airport and turned over to U.S. authorities, who flew him to a prison in Afghanistan. He says he was beaten and tortured by men who wore masks and were dressed in black.

He also says U.S. authorities would not permit him to contact the German Consulate. After several months, the CIA apparently realized it had made a mistake, and Masri was returned to Europe. But rather than return him to his home in Germany, he was dropped off at night on a hillside in Albania."

Bringing people together...

Highlights from Harper's Weekly - Boing Boing:
"The Middlebury Institute, a liberal advocacy group opposing the Iraq War, and the League of the South, which displays a Confederate battle flag on its banner, met in Tennessee to discuss their shared goal of secession from the Union."

Bodacious ta-tas, maybe?

2PM But You're Certainly Correct about Her Gargantuan Gazongas

Male intern, about passing coworker: Wow... Those were some tremendous titties.
Female manager: Okay, so you know I'm your manager, right? You probably shouldn't say 'titties' to me.

Plymouth, Michigan

via Overheard in the Office, Oct 9, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"The free thinking of one age is the common sense of the next." - Matthew Arnold

One reason Hawaii worked for me.

Hawaii - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Religion/Adherents (Percent of Population)
Christian/351,000 (28.9%)
Buddhist/110,000 (9%)
Jewish/10,000 (0.8%)
Other*/750,000 (61.1%)
*Other includes: agnostic or atheist, unaffiliated, Bahai, Confucian, Daoist, Druid, Hawaiian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Shinto, Scientology, Unitarian, Wiccan, Zoroastrian, etc

Abortion in Nicaragua.

The Catholic Church, of course, supports them.

More at the link.

The Mahablog » Killer Law:
"Last November, Nicaragua became the third country in the world, after Chile and El Salvador, to criminalize all abortions. There are no exceptions; not for rape, not for incest, not for threats to the life of the mother. So far, this law has resulted in the deaths of at least 82 women."

Never forget, they will gladly take your life to "save your soul."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Things you forget living in Japan - Columbus Day.

Ah, history.

Too bad there's nothing we could possibly learn from it...

Columbus Day Celebration?:
"...When Columbus and his crew arrived on their second visit to Hispaniola, however, they took captive about two thousand local villagers who had come out to greet them. Cuneo wrote: "When our caravels… where to leave for Spain, we gathered…one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495…For those who remained, we let it be known (to the Spaniards who manned the island's fort) in the vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some of them could do so, to the amount desired, which was done."

Cuneo further notes that he himself took a beautiful teenage Carib girl as his personal slave, a gift from Columbus himself, but that when he attempted to have sex with her, she "resisted with all her strength." So, in his own words, he "thrashed her mercilessly and raped her."

While Columbus once referred to the Taino Indians as cannibals, a story made up by Columbus - which is to this day still taught in some US schools - to help justify his slaughter and enslavement of these people. He wrote to the Spanish monarchs in 1493: "It is possible, with the name of the Holy Trinity, to sell all the slaves which it is possible to sell…Here there are so many of these slaves, and also brazilwood, that although they are living things they are as good as gold…"

Columbus and his men also used the Taino as sex slaves: it was a common reward for Columbus' men for him to present them with local women to rape. As he began exporting Taino as slaves to other parts of the world, the sex-slave trade became an important part of the business, as Columbus wrote to a friend in 1500: "A hundred castellanoes (a Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand."

...This wasn't just the story of Hispaniola; the same has been done to indigenous peoples worldwide. Slavery, apartheid, and the entire concept of conservative Darwinian Economics, have been used to justify continued suffering by masses of human beings.

...We live in a culture that includes the principle that if somebody else has something we need, and they won't give it to us, and we have the means to kill them to get it, it's not unreasonable to go get it, using whatever force we need to.

In the United States, the first "Indian war" in New England was the "Pequot War of 1636," in which colonists surrounded the largest of the Pequot villages, set it afire as the sun began to rise, and then performed their duty: they shot everybody-men, women, children, and the elderly-who tried to escape. As Puritan colonist William Bradford described the scene: "It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they [the colonists] gave praise therof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully..."

The Narragansetts, up to that point "friends" of the colonists, were so shocked by this example of European-style warfare that they refused further alliances with the whites. Captain John Underhill ridiculed the Narragansetts for their unwillingness to engage in genocide, saying Narragansett wars with other tribes were "more for pastime, than to conquer and subdue enemies."

...It is our way of life. It comes out of our foundational cultural notions. So it should not surprise us that with the doubling of the world's population over the past 37 years has come an explosion of violence and brutality, and as the United States runs low on oil, we are now fighting wars in oil-rich parts of the world."

Apparently, I too would have been a terrorist as a teenager.

I had this book as a teen. Go figure.

Consider this - when you can be thrown in jail for the books you read, maybe you actually DO need something called the Anarchist Cookbook.

Boy arrested for Anarchist Cookbook - Boing Boing:
"A 17-year-old in the UK was arrested for 'collection or possession of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism' due to his possession of the Anarchist Cookbook. Strange that a book freely available on can get you arrested."

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Vivid dreams last night. Haven't remembered my dreams in weeks... months? Academy dreams. Recurring. Seems like I always remember them. This time I'm dropped six months in. Really, almost was. Academic boards near miss. Finals saved me. But I keep living in Annapolis. Work there. Fake officer. Write fake orders. Blend in at the harbor. Not the real Navy. Odd. Meaning transparent. Faking it. No real sense of belonging and place. Church, football, USNA, USMC, Japan. Prodded into by circumstance, others. Always 'in' the thing, not 'of' the thing. Japan the first time that's ever been liberating as opposed to constricting. Maybe. Rules clearly state, you're gaijin/foreigner. Won't fit in. Never part of. Freeing when that's always been the feeling. Cliched, still.

Quote from the dream, context lost - violence doesn't solve problems, strategic and tactical thinking solves problems. Violence is a tool to that end.

How very Clausewitz-ian.

New label - thoughts

Kikuchi Gorge and Daikanbo with Bachan and family.

More pics here:

"Your Appendix Has a Reason After All"

The Associated Press: Your Appendix Has a Reason After All:
"Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut.

That's the theory from surgeons and immunologists at Duke University Medical School, published online in a scientific journal this week.

...The function of the appendix seems related to the massive amount of bacteria populating the human digestive system, according to the study in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. There are more bacteria than human cells in the typical body. Most of it is good and helps digest food.

But sometimes the flora of bacteria in the intestines die or are purged. Diseases such as cholera or amoebic dysentery would clear the gut of useful bacteria. The appendix's job is to reboot the digestive system in that case.

The appendix "acts as a good safe house for bacteria," said Duke surgery professor Bill Parker, a study co-author. The location of the appendix — just below the normal one-way flow of food and germs in the large intestine in a sort of gut cul-de-sac — helps support the theory, he said.

Also, the worm-shaped organ outgrowth acts like a bacteria factory, cultivating the good germs, Parker said..."