My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Entry for December 29, 2005

My new biggest bitch: General rudeness. Now I know that this is a stretch, but I would like to make a point that this is a social issue in my own community that I find interesting and important. Now I’m not going to go into advanced general manners, such as the ability to balance peas on the back on ones fork, but I would like to shed some light on my general concerns on the everyday social graces that are expected of a civilized society. As I balance my checkbook, I am made to reflect back on all of the people (here I am speaking, mainly, of the service industry) who I had the gracious pleasure of dealing with over the Christmas Holiday. Wait, did I say gracious? I meant gut wrenchingly painful. Is it to much to ask for you to tell the person on the other end of your cell phone to hold for one second so that you can accept my hard earned money so that I can finally go home and wrap yet another Christmas present my wife will inevitable return? Or, why was it necessary to park your Excursion across three handicapped parking spaces so that you could secure that Honey Baked Ham as quick as humanly possible? What on this earth made you think that an attempt to stop people on their way into the bathroom to sign them up for a new credit card was a good idea?!??! Could you please just let me get in the store without hearing your required nine minute personally delivered commercial about how if I “spend more then $20 I can purchase a bathrobe at 25% off; but if I spend more then $30 I can get 39% off of your Select Foot Gel Line AND a free Extreme Ear Hair Extractor; while if I spend more the $85 I get to personally shave the Manager’s head while he gargles month old eggnog”? I get it, I get – please just let me go and learn some common manners. And while you are at it, tell your Manager to go lather his head up.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

On being

Built into our cosmos is the evolutionary process for every species to have an event that dramatically alters or annihilates them from continuation. Since we have become self-aware, the choice of onus falls on us to bring about our own spectacular devastation. We cannot, and will not, progress physically, consciously or evolutionarily until we have beaten ourselves to, or past, obliteration. Having the choice to self destruct or to allow the cosmos to choose for us enables us to not only, possibly, survive, but to advance far past our understanding of our being.

The President Broke the Law

and his reaction to this is essentially, "I did it and so what?" He is the president and he can do whatever he damn well pleases.

Well, the problem will all this is that President Bush has just acknowledged that he has violated the law. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requires that national security wiretaps be authorized by the secretive FISA court. "A person is guilty of an offense," the law reads, "if he intentionally . . . engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute".

In addition, many people on the TV and talk radio have been touting the one year exemption provided by the statute as justification for President Bush's actions in spying on American citizens within the country. That, also simply does not wash, since those exemptions specifically excluded using this exemption for spying on American citizens:

The exemption of surveillance without a court order for 1 year applies only under the following circumstances: "....the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that— (A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at— (i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or (ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and (C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801 (h) of this title..."

Actually President Bush appears to be mostly relying upon Attorney General Ascroft's guidelines regarding the application of FISA, not the law itself, for justification. On May 17, 2002, the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court ruled that portions of guidelines issued by Attorney General John Ashcroft on intelligence sharing violated federal law. The court said the policy established by Ashcroft, who cited the Patriot Act for his authority, shortcut the Constitution and FISA by replacing existing surveillance requirements used for criminal prosecution with the more lax FISA requirements.

President Bush has arrogantly and defiantly admitted to violating the law. So why do people insist on defending him in this matter? Is the President above the law?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Moment of Silence

Woman can do anything. They are wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful, caring and effervescent creatures of beauty worthy of more praise then I could ever conger my hands to write. Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium, Cleopatra successfully ruled the Macedonian Dynasty for decades, Betty Crocker created cake that came in a box and Ms. Zippy the Wonder Squirrel who learned how to waterski to entertain people shopping at boat shows.

This is why, as I stood pinned in middle of an endless Christmas line at Target, I wondered exactly how it was that an entire brilliant gender could have accomplished so very little in the grand scheme of human achievement. Surely there was the oppression and the time wasting of raising children - but there had to be some time left to contribute more to humankind. As I stood there pondering this conundrum, the person with the cart in front of me curiously changed to another lane. At once I saw why. In front of me was two incoherently babbling women, talking to each other and yet having two separate conversations all together.

Woman 1: Well. Jimmy can’t wear red because it makes him look Norwegian. And it’s not that there is anything wrong with being Norwegian – it’s just that’s he’s not Norwegian. No. He should be wearing more…

And at the same time

Woman 2: …and that’s why I’ve never been able to eat squash. So instead I’ve learning to like pancakes so that Steve will be able to buy that boat he’s always….

Still at the same time

Woman 1: I don’t care how much mascara that she puts on, my mother will always look like a schnauzer…

Both continuing to plow ahead together

Woman 2: …but if Dr. Phil and Oprah DID have a kid, I bet it would be finicky. All I’m saying is that Dr. Phil has a tendency to be…

And then it occurred to me, beyond the extraordinary natural and social causes, the reason that they’ve done so very little to direct human advancement through individual achievements is because most are caught up in a world of neverending discussion. So from a man who is on your side and believes in your abilities to alter humanity in a positive way that as men cannot, please, shut the fuck up.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Entry for December 01, 2005

The only difference between blogging and standing on a street corner preaching like a monk from another world is that on the corner some people are bound to hear you.