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Musings and Meanderings

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Conservative Columnists
now reposted - was the blog of last wednesday

Whenever I am somewhat sleepy in the morning, or full of the milk of human kindness, I go over to read Ann Coulter latest column. It wakes me up, and gets me mad.

This reminds me how small minded the right wing of the Republican Party can be. With the fall of Rush Limbaugh this woman is the leading purveyor of lies and deceit. I'm convinced that the only way for the "cons" to keep their sheep in line is to lie and slander their way through an election. (Not to mention the actual stealing of elections.. but we won't get into that.... old news.. we know what they do).

We have already seen that the latest Shrub commercial in Iowa directly attacks the patriotism of any individual who is foolish enough to challenge this bit of Ornamental Shrubbery who is in the White House. Coulter takes it right to the edge calling the entire line up of Democratic Contenders the "Treason Lobby".

Of course the real reason she does this, like so many "pundits" of the Right, is to sell more copies of her book of course. That and she is pretty much certifiable....

So where it the antidote to Coulter? Who is taking her on from the Left? I don't think that we can just ignore her, because her Nazi-esk "Big Lies" will travel further than the truth. That is the sad fact.
posted by Mike 11:54 PM

Saturday, November 29, 2003

You decide.

I think that the President going to the place that our troops are stuck is a great morale building thing.

However I ask you, this sudden decision to go, could it have had ANYTHING to do with the fact that Hillary was already over there?

I for one, having a long history with Repbulicans ( at one point I was the founding member of the Santa Clara County Teen Aged Republicans ) know that this is EXACTLY what a Karl Rove would do.

But you decide, either way it was good for the troops.
posted by Mike 9:18 PM
Blog back to normal

Ok the graphics are back. (5pm 11/29)

Now I just need to contribute something...

Maybe tonight
posted by Mike 4:56 PM
Its not your computer

The site that holds my graphics is not responding to the net now (Sat 11/29 @ 2:12 east coast time).

It goes down periodically. But its not your computer.

posted by Mike 2:13 PM

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Trotting with the Turkeys.

Ok thats kinda mean. The 40th Annual Turkey Trot is Troy's all city health event on Thanksgiving day. Alex ran for his second year in a row.

Alas Alex has been experiencing the side effects of a cold and cough so he was not in his best form. For the Presidential Physical Fitness Award he did the mile in 7:25, but due to his cold he did the mile today at 10:39. The pic below is him coming to the finish line, which Liza took. I used the 35mm and got a few shots including his time with him crossing the line.

posted by Mike 9:32 AM

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Today's Blog Removed

So as not to offend those friends and family members from the other side of the Aisle, I have removed my mutterings from today. They will be returned next week.

I do this so that those of you who have not read the blog in a while will not be put off and continue to read of the our fun and games the last week or so.

If you are bound and determined to hear my liberal leanings I suggest clicking on the archive to the right for this month and find November 11 and 12th's entries.

Happy Holidays
posted by Mike 8:35 AM

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Blogger up and down

Ive been having problems accessing blogger recently, don't know if its my computer or their site.

Anything written between Friday the 21st and today (the 25th) has been backdates so you probably have not read it yet.

posted by Mike 9:10 AM

Monday, November 24, 2003

Good bye Honda Civic

I have been going back and forth with a business associate of Liza's for the past few weeks on an appropriate dollar figure for him to drive up from the southern part of the state and take away the 92 Honda Civic that has been sitting in the back yard for the past year and a half. We put it there after it sat for another half a year on the road, not being driven, just moved back and forth, as Liza had gotten herself a company car and HER car had AC.

So we finally fell on a price of $500. I thought this was pretty good for a car which frankly didn't look so hot any more (it had not been washed in two years) and had not been started in a year and a half.

So Saturday Am I got up and began to clear away the leaves (see Sunday) and detritus around the car. Then I opened the back gate. Then I washed the car down. Turns out the discoloring of the finish was completely MUD and not any blemish to the finish. This was my first good news bad news. Good because it made the car look much better, bad.. well we can get to that.

So the buyers came along at 11am and put a new battery and filled it with fresh gas. Then they tried to start it. IT STARTED. Now I feel like a compete idiot. If I had done this I am sure I could have gotten a much better price for the car. To make myself feel better (not) I went online to the Kelly blue book site and punched in some worse case scenarios for the car hoping that the blue book price would come back with some decent news. No luck.

The trade in value of the vehicle was $825 even with me taking off all the features the car actually had. Then bright boy decided to see what the sale value was to a private buyer. $1900. So basically I pissed away anywhere between 325 and god knows how much more by not trying to get the car going and cleaning it up.

Well I try not to look backwards and as I write this on Tuesday I'm feeling a tiny (itsy bitsy) bit better about the deal. The car will pay off the new refrigerator we got this summer. So I traded a car for a fridge. I got the backyard back, as the car was quite an eyesore. And my better half whom I love dearly as you all know, is very happy. Who says (loosing) money cannot buy happiness???
posted by Mike 10:04 PM

Sunday, November 23, 2003

The Leaf thing

It was made clear to me on Friday night after the Moody Blues concert that there was "no time to do all the things I have to do" by my better half, due to her massive work load. So the intrepid and loving husband I am I set out to do the impossible.

I raked the yard. Now this is a big deal for me. One I usually don't like doing this. In fact this is the most heinous chore in home owning in the "autumnal area" of the US in my book. I'd rather have a root canal without anesthesia. Well maybe not but you do get the idea.

So Saturday AM I went out very early (ok early on a Sat for me is 10 am, those busy bodies who are out at the crack of dawn doing chores at 8 or 7am drive me crazy. Don't they know they are supposed to sleep in?) I digress.

So Saturday AM I went out and cleared the area around the Civic (see Monday's entry). Then started the heinous job. About an hour later I got an inspiration. The old back (which I had popped lifting TV's two weeks before) was not going to put up with the bagging part of the leaf ritual. No way no how. So I went inside and wrote up a contract for Alex. One dollar for every leaf bag filled. 25 cents off for any whining to do the job. And a big fat $20 to finish the job without help and without any meltdowns. Actually I built in my own head one melt down till he got on the program, which Alex dutifully produced no less than one hour into the project.

Once that was settled and he was back on the program we merrily raked and bagged for the good part of two daze. We ended up creating 20 leaf bags as I did a pile on Sunday I had told him that he did not have to do. Finally I "brushed" the whole area clean with the mower in the last ritual mowing of the season, going only one way, and blowing those undeserving leafs into a shredded haze out of eye sight.

Alex did 14 bags and helped with two more so I gave him an even $35 credit for the hard work. He admitted that yes it was actually fun after the meltdown on Saturday. As promised we went to Toys R Us and he got a new game boy game with his hard earned money. Gosh do you think this will begin to teach the value of hard work? Well its a start.

Oh and yes, as this is a back dated blog, I can assure you that I've been stiff as a board Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

We do know how to have fun here on the East Coast don't we??
posted by Mike 9:29 PM

Saturday, November 22, 2003


Pre show publicity shots to be found here Please take the time to check out the site if you have the time!!

So my second entertainment event of the weekend was the LHS production of Oklahoma! The lead was played by my wife's cousin Liam, and damn well at that. Now I know that both family and friends read this blog, and I could skew my blog today away from my full impression of the show, but I won't.

First of all, that Liam can ACT!. Now this is important, for those of you who have seen HS productions before. I felt that in his portrayal of Curley that he was actually "being" Curly and not Liam doing Curley's lines. That’s the essence of acting, suspending the belief of the viewer so that the viewer does not see the actor but the role.

Second of all, that Liam can SING! In the year since I heard him last his voice has matured greatly, and he is carrying those difficult notes well. I think he is a tenor, but I'm never sure of those definitions of voice. Either way all of his songs Sat night were in key and very clear.

Now.. his co-star. This girl missed everything Liam hit. As Laurey she has a good voice, but her lines were mumbled and sounded like she was reading from a cue card. I've watched her for five years now, maybe six, and unlike Liam, she doesn't "get" the idea of acting. I sincerely wish her well in college, but hope she doesn't pursue acting. As Ado Annie the supporting actress if I can call her that, on the other hand, was just brilliant for a HS performance. Either she affected her voice, or her voice is truly irritating, but she seemed to hit the part right on the money. Finally as Will Parker the supporting actor role, again I use these terms because I don't have the program in front of me, was good as well. He would have seemed better if Liam was not on the stage.

Two other notables I can't avoid mentioning were the actors playing Aunt Eller and Ali Hakim. The girl playing Aunt Eller has always been wonderful in all the roles I’ve seen her in over the years, but she really hit her stride in this. She has a beautiful singing voice and does the acting thing. The guy playing Ali was very funny, affecting the amusing role in a very strong way, and brought along a lot of laughs.

The music was wonderful, played by an orchestra of mixed older and younger players from the district. Oklahoma has quite a few dance numbers and Liza and I were impressed at the level of choreography that we saw, though it was hard to get every dancer to hit the numbers. But this isn't Broadway and we don't expect that.

So this was the last show before Liam goes off to college. The good news is that his brother Connor is following in his footsteps and we have at least four more LHS shows to look forward to, perhaps more, as Alex will be in HS by then as well!

Just starting with a strong Oscar and Hammerstein score and script isn't enough. I thought the LHS production this year was the most enjoyable I've had excepting their My Fair Lady. (Towards which I am biased because it's my fave Broadway musical of all time).

Great job Liam!!
posted by Mike 11:11 PM

Friday, November 21, 2003

The Moody Blues

After a two year hiatus I saw the Moody Blues again at the Palace Theater in Albany tonight. What a wonderful show. They play all the "favorites" that they always do. This year they are supporting their new album called December which is a combination of covers of old Christmas Tunes and new ones they have written over the last two years.

The band consists of only three original members now a days, Ray has retired from touring due to gout or something awful that makes standing and walking very painful. His flute playing, especially in Timothy Leary will be sorely missed in my book. Of course Mike Pinder left after the "core 7" albums and his place on the tours have been filled by various well and not so well known keyboardists. At 62 the oldest member of the band is Graeme (the drummer) who did all those wonderful poems, such as the one after Nights in White Satin. Justin (guitar) and John (bass) are in their late 50's.

To fill out the band sound which is rich and lush on their studio albums they carry and extra drummer (who does trades sticks with the original drummer during a song) two keyboardists - male and female, and now due to Ray not touring a flutist who also plays a mean guitar and sings beautifully.

As usual the crowd was an eclectic mix of old and young, men and (mostly) women, couples and groups of friends. It was especially cool to see the parents with their teen aged children. I got a wonderful ticket through a great lady I know from the Internet MB discussion group called lost chords. I was fifth row left and had a marvelous view of the new flutist.

Justin still just floors me in his ability to hit those notes! The only downside was in the "big numbers" as I call them, when every one was singing, you could definitely hear Ray's voice was missing. I had an insight as well when John was singing how much his voice reminded me of what John Lennon might be sounding like now. Of course the mix wasn't perfect and I've never had that insight from studio work but it was interesting. I think they are the same age. They did a song which was originally a tribute to the Moon Landing called Higher and Higher, which is one of their songs set to a Graem's poems. He was wearing a red shirt which said Ho Ho Ho on it (he looks like Santa with a wonderful "Jerry" beard and full head of white hair) and he just strutted his stuff on stage. It was a riot and he was obviously having a great time.

I really got a feel for the deeper roots of the MB's last night in the rock and roll from the late 50's. As you know I come to the Moody Blues from "Progressive" being a massive fan of all things art rock. But it was interesting to perceive the underlying "roots" of rock and roll in their music. One thing that seemed completely absurd to me, was that John after a song would point to various members of the audience and then do a thumbs up or a finger up or something. Now you can't see jack from a stage. It was so bizarrely plastic that he seemed a parody of himself.

All in all it was a wonderfully moving experience. As always. This is the third time I've seen them in five years and I'll never miss a show till they stop touring...

Tomorrow.. Liam Farrell starring in OKLAHOMA!

posted by Mike 11:38 PM

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The past few days.....

The house situation

Well we finished up the debt restructuring this weekend with our retiring of 2/3 of our revolving and other debt to be paid off in five years max. Feels really good.

The house needs some help. Well we have been here five years and really have done nothing to it except live in it. So the roof needs some work. And the house needs repainting. And both chimneys's need to have new mortar. Yes we have two chimneys, the original from the 1800's has the furnace exhaust going through it, originally it was the kitchen cooking fireplace. The other is a real fireplace, which we cannot use due to the mortar situation, worries that an ember could come out the mortar holes and set the roof on fire. That would be bad. So anyway we have a year or two of work to do.

More robust concepts from my better half will include insulating the sun room, removing part of the wall that connects it to the kitchen, and redoing the "pantry" (the original mudroom in the first version of this house). In the end we will have a lovely breakfast nook area and a more open house on the far end. Last and certainly least we will redo the front top floor room into Alex's bedroom as he nears his teen years.

Monday leads to a new musical discovery

I spent six hours on the road on Monday purchasing new product for my company. First stop was a distributor in the next county down from us where we got all sorts of neat toys to sell like Car CD players, amps, speakers, sub woofers and car multimedia stuff. A high school dream come true. I never did get to get that cool car in HS ( I didn't want to work so it was my own damn fault) and the cool sound system. I still don't have a cool sound system but that will come as is fairly apparent.

Then I went another county down to pick up new Echostar systems (My market now has local channels beamed via satellite). I also picked up some XM satellite radio stuff. Now can you imagine paying a couple of hundred bucks for a satellite radio receiver just so you can have the privilege of paying XM 9.95 a month to use it? Well apparently thousands of people have and more every day. The programming for this service is phenomenal! 100 channels of Clear Digital Quality radio. Every music spectrum you can imagine as well as news, sports and family channels.

There is something for everyone. Rock and roll? Love Classical? Four channels. Like Jazz? Seven channels! How about Chill/Acid Jazz/ Techno. Yep. Even my personal least favorite genre's... Christian rock, Yep. The Rap scene? Yep. Country? Yep

And the big one for me. Are you a PROG HEAD?? Channel 51 - Music Lab and Channel 72 Beyond Jazz are worth the price of admission alone. Now I must be honest. I didn't pay for the equipment or the programming. Well a little for the programming. It’s a benefit of my present employment. But I would have if I had to. Feel free to click on the links I have provided and you can listen a bit via the web to what I've discovered.
posted by Mike 9:59 PM

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Absurd Ad Campaign of the Season Award

Goes to Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC as they now brand themselves. (Whats wrong with the original name I want to know). Anyway the new campaign positions KFC as a Health Food. How funny is that? They are trying to cash in on the low Carb diets out there. Do you know how much fat and cholesterol is in a 3 piece KFC box? Ooodles. Some health food....
posted by Mike 3:42 PM

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Big Brother thought of the day

I remembered this after re reading my piece on the "Patriot" act below. One of the forms we signed during our ReFi today (please read on) was our "Patriot Act" disclosure form. Yes that is right folks. We have now been offically passed by the Shrub Adminstration as not being terrorists. Apparently terrorists are not allowed to purchase homes. Each new Mortgagee is run against a "Known Terrorist Database". The Notary Public dryly noted that she was not too sure what she would do if she actually had a name come back as one.

So we can rest at night knowing that the known members of Al Quada will not be buying homes in their real names.....

posted by Mike 9:57 PM
Amusing thought of the day

Driving to work today I heard the Bush people were "brainstorming" on what to do with Iraq. Immediately the song Oklahoma came to my mind.

"Ohhhhhhhklahoma where the wind goes whipping down the plain"... I will let you figure out the correlation....

Amazing what 1% will do.

Finally signed the papers for the ReFi today. Took close to an hour and a half not counting the waiting for the Notary Public to come in with all the copies. We went from 6.5 to 5.5 and are saving 127/mo. And the Christmas present which was not at all expected is that we don't have a December mortgage payment. Not bad for two months worth of work.

Actually its been a comedy of errors mostly surrounding the ReFi company. I called my present mortgage company nie on two or more months ago and started the grinding wheels in motion. Finally the local office sent me the paperwork for the ReFi and a consolidation loan. I dragged my feet a bit and then was told by the local office rep "take your time, no problem", so in my inimitable way, I took a LOT of time.

I didn't realize they had put a expiration date on the rate...

So about three weeks after I sent in the paperwork (I had no idea how long it took for underwriting) I got a letter from the corporate office asking why we had not pursued their offer. Um Excuse Me??? So I called, and bitched out the manager because the local rep had led me to believe I could "take my time.."

She saved the deal by holding the rate open if I hurried and signed all the paperwork, which they had to send AGAIN. I said, what about the consolidation? Oh she said there was no deadline on that so we will just hold onto the papers we sent you.

Less than a week after we returned the papers we got a call from the Closing Lawyers, saying we could come in and sign the loan. So when I called I asked about the consolidation. What consolidation? Oy! So I called the local office again, oh no they said, you have to reapply for that too. (are you getting the picture that the don't have their act together?)

Sooo she basically approved me over the phone and send another set of papers. When my better half read them she did NOT like the offer, and promptly went to our local credit union the next day and got an unsecured loan for consolidation that was 50% more than the offer from my mortgage company -- which was a secured loan. Lower interest rate, and fixed.

Anyway that's the story, the ReFi is done (thank god) and we sign the consolidation on Saturday. This totally restructures our debt and clear 75% of our outstanding revolving debt in 5 years while actually paying LESS than we are paying now. Cool.

Now Reading: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Bloody amazing book. 1100 pages and tiny text. Unbelievably well written.

OBCD recently: Lots of Studio Camel.

QOTD: [M]aybe the most any of us can expect of ourselves isn't perfection but progress.
-- Michelle Burford, O Magazine, 2003
posted by Mike 9:48 PM

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I enjoyed that so much I think I'll do it again.. In the News

Bush Warns Extremists Seek to Rule Iraq WOW what a News Flash. What more can I say? I love it when the guy you want to defeat gives you the bullets for your own gun. Of course they want to rule Iraq Mr. Shrub, your poorly planned post war operation has guaranteed that this country will be the hot spot of terrorist cells and activities for years to come. Nice planning. Now go back to Texas. A village is missing its idiot.

Yea I'm a liberal (and proud to be) but I am also balanced. So I'd like to focus on the the Kerry Campaign. If anyone was pre-made to make a run for the White House it was Sen. Kerry. War Veteran, Moderate Liberal, Strong in the Northeast and the Left Coast. But what happened? I don't feel the answer is "Gov Dean". Howard Dean is a phenomenon unto himself, and does not make the other candidates look worse by himself. If Kerry or Edwards or god forbid Gephardt was running strong it would just be a better horserace.

No I think the problem with all of the above Senators is that they have no Message. With a capital M. They have no Product they are selling. With a capital P. The "three Senators" as I'll begin to call them, apparently have no marketing people working for them. So we see Kerry riding a Harley onto Leno, firing his campaign manager, and watching his press secretary and others then resign, it's because he has not given them a Product and a Message to sell. As Al Gore proved disastrously 3.5 yrs ago, the Campaign Manager doesn't matter one hoot if the candidate is not a Candidate. Capice??

And then there is Ann Coulter. Wow what happened to this woman that she is 1) so nasty 2) so ill informed 3) yet so beautiful. Yea so my chromosomes are showing. I'll hold off on any name calling as this woman really gets my goat. Like Rush Limbaugh and so many others they twist and bend the truth just enough to make it work for their own ends, and their disciples (read "sheep") just eat this up. Click on the link to her name and read the dreck she is putting out.

One op-ed piece decries that the Dem's are "opposing the war on terrorism while pretending not to oppose the war on terrorism is to keep demanding that Bush produce a "plan." " Now there is a novel concept. An exit strategy and a post war plan. Imagine if we had actually gone in prepared for the cessation of fighting. Museums would not have been looted, the borders would have been better patrolled from day one, and a working council of ex pat Iraqi's (but please disqualify the criminals) would have been prepared to step in as an interim ruling council.

The other takes a stand that the Dem's are making too big a deal about Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin being a born again Christian. Wrong again you bleach blond bimbo (ok there.. some name calling). The COUNTRY has a problem with this "general" stating that HIS God beat THEIR God. Oh my GOD, what a fine way to assure the Muslim world we are not declaring war on them.

posted by Mike 8:24 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

In the news....

Condy Rice is beginning to irritate me. Ok I know.. "Beginning?" you say. Actually I almost like her on the talking heads Sunday shows. Anyway this attempt to play semantic games with definitions of war really irks me. It's bad enough that the Shrub Administration has no clue what they are doing "post war", but now they are demeaning the deaths of our young men and women by splitting semantic hairs. "Major combat operations have not resumed in Iraq by really any stretch of the imagination," is the line that caught my eye. Well first of all, I don't actually think it ever began, the memory is hazy but I don't remember really any major pitched battles on the way to Baghdad. It seems to have been "insurgency" since day one. Listen you Shrubbers....., if soldiers are dying, then its a war. Doesn't matter what you call it. Not too hard to understand. And to marginalize via semantic hair splitting the effort of our soldiers the day before Veterans Day is equally offensive.

A possible blow against the "Aliens and Seditions Act Redux" (the Patriot act)?? Finally a suit has been brought against the "Justice" department regarding the dangling in the wind of the people locked up at Guantanomo Bay. Now don't get me wrong, I want real justice for anyone whom we have captured. But I want clear and visible Justice. This Star Camber method of dealing with these people held is horridly two faced by the Shrub Administration. We are all for Truth, Justice and the American Way of Democracy, but only for Americans. Not available for the "other guys".

A true leader in the world sets human rights above all else; including it's so called "National Security". (This excuse bothers me deeply - what exactly do these so called terrorists know that is so secret that the American People cannot know?) A true leader in democracy and human rights would publicly and openly try these people. But then again I cannot expect this particular brand of Republican in the White House today to understand this. Silly Me.

Appealing to old interest groups and not finding new ones is a major difference between the Democrats and the Republicans and why the Dems seemed doomed to the minority role for the foreseeable future. The AFL-CIO announced that it would wait to back the "strongest Democrat" in their view. How nice. Who Cares??? While the Republicans continue to make inroads in the South, with Soccer Moms, with the Latino's etc and continue to gather in more and more right wing Christians, the Dem's dither over the labor unions. Now don't get me wrong, the Dem's need the Labor Unions, but the effort put into them is not indicitive of their actual impact on a National Election anymore.

Union membership shrinks yearly. The impact of said unions on the Presidential Vote is reduced more and more. So what’s up with this? It's called lack of leadership in the DNC. I'm in marketing. The Voting Populace is a "zero sum game", what one party gets the other cannot have. So why is the DNC not out MARKETING their product? Lack of leadership is why. The only one out there truly Marketing the product is Howard Dean.
posted by Mike 8:27 AM

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Matrix or is the plural Matricies?

No Spoilers here.

Alex and I saw the final installment of the Matrix trilogy today. Overall I am quite pleased with the full Trilogy and each movie has its positives and negatives. Ok well actually the first installment has no negatives in my book....

The problem with the final installment is that the ending was not well done. I felt that they were so close to getting it right, but too many things were left unexplained or just dangling out there in the breeze.

The comments by the Slate writer about the long monologes miss me completely. The best part of Reloaded to me were the dialoges between Neo and the Oracle and Neo and the Architect. To me the trilogy revolves around one simple concept. Choice. This theme is examined from different angles and perspectives throughout the three movies but Reloaded hits it best in my mind. I have mentioned before that the Smith's fight scene in Reloaded does not work for me at all, as the CGI looks so PS2 as to be laughable. Otherwise though the fight scenes in all three movies work pretty well for me.

I think the Matrix trilogy touches well on our perception of our own reality. No question the first movie was the strongest, but I don't feel the sequals let me down at all. The trilogy is well based in many aspects of Sci-Fi, and compares well to a Jack Chalker trilogy whose name I cannot remember. The ablity to change reality to his own mental constructs touches on some very eastern philosophical tennats as well. All in all I am quite satisfied with the trilogy. Its not Kubrick, or Hertzog, its just reasonably mindless entertainment with a few nice mental conundrum's thrown in.

So I left the theatre mostly satisfied this afternoon. Alex loved it of course. The special effects of the machine city are fantastic and it is not untill the very end of the movie that things fall apart marginally for me. I won't "spoil" the ending for those who have not seen it but there seemed to me to be something missing in the final scenes that left me wondering why the ending was as it was.

(this blog is a slight cheat as this is substantially the text of an e-mail I sent to some friends)
posted by Mike 11:22 PM

Friday, November 07, 2003


Bad trend rearing its ugly head. Skipping daze (sic) blogging. Must find a discrete time in each day to blog.

Who am I, or more importantly what do I believe.

I believe I'll have a good drink!

Not really, in fact I really don't drink. I also do not eat red meat. I try to stay low carb but its not easy.

Organized religion leaves me cold. I do believe in a god, but more of the deist (sp?) The clockwork universe is God, but I am not a believer in predestination. I am an existentialist, but I believe that a "Judeo-Christian" value system must be adhered to in order for society to hang together.

Fundamentalism is similar regardless of what religion you adhere to, and is the single biggest threat to world peace. There is nothing wrong with the basic religion, be it Christian, Judaism, Moslem, Hindu etc. But men of power pervert and corrupt the teachings of their real or mythical prophets in order to attain their aims. Put another way: a Fundamental Christian who guns down a Doctor is the same as a Fundamental Muslim who destroys a building with an airplane.

I believe that handguns were made for one purpose, that is killing people. The NRA stand on this issue shows that they care less about people's safety than their own power within our government. This easily segues to the next concept.

Without fundamental campaign finance reform the vested moneyed interests in this country will always adhere to the golden rule: Those that have the gold make the rules.

I believe that life starts in the second trimester. It is none of the government's business nor religion’s business if a woman decides that she does not wish to carry to term during that period. Here is Fundamentalism again. The idea that a bunch of bible toting fundamentalists can tell my wife, sister, daughter or friend whether she can decide to have a child is most offensive. It just shows how these people have lost their way and lost their Christian values. Controlling others, violence and hatred are not Christian Values.

I believe that every person has a right to some sort of good health care. I don't even pretend to have a "plan" to make this happen efficiently and cost effectively, but none the less in a modern society it should be a right not a privilege.

However I do not believe it is NOT every person's right to blame someone else for their extreme stupidity. If you drive a car and drink hot coffee and spill it on yourself - then you are clumsy. It's not a matter for the courts. If you decide to smoke cigarettes, then you are taking a risk - dont expect Government or Corporate America to foot the bill for your last dying days. Tort reform and the reduction of litigation will free up millions of dollars and hundreds of court hours.

I believe that war is a catastrophically bad way to settle disputes. But it can also be the final solution to intransigent regional regimes. It must be a Global action, not an action taken by one or two countries. There must be a plan for the aftermath. But I repeat my very first blog. Sometimes in the course of world events the Global Community needs to stand up and say "No More".. No more exporting weapons, no more abuse of your people.

So yes I was in favor of removing Saddam Hussein. Yes I think the Bush administration has bungled this so spectacularly that it will probably be taught in the next century as how NOT to go about making war.

I believe everyone regardless of race creed or color is born a good person.

I also believe that it is easy to corrupt a child with hate. It happens in every corner of the globe. Whites teaching their children to hate blacks. Arabs teaching their children to hate Jews. Hindu's teaching their children to hate Muslims. And of course visa versa. Look at the former Yugoslavia. Another generation of violence is guaranteed because the ethic groups in this country have taught their children that revenge for the deaths of the present generation is the right thing.

I'd like someone to show me in the teachings of Christ where it is suggested that this is a good idea. Or in the teachings of Mohammed. Or the in teachings of Buddha.

Ok enough for one day.

Reading or Read: Finished another 7th Dr book, Bad Therapy, which ties up Peri's fate nice and neat. Finished the 8th Dr book Emotional Chemistry and the PDA Mission Impractical which was a fanboy romp if there ever was one.

OBCD the last few days: the Chill Collection brought to me by Brother Greg.

A Quote for the day:I shut my eyes in order to see.
-- Paul Gauguin

posted by Mike 8:33 AM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind