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Friday Open Thread

by afew Fri May 16th, 2008 at 12:38:00 PM EST

Friday On My Minders win out!


Display:
You'll all feel better on Monday!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 12:39:46 PM EST
Hope so, but I'm off for some general anaesthetic. Have fun.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 12:47:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boo to Mondays!

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 12:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am looking forward to the weekend. I have been looking around for a beamer for quite sometime and yesterday I ran into a special sale. Incredible bargin for a beamer, so before I move it, I will watch a movie with it this weekend. But this is not all, part of that offer was a nitendo station with a sports game. So no I am the lucky owner of a nitendo station. :-)

Ceebs, that yoga thing, does your girlfriend still like it?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:38:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a wonderful word. I've not heard that used in the States... took me a moment to decipher what you meant. Turns out -- according to Wikipedia -- a beamer is slang for a video projector. It is a pseudo-anglicism in a number of languages including German, Dutch, and Latvian.

We just call them projectors here... I'm going to start using beamer though... what a great, descriptive word!

by Magnifico on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:48:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you know, now that you mention it, we call the machine use to project dia-pictures also a projector and not a beamer. :-)

But the one used for computer presentations is called a beamer. weird. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:54:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I'd known I could have sold you one. I have one with very low hours - less than 5 - I'm trying to sell on eBay.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if I would have know that you want to sell one... :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:06:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
: )  Thanks Magnifico...I actually thought that Fran had bought a BMW!!!  Here we call THEM beamers!!!  When I saw that she'd got a nintendo at the same time I was very confused...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You were not alone...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:50:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL - well, I wouldn't mind the BMW!
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:01:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I vowed years ago never to own a BMW.  We had never had a car at home and always used bicycles or public transport...one day the boss in the 1st practice I worked in gave me his BMW keys to get a file out of the boot.  I'd never opened a car boot before...he said all I had to do was click the key at the car and it would open.  Fair enough says I and head out to get the file...15 mins later I returned with no file having spent the entire time clicking the key (and unlocking the car) and then sticking the key in the lock, twisting it and relocking the car!!!  I almost threw the keys back at him in frustration!

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:19:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, thanks for the bedtime story - time for me to get some sleep. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My ex had BMWs for years.

My major issue with them, apart from the emissions and the terrifying servicing costs, was that, after three days in charge of one of them, I turned into a BMW driver.

I'm sure there's a mind-control chip in the driver's headrest...

But, as a woman driving one of those things, you get cut up, tailgated-the one time one of them got keyed was when I was driving it. And it seems like every moron in town wants to race you from traffic lights.  Not that I ever sank to that. Or could have done. The clutch was much higher than on my car, which meant that I frequently stalled it and looked silly anyway.  :)

by Sassafras on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, she has a go every day. I have been known to have a go every now and then too.

although some of the other stupid games on there have been more to my taste. dropping balanced balls down holes, and ski jumping have been my preferred form of entertainment on it. (and I'm spectacularly rubbish at snowboarding)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:51:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so maybe some time later on, I might look into it getting the yoga thing. The game that came with the station is for sports - but boxing is not my stil, tennis is also not my game, but maybe I look in to golf.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:56:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Boxing is very good for working up a sweat, it's probably the best Aerobic exercise on the disk

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you think it would be worth a try?
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:06:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
its good exercise

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:14:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and being the most energetic of the sports on it you can also end up with painful injuries...like pulling things in your arms, shoulders...a cousin of mine even fell over a table!  Then again she also is left handed and in playing the tennis game hit her opponent in the head and knocked over a lamp...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:52:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
always fasten the wrist strap to prevent the controller flying off in random directions, hitting people, or expensive televisions


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:58:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While we're on the topic, who's got MarioKart for the Wii?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:02:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh my, what did I get myself into. :-D
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:00:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
: D
It'll be international ET MarioKarting next!
Or the 'ET Cup' in Tennis...or....

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:11:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, I'll have been to London and back and passed up and down the River at a family party. So if you hear reports of rampant piracy on the Thames it's probably the in-laws.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:59:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Magnifico on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll all feel better on Monday!

You mean when we start going through that five day drag once more?  

(I'm so resenting you right now for getting that song stuck in my head)

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, let's change the record: Monday, Monday.

<evil cackle>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 17th, 2008 at 01:59:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Expert warns climate change will lead to 'barbarisation'
By James Randerson, The Guardian

Climate change will lead to a "fortress world" in which the rich lock themselves away in gated communities and the poor must fend for themselves in shattered environments, unless governments act quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to the vice-president of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC).

Mohan Munasinghe was giving a lecture at Cambridge University in which he presented a dystopic possible future world in which social problems are made much worse by the environmental consequences of rising greenhouse gas emissions. "Climate change is, or could be, the additional factor which will exacerbate the existing problems of poverty, environmental degradation, social polarisation and terrorism and it could lead to a very chaotic situation," he said.

The scenario, which he termed "barbarisation" was already beginning to happen, he said. "Fortress world is a situation where the rich live in enclaves, protected, and the poor live outside in unsustainable conditions.

"If you see what is going on in some of the gated communities in some countries you do find that rich people live in those kind of protected environments. If you see the restrictions on international travel you see the beginnings of the fortress world syndrome even in entering and leaving countries," he said.

This new feudalism is already going on full-tilt. But, much of the rich seem to have foolishly hunkered down in Dubai rather than in the northern climes. Likely, they'll be able to move easily though.

by Magnifico on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:34:00 PM EST
well we wait till they've taken off to come north , then push all the fuel less 4x4's out onto the  runways in temperate climes and wait to see where they go.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
even in entering and leaving countries,

I think that is the most natural barrier. It is much cheaper to control than lots of gated communities, and reminds, that in some countries the vast majority of people are rich, by international standards. EU/USA are gated communities.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:47:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Naomi Klein, the author of Shock Doctrine, writes about the cyclone and earthquake aftermath in Burma and China for The Nation, Regime-Quakes in Burma and China.

... None of this compares with the rage boiling over in Burma, where cyclone survivors have badly beaten at least one local official, furious at his failure to distribute aid. There have been dozens of reports of the Burmese junta taking credit for supplies sent by foreign countries. It turns out that they have been taking more than credit--in some cases they have been taking the aid ... The generals, it seems, are "haunted by an almost pathological fear of a split inside their own ranks...if soldiers are not given priority in aid distribution and are unable to feed themselves, the possibility of mutiny rises." ...

This relatively small-scale theft of food is fortifying the junta for its much larger heist--the one taking place via the constitutional referendum the generals have insisted on holding, come hell and high water...

The cyclone, meanwhile, has presented them with one last, vast business opportunity: by blocking aid from reaching the highly fertile Irrawaddy delta, hundreds of thousands of mostly ethnic Karen rice farmers are being sentenced to death. According to Farmaner, "that land can be handed over to the generals' business cronies" (shades of the beachfront land grabs in Sri Lanka and Thailand after the Asian tsunami). This isn't incompetence, or even madness. It's laissez-faire ethnic cleansing.

I think she has the Myanmar junta in Burma pegged, but I'm not convinced she has China right. Anyway, I find what she has to write interesting in light of her other writings.

by Magnifico on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:41:18 PM EST
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Alien threat to truffle delicacy

One of the world's most prized culinary delicacies, the famous Perigord black truffle, could soon be off the menu.

Scientists fear it will be wiped out by an invading Chinese truffle they have discovered growing in European soils.

They tell the New Phytologist journal that the incomer is a particularly aggressive and fast-growing species.

The Perigord black truffle is one of the most highly regarded truffles, fetching around 600 to 800 Euros per kg this season.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:45:02 PM EST
10,000 Kilometers, 26 Horsepower: German Man to Travel to Olympics by Trabant - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

It's a long way from Germany to Beijing -- especially in a 26-horsepower Trabant. But one dauntless man is making his 10th trip to the Olympics in a cult East German car and is more worried about bureaucracy than breaking down.

Hundreds of thousands of people will be traveling to the Beijing Summer Olympics this August. But what better way to get to the world's largest communist country than in that icon of East German socialism, the Trabant?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:45:39 PM EST
The Best Retro Bathing Suits (SLIDESHOW) - Living on The Huffington Post

t's official: Summer 2008 marks the return of the retro swimsuit.

As swimsuit season approaches, women are discovering that many of this summer's suits represent a sharp turnaround from the crass arrangement of string and sequins that in recent years has made the Hamptons shore look like a Vegas sideshow.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:47:54 PM EST
Da Vinci to be honored by small helicopter flight - NewsFlash - Syracuse.com

TOKYO (AP) -- A Japanese man who developed the world's smallest helicopter will take flight in the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci in tribute to the Renaissance genius' original idea.

Gennai Yanagisawa, 75, said Thursday that a demonstration flight of his one-man helicopter is planned in the city of Vinci, near Florence, Italy, on May 25.

Yanagisawa developed the GEN H-4 helicopter -- with rotors, a chair, footrest and handle bar -- in the late 1990s.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 01:59:25 PM EST


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/7zB0RygrYy8&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/7zB0RygrYy8&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
by Asinus Asinum Fricat (patric.juillet@gmail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:06:19 PM EST
Damn! How does one post YouTube?
by Asinus Asinum Fricat (patric.juillet@gmail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:07:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See the New User's Guide.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In your case ((*youtube 7zB0RygrYy8)) without the asterisk gives you



When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:49:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 

Is this what you tried to post?

 ( (youtube 7zB0RygrYy8&hl) ) just delete the space between the ((

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:10:46 PM EST
Parts of this are scary:

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:13:37 PM EST
But, then Obama is projecting himself in a way his campaign considers necessary to win the U.S. election. What is more scary is the past seven plus years of Bush and a McCain presidency.

What would you have advocated Obama's response to be?

by Magnifico on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I too would like to know--what do you think he should have said?

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:54:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would've liked him to demean Bush with references to his irrelevancy, along with tying him to McCain, instead of the really needless effort to look tough.

The whole "Jews Hate Obama" meme is laughable to anyone who's actually looked at the polling data.  He shouldn't have entertained it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:58:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For one, I would not make a precondition that "Iran abandons its nuclear program". It is hypocritical in light that the U.S. start Iran along the nuclear path and that the U.S. is in the Middle East handing out nuclear plants to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. I would have tried for more nuanced with stating Iran's nuclear program will not be used for a nuclear weapons program.
by Magnifico on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would've said, "Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program, according to our own intelligence agencies.  Can these idiots not read?"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:09:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having voted against one insane jingoistic war as a Senator he seems ready to consider a different insane jingoistic war as a president.

Is this look-tough posturing, or does he mean what he says?

He's been consistent on Israel, so I don't think this is just rhetoric.

Hamas may be a terrorist organisation, but if people vote for it, people vote for it.

This speech is scary because he's really saying that he supports DemocracyTM, where anything goes as long as it's in US and Israeli interests and the other side doesn't get democratic parity.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this look-tough posturing, or does he mean what he says?

This is The Reason I cannot support Obama.  I can't answer that question & neither can anybody else.  With no track record, all answers wind-up being based on his cadre of advisers -  he may not follow - or projection - from his supporter's position(s.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:30:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he hasn't threatened to nuke Iran or been filmed singing 'Bomb, bomb, Iran...' So that has to count in his favour compared to the other contenders.

But he has been consistently pro-Israel with no hint that he might put be willing to try to push for more Carter-ish diplomacy in the ME.

My guess is he'll be too busy dealing with Iraq and domestic issues to spend much time on the ME.

Besides - don't we already have Blair for that?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:37:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Phony Tony still doing ME stuff?  I thought he was off praising Jesus at Yale or something.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:40:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tony is a veritable dynamo of multi-tasking political genius. He would have found it no problem to save the middle East from the Muslims, turn Europe into a vassal state of the Vatican and preach to the next generation at assorted prestigious world universities.

If only we hadn't destroyed his plans with our pesky petition.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:15:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, he was able to screw Brown, so I'm guessing it's not a total loss.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Somehow the argument

Vote Obama!  He's not completely ga-ga crackers!

doesn't comfort.

My guess is he'll be too busy dealing with Iraq and domestic issues to spend much time on the ME.

Maybe.  There's a strong message, being pushed by all the campaigns, that the 'World is waiting for US leadership.'  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:55:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He did not vote against the Iraq war as a Senator.  He hadn't been elected yet.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:35:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right.

And if you ask a lot of people about Obama's Iraq vote, I'll be surprised if they don't make the same mistake I just did until I double checked the facts.

Which is kind of creepy too.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:41:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know I'm right: I volunteered on his Senate campaign.  I totally loved the guy.  The first time I met him I was absolutely star-struck, for days.  Well before he became a household name.  But things got really creepy really quickly.  He shot to stardom, and his actions in the Senate were not as progressive as the way he'd sold himself in his campaign.  He was suddenly all about bi-partisanship.  That was not what he ran on.  He did run on being against the war.  And I think he honestly was.  No one in this town supported it.  But I don't know if he would have voted against it in the Senate.  Why?  Because I think a lot of people in the Senate were against it, but got bullied into voting for it anyway.  And Obama has not shown himself to be able to take a very unpopular stand in the Senate.  he's not the Paul Wellstone.  He has accepted hook, line and sinker the "way things are done" in the Senate.  It's weird.  I don't think he is insincere about being a progressive.  I just think he is as vulnerable to the machinations, pressures, game of politics as anyone else.  


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, among blue state Dem senators you did see quite a few vote against it (17-11 by my count)
by MarekNYC on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:07:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In what universe is 17 people "quite a few"?  We're talking about a completely unjustified war!  The whole entire rest of the world knew it was a bad idea.  So good of 21 Democrats to agree.  So sad it wasn't enough.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was simply saying that in support of the idea that the odds are Obama would have voted against the war.
by MarekNYC on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:33:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those with Presidential aspirations generally did not vote against the war, IIRC.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:05:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Opposing a war is unserious, every serious person knows that.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:06:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a universe of 28 people, clearly.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:34:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:43:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's his voting record on the Iraqi Appropriation Bills?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:09:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh oh.

Obama's record shows caution, nuance on Iraq - The Boston Globe

Campaigning for the Illinois Senate seat in 2003 and 2004, Obama scolded Bush for invading Iraq and vowed he would "unequivocally" vote against an additional $87 billion to pay for it. Yet since taking office in January 2005, he has voted for four separate war appropriations, totaling more than $300 billion.

Last June, Obama voted no to Senator John F. Kerry's proposal to remove most combat troops from Iraq by July 2007, warning that an "arbitrary deadline" could "compound" the Bush administration's mistake. And last week, he voted for a Republican-sponsored resolution that stated the Senate would not cut off funding for troops in Iraq.

Not quite the dedicated opposition you'd expect from a passionate anti-war candidate.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FWIW, I do distinguish between opposing the war and voting for appropriations, esp. when your consituents are calling you asking why their sons in Iraq don't have any body armour.  Granted most of that money is going to line the pockets of private corporations.  But that's very hard to sell to constituents.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:25:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FWIW, I do distinguish between opposing the war and voting for appropriations, esp. when your consituents are calling you asking why their sons in Iraq don't have any body armour.

It's probably not a winnable argument with the electorate, but I think there's also a reasonable argument that says voting for the appropriations is simply keeping the soldiers in harm's way while shoveling money to Bush's corporate buddies.  Cut the funding, and he might have to end it.

The problem, of course, is that Bush may then simply tear Iraq money out of the rest of the Pentagon budget and say, "Nope, you lose again.  Hehehehehehehe."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or blame the Democrats when the number of people coming home in body bags rises. Think he wouldn't dare?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:57:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that hasn't worked for three years, so while I've no doubt he'd try it, it wouldn't sell.  He's wedded to the image of the wood coffins.

Really, my read of it is that he just doesn't care.  Why should he?  It's his war, and he can't run for reelection, so fuck everybody else.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes, but calling his bluff would require bravery ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Best to not hope for a show of bravery when dealig with the Democrats.  It's been -- what, at least 40 years?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:22:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should have known that but it's no surprise.  There is a solid agreement in the US House and Senate "support for the troops" = "leaving them there to die for a bit longer so it doesn't harm my career."  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:39:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this look-tough posturing, or does he mean what he says?

I suspect mainly the former.  A lot of the press since Bush's speech has centered on Obama and Jewish voters, and so it's probably a lot of needless bullshitting.

The problem, as I see it, is that he hasn't been very consistent on Israel, though, which is what the Reps are trying to capitalize on.  (It's not going to pay off for them, because most people don't have strong feelings about Israel.  And Obama's winning 2-to-1 among Jews anyway.)  As I understand it, Obama and most of his political allies back in Chicago are not wild about Israeli policy, along the lines of Carter (recall Wright and the Hamas/Hezbollah stuff).

The part that I think you're talking about, where he goes into how Bush policy led Hamas ruling Palestine, strikes me as being potentially a worrying bit, but also as probably being just bad writing on his speech-writer's part.  I think he was trying to point out the irony of the Bushies hating Hamas but having brought them to power.

Not slamming the "Iran is developing nukes" meme is what I found worrying.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suddenly hear a news reporter asking Barak Obama, "Sir, with the positions you have been taking recently, you seem to be leaning very much toward the pro-republican agenda.  Pro-Israel--no matter what?  Have they been freed from international law?  Very harsh words about Iran, though less harsh than those of your republican opponent, and George Bush, and the various hangers-on, but isn't it true that our own security forces have confirmed that there isn't a weapon's programme, and that there wasn't back in 2003 when the republicans claimed--I mean, senator, these are the exact arguments you could use to bring down not just Bush, who is a figurehead, but the entire corrupt financial system--

Good coverage this evening, thanks!  Barak Obama at a certain point morphed into Tony Blair in my head, and I thought, "Yes, but Tony Blair needed George Bush to push him into a war.  Who's Barak Obama's George Bush?"

But England is smaller than the U.S.  The U.S. is equal biggest, at least, with China and Russia and India and the EU.  

So I thought, "Would Tony Blair have gone to war if he had been president of the United States?"

The U.S. had it's 2004, so I'll make the analogy: as Bush's second term is to John Major's....no no.  But a healthy rate of say and do, about 50/50 is good--but keeping the doing to 50, but the doing is winning the election...I remember the Bill Hick's sketch.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:47:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
....heh....I mean, if Obama isn't doing the things he keeps saying he's going to do, do voters expect him to suddenly change his technique when he gets the top job?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 07:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US Operational Intelligence Doctrine is potential (what could be done) based not probable (the most likely course is ...) based.  Theory says this is better as the US is prepared for the Worst Case Scenario to unfold.  In practice it leads to institutionalized paranoia.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:25:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that doesn't mean you cannot sit with the Iranians around a table!

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:44:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course not.

But it does mean there are people in positions of power and various interest groups within and outside the US government who see no point to sitting down with the Iranians.  

So far, they've won.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm all for talking, but diplomacy with the Iranians is exceedingly complex and requires regular exercising, with experts on the ground who can follow every nuance of the power shifts between all the different elements from bazaari to the sprirtual police. It is also a long term game for which the quarterly-oriented posturing mind is ill-equipped to understand.

Talking also involves listening; and that is possibly the hardest part for such people. Finally I'd ask any w*stern poltician,"OK, what are the 5 pillars of Islam?"

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 07:17:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm all for talking, but diplomacy with the Iranians is exceedingly complex and requires regular exercising, with experts on the ground who can follow every nuance of the power shifts between all the different elements from bazaari to the sprirtual police.

But wouldn't you agree that's true of diplomacy in general?  It's undoubtedly easier to understand, from the perspective of an American politician or diplomat, the dynamics of Britain or Canada or Australia, but I think it goes to more of a willful ignorance -- the Culture of Emboldened Stupidity, to use Matt Taibbi's brilliant description -- than to specifics about Iran.

Ironically, I'll bet you $5 (€0.20) the only big-name American politician who can name the five pillars of Islam is Rudy Mussolini.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 07:58:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it is true in general. Diplomacy is conducted mostly by unseen experts in the culture, language, strategies and tactics of the other side. Political leaders have little to do with this process except for ensuring the long-term support and availability of the experts.

Only when this process leads to mutual agreement can progress be announced publicly. The photo-op is a spin-off of diplomacy, not an instrument.
 

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 17th, 2008 at 03:38:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a bit scary too...

Looks like it's going to be one pander-bear against another in Nov.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:34:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ad/flyer/poster is scary.

The comments are scary.

It's one giant festival of four-on-the-floor scariness.

I'm looking forward to the 'Vote for me - I'm not mad' candidate, sometime around 2024.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:47:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is America we're talking about; don't hold your breath.  I think madness is actually a prerequisite for being President.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:02:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there was once a 'Vote Mr Spok, it is the only logical choice' campaign in the US.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Emmm...I actually thought that was a 'joke'...
Think I'll go and gibber in a corner now...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:03:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so I've changed my presidential campaign website to say 'Spencer for President in 2011' on the "About us" page.

We're all going on hope, and hope alone, over here. You can parse Obama's words from now until February, 2009, and you ain't going to figure it out. To a high level of confidence, we know little about President Obama.

I say this as an elected Obama delegate (to the WA state convention, where I will try and fail to be a national delegate). All I know is that I have enough information on the Clintons to oppose another presidency for them. As for Obama - gotta love his slogans.

My take is that: 1) from an electoral POV we have to go after the local offices, the state offices, and the House of Representatives - maybe the Senate. NBBooks diary on the development of wind-based power generation of this past week is a case in point for the local and state levels of power. The development rate is being driven by utilities and new state laws. It's not nearly fast enough, but the snowball is rolling downhill, at least.

2) by 2011 the shit is still going to be hitting the fan, and USians are going to be very excited in a not-good sort of way. Best to have a good program and organization ready for Naomi's latest set of shocks.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:13:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're all going on hope, and hope alone, over here.

Ain't that the truth.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 08:07:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush was wrong to advocate democratic elections in Gaza because Hamas was strengthened as a result???!!!

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi everyone.  I have a new diary up - go read it! :)

Do people have plans for the weekend?  There is a ton going on here & I doubt I'm going to be able to do it all.  

Tonight there is an urban arts festival, Manifest.  All weekend there is the Green Festival (for which my lovely phone comany has provided me with free tix).  And Sunday morning (uhg!  why morning?!) Aleksandar Hemon is giving a reading.

Does everyone here know who Aleksandar Hemon is?  If not - you MUST check him out.  I know I use the term "genius" a lot, but he really is.  He's a Bosnian fellow who basically got trapped in Chicago during the war, somehow managed to become fluent in English in a year or so, and writes brilliant novels about Eastern Europe and Chicago and the insanity of living in either.  I find them deeply satisfying.  :)

I really cannot recommend him enough.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 02:56:02 PM EST
Surprised no one here knows of him...  Here is his website.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a couple new additions to the household.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:36:57 PM EST
Aw, cute!  (Not the shoes...)

OK. I have a little story for you (and Mary, if she's around.)  So I was at this meeting all day yesterday about some $25 million crystal dome we're getting (Woo hoo Chicago School!) and as I was eating some chocolate tarts (Woo hoo Chicago School!), the girl sitting next to me leaned over and said, "I love your shoes.  You always wear the best shoes.  I have shoe envy."  Yay!

lol.

I'm feeling a little better.  Marginally.  



"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great story!  Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better.  As to the shoes, well, we could hardly let them go nuts on the good shoes, right?  Not that we've been all that successful so far about keeping them from doing whatever they want...

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 03:48:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
chocolate tarts .... mmmmm

And shoe envy!!   Sounds like a good day to me. :)

by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:09:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What an adorable addition to you household - I envy you. Enjoy them! :-) And keep us updated with some pictures.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:12:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgot - have you named them yet?
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:20:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moog and Arp.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
which is which?
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:37:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The black one is Arp and the gray one is Moog.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:50:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You let them pick their own names?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moog:

ARP:

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:28:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
duh.   Now I figure it out.   Thanks.
by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Am I missing something?
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was wondering what the names meant and then I figured out they are named after the musical ... things ... posted above.  

I should have figured out Moog but I wasn't familiar with Arp.  Not being a musician.  

by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:58:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I googled it, but i am still not sure I got it. Moog seems to be a company that makes musical instruments, but arp i could not find. So, what is it all about?
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:09:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moog synthesizers - famous in bands the world over.  Although sometimes sounding like a cat mewing depending who plays them .... just saying'.

I'm not familiar with Arp.  

by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:11:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they are going to join a band?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's very funny!
by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:13:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Be careful, they might spies from the CIA!

CIA recruited cat to bug Russians

THE CIA tried to uncover the Kremlin's deepest secrets during the 1960s by turning cats into walking bugging devices, recently declassified documents show.

In one experiment during the Cold War a cat, dubbed Acoustic Kitty, was wired up for use as an eavesdropping platform. It was hoped that the animal - which was surgically altered to accommodate transmitting and control devices - could listen to secret conversations from window sills, park benches or dustbins.

Victor Marchetti, a former CIA officer, told The Telegraph that Project Acoustic Kitty was a gruesome creation. He said: "They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity. They tested him and tested him. They found he would walk off the job when he got hungry, so they put another wire in to override that."

Mr Marchetti said that the first live trial was an expensive disaster. The technology is thought to have cost more than £10 million. He said: "They took it out to a park and put him out of the van, and a taxi comes and runs him over. There they were, sitting in the van with all those dials, and the cat was dead."

The document, which was one of 40 to be declassified from the CIA's closely guarded Science and Technology Directorate - where spying techniques are refined - is still partly censored. This implies that the CIA was embarrassed about disclosing all the details of Acoustic Kitty, which took five years to design.

I take it that no one in the room when this idea was proposed had actually ever owned a cat...


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:50:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pooties AND shoes.   Where is Jerome?

It's hard to see Arp with that black shoe.  

by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:10:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know.  It's hard to see Arp at all - he was born feral and is still kind of shy.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:26:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So ... do they sleep with you or do they have a kitty bed?
by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:45:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they have their own bed.  Actually, at the moment, they have their own room.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their own room?  Only in America ...

Spoiled little devils.  Do they have their own teevee and cellphones - or do they have to wait until they show they are responsible enough to deserve them? :)

by Maryb2004 on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:06:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they do actually sort of have their own teevee, since they're in the TV room.  They're actually too little to make it up the stairs into the rest of the house yet.  They also currently have access to the studio, but haven't yet picked their own synthesizers.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:19:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Awwww...they are so sweet!!  Congrats!

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 06:07:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gah, stupid fucking car mechanics.  I have a bunch of repairs that I allegedly need to have done on it, but my knee-jerk reaction is to not believe a word they say, so I get to spend the weekend asking for other opinions from friends who know about these things.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 04:40:42 PM EST


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 05:02:06 PM EST
Cold solder joints make millman the hardware debugger very unhappy.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri May 16th, 2008 at 07:46:54 PM EST


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