Monday, July 14, 2008

I Hate Your Lawn

I hate Lawns. The lawn was an invention of the those who could demonstrate their conspicuous wealth. They were a signal like pasty white skin that the owner of the property was wealthy enough to grow a useless crop on his lands and hire others to care for it.

Nowadays, every American house has a lawn. Tending a lawn does not induce a sense of calm and serenity. There is no Walden like tranquility to be gained from the large amount of labor required to maintain a healthy lawn. Lawns need excessive amounts of water, gas (or electricty) to power the noisy trimming machine used weekly, chemicals to keep it a bright sought after green and pesticides to fight the foul insects which invade lawns.

Some of the worst lawns in America are located in Arizona. Tremendous amounts of water are needed to bring big useless green zones to the desert. Much to their credit though, Pima County has a long history of water conservation efforts. In the article a quote from 90 years ago indicated Tucson residents recognized the waste of water on lawns in the desert: Water is Wasted in Irrigating Lawns.

If you don't have kids or dogs I'm not sure what great benefits the Hulk Lawn gives you. Do you really find it aesthiscally more pleasing than say a ground covering "lawn" of Pachysandra or other walkable non-grass ground covers?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Apparatus of Government Controls You Utterly

The entire apparatus of government is a Rube Goldberg machine. It's huge, complex, cumbersome, slow, and designed for the simple task of controlling you. Of course perhaps that's an insult to Rube Goldberg. The goal is not just control but domination which you willingly accept or are not even conscious of... It's hard to cut the strings if you don't realize you're a marionette.

Now, it may be man requires a form of government for arbitration, defense and peace keeping but a there is no way a monstrosity 1000 miles away (from the Chicagoland area that is) can respond quickly or effectively to your needs or problems, just ask the residents of New Orleans, the aftermath of which showed the limitations and downright incompetence of even State Government.

But, even after spectacular failures such as Katrina and the Imperial decrees of little more the 500 Masters of DC to invade and overthrow foreign rulers (whom they no longer like) Americans still acquiesce and defend the Apparatus.

Even when the rulers, such as Phil Graham, safely ensconced in their insular world of Government=Lobbyist, tell the plebeians to Just rub some dirt on it and quit whining about gas or home foreclosures and the recession in your little minds, Americans acquiesce to their Masters.

And why? Because we the people are taught that to be against the Apparatus is evil and wrong in and of itself. We are taught to revere the Apparatus itself. We the People are taught throughout life to place ourselves in the box and ignore or destroy anyone who tries to get out of the box.

This begins early in life with an education system imported during the Golden Era of Prussian Militantism.

It continues when the Apparatus creates an unending string of little bans upon your life designed to turn everyone in the State into a criminal and to captialize upon the natural instincts possessed by every human other than sociopaths or psychopaths.

The State then ensures resistance to the enforcement bears a double edge. The Apparatus of Government outlaws resistance to force and when it chooses to exercise it's power it sends not the masters but pawns. Any rational human bears in mind if he resists he is not striking out against the Machine in some Matrix inspired fight for freedom, but fighting with an agent of the State who is most likely caught up in the same net and held under the sway of the Machine as well.

And the Apparatus continues by encouraging people to believe they can work within the system for slow and systematic change. Society can't handle rapid changes is usually the bromide dispensed to those working for change. By the time any real change has been adopted those who worked for it are long dead and buried. See Haymarket Square.

Working gradually within the system is, as Tolstoy reasoned, a self-delusion which benefits the Apparatus.
It is ineffectual and irrational because Government... knows very well what is really dangerous to it. and will never let people who submit to it and act under its guidance do anything that will undermine its authority. And therefore, as both reason and experience clearly show, such an illusory, gradual conquest of rights is a self-deception which suits the government admirably, and which it, therefore, is even ready to encourage.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I've always wondered if Creationists think all those Biology, Anthropology, Geology, Archeology Teachers who support, teach or reference Evolution are simply gullible or part of some vast conspiracy. I've got an answer. Evolution: The Big Hoax! It's the Darwin Conspiracy!

According to the site The Theory of Evolution has three fatal flaws. The best being Babies. Babies are proof Evolution is impossible. And here I thought Babies were proof the Second Law of Thermodynamics should fall flat on it's metaphorical face. Do you dare visit the Darwin Conspiracy and learn the other two?

But,a real treat is The Conservapedia. A Wiki for those who like to read Right wing news to reinforce their preconceived ideas, which is, of course, not a right/left issue but a human brain failing.

The Conservapedia entry on the Theory of Evolution is interesting... One of the great all-time thinkers in mankind's history, Archimedes, didn't support the Theory of Evolution therefore Evolution isn't true. Archimedes was brilliant one of the three greatest thinkers in history. But, here goes... It's possible Archimedes may have developed a theory of Evolution but we'll never know because ignorant Monks in the 13th century scrubbed away Archimedes great works and inscribed silly fairy tales on them.

Additionally, The Theory of Evolution has been "foundational to Social Darwinism, Nazism, Communism, racism and to atheistic communism" and "the Americans most likely to believe only in the theory of evolution are liberals".

Funny it seems the Bible is True after all; There is no new idea under the sun. As with the Monk and the Palimpsest, all the modern Creationist fanatics can do is work to erase man's achievements and replace them with fairy tales.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'll Define Winning in Iraq Right Now...

Winning in Iraq is when US Soldiers no longer have to occupy the country. However, this is a cynical answer because the US isn't going to leave Iraq despite the demands of Nouri al-Maliki that Iraq wants a timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops to be attached to a security agreement. Of course, the American People can't agree to such an artificial timetable for withdrawal.

After all as Super War proponent Der Max Boot recently offered up at Commentary Magazine:
In order to build on the success that General Petraeus and his soldiers have had, we need to maintain a long-term commitment in Iraq-for 100 years if need be, as John McCain has said.

The Surge has worked.
No it hasn't...
Yes it has!
No! It! Hasn't!

The Surge was nothing less than another shell game. The Surge was touted as a success even before it happened. As violence spiked and more Americans died in 2007 than any other year of the Occupation The Surge was working. As US service members deaths dropped (thankfully!) The Surge worked.

The fact is it doesn't matter.

In my first blog post a year ago I postulated the Occupation of Iraq is more akin to the US invasion and Occupation of the Philippine Islands than Vietnam.

In a hundred years no one's going to remember the hundreds of thousands killed and maimed. No one will remember the 3 Marines killed by a Suicide Bomber or the 30 or so Iraqi unpersons after The Surge worked and the Enemy in Anbar Province was neutralized. And we'll have Iraqis working as barbers and cooks and cleaners here in America!

But, for many of those who've served the Occupation of Iraq is forever.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Military Advisor

At the end of Blockbusters such as Iron Man you always see a Special Thanks to military advisor USAF Lt. Colonel So-and-So. Well, the brother of a friend of mine who is an actor and involved with the Provision Theater Company called me to attend a reading of a rough draft of a play about a young army medic struggling with PTSD after serving in Iraq. I agreed.

The Play revolves around a female Army Medic's struggles to reconnect within society circa 2005.

It's a fairly standard story. Young girl joins in 2000 in attempt to escape the small town farm life in Minnesota and finds herself in Iraq in 2003 or 2004. A terrible event occurs which she happens to survive. At home her father and her best friend don't understand the changed woman. She finds it difficult to handle regular dates. She's reluctant to go to the VA and when she does is paired with a bureaucratic doctor at first until she requests a new doctor and is helped by an unusual doctor who goes out of her way to save the young woman.

So after the reading the board expressed it's dismay at the playwrights use of profanity, the overuse of dialogue to stage scenes and move along the drama, the predictable device of unusual doctor finds a way to connect, and found they couldn't care about the main character because she was an "unlikable brat". Worst of all the play needed work and while suggestions could be made to the playwright he was under no obligation to make any changes. However, the board seemed happy the play didn't delve into politics and remained focused on this one young female soldier.

Then I was asked for my opinion. I stated I thought the play was supposed to be about the struggle to reconnect within normal society and what was missing was the second act in which the audience gets to see the resolution. The young girl reconnecting and re-entering into society. I then said while the character was sarcastic and sardonic I wasn't put off by her demeanor and thought it would be a good juxtaposition to expand the flashback of her prior to service being a happy go-lucky girl deciding to join up to "see the world and pay for college". Also I didn't think there was enough profanity, but then of course I was in the Marines.

I mentioned what everyone seemed to want was a modern retelling of The Odyssey. Because as I explained all of Odyssey's trials and tribulations are parables about a soldier trying to "return home" from war. I asked if they'd heard about Joseph P. Dwyer an army medic made famous by an iconic photograph who died as a result of his struggles with PTSD. No one had...

The board decided to not pursue the play.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Christopher Hitchens on Water Torture

Whoa. Christopher Hitchens agrees to be drowned err... waterboarded and states unequivocally, Believe Me, It’s Torture.

From the article:
You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure.

Watch the video of Hitchens being tortured.

And Hitchens is given a code word and drop item to end the session. Our 'enemies' don't have that luxury.

And on the whole point of water torture extracting useful and reliable information. Do you think all the heretics tortured by the Inquistion were actually Witches?