Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And People Wonder...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Graduation and Flight...

Before I forget...if you have some time, pick up the latest issue of Atlantic Monthly. I read it cover to cover and it's amazing, almost every article had something new and interesting for me to learn. I apologize if this is rambling, but I'm pretty tired. It's about 0300 NY time, but I'm in SD. I got home and immediately went out with Dave, my friend back home. He didn't tell me when he invited me, however, that "go out" at 1100 really meant, "pick my drunk ass up and take me home." Whatevs. Anyway, I wanted to write about graduation and the president's shitty speech, but it's too late and I'm tired, so, goodnight...until next time.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Democrat Moderation...

I stumbled upon this quote on a blog (but they quoted it from the New Republic) that I thought was really interesting:
"The Bush administration has wielded the threat of another (terrorist) attack in such a promiscuous and politically opportunistic way that some liberals have responded by believing the threat is a Republican creation."

"The argument with the left is that it's dangerous to equate American greatness with American purity. If you demand that America be unequivocally virtuous, you create a situation in which America can't act. In the real world of international affairs, you can't maintain complete moral purity in fighting evil."
I think, other than the use of the words "in fighting evil," I can agree with this. It's probably one of my biggest problems...I desire so strongly for my own country to act according to the standards of virtue and righteousness I set that, frankly, I doubt any state could possibly live up to them.

This is not to say one has to condone wrong acts...but it is simply to acknowledge that a balance must be struck between reality and ideals...and I, for one, too often err too far on the side of ideals.

In other news, I move out completely tomorrow and I just now took my first bag down the arduous six flights of stairs. I did procure a free couch for my new room though, which is cool.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

3 things, in Descending Order of Importance...

  1. My roomate and best friend Jimmy James Carlson is coming back on Friday for a one night only engagement of drinking and debauchery.
  2. This past weekend was great. I went to the city with Kozlowski and a day later Troy and his girl met up with us in the city. I saw a Darwin Exhibition at the Museum of Natural History along with hanging out with some Eagles at a bar, going to my favorite Belgian Beer Bar, catching the premiere (sp?) of the movie 12 and Holding and otherwise having a great time. It was Troy, Koz and my third TEE leave together with one more to go. Montreal, Casa Di Maples and NYC, so next year should be know, go down in flames right?
  3. This whole federal marriage ammendment thing is pissing me right off...not in an abstract way, but in a genuine angry at the world kind of way. I mean, it's obvious beyond any doubt that the whole thing is simply to mobilize conservative voters even though they know it's not going to pass...the idea that they would take people lives, make them more miserable than neccessary, stop the government from doing actual work and otherwise make assess of themselves and their positions simply to pander to a block of voters they need is disgusting.
  4. A fourth thing, just for good measure. I stumbled upon another cadets blog and I've found it rather well written and interesting. It is here, in case you want validation that there are other cool cadets.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The First Night...

I remember the first night was "in" the Army. I'd gotten to Fort Leonard Wood (is that one word or two?) sometime around four or five in the afternoon and we were immediately issued sweats. I don't know how, but we got one pair of BDU's with our names on them, and boots. I remember this because I was on fireguard that night. I had to wake up, sometime around midnight, to make sure the barracks didn't catch on fire. It was our first night, so they really only wanted us to be awake, in twos. I was sitting on the stairs near the entryway with a blanket, flashlight and pad writing a letter home.

I was writing about how I went into the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror with "Harmon" on my chest. I never played sports in high school, so I'd always been Adam. My dad, however, was in the military, so, seeing the uniform he had worn, but wearing it myself, was surreal. I felt like I was playing it was Halloween or something. Then I realized that some twenty years earlier, my dad had been doing the same thing I was. He had sat there, somewhere new, now knowing Charlie, his best friend, my Uncle Z or any of the other people I had always associated him with, because they met in the military. I imagined him, possibly for the first time in my life, as just a young man, like myself, trying to do something with his life. It was strange, to think of him in a way other than as my father.

I think, right then, is the first time I felt a connection to my father other than the usual father-son bond. We had gone through some rough times, with me not wanting to grow up and there was a lot of tension in the house for a while. At the same time, however, I remember after high school, when I was basically doing nothing for two years, it was my mom who really wanted me to "grow up" and get a job and all father was the one who convinced her that it was alright and that I was just "finding myself." My mom and I still laugh about that. That for the first time in my life, it was he and not her who was taking the calm trusting approach with me.

Now that I grow up, I tend to use him as a measuring stick. What was he doing at this point in his life...what would he do if he were me...what did he do so right that I can do too? I don't know if everyone does it, or if it's just because my dad died and I somehow feel that if I can lead a life well lived, it'll validate his short life, but I can think of worse ways to live.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

This is News??

I saw this clip on the internet of a Fox "news"caster talking about population demographics. Now, I was a human geography major for a short period of time and so hearing him talk about this stuff with absolutely no grasp of the real facts or consequences of his words made me want to vomit, from a strictly scientific point of view.

That was before I realized that what he was saying was completely and utterly racist. Here is what he said:
Do your duty. Make more babies. That's a lesson drawn out of two interesting stories over the last couple of days.

First, a story yesterday that half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far, the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably, the ones Hispanics call "gabachos" -- white people -- are having fewer...

To put it bluntly, we need more babies. Forget about that zero population growth stuff that my poor generation was misled on. Why is this important? Because civilizations need population to survive.
to draw no distinction between white people and Americans...moreover, to say that because Hispanics are reproducing faster, "we" (white/Americans) have some duty to have babies is fucking absurd. America could have no white people and still be Absolutely American...likewise, it could have all white people and be completely unAmerican...

The voices of the people in the back laughing reminds me of high school bullies...they don't care who they hurt, so long as they get a laugh from their minions.

Friday, May 12, 2006

So, we often hear now that the President says they never said there was a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. I was just reading an old interview with Condoleeza Rice on Wolf Blitzer and found this (Condoleeza Rice's words):
The president of the United States did not go to war because of the question of whether or not Saddam Hussein sought the uranium in Africa. He took the American people and American forces to war because this was a bloody tyrant, who for 12 years had defied the international community, who had weapons of mass destruction, who had used them in the past, who was threatening his neighbors, and who threatened our efforts to make the Middle East a place in which you would have stability and therefore not people with ideologies of hatred driving airplanes into the World Trade Center. That's why we went to war.
Anyway, I just found it interesting. They're so good at getting saying everything without actually saying it...the sad part is, they seem to genuinely believe themselves.

Poor Decision...

I always thought I should shoot for the moon...try for the best I could and that if I didn't get it, at the least I'd have tried and whatever the outcome was, it would better than not trying. I was wrong. I'm begining to realize that there are some gambles which are all or nothing...and I might have gambled wrong.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


There are so many things that I'm passionate about, that I care about, that I worry about, that I don't know where to stop. I can speak up, or act, or question...but I can only do so much. So where do you draw the line between not doing enough and doing too much? What if helping a situation, or fighting for a cause, puts you in danger...should you do it? Does it depend on the cause? What if you know that saying or doing something to help a situation will not do anything to change the situation, but to say or do nothing would make you feel hypocritical or complicit?

I know those are a lot of unanswerable questions, but that's basically the point I'm at in my life. I want to fight the good fight, I want to help the cause (whatever cause that is...from the environment to civil rights, I have so many), but I'm begining to feel increasingly like a spent battery. I'm begining to realize that I'm just "one man". At the same time, if we're all just individuals and therefore can accomplish nothing, why even bother? So, where does that leave me? It leaves me at a place where I can't find a good balance between waging a war for the greater good and staking a claim for myself. It's a false dilema, and I realize that as I type it, but I don't want to face the harsh reality that I could do more if I were willing to, if I had the courage to, or if I were a stronger man.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


OK, there is all kinds of stuff I could write about Scientology, but sometimes, you have to let a group speak for itself, otherwise, you could be biased. That being said, here is the list of Scientology's 57 Perceptions (yes, you have 52 more than you thought)...

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's list of 57 perceptics. Words in parentheses are his:
Timen Sight
Tasten Colorn Depth
Solidity (barriers)
Relative sizes (external)
Touch (pressure, friction, heat or cold and oiliness)
Personal emotion
Endocrine states
Awareness of awareness
Personal size
Organic sensation (including hunger)
Blood circulation
Cellular and bacterial position
Gravitic (self and other weights)
Motion of self
Motion (exterior)
Body position
Joint position
Internal temperature
External temperature
Muscular tension
Saline content of self (body)
Time track motion
Physical energy (personal weariness, etc.)
Moisture (self)
Sound direction
Emotional state of other organs
Personal position on the tone scale*
Affinity (self and others)
Communication (self and others)
Reality (self and others)
Emotional state of groups
Compass direction
Level of consciousness
Perception of conclusions (past and present)
Perception of computation (past and present)
Perception of imagination (past and present)
Perception of having perceived (past and present)
Awareness of not knowing
Awareness of importance, unimportance
Awareness of others
Awareness of location and placement (masses, spaces and location itself)
Perception of appetite
*Scientology's tone scale, as defined in The Scientology Handbook: A scale which shows the successive emotional tones a person can experience.Source: Scientology 0-8, The Book of Basics, by L. Ron Hubbard.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

More of the Same??

Normally, when something eggregious happens, someone will tell me, "What do you expect? It's politics." as though the type of things going on today happen all the time...which they don't. This is a full quote I took from this page on I found particularly infuriating:

“He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years,” Jackson said of the prospective contractor. “He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something … he said, ‘I have a problem with your president.’

“I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘I don’t like President Bush.’ I thought to myself, ‘Brother, you have a disconnect — the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn’t be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don’t tell the secretary.’

“He didn’t get the contract,” Jackson continued. “Why should I reward someone who doesn’t like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don’t get the contract. That’s the way I believe.” Check out the full write up on their website at the link above.

Funny and Disgusting...

I stumbled upon two things the funniest I've seen in a while and the other the most disturbing. I think I'll start with disturbing so that by the end, the laughter at the end will make the first part less unsetteling.

The dude at the top is named Armin Meiwes. He's a cannibal. The dude at the bottom is a fellow named Bernd Brandes. He wanted to be eaten. The met online, met in person and then, all on video, Armin cut off Bernd's...appendage...grilled it and they ate it together. Then Armin got into a bathtub of hot water to "bleed out" was cut up and eaten slowly over ten months.

No, seriously. Apparently Armin had other fellows willing to be eaten which didn't work out for other reasons. Here are some emails found on his computer and court transcripts:

Wannabe lunch Dirk Moeller, a German conference organiser living in London, was next.

Meiwes said: "He wanted me to pronounce a death sentence upon him like in a court so I got one made up from a document on the internet. He came to the house but he backed out, too. We ended up going to the pictures to watch Ocean's Eleven."

and then this one, Andreas, from Regensburg in southern Germany:

"He wanted me to pick him up in a cattle truck and slaughter him like a pig," said Meiwes."I told him to take the train. I picked him up at the station and we went back to the butchery at my house. He wanted me to wear rubber boots, which he licked. I wrapped him in clingfilm ready for slaughtering but he backed out. So we just fooled around, drank beer and ate pizza.", onto the comedy. There is a group called Improv Everywhere that I just found online that is absolutely hilarious. In this clip, a man is pretending to be jumping off a building...but the ledge is only four feet high. There is a wife, a cop, a concerned co-worker and's hilarious. Just watch...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Law Day...

So, I promised a 24 hour turn around on the post about Law Day and President Bush and I failed you all. But, I'm here now...everything will be OK. (By the way, I got an email about that one from my friend Adam in Iraq--ooh, cool, I will soon be "Adam, in Iraq"...anyway, he wrote, that "when the revolution least we'll be the ones with the guns" which made me laugh since I know he's halfway mocking me.)

So, my other friend, Mike, couldn't understand why I was so upset about Law Day. The way I saw it, it was a total slap in the was like raping my sister and then having a "celebration of sexual purity". OK, that might be a bit extreme, but that's how it feels to anyone who follows this stuff, particularly if you have followed his record on the judicial system. Let me, in bullet form, throw up some highlights of Bush's idea of "separation of powers" when it comes to the judiciary:

  • The appointment of two judges to the Supreme Court who believe in the "Unitary Executive". The Unitary Executive (I'll use wikopedia since it's easiest)
    The theory relies on the Vesting Clause of Article II which states "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." Proponents of the unitary executive use this language along with the Take Care Clause ("[The President] shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed...") to argue that the Constitution creates a "hierarchical, unified executive department under the direct control of the President."[1]
    The theory argues that the power of Congress to divest the President of control of the executive branch is limited.

    This theory is what the President believes allows him to sign a bill, such as the McCain torture amendment, while at the same time releasing a "signing statement" which says, in essence, that he doesn't have to follow the law.
  • He continues to try and put right wing judges, some of whom are literally criminal, on the courts. From Janice Rogers Brown, who wrote,
    We are heirs to a mind-numbing bureaucracy; subject to a level of legalization that cannot avoid being arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory. What other outcome is possible in a society in which no adult can wake up, go about their business, and return to their homes without breaking several laws? There are of course many reasons for our present difficulties, but some of our troubles can be laid at the feet of that most innocuous branch – the judiciary…From the 1960’s onward, we have witnessed the rise of the judge militant.
    And went on to write,
    The United States Supreme Court, however, began in the 1940s to incorporate the Bill of Rights into the 14th Amendment…The historical evidence supporting what the Supreme Court did here is pretty sketchy…The argument on the other side is pretty overwhelming that it’s probably not incorporated. [“Beyond the Abyss: Restoring Religion on the Public Square,” Speech to Pepperdine Bible Lectureship in 1999]
    Just to be clear...without incorporating the Bill of Rights into the 14th Amendment, states could establish a religion.
  • Here's a story about another Judge Bush wants to raise to a higher court. He wants to do so knowing that this Judge ruled in favor of companies he had just bought stock in...a basic law violated.

I could go on and on about the violations Bush has committed against the Judiciary, but I wont (I'm hungry and want to go eat) but, I will leave you with this quote from the amazing speech Gore gave that I quote far too often:

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. Indeed, they recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution-our system of checks and balances-was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law. As John Adams said: "The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them, to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men."

Last Night...

Last night I went to the firstie club to celebrate our day off today and Troy's un-engagement. I didn't much like his girlfriend (too quiet for him) so we were happy. I met some of the rugby girls there, saw some old friends from another company and ran into a few other people I knew. The Blue Moon flowed like wine and the only thing that could have made it better was pizza.

I had on my red shirt that has the words "False Advertisement" in the shape of the statue of liberty and some asshole got pissed and walked away. I thought he'd forgotten all about me (oh, he also asked, with utter seriousness, "Are you even a cadet?" which made me "lol" which made him even more pissed...both because I am a cadet and because I felt so obviously superior to him because I didn't find it impossible to make a political statement and be a cadet) anyway, by the end of the night, he hadn't forgotten about me and he instead glared at me as we left and looked like he was going to try to start a fight or something. I vaguely remember having "words" and then my friend Troy pulled him aside and talked to him and he skulked away to another part of the bar.

This morning, I was hung over to no end and couldn't eat breakfast (it wasn't a good meal anyway) and then I slept in until ten. Is this what it's like to be a real college student? Drunk nights, hung over mornings and start work around noon? If so, that's awesome!

I talked to Alex a little this morning and she said something that made me think, "That's Alex..." here it is for your reading pleasure:
Alexgator82: speaking of which, i better go, patrick wants me to help him fold up a tarp or something.
Alexgator82: he's in charge of the landscape
Alexgator82: because i can't bring myself ot cut plants down

Monday, May 01, 2006

I am going to write as little as possible and let the irony of this one speak for itself:

The President declared today, May 1, Law Day. Specifically,
This year's Law Day theme, "Liberty Under Law: Separate Branches, Balanced Powers," honors the wisdom of the separation of powers that the Framers of our Constitution established for the Federal Government. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention recognized the risks that accompany the concentration of power and devised a system in which the Federal Government's authorities are divided among three independent branches. James Madison highlighted the importance of our Constitution's separation of powers when he wrote, "the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

yes...I'll let that sink in, that President Bush declared a Law Day with those aims...and write about the absolute irony of it in twenty-four hours time.

Neil Young...

Neil Young's new album is all online. It's pretty good if you like political rock.