Archive for March, 2003
there are many things i do not understand about france. their love of bread and cheese, their women, their existentialism, their ability to sometimes make such phenomenal movies. these are all thing that, while i don’t understand them, i don’t mind not understanding because they are good things.
something else i don’t understand, though, is why they are so freaking stupid about iraq. it’s not like they didn’t support the previous resolutions in regards to iraq. the security council was unanimous. no abstentions, no conditional votes. unanimous. i understand that they think our government is being quite bellicose about this whole thing. i even agree.
however, as bush *finally* started pointing out, hussein has had over a decade to disarm. he has not disarmed. what do you do with someone who won’t obey? you punish them. if a guy at a bar starts a fight with you, then you chuck him out. if he keeps coming back, you call the cops. if after the cops come and don’t do anything because (in some twilight zone episode) they can’t figure out what to do with him i think it’s time to do something about this idiot yourself.
the united nations passed resolutions giving iraq time to disarm. it hasn’t. what is the united nations going to do now? the US is saying, “go in there and punish him.” france is saying, “give him more time. he’ll shape up. you’ll see.” sorry, i don’t buy that. if after 12 years i had an alcoholic friend who kept telling me he was going to stop drinking and he hadn’t, i don’t think i’d believe him.
so the question i have is, what does france have to gain from not punishing iraq? oil contracts. france and russia have both signed contracts to the tune of about 30 billion dollars which would go into effect once the united nations sanctions were lifted. they are signed with saddam hussein. 30 billion is no laughing matter and in most respects makes perfect sense as to why france (and russia) are openly opposing any military action that would depose hussein. see this UPI article for more information.
in addition, it is no secret that much of the world views the US in less than savory terms. by openly flaunting the US, france is gaining a leadership position in the anti-US camps. imagine how france would instantly gain friends in many islamic nations (except algeria i hope) and others countries around the world (north korea springs to mind).
as a joke, i think the french are also upset that fark keeps accusing them of surrendering every chance they get.
france is proving to me that the structure of the united nations is flawed. with any five countries with ultimate veto power, the united nations can never truly be united. they can’t even be the “majority nations” because 99% of the world can be for something and france, like a baby, can veto it. this criticism goes for the US ability to veto as well. it is conditional democracy, or tyrannical democracy, or some combination of words that is currently escaping me but which amounts to ineffective, decisively undemocratic, and ultimately doomed to failure. france is proving that the united nations is a failed forum. good job frenchie.
meanwhile, as the world apparently grinds to a halt over this iraq thing, north korea is arming and gearing up its insane notion of actually being important. ignoring its military it is one of the least significant nations on the planet offering no new culture, no new science or technology, and lots of poverty, disease, human rights violations, and general suffering. it would be great if france would pay more attention to them.
meanwhile, as the world apparently grinds to a halt over this iraq thing, aids is still spreading like wild fire through africa and the world in general. we can take pictures from space of vehicles moving around the arabian deserts, blow up buildings with guided bombs (and watch it from the camera attached to the bomb), and now they are making material that will make people practically invisible (the military applications are obvious) but still we can’t figure out how to eradicate aids. or cancer for that matter.
meanwhile, as the world apparently grinds to a halt over this iraq thing, china is going into space with the stated intent of building a space station, mining the moon and colonizing mars. hello, didn’t anyone get the memo? the future of mankind is space. nothing against the chinese, but i would personally rather see france controlling the future of humanity. i think we need to start working with the chinese so we both can get there at the same time. it’s certainly more interesting than a bloody hot country in the middle east with a lot of oil and a dictator in power.
meanwhile, as the world apparently grinds to a halt over this iraq thing, genuine terrorists are still at large. did anyone remember them? no? yes? and what about afghanistan? how are things there? better? worse?
the whole mess of the world right now pisses me off. it amazes me that these so called “leaders of men” act so childish. i wonder if i had a taste of power like these people if i would act the same. i should run for president and see. vote for doug, the no bullshit candidate.
PS: all the stuff about france applies to russia as well. just wanted to say that in case some russian thought it was funny my thoughts on france.
PPS: it will be interesting how things will evolve in the EU now that they are pretty well split over this iraq fiasco. maybe they, like the UN, will prove an ineffective institution.Comments Off on 2003.03.14 | Catergorized: political thoughts
a long time ago, just after bush got elected, i ranted and raved about our election system. i ranted mostly about the people crying about how nader lost the election for bush. not that i wanted bush elected; gore was the lesser of two “evils” in my book.
unlike most people who cry about these things, i actually proposed a solution based on what i had learned the australians used in their elections, which is here called instant runoff voting (IRV). i don’t want to go into the details here because the system is far more clearly defined on these sites (and these).
this system, if implemented, would have seen gore win the last election. for you republicans who are crying foul, it would have seen the votes cast for perot going finally to your candidate of choice (as he ran in a few elections). no one loses with instant runoff voting (well, someone loses the election, but that’s not what i mean), everyone wins. in fact IRV can give a stronger mandate to an electoral victor because s/he will have more votes, yet can also indicate areas where the victor needs to focus (like the republicans needing to pay attention to the votes originally cast for perot indicate, or for nader in the case of the democrats).
IRV can also, and this is something i appreciate, allow other parties to flourish and grow because voting for them initially will not detract from the two current most powerful parties ability to win elections. it is the only system that (simply) allows for a majority vote win with more than two parties.
if you are not familar with instant runoff voting please check out the links above. if you still have questions, feel free to send me an email and i will do my best to answer your questions.Comments Off on 2003.03.11 | Catergorized: political rights thoughts
i’ve written my first song in a long time. about five years in fact. though it doesn’t have an official title yet (please email me something!). here it is:
when i was young i had good shoes
they impressed the girls while i drank booze
now the shoes are worn and the girls got wise
so i drink alone most every night
when i was young my job was fine
made lots of money and i drank lots of wine
now i’m unemployed cause my boss got wise
so i drink alone most every night
when i was young and not too bright
i went out drinking most every night
now i am older and still not wise
i’m still out drinking most every night
F7 -> C7 -> F7 -> D7
Bb -> Bb -> Bb -> G7
F7 -> C7 -> F7 -> D7
Bb -> Bb -> Bb -> C7
based on the content and the musical style (it’s sort of jazzy) i place this in my drunken lounge series, which includes drunk again for one, and feeling kinda happy (with wade racine) and a few others.
it’s a good feeling to have finished a song after such a long time! i’ve come up with music for a number of songs, and snatched of lyrics, but nothing completed. the last song was jason sucks with scott.2 Comments | Catergorized: music
in essence, it says that the internet is not a broadcast medium. the internet was designed to be stupid. this gives it a flexibility and durability not found in other forms of media. the internet is an inter-net; it can help create networks and can help those networks connect to other networks. because the internet protocols were designed only to move data around a network it makes no judgement about that data, whether it is your love letter email, encrypted bank transactions, pornography, illegal (or legal) MP3s, etc. the internet cannot be controlled from any one location or any one anything because it is a network of devices that agree to use a very simple protocol to communicate.
attempts to control the content of the internet are kind of like attempt to control human language. imagine i told you that you could no longer use the word “the” in the english language unless they pay me one cent per use because i own it (somehow). this sounds like a great idea to me because already i see about 10 instances of “the” in this article alone. i will soon be the richest man on the planet! at least if i can get people to pay up. how hard would that be? i think you can imagine: impossible. i might get a few people to pay me what they would owe me, but think of all the people on the planet that speak english… how would *you* feel if i came up to you and said you owed me money for every time you used “the”?
data on the internet is much the same. just as people would go on using the word “the” even if i were legally correct, people -through the internet- will continue to exchange data, whether that love letter, encrypted financial data, pornography, MP3s, movies… whatever. any protection scheme you can dream of can be hacked, and -illegal or no- it will be hacked by someone, somewhere.
keep in mind that legality and law in general is temporal. it changes with time. that being said i am not endorsing people act illegally or that they encourage others to act against the current laws. however i am saying to the people who promote specific law making (hello RIAA, MPAA, and any other company, lobby or rich guy who can pay up) and those who actually legislate (from congress down to individual towns) that they need to understand they are fighting a losing battle. they lost it the first day they decided they would participate in the digital age.
what do they do? they can either embrace how the internet actually functions or they will be seen as increasing dangerous to the freedoms of individuals because anyone who uses the internet sees it as a sort of freedom; almost a right. these companies need to embrace the internet, not fight it by attempting to control it.
recently a friend sent me an MP3 of a song he liked. the legality here is not open to discussion. however, i listened to the song and really liked it. i bought the CD. in the end, despite the MP3, some recording industry artist-ripoff man made his money. i think more people like me go through this process than they realize.
they cannot control their content without controlling the entire internet, and because of the way the internet is designed this is next to impossible. at the point it could be possible would be a one world government that stamped out every possible freedom on the planet. hail big brother and all that rot.
and that happening is as likely as me collecting my penny every time you use the word “the”.Comments Off on 2003.03.08 | Catergorized: audio geek rights