Thursday, April 26, 2007

an imperial agenda

If you join the United States military now, you are not defending the United States of America; you are helping certain policy-makers pursue an imperial agenda. -- Karen Kwiatkowski

I am reading her stuff every day, from now on.

More good news for the government-weary . . .

As my pal, lord egg sez . . . it's never enough!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Not Far from Buddhahood

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gasan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: "And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."

Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."

Not Far from Buddhahood


libertarianism is by far the least enigmatic philosophy on the american political landscape. Almost anything that's not covered by the golden rule is handled by saying "it's not constitutional," and anything else can be dealt with through procrastination.

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what is the sound of one hand clapping.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I do not believe wolfie should step down . . . he should be arrested. I understand bush's loyalty to gonzo, even rove, because gonzo didn't do a crime (stupidity and arrogance have not yet been declared crimes), rove may not have done a crime (ha ha ha ha), but what wolfie has done is a cut-and-dried deal for even this watered down justice department (who can't close the door on jefferson nor figure out what foley did).

Does standing by wolfie constitute bush's being an accessory after the fact?

Is shaha riza a jimma carter look-alike?

Link: Wolfowitz Hires Ex-Clinton Lawyer

1 Square per Session

"we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required." -- Sheryl Crow

Too freaking much information!

I will be planting a tree tomorrow, which will offset my tp usage for the rest of my life. But here's the deal, I will plant 2 trees, if I can be spared this kind of statement for that same duration.

Gnu's Remorse

Couric Is An Expensive, Unfixable Mistake?

If CBS had sought my gratis counsel, this would have been considerably less expensive. Celebrity? In which goldfish bowl?

It seems, more and more, that both individuals and organizations are making decisions on as limited information as possible.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Should Every Drug be Legal?

Another excellent discussion going on at TCP, Should Every Drug be Legal?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Taxpayer's Remorse

This is like buyer's remorse except we have 50% of nothing to show for it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

This is a day at our house that . . .

. . . we call Form 4868 day.

Actually it takes more than grumbling. We need a taxpayers' revolution in this country. We need to scream bloody murder every april 15, and everytime the house passes a tax bill, and everytime the senate concurs, and everytime the prez signs one of the damn things into law, and everytime the courts uphold one.

Abuse a government employee today.

Do you know of even 1 elected official who can justify even 50% of our tax burden? How many taxes can you justify to your mother (that she pays either directly or indirectly)?
  • "The Eiffel Tower is the Empire State Building after taxes."–(anonymous, source unknown)
  • "People often say death and taxes are the same, but this is wrong. Death is a taxable event, but taxes never die."–(anonymous, source unknown)
  • "Governments last as long as the undertaxed can defend themselves from the overtaxed."–Bernard Berenson
  • "The fundamental class division in any society is not between rich and poor, or between farmers and city dwellers, but between tax payers and tax consumers."–David Boaz
  • "To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men."–Edmund Burke
  • "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."–Winston Churchill
  • "For every benefit you receive a tax is levied."–Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States. The only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money."–Arthur Godfrey
  • "The power to tax involves the power to destroy."–John Marshall
  • "The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much."–Ronald Reagan
  • "We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough. We have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much."–Ronald Reagan
  • "History shows that when the taxes of a nation approach about 20% of the people's income, there begins to be a lack of respect for government... When it reaches 25%, there comes an increase in lawlessness."–Ronald Reagan
  • "The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."–Will Rogers
  • "The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin."–Mark Twain
  • "The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes."–Lao Tzu
  • "What we should have fought for was representation without taxation."-Sam Levenson on "taxation"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

RIP -- Kurt Vonnegut

I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone. -- Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is a lion in my philosophical life.

Favorite Works:
  • Cat's Cradle
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • The Sirens of Titan
  • Player Piano
  • . . . and everything else
And so it goes.

Survivors include kilgore trout

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

kf mini-review: The Rockford Files

The Rockford Files was the best television show from any category, imho. The quintessential private-eye series (the american form of the morality play)! And TV Guide picked Garner as the top television actor of the medium's first 50 years.

I know that in real life, PIs are usually bottom feeders, but in post-expansion American myth they were the avenging angels, the greatest heroes. Then Rockford came along and became the greatest anti-hero.

Was there a longer running PI series? I don't think so.

What is Left? What is Right? Does it matter?

An interesting thread at tcp. My favorite is when pat buchanan calls CPAC, "the Komsomol Kids."

Monday, April 9, 2007

MLK's Assassination -- 39 Years Ago

Last week marked the 39th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination.

A believable theory of how MLK's legacy works in America today was offered by James P. Pinkerton.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Why are we holding Kurdistan?

Nation building anyone? More to come.

"Not all of Iraq is like Baghdad" -- Zalmay Khalilzad


I am, as an Irishman and as a logician, not in favor of partitioning countries to cover up bad nation building or failed imperialism, but I have to wonder why the US is allowing Kurdistan to be held in to the current abortive version of iraq-oidia. Are we doing favors for our lukewarm ally, Turkey? Are we using kurds for bait in the "democratization" of iraq? Are we using kurds as a human shield until we can set up permanent bases in their confines? Have we promised their oil to some other faction? Have we promised their oil to some cronies of bushco?

Here's a link to Kurdistani news. Here's a link to blogs on Kurdistan.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Which way to the front?

Cunning Realist nails it again. When will our-war-prez and our-war-prez-wannabee be able to answer this simple question?

Coincidentally, I am reading The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer. Dubya and straight-talk are excused somewhat since apparently no one has known the answer during the period from March 2003 to the present. Dick cheney has known an answer at various times, but there seems to be no correlation to the facts on the ground.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Top 50 (or so) Forelle TeeVee Shows

  1. The Rockford Files
  2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
  3. Seinfeld
  4. The Sopranos
  5. Naked City
  6. Twin Peaks
  7. Boomtown
  8. Harry O
  9. Ernie Kovacs
  10. Jackie Gleason
  11. Sportsnight
  12. Deadwood
  13. The Steve Allen Show
  14. Alfred Hitchcock
  15. Buffalo Bill
  16. Maverick
  17. Get Smart
  18. The Daily Show
  19. The X-Files
  20. The Colbert Report
  21. The Bob Newhart Show
  22. Newhart
  23. Richard Diamond, Private Eye
  24. Hill Street Blues
  25. Boston Legal
  26. Star Trek
  27. Columbo
  28. The Larry Sanders Show
  29. Twilight Zone
  30. All in the Family
  31. The Late Show with David Letterman
  32. The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
  33. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
  34. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
  35. Sid Caesar (Your Show of Shows, etc.)
  36. Cheers
  37. Dragnet
  38. You Bet Your Life
  39. Red Skelton
  40. The Wide World of Sports
  41. The West Wing
  42. Dirty Jobs
  43. Monty Python
  44. SCTV
  45. Saturday Night Live
  46. Bakersfield PD
  47. The Night Stalker
  48. Red Buttons
  49. The Avengers
  50. The Ed Sullivan Show
  51. Gumby
  52. Rocky and Bullwinkle
  53. Tom Terrific
  54. Modern Marvels
Please note, I was raised at a time when only one TV could be found in a home. My choices here are often dictated by the family's choices at the time. Thus, Steve Allen was the weekly choice, Ed Sullivan on rare occasions (elvis, johnny cash, the beatles), and no Perry Mason.

kf mini-review: Longitude

I suppose the reason Longitude had a relatively low RT% is because it was an A&E miniseries (4 hours long), never a theatre release. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine any population of reviewers where 1 in 5 would not approve of this work. So I just chalk it up as an aberation of low numbers (5 reviews).

This tells the story of John Harrison and his invention of a reliable way to measure longitude -- before that time navigation was pretty much a question not of if you were going to wreck but when you were going to wreck.

Michael Gambon and Brian Cox are magnificent adversaries, science against power (not unlike today in the usa).

This is the better of the 2 greatest (non-pay-TV) miniseries, Lonesome Dove being the other. Roots was good as well but has not as yet made my list. For quality, intensity, and acting Longitude is in step with The Sopranos and Deadwood.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fools and a Full Moon

A perfect time to consider the achievements of the bush administration: