Monday, November 26, 2007

Hooray Australia!

Australia is doing the right thing. In
this article from BBC News, Australia's plans to distance itself from the policies of George Bush are detailed. This is a good example of what I think will become a common action taken by rational, non-criminal governments around the world to get as much distance between them and the US as possible.

Every other industrialized nation recognizes the threat posed by global warming. They have all, or will soon, signed the Kyoto Treaty. Why is the US government so far behind on this? I ask that rhetorically, of course, because anyone with half a brain knows that my wonderful government is only interested on corporate profits and power. We're behind on global warming, and we will soon be behind in science, and industry. The only thing made in the USA in the future will be military supplies. We've supplanted science with religion and we've outsourced most manufacturing overseas.

Australia is taking the right steps to making the world a better place. We are not. Yet another proud day for America...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Here Comes the Flood - again!

What the fuck is wrong with the Army Corp of Engineers? Do they have an agenda against the mostly poor, black residents of New Orleans? It would appear so, as t
his article describing the critical errors of the new flood control system there states. The new flood system was supposed to reduce flood waters 5.5 FEET. Due to sloppiness, errors, carelessness, callousness, whatever, calculations were incorrect and the actual reduction would amount to 6 INCHES!

It gets worse. The scientists and the Army Corp of Incompetents realized this, but they didn't disclose this and instead buried the info. So let me ask this; when people DIE because of this incompetence and negligence to publicize the truth, who will be accountable?

This is astounding incompetence given what we've all learned and experienced during Katrina. Is there any area of our government that isn't a complete clusterfuck?!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Value of an Iraqi Civilian's Life

When is a massacre not a massacre? Apparently, when the victims are Iraqis. This story about the killings of 14 Iraqis is yet another example of the atrocities being committed against innocent civilians by American SS, otherwise known as Blackwater.

A government official (official what?) said this about the incident;

“I wouldn’t call it a massacre, but to say it was unwarranted is an understatement.”

I think that's ludicrous. Of course it was a massacre! Let's look at perhaps the most famous massacre in American history - The Boston Massacre.

Five civilians were killed, and the label of massacre has been associated with that seminal event in American history ever since. Five dead civilians. A massacre.

Let's look at some more recent examples;

The Capitol Hill Massacre - This just happened last year in Seattle. How many were killed in this massacre? Six. Yet there is that word 'massacre' again.

Brown's Chicken Massacre - in 1993, seven people were killed in a Brown's Chicken restaurant near Chicago. Seven, massacre.

Columbine High School Massacre - 1999. 13 Killed excluding the suicides of Harris and Klebold. No doubt that this was a horrible massacre, right?

These are all awful events, tragedies that need never happened. The one thing they all have in common is that the victims were Americans. The official who so callously deemed the deaths of those Iraqis as less than a massacre is showing us all how little our government values the lives of non-American civilians.

They were massacred; they were human beings whose lives were worth no less than any other's, yet we have this casual dismissal by an unnamed "official". This disgusts me. Blackwater disgusts me. My government disgusts me.

I hope that soon, we get some real human beings back in the White House and Washington. Our country and the world can't take much more of the current government.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Australians and Obese Airline Passengers

Aussies have an interesting issue they're proposing -
Obese people weigh more so pay more

This makes a lot of sense. Think about this; you pay more if your luggage is too heavy, or in some cases you may not even be allowed to check it in. Now you, a normal sized average person weighing 160 pounds pays XX for your ticket. Next to you in your cramped little seat is a rather large fellow, who weighs let's just say, 320 pounds. That person weighs twice what you do, yet their ticket costs the same. The worrisome factor about this is that the airlines have weight limits on how much a plane can safely carry.

If as studies show, people are getting fatter and fatter, before long planes will be dangerously overloaded just from the passengers. Australia seems to understand this, and I think they are right - obese people are NOT within the norms, and there must be measures taken to address obese people when it comes to the safety and comfort of the non-obese.

Requiring them to pay more for their seats is really not the way to approach this though. What should happen is that obese people should be made to purchase two seats. This would give them the room their oversized frames require, while giving we of normal size appropriate space, and would compensate for weight issues for the plane.

I find it interesting that Australia, like America, is having terrible problems dealing with the health of its population in regards to obesity. It's not just Americans that are morbidly obese and growing fatter by the day. This is a serious issue, and there will be fat people who take offense to this, but the issue really is their obesity, and how it's adversely affecting society. Health care and insurance costs are increasing along with the size of our population. Public comfort and safety is now being affected too. It will only get worse, unfortunately.

Friday, November 09, 2007

God Hates Georgia

In a remarkable display of lunacy, Georgia governor Sonny Perdue is calling for prayer to bring rain to the drought stricken state.

"The only solution is rain, and the only place we get that is from a higher power," Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said on Wednesday.

Now let's follow the logic of this, or more accurately, the lunacy. The idea that you can pray for rain means that god can grant you the rain you pray for. As Brantley said, rain comes only from god. So, if it doesn't rain, that means that god decided that you aren't getting any. Why would god deny the good people of the Southeast and Georgia in particular, rain? Does he not love them, as we're asked to believe?

God is portrayed as this
beneficent father figure, an all-knowing, all-loving kind of guy. If your children were thirsty, would you deny them water? Of course not, but god does this. Which brings us to fools praying for rain. God makes the rain, but god isn't giving rain to the people in Georgia. God must hate those poor bastards.

I can't believe that in the 21st century, people think that praying for rain is meaningful. What happens if it still doesn't rain? Does it mean that their god has it in for them? Maybe he missed the prayer and was too busy doling out famine in Africa. Or maybe he's "testing" his flock. Yeah, that's it, he's testing their faith. Kinda like how he might have been "testing" the flood victims in Mexico, or those tsunami victims a while ago. Be careful, you praying fools in Georgia, god might not like you asking for rain that he's already decided to deny you; he may just give it you in spades. Do you know any "Stop the flood" prayers, just in case?

Pull Up To The Bumper, Baby

This is probably only of interest to locals, but I am angry about this, so I must rant.

The DOT of RI has just opened its much ballyhooed new bridge, connecting 95 north to 195 east. The bridge is supposed to alleviate what has been truly awful traffic jams. Of course, this isn't happening. The first couple days the new route was open, traffic was worse than before, and the DOT was getting pummeled by criticism from everyone. They have been apologizing like mad, and trying to fix the mismanagement of the new traffic flow.

One of the most maddening things is that now the DOT is declaring triumphantly how the traffic is much better now; it's at nearly the same exact level of backup as it was in the months before the new bridge opened! That's good? Way to set expectations high, guys. Our DOT is spending millions of our dollars to bring our traffic delays to almost where they were before they spent millions of our dollars. Great fucking job!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Writer's Block

I know this won't be the popular opinion, but I'd love to see this writer's strike go for a long, long time. I have some conflicting feelings about this, as I am a creative person and sympathize with the idea of fair pay for one's work. At the same time, I think the television/movie industry is an absolute cesspool, and the writers are the ones who churn out the same offal ad nauseum.

So I hope the writers get what they want from the corporate fat-cats who are making billions on the work produced by these relatively anonymous people. They should get paid appropriately for the work, which isn't the case now. The world has changed dramatically (no pun intended) since the last time they had a contract, and there aren't provisions for revenue made from downloads, dvd sales, iPod/iPhone sales, etc.

During this strike, maybe some of the writers will leave the industry and turn to real writing, rather than the typical, formulaic violence we get bombarded with now. I won't miss any programming since there aren't many things I like to watch.

Maybe people will find better things to do than watch TV. Maybe they'll read books, or make art, or music, or help a charity, or clean their yard. Maybe TV will loosen its grip on the American public and stop feeding it shit. Maybe we won't have to see any more about Britney and Paris and who they're screwing. Maybe we won't be so caught up in the fantasy of might makes right and the John Wayne bravado that's gotten us so ready to go to war with anyone and everyone. I'd like to think that those writers can turn their talents to far better things.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Holy Cow! You're As Big As One

Want to see something truly disturbing? Look at this
map which charts obesity in the US over the past 22 years.

I shudder to think (great expression) of how bad it will be in another 22 years. And before any of you obese defenders of the fatties attack me, consider that your eating and exercise habits are the problem, not my reaction. I don't want to see my health care costs continue to grow in proportion to your waistlines. I don't want to have to squeeze into an airplane seat next to someone who's body is twice the natural size of a healthy person and have your fat pushing against me.

Exercise, take a walk, eat less, eat healthier food, take the fucking stairs, park at the other side of the mall parking lot, don't go to the all-you-can-eat buffet, don't get the 64 ounce soda, don't get the triple-fucking-heart-attack-whopper, get a dog, join a gym, do SOMETHING! You'll feel better, look better, and live better.