Friday, September 30, 2005

Some comments made in response to some of my entries have gotten me thinking. Is war inevitable? Are we forever doomed to repeat the cycle of violence?

My inner cynic tends to think we may be doomed. I’m not sure which of our 46 chromosomes turns us into a greedy, fearful and territorial lot. But that’s what we seem like.

But, I refuse to let my inner cynic win. I think we can stop fighting wars but it will take a massive shift in the way the world works. These changes will not come easily and, sadly enough, may never happen at all. But here are my ideas how we can move far away from using armed conflict to resolve our disputes.

1.Work to eliminate poverty. Poverty makes people desperate. Desperate people do desperate things to survive. They follow any leader that will promise the necessities, food, water, medicine and shelter. Don’t believe me? Please study the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. They are also likely to rise up if they feel their poverty isn’t so much because of bad luck but rather because they are being forced into a bad situation. Does “let them eat cake” ring any bells? If we had a well fed and taken care of planet we would definitely see a decline in violent conflict.

2.Stop being so nationalistic. Being proud of your country is one thing and that’s perfectly fine. But, looking down on other nations as inferior or evil leads nowhere that’s worth going. All nations need to lose their air of presumed superiority.

3.Realize that all wars are between the governments not the citizens. I am not aware of single case where the citizens compelled an unwilling government to go off to war. The citizens need to be aware of what the government is doing at all times and challenge them every time they want to send their armies off to battle.

4.Realize that almost all wars could have been prevented. World War II is a good example. Had the Allies been less severe in dealing with Germany after World War I, then there’s a good chance the conditions never would have arose to allow the Nazi’s to take control in Germany. You see, after World War I the Allies made Germany pay severe war reparations and this wrecked the German economy. The Germans desperate to make better lives looked to the man who they thought could deliver them, Hitler.

5.Confine your military to your own borders. The United States has 100’s of military bases in dozens of countries all over the world. As a general rule most nations aren’t big on having foreign militaries on their soil. We have a military base in Cuba; imagine if Cuba wanted to build a base in Mississippi. It wouldn’t be overly popular.
6.Have a stronger United Nations or some other international body to police conflicts. We need some sort of world organization that is recognized by all nations to help serve as an intermediary. The UN right now is relatively powerless because nations can largely ignore what they say and there is little that the UN can do. If there was some entity that could at least arbitrate disputes between sovereign nations and have their decisions hold up, then war could slowly be reduced.

7.Outlaw preemptive military strikes. Of course this is dependant on having a stronger UN, but no nation should ever be allowed to attack another without provocation.

8.Outlaw nuclear weapons. No one should have a weapon this powerful. Their possession makes the armies that hold them feel invincible. Not possessing them makes armies that don’t hold them fearful of those who do. This is not a good combination.

I know these ideas are pretty big ones. We need to think of a grand scale to stop something that is as awful and usually as unnecessary as war.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Today again I shall engage in some random thinking. Sorry to do this to you but I got lots of things I want to say.

I love me my redheads. Good golly do I like redheads. I get weak around a cute redhead. You just can’t beat a cute red-haired girl. Just ask Charlie Brown. If she happens to have freckles, well I go a little light-headed and get all dreamy feeling. Those fire-haired beauties just do it for me. You can keep your blondes and your brunettes and all other hues. I love redheads.

The odd thing is I cannot explain it. I haven’t the slightest clue as to why I love the redheads. It’s just the way I am. Honestly I’ve never really tried to examine why it is I like redheads so much, but I do. I just can’t explain it.

Why am I telling you this? Am I that lonely? Am I fishing for a date? Nope. It’s just that if I can’t explain why or I have never made a conscious choice to be enamored with redheads, then ho does someone choose or should they be able to explain why they are gay? I’m just curious.

Why is changing your mind so frowned upon? Cindy Sheehan and John Kerry have both recently gotten some heat for changing their minds or altering their opinions or whatever you want to call it. The fact of the matter is this, changing you mind is ok as long as it’s for a good reason.

You see if someone changes their minds because they happen upon some new evidence or have some experience that alters their view on this world then it’s ok. See we should base our opinions on facts, reasoned debate and life experiences. If as you go through your life you encounter things that alter your opinion that’s how it works and it’s all right.

Now maybe John Kerry was flopping around to keep himself in his comfy cozy Senate gig. That’s reasonable cause to get kicked in the shins. Not truly believing what you say is lying and that’s never good. Oh just so you know I’m not Kerry bashing here, almost all politicians flip-flop. If you read their voting records and what they say I can almost guarantee you will find inconsistencies.

Now with Cindy Sheehan she came out strongly against the United States’ war in Iraq after her son was killed fighting it. I’m perfectly fine with her doing it. She wants to prevent other mother’s from enduring what she’s endured that’s fine. Ever hear of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers)? Their whole organization was started because they wanted others not to suffer as they have suffered. This is a noble thing.

Just always remember it’s acceptable to change your mind as long as there is a good reason behind it.

Why does Congress care about professional baseball? Have they fixed the nation? Are they all out of other troubles to solve?

I know steroids are bad for you and all, but I really don’t care if athletes do them and let’s face it neither do most sports fans either. Oh they’ll feign outrage on radio talk shows and their like but they don’t really care. As long as the athletes perform and give them an exciting time at the ball game they don’t care. The fans and the athletes all want bigger and faster all the time.

Please don’t give me this whiny nonsense about how steroids ruin your body. Being a pro athlete isn’t the best for you either really. A good many athletes end up arthritic and worse. A lot of athletes are so driven the end up criminals because they turn violent.

Also I don’t want to hear that kids do steroids because pro athletes do steroids. They do them because they are in the athlete’s mindset of win at all cost. They don’t care what it takes as long as they win.

If we want to get serious about cleaning up sports we should worry more about the following. Stop passing high school athletes, in classes they are failing, just to keep them on the team. Parents should stop getting in fights in the stands and with the officials and coaches. The media needs to largely ignore high schools sports. Report the final scores and show a few highlights and leave the kids alone. Do not interview them and do not hype the games for weeks in advance and do not elevate them to positions they are not ready to handle.

So Congress should be attending to the damage left by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the war in Iraq and where the Hell Osama Bin Laden is, among many other things. Let’s leave the games to the children.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wow lots to talk about so lets get this show on the road.

Bill Bennett is a douche bag. Oh yes he is. Why do I say this you wonder? Well go here and read. Click here

See aborting every black baby would make crime go down. Apparently black people commit a lot of crime. At least according to this Grand Wizard wannabe. Yes friends and neighbors Bill Bennett ought to be beaten severely about the head and shoulders.

Is anyone else a little unnerved like me that this guy used to be in charge of the Department of Education under Reagan?

Laura Bush is going to be on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Click here
You see right now the White House is madly scrambling to get Bush’s approval rating above 50%. I mean forget the fact this show won’t air for about 2 months and all. So it may be a ship too late to save a drowning witch. But I guess it’s the thought that counts. Hell with all this hard work the Bush’s are putting into hurricane relief maybe they ought to take a vacation. HA! Come on laugh it’s funny.

If you get that ship too late to save a drowning witch reference, you officially rock.

Tom DeLay just got indicted. Click here
Oh how I look forward to my TV becoming a battleground of partisan sniping. See guilty or not, there will be a long drawn battle whether or not this was all politically motivated. The Ann Coulter and Al Franken’s of this world will have a field day with it. As always I will just put them on mute or watch TV that does not suck. But that’s just me.

Remember Ashley Smith the hostage who talked that guy, who shot up an Atlanta courthouse, into giving himself up by reading passages from Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”? Well that’s not all that saved her. She also gave him crystal meth. Click here He wanted a joint but that’s all she had handy. It’s always nice when a feel good story gets shot in the head like that. On the upside she has kicked the habit and that’s a wonderful thing, seriously.

An amateur porn site is trading free access to their Website for pictures from Iraq. Click here
Pictures of dead bodies, a good many of them utterly horrific, have been posted on this porn site. All seem to have condescending captions and show an utter lack of any real humanity. If the prison abuse scandal was bad for the military this could be just as bad or maybe worse. A warning, if you do read that article and choose to look at the pictures they have posted, they are extremely bloody and gruesome. They are not for the feint of heart.

Of course what this really shows is how we have to dehumanize people to kill them. This is why people still tolerate war. We allow ourselves the luxury of making people less than human or at least inferior to us. When we stop this then war will stop.

Many thanks to Deanna Zandt’s blog for alerting me to this story she rocks.

That’s all for now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Once again Darwin is getting slapped around in the American judicial and educational systems. A Pennsylvania court is currently hearing a case about whether or not intelligent design should be taught along side evolution in high school science classes. There answer is really simple so pay attention, no.

You want to know why don’t you? Well again it’s fairly simple really. You see intelligent design is not science. Intelligent design is a philosophical argument for the existence of God or some other higher power. Though the use of the term intelligent design is relatively new, this concept has been around for centuries. It used to be called the teleological argument. Please feel free to click on the links to learn more.

The argument goes nature is so complex that there simply must be a creator behind it. This is not science, because there is no proof. You cannot prove the existence of a creator you can only speculate or assume it. If you cannot prove something then you at best you have an idea or a notion, but not anything vaguely resembling science. So please leave intelligent design out of science class. Leave it for philosophy and religion class where is belongs.

If this little blog entry seems a bit angry, it's because it is. We need to leave our schools alone. Lets let the educators educate them and let them produce literate young adults with strong critical thinking skills and we will be a better a country for it. The schools focus on the classics such as literature, science, mathematics and history and let us leave the politics and other such nonsense far far away from the children.

Is that too much to ask?

Monday, September 26, 2005


The October issue of Discover magazine has an interesting piece on how algae can be used to make hydrogen.

Why should you care? Because that hydrogen from those wonderfully little algae could then be used to power fuel cells in automobiles that don’t use any gasoline.

See normally algae only produce a trace amount of hydrogen. But researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have figured out that by denying the algae sulfates they make lots of hydrogen. They make enough hydrogen that a pool of them 100 miles on all sides could power 200 million fuel cell automobiles.

I like this for two big reasons.

First, it would help end our dependence on ravaging the Earth for petroleum and that would be a good thing. Also it would mostly kill our need for foreign oil, which would be truly amazing.

Second, I like the irony of the big, bad, highly evolved humans being reliant on the most simple of creatures. The irony makes me happy. Pond scum would save us all.

Ain’t science the coolest?

Sunday, September 25, 2005


On September 24th five members of the Tiffin Area Pax Christi, including myself, packed on a bus in Cleveland and headed east bound for Washington DC. Once there I was in for one of the few unforgettable days of my life.

First things first, the crowd was enormous. The Washington DC police estimate at least 100,000 I say that seems a might bit low. I’ve been in crowds of over 100,000 in both Ohio Stadium and Michigan Stadium. You could have lost 100,000 people in that crowd. My guess was at least 250,000 people attended. The Ellipse was packed with people and the area surrounding the Ellipse filled in until it was bursting at the seams with people. People were surrounding the Washington Monument. People spilled into the National Mall. The route that we marched was absolutely shoulder-to-shoulder for most of the march. Surprisingly, the people there were so polite and friendly it was inspiring. In spite that not everyone agreed on everything we all just got along wonderfully. It was inspiring.

The media has a nasty tendency to make protesters seem abnormal. They tend to focus on the ones with odd haircuts or multiple piercings or an odd fashion sense. Though those people were there, so was Middle America. In fact the crowd was mostly Middle America, you know the kind of people you see every day at the store. But that’s not to say the crowd wasn’t diverse, it was wonderfully diverse. The crowd was filled with people form almost every imaginable walk of life and religion and ethnicity. There were Christians and Buddhists and black and white and Asian and Haitians and Palestinians and Iraqis and Anarchists and Green Party members and Democrats and Republicans and Communists and elderly and teenagers and toddlers. In short, it was America how it ought to be and it was beautiful.

Of course because of Hurricane Rita we just diddley poo media coverage. I don’t care. We took to the streets to make our voices heard and we did.

Personally the rally reenergized me. My commitment to end this war and America’s foreign policy of strong-arming those we disagree with stronger then ever. America can do better and be less of a bully and more of a guardian angel to the world. If at least 250,000 people have their say it will be.

In spite of the bumpy bus ride and the irregular eating and having to hunt down places to use the restroom, I would to it all again in a heartbeat. I will go back to more rallies and start making my voice heard more often.

On a brief aside I read that the pro-war demonstrations in DC on September 25th gathered all of 400 people. Even if you assume that figure is low and triple it, it’s still only about 1,200 people who attended. That’s about 1 pro-war demonstrator for every 200 to 250 anti-war demonstrators. Ah the insults I could hurl, but I digress.

I leave you now with that most important of questions, “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?”

Thank you Nick Lowe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Excuse me if I engage in a bit of random thinking today.

With all this talk of global warming potentially contributing to the rather brutal hurricane season we’re having I need to say this, so brace yourself Bridget. We seriously need to kick the fossil fuel habit. I’m not talking about better mileage for every soccer mom’s SUV. No friends we need to quit the fossil fuels entirely. Right now our country resembles an alcoholic lying in a pool of his own vomit trying to convince everyone he hasn’t got any problems at all. We need to quit and soon.

I know that fossil fuels aren’t entirely to blame for global warming. A large part of global warming could be a natural cycle. The Sun is getting more energetic, for example. But they pollute our air. They are a finite resource, meaning once we are out we are out. The require damage to the surrounding environment to extract them. All around fossil fuels are a bad solution.

Why do you we continue to use them? It’s greed children. Plain and simple it all boils to down to there’s enough wealth behind the drilling and mining for fossil fuels that we won’t stop until we got the last drop. It also helps to remember that greed is seldom seen holding hands with progress or change. That’s why we are not moving away from our fossil fuel fix, there’s just too much money behind it.

If we can put a man on the Moon, then we can end our dependence on fossil fuels. It’s time to move forward and kick the habit before it’s far too late.

Here’s an interesting fact I picked up today. The World’s oceans have warmed by 1 degree over the last 50 years and could rise by as much as 5 degrees by the end of this century. That’s potentially bad. You see hurricanes feed of warm water. You start getting warmer water and you then run the risk of more hurricanes like Katrina and Rita. Now I’m not saying that it’s humanity’s fault. It could part of a natural cycle. Our weather records only go back about 250 years and our planet is about 4.5 billion years old. So there is a lot we don’t understand. But we must be forever vigilant of nature, because when man fights nature, nature always wins.

Anybody else think it would be poetic justice if Hurricane Rita wiped out President Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch? I’m not wishing devastation on anyone, but the coincidence would be impressive.

The Dalai Lama has written a new book “The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality” which I shall read as soon as I am able. Why is it however, that he sees the need to reconcile science and religion, but a great many religious leaders in this country regard science as the enemy? Just asking.

I shall also read Kurt Vonnegut’s new tome “A Man Without a Country” but I’m a huge Vonnegut nerd. I’m so addicted to Vonnegut I’d read Vonnegut’s shopping lists.

Good Night Mrs. Ochmonek, wherever you are.
Just a quick note here, according to the Mirror’s web site 400,000 operational ration packs were sent by the British to help feed the refugees from Hurricane Katrina. The FDA is going to burn them along with some other food sent by foreign nations because they are supposedly unfit for human consumption. Never mind these ration packs are fit enough for British soldiers serving in Iraq. Read all about it here.

You think anyone at the FDA has missed a meal lately?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


This weekend I will pack my little self into a bus and journey all night to Washington DC. We will be going for the rally to end the war in Iraq. I’ve never caused trouble on a national level so it’s all a little new to me. I am excited to go though. I’ve opposed this war since it started about two and a half years ago and have protested on a more local level. I have never marched right by the White House however. I wonder if the Bushes will wave or invite us in for lemonade? Come laugh it’s funny!

I mean sure the Department of Defense might zap us all with their swell new ray gun, (read all about it here) but a good time should be had by all.

I know there are cynics out there who don’t think that protests do anything. I tend to disagree. I mean look at all attention Cindy Sheehan has brought to the resistance to this war. If there is opposition it must not remain silent. We are a government of, for and by the people right? So we must be vocal and active and make sure the leaders know where we stand. If we don’t we’ll get a government that feels it has free reign to do as it chooses and that’s a truly terrifying thought.

Again I’m excited to go, I just hope I can avoid my super-nerd tendencies and avoid the Air & Space museum. But, I shall do my best.
Sleep tight.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I pray I’m wrong on this, but I’m afraid that Mayor Ray Nagin’s plan to reopen the French Quarter and to allow people slowly back into New Orleans may be rushing things. We are dealing with a city that soaked in a toxic bath for weeks here. This is not a small-scale chemical spill. New Orleans sat in water polluted with gasoline, household chemicals, rotting flesh and God only knows what else.

This quote is from the AP about the condition of New Orleans.
“Electricity remained off. Raw sewage flowed in the streets and flies flew in aggressive swarms. Traffic on the relatively few passable streets was dangerous and uncontrolled, with no working stoplights. And the stench of spoiled meat and seafood was overpowering as restaurant owners opened freezers that had been closed and powerless for nearly three weeks; when they brought the stinking mess outside, there were no sanitation crews to remove the garbage.”

According to Hugh Kaufman who helped set up EPA’s hazardous waste program, and is 35 year veteran of the agency, it could take 10 years just to clean up New Orleans not rebuild it. Go to Jan Frel’s Alternet blog for more information just follow this link.
Jan Frel's blog

This doesn’t even take into account the floodwaters being pumped out of New Orleans back into Lake Pontchartrain are going to end up in the Gulf of Mexico and the environmental impact of that could be catastrophic.

Again I hope I’m wrong. I know the citizens of New Orleans are a hearty lot that dance at funerals. But we must not rush in. Lives are at stake again and the government already dropped the ball and I do not want to see them drop it again.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pardon me,

I apologize in advance if this post comes off a bit angry. Unfortunately that’s what I got, so that what you get.

So let me get this straight, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever measured blows through the Gulf Coast and turns hundreds of thousands of poor people into refugees and now Bush is going to end the “legacy of inequality”? Is that right? Why now? Wasn’t poverty a problem before Hurricane Katrina left her path of destruction? Is Bush being sincere or is he just trying to get his approval ratings back up?

How pray tell are we going to end inequality? Repeal the tax break for the wealthiest Americans? Nope, Bush has already said no tax hikes to pay for rebuilding the South. So it’s doubtful he would use a tax increase. Maybe we could reduce military spending and cut government “pork” to help fund this effort? HA! That’s funny. In our current climate of fear we’re more likely to Jessica Simpson win a Nobel Prize than see a reduction in our military spending. Government “pork” will be with us until the citizens get angry enough and vocal enough to scare the politicians off of it. I’m not holding my breath.

Also, why is it that we have to fill Potter’s Field before we care about the poor? Why does a tsunami or a hurricane or a famine have to wipe thousands of them out before we take notice? Could it be because they can’t pad anyone’s campaign funds with generous donations or that they lack the means or the time to make their voices heard? Could it be that they are stigmatized as stupid and lazy? Could it be our consumer driven culture of “as long as I got mine I don’t care”? Could it be the media largely ignoring our most needy citizens as they focus in on celebrity trials and runaway brides? Maybe it’s all of the above?

We could fix poverty. But, I’m reasonably certain that the answers wouldn’t sit well with a lot of people. We may have to move towards socialism and away from our sacred capitalism. We may have to pull our focus away from the military and redirect that money into education. We may have to, Heaven forbid, tax the wealthy. Think anyone is willing?

Sorry to sound so bitchy, but it’s highly annoying to me that it takes the deaths of thousands o alert our country to a crisis. We never seem to be proactive enough. We ignore problems until they are out of control and then exponentially more difficult to solve.

"Poverty is the worst form of violence."
Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, September 16, 2005


The day after Hurricane Katrina struck Merlene Maten, a 73-year-old grandmother was arrested for looting. Her crime is alleged to be stealing $63.50 worth of groceries from a deli. Eyewitnesses and her family contradict the police story, they say she was merely trying to buy sausage and was arrested by officers frustrated by their inability to catch younger looters nearby. Merlene currently sits in jail on $50,000 bail. The bail set for her is 100 times the maximum fine imposable in Louisiana for minor thefts.

Excuse me?

It’s really good to see in this time of crisis that everyone is keeping a level head.

God bless us all, right in the mouth.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


If you haven’t had the chance please read the fine Newsweek article “How Bush Blew It”, it can be found at the following URL.

How Bush Blew It

Go forth and read kids.

Now apart from the facts of how this president bad bungled the post Katrina relief efforts, one thing really grabbed me. Our President, the Commander-In-Chief, the leader of the most powerful nation ever, had to have a DVD of news footage given to him because he hadn’t seen any of it. WHAT? This is the man we trust to lead our nation? We apparently now have a president that doesn’t gather any information on his own, but instead is given filtered information through his staff.

I heard a story once that President Lyndon Johnson used to have people read him multiple newspapers simultaneously. This President can’t even be bothered to read one.

Are you really comfortable with a President who gets only filtered information? Isn’t that putting an awful lot of faith in the people gathering the information for this President?

See I bring this up because one of the most tried and true methods to solve problems is to consider all opinions and gather information from as many sources as possible. George W. Bush doesn’t even gather any, much less enough to formulate a sound reasonable opinion.

If I may be so bold, people often give Bush a pass. They bring up his faith or his resolve, but never his intellect. If all our great Presidents had one thing in common it was their intelligence. They were men capable of reason and critical thinking and were very well read. They could write their own speeches and speak extraneously. This President can’t finish a sentence without stopping midway.

America deserves better.

Sleep Tight America.
Hey kids,

I’m just posting some random thoughts today.

I need to learn to proof read better. Maybe, I also need to learn to stop posting at 1 in the blessed AM as well. Either way I find a lot of dumb typos and I take all the blame.

I am now allowing anonymous posts to encourage a reaction from you crazy kids in the peanut gallery. I did this because my friend Lindsey jumped my butt and called the idea of not allowing them stupid. I love her anyway, but she is a rather pushy girl.

I have an ornery streak a mile wide and look forward to Lindsey trying to rip me a new one.

I have a new favorite silly quote “I’m starting to like the cut of this man’s gibberish”. I’m easily amused.

That quote comes from the TV series, The Tick that only lasted 10 episodes in spite of being brilliant. The show, Friends however last 10 years in spite of being utterly mind bogglingly bad. Why do the TV gods kill all the good shows early?

Why is Bill Clinton so damn chummy with the Bush family? Is anyone else creeped out by this?

I read that Britney Spears gave birth to a boy. I hope an exorcist was present to keep that little demon spawn contained.

Until next time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Happy trails,

It is with profound sadness that I must bid you all adieu. The end of all time and space is upon us and I just want to say goodbye before the universe collapses inward upon itself. George W Bush took responsibility for a failure of the federal government today, so the end must be near.

HA! Come on laugh it’s funny.

Anyway, before you either blackout from shock or slap GWB silly patting him on the back let me point out three facts.

He’s the commander-in-chief; of course it’s his responsibility. Whatever happened to the buck stops here? Has our current political climate become so pathetically partisan that we defend our politicians like this? If we’ve come to this in our government, that the president has to remind us that he’s in charge and the failings of the government ultimately are his, then I worry.

He took responsibility for the mistakes of the federal government. That is good. But, if and when an in depth independent investigation happens you can bet your bottom dollar the spin doctors will do their damnedest to push as much attention as possible on the mistakes of the local and state governments. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin welcome to the vertigo that is the spin doctoring of American politics.

Bush is liar. He consistently says that he doesn’t govern by poll numbers. He’s even admitted he doesn’t read the newspapers. Yet, as soon as the pools indicated he was as popular as brussel sprouts in the school cafeteria, he changed. Just yesterday he was snapping at reporters about now was not the time to play the blame game. Well all of the sudden he’s taking the blame. Gee, I wonder why.

Good night and good luck,

Monday, September 12, 2005

Greetings and Salutations,

In lieu of writing anything intelligent I just thought I let you in on what has been my reading, listening and viewing pleasure.

Latest book read: Bill Maher’s The Polite Musings of a Timid Observer: This isn’t a bad book not a great book either. Maher is always a bit smug for my taste but he does make a lot of funny observations.

Favorite Book (fiction): Johnny got his Gun by Dalton Trumbo: This is the best anti-war novel ever. If you’ve heard the Metallica song “One” you know the story. If you haven’t it’s a story worth knowing. It’s the tale of a young man who goes to serve in World War I because he thinks it’s his patriotic duty and ends up with legs, arms, voice, sight or hearing. It’s an amazing read and if you haven’t already I highly recommend it.

Favorite Book (non-fiction): The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan: I’ve mentioned this before but I utterly love this book. It’s changed and strengthened the way I think It’s a must read.

Latest movie seen: Tommy Boy: I watched this with a guy at work. It’s quite amazing in that it defies the laws of physics by sucking and blowing at the same time. I think the Geneva Convention outlawed movies like this one as inhumane.

Latest Good Movie seen: Sin City: Wow! This how movies ought to be. Sure it’s crude and violent but it has a unique vision and voice. That’s all I ask of any movie or music or book really. Please have something to say and say it with confidence and authority. Don’ give me this watered down nonsense that is more the work of the marketing department than an artist. Sin City is a great movie and I loved it to bits, but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Latest CD bought: Mesmerize: Again I will say, WOW! Again this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I just don’t care. It’s unique, they have something to say and they rock. This is one my short list of best CD’s ever. Yes, I love it that much.

Favorite TV Show: Countdown with Keith Olbermann: It’s the only news show worth watching. The rest of my TV viewing is PBS, National Geographic and Discovery Channel stuff. Though I do watch an awful lot of Food Network stuff to kill time and football games will hold my attention.

Ok, you’ve gotten a partial glimpse into my mind and I hope I didn’t scare you too much.
Hello all,

You know, some days I suck worse than others. Well, maybe I don’t totally suck but I do get mad at myself. Why is this? I find that I don’t speak up enough when given the opportunity.

Like the other day at work, this guy I work with was talking about the people displaced by Hurricane Katrina and was calling them and I quote “ghetto niggers”. Did I lay him flat with facts? Did I chastise him for his complete lack of humanity? I just gave him a dirty look and sat there stewing away. I know it’s not a good idea to start stuff at work. But, I should have said something. Saying anything would have been preferable to what I did which was squat. I mean here was a guy saying that he hated ignorance and then he uses that language. The irony was amazing. I could have lit him up like a Christmas tree, but alas I did nothing and I’m mad at myself.

Until next time cyberspace,
Good evening,

I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday by a country mile or two. I mean when else is there tons of good candy floating around, lots of great horror movies on TV and if you scare the living crap out of someone you’re just in the holiday spirit. I even enjoy giving out candy to all the little munchkins. No friends, not Christmas or my birthday or Easter or Armistice Day charge me up quite like Halloween. The days are crisp and thankfully short, which pleases my inner astronomy nerd to no end. The crunch of red and yellow leaves is under your feet everywhere you walk. Halloween is the hap happiest time of the year. Speaking of that, why doesn’t Halloween have a song that’s not a crappy novelty rock and roll song? That’s just wrong.

Sadly gentle reader, as much as I love my precious Halloween, Madison Avenue is trying to kill it. Remember when the build up for any holiday was a month tops? Remember when every holiday that might potentially turn a nickel’s worth of profit wasn’t milked for all it’s worth? I really don’t need to see Halloween candy in the store before Labor Day. See I want to savor the day. I don’t need to have 6 weeks of prep time. Plus if you store the candy that long it tastes like crap by the time you give it out. Then what you got are a bunch of let down neighbor kids who are going to toilet paper your house because you gave out old crappy candy. No one wants that.

The late, great comedian Bill Hicks once advised all people in the marketing field to kill themselves. There’s a small voice in me that thinks he was being too polite. Everything we do does not have to revolve around profit. Just because people spend money on a holiday doesn’t mean some greedy little man needs to figure a way to make more and more money. I mean right after Halloween is done up goes the Christmas decorations. Thanksgiving is now just downtime to eat during all your blind shopping fits apparently. Soon the buildup to Christmas will last longer than Mary’s pregnancy.

Oh and let me get one shot in on the sad state of our existence. No child should ever have to go trick or treating in the daylight. It’s just wrong. Stop being such big wimps and let the kids have some fun. Also, feel free to stop x-raying their candy as well. Gee kids your candy's save from razor blades but now its irradiated. I hope you enjoy your glow in the dark Snickers bar! Bon appetit!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hola mi amigos,

Just a bit of a heads up here. Recently our Sun has ignited one major flare after another. There have been a total of seven so far and maybe a few more to come. Why should you care? Because it’s solar activity like this that sparks the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, so my advice to you the home stargazer is this. Once it gets really good and dark go out in your back yard and face north. If you see any ethereal curtains of light, you have seen the Northern Lights. You’re a winner! Now mind you it helps if the Moon has set and you live in a rural location. The darker it is where you are the easier they are to see. Now I cannot guarantee you will see them, such is their very nature; around here they are not totally predictable. However I submit to you gentle reader that the Northern Lights are one nature’s most breathtaking spectacles. If you have never seen them they are truly worth the effort.

Keep looking up,

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Greetings Earthlings,

I had a sneaking suspicion that when George W. Bush was reelected for his second term as president that it wouldn’t go smoothly. Let’s face up to facts; we haven’t had a president with a successful second term in office since Eisenhower. So I had lots of faith that good ole W would find some way to screw it up.

I just never imagined that it would be so much so soon.

Let’s see what has gone wrong. Gas prices are as high as they have ever been even if you adjust for inflation. His idea for private accounts for Social Security was about as successful as the Maginot Line. He ignored the mother of a soldier that was killed Iraq, which helped fuel an already growing public disdain for the war in Iraq. His mom is nice enough to go on TV and stick her foot straight in her mouth. His handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has earned him animosity and scorn from all sides of the political and social spectrum.


Now I realize that W has 3 more years and change left in his term and his ole buddy Turd Blossom might be able to spin him out of this mess. But he’s also got over three more years to make more mistakes. I hope he doesn’t make any more. I don’t hope for his success because I’m a big W fan, far from it. I just don’t think we can survive many more of his mistakes. I’m sure I can take any more body counts on the news.

See you soon,
Hi kids,

Go here

Please read the post entitled "What if you don't have a boat?" Actually just read all of Rachael Neumann's stuff. She rocks my socks.

Carry on,

Friday, September 09, 2005

President Bush,

I know it’s become rather popular to whip you like a government mule lately, but I have a complaint that I haven’t seen registered yet. So I feel it’s my duty to bring up this little observation of my very own.

Twice during your presidency you have faced a crisis of utterly mind numbing proportions. Twice you have been asked to lead this country through events that gave rise to great chaos and fear. Twice you were asked to rise up like Roosevelt and Lincoln and lead this country out of its nadir. Twice you hesitated and stumbled like a scared child. Twice you have retreated. Twice you have waited while a country wanted its leader to give them words of comfort and inspiration.

After that horrific day of September 11th, 2001 you went into some Secret Service safe house or whatever you were in and waited for their clearance before you said anything. This was after you stayed with some school children reading My Pet Goat after being told both towers of the World Trade Center were attacked. I know for a guy who doesn’t read the newspaper My Pet Goat is probably some awfully intense reading, but you had a job to do. You dropped the ball badly. You left the American people, the people who elected you to lead them, alone and confused and scared. Granted that confusion and fear got you reelected and got our troops bogged down in a horrible situation in a country that had nothing to do with September 11th. But you didn’t lead us out of the darkness. You didn’t punish the guilty. You used it as a politic tool. You used the deaths of almost 3,000 people to further your own ambitions and get us in a war that has already claimed over 1,800 more American lives. You failed us.

Then after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast you waited. This was a category 4 hurricane, a storm with the power of tens of thousands of atom bombs, striking a heavily populated area. Katrina hit a city, New Orleans, which has over a million people and sits below sea level. Now I know eating birthday cake with John McCain is a regular hoot nanny. Far be it for me to keep you from indulging your sweet tooth. I hope they give you ice cream with that cake; cake without ice cream is kind of a drag I know. Then you went to California and strummed a guitar. I play guitar to. What song did you play? Was it “Smoke on the Water”? The title seems appropriate, given the circumstances. I know you ended your 49th vacation a whole day early so you could fly 1700 feet over the shattered houses, wrecked businesses and broken people. Again you failed us.

Now I know you Mom has said that things are working out well for those relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina devastated their homes. I mean they were just poor people right? Hell, being bussed into a sports stadium, sleeping on cots and having little if any privacy must be just like camping. I mean it should only last several months. Besides they’re poor and don’t give money to her boy’s fund raising efforts so why should she care?

Why do you wait? Are you one of those slow meticulous planners? Are you engaging in deeply scientific research, carefully weighing all the pertinent facts before you make a bold decision? Are you scared and confused? Are you waiting for someone to tell you what to do? Are you waiting for your old buddy Karl Rove to help you out?

Whatever the reason is, you have left me no other choice but to ask for you to resign. Twice this country has needed its president to step up and lead us through our dark hours. Twice you blew it. Twice you failed us. So please Mr. President resign. This country can’t afford to keep you as our leader.

Patiently waiting,

Eric Daugherty

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Howdy good neighbors,

In an effort to not make this little corner of cyber-space not seem to intense or preachy, I’ve decided to talk about something I love. Something so big it is beyond politics and all that nonsense. It can make one feel some infinite and insignificant. It can raise your spirits and keep your feet firmly grounded. I love astronomy. I love nothing more than a clear dark night under the stars, looking backward in time and space. I love looking at light older than me, light older then this country, light older than my species.

Astronomy is my salvation and my sanity. I’ve learned to see this planet and by extension this species as not as big or as important as we sometimes imagine. All our ego and lust for power seems rather trivial when you really examine the scope of where we really live.

Earth is but an ordinary planet orbiting an ordinary star on the fringe of an ordinary galaxy. We in the cosmic sense are no more then a stray droplet in an ocean, if that much.

Now I know some of you may read this and are sitting there getting increasingly unsettled. I say relax. The immense size of the universe should serve as a source of joy and wonder, not one of fear. We should delight in the unknown and seek to understand it. We should be willing to venture forward into the darkness of uncertainty and light candles of understanding.

I shall leave you with a quote that sums up my feeling for astronomy rather nicely.

“Oh my joy. Only you deserve conceit”
Spin the Black Circle
Pearl Jam

Thank you Mr. Sagan.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Just a little note here. The NAACP has started complaining about the use of the word refugees to describe the people who were evacuated from their homes because of Hurricane Katrina.

First off these people are refugees. They are people seeking refuge, therefore refugees. Relax its just a word. I know Queen Oprah commanded her legion of obidient women to not use the word. But I don't care, really I don't. Something as utterly meaningless as semantics shouldn't be an issue at all right now. People need help. There are thousands of scared, confused, sick and hungry people out there. It doesn't matter what they are called. We need to hike up our britches , reach into our wallets and help them return to normalcy.

People should be offended by the local, state and federal governments slow reaction to such an enormous catasrophe. That's what should have everyones blood pressure rising not a word.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hi kids,

I have no idea if any of you have Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. If you haven't you should. Written about ten years ago Sagan bemoaned the this culture's love for psuedoscience and superstition. Sagan's nightmare is coming true.

As science comes under attack more and more we move farther and farther away from making any real progress in this country. Intelligent design is now a valid alternate lesson plan to teaching evolution in Ohio. Teaching intelligent design is not mandated in Ohio thankfully. Fox can air an hour of psuedoscience about how we never actually went to the Moon and people just sit home and absorb it. Tom Cruise goes clear goofy on the Today show attacking psychiatry and the media sits silent. People still flock to psychics and fortune tellers and read their horoscopes dutifully.

But science is hard. Why should you understand all that mumbo jumbo you say? You don't need to know the atomic weight of gold or the speed of sound at 25,000 feet to use science in your everyday life. What you need to understand is how science solves problems. Science is merely the use of research and experimentation to gather facts. Once those facts are gathered one can draw a conclusion. Now this conclusion might be a fist to the jaw because you were not expecting that particular conclusion. It's ok though. Relax. The truth isn't always as calming or as reassuring as delusion, but it'll be ok. Because if you reach your conclusioon with cold hard facts your arguement is airtight. If you argue from half-truths and superstition, you're on your own.

I bring this up because much like Rufus in the movie Dogma, I would like to see the population have more ideas than beliefs. Believing some things is fine. But when it comes to politics and other social matters you should believe no one. You should demand facts. If you not sure have an idea baout something but please do the research and come to some conclusion. Do not accept the word of the President, Senator, celebrity or me for that matter as dogma. Look where it got us in Iraq.

Until next time.
I suppose I should take time to introduce myself in some small way. I mean if you are kind enough to read my little corner of the blogosphere, I should be polite enough to say hi.

First the title, for those of you not well read in the field of philosphy, Occam's Razor refers to the principle that the simpler solution is best. I find people have a nasty tendency to complicate things far more than they really need to. Just fill out your own taxes and you'll see what I mean. Or, God save us all, read a legal document. We've lost all directness in our language. We refer to children as "precious cargo". Why? Aren't children inheirently precious? Cargo has the connotation of inantimate objects not a human. So unless your kids ride on the roof of your SUV they are not precious cargo they are your children. See one word just replaced two, isn't simplicity a hoot?

This blog will be equal parts, more or less, politics, current events, pop culture and whatever else is in the process of taking years off of my life. I shall warn you in advance I'm a Catholic Liberal Pacifist Humanist. You've been warned.

What in God's name does that all mean? OK I shall give you a few samples of what diseased thoughts stir in my brain.

  • Abortion is a bad solution to a bad problem. We need to find ways to reduce the need for abortions by better educating our population and providing easier access to birth control. But that being said I do not favor the outlawing of abortion. It would just lead to women getting killed instead of abortions so either way nobody wins.
  • Since I'm more or less on this subject I'm pro-life right down the board. I'm against the death penalty, doctor assisted suicide and war when its not an absolute last resort and in total self defense.
  • Speaking of war, the drug war is a waste. No drug user should ever go to jail for just doing drugs. Our prisons are filled to the brim with pot smokers. This is a waste of our tax dollars. Put these people in rehab not jail.
  • Organizations like the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are greedy leeches on the ass of humanity and ought be stopped. More later.
  • The Patriot Act is anything but patriotic and ought be repealed. One should never sacrifice liberty for safety, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson.
  • Homosexuality is inborn not a choice. Would you seriously choice to be a repressed and abused minority? Also, if it is a choice when did you choose to be straight?Think about it.
  • Intelligent Design does NOT belong in science class. Intelligent Design is not science it's a philosophical arguement for the existance of God. Therefore keep it away from science class and send it off to philosophy class where it belongs. Creationism is a rant onto itself.
  • Wal-Mart is evil. Please shop elsewhere.
  • Also please tip the wait staff, they depend on that money more then you realize.

OK that'll be all for now. Feel free to comment on my little brain droppings. I'll elaborate more later as I get the time and the spirit moves me. Also feel free to disagree and correct me if I mess up. I'm a big boy I can take it.