My job is so much easier

when raving lunatics actually begin raving. Not in the hipster Party Scene sense, but in the jabbering foam-mouthed caveman oratory sense. And I hope that when I say Right Wing Religous Nuts are completely hypocritical, not to mention dangerously ignorant of many of the basic tenets of modern civilisation, more people will pay attention. Here's a juicy bit:

Conflating the right to participate with the right to evangelize, Mohler said, "We are not calling for people to be moral, we want them to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ."

How are the two not connected? When did they teach that lesson in Sunday School? I sometimes feel like I'm missing something, but no, I understand completely. They are missing quite a bit more than just something, they're missing pretty much everything, which is a nice way of saying that they're Bat Shit Crazy.


The Weirdness Of

Selling Via Online Auction has become known to me. I set up a five-day auction for my beloved Pallas, with a reserve price of $1200 - far below what other 17-inch PowerBooks are selling for, but respectable considering the two-pixel defect of her otherwise beautiful screen. Four days and 22 hours later, there are two bids, one of them for the reserve price exactly. Plenty of people are watching the auction, I was just hoping for, ya know, a few more bids. A little bit more than the absolute minimum. A sliver of wiggle room for when I purchase Ruri, my lighter and slightly faster new sidekick. Ah well, we'll see. We'll see.


Allright. Calmed down and

started reading some more, mediating the impact of the Doomsday Article on my consciousness. I found myself walking by a car dealership that was busy promoting that "press a button and win a car" sweepstakes, and I wondered just what I'd do with the monetary windfall that selling that car would represent.

I did not, for more than one second, seriously consider keeping any vehicle obtained in such a manner. That's hardcore, or maybe just pessimistic. I have family in the upper ranks of a Major Car Manufacturer whom I will be visiting with this summer vacation time, and I will ask him just what he's planning to do about the coming of the Downward Slope of the Bell Curve, representing the end of cheap gas. He's a crypto-conservative, which is to say his wife is Conservative and he doesn't often disagree, but he's also smart like a bull-whip and eminently practical, so there's hope.


The theories put forth

in this blasted article are exherting an unhealthy grip on my latent Fascination Engine. The brain, in other words, cannot shake the idea that this man's predictions are founded on Logic and Reason and are thus deserving of serious consideration.

P'raps. Those who sound the alarm in time are often ignored as alarmists.

Just as an exercise, then, let us consider a few of the things that will END when oil/natural gas disappear from our nation:
Cars. American society for one hundred years has depended on universal access to this mode of transportation. Not just cars, but interstate trucks and airplanes hauling goods. When gasoline is too expensive for anyone to afford, interstate travel and trade will cease almost entirely, bringing an end to all things that depend on it. Fast food will end. Supermarkets and mall shopping will end. Commuting into town and back out from a suburban home will end. Wal-Mart, Kaufmanns, Journeys, GAP, Abercrombie, all of them will cease to exist.

Planes. If automobiles will be too expensive to run, forget airliners. It will cost more to fill the plane with fuel once that it would cost to build the plane in the first place, and so all these jaunts across the country to visit the relatives will end. The massive organisations that depend on air transport, including all freight shippers and government/conglomerate entities organised on a national or international level, will end. International travel will once again be limited to those forms of transport which require no fossile fuels, namely sailing ships.

Electricity. Or, the ability to produce it in anything like the amounts that we have become accustomed to using so blithely. All the massive buildings in massive cities that require constant ventilation and lighting will empty, being completely unsustainable. Television and the internet and the radio and cell phones will end. All these things rely on a power grid fueled mainly by natural gas and coal, which will run out or become unusable within our lifetimes, perhaps within twenty or so years. There will be no more Daily Show or The West Wing, which will be sad, but there will also be no more The Simple Life Interns or Entertainment Tonight or Fox News. I would trade all the best television of the past fifty years to expunge the influence of all the worst, but that deal has already been struck. When it comes to a choice between running the water pump from your biomass battery or watching twenty minutes of a national broadcast that will never again matter to your life, people will make the right and natural decision.

Celebrity Culture will vanish. All these daft neo-conservative Projects For a New American Hegemony Under GOD will collapse of their own weight, when the lines of communication and hatred that they rely on disappear like the oil that fueled them.

Our vast International Military will end. The ships and planes and tanks and Jeeps that place our troops overseas will no longer be operable, and so our ability to "project power" will disappear as well. Obviously, this will have some tremendous consequences, but in the long run it will largely be a reversion to our pre-WWII posture, that of an impregnable fortress-continent, isolated from the rest of the world by the oceans. Of course, given that our entire society will collapse to a pre-industrial local agrarian form, there won't be much incentive for anyone to try and pick a fight. India and China will be very very busy dealing with their own collapse. Russia has been collapsing for decades, but they've got the internal resources to maintain themselves for a while longer, at least. Africa will be largely unaffected, except that all outside aid in the form of either arms or food will cease. The only people that will survive will be those who have lived off the land since man evolved on those plains, although millions will continue to die from AIDS and starvation until the population stabilises itself at a sustainable level.

Europe will be an interesting case to watch, because the continent was built for horse and buggy, then later upgraded to handle cars (with varying success). To a degree they have immitated Western centralisation, but the rural landscape of Europe remains largely intact. Their transistion to an oil-less world will be far smoother, and much more of their civilisation will survive.

Yeah, and now I've got a book to read about how the media shapes our perceptions of everything. Seems kinda redundant, knowing that the media will shortly cease to exist.


This is literally the saddest

thing that I think I've ever seen, and it does much to confirm my opinion that there is absolutely nothing redeeming about organised religion.


"The American Dream

is that an individual in this country should have every opportunity to go from the guttermost to the uppermost."
-George W. Bush, March 2005

I cannot describe the physical sensation of Deep Hurting that this caused me. Every day, it seems, I am confronted with some jewel of Cross-Eyed Badger Spit Lunacy that confirms all my worst fears about the future of human kind. We're thoroughly doomed, kids, it ain't even funny, if this AWFUL JACKASS could wriggle into the Presidency for eight solid years of pain.

I dunno how long this article will be up, but it made me think a bit. Actually, it just sort of reaffirmed not a few of my own suspicions. I can't argue for the accuracy of some of the predictions that this man makes, but the underlying facts seem solid. So draw your own conclusions.


I was bored, so

last night I rented The Incredibles and Outfoxed, being respectibly curious about both. The first was a high-energy and heart felt action romp, entertaining on many levels and generally the kind of quality cinema that so rarely makes it's way from the California coast into national theaters.

The second, which had been shown here at Pitt in the past, was incredibly disappointing. As a documentary, the production values are so cheap and rediculous that I had a hard time sitting through it, possessed of the tingling knowledge that I could have put together a superior product with my PowerBook Pallas.

I am not even making that up. The cue-card cut scenes, "animated" graphics, and boorish use of splicing styles are painful for a man in 2005 who, six years ago, produced a video of similar, even slightly superior quality in a high school media class.

Having said that, the footage that the producer garnered from Fox News is absolutely chilling. As article after article demonstrates, these people literally inhabit a completely different world than the rest of us, which totally precludes rational argument. You cannot make a case against their world view because, simply put, the facts which govern your own are not present or so deeply twisted in theirs that they might as well not exist. Fact is wholly subordinant to ideology, and thus reality is subordinant to religious phant'sies.

It's not an isolated bastion, or even an occasional gathering of like-minded Bat Shit Crazies. It's an entire cable news channel, with the money and resources of the second richest man in the world, and it's on 24 hours of every one of your days. Sometimes, imbicillity really does seem like the only realm that happiness could be found in, for anyone ignorant of such monstrosities would be much happier.

"The English have devised...

an extraordinary scheme for the military defense of their homeland, which is that they have no money." - Monsieur le comte de Pontchartrain, The Confusion, 2004 by Neal Stephenson

Had I been sipping a favoured beverage at the time of my reading these lines, I am certain that a not-insignificant amount would have burst through my nasal cavity and onto the unfortunate book from which they were gleaned. For if one were to make a minor substitution, replacing "The English" with "The Americans," one would have a Jan van der Meer-esque rendering of our current fiscal reality.

Correct me if I am wrong, but the definition of debt is when you (or an organisation) have made expenditures for which you lack the specie to render payment. In other words, you spend money that you do not have.

We do not have any money. In fact, we may be said to possess negative amounts of money. That's what "red ink" is. And yet, the government continues to spend as though the consequences of such policy belonged to the past, and not the future. This is fascinating, in the way that a flash food might be to a valley farmer - all is abstract beauty until that wall of water erases your pasture and home and life.


Today I saw...

1. A shop's busted window sign that read "Good Luck Harms."
2. A man on the bus holding a telephone conversation with a calculator.
3. A Renaissance reenactment troupe on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning.
4. A magnetic disco dance number.

My shopping trip was otherwise a failure, as it seems the premium price for a pair of Chuck Taylors is now about $40. That's $15 higher than the last time I bought a pair, which was around high school. They can't be that popular.

This is why I will...

forever be loyal to Apple. A week or so after I bought my iPod Shuffle, I noticed that static would creep into the left earbud at random intervals for irregular spans of time. Sometimes it was all day, sometimes it was never, but when it did my music listening experience suffered. And I know we all hate to suffer unnecessarily.

So I walked into the Apple Store this fine afternoon, and let the dude at the Genius Bar know what the problem was. I'd been using the buds for about an hour already in an attempt to duplicate the problem, but as is the natural course with such things my equipment operated perfectly. This I relayed as well, after the dude attempted to discern for himself the conundrum. I couldn't tell by the look on his face if I was successful, but he went into the back for one point two minutes, then emerged with a brand new plastic packaged set.

"Here you go."

"What, really? You don't need my receipt or anything?"


"That's outstanding. Thank you."

It seems unreasonable, somehow, to expect this level of service. Their profit margine on something like earbuds is thin enough, never mind giving away a new set any time someone complains of a problem. But they do, with a grace and efficiency that borders on ephemeral. No other earthly institution is so fantastically agreeable to deal with, at least not in my experience.


Much postage today...

but I thought this was funny when, the other night, I attempted to obtain a file via a groovy program which shows you where the file is coming from.


Too Freakin

Weird. I'm listening to Missing, from Beck's latest brilliance, and all of a sudden I find the clouds and snow outside the window of the cafe have disappeared. Curious, I seek a map of the current cloud cover for America, and on one site I am treated to a dancing ear of corn, kernels labeled with the two-letter abbreviations for all the states of the union. It jiggles itself from left to right, shakes off invisible dirt, allows butter patties to carress it, all in time to this strange strange song.

For a time, this is real entertainment.

For yr. amazement....

and general edification, herein I shall present a list of Logical Fallacies, straight from my freshmen year in college, which you may use to deconstruct or destruct any argument yr. favorite Pundit or Dumbass Colleague may attempt to use against you.

Appeal To Force We are riteous because our Army kicks Major Ass!
Appeal To Pity Conservatives are under attack because the Liberals hate us!
Appeal To The People Hey, everybody else is accepting Jesus. Shouldn't you, too?
Ad Hominem Liberals are wrong because they're stupid.
Enclosed: Two Quoque Don't tell me I'm immoral, look at you and your immoralality!
Accident Surgeons are responsible for thousands of stabbings. Arrest them before they stab any more innocents!
Straw Man I may oppose gun control, but you're pro-abortion, so you're for more killing!
Missing The Point It's snowing in the north-east, so God must hate you liberal heathens.
Red Herring The Republicans have ideas on taxes, therefore, we must generate similar ideas on taxes, since the public wants us to be tough-minded about taxes.
Appeal To Authority If Jerry Falwell says that God hates all gays, then God must hate all gays, because Jerry Falwell sure knows God.
Appeal To Ignorance Since you DON'T know God, you heathen, then everything Jerry Falwell says about God is right and true.
Hasty Generalisation That Liberal is a Communist, therefore, all Liberals must be Communists!
False Cause The President lost the debates whenever he wore a red tie. No more red ties, and he'll always win!
Slippery Slope If we start letting gays marry, then all our children will grow up gay and no more children will ever be born!
Weak Analogy My tax plan is big and full of loopholes for major corporations. Therefore, if your tax plan is big, it must also be full of loopholes for major corporations.
Begging The Question Snowflakes are so complex that only God could make them.
Complex Question Why do Liberals hate God and America?
False Dichotomy Either the President is wrong or the Liberals are wrong, and since the President can't be wrong, then the Liberals must be wrong.
Supressed Evidence Most Americans worship God, so if you see an American, go ahead and pray with them.
Equivocation Any theory can be proven wrong. Gravity is just a theory. Therefore, gravity can be proven wrong.

Seen or heard any arguments like these? I know I have, and it drive me INSANE. Don't fall into the trap of using these when it suits yr. ends! Keep that Logic clean!


Kinda scary...

but perhaps more honest. My "wu name" is Arrogant Killer. I certainly have a reputation for being arrogant at times, and perhaps this refers to my ability to kill men's souls by flaying them with icy shards of truth. I dunno.

I feel terrible, but the fact that Spinsanity.org has been closed up for months completely escaped my attention. They did good work, and I proudly own and display for my conservative family members All the President's Spin. So today I'm replacing it with an entertaining blog I found via Tom Tomorrow's site. Say hello to Pandagon.net. Good Stuff.