Is this thing on?

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Hello, It has been 2 years, 2 months, and 4 days since my last confession.  I wonder if some of you are still there.  In my mind your RSS alert systems just came to life after years of inactivity- not unlike those tape reels in the bottom of a bunker somewhere in an ’80s movie.  Silence…a red light begins to blink…a whirring sound…the tape reels spin…a Kenny Loggins song starts…

I think you get it.

So, where have I been for approximately 794 days?  Nation building!  As some of you know/knew I had a child.  What you don’t know is that Sab and I had another child shortly after Macy was born.  Her name is Rebecca.  She arrived 13 months after Macy.

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I have been busy trying to create the next American Women’s Tennis Champion or Greatest Tea Party Hostess (they are interchangeable at this point) and making Rebecca giggle.  Its a full time job.  The best job.  So that’s where I have been.  Moving on…

Whats changed over the last 19,056 hours since we last spoke?  A few things actually…I will supply a short list.  You are welcome.

  • Rebecca Was Born
  • SOPA Protest – Largest in History of the Internet
  • A silent film won 5 Academy awards (Really?)
  • “Gangnam Style” becomes the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube
  • Lance Armstrong “apologizes,” loses a ba-jillion dollars, and still comes off like a douche bag
  •  Anonymous hacked Westboro Baptist Church (Yea!)
  • Macy decided that she is a “princess”
  • Rebecca likes yogurt

I am sure there were more events than those…however, I can not remember them right now.

This I will construct a more lucid post about something asap.  In the mean time, I am taking requests for topics.  In the comments, suggest a topic…or demand a topic.  I will write about it in my usual, hard to follow, grammatically incorrect manner.

Welcome back, me!

topic-suggestions

A message to the present and future

As my newest daughter is born, I speak for my generation. The “nameless.” The generation whose label is not only a mysterious symbol, but a sign of illiteracy as well. Generation X. I speak to the up and comers, the students of today, and those who are the target of 7 out of 10 commercials and 8 out of 10 television channels- Gen Y and the subsequent letter based generations that MAY follow. May my daughters heed these words of a member of the “Lost Boy” generation and have these word’s intent tattooed across their brains and serve as a reminder of their parents who lived it, who were it, and still manage to make the mortgage payments on time.

So, How can I say this with some adult like tact…Generation X is sick of your bullshit.
The first generation to do worse than its parents? Please. Been there. Generation X was told that so many times that it can’t even read those words without hearing Winona Ryder’s voice in its heads. Or maybe it’s Ethan Hawke’s. Possibly Bridget Fonda’s. Or maybe it’s John Cusack’s. Generation X is getting older, and can’t remember those movies so well anymore. In retrospect, maybe they weren’t very good to begin with.

But Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being fucked over. It lost its meager, introduction to adulthood 401-K savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that. And then came the housing crisis that we helped fuel because of the boomers propaganda about “How it is.”

Generation X really wasn’t surprised. Generation X kind of expected it.

Generation X is a journeyman. It didn’t invent hip hop, or punk rock, or even electronica (it’s pretty sure those dudes in Kraftwerk are boomers) but it perfected all of them, and made them its own. It didn’t invent the Web, but it largely built the damn thing. Generation X gave you Google and Twitter and blogging; Run DMC and Radiohead and Nirvana and Jay Z. Not that it gets any credit.

But that’s okay. Generation X is used to being ignored, stuffed between two much larger, much more vocal, demographics. But whatever! Generation X is self-sufficient. It was a latchkey child. Its parents were too busy fulfilling their own personal ambitions to notice any of its trophies-which were admittedly few and far between because they were only awarded for victories, not participation.

In fairness, Generation X could use a better spokesperson. Barack Obama is just a little too senior to count among its own, and it has debts older than Mark Zuckerberg. Generation X hasn’t had a real voice since Kurt Cobain blew his brains out, Tupac was murdered, Jeff Mangum went crazy, David Foster Wallace hung himself, Jeff Buckley drowned, River Phoenix overdosed, Elliott Smith stabbed himself (twice) in the heart, or Axl got fat.

Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still smoke some hydro designer dope, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.

Generation X is tired.

It’s a parent now, and there’s always so damn much to do. Generation X wishes it had better health insurance and a deeper savings account. It wonders where its 20s and most of its 30s went. It wonders if it still has time to catch up.

Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute. Can you just do that, okay? It knows that you are so very special and so very numerous, but can you just leave it alone? Just for a little bit? Just long enough to sneak one last fucking cigarette? No?

Whatever. It’s cool.

Generation X is used to disappointments. Generation X knows you didn’t even read this whole post.

Again, it’s cool.

Unbelievable!

http://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/a-curious-speech/

Read that. Please read that. You need to read that- and if it does not piss you off – there is no reason to read my blog anymore.

Why I love Fark.com

Fark.com is…well, I will let them describe themselves.

The first thing you should know is that Fark.com isn’t a Weblog. Fark.com, the Web site, is a news aggregator and an edited social networking news site. Every day Fark receives 2,000 or so news submissions from its readership, from which we hand-pick the funny and weird notable news — and not-news — of the day.

Fark takes actual news stories and creates a witty link title and posts them on the site.  I am a FAN of the people or person that comes up with these link titles.  Some are as funny as you can be in 10 words or less.  Here are some samples:

I hope this makes your day a little better.

100 Most Creative People in Business

http://www.fastcompany.com/most-creative-people/2011

The link above will take you to a list of 100 people who are “creative” when it comes to business.  I read this list and recognized a few names and did not recognize many names.  I learned about some cool ideas and the people that made them happen.  As I made my way through all 100, I realized I had some names to contribute that were deserving of being cited as creative business person.  Here are some of my additions:

  • Mark Cuban
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Jim Clark
  • Meg Whitman
  • Edward Norton

That is the short list.  Do you have any you could add?  Post in comments…

Why Bin Laden Should Have Been Captured

America today resembles the land of the Munchkins as it celebrates the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. The joy is understandable, but to many outsiders, unattractive. It endorses what looks increasingly like a cold-blooded assassination as the White House is now forced to admit that Osama bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot twice in the head.

The order was given by a president who, as a former law professor, knows the absurdity of his statement that “justice was done.” Amoral diplomats and triumphant politicians join in applauding bin Laden’s summary execution because they claim that real justice—arrest, trial, and sentence—would have been too difficult in the case of public enemy No. 1. But in the long-term interests of a better world, should it not at least have been attempted?

That future depends on a respect for international law, with which the U.S. has always had an uneasy relationship.

The circumstances of bin Laden’s killing are just being clarified, and the initial objection (by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and others) that the operation was an illegitimate invasion of state sovereignty must be rejected. Necessity required the capture of this indicted and active international criminal, and Pakistan’s abject failure (whether through incompetence or connivance) justified Obama’s order for an operation to apprehend him.

In the dock he would have been reduced in stature—never more to be remembered as the tall, soulful figure on the mountain, but as a hateful and hate-filled old man.

However, the terms of that order, as yet undisclosed, are all important. Bill Clinton admitted recently to having secretly approved the assassination of bin Laden by the CIA after the U.S. Embassy bombings in the 1990s, while President Bush publicly stated after 9/11 that he wanted bin Laden’s “head on a plate.” Did President Obama order his capture, or his execution?

The White House has been guilty of disinformation in first pretending that bin Laden was killed in a “firefight.” It now admits that he was unarmed when he died, which suggests that he could easily have been overpowered. They still maintain that he was asked to surrender, although in what language (he does not understand English) is not clear.

The law permits criminals to be shot in self-defense if they (or their accomplices) resist arrest in ways that endanger those striving to apprehend them. They should, if possible, be given the opportunity to surrender, but even if they do not come out with their hands up, they must be taken alive if that can be achieved without risk. Exactly how bin Laden came to be “shot in the head” (especially if it was the back of his head, execution-style) therefore requires explanation. Why a hasty “burial at sea” without a post mortem, as the law requires?

All that seems to have been done is to clean his body and take a photograph of it, which the White House says it is reluctant to release—no doubt for fear that it will become iconic like that of Che Guevara on the slab. But if the government kills people in this way, it must live with the consequences. Pakistan law requires a colonial inquest on violent death, and international human rights law insists that the “right to life” mandates an inquiry whenever violent death occurs from government or police action. The U.S. is therefore under a duty to hold an inquiry that will satisfy the world as to the true circumstances of this killing.

But the U.S. is celebrating summary execution, rationalized on the basis that this is one terrorist for whom trial would be unnecessary, difficult, and dangerous. It overlooks the downsides: that killing bin Laden has made him a martyr, more dangerous in that posthumous role than in hiding, and that both his legend and the conspiracy theories about 9/11 will live on undisputed by the evidence that would have been called to convict him at his trial.

Moreover, killing bin Laden gave him the consummation he most devoutly wished, namely a fast-track to paradise. His belief system required him to die mid-jihad, from an infidel bullet—not of old age on a prison farm in upstate New York. For this reason he would have refused any offer to surrender, and no doubt died with a smile on his lips.

I do not minimize the security problems that would have arisen at his trial or overlook the danger of it ending up as a squalid circus like that of Saddam Hussein. But the notion that any form of legal process would have been too hard must be rejected. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—also (and confusingly) alleged to be the architect of 9/11—will shortly go on trial, and had bin Laden been captured he should have been put in the dock alongside him so that their shared responsibility could have been properly examined.

Bin Laden could not have been tried for 9/11 at the International Criminal Court—its jurisdiction only came into existence on 7/12, nine months later. But the Security Council could have set up an ad hoc tribunal in The Hague, with international judges (including Muslim jurists) to provide a fair trial and a reasoned verdict that would have convinced the Arab street of his guilt and his unworthiness. This would have been the best way of demystifying this man, debunking his cause and de-brainwashing his followers. In the dock he would have been reduced in stature—never more to be remembered as the tall, soulful figure on the mountain, but as a hateful and hate-filled old man, screaming from the dock or lying from the witness box. Since his videos exult in the killing of innocent civilians, any cross-examination would have emphasised his inhumanity. These benefits that flow from real justice have forever been foregone.

America’s obsessive belief in capital punishment—alone among advanced nations—is reflected in its rejoicing at the manner of bin Laden’s demise. It is ironic to reflect that Bill Clinton secured his election by approving the execution of Ricky Ray Rector (a convict so brain-damaged that he ordered pumpkin pie for his last meal and said that he would “leave the rest until later.”) And now Barack Obama has most likely secured his re-election by approving the execution of Bin Laden. This may be welcome, given the alternatives of Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee (who have both urged that Julian Assange be hunted down in similar fashion) or Donald Trump. But it is a sad reflection on the continuing attraction of summary execution.

It was not always thus. When the time came to consider the fate of men much more steeped in wickedness than Osama bin Laden—namely the Nazi leadership—the British government wanted them hanged within six hours of capture. President Truman demurred, citing the conclusion of Justice Robert Jackson that summary execution “would not sit easily on the American conscience or be remembered by our children with pride…the only course is to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused after a hearing as dispassionate as the times will permit and upon a record that will leave our reasons and motives clear.” He insisted upon judgment at Nuremberg, which has confounded Holocaust-deniers ever since its delivery. Killing instead of capturing Osama bin Laden was a missed opportunity to prove to the world that this charismatic leader was in fact a vicious criminal, who deserved to die of old age in prison, and not as a martyr to his inhuman cause.

Original Post

Obama’s Response to Trump and The Birthers

Donald Trump has been running around the countryside, playing the CEO of Village Idiot, Inc. to the hilt these last few weeks, and our lazy, unprincipled national media corps has hung right with him, broadcasting every inane, bombastic utterance that explodes from his mouth. I figured President Obama was going to release his birth certificate at some point, although, for my money, I would have waited a little longer, just to keep Karl Rove from sleeping at night as this cancerous obsession with the legitimacy of our President’s citizenship ate away at any chances the GOP had to regain the White House.

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness.”

President Barack Obama, White House press conference

As the president himself stated, this release of his birth certificate will not satisfy that subset of Americans who need to believe that he was not born in this country. These “birthers” cannot reconcile the legitimacy of an African American man being president with their own self image. In order to truly understand these people, it would help to peruse a book published in the nineteenth century by James Shepard Pike called The Prostrate State: South Carolina Under Negro Government. One excerpt in particular seems to show the long unbroken line of racial animosity from Reconstruction to modern times:

It would be a violent presumption against the manliness, the courage, and the energy of South Carolina white men, to allow the State to remain in the permanent keeping of her present rulers. It would be a testimony against the claims of Anglo-Saxon blood, and it would be an emphatic testimony to the decline of public virtue that would be worse than all.

These considerations alone should be sufficient to inspire every white man in South Carolina with a resolution to achieve a reform that will bring the State back to its ancient respectability.

Substitute the word “American” for “South Carolina”, and “Nation” for “State”, and you’ve got the mission statement of every birther group out there in black and white.

The president is right – “we do not have time for this kind of silliness.” But the cottage industry that has grown up around President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is more robust than the spawn of books and movies about Hillary Clinton and the death of Vincent Foster during the Clinton Administration. It is highly unlikely that the furor over the president’s birth certificate is going to go away for those kinds of people, like the erstwhile presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who desperately needs to believe that the presidency of our nation’s first African American commander-in-chief is an illegitimate one. In fact, I thought the president was pretty charitable to Trump – there are a whole lot of things I would have called Mr. Trump besides “carnival barker”.

They say there’s no fool like an old fool, but I’m starting to think that a rich fool might be worse.

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Don’t like the Bible? Change it! (And one Random Comment)

Dictionary.com has reported that new “versions” of the bible will be coming out soon.  These versions will have altered language in them.  I don’t know exactly how to feel about this.  Two main issues jump into my mind.  The first is “How can men change the meaning of scripture by changing pronouns?”  The second issue is “How can you “modernize” an ancient text and preserve its integrity?”   Well, first some basics from Dictionary.com’s article:

New International Version (NIV) and The New American Bible, respectively, will include gender-neutral language and substitute words that the editors claim will reflect a modern understanding of the book’s theology.

That is a bold claim, considering they are “modernizing” an ancient text that was written through a divine hand acting through a mortal.  That begs the question of do the editors have the right reason stones to change a book reguarded by millions as the end all and be all of their religion?

Gender neutral pronouns, as the article states, would cause loss of meaning and confusion on many passages that scores of people have committed to memory and live their lives by.

The Apostle Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female…”  – this passage from Galatians 3:28 makes a statement about gender roles by using the specific masculine and feminine pronouns. However, if replaced with a gender-neutral pronoun, as in the case of NIV, the intended meaning may simply get lost in the translation. The same could be said for the passage: “Man cannot live by bread alone” (Mathew 4:4), as it has become such a popular cultural phrase.

There is a quote that came to mind when I read this article:

Language forces us to perceive the world as man presents it to us.  ~Julia Penelope

When man changes the language from the divine- it truly is a case of language presenting the world as a man wants us to perceive it. Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands A Verdict”  provides evidence of the Bible’s survivability throughout time.  The main point he makes is that the Bible’s survivability is largely credited to its unchanging form.  That takes into account verbiage and form.

Since God handed Moses the 10 commandments in roughly 1400 BC, the Bible has been translated into 100s of languages around the world.  Is there any way to truly know the meaning and intent of the original work?  I think that it was lost hunderds of years ago.  Contextual and vocabulary dissimilarities could only cause confusion and misleading statements.  Like the Dictionary.com article points out.  This goes past pronouns and may have resulted in a bastardized text we know as the scriptures.  Let me provide an example:

Original Text:

You must go to the store and buy bread.

Translated into a language with dissimilar vocabulary:

You must travel to a building and trade for a grain and water mixture that uses yeast to rise.

I know you can see how that can mean the same thing- literally.  When the original text is used as a metaphorical device and not a literal sentence, I can see how it’s meaning can become marginalized by the translation.  We assume that “bread” is universally known as a symbol for Christ’s last supper.  I think that same scenario has been repeated over the decades and decades until all that is left is:

You must go.

These “gender neutral” additions are just the latest stride in a marathon of clouded meanings since the original words were penned.  Not to mention that The King James Version of Revelation 22:19 says that:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Maybe the believers and re-writers should read it?

What do you think?

Now the random comment on the Dictionary.com post:

Alex Madjarov on March 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm

The best way to modernize the bible is to get rid of the whole thing and start all over. If you remove the genocide, slavery, unicorns, zombies, talking snakes, misogyny, lies, infanticide, deceit and other less-than-nice elements, you’d barely have anything left.


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