The Voyage of Captain Obvious

Grading is satanic

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Things getting better, eh?

former PM Allawi on Iraq:

People are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse,' Ayad Allawi told The Observer. 'It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things

We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated,' he added. 'A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Sharia courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them...

What is going on? This isn't exactly like it's some rabid anti-US terrorist speaking--this is the former prime minister of the country. If our goal was to prevent terrorist activity, and to prevent the expansion of the rule of Sharia, and to protect the Iraqi people, and we are actually making bacward progress on the first two, and standing still on the third, the how is it possible that nayone still supports the president's stance on the war? We have gone into total Orwell mode these days, I guess.

via This Modern World

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

To death penalty advocates

They executed an innocent teenager. You never know, for sure what happened. Our fucking legal system is sure as hell not going to make it come to light 100% of the time. And what they did is irreversible.

Requiring DNA evidence hardly helps things, either. It merely shifts the problem ahead some. You never know exactly where the DNA came from. It can be planted. Just because DNA matches doesn't mean that the DNA was placed there during a murder.

In this case, it was documented that the police fucked with evidence. Why couldn't it happen in other cases? The one standard for applying a wholly irreversible punishment should be absolute certainty. That can never be presented. Thus, there should be no death penalty.

I wonder what this news is doing to the DA. The few quotes in the article certainly don't sound happy.

Additionally, as further evidence that the "get tough" approach to cimre is inneffective, I have spent my whole life listening to politicians spout shit like "three strikes" and advocate more prisions and more aggressive laws, and despite all of it, St. Louis is #3 nationally in violent crime per capita and Kansas City is #26 (scroll to bottom of article). The population figures indicate that neither ranking even takes into accout East STL or KC, Kansas (though, to be fair, it probably doesn't take St. Louis and St. Charles counties into effect, nor Lee's summit and the like). So, all of that 'cracking down on crime' has done a lot of good for Missouri, no?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In memoriam

John Fitzgerald Kennedy died 42 years ago today. He nobly led us through the brink of worldwide death that was the Cuban missile crisis. His administration's efforts were also what finally began to break the mafia's dominance over all that opposed it. Had he lived, we wouldn't have had the Johnson era decption (though we might not have had the Civil rights and voting rights laws of '64)

And the government is still hiding the truth of who killed him.

Rest in peace, JFK.


Whilst everyone is obsessing about the Murtha debacle, the Japanese government has placed a constitutional amendment on the table. The amendment would give the Japanese military the right to officially call itself an army again, eliminating the tag "self-defence force.

Ostensibly, the cause of this is to enable the Japanese military to participate in peacekeeping missions and the like without special Parliamentary approval of particular efforts. I wonder, however, if the goal isn't partially for the Japanese government to show that Japan is, once again, one of the great nations of the world. On one level, this doesn't really make a ton of sense, as they have clearly been a leading force in the G8 and the WTO and the like for a while.

Perhaps, however, they wish to lead on global security, as well. The wa-po article does cite a growing sense of Japanese nationalism. For now, I can only see another counterbalance to the US as a good thing, that's for sure. Long term, increased militarism everywhere is pretty damn scary. let's hope for the best, I guess.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tired and depressed.

[editor's note: warning, incoherent nonsense ahead]

The human heart is a bizarre organ. It's sole purpose, really, is to bleed. All it really does is endlessly gush blood to the rest of the body. It works tirelessly so that the rest of the body can function (and the lazy brain sucks up a majority of the blood that leaks out through the aorta)

That's why I think it's incredilby appropriate that people use the heart as a metaphor for human emotions. Because feeling is simply bleeding and hurting and working because you have no choice in the matter. And just like human blood cells eventually recirculate into the capillairies that feed the heart, eventually all this pain and suffering eventually migh recirculate into positive ends for us. That, however, doesn't change the initial emotional bleeding that we have to put into it all. It just means that, in the end, the energy we put into things might equal out to what we get out.

And that's what keeps us going on, becasue just going on in life isn't really rational. The best end result is watching everyone you ever knew or loved get old and die until you follow them. Reasoning only just sucks more life out of existence, makes it harder and harder to struggle on. It's only by feeling and loving that we survive. And that necessitates hurting.

keep on beating, heart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We're quite reasonable here...

Well, it looks like we've found a few more bad apples. Looks like the CIA has been training the Iraqi security forces on a little more than on the proper techniques for patrolling city streets and falsifying news stories.

It's like they're trying to create a government that is maximally likely to collapse upon the departure of the US armed forces. Or one that'll be unstable enough that the USA never leaves.

MVP in your hearts, and now in the record books, too.

So, Albert is the MVP. The author of several of my favorite baseball memories of the past few years now has the hardware to go with it. This will make waiting till next year a little better.

And the best fucking part is that, for the first time in as long as I can remember, the best player in both leagues won the MVP award.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ack. What a week.

If you've been noticing the sparcity of posting recently, it has partially to do with my real life--I have to teach early in the morning, and I am not a morning person. Consequently, I wander around with a fucked up persona for most of the day on my wee hours teaching day. Also, I am on the brink of being done with a research project that I am semi-excited about. I'll have a post up about that when I have acutal results. Third, my interest level in the outside world seems at a relative low. There aren't any exciting shows for me to see, the Cardinals season is nice and over, politics are in kind of a holding pattern (though it's encouraging to see the dems take two governorships yesterday). So, in conclusion, I'm still here, and I'll have interesting things to say soon enough.