Congratulations to my hometown, the land of Imo’s Pizza and Ted Drewes.
The place of big hearts and strong spirits.
Ockham’s Razor – Since October 2001 – by Scott Kirwin
Archive for October 2006
Congratulations to my hometown, the land of Imo’s Pizza and Ted Drewes.
The place of big hearts and strong spirits.
Instead of holding the journalists and their bosses to account for their writing – something that the jihadis, Saddam Hussein and other tyrants do to journalists – the Department of Defense has decided to publish its own view of media reporting.
So while Newsweek delivers the propaganda of jihadis and even attempts to romanticize them (idealizing men who view women as property and execute homosexuals? Who would have imagined it), they refuse to print the other side, calling it “the government position“.
Moths love flames, and the liberal media just can’t get enough of jihadis. Of course, if they printed an article critical of them, they’d have to risk getting their heads lopped off – something that they don’t have to fear from the US military.
Better Red Than Dead is my slogan for this election, one that succinctly describes why I’m voting a straight red or Republican ticket in 1.5 weeks.
For me the defining issue of our era is fundamentalist Islam and the terror that it spawns. A little over 5 years ago it killed 3,000 of my countrymen. Prior to that attack there was on average an attack every year that targeted the United States.
Since September 11 there have been several attempts at terror, including shoe-bomber Richard Reid’s attempt at taking down a transcontinental airliner in December 2001. Had he been successful, we would have added another 300+ people to the long list of those killed by Islamic terrorists.
Given the behavior of the Democrats, especially their refusal to even acknowledge that we are fighting for our lives against a formidable foe, I cannot trust any of them with the safety of my family.
So I’m voting Republican. While I have serious issues with the party on environmental conservation, business welfare, and others – the safety of my family trumps everything else. Consequently no matter how good a democrat is (like Harold Ford jr or locally, Tom Carper), I can’t vote for him because to do so would be to validate the fantasyland the Democratic Party has coccooned itself in.
Better Republican and alive with my taxes going to wealthy CEOs than dead with pretty much the same thing happening anyway.
I’ve come to question the importance of everything I read or hear during the final two weeks of an election. Polls. Attitudes. Commercial – everything associated with an election. As far as I’m concerned it is all noise – and attempts at distinguishing the signal from that noise is futile.
So instead I pretty much shut down. I know how I will vote, but I don’t know how the rest of the country – let alone my state – will. Worrying about or hoping for any particular outcome is just pointless.
So instead I ignore the signs, the commercials and pretty much the entire election-related media. There’s just the waning days of October, long walks with the dog, house chores, checking the Kid’s homework, making sure the pond is winterized.
A long winter is ahead. It’s coming, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. All I can do is make sure the water level is okay and an airstone is set to keep the pond from completely freezing over. The koi are already moving sluggishly, but still make the half-nod towards the surface whenever I get near. They seem to know that food might be tempting right now, but it would kill them later since undigested food would damage their gut while hibernating. The frog still plops back into the pond when the dog scares it at night, but I suspect that pretty soon that will stop as it finds a safe spot in the mud lining the pond.
The roses are still blooming and will continue to do so until they are covered in frost and snow. There’s not a Japanese beetle in sight – proof that in the end the roses will outlast them.
There’s a beauty in all of this that I find sublime. Seasons pass – whether of the Autumnal or of the Election variety.
What else could explain the ending of today’s game?
Kicker appreciation. Even though he was not happy to be in the losers’ locker room, Eagles kicker David Akers still admired Bryant’s game-winning field goal.
“The wind was blowing that way, and it’s definitely going to help you distance-wise,” Akers said. “When you look at it, you still have to get it through those poles, and 61 or 62 yards is a long way for the ball to travel. It’s a great kick.”
Before yesterday, Bryant had connected on just 2 of 5 field goals, none longer than 28 yards. He hit from 30, 44 and 62 yards against the Eagles.
Or maybe it’s just the fact that the Eagles suck this year. Either way, seeing your QB hurl on the field is not a good omen.
UPDATE: After the 10/29 loss to the Jaguars, maybe it’s just because the Eagles suck.
I watched 15 minutes of that game and it has to be the worst game I’ve seen since I was a kid and the Arizona Cardinals hadn’t left St. Louis yet.
I want my 15 minutes back.
I’m on an odd musical journey right now. I’ve been listening to a lot of techno trance but augmented with classic Severed Heads and Cabaret Voltaire. I’m also curious about rappers like J Dilla – who passed away just this year. Digital Imported Internet Radio is a good place to check out when the Kid has taken over the PS2 - like he has now.
There is a heavy psychedelic vibe to all these tracks, which may coincide with a deep love of surrealism, Dada, and Discordianism. All of these genres resonate with an innate appreciation I have for Zen. Zen has been there for me at some pretty tough times. I turned to it when I sobered up, and learned to rely upon it in my college days.
Too bad I suck at it. I think of Zen the same way a poodle imagines itself as the pitbull. I appear to be the very antithesis of Zen, yet when I imagine the person I would love to be, that person is inevitably a Zen roshii.
Perhaps Zen’s Truth in non-thought is a natural desire for someone who thinks too much.
Life is good.
It’s been my position all along. I was going to write a column about this very issue, but Anne Applebaum beat me to it:
But if it is within China’s power to rescue or destroy Kim, then how, exactly, did North Korea’s nuclear weapons program become in any sense the responsibility of the United States? Unlike China, the United States has no diplomatic levers it can use in North Korea, no trade relations of any significance and certainly no shared border. Yet the United States has been leading the effort to persuade the Security Council—of which China is a permanent member—to impose weak sanctions that probably won’t have any impact.
People need to understand that China is not our friend. It is not Canada, not Australia. It’s not even France.
It is our competitor whether we want it to be or not – simply because we are its competitor in the minds of the Chinese.
China has extensive spying operations in North Korea. It knows exactly what is going on there. Why hasn’t it acted more forcefully? Probably because it knows that the North Korean nuclear program is much of a threat except, perhaps, in the long term. In the mean time there is much to be made from rattling the neighbors and keeping the USA busy.
Remember that NK is on its border, and hundreds of thousands of North Koreans live in China. In a sense, North Korea is to China as Mexico is to the United States.
Would the US be happy to find China monkeying around in Mexico – should unrest break out there? Granted, one must be careful with the analogy since the Cold War isn’t over with the United States just yet. A better analogy would be the USSR messing about in Mexico during the 1980s.
Would Reagan have liked that?
China is moving carefully not because it is afraid of upsetting North Korea – but rather it wants to maximize its gain from the situation vis-a-vis the US, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Let’s not forget that Taiwan is a very sore point with the Chinese. It does not like the security guarantees and support we have offered what it sees as a “rogue province.” Imagine Vermont going independent and being backed by the Chinese. Such things tend to color all aspects of a relationship.
Don’t forget that China isn’t named the “Middle Kingdom” for nothing. While patriotism might be a crime in certain social circles in the US, it is alive and well in China. The Chinese view their nation as a natural successor to the United States in all spheres: economic, military and cultural. While the 20th Century can arguably be called the American Century, China expects the 21st to be its own.
China has much to be gained by a loose cannon ruling North Korea, but it must balance that out by the danger that the cannon will end up blowing up in its face. So far the Chinese haven’t done much. However should North Korea become a liability, you may rest assured that one day South Korean soldiers would wake up and see Chinese soldiers glaring back across the DMZ. China could remove Kim Jong-il from power in minutes, and we wouldn’t know until the next day we noticed the uniforms of the border guards had changed.
So far the United States has recognized this fact and acted accordingly. It has wisely resisted the impulses from both Left and Right to “do something” about North Korea when there is little to be done.
North Korea is China’s responsibility. Condemnations are fine, but beyond that the US shouldn’t worry too much about Kim Jong-il. The Chinese will act when its in their interest to act, not a moment before.
The Razor is officially 5 years old this week.
Here are some developmental milestones for 5 year olds and my take on them:
1. Runs in an adult manner - I believe that The Razor meets this criteria thanks to the ease of posting through WordPress. The Razor was originally done in straight HTML composed in Dreamweaver. It then briefly resided in PHP Nuke for a few months before its content was imported in WordPress. WordPress has made writing a breeze, and allows me to focus more on content than format.
2. Hand preference is established – Although The Razor tends to the Left on certain issues (Gay Rights, Environmentalism) it does favor the Right on most issues.
4. Speaks fluently; correctly uses plurals, pronouns, tenses - Unfortunately The Razor suffers here thanks to my poor language skills. Although I love to write, it does not come easy to me and is often quite painful at times. I have occasionally wondered if I suffer brain damage in the part of my brain controlling sentence structure and word order. This problem is much worse when I speak – my speech being much more stilted than my writing.
5. Still confuses fantasy and reality at times – Absolutely. I regularly fantasize that the media is fair and balanced – until I pick up a newspaper or magazine and see articles glorifying terrorists and denigrating the military.
6. Distinguishes right from wrong, honest from dishonest… - The Razor has a strong moral compass and always has. For this I credit my mother who shaped my raw conscience into an accurate indicator of moral behavior.
6. Thinking is still naïve.I am incredibly naive – especially in social circumstances. If you want to play a practical joke on someone, I’m your fall guy. Perhaps that’s another reason why I tend to avoid social circumstances.
7. Doesn’t use adult logic – The Razor exceeds this milestone. Logic is the heart of The Razor – inspired by and named after Occam’s Razor, the single most useful intellectual tool one can own. It can cut to the heart of the matter, and expose the truth better than any circular saw. It is simply required for anyone who wants to live in possession of one’s own destiny.
8. Wants to conform; may criticize those who do not - The Razor fails this milestone. I have always been a loner and marched to a different drum machine – usually with a techno or industrial beat. I have no urge to conform – absolutely none – and distrust those who do.
9. Understands and names opposites - Let’s see… Nancy Pelosi vs. Dennis Hastert. The New York Times vs. Al Jazeera. Democrats vs. Whigs.
Oops! Those are all analogs. I guess The Razor fails this milestone.
10. Very interested in words and language; seeks knowledge - Here we find the core of The Razor. This journal is simply my attempt at understanding this world we share and communicating some ideas that I find interesting along the way. It’s a search for knowledge, and thereby a quest for Absolute Truth. It is a journey without end, one that began in the smoke of crashed airplanes and smoldering buildings 5 years ago.
As Harlan Ellison penned “I have no mouth – I must scream.”
This is my mouth, and I haven’t even begun to yell.
It’s ironic to receive hatemail from someone criticizing grammar mistakes in a blog posting by unleashing a string of expletives. Evidently some believe that correct grammar makes one sound more educated and erudite when spiced with expletives. It’s even more ironic when some of the saucy language itself is misspelled!
Carlos Mencia has a word for people such as these:
Dee Dee Dee!
I got a copy of Kim Jong-Il’s recent North Korean nuke test.
Looked out my window and watched a protest march down Market St. in Center City Philly this afternoon. The group was small, and vastly outnumbered by cops who ringed their march. The group covered about half a city block while marching – so I’d estimate it to be about 200 at best. Onlookers were scarce, as most of the business district is finishing up the day’s business.
I had seen an ad for the protest in the local freebie paper that litters the streets, as well as the men’s room floor in the building. The group demanded people quit their jobs and cut classes to attend the protest. Judging by the turnout, hardly anyone did.
The signs were the usual “Impeach Bush” along with crudely drawn caricatures that are so cliche that I can’t imagine them eliciting any emotional response from anyone except the other protesters. “Say, I like your Bush. Nice dumbo ears.” “Thanks, I dig your beady eyes.”
The protest passed within seconds, with taxis making more noise as they cut each other off and honked horns catching fares.
I’m not a violent person, and it takes a lot to piss me off.
One of the things that does is arrogance - especially from a “nobody” on the internet.
So it’s good to find that I remember how to dig deep into the muck at the bottom of my soul and sling it, after some jerk-off who claims to be from New Zealand laughs at my predicament.
So I respond:
I have been putting PCs together since you were suckling from your mother’s breast which, judging by your asinine responses, was probably just last week.
Gee what a sad and pathetic human being you must be. You’ve been spending waaaay too much in that fantasyland where you are a biiiig man.
Instead of crafting nifty GIF logos and Matrix-sounding handles, why don’t you try getting married, raising a family, building a career, starting your own business and running a non-profit? You see, unlike you I’ve actually done all these things and more.
I’ve lived in Japan and heard temple bells ring on New Years Eve. I’ve danced to soukous music with Tongwe tribesmen in a place that’s inaccessible accept by speedboat in Africa. I’ve seen industrial bands at the Smart Bar in Chicago, and had one-one conversations with Jane Goodall and Jonas Salk. I’ve been to actual places, done actual things and met actual people.
You need to turn off your PC, get laid and get a life you sorry sack of sh*t.
Congress shouldn’t cover up pedophilia – regardless of the consequences.
Election year or not, Dennis Hastert needs to resign.
I mention this after watching him claim that his own aides kept the information about Foley’s fondness for 16 year old boys.
I might be a Republican, but I sure as hell don’t put up with child molesters.