The GOP Memorandum.

You can read it here as well as that site[ThinkProgress.org]’s commentary here.

The attacks we witnessed that day serve as a reminder of the dangers we face as a nation in a post-9/11 world. We can no longer expect oceans between us and our enemies to keep us safe. The plotting and planning taking place in terror camps protected by rogue regimes could no longer go unchecked or unchallenged. In a post-9/11 world, we could no longer allow despots and dictators like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein to ignore international sanctions and resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council.

So, during this debate we must make clear to the American people that the United States had to take action in the best interests of the security of our nation and the world community. As Republicans who supported military action against Saddam Hussein and terrorists around the globe, the United States had to show our resolve as the world’s premier defender of freedom and liberty before such ideals were preyed upon, rather than after standing witness to their demise at the hands of our enemies.

This is the part I’m mainly concerned over. Let’s examine and get the facts straight. First, this “post-9/11 world” business. What the hell are they talking about? We lived in the post-9/11 world before 9/11. It’s not like Al Qaida had not attacked us before that. It’s not like we didn’t have the intelligence we needed to thwart that attack. The only things that changed on Semptember 11, 2001 was the Manhattan skyline, the lives of tens of thousands of people directly affected, and a completely ill-held false worldview that many still cling to the tattered remnants of today. pre-9/11 was post-9/11, and post-9/11 is not some new era where America does things right, it’s one where America continues to misdirect our resources and efforts in a way incompatible with our laws and our hopes and dreams.

We never could depend on “oceans” to keep us safe. That was why we formed a government: to coordinate our efforts and resources in order to benefit us all. Well, I know I’m not the only one who noticed the failure of that government on 9/11, before 9/11, and after 9/11. But I am not the least bit surprised that the majority of people in the government as well as those who support it blindly are willing to give a pass for that misappropriation of resources. As far as I can tell the only people that responded correctly in the wake of that disaster as well as the disaster in New Orleans last year, were individuals and groups of individuals that were allowed to do their jobs. Firefighters and hospital workers, police and utility workers, were the people that got out and did their work. The leaders act like their hands were tied, and while I admit our leaders are pretty kinky, I’m pretty sure any one of them could have about 100 of their personal aids show up with a key to the handcuffs on a moment’s notice.

As for the UN’s sanctions and resolutions for stemming the behavior of evil, you really have to admit, GOP, that you are playing a game of “I spy.” You say “I spy this government over here is disobeying the international community,” which translates to “we need to police them.” Meanwhile the dozen other violators are allowed to continue their same behaviors. You are not censuring Saudi Arabia for their involvement in terror. You are not implicating yourselves for violation of international law. Where does the buck stop, except for where you point with your giant foam finger made out of $100 bills?

Okay, finally I want to look at this label of “world’s premier defender of freedom and liberty.” Not to piss on your parade, but your “Awesome colossal world’s superhero for shopping and private industry” rhetoric is laughable. First you say we have allies, then you say it’s all us. First you say Saddam was involved in 9/11, so we run to war, then you admit he wasn’t, but we should have gone anyway because Saddam was bad. There’s a far cry between the two. One poses a threat of attack. The other makes his own people suffer. While both are bad, there’s a lot of other places making their own people suffer that you’ve not once suggested we jump headlong into. Meanwhile, again, what about Saudi Arabia? When are we going to bring them to bear for their involvement in the support and funding of terror?

And one thing you don’t state in the memo, GOP. Why all this new invasion of privacy? Why the wiretaps and nipple-clamps? You’ve not shown these will do any good, yet they cost money and weaken the rights of citizens. We with eyes to read and see, we know that you had the information needed to stop 9/11 and fumbled the ball. So why the hell should we think you won’t do it again, even if you have all the information in the world? It seems very dumb and misguided. But don’t be discouraged. I’m sure my fellow citizens don’t feel the same. You’ll all be gladly reelected to your posts in Congress to represent us. Your rhetoric is too strong for the feeble-minded, because more than anything they want to believe that your actions are right, that America is Superman, and all that jazz.

Love the Invisible Laws.

Just a brief note here. We’ve got domestic spying. We’ve got secret warrantless wiretaps, no court oversight. We’ve got the NSA puffed out like blowfish ready to explode their venemous spikes if we so much as try to find out the truth. We’ve got complicity from AT&T and other major carriers; companies that care so little for their customers they sell them out without so much as notice or explanation.

But it gets worse: we’ve got invisible laws. The argument from the government when suits are brought to try to force oversight of these secret programs? “We can’t tell you why, but trust us, it’s completely legal.” That in itself is either a lie, a crime, or both. There is a very good reason for transparency in government, for transparency in law. The reason? While “ignorance is not a defense” if the laws are visible, invisible laws are not .. well, lawful. If a police officer gave you a ticket for speeding, but didn’t indicate your speed, it would be in your interest to contest the ticket. If he got up on the stand in court and said “I can’t disclose the speed this person was ticketed for,” the ticket would be dropped. It is simply not compatible with a free and open society to have this sort of situation.

If you really have a justification for these spying programs, you need to get off your asses, into a FISA or other closed-hearing court, and outline your reasons there. Any judge that simply accepts the argument “we have reason, but we can’t say,” is not doing their job. Not by a long shot.

That is all.

Gay Marriage Amendment in Alabama

Yesterday Alabama became the nineteenth state to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage at the state level. Meanwhile the proposed federal amendment has fizzled by a vote in the Senate.

All of this talk about the “defense of [straight-]marriage” is completely ludicrous. Let’s ponder the meaning of _defend_. Defend is to protect and relieve from attack. Do these statutes and amendments in any way “protect” or “relieve” straight-marriage? They do not. Do they protect the family? Children? Nothing of the sort.

What do they do? Almost nothing. Every state that has constitutionally banned same-sex marriage already had a statute that did the same thing. The claim is that “activist” judges could overturn the statutes through “activist” interpretation of the law. Is that no longer an option that these have become constitutional? Hardly. Judges are still responsible for interpreting the constitutional laws of states. When two or more parts of a constitution come into conflict with one another, the judge or judges then must examine the conflict, and make a ruling about which part of the law is more essential, is more entwined and necessary in the fabric of the law. Further to the point, a judge can still rule that accomodations have to be made for some other form of civil union, distinct but equal to marriage. Of course, federal law can also trump as well.

So, then, what do they do? They are nothing but a showboat. This is a dispicable parade of bigotry in which the people of a state can proudly march to their respective voting booths, and boldly proclaim, “I hate homosexuals.” That is all that is being done. Rather hypocritical when you consider the bulk of the impetus of these amendments comes from Christians. So much for “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” So much for faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

These that call themselves Christians are anything but. Charged with the task of cleaning up their messied room, they do nothing more than spit in their parents face and shove their toys hastily in a closet. They pat themselves on their backs saying “we are righteous, we have stood up to the ills of our messy room,” meanwhile they have soiled their pants and their Bibles. Welcome to Murka, indeed.

Fold.com Folds

If you remember my previous entry about the Fold.com public beta, you may be interested to know that the site is closing up shop. Apparently there is not yet a demand (or some claim there is oversaturation of the market) for that sort of “Web 2.0” site right now. It should still be remembered for a noble effort, and of things we may look toward in the future.

I guess the main thing to me, it was a neat little ‘toy’ that might be useful for some… and maybe it would be better if it were a replacement backend for ‘active desktop’ type of things… but ultimately there needs to be more forward thinking beyond reimplementing existing schemes as web schemes, to implementing new user interfaces and things of that sort.

Why?

Or possibly how? How does anything exist? Or why?

If you believe in god/_God_, why does it exist?
If you can reduce the universe to an infinite recursion,
why does that exist?
If you believe in a singular Big Bang, why did it, or the
singularity that caused it, exist?
In other words, in any schema there would be what can
be referenced as a “beginning..” can it really hold?
The only available answer is infinity. A continuum. There
could never have been a true beginning.
Can something without a beginning have an end?
Did you begin? You were born. What does that mean?
You were begun as (hopefully) a good evening/afternoon/
twice in the morning (before and after breakfast). You
were created out of nourishment from the mother.
What is food? It’s dead (formerly living biologically) creature.
So you are what you eat. Therefore in some physical sense
you are made out of non-living material.
It becomes living in you via digestion which supplies to living
cells the nutrients to multiply, continue to live, and provide
whatever function they are created for. (Computers do the
same thing.)
The first life forms were probably just relatively simple chemical
reactions in odd combinations causing the basic blocks of
biology to come together. Think of what happens when you
mix vinegar and baking soda. When they first mix, the life
begins, and when they have finished mixing, the life ends.
But you still have something there, the remnants? No, you
merely have separate substances.
Where did these substances come from? They are composed
of tiny (physically) bits of energy. (These bits of energy are
something like bits in a computer.)
These bits of energy (particles) are basically three dimensional
pixels. When you mix a couple of pixels on a computer monitor
(red, green, blue I guess), you get a picture.
When you mix several particles together you get a substance.
Water, for instance.
What are the particles made of? They are made of tinier particles.
Where did these particles come from? Most likely they came from
the Big Bang in some form. It’s also pretty likely that they are
not the original substance, but instead one that has, like biological
life, evolved.
More specifically, the Big Bang was probably just one of many
significant events in the continuum of the universe. An expansion
along a particular set of dimensions (spacial and temporal).
The particles (elements) were expulsed from a tiny (in spacial and
temporal dimensions) singularity that suddenly lost its nerve, or
more likely suddenly came into existence.
They came out in one form each. Probably of a singular type that
reacted with itself and the reactions caused new combinations of
this particle to combine, some stable and others unstable. The
unstable ones would change again, while the stable ones remained.
Some small amount combined to form individual atoms, while the
rest fly around random (some of which can and do penetrate solid
materials all the time).
So this sounds like a neat setup, right? The singularity suddenly
exists in these dimensions, and in these dimensions it is
unsuitable for a space to be so dense and rich in energy, so the
energy has to move away from itself.
The energy can basically be thought of as computational bits with
the realization that each one is not merely a one or zero instead
a stack of them to form its energy. Each bit is analog as well as
digital. (This means ultimately there is a point at which digital
becomes analog/good enough to be equivalent.)
The universe is a quantum computer of itself. This means it
calculates itself perpetually.
The brain is also a computer. It receives input from the
preexisting code of biology, as well as external stimuli via
the organs and nervous system. But are our experiences
“real?” Not exactly. They are a representation of our senses
rendered/viewed internally.
Think of it like this: a digital camera takes a picture of a flower.
The light that is not absorbed hits the photoreceptor/charged
coupled device, gets turned into digital information. That
information passes through wires into presumably a buffer,
which then feeds it through a program/chip that then changes
the bits into the arrangement needed (the image format).
The brain receives reflected light, focused via the lens, hits
the retina, and then gets sent through the optic nerve. The
brain (or more specifically certain structures of the brain
adapted to do so) then reorder the data to be perceived,
and then the mind perceives it.
The brain is unique in that it is evolved to be adaptive.
People might be born blind, or lose sight during life. The brain
is made to be rewired depending on the process. Senses are
particularly adaptable since they are very much dedicated
processes of the brain; it makes sense for survival. The sight
is lost, the brain rewires itself to be capable of more processing
of the hearing/feeling/smelling senses.

[sorry, I’ll try to finish this later, but for now I’ll throw it out
there]