Air Conditioning for your Freedom

20 06 2011

Gizmodo has a short article about the military’s use of air conditioning with tents.

“the Department of Defense spends $20 billion air conditioning tents and temporary structures for the military. That’s more than NASA’s entire $19 billion annual budget

The most interesting bits from this article however are actually the reader comments.  While some bemoan such blatant idiocy (air conditioning un-insulated structures) there are a surprising number of comments which rail against anyone questioning this use of money as unpatriotic and immoral.

stratocaster28 wrote, in response to one of these questioning comments: 

“In another time, you would have been branded a traitor for what you just wrote, and probably executed.
. . .
You’re a traitorous hypocrite accusing the very people who put their lives on the line so that you can have the right to the same air conditioning i’m sure YOU DO USE, with the peace and the economy to enjoy it in.
. . .
Don’t even try to justify what you wrote, you simply cannot.”
 grok666 wrote:
“you should kiss the ass of the next military member you see in thanks for helping to protect the country that makes your life so easy to bitch about the leadership without being hunted down and killed for your viewpoint.”
Lovely.  Don’t question authority you ungrateful little bastards, just bend over and take it if you don’t want to be called a traitor.  I’ll show you an inefficiency! 
 
It’s 2011 and we still have to deal with these morons?  really?




Quote of the Day – Leo Tolstoy

17 01 2010

Patriotism … for rulers is nothing else than a tool for achieving their power-hungry and money-hungry goals, and for the ruled it means renouncing their human dignity, reason, conscience, and slavish submission to those in power. … Patriotism is slavery.

Leo Tolstoy





Send Mohammed to the ICC

14 11 2009

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed should not be tried in American civil court.  He should not be tried in any form of tribunal or military court.  He should not be tried in the United States.  Any person currently held at Guantanamo bay should be sent to trial at the International Criminal Court.

One might be able to argue at the ICC that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed‘s actions constituted an act of aggression as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  If it is determined that his crimes fall outside the scope of the court we need to pressure the court to expand their charge.

As of yet the United States has not joined the member countries of the ICC.  If we are committed to the idea of providing fair trials than an International Court is perhaps the only way to go in cases like these.  The only reason to try him in New York is to make sure that he gets less than fair treatment and so that you can execute him.

What do you think?  Should we enlarge the scope of the ICC so that it can handle situations like these?

 





Darwin Bio Pic too Controversial for U.S.

14 09 2009

creation_1479638c

The new film “Creation” has yet to find a distributor in the United States.

The Telegraph says:

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder”. His “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to “atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering”, the site stated.

Wowzers.  Only 39% of Americans believe in evolution?  What is it about education that scares so many Americans?  Maybe it is just easier to believe whatever the book says – typical lazy American idiots.

I hope the movie gets released here because I want to see it.  I also hope it gets released here because that would show that at least one company isn’t too scared of the nut jobs to release a simple bio pic.





Obama Speaks on Healthcare

10 09 2009

Left —— Medium —— Right

The political spectrum according to Obama.

obama_smoking

Jolly jeepers it would be nice if Obama kept one of his campaign promises.  Just one.  He did get a dog, but that one doesn’t count.  Evidently insurance will now be mandatory under Obama’s healthcare reform.  He says he favors a public option, but stops short of saying it is a requirement.  One reason I liked Obama more than Clinton in the primaries is that he didn’t favor making insurance mandatory.  One of the reasons I liked him better than McCain, among many, was his strong support of a public option.

Oh well, I guess I should have voted for Clinton and McCain’s love child.  I guess I did.

But what is key here is that the Obama camp left themselves with no room for compromise.  Those of us actually on the left wanted a single payer system – we have compromised.  The public option seemed like a good middle ground between us and the right.  But by starting with the public option, Obama has given the right the ability to try to reach a compromise from the public option.

Oh well, I guess healthcare REFORM will have to wait for the next president.  Obama has got some good ideas but ultimatly is leaving healthcare in the hands of insurance companies. . . and we’ve all seen how that works out.





Dysfunction’s Role in Religion

28 08 2009

From Newsweek (believe it or not):

In brief, the number of American non-believers has doubled since 1990, a 2008 Pew survey found, and increased even more in some other advanced democracies. What’s curious is not so much the overall decline of belief (which has caused the Vatican to lament the de-Christianization of Europe) as the pattern. In a paper last month in the online journal Evolutionary Psychology, Gregory Paul finds that countries with the lowest rates of social dysfunction—based on 25 measures, including rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, unemployment, and poverty—have become the most secular. Those with the most dysfunction, such as Portugal and the U.S., are the most religious, as measured by self-professed belief, church attendance, habits of prayer, and the like.

What is also disturbing about this is that the US is considered a country with more dysfunction.





That’s How They Get You!

27 08 2009

The Ethiopian Review has a great article listing the top ten reasons why we should hate cell phone companies.  I’ve always thought that I was getting screwed, and evidently I was right:

For example, Verizon plays: “At the tone, please record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options. To leave a callback number, press 5.”

Everyone already knows how to leave a voicemail message. Apple required AT&T to drop the requirement, for example, and somehow iPhone users are still communicating with each other.

Pogue estimates that Verizon, for example, takes $620 million a year away from customers for all the collective “minutes” required to listen to these messages. That’s just one carrier, and just one example of how carriers make money by optimizing what they call Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

I’d love to hear a rebuttal to this article from the cell phone companies.