Saturday, June 14, 2003


One of the joys of SiteMeter (the little icon at the bottom of the page) is that it lists "referrers" -- the page that a reader was on when he or she (or it; there are robots out there, too, you know) was on before coming here. In particular, if somebody comes to this site from a search engine, the referrer will contain the search terms that were used to find the page.

Some of them can get pretty bizarre. The Preacher, as usual, has the champion

I just got a contender. "pocket sized witch detectors", from MSN. The hit was on this page. I have a strong feeling that this was not what the person putting in the query was looking for. But what were they looking for? Hint -- learn to use quote marks in your queries. Otherwise, you won't get phrases. Blogs can be especially nasty, as pages tend to cover many posts with widely different subjects.

Nostalgia! My first blog posts!

Some others:

  • oops flashes
  • lightningbug movie
  • small flashes (in Finnish??)
  • funny flashes
  • very scary flashes
  • hesoid blog
No end of fun. I had to extract these by hand; supposedly, the pay version of Site Meter extracts them for you. Almost worth it.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Angry, Too

Normally, I hate "me, too" posts, but Emma at Late Night Thoughts has one that I've just gotta pile on.

The anger has outgrown the misdeeds of the administration, and the greed of big corporations, and the vacuousness of the media, and even the intransigence of people who would rather die than compromise. I'm angry in bigger yet more personal ways. I have a subterranean river of rage that bursts out in great galaxy-sized eruptions that cannot be aimed at anything concrete, so they burrow inwards and cry havoc in my sleep and destroy my peace of mind.

Yah, Emma, they get to me too.


The whole Fundie business -- antiabortion, creationism, school prayer, "faith-based initiatives", Puritanism -- has been a particular peeve of mine since I got thrown out of the Baptist Church, 'way back when. (Yeah, I know. Nobody's got a trademark on the name "Baptist". However, all the other Baptist churches I've dealt with since then have had the same, uhh, quirks, that ran me out.)

Fundies (technically, fundamentalist-literalist Protestant Christians) were bad enough back in the 1960s and 1970s, when all they did was harass school boards over biology texts and write nasty letters about "immorality" (My favorite was a campaign that forced Sears to recall a whole bunch of catalogs because one of the models for maternity wear wasn't wearing a wedding ring. No, they don't have a life. At least, not one of their own.) Unfortunately, they've taken over the Republican Party. This was not some secret backroom coup -- they did it the hard way, by being there to do all the scutwork connected with electioneering, over a period of maybe twenty years. After doing this much work, they feel that they deserve some payback. At last, they're getting it. Look at the judges that the Bush administration is nominating, for example.

The really scary ones are the ones that think that they are doing God's Work by destroying the environment and working to promote global war to "Promote God's Plan for the End Times". Yo! Listen up! God doesn't need your help. Your part is to follow the rules -- you know, work for peace and justice, don't kill people, be a good steward of the environment.

Many years ago, when a young man was looking for a fight, he would put a chip of wood on his shoulder and dare anybody to knock it off. If somebody knocked it off, this was an acceptance of the challenge and fisticuffs ensued. I tend to think that the Fundie "beliefs" are in the same category. I have a hard time believing that anybody with any knowledge of how the workd works really believes that crap. "I say that the world was created in six days, and I'm gonna make you respect my "belief", even though I don't believe it myself".

A Fundie is a person who is trying to buy his way into Heaven with other peoples' souls.


The economy is in horrible shape translation: I'm out of work and the reason isn't hard to see. Investor and consumer confidence just isn't there. People aren't spending money, so people who make Stuff have to lay off staff. The laid off workers don't buy stuff. Other people get nervous about their own jobs and save their money instead of buying . There's plenty of money available -- Alan Greenspan is practically giving away toasters at the Fed. So why the vote of No Confidence? It's not just the Internet Bubble, although that was the trigger.

Let's look at some problems:

  • Bankruptcies triggered by massive management fraud and accounting trickery
  • Officers and directors making astronomical amounts of money, often in companies that are losing money or just plain falling apart.
  • Massive "downsizing", requiring the remaining workers to put in much longer hours
  • Massive "outsourcing" of major parts of the company overseas
Corporations aren't supposed to work this way. Why should Joe Investor trust his money to a company that is paying more in executive bonuses than they are making in profit, whose accounting is questionable, and who is working their employees like slaves? As to outsourcing, as we saw in the 1960s and 1970s with home electronics, when you outsource all of your manufacturing, it's only a short time before your company is simply the marketing arm of a manufacturing company in Taiwan or wherever. You're not making policy any more.

Basically, it's a tight little game where the insiders make all the money and the suckers take all the risks. And it's tightly tied to


The Republican Party's core constituents are Fundies and big corporations, and this shows in its priorities. Basically, anything a big corporate donor wants, it gets. Eliminate the forty-hour week? OK. Gutting environmental regulations? Cool. School vouchers? Groovy. Faith-based charities? Great as long as the dough only goes to Good Christians(tm).

There are negative results, too. Since the Republicans took over the House and Senate in 1994, it's been Payback Time. Bush & Co have brought this to new heights (Username/password = laexaminer)

My take on politics is that it should be like chromosomes in cell division -- for elections, everybody divides up into two parties; at all other times, everybody works together on the Government's business. Unfortunately, the Republican ambition is to reduce the US to a single-party system. And we know just exactly how well that works elsewhere in the world, right?

Then, there are our shiny new audit-proof, recount-proof computerized voting machines. Brrr.

Insult to Injury

There's no escape from this crap. I seem to be developing a sensitivity to alcohol; I can't even get drunk.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Crocodile Tears

I'm getting really sick of this. InstaPundit just put up yet another in his endless series of posts, to the effect of "It was OK for Bush to lie about Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction because we needed an excuse to invade Iraq because Saddam is Not A Nice Man".


Right wingers don't care squat about Human Rights. Never have, don't now. All you ever hear from the right of center is the occasional mild disapproval of Castro or Palestinian suicide bombers. Never a peep about China. Mention Guatemala and they look at you like you're crazy. Mention what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians and you'll get an explanation of Why They Deserve It. Burma? A bit disturbing, but no worse. Zimbabwe? You can get some heat here, because a lot of the violence is black-on-white –- maximum scare factor for right wingers. Only in the furthest-out fringe of the nut groups do you see explicit calls for "recolonilaization" of "countries incapable of self-rule". (This is what we would need to do if we put in an explicit policy of Fixing Everything around the world.) Tut-tutting doesn't count for anything.

The only time a right winger will ever even mention human rights is when denouncing a country/dictator who is already on the shit list. Iraq is the current obvious example; Cuba and Nicaragua were others.

Hell, right wingers don't care about human rights in this country. After all, they're only immigrants or blacks or people in prison -- not like anybody we know. Nobody who matters, certainly.

Yo! Right Wingers! Listen up! During the whole runup to the invasion of Iraq, every anti-war blogger had to start every post with a disclaimer, to the effect that, yes, Saddam is Not A Nice Man. It's turnabout time. From now on, every time you say "It was OK because Saddam was Not Nice", I want to see a similar disclaimer on why you don't want to see an invasion of Burma, Uzbekistan, Belarus, or any of the other human-rights pestholes around the world. You might also throw in an explanation about why it's OK to do business with China -- after all, it's a Communist country with a government that killed probably more people than any other government in history.

Every time, remember. And with at least as much heat as you use in denouncing France.

As an aside, I'm really surprised to see this attitude from Insty. He is, after all, a law professor. I'm sure he would be the first one up in arms if the Government put in a policy of convicting Bad Guys on faked evidence.

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