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Archive for September, 2002

racism

Monday, September 30th, 2002

Nelson Mandela is an amazing man but what the hell is he talking about? Apparently he said today that the reason the US is “challenging” the UN is because the Secretary General is black. What? Ok, George Bush is a fuck up, and this whole “war on Iraq” is, to say the least, a questionably fiasco, but I don’t think race has anything to do with him ignoring the UN — I think politics has more to do with it.

I agree with this;

“No country, however powerful it may be, is entitled to act outside the United Nations”

Then in the same interview Mandela said this;

“now that we have got the black secretary-generals like Boutros Boutros Ghali and now Kofi Annan, certain countries that believe in white supremacy, are ignoring the United Nations.”

But I really like this one;

“when the secretary-generals were white, we never had the question of any country ignoring the United Nations”

because I can’t agree with it, haven’t we always ignored the UN if we disagreed with what they said?

Racism is a problem in the world, and Mandela knows that as well as, or better than, anyone but screaming that someone (or a whole country) is racist everytime they disagree with someone of a different race IS RACISM, and it makes the world MORE RACIST, not less.

political silence.

Thursday, September 26th, 2002

I got a Job! With Lockheed Martin in Reston! Yea me. Anyway more on that as it develops — I don’t know all the details yet! But this brings up an interesting thought: I want to live in DC, someplace hip, cool, happening, whatever you want to call it — someplace with stuff to do, things I can walk to. Ok fine, I know I am going to have to pay a little but I’m ok with that. The problem I have with DC is not the rent; it’s the politics! Forget the fact that DC cannot seam to elect a non-crack addict to it’s mayors office they don’t have any real power anyway… which brings me to the root of the problem.

The reason that the Mayor of DC has minimal power is because anything that requires money has to be approved by congress! And the real bitch: DC does not get a vote in congress! This has been a sticking point for DC’ers for years, in fact their license plates say “Taxation without representation” right on them. I’ve never really thought much about it, I have always thought it was wrong, but never cared that much. Now if I’m going to live in DC, and especially given the current state of politics I would like to have a vote that counts (not like those people in Florida!) I don’t care if they make DC part of Virginia or Maryland’s Congressional districts, but come on, that whole war against the British was about taxes and representation wasn’t it? Or did I miss something? You think anything would happen if I refused to pay my taxes and then handcuffed myself to something in the capital till then gave DC a vote? I mean anything besides me getting severally beat down, very skinny and fired? What do you think would get congresses attention on this?

warhawks and doves

Wednesday, September 25th, 2002

The news is filled with commentators and guests talking about the speech Al Gore made a few days ago about the possibility of going to war with Iraq (note: It’s only a “war” if congress declares war which it has not done in the “war on terrorism”, and the military actions taken by the US have been taken under the War Powers Act which dates to the Vietnam war!) Rush Limbaugh said that he almost stayed home because he was so livid at Gore’s speech. One of Limbaugh’s callers called Gore un-American.

Un-American? Now this guy has a right to his opinion and to voicing his opinion. But I wonder how well he understands what being American and un-American mean? Dissenting viewpoints and open discussion of things are at the core of what is American. I mean, get over yourself. Say that you disagree, say that Gore is a flower child and should be ignored, whatever, but to accuse someone of being un-American because they hold a different point of view from you tells me that your emotions are ruling your words not your intellect.

As for the idea of more “war” in Iraq? I don’t like it, I think we need more Al Gores and Scott Ritters out there voicing concerns. I agree with what Scott Ritter is saying; that we need to send the UN Weapons Inspectors back in to Iraq, and if they are harassed or not allowed to perform their duties then, with the support of the UN we should take action. Then we have an argument grounded in an international forum. Today with Iraq telling to UN to bring back the inspectors and George Bush and Tony Blair saying, forget what Saddam is saying, we need to got to war now, it’s Bush and Blair that should like blood thirsty war mongers.

What really pisses me off is the politicalization of the war talk. Chaney saying that the dissenters are un-American, and that people should vote for republican candidates because they are pro-war on Iraq. It’s obvious that there will be no war till after the November elections, because the republicans think they can get more seats in congress on war talk. Bush will most likely hold off any military action as long as he can so he can drag any war and its aftermath out to the next presidential election. Politics as usual.

“I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
-Voltaire

censoring movies and parental responsibility

Tuesday, September 24th, 2002

So there is this big controversy over the censoring of movies on home video. The company doing it says that they are making movies suitable for viewing by the whole family by cutting out violence, sex, profanity and other things people object to. Some big name directors have filed a lawsuit against the company to stop them, saying it violates the directors copyright.

It’s an interesting case because it pits consumer rights against copyright integrity. While I think that a consumer should be able to do as they please with a product they have paid for (provided they don’t try to make some sort of profit off it that would violate the copyright; i.e. rebroadcast a move.) I don’t think a company should be able to cut a movie and then sell it to consumers. We all know that, for instance, Saving Private Ryan would be a completely different movie without the cussing and the graphic violence — it would lose all its impact and reality. (Yes you can make a war movie without showing the graphic violence, but part of what makes Private Ryan such a good movie is the emotions that seeing the graphic violence forces the audience to feel and deal with.)

I think I agree with the directors on this one. If a consumer wants to buy the movie and all the fancy software to edit it then they should be able to, or maybe send it to a company to be edited after the fact then ok. But a company that wants to buy these movies and then sell them seams to me to be violating the copyright in that they are editing a copyrighted move and then selling it as new.

The real objection I have to this (we’ll let the copyright lawyers figure out the legality of it.) is that parents would want to show these movies to their kids but not allow the kids to see the sex, violence, drugs, et al that are in the movies. I don’t have kids so feel free to ignore me or flame me on this one but I think that that is a form of putting off a parents responsibilities. If you are going to show the kid the movie, or allow them to watch it, the show them the whole thing and talk to them about stuff. To me the whole idea of buying censored movies, books or music is like living in some sort of fantasy. Anything that the kids would be exposed to in these things in their raw form the kids will be exposed to in daily life and on the news. Kids are not dumb and def, we all know they know this stuff.

Rather than showing a kid some fairy tail about World War II show them Private Ryan and say, “this is why war sucks, but we did it because of this…” and then show them Schindler’s List and say “hate sucks just as much.”

lockheed interview and other thoughts

Saturday, September 21st, 2002

So I had an interview (which actually turned out to be three interviews!) with Lockheed Martin on Friday. I stayed up in NoVa Friday night to see Stephen, Jonathan and Kim. But before we get into too much detail I have to say something; Driving back from NoVa today, I got passed by a Silver Mustang convertible around the Warrenton interchange. The car was weaving in and out and passed when it got behind me was trying to push me — and I was not going slow… Well about thirty miles later I came over a hill and see flashing blue lights. There in front of a state cop is the silver Mustang and the lady driving it being handed a ticket! Now, not to be an ass hole and a gloat, but there a few things in driving that feel better than seeing the bitch or bastard that passed you being served a nice fat ticket! Yea.

Anyway, the Lockheed Martin interviews went well. Three groups within the Tech Ops and Management Systems department interviewed me. All top-secret work so not much info but the interview went ok. Two of them where just ok but the third one I think went well. At this point it is hard to be too hopeful about the prospects of getting a job but I think I have a good chance this time. Cross my fingers!

Now for the other thoughts. Have you ever had a dream about someone you have not seen or talked to in years? And in that dream the person is portrayed in a where you never thought of the person? Get your mind out of the gutter — nothing like that! But the dream was a little disconcerting. It was just a dream but took all morning to shake the feeling of “I wonder if things could have been that way if…” Strange man.

Last thing: I misread someone this week; talking with the person over the Internet I got a feeling, that something was wrong. It turned out to the feeling was wrong but I sent the person an email thinking that something was wrong and the email scared the person into thinking that there was something wrong with me. The problem with only talking to people over IM or the phone — no body language! I hope I did not confuse the person too much.