Monday, January 23, 2012

American Politics

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
~ Isaac Asimov

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Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
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"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

American Politics

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
~ Isaac Asimov

--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Babies

BBC E-mail: Schoolgirl sailor triumphs after battle with authorities

More stupid govco employees determined to suck the joy out of life, nice she got away from them finally :-)


** Schoolgirl sailor triumphs after battle with authorities **
Sixteen-year-old Laura Dekker becomes the youngest person to sail round the world solo.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16656270 >


** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.


--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
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"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Max and Topanga

Truth

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blocked!


Don’t take it from me, though. You can read more about the details of SOPA and PIPA here:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Confusing to me

I am really confused by the outrage over this.  Somehow it is OK and even honorable to kill people, spread their body parts all over the ground and rip their limbs off, but not OK to pee on the dead body.  Whatever.  I guess I'm too much of a pacifist to see that as worse than killing them in the first place.  And NO I'm NOT OK with these Marines peeing on dead bodies, but I think war always brings out the worst in humanity.  The lie that it brings out the best in man is simply bullshit. 



play
Screenshot from video
The BBC's Quentin Sommerville: There are fears of 'Taliban video' backlash

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta says a video which appears to show US Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghans is "utterly deplorable".

Those who had taken part in the incident would be held accountable "to the fullest extent", he said.

The video, which was posted online, purports to show four US Marines standing over the bodies of several Taliban fighters, at least one of whom is covered in blood.

The origin of the video is not known.

A Marine Corps official has confirmed to the BBC that at least two of the four soldiers seen in the video have now been identified.

An official statement from the Marines said the force had opened up a criminal investigation as well as an internal inquiry.

Mr Panetta has ordered the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, to investigate the incident.

In a statement, Mr Panetta said he had seen the footage, and the Pentagon confirmed that he had spoken by telephone with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Earlier, Mr Karzai condemned the attacks in strong terms.

"I find the behaviour depicted in it utterly deplorable. This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military," he said.

The Pentagon says it is checking the authenticity of the video, but there is nothing to indicate that the film is not genuine.

Mr Panetta did not dispute the authenticity.

Taliban negotiations

In a separate news conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her "total dismay" at the video.

Mrs Clinton said she shared Mr Panetta's view that such behaviour was inconsistent with the standards the "that vast, vast majority of our personnel - particularly our marines - hold themselves to".

The video did not change the tone of US efforts to secure Afghanistan, she said, saying the US continued to support security and reconciliation efforts that were "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".

Tentative moves are being made towards peace in the country, ahead of the planned withdrawal of international combat forces by the end of 2014.

Hillary Clinton joined a chorus of condemnation from Washington

The US has about 20,000 Marines deployed in Afghanistan, based mostly in Kandahar and Helmand provinces. In total, about 90,000 US troops are on the ground in Afghanistan.

The Taliban said last week that they were working to set up a political office, possibly in Qatar, that would help to facilitate negotiations with the Afghan government and Nato countries.

The video has not yet been circulated widely in Afghanistan, but there are fears that it could provoke further violence against international forces.

A statement from the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Kabul said the behaviour "dishonours the sacrifices and core values of every service member representing the fifty nations of the coalition."

'Deeply disturbed'

Earlier, Afghan President Karzai's office said: "The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans.

"This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms. We expressly ask the US government to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime."

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told the BBC that this was not the first time Americans had carried out such a "wild action" and that Taliban attacks on the Americans would continue.

But a different Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the video "is not a political process, so the video will not harm our talks and prisoner exchange because they are at the preliminary stage".

Soldiers reacting to US troops and Taliban video

Afghan Member of Parliament Fawzia Kofi said ordinary Afghans, no matter how they felt about the Taliban, would be upset by the video.

"It's a matter of a human being, respect to a human being," she told the BBC.

"I believe that the brutal acts that the Taliban did here during their government and even now is condemned by Afghans. So is watching a brutal act by international forces. We condemn that as well," she added.

The Taliban are known for applying a ruthless brand of Islamic Sharia law in areas they control and have carried out many suicide bombings and attacks which have killed civilians.


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Larry Devich
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"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Short video of Max from his first hour

video

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

iPad Blogging

My previous post was written on my iPad using the Safari browser. I found it sort of clunky actually, but it worked. This post is going via email.

I'm annoyed to discover that, for some reason, I cannot edit my post once I've posted it. I click on edit and get a blank page, the text I want to edit doesn't show up at all. So, typos left in the post have not been fixed because I can't, I can see mistakes and can't fix them... Aaaargh!

--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
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"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Having babies

I'm sitting right now with my daughter Lora in the Kaiser Hospital Labor and Delivery in Walnut Creek. JD is here as well, of course. It looks like we will be done in few hours. I'm playing hooky from work this morning, with the blessings of the HOA Board, good people :-)

I've been ignoring writing in my blog for a while but this whole baby delivery thing is pretty interesting. For some, like the wife of a co-worker I spoke to yesterday, have very little difficulty. When his son was born his wife was in labor for three hours and was able to go home the same day. Not so quick and easy with Lora though, with the minor complications she's had it really makes you grateful for modern western medicine. I think Lora is especially grateful for the pain killers right now :-)

Looking at the difficulty human women have successfully giving birth makes it pretty obvious that the system is a kludged together evolutionary system of stuff that works just good enough, which is all it takes to survive after all. It sure doesn't look like a design a rational person would use :-). I hope to post some baby pictures later on today.