Sunday, October 31, 2004

 

Creative Use Of EMC Knowledge

Daryl Beetner, a professor at UMR, has developed a method for detecting improvised explosive devices via their receivers and the characteristic radiation that each one emits during normal operation. His device picks up approximately 100 ms of EMI per sample, and plays it back over approximately 10 seconds as a series of audible chirps. A trained operator can detect the signal of a likely IED and alert convoy drivers of a potential nearby threat.

 

Well, This Can't Be Good

China signs $70 billion oil and LNG agreement with Iran:

BEIJING: State oil giant Sinopec Group has signed a $70 billion oil field development and liquefied natural gas agreement with Iran, China's biggest energy deal with the No. 2 OPEC producer, an Iranian official said Friday.

The preliminary deal may yield political benefits far sooner than commercial ones as Iran courts China's favor on the UN Security Council, where Beijing holds a potential veto over any action against the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Shit, ya already helped give them the bomb, so why not inject nearly $100B into their economy while twisting the UN in their direction?

A big shiny quarter goes to the first person who can explain to me why China makes for a good trading partner. Let's examine the "trade" - we get to fill Wal-Mart with cheap lawn chairs, China get to clamp down tight on our economic nutsack by taking all those dollars we send over there and lending them back to the US. In the meantime, they keep using North Korea as a pawn to manipulate our Asian strategy, and constantly threaten Taiwan - which happens to be a democratic republic with a capitalist economy. And now they decide to engage with our enemy, which not only creates a severe short-term problem in mucking-up our ability to manage the blooming nuclear crisis there, but also sets in motion the upcoming resource war that I think we'll engage in the next decade or so.

I could be wrong. Iran might just take that $70B and buy some new lawn chairs.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

 

WMRR Now Officially Sucks

It's been rumored for a long time, but 101.7 WMMR officially sucks. I was on my way back from Detroit on Monday and flipping through the presets as I came into town, and I stumbled upon them playing an Alanis Morrissette song. Not just any crappy song from her, but the truely awful "Hand In My Pocket". Thanks, Clear Channel, for ruining yet another radio station.

 

More Government Intrusiveness

Rep. Ron Paul writes about the American Community Survey, which is the federal government's way of finding out about your personal life. Oh, yea, they'll fine the crap out of you if you don't reply.

I wonder if it's illegal to lie when answering any questions. If so, it would seem that this would constitute a violation of the 5th Amendment, since I'm sure that the answers that one gives can and will be used against them in a court of law. I could see some of the answers getting slipped to the IRS for their "review". Or maybe it gets passed on to employers or creditors (or is that "crediters"? Both ways look wrong to me).

 

Sit On This

Hilarious:



Sunday, October 24, 2004

 

Are They With Us, Or Against Us?

OK, so now we've once again got folks stating that Osama is in Pakistan.

When pressed on why the United States couldn't send troops into the region to capture the world's No. 1 terrorist, Lehman said the Baluchistan Region of the country is filled with militant fundamentalists who do not recognize the legitimacy of President Pervez Musharraf, a close ally of the United States.

"That is a region filled with Taliban and al-Qaida members,' he said, acknowledging that Pakistan's security services also are filled with many who agree with bin Laden's beliefs and would aid him if U.S. Special Forces entered the region.

"Look,' Lehman said, "Musharraf already has had three assassination attempts on his life. He is trying to comply, but he is surrounded by people who do not agree with him. This is not like Afghanistan, where there was no compliance, and we had to go in. We'll get (bin Laden) eventually, just not now.'

Yet another toxic ally for the US in the region. We just don't seem to learn, do we? Pakistan is likely hiding Bin Laden, and worse yet, has done more to aid nuclear proliferation than any country in modern times. Add in the fact that they're led by a military general who overthrew a democratically-elected regime. Oh, yea, and they've sparked decades of conflict with their neighbor who just happens to be the world's largest democracy. This sounds exactly like the folks we cuddled-up with in the 80s, and look where those relationships got us. But oh well - long-term thinking doesn't make for interesting history.

 

Oh, What I Wouldn't Have Given...

to attend this concert. Bob Mould and Grant Hart, together on the stage for the first time in 16 years? That had to be frickin' amazing.

Monday, October 18, 2004

 

John Stewart vs. Tucker Carlson On "Crossfire"

Owned!

CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my
opinion.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: You know what's
interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your
show as you are on any
show.

Ouch.

 

You Want To See Some Goddamn Optimism?

Then click here!

I'm feeling so cheery, I wouldn't be surprised if a friggin' unicorn stepped out
on stage and started humpin' my leg!

Indeed.

Oh, yea - like, this probably isn't work-safe, especially if you work in an environment that condemns crude attempts at humor while rewarding failure.

 

Yea, So GTA:SA Isn't Here Yet

So here's the next best thing.

 

Why Conservatives Must Not Vote For Bush

One hell of an excellent article:

Yet serious conservatives must fear for the country if Bush is reelected.
Is Kerry really likely to initiate more unnecessary wars, threaten more civil
liberties and waste more tax dollars? In any case, there are other choices
(e.g., the Libertarian Party's Michael Badnarik, the Constitution Party's
Michael Peroutka and even Independent Ralph Nader).

Serious conservatives should deny their votes to Bush. "When it comes
to choosing a president, results matter," the president says. So true. A Kerry
victory would likely be bad for the cause of individual liberty and limited
government. But based on the results of his presidency, a Bush victory would be
catastrophic. Conservatives should choose principle over power.

Must just be a bunch of liberal ranting:

About the writer
Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He served as a
special assistant to President Reagan and was a visiting fellow at the Heritage
Foundation.


Sunday, October 17, 2004

 

Barrichello: I'm Better Than Schumacher

From the "Keep Dreaming, Buddy" files:

Rubens Barrichello believes he is a better Formula One driver than Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher and can win the world championship next season.
"That's not just fantasy, that's the absolute reality," Barrichello told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper when asked if he thought he could beat seven-times world champion Schumacher.

I'm not saying that Schumacher is invincible or unbeatable, but, uh, he's pretty much invincible and unbeatable as long as Ferrari continues to supply him with a superior race car. I don't see anyone knocking him off the top until they get a better car, and that's not going to happen with both men on the same team.

 

Poor Kasey Kahne

Man, that blown tire last night was a big reminder of the cruelty of fate on the racetrack. Clearly, Kahne had the dominant car last night - putting nearly 8 seconds on your closest opponent in a matter of a few laps is no small feat with today's closely-matched cars - but luck simply was not on his side last night. Once he hit the wall, I lost interest in the race. I don't know why, as I don't have any sort of emotional attachment to Kahne or his team - perhaps it was just cool to see a youngster going all-out and showing the veterans how it's done. The guy's got considerable talent and a great team, though, so I'm sure he'll get his chance in Victory Circle soon - maybe even this season.

By the way, watching Robby Gordon stay on the track even with a fender that threatened to cut his tire at any moment was further proof that he's a reckless (but certainly not wreckless) idiot.

 

Proof That Kobe Bryant Is An Ass

From Phil Jackson, of all sources:

I understand why the Lakers treat Kobe as their most valuable asset. The kid
will be twenty-six in August. His ability to take over a game, to make an
impossible play, is unmatched. Yet it needs to be remembered that Kobe is still
an employee, and that he needs direction and guidance in a way that helps him
mature into the kind of adult we hope he can be. Kobe is missing out by not
finding a way to become part of a system that involves giving to something
larger than himself. He could have been the heir apparent to [Michael
Jordan] and maybe won as many championships. He may still win a
championship or two, but the boyish hero image has been replaced by that of a
callous gun for hire.


Watching a group of selfish prima donnas go down in flames is always a satisfying exercise, and the fact that they did it against my beloved Detroit Pistons provided the most-enjoyable sporting event I've watched in the past decade and a half.

It's clear that Kobe is mature far beyond his years in terms of on-court skills, but it's also clear that he simply doesn't know how to properly interact with a group of adults who are interested in working with him towards a common goal. Eventually, he'll have to live up to the fact that the common thread in all his failed relationships is, well, himself - but until then, he'll continue chasing away the very people he needs to help him acheive what he wants in his career.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

 

FCC Won't Block Airing of Anti-Kerry Film

Another victory for free speech, or, er...

The Federal Communications Commission won't intervene to stop a
broadcast company's plans to air a critical documentary about John
Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities on dozens of TV stations, the
agency's chairman said Thursday.

"Don't look to us to block the airing of a program," Michael
Powell told reporters. "I don't know of any precedent in which the
commission could do that."


The sad thing is that the Republican cheerleaders who are waving their cyber pom-poms in joy over Sinclair's announcement fail to see the problem in the context of the Big Picture. Do they not realize that this is de facto permission for another large broadcasting company to televise, say, F9/11 the night before the election?* Would they actually see both events as a positive development in free speech? If not, then we've got a lot of simple-minded hypocrites who want a short-term victory more than long-term fairness.

Keep in mind that this is going on at the same time that the NRA can't even blast Kerry for the pro-AWB comments that he made during last night's debate. Sad, right? Well, apparently not if it helps The Home Team. I'll laugh while the Bush supporters are crying once the shoe's on the other foot, but it won't be a laughter of joy.

The last time I checked, the FCC always pulled out the "greater public interest" card whenever confronted with a questionable use of the public airwaves. I personally think that particular litmus test is a load of crap, but if it's going to be applied to any one event, it needs to get evenly applied to all broadcast programming. This idea of applying a half-assed laissez faire approach to the use of the airwaves, but only when it serves the appropriate masters, really pisses me off.

*This actually is a possibility, but the last I heard, Moore struck-out with broadcast and cable outlets, and was pimping his work to pay-per-view vendors. Kinda reminds me of Howard Stern's attempts to break into TV in the 90s, but with fewer camera shots of thongs (in this case, that's a very good thing).

 

Air Force Pursues Antimatter Weapons

Yea, this sounds like a great idea:

The U.S. Air Force is quietly spending millions of dollars investigating ways to
use a radical power source -- antimatter, the eerie "mirror" of ordinary matter
-- in future weapons.


As if a half-century of nuclear brinkmanship wasn't enough. It's expensive stuff, though, and we know how much the military loves exotic weapons.

 

Supply And Demand

A looming shortage of monkeys?

The effort to develop countermeasures to biological terrorism, many scientists
say, faces a looming problem on the horizon: a critical shortage of monkeys
needed for testing.
Three years after the anthrax attacks that killed five
people and injured dozens of others, many involved in biodefense research say
the country does not have a large enough supply of non-human primates for the
kind of massive research effort that would be needed in the aftermath of another
bioterrorist attack.


I'm not sure what the problem is - monkeys are trading as low as $0.99 on the world market.

 

The Candidates On 2nd Amendment Rights

The NRA formally endorses Bush just before the debate, and this is how he repays them:

Actually, I made my intentions -- made my views clear. I did think we
ought to extend the assault weapons ban...

I believe in background checks at gun shows or anywhere...


That second part might be worse than the first. It's basically an admission that he wants to ban private-party firearm transactions.

Per the NRA:

[Wayne} LaPierre [called] the difference between Bush and Democrat John Kerry on
guns "day and night."


But you won't know that by watching the debate last night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

 

Bill O'Reilly's Legal Problems

Seems like he's being sued for sexual harassment. Read at your own risk - it gets pretty graphic.

 

Another Bright And Cheery Economics Article

"Economics has ceased to be an empirical science and has become a religious faith."

 

Conservative Bob Barr On The Presidential Race

Wow:

Bush's problem is that true conservatives remember their history. They
recall that in recent years when the nation enjoyed the fruits of actual
conservative fiscal and security policies, a Democrat occupied the White House
and Congress was controlled by a Republican majority that actually fought for a
substantive conservative agenda.

History's a troublesome thing for presidents. Even though most voters
don't take much of a historical perspective into the voting booth with them,
true conservatives do.

Hmmm. Who's the Libertarian candidate again?


That's harsh, and yet oh so easy to agree with.

Monday, October 11, 2004

 

Winning The War On Terror, Or Not

"I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so
that the -- those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the
world." - George Bush

"To suggest that the war on terror can't be won is absolutely
unacceptable." - Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del

"The war on terrorism is absolutely winnable." - John Edwards

30 August
2004


"We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the
focus of our lives but they're a nuisance." - John Kerry

" I couldn't disagree more. Our goal is not to reduce terror to some
acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the
offensive, destroying terrorist networks and spreading freedom and liberty
around the world." - George Bush

11 October
2004



Just wait long enough, and both candidates will be on the same page. Problem is, I'm not sure what they'll declare War On when that time comes.

 

An Interview with Michael Badnarik Of The Libertarian Party

The interview. Not quite as surreal as the interview of Ralph Nader by Pat Buchanan, but still pretty strange.

One has to worry about someone who freely associates with Rick Stanley. Then again, I'm sure that both "major party" candidates associate with people much more sinister and evil than Mr. Stanley (who really probably is guilty of little more than irrational exuberance).

Badnarik doesn't exactly come off as the most stable choice for the head of our country, but I'm actually OK with that. If voting third-party is intended to send a strong message, why not make it that much stronger by voting for someone who's just a bit of a wackjob? I mean, go all out and state, "Hey, this guy is fucked in the head, but I still think he'd make a better president than either of you idiots!". Or something like that. But, hey, if you really like what you saw from one or both of the candidates in the first two debates, then feel free to limit yourself to those two choices.



 

Making Sense of the Grand Rapids, MI Radio Scene

Well, not really. Nice to see Matt Hanlon and Co. maintaining WKLQ's position at the forefront of GR's fucked-up radio scene. Since when do they put morons in charge of 50,000-watt transmitters? It would appear that the answer is "at least since 2002", but it actually goes back a lot further than that (probably starting with the loss of the Rick, Darla, and Scott show back in '97 or thereabouts).

 

What To Do With Third-Party Candidates? Lock Them Up, Of Course.

Here's the papers that Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik and Green candidate David Cobb were trying to serve on the Commission for Presidential Debates when they were arrested Friday night. Basically, the point is that Arizona state law prohibits the use of public funds for partisan purposes, and Badnarik and the Arizona Libertarian Party feels that a debate involving only two of the three registered political parties in the state constitutes a partisan purpose.

Friday, October 08, 2004

 

2006 Dodge Charger Spy Shots

The Car Connection has spy shots of the 2006 Dodge Charger:



The styling is a bit more tame than I expected, but I'm not going to complain too much about a 340 HP rear-wheel-drive sedan that should sell for under $30K.

 

The War on Drugs rolls on...

Hit the War on Drugs Clock to see what it's costing you this year.

Maybe we'll see a similar website for the War on Terrorism in another few years.

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