lord of war – response

I just got done watching the movie: Lord of War (2005)

I think it was a good film, in the vane of “blow” and “traffic” but with a different angle and a semi-moral overtone.  The best part, IMO, is the ending and the open and blatant fact that when it comes to weapons of any sort, the US not only has the most, but sells the most – seemingly to anyone else. (don’t worry, I didn’t give away any of the movie, just inspired by the movie to be upset at weapon proliferation)

Oddly enough, I can’t be a pacifist because of my wife.  I would forget any moral choices to attempt to defend her (probably poorly), and thus would consider myself a non-violence advocate.  Given this admitted hypocrisy, my opinions on the matter of guns may not amount to much, but while I fear I would want weaponry if defending my home / tribe / city / country from attack… what is really frightening is that such attacks and thus defense are encouraged.  The only people I can seem to identify with are the pawns, the people being shot by and shooting the guns…  the players, the people moving the pieces and getting rich – simply don’t seem human – at least not human enough for me to see it. 

Weaponry and war seem like concepts that humanity should have evolved past… instead we seem to have evolved the means to facilitate the same barbaric concepts.  Unfortunately, those who would choose to disavow weapons would, of course, be unarmed against those who would not….  I don’t see an answer.  Why can’t we just all get along?  (sounds like a joke… it isn’t.)

brutal christ[ians]

I just got done reading : The Brutal Christ of the Armageddonites – by Jon Basil Utley

It’s a great overview of / perspective on the Christian “pro-end-of-the-world” movement which has begun (in this country) to not only become fairly popular, but to be largely represented in the government and the financial elite. 

This is, no doubt frightening… but again, it brings me back to one of my major complaints about most organized religion… arrogance.  I can’t understand how anyone could honestly believe they “understand god” – if they actually believed in god or anything greater than themselves, they should be more humble and less righteous in their discourse on that which is so much greater than themselves…  “I’ve got this god all figured out… so let me tell you about it… he just happens to agree with everything I believe and he hates anyone who doesn’t agree with him (me).”

here are a couple of quotes from the aforementioned article:

…it was erstwhile House Majority Leader Tom DeLay who argued that the Iraq war should be supported because it is a precursor to the second coming of Christ. He also tried to undermine the Bush “roadmap for peace” when he visited Israel.

“Tim LaHaye, the co-author of the hugely popular ‘Left Behind’ series, spoke of Iraq as ‘a focal point of end-time events,’ whose special role in the earth’s final days will become clear after invasion, conquest, and reconstruction. For his part, Jerry Falwell boasted that ‘God is pro-war’ in the title of an essay he wrote in 2004.”

Such a ‘war of the cross’ should strike Christians as a contradiction in terms. A literal war in the name of Jesus – a ‘Christian war’ – is an oxymoron, like ‘hateful Christian.’ Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world, otherwise His followers would draw swords to defend Him – and presumably the kingdom itself (John 18:36).

pay to email – what a dumb idea

so – there’s some buzz going on (yes, I’m a few days behind) about AOL and Yahoo letting companies pay (them) to send spam… but disallowing spam otherwise… 

what? 

If you could dis-allow it, do so.  If your plan is put into effect, that means more spam in the inbox.  It makes no sense.  (links below)

There is discussion about what to do, to combat spam.  More intelligent spam filters is a big first step…    baysian and more…  I’m talking about filters ready to find “v 1 a ggrr aa” and mark that message as spam (unless that’s an email you would like to receive).  Not that this will ever be 100%, but 90+% is pretty good.  I get about 50-150 spam emails a day, but usually only see about 3-5.  I don’t complain… i think that’s pretty good.

Here’s a tip to anyone on AOL mail (god forbid) or Yahoo mail…. go to gmail.  If gmail ends up charging or something… well – you’ll have to cross that bridge when it collapses, but for now it’s the best option I’ve seen (short of running your own mail server and a baysian filter).

whew… that was a relief

The Would You Have Been a Nazi Test

Achtung! You are 23% brainwashworthy, 18% antitolerant, and 28% blindly patriotic

Congratulations! You are not susceptible to brainwashing, your values and cares extend beyond the borders of your own country, and your Blind Patriotism does not reach unhealthy levels. If you had been German in the 30s, you would’ve left the country. One bad scenario — as I hypothetically project you back in time — is that you just wouldn’t have cared one way or the other about Nazism. Maybe politics don’t interest you enough. But the fact that you took this test means they probably do. I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt. Did you know that many of the smartest Germans departed prior to the beginning of World War II, because they knew some evil shit was brewing? Brain Drain. Many of them were scientists. It is very possible you could have been one of them. Conclusion: born and raised in Germany in the early 1930’s, you would not have been a Nazi.

not a nazi

alan + mohawk = all is right in the world

Yes, once again, Alan is in posession of a mohawk…  life is good – life is good. 

A mohawk is a wonderful thing for several reasons.  Some of them are:

  • I have hair on the top of my head still, might as well enjoy it.
  • It improves my ultimate frisbee game (seriously).
  • It reminds me and anyone else that I’m not really all the way old, yet.
  • It helps instantly filter people, like John’s pants, for any who know.
  • It requires some maintainence (frown) but no commitment (I can shave it whenever).

see – a lot better than buying a sports car and going to a tanning place.

alan_hawk_20060216_022557.jpgalan_hawk_20060216_022659.jpgalan_hawk_20060216_022754.jpg

oh and also checkout this video of an awesome multi-touch-screen demo… yeah – cool stuff coming… (reminds me of an audio interface based on glass “pucks” which was really tight)

a new bed (life is good)

We have had our bed now for over an week and it is fantastic. I actually found myself sleeping propped up on my elbows one morning – and it was comfortable. We got a Sealy : Reflexion : Venice Beach – a big latext foam bed. We bought it at us-matress.com, but we only had to buy the mattres (no box spring) so it ended up being a less than what you see as the cost. (still expensive, no doubt)

We ended up finding a used waterbed frame locally from craigslist for $40 , and we put the mattress on that. My mother has an old waterbed frame we would rather have, but it’s in Houston, TX and shipping was going to be upwards of $500.

So that’s the deal. Anyone want to try out the bed – it’s worthy of much praise and awe. Especially after we put on Anita’s new birthday present – an electric mattress pad.

People are freaking out on GDS

I’m seeing a lot of articles (and people at work are linking me to even more) warning people about the new Google Desktop Search; like: Google Copies Your Hard Drive – Government Smiles in Anticipation

Google today announced a new “feature” of its Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to consumer privacy. If a consumer chooses to use it, the new “Search Across Computers” feature will store copies of the user’s Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-based documents on Google’s own servers, to enable searching from any one of the user’s computers. EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who’ve obtained a user’s Google password.

Though, I do agree that the search across computers isn’t a feature most people will have any need for and opens serious security concerns… it isn’t a big deal… why?  Because it can EASILY be turned off.  There is no mysterious configuration required… when you install the new version of GDS, it asks you if you want to turn the search across computers feature on and then explains what that means.  This is not complicated configurations nor tweaking nor reading fine print… we’re talking a very simple page of <8 options (this feature being one of those options).

Get a grip.  Read the screen.  Uncheck the box. 

And yes, I have a bandwidth monitor and didn’t notice any transfers which would make me concerned on either of the computers I have installed it on thus far.