Thursday, July 31, 2008

Running the Numbers- Amazing art

Trust me, check this site out. You won't regret taking the time to examine all these works of art.

Running the Numbers
An American Self-Portrait

"Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming. ~chris jordan, Seattle, 2007 "

This is the 11,000 chemtrails American Jets make every 8 hours.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

W

Is this for real?

Oliver Stone is coming out with a movie on Bush. Apparently the recent bar fight involving Bush portrayer Josh Brolin that made the news, may have been over politics.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Obama better than Bill Clinton at Politicking?


I have to admit, Obama's transparent wooing of the public through a varity of schemes has made my skin crawl lately. It is impossible to win an election competition without employing these schemes, but each election year you will hear each side point fingers and complain about the cheesy strategies of their opponent, as if they thought a person could just stand around and twiddle his thumbs for 5 months and hope to win an election while his opponent is out gluing his lips to every available asscheek of every ethnic group, religion or societal creed in existence.

Obama is doing a *brilliant* job of schmoozing. He has made the key winning display of political understanding- never *ever* underestimate the abject shallowness of the American voter. As they say, (KISSfknobc) "Keep It Simple Stupid... Fucking Know Nothing Obese Bipedal Consumers".

His latest display of pure brilliance was putting a yamikah on his head and writing a prayer for the wailing wall, then setting it up intentionally so someone would pull it out and read it to the public to show how religious he is and how much he loves Jesus-uh in an attempt to get some of the James Dobson lunatics to stay away from the polls in November. Niceeeee. Obama loves his Jayz-us-uh, yippee!

I predicted Obama would be our next president long ago even though I had no idea what he believed at the time. I just knew that everyone would find a reason to like him based on his rock star qualities. I have watched elections in the past and I know it boils down to a look, a pose, a vocal inflection, a posture. He has already passed the toughest challenge he'll face by beating Hillary.

Now Obama will get his hands dirty in politics. Not that he hasn't before, he is no rookie. He has tainted himself by perfecting the study of the skin deep, better known as "the political campaign". And he will win.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dawkins and Weinberg

A very interesting conversation about the origin of the universe, and the mysteries of life. I particularly appreciated this statement by Weinberg:

"I think essentially the position of human beings is a tragic one. And the more we understand, the more clearly tragic it is....how do we live with this tragedy... well, Shakespeare showed us that one way of living with tragedy is to mix it in with comedy."
-Stephen Weinberg

I've found it to be true. And it scares me to think that it becomes more tragic with understanding, and how much older and smarter Weinberg is.

For me in recent years, the Ken Burns documentaries have delved a sense of the tragic deep into my understanding of the human experience. The Civil War and his WWII documentaries give us a glimpse of the completely unimaginable horrifying acts that mankind has regularly performed on itself ever since that point in history where the the first shoulder articulation could swing a weighted object quickly. We use concepts of "heroism" to provide some sort of sugar coating to the meaningless.

And now in Iraq you have a situation like that of Vietnam, where nobody can even pinpoint the exact purpose of the sacrifice, so the purpose becomes the exaltation of bravery and patriotism itself. But the troops coming home with PTSD know better than to think that the contrived narratives developed around Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman are more than stories the non-combatants need to justify a war whose purpose nobody can put a finger on with a straight face.

And what of the religionists who continue to deny the stunning realities science has discovered and cemented as fact? It is a case where everyone can plainly see that they have lost the argument but themselves. Why do we still have to fight over an argument we have already won as decisively as can be? The answer surely is tied up with Weinberg's observation- "the more we understand the more clearly tragic it is".

Who wants to understand, when understanding is tragic?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Acculturation, love, animal souls

This moving (for animal lovers) viral video was brought to my attention by an email from What is enlightenment? magazine. They referenced this video for the purposes of examining the prospect of animal souls. I still think that the people at WIE are oblivious to evolutionary theory. Seems they take animal affection to somehow insinuate a soul. But then here is the crux of the issue. The fact that an animal can clearly be acculturated into the affections of a human family argues for the universality of these emotions from an evolutionary point of view. To the WIE crowd it may argue for some sort of evolving state of realization through reincarnation. I am constantly struck by how much the WIE crowd "doesn't get it". They *are* the ID crowd, only from a non-Christian slant.

The acculturation of the normally wild lion strikes me as being very similar to the acculturation of the wild human born into modern society. Are we all savages that merely mold ourselves to the level of societal advancement we happen to be raised in?

The video linked by WIE was overwhelmingly cheesy. I am linking to a more palatable one.
My dog greets me like this every time I see her (which is far less often than when I raised her).



This is the fascinating fleshed out story of Christian, his life in England and how he was introduced back into the wild by George Adamson (the third man in the video) who was tragically murdered by bandits along with his wife 14 years later.



This is the full grown Christian. He was wild but still in friendly contact with George Adamson. More.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another Time Capsule

Well, here it is. If anyone had any particular question about What Barack Obama's plans were, wonder no more.

I thought it was a great. Amazingly clear actually. The way he emphasises the complete worthlessness of the Bush administration's post 9/11 strategy, and what could have potentially been done with the same amount of money if only cool headed people would have occupied the white house instead- is enlightening.



And here it is also, when none of these promises come to fruition.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Held Hostage

Since nothing has changed before, why would it now?
If people have been talking about the pressing necessity of getting off foreign oil since the Carter administration, why has nothing happened since?

Who is holding us hostage? Did the founding fathers picture a time in this country where we would not be under the tyranny of an oppressive centralized government, but from a handful of financial tycoons who are effectively invisible from the public eye making transactions from computers all day?

Is this the anti-robinhood era, where the motto is to rob from the poor and give to the rich?


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nader on Rush Limbo- Get Off welfare!

thanks to onegoodmove.org

Cheney Censors Science


Censor - an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.

"Might make it tougher to avoid regulating greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere."
Can't make Bush & Cheney's motives any clearer than that. The article goes on to say: "The White House, at the urging of Cheney's office, "requested that [Burnett] work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change... "

"CEQ contacted me to argue that I could best keep options open for the (EPA) administrator (on regulating carbon dioxide) if I would convince CDC to delete particular sections of their testimony," he wrote.

"Burnett also described in greater detail than previously reported the White House's refusal in December to accept a draft EPA finding concluding that carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, is endangering human health. "

The article concludes: "More than a year ago, the Supreme Court directed the EPA to determine whether carbon dioxide emissions endanger human health and welfare and, if so, begin to regulate it under the Clean Air Act. That process is not likely to continue until the next administration."

The fact that Bush & Cheney could not provide legitimate counter arguments, but had to (and still do) resort to censorship and the covering up of scientific evidence, illustrates the weakness & nonexistence of the denialist's assertions.

Meanwhile, Bush's version of an "ambitious" goal is to reduce gas emissions by 50% by 2050, when there is no agreement and no "
agreement on additional specific numerical targets". In other words, there was no agreement and no one committed themselves to do anything. Perhaps that was Bush's ambitious goal? Too bad Bush couldn't have applied the same "ambitious" timetable to his invasion of Iraq.



Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hitchens gets waterboarded

“If waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.”


video

McCain just another Bush?


49% of voters polled claim to be worried that McCain is too much like Bush.