Tuesday, January 19, 2010

France and the Real World

Yesterday the French accused the United States of attempting a military occupation in Haiti in the wake of the current disaster. The French are due for a ridiculous statement like this as they have been a full three minutes without one. I'll point out to start that I was hating the French way before hating the French was cool. They (as a nation not necessarily individually) are a bunch of lily livered pansies whose sole achievements over the last hundred years include the resurgence in popularity of the baguette and maintaining their status as the worlds largest contributor to nations that intend, desire, or practice the large scale extermination of the Jewish people. Also they suck on relations with black people but I'm getting off topic.

In the world there are only eleven 70,000+ ton super carriers. Ships capable of producing 400,000 gallons of potable water a day, 18,000 meals a day, enough electricity for a large city indefinitely, 65 dedicated hospital beds and a full medical team as well as the capability to transfer urgent patients by air to medical facilities. They have the capability to run search and rescue operations non-stop for months on end. They are staffed with over five thousand trained soldiers and airmen. They have the ability to house over 6000 people making them the ideal floating headquarters for a larger land-based rescue and medical effort. They are literally a floating airport and communications hub. They are accompanied by a host of other ships with more specific military and humanitarian capabilities. There are no other ships in the world with these capabilities. Of the eleven in service the Unites States owns... Eleven. Hey France, should we wait for you to build one?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Oregon has implemented it's version of the hands free cell phone manufacturer handout slash police agency fundraiser this month. In a moment of odd clarity The Dalles Police Chief Jay Waterbury accidentally admitted that the goal of the program was to control people.

“What we’re after is compliance. If we can get that by giving warnings for a little while, then great,” said Waterbury.

Funny I thought they did this kind of thing for safety reasons. I wonder how long it will be until your insurance rates will be hiked in relation to how many bluetooth tickets you have.

This is just one more way for Police to justify stopping innocent people and tacking on fees to support their own militarization.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Years Resolution

Damon Root at Reason.Com reminds us that today is the 56th anniversary of the death of country music legend Hank Williams Sr.

“Hank’s music—Hank himself, really—was a mixture of whiskey, lamb’s blood, and grave dirt.” - Nick Tosches

So it is that we are reminded on this, the rebirth of our year, that we are only the shadows of our selves and that all things pass from us. And by the passage of time alone we are washed clean and given new life.

Last year was a hard one for me, indeed for everyone I know. We uprooted and relocated our lives to a new city. I took a new job which has it's own fantastic challenges but is very much a good thing. The Rudess has been pounding the pavement for months on the front lines of the war declared against the working man by those that endeavor to "help". She is my hero. Things are tight. We miss our friends dearly both those in Los Angeles and those now scattered around the world. It is beyond our means at this time to visit you all though we wish dearly that we could. If you have it on your end, the door is always open and the spare bedroom awaits.

It was a year of profound loss, in the fall a dear old friend left us quickly with a tumor in his brain. And early last month my family watched as our beloved aunt, sister, mother and wife lost a heroic four year fight with kidney cancer. I've learned that it is not death that is the hardest thing for man to understand. It is a far greater task to make sense of the suffering of others. I'll say no more on the subject save this; wherever you are your absence is felt deeply and by many, but that the holes that are left are filled up with love.

In other news old friends have survived some hardships that eclipse anything I could imagine. A dear old friend from school was the victim of the most sickening brutality and very nearly fell to it. Thankfully her tenacity and the love of her family met head on and she remains among us growing stronger every day. A dear wise old professor and friend of mine took a leave of absence to kick throat cancer's ass. It goes to show that you don't fuck with a man in a skirt.

On to better things we are joined by new members of the tribe. The newest is Oliver, a lady killer in training to be sure. He doesn't know how to juggle yet but I'm told he will with time learn new tricks.

I'll not discuss the politics of the year except to say that clearly these things are cyclical, that as with the rest of the world ideologies die and are born again. For every atrocity we perceive there will be repayment in one form or another. The only thing that's certain is that those that seek to lead us should never be trusted.

Willie Nelson said "it's been rough and rocky traveling, but I'm finally standing upright on the ground. After takin' several readings I'm surprised to find my mind still fairly sound".

I feel like that this morning.

I write to welcome the new year. 2010 may you be better, faster, and stronger than all the years before you. For the rest of us let's take this day to wash ourselves clean of the hardship from the year past and take this new and better year on with vigor and excitement. Let's catch fish, eat fruit, exercise, kiss. Let's do things we never thought possible, fix things that are broken, make new things where there were none before. Let's stack firewood, and plant flowers, take pictures and remind each other of friendship. Let's breath clean air and feel sand and waves across our toes. Let's eat things that have touched no human hands but ours, and drink wine together outdoors by a fire. Let's get involved in the lives of people who need us, and bring happiness where we can. Let's forgive and forget and share things that we love. Let's fight hard for what we believe but fight fairly and with compassion. Let's endeavor not to hate. Let's go canoeing and camping and rafting and hiking and biking and swimming at midnight. Let's watch football and yell at the screen. And let's all do it together.