Archive for March, 2003

Truly, it’s pathetic

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003

From a msnbc story:

Fleischer would not rule out a U.S. attack before Bush’s 48-hour clock ran out since the Iraqi leader had said he wouldn’t leave. “Saddam Hussein has to figure out what this means,” he said

Let’s break the whole situation down into words a three year old could understand. Pretend instead of armies, we’re dealing with a couple of kids here:

I think you have a knife, and you might use it because you’ve used knives in the past. Therefore, I’m going to shoot you with this gun because otherwise you might cut me with your knife someday in the future. But I’ll give you 48 hours first to get out of my playground.

Oh, you say you won’t leave? Forget that 48 hours, then. Time to start pulling the trigger.


No, really, there are people who claim this is all about protecting our rights as americans. What rights exactly are they thinking about here? The right to unlimited cheap imported oil? Or perhaps the right to have no one except americans in control of any dangerous weapons? The right to have a military dictatorship over the world?

Exactly what rights, as americans, are being threatened here? Because I don’t see how Saddam without so much as a long range missile to his name, in the international spotlight, with inspectors all over his ass, is going to be able to do much to threaten my rights as a american. On the other hand, we seem to be threatening his rights as a Iraqi in new and novel ways.

Truly, the statement that we’re not even going to wait 48 hours tells me how immoral, corrupt, evil, and just in general dispicable the U.S. has become.

What do we want? Regime change. Where do we want it? HERE!


“Get the empty warheads out of the white house”


T minus Zero

Tuesday, March 18th, 2003

Well, here it is. The clock has run out, and Bush has aimed the U.S.S. State right at the iceburg.

I want so badly to just give up and move. Any country has to be better than this. I’ve never been more ashamed of my country. Where are all the assassins? They killed Kennedey, why can’t someone take out Bush?

Oh, right, because all the people who are against Bush beleive in peace. Which implies nonviolent solutions.

I’m sure some of the pathetic excuses for patriots are out there waving flags right now, convinced that it is the moral imperative of the U.S. to decide who gets the bombs – especially when we get lots of cheap oil out of the deal.

Really, what is WRONG with the entire power structure? Where are all the congress people? How much did they pay to buy them off?

I think it’s time for another constitutional convention. We need to figure out how to rewrite the thing so that this won’t happen again. Assuming the U.S. still exists four years from now, a point in which I’m in some doubt of.

The soldiers have been convinced that attacking unprovoked is a moral choice. Apparently they aren’t resigning – a testiment to the brainwashing techniques used by the military if there ever was one. ‘Let’s go blow the shit out of Saddam because we don’t like him.’ Welcome to preschool.

There can’t be any good ending to this story. But then, not one part of the story leading up to the ending was good either. Just remember, when you see that mushroom cloud, that you were warned.

If only we could somehow get those ten million protesters to all show up in DC at the same time. Maybe level the place? That might have the desired effect. Of course, Bush would just order the cops to shoot the protesters. Who cares. Kill the lot of them. Welcome to martial law.

Listen to – that’s Bush’s dad announcing the war on Kuwait. I’ll try and dig up a mp3 of Bush announcing war on Iraq for a A/B comparison, but until then, ask yourself – could bush ever present so rational and well thought out a argument? I never liked Bush Sr.. but he’s a prince among men compared with his son.


Sunday, March 9th, 2003

I notice’s latest vote is ‘Do we need the permission of the UN to go attack Saddam’. The ‘Yes’ argument is ‘We have the right to protect ourselves. 9/11 was a declaration of war’.

Okay, fine.

I can buy that 9/11 could be a declaration of war – except that, um, it wasn’t. People like to compare it with Pearl Harbor, but in the case of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese sent a declaration of war a few minutes before the attack.

Even if it had been a declaration of war, popular opinion seems to have it that Al-Quada was responsable for 9/11. No one has ever suggested that Saddam had anything to do with it. So what we’re saying is, ‘Country A attacked us, but they don’t have anything we want. Country B, which didn’t attack us, has a bunch of oil! So obviously even though Country A attacked us, Country B is the one we should attack.’

What is HAPPENING? I know that television is capable of brainwashing people.. but this is downright scary. I look around and there are people drawing incorrect conclusions from insufficient or just plain wrong data at every level of government. There are people lying – outright lying – in the media.


This country is falling apart at the seams. First we let a unelected president into office, and now we’re about to go fight a unprovoked war that is blatently just for the economic interests (i.e. oil) of that president. We’re going to start WWIII! WHY?

Back to you..

1.5 kW…

Sunday, March 9th, 2003

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I used my PA to carry spoken word to the masses.

Set it up in the middle of a park in the middle of Pioneer Square, and a rally (the seattle radical women something or other ;-)) used it to speak.

It was a really bizarre experience. I mean, this thing sits in my basement, and I use it all the time in the band(s) that I’m in, but I’d never used it for spoken word before.

It covered a crowd of 300 people, pretty adequately.

I don’t think it could do 1000 – towards the back of the crowd things were definately getting kind of quiet – but still. Bizarre.

I actually spoke, for about 30 seconds – having a kilowatt and a half behind your voice tends to give you excessive confidence. P. says that what I said wasn’t even vaugely on topic, but seemed like a lot of people liked it anyway. Or else they thought they better cheer for the guy who busted his butt to get them sound – who knows.

Anyway, setup only took about ten minutes, not bad at all. I plan to continue offering my amplification services to rallies..

In other notes, I added some more music to my new music page. Three more tracks, all written in Thailand except for the beginning of ‘unnamed’. As always, opinions welcome.

And the mk3 project is again surging ahead after a major redesign. The Tango project is basically done, and the hope is to make the two plug-compatable. More as it happens. 😉

Hope all is well out there in sheer’s-friend-land. I’ll try to update this more often.

A few random and probably useless observations about Thailand

Thursday, March 6th, 2003

1) A standard practice in Thailand is ‘touting’. Individuals wait in front of public transit systems (train stations, bus stations, airports) and try _very_ hard to get you to go to their hotel, tourist attraction, and whatnot. Practice your sales resistance – do not get angry with these people, but in general, you’re better off not listening to their advice. There are some exceptions.. After a while, you get to rather like being greeted by so many smiling people. Of course, back in the U.S. I was greeted by the smiling faces of the TSA, who genuinely are nice, but it’s not the same somehow.

2) I suggest not renting a car in Bangkok. Just use the taxi or tuk-tuk system – there’s always a taxi waiting a block or less from every hotel (yes, really) and as long as you agree on the fare before you get in, it will be cheaper than renting a car – even if you take ten trips a day. And finding a parking space in Bangkok is, basically, impossible. And Bangkok traffic makes the worst of the USA look positively spartan.

3) In general, smile. Thais have a thing about smiling, and a genuine smile will get you a long way. This may be what I miss most about the country.

4) Bargain, but not too hard.

5) In general, lodging will not include hot water unless you specifically search for it. This takes some getting used to. However, even if you search out the establishments that have hot water, you’ll still pay less than $10 a night for a decent hotel room. $20ish if you want air conditioning. (Yes, AC doubles the cost of the room. Tells you something about what power might cost.)

6) The power system is 50hz, 220V, but uses american style plugs. It IS referenced to ground. Be careful. 😉 Also, don’t plug anything into it that isn’t autosensing, voltage-wise, because it seems to vary from about 180 to about 250V, depending on what time of day it is and what mood the power company is in. NEVER plug a fixed-voltage switching power supply like the one in most desktop computers into it.

7) Getting around: The trains are pretty creaky, and run on what is jokingly referred to as ‘Thai time’. This means they usually are about 20 minutes late. A first class ticket from one end of the country to the other is about $35, though. Planes run on time and seem to be well maintained. A plane ticket across the country is about $75, although there’s a extra $10 charge at the airport that is not included in the cost of the ticket. Trains should be booked two weeks in advance for the best seats. Yes. Really. Lonely planet says so, believe them. 😉

8) Diving: Is beautiful. LOTS of biodiversity! I reccomend for diving the Surit Thani area going straight to Ko Tao, as the dives there are MUCH cheaper and better and don’t involve several hours on a boat. They’re about $10 a dive, vs. about $50 a dive from the more touristy Ko Samui. We didn’t find any substandard diving gear in Thailand, although some of it was newer and some older. Most of the dives are to 40-60ft, with about 80 ft vis and in 90 degree water. Not a lot of coral, but more fish than you can imagine, and a very wide variety of fish and other marine life.

9) Money: Don’t use your credit card unless you have to – some black hats have been rumored to steal CC #s and do funny things with them. There are ATMs on Cirrus and Pulse networks just about everywhere, so bring your ATM card instead. Travelers checks can be changed at almost any bank. In general, money is no problem – they make it easy for you to get it. 😉

10) Odd side note: It’s worth finding out what the ‘scam of the week is’ (cheap gems, free tuk-tuk rides, stolen bags from bicycle baskets, or whatever) so you can avoid it.

11) Transit: In general, you’re better off renting a motorcycle than a car. It’s easier to park and much, much cheaper. The bikes they rent tourists have a semiautomatic transmission and could be driven by a six year old. (in fact, they were, regularly ;-)). Better yet to walk, a lot of the time.

We had a lot of fun. Diving, sitting on beaches, visiting temples, visiting ruins.. all you could ask for. Maybe more later if I get time, although I have way too much work to do as usual.

things are never as they seem

Thursday, March 6th, 2003

“Da, Boris, we haff won the cold war. The silly americans, they burned up all their oil!”

We believe in communism now, oh yes, we do.. “GIMME YOUR OIL! SHARE!”.

I can’t believe that Bush is going to get away with this. I know in my heart of hearts that he is, that the people will not stop him.

Poster. I can’t quite get myself to be patriotic enough to put it on the EV, but it’s a clever idea.

This may be turned into a bumper sticker by Dean Grannes, the originator of the idea 😉