The good Professor’s observation that we, with some shame, hope for the US invading forces to get slaughtered to somehow prove or comment on, the immorality of the current administrations foolish enterprise, is well taken.
It was very disappointing when it became clear that the Iraqis didn’t have some weapon – a smallish thermonuclear device or the plague – that they could unleash and not only take out the invading forces but with strong prevailing winds, take out a big chunk of humanity. That would have been grand entertainment. News at eleven!! Stay tuned!! The idea of rooting for the other team creates a bit of cognitive dissonance.
But our “team” – the cheney/rummy/dubya,etc. cocksuckers – well; they aren’t our team, now are they? And I’m not so sure about the spineless democrats either. They have caved in to the simple minded school-yard trick of using generally accepted platitudes to be defeated and silenced. Aren’t you a good patriot? Don’t you love the good ole USA? Why are you sitting on the visitors side of the gym? Where is your flag and why isn’t it on display? You must not support our troops!
We watch car races in hopes of a really good crash and when it happens, it is on the news, in slo-mo, over and over again. I watch and any cocksucker who says they don’t, is a pile of fermented horse shit lyin jack-off. It is our nature. We are curious about such things. (a brief aside: if you want to indulge your curiousity about the look of human carnage, accidents, self-inflicted gun shot wounds, etc, go to rotten.com – this is a Vernon T. Bludgeon approved site)
Back to the subject at hand – Iraq. People are getting killed. You read it here first. Why should I feel more remorse at the loss of an american as opposed to an Iraqi? And why the fuck should we give huge coverage to the death of an ex-football player who gave up his multi-mil contract to play soldier. Why him? I want to know about the poor child who found a bit of hope by joining the army to get a step up. The press seems enamored of the fact that he gave up the money as if that makes him an even bigger hero. He chose his way to die; his right and privledge. If he had given up the money and then committed suicide would we still think highly of him? Oh yes – he died for a good cause. Bullshit. He died for a stupid ridiculous invasion of another country by our nascent dictatorship. If he thought that he was fighting for the “homeland” (why didn’t they just call it the fatherland?) or to bring democracy to a region that couldn’t give a shit about democracy, then he did committ suicide. Or was monumentally stupid or read too many G.I Joe comics as a child. I read a lot of Dr. Squirm Finger the Proctologist comics when I was young but you don’t see me signing up to exam sphincters do you?
We don’t want anyone to die and we certainly don’t want to belong to a club that sends children off to kill people and get killed just for the club leadership’s amusement. Hussein gassed his “own” people. Yeah? So we are noble and order the deaths of our own people by invading another country? And when things are going badly and it is obvious that we shouldn’t have ever done this, we send more kids off to the machine? Rather than admitting our folly and withdrawing?
rant, rant, rant. I need to relax so I’m going to a calming, inspirational movie – the one where they beat the shit out of jesus. Now that is what it is all about. A good wholesome sense of what the world should aspire to. Violence with a message?

speaking the unspeakable about US casualties

I remember reading somewhere in Howard Zinn’s history of the US that in the run-up to the Mexican war, a shameless imperial land grab if ever there was one, there was ferocious opposition to the war. An American newspaper editorial of the time said, in substance, we deplore bloodshed and violence, but this is inexcusable, and if someone’s blood has to be shed, let it be the blood of the invading American forces. Let them be defeated and turned back in complete disgrace. Can you believe they actually published this? Nowadays everyone who thinks this way keeps his mouth shut about it.
Everyone except your servant Professor B, that is. Whenever US soldier or private sector mercenary comes home from Iraq in a body bag, I feel immense sympathy for the families and friends of these people. But on an a purely, heartlessly military and political level, I don’t feel a bit sorry for the invaders, nor for the employees of profiteering corporations, who end up getting wacked. In fact I route for the resistance. The US has no business there, and never did, and should get the hell out now, and beg the UN on hands and knees to step in, and offer to pay the bills. Cut military spending in half and use some of the savings to rebuild the place and pay reparations.

“presidential” press conference

Well well well. Can’t think of any mistakes you made in the so-called War on Terror, George? Need a little help? OK, how about the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq? Under the false pretext of the WMD you now can’t find, not even under the desk in your office? Remember that?
Seriously, though. You otherwise acquitted yourself brilliantly. You laid out all those distortions, lies and rabble-rousing button-pushing jingoistic propaganda just like Karl R. and your other handlers trained you. I bet you’ll get a nice little bump in the poll numbers (which don’t concern you, of course).
Oh by the way:  fuck you.

I Can’t Fix Shit

I can’t fix shit. I can’t install, assemble, repair, maintain, build or otherwise perform any manner of mechanical activity on any physical object whatsoever.
I am a klutz.
There, I said it, and I don’t regret it.
Now I can go back to trying to install a gate to keep our eleven-month-old from tumbling down the stairs.
PS: I exaggerate. In fact, I have:  assembled stuff — furniture, baby equipment, gas barbecue grill — that still has yet to fall apart; patched and replaced bicycle tubes; replaced all manner of computer parts; done very basic plumbing repairs without fucking up (and have also done them with fucking up); and so forth. But it’s slow, painful and perilous, because I am a klutz. Though I read instructions and how-to books, usually something comes up that is undocumented. That’s when a person needs creativity, courage, imagination, balls, talent, skill. I have a little of the first three, but very little of the last two.

Spanish election

The socialists would have won the Spanish election without the boost given them by the government’s mishandling of the Madrid train bombings. The Madrid correspondent of the respected German weekly Die Zeit reported that while polls may be taken in Spain at any time up to an election, the results may not be made public in the two weeks prior to an election. Polls taken in Spain during those crucial two weeks, she wrote, showed that the socialists were steadily gaining on the government. While they undoubtedly got a push from the aftermath of the bombings, they would have taken over the government without it.
Professor B’s note: The point being that you’d be unlikely to know this if you relied solely on the USA’s corporate media. They have generally failed to report that the Spanish people were going to kick out Aznar’s party anyway, for disregarding the popular will by supporting the US invasion of Iraq; they would have us think that the catastrophe and its scandalous mishandling were the sole causes of a stunning upset victory, which is just plain false. Good thing my dad reads German.

Alcohol Can Affect Your Judgement — for the Better

I’m sitting at my computer struggling with GnuCash 1.8.1, trying bring my financial records up to date after months of neglect so I can get my data organized for my tax guy. (I have splendid excuses for procrastinating, but take my word for it so I can spare you.) I try to run a transaction report and keep getting a useless error message “There was an error while running the report.” No shit. I go out there and google for some help and come up empty. I think, dude, let’s see if there’s a newer version. There is. I think, dude, you should upgrade. Ah, but if the upgrade opens some hideous can of worms and makes matters worse, what then? I confess: I am somewhere beyond newbie but way short of expert in matters Linux. The venerable RedHat Package Manager is famed for its ease of use, but how do you roll back an upgrade with RPM? I could research that and figure it out but I am under pressure here and have little patience. So I think, dude, just download the rpm and upgrade. But I hesitate. This is my only Linux machine, and if something goes seriously wrong, with all my financial data in a massive XML data file that dumb-ass Windoze programs like Quicken and Money do not understand, I am fucked. Time to make a decision.
Enter our reliable old friend, alcohol. I think, dude, go upstairs and pour a nice hefty vodka with cranberry and OJ, and knock it back. I do this. Then I go back to the machine, close GnuCash, become root, run
rpm --upgrade gnucash-1.8.8-0.9.i386.rpm.
It sits there thinking for a few seconds so I go back upstairs (to the liquor cabinet) to await my fate.
Bingo. GnuCash is rocking and I am back in the ballgame, thanks to a sound decision arrived at with the aid of the demon alcohol.